me running trails
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Sub 1:25 Files Week 3

Last week finished up my second week of higher mileage and gritty training. I don’t want to jinx myself, but I can feel myself getting fitter.  I can’t wait to jump into a race (either next weekend or the 8th).

Anyway on to training-

Monday: 8 miles Easy Trails
Tuesday: 10 miles easy
Wednesday: 15X.65 with 1-minute rest (total mileage 14)
Thursday: Easy 6 miles with Alexis
Friday: 10 miles with strides
Saturday: Easy 8-mile group run
Sunday: Tempo Workout: 10 miles averaging 7:16 pace (14 miles total)

1:25 Training Logs

Week 1: 

Week 2: 70 Miles

Week 3: 70 Miles

Thoughts:

This was a week for training-a good week that is.  My mileage stayed at 70, but the quality of miles increased and the my long run had more quality miles.

On Monday, I knew I needed to get the mileage in but wanted something on trails. I decided to lace up my trail shoes and head to Brandywine. Since it was a Federal Holiday, my husband had off to so it was fun to go do that.  We went super easy and it was more of an “outing” than a serious run. I wore the Under Armour Horizon BPF Trail Shoe which I ran my trail races in during the summer of 2018.

Workout Wednesday: 15X.65 with 1-minute rest

Since I didn’t feel like changing my watch to 1k repeats, I decided to make it .65 repeats. (1k is about .62 miles) but my choices were .6 miles or .65. I’m sure there is a way to change it on my Coros watch, I couldn’t figure it out. Anyway, I averaged about 6:55 pace for the 1k repeats (on roads.  There were hills and normal things you contend with while running).

The workout itself leads to about a 1:09.10 10 miler which is about 1 minute faster than I ran 10 miles on a very flat course last week. I’m proud of how this workout went.

Sunday Long Run: 10 miles Tempo 7:16 (warmup/cool down=14 miles).

I wasn’t sure how the long run would go. My goal was to run between 7-7:20 pace. I typically struggle with running this pace in a nonrace environment. My first mile was 7:44 and my last mile was 6:48.  I ran 2 warm-up and 2 cool down for a total of 14 miles. I am still in shock I was able to hold this and it was faster than both Cow Run 10 Miler and Sea Legs Shuffle. The Sea Legs Shuffle was pretty much the opposite with a regressive run LOL.  I’ve been doing a lot of long runs and workouts in Philly lately. It’s only a 15-minute drive from my house and it’s a nice change of scenery.

Next week I’m hoping to jump into a 5k and see where my fitness is at. I feel like I’m finally making progress in the right direction.

Posts from the Week:

Diadora Mythos Blushield Hip 5 Shoe Review

Naked Nutrition Collagen

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.  This week is the 50th edition! 

Questions for you:

How has your training been going?

Do you like to go somewhere new or run the same routes? 

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me running
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Sub 1:25 Files: Week 2

week was a great of training. There weren’t any races that interested me, but I was able to log mileage and quality workouts. The running goal until February is log mileage and focus on workouts.  The goal of the 2020 training cycle is to run under 1:25. I don’t know when it will happen and as I gain fitness, I’ll be able to get a better gauge, whether it be sooner or later.  I don’t have a goal race picked out just yet. I need to stay injury free and see how fitness comes along.

Training Log:

Monday: AM: 6 miles
PM: Easy 4 miles with 6X30 second strides
Tuesday: AM: Easy 8 miles PM: 1-hour swim
Wednesday: 20X400s with 200 jog in between
Thursday: Easy 6 miles with Jen
Friday: 14 miles averaging 8:47 pace
Saturday: Easy 6 Group Run
Sunday: 14 miles

Total: 70 miles

Thoughts:

This week went better than anticipated. I felt like I got in recovery and was able to bounce back quickly. I wasn’t expecting to feel as good on Friday, but I ended up feeling good. My easy range ranges anywhere between 9-11 minute miles, so I was surprised to feel so good and average 8:47.  70 miles is the highest amount of miles I’ve run in a couple of years.

Even with marathon training and 20-mile training runs, I wasn’t running 70 because my body needs a heck a lot more rest after 20 miles than 14. I’m looking forward to continuing to build.  I don’t foresee myself getting much higher than 80 but I know I thrive best on 70-80 miles per week. That’s where I’ve run all of my PRs.

Workout Wednesday: 20X400s with 200 jog

I was nervous about this workout. I haven’t done this many 400s in a while. (Probably since 2018). I haven’t done this since X seems to be a theme lately, but it’s also why I haven’t been in PRing shape since X.

Since I’m focusing on longer races (the half marathon), I would prefer to have the endurance versus a few 400s at an all-out sprint. The goal was to run the 400s around a 5-mile pace. Since I chose to do the workout on a hilly road, it was a little slower and averaged 6:46 pace.  While not as fast as I would like, I’m happy with the effort on the hills.

Sunday Long Run: Total Miles 14

Sunday’s long run had a different twist. I ran 7 miles and for the second half, I ran .25 hard followed by .75 easy.  It was tough and I wanted to stop a few too many times but I’m happy with my effort.

long run splits
long run splits

Posts from the Week:

Asics Cumulus 21 Shoe Review

Distance Series 10 Miler (1:10.07)

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’s your favorite workout?

Are you training for anything?

Distance Series 10 Miler
Running, Training, Training Sub 1:25

Distance Series 10 Miler (1:10.07)

Distance Series 10 Miler (1:10.07)

The Distance Series is one of my favorite local races in Virginia. Since I grew up in Hampton Roads, I always have both family and friends racing.  The Distance Series has three races from January to late March to get ready for the Shamrock Half Marathon.  There are 10/15/20 milers in the series or the shorter series 6/10/12.

The last Distance Series race I ran was in 2018, the 15 Miler. It was one of my best races in 2018.  Usually, January is dreary and I like to take a short trip out of New Jersey. This winter has been mild, and in fact, the Distance Series was hot. I haven’t run a January race that was 65-70 degrees and humid in a long time (maybe ever).  It felt like I was running a late May race! Anyway, I still had an enjoyable time and even with the humidity barely missed my “A” goal of under 1:10.

Dad and I arrived around 8 am picked up our packets and talked to a few friends. I saw good friend Mollie and we decided to warm up together. It was hot and to be honest; my body didn’t feel great.  We jogged about 2 miles and then headed to the start.

Distance Series 10 Miler

The Distance Series 10 Miler went off promptly at 9 am. It runs on the Dismal Swamp Trail, which is a boring, flat, trail next to the Dismal Swamp. In the summer, it’s insanely buggy.  The last time I ran there was the day before my wedding in 2015, my how time flies.

My A goal was to run a 1:10.  Based on my 10k, my VDot indicates I’m in between 1:09-1:10 shape right now. I knew the weather was not ideal, so it was a stretch to run 1:09.  I hit the first mile in 7:01. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed, but I evaluated how I was feeling and knew I needed to run conservatively, otherwise it would be a death march to the finish.

I ran the next mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler in 6:57. I felt better about it. For the most part, I was running alone and just lost in my own thoughts.  The 6 miler and 10 miler were together until mile 3, so it was tough to know who was running what. I wasn’t running for a place but more to see what kind of fitness I was in.

I crossed the third mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler in 6:57. I felt decent, but my legs were still stiff. I noticed we had a headwind, so I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if the last 5 miles were tailwind…then I realized, did I really want tailwind with how hot it already was?

The next two miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler went by without much note. I was just plugging along. Around mile 4.5, I saw the leaders heading back. I couldn’t tell if it was a tailwind. All I wanted to do was get to mile 5 to find out if it was a tailwind. I crossed mile 5 in 35:10.

As we headed back, I realized it was no wind. The air was a standstill and the humidity was high. I felt like I roasted the last 5 miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler.  I just plugged along. Running in the Dismal Swamp can be mentally challenging because there are mile markers by the .25, so you literally count down. It felt like it was dragging.

As I was heading back, I grabbed Gatorade at the two remaining stops. I ran mile 5 in 7:01, followed by 6 in 6:57.  The miles felt like they were taking forever; I just wanted to be done. Something happened that I’ve never had happen before and that my leg started to spaz out a little bit. I think I was cramping due to the heat. Once I grabbed Gatorade around mile 7.5-8, it felt better.

The next few miles of the Distance Series 10 Miler were uneventful and I ran a 6:59, 6:58, 6:59. I wanted so badly to be under 1:10, but I realized due to not running in a perfect line and adding almost a 10th of a mile, I wouldn’t be there. I crossed mile 9 at 1:03.15, and I knew I would need to haul butt to be under 1:10.

Distance Series 10 Miler

I felt like I was powering during the last mile of the Distance Series 10 Miler.  I passed a few of the six miler races, but I had tunnel vision to the end. I saw the clock ticking 1:09.45 and I knew I was just a little bit off. I didn’t let that dampen my spirits and I still powered to the end. My last 30 seconds was about 6:12 pace. I crossed in 1:10.07.

Distance Series 10 Miler

Distance Series 10 Miler Thoughts:

I’m happy with my effort at the Distance Series 10 Miler.  If it was better weather, I would have run under 1:10 but can’t change the weather. My effort was there and I was much more consistent.  I didn’t “fly and die,” so I was happy with that. Plus, the last time I ran a 10 miler in October, I ran a 1:15.

I’m looking forward to my next race in a few weeks (a 5k).

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:

How was the weather near you last weekend?

What is your favorite distance to race? 

 

 

InsideTracker Blood Results
Running, Training Sub 1:25

Getting Blood Tested with InsideTracker

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might know that I’ve gotten my blood tested with InsideTracker on several occasions. Before starting a new training cycle in 2020, I thought it would be a good idea to test my blood again. I would rather know if I’m deficient in something now, instead of finding out the hard way by feeling fatigued in March and April.

I’ve already discussed how my goal for 2020 is to get back into shape. 2019 was not my year for running, but I want 2020 to be the year I get back into fitness. It wasn’t that I didn’t run in 2019, because I did; but my priorities ended up in different places.

One of the many things I wanted to do to prepare myself for my 2020 season is to get my blood retested with InsideTracker. The last time I got my blood tested was over a year ago. I had all of the plans to train and run hard in 2019, but that never happened. I still ran to stay healthy, but I didn’t run to be my best. It’s funny, because I did run many halves and a full marathon, but I was minutes off of any PR. You can’t go hard every year, and that’s something I’ve tried to remind myself.

InsideTracker Blood Results

Anyway, as I prepare for training in 2020, I don’t want to leave stones unturned. My body isn’t the same was it was in 2018 or 2019, and so I decided to get tested again.  I wanted to have a baseline to see what I can work to improve.

Sharing your blood results can feel really personal. Like “OMG, I have low iron, am I a failure?” And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about blogging about food choices, it’s that diet is one of the most polarizing topics out there (second maybe to politics). I’m committed to sharing my entire process this year. I’ll talk about how I plan to build back fitness and hopefully feel better running.

What is my running goal?

My running goal for 2020 is to rerun a 1:25 half marathon (that’s 6:29 per mile). That isn’t a PR, but it is a realistic goal. Last weekend I ran a 10-mile race and averaged 6:58 per mile, it’ll take some work, but I know I can get there because I’ve been there before.

How do I plan to get there?

  1. Get a Current Running Baseline (Hair of the Dog 10k 41:49, 6:40 per mile; and Distance Series 10 Miler, 1:10.07)
  2. Get a Blood Levels Baseline (that’s in this post!)
  3. Train and Fuel Accordingly

It seems simple, and it is, but as we all know, simple doesn’t always equal easy. I’m not putting a time limit on it. Maybe it will happen in the spring, or perhaps in the fall.

What is InsideTracker?

In case you’ve never heard of InsideTracker, here’s a quick overview. They test your blood for 40 biomarkers. From the test results, their science team makes personalized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations.

InsideTracker is not a substitute for going to your doctor and getting regular health checkups, and they clearly state that they are not giving medical advice. InsideTracker makes recommendations based on your blood that will help you recover faster and healthier. Maybe you feel tired and running feels like a chore. You could be overtrained, or maybe you have low iron. Getting your blood drawn takes the guesswork out of “why do I feel like garbage.”

InsideTracker categorizes those 30 biomarkers into “optimized, needs help, and at-risk.” The optimal zone is exactly what it sounds like: normal and healthy. The needs help category is for areas that are a bit lower than they should be. Finally, the at-risk category means that there is something wrong and if you correct it, you’ll probably feel better. When a biomarker falls in the at-risk category and you need to be seen by a doctor, InsideTracker makes it very clear, and they can even send blood test results directly to your doctor.

InsideTracker Has All of the Following and More:

  • A customized dashboard for you
  • Customized Suggestions on your Blood Results
  • Physician-ordered tests only give you numbers

Why InsideTracker? 

If you’re a runner, and you want to get your blood checked, but it’s not a life or death problem, I find it is easier than going through a doctor. With Tricare and military insurance, I am very fortunate that my insurance covers a lot of things.

If I had a medical emergency, my insurance would cover getting my blood tested and checked. I do not have any ongoing medical conditions and my everyday life is fine. I want to know my blood levels so I can tailor my routine to be the best I can with running. I want to make sure my blood is optimized for training and that I’m not missing key vitamins that my body needs. That’s why I chose InsideTracker. InsideTracker is designed for many people, including athletes, to check their levels.

Usually, I choose to get my blood drawn at my house with the mobile service. It costs a little extra, but getting blood drawn is not my favorite thing. In fact, I have passed out giving blood or from needles more often than not.

However, this time around the mobile service wasn’t an option, so on a good day for our schedules, my husband drove me into Philadelphia. (I didn’t want to drive myself, only to pass out at the office). Thankfully, it was fine. It feels silly typing out my fear of needles as an almost 30-year-old woman. I’ve given myself panic attacks getting blood drawn, so it’s not an easy deal for me.

The woman at Quest Diagnostics was great and I was in and out.

My InsideTracker test results:

I have several biomarkers that fall in the need help category:

My cortisol has lowered but still not Ideal:

My cortisol being lower came as a surprise for me. Running-wise, my body hasn’t been stressed, but the rest of life has been stressful. I was shocked that I’m finally trending in the right direction.

Inside Tracker Results
InsideTracker Results Cortisol

My creatine kinase is high:

Creatine kinase is essentially the amount of damage your muscles have. The more fatigued the muscles are, the higher it is. While mine isn’t dangerously high, it is higher than we would like.

Inside Tracker Results
InsideTracker Results Creatine Kinase

My vitamin B12 is too high:

I do eat a lot of red meat, so that makes sense. I don’t drink energy drinks or sodas anymore (the only soda I like these days is Dr. Pepper on road trips). The recommendation here is that I eat less red meat. Luckily for me, many diners now serve Beyond Burgers… we’ll see.

My “inflammation group is too high”:

This could be several things, including getting tested two days after a hard 10k. One major component of my fitness plan for 2020 is to get more sleep. I already strive to get 7-8 hours of sleep, but truthfully I’m someone who needs more sleep.

Inside Tracker Results
InsideTracker Results Inflammation Group (the grey indicates wasn’t tested last time)

My iron is low:

Until my mid to late 20s, my iron was always borderline high. The first time I was tested, I was skeptical that maybe it was a fluke, but being tested twice in a row with lower iron means that I do need to work towards getting more iron. I will start taking an iron supplement once a day.

Inside Tracker Results
Iron InsideTracker Results

Both my calcium and vitamin D levels are normal:

YAY! As someone who had too many broken bones in my early 20s (mostly from overtraining), I am happy to hear my vitamin D and calcium are at normal levels. I’ve worked hard to get more calcium and Vitamin D, and I’m glad to see that it worked.

Inside Tracker Results
Calcium InsideTracker Results

The Plan:

Now that I have this valuable data about my blood, I can adjust my diet as necessary. I don’t plan to follow a strict diet or completely avoid certain foods. Running is lifelong and restricting anything isn’t going to do anyone any favors. There are a few foods I can add to help to increase my recovery, decrease creatine kinase, and lower cortisol.

  • Beans: I don’t eat a lot of beans. I don’t know why, but when I’m hungry, I don’t think about eating beans. So I’m planning to add a cup of beans on most days.
  • Wheat germ: Wheat germ keeps coming up as something that helps lower inflammation groups and improve overall health. I didn’t know anything about it until InsideTracker, so I’m looking forward to seeing how my body responds to it.
  • Iron supplement: I do believe most things can be gotten from food, but it can be difficult to boost low iron effectively, so I prefer to also supplement with iron.
  • Less red meat: I don’t plan to go vegetarian or vegan, but I also don’t plan to have steak every meal.
  • Sleep: Sorry, don’t talk to me after 8 pm.

In all, I’m happy I got my blood tested with InsideTracker. I’m looking forward to 2020 and putting effort into running again.  I’m looking forward to seeing how my body responds in the next 3 months.

If you are interested in InsideTracker, you can learn more here.

Questions for you:

Have you gotten your blood tested? Have you used InsideTracker?

me running
Running, Training Sub 1:25

1:25 Training Files: Windy Workouts and 10 Milers

As I start training again, I’ve decided to call my next training block: “The Sub 1:25 files”. It has a nice ring, right?

As I mentioned on my 2019 training log, my 2020 running goal is to get back into 1:25 half marathon shape. While this isn’t a PR, it’s a realistic goal for me (since I haven’t done that in nearly two years).

I’m not putting a time limit on whether it happens in the Spring or Fall.

Monday: Easy 8 miles
Tuesday: Easy 6 miles
Wednesday: Workout (total miles 12)
Thursday: Rest+ Travel to VA
Friday: Easy 8 miles with 10X20 second strides
Saturday: Tidewater Distance Series 10 mile race (1:10.07) Total miles 14
Sunday Easy 8 miles

Thoughts:

This week went well. I decided to drive down and visit my parents for the weekend in Virginia.  While I got to see them over the Holidays, I wanted a few more days. Typically January NJ weather is gloomy and dark.  This year has been extremely mild so far. I plan to run a few 10-mile races this year and last weekend could be the hottest one!

Wednesday: 3 miles at 10-mile pace (6:58) followed by 8X1 min hard/ 1 min rest

My workout on Wednesday was different than what I’ve done before.  One of the main goals of my 2020 season is to do different things.  Doing the same workouts, in the same comfort zone, doesn’t help you get faster, so this seemed fun.

The day itself was windy.  Funny enough a few days later, I ran 10 miles averaging 6:58 pace.  Both were challenging running days but in different ways. After that, I finished with 8X1 min easy/hard, which was mentally and physically challenging. I’m proud of myself for getting it done. Plus, I found $2 on the second portion.

Distance Series 10 Miler: 1:10.07

My “A goal” was to run under 1:10.  I wasn’t expecting the humidity to be so high.  I can’t remember another time I’ve run a 65-70 degree race in January. I didn’t run in as straight of a line as I could have which ultimately led me to running slightly longer than the 10 miles. Normally I wouldn’t care, but it was the matter of being under 1:10 or not being under 1:10.

distance series mile splits
distance series mile splits

Anyway, I ran the race consistently and all of my miles were between 6:55-7:01.  I’m happy with my effort for the day.

Next Week:

I don’t have any races on the calendar for a few weeks, so I’ll just be working hard and doing more workouts.  The goal for the next 2 weeks is to build fitness.

Posts from the Week:

Brooks Ricochet 2 Shoe Review 

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 8L Hydration Vest Review

Hiking Pocahontas State Park

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 2020 goal?

How is your training going?