Sunday, March 27, 2016

Training recap (3/21-3/27)

Week 16: 

Monday--AM: This became an unplanned rest morning, as I had severe insomnia on Sunday evening.  I blame the fact that I got 11 hours of sleep on Saturday night... and maybe the can of Coke I drank at 7 PM on Sunday evening as well!  I texted Jess to cancel... I don't do that often, but I still felt bad.

PM: I needed to get in today's easy 5 miler, so I set out for a solo run as soon as my husband got home from work.  I never very very rarely run solo.  It's simply not safe to do so in the wee hours of the morning when I typically run, so I just don't do it.  I started out and the first thing I noticed was the sun (yay!)... and the second thing I noticed was that my legs were heavy.  I don't have time to dwell on heavy legs when it's 5 AM; I just run.  I sighed and resigned myself for 5 long, slow miles.  I told myself that I would just go with it... run relaxed, listen to my music, and not care about my pace.  I didn't even look at my watch until it buzzed at me to indicate a mile had passed.  I was literally shocked when I saw my split: 8:22.  What the what?!!  There was no way that an 8:22 felt like THAT.  I figured that I would continue to run the same way and see what happened.  The miles clicked by... 8:17, 8:13, 8:05, 8:01.  Obviously my legs eventually loosened up, but not once did I really feel like I was pushing during this run.  If I had been asked to predict my splits, I'd have said 9:00-9:30.  My overall pace was an 8:12.  That's my goal marathon pace!  This run was such a confidence builder for me, even though it was NOT planned that way.  I realized that I may just have a 3:35 marathon lurking in these legs!

After I got home, I did my 20 minutes of glute strengthening exercises as well as about 10 minutes of stretching.

Tuesday--No more yoga class, boo hoo!  I've signed up for the next session, but it doesn't start until April 12.  Tonight I did a quick strength routine (35 minutes) consisting of squats, push-ups, planks, wall-sits, core work, triceps and lunges.  

Wednesday--AM: Drop back week means no speed work.  Met Allison and Meggie at Hoover again for 6 miles.  We did a 30 second pick-up at the start of miles 2-6.  Overall pace: 9:10.  

PM: Back to the pool!  Now that basketball is over, I can go swimming on Wednesday nights again.. at least until soccer starts up in a couple of weeks LOL.   I picked a doozy of a day to return, as Robin had a test set planned.  We did a warm-up, and then started the test set (400 free, about 10 minutes of easy swimming, then a 200 free).   Last time, I did the 400 free in 5:32 and the 200 free in 2:38.  I didn't think I would go any faster (and assumed I'd go slower) since I haven't been in the water much at all lately.  I surprised myself with a 5:27 and a 2:36!  It helped that my friend Megan came to practice tonight, as we are almost the exact same speed and she pushed me... once a competitive swimmer, always a competitive swimmer! (Her times were identical to my times from the last test set!)   Total yards: 1700. 

Thursday--AM: Treadmill miles with Allison S. because her knee was bugging her a bit and she was concerned that she might slow me up if she had to walk.  I didn't mind as I've missed running with this lady!  We actually met up super early so that we could hit up Starbucks afterward for even more chat time, since I only had 4 miles on the schedule.  Overall pace: 9:30 (kept the treadmill on 6.3 the entire time).

From Allison :)

PM: 25 minutes of glute and calf strengthening work followed by a 15 minute yoga for runners video that I found online.  It was very similar to what Marcy has us do at class, but a lot shorter obviously.  Still felt good to stretch out!

Friday--Rest day!  AND the first day of my spring break, so it was pretty much the best rest day ever :)

Saturday--Long run day!  Since it was a drop back week, Paige only had 13-15 on my plan.  My partners were planning on 12, so I figured I'd do 14 and just run the last couple solo.  Allison thought she might join me for the final 2, but she was having some cramping/breathing issues, so I did end up running the final two miles alone.  Of course, par for the course, I met a couple of guys to chat with for the final half-mile ;)  I just can't run without meeting a friend!

We came across a raccoon who was not-quite-right and had to call the cops!

Splits: 9:11, 8:54*, 9:02, 8:50*, 9:01, 9:01, 8:53*, 8:55, 8:51*, 8:58, 8:58*, 9:01, 8:55*, 9:36 (miles with an * were ones where I did the pick-ups, and the final mile was when I met the couple of guys... their pace was a bit slower).

Sunday--Easter takes precedence, but I was able to get on the bike for an hour between the kiddos finding (and devouring) their baskets and candy and heading to my aunt's house for lunch and the egg hunt.  The sad part is that it's a gorgeous day here in Central Ohio (mid-70's all afternoon!), so being stuck on my trainer wasn't cool... but again, Easter takes precedence.

Other miscellaneous notes:

I can hardly believe that the race is just 4 weeks away!  Last year, this was the week that my season-ending injury occurred... just under 4 weeks before the marathon.  Of course that's on my mind.  I feel stronger than I did a year ago, but mentally it is hard to not think about it.  This week coming up is my last high-mileage week, and then the tapering will begin.  I have told myself this entire training cycle, if I can just make it to the starting line, then I will be grateful.  And I still feel this way.  Yes, I want to qualify for Boston.  More than almost anything.  But I've realized over the past year that for me, qualifying will mean that the "perfect storm" must happen... great weather, no GI issues, strong legs, spot-on fueling... and if something is amiss in this pie, it just may not happen.  But that doesn't mean this training cycle was all for naught.  I have loved the miles with my friends, and am so very grateful for the ride that this 20 weeks has taken me on.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Training recap (3/14-3/20)

Week 15:

Monday--AM: Back to Powell to run with Jess today--missed our weekly early run together!  6 miles with an overall pace of 9:11.  I loved loved loved wearing shorts and a tank today!!!

PM: My normal 45 minutes of glute/calf strengthening and "other stuff" like squats and lunges and push-ups.

Tuesday--It was the final night of my Yoga for Runners class--boo!  I really do love this class.  Marcy said that they will start another session in a month.  Meanwhile, I think I am going to have to find some good yoga videos on Youtube!  It won't be the same though.

Wednesday--AM: Super-early start to get in all 9 miles today before work.  The plan was to do tempo cut-back intervals (8 min-6-min-4min, with goal paces in the range of 7:55/7:45/7:35).  Met up with Tamara and Megan F. (so thankful for peeps who will meet me at 4:30 AM for a run!).  

The return of the selfie!  Love my new phone/camera!!!

We did 3 miles to warm-up (and get past the stupid Polaris "hill"), and then started the tempo part of the run. Paces were 7:47, 7:37, 7:29.  Loved feeling strong!  Overall pace for the run: 8:44.  Only bad part was that I had to go to the bathroom starting at around mile 2.5... not fun!  

PM: 30 minutes of glute/calf work.  After 9 early miles this morning, this was all I had in me.

Thursday--Perfect recovery run with my sweet friend Becky!  

The big pineapple that we never noticed before lol!

5.1 miles at an overall pace of 9:13.  I love it so much when we can meet up for a run.  Out-and-back on High Street (our central meeting location) with lots of much-needed catching up on life.  I had zero bathroom issues, yay!  I cut whole wheat out of my diet starting yesterday morning, as a friend thought that might be the culprit.

Friday--Another rest day that I ROCKED :)  I actually woke up today with this super-odd knee pain in my left knee.  The reason that it was super-odd is because I have had no knee pain this training cycle, and I felt nothing during my runs this week or at all on Thursday.  I kept thinking maybe I slept wrong on it???  So weird.  I tried to ice it a few times and hoped for the best.  It only hurt when I would bend my knee beyond 45 degrees,and only a level 1 or 2, so not really bad. Just weird.

Saturday--I woke up and prayed that my knee would feel okay, and it did!  I felt it a teeny bit when I was doing my pre-run dynamic stretches, but not at all during the run, thankfully!  Post run, it feels about the same-- a tad sore, maybe a 1 or 2 on pain (only when I bend it too far).  Continuing to ice and monitor the "middle-of-the-night injury".

Originally my plan called for 16-18 miles, with miles 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 at marathon pace (8:10-8:20).  My friend Amy didn't get to do her 20 miler a couple of weeks ago when it was on my original plan (she and my other pals are still mostly following it), so she wanted to do 20 today.  I asked my coach if it was okay for me to do 20 with her, and she agreed!  This was my furthest distance in over a year, so I was super psyched.  It was chilly out (real-feel of 31), and after a week of warm temps I was not pleased to have to wear gloves and multiple layers for this run.  We had to start super-early as well, as Allison needed to be done with 18 by 8:30 AM.  No one likes to set their alarm for 4:45 AM on a Saturday morning, but we are a team and we run together!  

The run went like this... 2 miles out and back (4), pick up Megan for another 1 mile out and back (2), fuel and water and pick up Jess, 3 miles out and back (6), fuel and water, 3 more miles out and back (6), and then one final mile out and back (2).  4 + 2 + 6 + 6 + 2 = 20 (thank goodness I'm a math teacher LOL!).  

Lucky for such sweet friends!!!
Other than the goal-pace miles, I wanted to keep the miles nice and easy.  Always tricky especially once we start to run faster miles and have to slow down again!

Miles 1-6: 9:15, 9:10, 9:12, 9:10, 9:21, 9:23 
Miles 7-12: 9:20, 9:06, 8:12, 9:05, 8:11, 9:06 
Miles 13-20: 8:12, 9:07, 8:12 9:00, 8:11, 8:58, 9:09, 9:01

I felt good on this run!  Like, really good!  I didn't have the urge to go to the bathroom til around mile 16 or 17, which is a definite improvement... however, when I got home I had some real issues.  TMI (runners are good for TMI lol), I had diarrhea three times, and it wasn't pretty (there was some blood the second and third times, which scared me!).  Then my stomach started to feel gross.  I am thinking I might have caught Aaron's stomach bug (he had a short-lived one on Thursday morning).  I tried to rest and not eat much (but drank a lot of water) the rest of the day.  

Sunday--Usually Sunday is a bike and strength day, but at this point (11:41 AM when I'm typing this) I am planning on nothing at all.  I haven't eaten much at all since my run yesterday (only about 800 total calories), and my body is starving.  But my stomach says to take it easy on the food.  Ugh, the conundrum!  Hopefully I'll be back to my old self tomorrow!  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Training recap (3/6-3/13)

Week 14:

Monday--AM: My normal Monday run partner, Jess, wasn't able to run this week, so I met up with Amy, Allison, Meggie, Tamara and Jennie at the rec center to get in my 6 miles.  I was worried about getting in all 6 by 5:50, so I decided to go early and do a mile solo before the others arrived.  Smart thinking on my part :)  Loved the warmer weather!  Overall pace: 9:13.

PM: Normal strength training (25 min of glutes + 20 min of other stuff like squats, push-ups, etc.).  Adding on more reps to my stair-step heel taps as well as my side plank leg-lifts--getting stronger!!!

Tuesday--Skipped my bike trainer ride for the third week in a row (just NOT feeling the 4:15/4:30 AM wake-up more than 3x a week right now!) and just did my hour-long Yoga for Runners class tonight.  I am really going to miss this class when it ends next week... it seriously is what my body is needing!!!

Wednesday--AM: On the plan was 7 miles, with 5 x 4 minute repeats at 7:45-8:00/mile (1 minute of recovery jogging between each repeat).  Met Amanda, Amy, Megan B., Megan M. and Allison for this one.  Haven't ran with Amanda in ages, so it was great to see her!  2 miles warm-up, intervals, 2 miles cool-down.  Overall pace: 8:26.  Loved loved loved wearing shorts today!!!  Only issue: (TMI) I had to GO after a couple of miles.  It made for an uncomfortable run.  Not sure what's going on as this usually doesn't happen on my shorter runs.

Thursday--AM: Becky and I planned on running up and down High Street, but the downpour at 4:30 AM led us to cancel. I was all set to hit the gym for 5 treadmill miles when Allison messaged me and asked if I wanted to meet her and Meggie to run at Hoover Dam.  It ended up being a great decision, as the rain wasn't too bad at all.  Overall pace: 9:06.  Major gastro issues again towards the end of this run... gotta figure this out. Soon.

PM: Basically the same as Monday night's strength training :)

Friday--I really, REALLY love Fridays.  Sleeping in till 5:25 is amazing when you're up at 4:15/4:30 most other days.  And my body loves not doing anything physically taxing!

Saturday--Another long run in the books!  This week called for 16-18 miles.  Allison needed to be finished by 8:30, and none of us wanted to start before 6 AM, so I opted to do 16 with her.  We needed to do one middle mile and 2 of the final 3 miles at 8:10-8:20 pace.  Splits were 8:12, 8:13 and 8:10 for those three miles; the rest of the splits were between 9:06 and 9:15 (final mile was 9:00).  Overall pace: 8:58.  The miles didn't feel bad, especially at first.  However, once again my gastro issues struck (despite taking 2 immodium pre-run), and I had to go badly starting at around mile 10-11.  Fortunately we did out-and-backs and were back at the UDF at mile 13.  Again, I really really need to figure this out.  Blah.  Also, my calves felt AH-MAZ-ING for the first several miles, but then started to get tight on and off for the final half of the run.  Half of me thinks it is purely mental... the other half of me is just waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop and my muscles to once again fail me.  It is hard to stay positive when I've been through so much to get to this point, and I'm used to bad things happening when things are going well.  Definitely need to work on this mental aspect of things as well.  I mean, when I feel good, I feel GOOD. But when I start dwelling on the what-if's, I doubt myself.

Sunday--20 minutes of glute strengthening work  plus an hour on the trainer.  Kept the ride nice and easy today (80-82 rpm) and listened to a podcast from Another Mother Runner to help the time pass by.  I am excited to get outside to ride this spring, but very nervous about riding clipped in!  Did some intensive rolling yesterday and today for my calves.  Just going to keep stretching and rolling and praying!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Training recap (2/29-3/6)

Week 13:

Monday--AM: Switched up my usual Monday routine and met my MIT gals at Steph's house for some "leap day loops"!  Very proud of myself for keeping the pace super relaxed--with their help, of course!  First 5 miles were all 10+ min/mile, and the last one was only a bit faster!  Overall pace: 10:01. 

PM: 20 minutes of glute strenth work plus 20 minutes of body strength work (squats, push-ups, etc.). 

Tuesday--Again, decided to skip my early-morning trainer ride.  I just turned off my alarm and rolled over for another hour.  My body is tired of the 4:30 AM starts, and while I'm motivated to get up and meet friends to run, I'm not so motivated to get up and ride on the bike right now!  I did go to my Yoga for Runners class in the evening.  Great night of hamstring stretching... what runner doesn't need that?!

Wednesday--No speed work this week.  Allison S. and I met up for 6 "easy" miles.  I put the "easy" in quotes because we sucked at keeping the pace slower than 9:15.  3 of the miles were just above 9:00/mile, and 3 were just under 9:00/mile.  Overall pace: 9:04.

Thursday--AM: Tamara, Jennie and I met in Tamara's hood for some nice "recovery" miles.  The first two went well, but then (of course) we sped up a bit.  Overall pace: 9:10.

Fun early miles with these two!

PM: Headed to the rec center for a swim.  I didn't realize that it had been a MONTH since my last swim!  I need to get in there more often.  Legs felt tired at first, but by the end I felt great.  Longer pulling set plus a sprint ladder set that was fun.  2000 yards total (short enough to give me time for a soak in the jacuzzi afterwards!).

Friday--Rest, rest, resty rest day!  Love my rest days.

Saturday--Drop back week... my friends had 12 on their plan, and I had 12-14.  So 12 just made sense!  We were supposed to do miles 10 & 11 at an 8:12-8:30 pace.  Two 6-mile loops from the rec center again.  I'm struggling more with controlling my pace on runs.  I keep speeding up :(  Splits were 9:26, 9:11, 9:13, 9:07, 9:21, 9:04, 9:16, 9:07, 8:11, 8:12, 9:02.  Blah.  I need to be more attentive to my watch, or find slower running partners who will yell at me!   I do love my girls though... today Allison L., Amy, Jess, Tamara and I had Beth join us for the first loop and Megan S. join us for both loops.  Great conversation as always!

My marathon buddies (Allison, Amy, Jess and Tamara) plus Beth, Lindsey, Megan and Mary!

Sunday--I did 20 minutes of my glute strengthening exercises (only the second time this week--boo, I need to do it three times a week!), and then rode the trainer for an hour.  So hot!  I can't wait to get outside!  I do feel my hamstrings and quads getting stronger from my rides, though.  Tried to keep it steady today (81-84 rpm).  

Other miscellaneous notes:

I'm trying to not be too hard on myself that I am not adhering to the 9:15-9:30 pace range that I'm supposed to be doing.  I talked a bit to my coach and she said that I'm getting more fit, which I sure hope is true!  I am going to keep listening to my body and trying to keep things easy when they are supposed to be.  This month is a big one for miles, and the speed work will get faster.  I feel very good right now, and I hope that I can keep things strong (physically AND mentally for the next 7 weeks!