50K Training: Week 10

HI! Happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all of the runners in Boston today. I can’t wait to stalk track you guys!

Also … we are ONE DAY from tax day! Whoa. I have been waiting for this moment all of my life (or the last 3.5 months … you know … same thing).

Tax day ahead warning sign

I figured that I would try to get back into the swing of things around here with some weekly recaps. I’m linking up with Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC for her weekly training recap.

My 50K is only 3 weeks away, which is pure craziness. I don’t really even feel like I’ve trained for it (probably just because I haven’t documented my training on the blog like usual). If you didn’t blog it, did it even really happen? Weekly recaps of weeks 1 through 9 are nonexistent, but my brain is toast and I couldn’t come up with anything more clever to call this novel of a post.

I plan to go back and write a general overview of my training, but don’t hold me to that.

Monday: The week started off with a 5 mile recovery run (recovering from the Gulf Coast Half Marathon). I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t too sore and my legs felt really good! I was able to wait a little later than normal and run once the sun started to come up, which was really nice.

Tuesday AM: Tuesday morning Daniel and I turned our covered porch into a makeshift gym and I ran on the treadmill while he rode his bike on the trainer. He is officially registered for his first half Ironman and training starts now! He will be doing Augusta 70.3 in September.

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I didn’t know it at the time, but this was my last run on our old treadmill. When we moved we couldn’t get the treadmill into the room we wanted it in without either destroying the house or dismantling the entire treadmill. Neither of these seemed like good options. We decided that it was likely time for an upgrade anyway and decided that we would try to sell the old one first. I didn’t realize it until Daniel told me someone wanted to buy it, but man, I was oddly attached to that thing. I put some serious miles on it over the years!

P.S. If you are in the market for a treadmill, Daniel found this article with a comparison of the best treadmills for runners. We are getting the NordicTrack Commercial 1750 and we had the Sole F80. I would highly recommend the Sole F80 (it lasted us 6 years and still worked well). We wanted to try something new this time around. If you are going to log lots of miles, I would definitely just recommend going with the commercial grade of whichever one you choose.

Tuesday PM: Tuesday evening we did our usual group run at Running Wild thing. I ran 6 miles with Jill & Ashley and felt good! As much as I enjoy morning runs, I also really enjoy evening runs as well. It’s a good chance to clear your head after a long day at work. I rarely do a workout in the evening, but give me an easy evening run and I’m happy as a clam.

Wednesday AM: I ran 6 miles easy with Jessica and Young Daniel Wednesday morning. My Daniel decided that sleep sounded better than running. Sometimes I think he is smarter than I am …

Wednesday PM: Daniel spent some time on the bike trainer Wednesday evening and texted me to see if I wanted to do a loop when I got home from work. He said he wanted to do a “brick run” (you bike then run and your legs feel like bricks). I told him, “Yes! Let’s tri it!” ← I couldn’t resist. The triathlon puns are out of control around here right now.

Thursday: HILLS! Holy hills.

When I saw the hill repeat workout pop up on my training plan, I knew that it would be a mental and physical struggle. I debated on whether or not to do the workout on the treadmill (remember my post about that → here), but when I came home from work Wednesday evening the treadmill was gone (sold!). That made my decision a little bit easier. Ha.

As it turns out, our new house is on a hill. I’ve gotten used to running up that thing each day as we start our run (and by gotten used to it, I mean that I have accepted the fact that it is there (insert serenity prayer here)). The thing is, I don’t really like running on hills and that’s probably because I am not a strong hill runner … which is precisely why I NEED to run on hills.

The street that we live on is exactly half a mile if you start at the bay and run up to the top. As a side note, Ron (Daniel’s running doctor friend (the one who fixed my face)), has run up and down this entire hill 15 times before when training for hilly trail ultra-marathon. Seriously! That took some extreme mental fortitude! I only needed a quarter-mile segment for my workout, so thankfully I didn’t have to run the entire hill 12 times. I only had to run up the really steep part 12 times … joy.

I actually ran up and down the entire hill twice in order to get my two mile warm up in before starting my repeats. I figured that I might as well embrace the hilliness (not a word) and get over it. I didn’t have any super specific pace goals for the repeats. They were supposed to be at a tempo effort. You run “fast” (relative) up the hill and then you “jog” back down. By the way, this is the only time is it acceptable to refer to running as jogging … “I believe it’s jogging … or yogging. It might be a soft J. I’m not sure.” Gotta love a good Anchorman quote!

So yeah, there isn’t too much to say about this except for that I ran up and down the hill 12 times at what I thought was a tempo (ish) pace. I lost count somewhere along the way as well. I had to do math in my head while running to determine what number I was on (it was 7).

At one point I thought to myself that this workout wasn’t very glamorous. I don’t know why that popped into my head (I don’t know what a glamorous workout would even look like), but it did. Then of course I started singing Fergie (in my head … at least I think it was in my head). G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S. Flossy. Flossy. Oh the random thoughts that pop into your head during a workout …

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The picture definitely doesn’t do it justice, but I promise the hill is steep. It’s actually a 7.5% grade in some places, which was a tad too steep for purposes of the hill repeats (5% is ideal).

My splits were 1:37, 1:35, 1:35, 1:34, 1:37, 1:37, 1:39, 1:39, 1:37, 1:36, 1:37, 1:38. I felt like I was pushing myself a good bit. Once the workout was done and I looked at the data on Strava I realized that my pace for the uphill parts averaged somewhere around 7:40 because the quarter mile segment I was running was closer to 0.20 instead of 0.25, which was kind of a bummer. I really felt like I was running closer to 6:40 effort! My coach reminded me that the focus was getting the work done, not the specific paces … I definitely did some work.

Friday: Daniel and I ran an easy 8 miles Friday before work. It had been a while since we have run our 8 mile route, so that was a nice change of pace. We’ve had to relearn all of our mile markers since we moved. Luckily all of our routes are pretty much the same (not gonna lie … that was definitely one of the requirements when we were house-hunting), but now we just have a different starting and stopping point.

Saturday: Saturday’s run was a logistical work of art. I ran with Daniel and his buddies and everyone had different distances in mind. I started at 5:30 with Cody. We did a 3.5 mile loop and then came back to pick up Daniel, Bowie and Ali at 6. We all did another 3.5 mile loop and then came back to pick up Kenny at 6:30. We all ran 6 after that. It was a nice, cool morning and the miles flew by (figuratively). As usual, the run was followed with coffee and breakfast. After breakfast Daniel headed out to ride his bike and Brooks and I met my mom for a walk.

Sunday: Sunday was the last long-long run of the training cycle. I still have an 18 mile run next week, but that’s only seeming like a medium-long run at this point. I wanted to make this a “dress rehearsal” for race day. I wore the socks, shoes and shorts that I am planning to wear, carried a water bottle, gel and my phone with me and practiced my fueling.

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Rebecca suggested that we could do part of the special occasion route and that sounded like a great plan to me. After all it was 1) Easter, 2) almost Marathon Monday and 3) almost the end of tax season. We had plenty of special occasions to celebrate! Being the super-supportive spouse that he is, Daniel drove us across the bay to the Battleship at 4:45 Sunday morning. He dropped us off and we started our journey back across the bay.

Our journey turned into a bit of an adventure around mile 5 when we approached Meaher State Park. We have run this route several times and this is always our go to bathroom stop. As we approached the entrance of the park, we noticed that there was a (new) very tall gated fence around the entire park. It’s almost as if they don’t want random runners off the street to come in and use their bathrooms. Crazy.

Rebecca was in “emergency mode” at this point (if you’re a runner … you get it) and so we were going to try our darndest to get inside that park. As we were about to abandon hope and almost on cue, a truck pulled up to the gate to exit the park right and the door magically swung open. We made a run for it. We briefly pondered how we would get out of the park, but figured we would cross that bridge when we got there.

After we went to the bathroom and filled up our bottles, it was time to cross the bridge of figuring out how make our exit. We quickly realized that we had the options of going up and over the 12 foot barbed wire fence (didn’t seem like a viable option), calling for help (even then, we weren’t sure that our rescuer would be able to open the gate … the sensor seemed to be on the inside to get out and not on the outside and I REALLY didn’t want to call Daniel 30 minutes after he dropped us off and tell him that we were “stuck” inside of a state park) or shimmy-ing under the 10 inch gap under the fence. Shimmy it was!

We laid on the ground and debated whether we would fit under the fence. Our heads were definitely the main problem. It was touch and go for a minute, but ultimately we escaped. Whew. We made it safely back across the bay and added on some additional miles to get to close to 17. We stopped one additional time for water and to take a gel, but that pit stop was very uneventful in comparison. After 17 miles we came back to the house and Rebecca handed off to Daniel, who ran the remainder of the run with me. I was supposed to do 24 to 25 miles and by the time Daniel and I started running together, I was contemplating stopping at 22. We did our 5 mile loop and I felt better than I expected. I knew that I was capable of 24 and I needed (mentally more than physically) to make that happen.

My two longest runs of the training cycle were somewhat broken up (one with a gap of about 4 hours and one with a gap of less than 30 minutes, but still … I took a break) and I needed to prove to myself that I could run a consecutive long run without cutting it short. We finished up with two miles on the track and mile 24 was the fastest of the day at 7:03 pace. I felt great!

After church we took a little boat ride with my dad. Brooks has been swimming a couple of times already, but this was our first boat ride of the season. Brooks says, “This is my happy place!”

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I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! I’ll see you soon!

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5 thoughts on “50K Training: Week 10

  1. I know you didn’t blog most of your training for the ultra but it is great to see you blogging again. I hope that tax season went well and totally understand why you couldn’t, though (after all, training comes before blogging about it). I too am a pretty bad hill runner but we just don’t have them here to train on!

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  2. ahhh I missed your blogging! Glad you’re back up to it. I had to cut back to posting only once a week and I barely get that one in. Ha! I think you will end of loving the 50k! I have been itching to run another. maybe this fall…

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  3. I really like that you did the hill workout and that you realize you can improve by running hills frequently. It’s good that you live on a hill too. Regarding the selling of the treadmill, I totally understand having an emotional attachment. I feel like I could probably upgrade my piano, but I am far too attached emotionally to my current one. Great training and hooray for tax season ending!

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