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Training: Rest is also Training

Training: Rest is also Training

I had all of the intentions to run through the week, but then I felt like garbage.  On Monday I woke up sore, burned out, and not wanting to run.

So I didn’t.  I had the day off, and I decided to make a quick trip up to North Jersey and go hiking outside.  It was a beautiful day, and I wanted to be outside, but I didn’t want to run.  The hike was challenging but fun and I’m glad I enjoyed that.  While yes, running is my “primary workout activity,” it’s not the only thing I enjoy.  I enjoy hiking every bit as much as running.

hiking the palisades

The rest of the week I had no interest to run.  Each morning, I woke up and felt blah.  By Friday I thought I might go for a run but gave it another day.  My college coach once said: days off, saves months off.  I do believe if I hadn’t given myself a few days off, nothing would have changed.  My mentality is completely different from last week.

On Saturday, I ran a short run and I felt good.  It was the first time I actually wanted to get out there.  Things are not perfect, and I do feel as though my muscles need a lot of care.  I don’t feel bad, or sore, but my legs are tight.

Monday: Hiking the Palisades
Tuesday; Rest
Wednesday; Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday; Easy 30 minutes
Sunday: Easy 30 minutes

The goal until the April Fools Half marathon is to focus on recovery and rest.  I would love to get a workout that makes me confident in running again, but I don’t want to overdo anything.  Making it to the start and finish line is the most important to me.

I feel as though I’m progressing in the right direction with running, but I still have longer to go.

Posts of the Week:

Hiking the Palisades

Phillies 5k (19:07) 

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt burned out with running?  How do you get through it?

How was your Easter?

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8 years ago…I ran a race

8 years ago…I ran a race

Since 2010 St. Patrick’s day has held a much more sentimental reason to me than drinking beer, wearing green, and pots of gold.  Although if you would like to send me a pot of gold that is fine too!  Eight years ago, I ran a 5k on my college campus that would change the path and direction of my life.

You can read my entire running story here or in the tab above.

When I was a college sophomore, I saw a sign at the gym that said if completed the annual campus 5k you would get a free long sleeve t-shirt.  As a college student, you can never have enough things to stuff in your dorm room.  My college roommates always appreciated my hoarding.  I had plenty of short sleeve shirts, but long sleeve shirts were something I was always looking for.  All I had to do was sign up for a 5k and complete it?

Okay, sign me up.

Sign me up, and I didn’t run an ounce beforehand.

Keep in mind my running history previous to March of 2010 was lackluster.  I barely passed the mile countless times in both middle and high school…Passing was 12:30 and my mile PR was 12:12.

At my high school, you didn’t have to take gym after 10th grade.  So after 10th-grade gym class, I avoided running like the plague.  Thinking out loud, the only two times I had run was to “impress” upperclassman on the swim team.  It wasn’t impressive, and I made a goober out of myself both times.

I wasn’t terribly athletic and certainly wasn’t coordinated through high school.  I did swim competitively and did enjoy that.  During the offseason from swimming, I went to the gym and used the elliptical or lifted weights.

It was nice to keep cardio and strength when I wasn’t swimming but I never (not once) used running as cross training.  Long story short I had no idea what I was getting myself with a trivial campus 5k into but the phrase “if it’s free, it’s for me” comes to mind with this race.

The race itself was a blur, and I finished around 24 minutes.  I don’t remember the exact time, but I remember not dying, texting my shocked marathon running dad, and picking up my t-shirt.  (of course, I didn’t tell my parents I was running this 5k…I didn’t want them to ask if I didn’t finish.

Of course, I didn’t tell my parents about this 5k, I didn’t want the embarrassment their daughter couldn’t finish a 5k.

After the race, I wore the t-shirt all around campus the following day.  I beamed with pride, smiling at random strangers also wearing our cheap cotton long sleeve shirts.

After the race, it wasn’t as if I magically became engrossed with running.  The race did make me realize running wasn’t all that bad.  I ran when it was nice out which ended up being 10-20 miles a week for a good portion of the spring.  When it was sunny, I would run the same 5k loop around campus.  When it wasn’t nice out, I wouldn’t run.  I would just go to the gym.

I mark St. Patrick’s Day as the official day I got my running start because at that point I considered myself someone who didn’t hate running anymore.  When you fail the mile test multiple times in grade school, it’s hard to like it.

I didn’t sign up for another race until the following July over break.  My dad had asked me if I wanted to run both an 8k, and 10k but I turned him down because it was too far.  From there, I slowly ran more and even walked on to my college D3 cross country team.  I never had a “stand out season” there, however it was what I needed at the time.  You can read my entire running story here.

One of my first collegiate cross country races.

After that, I began to consider myself a runner:

I didn’t run every day.
I didn’t run fast.
I didn’t log my mileage.
I didn’t run when it was the cold, windy or not perfect weather.
I had no desires to run with anyone or at a specific time…
I didn’t run any more races until July.
But I ran…and when I did I enjoyed it.

You’re a runner if you say you are and that is all that matters.

Questions for you:
When did you get your (workout) start?
How was your St. Patricks Day weekend?

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup 4 Miler (24:30)

This is my third year running and also my slowest time yet!  The wind played a role, and I think my body caught up to me after trying to assimilate back into the real world from vacation.

I woke up on Sunday feeling exhausted.  I had gotten a deep tissue massage a few days prior, and while my legs had recovered well my half PR, I don’t think they did from the massage.

My in-laws, husband, and I got to the race around 9 am.  I did and quick warmup, realized how windy it was, and made it to the start.  By the time I knew it, we were off.

The first mile got out extremely slow.  It loops around the park and you go back under the start line before heading to down the canal.  My husband and a pack of four men was shortly ahead, followed by me.  My byline of racing lately is always chasing someone but never running with anyone.  I hit the first mile in 6:13 and wasn’t all that pleased.  I knew I was sore and it was windy but it’s always hard not to compare to what you have run before.

During the second mile, my husband and the lead pack separated.  I found myself running with another male chasing them down.  The towpath is on soft dirt/gravel and runs along the canal.  It was windy but not headwind or tailwind.  It was a crosswind where I somewhat worried I would be blown into the canal.  I hit the second mile in 6:08.

We made a 180 during mile 3 and headed back the way we came.  I enjoy mile 3 of the race because you see everyone else running and seeing other racers always motivates me.  I hit the third mile in 6:08.

The last mile was just trucking back to the start.  I felt better than the start but not great by any means.  I separated myself and was running alone.  I could see the finish and I saw my husband had pulled away and was going to win which was motivating.

I finished in 24:30 and it’s my slowest time yet, but the wind was definitely a factor.  This is only the second time both my husband and I have won a race together.  There are plenty of grilled cheeses and tomato soup at the end of the race (instead of the traditional banana), which makes it more fun.

grilled cheese and tomato soup 4 miler sick

Questions for you:

Have you done a unique race recently?

Where is the best grilled cheese you’ve gotten?

Training: Recovery and Grilled Cheeses

Training: Recovery and Grilled Cheeses

Last week was spent recovering, traveling, and relaxing.  While Phoenix Half Marathon was a PR, it is only the beginning of the Spring.  I’m hoping to continue to run well.  I will have a few cutback weeks throughout the Spring to make sure I don’t make the mistake of last year with burn out. 

Monday: 45 minutes easy/short hike through White Tank Mountains
Tuesday; 45 minutes easy
Wednesday: 12×400 averaging 86/Deep Tissue Massage
Thursday: 30 minutes easy
Friday; Rest
Saturday: 60 minutes easy
Sunday:  Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Run 4 m 24:30 (10 miles total)

Thoughts:

I spent a lot of time relaxing in Phoenix as well as indulging in food after the race.  I do think that helped recover faster.  I’m definitely not “fully recovered” but I do feel as though I am recovering well.

Workout Wednesday: 12X400s (400 jog recovery)

Averaging 86 seconds and last 400 84 seconds

Lately, I’ve been doing workouts on the roads.  First, it’s hard to find an available track.  Second, I race on the roads, not on a track.  I could go a few seconds faster on the track, but I also enjoy doing workouts on the roads too.

I felt good during the workout and having good weather certainly helped.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Run: 24:30

I’ve run the race in both 2016 and 2017 and this was my slowest year.  The race itself is in a park on a trail.  We got a huge storm on Friday that took down a lot of trees but luckily the course was clear.  It was windy but no headwind or tailwind.  The crosswind just felt as though you were one step away from blowing into the canal.  My calve were still sore and recovering from my deep tissue massage and I did not feel the greatest.  That being said, I’m happy with my time.

 

 

Posts from the Week:

February Training

Phoenix Half

Hiking Jokey Hollow (Morristown, NJ)

Questions for you:

How do you recover from races?

Do you get deep tissue massages?  How frequently?

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

Phoenix Half Marathon (1:22.03)

What to say about the Phoenix Half Marathon?

It’s a 54 second PR.  I had a good day.  Realistically, that is the general information about it.  I guess there is more though.

Anyway,  since running the full marathon a few years ago, I’ve wanted to come back and rerun the race but didn’t have a year I wanted too.  In fact, I wasn’t confident I would be able to make it to the race this year either.  I signed up and booked airfare last minute too.  I had been watching flight prices, and it wasn’t that much more to wait.

The week before the race, I felt “too good’.  Nothing had gone wrong, I didn’t have phantom pains, and I came off of back to back good races.  To be honest, I hadn’t had many issues in training.  In conversation with a good friend I said, the weather was looking good, my training was going well, and the course was fast…there was no real excuse to not run hard.

With that, my husband and I got to Phoenix, waited 90 minutes for a rental car (Yay, spring training for baseball) and got to our hotel.  The day before was relaxing, I got a longer shakeout run because my legs were stiff from flying.  We relaxed, went to the zoo, ate dinner at 4 pm and fell asleep at 8 pm.  My brother arrived at 11 pm, to visit.

The morning was uneventful, and my husband and I made it to the bus by 4:45 am.  The bus was a little louder than I would like but nothing terrible.  The start was wide open and allowed you to have your own space.  We started in the dark at a sharp and dark 6 am.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

One thing I don’t like is running in the dark.  I hadn’t thought about that component of the race, but most of the race was in the moonlight.  There were street lights but nothing like running in the daylight.  The first mile felt like it took forever.  I wondered how I would make it through a half.  I was running with a crowded pack, and we hit the mile in 6:22.  I thought either I can hold this pace or I can’t but I wouldn’t run even 6:22s the entire race.  6:22 was my exact previous PR pace.  The pace didn’t feel difficult, but you can’t judge any race by the first mile or even the first 12 miles.

The next few miles were uneventful.  It was dark, and not many people were out.  The crowd dwindled, and I was running with a pack of 6 women.  I noticed what other people were racing in, and it varied.  It was 39 degrees at the start and a lot of females wearing crop tops and shorts, many in runderwear, a few in capris and a few in sports bras.  It was pretty much everything. I ran between 6:15-6:18 miles for all of them.  It was boring, uneventful, and dark.  Each mile ticked off with nothing of note.

I hit the halfway in 38:56.  Around the halfway mark, our park started to divide once more.  2 women went ahead, followed by me, followed by everyone else.  For the next few miles, I always felt like I was chasing someone, but never running with anyone.  Miles 7-9 were the hardest of the race.  You’re halfway, but you realize you have a very long way to go.  I began to question everything.

Here I was, running in the dark, in Phoenix by myself.  I had been dropped by the two women which didn’t help.  I had taken the race out faster than I have ever taken a half marathon race out.  Sure, I was below my PR pace but I was starting to feel fatigued, and I lost a PR at the Dallas half marathon in the final few miles due to cramps.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

Even though they were gaining space, the two females pulled me along for the miles 9 and 10, and we ran 6:08.  I hit the 10-mile mark in 1:02.30.  At that moment, I knew I should have run my own race because my legs began to feel fatigued.

I told myself: 5k left.  You need to run a 5k in 20:27 and you will PR.

Another woman passed me around mile 10 who I did a double take and thought it was Shalane Flanagan. She passed me as if I was standing still. I attempted to stay with her while also weaving in and out of 10kers.  The 10k merge was one of the only components I didn’t care for during the race.  Many were blocking the entire course or running 3-4 across, and I had to zig-zag around.  It was not the energy I had, nor wanted to use.

Phoenix Half marathon feb me running

I hit both mile 11 and 12 and in 6:26.  During the final mile, things began to look more familiar from the full marathon, and I remembered the feeling of the last mile of the marathon.  Everything was coming together.  We turned the corner, and I saw the finish line, the clock.  I just powered to the end.  I could see it ticking in the 1:21s and I was trying to make it under 1:22 but my legs didn’t have it.  I crossed in 1:22.03 and a 54 second PR.

Thoughts:

A PR is a PR.  I’m thrilled with it.  I do know the race course was easier than my previous PR in Carlsbad, but I also know I’m in better fitness too.  I realized at the Phoenix half marathon that I don’t like to race in the dark.  Obviously, I can run fast in the dark, but it’s certainly not my favorite.

I think I have a lot more to give in the Spring racing scene and I’m looking forward to it.  For those who asked, my husband decided a few days ago that he was going to take the race easy for him, and finished in a 1:27.

Questions for you:

When was your last race PR?

Do you prefer running in the morning, afternoon, or night?

Cupids Chase 5k (18:38)

Cupids Chase 5k (18:38)

Last weekend I ran the Cupids Chase 5k in Moorestown, NJ.  After my 3 mile race the weekend before, I was hoping for an accurate course this week.  I knew it would be a competitive race and I was looking to get a good baseline of where I was.

The race started later than I would have liked at 10:00.  It was forecasted to rain, but luckily it held off until my cool down when it poured rain.  I got to the race at 9, warmed up, and by the time I knew it, we were off.  I was excited to see a few of my local friends at the start.  As you can see by the photos, I guess I went through a lot of emotions during the race.

First, I was deep in thought and possibly angry…

cupids chase 5k moorestown me

The first mile was uneventful, and I ran with a pack of males, including most that recognized.  It weaved around Strawbridge Lake.  I hit the first mile in 5:59 and was pleasantly surprised.  I didn’t feel bad, and I had gotten a decent amount of sleep but was still surprised.  My legs just felt meh.  It was my first mile below 6 minutes in a while.

But then I was full of regret

cupids chase 5k moorestown me

The next mile, I ran by myself.  There was one male in front of me, but no one around.  I stayed in that position the entire time.  The course was an out and back but had 2 180 degree turns.  We hit the first 180 at about the halfway point.  The ground was slick, and I nearly fell but was able to maintain good speed around the turn.  I hit the second mile in 5:52 which is my fastest mile in a long time.

The final mile was just about getting back to the end.  To add the extra .1, we went around another park that included another 180 turn.  Because, in general, the course was an out and back, I was able to see my friends as they went the opposite direction.  It gave me motivation.  I thrive on seeing friends or racing with other people.  I hit the third mile in 6:02 which in a 5k I can’t complain because it was still plenty of energy in the tank.  With the turnaround and running alone, I was definitely happy with that.

Then I was desperate for the finish line to be close 

cupids chase 5k moorestown me

The final .1, I just ran as fast as I could and crossed the finish line in 18:38.  It’s my fastest 5k in nearly a year, and I could not be more excited.  I know I have a long way to go, but it was great motivation.

Questions for you:

Do you like themed races?

Do you prefer out and back courses or loops?

Training: Fast 5k and Sleep

Training: Fast 5k and Sleep

Last week was both mentally exhausting and physically.  Luckily, when it mattered the most, I was able to run fast.  That being said, running is never my life priority.  Yes, I have a running blog, but my life and overall wellness mean more to me.

Monday: Easy 60 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday:  6X800s at 6 min pace
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Easy 45 minutes
Saturday: Cupids Chase 5k (18:38)
Sunday:  14 miles with fast finish 

Thoughts:

My legs were tired for most of the week.  My husband was supposed to get home on Wednesday but a last minute change caused him not too.  Which began an added stress.  I didn’t handle it well.  Was I crying all of the time?  No, but was it an added stress?  Yes.  With life responsibilities, sleep took a hit.  Luckily on Friday night, I fell asleep early and I got a lot of extra rest which ended up helping with the 5k.

6X800s at 6 min pace with 1/4 mile jog recovery

As I mentioned on Instagram, it poured rain during the workout.  For some reason, I was drawn outside.  My legs were tired, and I could feel that. I got the workout done.  Was it my favorite? No, but I finished and moved on.

Cupids Chase 5k (18:38):

I’ll have a full recap this week, but I felt better than I anticipated.  My splits were 5:59, 5:52, 6:02.  It’s my fastest 5k since my burnout, and I was definitely not expecting to run that fast with everything I’ve been dealt with. I can’t complain.  I am excited to be that far into the 18s again, and I know on a good day, I’m capable of more.

Posts of the week:

20 Podcasts to Keep You Entertained

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mercy 3 Miler (18:20)

Questions for you:

Did anyone do any Valentines Day races?

How was your week of training?

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