Training: 10 Degrees and 70 Degrees

Another week of training down and what an interesting weather week it was!  Sunday started off with a run in 10 degrees, and by the end of the week, it was 70. The south is obviously a bit warmer, but it’s been unseasonably warm here all week.  Most of my runs were done in 60 degrees, and by mid-afternoon, it was up to 70+.  It was definitely a shock from last weeks 10 degrees.

Sunday: Easy 7 miles (untimed)
Monday: Workout: 6X800s
Tuesday: Easy 7 miles (8:27) 15 minutes core
Wednesday: Midweek Long Run (11.2 @ 8:27)  

 

Thursday: AM: 8 miles (8:35)
PM: 4 miles (8:42)
Friday: Easy 8 miles (8:40)
Saturday: MLK 5k (18:40)


Thoughts:

After getting to Alabama on Sunday and acclimating, my legs were stiff.  Being cooped up in a car for 3 days is never pleasant, and my legs were tight for most of the week.

Workout: 6X800s (average 3:05)

The goal was to run much faster than 3:05, however, the track is actually located near a runway.  (I can’t make this stuff up!)

To give you an idea of the wind from the planes, when the planes were taking off my 800 was 3:20 (6:40 pace) and I was working hard!  Luckily, they weren’t taking off for all of the workout, and I could get a few quality 800s in as well as well as some “wind resistance training”.  It’s impossible to know the plane schedule and takeoff/landing times, so there is no point in trying to find the “best time” to workout.  If the planes hinder me too much, I’ll go elsewhere, but that is the price of living on base.

Even though some of the 800s were significantly slower than anticipated, I’m not upset.  My legs were stiff, and you have to factor in the wind (or whatever element you’re dealing with).

Easy Runs:

The rest of my runs were done in the morning with my husband.  I’ve been running around 5:30 am in the dark.  I haven’t adjusted well to central time, and I’m waking up at 4:30 am.  It’s nice to have someone to run with though!

MLK 5k: (18:40)

On Saturday, my husband and I ran the Birmingham MLK Drum Run.  Even though the course was a little long, it was well put together.  The goal of the race was to get a good workout in after a tough week of training.  I knew my body was tired and it wasn’t a PR race.

When I toed the line, my legs were stiff.  My splits were 6:07, 5:54 and 5:57.  I gave it everything I had for the day which ended up being 18:40, on a slightly long course and I am happy with the result.  I wasn’t expecting a PR, but I do know when I’m tapered I’m capable of it.

In summary, I’m happy with the week of training.  It was a quality week, and I don’t have any complaints.

Running Related Post from the week: Tips for Running through Winter

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Are you off work today? 

Training Last Week: 800s and Tempos


The last week of training went by with nothing of note.  As most people know, I work in a run specialty store.  While it’s not as crazy as a department store, we still are extremely busy during the holidays.

Most of my week was centered around work (how thrilling), but I was able to get runs in too.

Monday: 60 minutes easy
Tuesday: Workout 6X800s
Wednesday: 50 minutes easy/ART from Dr. Kemenosh
Thursday: 65 minutes easy
Friday: 65 minutes easy
Saturday: Off
Sunday: warmup+40 minute tempo run+cooldown

Total: 50 miles

Easy runs were just that and uneventful.  I have nothing of note with those.

Tuesdays workout: 6X800s (ranging in pace between 6:02-6:07 per mile)

The goal was to be closer to the 3 min mark (6 mins per mile), however, due to running on the road versus the track, my times were a little slower.  I prefer to do my speed work on roads because it’s easier to get space on the road and I race on the road.

Sunday: 40 min Tempo Run (average 6:44)

My workout was supposed to be on Christmas Eve, however, due to my schedule that didn’t work out.  Oddly enough, I had plenty of time the morning of Christmas and was able to get my tempo run done before 9.

The workout itself went well.  The goal was 6:43 pace and my average was 6:44.

Thoughts:

I have no complaints with my training week.  It was a boring week of training but many weeks are like that.

Next week I’m hoping to find a New Years 5k but there aren’t many close by.  I haven’t raced since the Dallas half marathon and I’m itching for a race.

Posts from the week:
A Look Back at 2016 Running
How to Stay Motivated

Questions for you:
How was your Holiday week?
Do you have any New Years plans?

Training: Recovery & Bonding with the Treadmill


Most of the last week was spent recovering from the Dallas Half Marathon.  To be honest, with the amount of food, sitting on my butt from travel as well as relaxing, I think I am recovering well.

Monday: OFF
Tuesday: Easy Run (60 mins)
Wednesday: Easy Run  (60 mins)
Thursday: 6.5 miles with 5X1 min fast
Friday: Easy Run (Treadmill)
Saturday: Workout
Sunday: Easy Run (75 mins)
Total: Edit to add: *55 miles

(not 61 as previously stated)

My easy runs were just that, easy.  I ran some with my husband and some alone.

Thursday: 6.5 miles run with 5X1 min fast:

The purpose was just to get some faster turnover on my legs.  I felt like I was working, but I felt good.

Workout: On the Treadmill
2X5 mins (6:23) with recovery
3X3 mins (6:18) with recovery
2X2 mins 6:08) with recovery
4X1 min (6:00) with recovery

On Saturday, due to weather, the 5k I was supposed to run was canceled. Even though there were a couple of other local 5ks, I didn’t want to race in the 30-degree pouring rain and sleet.  Plus with black ice on the ground, it was a recipe for disaster.

I felt good during the workout.  Honestly, running extremely fast on treadmills still makes me nervous and that is the fastest I’ve run on a treadmill ever.   Typically I prefer to do easy runs on the treadmill.

In summary, I’m happy with how the week went.  I’ve recovered from the half marathon well, and I’m starting to put faster miles back on my legs.

Posts from the week:
Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)
Hiring a Coach

Questions for you:
How was your week of workouts?
Have you ever done a workout on the treadmill?

Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)

As most people know, for a while I contemplated running the Dallas full marathon.  After a twenty miler, I realized I had no interest in that and signed up for the half.  I lived west of San Antonio in 2014 and have driven through Dallas before.  My husband and I both like BMWs, and since this is BMWs first race in the US, it seemed like a fun December trip.

As time drew closer, my body began feeling like junk.  I was making intervals and workouts but not feeling great doing so.  It’s something I still don’t have an answer for.  After dropping the ball at the Philly half a few weeks prior, I had no idea how the race at Dallas would go.

Despite running a 1:24 at Runner’s World half in October, if I were faster than the 1:27 from Philly I would be pleased.  My father in law was running the full marathon and my husband, and I were running the half.  Whatever happened, it was still going to be a great short vacation.

We arrived the Friday before, and I felt sore and tired.  When doing a shakeout run the next day, I felt just as bad. The closer it got to the race,  the more I was disconnected.  Like Philly, I tried to psych myself up by posting too much on the internet.  It seemed to work.

We arrived at the starting line on Sunday around 7:15. It was drizzling rain and a little bit windy.  Overall, the weather was definitely better than the majority of races I’ve run this year (realistically that isn’t saying too much).  The first coral closed at 7:50 and I made my way to the start.

The half, full and relay all went off at the same time, so it was crowded.  I started several rows behind.  They introduced elites Meb, Ryan Hall and Deena.  I am disappointed none were at the finish line when I crossed though!  They were passing out medals, and I would be lying if I didn’t say that didn’t motivate to finish…

All of a sudden the race went off at 8:05 and it was crowded.  The race started uphill, and I still felt sore out of the gate.  I was running elbow to elbow with several people.  We made a few sharp turns and a young guy, and myself collided.  Neither of us fell, and we started chatting.  I crossed the first mile in 6:32 which I was extremely happy and surprised with.

I mentally told myself that I wouldn’t complain about a 1:25. During the second mile, I felt okay.  I didn’t feel good or bad.  I crossed the second mile in 6:20.  In halves, I give myself until the 5k to decide how my body will feel.  The third mile went without too much note, and I crossed in 6:21.  I hit the 5k in 19:57 which is always pleasing.  The 20-minute 5k barrier is a huge mental block for me.

The plan (per Coach Mckirdy) was to run the first half at a moderate pace but not too overdo it.  The course itself does have a few hills but the second half is significantly faster.  If I could make it past mile 8 and still feel good, I could crank then.

I saw my husband just up ahead at mile 4, and we ran both 4 and 5 together.  It wasn’t his day, but we ran a 6:14 and 6:12.

Mile 6 began a few uphills, and I kept telling myself I just needed to make it to the halfway and then past mile 8. I hit the 10k at 39:37 and was proud of my negative split thus far.

I found both miles 7 and 8 to be the most challenging.  I noticed two women in front of me, but I had no idea if they were running the half, full or a relay.  I focused on passing them.  The crowds were huge, and I ended up high-fiving kids and even a professional player from the Mavericks.  I fed on the crowds and ran a 6:22 and 6:27.  The half and full finally divided and there were a few men who went the full route but no women.

By mile 9 I was running alone.  A relay went by me as if I was standing still.  I hit the 15k in 59:39.  I’ve run several 15ks in Upstate, New York but never had an official time under an hour so that time motivated me too.  Each mental time checkpoint went well, and I built confidence each time.

bmw dallas half marathon me running

I could see runners about 15 feet in front but had no idea where I was overall place wise. I hadn’t seen a lot of women up ahead, but I knew they were there.  I noticed a women dressed up only  20 seconds in front and I made it my goal to try to catch her.  I wasn’t feeling good by any means, but I needed something to pull me along to the finish,  I ran a 6:19 9th mile and a lonely 6:20 tenth.

Around mile 11, I caught the woman and she asked: “do you know where the relay exchange is?”  I said I had no idea but the last one I saw was two miles ago.  She panicked and peeled off.  I felt extremely bad because she had missed it and that is a lot of extra miles to run.

Around 11.55, I realized I had charged too early, and I paid the effects during the last mile and a half. Despite the miles being downhill, my stomach began cramping, and I didn’t have anymore leg speed. I was just focusing on the end, and it began a 13 minutes left…12…11..11:59…

The last 600 meters had signs that said 600 meters to go, then 400 then 200.  It’s a downhill finish, so at 600 you can see the massive finish line shoot.  I took my mind far off of racing.  I was thinking about everything but the race pain. I hurt but focused on the expensive BMWs lining the street.

As I approached the finish line, I felt the need to fist pump as I crossed.  They announced me as “fist pumping all the way from Jersey.”

bmw dallas half marathon me running

Don’t ask why I raised my hand.  An hour and a half of racing does strange things.  I had done it, I had my run my third fastest half at a race I wasn’t even sure I would be able to run faster than the Philly half.

I crossed in 1:23.44 and as fifth woman overall.  I had no idea of my place until I later looked up race results.

bmw dallas half marathon me running

Thoughts:

I’m extremely happy with the race.  I didn’t anticipate to be able to string a race this strong at the end of the year. As I’ve mentioned in several training logs, I’ve made intervals but haven’t great doing so.  When I raced my two faster half marathons (Carlsbad 1:22.57) and April Fools 2015 (1:23.23), I felt like I was on top of the world.  When I raced the Dallas half, I didn’t feel fantastic or fabulous.  I have no complaints.  I’ve continued to recover well during the last week and I’m looking forward to hopefully PRing in 2017.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Dallas?

When was the last time you surprised yourself?

Training: Tapering and Dallas Half (1:23)

Like many people I struggle with sleeping the night after a race.  My legs normally twitch and I stay up later than normal.  That being said, I am not overzealous enough to bring out a race recap just yet but I was able to write up last week’s workouts.

Monday: Easy 60 minute Run
Tuesday: Workout: 4X1 mile repeats (6:23 pace)
Wednesday: Run with Julie
Thursday: Easy Run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 30 minute shakeout run
Sunday: Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)
Total: 47 miles

 

As hard as it is for me to admit but things have not been going well the last 60 days. While in general I’m making my intervals for workouts, I’m not feeling good doing so.  I’ve felt bloated and puffy the last few weeks. My stomach has felt off and it feels very similar to last year when I was having a reaction to my dermatology antibiotics.  I am not, however, on antibiotics right now.

Is it stress from the Holidays? 
Is it stress from life?
Am I burnt out? I don’t think so because I want to run.  My mind wants to run fast but right now my body doesn’t quite understand that.

I’ll have a longer post later about my plans for the next training cycle as well as 2017.  I’m currently trying to write a post but it just looks like word vomit.

Workout: 6X1 mile repeats at half marathon pace (6:23)

This didn’t feel great but not awful either.  It’s ideal for a workout to feel great the week before a race, however, I did not.  This was both a mental and struggle to complete. It should have felt effortless, however, I felt like I was working extremely hard.

I recovered and just tried to mentally focus on the Dallas Half Marathon.  As some may recall, I debated doing the full marathon and by this point I’m glad I did decide the half marathon.  I’ve been both mentally and physically all over the place.

Dallas Half Marathon (1:23.44)

On paper, a 1:23.44 is my third fastest half marathon and my fastest since my ankle fracture.  When I ran both the Carlsbad Half (1:22.57) and the Atlantic City Half (1:23.23), I felt on top of the world.

While running yesterday, I didn’t feel amazing or fantastic.  My splits were consistent and I ran between a 6:12-6:32 mile.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely pleased with the Dallas Half but I cannot say I felt “on top of the world” or amazing while running.

So in summary, it’s hard to complain when I run fast even though I didn’t feel the greatest doing so.  It does make me hungry for what I can do when I feel 100%.

Posts from the week:
I Don’t Hate the Treadmill
Brooks Ghost 9 Shoe Review

Questions for you:
Have you ever just “felt off”?
What was your best workout this week?
Dallas locals: Is there anything I should do on my final day here?

I Don’t Hate the Treadmill

After careful thinking about a title, I realized honesty is the best policy and truth be told:

I don’t hate the treadmill.

Thinking out loud, I’ve spent plenty of winters training almost exclusively on the treadmill.  Before you say: “just get out there and run outside,” I’ll also let you know that I’ve slipped on ice and broken my arm just “running outside.”

While New Jersey is a lot easier to run outdoors year round, some places such as Upstate New York are not.  Some winters it has been -30 outside and you’re so bundled up you can’t get more than a speed waddle outside.

I love running, but I’m not going to run outside only to be miserable or be unsafe while doing so.

In fact, I don’t mind running on the treadmill.  I’m able to put in a certain pace, zone out and go.  There was a significant ice storm the night before my last my last twenty miler before Phoenix.  It was either run 20 miles on a treadmill or miss the run.  I watched 3 hours of Say Yes to the Dress, and it wasn’t bad.

But how do you run on the treadmill if you actually hate it?

First, change your mindset. 

If you call it the “dreadmill,” of course, you aren’t going to enjoy it. I should take this mentality with shopping and call it dreading…maybe I wouldn’t like that too.

Do a Workout You Couldn’t Normally Do:

Is your area hilly?  Use the treadmill to get a flat run in.  Or use the treadmill to run a more hilly run.  You can get a run that you aren’t normally able too.

Find a Friend:

Most runners aren’t the same pace.  With a treadmill, you can both run at your respected pace but still run together.  It’s a great tool to catch up with friends.

Netflix and Run:

I won’t tell you how many TV shows or series I’ve binge watched while running.  You can catch up on TV, the news or whatever and still get a run.  It’s a lot harder to do that outside.

The treadmill isn’t a bad training device.  Sadly, it does get a bad rep.

Questions for you:

Do you run on the treadmill?

What is your favorite treadmill workout?

November Training

November was a good month in the sense that I made it through the month both healthy and injury free. I just cranked through runs and workouts and hoped for the best.

Mileage: 250 miles
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: Philadelphia Half Marathon
Days off: 3
Workouts:5
Races:
Run the Bridge 10k (38:58)
Haddonfield Road Race 2X5k (20:48, 19:20)
Philadelphia Half Marathon (1:27.44)
Medford Turkey Trot (18:30)

Run the Bridge 10k me running

Random Thoughts of the Month: 

Last month, I ran fewer miles but more frequently. Instead of running 90 minutes most days, I ran 60-80 more frequently. I also ran a lot more workouts and didn’t race twice in a weekend.  It’s been a change for my running but I’m enjoying it, plus less time running means more time interneting…(kidding).

My body is taking the time to absorb the workouts and mileage.  Any change in workouts generally happens that way. Last November and December, I distinctly remember being in a running rut and plateau.  It wasn’t until January 1st (when I PRed wearing a prom dress) that I broke out of that.

Philadelphia half marathon was definitely a letdown.  I thought I might be in PRing shape, but that didn’t happen for a number of reasons.  The short story is that it wasn’t my day.

medford-lakes-turkey-trot

A few days later I ran my third fastest 5k at the Medford Lakes Turkey Trot.  I know my fitness is there, but I haven’t tapered or prepared for a PR.  I’m running the Dallas Half Marathon in 10 days, so I’m hoping to end 2016 with one last solid race effort under my belt.

What’s next? Through December, I’ll continue trucking along.  I’m going to run hard at Dallas and see where I’m at.  In October, I ran the Runners World Half in  1:24.17 so I would like to hope I’m faster than that now.

Running Related Posts:
New Balance Fresh Foam Zante Shoe Review
The Importance of Rotating Shoes
If I Only Had One Running Related Outfit
How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

Questions for you:
How was your month of training?
Do you have any December plans?