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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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half marathon training

I Have A Need for Speed (2/27-3/5)

This week could also be named “The Workout Week That Wasn’t”, and not just because it happened to be race week.

Monday cross – swim 1600 meters. Good news for this swim – my warm up swim speed is about back to normal! I’ve spent the last couple swims really focusing on drills, and hope to really get some good technique down by joining Masters Swim at the YMCA this Spring.

Tuesday – short tempo. 4 miles with 2x 1/2 mile @ 10k pace and 2x 1/2 mile at 5k pace with 400m recovery. This workout felt difficult for a couple reasons. One, it was 65 degrees  and humid when I started it and two, I wasn’t feeling 100%. I woke up feeling congested and worn out, but hoped it was just leftover congestion from the pool water the day before (something in that pool irritates my sinuses). I got it done, though, so yay for that.

Wednesday rest. I woke up with no voice, and still felt worn down. I had planned to do an easy run at speed work but decided to take an extra rest day instead, hoping I’d recover enough for the race.

Thursday easy run. 2.75 miles @ 8:22/mile. I woke up still without a voice but not feeling as fatigued, so I did a short easy run.

Friday rest. Friday I started coughing and the fatigue came back. At some point that afternoon I resigned myself to the fact that I probably was not going to PR this race, but tried to stay positive that I was not injured and not so ill that I couldn’t run at all.

Saturday race day 13.1 miles, if you want to know my pace you’ll have to read my upcoming recap, or have followed me on Facebook already 🙂. Bryan and I enjoyed a kid free weekend though.

Sunday rest.

We finished the plank challenge, and have moved into a squat and pushup challenge, which brings with it a whole new set of fun picture ideas. 🙂

 

Stay tuned for the race recap!

I Have A Need for Speed (2/20-2/27)

Well we are down to the last couple weeks of training for this race already, but I am tired and ready for taper, so bring it on.

Monday cross – ride 16 miles @ 19.2 MPH I got a little overzealous with this one. The weather this winter has been extremely bipolar and I swear we’ve hit every season every week so far, with lows to highs ranging from mid 30’s to nearly 80. It was a warm morning so I hopped on my bike for the first time in months, and was excited to see that my speed training in running seemed to have crossed over to the bike. So excited in fact I decided I could do my whole ride at 19+mph.

Tuesday tempo – 1 WU, 3 @ 7:50, 2 @ 7:40, 1CD 7 total. Yesterdays fast bike ride turned out to be a stupid move. I killed my quads going that fast  and while it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal normally I think the fact that I hadn’t ridden that long or hard (thats what she said) in months played a part here. So, I got this run done, but not without a couple rest breaks.

Wednesday – speed. 5 x 1200 @ 10k pace with 400m recovery. I didn’t keep to 10k but didn’t any faster than 5k, so I didn’t quite slow down as much as I had planned but was still slower than speed work pace (6:45).

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Thursday – easy run/yoga. 3.33 stroller miles/20 minutes yoga and stretching. Thursdays are the hardest day because I can never decide what I want my workout to be. I think this is partly because its my 6th day in a row and I’ve about hit the point where I need a break. So I asked the twins if they wanted to play while I worked out inside, or go running snacks. Guess what they picked? Afterwards they got out of the stroller and ran a quarter of a mile on their own!

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my kids are awesome 

Friday rest

Saturday long. 8 miles 4 @ 8:30,  4 @ 7:50. This run was, unfortunately, harder than I hoped. This happened to me the last time too so I dunno if I’m really overshooting with my goal here or just easily affected by the weather, as the last 4 miles were in 60+ temps. No, that doesn’t sound all that warm, but speed just becomes harder for me once it is above 55. I guess time will tell here.

Sunday cross. 55 minutes of yoga. 

And, for once i’m still participating in a 30 day challenge and working on my creative pics. We are up to 3 and a half minutes. M and M’s were involved.

I Have A Need for Speed (2/13-2/19)

This week was a bit rougher, training wise. My stomach was feeling “off” for lack of a better word, on and off the whole second half of the week. Luckily it never turned into anything. Bryan also had shoulder surgery Monday, so there has been a lot of extra house duties for me recently. Also, I’m tired.

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Monday cross. 2000 meter swim. I focused a LOT on technique and drills this time, following a suggested workout from a website I found posted on Facebook. The theory here is you have to go slower in order to go faster, and I can tell you without a doubt I have zero issue with the slower part.

Tuesday tempo. 2 miles @ 7:50 (half pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:33 (10k pace), 3 min recovery, 2 miles @ 7:16 (5k pace). I changed things up from the book a bit and took a suggestion from the one we call the “wise man”. I remember wondering how on earth I was supposed to manage 2 5k pace miles (7:06) after 2 half and 2 10k. Because I couldn’t. I mean logically, my 5k pace is an all out effort for 3 miles. If I can run that pace after 4 speedier miles, I wasn’t running fast enough. Turns out I didn’t read the workout correctly. I was supposed to do ONE 5k mile or 2 half miles at 5k pace. So yeah.

Wednesday speed. kinda. 2 miles @ 7:05 (goal was 7), 2 miles at 7:46 (goal was 7:50), with 1 WU, 1 CD. This was the weekly pub run put on by the local Fleet Feet store. Wise man suggested I do both sets at half pace, but I wanted some speed also so figured I’d split the difference. I had a few issues here. First, my stomach wasn’t feeling great. Second, I was still tired from the workout the day before. Third, I did the two miles on the local trail which has inclines. Pathetically small ones, but when you’re doing speed work, they might as well be Mt Everest. Then, by the time we started the group run it was dark, so I ended up going faster in order to keep the lead runners in sight. Well, can’t win them all.

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I am in here somewhere

Thursday cross. 40 minutes trainer intervals, 10 minutes lower body. 

Friday REST

Saturday long. 12 miles. 2 easy, 8 @ 7:50, 2 easy. My watch had satellite issues AGAIN and skipped .15 miles somewhere into the first faster mile, and dipped over a minute in average lap pace somewhere in mile 9. I did it, but it wasn’t easy, and I’m not sure where I’m going to pull another 5 miles at that pace from. Thin air maybe. Here is hoping taper helps, because I’m pooped.

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Sunday cross/easy. 55 minutes yoga/2 easy stroller miles @ 9:02. I did rock a nice headstand.

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And I forgot to mention it last week, but still doing the plank challenge and attempting to take some creative pictures.

See Bryan waving on the left? He didn’t remember me taking it. 10 minutes later he asked me if I took his picture. HAHA

Bring on taper. I am ready.

I Have A Need for Speed (2/6-2/12)

Ugh and I’ve fallen behind again. I’m blaming this one on Bryan’s recent shoulder surgery.

Monday – cross. 1800 meters. In short, I’m still slow.

Tuesday -tempo. 7 miles @ 7:46/mile. With only a little over 3 weeks left I really wanted to run some more race pace miles, so I substituted the books’ tempo for this one. I felt good for the majority of the run, save for a side stitch I had to stop for for a bit because I couldn’t just run through it. And wise man says to try to finish faster, so that was my goal. My only complaint was it was getting warm quickly and was 65 degrees once I was done, and I could really tell those last couple miles.

Wednesday speed. 3×2000 (1.25 miles) at 6:55. NAILED IT, with a 6:54, 6:49, 6:47. HELL YEAH!

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Thursday easy run/cross. 3 stroller miles/yoga. Ok, so I know this sounds ridiculous, but I really don’t like sweatpants. Not for myself, or for my kids. But Miles has this one pair that he now refers to as his “running pants”, and so now I have a soft spot for them. He insisted on wearing them for today’s run and asked me at least 6 times when he could “run on the sidewalk”.

Friday – rest day

Saturday – long run. 10 miles at 8:10. I mixed this one up a bit too, again hoping to get in some more race pace miles, so I ran 5 miles at 8:30 and 5 at race pace. I had some issues with my satellite and think a couple were a few seconds off (my lap pace had a crazy range and I check it pretty often), and my allergies were acting up so it wasn’t perfect, but I did it. YES.

Sunday – cross. 45 minutes yoga. Honestly I didn’t feel like doing much of anything, but I knew my muscles were tight and needed to stretch a bit at least, so yoga seemed like the logical solution.

3 weeks to go!

I Have A Need for Speed (1/30-2/5)

Monday: cross. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with a cold pool this morning so I drug my bike out of the living room and did my usual interval ride. 5 min easy followed by 2 min hard gear/3 min easy. Then I played catch up on the ab group I joined and got 4 days behind.

Tuesday – tempo. 5 miles @ 7:35/1 mile CD. Perfect weather, and except for a pathetically slow incline that slowed my last mile down, NAILED IT!

Wednesday speed work. 10x 400 with 400m recovery between each. Goal pace 6:20. It was a warm warm up mile but I stood around talking long enough that it cooled down a bit before the speed part, and I hit most splits between 6:17-6:21. I tried to speed up the last 3 and succeeded at least for 2 of the 3, at 6:09, and 6:06. I have to say, I’m SO EXCITED to see numbers like this, even if it is only for 400 meters.

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Thursday cross. Basically a repeat of Monday. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. 

Friday rest

Saturday long. 15 miles @ 8:18/mile. It was a chilly and windy morning, and my watch did NOT want to cooperate. A somewhat last minute group got together to run and afterwards I was more thankful than usual. It took 1.25  miles for it to find a satellite, so I’m told told the first mile was the slowest at around 8:50. After that though we kept things pretty steady, even speeding up a bit the last 4 miles. The headwind was awful, and a couple times I found myself falling behind, but I made myself speed up, catch up and stay with them. I have to admit, I thought to myself hmmm, If I can run 15 at that pace, surely I can train to run a marathon….ha. Probably, but not this year. Afterwards, we all met for a MUCH needed coffee and breakfast.

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Will run for coffee

Sunday cross. 40 minutes yoga/abs. I had planned an easy run but I was feeling more tired than usual and had a sore shin, so I opted to stretch instead. My chiropractor would be proud.

I’ve also been following a 30 day plank challenge, attempting to come up with creative plank selfies.

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Will also plank for coffee -Abby says “mommy is kissing a cup”

I Want My Speed Back (Charleston Half Marathon Recap)

I’ve mentioned a few million times that the Ironman sapped my speed. Was it worth it? Hell yes. But do I want it back? Duh.

The Run Less Run Faster plan worked really well for me during marathon training last year, allowing me to PR not once, but twice, and avoid injury. Well, I had a previous issue become aggravated but at least I wasn’t sidelined for the race. So after Sweet Tea’s slow (in comparison) finish, I started following the Run Less Run Faster half marathon plan. My goal race is the Myrtle Beach Half, but I signed up for Charleston so I could get a feel for my progress.

I ran 2015’s Sweet Tea in 1:44:48 (8:00 pace), while training for Disney.

I ran 2016’s Sweet Tea in 1:55:xx (8:46 pace), 3 weeks after the Ironman.

My “A” goal is a 1:42:30 (7:50 pace)

I’ve run the Charleston event three times (1 half and my first and second full), and not much was different so there really isn’t a ton to report. I drove myself to the start line early and picked up my packet the morning of, in order to avoid rush hour traffic the night before. I did that, and used the bathroom not once, not twice, but three times after my measly half cup of coffee and about 4 oz of water.

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After pee break number 2

I also stopped at my car three times so I was glad I was parked nearby. After my second bathroom visit I walked to the start and had to go AGAIN. Geez Lousie.

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start line selfie with high kick photobomb

There were complaints over the last couple of years about the temperature at this race because it was so cold. Obviously (see tank top) this year was much warmer, and honestly even a little warmer than I’d prefer for a race. The starting temp was supposed to be around 57 degrees, but I knew that when I was standing around waiting for the gun to go off and wasn’t even a little chilly, it was going to feel warm.

The gun went off at exactly 8:00.

My initial plan had been to run this race as a training run and go by the pace in the book, which was an 8:20. I told others this. I told myself this. I, unsurprisingly, didn’t listen.

I started the race and ran the first mile at an 8:09, and felt ok, so decided to go with that. I, as usual when I go into a race without a definite goals, changed my mind one mile in and decided to stick with an 8:10 hoping I might be able to speed up a bit the last 3-4 miles.

By mile 2 I wanted to take off my tank top, but I didn’t feel like carrying it for 11 more miles, so I kept it on. Mile 2 and 3 were run in a 8:10 and 8:11, so at least I was staying consistent. I picked it up at bit at mile 4 and 5, hitting both at 8:06, and by the time I hit mile 6 I couldn’t stand my shirt anymore. Unfortunately by then it also felt quite a bit warmer, so my next 5 miles were between an 8:09 and an 8:12. It didn’t help that mile 10 was over a bridge. By the time I hit mile 11 I had hoped to speed up, but forgot that the last few miles run through a twisty and hilly (ok ok, they were pathetically small inclines) section of North Charleston, so it didn’t happen then either, finishing the last 3 miles in 8:08, 8:11 and 8:07.

The course registered a bit long for me at 13.22 miles, so my official time was 1:47:12, but my time for 13.1 was 1:46:47. Factoring in a temperature that was almost 20 degrees warmer than 2015’s Sweet Tea race (my ideal racing temp is in the 40s and the weather was perfect at this race), I feel pretty confident that I’ve made it back to where I was, so now I have 7 weeks to get faster.

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I actually stuck around for the after party this year, and even drank my two complimentary drinks (mimosas, still not a beer person), and discussed the cool-ness of glittery sports bras.

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glitter hurts John’s eyes

Charleston does know how to throw a good post race party.

Results:

Overall: 264/3007

30-34 age: 15/284

Gender 85/1888

I Have a Need for Speed (12/26- 1/1)

I took a break from blogging after the Ironman, even though the only thing I had time the energy to post for the 6.5 months prior to it was weekly recaps. Now that I have more time and energy, I plan to starting writing about other things again, but find I kind of like reading back on training to find out what works and what doesn’t.

2017 is going to be all about shorter distances. I have a goal to PR my half marathon, which isn’t short per se, but requires much less training than I’d been doing. Otherwise I’m looking at 5k’s, and then one Tri season rolls around – Sprints and an Olympic.

This year I want my races short, sweet, and hopefully fast. And I want to focus more on strength.

In an effort to regain some speed and hopefully bypass my current fastest Half Marathon time, I’m following the Run Less Run Faster Half Marathon plan. I ran the Sweet Tea this year literally 10 minutes slower than last year, so I’ve had some work to do. Up until recently (and still, to be honest), Id been focusing on trying to increase speed little by little until I can run the training runs relatively comfortably.

So here we go:

Monday: tempo run. 1 WU/2 @7:38, 1 easy, 2 @7:38, 1CD.  7 miles total. This workout is getting a little easier in that it is requiring fewer stops (ha), and I even managed to average a 7:43 going up two (small) hills during the last fast mile, so I figure this is a win.

Tuesday: trainer ride. 5 min WU followed by 2 min hard and 3 min spin for 45 minutes total. I dunno that I’ll ever ENJOY the trainer. The gear that is my easy gear on the road is my hard gear on the trainer, so my average speed is like 13 mph. Afterwards I did some quick arm weights. Because I need to work on my gun show.

Wednesday: speed work. 1.5 WU/ 12×400/ 1.5 CD 6 miles total. Dude. I KILLED this speed workout. But if I’m gonna kill one its going to be a shorter distance workout. My goal pace for each 400 was 6:25. I had one 6:25 and the rest averaging between 6:07-6:15. I even had one 6:02! By the end, I wanted to vomit. I didn’t, but I wanted to. I’m sure my track buddies appreciated that.

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What is with the look on my face? Dread? Maybe its dread. 

Thursday: ride. 20 miles. South Carolina’s weather has been drunk or high lately, and it keeps jumping from 75 degrees to 30 and back again in a matter of 48 hours. Still, it was nice to ride outside for the first time in a long time, and finish off my year with a solid 2575 bike miles, a number I likely won’t see again for a LONG time.

Friday: rest day. Want to hear our exciting New Years Eve? We went to bed at 10:00. Zzzzzzzzz

Saturday: long run. 8 miles @ 8:10 was the goal. I’m not sure what the average ended up being, but it was slower. Remember how I rode outside two days ago? Well this morning it was 31 degrees. My asthmatic lungs didn’t tolerate it well. I ran my first mile as a sorta warm up at 8:30 and got up to 8:16 by the second, but by the third I was at 8:25 and had to stop for my inhaler and spit about a gazillion times (gross) in an effort to get rid my the mucous build up. I did this while running so I kept losing my breath. By mile 5 I decided I was going to finish on the treadmill. I ran mile 5 in 8:11, and then at least finished strong inside with a 8:09, 8:07, 8:04

Sunday: yoga. 50 minutes. It has been nice to incorporate this again, although I have a long way to go on my flexibility.

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Sing it with me: two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a….oh, and an attempt at bridge

Half Marathon Training Run 1: Why Long Runs Save My Sanity

Most of the time I come off as a blunt, sarcastic, don’t-care-what-you-think person. The truth is, though, I can be pretty thin skinned and sensitive. I can take everything to heart. I’m extra hard on myself. I worry needlessly about what others think. Little things start to become big things and I obsess over little details or mistakes. I can feel like I’ve failed at all the things. Like it or not, this has been a part of who I am for many years, and I didn’t always deal with it well because I didn’t have a healthy coping mechanism. I have toughened up over the years and can usually catch myself before any major spiraling happens, but I spent much of high school and college depressed. Then one day (very long story short), feeling completely overwhelmed with stress and emotion, I ran out of my dorm. I ran down the street until I felt like I could not breathe. I made it probably a quarter of a mile before my lungs felt like they might explode, but the point was I didn’t feel as overwhelmed anymore. I had an outlet.

Fertile or infertile, motherhood is a challenge. My emotions have been a little up and down the last few weeks. The babies are going through a lot of developmental changes right now. We’ve hardly followed a schedule for the last 2-3 weeks. They are waking sometimes several times a night (one of the main signs of these Wonder Weeks leaps is less sleep). They are crankier. Its silly, but difficult not to sometimes take the extra crying as a sign I am not doing something right. I’m not sure how to handle all of these new things and still make sure they are fed, happy and well rested. I question working because of its impact on “the schedule”. I obsess over feeding times, nap times, bed times and wake times. Sometimes so much so that I am missing the babies, and by that I mean their giggles, babbles and rolls. Their faces as they eat bananas for the first time. The smile they give me when I go in the room to wake them up. I’m realizing that one day I’m going to wake up and realize that I’ve missed it all. I swore up and down that I would appreciate these miracles I have been given, and while I realize that you simply cannot appreciate EVERY moment, I also realize I am missing too much over these obsessions.

Yesterday I went for my first long run post super lame toe injury. Running has this way of taking my brain out of its obsessions and back more into reality. As the miles add up the fog clears, the tendency to react in raw emotion lessens, and I can really think logically through the issues. The truth is I personally believe schedules are important, but realistically, what schedule is the EXACT same day to day? Within these schedules we need a certain amount of flexibility – something I have been really lacking recently. And not just in reference to the babies and schedules.

I’d been looking forward to this run all week. I didn’t initially take it well when it was postponed one day, and then two. When I made it out the door, I felt like I was ready to take it on full force. Then, I got a stomach cramp. A stomach cramp that lasted 2.5 miles. For a moment it sucked the excitement of the run out of me but I instinctually pushed through knowing it wasn’t going to last forever. Low and behold, it didn’t. I took it easy, took short breaks when needed. I was able to pick up speed for the second half, and finished feeling triumphant. I hardly remembered the cramp happened at all.

I know there will continue to be tough times and constant changes in schedulesDeep down, I also know they won’t last forever and it won’t be the end of the world. Sometimes, though, I really need that reminder.

And when I do, I’ll go for a run.

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