Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Run that Almost Wasn't

So I think the title gives you the gist of what my day was like.

I woke up this morning and my legs felt dead from yesterdays double sprint workouts. My feet even hurt, never a good sign so I made an instant decision that I would swap today's easy run and tomorrow's rest day. I went on about my day with everything I had to do, but by the time this afternoon came I was feeling pretty bummed that I hadn't run today, and probably wouldn't.

Well late afternoon I noticed it was starting to rain, and I got SO excited, the temperature instantly dropped by more than 10 degrees and it got nice and overcast, perfect for my run. By the time I had changed and walked out the door, there was an epic lightning storm taking place, but luckily it passed and I was able to head out in cooler temps for my easy 6 mile run.

My legs felt dead for the first 5 miles, my pace was slow and felt waaaay tougher than it should have. When Garmie beeped at mile 5 I just took off, I was so happy to have only 1 mile to go, and wanted it done as fast as possible. I managed to nail the last mile in about 9:10 which was waaay faster than the first 5 and pretty close to my goal half pace, so not bad to get that mile in too.

6 miles in 57:12 or 9:32 average pace, you can obviously see my slowness for the first 5 compared to mile 6.

Tomorrow is a rest day, and a day off with nothing to do. I am hoping for a beach date with a friend and maybe a little shopping!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beat Up Legs

Happy Hump Day! We all know Wednesday follows suit of many of the runners out there, and that would be the track.

Whatever was up with my calves yesterday seems to have gone away, which was much appreciated this morning. I had 800s back on the schedule again, and I had some new times I wanted to hit.
planned: 4x800 with 400RI and 1600.  Goal Time 800s- 3:58, 1600-8:00

Actual times: 3:58, 3:57, 3:54, 3:55, 8:03

I had nothing left for the 1600, and am actually shocked I was able to get anything under 8:30 for as dead as I felt by the time it rolled around. I was pleased with the 800s the first 2 actually felt much harder than the last 2, I think it just takes me a few to get used to the pacing I need to implement. I got my run in nice and early today, unlike yesterday, and it felt so good, to be up, moving, and accomplished before 7am. I felt great immediately afterwards, but after a couple hours my legs started to feel a bit beat up: knots popping up, stiff joints, tight muscles, pretty characteristic of a Wednesday.

I also had a hot date schedule with my favorite spin-partner for 5:30 tonight. Liza and I agree that this is our favorite spin instructor by far, and she was the second person to beat up my legs today. She was all about the sprints and jumps today, I should have known better doing sprints this morning, and then getting more thrown at me again.

As usual, I was sweating buckets during spinning, even more than usual, even more than my 90 degree outdoor runs. I hopped off the bike and my legs just seized up for the 2nd day in a row, boo :( Lots of stretching later, my legs are feeling a little better, but still pretty assaulted.

1 more easy 6 miler and my big 15-miler this weekend!!! I am heading into birthday weekend central, it starts Friday with my mom, Saturday is my grandmother, Monday is John's birthday, Tuesday is my sister Brooke's birthday, and Wednesday would be my grandfather- this is always the craziest week of my year!

Does everyone else's family have 1 month out of the year where everyone has a birthday or anniversary??

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Calf Issues

Today is Tuesday, and what is normally a calm and relaxing day, was insanely busy and non-stop. Coming off my 2nd night of very little sleep, I could not muster anything to face the humidity for 8 whole miles, so I whimped it out and hit the treadmill a little before lunch.

8 miles done in the beautiful climate controlled atmosphere sounded great, but I was having mondo calf issues. I have never ever in all my years of physical activity had muscle cramps, but there is a first time for everything. The cramps were in my upper calf almost in the crease where my knee is. Cramps were striking at all times, sitting down, while running, just walking, it was not fun. I took the opportunity to roll them out this afternoon and they were full of knots. I hope those were the culprits and that I have destroyed them because they are not welcomed! Have you ever had muscle cramps, any advice???

Due to said cramps, my run was pretty mediocre, and I am ok with that, not every run can be perfect with negative splits. I managed 8 miles in 1:16:28, or 9:33 avg pace. I am really happy to have my 2 longer/harder runs for the week done and I feel like I am literally running downhill into my long run thus weekend.

I love that I unknowingly was so strategic in making this training plan, I think it will be fitting in great with me new upcoming schedule!

Tempo Monday

Happy Tuesday morning all, I am super behind this week already. Only 1 day in and I can't keep things straight.

So I woke up Monday with my most challenging tempo so far staring me in the face- 6 miles with 4@ 8:30 pace. I have never done more than 3 miles in a tempo thus far, except when I make my long runs into a tempo, but the paces there are much slower.

I have had plenty on my mind over the last week, and all my runs have just flown by since I seem to have been preoccupied the whole time, and today was no exception.

By the time my warm-up mile was over and I picked up my pace, I was completely in the zone. While challenging, I still feel like I could be challenging myself more, and will keep that in mind for the coming weeks. I felt great the whole run, and was really happy with another solid tempo.

6 Miles- 52:57, avg pace 8:49
Mile 1-  9:45
Mile 2-  8:30
Mile 3-  8:32
Mile 4-  8:24
Mile 5-  8:27
Mile 6-  9:19

I have 8 easy on deck for today, and with 2 awful nights sleep in a row, I am thinking it is a late night run, or possibly treadmill day. We will see!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Finally Mastered the Cross Training

As the weekend is coming to a close, I am getting excited for a new and exciting week ahead.

Today I finally addressed the big nagging hole on my training schedule that is Sundays. It is listed as a rest day or cross-training day, but with everything that has been going on I have only managed to get in minimal activity on the last few Sundays.

John and I made it out to my favorite trail for a long bike ride this morning. It was a little warmer than I had expected but biking creates such a bigger breeze than running, so as long as we were moving, it was bearable. Despite the fact that my legs were a little tired from yesterday, but we managed to keep a steady pace for the whole ride. We stopped once at mile 16.5 for a snack and then got moving again before it got any warmer. The trail was quite crowded today, so I spent much of my ride drafting behing John and saving my legs for the big hills at the end.

We rode 29 miles total in 2:01:58. I actually felt like going through the long bike ride was really good mental preparation for my long runs, using the same strategies of breaking it into pieces and counting passers-by. Using a different muscle combination loosened up my legs after yesterdays run and left me feeling accomplished today. I think I have mastered the art of cross-training and the benefits of both recoving and preparing for the next workout, I hope to make early Sunday bike rides as instilled in my schedule as my Saturday morning long runs.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

2x6 = 12 Miles

It's the weekend!!! We have had a busy day, but lots of fun so far. As every other Saturday, I got up to do my long run this morning, even though it wasn't so long since it was a cut-back week.

Last night I had planned to do 4 miles easy, 4 at my new goal marathon pace, and 4 10-15 seconds under goal pace (close to half marathon pace). Well for whatever reason I tossed and turned last night having 2 running related nightmares: 1 involving a missed alarm clock, and another that included a creepy follower. Needless to say I didn't actually need my alarm clock this morning, and spent the entire hour before heading out evaluating my strategy. Since my dream with the creepy follower, it made me nervous to try my new route today, so I opted out of the new route until next weekend.

Since I changed my route plans I knew I would be taking a small break at mile 6 for a gummi snack and water refill so I decided to break it into two 6 mile runs, and only focus on that 6 miles only. Since I did that I opted to change my pace strategy to 4m easy, 2M half marathon pace for the first and then 4m goal marathon pace, 2 m half marathon pace. This run was challenging in a good way, since I knew the distance was no trouble I wanted to focus all on pace today, and that is what I did.

12 Miles- 1:52:49, 9:24 avg pace, 172 avg HR
Mile 1-  9:53
Mile 2-  9:45
Mile 3-  9:40
Mile 4-  9:32
Mile 5-  9:11
Mile 6-  9:08
Mile 7-  9:29
Mile 8-  9:26
Mile 9-  9:22
Mile 10- 9:16
Mile 11- 9:07
Mile 12- 9:01

After last week with 9 miles at/under my original goal pace of 9:40 I decided that I should be shooting for goal pace miles at/under 9:30 and my half marathon pace at 9:09. So I had 4 easy miles that were much faster than my normal easy miles which I liked, I hit 4 under my goal pace, and 4 at half marathon pace, so I was super happy since all I wanted to do today was run fast!

I finished feeling spent, but it left me feeling really good about all my fall races. With 13 weeks still to go, I hope I can builid up my endurance enough at this speed to meet the goals I have in my head. With my first cut-back week behind me now, I am excited for the next few weeks building back up and getting to new places.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Busy Busy Thursday

It's the weekend here, and I am super excited to see the weekend after a super busy week. We have a lot on our schedule for the weekend, so it should be interesting to see how it all pans out.

I will start by saying that today is a popular day to be born. A very Happy Birthday to my little brother Richard and to Jesse! July Birthday's are the best ;)

Yesterday was my last easy run for the week, I had 6 miles on the schedule, but when the alarm went off at 5am I knew there was no way I was getting up. My calves and shins were so tight and my knees were stiff from the speedwork from Wednesday, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

Since yesterday was a late day for me, I ventured out for my run about 8am, not my smartest idea, but I figured I didn't have to kill it. Even though my legs seemed to warm up to the run suprisingly quickly, my head was just not in it. The temps didnt really bother me, I just felt like I was on auto-pilot and that was not enjoyable for me.

I cut the run short and did 4.1 miles in 37 minutes, and actually ended up running the 2 I missed this morning on my rest day because I wasn't feeling very restful ;)

Last night after all my other appointments I ventured over to Casa Colston to check out their newest addition and celebrate another summer Birthday

The outdoor bar is the newest addition to the Colston house, and made for a fun evening last night :)

Due to the above mentioned outing, I got home quite late last night and am dragging a bit today. I am going to conserve my energy as much as possible today, I am hoping to get in 12 very quick early miles tomorrow before we get our busy weekend started!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Some Race Confidence

Happy Hump Day, I made it out to the track this morning to get in my speed workout instead of on the treadmill like I normally do it, and to be honest, it was pretty great.

I had 3x1600 on the schedule, and I knew that will 1600s plus being outside I would not want to do recovery intervals so I did a nice 2 mile warm up at a 9:35 pace and then got down to business.

The goal was three 1600s at 8:00 or below with 3 minutes rest in between. I had some serious ambitions here since I have a short distance race series coming up, and I want to be able to drop my goal pace for my next 1600 workout in a few weeks.

Actual times were 7:58, 7:53, 7:56 - I was super happy to put up that 7:53, and I was spent during the last one, so pleased to come in under pace again. I definitely will be adjusting all goal times for my next few speed workouts to push a little harder.

Other than random speed workouts with 1600s thrown in, I have never gone out and raced for just a mile, but in 3 weeks there is a 1 mile race as part of a 3 race series I am participating in.

Day 1, 7:30pm- 4 mile beach run
Day 2, 7:30am- 5k
Day 2, 4:30pm- Mile Sizzler (no kidding!)

The race is called the Tour-de-Pain and is 3 races in 24 hours in the lovely August heat. I am pretty confident I can run the first 2 at reasonable times without any trouble, but for some reason I have been panicked abotu the mile race. Partly because it is last and I fear my legs will be dead, and partly because I am not great with just racing for 1 mile, it normally takes me longer than that to get warmed up.

Today's 3x1600 gave me some confidence going into this race in a couple weeks, I hit my 3rd repeat still under 8 minutes today which is my goal for that race, anything under 8 minutes at that point I would consider an accomplishment. I am going to add a final mile to the end of next weeks speed workout too, just to reinforce the "run a mile super fast when your legs are exhausted".

1 last weekday run tomorrow, I am already excited for my "shorter" long run on Saturday, I am trying a new route and that is always fun!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ten Things Tuesday

1.  Tuesday = easy day, but it also = Stephanie overslept day, whoops! I needed the sleep, and decided I would not miss 1 second of running in the heat.

2. I headed to the gym around lunch time, since I was on the treadmill and it is easier I decided I would push a little harder than normal for an easy day and ran the last 2.5 miles at half-marathon pace, felt great!

3.  Today's schedule called for 7 miles. Did 7 miles at 1% incline, 1:05:20, or 9:20 average pace

4. I do have a half planned for 3 weeks before the marathon and I have a lofty goal of running a sub-2:00. I have kind of over-looked this race, just assuming marathon training would give me enough endurance that I could speed up for 13 miles. I guess I really should keep my focus on only 1 race at a time, how do you juggle 2 races with time goals like that?

5. Getting in those few miles at my goal half marathon pace was a confidence booster and got me to thinking that I should probably do that during one of my easy runs each week, or even my long run if I have the energy, that couldn't be that harmful right?

6.  I took the pup on a longer 3 mile walk this afternoon and it was uber-hot! I know it has been hot for weeks, but I kind of forget about it since I run before dawn and spend all day inside. As rediculous as it sounds, it makes me happy to have my summers on the coast in Jax where we at least have a breeze rather than my previous land-locked Gainesville.

7.  I do consider myself a bit of a freak when it comes to the heat. I have gotten questions from runner and non-runner friends about how I deal with the heat, and I don't feel like I can ever give good advice. Here's why: I grew up in the hot and humid state of Florida so living through and exercising through 90 degree temps with equal humidity is nothing foreign to me. For years I played and coached in gyms with no a/c and used to run stadiums with my best friend in the summer sun. I have never before changed my plan because it was too hot/sunny/humid, I just learned to work through it since there was not really another option.

8.  I say all the above because to run in the dark in 77-81 degrees is actually pretty nice for me, the humidity sucks sure, but for an already sweaty person what's a little more sweat.  Am I praying for the fall, cooler temps, and no humidity? Absolutely! But I can handle the summer I think better than most just because I have handled it my whole life, and that I love running in the heat, but it doesn't really bother me too much. My recommendation to those struggling with it, I guess would be run in the dark when possible, drink more water than you think you need, and don't be afraid to use the treadmill when it really is just too hot to run- it will be come August!

9.  Onto a weekly dose of new aches and twinges- The outside of the ball of my foot (does that make sense) has been painful for a few days (almost as if I had been wearing a too tight pair of pointy toe heels- which I have not). I hate to do it again, but I think it may still be the shoes. I never exchanged them, and haven't had any issues with blisters since then, but the ball of my right foot (just above where the nasty blister was) has been hurting and I can't figure out why or what to do about it, besides switch to new shoes.

10.  I have actually already ordered my next pair of shoes which I have tried on probably a dozen times, but since I have had asics the stoer recommended I stick with the brand since I hadn't had any problems, well now there is a problem and they will be no more. I was trying to get this pair to the 300 mile minimum since they are still new, so hopefully the foot twinge subsides, and I can put in another 5-6 weeks on these before switching.

Mile repeats on deck tomorrow- should be interesting, Happy Tuesday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

96 Days

Happy Monday Everyone, Welcome to week 5!

Something crazy that I realized today when calendar arranging is that there are only 96 days left until the marathon, that's like 3 months, not so far away when you are looking at less than 100 days!!! I have been working over the weekend to put together our calendar for the fall. I am one of those nerds that is obsessed with building calendars and schedules (in case you hadn't noticed already) and we have a lot we are trying to squeeze into the September -December months.

So today, first day of week 5 marks my first cut-back week. I spent the last 4 weeks on a gradual mileage build-up, mostly getting used to the schedule and building my long runs back up, this week will be a very slight cut-back (only my long-run has been cut) and next week I jump into some new territory- weekly mileage in the 40s and each long run will start to become a new distance record for me (14miles is the farthest I have run). I am really excited to break into the uncharted waters, I think it will help make the whole training thing seem more real. I have also been updating my pace expectations for many of my runs, I hit a point this weekend where I think it needs to be adjusted.

Well Today is Monday, and rather than do the progression run that was on the schedule, I decided to do the tempo that got messed up last week. I find tempos more effective anyways because I feel like all my easy runs accidently turn into progressions anyways. So 6 mile tempo, with 3 miles at 8:35, and rather than making it an even warm-up and cool down, I did 1 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool-down since I seemed to struggle with the cool-down last week after my track workout, figured I better become an expert at running when tired.

6 miles- 53:49, avg pace 8:58
Mile 1-  9:30
Mile 2-  8:34
Mile 3-  8:31
Mile 4-  8:25
Mile 5-  9:20
Mile 6-  9:29

I was really happy with this run, like REALLY happy! The tempo miles felt great, not too challenging, just enough, and I could have pushed more on the cool-down, but I just let it be. This is one place where I have made adjustments to my goal paces from here on out, I am really hoping that pushing myself during these tempos will result in faster times everywhere.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

14 miles on Nastiness

Happy Weekend! I woke up this morning with 14 miles to tackle, and to be honest I was dreading it when I first got up. Where I would have to run to be able to get 14 miles with an out and back was not ideal and I was less than thrilled, so John made a suggestion that I ended up following. I did my favorite easy 10 mile out and back and then would go back out to do the last 4, so the run was broken into three parts 5/5/4.

Since I wasn't quite sure how I would feel turning around to log 4 more after arriving back at the start with 10 miles done I decided to make sure I could get my goal pace miles in. The schedule had 14 with 5 at goal pace, so I decided I would do the first 5 easy, next 5 at goal pace, and the last 4 with whatever I had left. BRILLANT idea!!! I have made the elected decision from now on to structure all long runs like this.

From the minute I stepped out the door, the weather was nasty! 81* with 90% humidity and that was at 5am, I knew it would be a humid hour and a half until the sun started to come up and mellow it out. To say I was dripping with sweat would be an understatement, I was sweating everywhere, I could have wrung out my clothes at any point and filled up a water bottle. I feel like the extreme sweating that comes with the nasty weather is the worst part of it, I can handle the temps and even the humidity, but I feel so gross running with sweat dripping from everywhere, down my arms, legs, and into my eyes. Hopefully we will have a short summer weather wise and I am yearning for the day when fall moves in. But despite our nasty morning here I managed to rock my 14 mile run despite the choppy route I had to use, and was able to hit 9 out of 14 miles at (really: under) goal pace!

14 Miles- 2:14:50, avg pace 9:37
Mile 1-  9:58
Mile 2-  9:59
Mile 3-  9:50
Mile 4-  9:54
Mile 5-  9:47
Mile 6-  9:36
Mile 7-  9:23
Mile 8-  9:35
Mile 9-  9:21
Mile 10-  9:27
Mile 11-  9:35
Mile 12-  9:33
Mile 13-  9:27
Mile 14-  9:25

I made a deal with myself after last weekend, No more miles over 9:59! I get beyond annoyed seeing 10:xx pop up in my lap stats. I am more than capable of running under a 10 minute pace, so I needed to focus.

I was SO happy with this run, as planned I did the first 5 miles easy, and they felt great, the next 5 I was easily under goal pace (9:40) for all of them, and could have pushed more but remembered I still had another 4 miles to go- oh yeah, duh! The last 4 I had little expectations for, but to stay under 10, well when I saw mile 11 under goal pace I decided I needed to hit pace for the last 4- no questions asked. I finished feeling strong and that I could have kept going, maybe not at the same pace, but if I had needed to, I could have.

To be honest I feel better physically after this run than I have after my 12 and 13 miles runs recently, no overwhelming stiffness or soreness, just a few little twinges. I think a lot of it had to do with a more consistent pace, I wasn't trying to increase my speed by 30 seconds per mile just at the end, I only had slight increases to make, and my legs were already warmed up to those speeds. As mentioned before I think this will be the key for me, starting my goal pace miles earlier in the run. I think its easier to stay at or around goal pace in the last few miles if you have already put in several miles at that pace, rather than trying to make a huge jump at the end. And if for some reason I can't hold the pace the last mile or 2, I still would have gotten in more than enough miles at goal pacee.

So my 2 new rules for all future long runs are as follows: No miles above 9:59 and start goal pace miles earlier, it will be easier to maintain.

Hope everyone else had good long-runs today, off to enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Toy

It's almost Friday!!!! Finding motivation for the last easy weekday run on Thursday's is not the easiest, but I managed to get my butt out the door first thing this morning for my run.

I was in for a special treat today since I was itching to try out my newest toy! I decided to try out my new SpiBelt that came in earlier this week.

Worked great, sat exactly where I wanted and didn't budge! I can't believe I didn't get one sooner!
So another fun fact about today's run was the rain. It was tapering off just as I was starting and the slight drizzle plus 75* temps made for a fabulous run, and I found paces that I thought had been permanently lost from my easy runs.

6 Miles- 55:11, Avg pace 9:11, Avg HR 162
Mile 1-  9:43
Mile 2-  9:27
Mile 3-  9:21
Mile 4-  9:19
Mile 5-  8:51
Mile 6-  8:30

If nothing else this made me SOOO excited for fall. I was afraid that even 4 weeks of marathon training had hindered my ability to naturally run quicker, but it seems it has just been the weather slowing me down. I started easy and comfortable and finished easy and comfortable, I was shocked to keep seeing my pace keep dropping so consistently, but I felt great and it was a perfect confidence building easy run.

Here is today's cute Peachie Picture, she was reading today, attempting to stimulate her intellectual side!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mission Accomplished

Happy Hump Day! If you haven't memorized my schedule by now, then you should know today was speedwork Wednesday. I wokeup feeling good and ready to get my run in this morning.

On the schedule was 4x800 with 400 RI and hit 5 miles total. I have read all the good details about doing Yasso 800s, but considering my hatred for 800s in general I decided I would do 800s every other week and build up from 4x800 to the final 10x800 two and a half weeks before the marathon. Typical Yassos have rest between each interval so I am (naively) hoping that by actually running my recovery intervals, that by the time I do a true 10x800, it will be tolerable and give me an accurate estimate of finish time- we will see.

So today was my first week of 800s and I was hoping for each interval to get 1 second faster than the previous.

Projected Times- 4:00, 3:59, 3:58, 3:57
Actual Times-  3:58, 3:59, 3:56, 3:55

I am ok with the first 2 being inverted, and am happy to have them all under 4:00 and especially liked that I was able to pick it up on #4, I actually felt really strong through all 4, suprising, maybe I am starting to hate 800s less...or maybe I am not pushing hard enough.

I did a 1 mile warm-up and cool down to get in my 5 total miles in 46:00. I headed to go get in some serious stretching and rolling after I finished. I am happy to report I will not have to rely on the gym foam roller much longer, I ordered my own last week and even though it is now merely 3 hours away, it will still take another 4 days to get here!?!?! Oh well, I am happy to be getting my own so I can roll around like a weirdo whenever I want :)

Tomorrow is an easy run and I am super excited for it, especially after the fabulous easy run I had yesterday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Running Ponderings

Mixing it up here for a Tuesday, but I have a specific wondering in mind.

I got in my scheduled easy 7 miles today, and I was loving just mixing it up, setting my own pace and changng my speed when I wanted to, I just loved my run today, it was perfect, rejuvenatng, and exactly what I needed.

7 miles- 1:06:09, 9:27 avg pace

So after almost 3 1/2 weeks now I have started to see some effects of marathon training.

Hunger: I have heard both sides of the hunger debate, some people who are just ravenous as they increase their mileage during training, and people who seem to lose their appetites as the mileage creeps up. For better or worse I seem to have fallen into the latter, I have little to no appetite after finishing my runs and it takes almost an hour before I even feel hungry which is unheard of, especially in the morning, but I have just not been hungry. Yes I am eating, and am tracking what I eat ( I have done this for a while) but I find misled now making sure it's enough rather than too much.

Sleep/energy: perhaps due to the issues addressed above I have been craving sleep. I normally am a pop out of bed type person, but I have hit the snooze button countless times in the past month, and find myself wanting to turn in super early too. And while I am getting a normal amount of sleep, I also find myself more worn out on certain days, instead of my normal go-go-go self I have been lazy and leghargic-boo. I typically feel fine during my runs and have the strength and energy to hit everyhing.

Now I will say this is certainly not every day or all the time, but enough that I have noticed. For those who have done this before, is this normal, is there something I should be doing differently???

Monday, July 12, 2010

Running off the Ick

Happy Monday all, hope your week is starting off nicely. I went MIA yesterday in all aspects. I started feeling icky Saturday night, and it carried over into yesterday, since I felt so bad I opted out of cross-training and just laid low all day. The highlight of Sunday was going to Happy Cup for self-serve frozen yogurt. They had 2 new flavors that were AMAZING, I think the tart banana flavor was my favorite.

So I woke up this morning still feeling icky, it was almost like a permanent knot in my stomach or something, I don't even know why. Well I couldn't get moving this morning to get to run before an appointment this morning, so I just lounged some more, I was feeling pretty lazy. After the appointment I headed home for lunch, and then mustered up the energy to run. I did give myself permission to cut the run short if I felt bad, especially since it was 6M with 3 @8:35 pace, and I just wasn't feeling it.

I am very proud of myself for getting in all 6 miles, but only 1.5 miles were at the 8:35 pace. I finished 6 miles in 55:21 or 9:13 average pace, I made myself keep the easy miles around 9:10 to make up for the shortened tempo portion. I figured out the math afterwards and if I had done the scheduled paces the whole way, there would really have only been about 60-90 seconds faster because my easy miles would have been slower, so I felt like it was still a successful run, I am not going to go crazy and try to make it up tomorrow, I will just make sure to hit my paces next week.

After my run, I felt a hundred times better and finally my productivity kicked in and I was able to plow through my to-do list. I am hoping for a good night sleep tonight and feeling back to myself in the morning!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Friday and a Half Marathon

Happy Saturday morning bloggies! I got busy yesterday so here is an update on the last 2 days.

Friday:  I woke up Friday morning with another run on the schedule, I am so ready to be back to my normal schedule next week! It was an easy day and my lowest mileage run of the week- 5 easy miles.  I also got the chance to wear my new running skirt! John bought me my favorite style running skirt, but in blue- perfect for football season. I am still comtemplating the orange, but was super excited for new running clothes!

Well the 2 hard days in a row left my legs feeling dead and even easy miles were a struggle, like a real struggle, but I had to get them done. Getting back was actually harder than going out, the whole thing actually felt like the last 5 miles of the longest of long-runs, leaving me very nervous for my long run on Saturday. But 5 miles done in 49:18, blah- Oh well another run on the books.

Saturday:  The alarm went off at 3:57am so I could get up and ready for my long run. I woke up pretty tired, but my legs seemed ok which I was thankful for. I made it out the door a little before 5am with 13 miles to tackle, and hopefully the last 4 at goal pace.

Unlike my 12 mile run 2 weeks ago, I felt strong this morning, easy miles felt easy, and 13 miles seemed so easily attainable- the way it should be. I was doing a 6.5 mile out-and back with my water refilling stop at mile 8, so I told myself that I would do the last 5 at gmp. Well the first few were slow and easy, not too crazy hot (78* felt like 78*~that never happens, 78% humidity) it actually turned out to be pleasant summer running weather, there was a nice breeze too. I made it to mile 6 and then needed to use the bathroom so I tried to pick it up as much as possible to get back to the mile 8 point to use the bathroom and get some water. I actually ended up doing the last 6 on pace, so I was pleased with that, and even more so to see that I was under pace on several miles. Of course you can't do a 13 mile run without running to 13.1 to make it an even half marathon, so I went until 13.1.

13.1 Miles- 2:09:13, avg. pace 9:51, avg hr 168
Mile 1-  10:12
Mile 2-  10:08
Mile 3-  10:06
Mile 4-  10:11
Mile 5-  10:06
Mile 6-  10:09
Mile 7-  9:54
Mile 8-  9:40
Mile 9-  9:42
Mile 10-  9:28
Mile 11-  9:39
Mile 12-  9:31
Mile 13-  9:16
.1-   :58

I felt so much better after this run than I did 2 weeks ago, I hit the miles I wanted at goal pace and then some, and I probably could have pushed harder, but after a hard week I was pleased with the effort I still had to make this happen. An ice bath was in order today, my left hip has been feeling weird (not sure how to describe it) so I figured ice was a good idea. 14 miles on deck for next weekend, and I can't wait! I have no plans this weekend so I think a visit to the beach is in order!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Speedwork makes me feel fast :)

It's almost the weekend, I hope everyone is as excited as I am.

Today I had my speedwork on deck which was putting 2 hard days in a row, I was a little nervous about how my legs would fair considering how heavy they were yesterday, but them seemed to fair well.

I needed to get in some speedwork as well as a total of 6 miles today, but I didn't want to go too overboard with my intervals since I still have 2 more days on.

I did 6x400 with 400 RI and finished with an 800 plus 2 more 'easy miles' at the end. All 400s my goal time was 1:53 and 3:58 for the 800.

My times were- 1:53, 1:53, 1:52, 1:51, 1:51, 1:49, 3:55 - I stayed focused today and didn't try and get too crazy. With warm-up + recovery all that totalled to the first 4 miles, so after that I set out on an easy out-and-back route to get in the last 2 miles.

I had planned for a pretty easy 2 miles, especially since it was over 90* at that point, but I was suprised how easily my legs fell into an easy 9:05 pace after all that, it felt good after some slower runs recently.
Mile 1 - 9:06
Mile 2- 8:45

Today was 6 miles in 52:27, avg pace 8:44 - I love seeing that! I have done tons of stretching today as well as some core work the last 2 days.
I am wearing my new skirt for my easy run tomorrow morning :) See you Friday!!!

Double Workout Wednesday

So yesterday was a busy day, so busy I didn't get this up until today.

I had my 6M progression on board yesterday which I did yesterday morning. Despite having the day off on Tuesday, my legs felt heave the whole time yesterday.

I had planned for the 6 miles to look like this: 9:30,9:15,9:00,8:45,8:35, 8:30
The heavy legs played a factor, but I still felt like it was an accomplished run : 9:35,9:13,8:57,8:50,8:42, 8:29

Last night I met Liza for 5:30 spinning, I love the 5:30 instructor she is awsome! She kicked my butt, literally.
It felt good to get in a double workout after a random mid-week day off, but I still have a lot left to go this week: Speedwork Today, Easy run Friday, Long on Saturday. Hopefully next week I will be back to my normal schedule.

Back later with todays update!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

10 Things Tuesday- Home

1.  I hope everyone had a Fabulous 4th of July weekend, We had a great time and arrived home just before rush hour today. Peachie was Super happy to see us, and has been going crazy with the new toy we had brought home for her.

2.  Saturday John and I went out for a VERY windy 20 mile bike ride, and I also opted for a short and easy 3 mile run to make up my missed mileage from the week, and keep my legs loose since I was still contemplating a 5k on Sunday. The 3 mile run was easy, a steady 9:30 pace, it was a fun way to see a few new parts of the island that I had yet to explore.

3.  Sunday morning I opted to skip the 5k and decided to sleep in. I also completly ditched my 5 mile run I needed to do that day. I just didn't have it in me to head out in the mid-day heat, so I made an executive decision that 1 easy 5 miler would not break my training in the end- but I do still feel guilty.

4.  My birthday was yesterday, it was great! I got some cute new running clothes and had my 2 fav desserts, Key Lime Pie and Cookie Cake :) I need to get back on track with my normal eating, I feel like I have been on sugar-overload for days!

5.  I did get in my 6 mile scheduled run on Monday, but it had been raining all morning. I managed to get lucky and sneak out during the only non-rainy part of the morning. I kept my route pretty close to the house incase it started to rain again, but I was able to finish 5 of the 6 miles before it started raining, and by then I was so close to home. Because of the path I took and all the water, I was having a hard time doing the progression run I had on the schedule, so I made sure I did all 6 miles at gmp or lower- goal accomplished! I will swap my easy day for the progression run tomorrow.

6.  6 miles- 56:58
  Mile 1-  9:37
  Mile 2-  9:35
  Mile 3-  9:36
  Mile 4-  9:29
  Mile 5-  9:31
  Mile 6-  9:09

7.  Today was our travel day. Originally I had scheduled today as a rest day because of that, but last night I was thinking I might actually be able to squeeze in a run before we hit it road if I go tup early enough-  no such luck, it was again Pouring when I woke up this morning, and it followed us the first few hours of the drive. Oh well, I still followed my schedule:)

8. I am planning to do my progression run tomorrow, speedwork Thursday, easy run Friday, and Long Run Saturday- this should be interesting. I am actually excited to group 3 tough runs in 4 days, I think it will be a good challenge and really give me a strong stretch going into 2 more build-up weeks.

9.  Blister Update- the nasty blister sustained during Friday's 10 miler has developed new skin and healed, even with 2 more runs on top of it. Since these current shoes already have over 60 miles on them I am confident they will not be taken back. I feel like my foot has gotten used to the way they fit, and they actually are very stable during shorter runs, so I have decided on a plan for the shoes.

10.  Since the shoes are paid for an sort-of broken in, I will continue to wear said shoes until the 300 mile point, I have easily taken all my previous pairs to 500 miles, but considering the problems, no need to push these. When needed I will wear my old pair for long runs if I have been feeling a blister coming on, no need to create any more agony and spend a fortune on blister band-aids, my old Kayanos are not so worn out that they will cause injury.

So there you have it, up to date after the long weekend! I hope everyone had a great 4th! Back to the grind tomorrow, and back to my normal running routine!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Too Good to be True

Happy Long Weekend! I hope everyone is as excited for their long weekend as I am. Mine actually started yesteday when we arrived back at the beach for 6 days of fun and relaxation, oh and my birthday!

When I first started making my marathon training plan a few months ago, we already had this trip planned, and I knew with our plans, and the swamp-like conditions I would have to be very considerate when planning this week in my schedule. As we all know, you have to be flexible when training, but I don't like to deviate too far from my plans so I made sure I built my schedule to fit my vacation.

The first thing I did was move my typical days around to fit our travel and party schedule ;) Normally I run Monday-Thursday, Rest Friday, Long Run Saturday, Off or Cross-Train Sundays. But this week since Thursday was our travel day I made that my rest day and opted to do my long run today. It worked out great, since last night I was tired from traveling and the time change, and I knew I would be getting in bed early last night and still waking up on Eastern time this morning. Ideally I wanted to try and do 12 miles today, but since I wasn't sure of the exact distance of the route I had available I told myself I had to get in double digits (10) no matter what. Well thank God I had already made that deal with myself because the route was a lot shorter than I thought and I had to do some extra loops to make sure I hit 10, which I did.

5:30am, CDT; 79* 92% humidity. I appreciated the cooler temps, and it stayed overcast the whole time which was great not to have the sun as a factor, despite the nasty humidity and all the sweat from it, the weather was picture perfect for a summer run.

John biked with me for my whole ride this morning, and it was nice to have a buddy out there today, I didn't use my ipod except for the last mile when he went ahead. The first 3 miles were back on a narrow road sandwiched between the intercoastal and a canal so there is very little air movement and a ton of humidity. Once we turned onto the big road at mile 3 I stopped to pass my camelbak off to John and it was rubbing my still raw spot from last weekend, and it was amazing how much lighter I felt. I had planned to do a minimum of 4 miles at gmp, and was planning to do it in the last 4 miles. As soon as we turned onto the big road, it felt sooooo much cooler. There was a breeze, it wasn't as sticky, and between that and ditching the camelbak my pace just got faster, so I decided that I would do the middle 4 miles at gmp and do the last 3 on the nasty road as fast as I could. It worked out great, I ended up hitting 5 miles at gmp, and the last 2 weren't too far off either, I could have pushed them harder, but I had a nagging pain starting to creep up.

10 Miles-  1:38:42
Mile 1-  10:08
Mile 2-  10:12
Mile 3-  10:07
Mile 4-  9:40
Mile 5-  9:41
Mile 6-  9:39
Mile 7-  9:41
Mile 8-  9:44
Mile 9-  9:57
Mile 10-  9:55

Despite the fact that I always want to be faster, I was pleased with this run. I hit a few gp miles and felt good throughout, I felt in control and stronger then I did last weekend. The weather is not going to make anything easy this summer, so I can't expect to see times I saw in perfect March weather right now. I didn't have high expectations for this run, so I came out pleased with the results.

I was actually feeling great that I assumed I would hit gmp for the final 2 miles as well, but once I saw a couple seconds off on mile 8 I already knew why, I had some lingering pain in my foot, and as soon as I got home and kicked my shoes off I knew I would have to make a change before next weekend....

I guess the positiveness of the shoes was very short lived. These new shoes ripped up my foot today, and it is still only my right foot. When we get back to town on Tuesday I will be taking my shoes back to the store and trading in. I am walking in there Tuesday and I already know what shoes I will be leaving with, I am not going to listen to any further recommendations, I know what I need and what I want, and while they may be 'shoe experts' no one knows my feet better than me!

I am REALLY nervous about being so demanding and requesting a replacement shoe after I have already run in these for 60 miles. I know most specialty running stores will take your shoes back if they don't work for you, but I have never done anything like this before so I am afraid they won't and will make me buy another pair, and then I am stuck with a brand new pair of shoes that I won't wear. Has anyone ever done this before?????? Please give me some advice!!!!!!!!