Well, here we are! Two more weeks of training down and three weeks to go! I’ve got exactly three more big workouts and then it’s taper time. The last two weeks have gone very well with lots of easy miles and a few big quality sessions.
It seems that somehow the Boston Marathon is only 4 weeks away! *Cue minor freak-out*
I started training for Boston the first week of the year. It’s very convenient that the race is 16 weeks into the year, as 16 weeks is a fairly standard training cycle for many marathoners. Coming off of an early December marathon, I did zero speed-work or long runs during the three or so weeks leading up to the start of this training cycle. I continued with some easy miles here and there, so I definitely kept some of my fitness, but mainly my body needed a break after the marathon. I tried my best to honor that so that when it was time to start back, I was raring to go!
Since we are trying to catch up on 10 weeks of the training cycle at this point, I am definitely going to stick to the high points. I will share my weekly mileage and the details of the workouts that I did. Read more >>
I’m back! A LOT has happened since my last update so methinks it would reasonable to start from there and fill in some of the blanks. Back then I shared that my two main running goals were to run a 5k PR and to run a marathon under 3 hours. These weren’t just two ideas that I pulled out of thin air, either. Both were goals I had been working toward for over three years. I wasn’t sure either would be possible.Read more >>
Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.11.18 – 06.17.18:
Monday – Easy: 6 miles (9:07 pace)
I started the week off with an easy treadmill run after work Monday evening. I’ve still been struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. I think just knowing that I can just run in the evenings if I don’t run in the mornings gives me an easy out. If I know I won’t have the chance to run later in they day, it’s a lot easier to actually get up and get it done. In the meantime, I’m thankful for a schedule that allows for some flexibility.
Speaking of flexibility though, it must be noted that up until this week I had only been somewhat “loosely” following my training plan. I was getting the workouts in, but I was basically just rearranging the easy runs however I wanted, which was usually based on what anyone else was doing. My coach pointed out that there was in fact “a method to the madness” and that sticking to the actual plan was going to be a key component of reaching my goals. Noted!
Tuesday – Quality: 9 miles (7:50 pace)
Tuesday morning I hit the track for some “light” speedwork to keep the legs fresh for the upcoming race I had on the schedule for Saturday. I did a two mile warm up, 13 X 1 minute hard with 1 minute jogging recoveries and a 3 mile cool down. The goal pace for the hard minutes was 5:45 and I ended up averaging 5:51. During timed intervals, I don’t specifically look at my pace while I am running and I really just try to focus on getting in the appropriate effort.
I was supposed to have an easy double Tuesday evening, but the weather didn’t cooperate. I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the treadmill that evening either, so on day two of #committotheplan and #trusttheprocess, I had to text my coach and ask how I should redistribute the missed miles over the course of the week. I have never really thought of texting my coach for something like this in the past. I think it has something to do with not wanting someone to think that I was “needy” and not wanting to bother someone. I need to get passed that nonsense …
Wednesday – Easy: 8.5 miles (8:37 pace)
Wednesday evening my husband and I ran a variation of our regular loop that gave us a bit more mileage, so that I could get my scheduled eight and a half in (per the training plan).
Thursday – Easy: 7 miles (8:47 pace)
We actually drug ourselves out of bed and ran before work Thursday morning. The hubs did a loop with me and I added on a couple of miles at the end to get my seven for the day.
Friday – Easy: 4.75 miles (9:10 pace)
Friday morning I did a solo easy loop and listened to the Ali on the Run Show episode with Wesley Little. Wesley is a couple’s therapist and it was fascinating to hear about how she became and therapist and how therapy can help so many different people in so many different ways. I’m all about some therapy though, so it makes sense that I enjoyed this episode!
Saturday – RACE: 10 miles (7:59 pace)
Saturday morning I ran the 36th annual Doc’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores, AL. I did a two and a half mile warm up, raced the 5K (recap coming soon!) and did a four mile cool down.
Sunday – Easy: 11 miles (8:42 pace)
Sunday morning I got in an easy “long” run with some of my best running friends! Sunday is usually a good group run day, but it was even better this week because one of our friends who moved away about a year ago was back in town visiting. We haven’t seen her since she moved and it was so good to catch up over some easy miles.
I did another thing Sunday afternoon as well and went biking. I mean, what?! We’re talking about riding a bike in the road. I borrowed a friend’s hybrid bike and took it for a spin. I’ve still never ridden a true road bike, but this was definitely a good stepping stone. I was slow as Christmas, but I rode for an hour and had a good time!
Totals – 56.3 miles run and 12.5 miles biked!
Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.04.18 – 06.10.18:
Monday – Off
I know “they” say #nevermissamonday, but this runner missed a Monday and lived to tell the tale. In all actuality, I planned to run after work but didn’t end up getting home until close to 7 p.m. and I had a workout scheduled for the next day, so I decided that it made more sense to just take the day off and be ready to roll in the morning.
Tuesday – Quality: 8.75 miles (7:45 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a two mile warm up, 10 X 400 and a three mile cool down. Mr. Sesame ran this one with me and that helped me out so much! It’s really amazing how much of a difference it makes to have someone to pace off of and work with during a workout (especially at the track). My splits were 86, 84, 83, 84, 85, 83, 83, 83, 83, 81 and his were all about 2 to 3 seconds quicker. We knocked this one out before work Tuesday morning and were both really pleased with how it went!
Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:20 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:00 pace)
I met my RBF at dark o’clock (i.e., we were done with our run before 5:30 a.m.) on Wednesday to celebrate Global Running Day. It’s crazy how oddly satisfying it can be to have a double digit run knocked out before the rest of the world is even awake.
Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:55 pace)
My legs were definitely a bit tired Thursday. I did an easy loop before work.
Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:16 pace)
Admittedly, Friday’s run was a bit of a mess. We went fishing all day Friday and I couldn’t decide whether it would be good to try to get my other workout for the week out of the way on Friday or whether I should just wait and do it on Saturday. I wanted to do it Friday because I figured I would be worn out Saturday after being out in the sun all day long. The problem was that I needed to be done with my workout by 5:30 a.m. Friday morning in order to make the fishing trip. I knew that the early wake up was possible (I mean, I did it Wednesday), but I also knew that it was going to be tough.
Sure enough, when push came to shove, I hit snooze a few times and didn’t get started as early as I needed to. I had a three mile warm up, so I planned to do that on the treadmill and then head over to the track for the workout. My husband was going to come up to the track around 5 to check on me. For whatever strange reason, the treadmill cut off on me about a mile and half into the run, so I was kind of forced to go ahead and go to the track. I don’t like running by myself in the dark, so I really didn’t want to have to go over there any earlier than absolutely necessary. It wasn’t ideal, but I knew it would be fine. By the time I finished my warm up miles, it was already 4:45 and I knew that there was no way that I was going to have time to do the workout and the cool down, so I decided to just do an easy run around the track instead.
Saturday – Quality: 9 miles (8:12 pace)
Saturday morning I did a three mile warm up, a workout of 1 X 1600 followed by 4 X 800 with two minute standing recoveries between and a three mile cool down. The workout was actually supposed to have two more 800s and another 1600 at the end, but I didn’t make it that far. I waited until a bit later than usual to run and I felt like I was cooking in the heat on the track. I ran 5:53 for the mile and 5:50 average for the 800s. I messed up the actual splits on my watch because of the standing recoveries. I should’ve just set up the workout on my Garmin and done it that way, but I decided I could figure it out on my own and that didn’t exactly work out for me.
Sunday – Easy: 8 miles (8:12 pace)
I finished up the week with an easy group run Sunday morning. My legs were definitely feeling the effects of Saturday’s speed work!
Total – 55.3 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 05.28.18 – 06.03.18:
Monday – Easy: 10.25 miles (8:18 pace)
I got in a longer than usual Monday morning run on Memorial Day. It was nice to sleep in a bit longer than normal and still be able to get in a morning run with friends.
Tuesday – Easy: 5 miles (8:38 pace)
For some reason, I am having a really hard time getting out of the bed in the mornings before work. I am almost exclusively a morning runner (or well, I have been in the past), but the last few weeks it has been a different story. I think I’ve only gotten up two out of the five weekday mornings the last few weeks. It’s crazy! Tuesday evening I did an easy loop with a couple of the guys from my running group.
Wednesday – OFF
Wednesday was an unscheduled rest day. I had a workout that needed to be done, but it was storming Wednesday morning and by the evening, I just wasn’t into it and decided to take a day off instead.
Thursday AM – Quality: 8.5 miles (7:25 pace) + PM – Easy: 7.5 miles (8:06 pace)
Thursday morning I actually got up and got my workout in. I did a two mile warm up, a 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 easy recovery and a two mile cool down. My fastest minute was 5:27 pace (the last repeat (#lastonefastone)) and my slowest was 5:57 pace. The 15 minutes hard averaged out to a 5:41 pace and I am thrilled with that. I pushed myself hard, but didn’t feel completely depleted at the end of the workout. Don’t get me wrong, I still seized the opportunity to lay down and collect myself after the workout before getting ready for work. This has become a new post-workout tradition …
Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:16 pace)
I did an easy loop with the hubby Friday afternoon after work.
Saturday AM – RACE: 6.2 miles (7:44 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:19 pace)
Saturday morning I ran the running portion of a local triathlon with a friend who has a hamstring injury, leaving her unable to run. She can swim and bike without problem, but she needed a runner and I was more than happy to fill in as part of a relay team with her. I got 3 warm up miles in before the race while my teammate was out on the bike portion of the race.
She came in, passed the timing chip off to me and I was off. You climb from 1 ft (we are talking literally at sea level here) to 80 ft in the first tenth of a mile into the run. I don’t know if that sounds hard or not, but it definitely was to me. I knew that the hill was going to be the biggest obstacle of the race and I told myself to be patient and not try to run up it too quickly. I wanted to take it easy up the hill and then start to push.
Theoretically this sounds wonderful, but it is incredibly difficult not to get caught up in the heat of the moment during a race (and especially in a relay when you know your teammate just busted her butt swimming and biking and is counting on you to do the same in the run). Once I got up the hill the course flattened out a little bit, but there were still some gentle rollers to deal with.
I came through the first mile in 6:22. I didn’t really have any specific pace goals in mind, so this seemed decent enough. I was steadily catching people and picking people off throughout the run, which is usually pretty fun (especially in a pure road race setting). I actually felt bad passing people though, knowing that they had to both swim and bike before they ran. I, on the other hand, was fresh as a daisy and just had to run. I tried to encourage everyone that I passed and I hoped that they all saw the big “T” on my left calf (indicating that I was part of a team). I cannot even imagine having to run that course after swimming and biking.
The first two miles of the course are an out and back, so even though I thought the hill was tough, it isn’t really all that bad because you do at least get to come back down. You definitely get a decent amount of momentum going downhill and I kind of had to reign it in (for fear of getting completely out of control and busting my face). I’m pretty sure that if you did fall, you would continue to roll down just as quickly as you could run down. I didn’t, however, plan to test that theory. I came through the second mile in 6:19.
The last mile is a pretty flat loop around a duck pond. When I did my warm up, there were tons of geese and ducks out on the course, but thankfully when I came through during the race, they were gone (those jokers can be mean). I knew that I just had to keep pushing for one more mile. It can be really tough to hold the pace during the last mile of a race, but somehow I did manage to keep it pretty consistent this time. My last mile split was 6:20. After the third mile split you have to do a little “off roading,” through some sand and grass before making your way onto the sidewalk and around to the finish line.
My 5K time was 19:48, but the course was 3.2 miles, so my official time was 20:15. Triathlon courses aren’t always exact distances, as in this isn’t even a certified 5K course, so I’m simply including my 5K time as a reference. An extra tenth of a mile can definitely add 30 seconds or more to your 5K time. I was a little bit faster last year, but I think it was hotter and more humid this year. Either way, I am happy with the time.
I decided to forgo a cool down. I don’t think people really cool down after triathlons … at least, it doesn’t seem like they do. At a running event, you typically see lots of people cooling down after the race, but at a triathlon, not so much. Perhaps the run is the cool down? My husband wanted to run later that afternoon, so I got in fairly delayed cool down later that afternoon.
Sunday – Easy: 12 miles (8:22 pace)
Sunday morning was a long (ish) group run. A few of my friends are training for an early September marathon (trying to get a BQ or lower their BQ times) and they were doing some marathon pace miles in the long run Sunday. I tried to tag along for some of that, but I was definitely feeling the effects of Saturday’s race.
Total – 59.4 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 05.21.18 – 05.27.18:
Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:26 pace)
I started the week off with an easy loop after work Monday evening.
Tuesday AM – Quality: 10 miles (8:04 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:21 pace)
My workout Tuesday was a 3 mile warm up, 3 X 800, 3 X 600, 3 X 400 and a 2 mile cool down. I hit the track early Tuesday morning. We are getting to the time of year where you have to pick your poison with the workouts. Do you go in the morning and suffer in the humidity or do you go in the afternoon and suffer in the heat? I am apt to choose a morning workout over an evening workout regardless of conditions, so the choice isn’t really that difficult for me. Morning > evening (almost) every time.
The workout itself went pretty well. The warm up was longer than usual, but I never mind that. It takes me a little bit longer to get warmed up in the mornings anyway, so that actually worked out great. My splits for the 800s were 3:01, 2:59, 3:00 (6:00 average pace), for the 600s were 2:13, 2:15, 2:14 (5:51 average pace) and for the 400s were 1:25, 1:24, 1:23 (5:36 average pace). All of these paces and splits were right within my prescribed ranges, so I definitely left the track feeling really good about putting in a solid effort.
Wednesday – Easy: 5 miles (8:24 pace)
Wednesday was another easy loop after work. For whatever reason, I had a really hard time getting myself out of bed in the morning this week. I think part of that is due to the general fatigue that comes from getting acclimated to the heat. I’ve been feeling more worn down in the last few weeks than usual. I’m also thinking about getting my iron levels tested, just in case.
Thursday – OFF
In the spirit of resting when I feel like I need to, I decided to take a day off Thursday. I laid down on the floor for some puppy snuggles after work and didn’t get back up again. Ha.
Friday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:46 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:52 pace)
Friday morning I felt so much better! I did a loop with friends and another loop by myself. I listed to the Ali on the Run Show interview with Sarah Clancy of Sarah Marie Design Studio. I loved hearing about all of the behind the scenes things that go into running her business.
Saturday – Easy: 10.25 miles (8:06 pace)
Saturday morning was a pretty standard group run. It sprinkled on us a little bit in the first few miles, which actually felt quite nice. Oddly enough, it didn’t seem to be nearly as humid as it has been the past few weeks. We also got to see a beautiful rainbow that looked like it ended less than 100 yards from the road we were running on. After the run, we did the typical coffee + breakfast + conversation thing at our favorite breakfast spot.
Sunday – Race: 10.75 miles (8:11 pace)
I ran a local 5K Sunday morning. The race ran on paved trails at the Gulf State Park. It’s a pretty good location for a race. The only minor drawbacks are that the trails are very winding, there isn’t a lot of airflow and the GPS satellites can be a little wonky in the woods. I made the executive decision to not look at my watch at all during the race. Although the temptation to glance down throughout the race can be hard to resist, somehow I have been able to do it successfully a few times now.
I wanted to run close to 6:10 ish pace for the first mile. I settled in behind several guys and tried to just hold tight for as long as I could. Eventually I got dropped and found myself running in no man or woman’s land. The course was basically a loop with 3 left-hand turns. By the time we got to the first turn, I was running alone. I really prefer to run in a pack with other runners, but that rarely seems to work out. I could tell that there were potentially a couple of runners close behind me, but at the same time, I wasn’t able to really work with anyone. My split for mile one was 6:05.
During the second mile, I actually caught and passed two of the runners who had been in front of me from the get go. One of the guys didn’t seem to want me to pass him and he sprinted for a few seconds before conceding the pass. The other guy told me good job as I went by (which is always appreciated (I always try to reciprocate the encouragement)). After I passed those two guys, the only other runner in sight was one of the guys that I run and race against regularly and he was a good bit ahead. I knew I wasn’t going to catch him, but it was at least nice to have someone to focus on up ahead. My split for mile two was 6:14.
The last mile was very lonely and very winding. We ran over several wooden bridges with signs indicating that they were “under construction,” which basically meant that there were lots of boards on each bridge that were being replaced. In the meantime, they had nailed some extra plywood on the top of said boards, which made for a lot of little mini speed bumps. The footing was a bit tricky and definitely not ideal for race conditions. In hindsight, I guess it gave me something to focus on instead of thinking about the fact that I was hurting, so perhaps this was actually a good thing. My split for mile three was 6:19.
I didn’t have too much fight left to “sprint it in” to the finish. I finished with an overall time of 19:35 as first female and sixth overall. My time surprised me and not exactly in a good way. I would’ve definitely guessed that it would’ve been close to 19:00 (just based on the effort that I was giving). Also makes me wonder if I had looked at my watch, if I would’ve known that I *should’ve* been able to go faster? Who knows. The good news is that I have plenty more opportunities to try again soon!
Total – 61 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.19.18 – 03.25.18:
Monday – Easy: 5 miles (8:44 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Threshold): 9 miles (7:23 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 4 X 1 mile @ threshold pace w/ 1:00 recovery and a 2 mile cool down. I woke up feeling rested and ready to tackle this one. This is not a typical tax season training state of existence for me, so that was a real nice surprise (Clark). Goal threshold pace was 6:26 pace. Actual splits were 6:26, 6:23, 6:24 and 6:18.
Wednesday – Easy: 7 miles (8:34 pace)
Thursday – Quality (Threshold): 7 miles (7:51 pace)
Thursday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles @ threshold pace and a 2 mile cool down. In another somewhat unusual turn of events, I did this workout Thursday evening after work. Goal threshold pace was 6:26 pace. Actual threshold miles during this run were 6:54, 6:59, 6:47. Those 6:50 miles felt like 6:20 miles. Goodness. I really dislike evening workouts. Even so, it was really nice out and I didn’t regret getting out there and doing the workout.
Friday – OFF
Saturday – RACE: 10.25 miles (7:25 pace)
I ran my fourth and final 10k of the month Saturday morning (hence the 10k strategy post). I started off at what felt like a comfortable pace and was planning to run as evenly as possible. My goal pace range was 6:15 to 6:25. The first mile typically clicks by pretty quickly as there are usually plenty of runners around and the pack hasn’t really separated too much. My split for the first mile was 6:17.
There were clocks at each of the mile markers, so I had some pace feedback out there (as opposed to last week when I purposefully chose not to look at the data mid-race). I felt really comfortable at 6:17, but I was also really close to a few other runners and I (somewhat unknowingly) picked it up a touch to catch them and stay with the pack. My split for the second mile was 6:14.
The third mile was fairly uneventful. I focused on keeping a steady rhythm and not slowing down. We made a left turn right before the third mile marker and had a slight downhill segment for a tenth of a mile or so. That was quite nice! My split for the third mile was 6:18. The total time on the clock at mile three was 18:49, which was about 25 seconds faster than my time at mile three last week. I was definitely encouraged by this, but at the same time, I had to remind myself not to get complacent.
Miles four and five clicked by pretty quickly. I caught a few people and didn’t get passed by anyone, so that was good. My split for the fourth mile was 6:23 and for the fifth mile was 6:22. I still felt pretty decent at this point during the race and knew that I could at least maintain my pace for another mile, if not speed up ever so slightly. I counted traffic lights. Each one got me a little bit close to the finish line. My split for the sixth mile was 6:17. At this point, I tried to pick it up for the last two tenths to squeak under 39:00, but I waited a bit too late to make that happen. I crossed the finish line in 39:07 and I am super happy with that!
Sunday – Easy: 12 miles (8:21 pace)
Total – 53.2 miles
I didn’t do much on the workout front last week. This is partly because I am racing every weekend and recovering during the week, but also partly because I just really haven’t felt like following a training plan. My training plan has workouts every Tuesday and Thursday, but I just can’t get motivated to actually do what the plan says. This is fine. I basically work hard and follow a plan 10 or 11 months out of the year, but during the time frame between March 1st and the end of tax season, I am really just running for stress relief. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed this time of year and I don’t want running to be an additional source of stress (I want it to be an outlet for stress). If the training plan feels overwhelming, I just don’t follow it. Easy enough.
Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.12.18 – 03.18.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:11 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Threshold): 8 miles (7:47 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was supposed to be 4 X 1200 w/ 400 recovery, but after last weekend’s back to back races, I wasn’t ready to do any fast repeats. I still met my training buddies at the track, but I just did my own thing while they did some faster stuff. I did a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at some form of tempo pace (6:36, 6:35, 6:29) and a 3 mile cool down.
Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:33 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)
Thursday AM – Easy: 3 miles (8:54 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:34 pace)
Thursday’s workout was supposed to be 2 X 2 miles at threshold pace. The idea of this one wasn’t super stressful in and of itself, but I think I was just tired. I hit snooze several times and once push came to shove, I only had time for 3 miles before work. I told myself that I could still try the workout after work if I felt like it … (insert rolling on the floor laughing emoji here). The idea of doing a workout after work is basically laughable at this point, although I must say, the time change does make evening runs quite more enjoyable!
Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:39 pace)
Saturday – Race: 10.5 miles (7:23 pace)
I ran yet another 10K Saturday morning (3 out of 4 for the month!). Last year I ran the race without a watch and while that turned out to be a great decision, I decided to wear my watch this year … but, I didn’t look at it one. single. time. during the race. I don’t know how I had the self-restraint to do this, but somehow I did. The only time during the entire race that I saw a time was on the clock at mile 3 (the other mile markers don’t have clocks). This course had some rolling hills and I don’t typically run well on hills, so I always plan to conserve on the uphill portions and not expend any unnecessary energy. The hills are also part of the reason that I chose not to look at my watch during the race. I have a bad habit of looking down at my watch if I feel like my pace is fading. For some reason I need an external source to either confirm or deny my feelings (but that’s likely a discussion for another time and place).
The third mile is the hilliest of the race and you crest the biggest hill right as you pass the mile three marker. My time was 19:15, which would translate to right at or just under twenty minutes for the 5K. I knew that if I wanted my total time to be under forty minutes for the 10K, I had to keep working and couldn’t afford to let up at all. I focused on staying in my rhythm and not slowing down. I was running with a pack or three or four guys for most of the race, which was really nice. I typically find myself in no man’s land during races and it is always much better to have someone to work with. We all flip-flopped back and forth a few times and eventually lost a few off the back, but basically I had someone to work with the entire time. It ended up being a sprint to the finish and I barely edged the guy out! No gonna lie, that felt awesome!
It was fun to check my splits afterwards since I hadn’t looked at my watch during the race. They were pretty consistent and made sense given the course. I need to trust myself more and rely on the Garmin less. My splits were 6:21, 6:21, 6:32, 6:25, 6:26, 6:20 and 5:47 for the last two tenths.
Sunday – Easy: 12.25 miles (8:37 pace)
Total – 66.7 miles
I got a little behind in my weekly training logs, so this is a two-for-one update. I know you are all thrilled about that (sarcasm). I’ve done several races in the last two weeks with not many workouts in between. It’s mostly been easy running over here, which is a nice change of pace (literally)!
Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.26.18 – 03.04.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:23 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Intervals): 8 miles (7:55 pace)
Tuesday morning’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 1 mile at threshold, 2 X 1000 at interval, 2 X 200 at repetition and a 2 mile cool down. My times were as follows:
1 mile (6:22)
2 X 1000 (3:44, 3:50)
2 X 200 (0:39, 0:39)
This workout was short and sweet and definitely flew by! I am really enjoying the workouts that alternate the paces and distances of the repeats. We also had a nice, cool morning for this workout, which makes a difference in the enjoyment factor as well.
Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:29 pace)
Thursday – Quality (Intervals): 5 miles (7:39 pace)
Thursday’s workout was a 1 mile warm up, 6 X 400 with 400 recovery and a 1 mile cool down. Another short and sweet workout solely for the purpose of keeping the legs sharp during race week. I did this one on the treadmill. I don’t remember exactly why this was the case, but I’m assuming it had something to do with me procrastinating the workout after teaching late Wednesday evening and then having nobody to run with. Yep. I think that’s exactly how it went. I did the 400s at 6:00 pace and took the rest of the run very easy.
Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:31 pace)
Saturday – RACE: 9.5 miles (7:15 pace)
Saturday morning I ran the Wine 10K in Birmingham, AL. I had an “elite” bib (with a sub 40 qualifying time), which is cool, but also quite intimidating, especially when you start looking around at the other runners in the corral with you. It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others, but it’s really hard not to play the comparison game before races. Everyone you see looks so stinking fast! In this race, everyone I saw actually was very stinking fast.
As soon as the gun went off (actually, they might have fired a cannon or a rocket of some sort (it was CRAZY loud)), I was immediately lagging behind everyone else that had started near me. I wanted to keep the pace honest and not start out too fast. I glanced down at my watch a few times and was seeing 6:10 or faster. I knew that wasn’t sustainable, so I just had to let the pack go on ahead. My first mile was 6:14. The next two miles were a little bit tougher with a few rolling hills. For someone who trains on pancake flat terrain, hills are not my friend. I am very quick to say that I am not a strong hill runner. This race made me realize that it’s probably time that I did something about that and actually work to get stronger on the hills. Sounds like a good goal. Right? Right. So anyway, miles two and three were 6:26 and 6:25.
There was a nice little downhill stretch from mile three to four. I clocked a 6:02 on that mile. Whew! I wasn’t expecting to see a split like that, but I was happy with it for sure! The last two miles of the race ran on the Lakeshore Trail, which I guess is also called the Homewood Shades Creek Greenway. It’s a paved trail that runs beside Shades Creek. The trail itself was very nice to run on, especially with a nice view of the creek. The only downside to this part of the course were the two places where you had to do essentially do a 180 degree turn to run up and over a little overpass. It’s tough to come to a basically a complete stop, run up and over something and then continue on without messing up your rhythm. Miles five and six were 6:25 and 6:33.
I finished with a chip time of 39:34, which is 6:22 average pace. Not too far off of what I expected and given the hills, I’m definitely happy with it!
Sunday – Easy: 8 miles (7:58 pace)
Total – 51.6 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.05.18 – 03.11.18:
Monday – Easy: 7 miles (8:08 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Threshold): 7 miles (7:35 pace)
I don’t recall exactly what my workout was supposed to be on Tuesday, but I kind of did my own thing here. I did a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at “marathon” pace (6:59, 6:57, 6:58) and a 2 mile cool down. I wasn’t ready to do any fast repeats yet, but I wanted to push myself a little bit. This seemed like a good decision.
Wednesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:14 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)
Wednesday evening I got to take a friend’s daughter on a stroller run while my friend worked a track meet near our house. Holy moly. That was the toughest easy run that I’ve done in a while. Pushing a 3 year old in the stroller is no joke. Shout out to all you moms out there making that happen on a regular basis!
Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:35 pace)
Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:52 pace)
Saturday – RACE: 6.5 miles (7:27 pace)
Saturday morning I ran the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K in Pensacola, FL. The race is technically a prediction run, which means that each person guesses their finish time and person who finishes closest to the predicted time wins. You aren’t allowed to wear a watch and there aren’t any mile markers or clocks along the course. However, there is also a “speed” division and you can wear your watch if you are not competing for a prediction award. I wore my watch, as I wasn’t too concerned about competing in the prediction division.
After the first quarter-mile, I tried to settle into my goal pace range. I predicted 19:00 (you have to predict a time regardless of if you are doing the prediction run or not). I wanted to keep my pace between 6:05 and 6:15. As per usual, the first mile was a tad fast. I was really trying to hold back a little, but somehow I came through the first mile in 5:59. I thought I was in about fifth place or so for the females.
I steadily reigned in a few of the other girls during the second mile. It was nice to have some folks to chase! I still felt pretty decent at this point and was happy to be out there pushing myself. I came through the second mile in 6:09. Whew. I knew if I could hold on to that, I would have a very respectable finish.
Of course, it’s easier said than done to hang on during the last mile of a 5K, and sure enough, my pace started to fade. I had solidified my place as second female and while I could see the first place girl ahead of me, she was out of reach. The course also starts to feel *really* long during that last mile. You can see all of the runners strung out ahead of you and you see just how far you still have left to go. It is a challenge not to get complacent. My last mile was 6:26. I picked it up a tad for the last 0.1 and “sprinted” it in at 5:44 pace. My overall time was 19:11. Not too far off from what I expected! I’ll take it. It’s not my best and not my worst. That seems to be a theme these days.
Sunday – RACE: 12 miles (7:15 pace)
Sunday morning I ran the St. Patrick’s Leprechaun Chase 10K in Robertsdale, AL. It’s been several weeks since I’ve done a “long run,” and I wanted to get in between 12 and 14 miles Sunday. I got 6 miles in before the race, which was perfect. Luckily the rain held off for us, but it was a warm and humid morning (especially early on).
I really didn’t have a specific plan going into this race as I wasn’t sure how my legs were really going to feel once I started the race. They felt decent on the warm up, but not great, which made sense. I was asking a lot of them by doing back to back races. I figured that I would settle in and try to run “goal marathon” pace (NOT that I am training for a marathon by any means, but this is just a good pace to base my effort on). I figured I could sustain somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range, but again, I wasn’t really sure. I figured that I would just play it by ear and see what happened! It’s really nice to approach races without any defined expectations sometimes.
My splits were 6:42, 6:51, 7:01, 6:46, 6:50, 6:37 and 5:57 for the last 0.2. My finishing time was 42:11, which was enough to win the race (it was a teeny tiny race).
Total – 59.7 miles
It’s race week! Ahh! I can’t believe it’s already here. I am running the Wine 10K in Birmingham this weekend. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve done a race in Birmingham. The level of competition there is much higher than it is here in LA (lower AL). I’m really excited to run against some fast girls and am hopeful that I can rise to their level of competition.
Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.19.18 – 02.25.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:22 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Intervals): 9.3 miles (7:42 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 2 X 1 mile, 2 X 1000, 2 X 400 and a 2 mile cool down. I really enjoyed this workout! Each set had a different goal pace and got shorter and faster as the workout went by. The miles were done at threshold pace, the 1000s were done at interval pace and the 400s were done at repetition pace. Splits are below:
It was nice to start off with mile repeats at threshold pace. I’ve been doing longer intervals at threshold pace, so one mile didn’t seem bad at all. The 1000s were by far the toughest part of the workout (for me). I think if they had been 800s it would’ve seemed easier, but that extra 200 meters really got me. Ha. The good news was that by the time I got to the 400s, the idea of only doing one lap of work seemed very doable. I think those are my fastest 400s since last summer and I am very glad that I was able to finish the workout on a high note.
Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:15 pace) + PM – Easy: 4 miles (8:35 pace)
Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:21 pace)
Friday AM – Quality: 9 miles (7:09 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:35 pace)
Friday’s workout was supposed to be a 2 mile warm up, 2 X 3 mile repeats w/ 3 minute recovery and a 2 mile cool down. Admittedly, I had a hard time motivating myself to get up and get this one done. My alarm went off and I reset it for 30 minutes later, which meant I was going to be cutting it really close if I still wanted to actually get this workout done (and I wasn’t sure that I even cared). I dragged myself out of bed eventually and decided to give it a whirl. I ended up doing all 6 miles consecutively (6:46, 6:30, 6:26, 6:22, 6:21, 6:17) and each mile got a tad bit faster. I was pleased with the results. I shortened the cool down to one mile and still made it to work on time (#winning).
Saturday – Easy: 8 miles (8:11 pace)
Sunday – Quality: 12 miles (7:15 pace)
Sunday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at threshold, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at threshold, 1 mile easy, 2 miles at threshold and a 1 mile cool down. I was able to watch the coverage from the Tokyo Marathon as I ran, which definitely helped me to push myself to get this one done. Splits for the first set of threshold miles were 6:40, 6:28, 6:28, for the second set were 6:38, 6:29 and for the last set were 6:36, 6:24.
Total – 70.3 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.12.18 – 02.18.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:50 pace)
Tuesday – Quality (Intervals): 8.2 miles (7:48 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 4 X 1200 w/ 400 recovery and a 2 mile cool down. I was hopeful that this week’s workout would go smoothly like last week’s workout, but it was definitely more of a struggle this week. Splits (w/ paces) are listed below.
My goal time for the intervals was 4:25. I never hit that time and I got progressively slower as the workout went on (definitely not the preferred way to tackle track intervals). I don’t think my legs were fully recovered from Sunday’s 5K time trial.
Wednesday AM – Easy: 8 miles (8:35 pace) + PM – Easy: 3.5 miles (9:05 pace)
Thursday – Rest
Friday – Quality: 11 miles (7:13 pace)
Friday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 3 X 2 mile repeats w/ 3 minute recovery and a 2 mile cool down. I went to the YMCA to do this workout because I wanted to compare my effort on a different treadmill. It was insane! I have lots of thoughts about this that maybe I can share in another post. My splits were 12:43 (6:22, 6:21), 12:38 (6:20, 6:18) and 12:32 (6:17, 6:15). I’m really digging these threshold workouts! They push me to an uncomfortable place, but not uncomfortable enough to make me miserable. The post-workout endorphins are also pretty amazing!
Saturday AM – Easy: 13 miles (8:28 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:11 pace)
Sunday – Easy: 13.5 miles (8:12 pace)
I was supposed to do a workout Sunday during my long run. The workout was 16 miles with 2 miles at threshold pace and 3 miles at marathon pace sprinkled in the middle. After attempting the 2 miles at threshold pace, I decided to bag the rest of the workout and just run easy. I did those 2 miles at 6:42 and 6:38 (goal pace was 6:26). It was 75* and 99% humidity, which didn’t make for pleasant workout conditions. I know that at some point, I will have to suck it up and get used to the heat and humidity, but I’m not ready to commit to that quite yet.
I don’t think that missing a few marathon pace miles in a long run is going to hurt my 10K training. Hopefully now I’ll be all rested up and ready for my track workout next week!
Total – 70.2 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.05.18 – 02.11.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:48 pace)
The hubby and I ran Monday evening after work. We ran up to meet a couple of friends, ran a loop with them and ran back home.
Tuesday AM – Quality (Intervals): 8.25 miles (7:34 pace) + PM – Easy: 4.75 miles (9:07 pace)
Tuesday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 5 X 1K w/ 400 recovery and a 2 mile cool down. I finally felt like my legs had some pep in them and I was able (for the most part) to hit the prescribed paces for this workout. Thank goodness! I’ve always heard that a general rule of thumb is that it can take your legs the same amount of days as miles that you race to truly recover. My last race was 26.2 miles and this workout was 24 days later, so perhaps there is some truth to that general rule.
My goal time for the thousands was 3:41, so just under 5:50 pace. Splits (w/ paces) are listed below.
The first three went really well! I basically just chased my training partners around the track. I faded a little on four and five, but I also had to make an emergency pit stop in between three and four (it happens). The stop meant that I was no longer running with the guys and instead, I was left to pace my own intervals. That wasn’t quite as easy, but the times were still respectable, so I’m happy with it.
Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:09 pace)
I ran on the treadmill Wednesday morning.
Thursday – Quality (Threshold): 11 miles (7:21 pace)
Thursday’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles @ threshold pace, 3 minutes easy, 2 miles @ threshold pace, 2 minutes easy, 1 mile @ threshold pace and a 2 mile cool down. I am really loving these threshold workouts … this one especially! Once you do the first 3 mile set, the last 2 mile and 1 mile sets feel like nothing (or at least that’s how it went down for me).
My goal pace for the threshold miles was 6:26. I ran this one on the treadmill at home (yet again). We had SO MUCH rain last week. It was unreal. Splits are below.
6:39, 6:21, 6:19
My next experiment is going to be to attempt some threshold work both outside and on a third-party treadmill (likely at the YMCA) and try to get a feel for if the effort level is consistent across all three. I don’t think that the calibration on my treadmill at home is totally accurate, which is why I wear the foot pod and use the indoor run setting on my watch.
Friday – Easy: 10 miles (8:43 pace)
I got to run with my best girlfriends Friday morning! The 3:30 a.m. alarm was totally worth it for 10 miles of quality friend time.
Saturday – Easy: 7 miles (8:40 pace)
It rained all. day. long. Saturday. We had a small window around 4 p.m. where the radar was clear. I met a friend and we got in a few good miles before the bottom fell out again.
Sunday – Quality (5K): 11 miles (7:51 pace)
I was planning to run a local 5K Sunday morning. However, it was pouring rain (yet again) and because it had rained a good bit throughout the week as well, a majority of the course was flooded. It doesn’t take too much rain to flood that course and since we had a good bit of rain, it was very flooded. Ultimately, they changed the course and made the race 2.5 miles, but I decided to pass on paying money to run a short course in the rain.
Of course I still wanted to get in a quality run for the day, so I concocted a plan to run a 5K “time trial” later that afternoon. On Sunday, the small window of dryness was around 1 p.m. I met several of my training buddies at the track, did a 3 mile warm up, ran a 5K time trial and did a 5 mile cool down. It was 75 degrees and insanely humid, which made for some tough running conditions.
I wanted to start out around 6:10 pace and try to either hold it there or drop it slightly. That would’ve put me close to right at or just under 19:00. That was my tentative plan for the race, so I figured I’d just try to do the same thing on the track. My splits were 6:04, 6:14 and 6:29. Definitely respectable (especially given the conditions), but not where I wanted to be. The good thing about a time trial is that now I have a good idea of where I am and what I need to work on (read: not starting too fast).
Total – 68.0 miles
Here is what my training looked like the week of 01.29.18 – 02.04.18:
Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:13 pace) + Easy: 5 miles (8:59 pace)
I ran on the treadmill Monday morning. The hubs wanted to do a loop Monday evening so I went with it.
Tuesday – Quality (Intervals): 8.5 miles (7:42 pace)
Track Tuesday is back in full force. This week’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 6 X 800 w/ 400 recovery and a 2 mile cool down. My goal pace for the 800s was just under 3:00 (so just under 6:00 pace per mile), but for whatever reason my legs are not cooperating for the faster stuff quite yet. I don’t know if it is still lingering post-marathon fatigue or perhaps because I haven’t really trained to run at these faster paces since last summer. It’s likely some combination of the two. My splits were 3:02, 3:03, 3:02, 3:04, 3:08 and 3:09. Not terrible, but definitely not where I want them to be either.
Wednesday – Easy: 8 miles (8:37 pace)
I ran outside with my husband and one of our training buddies Wednesday morning! It was nice to get outside for an easy run.
Thursday – Off
I definitely needed a break on Thursday! Wednesday was a tax work deadline + teaching night, which meant that I left the house at 7:00 a.m. and didn’t get home until 9:00 p.m. I slept in Thursday morning and then decided to forgo doing my workout after work as well. I told myself that I might do it after work, but really, there was a 0.5% chance of this actually happening. Ha. This was not a scheduled rest day, but I prefer to not have them scheduled and to just take them when I need them.
Friday – Quality (Threshold): 11 miles (7:19 pace) + Easy: 5 miles (8:31 pace)
I did Thursday’s workout Friday morning. The workout was a 3 mile warm up, 2 miles @ threshold pace, a 5 minute recovery, 2 miles @ threshold pace, a 3 minute recovery, 1 mile @ threshold pace and a 2 mile cool down. I am enjoying these longer workouts with varied paces. It’s nice to know that there is always a change of pace up ahead. The first two threshold miles were 12:40 (6:20 avg.), the second two were 12:28 (6:14 avg.) and the last one was 6:11. I did this workout on the treadmill though and I’m wondering what my equivalent effort outside would’ve been. Likely a good bit slower.
Saturday – Easy: 8 miles (8:33 pace)
I got in a fun easy run with two of my best running girlfriends Saturday morning. The run was followed by coffee and conversation over breakfast, which is the very best way to spend a Saturday morning (in my opinion).
Sunday – Quality (Threshold): 14.7 miles (7:34 pace)
Sunday’s workout was kind of similar to Friday’s workout, but a tad longer and a little slower. The workout was a 3 mile warm up, 2 miles @ threshold pace, 3 miles @ easy pace, 2 miles @ marathon pace, a 4 minute recovery, 2 miles @ marathon pace and a 2 mile cool down. The threshold miles were 12:48 (6:24 avg.) and my marathon pace miles were 13:24 (6:42 avg.) and 13:24 (6:42 avg.). Again, I did this on the treadmill and I’m wondering what would’ve been if I had run outside. I do feel like I got in an appropriate effort to accomplish the goal of the workout though and I guess that’s what really counts.
Total – 68.2 miles
I am back at it after a little bit of down time post-marathon. I’m gearing up for the Wine 10K in Birmingham on 03.03.18. That only gives me 5 weeks to get ready, but I am hopeful that my marathon fitness will carry me through and that I can just sharpen up my speed some over the next few weeks.
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