February Running Recap

February Running Recap

It feels like January was 11 months long, and February was 11 minutes. I’m not complaining because I won’t say it was my favorite month. Has February even ever been close to my favorite? No. Like the month, this recap will be short because there isn’t a heck of a lot to say!

Luckily, compared to many winters we’ve had recently, it wasn’t all that hard to get outside. It’s been much milder.

Miles Run: Around 200

Rest Days: 4

Workouts: 8 Including Lonely 5ks

Races: Cupids Chase 5k (20:32)

Thoughts:

I wanted and hoped to race more than I did. I signed up for another race but things popped up the night before, and I couldn’t go. I bummed but made the best of it. I’ve told myself if I can’t find a race I’ll run a hard 5k alone. I’ve been doing well sticking to that.  The 5k I actually did race, was my slowest but we also ran against a headwind, and I pretty much ran that race alone as well.

Cupids chase 5k race moorestown

I’m slowly coming to terms that this season, while working hard, might not be a “fast” season for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for anyone running a 20 minute 5k, but I want to get back to 18:XX. My body is just not there right now.

me running

February was at least much more consistent than January. In January, I couldn’t get any rhyme in training and often found myself taking at least two if not more days off from running due to things popping up. The goal for March is to be as consistent with running. I am already signed up for a few races including Shamrock Half. At this point, something under 1:30 and close to Carlsbad seems like a dream, but that is the goal.

Posts from the Month:

Hiking:

Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (California)
Hiking Anderson Lake County Park
Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space
Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Product Reviews:

Coros Apex GPS Watch Review
New Balance 1080v9 Shoe Review

Running:

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy
How to Run with your Significant Other
Tools to Recover

Finally, as most people know by now I created a newsletter with all things running related including shoe and industry trends. It’s free and if you want to subscribe you can do so here.

Questions for you:

How was your February training?

What are your goals for March? 

Training: 5ks and Rain

Training: 5ks and Rain

Another week of training in the books. Despite not racing, I had good workouts.  To be honest, I haven’t hated “not racing” recently.

I’ve enjoyed waking up, running my own 5k, and getting on with my day. I still show up, work hard, but in the comfort of my own time. There haven’t been a lot of races lately locally anyway.  Recently, I haven’t particularly wanted to drive 90 minutes round trip. I haven’t been feeling it.

Monday: .1 outdoors/easy 60 minutes treadmill
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800 with 400 jog in between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: 5k (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26
Sunday: Long Run (14 miles)

Thoughts:

Last Monday, I was in Albany. We had gotten some snow overnight.  When I lived in NYS, I ran outdoors before, so I wanted to be “badass” and run outside again.  That was a terrible idea, and it ended like this:

The rest of my daily runs were easy.  Nothing of note.

Workout Wednesday: 6×800 averaging 6:10 pace with 400 jog in between.

I wanted to get a good 800 workout in. When I started running there was no snow, but it looked like it may snow. In the end, the snow was coming down hard, and there was a lot on the ground. By the end of the day, we had a good 3-4 inches.

As far as the workout, I felt decent. My legs still don’t feel like they have a lot of pep, but they don’t feel bad either.

Lonely 5k: (20:01) 6:37, 6:21, 6:26

I had other plans this weekend to run the Frostbite 5 Miler. Things changed and driving 90 minutes round trip wouldn’t fit in, so I ran at home. I’m not entirely sure my watch didn’t pick up, and I ran a little long, but that’s ok.

Long Run: 14 miles at 8:13 pace

It was pouring rain, 45 degrees. The East Coast racing favorite!  On paper, 8:13 pace doesn’t seem that “fast,” but I negative split and had a quality run all around.

Thoughts:

In all, I had a good week. I’m not racing as much, but I don’t mind. As I look more into the Spring, I’ve realized this might be more of a stepback season for me. I’ll still run and race, but I’ll see where it takes me.

Finally, the second newsletter comes out today. It’s all about different models of racing flats.  The newsletter has moved towards the running industry trends, while my blog remains about my personal life.  You can subscribe here.

Posts from the Week:

Saving Time with Sweat Earth

Tools to Recover

Hiking Anderson Lake County Park

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Cupids Chase 5k (20:32)

Last year, the Cupids Chase 5k was one of my best and favorite races all year. Everything just went well for me. It’s always difficult coming back to a race that you do well, knowing you’re not in that sort of fitness, but that’s life.

My parents were in town, so my dad decided to run. We arrived at the race around 9 am, signed up, and talked to a bunch of friends.  Since it was a local race, it was nice to catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen in a while.Cupids Chase 5k moorestown

We lined off and with no warning, there was a go and we were off. During the first mile, I ran with a local, and we split about a 6:20.  We’ve run together in a few races but not recently. Around .5, there was a huge ice patch across the course. I ran all the way around through the cold, wet, grass. It definitely cost me a few seconds but I wasn’t willing to risk it.

I hit the turnaround at 9:45 and thought, wow this will be pretty good. It was extremely windy around the turnaround and I just told myself, everyone is doing this. You can’t outrun the wind. The course was out and back, and I took the turn wider than I anticipated. Then I ran the second mile in 6:30.  By this point, I was running alone. I like out and backs because I can see and cheer for all of my friends.

Cupids chase 5k race moorestown

The final mile went back over the ice patch, which I seemed to take the longest route possible to go around it. Once again, I went up and around, through muddy, wet grass. My feet got wet with partially unfrozen mud. Not a big deal. There was a section around mile 2.5 that got extremely windy again, and I thought I was running backward. Somehow, I continued to inch forward.

Cupids chase 5k race moorestown

Instead of just heading back to the start, we turned left and did a short out and back which made the course about .1 long. We did the same thing last year, but the halfway cones were about 1.5 not 1.55.

As I crossed the finish line, the shoot was deflating because of wind. When I saw the clock well over 20 minutes, I was kind of bummed.

Cupids chase 5k race moorestown

Am I ecstatic about a 20:32? Not really but it is what it is.  I know I haven’t put in the work to be faster, but I’m hoping for a consistent few months to do so. It was great to see so many locals and friends.

Thank you Patrick Rodeo for the wonderful photography!

Questions for you:

Did you do a Valentine’s Themed Race?

Training: Grinding and 5ks

Training: Grinding and 5ks

My training last week went as needed. I got in a speed workout, moderate long run, and heck even a race.  For the most part, my runs felt decent, but I have a long way to go, fitness wise.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: 6X800 with 800 jog in between
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Cupids Chase 5k (20:32)
Sunday: Long Run (14 miles averaging 7:59)

 Thoughts:

My easy runs were just that, easy. There was nothing of note.

Workout Wednesday: 6X800 averaging 6:30 with easy 800 jog in between

This workout went by slow. So slow.

At the first rep, I told myself I couldn’t do it. At the second, I said omg 1/3 of the way. By three, I was like ok halfway…both four and five seemed just to blur away and then six I was like hurry the F up, you’re almost done.  It’s not as fast as I was this time last year, I know I can get there.

Cupids Chase 5k: 20:32

Even though the course was long, it still stinks to see a time over 20 minutes when I’ve recently run 5k workouts by myself under 20. The day itself was cold and windy.

During the first mile, I ran with a local friend, and we split about a 6:20. There was a huge ice patch across the course, and I ran all the way around through cold, wet, grass. It definitely cost me a few seconds. I hit the turnaround at 9:45 and thought, wow this will be pretty good. I didn’t feel bad, or like I was dying. Then I ran the second mile in 6:30. The final mile went back over the ice patch, which I seemed to take the longest route possible to go around it. Instead of just heading back to the start, we turned left and did a short out and back which made the course about .1 long. We did the same thing last year, but the halfway cones were about 1.5 not 1.55. As I crossed the finish line, the shoot was deflating because of wind. Am I ecstatic about a 20:32? Not really but it is what it is. I had a great time seeing friends who I haven’t in a while.

14 Mile Long Run: 7:59 pace

I wanted a quality run without speed, or a tempo mixed in.  Adding more speed right now would be a recipe for an injury, but I also didn’t want to run easy for 14 miles.  During training, 8-minute miles never feel easy to me. I always feel as though I’m working hard.  Not sprinting, and I can hold a conversation but it doesn’t feel easy or like a recovery run. The run went by fast and I had an enjoyable time.

Thoughts:

I’m looking forward to building fitness and getting back out there. I have about a month until anything big (Shamrock) half marathon. I know it’s next to impossible to get back to a Pr by then, but I’ll consistently grind and see where it takes me.

Posts of the Week:

Collagen Waffle Recipe

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

Coros Apex Watch Review

Hiking Marin Headlands

Questions for you:

Would you prefer a long race course or short?

I would prefer long.

What was your best workout last week?

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

As runners, we all want to run more and stay healthy.  I used to have the firm belief of more=better.  Over the last year and a half, my personal life has gotten much busier. I don’t have the time to dedicate for more and more and more. And that’s okay!  Plus, more is not always better.  I’m doing less than many earlier years and I’ve PRed in both the half and full marathon.

When you begin running, it’s important to increase slowly. I’ve increased mileage too fast, only to pay the price with an injury.

After my post about my personal struggles with injury, a few people asked, how can you increase mileage and stay healthy?

Please remember, I’m not the “be all end all” of advice, and it’s important to remember what works for you might not work for everyone.  This is just what has worked for me.

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy

How to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy:

Slow and Steady Wins the Race:

If you increase your mileage too quickly, you will get injured and be sidelined.  Follow the 10% increase in mileage.  If you ran 40 miles last, adding 10% will give you 44.

I wasn’t always great with this, and I believe it’s what led to one of my fractures. After 2016, my mileage dropped, and I’ve stayed more healthy.

Decrease with your Increase

This step has multiple parts

Part 1: Recovery Week:

Every few weeks, it’s important to take a recovery week.  It’s the golden rule, but your body must rest and recover to build muscle, speed, and endurance.  Personally, I like to add 1-2 more rest days and drop 1 or both of my speed workouts.  If you continue to increase all of the time, your body will break from an overuse injury.

Over the last three months of training, I’ve had something pop up at least once a week, sometimes twice.  Sudden events have forced a rest day due to “not enough time”. By that, I mean I chose sleep so I can give 100% in other areas in my life.  Most days, it isn’t worth it to me to get 5 hours of sleep, so I can wake up for a run. I’m miserable for the rest of the day.

Part 2: Decrease Your Speed with Increased Mileage

Reducing speed is an important but overlooked fact.  You can’t run the same speed while running 10 miles a week and running 100.  Sprinting a 100-mile week will result in massive fatigue, exhaustion and ultimately injury.

While I didn’t run 100-mile weeks, too much speed is the reason for my first stress fracture.  I ran all of my runs too fast, and my body broke. I was running about 50 miles a week, and more fatigued than when I used to run 70-80.  Now, I rarely even time my easy days. I run with friends, or on a known route. I’ll run 10-minute miles, or 8…it really doesn’t matter as long as my body feels as though it’s easy.

If you are worried about pace for an easy run, remember, no one cares. Your ego shouldn’t be the deciding factor for running, but it definitely shouldn’t be your deciding factor for an easy run.  For most easy runs, I leave my GPS watch at home. Did I run 3.1 miles or 3.2?  9:04 pace or 9:06?  The world will never know…

Know your Limits

Injuries don’t typically come out of nowhere.  Know your personal weak spots. Running is a lifelong process, and it takes months to build a strong base.

You don’t build fitness in a day, and you don’t lose it either.

Don’t rush the process because you’ll be sidelined with a minor or major injury.  If you feel a small ache or pain, keep a mental note about it. Make sure it doesn’t increase or become worse.

Questions for you:
How many miles do you run weekly?
How do you stay injury free and healthy?

%d bloggers like this: