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Journey To the Finish Line

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

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run less run faster

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 Have A Need for Speed (1/16-1/29)

Sooooo, I got behind and so now I’m doing this the lazy way and combining two weeks into one recap.

1/16/17-1/22/17

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bucket heads

Monday – Tempo. 5 miles @7:39 with 1/2 mile cool down. We took a VERY overdue vacation and since the Charleston Half was only two days prior, I had planned to make it an easy run. But, I got going, felt ok and realized I was doing a faster pace anyway, so I just went with it. FINALLY these tempo runs are starting to feel easier (not easy, mind you, just easier).

Tuesday – run/stationary bike/abs. 2.5 miles on the beach/20 minutes stationary bike/abs. I wanted at least one sunrise run, and how could you not? Then I headed into the hotel gym and got on a wobbly stationary bike so I only rode 20 minutes and finished off with some abs.

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Wednesday – cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 30 minutes weights. As much as I enjoyed the beach run, running on the slightly slanted surface (say that 3 times fast) irritated my right ankle and it was still a little sore, so I played it safe.

Thursday-  cross. 45 minutes elliptical and 15 minutes weights. Same issue.

Friday long run. 10 miles @ 8:11/mile. It was a very nice and partly scenic run but a tough one, as it was 64 degrees and humid. I took a few breaks, and even got stopped at a drawbridge which is definitely a first for me.

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I’m trying to smile but I just look annoyed

Saturday easy run. 4.5 miles @ 8:44/mile. I ended up skipping my speed work for the week but wanted to try to at least get the miles, so there ya go.

Sunday – rest day

1/23/17 – 1/29/17

Monday swim. 1800 meters at an abysmally slow pace. The pool heater was broken but I was told not too terribly cold (however I was also told it would be a good time to try out a wetsuit), but I was already there so I just braved it. It wasn’t too terrible but like the last swim attempt in the freezing outside temps my fingers were numb and I needed coffee to thaw myself.

Tuesday fartlek. 6 miles @ 8:08 pace. So, am I the only one (after I laughed at fart, because I’m mature like that) that thought a fartlek just meant a tempo run? Well apparently it isn’t. It apparently literally means “speed play”, so the idea is you jog a bit, and then pick up the speed for whatever distance, jog, pick up etc. But the distance isn’t measured by a watch but a visual marker, like a mailbox or telephone pole. It actually took me a couple miles to get used to this weird back and forth, but I kinda liked it and think i’ll incorporate more of these in the future.

Wednesday speed. 5.81 miles total. 1WU/3×1600 with 400m recovery/1CD. I KILLED IT, running the fastest mile repeats I’ve ever run, at 6:43, 6:38 and 6:35! Have I mentioned I love speed work? I mean, once I’m done.

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I got my fast shoes on

Thursday  cross. Tired of the bike trainer, I searched my favorite yogi (Ali Kamenova) on You Tube and did three of her HIIT workouts, with some yoga.

Friday  rest

Saturday interesting collection of runs. My plan called for another 10 miles since I shifted a run for the half, and so I decided instead I’d rather run a 5k with a ridiculously long warm up and cool down. On the plus side, I FINALLY beat a nearly 5 year old 5k PR! FINALLY! And the good news here, is that my pace indicates a 22 flat 3.1 (but courses are never exact), which according to the Run Less Run Faster book means I SHOULD (key word here) be able to run the half at my “A” goal pace, and I have 5 more weeks to nail it down.

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Sunday easy-ish run. 3.5 miles @8:30 pace. It ended up being somewhat of a frustrating day  and I needed to burn off some steam, so I took Chance for about 1.5 miles and pushed the twins for the rest.

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I see you, mommy

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 (1/9-1/15)

Operation Run Faster continues. With about 7 weeks left to the Myrtle Beach half, its getting close to time to decide if my goal is doable.

Monday – swimming barely not drowning.  1800 meters. It is ridiculous how quickly you lose swimming stamina, especially when you suck at it anyway. I’ve only been sporatic about going since I got my Ironman tattoo, and over the holidays. I considered skipping it agin and just picking back up after vacation, but decided it suck it up and go. It was 30 degrees outside. The water really wasn’t bad as long as you were moving, but after about an hour my fingertips were numb, and it took me the rest of the afternoon to thaw. On the plus side, a fellow swimmer saw my tattoo and said I was a badass, so there’s that 🙂

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This pic worked better in my head

Tuesday tempo fail. 6 miles at 7:50/mile. Figuring I had enough weeks of tempo and speed runs under my belt I figured I’d try 6 miles at goal race pace. Well, something messed up on my watch about .75 miles in and my pace jumped from 7:50 to 7:20. I dunno if the satellites were just off, or if I was really running that quickly (I suspect a combo), and then I felt thrown off for the rest of it. Combined with asthma lungs and 32 degrees, this run required a few rest stops and felt much harder than it should have.

Wednesday speed work. 3x (2x 1200) with 2/4 min rest intervals. Actual goal pace here was around a 6:45, but with the half marathon coming up (that I planned to run as a training run but knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t) I knocked the pace down a bit and averaged between 6:49-6:55. Because SC loves to fit as many seasons as possible in 48 hours, it was 68 degrees during the better part of this run.

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Subscribe to purchase our future track calendar – haha

Thursday easy run. 4 miles with stroller. Running snacks! And my kid knows me because Miles asked me 5 min in if I had to pee (I didn’t, but I did later).

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Ya’ll – they are heavy

Friday rest day

Saturday Charleston Half Marathon. 13.1 miles @ 8:09/mile. Not a PR but a good solid improvement from my 8:46 average at Sweet Tea. Also, there were yummy Mimosas. Recap to come.

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John looks like a pirate

Sunday rest day, since we spent the majority of it in the car.

I Have a Need for Speed (1/2 – 1/8)

Happy New Year, friends! 2016 was a BIG year for me in terms of my running and triathlon goals, so 2017 is going to be boring in comparison. And hopefully faster 🙂

Monday – tempo run. 5 miles @ 7:41 with .5WU/.5CD Typically Monday is my pool day but the twins’ daycare was closed for the New Year holiday and I didn’t feel like it was fair of me to ask my parents to watch the twins for a swim and work both, so I ran. Since the twins were home with me, this run was done on the treadmill. It wasn’t pretty. I did manage to maintain a steady 7:41 with one break to beg the twins to leave me alone and get some water, but an already difficult run was made more difficult when my apparently oblivious kids started asking me WHAT I WAS DOING. I am running. What does it look like? Miles joined me for my cool down, though.

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Walk time!

Tuesday – ride/HIIT 25 minute ride/35 min HIIT. It was on the warmer side with some rain expected later. The weather said there was a 38% chance of rain. 1.5 miles from home it starts to rain. WEATHER LIES. I was already out so I turned around once it started to do more than drizzle and headed back home to dry my bike off, and did two sets of high intensity interval workouts with some yoga stretching.

Wednesday – speed. 1 mile, 2 miles, 2×800 with 400/800m recovery, WU and CD – 7.25 miles total. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect speed wise with these intervals. According to my half goal, I needed to run the mile in 6:49 and 2 in about 14:04, then both 800’s in 3:16. I decided to tone it down a bit and shoot for a 7:00 and then a 14:10-14:15, but surprised myself yet again and ran the mile in 6:50 and the 2 mile in 14:06. My 800’s suffered though, with a 3:26 and 3:23, but by then I hardly cared.I ran a 7:06 and 7:01 consecutively and didn’t die, and though running another mile wasn’t happening, it tells me the training is working and I am getting faster!

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I AM FABULOUS

Thursday trainer 35 minutes AM/ arms and abs 30 minutes PM. I woke up with a scratchy throat. We had some company the night before so could only squeeze in 35 minutes, but that was fine because I hate the trainer. My last kid canceled so I hit the Y and did a set of arm weights, 5 pull ups (3 then 2) and a set of abs including planks. I also did a short and light set of hips. By then I had some nice head congestion but not enough to warrant skipping. Hot chocolate helped a little.

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no, the tissues aren’t used

Friday rest day . long run. 12 miles @ 8:18/mile. Faced with the decision to either run with a head cold or try to bear through freezing rain (or 12 miles on Satans Sidewalk) the next day, I medicated up (relax, I took one Sudafed), put my shoes on after work and headed out. This run was easier than the same distance attempt 2 weeks ago, but was still challenging by the end, so still work to do. Though, the cold probably didn’t help. Also, rain likes me because again, even though the chance of rain was 1%, it rained lightly almost the whole run.

Saturday –nothing. I literally did nothing. All day.I cursed my cold.

Sunday yoga. Painful yoga. Starting to feel better, but still pretty tired, it wasn’t my best yoga session ever.

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

1 Week to Myrtle (Race Week)

I got behind on posting this and any other blogs (I haven’t even started the recap yet) because, frankly, I’m tired.

Excuses excuses right?

Anyway, here we go:

Monday: cross . Swim 1600 meters. So, I figured since I can swim a mile at 2:23/100m, I should be able to swim 400 meters at like 2:15/100m. Right? Wrong. In fact, not even close. It just goes to show you how days can be so different. I did one set at 2:20, another at 2:21, then took a break and did some drills. Then I did 200 at 2:20, so I didn’t even manage to get faster there, and then said screw it and took the last 200 easy.

Tuesdaytempo. Well kinda. It really meant 3 miles at goal race pace. It was a little warm by the time I got out there, but otherwise it went well.

Wednesday: speed. 12×400 with 6@ 6:36 and 6 recovery. I lowered the goal down to 7 and ended up somewhere in the middle. 6:42, 6:53, 7:00, 6:57, 6:57, 6:46. Even with the lesser amount of speed this pace felt hard, which will become significant in a bit….

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This one is the “Tamfi”

Thursday: rest day. It was a planned rest day anyway, but I woke up Thursday morning feeling slightly dizzy, light headed, and even a little nauseous. The stomach bug has been running rampant around lately and all I could think was “48 hours from race day and NOW I’m going to get sick??”. I took an ibproufen and that helped, otherwise I just hoped for some good healthy vibes. Luckily, it did not get any worse. What is it with the taper week that makes your body just start to shut down?

Friday : rest day. Felt slightly better when I woke up but still not wonderful. I lucked out with several cancelations and was able to go home  2 hours earlier than normal, where I made myself plant my butt on the couch. By the time Tammie came to pick me up, I was feeling quite a bit better. Thank goodness.

Saturday: RACE DAY! Redemption run was a success, and I think these pictures from the finish say enough (for now)

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And, as if running a marathon wasn’t enough for the day, we also bought a new (to us) car that evening.

Sunday: um hello? Rest day. We skipped church (bad me) and watched a couple movies in the morning, then took the twins to the park where I semi-hobbled around. 🙂

Stay tuned for the recap!

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