Wednesday, May 31, 2017


May in review!

Total mileage for the month: 248.9 (in comparison, my 2017 thus far has been:  January - 261, February - 212, March - 203, April - 219).  My total May mileage wasn't far off what I was doing during my peak marathon training time in January, which surprised me.
  • May 1-7:  54.7
  • May 8-14:  58.7
  • May 15-21:  60.3
  • May 22-28:  53.4
  • May 29-June 4: 51.9
  • May 2:  Track workout of 5 x 600 m with 400 m recovery jogs (3 miles warm-up and 2.6 miles cool-down).  I called this one "Antibiotics Make Me Positive Split".  I was anxious going into this workout, because I knew I wasn't 100% and I hate not knowing what my body will have to give.  My goal range for the 600s was 2:02-2:06, and I ran 2:03, 2:05, 2:07, 2:07, 2:07 -- so it wasn't a success but it also wasn't a flop, with being just 1 second over pace range on 3 of them (and 2:07 is 5:40 pace, so not the worst).  It just felt weird; I felt good enough on the first two, but I felt like I burned through the glycogen in my muscles extra fast -- and I believe that was related to finishing my course of antibiotics on May 1, as taking them made my blood sugar feel wonky.  My arms felt like lead the entire workout, which I blame on heavy arm work at bootcamp the day before.  I also got dizzy during the last repeat, so it was good it was the last one!  Each day, all you've got is all you've got, and I gave it all I had!  You know I hate to positive split though.  I hope I get another go at this one, because I believe that at 100% I could run them all in 2:02-2:04, and definitely 2:06 or under...with a negative split! 
  • May 10:  4 x 1 mile on the road with 0.5 mile recovery jogs (2.1 miles warm-up and 2.1 miles cool-down).  After about 6 weeks of not feeling like I nailed any runs, I nailed this workout!  My mile splits were 5:39, 5:42, 5:44, 5:37.  My goal pace range from my coach was 5:43-5:50, and beforehand I thought 5:50 would be a stretch, but a combination of feeling fantastic and running with someone (Ben) for the first time in years on mile repeats got me started out fast, but also feeling like I could maintain that pace for 4 repeats.  I was SO EXTREMELY happy with this workout and it was a HUGE personal best for me on mile repeats.  The last time I ran mile repeats on the exact same course (solo), I did 5 repeats and my splits were 5:57, 5:54, 5:57, 5:56, 6:02.  I hadn't been happy with that workout and had felt like on a good day I could hit 5:50 on them, but I certainly have never thought I could average 5:40 as I did in this workout.  It was a day so good that I wondered if my Garmin was wrong, bahaha!
  • May 16:  4 mile tempo run (2.3 miles warm-up and 2.2 miles cool-down) in 24:06 via 6:06, 6:04, 6:01, 5:55 (6:01 average).  My goal pace range was 5:57-6:07, and overall I was pleased with this workout and my negative split.  I ran it on a half mile dirt loop instead of my usual road course due to Missy's schedule.  Because of the flooding we'd had a few weeks prior, there were a few stretches where the trail was washed out and the footing was really horrible!  I was glad I was able to keep it in my goal pace range, but I also felt like if I'd have run it on the road I'd have averaged sub-6:00...because, come on, who wants to average 6:01?!  But a good lesson on being less obsessive about times/courses, plus the dirt meant less impact.  After I finished I turned around to meet back up with Missy; she was doing a 6 mile tempo and asked me to "cool down" at 6:40 pace with her.  Based on past history, I'd suspected this request was coming, and in my head I'd practiced saying no, but in reality I found myself saying okay, so my "cool-down" 2.2 miles ended up being at 6:39 pace, which was certainly not a relaxing cool-down.  My tempo pace range has steadily crept down in the time I've been working with my coach, and this is the first time it's started with a 5 -- which is exciting but also super intimidating!  I remembered doing a 4 mile tempo around this time of year in 2016, so I looked back and saw that then I averaged 6:12 on my good course last June (details on Thursday here).  In December 2016, I ran what I called a "break through" tempo on my good course in the exact same time as I ran this one in (details on Tuesday here), so I'm calling this one a solid improvement based on the course difference...but I will get you in 5:59 next time, 4 mile tempo!  I wrote a little more about this workout here.
  • May 20:  Pacing Amy P. on 4-3-2-1 miles with 0.5 recoveries within a 17 miler, under strict orders to stick to her goal pace ranges and not go faster.  The pace ranges were 6:45-6:50, 6:40-6:45, 6:35-6:40, and 6:30-6:35.  This was similar to The Hardest Workout Ever that I've done twice before marathons, but without the 5 mile portion at the beginning.  I knew it was a key workout for her and didn't want to screw it up!  We ran out and back, and the 4 mile portion ended up being into the wind, making 6:50 pace much harder than it should have been.  6:50 felt like about 6:20 pace, and I started questioning if I would even be able to pace the whole workout for her, but when we turned around for the 3 miles it was so much easier.  There was also water over the road in about 10 spots, so we had to slog through that for probably 6-12 steps a pop, and then deal with soaked shoes for the entire run.  My splits on the 4-3-2-1 mile portions were: 6:51, 6:48, 6:51, 6:55/6:43, 6:42, 6:40/6:40, 6:37/6:20.  Under the conditions we had (warm and humid in addition to the wind and water crossings), there is no way I could have started that workout at my marathon pace and finished it at my half pace, so she truly nailed it, and I think she is right on track to break 3:00 at Grandma's next month!
  • May 23:  6 mile tempo run (2.2 miles warm-up and 2.1 miles cool-down) in 36:03.8 via 6:08, 6:09, 6:02, 5:57, 5:55, 5:51 (6:00 average)...err...I guess I will get you next time, 5:59 pace 6 mile tempo!  Since I started at the top of my pace range as instructed (and who am I kidding, I can't start any faster than that anyhow!), I did not realize that I was going to be so close to sneaking under 36:00.  My goal pace range was 5:57-6:10, so I wanted to start at 6:10 and work down to sub-6:00.  I think I pushed the last mile too much, making this workout more like a 5 mile tempo plus a 1 mile anaerobic push, but as I passed mile 4 I was pretending like I was running the final 2 miles of my goal half marathon and that I needed to run the final 2.1 at 6:00 pace to break 1:21.  I love using that technique during tempos and it helps me finish strong -- and I think it in turn helps me in my races.  Like every tempo ever, I felt meh during the first 2 miles, and then kept feeling better and better throughout...until the final half mile or so, when I was ready to be finished, or at least to slow down.  This was my lifetime best 6 mile tempo, with my previous best coming in at 6:09 pace on 12/20/16 (which was the last time I ran a 6 mile tempo) -- although I ran an 8 mile tempo at 6:06 pace on 1/3/17, so really that one was my best of that training cycle.  Anyway, I was thrilled with this run despite wanting 4 more seconds (story of my life, but shouldn't complain!)!  I wrote a little more about this tempo here.
  • May 30:  2 and 1 mile pushes with 0.5 recovery (2.5 miles warm-up and 2.1 miles cool down) with goal pace ranges of 6:15-6:20 and 6:05-6:10, and actual splits of 6:17/6:08 and 6:03.  This was a race-week workout meant to get my legs going but not overly fatigue them, and my coach said to NOT run faster than the goal paces (the 6:08 mile had some decline in it so I'm claiming it as 6:15 effort).  It felt brisk but not all-out, and I was tired from the holiday weekend going in, so I was glad the workout wasn't any longer or faster!
  • Doubles on May 2, 4, 10, 16, 23, and 30.  I'm getting used to having a morning workout followed by a second easy run...funny how my coach sneaks in things like this.  Initially he started me with a second 3 mile run once a week on an easy run day, and it's gradually become 3-4 milers, sometimes twice a week, and most recently doubles started coming on workout days.  He's done the same with taking me from running 4 days a week, to 5 days, to 6 days (and soon to be 7 days).  I haven't had even a minor injury ache or pain when working with him, so his system has worked!  Also funny, those types of changes always scare me at first ("What?  I can't run 6 days a week?!"), then I don't want to give them up ("What? No doubles this week?!").
  • Strides on May 6 (pre-race), 18, and 27 (pre-race).
  • Bootcamp/full body strength training sessions on May 1, 8, 12, 15, 19, 22, 26, and 29 (skipped May 7 due to racing on May 8).
  • Ice bath on May 30, because reducing inflammation was more important than training gains at that point!  I'll do another on June 1 to get as ready as I can for my half marathon on June 3.
Long runs:
  • May 7 - 14.2 miles steady (7:05).  This was a good "normal" long run!  I ran the first 9 miles with Danielle, although she went ahead of me for a couple of the miles because she had a progression run within her mileage for the day, then I picked up my headphones for music on the final 5 miles when I was solo.  I could tell I had a race on my legs from the day before, but overall I felt good enough.
  • May 13 - 18 miles steady (7:11).  I had 16 miles scheduled, but Amy P. was running 20 so I asked to increase my distance to go farther with her, and my request was okayed (I didn't expect it to be)!  Then Amy ended up needing to run her 20 on Friday so we didn't even run together, but I went the 18 anyway, because, well, you know.  I think it will pay off in my upcoming half, as I always run my best halves when I'm doing marathon training long runs.  Missy ran 16 with me, and we had an absolutely gorgeous morning for it!  I felt great overall, but in the final few miles I could tell it had been awhile since I'd run 18.
  • May 20 - 17.1 miles with a workout, as detailed above.
  • May 27 - 12.7 miles total.  Taper taper taper as far as distance goes.  I ran the Iron Horse 5K during this run as a last minute thing, because I just couldn't quite go to the event and not run it (several family members, including my daughter, were running as one of many Ibbetson Memorial Day weekend activities)!  I ran 4.4 miles pre-race, with 1 mile uptempo (6:31), and 5.2 miles post-race, all timed to minimize pauses in running (mainly just to drink, although I still didn't drink enough).  It was stupid sticky warm and humid (75* with 92% humidity), making me glad I only had 12 miles to run!
  • I was a little bipolar this month, swinging back and forth between a little funk and some break-through runs.  I am still having that issue on May 31, vacillating between being excited to race a half on June 3 and wanting to cry because the weather for it is not going to be conducive for a PR attempt (70*, humid, headwind).  I told Jon, "I might as well not even go to the race" after looking at the forecast, but then I told myself to shape up!  That doesn't mean I am not still pouting.
  • Summer is coming fast!  It was sports bra running weather for many of my runs this month (although I ran in gloves in May 25 at 44*!).  And, oh, the humidity!  And wind!  Missouri!  My husband said, "Just forget about any PRs until fall."  Oy! 
  • A highlight run of the month was a 5 miler on May 4, because I paced my friend Amy R. to her fastest tempo ever!  She was slated to run a progressive 4 mile tempo, and I paced her for 7:12, 7:05, 6:57, 6:48 (then finished my final mile in 6:46 because you know I'm obsessed with negative splitting, but this was slated as a base run day and I didn't want to over-do it).  It was so fulfilling to encourage her along the way, and to see her excitement with crushing her goal.  She is in super good shape, because the weather sucked for this run ("feels like" 36*, light rain, and 25ish mph wind -- we kept the wind as a crosswind the whole way but it was still not ideal) and the course we ran had about 100 ft of elevation gain (e.g., flat for our area, but not actually flat).  I also enjoyed pacing Amy P. on May 20, as I wrote about above.
  • On May 19, a Friday runch miracle happened -- Missy, Danielle, and I were all able to get away from work to meet for an easy 6-7 miler (6 for me; I was a few minutes late!).  I'd planned to do 4 runch miles from my office, but this was much better.
  • On May 25 our group had a birthday party run, which I wrote about, with photos, here.
  • I received free professional photos from the Easter Sun Run 10K and 2 mile, and as per usual I disliked all of them!  If you look good in your race photos, you're running too slow, right?!  The acceptable ones are at the end of this post.
  • My coach keeps mentioning increasing my mileage in my CIM build, so that's coming this summer and I'm excited!  The beginning of June will be a recovery period with light mileage, though.
  • We had a lot of family/life events in May as well -- some highlight photos below.  The pictures without the captions are from Memorial Day weekend (the formatting won't cooperate -- it was probably too humid for it to function, bahaha!).
May beauty on one of many greenhouse trips
'Tis the season for outdoor activities
Mothers Day happened this month 
The last day of school also occurred this month
My two babies on the last day of school
Albani attended her first slumber party ever this month!

Easter Sun Run 2 mile start
The photo I love -- my dad taking a picture at the awards!
And one I enjoyed -- I am posing for that photo my dad is taking


  1. I love the picture from Albani's sleepover. That is so cute!

  2. I feel like my running is schizo lately, too. 2017 is being weird.