Rather than make excuses about why I didn’t write a training log last week I’m going to take a cue from today’s post and just get back to it and list last week’s running. This week featured (mostly) shorter runs and only one day off in the attempt to make the heat a little easier on myself.
Sunday, 7/20 – 8 miles easy, taking a friend on a swell little tour of Brooklyn
Monday 7/21 – Started the day off in a Salty way by meeting up with our own Garlic at the East River Track! We did a series of drills that absolutely kicked my ass six ways to Sunday and left me dragging until I took a day off on Thursday. Later that evening I ran to a hash, logging about 6 miles before relaxing with my friends at a fun cookout in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Tuesday 7/22 – 4 miles of tempo-ish pace, dripping in the heat and whining about how sore I was from Monday’s drills. Clearly I need to do more of those…
Wednesday 7/24 – 4 miles commuting
Thursday – off
Friday 7/25 – About 4 miles hashing
Saturday 7/26 – About 6 to 7 miles hashing…it was hard to tell, since I was out of town and unfamiliar with the terrain, but it was really really fun!
Total: 32 miles.
I would like to start getting more of my mileage in outside of the hash, and since I’m working more this week, that will likely happen. I started off on the right foot on Sunday with a fine 7.5 mile run and followed up with a day off on Monday while I worked a 16 hour day. Today the big goal is 8, and I’m going to try (again) to run with a running club in Central Park for a 5 mile Fartlek. Hopefully by holding myself accountable here I’ll finally make it there!
Going to keep it short and sweet. I made it three weeks into my second SmartCoach Training Plan and had to bag it for the time being. I’m not exactly sure how this happened but my guess is I hurt my knee when I was watching a dog a few weeks ago and went from 0-60 in 5 seconds on his leash. I am lucky I didn’t fall and get dragged!
I’m not too down about this mystery pain though. My priorities have been in transition for quite some time now. Initially, I was planning on taking some time off from competitive training but after running a PR, I wanted to extend the positive energy. However, it started to fade this past week. The added knee pain was the icing on the cake. It makes sense, too. My previous training plan was 14 weeks long. Though not intense on the physical front, the focus and commitment required was, especially when life is busy in other areas.
This is how the past week panned out:
Monday: Off. Inner knee hurt all day.
Tuesday: Close to 5 miles. Tried the plan’s tempo but bagged it after one mile. Felt quite sluggy.
Wednesday: Off. Knee felt better.
Thursday: 7 miles. Tried tempo again but went too soon after my lunch so I had many a side stitch and burps. Knee also started to hurt around 4 miles.
Friday: Off to give knee more rest. Did do a light lift.
Saturday: Off. Knee feeling better.
Sunday: 60 minute run (15 in the morning and 45 at night). Also did another lifting session. I could feel my knee on both runs and today (Monday) it hurts.
I’ve never had knee problems so any helpful tips are appreciated! Again though, I am content with the circumstances and enjoying the little break from competitive training.
I made a very important observation. When going through a rough patch with training, but feeling relatively a little better, going and and putting in one of your hardest weeks of training is probably not smart. For all the relative awesomeness of last week, I think I just dug myself a deeper hole. I felt super tired on my Monday run and my track workout was a train wreck. It was as bad a workout as I’ve had. I felt shaky and weak from the pre-workout strides. We did an up and down ladder workout which I’ve done some version several times before. It’s definitely hard, but is also doable and a workout I enjoy. During the second rep, when I felt like I was flying and only running 3:04 for an 800, it suddenly occurred to me that I might be doing more harm than good by pushing through these workouts even when feeling bad. Did I stop?
Up until this week, I had resolved to push through my training and just do my best. If my body was revolting and not letting me run goal pace, then I’d run my best whatever it was, but get the workout done. I carried that attitude to Tuesday’s track workout and pushed through. It was ugly. Goal was 5:55 pace for 400, 800, 1200, 1600, 1200, 800, 400, 800. I ran 89, 3:04, 4:4x 6:34, 4:4x, 3:07, 90 maybe (forget exactly), 2:57 (this was all out after a 4:00 rest). On Wednesday, I felt horrible. Exhausted, achy, cranky … pretty miserable, actually! I ellipticalled for 6 miles. Even that felt taxing. I finally decided to try something different. Pushing through is clearly not helping me. I took Thursday off from running and just went to my strength class. I attempted my tempo early on Friday, but bagged that when it felt bad and was not improving. Took Saturday off and just ran 12.5 of my scheduled 15.
So instead of pushing through my new plan is to recover, keep up with my iron supplements and consult my doctor about what else could be going on. Just looking at my training logs, it seems like something happened between last summer and this spring when I stopped training and then restarted training. Last summer, I was getting back in shape and training was definitely challenging, and I was struggling with back pain from my diastasis recti (separated abs) but I definitely was feeling like my old self fitness-wise. Even in early December, I ran a really solid trail race. Something has happened in the meantime, and since I started back training I have yet to feel like my old strong self. It certainly is frustrating and I’ve definitely been very down about it at times.
But what can I do? I can bemoan it and complain. I can fear it and play the “what-if” game. I can freak out. But none of that is going to change things. Or I can accept it and take it one day at a time and make the best decisions I can along the way to get better.
Mon: 7 early and easy.
Tue: 10 with track.
Wed: 6 elliptical.
Thu: no running. 45 minute strength class.
Fri: 9 miles with 1.25 at “tempo”
Sun: 12.5 averaging in the 7:30’s with KN and Saffron!
Total: 38.5 running and 6 elliptical
After a week of zero running, I was ready to get back into the routine. But after a long weekend of continuing ed courses and exploring New Orleans, I was pretty tired. By the end of this week, the travel and work stress had really worn me down! A couple down days and sleep-filled (well, almost) nights have helped to turn things around now and I’m going to enter the Columbus Marathon as soon as I publish this log!
Monday: 8 miles/1:10:41 in the morning. Started out the week ambitiously!
Tuesday: 10.2 miles/1:32:50. Another ambitous mileage day. However, I did take a break after about 40 minutes when baby JB got hungry. Wasn’t sure whether to call this two separate runs or not. I ended up logging it as one since I wore the same shoes and the break was only an hour.
Wednesday: 9.3 miles/1:09. Ran 45′ at goal marathon pace (6:49) with a couple restroom stops. Felt smooth.
Thursday: 8.7/1:18. I don’t remember this run. Good thing I logged it at the time.
Friday: 0. Woke up to hungry baby at 1 am and didn’t get back to sleep until 5:30…for about 45 minutes. Rough day.
Saturday: 6.4/55:00. Tired.
Sunday: 4/35:20. A bit disappointed I didn’t get a long run in, but there’s still plenty of time for that.
Total: 46.6 miles
We recently received a question from Jess, who is ready to race her first Ironman very soon! (Major kudos to you!) She has a very supportive spouse who has been with her every step of the way and plans to be there for every minute of the race. She is wondering if she should also enlist the support of her other friends to help her through the day. Here’s her question:
I have a big race coming up – my first Ironman. I’ve worked really hard training for it over the last year. My question is about spectators – the race is in my home state, about an hour from the town where I live. My parents and siblings will be out of town that weekend. My husband will of course be my main cheerleader! However, I would love to invite my close group of friends to come watch (and hopefully cheer me on!). Is it selfish to invite other friends to come spectate? Is it weird? No one has offered or even seems interested. I have attended gallery openings, public readings, concerts and other events for these friends, which I kind of view as the equivalent. What would Salty do?
After two weeks of breaking 50 miles per week, this week was a cut-back week. I have to admit I was feeling pretty antsy and wanted to keep building up miles, but my coach put my long runs on my schedule for the next several weeks (without the rest of the schedule). Seeing 3:00 and 3:20 coming up in the next 2 weeks was enough to convince me to embrace this recovery week.
Monday was completely off. I usually do arm weights, but my shoulder was hurting so I decided to take it easy.
Tuesday I had intervals on tap. 10 minute warm up; 5 x .5 miles @ 6:58 pace; .25 mi recoveries; cool down with 4 strides. 50 minutes / 6.26 / 7:59 overall average pace. It was warm, humid and hard.
Wednesday I ran 13 with the 2 other boys I am coaching for the half as they had a baseball tournament over the weekend and couldn’t run when my son and I did. We were blessed with perfect running weather. The first 4.5 miles, we had 5 of us running (me, hubby, son and 2 boys). We took it nice and easy during those miles, averaging between a 9:20 and 9:40 pace. After we dropped off hubby and son, we picked up the pace a bit so we were more in the neighborhood of 8:30-8:45. Once we hit 10 miles, we decided to up the ante and ran 8:15, 8:25 and then finished with 7:55. It was awesome because the boys really struggled through their previous long runs and had some very difficult weather. It was a huge confidence booster for them and they are now so pumped for their race.
Thursday I ran 52 minutes / 6 miles / 8:56 pace and did arm weights.
Friday 31 minutes / 3.6 miles / 8:46 pace.
Saturday we raced! It was warm and humid, but a fun and mostly flat race. I slept more than terrible all week (highly unusual for me) but I was determined to toe the line anyway. I ran an easy 2.5 mile warm up before going to the race, then ran 1 mile with 2 strides with the boys prior to the race. My race was great for the first 1.5, then I had some tummy issues (not cool), so I had to pull back a bit. Frustrating, but I pushed through knowing I wanted to place so the boys knew their coach had some mettle. :) 22:42 for me, which is pretty slow for me, but good enough for 2nd in my age group. My son ran a 21 second PR – 19:21 and one of the boys I am coaching ran 19:11 (then he ran 19:40 Sunday!). The 3rd boy unfortunately got the cold my son had last weekend, so he took it easy and ran around 25:00. Was fun to all race together though. Finished up the day with some cross training – dancing for hours to my husband’s band!
Sunday was a rest day. I almost never rest on Sunday, but I had to drive my son to soccer camp 3 hours away – AND 3 hours back. LONG day.
Total: 5:02 hours / 35.4 miles
Next week I continue building and I turn 41!
Some fun things happened this week, and number one on the list was a workout with Cinnamon at the East River Park Track in NYC on Monday! It was a blast to meet her in person and I was so happy to have her with me for the workout. I hope it’s the first of many with her!
I also tried out a new workout I learned from Coach Fred Benlein, the director of the USATF Level One School I attended on Long Island last weekend: the Neuromuscular-Based Regeneration Run. The purpose of the workout is to develop the alactic energy system, and the workout is 20*(30 sec hard, 30 sec easy). Coach Benlein suggested that (150m hard, 50m easy) on the track turns out to be around 30 sec for each for most people, and it eliminates the need to stare at your watch the whole time, so I opted for this. Though it was not a problem to run 150m hard in 30 seconds (I actually ran all the repeats I did in 25-29 seconds), it was killer to run many of them in a row with only 30 seconds rest between them and I only made it through 8 reps, even with a break halfway through! But, as Coach Benlein promised, the following day my legs felt totally fine for my long run – running hard for only 30 seconds at a time allows you to work on speed endurance without accumulating lactate in your legs. So I’m definitely going to keep including this workout every week until I can work up to the intended 20 reps.
The only real training wrinkle in my week was I had to cut my fartlek run short on Tuesday because my left foot started to feel a little funky halfway through. But since I didn’t push through that it didn’t turn into anything bad and by the next day felt completely fine. Here are the rest of the details of my week:
Monday: Easy run + speed development with Cinnamon. Warm-up: 20 min easy. Workout: Step-over sequence: 2*ankle runs, 2* shin runs, 2*knee runs. Straight leg sequence: 2*straight leg run, 2*straight leg bound. 2*acceleration march, 2*acceleration skip, 2*b-skip. 2*high skip, 2*long skip. 6*strides. Cooldown: Core routine. 20 min easy, stretch.
Tuesday: Fartlek. Warm-up: 20 min easy. 2*buttkicks, heel kicks, a-skips, carioca. 4*strides. Workout: Supposed to be 20 min Fartlek: 4*(1 min easy-moderate, 4 min moderate), but had to cut short after first 2 reps. Just did core and hip mobility work and then walked home.
Wednesday: A.M. Easy Run. 20 min easy, 2*strides. PM: Session with strength coach. 30 min bodywork, PRI drills, stretches, dynamic warm-up. 3*plyo circuit: 45 degree alternating bounds, shot-put throws with med ball. 3*circuit 1: kettle bell swings, turkish get-ups, t-spine mobility work. Primal rolling. 3*Circuit 2: goblet split squats, cable lat pull-downs to row in half-kneel, cable chop and lift in half-kneel.
Thursday: Neuromuscular-Based Regeneration Run. Warm-up: 20 min easy. 2*buttkicks, heel kicks, a-skips, b-skips, ice skaters, long skips. 4*strides. Workout: 2*[4*(150m hard, 50m easy)]. 150m hard =25-29 sec. 4*10 sec hills sprints. Cool-down: 10 min easy, general strength/mobility cool down routine.
Friday: Long run. 80 min easy over rolling hills. AIF.
Sunday: Easy run. 30 min easy, including 2*strides during run. Stretch.
Well this week was another busy one. Week 2 of two part time gigs was somewhat of a bust in the workout department. It’s looking like I may be relegated to a weekend warrior who sometimes squeezes in a bike commute until I nail down this nutty schedule!
There’s four weeks to go until the North Country Trail Run and this week was supposed to be a sort of back off week before the last “big” week before taper. I only got in two of the 3 planned runs and they were pushed to the weekend. Not ideal, but it is what it is.
Monday- Bike commute to work, to work party, and back home for a total of 29 miles.
Tues-Friday – Nada/Rest. Ouch.
Saturday – 6 miles trail with 5 miles at tempo effort averaging 8:31 for the whole run. Followed that up with a 19 mile bike ride targeting hill efforts with 6 big climbs.
Sunday – 10 mile run at 7:45 pace. This was pretty miserable and my tomato red face and drenched clothes made it obvious to all just how miserable it was. A bit faster than I expected but I would have dragged along if I had tried to moderate it anymore so I just went with the harder effort and crappy feeling.
This week will be nutty with Burning River this weekend and pacing my friend from 55 to the end. I want to go into the event rested since I obviously am not trained to run 45 miles right now. I’m counting on the easy pace and some serious muscle memory to get me through! That will replace my planned 20 miler, so I think I will be covered in the long run department, but I am still feeling sluggish when I approach anything near my old “fast” paces so the marathon should be interesting.
At the risk of defaulting to the two most generic topics ever (weather and time), can you believe it is almost August? Although school is starting soon which I’m not quite ready for, it’s also getting closer to the fall racing season. It makes the end of summer so much more palatable. I’m even looking forward to it.
Plus, the end of summer means the time of beautiful running weather is returning as well. And as my training for next summer’s run begins to ramp up in September, I’m looking forward to running in crisp, fall mornings. It’s still summer now, though, and it’s Saturday which means it’s time to find out who won the comment of the week award this week! Read more >>
At 77 years old, Ernestine Shepherd holds the Guinness World Record as the World’s Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder.
I was lucky enough to meet Ms. Shepherd a few years ago and while my first impression was “Wow, is she gorgeous!” I was most struck that her inner beauty far surpasses her impressive physique. If Sports Illustrated is looking for its next cover model, she’s got my vote!
So inspired am I by “Ernie” and her accomplishments that I’m dedicating today’s Friday 5 to a few lessons we runners–and all athletes–can learn from her. Read more >>
I know you all have been there — one of those sweltering summer runs where all you can think about is a nice, cold post-run drink. Well, the end of summer is not yet in sight, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite mocktails to quench your thirst.
Read on for some tasty liquid refreshment! Read more >>
Well, the new (old) shoes have done the trick. I switched back to a new pair of the Adrenaline 13s and my extensor tendinitis seems to have disappeared! I had a relatively light week of training to give me a bit of a taper for the half marathon at the end of the week. The lower mileage and absence of hard workouts was nice, as it coincided with a short but fun (and exhausting!) family camping trip.
Monday – 6 miles, early morning, slow and tired. Up late that night to get squared away at the lake where we were camping.
Tuesday – off. Camping with the fam. Did quite a bit of quad work in the paddle boat, though!
Wednesday – 6 miles, 7:53 avg. Ran one mile warm up then 2 miles at tempo (7:25, 7:28), 1 min rest, 2 at tempo (7:22, 7:32). Practiced eating gel at that pace in prep for Sunday’s HM. This run felt harder than it should have (tired, dragging, etc), eroding my confidence going into the race Sunday.
Thursday – off – felt some lingering bursitis after the tempo on Wednesday. Foam rolled and used a tennis ball to try to work it out, but ended up with a bruised butt and hip. Lovely.
Friday – 5 miles easy
Saturday – Off
Sunday – Surprise PR in the Her Tern Half Marathon, 13.1 in 1:37:37 with negative splits! Plus a mile or so of warm up.
Total – 31 miles
It was nearing 4 a.m. on June 21st and I was ready to go: shoes on, bug spray and body glide applied, watches set, pack filled. All I had to do was get out of the chair, hop in the car, drive the 10 minutes to the start line and run for the next 24-25 hours or so. That was it.
“Are you OK?” my friend, Erin, asked me.
“I should’ve dropped down to the 50,” I replied.
It was the longest day of the year and I was about to run my second 100 mile trail race at Mohican, the same location as my first 100 last year and I had every reason to have dropped down in distance. In the months leading up to the race, I broke up with my boyfriend of the majority of the last seven years, started a new career, moved to a new house and neighborhood, started dating again and just had so much life stress that I’m sure anyone would have understood if I had either not started at all or dropped to the shorter distance.
But I was running and racing well, setting new PRs in the 50K (road and trail), taking second at one race and two other top ten finishes. I nailed almost every single workout my coach gave me and my long run paces were strong. Physically, I was ready for 100 miles. Mentally, not so much. Read more >>
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