Summer 2015 Week 9 Training Recap

Even though the race did not go exactly as planned (I’ve already figured out a few things I need to work on) this was a pretty good week of training.

Monday easy run
I felt really good at the start of this run. Maybe that’s because I had a 10 min pace. 😉 Once I saw that I picked up the pace a little and had a good run despite the ridiculous humidity. Seriously, I don’t think there could have been more water in the air unless it was a heavy downpour. I also did not appreciate the rank dead squirrel that we passed twice. Fun times. I wanted to run fast at the end and threw on a sprint but pulled back because this was supposed to be an easy run.

Tuesday race pace intervals
Legs were a bit stiff at the start. Warm up period did its job. The race pace intervals were tough and made me wonder if I’d be able to hold that pace Saturday.

Wednesday recovery run
It took a little time to warm up but once I did I got into a good rhythm. I felt strong throughout.

Thursday stationary bike
This ride went by quickly. I didn’t try to push it at all and still managed to get only a half mile shorter than the week before.

Friday easy run with some hard intervals near end
Twenty-five minutes is way too short but the race came the next day so short and easy it was. Intervals at end at the end got me exited to race.

Saturday Sunrise 8k
Tough races are great for motivation boosts.

Sunday rest
Waking up with sore core muscles and seeing pictures from the race where I’m leaning back confirmed that I need to strengthen my core. Lots of planning done while resting.

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Sunrise 8k 2015 Race Recap

Race #94
8k #8
Sunrise 8k #3

Today was not my day and I knew that almost from the start. That being said, since this was my last race in my 20s I wanted to give it my best effort. I can legitimately say that I did. (More on that at the end.)

First off, I did not start close enough to the front. It got pretty packed quickly. Matt mentioned that he was trying to get my attention to tell me to move up. Yeah, missed that.

Thankfully the congestion did not last long.

I could tell from the start that this was going to be a tough race. The best way to describe it is that my legs did not feel fresh. They definitely did not feel race ready. I kept reminding myself that this was my last race in my twenties and to make it count.

Mile 1 – 7:27

I still had hope in mile 2 but it was starting to get hot and I was already sweating a lot. The pace felt tough. I switched the screen to see lap info (average lap pace) and tried to get back to my 7:14 goal after a small hill at the start of this mile. I didn’t quite get there but it was my fastest mile of the race.

Mile 2 – 7:22

I’m not sure what happened in mile 3. Last year it was my best. This year I felt like I was going to same pace as mile 2 yet my average kept slipping and when I tried to pick up the pace either it was all in my mind or I went really slowly at the start of that mile and the average was taking a while to come down. I switched my Garmin back to the main screen, frustrated. The humidity was also starting to take its toll.

Mile 3 – 7:26

I knew that the hills were coming in mile 4. I also knew that I had very little left in the tank. The thought of pulling back never crossed my mind. I just wondered how much my pace would drop because of the hills. They felt crazy tough. Not bad and not unending but still draining. Somewhere in this mile I knew a PR was not in the cards for me so I switched my Garmin to the clock page but kept racing.

Mile 4 – 7:41

I felt totally spent during the last mile. It was really hard to keep racing. Somehow I kept going. I knew that Matt would be coming back around to push me to the finish and I had no idea how much I would have left. Not that much. I was further away when he caught up to me and though I tried I couldn’t keep up. I was even more at my limit than I was last year. I’m glad he did it though because with that last push I managed to tie last year’s PR according to the Garmin. Official time has me two seconds slower.

Mile 5 – 7:43

I have pushed hard in races before but never gotten to the “I think I’m going to throw up” stage until today. After finishing I had a couple dry heaves but managed to take a few deep breaths, pause and stay still until the feeling passed. That lets me know that I really did leave it all on the course.

While it may not have been my day, Mom did fabulously! (As if that were ever in doubt)
Mom Finishing 12
Not only did she PR with a 41:06 by nearly 30 seconds but she snagged 5th place Grand Masters! (I placed 2nd in my age group, again.)

Traditional Post Race Pic
post-race

Quick word about the race. For the first time, John Lehman (and his timing company) made available scrolling results in the lobby of the church’s activity center as well as labels with name, time and place that can be placed on the bib. I have never seen this done before and think it’s an awesome idea! Also, they had fresh cold grapes, the most perfect post-race refreshment ever.

Post Race Snack
(I did not eat that entire plate. Red grapes are better.)

Quick post-race reflection:
This race confirmed something for me that I’ve been thinking for a little while now. I think, for some unknown reason, that I’ve reached a sort of plateau. I’m not sure what it is but I’m not seeing the results that I had hoped for this summer. Holding the faster paces has been much tougher than I expected. I hope to take some time over the next week or so to figure out what it is and how I can break through. I want to start my 30s off with a bang on July 4th.

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Summer 2015 Week 8 Training Recap

This was a step back week of sorts. I hope this will help come next week’s 8k PR attempt.

Monday easy run with hill intervals
Starting this run was difficult thanks to a rough night’s sleep/wake up. Once I got going I felt pretty good, very little fatigue. Unfortunately, I forgot that some hill intervals near the end were also on the plan for this run. Oops.

Tuesday easy run
Except for the last couple minutes, this was a frustrating run for me. On easy runs I’ve been avoiding looking at my Garmin but ended the run slightly disappointed in my slower pace than expected. When I glanced down about halfway through this run I couldn’t believe how slow my pace was and spent the rest of the run trying to pick up the pace. For a “summer of speed” a lot of my runs have not been that speedy, almost like I was coasting absentmindedly. The pace after I started to pick it up still felt easy which is good. I threw on a sprint at the end just because and felt amazing.

Wednesday recovery run
It took a couple minutes to warm up be after that I felt really good. Solid run.

Thursday stationary bike + rowing machine
stationary bike: I really enjoyed this ride. I kept up the pace and the time went by quickly.
rowing machine: I sprinted with my arms. That is a weird but awesome feeling. I really pushed the pace and came oh so close to 2k. I think this might be the farthest I can get in 10 minutes.

Friday speedwork
These intervals were tough. Some other stuff kept me from getting a good night’s sleep which made me a little sluggish for this run. Other than that it was good. I got it done.

Saturday long run
This run started off a hot mess. Combine not enough sleep with a lingering headache behind the eye and the prospects for a good run are slim to none. It took me a while to get started. The first 10 minutes were rough. I considered bailing but decided to keep pushing through. I don’t know when it happened exactly but somewhere within the second 10 minutes a switch flipped and I started to feel a lot better. The run ended up going really well and I enjoyed the slightly faster pace at the end even though my route at that Point was super hilly. It made it more fun.

Sunday rest
Well enjoyed

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Five Years – a National Running Day Story

Five years ago in the summer of 2010 I started running. I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon that fall. For someone that hated running apart from base-running in softball, this was a big change and completely unexpected, even for me. I had no idea if I would be able to complete the race or not. Thus, I didn’t register until three weeks out.

After that race I never looked back and this National Running Day marks the end of my fifth year as a runner.

It’s incredible to look back over these past five years and try to remember everything I’ve accomplished and what on earth I filled all that free time with before running.

Since Summer 2015, I’ve run 93 races: 39 5ks, 7 8ks, 5 10ks, 28 half marathons, 7 marathons and a few other distances thrown in. I’ve dropped 21 minutes from my first half marathon to a PR of 1:39:07. My marathon PR has gone from 4:59:59 to 3:39:11. Even better, I persuaded my mom to join me in this crazy running adventure and now we have something that we love to do together. (Oh, if she tries to tell you that I’m a lot faster than she is, don’t listen. :) She just crushed a 5k with a time of 23:32!)

I can’t wait to see what the next 5 years brings.

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Summer 2015 Week 7 Training Recap

My legs felt a bit fatigued throughout this week but I finally figured out why and it’s not something to be concerned about. That shouldn’t be an issue next week. :) I mention this only because I begin to sound like a broken record with the recap of each run. Also, I’ve been trying to get over the 40 mile mark for three weeks now and after two weeks at 38.xx came oh so close this week with 39.80. Maybe next week?

Monday: recovery run with some hard intervals near end
Even though my pace was all over the place and slower than I would like (but perfect for a recovery run) I absolutely loved this run. It was one of those runs where you feel like you could keep going forever. On top of that I felt amazing during the minute intervals at hard effort near the end. They were definitely hard but it felt so good to lay down a sprint.

Tuesday: tempo run
My legs were sluggish at the start and pretty tired throughout the run. Even though I was tempted to shortchange the tempo portion I made it through. My stride did feel good though. I managed to find a good rhythm and persevere.

Wednesday: recovery run
I felt better than expected after yesterday’s hard effort. It was still a bit hard especially with the ridiculous humidity but my stride felt really good.

Thursday: stationary bike + Nike Training Club Ab Burner
stationary bike: I really enjoyed this ride. I got into a good rhythm early which helped the time pass quickly.
NTC Ab Burner: Turns out that adding crunches and a plank to daily exercises is not quite enough for toned abs. 😊 I’m pretty sure that I’ll be sore for a couple days. Those Russian Twists were challenging.

Friday: short intervals
My legs were sluggish again at the start. Other than that the run went well. The intervals were tough but doable.

Saturday: long run
Public service announcement: When you trim overhanging branches, dispose of them. Don’t leave them lying on the sidewalk.
About 25 minutes into the run we encountered some of these and Mom wasn’t able to avoid them entirely and down she went. She’s a trooper though. After she got the bleeding mostly stopped on her scrapped knee she kept running! For my own part, once again my legs did not feel very fresh. I’m pretty sure I know what it is and that combined with Friday’s speed work didn’t leave much in the tank. The heat and humidity didn’t help either. Even counting all that this was a pretty good run and I felt pretty good considering. I also tried the new salted watermelon Gu. I was expecting it to be disgusting but it’s actually good enough that I might actually buy some. (I used a gift certificate to get this one.)

Sunday:
Nothing to recap here.

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Summer 2015 Week 6 Training Recap

This was a solid week of training. I’ve been keeping an eye on my knee and I don’t think it’s a problem, thankfully. It’s good to have another solid week of training under my belt.

Monday: recovery run with fartlek
It took a while for me to warm up. I had ambitious plans for the fartlek portion but after the warm up portion I thought better and dialed the speed back a bit. By the end I felt petty good, better than when I started.

Tuesday: tempo run
My legs did not have a lot of get up and go for this run thanks to a long day at work. (Most of the day on my feet and no lunch break) Other than that kind of tired, I feel pretty good. The tempo section was tough but I got it done.

Wednesday: recovery run
I expected to have my legs be more sluggish than they were. That’s a pleasant surprise. I felt strong throughout this run. I avoided looking at my pace and ran by effort. This was a good run.

Thursday: stationary bike + rowing machine
stationary bike: This ride went by really fast. I enjoyed it and threw a sprint on at the end.
rowing machine: I think I might be getting the hang of this. I was able to get into a good rhythm and get a little bit farther than last time.

Friday: interval run
My legs felt really tired throughout this run. I made it through the intervals. Hopefully my legs will be rested enough for Saturday’s long run.

Saturday: long run
When I started my legs were not pleased that I was making them work again. I figured that the entire run would be a slog. However, after a pit stop for Mom the sun was up farther and I felt much better. Running in daylight makes a huge difference. I focused on easy pace which ended up being a slower pace but still okay. Surprisingly, I felt the best during the moderate effort intervals near the end which included massive hill.

Sunday: rest
Nothing to recap here.

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Summer 2015 Week 5 Training Recap

I was so glad to get the mileage back up this week. It helps to not have any races this week. As you will see through some of the following entries I’ve had some weirdness in my left knee which I’m hoping will work itself out for good. (There has been no pain. Just weirdness.)

Monday easy run with a few short intervals near end.
My legs were tired. Plus, this run was mentally tough for me because of the weirdness in/of my left knee. (No pain. Just odd.) Other than that I felt great. ;) No really. Other than psyching myself out mentally this was a pretty good run.

Tuesday interval run
I was a bit nervous about my knee for nothing, thankfully. These intervals were really tough but felt so good.

Wednesday recovery run
I cannot do math on the run. I switched up today’s route to go check to see if the track at the local high school would be available to use on Friday for my truck workout. Apparently it is now open just when there’s someone there to monitor it. Apparently they’ve had some vandalism issues. I understand but still… I did the math for the turnaround point completely wrong and ended up 10 minutes short which was easily solved by a quick five-minute out and back. I felt great on the run itself. Just bummed that I won’t be able to use the track anymore.

Thursday stationary bike + rowing machine
bike: This ride went by very quickly. I especially enjoyed the sprint I threw on at the end to “pass” Mom.
rowing machine: Wow. This is a serious workout. I wondered if I would even be able to make it to 10 minutes. I liked it.

Friday short intervals
These intervals were really fought but definitely doable. I really enjoyed them and felt strong through the cool down, like I could keep going.

Saturday long run
This run turned out way better than I expected it to after yesterday’s tough speed work. As expected, when I started my legs felt like they had little left in the tank. Running at Mom’s pace was a bit difficult. 😉 When she said she needed to walk for a little bit I didn’t mind a bit. I ended up going on and finishing the run on my own. (Today just wasn’t her day.) After pushing on ahead I settled into a comfortable pace and was surprised to see my splits come in around 8:50. I was also surprised at how good I felt considering Friday’s effort and the hot, sweaty weather. Three in a row of my splits were less than 2 seconds apart. For me, that’s a small miracle. I felt so good in the last couple miles that I pushed the pace a bit and felt awesome. I love closing out the training week on a high note.

Sunday rest
Nothing to recap here.

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