Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 8, feelin (kinda) great!

First 30 mile week in a long time! Weekday runs were fine but my 13 miler on Saturday was probably the highlight. 

I've never run a longer run with a pace under 9 min mile so this was a small milestone me! Sure, I felt like imploding the last mile but that's ok! The number on  my watch gives me more motivation to keep chipping away at my speed and endurance. I guess consistent training pays off. I mean, imagine. 

*insert self directed eye roll*

My splits are a little wiggity wack. Not sure what happened during the first mile because it didn't feel difficult at all but oy, the second and third mile always blow donkey balls (my favorite weird saying, usually saved for texted with my sister). None of the miles felt easy but only the last mile or so felt very tough.

Highlight of my run-  Every weekend, an old man pulls up his lawn char on the sidewalk by the main road, near the apartments. He hunkers down for a bit, smokes his cigar and watches life pass by. Even when it's pouring rain, I'll spot him tucked away under a tree; red and white striped umbrella shielding him from the rain, cigar smoke wafting out from under his shelter. 

On Saturday, I ended up running up and down the same street about...5,6 times, each time acknowledging him with a small wave. On my last stretch before leaving the area, I waved and shouted across the street, "have a good day!", which is pretty out of character for me. Read: I'm not generally very friendly. 

We're buddies now. 

Confession. I stopped and pulled to the side half through the last mile to say a quick prayer and give myself a tiny pep talk.  Sometimes you gotta do whatcha gotta do.

Gu at miles 5 and 10. Water fountains are back on! Hallelujah!

Sunday's shake out miles on the treadmill felt surprisingly great. The quick 20 minute circuit workout, though...

It's Tuesday, and I'm still rockin the rodeo walk #cowbowstrut #owowow


Week 8

4 miles, easy. 4 15 on/15 off

5 miles

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 6 miles. x 2

Friday: rest

Saturday: 13 miles. 1:56+. 8:57 pace

Sunday: 2 miles, TM. Circuit. 


Rest: 2
Run: 5
XT: 2
Miles: 30!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Run, Rinse, Repeat. Week 7.

We've gotten to the point in training where every morning I'm asking myself, why am I doing this? 

The clock glares at me in the still darkness. 4:XX. I mean, whyyy. It is so early! So quiet. 

I'm. So. Tired.

My alarm blares. I slap it quiet (after having snoozed since 3:30) and then quite literally roll to my right and slide out of bed. Pad over to the bathroom, wash my face with cold water, insert my contacts, scrape hair in a ponytail, and wriggle on my sports bra. Note that I have slept in shorts and a tshirt to lessen the dark morning struggles.

Silently make my way downstairs, fill up my water bottle, and slip into the garage. I sit on the edge of the treadmill to tie my shoes while my show pulls up in the computer (Hulu and Netflix are life saving), and then stretch for a few before slowly churning the treadmill to life. 

The next mile or so passes in a blur of sleepy legs and flailing arms. I settle into a groove about 1.5 miles into my warmup and then speed up just enough so that I'm moving at a pace faster than speed walking but definitely not my usual brisk outdoor pace. My treadmill miles are equally mental as they are physical, and as I train for my 6th half marathon, I realize the bulk of my running and training have always been done on my beloved beast of a treadmill. I lovehate this thing. 

All my dawdling has meant I am running late (srsly no pun intended for once) and so race (ha?) to finish, and then power off, stretch for a few minutes (maybe this is a lie?) and then run upstairs to shower and get ready for the day. 

Later in the evening as the clock nears 9pm, I'll collapse into bed, and ask myself once again, 

why am I doing this?

And then.

I'll set my alarm for 3:30am, and it's lights out. 


Week 7

Monday 3/14 
3.14 miles
Pi day!

6 miles
4x1 tempo. .25 cd. Ttl 6 miles


5+ miles, hills 


10 miles with Jennifer



Run: 4
XT: 1
Rest: 2
Miles: 25 (approx)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Week forever. Or, you know, 6.

The last two weeks have been kind of... meh. Nothing particularly spectacular or break through. The morning workouts were tough but I woke up and got it done . 

As most of my plans are grand in theory, I had ambition to wake up super early and get on the roads were 14 miles, before J had to leave for a photo shoot. However, I really needed a mental sleep in, and I also knew that the weather was supposed to be crazy (it ended up holding off until Sunday!) so I made the 5am executive decision to hold off until the later morning. 

I have run 12 miles on the treadmill once before so I figured, what's another two more. And you know what?

It's a lot. 

2 more is a lot. 

14 is. A LOT. of miles to be running in place. I'd be a huge giant liar if I told you I  enjoyed those two+ hours but I am proud of myself for gutting it out. I took breaks when I needed (watch and TM on pause, feet on the side) when I just felt mental breakdowns coming, to change the show I was watching, to stretch my weirdlythigh  calves, or to eat a gel (I had one weird blueberry chia mix that did nothing). I changed shoes after mile 7, which made mile 8 feel strange and clumpy but then did my best to pick up the pace for a few more miles. I had no speed goals for this run, mostly just to conquer the distance. When the 14 miles were done, here was the breakdown:

Shows watched: 4 
Shoe change: 1
Gel eaten: 1 
Ounces of water: 20
Moments of hating life: 1000
Miles run: 14

I was mentally and physically wiped out after this run, more so than if I had run it outdoors! I actually needed a quick nap after I had taken a bath, and then my appetite was a tad wonky afterwards, which usually does not happen if I run on the treadmill. 

I missed my wake up on Sunday am because of a fun, late night wth friends,  and then that really mean and evil concept of daylight savings time. I managed a very quick strength workout and then snuck in some yoga in the evening before bed.  Surprisingly, I wasn't sore at all after the long run, athough I think my ankles took a little beating from a couple hours on the treadmill. 

I was so close to 30 miles for the week but I just couldn't face one more treadmill mile for the weekend. 29 is not too shabby though, for me. 

Here's the riveting breakdown of my run life: 

Week 6

Monday 3/7
4 miles

Tuesday 3/8
5 miles. 3 tempo

Wednesday 3/9
1 mile WU

Thursday 3/10
6 miles. NS. 2,2,2

Friday 3/11

Saturday 3/12
14 miles. Treadmill whaaaat

Sunday 3/13


Miles: 29
Rest: 1
Strength: 2

Tired. I'm tired. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Running. Week 5. Why you so hard...

Not every week is a pretty one, right? 
After regaling about a fantastic week last week, this week was bound to be terrible. Law of the running universe. 


The plan usually prescribes some sort of Monday workout but I usually make Monday a rest day, mostly because I'm still tired from the weekend! However, I woke up with just enough energy to sneak in a quick, but very tough workout. I think it helped that I ended up skipping my Sunday run w D, due to scheduling conflicts, as well as my deep desire to sleep past 7. 

On Tuesday, as soon as I hit start on the treadmill, I knew it would be a tough week. First off, I woke up about late (in what sad world does 4:40am constitute as late? Srsly) and had to quickly talk myself into squeezing in a few miles. More than the miles, and calories burned, I've really started craving the feeling of getting in those positive, mood lifting endorphins charged for the day, or else I spend most of the day in full on beast mode, and not in the uber cool Marshawn way.  I stumbled through 3, yes- 3, measly miles and called it a day. No time for anything else- no weights, no core, no stretching. I barely had time to jump in the shower and add some brows! 

I ended up working from home on Wednesday because E was sick. I decided to take advantage of the day at home, and I decided to move my Thursday speed session to Wednesday am. It was... Not easy. I took lots of breaks (foreshadowing to Saturday's run) and felt pretty terrible most of the time but I (barely) gutted out those 6 miles

Thursday and Friday- glorious, glorious rest. 


The plan called for 13 miles. I had psyched myself out over the 12 miles a few weeks earlier, and that run ended up being pretty pleasant. I did not have good feelings about my 13 as I prepped to get out the door. 

My long runs this week and last week were similar in numbers but it's incredible how much more difficult it felt this week. Like, omigodsohard hard. 

It's amazing how much mental strength running requires. I didn't feel as positive starting off in the first few miles and I really believe it affected me the entire time. I did my usual 5 mile long run route just to check off the beginning miles, and then took a gu at about 5.5 miles. I was trying not to look too much at my watch but I felt like I could not stop focusing on my pace. I've always struggled to run my feel (I mean, it all feels hard?) but I started to psyche myself out with each passing mile. I was starting to run out of gas around 8 miles in, and I took more breaks than if like to admit. Actually, if I ran up to a light or a cross walk, I would gladly wait until the light turned green. I also tried dates as fuel for the later miles, which turned out to be rather disastrous. Two pitted dates in a small, snack sized zip lock bag - not easy to eat! The dates stuck to the bag and were too sticky to just hold and eat, so I just stood at the corner of a major intersection trying to suck the goop off the possible bpa laden plastic dollar store bag.

It wasn't the best idea I'd ever had.

Around mile 9,10 I was starting to feel really discouraged and made the executive decision to stop at 11. It was more than last week, right? Mentally I don't know if I could have handled ending those two miles in disappointment, and so I cut my losses and barely had enough juice to run my last mile under 9 min. It was much harder than it should have been, honestly. Sadly. 

Lots of takeaways this week- 

I need to work on my pre long run breakfast. One small breakfast cookie and small piece of mochi are not enough.

I need to find a handheld water bottle. I imagine those dates nestled very nicely on the roof of my mouth. Sticky. Thirsty.

2 GU work for me. One at mile 5.5, one at 10,10.5. Salted caramel is the best. 

10 is where the wheels come off for me. Note to work on that. 

Two runs can be remarkably similar, and yet so damn different. Makes me feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. I feel like often. Very often. 

Sometimes it really is mind over matter. 

Week 4 10 miles. 9:09 pace. Felt great.

Week 5 11 miles. 9:06 pace. Terrible. Don't ask me how many breaks I took. Also, mile 7 wtf

I woke up in Sunday, worried my legs would feel trashed but I managed 2 easy miles on the treadmill, and some weights. At least I ended on a good, sweaty note. 

Week 5

2/29: 1 mi WU
20 min emom

3/1: 3 miles
Woke up late!

3/2: 6 miles. 2 mi WU. 4 mile race pace.struggle. Lots of breaks 

3/3: rest

3/4: rest

3/5:  11 miles. 9:06 pace. Struggle fest 2016

3/6: 2 mile TM. Shake out/easy
20 min run
20 min strength

Miles: 23
Run: 4 (5 including the 1 wu mi)
Strength: 2
Rest: 2

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Almost not really halfway there

I'm experiencing an interesting phenomenon. 

Imagine training specifically for a race using a solid training plan, sticking to said plan, and then seeing results as the weeks progress.


What a novel idea right? Instead of willy nilly throwing around junk miles, you put your head down and work. Huh. 

I am hesitant to be so optimistic but so far, training seems to be going really well. I'm still waking up most days at 4 (insert bleary eyed zombie emoji <here>) to squeeze in my prescribed run or workout before work. I'm respecting the plan, the paces, and my rest. I'm seeing results I haven't seen in over a year.  

So far I feel great! 

Sorry. The exclamation mark seems a little unlike me. Much too enthusiastic. 

Let's try this again.

So far I feel great....?


I mean, it's not like I'm breaking any speed records or qualifying for the Olympic trials but still, it's my small victory. 

Such a far cry from a year, even six months ago.

What's changed? 

My perspective. I finally stopped the nagging voice in my head comparing myself to everyone around me. Those people aren't training to run my race. It's MY race. No one is juggling this life but me. 

Four weeks ago when I rolled out of bed and stepped back on the treadmill at 4am, I was tired. So very tired. I mean, it's basically still nighttime, right? But, at the end of those 4 miles, I was euphoric. It's amazing what endorphins can do, even that early in the morning. That feeling carried throughout the day, and it's that feeling that continues to motivate me to get my ass out of bed every morning before the roosters even stir. Even J has noticed a change in my attitude when I work out. I think he likes it, because when I'm grumpy, everyone pays the price. #scarymommy

Now look. It's still hard as hell to peel myself out of that warm bed, and the first mile or two always feels torturous but I stick to it every morning. There are moments of wanting to quit but then again, isn't that why I'm training? To push through those moments and get better? 

I had great runs leading up to my long run on Saturday, and I was actually quite eager to bang out my 10 milesmiles. I was stuck running solo this week, around the neighborhood I've run through nearly one zillion times in the last four years. I love running with other people. It's my favorite thing actually, but running alone is best when I'm focused on trying to hit specific paces. I made hamster wheel circles and back peddled all through the streets of Lakeland Hills, and when I finally rounded my last corner and hit the 10 mile mark, i stopped my watch and was pleasantly surprised to see numbers I hadn't seen in a while.

 10 miles. Boom

Like I said, I'm not breaking records, but I ended the run happy. My headphones died at mile five so I was left with a lot of "me" time, most of which was spent trying to mentally calculate 5 more miles through the neighboring streets. I did stop once to check to see if the water fountains were turned on (they weren't)  and to check if my headphones really were dead (they were). I accidentally split my gum out into the side walk at mile and had a salted caramel GU at mile 5.5, and nothing else but wind after that.

I tried to finish strong, and the last two miles were sub 9. I haven't been able to consistently hit that pace in so long, so to see progress was exciting.


Week 4 recap

Monday 2/22
YMCA- evening 
2000m row - 12 min
Triceps and back- 10 min
Half mile jog around track

Tuesday 2/23
5 miles

Wednesday 2/24
4 miles 

Thursday 2/25:
6 mile

Friday 2/26

Saturday 2/27
10 miles. Last two at race pace 
1:31 min. 9:09 avg pace 

Sunday 2/28

Run days:  4
Miles: 25
Rest: 2