Wednesday, March 30, 2011

So I have been missing- between work, life, and running I have been busy I guess, but mostly not training= pretty boring. Here is a general update since I last left:

  • After a super speedy week that I mentioned here, I decided to go out and race a 5k the next day...after my fast-for-me 8 miler. Yeah, I'm real smart.
  • One of my very good friends has started running and I blame her for enabling me at this race. She did awesome and beat her previous 5k time. When my coach found out I was going to do the 5k, he told me to shoot for a 7:30 pace...umm don't think so,
  • On race day I decided to go for a new PR (old PR was 25:08) and get myself into the lower half of 24 minutes.
  • I now have a new 5k PR- 24:27 or 7:52 pace. While it is certainly an improvement and a testament to all my recent speedwork, I still have a ways to go to get to where I want, however I feel like I can finally call myself a real runner having broken into the 7:xx pace range- it hurt though, all 24 minutes of it.
  • Oh and another age group win

  • Weight and Cross training has been going really well, it feels good to be on a mileage break at the moment, and I actually really like the results I am seeing right now from all the weights, it has been fun for sure.
  • Wedding planning is actually coming along quite nicely, there have been a lot of little things we have been checking off the list like stationary, crafty projects, dresses and accessories, scheduling some of our appointments for final meetings, and some bigger things, but things are going well in this department. Hopefully next week I will have some fun details that I can actually share.
  • There may have been a Trader Joes raid recently also, I can away with some really yummy stuff :)

So there you have it a quick catch-up, maybe I will have some more entertaining things to regale you with soon.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Week 1: Speed Training

I hope everyone is enjoying a nice Saturday. I am a hundred and five so I am at home on this lovely evening watching more basketball and eating ;)

So after an awesometastic race last weekend, I had a break coming. Now my idea of a break is not what most people would call a break. What I mean is my mileage has been cut from ~40 miles per week to about 20-25, that is a break.

I am using this break as a mental rejuvination from the exhaustingness of maintaining high mileage (for me) for 9 months, and as an opportunity to make myself faster. Late spring and summer in Florida are like running through a sauna, so they don't let you race anything longer than a 5 mile race anyways, perfect opportunity to drop the distance and pick up the speed game.

With my eyes on some major PR's this year, I knew I needed to be able to devote a couple of months to speed work, and making what I consider tempo and race paces feel only moderately uncomfortable instead of my current puke threshold- this was week 1.

Monday- 4 Mile tempo, 34:26, 8:36 average pace
Mile 1-  9:16
Mile 2-  8:00
Mile 3-  7:58
Mile 4-  9:12

I thought this tempo would be killer, and while it was definitely a tempo effort, it felt good. My tempos are usually 4 miles at tempo pace, so just 2 seemed manageable, maybe there is something to this low mileage thing.
+ 20 minutes intervals on the bike (7 miles) + 10mins stair climber

Tuesday- weights + 20 minutes steady on the bike (6 miles)

4 Miles Easy, 4
Mile 1-  9:17
Mile 2-  8:38
Mile 3-  8:36
Mile 4-  8:44

Those 8:xx miles were what we will call half marathon pace, and they felt comfortable, especially after Monday's uber-fast effort, and that would be the idea behind this whole process. I want 8-10 miles at that 8:30 pace to feel manageable, so starting at 3 miles seems about right.

Wednesday- TRACK
I was actually really excited about this week's track workout, my favorite...Ladders! I knew I was supposed to back off since I was recovering from last weekends race, but my brain was only thinking about getting faster, I spent some time on McMillan looking at goal paces for my track workouts for the race times I wanted, and I was determined to see where I was at, so I went out with everything I had.

1 Mile warm-up- 9:41
1600- 7:38
1200- 5:40 (7:35 pace)
800-  3:44 (7:29 pace)
400-  1:41 (6:50 pace)

1/2 mile cool down- 4:40

4 Miles- 33:04, 8:16 average pace

I was so thrilled that that 7:38 didn't kill me. I did not progress as much through the next 2 as I had wanted, but I rode the high from that 7:38 and took the fact that I got progressively faster as a positive.

Thursday- Weights
15 minutes stair climber
20 Minute intervals on the bike (7 miles)

2 Miles easy- 17:59 (9:08, 8:51)

Thursday was set up like a brick workout and an easy day after 3 speedy days in a row. Despite low miles, my legs felt super tired, I think the added cross training has helped to make sure I still get in my butt kicking workouts, it has been nice having to much to do, it makes the time fly.

Friday- Rest day

Saturday- "Long Run"
8 Miles- 1:09:54, 8:44 average pace
Mile 1-  8:46
Mile 2-  9:09
Mile 3-  9:04
Mile 4-  8:30
Mile 5-  8:30
Mile 6-  8:39
Mile 7-  8:48
Mile 8-  8:24

So this was a pretty stellar long run- I started my first mile at what was my goal pace for the run and then reminded myself to take it easy. 6am is A LOT darker than it was a week ago before daylight savings time, and I had to back it off down a dark road and make sure I didn't trip and kill myself.
I don't know if it was the no pressure to hit certain paces with no upcoming race, or if I am actually getting faster, but this run felt easy. Only in mile 7 did I start to feel a little sluggish, but I didn't eat breakfast, took no gu, and only had water once at mile 5.5, so I figure that was actually pretty good. I was really happy to see a run like this and to have several points where it felt great and effortless, obviously there are moments when it doesn't, but I love runs like this.

I actually have another run planned for tomorrow, so I skipped my weights today, I have been doing a super good job staying on top of them, maybe it's because I have been seeing the definition return to my arms and abs, that is always a major motivator!

I will have a fun recap of tomorrow's run once we get back!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Bridesmaid Dress Bonanza

So this week we are talking about Bridesmaids dresses, fun right!

From day 1 I didn't have an overwhelming opinion about my bridesmaids dresses, after all, I wasn't going to be the one wearing them. I wanted to make sure my 4 girls felt classy and comfortable in whatever was chosen, especially since with different tastes and shapes, it is highly unlikely that all 4 of them will think it was the absolute perfect choice, but I have still been very active on getting their input on possible dresses because, again, I don't have to wear it, they do.

I didn't try to convince myself of the ever popular "they will wear them again" because while I *might* get lucky and have 1 that will, the odds just typically don't fall that way. Considering the above statement I wanted to make sure I found something that would be affordable and as I have already said, classy.

When the dress search began I looked at several designers, including the one who made the wedding dresses I fell in love with. I spent much of the first few weeks looking at Jim Hjelm dresses and some Priscilla of Boston.

While I certainly found some beautiful dresses, when it was time to go try them on many of them were not as elegant and flattering in person as they were in the pictures. Bummer. I found that many of the styles looked funny, bunched weird, were too low, or too preggers looking. Also, many of the fabrics were very "bridesmaids-y".

In my opinion,a bridesmaids dress should look like a great dress that 4 people happen to be wearing, I hate when something looks like a bridesmaids dress when it is just sitting on the hanger, and some fabrics just have that effect.

After a few strike outs at the bridal salons, I decided to hit up my 2 favorite stores, Ann Taylor and JCrew. Both carry bridesmaids line and I think put out an elegant and quality product.

Well apparently every other bride agrees with me, in that all of the 4 styles I liked had several sizes sold out in the color I wanted, and after a few phone calls I found out that either the style is being discontinued or my color will not be appearing in the summer line that will be re-released at the end of April :(

Next up I tried some of your nicer department stores: Macy's, Nordstrom, and Dillards, they all carry nice designers like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren so I figured I might find one or 2 options, right...

I found like 10! Great news right, except the same situation happened there as with JCrew, all out of the sizes I needed with no hopes of getting more in, I was pretty heart broken. And once I found the one I wanted, and found out I couldn't have it, nothing else seemed to look as elegant.

I did not think picking a bridesmaids dress would require this much work, but maybe I am being too picky??

I have been very apprehensive to try a mass retail chain like David's or Alfred Angelo thus far as I feel like their fabrics kind of define that bridesmaids look I am trying to avoid, but at the same time I feel like I am running low on options with less than 6 months to go now.
Have you ever been a bridesmaid before? Did you get to be a part of picking your dress? Was it fun or work?

Do you think I should turn to the traditional bridesmaid dress stores and designers or keep looking for something a little more mainstream???

***Edited to Add:  Patience pays off! I went back this morning to my favorite dress that was sold out in 2 sizes I needed and magically they were there. Bridesmaids dresses have been ordered, and I feel so relieved!!! I love them and have gotten positve reponse on them, they had over 20 positive reviews online and I am really hoping they look great and my girls like how they look and feel in them!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 Gate River Run

So after some slacking here is this weekend's race recap.

Warning: I have not loaded the pics yet, so this will be a word heavy post.

Just some background, the Gate River Run is the largest 15k in the country with approx. 20,000 runners, and is also the US 15k National Championship.

After 2 years of wanting to do this race and not, I was beyond excited to finally get my chance at our city's biggest race. I had also never done a 15k, so it was an automatic PR, but despite that fact I was plotting out so many different race scenarios in the days leading up to the race. I had an A goal and a B goal, because I honestly didn't really know what I was capable of.

I warmed-up with my group pretty lightly, and lined up in the seeded corrals with a teammate. He was going to start out at my goal pace and then get faster, but with a neon-yellow shirt on, I knew I wanted to keep a visual on him and that would be enough.

I made sure to let him go early in the first mile so I didn't go too fast and so I didn't slow him down. My race plan was to keep a moderate pace for the first 5k and then pick it up, I think I followed instructions pretty well, but I was able to pick it up in the 2nd mile, and once I felt it out, I knew I could hold it until I hit the monster bridge at the end.

Mile 1-  8:38
Mile 2-  8:29
Mile 3-  8:30
Mile 4-  8:33
Mile 5-  8:31
Mile 6-  8:36
Mile 7-  8:30
Mile 8-  8:51
Mile 9-  8:40
9-9.4-  2:48 (7:14 pace)

So I felt super consistent throughout the whole race, I think my paces pretty much dictate that. I kept it easy in mile 1, and hit my 8:30 goal until the bridge. Now this course did have some rolling hills, it was in no way flat, not even by New England standards, so I was really pleased with my pacing on such a tough course, all the time I put in doing Monday morning bridges really did pay off.

Now...The Green Monster...

We started up the on-ramp onto the bridge at mile 7.5, so it pretty much killed my right on track mile 8 split, but I had planned for that. Once Mile 8 beeped, I still had another half mile of up to go- that's right 1 whole mile straigh up hill. My effort never dropped, but my pace dipped into the high 9:00 range, like seriously 9:50-10:00 pace up that bridge, it was just so steep and never ending. As soon as it leveled off I looked to my right and saw my dreaded Monday morning bridge and wispered sweet nothings to it about how awful I had been and how I would never take its short 1/2 mile incline for granted again, ha!

Once at the top, I just took off, I knew I still had almost a mile to go, but it was literally all.down.hill. The downhill of the bridge goes straight onto the off ramp that goes downhill straight to the stadium, and the finish line. I knew I would be well under an 8:00 pace, and I was right. I took huge strides and became almost reckless trying to see how fast I could fly down that hill. I knew I was close to a sub-1:20 which would have been great, but I was aiming for anything in the 1:20:xx range.

The downhill and reckless sprinting took its toll, my quads were absolutely trashed, and I was almost certain I was about to throw up on a bystander, but I managed to keep my breakfast down. I felt like I really had left every ounce of push I had in me out there on the course, and was beyond thrilled to stop my watch and see 1:20:13 over 9.4 miles, or an 8:33 average pace, whoa!

1:20:13, 8:33 average pace
60/786 in F20-24

In addition to an amazing time, and not puking, as I walked through the masses towards the water and medals, I had a lady hand me a hat. I told her those were only for the top 10% finishers, and she said "I know".... I had somehow managed to finish in the top 10% of the female race field, I am still not sure how that is possible, but it made my perfect race even sweeter. I have never been so happy about anything or any race performace, I had done everything right and it had all payed off.

After stumbling around and finding someone's phone to use, I managed to meet up with John and my parents.

Showing off my new hat! Seriously I am obsessed with it at the moment, I would wear it to work if they would let me ;)

Post race I grabbed a banana, water, beer, and walked over to meet our friends Jesse & Crystal who had ran the 5k and their first races ever. We stayed for a good hour or so chatting, it was an absolutely beautiful day out and they seem to have also caughten the dreaded race bug now ;)

Sunday morning I woke up...and could barely walk. My quads were screaming any time I went from sitting to standing or vis-versa, but it was a great feeling to know I had raced so well. Sunday was a lazy day for me as I knew I had big plans and a new training cycle starting Monday morning, which you will have to wait and hear about!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Birthday at the track

Wednesday night's track workout was the last for many people and since almost everyone is racing this weekend, we had super short and speedy intervals to get us ready for the weekend.

My workout- 6x200, with 200 recovery, goal was :45, which for those of you who aren't mathematically inclined is a 6:02 pace...umm no pressure.

The last time I did this workout, I did well, but it was still tough. I was excited to try it again, especially since I raced well when I did it before.

A nice long warm-up and we were ready. The weather was nice, cool, low 60s, and the impending monsoon seemed it would hold off until we were done, the wind however was killer- not sure what is up with all the wind lately.

We actually ended up moving to the opposite side of the track to start so that the wind would be at our backs instead of slamming us in the face.

200s looked like this

:39, :44, :44, :44, :42, :41

I have no idea how I did that :39, my watch must be lying because that is a 5:20 pace- no way I did that. But the rest were tough and I felt myself getting used to getting that longer stride and kick that you need to finish strong at the end of a race. I am anxious to see if I can make it look as pretty at the end of my race this weekend.

After practice, we had cupcakes! A sweet ending to a nice short workout!

Now before you get all excited, this is not a normal thing we do. I wish I got cupcakes after all my workouts! Tuesday was our coach's birthday so of course we had to celebrate! These were ice-cream cupcakes, so the bottom was cake, then ice cream, then icing- yum! I had 1/2 a strawberry and vanilla combination one and it was amazing!

We also got our new race shirts in, so adding to the amazing Christmas like feeling of the night, I get cupcakes and presents! It was almost like my birthday, and now I have something new to wear this weekend, always fun!

What is your favorite track/interval distance???

I really love 400s, the are my absolute love, but I could get used to this ideal of the all out 200s!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: The Registry

So...we've registered!

We are 6 months out from our wedding, so it seemed like the right time frame to try and get the whole registry thing completed. I had heard everyone tell me how fun it is and how their fiances' got really into it, and I was really beginning to think there was something wrong with us- we weren't giddy at the idea of registering, in fact, it was stressing me out! It wasn't until after we completed our registries that people started opening up to me that I wasn't alone in realizing what a big challenge this was.

Now that it is over, I will say, it was fun, and it is nice to think about the cool things that we will hopefully be receiving for our wedding, but there was A LOT of research and work that went into putting this together that people kind of forget to tell you about. So I want to share my experience and things I learned so that hopefully someone else out there who has this on their to-do list won't be as overwhelmed as I was.

My Registry Experience:

So the first thing I did was have to decided where we were going to register. EVERYONE and I do mean everyone who spoke to me about our wedding seemed to have an opinion of where we should register, and they all usually had valid arguments for their stores, but let me tell you, there are TONS of options:

There were so many stores to pick from I had to think about which stores would have the most items we were looking for, so that I didn't look like some greedy kid registering at 5 different places. I also had to think about accessability for our guests- while there are plenty of people out there who prefer online shopping, there are also a few who will only buy something once they can put their hands on it, so I wanted to make sure there was something that everyone could easily get to.
We ended up going with 3 different stores, but were able to encompass a store we each wanted that the other didn't, plus 1 mutual location. With a guest list as large as ours we can get away with it I hope without looking too greedy.

Once we had our locations picked out, then began what I will call "pre-registering". I started by making a list of the things I thought we would need and want to make sure we wouldn't forget the important stuff. Then, I did some searching into other registries seeing what other couples have asked for, what typically got bought, how much they registered for based on the size of their wedding, etc. After I felt comfortable with the trends and my starting list, I started doing research.

I spent hours researching different items and browsing reviews. I didn't want to ask for some kitchen electric that based on all reviews would brake after a year of use, or something that was so difficult to use and clean that it would likely just collect dust rather than help me in the kitchen. I wanted to make sure that I was asking for quality products that would last and that we would use. I will tell you the one thing that I never thought about that I now can't imagine not having is a hand blender.

Obviously we have this on our registry, and I am really hoping someone buys it!

So this might seem like a lot of work for something that is supposed to just be fun and like a mass shopping spree, but to me it seemed almost reckless to walk into a store and pick things based on just price or how pretty they looked. Pots and Pans were a big one for us- I originally thought I wanted a non-stick set, I have always used non-stick, I mean how else do you cook eggs? And I really don't like cooking with excess oil, so I figured teflon was the way to go. After some reserach, I learned that even the expensive "high quality" non-stick sets still have their teflon surfaces start to flake off at some point, and the life expectancy of those pots/pans would be no more than 10 years...10 years, that's it? I wasn't about to ask someone to spend several hundred dollars on something that might last 10 years. In the end, all the work I put into researching our big ticket items and reading the reviews really paid off, and I feel confident about every.single.thing on those lists right now.

My other big stressor was space. While I know we won't be in our current apartment forever, we are now, and everything that comes into our house need a place. And since we don't know exactly how much space our next home will have, I have to make sure I have a plan to store everything. Part of this process will be getting rid of old things we are replacing, but there will also be a lot of new. This was probably the biggest thing stressing me out, but we do have a plan for storage right now that I feel goood about.

John also wasn't uber-excited about walking around a few home stores for several hours each to pick out things that he didn't necessarily care about, so we did like a pre walk-through and looked at the big things that I wanted his opinions on- electrics, dishes, silverware, sheets, and towel colors. He could have cared less about what chip and dip bowls I picked or what color kitchen towels, same with the baking dishes, so I let him off the hook and once I had his opinion on the big stuff, I went back later when the store was almost empty- I think this was a God send for us. No rushing for me, no boredom for him, and it worked great.

I walked into the store with a list already made- proper names and pictures included. I was able to breeze through the store pretty easily since I already had most of my items picked out. Sure, there was more I added, but it didn't overwhelm me and I didn't have to stand around trying to decide between 2 different options for an hour, because you know, spatulas don't get that intense. However, I did get really hung up in the shower curtains, and I was glad that John wasn't there because he would have gone crazy at how long it took me to decided between 2 for our bathroom.

The nice thing, now that the registries are complete, John and I can change anything we want online and that is amazing! At the end of it all, I did have fun, but I was glad I went about it the way I did, because if I had just walked in and started gunning things down I think it would have ended very badly.

What I learned:

-Do it your way.   Everyone told me to stop thinking and just go to the store and go nuts, I knew that wouldn't work for me. I am a researcher and a planner, and the thought of that reckless abandon gave me hives. I also knew John and I could not "shop" for multiple hours together in 1 store, so we didn't. I made 2 trips, 1 with him and 1 without, and it worked better for us. Don't let anyone tell you you have to do it one way.

-Research!   This was SO helpful! I was glad I knew what I wanted when I walked in, and had taken the time to learn what products were reputable and worthwhile.

-Consider Space.   What you want and need is great, but if you don't have anywhere to put it, its kind of a waste.

-Break it up.  Break it up into multiple stores and mutiple trips. It keeps it from being overwhelming, and it allows you to keep options open for your guests.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Long Run and running updates

Hello fabulous people, I have missed you!

Yesterday I came into work to discover my computer had fried over the weekend :( I was computer-less for most of the day yesterday and that made blogging not so easy. So on the running front I have lots to discuss:

Friday I did an easy 3 miles, I have not been wanting to take rest days recently, even if it is cross training or a short run, I have been craving workout I won't complain and have just played it smart.

Friday- 3 miles, 27:09, 9:03 average pace

Saturday = long run day
On my schedule was 8 miles, and after talking to my coach this week, we had some discrepancies over what my goal race pace should be, so we decided I would try 6 miles at his goal pace for me ~8:30s
It.Was. Rough.

8 Miles- 1:09:43, 8:44 average pace
Mile 1-  8:33
Mile 2-  8:41
Mile 3-  8:41
Mile 4-  9:07
Mile 5-  8:49
Mile 6-  8:23
Mile 7-  9:05
Mile 8-  8:33

So I hit a few (only 3 miles) in that 8:30 range. I hit what I think should be my goal pace of 8:40 pretty easily, and the bridges killed me and gave me 2 miles over 9:00. This was actually a really great run for me, like amazing overall pace, probably fastest "long run" I have ever had- but I felt like I was racing the entire time. I felt spent at the end, and honestly all day long I was exhausted- over only 8 miles. I think this showed that a sub- 1:20 is possible, but it will be really really tough, and I have not yet decided what I am going to pace myself for. We will see how Saturday starts to shape up with my legs, weather, etc. I really don't want to crash and burn from going out too fast, and especially since there is...

the "Green Monster" the last mile and half of the race. The first .8 miles is the incline, with the last .5 as a steep downhill straight into the finish line- a bad time to burn out.

So after Saturday's long run race :) I took Sunday pretty easy, did some cross-training, took the dog on a long walk, but conserved some energy. To prevent ITB flare-ups, all of those racing this weekend were banned from Monday morning bridges, so I was on my own.

I did an easy 4 mile run, since I am "tapering" for this race. All my runs except track are supposed to be easy this week, but too much easy running bores me, so I decided to try some pace recognition.

At least 1 if not 2 runs each week have included pace miles at my goal pace for Gate, just to get my legs (and lungs) familiar with the pace they should be running.

Mondays run = 4 Miles, 35:45, 8:56 average pace
9:24, 8:41, 8:34, 9:06

I threw in 1 mile at each goal pace, since my race plan is still TBA.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend, running and otherwise. I have a wedding post ready to go up tomorrow!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Confessions

Happy Friday all! In following a trend that seems to be popular this week in the blog world, I have some confessing to do...

Yesterday's tweet by Runner's World asking for running confessions got me feeling guilty.

1. I do not shower after lunch time workouts.
I do not even feel guilty about this one, especially after seeing that the super hard-core Emily does the same thing. Yes I dry off the sweat, even dry off the edges of my sweat-tastic hair and put on fresh deoderant. But gym showers creep me out, and to waste 10 minutes taking shower #2 of the day seems silly, especially when I can sneak another mile in.

2. I have NOT been getting up in the mornings to all!
The only AM workouts I have gotten in within the last month are my long runs, and the truth...I don't hate it. Yes, it would be nice to have it done, but I have also found that even if I run in the morning, I still go back to the gym after work.

3.  I rarely wash my fruit.
Ok that's a lie, I like never wash fruit unless its visibly dirty. Yeah I get it, I'm gross, but I seem to have a rocking immune system and it hasn't killed me yet.

4. Easter candy is my favorite, and absolute weakness!
Mini Cadburry eggs and sour patch kids shaped like, yes please!

5. Recently my brain has felt like this Cross-Training > Running
Rediculous right?!?!?! I have still been getting plenty of running in, but have been enjoying some shorter distances and the opportunity to get my heart pumping with other things. I have a mild addiction to the spin bike and stair climber at the moment.

6. I am more overwhelmed than excited about doing our wedding registry this weekend. I know it is supposed to be fun, but I haven't found that emotion in it yet.

7.  My name is Stephanie, and I am a dress-a-holic.
Please tell me I am not the only one! I have procured.....5 dresses, just this week alone. Something about the emerging spring weather reminds me that it is almost dress season, I would rather wear a cute and comforable dress than anything else. Yes I have a problem, no I don't intend to seek therapy.

So there you have it, some crazy neurosis... surely I am not the only one out there?!??!?!

Have you ever registered? Fun or tiresome? I am kind of ready to be done with it. Finding enough stuff for our huge guest list to have options + not cluttering up our house took far too much research in my opinion. And I don't even get to shoot the cool gun :(

What is your favorite type of clothes??? Jeans, shorts, dresses?

Do you have anything to confess?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Killer Track workout

So I skipped over yesterday's wedding update, but I will make it up to you by telling you about how cruel my track workout was.

Rewind to Tuesday...John and I went to Gainesville after work for a basketball game and got home very very late that night. While I slept in Wednesday morning, but the time last night rolled around I was dragging.

Originally on the schedule for this week was 6x800, as much as I truly do loathe 800s I felt up for it. Well the plan changed, and we were doing 4x800, 3x400, but alternating. Ok, so I got on board, I really like 400s I thought this would make it easier, right? Wrong!

Warm-up mile- 9:26
800-  3:44
400-  1:44
800-  3:42
400-  1:43
800-  3:40
400-  1:42
800-  3:39
400 (threw in 1 more for good measure)- 1:39
Cool down mile- 9:22

5 miles- 40:21, 8:05 average pace

So the goal for 800s was 3:45 and I had to make the 400s 2 minutes faster than the 800s, so 3:45 and 1:45.
Most of my laps at last weeks 12x400 workout were at or under 1:45, so I figured I was ok.

I got progressively faster with each one which is great, but I felt like death. Normally 400s feel great to me until the last 100m or so, but I felt dead after the 1st 100m, not cool! The 800s I felt good, but by the time I would finish the first lap I was ready to be done and yet had 1 more lap to go.

I can't complain because my times look great, however I felt SO out of shape during this workout. I think that was the design, because you were dragging after the 800s, but I guess it all pays off in the end.

Next week is a race week which means one thing...200s! The last time we did 200s they were tough in a good way and I am excited to try them again!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Crazy Busy Girl

Hi friends, it's Tuesday, and as you might have guessed, I have been a crazy busy girl!

This weekend was back to normal with a Saturday morning long run. I realized it has been quite a while since I prepared for a long run from home with just me, it brought back memories of marathon training. Not sure I miss that.

While the temps were nice 67*, it was certainly warmer than what we have had recently, add in 97% humidity, and it was the perfect run to prepare for summer, I still can't decide if I prefer cold or hot running, I think 50* is ideal.

Long run was supposed to be 10 miles, with 7 @goal pace. Goal pace being my goal pace for gate which is kind of scary, but very doable. I gave myself a few back-off miles which helped tremendously, and overall I felt really good after this run.

11 miles- 1:37:33, 8:52 average pace
Mile 1-  9:26
Mile 2-  8:34
Mile 3-  8:31
Mile 4-  9:28
Mile 5-  8:47
Mile 6-  8:37
Mile 7-  8:11
Mile 8-  9:06
Mile 9-  8:31
Mile 10-  8:45
Mile 11-  9:37

So pretty much the most amazing long run I have ever done, actually, that had the makings of the most amazing half marathon I could have ever had if I had kept going.  My goal pace for Gate is approx. 8:41, not that I've checked or anything, and while a couple miles were a little higher, I really can't complain about the performance I put up. I *hope* that another run like this this upcoming weekend will be enough to give me a good race.

After my run I had to hit the road, I had a bridal shower to go to Saturday afternoon.

We celebrated this girl who is getting married in about 6 weeks. It was a St. Patrick's Day themed party, so I did my best to get into the spirit....

We had some snacks, played a game, and then got to the good stuff....

Several times at the shower people kept reminding me that I was next, yikes! It was fun watching her get into all these fun presents, there was a lot of fun stuff in there that I made mental notes to make sure I put on our registry ;)

Sunday, John and I ran errands and decided to embrace the beautiful day and went out for a long bike ride. I gave it a little more effort than I usually do on our leisurely Sunday rides and managed to average about 15.5 mph for our 25 mile bike ride.

On to Monday...A million wedding things that I had to catch up on, phone calls and emails to return and I found myself quickly at the end of the day.

I had a hill workout planned for the afternoon, what I did not plan for was 84* and 20mph winds. It literally felt like my marathon all over again, and I was SO happy I was only doing 5 miles and not 26.2.

Like literally the same run, up and over huge bridges, lots of wind, and sun, it was like de ja vu- crazy!
Since Gate has a HUGE bridge at mile 7.5 I went to do 3 bridge repeats, the first bridge is shorter, maybe 6/10 of a mile from one side to the other, the 2nd is a solid mile, maybe a little more from start to finish, and the last has a .5 mile climb and a .15 mile downhill, so a little funky.

5 Miles- 45:23, 9:05 average pace
Mile 1-  8:40
Mile 2-  9:08
Mile 3-  8:51
Mile 4-  9:34
Mile 5-  9:10

A successful run and no itb pain, thank goodness! I didn't realize how excited I was going to get about this race, but it is such a big deal here in Jacksonville, and it is the one I have really wanted to do since I started running and I haven't, so I am excited about that, plus I have lots of friends running it too!

Is there a big race on your radar that you haven't had the chance to do yet? If so, which one???