Monthly Recap

July Recap

Well guys, another month has come and gone. July was a good month, but I have a feeling that August is going to be even better! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s recap July’s running.

Month Recap: July 2018

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Workouts: I got in some decent workouts this month and also had some workouts that were cut short or otherwise modified. I actually completed and hit the paces I was prescribed on four of the workouts (in blue below) and the others were all supposed to be longer or different workouts. For example, 3 X 1 mile was supposed to be 5 X 1 mile,  the “fast finish” run was also originally supposed to be a 5 X 1 mile workout (after the first attempt was a bust) and the 3 mile tempo was supposed to have 8 X 400 afterwards. You win some, you lose some. I won more than I lost this month, so at least that’s … something.

3 mi. WU, 3 X 1 mile (5:55, 5:53, 6:30), 3 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 X 2 miles (6:49 avg., 6:35 avg., 6:39 avg.), 4 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 3 X 1000 (3:46, 3:42, 3:43), 3 X 600 (2:12, 2:12, 2:14), 3 X 400 (1:24, 1:23, 1:22), 2 mi. CD

10 mi. w/ fast finish for last 3 mi. (6:59, 7:11 and 6:36)

3 mi. WU, 4 X 600 (2:09, 2:09, 2:09, 2:08), 4 X 400 (83, 83, 83, 83), 4 X 200 (39, 40, 39, 38), 2 mi. CD

3 mi. WU, 3 mi. tempo (6:39 avg.), 3 mi. CD

2 mi. WU, 1.5 mi. threshold (6:20 avg.), 8 X 400 (82, 82, 80, 80, 80, 80, 80, 78), 3 mi. CD

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Favorite workout: My favorite workouts were the two ladder workouts where the reps got shorter as the workout went by. I like “front loading” the workout and getting the hard part of the workout out of the way early on. I felt like both of those workouts absolutely flew by, which is always a good thing!

Races: I ran the Shark Run 4 Miler on the Fourth of July!

Favorite race: Months with only one race make me a bit sad, but it doesn’t always work out to run more than one race each month. I definitely enjoyed the Shark Run, but I would’ve enjoyed it a bit more if the course hadn’t been short.

Paces: My paces ranged from 5:53 (second mile of the mile repeat workout, which was too fast and also why I only made it through 3 of my 5 repeats (insert facepalm)) to 9:50 (on the beach).

Miles: 299.7. Ahh! I can’t believe I got so close to 300 and didn’t even know it. It was a bit tempting to go back out and run a third of a mile, but in the spirit of not being *too* crazy, I’ll just let it be.

UPDATE: I was using the total from Strava, but I just looked at Garmin Connect to double check and my total on Garmin Connect was 300.1! I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that Strava rounds everything down to the nearest tenth. Either way, I’m calling it good.

Elevation gain: 14,108 feet! I added this category since a lot of my “easy” runs this month were as hilly as I could possibly make them. I’d like to think that all of this climbing has been beneficial. I know it has. I’m just still not entirely convinced that we are going to be properly trained for the mountains that await us in Colorado.

Longest run: 13 miles. I had 12 runs in the double digits, but never did more than 13 (well … 13.1 to be exact).

Shortest run: 5 miles.

Doubles: 6 days of doubles.

Rest days: 2 rest days.

Coming up: August is going to be a race-filled month! I’m doing a one mile race this Thursday, a 5K next Tuesday, RAGNAR COLORADO next Thursday and maybe a trail race in Auburn the weekend after we get back.

I’m also still ironing out the details of how I am going to get my birthday miles in this year. Ragnar Colorado starts on my birthday and my three legs of the relay add up to close to twenty miles. I’ve just got to figure out how to squeeze in another 13 somewhere along the way. I’m thinking that I might just keep running along the course after I finish my last leg. It’ll be an adventure one way or another!

Tell me: What do you have coming up in August?

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.29.18

Happy Sunday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.23.18 – 07.29.18:

Monday – Easy: 9 miles (8:52 pace)

I started the week off with an easy run with Rebecca and Jessica! Woo! We don’t all get to run together during the week much these days, so it was a treat to be able to all get together on a Monday morning.

Tuesday – Quality: 8.75 miles (7:59 pace)

Tuesday morning I went over to the track for a ladder workout. The workout called for a three mile warm up and then 4 X 600, 4 X 400, 4 X 200 and a two mile cool down. I did the warm up on the road with Daniel and then went over to the track for the faster stuff.

My goal time for the 600s was 2:07 (5:41 pace). My actual splits were 2:09, 2:09, 2:09, 2:08. My goal time for the 400s was 1:22 (5:30 pace). My actual splits were 1:23, 1:23, 1:23, 1:23. My goal time for the 200s was 41 (5:30 pace). My actual splits were 39, 40, 39, 38. I was really, really happy with how this one went! I can’t believe how consistent my splits on the 600s and 400s were. I really don’t think I could do that again if I tried. It was also a great feeling to be able to go a bit faster than “prescribed” for the 200s!

The workout was written with 2 minute walking recoveries between each rep, but I ended up just jogging a 200 very slowly in between all of them. The recoveries were all between 1:15 and 1:30, which I think is a good sign. I have found that it is hard for me to stop and walk in between reps. It’s almost as if walking signals to my body that the workout is over and I have a really hard time getting back going after a walk break. Perhaps it has something to do with Newton’s first law of motion … a body in motion stays in motion. Yep. I think that’s it! #science

Wednesday – Easy: 11 miles (8:37 pace)

Wednesday morning we had almost half of our Ragnar team at the house (Kenny, Bowie, the Daniels and I) to do some more climbing. We got just over 900 feet! I’m getting really excited about our trip!

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:58 pace) 

I got a few easy treadmill miles in on Thursday morning.

Friday – Quality: 9 miles (8:02 pace)

Daniel and I did a short tempo run Friday morning. I did a three mile warm up, three miles at a tempo (ish) pace and a three mile cool down. Daniel did most of that with me and I was definitely glad to have him there for the tempo miles. Our splits were 6:34, 6:43 and 6:41. The goal was 6:40 pace and we averaged 6:39. Whew!

Brooksy was very proud of us!

Saturday – Easy: 12 miles (9:01 pace)

Saturday morning we did the typical long (ish) run at Warehouse thing. My friends did 16 to 18 miles, but I stuck to 12. If I decide to do a late fall marathon, those long runs are going to be ramping up soon enough. In the meantime, I’ll stick to my less than two hour long runs.

Sunday – Quality: 9.75 miles (7:44 pace)

I got a really solid workout in Sunday morning. It was a two mile warm up, a mile and a half at threshold pace (goal pace was 6:25) and 8 X 400 (goal pace was 5:30 (or 82 per 400)). I texted with my coach a bit Saturday evening asking her about my upcoming mile race. I am really hoping to run somewhere in the low 5:20s for the race and she told me that she needed to see me run some 80s for these 400s in order to have that as a reasonable goal (she also said that I haven’t shown her that I could do that yet). Alrighty then … I thought to myself, “watch me!”

I was definitely on a mission and maybe she was just trying to motivate me all along. Either way, it worked! I ran the 1.5 at 6:20 average and then hit the 400s in 82, 82, 80, 80, 80, 80, 80, 78! I’m pretty sure that is the quickest and most consistent that I’ve ever been able to run 400s. On one hand it was definitely a huge confidence boost for me, but on the other hand, I hope I didn’t leave my race on the track. I don’t think that I did, but sometimes I feel like it’s almost more reassuring to have a really terrible workout before a race because you know that you are *due* for a good day on race day.

Here’s to hoping that I can pull off a great race after a good workout!

Total – 67.8 miles

That’s it for now! I hope you guys have a great week!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.22.18

Happy Saturday!

I got very behind on updating my training log this week, but better late than never I suppose! Some of our electronic devices got struck by lightning a week or so ago and we are still in the process of getting everything back up and running (no pun intended). We have a new router and a new modem, but are still have connectivity issues as we speak (or rather type). Aside from that, it just really felt like the longest. week. ever! I don’t even know why, but whatever … it’s done now. Thank goodness for the weekend!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.16.18 – 07.22.18:

Monday – 10 miles (8:58 pace)

On Thursday I met Kenny and Bowie for what seems to have become a twice-weekly run all. the. hills. run. We ended up with 950 feet of climbing. I don’t think that the hills of lower Alabama are going to be sufficient to prepare us for the mountains of Colorado, but at least what we are doing is better than nothing.

Tuesday AM – Quality: 9 miles (8:10 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:23 pace)

Tuesday morning I went over to the track for a fun (yes, really!) little ladder workout. The workout called for a two mile warm up and then 3 X 1000, 3 X 600, 3 X 400 and a two mile cool down. I enjoyed the variation in this workout and was especially appreciative that the intervals in each set got progressively shorter as I went. I was halfway done with the hard portion of the workout by the time I finished the 3 X 1000 and that was definitely a good feeling! My splits for the 1000s were 3:46, 3:42, 3:43 (so 5:55 (ish) average pace).

Since the 600s were an entire lap shorter than the thousands, they really felt like a breeze. My splits for the 600s were 2:12, 2:12 and 2:14 (so 5:48 (ish) average pace). I still felt strong after the 600s and then all I had to do was run three more hard laps. I knew I could handle that! My splits for the 400s were 1:24, 1:23 and 1:22 (so 5:32 average pace).

It should also be noted that while Daniel didn’t run this workout with me, he did accompany me to the track so that I wouldn’t be there alone. Very chivalrous! He actually brought a blanket (okay, it was a towel) with him and laid down on the track while I ran. He scared a few of the other runners and walkers who were not expecting anyone to be sleeping in the outer lane of the track (I can’t imagine why they weren’t expecting that (ha)).

I did an easy double with Jessica Tuesday evening. Daniel and Brookser got to keep Miss Olivia company while Jessica and I ran.

Wednesday – Rest!

Impromptu rest day. Those are the best, at least every now and then.

Thursday AM – Easy: 10.1 miles (9:14 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:50 pace)

We found some new hills to conquer Thursday morning, although I think the hills might’ve come out on top on this particular day. We were getting a bit tired of running the same hills over and over (and over) again, so we went a different direction and found some new climbs. I finished the run with 915 feet of climbing.

I did an easy double on the treadmill Thursday evening while Daniel rode his bike.

Friday – Easy: 5.5 miles (9:02 pace)

I was able to leave work a little bit early Friday afternoon and I went out for an easy run around 3 p.m. It was 89 degrees with a real feel temperature of 104! Holy smokes. Side note: I don’t really recommend running in that. I was trying my best to take it easy in anticipation of (or rather, as preparation for) Saturday’s workout.

Saturday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:38 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:18 pace)

Saturday we walked outside to a *feels like* temperature of 97 degrees at 5 a.m. What the what?! It was a brutal, oppressive heat like I haven’t felt in quite some time. I think we have this same sort of heat every summer, but I also think our brains tend to block out those unpleasant memories and we just forget that it actually does get this bad. We were even under a heat advisory (whatever that means). Regardless, it was bad and I decided to bail on the workout. The workout was supposed to be a long warm up, then 5 X 1 mile repeats and a long cool down. I really don’t think it would have been smart to even attempt that in the heat and so I ran easy instead.

Cody and I did an easy double Saturday afternoon just for funsies. It was hot. We survived. The end.

Sunday – Quality: 10 miles (8:24 pace)

Since I didn’t get any quality miles in on Saturday, my coach suggested that I try to pick it up for the last three miles of my run on Sunday *if* I felt like it. The heat was quite oppressive again, so I didn’t decide whether I was going to pick it up or not until mile seven of the run (which was go-time).

I decided to go for it and I was pleasantly surprised. The splits for my last three miles were 6:59, 7:11 and 6:36. I had a big hill to tackle during the second up-tempo mile. I usually shy away from (i.e., plan my route to avoid) hills, but since we’ve been doing all of this hill training this summer, I decided to go ahead and “embrace the hill.” My pace slowed, but my effort was consistent and my pace didn’t slow nearly as much as it has in the past on this same hill. I’ll take that as a win! Also, by the time I got up and over the hill, I felt like I was flying!

Total – 69.6 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

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!