Saturday, July 12, 2014

Plodding My Return

Ready for some hilarious splits?


Avg Pace

Waittaminute waitaminute!

Lucy! Lemme 'splain.

Before I begin, I need to preface this by saying that I have not really run much since the Rainier to Ruston Team Relay the first weekend of June. The rest of the month was spent whining attempting to get myself together and not be sick, but apparently June was to be the month of sick. Very few work outs, lots of sleeping, and rivers of snot. Post nasal drip, anyone?  Delightful. 

The other day, I came across this very interesting blog post about Low Heart Rate Training. I have heard and read a little about heart rate training but have never really been interested in following a plan like this. To be honest, it always seemed pretty dull, while the articles stating I'd get "Faster and Leaner" sounded much more promising. 

I know. I KNOW.

JBang has harped on me for years to wear my heart rate monitor while running, but the bonus gift of boob chafe has really not appealed to me. I mean, between the boob and usual underarm chafe, it's a wonder I don't bathe in Glide. 

Watch out, guys. Hot stuff running down the road.

Anyways, I digress. Amanda from RTTF does a really concise job of breaking down a number of different marathon training plans,with the LHR plan being one of them. While I am no nowhere near ready to train for a full marathon, I do think there is a benefit to this type of training to help improve my overall running fitness and efficiency. 

Right now, it's H-O-T HOT in Seattle, and the last thing I want to do (Or am actually capable of doing) is run fast in this heat.I decided to use the summer as my experimental period to get myself back into running shape, and figured I"d start off with trying this LHR training method. Today was Day 1, and it went pretty well. I was out the door by 7, and it was already 61 degrees but the air was still cool with a slight morning breeze. There were actually many times I was going too fast over my max heart rate, and had to force myself to walk to get it back down.

Mile 4, anyone?

Accordingly to the plan, my max heart rate is 143 (180 base minus my age), and honestly, it was really tough to stay at this rate. The only way I could stay even close to 150 was to run over 11 min/mile, which was pretty surprising to me. Even running down in the 10's had my heart rate going above the max target. The miles went quickly because I spent so much time looking at my Garmin and trying to regulate my heart rate. The first four miles felt pretty easy, and at one point I caught a reflection of myself in a store window, and I could have sworn I was just running in place. 

I had planned on 4 slow LHR miles, but when I hit 4 and I still had a mile left for home, I decided to pick it up and run fast. It was interesting/alarming to see my heart rate, which had previously stayed around 150-160, jump to 185-193 bmp in a matter of seconds.  At the end of the run, I felt pretty happy with myself and the last mile really gave me an endorphin kick. Plus the last .25 was an uphill I usually try and avoid having to run up (again. I KNOW, guys. Hills are speed work in disguise blah blah) and I motored up that beyatch like nobody's business. Felt good. Damn good.

Heart Rate
Avg HR:159 bpm
Max HR:193 bpm

I'm excited to experiment more with this plan and see if it improves my running efficiency and overall fitness level so that I'm ready for fall half marathon training. 

One more note, today was my first day outside in my Brooks Pure Flow2. They're designed with a low drop, so it forces the runner to land mid foot. The first mile my calves were definitely feeling worked, but it felt good to get my legs pumping, and my lungs burning today. 

Today felt.. really nice.  It hasn't felt good in a while and running hasn't made me feel happy in so long.

Today gave me a small glimmer of hope. 

Plodding. Plotting. Get it...? ..!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Remember the time I ran that half marathon...


Remember the time I ran a half marathon, and then was supposed to write a recap, and then never did?

So, it's been over a month since the last half, and I have had no desire or time to write about it. But I figure, before I recap what I did last weekend (Read: RELAY), it would make sense to recap races of ye old days.

Halfway through this training cycle, I got pretty sick (read: bedridden for days) and then decided that right now my life was too chaotic to follow such a strict plan. So, I made the decision to run this half, just to run. No real time goals but to finish.

So, here goes. 13.1, under-trained and without expectations.

Tacoma City (half) Marathon, May 4, 2014
Time: 2:05 (9:31 pace)

Shorts, S/L T, Arm sleeves, Compression socks

Mile 1  9:12
Perfect weather. Nice and drizzly. Amazonian lady in green tutu motoring on in front of me. Lookin fierce and swinging her arms like she means bidness

Mile 2  9:21
Amazon lady walking with some 'tude. Also, her tutu is in my way.
Getting warm, roll my arm sleeves down to my forearms

Mile 3  9:17 
Slight decline and onto the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Not as scary as I thought. Can barely tell I am running next to the edge, where a 200 ft plunge into the icy cold water awaits. Theoretically...

Oh! At end of bridge I see John with his giant bazooka camera! Personal photographer, Yay! Rip off arm sleeves and throw into his lap. He doesn't notice (Foreshadowing*)

Mile 4  10:07
Uphill off the bridge onto the over pass. HATE. Quads burn. Burnnnn.

Mile 5  9:34
Run random Tacoma neighborhood. Feeling pretty sluggish. Who said this course is flat. Lies! Rolling small hills throughout. Stupid big hill at mile 4 already did me in. This is going to blow.

Mile 6  9:23
Halfway point. Pass the "Halfway House" giving out shots of PBR. Am tempted to stop. Am so thirsty!

Mile 7  9:13
Bo-ring. My music is stale, my body is tired, and these shot bloks are stuck to my teeth. Cavities, anyone?

Mile 8  8:48
Oh, wait! Downhiilllllll!!!

Mile 9  9:24
Flat. Flat, boring and windy. HEY! There's John again! WHEE.
Figure if I can pick it up to a 9 min pace for the last 3 miles, I can beat my last half time.

Mile 10 9:52
Well. Nope. That won't be happening. I can't get my legs to move any faster.
Wind out of my sails. I'm losing my motivation. My legs feel like lead and I'm so thirsty.
Also, how many overpasses do they want us to run over? C'mon!

Mile 11: 10:05
Being passed by full marathoners. This doesn't feel fantastic.

Mile 12: 10:15
Passed by a stroller. This doesn't feel fantastic.

Mile 13: 10:12
Ending as we run up an overpass.
Are. You. Shitting. Me.

Mile 14 (.01): 7:49
THE END. Round the corner after the steep overpass and see John again! Personal photog! I could get used to this. Paparazzi!

Aaaand, done. DONE DONE DONE.

Also, really this pace actually makes no difference but it makes me feel better seeing these numbers

So, there you have it. Rather uneventful, wasn't it? My biggest learning from all of this - You will run exactly how you train. If you hit those paces on your training runs, do your speed work and honor your rest days,  most likely you will be able to conjure up what you need on race day. But, if you don't push the pace and all of your runs are easy and "slow", your race day will reflect that. That being said, life happens, and sometimes we don't have control over which direction it will take us, and we just have to be prepared to go with the flow.

This race wasn't my best, but my favorite part of this race was seeing my friends at the start/end and being able to celebrate our accomplishments together. Runner friends are the best!

*Apparently he did not notice I threw the arm sleeves in his lap, so after the race we had to park near the bridge, walk down to the pedestrian walk way and look for them. We found them at the bottom of the hill, sitting in a mud puddle. Down the hill, which meant, Yes.. after running 13.1 miles, I had to trek all the way back up the hill to the car. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

So lame I can't even think of a proper title

4/28-5/3: Mad resting (Maybe I took taper week too seriously...?)
5/4: Tacoma City Half Marathon. (2:05..9:31 pace)

I don't want to talk about it... Not just yet.


5/5-5/16: Run-Rested Like A Boss

5/5: Rest
5/6: JM Ripped in 30. Level 1
5/7: Rest
5/8: Rest
5/9: JM Ripped in 30. Level 1
5/10: JM Ripped in 30. Level 1. 1 Mile, TM.
5/11: JM Ripped in 30. Level 1

5/12: JM Ripped in 30. Level 2
5/13: Rest. Family walk after dinner
5/14: JM Ripped in 30. Level 2
5/15: JM Ripped in 30. Level 2
5/16: JM Ripped in 30. Level 2
5/17: Run break, broken. 6 miles outside with D. 1:01. Easy and Enjoyable!
5/18: Rest


Wait... what's going on? It's been a while, I can't remember what I'm supposed to be doing here.






Not much has happened since the half. And by "not much", I mean, NOT MUCH RUNNING. This was my master plan, especially after a particularly sloggy Tacoma City Half. Give myself a run break, work on cleaning up my diet, strength training, and losing a few lbs in the process.

I'll write a full race recap in a bit but just thought I'd check in really quick to reassure you all (all 3, 4 of you?) that I have not yet given up on running, although the thought did cross my mind on May 4th specifically)

So, thing I owe you - a regular blog post, a race recap, and... that's a about it. Perhaps some sweaty race pics? That I can always guarantee.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How'd I get here...

4/14-4/20: Siiiiick . So siiiiick.

4/21-4/25: ? No idea

4/26: 6 miles, outside. 57+ min. 9:30-ish pace

4/27-present: Nada




Oh. Yes, I got sick with the 2014 spring version of the Black Plague. I was laid out a week ago with body aches, fever and chills. This ended up derailing the end of my pseudo training, at the same time starting off my taper week(s?) with quite the bang. 

And now here I am, 4 days until the half. And I have run a total of 0 miles in the last week. 

And I'm ok with that.  

Surprising, isn't it?  Most everyone knows how ridiculously hand flappy I get just missing a run or two during the weekday. But this time, I'm just accepting that I've done what time and opportunity has allowed me until this point. What more can I do. *shrugs*

I was able run an easy 6 miles with my friend this past Saturday and despite missing a full week of runs, my legs felt decent and our run/chat pace was the same as other weeks. 

Also, the family went in a mini getaway in the beginning of this week, and more inactivity followed. Gloriously relaxing inactivity and family time.

But. Now I'm back. Back to the grind we refer to as Life.

I'm trying to learn to not be so hard on myself, because truthfully - while we tend to reassure each other that no one will judge us or care about our performance -  that's not wholly truth. Everyone judges in their own ways - some will always want to know your time, your average pace, your training, your diet, etc. if not to feed some sort of competitive drive, to fulfill a natural curiosity about others' abilities compared to our own.

I admit, I do it all the time.

What is true is that I am working on growing to the point of giving no shits about what anyone may think of me. It's always going to be a work in progress, as is with everything in life, but I'm going to work on doing my best, running my hardest, and or once, just letting myself enjoy the ride. Maybe I'll even try smiling while I run.


Or not.

Smiling. So much work.

But maybe I'll give it a shot. I owe myself some slack. And maybe even a little credit.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

And I keep going...

4/7: Rest
4/8: Rest
4/9: 4 Miles, TM. 35+min (8:52 pace)
4/10: Rest
4/11:4 Miles, TM. 35 min (8:55 pace)
4/12: JM Extreme Workout; 20 sweaty min.

Impromptu workout: Cleaning induced rage. Countless hours.

4/13: Planned: 10 solo miles outside.
         UPDATE: 10 Miles, outside. 1:32 (9:14 pace)

Total weekly mileage: 18 (wah wah)

So, I guess I only blog on Sunday mornings before sunrise? Not sure what's going on with that, but let's go with this for now.

My running buddy is out of town so I'm on my own this morning. All of my long runs outside have been done with company, and while it has been nice, I haven't really pushed myself when it comes to pace. Mostly this is due to the fact that I simply cannot have a decent conversation (read: breathe) when I'm running "faster". I've enjoyed all of the long runs with D so far, and I'll definitely be lonely on today's jaunt, but it will also force me to pick up the pace a bit and focus on my breathing, form, fueling, etc. We've become pretty good friends over the course of the last few months but I still feel a little.. apologetic? When we are running together because I know she can go faster. She insists that our runs/pace is perfect for what it is (the long slow run with conversation) but I can't help but feel like I may be holding her back. After all, this is her "come back" run, after her half and full marathon in her early 20's. But anyways, I have to keep reminding myself to stop being ridiculous and enjoy the run with my friend. She wants to run with me too, so I should just stop worrying, right? Right.

Not to make excuses here, but we've had a lot going on around here the last few weeks, so it's no surprise that this week has been light on the running. I've also attempted to be a little lighter on the eating. I finally weighed myself a few days ago... and let's just say, I haven't seen that number since, um, I was pregnant? I mean.

Just... I mean... That baby is now 5. 

The candy/sugar/baked goods situation is no longer welcome in my midsection, or as I like to lovingly refer to it is, Herman. Apparently Herman is a lot like my middle child - persistent, stubborn, and in a neverending growth spurt.

Anyways, time to get ready for my run. I see the sun peeking out, so that's my cue!


Some 10-12 hrs later...

Garmin splits, people.

Avg Pace

2 power gel candies, 1 vanilla bean gu at mile 5, and handheld water bottle. painful chafe mark on my chubby right bicep. Chubs McGee.

My overall pace was surprising to me, in a good way surprising, because every mile was a mental battle. However, I can definitely tell that I have lost a lot of fitness over the last couple of months. Holding a pace of 9 ish minutes felt like lugging boulders strapped to my ankles. Admittedly, I let myself stop a few times for a water break/pep talk. Each mile was a ridiculous mind game. I guess that only what happens when I leave the music at home. Running in silence = a lot of solo internal conversations.

Mile 1: ah, fresh air. Crisp morning.

Mile 2: Da fuq! I hate this. 

Mile 3: Da fuq! For real! I hate this even more. 

Maybe I'll just run home. 

*slogging past donut shop*

I wish I could stop for some donuts. Ugh. Those donuts are what is making this 

Shut it, self. Donuts are not the enemy.

Mile 4: Running is the enemy 

Mile 5: (water stop) Running's not so bad! I forget how delicious gu tastes! 

Mile 6: Tired. Yes, I'm tired. 

Mile 7: ok. 3 more miles. I can do this... I can do this! I think...

Mile 8: *stop to regroup* 

Ok, two miles. I can do this. I can do this! I think...

I wonder if John is awake. I wonder if he'd come get me. 

Shut it, Bang and keep moving these tree stumps of yours.

Mile 9: Almost there! I'm so tired!  Am I even moving? Good lord, I've been out here for hours! Days even! 

Mile 10: Almost done! Almost done! Should I just do 11? Maybe... No... Should I? Nah.. Maybe? ... Aaand 10. Beep! Done! 

That wasn't so bad... 
I could have done 11. Maybe I should have done 11? Hmm, I guess 10 is fine. Maybe I'll do 11 next time. Maybe...

Ah, I feel so good. I love running. 


Someone should open up a mental institution for runners, because I feel pretty crazy.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Is this thing on?

What happens to a "Training Blog" when you stop properly training...

*Chirp chirp*




I honestly cannot remember the last time I had the urge, or really, the need to blog about my weeks here. I made a pretty valiant attempt to get myself back in the running game a few weeks ago and then, 

I didn't. 

I just went back to check and see the date of my last post - March 10th. That feels like light years ago. I've still been running but mostly inconsistently;  my weekly mileage has swung from 25 to 12

I mean, 12... is actually the amount of miles I'm supposed to run today... in about an hour. And yes, it's 5:26 on a Sunday morning, in case you're wondering. 

So, I won't recap my runs from 3/10 until last week, since it would take effort for me to look back at my Garmin/IFit and record it all (usually it's done during the same week so I have them fresh in my mind. 

I've decided to just do my best up until May 4th, and then just see how the half goes. This is not going to be a goal race for me, mostly since I've stopped caring about it. I would like to say I am one of those people who generally uses running as a therapy and an escape from life, but right now it's become just another added stress among other unforeseeable and uncontrollable life events. 

So, this is what I've got so far

Morning weekday runs done at 5am instead of 4. Thanks to daylight savings, 4 am is no longer a viable option for me.. because I am not quite alive at this time of day. 

3/31: 4 Miles, outside. Phoebe Buffay style, 35+min (8:57 pace)
4/1: Rest
4/2: 6 Miles, TM. 52 min (8:45 pace)
4/3: 3 Miles, TM. 25+min (8:26 pace)
4/4: Rest
4/5: 4 Miles, TM. (34+Min. 8:36 pace)
4/6: 12 Miles, TBD... (EDITED: 12 Miles, Outside. 1:58. 9:51 pace)
       Slow and Steady.

Total weekly mileage: 29 miles


Running, I want to love you again. Will you take me back? Let's give it one more shot. But this time, let's take it slow. 

Real slow*... 

*pun perhaps intended

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's about time, you say...

After yesterday's bitch-fest, I can finally say that I'm done.


Done whining, wallowing in self doubt and pity.

No. More.

No more self indulgent laments from me.
No more complaining, whimpering, cowering.


Time to toughen up, put on the big girls, and get to it.

I swear.