Poppy’s Training Log – 4.24.16

The beginning of this week focused on recovering from the track 10k and the end of the week involved running a half marathon.  I really wanted to do this particular half marathon because I ran it last year and really enjoyed it and the people involved with the race.  However, the timing of it wasn’t great as it fell right in between the track 10k and the 10 mile race I plan to do next week.  So, the half became more of a workout than an all-out race.  It went well – I felt good and I had another enjoyable experience there.  I seem to have some residual strength from all that marathon training I did last year.  I really do like the half marathon distance.  I’m hoping to run a fast one in the fall.

Monday: easy 6 in the morning, easy 4 in the afternoon

Tuesday: 12 miles with a few light strides, which I later found out I wasn’t supposed to do.

Wednesday:  easy 4 in the morning, easy 4 in the afternoon w/ 6×20 sec strides

Thursday:  12 with workout.  Plan was to do a 90 min run w/ a 6 mile stretch on the rail trail, which has marked half miles.  For 5 miles I was to run a half mile at 10 mile race effort, followed by a half mile easy.  I then was to run the 6th mile doing 30 seconds fast/30 seconds float.   Coach stressed the importance of running by effort and not running to hit specific paces as I still might be recovering from the 10k.  He also stressed cutting the workout short if I felt like I wasn’t recovered.  Ended up feeling pretty good from the start of my warm-up so was optimistic I’d feel good on the workout portion. Tried to just channel how I felt during a majority of the 10k, because really, there’s not much difference between 10k, 10 mile, and 1/2 marathon effort for me.

Felt pretty good and strong throughout. Legs were a little tired by the end of the 30/30 mile, but overall things felt fine.

Easy 33:21 up, easy 17:36 down


2:57/3:42 (mostly uphill mile)

2:49/3:37 (mostly downhill mile)



30/30 mile in 6:09, which was pretty evenly split (went through 1/2 mile in 3:04)

Friday:  single 6, solo

Saturday:  easy 4 in the morning and easy 4 in the afternoon w/ 8×20 sec strides

Sunday: 19 w/ half marathon. I tried to go out at an effort that felt like steady state/MP and then just kind of hold it there. Was in the lead for the women, but not sure by how much. At a turn-around near mile 6 I saw that the second place woman wasn’t that far behind me. I threw in a little surge to distance myself a bit since I was feeling pretty controlled and holding back. Once we hit the trail, which was just before 7, I didn’t really have anyone to run with. There was a guy ahead of me that I tried to focus on to keep me engaged. I caught up to him around 9 and thought we could run together, because it seemed like we were running the same pace. I separated from him on one of the uphills and apparently I pulled ahead of him by quite a bit over the next 3+ miles as I ended up finished ~40 seconds ahead of him. Around the time I passed that guy (who ended up being 2nd place masters), the trail surface was getting rough. I was warned about this the night before by someone who is involved with the race. Apparently, the rain the area got recently did some damage to the trail’s surface. Just before 10 there was a sign they posted that said “rough footing ahead”. There were some potholes and the dirt was softer and more slow-going than last year. My legs were feeling the surface by the 11th mile. And just like last year, once we got back onto the road with ~1.5 miles to go, my legs felt funny from the change in surface.

By 11 I knew I had the win, so I just settled back into a steady state sort of effort, though I did pick it up a little once we entered the track to finish (clocked a 100m stretch at 22 there). Fun to cross the line and break the tape again.

Like last year, there was a lot of good entertainment and support on the course. Several of the bands played Prince songs. Loved hearing “1999” near the 1 mile mark (a childhood favorite) and Conrad’s favorite, “Raspberry Beret” out around the 10k mark. Also, The Crooner was out at 9 again.  Also, the bibs had our names on them. Soooo many people yelled “Go Cathy!”.  I don’t think the Carly on my bib looked like Cathy, but whatevs. I appreciated the cheers.  The spectators at this race (and the other runners who you see at a few turnarounds) are just great.

Splits were off in a few places, just like last year. And for the longest time I thought I was running more like 1:21-1:22, so was surprised to cross the line in 1:20:4x.


6:03 (largely downhill mile)




5:37 (short)



6:21 (maybe long?)

5:52 (think this may have been short as it was on the trail and didn’t feel like I was running that fast)

6:46 (long, but this was an uphill mile w/ the roughest footing)



6:59 (last 1.1)

75 miles for the week

I'm a licensed massage therapist with a background in biochemistry and also a mother of two. After almost two years of focusing on shorter race distances, I am back on the marathon training horse. My next goal race is the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I write mostly about health and science as they relate to running as well as being part of a running family.

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