Week 12 Training (3/19-3/25): Oh look, it’s taper time!

You know how there’s a fine line between marathon training niggle and an injury that could wipe you out of the race? Well I’ve been walking it like a lightweight who’s had one drink too many.

But I made it through peak week! So now it’s all about making sure I don’t do anything stupid before the race.

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My race, the Darß Marathon (more on that later, when I have too much time on my hands because: taper), is the same week at the Boston Marathon and the same weekend as the London Marathon, so by the time I get to write about it, readers will have probably gotten their fill of marathon recaps. Hope you save some reading eyes for me, though!

But first, I have to run the race. And if it were tomorrow, there’s no way I’d be doing it. My hamstring just wouldn’t put up with it.

It started on Monday during intervals. While I’ve been putting up (see body, I put up with so much from you, why can’t you just work with me a little more?) with a pain in the butt for a while now, which the doctor confirmed is actually a back issue, it looks like I’ve been altering my form a bit to get the range of motion prevented a bit by the tight piriformis muscle caused by the tight back muscles. So now my hamstring has apparently been working double duty, and it started to hurt after the long run Saturday before last. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve also been missing my normal gym cool-down routines (I’m home for three weeks) and my normal amount of sleep, but that’s a new paragraph.

See, people who say 8 hours of sleep aren’t necessary clearly don’t put their bodies through so much stress that needs to be recovered from in order to get through the next day. Given marathon training, I know I should have been getting more than the 5.5 hours average I have been… but the jet lag combined with family schedules that don’t include my running plans has meant I’ve been getting less than what I really need. I also haven’t been stretching or foam rolling properly after my runs, because while I have a foam roller at home, it’s 3 years old and the cheapest thing on the market. It’s also about half the width and cushion as the one at the gym, so I’m really missing my gym roller! I also miss the wide expanse of floor space that I have at the gym! But those are excuses. Really, I should have been smarter about the post-run routine.

I also should have been smarter about the running and listened to my body more. I should have taken Tuesday off, or at least not pushed for the 9 miles in the morning, and the 5k in the evening. As one can see in my chart, I took Wednesday off, which is my usual tempo run day, and I ran Thursday instead. This is because Tuesday was the no-good-dirty-rotten-run-from-sauna-land. While the north had snow storms that rendered them a winter-wonderland in Spring, south Florida had a tropical summer with oppressive humidity that gave everyone and their dog a headache. But I was up at 5 AM, doing that 9 mile run on my plan, and it was the hardest run all training cycle.

But oh! I forgot to finish talking about Monday. Before Tuesday, Monday was actually a good interval session. I had dropped down from 5 to 4 1-mile intervals, and my recoveries were 0.5 miles, not 0.25, so I didn’t exactly follow the plan, but I did get the average of 7:03 mpm, so I guess it’s alright? I don’t know. I was glad to get it done. And the hamstring still put up with it, so I thought I was okay.

I guess I ignored the signs of over-training: tiredness and no motivation, because I thought it was just my TOM, and I already noticed a soreness in the hamstring on Monday that seemed to still be fine afterwards. I don’t know. While I pulled the brakes on Wednesday, I probably should have pulled them much earlier.

But then Thursday was a great tempo run! Right on target with 7:30 mpm for 3 miles and I felt decent again. This meant that I was overly optimistic about all the other signs to just take the rest of the week off.

The final (really heavy) straw was probably the 22 miles … and then garden work. You know how people advise you to not do any strenuous activity after a long run? Well, I should listen to advice more often.

So, tl; dr: I’ve got a light injury, which I think is a hamstring strain, and the only way to make that go away is to take a break. My back may be happy about that too. Still, I hope it’s just for a few days and that I’ll at least have some running to report in a week.

Either way, it’s 27 days to the marathon and officially taper time, so it’s all downhill from here. My plan originally wanted me to do 20 miles next Saturday as well, but for now, I’m just happy if I run at all. and I probably will. Just need to be patient.

I guess I could ask, have you ever done something stupid while training that you know you probably shouldn’t have done and then regretted later? It’s pretty lame. I can’t even be mad at anyone!

On the bright side, training was great until now, so I guess I’m pretty grateful that all the hard work is done and I was pretty lucky to be able to enjoy most of it.

Hope you have a good week. Happy running!
Dorothea

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Update on training, week 8 (Feb 19-25)

^ this right here is why I could never be the layout person for a magazine. I just can’t make up my mind about how I want to format my posts. But you get the general idea: update on training, another week, and in case you’re confused about which week, I spell it out.

But this week is special! It marks the official halfway point to marathon training, and you know you’re seriously “in it” when you start using any opportunity to bring the topic of marathon into conversation with anyone you meet, even strangers. Week eight, woo hoo!

Officially a “fall-back” week in the training, I think it went pretty well. I didn’t have any long runs and the bulk was easy running. I did, however, have a pretty intense 10 mile time trial that I can’t wait to tell you about.

But first:

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gasp! Only one rest day?! And a run after an almost race? What?

What? is right. I also have no clue how the runs next week will look like and how I will feel. This week actually marks a diversion from the Runner’s World training plan that will go on through next week, since I have to adjust for a short trip I’m taking next weekend. And my SquadRunner team will know that I adjusted the second half of this week for the mission points. :-) I did get an extra 190 points from the adjustment, and I think I did it intelligently enough? Basically, the plan called for 5 tempo miles on Wednesday, a rest on Thursday, and 3 easy on Friday. Instead, I did 1 easy mile and 1 tempo km (to see just how fast I can run) on Wednesday, and 8 miles on Thursday with a 24 min. 5k thrown in. Then Friday was a rest day. There will be a time when I don’t need a mid-week break. This week is not that week. I wanted to have some chance to recover before Saturday, and honestly I just really like having one day of work each week where I can just go to work in a relaxed way without having to worry about getting the run in first.

And then Saturday…

but wait. Actually, I want to preface this by saying that I have a weird soreness deep in my gluteus maximus that Dr. Google diagnosed as piriformus syndrome. Sound familiar to any of you? This is the same hamstring thing I mentioned two weeks ago, but now I’m not sure it’s my hamstring. I really felt it during the 200 meter intervals on Monday (which were a lot of fun! It’s nice to just kick it out really fast once in a while), and then more so yesterday during the 10 miles. The weird thing is, it doesn’t really hurt. It just feels tight and I feel like I can’t get my full range of motion. I guess it’s good it doesn’t hurt yet, but I also want to figure out what it is and treat it before it gets any worse. In the meantime, apparently what I may have can come from sitting too much, and while I don’t think that’s my problem (if anything, I can’t sit for a single moment gosh-darnit Dorothea sit down and stop wiggling!), I’m going to be a little more proactive about it and see if I can figure out some of these weird yoga moves Dr. Google is recommending to prevent this thing from becoming a major pain in the you-know-what. Oh, and of course I’m calling my doctor tomorrow to schedule an appointment for ASAP. I’ll ask her about the weird foot bump then, too. (edited to add: I really did make an appointment and will find out on Wednesday what the deal is).

Okay, now about Saturday. I don’t know. It’s not that I went to an actual race and it doesn’t count as an official PR, but since it is my first consciously timed 10 miler and I met my goal within 5 seconds, I’m calling the PR. I was aiming for a sub 75 minutes, and I think that if I had been officially racing and known my times while running (I only ever knew my approximate pace), I could have done it. And even if I didn’t, I’m pleased with the way I motivated myself to keep pushing through the last miles and execute a run on my own this way. I can use this as a mental boost for the half-marathon in two weeks and while I didn’t feel amazing, I got it done and met my own expectations. Plus, it was an outdoor run and the sun was shining, which was actually also true of today’s run as well, so today I went out for a bonus 5k that turned into a little more because it was just so gosh-darned gorgeous (did you notice my southern roots, yet?). The mission points also had something to do with the unusual Sunday run. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and then determine whether that was a good idea. I may take the rest day tomorrow, instead.

Other than the butt issue and continued niggles here and there, mostly in the feet, a few in the knee–all that I’m prodigiously fighting against with stretching, foam rolling and avoiding every single crack in the side-walk–running is going very well.

Next week is another week of an absent long run. I can’t decide if that’s a no-go in marathon training, but I also figure if Hanson’s plan runners get away with a lot of mid-distance runs, then so can I! I’m planning on doing  regular amount of running (6-10 miles) that will tire me a little out, but not injure me. On March 5th it’s back to the regularly scheduled programming.

Hope you had a good week! Happy running,
Dorothea

 

update on the seventh week of traaaaaining (Feb 12-17)

First of all, can I just say that I’m glad I don’t always have to wake up at 5 AM to do a long run on a Saturday morning? That was a bit rough. But it did mean that I was done with my running before 10 AM, so of course it’s not all bad.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do my training posts. There’s a fine line between too little information and too much, and I’ve been walking it like I’ve had a bit too much to drink, so… yeah.

graph

As my chart shows, this week it was all about building mileage. Rather than a tempo run on Wednesday, the plan called for 7-miles easy. Compared to Tuesday, it was of course not that much. Following Tuesday, however, it felt like a never ending slog. I struggled through the last miles and was glad when I could rest on Thursday. This week, there were no urges on Thursday to go for a run. If anything, I was dreading having to go out for 19 on Saturday. But I did it! And maybe taking the band-aid off while still half asleep made it that much easier to put the long run I was dreading behind me. It was pretty difficult and I was ready to stop after mile 10. But I also guess that if I didn’t feel that way at the end of a 3 week build cycle, I wouldn’t be doing the training properly!

All told, I pulled off 46 miles this week without injury, even if I’ve got some niggles and may have overstretched my left hamstring a tiny bit. Hopefully today’s rest and stretching/foam-rolling routine will put that right.

And for some bonus details (not sure if these are interesting for you or not), here were my intervals on Monday:

Distance Duration Pace Notes
1 0.25 mi 1:35 6:20
2 0.25 mi 1:30 6:00 at 1 incline
3 0.25 mi 1:33 6:12 at 1 incline
4 0.25 mi 1:32 6:08
5 0.25 mi 1:31 6:04 at 1 incline
6 0.25 mi 1:31 6:04 at 1 incline
7 0.25 mi 1:30 6:00
8 0.25 mi 1:32 6:08 at 1 incline
9 0.25 mi 1:31 6:04 at 1 incline
10 0.25 mi 1:28 5:52 last “official” interval with the 1:30 jog recoveries
11 0.25 mi 1:22 5:28 after a quarter- mile jog

Granted, these were on the treadmill, but I’m happy with the way the interval session went. Part of the reason I went for one extra mile on Tuesday was riding off the success of the intervals. The other reasons I went the extra mile on Tuesday were that the plan had originally called for 10 (I had changed the plan to 9 in a moment of weakness), and I was boosted by my teammates in SquadRunner. It was probably good I stuck to the Runner’s World plan, because the idea is that I do challenge myself. I’m trying to listen to my body though, to make sure I’m challenging myself within reason. The last thing I want is to get injured again.

Looking ahead, I have a “fast” 15-miler to complete on the 24th, but this week is also a drop-down in distance, so I hope I’ll see some benefits of training so far! I also got new shoes (Brooks gel-Glycerin), so I’m looking forward to the “new shoe” feeling and reporting.

That’s it as far as I’m concerned. But I hope your winter (or summer, if you’re down under) running is also going well!

Cheers, Dorothea

 

Training Week Four update

when you’ve got eight significantly more important things to do, and all you want to do is write about running…

Yep. It’s marathon season, and I’m already in the vortex of planning my day around running, etc. At least the training plan provides some stability, eh? And I do have to say that going for months on a “whatever works” plan has made me a little more relaxed about the training. I do still want to follow the plan and meet the paces, but I also no longer think training should be my top priority and if I end up having an off-day or getting injured, I do believe I can just accept it and move on with my life.

That being said, old habits die hard and I’m going to have to have a more solid plan for when I start to feel a potential injury, because I will probably try to run through it. Yesterday before and after the 10k time trial (strangely, not during), my left foot started doing some weird plantar issue stuff, but it’s not something I’ve felt before. I’m hoping it’s just a fluke from switching up my shoe inserts and that my fartlek run tomorrow goes as planned. However, if I feel pain tomorrow during the run, I have to tell myself to hop on the next underground home! I’ll then take off through Wednesday, and see what the foot feels like.

In the meantime, I want to reflect on the last week.

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The week started off really well at 6 AM on Monday cranking out 6 x 800s. I had a 12 hour day at the uni planned, so if I didn’t run in the morning, it wasn’t going to happen. Sunday night at 11 PM, I had no idea if I could actually get up in time, but coming off a mostly restful weekend, I was animated to get out the door and felt proud of myself for averaging about 3:10 with 400m recoveries before 8 AM. I liked the feeling, but I don’t know if I like it enough to repeat it unless absolutely necessary.

Tuesday was a similar schedule, but an hour later (so 7 instead of 6), and I did my 8 miles easy. These felt good and may have been too fast, but I told myself it would be fine. I should try harder to go easier when the plan tells me to be slow. This is a goal for the coming week.

Wednesday was a 3 mile tempo run, and while I woke up thinking there was no way in heck I could pull off 3 miles in 23 minutes, my body surprised me. It was also delightfully “warm” (10 degrees Celsius), so I enjoyed running without gloves and a hat again.

Thursday and Friday were uneventful, just following the plan, and Saturday was “race day”.

Really, it was just a time-trial, since I don’t have the time or money to race right now, but I promised myself doing it at the gym on a treadmill was just as good. To compensate for the lack of outdoor factors, I put the treadmill at 1.0 for every alternating mile. Of course I had my drinks and a fan, and didn’t have to worry about the elements, but I don’t think it ended up being as much as an advantage as I was telling myself on the way to the gym. In the end, I think I could have done better outside.

I was so convinced that this was going to be an easy 10k. I even thought I could break 44 minutes and I was so smug with myself about being able to pick my own time to run and not rely on a starting gun and doing things at my own pace…

Turns out, I kind of crashed and burned. I ended up running 6.24 miles in 46:31. 3.24 miles were at 1.0 incline and the other miles were at 0.0 incline. I took 8 or 9 (I forget) walking breaks and just generally, … just ew. If it weren’t for my 10k run New Year’s Eve, I would despair right now.

On top of that, my the bottom of my foot started hurting during the warm-up. The pain went away as the speed increased, but then I had to pause at the first mile of the trial to stretch the foot out. During the rest of the trial, the foot felt fine. I struggled in everything else, but the foot felt fine. Then, during the cool-down, near the last quarter mile, my foot really started to hurt. I stopped and did my stretching and foam rolling. I noticed my calves and fascia were extremely tight, but I’ve had PF before, and this felt different. Oh geez. When I got home, I rolled my foot a few time over the massage ball. I don’t know if that helped or hurt, since the foot continued to feel sore, though decreasingly so, throughout the evening. This morning, I can’t even be sure if my foot ever hurt. I’m just going to take it easy today on walking and stretch the foot out again and bit and see what happens tomorrow. Again, if I feel pain, I am committed now to the plan as above!

Putting the time-trial into perspective, I guess I did fine; I’d had a tough week mentally and physically. Three long days at the Uni, some intense speed sessions, not averaging enough of sleep, and then, yeah, my period coming early should have all been considered before the 10k to expect less results than I got. I also didn’t make the smartest choices about recovery, which is another thing I’m going to work on for this week.

I can take this time-trial as a test not just of my fitness, but my training altogether. Fitness wise I know, based off the intervals Monday and my slowly dropping resting heart rate, that I’m where I want to be. But training-wise, there is so much room for improvement. I need to work on keeping my easy runs easy, fixing my daily schedule to ensure I get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 hours is, of course, the goal), and not drink Friday nights or within 24 hours of a hard workout. [Truth time: being on “whatever works” was kind of nice, because I didn’t have to stress about the alcohol I drink. Now that I’ve seen first hand that I’m struggling with the speed, I think I’m going to have to commit to giving up drinking sooner rather than later. Sigh.]

On top of aaaall of that, I seriously need to start working on pacing. My paces, even on a treadmill (smh), are all over the place. The Runner’s World plan has some steady-state runs in it and I need to use these and my long runs to figure out how to set a pace and keep it. My 10k reminded me of my biggest flaw during my BQ marathon. I’m still doing this weird thing where I start off conservatively, because that’s what everyone warns about, but then I’m so anxious to make up the difference about midway through, and I feel so good, that I just spurt ahead. Not the greatest technique, since I end up burning out before the last mile(s) and starting off slow doesn’t do anything for me in the end anyway. So, yeah. Add this to the things I want to improve on this training cycle.

Well, yep, that’s an update! Hope your training or off-season is going well. :-)

Happy running! -Dorothea

 

How to… aw, forget it.

I admit, when I started this post, I was struggling. Maybe it’s because keeping up a marathon-cross-training regimen is difficult, or maybe because it’s just impossible. How many marathoners PR after being injured? Are my goals unrealistic?

In another internet search (because google is my magic crystal ball), I found this article: “can’t run, can still train”. It made me feel a lot more positive. It also serves as a good slider for my recount of a workout I did today, to make up for the 8 x 800s I missed.

You can call me crazy, but I really love interval workouts. I love the anticipation as I head to the track, prepare my water bottle, and limber up. The warm-up laps and the dynamic stretches are like foreplay, and walking up to the starting line for the first interval always gets a spike of adrenaline going. Of course, the first interval is always easy, not quite max effort, but good time. Then, the challenge is to get through the recovery well enough to start the next one strong. I love to challenge myself to go faster each time, to see the miles add up without the same monotony of an easy or long run. I love the final interval where I know I don’t have any left, and I can give it everything I’ve got. Unfortunately, this is the third week I’ve missed my intervals.

IMG_1245

but here’s what: I wrote some job applications and went to the gym. There, I changed into my workout clothes, saw I didn’t have my headphone (damnit!) and got on the elliptical machine. I did 1,6 km (that’s a mile) at moderate to high intensity to warm-up, and then I went to the spinning room- thankfully empty.

No one had used this spinner since the last time I was there, so I didn’t even need to adjust it. I opened my clock app and opened the stop-watch, started it,  and spun easily for 90 sec.s. Then, I upped the intensity and went as fast as I could go… After about 1 minute, I upped the resistance, got out of the seat, and then also went as fast as I could go. I upped a little more and, got into sprint position and, you guessed it, went as fast as I could go. After 3.5 minutes of this fast stuff (and feeling my heart rate rise), I dropped the resistance and spun easily again. 90 seconds later, it was round two. I did this for 10 rounds and at the end of the tenth one, Skrillex “Bangarang” (seriously, that song makes me GO) came on my iPod that I was using as a mini stereo, so I did another 55 seconds to finish out the song.  I got of the spinner, stretched out a bit, and then went back to the elliptical for a 1,6 km cool-down. My heart rate maxed out at 167, so I think I worked decently hard enough while spinning. The elliptical doesn’t replace running at all- but nothing really does. Feeling self-pity, I hopped on the treadmill for a bit… I made it 300 meters before deciding: no, not ready.

So, I don’t have my aqua belt on me, I don’t have an ellipti-go, and I sure as hell don’t have an alter-g treadmill. I couldn’t even afford the cheapest treadmill on the market. The one thing I do have, though, is a gym I can go to and they have elliptical machines and spinners. I can use both of these to try and get my game on. Next time, I’m bringing my heart rate monitor, so that I can make sure my HR goes above 160 for 67% of the workout.

The remaining challenge left to conquer is that cross-training usually has to be done for more time than the running would have been. Considering that marathon training is already an incredibly time-intensive activity, trying to replicate the training with cross-training activities is almost impossible. For example, Tuesday was long run day- 20 miles. My plan called for accomplishing that in 3 hours. If I follow the advice of 1.5 times the running time, I would have had to workout for 4.5 hours. Um… that’s not really an option- but maybe, if I’m not running-ready in time for my next 20 miler in two weeks, maybe I can make it an option. That’s dedication for you, I guess.

I could have titled this post “how to get through marathon training without running.” However, since I’m still trying to figure that out myself, I’ll just leave it at: I’m trying.

 

 

Running Log: In which I forget what day it is and just hope to get to next week as quickly as possible

I guess this is the log for November 9-15th. Dates and stuff.

Before I quickly break down my week, I just want to say that I’ve got a few great posts lined up for all my blog sites, but I’m incredibly busy with the end of the semester, grading, and my own continuing education applications… so please excuse my scarcity on your blogs as well! I read and “like” when I can (since I do really like most of what I read!), but I can’t be as active as I want to be. But I do want to have a good update of my training before the next post, which is likely be next Sunday after the race, THE RACE, so here it is:

training week November 9th

(cliff notes: it was a strange week with unplanned rest day and a tempo run before a long run, with a higher mileage than I’ve done since July. Maybe not the smartest week, but I’ve got three rest days lined up for next week)

11/9– easy six miles. Well, 5.98. I was aiming for six miles, but no longer have my GPS (could buy a new one, just left writing this post to see if I could get a good deal, but really, I don’t want to jump for a 50+ dollar watch right now, and my training is going fine without it. I’m back to charting courses on maps and using a stopwatch. It’s all good) and misjudged the distance a bit, but not by too much.
11/10- intervals! The last hard session before the race. Had done some research online (dangerous, I know) for ways to prepare for a 5K PR, and one was to use a hard interval session to gauge fitness. Some coaches suggest 3×1 mile with 200 meter rest, and some suggest 5×1 kilometer as being a better way to see whether one is prepared. I, of course, went with what is “better,” even though I’d never done km intervals before. I figured out that 1 km is about .62 miles, so 2.5 times around the track, and that a 6:50 mpm pace is about a 4:14 mpkm pace. I did what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks now, which is go to the university track and use my jog there as the warm-up. I almost did my first interval, but then my shoes came untied and I had an 83 second interval lap. Jogged to the 200m line and then let loose.
I’m quite please with my intervals. If one leaves out the 200 meter recovery jogs, I ran a 20:43 5K. Of course, I did have little recoveries between the intervals, so I can’t know if I can pull off the pace for 5K straight… but I think I can hold the goal pace at least. All my intervals were under 4:14 except for the fourth one, which was 4:16. My fifth km, I was in pep-talk mode. I kept talking to myself, telling myself that if I can do it now, I can do it for the race, if I gave up now, I wouldn’t know if I could do it at the race, the doubt would bring me down and this was a chance to get confidence, etc. It ended up being nearly as fast as my first 3:59 km- 4:01.
The cool-down was a drag, but I’m glad I did it, otherwise my legs would have been messed up on Wednesday.
11/11– super easy recovery run with circuit training. Celebrated Veteran’s Day with my Dad.
11/12- unplanned rest day. My brother had an emergency, so my run got nixed. It happens, but at least everything is okay with the bro now.
11/13- because of the fresh legs, the easy run turned into one of my fastest runs in a while- sub-8mpm for more than 7 miles. I felt good, and so I didn’t reign it in. I didn’t know I was sub-8mpm, so that was a pleasant surprise when I got home.
11/14- Of course, what goes up must come down. The pace came down for the first few miles of the weekly group long run. It’s nice to run with members of the group, because most of them hold a pretty good pace for me to warm-up with. Thought I’d go for 10-12 miles, but had 13-14 in the back of my mind, and since I felt good at 6 miles, I went for a bit more before turning around and getting in 13.1. I must have sped up after mile 3, because my overall was 8:40… not bad, considering yesterday’s run! I definitely feel my fitness getting better.
11/15- rest day today! Rest day tomorrow! Rest day e’ry day! Just kidding. I’m looking at a 4×400 meter on Tuesday and two or three other runs before Sunday.

Geez, I guess this wasn’t a quick update after all. I like to write about myself, don’t I? ;)

Total: 38.4 (still less than 10% more than last week, so I’m okay, right?) and this coming week is definitely a “down” week.

Hope it’s a good one for you all. A lot of you have Turkey Trots (hopefully sans running trots) next week as well, so good luck! And happy running.

Running Log 10/26-11/1, and a reflection on NYMarathon in action

Today, I had to decide between using my hour between grading papers to watching the live coverage of the New York Marathon, or blogging my runs this past week, so I’ve decided to do both.

In watching the race (the first time I’m actually watching live coverage like I would for a soccer match–shocking, I know!), I became aware of the packs of lead runners and saw a few of the “stragglers” (though how 5 mpm is straggling is on the border of my comprehension). It made me think about what it would be like running in that pack versus behind it, and how emotionally draining it must be to try and catch up with the pack the entire time. At least, as a part of the pack, one is with the other leaders and one can find some sort of hold on being with that pack. If one is constantly trying to think about how to make up that distance between one and the pack, there’s way too much that could go wrong during the rest of the race, requiring a lot more from within one meet one’s goals…

At any rate, here’s my humble running log while I can only dream of being part of one of those packs one day. I met my goals of 14+ mile long run and 35 miles this week. I feel like I should have made Monday a solid rest day, versus active rest day, but I’m taking my rest today and will see if I’m recovered tomorrow.

10/26- 20 mile bike ride. I rarely ride, so I don’t know why I decided to ride the day after a race rather than total rest, but it’s okay. It was a nice evening.
10/27- intervals at the gym. 3 x 1 mile with 800 meter rests. Strange progression @ 7:03, 6:50 and 6:30, but it worked. Mile and a half cool-down. Can never decide if the warm-up or cool-down should be longer.
10/28- easy miles at the park. Made the WWWP5K a part of it.
10/29- easy morning miles. Got the run done because I wouldn’t have time in the afternoon. Discovered that I can run in the morning and not feel very hungry for the rest of the day. Noticed some soreness on my achilles and calves though. Want to monitor them.
10/30- another easy morning run. Haven’t been running Fridays in a long time, wanted to make sure I had 24 hours between Friday run and Saturday long run. Some soreness still, decided it comes from the speed-work at the gym and not enough sleep or rest. Will be extra careful on the long run and resting over the weekend.
10/31- 14.8 miles, first few miles alone before the group run, the rest of the distance with the group. There were some neat costumes out on the streets! There were also great costumes out last evening! I almost dressed up as a marathoner, but decided Halloween is a chance to be someone you’re not so… I didn’t have any other ideas and was a laywoman.
11/1- rest day. Thankfully.

There, log done! Just in time to see the last quarter hour.

Hope everyone racing today (in NYC- lucky! or elsewhere) has a great run! Resters, do your thing. :-)

Running Log: 10/19-10/25 in which I evaluate why I’m so 5K fixated right now

I had a hard time sleeping last night, mostly because I was excited by the race I’d run in the evening and because my body-temperature was way too high (that’s why I hate Florida evening races). I kept tossing 5K ideas in my sleep, and had the weirdest dreams about the weirdest running injuries. Oh well.

But in short, the race yesterday went really well. It wasn’t a goal race, and therefore my goals were modest, but like I said, I’m really excited by the promise it shows.

I don’t know how often I can say this without question marks popping up all over the place, but basically, I have a nine year PR waiting to be broken. It’s weird how time goes by, since I feel like I just attempted to break the PR again recently, but even my last real attempt was over two years ago.

Basically, I started running competitively in high school cross country. In 2005, freshman year, it was my first year of high school sports and I had no clue about cross country. In 2006, however, I had caught the competitive bug and sailed through the cross country season with a culmination of running states. There, I set my 21:15 PR that I’ve been staring down for the past 9 years. I don’t know why I didn’t break it while still in high school running cross country, but I’ll chalk it up to puberty and academics.

College was at a non-NCAA participating school, so I did easy local races, but nothing serious (and my training reflected that). I was also more focussed on running my first half-marathon, and then my first marathon.

However, first year of grad-school gave me another opportunity to run school cross country, and I followed a plan until I realized I couldn’t balance being a GTA, student, and collegiate athlete. I tried to stick with the plan that brought me down into the 21s for the first time since high school, but I still couldn’t stick with the plan enough to break my PR. And then I got injured.

I’ve sporadically run a few 5ks since 2013, but never with my eye on the prize. Now, however, after successful (read, not injured) third marathon, my training has scaled back in distance, but I’ve been pulling a lot more speedwork. Initially, the training was laissez faire, but after the 5K on the treadmill in the gym, a spark has been lit under my tail. I’m doing consistent speed-work and getting mild long-runs in, and this week was no exception.

Monday, 10/19- woke up early to get the miles in, since I knew I’d be running errands with my mother in the afternoon and didn’t want the pressure of a run that I needed to get in ruining our time together. 6.7 easy miles
Tuesday, 10/20- speed-work, for some random reason acording to no plan, needed to be on Tuesday and an extended session. I did 8 x 400s with 400m rests and a mile warm-up, mile cool-down. The intervals went really well. I surprised myself with a 5:48mpm average.
Wednesday, 10/21- super easy 4.5 miles and light circuit training. My right upper quad (Sartorius?) was sore and I spent most of my run trying to figure out if it was just sore or strained.
Thursday, 10/22- Sartorius still sore, I was tired, went for an easy 3 miler. I knew after Monday through Wednesday that I had enough mileage for the week, even if I just did 10 miles on the weekend, so I listened to my body.
Friday, 10/23-rest day; I know, I didn’t want to do these anymore, but my body wanted it after the Tuesday speed-work and I wanted the break before the “long” run and race on the weekend.
Saturday, 10/24- 10.1 unsupported (meaning, no Gatorade on the course :() group run; ran with Stan, which kept my pace nice and easy. I knew I’d want to keep it really easy before the Sunday race. It was fairly uncomplicated to keep a 9:30 pace (especially since I needed a restroom from miles 6-8)
Sunday, 10/25- 5K race with mini-warm-up and .8 mile cool-down. Not risking injury with too much running!

All in all, a good week with 35.4 miles. I’m looking at getting about the same mileage this week, a 14-15 miler on Saturday, and a rest day or very light day today and Friday.

Hope you all have a good week!

D

Running Log: 10/5-10/11 in which I have a few really good runs

I don’t know what’s up, but this past week felt really good for me in terms of running (and also life… which I guess makes sense).

I recovered well from garden work over the weekend to get back to the trail in my local park on Monday. That was followed on Tuesday by my first track workout in over a year.

I would never run with a smartphone… letting it get all sweaty. My phone, on the other hand, has been on many a long run with me. #noshame

I’ve been doing intervals fairly sporadically, but often enough on Tuesdays and/or Thursdays when I make it to the gym and can track my distance on the treadmill. Tuesday, I had to be on campus longer than usual, so I decided used that extra time the way any runner would- running.

I ran over to the Uni track and used the 1.5 miles to get there as my warm-up. I found the track empty and the air smelled a little like a storm coming, but the breeze was nice. I found the stopwatch function on my phone and let lose for 800 meters.

3:05: It’s not bad, considering I didn’t shoot for a specific time. I just went with it. The track felt so good under my feet and I was feeling it.

After another half mile jog, I decided to shoot for a mile. Unfortunately, I went at it like I did my first 800, so I ended up reaching 800 meters at 3:06 and wanting to stop. But somehow my ego took over my id and I was able to get through another 400, even if they were a bit slow. 1200 meters in saw me try to pick it up and come into the last stretch with somewhat of a decent sprint. 6:40 overall for the mile. It’s definitely a lot slower than I know I can do, but I’m moderately satisfied with it (and glad I didn’t give up all the way).

During another 800 meter jog, while I considered what I wanted to do next, I ran out of time. I headed back to my car, picked my brother up, and we went to the gym. There, I did another 2 miles with a few .25 and .3 intervals and a cool-down, and called it a day. I ended up doing more mileage than I expected, meaning that this week saw me cover more distance than I have in about five months.

I’m happy I’m slowly getting my mileage up. The last few weeks keeping it just under 30 makes me feel confident to step it up now. I’m looking for a few weeks of just under 35 before I ramp it to 40, and then 45. I don’t plan to max out beyond 50 miles for this marathon training cycle, but we’ll see what happens.

It helps that my long runs are also slowly building up. This week wouldn’t have been complete with my first “true” club run. I arrived at the running store shortly before 6 AM with the resignation that I’d basically be running by myself again (I even wore my MP3 player), but shortly before I got started, I was taken aside by Annie, the owner of the store and the gracious one who helps organize the group runs, to meet another runner. Even though I said I’d want to do about 8:45 and my new running partner does about 9:45, we joined forces.

Post-run pictures are the worst, but look ma! I have friends.

coffee and muffin are appropriate refueling; also, I was wearing this during my last club run too. They must all think I only have one running outfit.

It ended up being a really good run. Kim and I started together and somehow pulled Stan (who’s done a 3:13 marathon!) along with us. He took us on his meandering tour, which isn’t the “boring” out and back course the club members usually follow, and I stuck with them for about 5 miles before we started heading back. I needed to get in another 8 miles in an hour, so I shot off on my own. While being at a 9:45 mpm pace when I left them, I quickly moved into an 8 mpm pace that I was able to hold for the rest of the run, stopping at 13.1 miles with an 8:30 overall pace that I’m pretty pleased about. I know I need some time to get back to the 7:30 pace I want to be able to hold for a half-marathon, but things are looking good.

Basically, my rundown this week went like this:

10/5- 5.3 miles with some half-hearted circuit training
10/6- 6.8 miles with main purpose of interval training
10/7- 4.2 miles easy after garden work
10/8- 4.2 miles tempo
10/9- rest! And (you guessed it) some garden work
10/10- 13.1 miles
10/11- rest; with some watering of new plants on the side

Total for the week: 33.6 with about 80 plants and five hours worth of watering

Running Recap: 9/30-10/4 in which I appreciate a good rest day

One of the perks of having a regular training plan is that I always have a rest day to look forward to. Without the regularity a training plan offers, I can have a rest day whenever I just don’t feel like running. It’s kind of like the difference between saving the chocolate for the evening in front of the TV versus eating it whenever one feels like it.

Today is rest day, and it is doing me well. I love the feeling of not having to get a run in, my morning time where I wake up early can be used to get some work done, my hair is clean and won’t get sweaty, and I am generally relaxed.

Of course, going to Home Depot and loading paving stones onto a cart, into the car, then onto my front yard doesn’t really count as rest, and we’ll see the damage tomorrow, but I think it’s all good.

I got in just under the 30 mile mark this week (29.9… and no, I don’t feel like I need to get it rounded up). That’s 29.9 miles if the week runs Monday to Sunday. However, yesterday, my seven-day counter had me at 39.7 miles, which is more than I’ve done in a good while.

My counter is higher than usual because I did my “long” run on Sunday versus Saturday. I also decided to forgo the rest day after my long run, since it was nine miles and I needed to get back to schedule this week, which meant running Monday-Thursday.

I expressed my concern about running too much back-to-back in my last entry. I know that running too much without the necessary rest is a recipe for injury, so I made sure to not push myself during my runs. My goal was really to get through this week without injury. According to how I feel today, I think I made it! I feel okay today, but am glad to give my hamstrings and feet a break.

9/30- 4.23 miles in the park with some circuit training (easy peasy)
10/1- 5.28 miles with 1 mile warm-up, 5K of intervals in 24:28 (in run/recovery runs: 2 x .3/.2, 1 x .5/25 rest and 2 x .3/.2 and last one .42/.2), 1.16 mile cool down
10/2- (also a rest day, but it didn’t really feel like one, since I was mentally prepping for the run Saturday)
10/3- 10.85 miles in 1:32. I wanted to do 13.1 miles, but was thwarted in my plans by serious a serious conversation at 6 in the morning. Had a few faint twinges in my left knee that could be left over from the intervals on Thursday. Need to keep a check on that.
10/4- Rest!

My intervals on Thursday (moved from Tuesday and only completed after serious consideration on if I could handle them) were a lot harder than usual. I’m glad to return to normal training again next week.