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Big Cottonwood Training Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts

Big Cottonwood Training Week 2: Half Marathons and Workouts

Last week felt like the neverending week. I felt exhausted on Monday, and the week only seemed to get longer and longer. I’m proud of what I got accomplished running wise.

I didn’t get the chance to swim another day, but that’s okay. As I ramp up running mileage, I am trying to remember I can’t do everything and expect to stay healthy (both physically and mentally).

Monday: AM: Easy 60 minutes run
PM: Easy 45 minutes run
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
PM: 2-mile swim
Wednesday: 2X10 minutes (average 6:28, 6:29) Total mileage 10
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 60 minutes
Sunday: She Runs 13.1, total mileage 16
Total: About 57

Thoughts:

This week was a decent week for running. I’m not especially proud, but I’ve been running on fumes the entire week. There wasn’t ever a point I chose to workout versus sleep, but my sleep schedule has been off the entire week. I’m not someone who can nap in the daytime (past 10 am), so when I’m up…I’m up.

Anyway, the runs themselves felt pretty good. As I increase my mileage, I worry less and less about pace. I measure my easy runs by minutes. I guestimate that 60 minutes is about 6.5 miles, and 45 minutes is 5 miles. Could it be 6.1 miles? Sure but I don’t worry about it. By making a rough estimate, it makes it easier to calculate an increase in mileage.

Swimming felt good this week, and while I only got two days of swimming in, both were quality and I’m glad I did.

Workout Wednesday: 2X10 minutes hard effort (6:28, 6:29) with warmup and cooldown 10 miles

I’m surprised it went as well as it did, but I felt good. I was running on minimal sleep, and it was packed between a busy day, but I did what I could.

She Power 13.1 (1:29.27)

I have a lot to say about the race. I ran the entire thing alone from start to finish. It felt as though I was just running, following the cyclist, doing my own workout. No one to push me, but me.

Did I have a great time? Of course. Was it strange at the same time? Of course. The weather was less than ideal, and it rained the entire time with some course flooding. In all, I kept my splits pretty even and also ran faster per mile than many shorter 10ks that I’ve run so I can’t complain.

Thoughts:

In all, I’m happy with the week and how an increase in mileage is going. I don’t plan to run 20 next week or anything (I think that will probably come in mid-July).

Next Week:

Right now, I’m happy with my mileage. I’m hoping that paces will start to feel more comfortable as I continue running higher than I’ve run in a while. Since I’ll be on the road a good portion of next week, I’m not sure how much pool time I’ll get.

Posts from the Week:

May Training Log

Mizuno Waveknit R2 Shoe Review

Scott Coffee 8k (33:03)

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 weeks newsletter is my favorite and all about coaching and if it’s right for you!

Questions for you:

Have you ever run a race alone?

How was your week of training? 

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May Training Log

May Training Log

Only about a week into June but…Better late than never right?

May brought a lot of changes to my training, mainly, a focus and a fall goal. Before last month, I didn’t have a goal race. I had a rough plan that I wanted to “get back in shape.” I wanted to run a bunch of local races and just build fitness on it.

Then I was selected to run the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I’m still planning to race frequently and get the speed in, but I’m also going to add in long runs. I’m not going to run a lot of long runs because I know I’ll burn out, plus running long in the 90-degree summer isn’t always the most enjoyable thing.

Mileage: Around 170
Range of Paces: 6:27-11:00-untimed
Shortest Run: 2 miles
Longest Run: 14 miles 
Workouts: 4

Swimming: 44,000 meters
Races:
ERR 10k: 42:40
Movie Madness 13.1 Recap (That turned into 14 miles)
Broad Street 10 Miler (1:07.35)

Thoughts:

The focus of the month was to begin getting back into shape and consistently log miles. May, June, and July all have the same goal to keep consistently building miles. I’m not going to build to 100-mile weeks or anything, but I am going to keep building.  I’m not in the same shape as a year ago, and I’m not in the same shape as when I set my half marathon PR a year and a half ago. Do I think I can get back to that in 100 days? No, but I’m going to work towards what I can do.

All of my races last month were ok, not great. I don’t have any that stand out to me, but I’ve also been running on tired legs. I haven’t tapered for any, and I won’t taper for any in June either.

Swimming:

Swimming has been good, and I’m glad I’m getting back into the pool. I don’t feel any “fitter” from swimming, and I don’t think the fitness will translate, but I’m enjoying it. I appreciate how I can mindlessly swim laps without a care in the world.

Goals for Next Month:

In June, I would like to get more fit than I am right now. That seems like a broad goal, and it is, but it’s the only goal. I just want to work on my fitness and progress.  I’m going to keep racing frequently as well as swimming and see where it takes me.

Posts from the Month:

Swimming for Runners

Aftershokz Headphone Review

Shoes:

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoe Review

Reebok Floatride Run Fast

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. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How was your month of training?

Do you have any racing plans this summer? 

Big Cottonwood Marathon Training Week 1: Hello Humidity

Big Cottonwood Marathon Training Week 1: Hello Humidity

I told a few friends and anyone that asked I would start marathon training when there were 100 days until the Big Cottonwood Marathon. I have a strong enough base that I’m not starting from zero. Plus, I have no plans to grind away at extremely high mileage during hot, humid months like July and August. I will train appropriately, but am I going to do countless 20 milers? No.

Despite being a short work week, this week felt like it took forever and it was also exhausting. I’ve been increasing mileage and time on my feet. Together with oppressive humidity, it took it out of me.

That being said, I got mostly everything I wanted to get accomplished in the workout week done.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes (Charlottesville)
Tuesday: AM: Easy 60 minutes
PM: Swim 3000 meters
Wednesday: AM: 6x800s averaging around 6:20 pace (90 seconds jog in between).
PM: Easy 3000 meter swim
Thursday: Easy 3000-meter swim
Friday: Easy 80 minutes with Alexis
Saturday: Scott Coffee 8k 33:03/6:41 pace
Sunday: Long Run 14 miles averaging 8:05

Thoughts:

Typing this out, it’s easy to see why I’m more exhausted. I upped my mileage and crammed my swimming in early (the only time I had to swim).

Wednesday: 6X800 averaging 6:20 with 90 seconds in between

Running in Charlottesville early in the week was hilly, and it made my calves a lot more sore than they have been. I felt as though I could not get my legs to turnover as fast as I would like. The workout wasn’t terrible, and it was humid, but I was hoping to be faster.

Swimming:

Swimming didn’t feel as good as some weeks, but I was happy to get some swimming in. I wasn’t sure I would be able to find the time during the midweek, but it all worked out.  Last week I wrote a post about swimming for runners. I’ve been doing 2X1500 meter swims because I like the mindlessness of it.

Scott Coffee 8k: 33:03 (6:41 pace)

I haven’t run the Scott Coffee 8k in several years, but I’m happy with my result. It’s one of my better races recently.  It was hot, humid, and the course is hilly, but my effort was there.

Long Run: 14 miles averaging 8:05 pace

Low, 8-minute pace doesn’t feel “easy” for me, especially in the heat. This was at a moderate effort. I was able to finish with a few 7:45 miles, and I felt strong the entire time.

Next week I’m going to continue to increase my mileage. I’m racing a half, so realistically I don’t have to do anything different but add a couple of miles after the half marathon on Sunday.

Posts from the Week:

Swimming for Runners

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

ERR 10k: 42:40 

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about tying your shoes2…who knew you needed to learn about that?  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training? 

How long are your marathon training cycles? 

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Recently, I started running in Topo shoes. I’ve had a few friends that love them.  Since this is my first time trying Topo, I have no previous versions to compare it too. I was lucky enough that Topo sent me two pairs of shoes to test out.

Quick Stats: 

Weight: 8.3 oz
Drop: 0

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Fit:

The upper has minimal seams and has plenty of space. Topo is not available in wides; the regular width seems to be enough space for me.  If you are looking for a wider forefront shoe, Topo is excellent for that.

I typically wear a women’s size 10-11 wide. The women’s size 10.5 fit well. It fits similar to the Altra Escalante and shares a lot of characteristics, including zero drop.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Ride:

The Topo Magnifly 2 has a lot of cushion for a zero drop shoe. Before running in it, I thought it would be a minimal shoe, but I was surprised that it did have an ample amount of cushion. The cushion from Topo has a mix of a softer layer on the top and a much more firm and responsive bottom layer.  This allows it to protect your feet but also still spring you forward.

Topo Magnifly 2 Shoe Review

Like any zero drop shoe, if you are not used to running in a zero drop shoe, it’s important to work into the shoe. If you jump into a longer run, you might be more likely to get injured or have tight calves.

Conclusion:

The Topo Magnifly 2 was a surprise for me. I expected less cushion but I like the ride and that I can use the shoe for longer and easier runs. It will probably stay in my rotation as an easy run or long run shoe. If you like Altra or Altra Escalante, it’s a great shoe to alternate with.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6, Topo Magnifly 2, Hoka Mach 2Brooks Glycerin 17,

Speed Work: Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Questions for you:

Have you tried Topo before?

What is your favorite shoe? 

ERR 10k: 42:40

ERR 10k: 42:40

A couple of weeks ago I ran the Cape May 10k in 42:35. I thought, at the minimum at ERR I could beat that. Spoiler: I did not. The weather, however, was much hotter and much more humid at the ERR, plus the is much more difficult. So it was a harder effort. By much more humid, I mean it was 100% humidity.

Anyway, I got to the race around 7:15, warmed up, saw a few friends, and got to the start around 8 am. The race started at 8:15, and I was already sweating through my clothes beforehand. I’ve run the race a few times, but not since 2013. There is minimal shade, and it can be either very hot and humid, cold, or somewhere in the middle. When I lived in VA, I ran it years that it was any of those.

I was busy talking, and by the time I knew it, we were off. I was caught off guard but not a big deal and my own fault. During the first mile, I found myself as 5th women overall, where I stayed the entire time. At first, I thought I might be able to catch the fourth-place women, but that quickly faded. My legs did not feel good, and I was overheated at the start.

I ran the majority of the miles alone, just wondering what I was doing. If I stopped, no one would know, and it was something I constantly had to talk myself out of.  I hit the first mile in 6:30, which was way to fast for where I should be. The course itself at that point had minimal turns, but I knew the turns were all coming.

me running elizabeth river run 10k

During the second mile, I settled in alone. I saw many friends and waved to everyone I knew. I hit the second mile in 6:47, which is about where I figured my fitness was in the humidity.

During the third mile, I was running along the waterfront, and I was roasting. I laughed and thought, wow I’m working my tan. I told myself get to mile 3 and you’ll be halfway. I reached mile 3 in 6:47.

The next couple of miles went by without much note. It was hot, humid, and I just wished I hadn’t signed up for four 10ks this summer. I told myself “just 20 minutes left”, then “just 10”. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to race, but with the humidity, it became increasingly more difficult to breathe.

Around mile 5, I got some magical wind. I don’t know what was going on, but all of a sudden, I began to feel better. Maybe it was the fact that we were “almost done” or that I woke up again, but my legs felt better. I ran the last mile in 6:47 and crossed in 42:40.

me running elizabeth river run 10k

Thoughts:

I won’t say I love running 42:40s for a 10k. I’ve run faster workouts but I’m coming to terms with this is where I am fitness wise and in the heat. I know it’s a better effort than the Cape May 10k. I’ll keep grinding along and still signing up for races. I always enjoy seeing friends that I grew up with. I’m hoping I’ll just keep putting in the work and it will translate when it gets cooler. Or my marathon will be in the heat, and I’ll have put the work in the heat. HA

Thank you to Cliff for the photos. Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about rest days and cross training.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Do you like 10ks? How do you pace them?

Where did you grow up?

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