And yet again I get behind and do a combo post. I guess some weeks I should just be happy I manage to post anything.
Week of March 20
Monday – swim. 1800 meters – still slow. While I don’t look forward to waking up at 4:30 am to join masters swim, I could REALLY use the help on my form.
Tuesday – running snacks. 5 miles @ 8:51/mile. The twins ran a little afterwards, but Miles was cold because he insisted on not wearing a jacket.Sometimes moms ARE right, buddy.
Wednesday – speed. 4.81 miles @ 8:26/ mile including 6 x 400 intervals. I did this one in the morning and I can’t remember why, but whatever. I wanted a little speed before the 5k but didn’t want to overdo it, so I did 6 intervals with 1 min rest between, ranging from 6:10-6:36. It was a bigger range than I had hoped but I started out more slowly, and had some incline every other interval since I wasn’t on a track.
Thursday running snacks/yoga. 3 miles @ 9:22/mile followed by some stretching so I hopefully don’t make my PSOAS angry.
Saturday long run/race. 8.1 miles including the Turtle 5k race, where I FINALLY hit my long awaited 21:xx. I ran one mile before to warm up and did a long 4 mile cool down.
Sunday ride. 13.23 miles at 17.5 MPH. I had planned to do an hour but it was a chilly morning and I didn’t put on socks, so I cut it shorter. My toes were going numb.
Week of March 27
Monday – easy run. 6 miles @ 8:37/mile. Trying to both recover from Saturday’s 5k and prep for the upcoming Bridge run, I took it easy. I also took the day off and took the twins to the zoo with my friend Virginia and her daughter, Stella.
Tuesdayride. 16.2 miles @ 18.3 MPH I got a mile from my house on this ride before realizing I had left without my helmet. So I had to turn around and go back. Apparently I left my brain at home too.
Wednesdayhills 6 miles @ 8:40 including 4 hills. I wasn’t sure how much prep 4 hills was going to be 3 days before the Bridge Run, but I figured a little couldn’t hurt. The rest of the run was done at an easy pace. Melissa and I were gone longer so we missed the group picture.
Thursday cross. 30 minutes elliptical and 20 minutes weights.
Saturday run 6.24 miles at the Cooper River Bridge Run. Recap coming!
Sunday running snacks/yoga. 2 miles @9:15 pace and yoga for runners.
Slow and steady wins the race is the lesson behind the well known story of the Tortise and the Hare.
The Turtle 5k supports Meals on Wheels and is in honor of Lena Cox, a long time volunteer. She was nicknamed the turtle because she believed very much in the perseverance lesson involved in the story. Interestingly, it turns out that I know Lena’s daughter, though mostly in passing. Her family also attends the church we attend. Not only that, but she has twins so of course that is something I pay attention to.
Like the previous years, the race is an easy out and back on a local bike/running trail, with the awards at a church within walking distance (literally down the street). While speaking to Arden (Lena’s daughter) prior to the race I learned that there is not a single runner involved in the organization of this race, which I find particularly impressive because it really is very well run for a small local race.
Too cheap to pay the transaction fee involved in registering online, I showed up an hour before race start to register in person and hung out talking to a couple other runners while waiting to warm up. Melissa showed up about a half hour before race time. Her plan was to run this race as part of a tempo workout. She had offered to pace me but since I really never accepted or denied it I was a little surprised to find out this was still her plan.
Before the Charlie Post 5k, which brought my 5k PR from a 22:17 to a 22:12, my PR was OLD. Like pre infertility old. I hadn’t really trained for it but ran a 5k a few weeks after a marathon and ran it without really knowing much about pace. Ever since then, I have been after this elusive 21:xx 5k time. Of course I had to take quite a bit of time off from running during the IVF and subsequent twin pregnancy, but this is a goal I have seriously been chasing for over 5 years.
In January, after a surprisingly successful 2 mile speed work time, I started out too fast for my ability at Charlie Post. I ran mile 1 in 7:03 and mile 2 in 7:01, and then died a slow death during mile 3 with a 7:16 (though wind didn’t help) for a 7:06 average. It was enough for a 5 second PR, but obviously not the 21:xx I had hoped for.
I changed my pacing strategy for Catch the Leprechaun, hoping to stay at a steady 7:05 or so pace. Again, the first two miles went as planned with a 7:04 and 7:05, but I died again at mile 3 (though again wind didn’t help) with a 7:12 for another 7:06 average, but a longer overall time becuase my watch measured the course at 3.15
For Turtle, I planned to start slower than my goal and gradually work my way faster – a 7:08, 7:06, 7:04ish. I told this to Melissa before the start and then we were off.
Mile 1 – 7:07
No matter how hard I try I simply cannot seem to keep myself from jolting out of the gate too quickly. Once my watch caught up with my pace I was going a 6:45 so I had to slow down. We ran a short but steep up and downhill twice which I knew I’d be cursing on the way back, but overall I felt not too out of breath so I was hopeful. I stayed slightly ahead of Melissa for this mile.
Mile 2 7:05
I started to feel it about halfway through this mile and had to work to pick up my speed towards the end. I was slightly ahead again until a little after the turn around where I started to lag slighty behind. I could tell she was saying something to me but I had my music on so I had no idea what it was. Hopefully it was something encouraging. Mostly I was just annoyed she had enough breath to speak. 🙂
Mile 3: 7:07
Ya’ll. If I had the energy to curse the short but steep up and downhill we had to do again, I would have used more swear words than are currently in the English language. It was in this mile that I was very thankful Melissa was pacing me because with no other female in sight if I had been alone I’m not sure I would have kept pushing to go faster. In fact, at one point I wanted to swear at her for nicely motioning me to go faster because I WAS GOING AS FAST AS I COULD DAMNIT. Luckily if I had tried to talk I probably would have collapsed so I just yelled it in my head instead. I stopped looking at my watch once we hit about 2.5 miles because literally all my concentration was going towards trying to not fall too far behind her die.
The Home Stretch (last .1) – 6:23
So, just before my heard my watch beep for mile 3 I could see the finish clock, and it read 21:15. Somehow, even though I had literally felt my body start to shut down, that visual was what I needed to speed up for that last tenth of a mile. I kept my eyes on that clock THE WHOLE TIME just trying as hard as I could to get there before it reached 22:00. It almost felt like slow motion.
I had the wherewithall to stop my watch after I finished but I spent a solid minute crouched over trying to catch my breath. Melissa is is asking me what my time was and I am like dunno….can’t….breathe…..trying….not….to.. vomit but I lifted my wrist to see that it said 21:57. Not only that, but for a perfect 3.10 distance. I can speak more than one word at this point but am still mostly just trying to get some more oxygen to my brain so it still hadn’t really sunk in.
But then suddenly it did.
I had done it. Finally. FINALLY.
I ran a long cool down and made it back just in time for awards. Melissa of course won female overall (I mean if she had really seriously raced it she would have beat me by more than 2 minutes) but I came in second which won me a 15$ gift card to Fleet Feet and Road ID.
After the awards we passed by the medal table and I stopped to look for my official time, which I was pleasantly surprised to read was actually a 21:54!
I spent the rest of the day floating on a happy PR cloud. So it turns out a little slower may, in fact, win the race. Or at least get the PR. Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH MELISSA!
I got behind again so its time for another combo post, but I haven’t done much exciting or much “formal” training since the Myrtle Beach Half.
Monday – cross. 45 minutes yoga. Only minimally sore (yay!) but still tired from the race.
Tuesday easy run. 4.75 stroller miles @9:41 average. One advantage of not following a training plan is more runs with the twins, who now spend a good deal of the run asking for their turn.
Wednesday easy-ish run. 6 miles @8:24 average. Some of the track group met to run some hills but I decided against it and ran the trail. It was a warm day, but I was pleasantly surprised that my pace didn’t feel awful, which gives me (some) hope about this summer.
Saturday long run 9 miles mostly easy with 2 5k miles for an 8:06 average. I had considered running the Shamrock Shuffle but decided I probably wouldn’t be sufficiently recovered, and I was right. The two 5k miles felt much more difficult than I’d anticipated.
Sunday cross. 55 minutes yoga. Still attempting to stretch out all my tight muscles.
Monday easy. 6 miles @8:19/mi The first part of this run was difficult thanks to my asthma acting up but a 2nd puff of my inhaler did the trick and then it was smooth sailing 🙂
Tuesday cross. 50 minutes yoga My hip started feeling achy sometime Monday night (yay), so I hoped some extra stretching would help.
Wednesday speed/easy. 5.5 miles total. Ran the Catch the Leprechaun 5k, and of course a warm up and cool down. 3.15 miles @ 7:06 pace, and the rest easy.
Saturday long progression. 10 miles @ 8:05. I was unsure on how to go about this run, and wise man told me to run a progression if I felt like my body could handle it. I went out with a possible plan to start at 8:50, knocking 10 seconds off per mile for 10 miles, which would end at a 7:20. The first couple miles felt great so I went for it, hitting my paces in 8:47, 8:41, 8:29, 8:21, 8:09, 8:00, 7:50, 7:41, 7:31, 7:20. I actually really enjoyed that the first few miles were pretty easy but that it packed a challenge at the end and I’ll definitely be doing more runs like this in the future.
Sunday ride. 12.5 mile ride/16.5 mph. I thought maybe I should get back on my bike since it had been almost a month. Unfortunately I picked a VERY windy day.
Running “season”, for me, is rapidly reaching an end, and I really need to get in the pool and on the bike more. I have one more 5k race and 10k race (well, I’m using race loosely here as its the bridge run and I have no PR expectations) on the calendar and then its time to start trying to not drown and not get run over.
Catch the Leprechaun is a popular race held each year around, you guessed it, St. Patricks Day. Since the race is on a weeknight and a 40 minute drive, though, I’ve never raced it before. Luckily, this years’ race happened to fall on speed work night it was easier to justify the evening away.
The weather was calling for about 47 degrees, but a check in the morning revealed that it was also going to be windy. Like, 14 mph gusts windy. So, just in case, I packed 3 sets of clothes. (Hey, can’t say I wasn’t prepared). I left work wearing long sleeves and running tights. I arrived about 5:20 to pick up my number, confident I had chosen the right outfit. Walking to get my bib I was freezing. But when I left my car again to use the restroom, the wind had died down a bit and I got warmer. I discussed my options with 4 different people, because I guess I thought maybe they’d know my typical exercise body temperature enough to tell me if I should change (they didn’t). Upon my return to the car I made a last minute decision to change into my capris and the only t-shirt I had, the race shirt.
Melissa and I ran a quick warm up, threw our jackets into the car and headed for the start where we found John and hung out around the front with him. With 5 minutes to spare we posed for a picture.
But the sun was directly in our faces so we turned around and tried again.
Not much better. I just needed to grow about a foot to block the sun. Or maybe I should have had John stand in the middle. Hindsight.
Catching the Leprechaun is a little mis named, because in reality the person dressed as the Leprechaun waits until most of the group starts running and works his way up to the front. So really you’re trying to avoid HIM catching YOU.
I overshot my abilities at the last 5k, running 2 quick miles and then hitting a 3rd that was more than 15 seconds longer than the first two. So this time I aimed to see if I could run a steady 7:05.
Mile 1 (7:04)
The horn went off and the group began running. As always, I shot out too fast, saw my pace was at a 6:45 and started to slow down. That’s me, in the blue, looking pained. Note how the girl in front of me looks amazing. I hate her a little for that, but I caught up to and passed her before the end of the race so TAKE THAT RANDOM NICE LOOKING RACE PICTURE GIRL!
But I digress. The first quarter mile included a small hill, but overall I felt ok pace wise.
Mile 2 (7:05)
I stayed pretty consistent through most of this mile, and not much to report here. But I felt better than I did in Mile 2 of Charlie Post and hoped this was a good sign for the rest of the race.
Mile 3 (7:12)
Just kidding. I’m not sure what happens when I hit mile 3, but my body is like “sorry honey, this isn’t happening”. I actually started out the mile in the 7:20’s and slowly (and PAINFULLY) increased it to a 7:18, then a 7:18 – back down to a 7:18, and finally up to a 7:12. It was the LONGEST MILE EVER. It was also (dammit) windy.
Last .15 (6:52)
Lord knows where it came from but I was able to kick it a bit faster to the end. I’m sure the downhill helped.
I crossed the finish line in 22:25 – 13 seconds slower than my last 5k. My average pace was exactly the same, but since the course ran longer of course it added time. Sucks because I actually tried to run the tangents this time. Still, I wasn’t disappointed given the wind and wasn’t sure how I’d perform 10 days after the half anyway.
Melissa and I took a pic with the Leprechaun (who did not catch up to me!), where I took a particularly awesome picture with my eyes closed.
On the plus side I won 2nd in my age group and a couple of my speed work friends won something too, so we stood around freezing to death waiting for awards.
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 day13.1 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.
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. 🙂
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sunday cross/easy. 55 minutes yoga/2 easy stroller miles @ 9:02. I did rock a nice headstand.
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
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!
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.
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.
Thursday cross. Basically a repeat of Monday. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs.
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.
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.