Training: Recovery and a Bad Race

Training: Recovery and a Bad Race

Last weeks training was somewhat of a cutdown week. I skipped my midweek workout to recover from both the Adrenaline 5k and Shamrock 13.1. I got Active Release done, and I tried to focus on sleeping.  I recovered moderately well but didn’t feel great at the Phillies 5k.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes in VA
Wednesday: Easy 60 minutes in NJ
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 60 minutes in NJ/core
Saturday: Phillies 5k (20:08)/core
Sunday: Long Run

Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy. As I’ve increased my speed (with races) during the last few weeks, and I’ve opted to take two rest days a week versus 1. I know it’s kept me healthier coming back. While I might not be as “fast” coming back, I’m not injured.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve had some slight pain in my metatarsals. It hasn’t been anything to alter my stride or anything too serious, but enough that I’ve been more cautious. With Active Release, Dr. Craig at Dr. Kemonosh’s office has helped flush it out. I don’t like to take any chances with metatarsal pain because not much at the top of the foot except bone.

I’ve been keeping up with core more. I know core and strength is something I often skip so I’ve been adding it in.  I’ve just been doing the same exercises as usual.

Phillies 5k: (20:08)

I didn’t feel good at the Phillies 5k from the get-go. It’s hard to go to a race you’ve won and got third, but even if I felt good, I’m not in the shape that would have won anyway. As I warmed up, my legs still felt tired.  I think it was a combination of the previous weekends races as well as getting a lot of Active Release done to keep me healthy. Short term, it stunk. Long term, it’s just another workout to reach me to bigger goals.

Anyway, my splits themselves were 6:35, 6:35, 6:20. (The last mile had tailwind). It was windy the first two miles around the water, and then we had a tailwind the last mile. I couldn’t get my turnover any faster.  It was nice to see so many friends and locals racing.

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:03 pace with the last four around 7:10

This was a great long run. I started easy and slowly progressed into a faster run. The second half of the run was faster, and I just felt good all around.  It felt good to have a strong long run.

Posts from the Week:

 Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

Have you had a bad race recently?

Are you a Phillies fan?

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

Shamrock Half Marathon (1:29.52)

This was my 8th year running Shamrock. Many long term readers know but I grew up in the greater VA Beach area. 1:29.52 is neither my fastest nor my slowest Shamrock. It’s on the slower side, but that’s okay.

Last year I had an incredible experience that would be hard to beat and ran a 1:23. This year the goal was just to finish healthy. My training over the winter was nothing to write home about, and I’ve come to terms that this Spring might be a rebuilding season for me (something I personally seem to need after every marathon?).

Anyway, I arrived at the start around 6 am. The weather was ideal. It was low 40s, some wind but not much. Most importantly, it wasn’t raining. Two years ago,it poured rain and was low 30s.

Before the race, I met up with my good friend Jen. We haven’t seen each other since we both lived in NYS. We’ve both since moved, but it was nice to catch up. She ultimately ran a 1:18 and placed 3rd.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

After that, I tooled around and got to the start about 5 minutes early. I talked with rabbit teammate, Nick, and by the time I knew it, we were off.

Since the half and full start together now, it was crowded. Right off the bat, I felt decent. Plus unlike the day prior, I remembered to start my watch. I plugged along and cruised the first mile in 6:44. I felt good and realized a sub 90 minute half was doable if I continued to feel okay through the race — a great goal to make a mile 1.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

At mile 2, I saw my dad’s friend and waved. I started getting into a rhythm.  The next three miles were relatively boring. I logged 6:44, 6:44, 6:40 (mile 4 on the gradual uphill was my fastest), 6:44. At mile 5, I was feeling good. I thought wow, this is much faster than I anticipated (I didn’t have a goal prerace, but didn’t anticipate being that fast either).

Then we entered Fort Story, and it all changed. Fort Story is a lonely part of the race. Unless you have a military ID, spectators can’t get on the base. It’s right along the water so extremely windy. In fact, one year there was a layer of sand across the entire course.

Miles 7-9 broke me both mentally and physically. I didn’t feel good, and I was running alone. There was some wind but nothing terrible. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good because I had raced the day before, I just mentally felt disconnected and my legs felt stale. I told myself, make it to mile 10, and you’ll be heading directly home. I ran a 6:55, 6:59, 6:50, and kept it barely under 7 minutes.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I knew the 90-minute pace group was probably catching me soon.  Around mile 10, a man started talking to me about “my form”.  I wasn’t feeling the greatest and not in the mood to chat. We kept plugging along.

Mile 11 went down with nothing major. I ran a 6:55 and we had some wind at our backs. At mile 12, the 90-minute/3 hour marathon pace group engulfed me. I thought, wow I really did slow down. I also felt my shoe beginning to come untied, and it just felt like the wheels had come off.

The group engulfed and went around me and it stung. I hit mile 12 just over 1:22 and I knew I was still at 1:30 pace. Now I was just much closer than the start of the race. It made me feel a little better the group was ahead of their goal pace.

The last mile goes to directly into the wind. When you’re close to a time goal, running into the wind the last mile is the last thing you want to do.  You can see the tent and King Neptune and it just never feels like it’s getting closer.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Then at mile 13, I saw it click 1:29:10.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

I tried to sprint as hard as I could to the finish. I didn’t have much gas left but it was enough to get right under 1:30.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Thoughts:

I’m pleased with the race but know I have a long way to go fitness wise. In all, another good Shamrock. It’s one of my favorite races of the year and I always enjoy seeing local friends as well as others that come from far.

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach me running

Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon Virginia Beach

Chilling on the beach with Nick

Questions for you:

Have you run a race for several years in a row?

What is your favorite race? 

 

Adrenaline 5k (19:26)

On Saturday I ran the Adrenaline Run 5k. The Adrenaline Run is one of the most competitive 5ks in the greater Philadelphia/New Jersey area. It sells out every year and the typically the first 150 finishers all run under 20 minutes. This year I ran 19:26 and was around 130th place.

I’m biased by RunningCo. Always does a great job putting the race together and it’s always a lot of fun. Anyway, after an exhausting and busy week, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew I wouldn’t be running 18:29 like last year, but I was hoping to be faster than the last 5k I ran.

I warmed up a few miles and got to the start line around 10 minutes early. Since I knew quite a few people there, (I would think about 1/3rd), I talked and caught up with several people. Before I knew it, we were off.

The start is jam-packed. Since I knew I would be nowhere near the front, I didn’t line up in the front. As we began running, I realized around .5 I had forgotten to start my watch. In a 5k, I thought it seemed silly to start it then, so I just didn’t. I’ve run races with GPS before, and while it’s nice to know your splits, your legs still move without a watch. I could have run 22 minutes or 18 minutes, and I would have had no clue.

The first mile was crowded. It was hard to get any rhythm. We ran straight into a headwind. It was one of the windier days and so we were just running into a headwind down Kings Highway. I saw my co-workers and friends in front of the store which is always motivating.

We rounded the corner near Saxbys and went straight into the neighborhoods. It’s a long flat, windy stretch. If it wasn’t windy, it’s easy to build speed there.

Just after mile 1, we turned the corner, went down a small downhill and hit the water stop. It was nice not to be in the wind anymore. We went up a few inclines. My husband, who hasn’t been running much, passed me around mile 2. I was happy for him and just focused on the last mile.

The last mile went straight back Kings Highway and headed towards the finish. It’s flat and fast, and this year with the tailwind it was even faster. (A perk of the headwind going out). If I were to guess, my bet is my last mile was somewhere around 6:0X because of the tailwind. With the long stretch, you can see the finish line for over a half mile away.

me running adrenaline run

I saw the clock go over 19 and I knew somewhere where I was speed wise. I had no clue until that point. I powered as much as I could and crossed in 19:26. I’m happy with my effort for where I am, fitness wise. It’s always tough not to compare yourself to a faster year, but it’s my fastest 5k in several months so I can’t complain about that.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you:

What is your favorite 5k?

Have you ever raced without a watch? I’ve done many. At my first marathon, NYCM, my watch stopped working at the start (and it never worked again).

Leprechaun 7 Miler (45:51)

Leprechaun 7 Miler (45:51)

I haven’t run the Leprechaun Run in a couple of years. Last time I raced, there was only an option to run 5 miles. Since then, they’ve added a seven miler as well. I decided to run the seven milers because it was a fun distance. The race goes along the Kelly Drive and Schuylkill River.  Despite being 15 minutes away, it’s been nearly a year since I raced in Philadelphia.

The race started promptly at 7:30 am.  The start time was perfect because I could get back to work in NJ on time. At the time, I felt like it was too early, but it all worked out. Truthfully I had no idea what to expect in 7 miles. After running a few 5ks and four milers around 6:30 pace, I figured somewhere around 6:50.

I ran about a 2-mile warmup.  I got to the start at 7:25.  There were a short speech and dedication to Special Olympics. I always appreciate this race because the proceeds go directly to Special Olympics. We got going around 7:35.

The five and seven milers both went off together; the seven milers just went further. Around .1 into the race, I realized I forgot to start my watch.  I started it, but it meant all of my miles were off. It was fine and no big deal.  I ran the first mile with my husband, and we hit it in 6:39.

During the second mile, I started to find my rhythm. I ran the race almost all alone.  Most of the race was without event.  It felt like a time trial with myself. Since I’ve been running hard 5ks alone, it was no different. I hit the second mile around 6:35 and I was pleasantly surprised. I felt good.

As we went by mile 2.5, I noticed the only female in front of me turned. She was doing the five miles, which meant I was in first place. I was pleasantly surprised. I hit mile 3 in 6:34 and felt great. I knew I hadn’t taken it out too fast and felt relaxed; it was just a matter of counting down the miles.

We turned around at 3.5 and headed back to the start. I saw my good friend Pat (who took the photo), who is the race director for many unique and local races.

I like a good out and back course because I feel like I excel in an out and back course.

I hit mile 4 in 6:34. I told myself, “it’s only a 5k left”.  Because that’s all I’ve been running recently.  When we hit the 2.5 mile/5 miles turn around, we began to cross paths with other runners.

I ran mile 5 in 6:30 and felt good. I couldn’t believe I was running at nearly the same pace as the weekend before.

I found myself weaving around other races for the last 2 miles. It was no big deal. I ran a 6:28 and 6:28. I crossed in 45:51 and I was pleased with that.

Thoughts:

I’m pleased and excited about that. I wasn’t expecting to run 6:33 pace for 7 miles but truthfully I had no idea what to expect.  It’s been hard not to compare myself to previous fitness levels, but I know the fitness will come back.

I’m looking forward to getting more races under my belt and getting faster again.

If you’re looking for more running and running industry news, subscribe to my newsletter

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a 7-mile race? It’s like a 10k with a bonus round.

Do you prefer loop courses, point to point, or out and back? 

Training: A Training Cycle Breakthrough

Training: A Training Cycle Breakthrough

My goal of March has just been to stay consistent. I was lucky to enough to get mileage in, even in inclement and cold weather. Do I love running in the cold? Not really, but I just tried to stay consistent.

Monday: Easy 30-minute run/Hike 2 Hours at Six Mile Run
Tuesday: OFF
Wednesday: 12X400 averaging 6:10 pace (warmup/Cooldown=10)/Core
Thursday: OFF
Friday: Easy 60 minutes Treadmill
Saturday: 7 miles 45:51 (warmup/cool down=10)
Sunday: 14  Miles Moderate Pace (8:16)

Thoughts:

I planned to take an additional rest day last week, and it worked out. Most of my runs were just easy.  I don’t time my easy runs.  It allows me to just focus on feel.  Last Friday, I had no interest in running outdoors…so I didn’t. It was cold and windy, and I just wasn’t in the mood to outdoors. I had a nice run on the treadmill.

I’ve been doing a lot more core work.  I’ve done a similar core routine for years, which I blogged about a few years ago. Not much has changed since.

Workout Wednesday: 12X400 with 90 seconds jog

I had psyched myself out of this workout, but I’m glad I forced myself out there. When I got going, it was one of my better workouts in a while. Even though it was windy, I felt good. I’m happy with my effort, especially in the wind and cold.

Saturdays Race: 7 Miles 45:51

I was not expecting to feel this good, and I have no complaints. I ran even but also progressive splits. My first mile was 6:39 and last was 6:28.  I wasn’t expecting to run that fast, so I’m happy I got a fast race in.  I’ll have a full recap this week.

Posts from the Week:

Hiking Six Mile Run Park 

Hoka Cavu 2 Shoe Review

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (25:55)

Finally, if you are looking for more running and industry related news,  my (free) newsletter goes out every Monday. This week is all about “How to Know if a Running Shoe is Right for You.”  You can subscribe here.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training? 

How warm is it where you are? 

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