RNR NOLA: Week 2

HI! How’s it going?

Week 2 of training for the Rock N Roll New Orleans half is done. I want to start with sharing this little excerpt from Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of NIKE by Phil Knight. Daniel just finished reading this book and said it was really good. It’s up next on my list!

For that matter, few ideas are as crazy as my favorite thing, running. It’s hard. It’s painful. It’s risky. The rewards are few and far from guaranteed. When you run around an oval track, or down an empty road, you have no real destination. At least, none that can fully justify the effort. The act itself becomes the destination. It’s not just that there’s no finish line; it’s that you define the finish line. Whatever pleasures or gains you derive from the act of running, you must find them from within. It’s all in how you frame it, how you sell it to yourself.

Isn’t that perfect?! The joy is definitely in the journey and that definitely applies to so many different aspects of our lives. Let’s talk about what the journey looked like this week!

Monday: 2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 w/ 200 recovery, 2 mi. CD

Move it Monday is starting to catch on! Nothing like spending a little time at the oval office before heading to the regular office on a Monday morning. Everyone did 400s this week, which was great! I did 12 400s w/ a 200 recovery and most everyone else did 10 400s w/ a 400 recovery. This worked out well because we all finished about the same time. There were no #yakattacks this week either, although Sasser did point out that if you take the E out of MOVE IT, you have an anagram for VOMIT. Move it Monday has a much better ring to it than Vomit Monday. LOL!

My schedule called for the 400s to be run at 82 to 84 seconds per quarter, which would be 5:28 to 5:36 pace. My actual splits were 85, 87, 85, 85, 84, 85, 86, 85, 87, 86, 89 and 86. Even though I wasn’t exactly able to hit the prescribed paces, I still feel good about this workout overall.

Miscellaneous thoughts from my brain during a track workout:

  • A 200 recovery is SO SHORT.
  • At least I only have to do 10 of these things. Aww, DANG IT. I have to do 12! I don’t know how I manage to lose count of how my repeats I am supposed to be doing every time, but I do.
  • I really hope I don’t fall while I am running fast and bust my face open again (the fear is real).
  • When does daylight saving time start? Why is the sun not up yet? I wish I was not up yet.
  • I *need* to get some new shoes for speed workouts and races.
  • This is the worst. Why am I doing this to myself?!
  • This is the best. I LOVE RUNNING.

Tuesday AM: 4.5 miles + strength training

Wouldn’t you know it that Greg decided to “beat our legs up a little bit” again on Tuesday this week. Man oh man. These strength workouts are killer.

Tuesday PM: RW Group Run

Tuesday afternoon my group ran 4 miles. It was crazy humid for January, but such is life and running in Alabama.

Tuesday afternoon we got some cool news! Rebecca, Jessica and I all applied to be a Nuun ambassadors this year and we ALL were accepted. Wahoo! I 100% LOVE this product and am super excited to be an ambassador (which basically just means that we do free marketing work for Nuun and spread our love for their product all over the interwebs). You’re welcome.

Wednesday AM: 9 miles w/ Rebecca (8:10 pace)

Wednesday PM: 6.5 miles on the ALTER G treadmill (6:55 pace)

Oh em gee guys. This was SO COOL! If you aren’t familiar w/ an anti-gravity treadmill, here is how it works: You slip into some [not so] sexy little shorts like this …

shorts1

You get zipped into the machine and then you run at 60 – 70% of your total body weight. Here is what the contraption looks like (this is not me (LOL)).

alterg

When you are running, it really just feels like you are floating. There are three cameras on the treadmill so that you can see you foot strike and your stride from three different views (front, side and back).

Let’s backup for a second … I’ve been having this random pain (perhaps random is not the accurate adjective seeing as how I run A LOT) in my glutes and hamstrings when I SIT. Sitting at work, sitting in the car … very uncomfortable. I can’t exactly get by without sitting (especially this time of year) and so I’m trying to get to the bottom of it (pun intended).

It seems that I’ve got some pelvic alignment issues that are causing the pain in my glutes and hips, but in order to fix the problem we have to get to the root of the actual alignment problem. Spoiler alert: it’s my running form. I know (and have known for years) that my form is not the best. My arms swing across my body like I am doing the chicken dance on repeat. I really haven’t been all that concerned with it as it seems to work just fine, but I definitely think that correcting it will be beneficial (both from an efficiency standpoint and to get rid of this nagging pain).

The Alter G made it very apparent that not only are my arms swinging, but also my entire torso is twisting. My lower body was zipped into the machine and I literally couldn’t move like I typically would. I felt like a super awkward, trainwreck of a runner. Basically this …

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According to this article, “Most running related injuries are non-traumatic and arise either from biomechanical inefficiencies in a runner’s stride, training error, or underlying musculoskeletal impairments such as a muscular imbalance. One such biomechanical problem area is in a runner’s stride, which we have found this is often attributed to improper arm swing.”

Also according to the same article, “To maximize efficiency while running, keep your arms from swinging across your torso and crossing this sagittal plane. Unnecessary tri-planar movement (movement in planes that are outside the sagittal plane) increases the amount of torque and stress on the body while running.”

So basically running with a normal arm swing burns less energy and significantly reduces shoulder and pelvis rotation. Hashtag goals. I will keep you posted on how this goes!

Thursday AM: 2 mi. WU, 3 X 2 mile LT repeats, 2 mi. CD

The dreaded 3 X 2 mile workout. I am kind of just over this workout. It shows up time and time again (because LT repeats are super beneficial) and it’s just tough (both mentally and physically).

My goal range was 6:15 – 6:20 pace. As soon as I started the warm up, I realized that pace was not going to happen. I felt so heavy (the Alter G spoiled me!) and just tired overall. I told myself to just give it a shot and if I didn’t feel good, I could always quit stop at any point. During the first mile of the workout I thought about stopping approximately 10 times. I was definitely on the struggle bus. Somewhat miraculously, I made it all the way through the first repeat. I had a quarter-mile to recover. During that quarter I convinced myself to at least *attempt* the second repeat as well. Again, I could always quit stop at any point.

I had to tackle one repeat at a time, but the good news is that I never decided to quit! I settled into a groove eventually. Once you find your groove, it’s so much easier to keep going. I reminded myself that I only have about 5 workouts left before the RNR NOLA half (!!!) and I definitely want to make the most of the workouts that I have.

It’s easy to post a picture of your Garmin (or of yourself … whatever floats your boat) and say that you #nailedit #crushedit #smashedit (you get the idea), but that isn’t how it always goes down. Workouts are hard. They aren’t always fun. This one was such a struggle for me and I didn’t hit the paces that I was supposed to. My paces were 6:30, 6:27 and 6:22. Not horrible by any means, but still not where I wanted to be. I’m just glad I didn’t quit.

Friday AM: 8 miles w/ Jessica (9:20 pace)

Friday PM: Strength Training

We got some upper body and core work in on Friday evening.

Saturday: 14 mile fast finish long run

The weather was very iffy Saturday morning and we woke up to tornado watches and the potential for some very bad weather. It wasn’t supposed to get here until after 7 so the RW group still met. The half marathon folks had 6 miles (I say folks, but really I only had one runner show up). Everyone else was smart and decided to skip it. Haha! Luckily we made it back to the store before the bottom dropped out.

I was originally planning to run 6 with the RW group and afterwards I was going to run a little more by myself and hop in a local 5K for the fast finish part of my run. Since the weather was so bad, the race got postponed and I ended up just doing the remainder of my run on the treadmill. I did 8 miles on the treadmill and it flew by! The last 5 miles were 7:02, 6:44, 6:42, 6:45, 6:55, which were all right within the range that I was supposed to do for the “fast finish.” Woo hoo! I felt great and was really happy to hit the pace that I was supposed to for the end this run.

Sunday: 9 miles w/ Rebecca (8:14 pace)

Rebecca is pacing the 3:40 marathoners at Big Beach next weekend and so we set out in an attempt to practice that pace (8:20 – 8:25 (depending on if the course is long again this year)). It was dark when we started so we didn’t worry about it as much during the first few miles, but we were able to nail it down fairly well the last 3 or so miles.

That wraps up this week’s training. I’ve got some 800s, a moderate pace long run and a 5K on tap next week.

What workouts do you have next week?

5 thoughts on “RNR NOLA: Week 2

  1. The book sounds like something I’d enjoy reading! His words accurately describe the sport of running. You’re right: workouts are hard. HARD. Thank you for being honest and transparent. Those paces you run though are killer!! I can’t wait to see how you do at RNRNOLA!

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  2. I don’t think anyone who posts those pictures things that they nailed it or crushed it DURING the workout. It’s just when it’s over like… hooray, it’s over. Let me post on social media. Kind of like this week, my mileage has been like usual and I know people will be like oh, you had a great recovery, but really mileage is just a number, it doesn’t show you how felt during the run, your recovery, how many times you had to talk yourself into running (rotfl).

    I also have the issue with arm swing and have read things online but have never, ever seen an effective way to correct it. I’d love tips… I always see that things like torso twisting is what causes injury, but how do you change? Especially when you’ve been running for years and years and you’re training for events, you’re not going to want to scrap your half goals to spend 6-8 weeks on fixing form, right?

    I ran on an alter-G once to try it out at a PT office. Those shorts… *sigh*… but I love the idea of one!

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  3. What a strong week of training. If only gyms has those special treadmills, making them more accessible all the time! Those 400m repeats sound really tough. And I don’t think it matters if you hit the exact paces or not– it’s all about effort. Thanks for sharing that Shoe Dog quote too. Love it.

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  4. Hey there! Happened upon your blog! Absolutely loved reading about your workouts! I’m chasing the dream 3 hr marathon! I had my meniscus repaired in May and spent 6 weeks running on the Alter G. Best thing ever. I have a similar pain in the bootey right now. It is a sitting thing, particularly while driving and I can’t avoid driving! Good luck with Nola!

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