Saturday, July 30, 2016

Don't let comparison steal your joy!

I first read this quote on an Instagram post from Sarah Hall, who I really admire as a runner and as a person. Now if a professional runner can run joyfully in that manner, I sure should be able to as well! On one hand, I really enjoy running each and every day; on the other hand, sometimes I am hard on myself because of what I can't do.

This is a conundrum. Racing is about competition, and how can you have competition without comparison? Although I strive to place my best in races and to beat my competitors, ultimately my competition is against myself and improving my PRs. I wouldn't care if I placed dead last if I ran a sub-3:00 marathon! If I don't hit my time goals I am far more disappointed than if I don't win or place; in fact, I've had plenty of disappointing wins because of times. In training, I always compare my times to what I've done before, and sometimes that brings me joy while other times it does steal my joy. 

Although I'm not yet quite sure how to reconcile this, I am definitely going to work on not letting comparison steal my joy. I'm not very good at living in the moment or rejoicing in the present - I'm always thinking ahead - but I think the more I can find joy in each moment the more fulfilled I will be, in running and in life. I shouldn't lose another moment on comparison - with running or with my career, parenting skills, marriage, helpfulness, productivity, possessions, etc. After all, we are all on our own journey and no one person has it all!

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! - Philippians 4:4

Friday, July 29, 2016

I did it!

This workout has been staring me down in an intimidating manner for 5 weeks - ever since I received the training schedule containing it.  It was written as "2 miles warm-up, 8 miles tempo, 5 miles cool-down".  When you have 5 mile cool-downs you really know you are marathon training!  This was a combination tempo workout and long run.

My coach gave me 6:15-6:25 as my goal pace range for the tempo miles, and also said to start slower and speed up if I could.  I've written a few times about his grandiose ideas for my tempo paces, and I've mostly just been hanging onto the top of the pace ranges he has given me.  I had the same pace range for my last 6 mile tempo a couple of weeks ago, and I averaged 6:24 on it so had no delusions of running anywhere near 6:15 pace for 8 miles, and really figured that 6:30 was probably a more realistic pace goal for this run (I could NOT have run 2 more miles at tempo the day I did the 6 at 6:24).

I've felt kind of crummy all week; I think it's been a combination of a hard running weekend (Saturday race plus Sunday 18 miler) in the heat, not getting enough sleep, and the stress of and work of getting ready to leave on an 8-day vacation.  Then when I don't sleep enough I end up eating crappier, so I've been on sugar which gives me a temporary lift, then I feel worse, and then have to reach for more sugar and end up in a bad cycle (and I also feel bloated!).  I did not feel confident about this workout (goal pace or total mileage) - especially considering how I felt on Wednesday (I ran a fartlek that day and wasn't even hitting near 6:25 pace on the "ons", which were only 2-3 minutes!).  So I was feeling a little doomed, but decided that all I could do was give it a try with both the tempo and total mileage, and if I couldn't do part of it or any of it then I couldn't; sometimes your body just can't do it and I am learning to respect that more.

I think having a super short easy run yesterday helped, because I didn't feel awful when starting this run - the first time I could say that this week.  I did my warm-up, which ended up being 2.3 miles, peed and got a sip of water, and started off.  I ran this on the YMCA dirt half mile loop, which sounds awful when you think about 16 laps, but which I love because I get in a really good rhythm and pace well on it without looking much at my watch.  I also think it's a fast course, and I knew that it was probably my only chance to hit my pace goal!  I planned to start around 6:30 pace and knew I would feel fine about this workout if I ended up averaging 6:30, but figured if I felt good then I could try to drop the pace a bit as the run went on and try to sneak closer to the 6:25 goal average.

My first two miles were both 6:30 exactly, and they were okay but I did not feel confident about finishing the 8 miles tempo at that point.  I felt like I was having to push a bit too much to keep my pace there (on a good tempo I usually feel like I am holding back on the beginning miles, especially with a tempo this long).  Mile 3 felt a little better and my pace dropped a bit, and then as I came towards mile 4 I actually started to feel good!  For the first time I thought that I was going to be able to finish the workout! Miles 4-5 were great and I was in the zone, and mile 6 was a little harder but I felt like I had a good chance at keeping it under 6:30 for the remainder.  I looked at my overall pace average, which was 6:27 at that point, and told myself that it was only 2 more miles. "It's like mile 11 of a half marathon!" 

That thought helped me push more and speed up mile 7.  Then I decided to hammer mile 8 and see how much I could take off my average pace.  I was happy to see that I dropped to 6:11, and also quite happy to be done!  I walked for probably 2 minutes and got a drink before starting my cool-down.  I didn't feel too confident about running all 5 miles of it, but again I decided to try!

The 5.1 mile cool-down felt much like I expected it would when I saw this crazy workout on paper, and believe it or not "good" was not the adjective that came to mind!  I felt like I was really slogging, but my pace stayed right around 8:00 or just under, so it was just fine and I got the miles in. It wasn't the easiest but it was manageable. 

My legs are pretty hammered from this, but my next 3 days are pretty light (5 easy miles, 7 base pace miles with strides, cross-train), so hopefully I can recover well - although I will be on vacation which will be a barrier.  I don't have my August training schedule yet (I am expecting it on Sunday - but I know that August 1 will be no running because I never run on Mondays).  I am both excited and terrified to see what it brings! I once read a quote that was something like, "If your goals don't scare you, they aren't big enough", and I guess the same could be said about your tempo paces!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Internal dialogue

I wrote most of this a week ago, prior to leaving for vacation, but nothing like a long car ride home to finish it! I'm sure you other busy women can relate to this, as we females are always multi-tasking!

A small snippet of my thoughts on a weekday evening:

Remember for write down Albani's reading time for the summer reading program.

When are those library books due?

I can't forget to pack the bug spray. Which shoes should I pack for Albani?

I need to cut up that watermelon. 

Do I have strides after tomorrow's run?

Don't forget the school supply list. 

Is the laundry in the dryer finished? I need to put pre-soak on that shirt she had on today. 

Which outfit should I lay out for tomorrow? Where are most of my work appointments (cold or hot location?)?

Did Jon call the pet sitter?

Jon needs the bank statement for the land offer. 

Write down that supervision time with C.

Did I take my vitamin? Did Albani take hers?

Where did Jon put away that coffee cup when he did dishes?

Pack the protein powder with the trip snacks. 

Great new idea for a client at work. 

I need to get to bed earlier tonight.

Don't forget to thank Mom and Dad for Albani's visit. 

Can I feed her pizza again? 

Where's the cat? Is he shut in the closet again?

Do I need to get my oil changed? My tags definitely need renewed in August, and drivers license in October (both a huge pain in Missouri!). 

Bring in paper towels. I should use that Dollar General coupon to buy more. 

Send Hank's birthday card. Do we have $10 cash to put in? I'm writing a check. 

Pack Mom's birthday card.

Did I program my fartlek into Garmin Connect? Why won't my watch sync?

Put sweet potatoes on the grocery list. 

Answer that text from E. 

Did we read today's devotion?

Bandit needs vaccines in August. Does Albani need any vaccines this year? 

Have I bought K's birthday card?

Remember to read the rest of those articles before teaching starts August 22. I think I made more money running in 2015 than I did adjunct teaching. 

Could Jon just put his socks in his laundry hamper?!

Did I wash that compression sock?

I need to check in with M.

All of these things ran through my head in about 5 minutes! It's exhausting to be a female sometimes. Vacation has been great to relax and unwind from some of this, even though it brings its own stressors; but being off work reduces my overall stress! My sweet family is worth it either way. 

This is so us

Sunday, July 24, 2016

My parents are the best!

Albani spent the week at my parents' house and had the time of her life!  Jon and I spent Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon with them as well, and then we left her at Camp Major for the following week.  I think we missed her more than she missed us, although you wouldn't know from the dramatic good-byes and "miss you more"s that occurred!  Being a parent is amazing, and watching my parents grandparent is also the best.

Tubing at El Dorado Lake
Bidding good-bye

She told me they let her have 2 pops -!!!

Water park trip 1

Water park trip 1

Helicopter ride

We will be building another house to contain all that she brought home
Second trip to the YMCA water park!

Because (s)he's racing and pacing and plotting the course

That Cake song is a classic in my book! And I did a little pacing and racing this week, or at least pretended to!

Week in review for July 18-24:

Mileage: 53.3 with one double, one split tempo, one 5K, one long run, one strength bootcamp, and a set of strides for good measure.

Jamie & I before the Bentley 5K ("I'm not going to touch you for the picture" - it was very hot!)
Monday - Cross-training Monday kicked off with 30 minutes of elliptical to warm up and 45 minutes of bootcamp.  We don't run much in bootcamp, which is good because I go on non-running days, but today we did a ladder type thing that included jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, and mountain climbers, with short sprints between sets.  Got my heart pumpin'!

Tuesday - 11.5 base pace miles total with 8 in the morning (7:29) and 3.5 at lunch (7:16).  I always think it's neat to see how my pace fluctuates with slight elevation changes as I maintain an equal effort throughout (see below).  I also love Strava for being able to look at my run data this way! Side note: if you're on Strava, add me!

I couldn't remember if my second run was supposed to be 3 or 4 miles, so I ran 3.5 (it was 3).  After last week my coach told me to slow down my second short runs, and I have never before been one to run easy runs too fast, so I don't know what's happening on these second runs because I sure felt like I was going slower than I was on this one!  First world runner problems. Next week I promise it will be slower than 7:30.

Elevation fluctuations
Wednesday - 10 miles with 2 warm-up, 3-2-1 mile tempos with 0.5 recoveries, 1 cool-down.  My target pace on this was 6:15 and it went very well with splits of 18:41, 12:26, and 6:09.  I liked this workout a lot, because although it was 6 miles of work, the recoveries split it up nicely and also with each repeat being shorter it seemed very do-able to maintain pace.  Full description and splits here.  This was a confidence-boosting workout, and I wish I had it last week so it could actually have helped my 5K race instead of being so close that it could only hurt it.

Thursday - 6.1 miles easy (7:49) with 6 strides in last mile.  My first mile especially was quite a slog, as I was feeling Wednesday's workout!  I felt better as the run went on, as usual, but I was okay with only having 6 miles.

Friday - A day off...which was 10 minutes on the elliptical to maintain the workout streak.  I set my alarm for 7:00 a.m. but woke up at 5:32 a.m. - boo!

Saturday -7.5 miles total - 2.5 warm-up (7:30ish), 5K race (6:12) at the Bentley Fund 5K, 1.8 cool-down (8:20ish).  Jamie talked me into running this one, and I acquiesced because I hoped to hold onto her in the race as long as I could to get a good time, and because the race had prize money.  Since my recent workouts have been tempos and not speed work, I thought that 6:10 was a good 5K pace goal for me - especially considering that this race took place during an extreme heat advisory.  Jamie talked me into trying 6:05 pace, and said the race would be "interesting".  Refer to my response to her and to my actual race splits below!

I knew what I could be in for!

2 miles of racing + 1 mile of giving up + 0.2 redemption sprint
Jamie and I warmed up together and started the race together.  My plan (which she knew about) was to let her set the pace and to not look at my watch.  I seem to do better in 5Ks when I run this way - I think because they are fast and intimidating from the gate. We had another lady, Amy, in the mix with us, and we all three clipped off those first two miles right around 6:05 pace.  Around 1.8 or 1.9, Amy made a move and Jamie and I both tried to cover her, but neither quite could.  At that point we also turned up a long incline (this entire course except for the final 0.3 seemed like incline!).  Going up the incline, Amy pulled out and Jamie pulled away from me.  At the mile 2 mark the gap from Jamie to me was small (2-3 seconds), but it was enough that I'd lost contact.  I wanted Jamie to go with Amy, and I also wanted my legs to go with both of them but they sure wouldn't!

The gap grew a little more and a little more, and I kind of just gave up.  I knew I was going to finish third female at that point, and I was dying.  I didn't look at my watch at all but kind of wish I had because maybe that would have got me going at least a little better than I was during mile 3.  In retrospect I am mad at myself over it, but at the time I don't know if there was much more I could do anyway. I ended up finishing in 19:34.  My Garmin had the course at 3.18, and it's impossible to know if it was a little long or if I didn't run the tangents (there were a lot of turns), or Garmin error was a bit more than usual - or some combination of all of the above.  Even if it was a tad long, there is still no question that I crashed and burned in the last mile!

I think/hope I could have held onto 6:05 pace if it had been 60 degrees and a flat course (and perhaps without the Wednesday workout) - so I will try again.  The 5K knocks me down every time, but darn it, I am going keeping trying to run another one in the 18's before I get too old to try!  My husband tells me that I need to try this not during a 53 mile training week (novel idea, but not sure I can ever justify resting more than 1 day for a 5K).
Sunday - 18 mile long run (7:34).  I wasn't the most motivated to start this run; it was 5:30 a.m., we were still in that extreme heat advisory, I ate a lot on Saturday night, and I was still kind of mad at running and wondering if I should even be marathon training (over my poor final mile on Saturday -- I finally told myself that not even Galen Rupp could run his best 5K off of marathon training, as shown at the Olympic Trials!).  Due to logistics, I also had to run this one solo, but Jon decided to bike part of it with me since Albani was with my parents.  It ended up being about 9 miles alone followed by about 9 miles with him on the bike.

My long run base pace range from my coach is 7:30-7:45 so I decided that I needed the upper range on this run and started closer to 7:45.  My miles stayed pretty close to 7:40 for 14 miles, and I was feeling good at that point so dropped the final 4 to 7:27, 7:17, 7:16, and 6:49, which improved my overall pace average.  I think I was fearful of crapping out at the end of this run, so being able to finish strong and feeling good sure made me thankful.  The miles went pretty fast and I can't believe that I am already up to 18 miles and 11 weeks out from my marathon!

Long run part 1

Long run part 2

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Are workout PRs still PRs?

I'm not talking about comparing training times to racing times, but about comparing workouts to other workouts. We can all use a little more PR in our lives, so I say these can be celebrated in addition to race PRs (and these are easier to come by!)! Garmins aren’t perfect and will always have some margin of error, but comparing one workout on a Garmin to other workouts on a Garmin is close enough for a workout PR for me (as for race PRs, I won’t count them unless they are on certified courses).

Anyhow, the workout I had yesterday was only the second time I had run this sequence, so my chances of a workout PR were pretty good!  I often look at my past times and try to beat them when I’m repeating a workout, but I did not this time because my overall objective was different across the reps (even pacing this time).  The workout was 2 miles warm-up, 3-2-1 mile tempos on the road at 6:15 with 0.5 recoveries, 1 cool-down.

I felt okay going into this workout – not fresh but not exhausted.  It was of course a million degrees with a million percent humidity, but overall I’m a good heat runner so didn’t stress about that.  I ran my warm-up, got a drink of water from the bottle I set on my mailbox, and was off on my first tempo of 3 miles. My pace was pretty even right around 6:15 throughout the first mile and I came through it at 6:14.  I hoped I could maintain that for 5 more miles!  Mile 2 was 6:17, and mile 3 was 6:09 (I pushed a little more on it knowing I would get a recovery after) – for 18:41 for the 3 miles.

My heart rate and breathing were high at the end of the 3 miles, but dropped pretty quickly on the recovery jog.  A half mile was plenty of time, and I was as ready as I would ever be for the 2 mile.  Sometimes I have a hard time getting going again after a recovery jog, but this time wasn’t bad, although I did feel better as the rep went on and negative split with a 6:17 then 6:09 for a 12:26 2 mile.  Then off for another half mile recovery jog.

On paper, the 1 mile at the end of this workout seems like it will be easy – because 1 mile at tempo pace isn’t a big deal – but in reality it wasn’t because I had the cumulative fatigue of 5 tempo miles on my legs.  I felt confident I could run a 6:15 but hoped to make it a little faster, and did with a 6:09.  This meant that my average for all 6 of the hard miles was 6:12.

Last week I had a 6 mile tempo with a goal range of 6:15-6:25, and finished that in 6:24 average.  I can’t currently do 6 miles straight at 6:15 in a workout, but give me a couple of half mile recoveries and I can exceed it.  I know the latter will help me improve on the former.  I liked this workout mentally too, as it was easy to think about maintaining the same pace but running a mile shorter each time.  Also splitting the miles up made it less intimidating than 6 miles straight tempo, particularly since I ran this alone.

I had a feeling that I’d run quite a bit faster this time than the last time I ran this workout, so I looked back at my training log and found it – run back in March 2015 (I remember the weather being nice and cool!), on a course I consider a little faster than what I ran on this time.  My splits then were 19:17, 12:41, 6:13 – so I improved this round with my 18:41, 12:26, and 6:09.  That made me feel good about my recent training, and like I am progressing.  I’ve been getting caught up in kind of feeling like I’m maintaining but not getting faster.  I know I'm not out of shape by any means, but I wasn't sure if I was improving enough to try for a sub-3:00 marathon in October; however, this made me feel like I really am getting more fit. I need a confidence-boosting race to really feel good about things, and hopefully that will come sooner rather than later!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

We can have our cake and eat it too!

Week of July 10-16, 2016

Mileage: 56 with 1 tempo run, 1 double, 1 set of strides, 1 fast finish long run, 1 recovery run that wasn't, and 2 strength workouts

Having chocolate cake & eating it too!
Monday - Cross-training Monday business as usual, with a 30 minute elliptical warm up and 60 minute bootcamp. Usually I have to leave bootcamp at 45 minutes to get to work on time, but today I was going straight to a 8:30 meeting so got to do the whole class! So many lunges!

Tuesday - 8.4 base pace (7:16 average).  This one was a little faster than base pace but it felt good.  I ran with Casey and she seems to make me go faster on easy runs!

Wednesday - 10.1 total:  2 warm-up (7:45ish), 6 tempo (6:24), 2.1 cool-down (8:17).  I couldn't coerce talk anyone into running this with me, so it was a little scary running this long of a sustained hard effort alone.  I struggled a bit with my solo 4 mile tempo last week (averaging 6:17 when my goal was 6:15), and my goal pace range on this one was 6:15-6:25, but I knew 6:15 for 6 miles was not going to happen.  Whenever my coach gives me a pace range, I try to hit the lower end of it, but I think he was overly ambitious with the lower end of this one considering it's summer.  My goal was to start with a 6:30 mile, follow it with 4 miles around 6:25, and end with a 6:15.  My splits were:  6:28, 6:23, 6:21, 6:26, 6:24, 6:19.  Slowing down a little from last week's 4 mile pace definitely helped me cover the additional distance, but this was a challenging workout for sure.  I seem to naturally go to about 6:30 pace on tempos right now, so I really had to focus to keep this a little faster.  My legs were shot by the end of it, and in the final mile I promised myself I didn't have to run the cool-down if I didn't have it left!  But after I walked for a couple of minutes I finished the run as written with a cool-down, even though I felt like I was barely moving.

Warm-up plus tempo (cool-down was separate
due to nearly not running it)
Thursday - 12.3 miles total; 8.2 mile recovery run a.m. (8:08) with 6 strides in the last mile, and 4 miles p.m. (7:13), followed by a short strength workout.  In the morning I was scheduled to run with both Missy and Casey (an actual group run!), and woke up before my alarm to a massive thunderstorm.  After a flurry of super early morning texts, Casey decided to wait to run until later, and Missy and I decided to chance the weather.  I told both of them that I was running at least 4 miles NO MATTER WHAT that morning since I had two runs, but I hoped to get the 8 miles in as planned since it's far easier for me to run 4 miles after work than 8 miles.  Anyhow, Missy and I got it in and got rained on some but nothing fact, it felt really good and was nice and cool compared to most of my recent runs, at 68 degrees.  With the easy pace I felt like I didn't do much of a workout, which was a nice change from my hammered legs after Wednesday's workout.  In the evening I ran at the Y so Albani could go to inflatables during my run, and I think I've done so many speed workouts on that half mile loop (it's the BEST for mile repeats with half mile recoveries!) that it's hard to go slow on it, as my base pace runs on it always end up being a little faster than they are supposed to be.  Jon ran an easy 3 miler while I was running too, so the loop is also nice since we were running different paces but still running together in a sense. After my run I did half a strength workout. 

Friday - 4.1 miles base pace (7:34) with Casey, plus the other half of my strength workout. The weather was gorgeous for July - of course the nicest morning is the one with my shortest run. If I hadn't been scheduled to run with Kim on Saturday morning I probably would have done my long run a day early since it was in the 60s and I was off work!

When I start running at 6:00 instead of 5:00, I have time to take a picture
before leaving the house!
Saturday - 14 miles (7:19) with fast finish, with Kim in Sedgwick County Park in Wichita. I was supposed to do 10 miles base pace (7:30-7:45) then drop 5-10 seconds each mile on the final 4 miles. The final 4 were 7:05, 7:26, 6:54, 6:28 - so they didn't look as systematic as the 7:20, 7:10, 7:00, 6:50 I planned, and I have no explanation for what they ended up being except that Kim and I were talking and I wasn't watching my watch at all closely enough. It was nice to finish in the 6's for the final 2 though - and the final mile was brisk but not kill myself hard, so that was confidence boosting! 

Fast finish 14
The rest of the day Saturday was spent on the lake!

Seems like cross-training to me!
My sweets tubing
Sunday - 7.1 miles "recovery", again with Kim, on the K-96 trail in Wichita.  This was supposed to be a base pace recovery run, but it ended up being faster (7:05 average - a 7:45 first mile followed by 6 miles between 6:50-7:11).  Kim likes to push, and she is also a little faster than me, so this is what happened!  I felt really good though - which was surprising considering Saturday's run plus life activities (we left for the lake around 9:15 a.m. and returned around 5:30 p.m., then I went to a friend's BBQ and didn't go to bed until after 10:00 p.m., which is late for me). I may crash tomorrow!  I think it was good for me to get some runs in in Wichita, as the Prairie Fire Marathon is there and is pancake flat, whereas my usual flattest routes at home are still somewhat hilly because it's the Ozarks!

I've run MANY solo miles over the years, and in the past year I have been blessed to connect with not one but FOUR women to train with (training with women is so much better than training with men for me - sorry guys! - but it hasn't been easy to find women at my pace)!  This week alone I got to run with three of them.  Running in itself is a blessing, but being able to train and socialize with Missy, Casey, Kim, and Jamie has been having my cake and eating it too!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Olympic Trials

Who else loved watching the track and field Olympic Trials?!  I watched more television in the 6 days they were on than I have in the previous 6 months (well, perhaps not quite, as I watched an awful lot of TV while on the spin bike in February when I couldn’t run for 5 weeks!).

I of course enjoyed the distance events the most, although several women I was hoping would qualify did not (Sara Hall, Kellen Taylor, Jordan Hasay, Stephanie Bruce, to name a few).  I was ecstatic that Brenda Martinez qualified in the 1500 m. after getting tripped up in the 800 m. final (I was confident that she would have qualified in the 800 m. had she not been clipped on the final turn so really felt for her).  It was also fun to see a runner from Nixa, Missouri (15 minutes from where I live!) qualify in the 3000 m. steeplechase (Courtney Frerichs).  It was no surprise to see Molly Huddle victorious in the 5000 and 10,000, Emma Coburn win the steeple, or Jenny Simpson dominate the 1500 m.

My favorite men’s moment was Benard Legat winning the mens’ 5000 m. at age 41!  I can’t quite be a big Galen Rupp fan, and I’m not exactly sure why because I do think that he will do well in Rio, but I think it’s something to do with all of the Salazar doping possibilities and also because I thought he was just showing off by running the 5000 m. at the trials with already having Olympic spots in the marathon and 10,000.  Jon and I played a lot of "who's doping" while watching these, which is sad that it has become so common.

I also enjoyed seeing someone I raced against in 2015 in the 1500 m. final (Stephanie Brown).  Not that I was ever actually in the running with her in the race we both ran, but I saw her at the starting line and running away from me in the first mile, and also receiving her overall female award before I went up for my 3rd overall female award.

When we were watching the womens’ 5000 m. finishers come in around 15:00, Jon told me, “You’re only 3.5 minutes off of the Olympic Trials, Sug!”  I laughed so hard…yes, “only” 1:10 per mile improvement on my best 5K time is needed!  That’s going to take more dope than anyone has available!

I was 3rd overall female (way) behind two pros in this one

Sunday, July 10, 2016

All by Myseeeeeellllllf

Week of July 4-11, 2016:

Mileage: 53.3, with 1 tempo run, 1 long run, and 1 double.  All of my runs were solo, which made me appreciate my running partners even more than I already did!

Monday - Cross-training Monday with a combination of spin bike (25 min.), elliptical (25 min.), and strength (40 min. of the basics) at home, due to no bootcamp class on the holiday.  I also slept until 7:30 a.m. by some miracle, so this workout was super late for me!  This workout was my one that wasn't completely alone, as Albani did the elliptical and bounced on the exercise ball for awhile with me in the workout room. We also went to Silver Dollar City on Monday (which should count as additional cross-training) - happy 4th!

There was not enough leg room in this frog
She went on River Blasters without us, as we didn't want to get soaked

Patriotic face paint
Tuesday - 12 miles total, all base and all solo.  8 miles a.m. (7:23) and 4 miles runch (7:19).  Nothing to complain about here.

Wednesday - 10.1 miles base pace (7:28), solo again.  It was extremely sauna-esque for this run even at 5:30 a.m., so I am thankful that I run pretty well in the heat (e.g., I die a little less than most people die).

Thursday -  8 miles total with 2 miles warm-up, 4 miles tempo (6:17 average), 2 miles cool-down.  This workout was meh; not wonderful but not horrible either.  My goal pace was 6:15 for the tempo miles, and I think part of the goal is to run these Thursday workouts with miles on my legs from Tuesday and Wednesday (so that I learn to run better with miles on my legs, which will help at the end of my marathons).  I could feel those miles during my warm-up already during this run, and I could tell I was going to have to work for it on this tempo! 

My first two miles were right on - both exactly 6:15 - but I didn't have pep in my step and I was pushing for that pace instead of relaxing and holding back at the beginning.  The third mile on this course is always the slowest due to a little more uphill, so I fought for a 6:20 there.  Then I tried to drop my final mile to nab my 6:15 average, but all I had left was 6:18. So my total time was 25:10 (goal time was 25:00, but of course I wanted to make it 24:5X).  

It was 76 degrees with 90% humidity, so heat-graded I did fine I'm sure.  But I was a little disappointed because last month my 4 mile tempo on this same course, also in hot conditions, was 6:13 average, and also because I can usually drop my final mile in tempos but didn't have it on this one.  But it could have been much worse! I was supposed to run strides at the end of this run but I forgot...I need a better system to remember these!

Friday - Cross-training Friday, as I alternate running 5 days a week vs 6 days a week, and this was a 5 day week. As my mileage has been increasing, my desire to cross-train has been plummeting! I think it's important for me to keep strength training for injury prevention, and because I would hate to lose all of the strength I've gained (I started bootcamp with 8 lb dumbbells and now I use 20 lb dumbbells!). So, I got it done...all by myself because I had to be at work early so couldn't go to bootcamp, and ended up doing this at lunch (2 lunch workouts in a week = very rare!). 40 minute elliptical to warm up and 30 minutes strength training. 

Saturday - 16 mile long run (7:31 average). I haven't run this far alone in at least a year, so I am pretty sure that also means that I've never run this far at this pace all alone.  I ran two 8 mile courses and that split it up nicely mentally, and allowed me to grab a bottle of water that I left on the top of my mailbox mid-way.  I didn't pay much attention to my Garmin but looked at my splits when it beeped, and was also pleased that I picked up the final 3 miles. During the last mile I did the 6 strides that I forgot to do on Thursday, and this may have made me learn my lesson about remembering them because it was sure harder to get the leg turnover going and to recover between them having run 15 miles already! After this run, I feel like I am officially marathon training. And it officially takes 2 screenshots to get my time and splits in, so it's a real long run - right?!!

Screenshot 1
Screenshot 2
Sunday - 7.2 miles base (7:38). I started off this run feeling like I was running about 8:45 pace (and had no qualms about keeping it easy, whatever that was) - so was pleasantly surprised when my first mile beeped off around 7:45. I have gotten much stronger on my Sunday recovery runs in the past year, as I used to barely slog through 3 miles at 8:30-8:45 on these days!

I am looking forward to running most, possibly all, of my runs next week with running friends again!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July is heeeeereerrrrrrreee!

June 27-July 3, 2016 weekly re-cap:

Mileage: 54.2

We started celebrating the 4th a little early

Monday - HIIT bootcamp + elliptical warm-up (45 minutes each for 90 minutes today).  The usual cross-training Monday!  It would probably be better for me to swim laps than to warm up on the elliptical before bootcamp, because I think the elliptical is pretty much a junk workout, but it's so much more work to swim!

Tuesday - 11.4 miles total.  Tuesday morning track work (details here) that included 2 x 2000 m., 2 x 1000 m. in 7:43, 7:43, 3:44, 3:45 and was 8.3 miles total; then 3.1 miles runch base pace (7:30 average). I ran the second run from my agency's Kansas City-area office and the course was not the best for a shake out because it started with a 0.4 mile uphill, but it was my only route option and was nice to come down the hill at the end. This was my first time running my second run on lunch (1:00ish), after my coach said it was fine to arrange it like this since I start my first run so early. It's a nice option to have on days that work and life make evening runs tricky! I knew that I would not want to run after 3 hours in the car returning to Springfield on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday - 10 miles base pace with 6 x 20 seconds strides in the final mile (7:29 average) on rolling hills (398 ft elevation gain per Strava).  The only reason this run didn't suck was because it was 64 degrees! Traveling always wears on me.

Thursday - 11.2 total, all base; morning 8.1 miles with Missy (7:51) and evening 3.1 miles (7:12).  My 5:10 a.m. alarm awoke me from a very deep sleep, which is usually not the case.  I was pretty excited to wake up at 5:10 instead of 4:50 - but going from a very deep sleep dream to out the door 20 minutes later at 5:30 was not the best start to the morning for me and I felt groggy.  Missy was doing her long run of 20 miles, so I felt a little like a slacker only joining her for 8, but I followed my schedule.  I was tempted to run 11 miles all in the morning so I also wouldn't have to deal with a second run, but I know the mileage is arranged as it is for a reason.  My second run was partially with Jon - he decided to see if he could keep up with me for the first mile and he did! I was not particularly looking forward to this run but felt great once I got started and ran a little faster than I was supposed to...or maybe I just wanted to be done!

Friday - 4 mile shake out run (7:29) + 45 minutes of HIIT bootcamp.  The second day in a row that my alarm woke me from a deep sleep!  It seems that my tired shake out runs always end up looking like progression runs, as I start out a bit tired and tight then loosen up and speed up each mile. 

Saturday - 11.1 mile cut-back long run (7:14)...who runs 11 miles, right?  I wanted to run 12, but I followed my plan.  I ran 2.1 miles to Casey's parents' house, 7 miles with Casey, and 2 miles home.  The pace ended up a little fast because Casey was using this as her weekly tempo run, so I was looking down at the 7:05 and 6:59 miles thinking that it was a little quick, but it also felt great and since it was such a short long run it was still easy.  I was supposed to do 6 x 20 second strides at the end of this but forgot - because I haven't had these at the end of a Saturday run and didn't look at my schedule for details before this run because I remembered that odd 11 and didn't think there was anything else to it. Oops!

"Long" run
Sunday - 6.4 miles base pace shake out (7:34).  I added the strides I forgot Saturday and also went a little over the 6 that was scheduled so I would get over 54 miles instead of 53.8 for the week.  It's the little things!  I also was out the door for this one 14 minutes after waking up to a text from Casey about meeting to run (we'd talked about it on Saturday but hadn't pinned down a time)'s 6:46 a.m.; can I start at 7:00 - the answer is yes!

This is how my cat feels about it all!