Rome Marathon Week 6 Training Recap

I always love weeks that end on a high note aka a strong race performance. This was a tough week though with six days of running, a first for me. Thankfully I have just 5 in week 7. (They’re not easy of course.)

Monday easy run
I absolutely loved this run. I felt amazingly strong throughout the entire run and loved the hard intervals at the end! The week got off to a great start.

Tuesday tempo run
I actually enjoyed a tempo run. What? On top of that the tempo portion didn’t feel quite as hard as I expected. (Don’t get me wrong. It was definitely still hard.) Maybe I could go faster? Whatever the case, I loved this run.

Wednesday easy/recovery run
I felt pretty good through this run. It was nice and easy like it was supposed to be.

Thursday stationary bike + easy run
stationary bike: I felt really, really good and actually got a bit of distance.
easy run: This ended up being my first brick workout ever. I now understand why they’re called bricks. My legs felt pretty sluggish and my glutes were a bit sore. (That may be because this was also the fourth day in a row that I’ve run.) That being said, the run was pretty good anyway.

Friday easy run
It took a little while to get going this morning. The run felt okay but I had no pep in my step. I’m not so sure about this six days a week running. It may need an adjustment period.

Saturday warm up + Greenville News Run Downtown 5k + long run
warm up: this was just enough time for me to get properly warmed up both mentally and physically
5k: see linked recap
long run: This was not as pretty as I could have hoped thanks to going out (probably) too hard in the 5k and dealing with general “achiness” (yes, I’m aware that’s not a word) unrelated to running. I got it done and felt pretty strong while doing it despite the “achiness.”

Sunday rest
I had been looking forward to this day all week so the rest was well enjoyed.

Leave a comment

Filed under marathon, running

Greenville News Run Downtown 5k Race Recap

Race #88
5k #37
Greenville News Run Downtown 5k #4

I really wish that I had gone ahead and run this race last year. It’s one of the first races I started running regularly when I first started running. That being said, it’s still one of my favorites, a large race in chilly weather. Can’t get any better than that.

Ideally I would have loved to go for a PR here. Two of my previous 5k PRs have been snagged here. (That’s part of there reason that I didn’t run last year. I was no where near PR shape and didn’t want to “just run” this particular race.) Since I’m in the middle of a dedicated training cycle for a hopeful BQ marathon, short distance speedwork is not a priority.

On today’s agenda: 20 minute warm up, 5k at 85% effort, 90-100 minutes afterwards to finish up the long run.

When I first started the warm up I was not in the running mood. In fact, I was a bit out of sorts. As the minutes ticked by I settled into the groove and started to get excited about the race. I also did a little 2015 race planning. Another Red, White and Blue Shoes 5k PR? Why not?

With just a few minutes to spare Mom and I headed to the start. (Originally she wasn’t going to run the race, just run with me afterwards. Then she got suckered into it at packet pick up. What can I say? The running bug has bit her hard! :))

I wanted to run hard and see if I could beat my previous course record.

At 9:00AM we were off. I settled into a comfortably hard pace right from the start. Since I tried to start as close to the line as I could, I had only a few seconds of jostling and crowd congestion to deal with. (Mom had a bit more.)

Unlike 2013, I hardly looked at my Garmin to check the pace. I wanted to do my best to run at an 85% effort but honestly, I’m not really sure how to do that.

I hit mile 1 at 7:31. Not bad. According to some rough mental calculations, if I continued at that pace I would come in right at my course record time. I wanted to beat it though and the idea of negative splits is eminently appealing.

I kept plugging away and honestly don’t remember much about mile 2 except for the amazing race-walker that I kept passing and getting passed by. Incredibly talent.

Mile 2 came in at 7:18. Immediately I knew that I wanted to negative split the race and wondered if I could with the Richardson Street hill yet to come.

At about mile 2.5 the hill started. I ignored my Garmin and focused on shortening my stride and increasing my arm swing. I would not let that hill defeat me. It’s not a steep hill; it’s just long. After three city blocks of it, you start to wonder if it’s ever going to end. I felt perfectly fine through the first half of the hill but with a block or two to go I could really start to feel it.

Then came the turn. It felt so good to get off that hill and after a block turn onto Main Street and the downhill. It was at that point that I poured on a sprint. I may not be able to judge what 85% effort for me is but at that point it was pretty much 100%.

That last section down Main Street is deceptively long. I had to keep reminding myself. My Garmin hit 20:00 just as I made the final turn. I immediately wondered if I had enough time to cross that finish line in less than a minute. Not quite. But close!

Even when I wanted to back off I kept pushing. I knew I wouldn’t make sub 22 but crossed the finish line in 22:24, seven seconds faster than two years ago.

That may not seem like much but two years ago I was wiped after the race. I put everything out there. This was approximately 85% with no short speedwork under my belt.

Oh…check out these negative splits too!

https://flic.kr/p/qQssRz

That’s right. Sub 7 minute mile including the Richardson Street hill!

Right after finding a spot by the finish line to look for Mom’s finish I pulled out my phone and started looking at my blog to see where this stacked in comparison to the 5ks I ran in November and December. Right smack in between them. (Turkey Bowl-22:26, Jingle Bell-22:21.) I’m nothing if not consistent apparently. I had a thought that I should probably open the camera app because Mom would be finishing soon. Then she came and I totally missed her! Whoops.

I took this one as a rather lame “consolation prize.”

Run Downtown 5k 2015

And our traditional post race pic

Run Downtown 5k 2015

The day wasn’t quite done after that. I still had 90-100 minutes on the plan. I got them done but they weren’t pretty, at least they didn’t feel pretty. My pace was pretty respectable but my legs and body in general didn’t feel all that pretty. I still got it done though and am more than happy with both my 5k result and getting in 9.5+ miles afterwards.

Oh…official results for the 5k
Jen
Official time: 22:19 (new second fastest 5k time, again)
Overall place: 153 of 1417
Gender place: 25 of 654
Age group place: 8 of 98

Mom
Official time: 25:53
Overall place: 399 of 1417
Gender place: 87 of 654
Age group place: 2 of 43 (she placed and she wasn’t even running hard!)

1 Comment

Filed under race recaps, running

Rome Marathon Week 5 Training Recap

I loved these runs and might just be starting to get adjusted to the higher mileage. (Just in time to go higher!)

Monday easy run
My legs were far more sluggish than expected. I’m not sure why. That translated to a slower pace than I had hoped but I got it done.

Tuesday tempo intervals
My legs were a bit more sluggish at the start but I got it done. By the last tempo interval I actually felt pretty strong and finished well.

Wednesday recovery run
This was nice and easy as prescribed. I felt great throughout.

Thursday stationary bike
I felt good through this ride and enjoyed it. I’m perplexed though as to why I’m not getting as far as I used to in this amount of time. Oy vy.

Friday short intervals
I felt really, really good through this run. The intervals were tough (as I would expect a sub 7 pace to feel!) but I loved them!

Saturday long run
This was an excellent long run. I would have preferred to do it during daylight but that’s par for the course on those Saturdays that I have to work. I felt strong through the entire run, even the fast finish portion. Before I started that last 20 minutes I wondered if I would be able to do it but while running that faster portion I had no doubt.

Sunday rest
I have had no problem following through on this prescription.

Leave a comment

Filed under marathon, running

Rome Marathon Week 4 Training Recap

By the end of the week I could definitely feel the increased mileage. (I topped 40 miles-by less than half a mile-for the first time since Twin Cities training.) Thankfully there’s a few more weeks before Rome to get up to speed. :)

Monday easy run
This was a good run, nothing extraordinarily good or bad. Loved the hill intervals near the end.

Tuesday tempo run
I think I might finally be getting the hang of the tempo run. It wasn’t easy by a long shot but I made it all the way through and felt pretty good when I got past the halfway point.

Wednesday easy run
I had no trouble keeping it easy as prescribed. On the uphills my legs definitely felt Tuesday’s work. Loved closing out the year with a run.

Thursday stationary bike rest
Thanks to the gym opening at 9 instead of it ended up working better to skip the stationary bike and just do a lot of walking instead.

Friday hill intervals
This felt a little bit harder than I thought it would but not too bad. The hill intervals were tough but enjoyable.

Saturday long run
This run was tougher than I thought. My legs didn’t really have any pep in them which is unsurprising considering that with today’s run I crossed 40 miles for the first time in a month or so. I wasn’t able to keep the pace as close to 8:25 as I wanted (about 30 seconds slower) but I muddled through and got it done.

Sunday rest
After a slightly tougher than expected long run and a full day of Christmas festivities (yes, we just now celebrated) rest was not easy to do.

Leave a comment

Filed under marathon, running

2014 The PR Year

2014 may be over now but the first day of the next year is as good as any to post my year-in-review.

It’s been a good year in running not just for me but for the entire Enjaian family.

The raw stats:
1738.27 miles run
16 races run
5 PRs snagged (5k, 8k, 10k, half marathon, marathon)
2 new marathoners added to the family (Michael and Mom)

That’s right. The number of marathoners in the Enjaian family tripled this year.

With as much as I’ve achieved this year, I consider 2014 a building year. I learned a lot, both about myself as a runner and about running in general. I enlisted the help of a coach and successfully avoided potential injury. My average pace increased even though I didn’t quite make my half and full marathon time goals.

It’s been a great year with plenty to look forward to in the coming year.

So, goals for 2015? Just 1.

BQ. It’s my year.

Leave a comment

Filed under goal, race recaps, running

Rome Marathon Week 3 Training Recap

A cut back week arrived perfectly timed with a trip to the beach for Christmas.

Monday easy run
This was a nice, easy run, exactly as prescribed. I felt great through the entire run.

Tuesday easy run with some hard effort intervals near end
This was a good, even effort. I really pushed it on the hard intervals near the end since they were my only speedwork for the (cutback) week. I definitely wanted more.

Wednesday stationary bike
This was a fairly good ride. I was a little sleepier than normal since I got up 20 minutes earlier to get this in before work but other than that there was nothing extraordinarily good or bad about the ride.

Thursday easy run
I love every run I get to run on Hilton Head Island. It really is my favorite place in the world. This run was great. I even through a sprint on for the last half mile and loved that too.

Friday long run
Like I said Thursday, I love every run I get to run on Hilton Head Island. That includes those runs where my Garmin has a GPS hissy fit. For a reason that I cannot understand, a quick dash into McDonalds for the restroom facilities resulted in my Garmin locating the wrong satellite and crediting me with a 3:11 mile. That’s hilarious. I felt really good until the turn around when I started to feel blah. I kept plugging away and a mile or so after that settled into a pretty good pace and finished well. My right calf did feel a bit tight towards the end and off and on through the day but nothing bad.

Saturday rest due to travel
I used to consider rearranging my schedule for our travel days to get a work out in. It just doesn’t work. It wouldn’t have worked Saturday either.

Sunday rest
This was my usual rest day. It was odd to have two days off in a row but I think that’s what my calf needed. (It was still a bit weird on Saturday, nothing bad, just weird.)

Leave a comment

Filed under marathon

Rome Marathon Week 2 Training Recap

Another fairly good week of training. I’m really looking forward to what’s the come in this training cycle.

Monday easy run
I was in an off-mood from the start of the run, nothing bad, just a little off. I felt okay through the run although I could do without the continuing weirdness in my right hamstring/knee. I’m probably overly sensitive and have perhaps forgotten what a “normal” leg feels like. (There’s no pain…just weirdness.)

Tuesday tempo run
Another successful tempo run in the books! I almost bailed on this one barely 10 minutes in. I started contemplating the best way to make this tempo into 4 intervals. The tempo pace felt hard from the get go, likely because I ran a little too hard over the weekend. I managed to talk myself off the interval ledge by telling myself to get as far as I could before I paused. I got all the way to the end of the tempo portion.

Wednesday easy run
This run was nice and easy as prescribed, nothing extraordinarily good or bad.

Thursday stationary bike
This wasn’t my favorite ride. It wasn’t bad but I did not feel 100% so I took it easy throughout and thus did not get as far. My left knee also felt a bit weird towards the end and after but I don’t think it’s serious. Hopefully an easy rest of the day plus another good night’s sleep will help.

Friday intervals
These intervals were tough but it was hard to judge whether or not I gave 90 or 95% so I think I might have been able to go a little harder. Next time.

Saturday long run
I did not want to get out of my bed. (That’s the downfall of a new (to me) mattress.) Once I did finally get up and get going the run went by surprisingly well. I ran inside thanks to chilly, drizzly rain. (Yes, I know I need to get out more.) That being said, I felt fabulous through the whole run which went by quickly. I know. That shocked me too.

Sunday rest
I got plenty of reading done. :)

Leave a comment

Filed under marathon, running