It’s almost here!!!! This was my last big week of training, now time to sharpen up and get ready to fly. I raced a 5k on Tuesday and am feeling good about Chicago!
This race was a pretty last-minute addition to the race calendar. Mr. Chicory and I signed up the Monday before the race. My coach wanted one more all-out effort from me before my goal marathon in November, and the mister doesn’t race very much and needed to get a better sense of his goal for the same marathon.
Indianapolis is about 2 hours from our house in Louisville. I looked for a race closer but the only ones I could find 10k to half-marathon were all 2 hours away in various directions. Indy gets preferential treatment because we go often enough that we sort-of know our way around, and because my coach is based there. This means extra perks, usually, like a tent where we can leave our stuff plus last-minute motivation and an on-course cheerleader/photo-taker.
Sometimes I have to think less about running and just do the damn thing. So I haven’t been great about logging or reflecting or any of that. I did read Ronda Rousey’s “My Fight/Our Fight,” which was a good motivational read that was also quick and easy.
Quick and dirty weekly recaps for now. My intention both weeks … train. Don’t overthink it. JFR.
Monday: 8.57 miles easy. My Garmin Forerunner 35 went kaput so I had to use my phone and the Strava (barf) app to record. 1.5 miles for Morgan.
Tuesday: 10 miles total, speedwork day. Warm up, 4×30/60s, 1 mile at 90%, 8×400 at 90%, die, cool down. Felt really good about this workout. The heat index 98 and I ran on the roads because the track was closed. Resorted to my old FR15, which doesn’t show lap distance, so had to keep adding the 400s/200s up in tenths. Went a little hard on the sixth 400, paid for it on 7th. Times: 6:15, 92, 92, 92, 89, 87, 85, 96 (recorded a smidge long), 90. The c/d miles were ugly. Jasyoga calf reset during the day and legs up after. One of my favorite notes from coach on this one: “Your business is kicking ass and business is good. This is strong stuff!”
Wednesday: 6.33 miles very, very slowly. First 1.5 with Morgan. Coach: “If people only knew what a sub 3 marathoner runs on the recovery days.” Taught Pilates that evening.
Thursday: 8.6 mile “light” progression run, .65 with Morgan at the beginning. 4 miles cut down from 8:06 to 7:20. Humid.
Friday: 6.25 easy with a friend. 80º at 7 a.m., neat.
Saturday: 16 miles total, long run of doom. SO HOT AND HUMID. I didn’t even put notes into my log, it was so bad. 87º, feels like 97, dewpoint 76. I had to change clothes and shoes. Forgot to weigh before I went but I was 109.2 Friday morning and 105.7 after the run … with lots of stops. That was rough.
Sunday: 6.25 treadmill miles while it was storming.
Totals: 62 miles run (100k!), 70 minutes Pilates/Jasyoga (yikes, not enough), 3.65 miles for Morgan.
Monday: 8 miles, first .65 with Morgan. Nothing notable. Jasyoga 5 minute reset while at work, subbed a Pilates class after.
Tuesday: New watch day! 10 miles with 4x2k hill circuits, which involves 2k worth of up and down ran at tempo effort. Hot but less humid. Ran the first part of the warmup with Mr. Chic, but he had less total mileage on the day so he started the hills first. I caught him on my second/his third. First two reps were great, last two were not as fun. Jasyoga after.
Wednesday: Dropped Morgan off to get spayed, then subbed a morning Pilates class. Worked all day, then taught Pilates after work and then ran 6 or maybe 6.32 on the treadmill. Not sure which is more accurate — watch accelerometer or uncalibrated gym treadmill.
Thursday: Humid 6 moderate-ish with some strides. This was not as fun as I anticipated.
Friday: 4 mile easy shakeout run with a friend.
Saturday: Grand Slam 4 Miler. Great weather, 61º but the cold front brought with it a decent breeze especially along the river. 2.5 mile warmup plus strides, didn’t feel great. 4 mile race, lead from the beginning. A lot of us got sent the wrong way because they had three lead bikes but all at the very front instead of spread out. I crossed the finish line about 400m short, so I just lap split for interest and pushed hard until my watch hit 4. Not super accurate because the course has A LOT of zig-zag turns, but at least gave me an idea. I closed that last 400m at 5:30 pace, too. BOOM.
The next couple of girls also got turned around at various points, and if you take my watch time with the extra 400m, I was still 2+ minutes ahead of second. We basically all agreed it was fine how it was, that the order would’ve been the same had we all gone the same right way. That means I defended my title from last year (when we also got misdirected) and got another Louisville Slugger bat, though! And I get to throw the first pitch at an upcoming minor league game. Hard to compare the races since I had them both short for different reasons, but Garmin says I averaged 5 seconds per mile faster this year, so that’s good. 3.5 mile cool down, mostly with a group of other racers.
Sunday: 6 miles slow. It was 57º out, I couldn’t not run. Felt the race in my hamstrings and glutes. Jasyoga hamstring reset after.
Totals: 50.4 miles, 189 minutes Pilates/Jasyoga. Just .65 miles for Morgan since she’s now in recovery mode for a couple of weeks.
Crazy ass week. So leading into this week I worked from home a half-day the previous Friday, and took vacation on Monday before the July 4th holiday. Hello, four-day weekend. (Also, if you had to work Monday, I’m sorry. That’s just stupid. Tuesday holidays should only be allowed if they come with a Monday holiday.)
Intention: TBH, totally didn’t set one this week. No reason, just didn’t.
Monday: Easy 4 mile shakeout run, first mile with Morgan. No idea what I did all day but I bet it was awesome. I worked in the yard over the weekend but not Monday since I was racing Tuesday. Foam rolling and legs up later in the day.
Tuesday: UGHHHHH FML why do I sign up for races?!?!? Woke up at 4:45 a.m. to drive to Lexington for the Bluegrass 10,000. The opportunity to see Pesto is the only reason I drove 80 minutes in the dark and rain. 3 mile warm up, also in the rain, which fortunately stopped and turned straight into a million percent humidity just in time for the gun to go off. 72º, dewpoint 69, 91% humidity. My time goal was ambitious considering the weather and I should’ve backed off a little more in the beginning. Also forgot how hilly the course is. Passed a lot of girls in the first 5 miles but then got passed by 2 in the last mile. Grumpy face.
Here’s the thing about races: even bad races are good training. Sure, I like to run fast and race hard. But I have to remember that I am closing in on Chicago and my taper for this race by reducing Monday’s run by 2 miles following my highest mileage week since the miniMarathon. It’s not an excuse, but it is reality, even when I’m disappointed. And when I’m being honest with myself and not whining, my HR average was about 89% of max and maxed at 93% (probably right about where this photo was taken). I had slow miles at 3 and 5 on the uphills but recovered in between, my last mile was my second-fastest, and my last bit was 5:57 pace per Garmin. Officially 40:40 for 8th female (out of 1,319). Pesto was 4th at the turnaround and finished STRONG to win the whole damn thing. 3 mile cool down with Pesto, which included 2 miles to my car then driving it closer to the finish/awards and running another mile. It was back to pouring rain again but it let up a little and we had beers at 9:30 a.m. from street vendors because when you’ve been up for four hours already, it’s basically lunchtime so who cares. Drive 80 minutes back home. Nap.
Wednesday: 6 miles easy recovery, first 1.1 with Morgan. Swampy weather, very slow. Taught Pilates after work.
Thursday: 8 miles with 10x 30/60s (30 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy). Still a little stiff but mostly just hot and humid. We hit the magic mark Thursday of air temperature and dew point equalization, and if you live somewhere where the dew point matters, you know that means it was completely miserable. Morgan joined for the first .65 and last .25. Taught Pilates after work.
Friday: 6 miles with my pal Chelsea from the gym. I took Morgan out for a longer walk plus a half-mile run beforehand. Mr. Chic and I headed to Muncie, Ind., for the half-Ironman there around 1 p.m. so yeah, another long car ride. 3 hours there, last bit in a crazy thunderstorm that shut down athlete check-in for the rest of the day.
Saturday: Up at 3:30 a.m. (OMFG) for Mr. Chic’s half-IM. See, because athlete check-in got cancelled about the exact time we got there, we had to be there EXTRA EARLY to get him checked in and set up. And it was a wetsuit-legal swim, so we had a bonus piece of gear. (Because that’s what every triathlon needs — more gear.) Also the entire place was a giant mud pit following the storms. Ugh.
We get Mr. Chic checked in, then his bike, then bring over his other stuff for transition. Ready to go an hour before the start, so we basically sat on the reservoir’s “beach” for a while. Stuff him in his wetsuit. Take his sandals. Wave bye, see ya in 5ish hours!
I watch his wave start, then walk back to the car to drop off his bag. I run 2.5 miles and then come back for T1. He has a great swim, but forgot his sunglasses for the bike. Uh oh. I run to the car, find them, then start running to the bike course (as per my plan anyway). I don’t have to wait too long before he comes by, on the way out on the first loop. I yell I have his sunglasses … then have to wait until he hits the turnaround and comes back (about 8 miles) to find out if he wants them. Turns out he doesn’t. Okie dokie. I hit the Cardinal Greenway rail-to-trail, hit another spot on the bike course, run along the course then back on the run course towards transition. I don’t see him again on the bike, but I do get to cheer for the first runners on the run course (they start in age group waves, so first on the run course doesn’t mean first place, crazy triathlons). The run is H.I.L.L.Y. I make it back to transition with a few minutes to spare, cheer, hand off sunglasses. But because the run is an out and back and there’s a lake in the middle of it, I can’t catch him on the run. Instead I jog another mile out on the run course, make friends, run back. Long run finally finished! I pay $2 for “beach” entry which gets me a shower and is the best $2 I’ve spent in a long time. First, ice bath in the reservoir (water temp 76º, not very icy.) Last year I didn’t have time to shower before he finished and I ended up waiting in a long line with a bunch of race finishers who all needed/deserved the shower more than me. This time I had it all to myself! I even charged my phone while showering … probably some sort of hazard, but I’m not the person who put the outlets there sooooooo …
Drop off my bag o’ stuff at the car and grab his, head to the finish. He was hoping to be 5 hours but my math was saying he’d be more like 5:15-5:20. Nevertheless, I’m there just before 5 hours.
At 5:20 on the dot, he’s done! Hooray! Yay Mr. Chic!
Then he proceeded to lay on the ground for 15 minutes and not move. I actually lost him for 5 minutes between the finish line and where he laid down — he got out of the exit area really fast and disappeared.
Eventually he showered and we got all his stuff and loaded up and drove 3 hours home.
Sunday: 6 miles easy, long run day for Morgan, 1.67 miles! We dog parked, too, and she slept hard for like 3 hours. I was going to do some yoga and didn’t.
Totals: 59 miles run (all the odds and ends added up to a full mile, and yes, had I realized it, I would’ve run an extra Sunday), 2 Pilates classes taught, not enough of anything else. Morgan logged 5.32 miles.
Glow: Worked hard during the race regardless of time.
Growth: More foam rolling. More yoga.
HAHAH I started working on my log last week and never finished it. Sorry about that! It was Father’s Day, as you might recall, and I took my dad out for breakfast and we took my father-in-law out for dinner. We didn’t get home until 9:30 and I had to be up at 5 a.m. to head to Indianapolis for a workshop all week.
That means, dear friends, you get TWO WEEKS for the price of one today!
Intention for the week: “Focus on the process and enjoy it.”
Monday: 6 easy in the morning, felt really good. Kept it relaxed since Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday had all been pretty quality … and I had a Tuesday workout around the corner. 48 min / 141 AHR.
Tuesday: Death by coach. 10 total, 1k repeats with the first 800 at 10k effort and the last 200 all out. Averaged 3:57 in crappy weather — 75º with a dewpoint of 71. Half mile of the cool down with Morgan, our Aussie. 77 min / 152 AHR.
Wednesday: First .65 with Morgan then the rest of 5 miles easy. Stiff from Tuesday but I’ve had worse. Should’ve foam rolled more yesterday. 41 min / 141 AHR. Taught Pilates in the evening.
Thursday: Taught Pilates and then went straight to a race, the Viking Dash 5k. If you’re really bored, a friend ran with his GoPro and made a little video. You can see me a couple of times in black shorts and a black and neon New Balance crop top.
Coach and I had discussed a few options, including taking Tuesday’s workout down a notch and racing harder Thursday. At the time, it looked like Thursday night might be a heat index of 100º so I opted to hit Tuesday morning hard and let Thursday be kinda whatever it was. Last year this race was in fact almost that hot, and I went out too fast and struggled home. Apparently you can run 1 mile okay when it’s 95 … but not 3. Haha. But the weather turned out okay, 82º albeit humid, and I texted Coach in the afternoon. I said I was thinking about starting off easy and working my way down to practice smart racing strategies. He agreed a progression run would be a good way to go and suggested 6:30, 6:20, 6:10. My initial reaction was, “6:10 LOLZ.” I was thinking more like 6:40, 6:30, 6:15 maybe. But sure, coach, whatever you say!
2 mile warm up plus some strides. Already nice and warm and loose from Pilates, too. There was another fast girl there, so I figured she’d totally dust me — which was totally fine, I had hit a great workout Tuesday and this was really just the second workout of the week. Plus winning doesn’t really get you anything special — just the same plastic trophy as first.
Some kids go out hard from the start, including a girl who literally stops 400 meters in. I’m trying to rein myself in — with a small field that contains some speedsters (winners ended up being 15:57 and 18:30), it’s easy to get pulled along.
There’s another girl who I don’t know that passes me and pulls ahead around the 800 meter mark. I am not a fan of this. For the record, I had told coach our racing plan went out the window if there was actual racing to be done. I gradually pull back up and then give a little surge to pull ahead. First mile, 6:16. WHOOPS.
Okay, Chicory, time to not screw this up and positive split like last year!
I felt good, though, and in control. I catch a couple of guys before the halfway mark and ran with another guy I sort-of know for a bit after that. We got through the water stop at halfway, and I dumped the coldest cup of water ever over my head and shocked myself. WAKE UP!
2 mile split is 6:17, that’s pretty close to even so I’ll take it. Maintain and stay focused.
I stay with my new pacer until about 2.75 and then start to press. I did a good job closing despite not having anyone to really chase down. Last mile 6:09, last bit at 5:39 pace for .15 per Garmin. 19:32 finishing time. My watch had it a smidge long, but considering all the turns, that’s probably spot-on. Great little low-key race with no frills — for pete’s sake, it was “bib optional” and you just wrote down your finishing time on a card at the end. Love it.
1 mile cool down with a bunch of folks. Late race = late dinner = late bedtime = oh shit it’s time to run.
Friday: Pain Train. What did you think I was going to say? That the sun cast a rosy early morning glow on me and the birds sang sweetly and my legs felt light as the fresh summer air?
No. It was 70º and muggy and slow AF. 6 miles, 53 min / 133 AHR. Woof. Also I had three different events starting at 4 p.m. that involved consuming adult beverages, so I a) had to run in the morning and b) basically set myself up for a crappy run Saturday, too. #foreshadowing
Saturday: 12 miles of death, 98 min / 141 AHR. Hot and humid again. Things got bad around mile 5 and worse at 9.5. The only good part was that Morgan ran her first full mile at the beginning! (And was one of my fastest miles of the day.)
Sunday: 1.5 miles, 13 min / 131 AHR. HAHA I shouldn’t even record this as a run, but I am because it serves a purpose. Coach wrote “Easy 5 or off.” So I headed out and things were feeling pretty terrible, and I decided to exercise my option to rest.
Totals: 47 miles run (2.9 for Morgan!), 2 Pilates classes taught.
Glow: Two great speed days and good running for Morgan.
Growth: Missed ALL the extra salt I did last week!
This whole week was outta wack because I was in Indianapolis for work professional development. I was excited to be in Indy because my coach is there, plus his training group, plus so many of my friends! But I was sad to leave Morgan for four days and knew that would be tough for her … and for Mr. Chic.
Intention: Recover, rebuild.
Monday: Up hella early to walk and feed Morgan, then hit the road around 6 a.m. I ran during the workshop lunch break, 6 miles in 47 min / 151 AHR. A couple of friends up there, including coach, warned me it was going to be “a warm one” for a lunch run and I just laughed. It was 75º with no humidity … I’ve had worse at 6 a.m. lately! However, I didn’t plan eating very well because — like I said at the very beginning of this log — we were out late Sunday and I didn’t pack anything. I also didn’t have access to a fridge for the day, so that made things more complicated. Basically I had breakfast on the way and decided I would figure out lunch on the fly. And by that I mean I ate a bagel and a yogurt off the workshop breakfast tray at 11 a.m., regretted the yogurt for the entire run, and praised the Snack Gods when we were provided FREAKING QUESO during the afternoon lunch break. Like Qdoba style, served in a warming container with a ladle. ALL THE CHIPS. If you’re wondering, I dry shampooed my hair during the lunch break, wiped myself down with some face wipes, reapply a little bit of makeup, and threw my nicer clothes back on in the car. Sorry table mates!
Tuesday: Went to a 6:30 a.m. Pilates class, then class all day. Coach’s PBT group meets for speed work on Tuesday nights, and I was excited to join for once. BUUUUUT then I was late and they started before I got there and I was really sad. I had a good workout by myself, though, and nothing new about that. First run of the week on the Monon Trail, a great rail-to-trail system in Indy and points north. 10 miles with 6 miles alternating 10k and MP efforts, 72 min / 160 AHR. I also bike commuted on my friend/hostess’ bike and got in about 7 miles, all at an easy pace.
Wednesday: We were going to go to an outdoor morning yoga class but it was raining. Ran around downtown instead, 6 miles, 51 min / 137 AHR. Pretty typical Wednesday morning especially after a Tuesday evening workout. To be fair, my pace was aided by all the stops required by traffic downtown. I was also going to go to yoga that evening since I didn’t go in the morning, but had beers with a cool friend instead. 4.7 miles bike commuting.
Thursday: 8.5 miles in the early morning, 65 min / 159 AHR. I was staying with friends and PBT teammates Trena and Bob, and Bob is pretty close to me in pace. I talked him into doing this workout with me somehow, I think largely aided by a couple of adult beverages the night before. For the record, Bob warms up way faster than me. He took me through a really cool neighborhood of all classic craftsman houses, which was super neat. Then we hit the Monon Trail (in a different section) for the workout — 3, 2, 1 minutes hard with 2 minutes jog. I love this workout because “hard” varies depending on the day. Oh yeah and repeat three times. My goal is to always have the paces get faster as the intervals get shorter, but have each set be about the same. For example, my 3 minute segments were all .47 miles long. So “hard” but also knowing what hard effort you can actually sustain for the day. I headed back to Louisville after the class ended that day.
Friday: Back to my normal loop! First .68 with Morgan. 6.5 total (to even out yesterday), 54 min / 138 AHR. Warm and muggy.
Saturday: Little cooler but still humid. First mile with Morgan, 14 total, 1:53 / 138 AHR. My heart rate was staying low early in the run but I just couldn’t get my legs to go any faster. Averaged 8:13 for the first 10 miles. But then I started feeling a little better — also the end was in sight — and I picked it up and went 7:50, 7:40, 7:30, 7:30 for the next 4 and then back to 8:13 for a cool down mile. My heart rate was still in the easy range for that last 7:30 mile … more just tired legs than anything, I guess. Coach and I are taking a closer look at my weight going into long runs, plus I could probably use a visit to one of those doctor-type people to just check everything out. Jasyoga Quick LR Reset after.
Sunday: Easy 5 miles, super not hot — 63º! First .65 with Morgan. 41 min / 130 AHR <— so so low. Stopped at Walgreens on the way, tested the limits of ye olde Bullet shorts.
Totals: 56 miles run (2.33 for Morgan), 12 miles of bike commuting, 1 hour of Pilates and Jasyoga.
Glow: Running in different places and with different company is fun!
Growth: Weird nutrition all week, probably too many drinks with friends while in Indy. But it was kinda like a vacation, right?
Two training logs for the price of one! I’ve been on a two-week recovery block following the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon, my A-race of the season.
Week of May 1-7: Instructions from coach were 0-16 miles; 3-4 runs of 3-4 miles, no more. Unfortunately, when you’ve run every day for the past 5.5 months, “off” doesn’t come that easy.
Monday: 9 miles on the spin bike, 33 minutes, 131 AHR. Got my HR up to the 160s on a few intervals but mostly kept it easy. More of a shakeout than anything. Thought about taking the day off, then Guilty Gertrude got me. I compromised (with myself) by only staying for the first half of class.
Tuesday: 4 mile trail run, 41 minutes, 130 AHR. Oh trails, I’ve missed you! I love running trails but that means driving to the park, which is more time-intensive than just running from my front door. Also, easy runs on trails always take longer because you go slower, and my available time for running is usually pretty tight. So anyway, I was really happy to be on the trails with my bestie!
Wednesday: 4 mile run in the morning, 33 minutes, 134 AHR. To be honest, I was expecting to feel a little better than I did. Taught Pilates in the evening — my foam roller class, which means some of it was really hard core work, but part of it was also just foam rolling. Clutch recovery week situation.
Thursday: Massage. Complete rest day. Was going to go to an early spin class but slept instead. You know the old object in motion remains in motion law? Well, the first four days post-race were kind of a slowing of momentum and on Thursday, I rolled to a stop.
Friday: 4 miles, 32 minutes, 140 AHR. Treadmill in the morning — cold and raining outside. Yuck. No. Dialed it up a little in the last mile, basically one-tenth of a mph every 15 seconds.
Saturday: 16.3 miles spin class, 55 minutes, 141 AHR. My average HR belies how tough this was. My quads were like, excuse you? Early class (7:15) because, well, IT’S DERBY DAY!!! I was buying wine and propane at 8:30 a.m., haha.
Sunday: 4 miles, 33 minutes, 131 AHR. Easy peasy with bestie and the jog stroller. And the baby. We took him too. Beautiful weather (finally).
Totals: 16 miles run, 25 miles spun/spinned/spanned, 1 hour Pilates taught.
Week of May 8-14: Coach said 16-24 miles, 3-4 runs of 3-6 miles. He also sent me an email on Wednesday when he updated my training plan that said, “I think open training log days give you anxiety and they must be filled. A good sign of energy needing burned.” He’s right. I’ve become so accustomed to running every day that I get antsy if I don’t do something. And that something needs to be logged or I get a case of Guilty Gertrude. Used this week of shorter, easy runs to get back into morning running because it’s getting hot.
Monday: 6 miles in the morning (46 min / 151 AHR), little bit of progression (8:11 down to 7:11 then a cool down mile) because it was 40* and perfect outside. Wanted to see what my legs would do. In the evening, I taught a Pilates class. And on the way to teach, I bought a bicycle! Before I moved into Mr. Chic’s condo, I had an apartment in a bike-friendly area and I only worked a couple miles away. For about a year, I didn’t have a car so I bike-commuted everywhere (or took the bus, which is not something people do in Louisville if they don’t have to). Sometimes it was a pain, but in general it was a great adventure. I loved exploring on my bike and problem-solving how to get somewhere or how to transport things. I even perfected a system to take my laundry to the laundromat on my bike! (Also, you stop letting laundry pile up when this is the case.) But, when I moved to the condo and a couple months later took a job that was 25 miles away … biking wasn’t really an option. We also didn’t have room to store three bikes — Mr. Chic is a triathlete. I’ve been bike-less for about 6 years now, and it was high on my list of purchases once we bought our house.
Tuesday: Original plan was to go to a spin class in the morning but I slept instead. I had a hair appointment in the afternoon and had decided, once I finally woke up, that’d I’d just take a rest day. I was limited to four runs this week per coach’s instructions, and I was signed up for a 5k on Sunday (surprise!). Had a glass of wine while getting my hair done, came home, had another glass of wine while reading outside, and then Mr. Chic headed out for his workout. At this point the bike temptation was too great. I had ridden it around some Monday night, but I hadn’t switched the cleats out on my cycling shoes. It only took a few seconds to switch them, and then I rode a little over 5 miles around in my neighborhood. Since it has ben 6 years since I rode outside, I figured staying in the neighborhood and practicing unclipping and shifting and such would be a good idea. And then once I rode 5 miles, I though it would be a good idea to throw on my running shoes and run basically as hard as I could to the nearby park, around the park, and back. Why? Because I had two glasses of wine and a guilty conscience. 7 miles total for the day, averaged 14 mph on the bike which is no surprise since our neighborhood is all cul-de-sacs and I kept slowing down and turning around. Averaged 7:20 on the run. Sorry coach! (Note to coach for the day says: “This is what happens when left to my own devices.”
Wednesday: Taught Pilates in the evening.
Thursday: 6 miles (47 min / AHR 155) with 10x 30/60s (30 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy), with the efforts probably about 5k pace, maybe a little faster (HR got to 170). It was rainforesty outside. Was supposed to teach Pilates Strength in the evening but my car battery was dead when I left work and I couldn’t get there in time.
Friday: Day off. Like a real rest day. Weird.
Saturday: 6 miles easy and early (48 min / 145 AHR) before working an event most of the day. During the event I presented a workshop on running your first 5k!
Sunday: Race day! 6.15 miles total. My sister found this Mother’s Day 5k event and we ended up with a big group — my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, her sister, and me.
This race isn’t really much for a race report. Last year was the first year of the event and it was not competitive. And my expectations for myself were pretty low, since I haven’t done much for two weeks. I felt good during my 2-mile warmup, and when I got to the start, I didn’t see many people I knew. There was one woman I knew up front, and a few other women lined up near the front but nobody I knew. Honestly, I thought I might be able to win the whole thing.
The course was all sidewalks so it was pretty congested and nuts in a few places. A high school boy went out pretty hard so I spent the whole race chasing him. I didn’t catch him, but I beat the third overall finisher by 90 seconds and the second female by 2 minutes. The course was short, but I ran pretty consistently and about what I had expected considering it was warm and sunny, plus all the turns and congestion.
1 mile cool down and cheering. Then everyone plus two more sisters came to my house where I cooked brunch. Pro tip: lots of prep the night before helped a ton. However, don’t attempt this if you can’t take a nap after. Once everyone left around 1:30, we had errands to run and then I had to drive 45 minutes to my littlest sister’s birthday party. By the time I drove back, I literally just landed face-first on the couch. Woof.
Totals: 25.8 miles run, 5.34 miles biked, 1.5 miles walked.
P.S. “Put down the umbrella drink and get back to work!” — Subject line from coach’s email. Training kicks back up next week, building up to the Chicago Marathon!
I should start from the beginning. Or close to the beginning, anyway.
My first half-marathon was the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in 2007, just a month shy of my 1-year running anniversary. I was couch-to-5k-to-10k-to-10 mile-to-13.1 in 12 months.
Ten years ago, I lined up for the miniMarathon wearing bib 772. I ran 1:46:36 for 149th female. They used to give out Top 100 prizes, and I really wanted one.
This year, I was accepted as part of the elite field for the same race — and given bib 72. It felt like a homecoming.
Since that first year, I’ve only run this race one other time, and I was horrendously out of shape that year and nothing about it was good. Okay, and two years ago I DNF’d the full. So I was all set for this to be “my year.” Not a year that I ran a breakthrough race and won the whole thing, but a year that I performed to the best of my abilities and put up a time and race I was proud of.
This was a fun week! I tried something new — racing on the track. But we’ll get to that. Significant drop down week — races this week and next, oh boy. Probably my lowest mileage week all year. Also this week I started incorporating some heat acclimation work, although I’ve run in everything from 50* to 80* this week.
Monday: 6 miles easy in the morning, 46 min / 146 AHR. Massage and Jasyoga in the afternoon. All around good day.
Tuesday: 8.5 miles, 63 min / 160 AHR. The really high heart rate should be a clue something about this just wasn’t right. I don’t know if it was the large tea I had in the afternoon or what, but I felt antsy when I started the warmup. A lot of the time that’s good and I run well. This time, not so much. It was 75* and I am definitely not used to that yet. I had 2 miles to warm up with some strides, then 3 miles progression that should’ve been starting at marathon/half marathon pace and working down to 5k/10k pace. Basically I went out at HMP and blew up. Last mile was ugly. Then I had 6x 30 seconds on / 60 seconds off, and those were totally fine. Not sure what the reason was, but wasn’t a great day. Foam rolling and legs up the wall while watching the Spirit of the Marathon II.
Wednesday: 6 miles in the morning, 49 min / 150 AHR. I forgot my chest strap so that’s optical HR and it was reading 173 at one point so I think it’s probably a little high. Taught Pilates that evening.
Thursday: 6.5 miles after teaching Pilates Strength, 53 min / 143 AHR. Met my bestie for most of it; strides at the end. 80* and windy but dropped a few degrees by the end. Did not add clothing for this one!
Friday: 4 miles, 32 min / 145 AHR. I thought all day that it was 4-6 and I figured I’d do 6 unless I felt terrible … and then I got to the park and saw it was only 4! Also got a late start because of work (was going to go in the morning but slept in instead) so the shorter distance was nice.
Saturday: 8 miles total, 62-ish minutes.
Race Report: Bellarmine Classic 5000
After our big local 5k ended up being hella short this spring, I felt a bit cheated. I decided I wanted to run another one, and I thought it would be fun to run one on the track. Never mind that the two seasons I ran in high school I primarily ran the 100 and the 200, with maybe some 4×400 legs thrown in. I found a local D2 meet that was accepting unattached entries, and coach said he thought it was a good idea, so in I went!
On Friday, I still hadn’t received the final schedule and heat sheets (which I was told would be emailed Thursday), so I sent over a message. I got a quick email back, and found out they had enough entires to break the 5000 into two heats. I was in the second slower heat that would race in the afternoon. I skimmed the heat sheets and realized I should be in the earlier heat. Fortunately, it was easy to get changed. (The open athlete registration didn’t ask for a seed time, and I asked them if I needed to provide one, but didn’t get an answer. Since I had no seed time, they put me in heat 2.)
This meant I was racing at 10:50 a.m., later than I’m used to but definitely not as weird as 3:10 p.m.
The weather in Louisville was pretty crappy considering it had been hot and sunny all week. Instead, it was in the mid-40s and raining and windy. Terrific.
But, not long after I arrived at the beautiful Owsley B. Frazier Stadium — built just 10 years ago — the rain let up. I had plenty of time to chat with some college kids I know, one of whom was the top seed in my race, before warming up.
I did a 3 mile warm up with the first 2 miles on the track in lots of layers. I think the heat acclimation thing must be working because I was freezing! I did the last mile off the track while the men’s race was underway, then some strides in the infield after I changed into my flats. My warm up was nice and slow and relaxed and my strides felt good.
I decided to race on the track because I wanted to run fast. But after a rough couple of weeks, I knew I also needed it to reset myself mentally. Maybe throwing myself into a race with a bunch of young 20-somethings seems like a weird way to do that … but whatever.
Unlike road races, there’s not a lot of pre-race directions and taking-freaking-forever to start the race. They lined us up, told us it was a two-command start, and fired the gun.
Coach had given me two sets of directions. First, “run 45 seconds for every 200 including the first one.” And second, “Run fast, have fun.” I resisted sprinting to the front of the pack, and came through the first 200 in 40 seconds and 85 seconds for the first 400.
For the first couple of laps, we were bunched up and running 2-3 girls wide. After that, it strung out. There was a little bit of back and forth but around midway through the race I was in the second pack with a couple of other girls.
Two nice things about track races: first, someone calls your splits every 200 meters. This helps if you actually know what they should be — I knew mine for the first mile but not thereafter, and I’m not doing that kind of math while running 6 minute pace. Second, there are coaches, teammates, parents everywhere constantly shouting encouragement. Even if it’s not intended for me, I appreciated it! Early on a coach called to her girl, “How bad do you want it?” And by now most of you probably know that book stays on my nightstand. YES.
Anyway, TL;DR; we ran a whole bunch of circles. I was in the front of one group and too far behind the lead pack to even see them to try to catch up. With two laps to go the girl I had been running next to pulled away. I waited until the last 400 to really push. I finished in 18:57, only my second time under 19, and 6th of 12. (The later heat would be won in 19:16; I’m glad I was in a group that helped pull me along!) I also like to think that I won my age group, thank you very much.
Talked to more people and eventually did my 2 mile cool down, which included running up a huge hill but then discovering there were giant chairs up there and I had to use my hat as a tripod and take a photo.
It was a super fun experience, and I loved it. I actually liked just running laps because all I had to focus on was running. Not, are we going the right way? Is the course going to be long? Oh, there’s a bicyclist in the path. Wait, let me hit this tangent and avoid the pot hole and the train tracks! Nope. JFR.
Sunday: 6 miles, 51 minutes / 137 AHR. If this had felt better, I would’ve taken it to mean I didn’t try hard enough Saturday. Tin Man style.
Totals: 45 miles run, 2 hours Pilates and Jasyoga, 85 minutes of foam rolling/lacrosse balling/legs up/massage.
After a week where I basically felt like junk every day, a decent race!
Monday: 8 easy miles early (66 min / 132 AHR), pretty sure the HR was messed up the entire run. Not a lot of sleep, dark, blah. Massage that afternoon.
Tuesday: 10 miles total (73 min / 153 AHR), with 2×2 mi at race pace for Saturday, which averaged to 6:31. Windy and warm, but felt good. Jasyoga in the parking lot afterwards.
Wednesday: Suckfest day number 2, 6 miles (49 min / 139 AHR). For me, a junky run is one where my HR is really low (under 145) and I just can’t get my legs to move faster to get it up. That means I need some more recovery (which is why I just let it be). Taught Pilates after.
Thursday: Complicated schedule day, ended up teaching Pilates first and then running 8 miles (63 min / 147 AHR), part of it with my bestie, plus strides at the end. Warm and windy. Better than Wednesday but still not feeling a lot of pop.
Friday: Ran 11 hours after finishing the last one, early in the morning with a dead headlamp. Excuses, excuses. Whatever. Felt like absolute trash. Schedule called for 4-6, I took the shorter option and called it a day. 4 miles (34 minutes / 139 AHR). Normatech boots during lunch. Picked up packets for the Papa John’s 10 Miler after work, then headed home to get ready for the Personal Best Training sleepover at my house. Two of my teammates who live in Indy, plus one’s wife, came down and stayed with us. We all went to dinner, and everyone called it a pretty early night. Much foam rolling was had on my living room floor.
Saturday: 15.35 miles and 1:49 total, including Papa John’s 10 Miler race. 10 minutes of Normatech boots (more on that next week).
Sunday: 6 miles (48 min / 134 AHR), first 3 with the hubs, better than expected. I was initially just going to do 4 but since I felt pretty good I kept going. Turned out I had not only been running slightly downhill the whole way out, but also with a tailwind. Back was not quite as quick! Then hit the deck for 34 minutes of Jasyoga — tried the Sunday Reset from the 26.2 Collection finally and LOVED it.
Totals: 57 miles, 145 minutes of Pilates and Jasyoga, 100 minutes of massage/Normatech boots.
Papa John’s 10 Miler race report
Early morning wakeup call for Team PBT. Lot of foam rolling and stretching and general weirdness because runners. We piled into our SUV and headed down to the race start, even getting there early enough to beat the port-o-john lines. It was chilly, in the mid-40s, and we did most of our warmup jogging big loops around the football stadium parking lot. After about a mile, we jogged back to the car to drop off some gear, change shoes, etc. Another bathroom stop, drop the rest of our warmups in a designated truck (seeded status FTW in this series!). Strides. Nervousness.
Pause for race info: PJ10 used to be the national championships for the distance. The first 3 miles are flat, then 3 miles of ass-kicking hills, 2 miles of flat, and then a sneak attack overpass hill. In the past, runners have hit the overpass at 9 and run a few blocks farther before turning into the far end of the football stadium, then running most of the way around the football field. Due to renovations, we couldn’t finish inside the stadium this year. We figured out the new finish line, but weren’t sure where they were tacking on the extra distance until we got to run up an extra couple little hills heading into Iroquois Park!
I had talked to coach on Friday, and we used the natural geographical breaks in the course to shape my race plan: go out somewhat conservatively and stay comfortable until the hills, hold position through the park, then open it up once back on the flats. Coach also suggested thinking in terms of minutes, not miles, which did help.
I tucked into a small pack in the beginning that had several other girls I knew in it, along with a few guys. Relax, find the groove, don’t go out too hard. It took 5 minutes to get my HR up to about 170, and there I stayed. First 3: 6:32, 6:28, 6:40 (starting uphill). One of the girls started to pull away but I stayed put.
In the hills, coach wanted me to hold my position, so there was some trading off back-and-forth as we went up and down. Caught a friend around 4, but otherwise it stayed about the same. I was in a pack with two other women I know. One I’ve beat at every race I’ve run this year, and I had passed her earlier in the race and was surprised to find her back with us in the hills. Park section: 6:30, 6:54, 6:46.
Coming out of the park is fun because you climb the last and biggest hill and then get a huge downhill with a lot of crowd support coming back out. You also have the runners still coming into the park, so there’s a big boost there. I’m in a small pack with the girl I had previously beat and a couple of guys, including one guy who I always end up running with during this race. So strange.
Last 4: 6:16, 6:46, 6:31, 6:23. That nice downhill was fast, but then I split a 6:46 out of nowhere and just didn’t have it. That was when Courtney started to pull ahead, and I let her go. There was another girl we could see ahead but I didn’t have the legs to run them down. I focused on hanging on and continuing to stay focused and push. We hit the overpass later in the race this year, thankfully, and when we did, Andy (the guy I always run this race with) said we were right on 65 pace. Thumbs-up from me — my goals were sub-65 and top-10. He started to pull away and then changed his mind, saying we had come this far, he was staying with me and helping me push for the finish. He was right, I suddenly felt like I had to dig deeper and not slow down and mess up both our times. We turned into the parking lot and I gave what kick I could, and squeezed in under 65.
Both the guys on my team were waiting for me at the car, having had great races themselves. Jordan finished 3rd male overall and Blake 11th, both in great times. We headed out for a 3 mile cool down, picking up a friend of Jordan’s and the women’s winner, Rosie, along the way. It’s possible we semi-snuck (the gate was open) on the practice football field and ran on the grass. We hung around so Jordan could stand on the big stage for the awards, too. Next year, I want that top 5 finish!
Once we got back to my house, I put my loaner Normatech boots on for 10 minutes, showered, and headed for team brunch. I love team brunch. Honestly, having my teammates stay with us was probably the most fun part of the series!
Another week, another race. This Triple Crown series kicks my butt every year, although to be fair I’ve never hit 70 mile weeks in the in-between weeks. One more race to go!
Monday: Started the day with the Jasyoga Running Efficiency Boost in the morning as part of my Extra Salt goal to include an extra strength day on Mondays. DUDE. This was hard. It was hard when I did it and I was definitely sore after. Will definitely do again! Ran after work and was cranky about all of it. I started on the treadmill and did my first 5 inside but my calf/achilles was bothering me (thanks, 4mm drop shoes!). I ended up going outside even though it was cold and sleeting for the last 3. They were much quicker than the first part!
Tuesday: Treadmill day, hella windy and cold. 3 miles steady-state with 4×1 minute on/1 minute off before and after the SSR. Not a great day. I accidentally turned off the treadmill during the SSR, and then I needed an emergency bathroom break. So a bit of a hot mess. HR was super high. Not sure if that was because it was hot or what, but dialed it back a little. Coach’s notes said not to borrow from Saturday’s race. Did Jasyoga after.
Wednesday: Easy miles from the gym before teaching Pilates. Not much of note, still windy. Oh! My podcast episode came out! I had the opportunity to chat with Denny Krahe for the DizRuns podcast. His series is so fun to listen to, like you’re out on a run with a new training partner. You can find my episode here.
Thursday: Taught Pilates Strength first then headed out for 8 easy with strides at the end. My training log notes say, “Long day.” I went to work, then to watch WVU’s first-round NCAA basketball game with my husband (family tradition), then to Pilates, then to run. Zonked.
Friday: Easy shakeout run in the morning, felt clunky.
Saturday: Rodes City Run 10k. My Personal Best Training teammate Blake and his wife Kelly stayed with us Friday night — our first houseguests since moving! We rode down to the race together and met another PBT’er, Jordan, who had gotten up at 3:30 a.m. to drop his fiancé off at the airport and then drive to Louisville. CRAZY RUNNERS. We warmed up together for 2 miles then I did another mile by myself. I felt okay but still not as peppy as I did two weeks ago.
The weather was good, mid-40s, but it was super-windy like a lot of other places this weekend.
My race plan from coach was to go out around 39-minute pace for the first 5000 and then try to reel people in over the second half.
I failed this plan dismally.
I went out at 5k pace, about 15-20 seconds faster than I should’ve been. Mile 2 was slow like I knew it would be — huge hill — 6:30. I got back on target for mile 3, 6:14. I went through 5k in about the right time because the first two miles offset each other to about goal pace … but I was on the struggle bus, people, and it wasn’t pretty.
I used a hill around mile 4 to put in a surge and get past another girl, 6:16 and now headed into the wind. Mile 5 is ugly, 6:24, as we’re heading into downtown the wind is strong. We make the last turn around 5.5 and I’ve caught up with some other guys and tuck in and try to draft. Mile 6 is 6:19, better but definitely not what I wanted. My watch had a final 400 meters in 91, so 6-flat pace which is about all the kicking I could ask for. Officially 39:18 for 9th female.
I was really hoping to PR at this race — I ran 39:13 there last year for my PR. Last year I split a lot more evenly and closed better in the last 1.2, and by that I mean I actually followed the race plan.
So, a learning experience. Sometimes you need a reminder that going out too fast hurts. Follow the race plan, dummy.
That said, last year the top 5 guys were all sub-30 and this year the top 5 was 30:42-30:55. (The women’s times were even more different but the field was, too.) Maybe without the wind …
Cooled down 2 miles with my friend Rhi, then we had a PBT foam rolling and stretching party at my house followed by brunch. Even though I didn’t quite race how I wanted, I had a great time hanging out with my team. We should know tomorrow if we won the team challenge!
Sunday: Ran a couple of errands first because it was supposed to warm up a lot. Really sloggy recovery miles plus an extra 400m to even out the week’s mileage because I’m like that. Started listening to the Missing Richard Simmons podcast. I’m hoping to do some Jasyoga later today, too.
Totals: 54 miles, 160 minutes of Pilates and Yoga.
It was moving week for us, closing on both properties (buying and selling) Wednesday morning. Everything was smooth sailing until we got to the new house and found 2 inches of water in the basement. Storms had come through and the sump pump failed (and the sellers had already moved out) and that was that. So it’s all going to be fine, but we can’t use the basement for probably another week or so, which means we have stuff everywhere. Also, unpacking might be worse than packing.
Needless to say it was a long week. Fortunately it was a scheduled down week … because I had a race this week. Oy.
Monday: 8 miles, 60 minutes, AHR 144. Ran from the gym to our new house for the walk-through. It’s about 4 miles, so I added on part of my normal loop at the beginning. There are sidewalks the whole way but it’s a lot of main roads so efficient more than enjoyable. Did Jasyoga later.
Tuesday: 10 miles, 70 minutes, AHR 158. Gears progression run with 3 MP, 2 HMP, 1 at 10k-ish pace. I went out a little fast and the last mile was a little slow, but the wind also picked up and was gusting 30mph by the end. Went better than I expected. Jasyoga after.
Wednesday: 6 miles, 48 minutes, AHR 143. Morning treadmill run before closing. Was going to teach Pilates that night but called in for a sub while we were dealing with the basement.
Thursday: 7 miles, 53 minutes, AHR 152. Treadmill after teaching my class. Little pre-race workout with one mile at goal race pace and then 6×30 second pickups. No HR strap (used optical sensor instead), no headphones, no body glide. Rough evening.
Friday: 3.5 miles, 27 minutes, AHR 147. Morning jaunt from the new house. Was supposed to do 4-6 but was waiting on the plumber to come and got cut short when he was earlier than I expected. Hoped to run a few more miles later in the day but no dice.
Saturday: 10.75 miles total. Race day. My normal racing shorts were dirty (dryer circuit currently being used by the equipment drying the basement), couldn’t find half my stuff.
Got in a 2.5 mile warm up and felt pretty good. I wasn’t feeling really pumped for this race — but I say that before every 5k. It was 30 degrees but with a little bit of wind.
My goal was to run under 6 minute pace, and to run strong and compete. I went out in 5:48 which was a little quick but I was feeling good. It’s a big race — 6,400 or so — so it was easy to get pulled out a little quick. I was running close to a girl I know, and who usually beats me but not by much, so I decided to try and stay with her. Then she passed another girl we know and I made that move, too. Mile 2 was 5:57, and I could see the other girl struggling. We exchanged a couple of words and I kept pressing.
Mile 3 … wasn’t. There was an error in the route and we all went up a block too soon and the race was over officially at 2.93. I had 2.97 on my watch. My last .97 was 5:55 average. Overall Garmin pace would be about an 18:16 if I had maintained; by their calculation (which seems short by everyone’s watch, but tangents and whatnot), more like 18:36.
Imagine my surprise when I crossed the line in 17:32! I was really excited but it was quickly apparent everyone had it considerably short. If it had just been me, well, not the first time my Garmin decided to take a break.
Regardless, I beat at least four girls who normally (and by that I mean always) beat me. One might’ve gotten me if the race had been the right distance, but I didn’t feel totally maxed nor does my HR say I was, so I know I would’ve tried to hold her off!
I headed out for a 5 mile cool down with the women’s winner, Rosie.
Later in the day, the race officials posted about what had happened. A lot of people are mad, which I guess is fine if you have time for that sort of thing. What I know is that there’s a 10k in two weeks where I can put my fitness to the test again and see what happens!
Sunday: 5.3 miles, 44 minutes, AHR 132. My legs felt the same as if I had run that extra minute yesterday — and that is to say, terrible. Holy moly. I shuffled around some nearby neighborhoods, and the weather was beautiful.
Totals: 50.5 miles, 82 minutes of Pilates and yoga.
This week was one of those microcosms where you have all the highs and lows of an entire season wedged in. I started the week dealing with a back injury and finished it with a PR!
Monday: Afternoon appointment to sports chiropractor for my back. Conclusion: strained lat. Cause: No idea. Treatment: Dry needling and kineseo tape. Cleared to run, so I left his office and drove directly to the park for 10 miles, 79 minutes, AHR 138. Stiff, sore, slow.
Tuesday: 12 miles, 91 minutes, AHR 147. Mile repeats on the treadmill. Wasn’t really crazy about these. 6:25 pace but high HR that should’ve put me more at 6:15 pace. Could’ve been that it was hot in the gym, but instead of stressing about it, I just chalked it up to being one of those crappy days you get sometimes. I also concluded I really really needed to retire my racing flats. Did some Jasyoga after — “How to Kickstart Recovery.”
Wednesday: 6 miles, 48 minutes, AHR 134. Easy on the treadmill trying to squeeze it in before teaching Pilates. Should’ve gone in the morning when I could’ve done 8 but SLEEP. (Side note: I’ve averaged 8:20 of sleep a night the past week!) Good Pilates class after but could definitely still feel my back.
Thursday: Taught Pilates Strength first, did a lot of hip work. 8 miles after on the treadmill, 60 minutes, AHR 147. Light progression run — little easier than a typical Thursday because I was racing Saturday — 3 miles, 7:07, 6:56, 6:40. Felt better than Tuesday! Finally took the tape off my back after the run so I could assess it and get it re-taped Friday if necessary.
Friday: 6 miles, 46 minutes, AHR 149. Much better! Ran to the ATM then went to register for Saturday’s race. The girl did not seem impressed by the registration form I pulled out of my shorts pocket … Then I ran back with my bib tucked in my shorts and Body Glide wedged in my sports bra. Efficiency! Only day of the week I didn’t do any Pilates or Yoga.
Saturday: Snowman Shuffle 4 Miler Race Report, 12 miles total
Started with Jasyoga’s “How to Warm Up” routine, plus some quality time with my lacrosse ball. Got to the race about 50 minutes early and jogged a slow 3 mile warm up. It was in the low 50s which is not usual February weather … and, I must admit, a little warmer than I had hoped for!
The race start was at the top of a hill, and my car was parked at the top of the next hill, so the warmup was basically, down, up, down, up, down, up. Eventually I just ran back and forth on the one flat section. Few strides and general nervous jiggling. Saw several girls who I was pretty sure would clean my clock, but all I could do was run hard and do what I could.
I didn’t have much of a plan or a goal for this race — my Jan. 1 10 miler performance would estimate low 6-minute pace for 4 miles, but considering the hilly-AF course, my flat Tuesday workout, and my 10 days of back drama, I had no idea what to expect. Worst case I figured I could run about the pace I did on Tuesday, so sub-26. Best case, in the 24s.
The race starts with a big downhill but I tried to settle in. I split 6:06 and caught another girl at about 1.5. There was a pretty big pack ahead of me but I couldn’t get up to them and they were pulling away. I got left a bit solo for a mile, chasing a guy ahead of me but not really anyone else around. Fortunately this part was out-and-back so there were people coming the other way (including my coworker!) who were cheering. Split 6:19 for 2. At 2.5, we hit the first of two big hills. Known as Dog Hill in Cherokee Park, it’s basically the hill that never ends. You climb, then turn a corner and climb again. It’s about .6 of a mile of constant uphill. I finally caught the guy ahead of me as we started the hill and I tried to hold steady but clearly my slowest mile, 6:38. There were at least two points where I felt like I was completely maxed and still not moving. Recovered a little on the downhill, about .3 of a mile, before pushing the uphill finish. I was trying to chase down two young boys but just couldn’t. (They were 11 and 15.)
Coming up the top of the hill, my friend and our local Fleet Feet owner Andy was yelling at me to kick and that I could get under 25. I focused on that clock and dumped the last little bit I had into it. JUST eeked it out with an official finish of 25:00.06, a 7 second PR. That got me 4th female and 21st overall — stout racing in the Louisville scene!
My friend Laine met me for my cool down; we trotted an easy 5 miles with a lot of it on trails which was nice because they’re slow and soft.
Sunday: Procrastinated for a long time. My schedule said 4-6, XT, or off, and the non-running options were pretty tempting. (My last non-running day was Nov. 18, apparently.) Here’s how the back-and-forth went in my head:
- My legs feel like I got hit by a truck.
- It’s 60 degrees out IN FEBRUARY.
- But it’s windy.
- But I only need 6 miles to hit 60 for the week.
- But I haven’t taken a day off running in 3 months, and today’s a good day for one.
- Because I haven’t taken a day off running in 3 months, why start now?
- My butt hurts.
- My friend wants to run.
- But not until after lunch.
So I went to the grocery, wrote most of this recap, did some stuff around the house. Mr. Chicory had 14 miles to run, and once I knew he was starting around 12 p.m., I told my friend I’d be there.
I worked out some of the kinks with Jasyoga’s “How to Warm Up,” which I also used before yesterday’s race. I stopped by New Balance Louisville and picked up some new shoes.
We started with my friend’s son in the jog stroller and ran 2 miles to a nearby park, where her husband met us and we handed off baby. She had said she just wanted to run something short and easy, and I was okay with 4-4.5 … but then she said she’d go 5, and I said if I went 5 I was definitely going 6 — who ends their week with 59???? And so then she said she’d do 6.
6 miles, 49 minutes, AHR 135.
Totals: 60 miles, 2:20 Pilates and Yoga, 1 race!
Hey New Year! Welcome! I had a great year of training and racing in 2016 (you can read about it on my site here, if you’re interested). I wrapped up the year with a 60-mile week and a race win on January 1, so not a bad way to transition into the new year!
Monday: 10 miles easy with Pesto and Zest, 79 minutes, AHR 151. So fun having Salties in town for the holidays and meeting up. While we failed at getting a photo together, Pesto and I messed around with my new GoPro at the end of the run. Went on a 2.25 mile walk with my husband after lunch because it was inexplicably 75 degrees.
Tuesday: 10 miles, 72 minutes, AHR 150. 3 mile warm up then 5 miles steady-state (75-85% max HR), 2 mile cool-down. I averaged 6:42, right around marathon pace and HR average 163, or about 82% max. I was really happy with this workout. I also did about 15 minutes of Jasyoga, foam rolling and planking.
Wednesday: 6 miles, 50 minutes, AHR 140. I had almost forgotten what the Wednesday struggle bus felt like since I’ve been easing back into workouts post-marathon. Plus 12 hours of recovery between runs and this was WOOF.
Thursday: 8.25 miles, 62 minutes, AHR 150. Abbreviated workout because of Sunday’s race, 12x 30 seconds hard, 60 seconds slow jog. I split each interval (sometimes with these I don’t bother) so I could see the paces/HRs but didn’t actually look at my watch during them … I’m using my old FR25 while I await a replacement FR35 from Garmin, and the 25’s screen setup isn’t great for this workout. So I had time and distance on one screen, but not pace or HR (which were on other screens and I’m not hitting all those buttons during a 30 second rep at 5:30 pace). Anyway. Winds were gusting in the 20 mph range so there was more variance than I would’ve liked but I was happy with the results. I spent most of my recoveries trying to remember which interval I was on. Taught Pilates Strength after.
Friday: 6 miles, 49 minutes, AHR 132. Easy miles with bestie and her baby. Windy still. Our pace was pretty good considering how low my heart rate was.
Saturday: 6.75 miles (I had to fix Thursday!), 51 minutes, AHR 144. Stopped at Panera for a bagel in the last mile. Mmmm bagels. Finished the year with 2,808.75 miles. Not sure if that’s a lifetime best but it’s 754 more than last year and well over the goal I set for myself of 2,260. Did an hour of Jasyoga after I ate my bagel. Mmmm bagels.
Sunday: Race day! 13.75 miles total. Too much work to figure out overall time and whatnot. 2 mile warm up, Hangover Classic 10 Miler plus .3 for everyone going the wrong way, 1.45 cool down. (If I was paying attention I would’ve done another quarter to hit 14 even. Oh well.)
Hangover Classic mini race report
I ran this race for the first time last year, even though I’ve gone down other years and cheered for it. I had a great race there last year, negative splitting the halves and catching a rival around halfway to finish in second.
This year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I ran a great marathon two months ago and have been easing back into workouts, but really have no good gauge on my fitness (that’s what this race is for!). It’s hard to separate the shape I was in then versus right now. Sure, I had a couple more easy days this week but it was still my highest mileage week since mid-October. I went into the race with no hard goal other than to race competitively (one of my goals for the year, might as well get started on it!), but wanted to break the 65-minute barrier. For me, that’s one of those milestone markers. A 10 mile race at under 6:30 pace? Mentally daunting. It’s amazing how scary yet arbitrary these markers are, since we usually ascribe them to round numbers. I think the 6:30 barrier held me back during my half marathons this fall — I just didn’t believe I could run that fast for that long. So if I could get under 6:30s for an off-season race, it would be a nice boost!
This race starts at 10 a.m. on New Year’s day and is basically flat as a pancake. It’s low-key and homegrown and always has that “local” feel.
We apparently didn’t listen well to the race director’s instructions, because about a half mile in, we went the wrong way and added an unnecessary loop. Of course, we didn’t start to figure that out until the 5k turnaround was at 2 miles and the 10 mile turnaround was at 5.4. Anyway.
The front pack was pretty slim and I went out way too fast in the first mile. I settled down and chatted with a couple of guys I know, then let them pull away. I settled in around 6:25s for the first half, but when I realized at the turnaround the race was going to be long, I started to lose focus. Also, desolate. I couldn’t really see any runners ahead of me or hear any behind me, although it was nice seeing people on their way out as I headed back. I got a lot of cheers for being the first female, but I was starting to struggle. Add to that a part of the course that involves weaving under columns under the interstate and I was just not feeling it. I was fighting the urge to back off and cruise in.
Even though I felt like I was really slowing and struggling, I was holding low 6:30s. I still didn’t know we had run the course wrong, but I was certain it meant I wasn’t going to have to run the uphill bit that we did at the beginning.
I noted my 10 mile split — 64:27, hooray! — and ground out the last bit. Official time is 66:25, first female by 4 minutes. Splits for 10 miles were 31:52 (6:24) and 32:35 (6:31). Disappointed that it ended up being long so no PR, and a little disappointed with my fade after halfway. Sure, it is hard to race when you’re by yourself, but I expected myself to be a little tougher. Disappointed that I positive split pretty hard; I’m usually pretty consistent. Proud that I ran under 6:30s and 30+ seconds under goal. Proud that I made myself keep pushing through the last few miles. So, I suppose, mixed emotions about that one.
Monday: 18 minutes of Jasyoga in the morning; my plan was to run after work just a little bit and be done for the day. Phone call at 7:30 a.m. to see if I could sub Pilates that night. Squeezed in 4 miles before the class, faster than expected and an accidental progression: 7:32, 7:19, 7:14, 6:58; 29 minutes total. Whoops. Taught the advanced Pilates crew after that.
Tuesday: 6 miles, 46 minutes. Came home midday because we were having new floors installed. Again faster than expected and I hoped the springier legs boded well for Thursday’s Turkey Trot. Also only the second time I had done more than 4 since the marathon.
Wednesday: 4 miles, 32 minutes, because racing Thursday and because I had done two “longer” runs in three days and run every day since Saturday. Taught Pilates after that.
Thursday: Race day! See race report below. Summary: 6 miles total, 2 w/u and 1 c/d, 5k-ish race, 20:04 (long course, 3.18 every year) and first female.
Friday: 6 miles, 52 minutes, early with my besties. Good day to #optoutside (thanks REI), although much colder than Thursday. Relaxed recovery miles. Jasyoga later.
Saturday: 10 miles, 1:20, early again. 4 miles with a friend and the rest solo. Easy mileage and the first time back in double-digits since the marathon.
Sunday: 4 miles, 32 minutes, listening to a Rich Roll podcast. I don’t usually listen to anything when I run but it’s a nice diversion that I save for Sunday easy runs — in part because I have podcasts saved up and no time to listen to them! Jasyoga after.
Totals: 40.4 miles run, 3 hours Pilates and yoga (2 Pilates classes taught, 3 at-home yoga sessions).
Mini Race Report: Anchorage Turkey Trot
This is the third year I’ve run the Anchorage Turkey Trot — super small and low-key. No chip timing, no recorded results. I like the course and the atmosphere, and the price, and it’s totally fine that the course is always long (3.18 consistently) and that there isn’t much in the way of prizes.
I usually hate how late holiday races start but we were out late the night before, and it gave me time to do a load of laundry and prep Brussels sprouts before I left. I arrived about 45 minutes before the race start because I was bored.
There were a few people I knew at the race, but I didn’t see any girls that I thought would be a problem.
Once the race finally started, I successfully dodged all the small human obstacles. Three girls went out ahead of me, all young, and one wearing pajama pants. Within a half mile the kids had all fallen back and I caught those three girls and moved ahead.
I was happy and maybe a bit surprised to be settling into a comfortable rhythm early on. I felt loose and relaxed — a good sign. This race has a small climb early, then a bigger one close to the 1 mile mark, then a big one that you hit twice on the out-and-back section.
The first two hills were no problem and I was still catching guys who had gone out too fast.
Mile 1, 6:26. Right where I wanted to be and feeling good. I remembered how short 5ks are.
At about 1.25, there’s a sharp left then a sharp right onto the trail. Also the first 200m or so are brick. It rained the night before and the bricks are generally in the shade and a little mossy — aka super-slick. I managed to not bust my face, and the photog around there said I was in 9th. It was a nice but not terribly useful stat because there were people ahead of me running the 10k, and because I was first female which was my main interest. But hey, thanks! (And maybe they’ll actually post the photos this year.)
Up the big hill, trailing a few guys. Once on the trail there were people just out walking so I made sure to not run anyone over. Down the hill, across a bridge, past two deer.
Mile 2 split, 6:19, right as you come around the loop and start to head back. This is the only net downhill mile so not surprised it was a little faster. Starting to feel the burn, though. Telling myself to focus and press, even though I’m pretty certain there aren’t any girls close. Never looked, though. My HR was in the 180s and I knew I could maintain that for another mile. But no kicking until I was back up the hill!
Back down the hill, rolling fine, definitely pushing but not in red-line territory. And I never quite got there because the brick section was so slick that I couldn’t really kick!
Mile 3, 6:23. Faster than mile 1, and mile 2 was fastest — very unusual!
Since this race has been exactly 8/10ths long both of the past years, I went ahead and force-lapped my watch at 3.1 — 19:50. Official time 20:04. First female and maybe 7th overall — they don’t record or post results, but I think at least two guys kept going for the 10k second lap.
I received a legit finisher’s hat, a plaque and two $5 Taco Bell gift cards that my 15-year-old sister was delighted to have. (They let us pick from the YUM! brands — Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. This made me laugh because the trail we raced on was built with funds from the Papa John’s founder!)
Easy mile cool down, Hammer Recoverite, warmer clothes, then home to make Brussels sprouts. The race to get the Brussels sprouts ready, shower, dry hair and put on makeup was probably every bit as hard as the race (but accomplished in 1 hour!).
To start, my race plan was … non-existent. Coach and I had talked on Wednesday and stepped through a couple of the goal times I had out there. “If you run 3:03 [my original B goal, and four minutes off my spring PR], we’ll sit down and figure out what we need to change. 3:01 would be okay. 2:59:59 is a lot more exciting than 3:00:10, but don’t focus too much on the splits.”
But then he opened the door: “How far under 3:00 can you go? I’m not going to guess at that.”
There it was. It was on the table that he thought I was ready, and I thought I was ready, so … Ultimately, he said to “let the race come to you,” with which I completely agreed. I was worried if I went out explicitly trying to break 3 hours and hit 6:50 pace every mile, it would be overwhelming. And what if the course was long or my watch was off?
I needed to rely on my ability to assess my perceived effort.
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