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Training: 2 Workouts and No Races

Training: 2 Workouts and No Races

I didn’t race last week but got two high-quality workouts in.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying workouts more than racing.  Partly with my stomach, and partly with the weather.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400s with 400 jog recovery
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 90 minutes
Saturday: 2X3 mile with 1 mile jog in between
Sunday: 10ish mile Hike

Thoughts:

Easy runs were just that, easy.   They were boring and uneventful but that is also how I like them.  On Sunday, my husband and I went for a cold, and snowy hike in Ramapo State Forest. It wasn’t the most evelation we have climbed, but due to conditions: wet, cold, icy…it was not the easiest.

Wednesday: 12X400s (with 400 jog in between)

6x400s at 6 min pace
4x400s at 5:56
2x400s at 5:53

Saturday: 2X3 miles

I have always been intimidated to do workouts on the treadmill.  I’m worried I’ll pull, hurt, or break something because the treadmill makes you run faster than sometimes your body wants or needs.  I was happy the workout went well and much better than anticipated.

In all, I’m proud of how the week went.  I do feel like I’m progressing with my fitness and I am excited to race when I’m tapered to see where I’m at.  I believe with rest and on a good day, I could run about 18:30 in a 5k right now.  The stars have to align for that.

 

Posts from the Week:
Hiking through Wharton State Forest
November Training
Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

Questions for you:
What is your favorite workout?
Where do you like to do your workouts: road, track, trail, treadmill?

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November Training

To get it out of the way, November was not really the month I wanted or hoped.  After getting home from one of the best trips of my life, I got food poisoning.  For the entire month, it’s taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  The doctor said it could last up to 70 days and while I’m staying positive it won’t, I don’t feel 100% 30 days later.  I’m not violently sick, but I am tired, and my body has struggled to digest certain foods including dairy (something it never has).

me running sunrise

Thinking out loud, my workouts and racing in November were slower than anticipated, but you have to run for the current fitness you’re in.  Something that can be much easier said than done.

Mileage: 212
Range of Pace: 6:00-10:31-untimed
Workouts: 3
2X(6.5 tempo runs)
12X400s

Races:
11/11 Haddonfield Road Race  (19:59)
11/12 Blueberry Challenge 5k (20:01)
11/18 Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.57)
11/24 Medford Turkey Trot (19:02)

Thoughts:
I didn’t have a favorite race but did have a favorite workout. None of my races felt especially good.  To be honest, my slowest race, the Blueberry Challenge 5k) was probably the best.

My workouts felt better though. The minute I finished 12×400 at 6:00 min pace, I felt strong.  I haven’t felt that in charge of my running in a while.  Food poisoning has made longer runs a struggle (with the constant of the feeling of vomiting and using the bathroom), but speed and track workouts have been fine because I’m never too far from anything.

December:

The first half of December will be busy for me.  Ironically, tcloser to the Holidays will be less crazy.  I won’t race as much, but that is only due to the limited amount of races in NJ/Philadelphia during the next two months.  I’ll hopefully do more track workouts.

I mentioned on Instagram but my 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I have been in that fitness before but never been able to run the race.  I’ll do more track workouts and see where it takes me.  I’ll definitely do some half marathons in the spring as well, but I do hope 2018 brings a 5k PR.

 

Posts from the month:
Training without a Coach
How to Build Back Mental Confidence

Posts from Vacation:
Hiking: 
Hiking Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder
Hiking Zion and Bryce Canyon
Visiting the Grand Canyon

Running: 
Haunted Half Marathon 5k (19:40)
Two Weeks of Training: Easy Miles Out West

Diners: 
Sams 3 Diner (Denver)
New Castle Diner (Colorado)
King Chefs Diner (Colorado Springs)
Snooze (Denver)

Shoe Reviews:
Nike Zoom Fly Review
Brooks Levitate Shoe Review

Questions for you:
What are your goals for the last month of the year?
How was your November?

Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

Last weekend I ran a local 5k.  As I mentioned in my training log, the morning was a disaster, to say the least, but the problems were mostly my own doing.  I hadn’t done a lot of research about the race and had thought it started at 8:30.  At 7am, I looked up directions and realized it started at 8 am.  I didn’t have time to run home and get to the race, so I had to race with random things in my car: oversized leggings, a spaceman puffer, and an old long sleeve.  Never the less, my race outfit seemed to work out.

I usually like to do 3-4 miles warmup, however, due to being late, I only had time for 1.  During my warmup, I felt awful.  My stomach wasn’t ready to run and to be honest I contemplated why I was even there.  After debating whether I should just donate my race entry fee and leave, I decided to just run.  My goal for the next 2 months are solid workouts, and while my stomach was in knots, I could gut out a good workout.

After chatting with my good friend and fast runner Joe, we were off.  I didn’t feel as bad once we got moving.  My legs were tired. However, my stomach felt as though it would hold out.  I ran with a pack of people for the first mile, and we hit the first mile in 6:08.  I was happy, but also surprised.  I didn’t feel as though as I was moving that quickly.

My goal for the next mile was just to stay with the pack.  The race made several turns around the neighborhood, and I felt like I was sticking with them.  We hit the second mile in 6:03 and I was feeling better.

me running 1

The goal of the last mile of any 5k is to finish.  It never feels good, and this one was no exception.  I was just trying to grit through.  To my (unpleasant) surprise the final part of the race went over grass.  I felt as if I could break 19 again but the grass was not my friend.  Not only that, but the last .2 made 3, right-hand turns.  Not the fastest finish!

I crossed the finish in 19:02 which was exactly the same as the Medford Turkey Trot over Thanksgiving.  I’m happy with my time.  As I mentioned, the next two months are going to be dedicated to more workouts, and I’ll still run 5ks, but I won’t taper for many, if any.   The plan is to get quality workouts in this winter to prepare for Spring races.

Questions for you:

Are you training for anything during the winter?

How much warm-up do you normally do for a race?

Workouts: First Track Session in Months

As many people know from Instagram, I’ve decided to begin training for 5ks.  While I’ll still run longer distances including half marathons, my main goal of 2018 is to break 18 minutes in the 5k.  I’ve been in that fitness before but have never run the race and never produced the results.

me running

Anyway, this week I went back to the track.  I haven’t done track workouts in over 6 months and probably closer to the year.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 12X400 at 6:00 min pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Local 5k: 19:02
Sunday: Tempo

Thoughts:

Easy runs, more than ever, are done extremely easy.  Sometimes I run above a 9 min mile or even higher.  For the most part, I don’t wear a watch or care about pace.

Wednesday: 12X400s at 6:00 min pace

For my first track workout in a while, it went well.  I know 6 min pace won’t get me below 18 minutes in a 5k.  However, my fastest 5k since coming back from my break is 18:41.  6 min miles would run an 18:35 which is still an improvement from where I am.  It would be unwise to start at a pace my body hasn’t run in over a year.  Slowly I will progress towards the fitness I want.

Saturday: Cpt Gregory T Dalessio Memorial 5k (19:02)

This race had a lot of other things going on, including messing up the race start time.  I only had time for a 1-mile warmup, had to race in things found in my car, and my stomach was a mess.  Yes, I blog about running and I like to run…no I am rarely “put together”.  Anyway, after my food poisoning reared it’s ugly head,  I sat in my car and decided what I should do.  Not that I wanted to be a hero and “finish any race”, but I hoped my stomach could hold out for 20 minutes…which it did.  My splits were 6:08, 6:03, and 6:06 so I was pleased.

Plus it finished on a field with 3 hairpin turns.  I don’t miss cross country that much.

Sunday: Long Run 14 miles (6.5 at 7:18):

On Sunday, I was feeling less than motivated but the exciting races at the CIM marathon, as well as RnR San Antonio, got me out there.  Once I got started, I felt good.

In all, I’m happy with the week.  It was awesome to watch so many people reach their goals, PRs, and dreams on Sunday at local races.  The next two weeks will be busy with things outside of running.

Posts of the Week:

Hiking Grey Back Peak Trail in Colorado Springs

Training without a Coach

Nike Zoom Fly Review

Questions for you:

How was your training last week?

Do you prefer track workouts or tempo runs?  Or races?

 

Training without a Coach

Training without a Coach

I’ve run off and on since 2011.  Throughout that time I’ve run in college with a coach, out of college without a coach, as well as out of college with a coach.

During each time period, I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I do believe personalized coaching is beneficial for many people.  It takes finding the right coach, both someone who works well for your running style, as well as someone who you socially connect with it.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me to write about self-coaching and how I liked that.  Thinking out loud, all of my PRs have been set from self-coaching.  Good or bad, it’s just a fact.  I haven’t had a negative experience with any of my coaches. However, my schedule changes often, and I have found self-coaching to work well for me.

I’ve Learned a Few Things:

Self Coaching is Free:

First, I have a firm stance coaching should cost money.  You are getting a service, that you don’t already have.  To be honest, I’m less likely to even follow “free coaching” because I could do my own thing either way and not feel guilty.

You Know your Strengths and Weaknesses the Best:

First, running is a learning process. Your strengths and weaknesses change.  When I lived in the Adirondacks, I was much better at running hills.  Now living in a flatter area, hills are no longer my strength.  If you ever are next to me in the last .1 of race, know that finishing kicks are also not my strength.

You are More Internally Motivated:

My goals, and wanting to run are for me.  I don’t have to report to anyone, and I don’t have to “fear”, telling a bad workout, race, or anything else.

So How Do You Determine Workouts and Paces?

This is different for every single person.  

Personally, I use a few different methods.  In college, we used the McMillian calculator and could find appropriate paces for workouts from that.

When building mileage from a break (whether injury or just a break), I usually start with whatever feels good.  My first run back is never more than a mile.  From there, I add minutes to my run (not miles).  It’s important not to stress the pace when increasing mileage but just the time on your feet.

I also think looking back at your history with the sport is essential.  For me, I ran my fastest 5k and half marathon on “traditional training.”  I went to the track and did workouts like 400s as well as tempo runs.  That isn’t the case for everyone!

Many athletes run very low mileage with more core and strength.  If that is how you thrive, that is how you thrive!

Running is different for each and every person.  Many people thrive on a coach.  Many people enjoyed more of a laid-back approach.  As someone who spent years of high-intensity swimming, I no longer thrive on it both mentally and physically.

Related Running Posts:

How to Choose the Best Running Shoes (For You!)
How to Build Back Mental Confidence
Care Free Training
Who Cares Where You Run?

Questions for you:
Are you self-coached?
What are you currently training for?

Nike Zoom Fly Review

When Nike created the “breaking 2 project”, they created two shoes: the Nike Zoom Fly and the Nike Zoom Vapor Fly 4%.  The Nike Zoom Fly retails at $150, while the Zoom Fly 4% comes in at $250.  That is, if you can find a pair of Zoom Vapor fly 4% in your size.

The Zoom fly is a bit heavier and made for the everyday runner (or any runner not trying to break 2 hours in the marathon).

It’s made more for training.  When we first brought them into work, I wanted to try them because “everyone was”, however, I had plenty of shoes in my rotation.  Waiting enough time also gave me the option to buy a flashy red colorway too.

Nike Voom fly red

Fit:

The Zoom Fly is more narrow than many of Nikes training shoes including the Pegasus and Vomero.  The upper is seamless so it’s able to fit wider feet.  They don’t make either in a “wide”.  I bought a women’s size 10 which is fine, but I do believe a 10 wide would be a slightly better fit.

Nike Voom fly red

Ride:

The shoe weighs about 8.75 ounces for men and 6.5 for ladies.  While it’s not the lightest, it’s definitely a lighter shoe.

The Zoom Fly has  10 mm heel-toe drop so it isn’t minimal either.  The focus of the shoe is for “everyday” training.  It’s not the shoe meant to run sub 2 hours in a marathon but the shoe to keep you healthy during training.  Nike is in the process of changing many of their running shoes to the new technology you see in the Zoom Fly and Zoom Vapor Fly.

I’ve run just over 100 miles on it and I like the fit and feel a lot.  It’s soft and cushioned but not too squishy.  It’s responsive enough that I like to do workouts in it without my feet feeling too beat up.  I was doing workouts in either the Saucony Type A or the Altra Escalante but have found the extra cushion to be nice and better to recover faster.

One thing I will say is, similar to the Nike Lunarglide, there isn’t a whole lot of traction at the bottom.  On a rainy day or mud, be prepared to not feel as much contact with the ground.

Nike Voom fly red

Finally, something I shouldn’t comment on but I will is these are a good looking pair of shoes.  It’s always fun to run in a shoe that you’re like…wow these are sharp.

Personally, I see the Nike Zoom Fly as a tempo, speed, or racing shoe.  While I know many people who do the bulk of their mileage in the Zoom Fly, I personally need more cushion.

Current Rotation:
Saucony Freedom (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Glycerin (daily runs, easy runs)
Brooks Levitate (easy runs)
Hoka Clifton 4 (daily runs, easy runs)
Nike Zoom fly (workouts)
Altra Escalante (workouts)
Saucony type A/Endorphin (racing)

Questions for you:
Did you watch the Nike Sub 2 hours documentary?
What is your current favorite running shoe?

Medford Lakes Turkey Trot (19:02)

On Thanksgiving, I ran a local turkey trot.  It’s one of my favorite races, and despite not feeling great, I still wanted to run.  This year my calves were extremely tight, and my food poisoning was not making my motivation any better.  During my warm-up, I had to stop 3 times for 3 miles to use the bathroom.

At the start, I just hoped I could make it from the start to the finish without stopping.  Not something I had much success with it at the Philadelphia half.

My local running club was wearing turkey tutus, so I decided to join in too. We all lined up, and by the time we knew it, we were off.  My friend, Erin and I had planned to run together and see how it went.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

The first mile is crowded, and we were surrounded by a ton of people including many high schoolers.  One high schooler elbowed me around a turn, and when I didn’t take it, he cursed me out.  I laughed out loud and just passed him and never looks back.  We hit the first mile in 6:07.  I can’t say I was overly thrilled with it, but you have to race where you are.

The second mile began to spread out and Erin and I were passing a bunch of people feeling decent.  She had also raced the Philadelphia half so wasn’t feeling the best either.  We could see the first and second woman just 10 seconds ahead.  We crossed a few roads and hit the second mile in 6:17.

The third mile became gritty.  Both Erin and I were struggling but just pushed forward.  We passed two younger kids.  The last mile takes several turns and goes around the school.  We both kicked as hard as possible.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

Not my most glamourous angle but that’s the pain of a 5k

I crossed the finish line in 19:02 and as third woman overall and Erin crossed in 19:03.  It’s great to have someone to run with.  Erin has beaten me in several races, and we are in about the same fitness.

Medford Lakes Colony Turkey Trot 5K

The awards are always handcrafted from the area which is fun

It’s not my fastest time on the course (last year I ran 18:30), but it’s important not to compare yourself to anyone, including yourself.  I know once my food poisoning passes out and the fatigue runs it’s course I’ll be back to feeling good and racing where I was in October.

Photos via Matthew Renk Photography 

Questions for you:
Do you have someone to race with?
Did you run on Thanksgiving?

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