Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.15.18

Happy Monday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.09.18 – 07.15.18:

Monday – REST

I started the week off with a good, old-fashioned day of rest. In actuality I had an eight mile run scheduled for that day, but the possibility of an afternoon run sounded better than getting up when my alarm went off Monday morning and then I didn’t get home from work until almost 7 p.m. My evening running window closes between 6 and 6:30 p.m. and I seized the opportunity to take a little break.

Tuesday AM – Quality: 9 miles (7:50 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:59 pace)

Here’s the deal … Tuesday my schedule called for a three mile warm up, 4 X 1 mile at 5:55 pace (with a three minute walking recovery in between) and a three mile cool down. I saw this workout on the schedule and thought to myself, “Well, I’ve surely never done mile repeats in the 5:XX range, but I might as well give it a shot.” Carpe diem or whatever. I knew that it would be extremely difficult, but at the same time I knew that I could likely hit at least two or three miles at that pace.

A lot of my workouts recently have been very challenging and have stretched me to a place outside of my comfort zone. This is exactly what I needed and was looking for in a training cycle. I have been essentially been on a three-year running plateau. I’ve had some small PRs here and there, but I haven’t had any big breakthrough races in quite a while. The longer you run, the harder it is to achieve those big breakthrough races and seasons, but I am choosing to believe that I still have a few of those somewhere within me and these challenging workouts are going to help me find wherever it is that they have been hiding for the last few years.

Daniel came with me to the track Tuesday and was planning to run easy. We did the three warm up miles together and then it was time for me to start my mile repeats. Daniel decided (or rather, I somehow convinced him) to pace me for the first two laps of each mile (a mile is four laps on the track). This seemed to work really well, as I didn’t have to think about the pace at all for the first half of each mile and then once he peeled off, I only had half a mile to go. Sweet!

The first two miles actually went really well. I ran 5:55 and 5:53! Unfortunately though, that’s pretty much where it ended. After those two miles, I was spent. I tried my best to gut out another mile, but that one ended up at 6:30 pace. At that point, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put in the right work to get the desired adaptation from the workout, so I just called it a day and moved on to my cool down. I wasn’t too upset with how it had gone. I mean, I ran two sub-6:00 miles in swampy conditions.

My coach later texted me asking me “what happened?” Well, hmm … I don’t really know. There have been several workouts recently where I have “hit the wall” so to speak. Usually it is during a marathon that you “hit the wall” and not during a track workout, so I don’t know if that’s really the correct terminology for it or not. Basically at some point the monkey (or the elephant or whatever large animal you can think of) jumps on my back and I just can’t make my legs go anymore. My coach told me that based on my current race times, I should’ve been able to complete this workout. She also said that she’d rather have seen me do 4 X 1 mile at 6:10 or 6:15 pace than 2 X 1 mile at 5:55 and 1 mile at 6:30. I was frustrated because I just wished I had known that before I went out and tried to run four mile repeats at that pace that I knew was likely not sustainable.

This prompted a discussion about adjusting the paces to take into account the heat and humidity (which can obviously have a significant impact on summer training in the Deep South). We definitely need to be doing this. At one point my coach also said that I was “interesting,” because most of her athletes do better in workouts than they do in races, but she thinks that I race better than my workouts indicate that I should. I honestly didn’t really know how to take that. At the time it felt like a backhanded compliment, but I mean … I think I’d rather do it my way if I had to choose. There’s no reason to waste your good performances on workouts. If nothing else, we came away from this workout and conversation with better expectations and a more open dialogue of communication, which is important in an athlete-coach relationship.

Wednesday – Easy: 10 miles (8:57 pace)

On Wednesday I ran ten easy, flat miles with Bowie while Daniel and Kenny did a hill repeat workout.

Thursday – Easy: 11 miles (9:09 pace)

On Thursday I met Kenny and Bowie for what has become a weekly run all. the. hills. run. I ended up with 950 feet of climbing.

Friday AM – Easy: 6.75 miles (9:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:20 pace)

Friday morning I did 5 easy miles on the treadmill and then took Brooks out for a little over a mile. He ran out into the street Thursday morning while we were playing fetch in the yard and almost got hit by a car (basically the car slammed on brakes and then Brooks ran into the car (bless his heart)). It scared me way more than it hurt him and I wasn’t ready to play fetch again quite yet, so we went for a little dog-jog instead. He is fine and pretty much came away unscathed, but man … that could’ve ended really badly.

I did an easy loop Friday afternoon after work. I was still a bit behind in my weekly mileage and decided to go ahead and get an easy double in before the weekend.

Saturday – Quality: 13 miles (8:08 pace)

Saturday morning I had a tempo run. The workout called for a three mile warm up, 3 X 2 miles (with a quarter mile of recovery in between) and a four mile cool down. Prior to our discussion on Tuesday, my coach originally had the goal pace for this workout at 6:26. She adjusted this to 6:40, which was just about perfect. It was 79 degrees with a dew point of 78 Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. Eek! Can it get any more humid?! Bonus points if you read that with Chandler Bing inflection.

This workout was better suited for the road than the track, so I decided to get this one done on the go-to weekend long route from Warehouse. Even after a three mile warm up, it was really hard to settle into 6:40 pace. The first mile of the first repeat ended up at 6:57, but we brought the pace down to 6:41 for the second mile, so the average pace for that set was 6:49. The second set started out uphill, but oddly enough, it didn’t really phase me too much. All of this hill running might actually be paying off after all! The splits for the second set were 6:37 and 6:32, so the average pace for that set was 6:35.

The hardest part of this workout was actually starting the third and final set. Once we got going it was okay, but actually getting to that point took some strength. Not gonna lie, we walked pretty much the entire quarter mile of recovery and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t supposed to happen, but sometimes you just do what you gotta do to get it done. The splits for the third set were 6:41 and 6:38, so the average pace for that set was 6:39. It felt amazing to finish the workout! The cool down miles were blissfully slow and I was super pumped to have that one in the books. Oh and my coach was proud of me too, so … woo hoo! Insert happy dance here.

Sunday – Easy: 11.65 miles (8:36 pace)

Sunday was another group run from Warehouse. This time nothing too hard, just some easy conversational miles to finish off the week.

Total – 71.2 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.08.18

Happy Wednesday!

I got a tad behind on the regular schedule with the training log post, but I’m about 99.99% certain that no one a) noticed or b) cared. Ha. Last week was filled with a lot of easy running and one race! I didn’t have any workouts, which was SUCH a nice break. I was able to taper a little bit for my race and recover afterwards.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.02.18 – 07.08.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (9:10 pace)

The week started with an easy loop with Daniel and three more miles on my own.

Tuesday – Easy: 7 miles (8:59 pace)

Tuesday morning I ran some hills (588 feet of climbing) with Daniel and Kenny. I was trying to get it pretty easy since I was racing the next day.

Wednesday – RACE: 10 miles (7:12 pace)

I ran a 4 mile race on the Fourth of July! Recap is HERE.

Thursday AM – Easy: 7 miles (9:26 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:35 pace)

Thursday morning I ran some more hills (630 feet of climbing) with Daniel and Kenny. The guys did a workout, but I just trailed behind them and ran easy since I had raced the day before. I did an easy loop with Mollie Thursday evening, which was lovely! The humidity was actually lower than normal and it was one of those runs that makes you think that fall is right around the corner (I know it’s not, but it was still fun to think about it :)).

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)

I did a solo easy loop Friday morning. I love this Hippie Runner tank, but I didn’t do what it said and I also wouldn’t recommend it for a super sweaty run (it’s a blend of cotton and polyester).

Saturday – Easy: 10.2 miles (9:04 pace)

Saturday morning was a fun, female dominated group run! At one point there were seven of us running together. We are usually highly outnumbered by the guys in the group, so this was a nice little change (and definitely no offense to the guys in our group, because we have a wonderful group of guys!).

Sunday – Easy: 13.1 miles (8:50 pace)

Sunday’s group run turned into a casual little half marathon. That wasn’t our intent, but once we hit 13 miles, it just seemed right to make it a half marathon.

Total – 65.3 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Race Recap

Race Recap: Shark Run 4 Miler

Hey friends!

As you probably know, the Fourth of July is one of the most popular holidays for racing! I ran a 4 mile race, the SHARK Run, in Gulf Shores this year on the Fourth. Four miles on the Fourth of July?! Yes, please.

The race starts at 7:00 a.m. at the Flora-Bama. There is also a 4.5 mile race that is 2 miles on the road and 2.5 miles on the beach. I opted for the all road 4 mile race again this year. I ran it in 2016 as well (as the last 4 miles of an 18 mile run no less (pure craziness)). This year we left the house at 5 a.m., picked Jessica up on the way and arrived at the race right after 6 a.m. This gave us plenty of time to pick up our numbers, go to the bathroom and get a few warm up miles in.

Jessica and I headed out to do a two (ish) mile warm up. The warm up ended up turning into a hunt for a bathroom. We stopped at a gas station temporarily, but that was a bit of a mess (literally). Jessica actually tried to tell one of the workers that the bathroom wasn’t usable. The lady responded that she didn’t even work there. Eek. She had on a Shell gas station uniform, but apparently we weren’t at a Shell station (insert facepalm). After that incident we stumbled upon a very nice, private bathroom near a tennis court and we were both pumped. It’s the little things like pre-race potty victories that make us happy as runners.

We made our way back to the Flora-Bama, found a few friends and chatted briefly before the start. Before we knew it, it was time to line up and get the show on the road. I didn’t really have any sort of elaborate pacing strategy for this race. I knew that the VDOT calculator estimated my race pace to be in the 6:10 to 6:15 per mile range, which seemed reasonable. I also knew that if I could average slightly under 6:15 pace then I would have a chance to finish in just under 25 minutes, which also seemed like a reasoanble goal.

The course is a completely flat, out and back course. You start out going west from the Flora-Bama (headed towards Alabama), run out for approximately two miles, veer off of the main road to run under the Perdido Pass Bridge and then head back east towards Florida.  I lined up with Steve, Jim and Scott (all of whom I have raced with on multiple occasions). Jim paced me to my 5K PR a few years ago, which wasn’t really a planned thing, but worked out quite nicely and I frequently say that Steve is the smartest racer that I know. I figured that I would try to start off with those guys and see what happened from there.

We came through the first mile right at 6:10. I was happy with that and told myself to try to just hold on to the pace. There were several girls in front of me for the first half to three-quarters of a mile or so, but I passed all but one by the first mile marker. I have raced against the girl who was in front of me many times as well (and all but once she has come out on top). As luck would have it, she was doing the half road, half beach race. I had just caught up to her at mile two, which is where the two courses divide.

My split for the second mile was also exactly 6:10. I was still pretty much running stride for stride with Steve. He grabbed a bottle of water at mile two and very kindly offered some to me. I declined, but likely should’ve taken him up on his offer. Things definitely got real out there once we turned around and headed back east. The sun had been at our backs up until this point and you could really tell a difference once it was full-on in your face!

I basically stopped looking at my watch at this point. I knew that I was doing everything I could and it didn’t really matter what the pace was. I grabbed a cup of water somewhere just before the third mile marker and dumped the entire cup on my head. I hadn’t ever done that before, but it was offered as a suggestion in a coaching newsletter as a good way to try to keep yourself cool during hot races. I will definitely be doing that again if needed. It felt amazing! My split for the third mile was 6:24.

Even though I had slowed considerably, I was maintaining my position relative to other runners. I really didn’t even feel like I was fading. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing … likely some of both. I’d say it was good that I didn’t feel terrible, but bad that my pace slowed without me even realizing it. I started trying to do math in my head and decided that if I could pick it up slightly or at a minimum keep the pace steady and not slow down any more during the last mile, then I would still have a chance at breaking 25 minutes.

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I played mental games with myself during the last mile. I told myself to get past the traffic light up ahead and then I could re-evaluate. Then I told myself to get to that car parked up ahead on the side of the road. I decided to take my sunglasses off for a minute to see how far away the finish line really was (I think I was hoping that would somehow make it seem closer). Once I had them off, I told myself to get to the next fence and then I could put them back on (as if that was some sort of reward (I don’t claim to make sense all of the time)). I pretty much immediately took the sunglasses back off again and then they went back on. Basically I just messed with my sunglasses for the entire last mile.

I really just wanted to get to that dang finish line!

As it turns out, I got there a bit too soon. The course ended up being a little bit short, unfortunately. My watch measured 3.92 miles. My pace for the last mile was 6:19, but my split was 5:47 since it was short. My finish time was 24:31, which averages out to 6:16 pace over 3.92 miles. The average pace was just over what I was aiming for, but was pretty darn close. I’ll take it. It would be really nice if they would just move the start and finish back ever so slightly in order to make the course actually four miles. Then they could get it certified and it would be a great race for people to go for four mile state records. The four mile distance is not very common at all and I think several of us would have a shot at age group records.

Dear Mr. Race Director, if you are reading this, please make this happen for us!

After the race, I headed back out for an extended cool down with Jessica. She was using the race as part of a 6 X 1 mile workout and she had two and a half more miles of “workout” to go after the race. Two years ago she voluntarily ran 14 miles with me before this race, so I definitely owed it to her to go out and keep her company during the last part of her workout this year. It takes a lot of mental strength to make yourself continue to run hard after a race is over, but she didn’t seem to have any problem doing this and she ended up crushing her workout!

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By the time we finished the workout and cooled down a little bit it was basically time for the awards. It was really crowded and very hard to hear, but I guess that’s to be expected given the venue. We got our awards and hit the road as quickly as possible to get back home and avoid the worst of the beach traffic. Everyone got a finisher’s medal and the age group and overall winners also got an additional medal, so that’s pretty fun. The overall winners got a bar of copper (same award as the Paradise Island 5K).

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Once we got home, we promptly changed into our boating clothes and headed out to enjoy the rest of the morning on the water.

I skied for about 5 miles (ish) and also spent some time on the paddle board, both paddling and “surfing.” We went through a little pod of dolphins and one of them played in our wake right beside me, which was SO NEAT!

My arms (and entire upper body really) are still incredibly sore several days later. Holy moly. It was totally worth it though! I have been really wanting to get out on the water and ski and I was so happy to finally be there. I’m hoping that we can recreate this day again in the not too distant future!

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July? Did you race?

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.01.18

Happy Tuesday!

I hope your week is off to a good start and that you enjoy a day off (from work) tomorrow. I’ll be doing a 4 mile race to celebrate the Fourth of July!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.25.18 – 07.01.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:29 pace)

Rebecca met me for an easy run before work again this week! I did a couple of Jasyoga videos Monday afternoon.

Tuesday AM – Quality: 8 miles (8:05 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:15 pace)

My workout Tuesday morning was *supposed to be* a two mile warm up, 1 X 1600, 8 X 400, 1 X 1200 and a two mile cool down. Tuesday was one of those days where the workout simply didn’t go as planned. The first mile of the workout was supposed to be done at close to 5:55 pace, which isn’t crazy … I ran that as the first mile of a workout a couple of weeks ago and I also ran close to that pace for the Hot Trot 5K. My legs wanted nothing to do with that pace on Tuesday though. They simply would not GO. I ran 6:17 for the first mile and at that point, I knew it was going to be a rough day.

I even thought about calling it at that point and maybe trying again the next day, but ultimately decided to keep going (at least for a little while longer). I wasn’t really worried about not hitting the paces. I just wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to keep pushing it or not. I think sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between when it is good to just suck it up and keep going and when it might be best to just call it a day. I ended up doing 6 X 400 and then deciding that I was just done. I guess that was somewhat of a compromise between sucking it up and giving up. My splits for those were 86, 90, 89, 91, 93 and 99. They were supposed to be 82. Yeah … that wasn’t happening.

There are a lot of logical “excuses” or “explanations” as to why this workout didn’t go well. We were on day four of no air conditioning and even though I know it may sound a bit silly, I kind of felt like a wilted flower (#snowflakestatus). I was also on day four of something else as well (I know … TMI … but it can affect running (sorry guys)). I also ran more miles last week than I have in the past few weeks. This was on purpose and as planned, but also affects the ability to be fresh for every single workout. All that really is just to say that, I had a bad workout. It happens and contrary to what I have just done by writing a mini-novel about it, there is really no reason to dwell on it. Onward and upward.

Wednesday – Easy: 10.5 miles (8:52 pace)

Speaking of going upward, Daniel and I met Kenny and Bowie to run all the hills on Wednesday morning. We changed our route slightly from the week before and got about 800 feet of climbing. Still likely not enough to prepare us for the Colorado Rockies, but at least it’s something.

Thursday – Easy: 4 miles (9:21 pace) 

I did an easy four miles before work Thursday morning. I had intentions of doing a workout later that day, but that didn’t happen.

Friday – Quality: 8 miles (8:19 pace)

I did manage to get the workout done Friday morning. It was a two mile warm up, followed by a 1600 with three minutes recovery, an 800 with two minutes recovery, a 400 with four minutes recovery, a 1600 with three minutes recovery, an 800 with two minutes recovery, one last 400 and then a two mile cool down. I set the workout up on my watch and just went with it. My goal time for the miles was 6:05 (I did 6:05 and 6:07), for the 800s was 2:58 (I did 2:58 and 2:59) and for the 400s was 1:28 (I did 1:29 and 1:28). I took it really easy on the recoveries and tried to regroup for the next repeat.

I’m pleased with how this one went down. My legs were sore for a couple of days afterwards as well (in a good sort of way), so I know that I got some solid work in.

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Saturday – Easy: 8.15 miles (9:42 pace)

Saturday morning I got to run in one of my favorite spots (Seaside, FL). I didn’t worry about my pace or my route at all. I just set out on an exploration run at the beach. I ran on the road for a bit, on some trails for a bit and on the beach for a bit. It was wonderful! The water was absolutely beautiful!

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Sunday – Easy: 5.35 miles (9:47 pace)

Sunday morning I kept it on the beach for the entire run. I only did five miles and those five miles in the sand were tough. I love running on the beach though, so I definitely wanted to soak it up while I could.

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Total – 57 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Monthly Recap

June Recap

Y’all. The year is half way over! Isn’t that insane?

Month Recap: June 2018

The Running

Workouts: I got in some pretty solid efforts workout-wise this month. My new routine basically has me doing workouts on Tuesdays and Saturdays with doubles on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The schedule seems to be working pretty well and I’m trying to stick to it as much as possible.

Photo captured with Burst HD for iPhone & iPad

2 mi. WU, 10 X 400 w/ 400 recovery (86, 84, 83, 84, 85, 83, 83, 83, 83, 81), 3 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 1 X 1600 (5:53), 4 X 800 (2:56, 2:56, 2:53, 2:57), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 13 X 1:00 hard (5:51 pace) w/ 1:00 jogging recoveries, 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 12 X 1:30 hard (5:50 pace) w/ 1:30 jogging recoveries, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 6 X 1000 (5:49 pace) w/ 2 minute standing recovery, 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1 X 1600 (6:17), 6 X 400 (86, 90, 89, 91, 93, 99), 2 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1600 (6:05), 800 (2:58), 400 (1:29), 1600 (6:07), 800 (2:59), 400 (1:28), 2 mi. CD

Favorite workout: My favorite workouts were the 10 X 400 and 12 X 1:30. Whether you run by time (1:30) or distance (400 meters), the workout is essentially the same if you are running close to 6:00 per mile pace. Both of these workouts went really well for me and I’ve actually been enjoying the timed intervals. I have pretty much trained exclusively by distance in the past, so it’s a nice change of pace (not literally). I also don’t really recall enjoying 400s much in the past, but I’ve definitely been enjoying them here recently.

Races: I ran the Grandman Tri Relay on June 2 and the Hot Trot 5K on June 16.

Favorite race: Hot Trot was definitely my favorite race this month. Oftentimes the best races have nothing to do with the time on the clock and have everything to do with who you shared the experience with.

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Paces: My paces ranged from 5:53 to 11:31 (with Brooks).

Miles: 262. I likely have one more month of “lower” mileage and then things will start heating up (hopefully as the temperatures start to cool down).

Longest run: 12 miles.

Shortest run: 4 miles.

Doubles: 6 days of doubles.

Rest days: Just one and it was not scheduled.

Miscellaneous: I did several Jasyoga videos (like 10!), played tennis, did lots of planks, went fishing, rode a bike and went paddle boarding. It was an active month outside of running!

The Other Stuff

Current activity: Packing for a quick weekend trip to the beach!

Current blog: Eat Run Pavement (aka Gazzellie). She lives in a van and is an amazing runner. I’m super intrigued. Edited to add: I just read her latest post and apparently she doesn’t live in her van anymore, but her blog is still very cool regardless.

Current confession: I just can’t get behind the #sportsbrasquad and #ihavearunnersbody hashtags. While I think that the creators of both hashtags mean well and I likely agree with them on a lot of their thinking, I just don’t understand the need to bring more attention to our bodies as runners. I think the hashtags should be #modestishottest and #iamarunner.

Current drink: All the drinks! I am pretty regularly drinking at least four drinks after I run.

Exhibit A – A random weekday at work. 32 oz. of Nuun, 32 oz. of plain water, 20 oz. protein shake and some coffee!

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Exhibit B – A standard weekend morning at Warehouse. Nuun, a protein smoothie (it has orange juice, peaches, banana and protein powder), diet coke (because sometimes carbonation just sounds simply AMAZING) and a cold brew coffee.

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Current excitement: We will be headed to Colorado in just over one month! Ahh!

Current fail: I had a pretty epic auto-correct fail this week where running was changed to rubbing. So embarrassing.

Current game: Tennis! I played last week and I really hope to be able to add it back a bit more regularly. It should be noted that I was extremely sore in my upper back for days after I played. Apparently there are muscles back there that running and planking don’t touch.

Current habit: Listening to podcasts in the car. There are so many regular podcasts that I enjoy listening to that I can’t keep up with them solely “on the run.” Granted I run with other people 95% of the time, so my podcast listening runs are fairly limited anyway.

Current indulgence: Ice cream and popsicles. Our air conditioning saga continues and cold treats seem to be the only logical solution. It’s like science or something.

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Current joke: I’ve got two jokes to share this month, courtesy of Daniel.

Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? It wanted to get to the bottom.

I ran into a girl at a vegan restaurant who said she knew me … but I never met herbivore!

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Current knowledge: Did you know that you can add customizable workouts to your Garmin? I just learned how to do this (shout out to Mollie!). I knew how to program the workouts that were the same interval length, but I had no idea that you could create workouts that have various distance (or time for that matter) repeats. You can’t do it directly from your watch (at least I can’t … I have a Forerunner 235), but can create them using your Garmin Connect app. If you click on “more” at the bottom right and then click on workouts, you can create customized workouts that you can send to your watch. I tested it out on my last workout this month and it worked quite well. The workout was varying distances and had the recoveries by time. It took me a little bit to get it all setup (it was about 15 different things between the warm up, cool down and the workout itself), but I did it and I didn’t have to think about what I was doing when I was running. Very nice.

Current list: Does maintaining my training log count as a list? I think it does.

Current mood: Content.

Current need: To be cool (and I don’t mean in a “hip” sort of way).

Current obsession: Moe’s Southwest Grill. There aren’t a lot of vegetarian options here locally, but Moe’s has definitely become a go-to option. I get the “earmuffs bowl” with rice, black beans, tofu, guacamole, mushrooms, tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s delicious and seems to work well as a good night before a workout or long run meal.

Current procrastination: I’ve been driving around with a case of Gatorade and a case of Propel in the back of my car for about a week now. I couldn’t carry all of the groceries at once, so I just left a couple of the non-refrigerated items that wouldn’t go bad in the car. Of course, it is about the same temperature in my car as it is in our house currently, so I don’t guess it really makes much of a difference.

Current quote: The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Current rave: Did anyone else follow Western States? A few weeks ago we watched the Coconino Cowboys videos on YouTube and we’ve enjoyed following along with Jim Walmsley’s journey. He is so incredibly talented! I was really excited to see him finally get the win and the course record at Western States!

Current show: New Girl! Apparently there was an entire season on Netflix that we hadn’t seen before! Major score.

Current uncertainty: I’m still trying to decide on a late fall marathon. The frontrunner currently is the Philadelphia Marathon. It’s supposed to be a really good course. I don’t really want to take my chances on a marathon in the South during November or December when it could be realistically be 50 degrees or 80 degrees with no way to know for sure until the week of. I want to go ahead and register for something soon though.

Current vegetable: We’ve gotten into the Green Giant rice veggies recently. My two favorites are the cauliflower and broccoli and the cauliflower and sweet potato ones.

Current want: I really want to go paddle boarding this weekend. I hope that the gulf is calm enough in the morning for me to go one day. Edited to add: I got to go!

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Current yearning: Simplicity.

Current zone: Tropical!

What is currently going on in your life? Fill me in!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 06.24.18

Happy Monday!

The current situation at our house is a bit warm. Our air conditioner went out Saturday morning and it’s been a bit toasty ever since. Thankfully we have a portable unit that is keeping our bedroom cool so that we can sleep okay, but the rest of the house is a different story. Hopefully we will get it fixed today! In the meantime, we are really taking this heat acclimation training very seriously. Ha.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 06.18.18 – 06.24.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:29 pace)

Rebecca met me for an easy run before work!

Tuesday AM – Quality: 9 miles (7:25 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:15 pace)

My workout this week was a two mile warm up, 12 X 90 seconds hard with 90 seconds recovery and a two mile cool down. I’ve gotten to where I really enjoy these interval workouts based on time instead of distance. For some reason 12 X 90 seconds sounds less intimidating to me than 12 X 400 meters, even though they are practically the exact same thing. Actually each 90 second interval was a little bit longer than a 400 would’ve been. I averaged 5:50 pace for hard sections of the workout.

I did a Jasyoga core session and two quick resets on Tuesday afternoon and then met Rebecca for an easy double. It was crazy hot, but we had a good run!

Wednesday – Easy: 5 miles (9:25 pace)

I was supposed to do another day of easy doubles on Wednesday, but I didn’t get home from work until after 7:30 Wednesday evening. I know that’s not late for some of you, but I rarely run after 6:00 p.m. The missed miles just got redistributed and rearranged a bit, which worked out fine.

Thursday – Easy: 11 miles (8:42 pace)

Humidity + hills = humility. #ivebeenhumbled #themountainsarecalling #iwishtheydjusttext

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Thursday morning Daniel and I met Kenny and Bowie to run all the hills. In actuality, it was only about 700 feet of climbing, but we basically ran every hill in town. We are trying to add some hilly runs in before we head to Colorado for Ragnar in August. The race starts at around 9,000 ft. and climbs up as high as 11,000 ft. before descending down to 6,000 ft. and climbing back up to 9,000 ft. It’s going to be insane SO MUCH FUN!

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (9:09 pace)

Daniel and I ran a loop Friday morning and then I headed back out for a few more miles to get eight for the day.

Saturday AM – Quality: 8 miles (7:30 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:54 pace)

Saturday’s workout was a two mile warm up, 6 X 1K with 2 minutes standing rest and a three mile cool down (that I shortened to two miles). I thought I was going to be flying solo for this workout, but it ended up that Daniel was able to run with me for four of the repeats and that helped tremendously! We got going around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, which is a little later than a typical weekly workout, but no so late that we were baking at the end. Don’t get me wrong, it was extremely warm out … it just could’ve been much worse.

My goal pace was 5:46 per mile for the thousands (two and a half laps around the track). Actual paces were 5:47, 5:41, 5:43, 5:48, 5:58 and 5:59. I ran much faster for the first four repeats as I was chasing Daniel around the track and then the last two were just about survival. I definitely contemplated being done at four when Daniel stopped, but I resisted the temptation and finished the workout even though my paces were slower. I’ve never not finished a race, but for whatever reason I do have a tendency to quit during workouts sometimes and I want to work on getting better about not doing that.

Sunday – Easy: 11 miles (8:51 pace)

Sunday morning was a pretty standard group long (ish) run. The group was a bit smaller than normal, but we had a good run. Sunday afternoon I did a Jasyoga plank video and also one called “booty lock mitigation” that was great for stretching out my hips and glutes. Given the lack of AC at our house, I think these videos likely qualify as “hot yoga.” I also played tennis for two hours late Sunday afternoon! I haven’t played tennis in a very long time … like, maybe two years or more … I can’t even remember. It was so much fun and I’m hoping to get back into it a little bit somehow.

Totals – 70 miles, 5 Jasyoga videos and 3 sets of tennis! 

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Race Recap, Summer of Speed

Race Recap: Hot Trot 5K

Hello, hello!

On Saturday, we ran in the 36th annual Doc’s Hot Trot for ARC 5K at LuLu’s in Gulf Shores. Let’s dive into the details!

As I mentioned in a previous post, Hot Trot is one of my favorite races of the year! The TL;DR version of that post is that I’ve run Hot Trot five times before this year, it was my first race recap to ever write in 2015, I missed breaking 19 minutes by two seconds last year and my goal this year was to finish in 18 minutes and 50-59 seconds. Obviously I would’ve been totally happy with anything faster than 18:50 as well, but I wasn’t expecting that (based on a realistic assessment of my current fitness level).

The weather forecast was iffy all week and it looked like there was a fairly good possibility that we would be running in the rain. We drove through some pretty heavy rain on our way to the race, but thankfully all of the showers cleared out by the time the race got underway. We arrived around 6:30 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. race start, picked up our bibs, hit the bathrooms (nice indoor bathrooms … always a plus :)) and headed out to do a few warm up miles.

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Photo cred: Classy Sassy!

I ended up doing two miles to warm up and added on about a half mile of strides. We got a quick “team” picture and then it was go time! My coach suggested targeting somewhere around 6:10 per mile pace for the race. My goal of breaking 19 minutes was purely my own wishful thinking, although I definitely felt like I had done some workouts that at least pointed close to this goal. I needed to average 6:06 per mile in order to break 19 minutes. Of course, that also assumes that I would run the tangents completely accurately, which pretty much never happens. With that being said, I figured that I would start out somewhere in the 6:05 range and see what happened from there.

There had been a bit of cloud cover earlier in the morning, but as we lined up on the start line and almost as if on cue, the clouds cleared up and the sun made its appearance. I guess it would really be a shame if Hot Trot didn’t live up to its name. Ha. I lined up on the start line directly behind My Daniel. I knew that he would be running a bit faster than I was planning to and I decided that I would just chase him for as long as I could. I ended up running the first mile with Bowie and Daniel Holley. My mile one split was 6:07. I knew I was right within my range and I also knew that I needed to pick it up at least a little bit to stay on track for my goal time.

There is a turnaround shortly after the mile marker. I absolutely love races that have out and back stretches with a turnaround. You get to watch and cheer for all of the runners both in front of and behind you. I always get a bit of a boost when we turn around and start seeing the other runners! I tried to focus on maintaining my rhythm and slowly easing my pace down just a touch.

After the turnaround you make a righthand turn and run a little side loop that is probably about three-quarters of a mile long. The only downside of this loop is that there is absolutely no shade, so you really can start to feel like you are baking a little bit out there. Did I mention that the temperature at the start of the race was 82 degrees? Nice and toasty! My mile two split was 5:58. Whew! I actually felt pretty good and I was hopeful that I could finish the race strong and not fade too much.

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After you finish running the loop, you made another righthand turn and head for home. I focused on not letting the runner in front of me, who happened to be My Daniel, make up any distance on me. I told myself this was just like a track workout where he runs in front of me and all I have to do is hold on and feed off of his pacing. It actually worked out quite well for me. I knew that he would out kick me in a sprint or die trying, so I just settled in behind him and hung on! My mile three split was 6:03.

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At that point my time was 18:08 and I hadn’t quite gotten to the three mile marker on the course, so I knew that I was really going to have to book it in order to get under 19. When it comes to aiming for a very specific time in a 5K, the last tenth of a mile can really make or break you. I usually don’t think about it too much, but this time I was keenly aware of what I needed to do. I found an extra gear and kicked it in at 5:30 pace!

My official time was 18:57! Definitely cut it a little bit close! At the same time though, I know that I literally got everything out of myself that I could’ve that day and that is such a wonderful feeling! I’m also pleased that I was able to accurately gauge my fitness level going into the race. I’ve been doing some pretty intense speed workouts and they have given me the confidence that I needed to be comfortable with running in the low six minute range.

Several of us headed out for a long (ish) cool down. My schedule called for a five mile cool down, but I settled with just over four. After that it was time to relax and wait on the awards. There was a bit of confusion with the results, but I think they got it straightened out (at least for the most part) before they did the awards. We had heard that they were bringing back the ceramic coffee mug awards this year and I had been looking forward to adding a new coffee mug to my Hot Trot collection for quite some time.

When they called the first place overall male and female finishers, Kenny and I were given a cool wooden plaque and a stainless steel mug. We got our picture taken and I think we were both trying to hide our disappointment about not getting a ceramic mug. As we walked away the race director stopped us and said he had one more thing for us … YAS! Just about everyone that I know loves the coffee mug awards at this race. They give them to the top three in each age group as well. Several of our group can testify that they are perfect for dipping Oreos in milk. I, on the other hand, prefer to use it for what I assume to be its intended use … all the coffee!

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All the awards! 

After everyone collected our awards, we even had a discussion about exactly how much coffee these guys will hold, which led to a discussion about the mathematical formula for the volume of a cylinder is (πr2h). Riveting stuff for sure!

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#mugshot

Our team pretty much racked up … we were first, second and fourth overall in the male and female divisions, plus several age group winners! Left to right we have Erin (20:21), Daniel Holley (19:35), My Daniel (18:51), Cody (18:03), Kenny (17:54), me (18:57), Tobias (21:12), Marlen (26:21) and Jessica (22:29). Woo hoo! Way to go team!

After the race we headed to the beach for a little bit. The water was really pretty (and cold!) and we had fun playing in the water and also just relaxing some.

 

Hot Trot certainly lived up to its name and to the standards that have been set in years past! I’m already looking forward to next year’s race!