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!

Race Recap, Summer of Speed

Race Recap: Paradise Island 5K

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I ran the Paradise Island 5K this morning. The race is part of the Run the Coast Summer Series, which is comprised of the Zydeco Festival 5K (April 13th), Paradise Island 5K (Memorial Day weekend), Shark Run 4 Mile (July 4th), and Bloody Mary 5K (Labor Day weekend). The only event of the series that I had done before this weekend was the Shark Run a couple of years ago. After running this one today, I am 1) super bummed that I missed the first race of the year and 2) planning to do the rest of them this year. It was a very well-organized race, fun race!

Before the Race

Daniel made plans with Reed and Miles to ride their bikes from our house to the Orange Beach Sportsplex, where the race takes place. It was about a 45 mile ride, so he was up and at ’em pretty early to get on the road. He left the house just before 5 a.m., which is when I got up. I got to the race just after 6:30 a.m., for a 7:30 a.m. start. I got my bib and met up with Jessica and Lizzie to do a few miles before the race. Jessica was doing her long run for the week and Lizzie ran part of it with her and biked the other part.

We ran the course before the race as my warm up and as the first few miles of their run. We made it back in just enough time for me to pin my bib on and get over to the start.

The Race

The race runs on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail (same location as the Shimp Fest 10K). The trails are all paved and it’s a great location for a race. The only minor drawbacks are that there isn’t a lot of airflow and the GPS satellites can be a little wonky in the woods. I made the executive decision to not look at my watch at all during the race. Although the temptation to glance down throughout the race can be hard to resist, somehow I have been able to do it successfully a few times now. I’ll include my splits here, but just keep in mind that I didn’t know them at the time (as if you really care :)).

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Daniel surprised me at the start of the race and captured the above picture. I thought they would be there for the finish of the race, but not for the start. That just was a real nice surprise, Clark. I wanted to run close to 6:10 ish pace for the first mile. I settled in behind several guys and tried to just hold tight for as long as I could. Eventually I got dropped and found myself running in no man or woman’s land.

The course is basically a loop with 3 left-hand turns. By the time we got to the first turn, I was running alone. I really prefer to run in a pack with other runners, but that rarely seems to work out. I could tell that there were potentially a couple of runners close behind me, but at the same time, I wasn’t able to really work with anyone. My split for mile one was 6:05.

During the second mile, I actually caught and passed two of the runners who had been in front of me from the get go. One of the guys didn’t seem to want me to pass him and he sprinted for a few seconds before conceding the pass. The other guy told me good job as I went by (which is always appreciated (I always try to reciprocate the encouragement)). After I passed those two guys, the only other runner in sight was Steve and he was a good bit ahead. I knew I wasn’t going to catch him, but it was at least nice to have someone to focus on up ahead. My split for mile two was 6:14.

The last mile was very lonely and very winding. We ran over several wooden bridges with signs indicating that they were “under construction,” which basically meant that there were lots of boards on each bridge that were being replaced. In the meantime, they had nailed some extra plywood on the top of said boards, which made for a lot of little mini speed bumps. The footing was a bit tricky and definitely not ideal for race conditions. In hindsight, I guess it gave me something to focus on instead of thinking about the fact that I was hurting, so perhaps this was actually a good thing. My split for mile three was 6:19.

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I didn’t have too much fight left to “sprint it in” to the finish. I finished with an overall time of 19:35 as first female and sixth overall. My time surprised me and not exactly in a good way. I would’ve definitely guessed that it would’ve been close to 19:00 (just based on the effort that I was giving). Also makes me wonder if I had looked at my watch, if I would’ve known that I *should’ve* been able to go faster? Who knows. The good news is that I have plenty more opportunities to try again soon!

After the Race

I got in almost four miles after the race as a cool down. I ran a couple of miles with Jessica and Lizzie again and then turned around to head back so that I wouldn’t miss the awards. My timing was pretty much spot on, I must say, as I got back less than two minutes before they started the awards. The winners (age group and overall) got sweet medals and I also got a bar of copper. So random. So unique! I love it.

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In case you are curious, this bad boy is worth approximately $6.75. Ha. The more races you run, the more you appreciate a good quirky award and this one did not disappoint.

We celebrated with breakfast at Brick and Spoon after the race. It seemed like a lot of other folks had the same idea because it was pretty busy (as to be expected on a holiday weekend (or really just every day of the week)). I got the farmers market eggs benedict (an english muffin, veggies, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce). It was delicious!

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At the beginning of the week, it looked like Tropical Storm Alberto was going to put a damper things along the Gulf Coast over the Memorial Day weekend, but (knock on wood) so far, so good. It’s tracking a little farther to the east than was originally expected, so hopefully things won’t get too crazy. It was a beautiful day for a 5K!

What is the most unusual award you’ve ever gotten at a race? Did you like it or do you prefer more traditional awards?

Summer of Speed, Weekly Recap

Week #9: SOS

‘Ello mates!

Whew. The final week of training is done and now I get a break from workouts for a few weeks and I get to run some races. Woo to the hoo. I haven’t done nearly as many races yet this year as I typically do, so I’m pretty excited about it.

With that being said, this week wore. me. out. Working, training and doing life felt like a lot this week. This summer my work schedule quickly escalated from part-time to full-time to over-time and I’m not exactly thrilled about it. I’ve been trying to focus on being intentional about how I am spending my time and making sure that I am spending it wisely.

There are 168 hours in a week. I am spending ~ 50 of them working, ~ 60 of them sleeping (assuming 8 hours a night and a couple of bonus hours for naps on the weekends) and ~ 10 of them running, so that still leaves ~ 50 hours for whatever else life has in store. For some reason, thinking about it in terms of hours helps. I can do a lot of things in the 50 hours that I have that aren’t dedicated to anything in particular!

Monday: 5 miles (8:45 pace)

I was tired Monday morning and was pretty much dreading the week. I’m not proud of my attitude, but it is what it is. I basically wanted to curl up in a ball and cry when my alarm went off. Instead of doing that, I went out for an easy run with Daniel and that definitely was more productive than they curl up in a ball and cry alternative.

Tuesday: 2 mi. WU, 4 X 1 mile repeats (6:01, 6:03, 6:00, 6:09), 2 mi. CD

We hit the track first thing Tuesday morning for my first big workout of the week … mile repeats. These were supposed to be done at close to 5K pace. Daniel ran the warm up and the first two repeats with me, which of course was a huge help. He was planning to do a bike workout Tuesday evening, so he didn’t want to completely trash his legs.

Side note: He didn’t actually make it to the group ride because he got tied up in court. A month or so ago, we had just gotten home from a run and we witnessed a bit of an altercation between two ladies in our neighborhood. There were verbal threats and harsh words exchanged and then one of the ladies decided to use her mail to beat the other lady up.  It was truly bizarre. Daniel and I pretty much saw the whole thing and Daniel got in the middle of them and broke up the fight. He later get subpoenaed to appear in court regarding the case.

Anywho … I finished up the last two repeats by myself and was just proud that I got it done. My pace faded on the last one, but I’m not too worried about that. I know that I put in adequate work to get the benefits from the workout.

Wednesday: 7 miles (8:51 pace) + 4 miles (8:52 pace)

Wednesday was an easy treadmill run before work and another easy treadmill run after work. So exciting, I know.

Thursday: 9 miles (8:37 pace) + 5 miles (8:20 pace)

Thursday morning I was *supposed to* do my second track workout of the week, but that didn’t happen. I was in major procrastination mode by this point in the week and the idea of doing another track workout was really daunting. I did an easy run with Daniel that morning instead.

Rebecca and I went to a new group run from a local coffee shop after work Thursday evening. They were only doing 2 to 3 miles, so we pretty much just ended up doing our own thing, which worked just fine.

Friday: 7 miles (9:09 pace)

In the spirit digging myself further into the hole of procrastination with the track workout, I ran easy on the treadmill again Friday morning.

Saturday: 10.3 miles (8:42 pace)

Ran with the typical group Saturday morning, but kept it a little shorter than my typical long run mileage (since I still had that darn track workout looming over me). After a good run and coffee conversations with friends, I was feeling much better.

Sunday: 2 mi. WU, 12 X 400 w/ 1:30 recovery jog (80, 80, 81, 85, 85, 86, 87, 86, 90, 89, 91, 88), 2 mi. CD

Clearly I had a mental block against this lovely little workout, so it shouldn’t come as a complete shock that its execution was a bit of a mess. My goal pace was 80 to 83 seconds per lap, which I was able to do for exactly 3 of the 12 repeats. When my fourth repeat went over goal pace and felt incredibly difficult, I *almost* pulled the plug on the workout altogether (as in I clicked stop on my watch and had my finger on the button ready to hit “save,” which would’ve meant that the workout was over).

I had to give myself a bit of a pep talk. If this was a race and I was struggling, I absolutely wouldn’t quit. I only wanted to quit because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hit the paces that I was supposed to and that made the workout a complete bust (in my head).  Sometimes training is as much of a mental struggle as a physical challenge. Today was one of those days for me for sure. The good news is that I finished the workout and I am counting that as a major mental victory.

My biggest takeaway from this week is that I am more than ready for a break from hard workouts. I’m really looking forward to the races that I have coming up. Even so, I am trying to stay in touch with where I am and to make sure that I don’t end up with a major case of burnout (like I did last summer). I recognize that it is really hard for me to work 50+ hours per week and keep a balanced, happy life. I feel kind of stuck with the choices that I made that got me into this position to begin with though and right now, I don’t really have a short-term solution.

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Sorry for the downer of a post. Tomorrow brings a new week. Hopefully we can all make it a good one!

Race Recap, Summer of Speed, Weekly Recap

Week #8: SOS + Milk Mile Race Recap

Hi!

I can’t believe that it’s already been two months of the ‘summer of speed-work’ training cycle. I mean, I guess I kind of can believe it and can’t believe it at the same time. On one hand I feel like I have been spending A LOT of quality time at the track and that I have already done so. many. workouts. On the other hand though, I guess it just doesn’t seem like we should be over halfway through July. That just seems crazy.

I have one more big week of training and then a trifecta of evening races the next three weeks. My summer training has, for the most part, been in preparation for these races … a one mile race (July 27), a 5K (August 1) and a two mile race (August 8). What will come after that is still somewhat TBD.

I did most of my running on the treadmill this week. For whatever reason, it just seemed to happen that way. I ran at the track a couple of times and did the usual long run with our training buddies though, so hopefully this recap won’t be a total snoozefest.

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Monday: 9 miles (8:37 pace)

Started off the week by doing 5 miles with Daniel and 4 more on my own.

Tuesday: 3 miles (8:24 pace) + 8.5 miles (8:16 pace)

I had an early day Tuesday and didn’t have time for anything more than 3 miles. I intended to do my workout Tuesday evening, but my motivation for running hard is usually about a 1 out of 10 around 5 p.m. and I settled on an easy run instead.

Wednesday: 2 mi. WU, 12 X 300 (61, 60, 62, 61, 63, 63, 60, 62, 62, 62, 61, 61), 2 mi. CD

The workout this week was 300 meter repeats, which is not a typical distance. It seems like 200s and 400s are fairly standard, but 300s definitely aren’t. I know I have done a 300 workout one other time, but I can’t recall when exactly that was. A quick search of my training spreadsheet didn’t reveal that any 300 meter repeats have been done since January of 2015 though, so I guess it was likely 2014 and I don’t feel like digging through my paper training logs from that year to see what my times were. Nerd fail. Darn.

The workout ended up being pretty similar to a 1:00 on, 1:00 off workout, as my goal range for the 300s was 60 – 62 seconds (5:20 to 5:32 pace) and the recovery was a one minute jogging recovery. These faster workouts have been really challenging, but in a fun way! I rarely see paces like that when I run and it gives you a bit of a confidence boost, just knowing that your legs can do it (even though it may feel like death).

Daniel came to the track with me, but wasn’t doing a workout (he had done a hard bike ride the evening before). This was the first workout that I’ve done completely solo in a while. I missed having someone to push with. It really makes a huge difference! Overall, I was happy with how the workout went. I think it may have even been a tad cooler than it has been, which was helpful and I was able to stay pretty close to the target range. I happily carried my endorphins around with me the rest of the day.

Thursday: 7 miles (8:50) + Summer Track Series (800, 4 X 400 relay and Milk Mile)

I did an easy treadmill run Thursday morning before work. Thursday evening we went to a fundraiser for the Robertsdale High School XC team (Rebecca’s team). The three events at this meet were an 800, the 4 X 400 relay and the grand finale … the milk mile!

We got to the track around 6:15 and did a one mile warm up. The weather was iffy, but thankfully it moved out just in time for the meet to get going at 6:30. In hindsight, I probably should’ve done more than a one mile warm up, because I don’t think my legs or lungs were ready for the pain of the 800! Wowza. I sometimes forget how badly it hurts to race an 800. I think my official time was 2:41. I likely positive split the heck out of those two laps. I didn’t think to lap my watch when I came through the first 400 though, so I don’t really know. I know that my legs and lungs were ON FIRE about midway through the second lap and that when I was done all of my extremities were tingly. I’ll take a marathon over an 800 next time, please and thank you.

The 400 wasn’t nearly as painful as the 800, but left my feet and hands similarly tingly. I ran the 400 in 75 seconds which is exactly what I thought I would do. Sweet!

The big event at this meet by far though is the MILK MILE! It’s every bit as disgusting and awesome as it sounds. You drink 8 oz. of milk, run a lap around the track and repeat 4 times for a total of 32 oz. of milk and one mile of running. The time doesn’t start until after you drink the first cup of milk, but after that the time you spend drinking the milk counts towards your overall time. If you vomit, you have to run an extra “penalty” lap. No one has actually gotten sick and I think Rebecca said this was the 6th year of the milk mile. That is pretty incredible in and of itself. Also the pressure is on because no one wants to be *that person* that ruins the streak. Haha.

The worst part of the whole thing is actually just standing on the starting line holding that first cup of milk in anticipation of what you are about to (willingly) do to yourself. Okay, so maybe that isn’t as bad as the milky regurgitation in the back of your throat as you run or even as bad as the post-run milk baby that grows in your unsettled tummy. So lovely.

For me, the actual running part wasn’t that bad. I had a hard time getting the milk down each lap, just in a sense that it took me a good 15 seconds to drink each cup whereas a few of the guys were throwing them back in less than 5 seconds! It was so crazy! After carefully studying the footage and pictures (sarcasm), I think my cup tilt is part of the problem.

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You can see from the picture above that Young Daniel has his cup parallel to the ground, which makes for optimal drinking capability, whereas mine is barely even tilted upwards at all. I don’t think I really *wanted* another cup of milk at this point.

I was the first female finisher with a time of 6:40! I think there were 3 girls total that ran. I’m sure you’ll find that hard to believe that this was a predominantly male event. After the race, we set out to do a one mile cool down, but that didn’t happen. We decided to just call it a day and let our milk babies continue to hang out in our tummies.

Daniel and Jessica. I adore this picture. I think she’s got him beat by just a smidge.

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Friday: 5 miles (9:04 pace) + 6.2 miles (8:38 pace)

I was surprisingly sore Friday morning! I decided to do a double only because I realized that my favorite podcaster had a wonderful guest (Tia!) and I didn’t want to wait a single day to listen.

Saturday: 15.5 miles (8:08 pace)

Saturday was my longest run of the summer! Rebecca did 19 miles and I met her a little earlier than the rest of the group, so I ended up with a couple more miles than usual. It was a good, sweaty run.

Sunday: 7.25 miles (8:19 pace)

Rebecca and I got in a good run together Sunday evening. We somehow both managed to not run Sunday morning (unplanned and not on purpose), which rarely happens, but I’m so glad that it did. There’s nothing like a good run with a better friend to finish off the week on a good note.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Summer of Speed

Week #6 & 7: SOS

Howdy!

You might’ve noticed that I got behind on weekly recaps last week (or maybe you didn’t because no one really cares … that’s totally cool too). This week you get two recaps for the price of one! It’s sort of like running blogger BOGO. Sort of …

Oh! Another bonus will be that I have included a few non-running related pictures, etc. throughout. My grandmother suggested that I talk about something other than running (hi Nana!) and so I figured (even though *technically* this is a running blog), she was probably right. Believe me, I truly wish that I had more time to write and spend on the blog like I used to, but I just don’t. I’m in a different season right now.

Speaking of seasons, I have been thinking a lot about the timing of events and things that happen in our lives and how our perspective on these events and happenings can shift so much over the years. You’ve probably heard that the days are long, but the years are short and I can totally see that being true. Sometimes I think back to high school or college or even just before I met Daniel and at the time, those seemed like really long “seasons,” but now each of those seasons seems like a tiny blip on the radar of my life. I know that mathematically it makes sense. When you are 18 or 22, the 4 years of high school or college make up close to 20% of your entire life, but now that you are older (and so very much wiser … haha), those 4 years are closer to 10% of your total life. Perhaps that is what makes them seem more insignificant? Not sure if that makes any sense … but for whatever reason I’ve been thinking about that a lot.

Anywho … let’s talk about running, shall we?!

Week of 06/26 through 07/02:

Monday: 8 miles (8:41 pace)

I ran 5 miles with the Daniels and 3 miles solo.

Tuesday: 2 mi. WU, 8 X 600 (2:13, 2:08, 2:10, 2:10, 2:11, 2:12, 2:12, 2:08), 2 mi. CD

I had 600 meter repeats on tap Tuesday morning. The goal pace for these was 5:40 to 5:50 pace. I wasn’t sure how doable that was going to be and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the 600 meter distance (one and a half laps on the track). You can easily divide it up into sections and they really felt more like 400s than 600s.

Wednesday: 8 miles (8:31 pace) + 5 miles (8:52 pace)

Wednesday morning was the exact same as Monday … 5 miles with the Daniels and 3 miles solo.

Thursday: 4 miles (8:47 pace)

I did a short easy on the TM Thursday morning before work. The first meet of the Summer Track Series was scheduled for Thursday evening, so I just wanted to get a few miles in that morning for my co-workers sake. I kid. I kid. Well, kind of … what can I say, running keeps me sane and sweet. The track meet ended up getting rained out, so it worked out that I had gotten a few miles in that morning anyway.

Friday: 13.1 miles (8:03 pace)

Friday morning Rebecca and I ran 13.1 miles so that I could check off my virtual half for the month. Friday was by far the worst conditions that we have run in yet this summer. It was 100% humidity (not an exaggeration) and the *feels like* temperature was 90 degrees at 6 a.m. Goodness. It was rough out there! We originally planned to do 7 – 8 up-tempo miles in the middle of the run, but that turned into less than 5. It was no biggie though … we got it done and got to catch up on life in the process.

It’s not every day that you get a half marathon in before work. You know … totally casual. I was kind of rushing around after the run to actually make it to work on time (which I did!), but I had a major coffee fail in the process. I usually drink a cup of coffee at home before I get to work, but since I was running a little behind Friday morning, I decided to take my delicious cup of caramel vanilla goodness with me to enjoy at work. In theory, this was a wonderful idea. In reality, the execution was flawed.

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I was very fortunate because the majority of the spillage was contained in my cup holder, but was very unfortunate because my cup of goodness was about 3/4 of the way empty. It wouldn’t be that big of a deal if we had decent coffee at work, but the only coffee that we currently have is “dark magic,” and let me just tell you … it tastes like dirt (or perhaps diesel fuel).

Actual picture of me if I try to drink the voodoo coffee …

Anyway … somehow I managed to survive the day on 1/4 a cup of coffee. You didn’t know this was possible? Yeah. Me either.

Saturday: 13.5 miles (8:57 pace)

We met our friends Saturday morning for our usual long (ish) run from Warehouse. The humidity was rough again, but everyone lived to run another day.

Sunday: 5 miles (8:37 pace)

After two rough outdoor runs, I decided to take my run inside on Sunday morning, which was a very nice break! I really haven’t used our new treadmill all that much, so I’m still pretty excited to run on it each time that I get the chance.

We went to my grandmother’s for lunch Sunday afternoon. My mom brought this beautiful (and delicious) red, white and blueberry pie to lunch and it was a big hit!


After lunch, Daniel swam in the bay and I paddle boarded with him. I tried to stay beside him (which is harder than it sounds) and I almost ran him over a few times. We will come up with a better strategy next time.

Week of 07/03 through 07/09:

Monday: 7 miles (8:55 pace) + 5 miles (8:32 pace)

Daniel was off work Monday and was able to start a little later than usual, so I did a few miles on my own and then met Daniel and Kenny for a mile or so before running back to the house.

I haven’t been doing a very good job at getting many doubles in so far this summer. I don’t really *need* to do doubles, but at the same time my training plan calls for 1 – 2 optional secondary runs per week, so I feel like I am missing out if I don’t get them in (totes normal … I know). I got off work a little early Monday afternoon, caught a quick nap and got a double in that afternoon. Part of the reason that I haven’t been able to run (or blog for that matter) as much this summer is because I am working full-time (as opposed to part-time the last few summers) and I am just so dang tired when I get home. Man, I tell ya, adulting can really be rough sometimes.

Tuesday: 4 miles (9:06 pace)

I started off my fourth of July with an easy 4 mile run. I was going to do 5, but then I decided to be festive and do 4 miles for the fourth. We had a fun, busy day of playing on the bay ahead of us and I definitely didn’t want to be too tired to miss out on any of that!

The bay is typically calmer in the morning than in the afternoon, so we decided to go out early and take advantage of the smooth water. Here are a few action shots from the day!


Brooks has always loved the water. I think it has something to do with the fact that he was introduced to it at a really young age (read: he fell off the boat when he was a wee tot). It’s either that or because he is a golden retriever and it’s in his blood. Who knows.

Baby Brooksy! P.S. Look at those paws!

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We let him swim and play fetch with his water toy for a while and after that he is content to just ride on the paddle board with me. We love to go “surfing” on the board! I also got to ski for a little bit, which was fun. We had a family lunch at my uncle’s house on the creek and after that we were all primed and ready for a nice afternoon nap.

Wednesday: 2 mi. WU, 6 X 1000 (3:48, 3:48, 3:44, 3:48, 3:55, 4:00), 2 mi. CD

Woof. If I had to describe this workout in one word, it would be brutal. I don’t know if it was being out in the sun all day the day before or the fact that the heat index was at 93 degrees at 5 that morning (I mean … c’mon … how is that even physically possible) or some combination of those two, but for whatever reason, this workout was BRUTAL. I don’t remember being that hot and miserable during a race or a workout in quite some time. At least I had a good attitude about it eh?

For realz though, I am at least happy that I got the workout in and I did all 6 repeats that were prescribed on my training plan, even though I really, really wanted to cut it short. Sometimes showing up and putting in the effort (even if the paces don’t exactly reflect said effort) is worth something.

Thursday: 5 miles (8:44 pace)

Daniel and I did our standard loop Thursday morning.

Friday: 2 mi. WU, 6 X 1 mile (6:54, 6:46, 6:44, 6:36, 6:34, 6:28), 1.5 mi. CD

Friday morning I had a fun little 6 X 1 mile workout. The good news is that the repeats were done at LT pace and not at V02 max pace. Friday was the first morning so far this summer that I used the pace adjustment calculator to adjust the paces from my training plan to properly reflect the temperature and dew point. It seems like we had a fairly mild summer up until the month of July arrived and since then, it’s been a little rough. I’ve also been doing shorter workouts this summer and it doesn’t seem like the pace adjustment is as necessary for short repeats.

I adjusted my goal pace from 6:20 to 6:40 and headed over to the track and got it done. Daniel came to the track with me and rode his bike around the track while I ran. I won’t go to the track by myself in the dark and so I was very thankful that he was willing to ride his bike in tiny circles while I did my workout! He had a race on Saturday, so he wasn’t really needing to get in a major workout or anything anyway, so that worked out well.

Friday evening after work we headed to Meridian, Mississippi for Daniel’s race Saturday morning. We got there just before 8 p.m. and just in time to pick up his packet. We checked into our (super sketchy) hotel and crashed.

Saturday: 2.7 miles (8:27 pace) + 5.3 miles (8:40 pace)

The race took place at Bonita Lakes Park in Meridian. I was able to squeeze in a short run before the race started. There was a wonderful running path around the lake and I really enjoyed running there.

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The race was a sprint triathlon and was a third of a mile swim, a 17 mile bike and a 5K run. Daniel’s half Ironman is in September and this was a good practice run for him. I’m trying to convince him to do a race recap, but we are currently still in the negotiation phases of that discussion. Ha. In case it doesn’t happen, I’ll briefly summarize …

He placed 19th overall and 5th in his age group. His swim was 9:45, bike was 47:40 (20.8 mph) and run was 20:35 (6:39 pace) for a total time of 1:19:49. I don’t know a whole lot about triathloning, but I know enough to know that he did AMAZING!

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I won’t say too much in case he decides to write a recap, but I am SUPER PROUD! I loved watching him race.

I finished up the remaining portion of my run Saturday evening after a glorious little nap.

Sunday: 13 miles (8:39 pace) + 1/3 mile SWIM

We had a good group Sunday morning for a long (ish) run from Warehouse and an added bonus was that Lizzie came to run with us! We don’t get to see enough of her these days.

Daniel somehow convinced me to go swimming with him this afternoon. I haven’t done laps of swimming (i.e., I couldn’t decide if it was correct to say swam or swum) since possibly high school. 5 minutes in the pool felt like 30! Holy Moses. I am definitely not in swimming shape. That was humbling!

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little “tri-curious” after watching his race yesterday though. Hmm.

Daniel, Summer of Speed

Week #5: SOS + Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Hi!

If you are reading this post then I guess it’s safe to say that we survived Tropical Storm Cindy, but man … what a mess. We’ve had so. much. rain. It was ridiculous. I spent more time under an umbrella (ella, ella, eh, eh, eh) this week than I have in YEARS!

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As usual, I’m in pink and Daniel is in navy.

Monday: 5 miles (8:22 pace)
Monday: 5 miles (8:22 pace)

Starting the week off with a loop has become a fairly standard thing these days. Usually the weekends are pretty run-filled and so it is always nice to have an easy run on Monday to ease back into the next week of workouts.

Tuesday: 7 miles (8:30 pace)
Tuesday: Rest Day

It was back to the whole “we were supposed to do track on Tuesday but got rained out” thing again this week. I begrudgingly got up and did a few miles on the treadmill just in case the RW group run got rained out that evening (which it did). Daniel usually bikes on Tuesday evening, but TS Cindy put a damper on things this week and he took an impromptu rest day.

This is what the radar looked like for 95% of the week …

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Wednesday: 2 mi. WU, 16 X 200 (39, 42, 40, 40, 39, 39, 39, 40, 39, 40, 39, 38, 39, 40, 40, 39), 2 mi. CD
Wednesday: 1 mi. WU, 1200 (4:25), 800 (2:47), 400 (1:17), 400 (1:19), 800 (2:48), 1200 (4:20), 1 mi. CD

We were determined to get our track workout in Wednesday morning regardless of what the weather was doing. Thankfully, we had a tiny break from the heavy rain around 5 a.m. and Daniel and I were able to sneak over to the track and get most of our workout in before the bottom dropped out again. I did 200s and he did a ladder workout.

I felt like I was in uncharted territory with the paces for 200s. My workout was supposed to start at 41 – 42 seconds and drop down to the 38 – 39 range at the end. Turns out, I have a really hard time distinguishing between what a 41 – 42 second 200 should feel like vs. a 38 – 39 second 200. It all just felt like “run as fast as you possibly can pace.” I haven’t done a lot of speedwork at less than 5K pace, so this was quite a shock to the system! My paces were fairly consistent, but I was gassed after 16 repeats (I was supposed to do 20).

Daniel’s workout went really well! His goal paces per lap were 88 seconds for the 1200s (close to 5K pace), 84 seconds for the 800s and 80 seconds for the 400s. He pretty much nailed it. He was very pleased with his workout and I am giving us each an extra 10 hard-core points for getting out there and getting this done on a soggy track in the middle of a tropical storm.

Thursday: 8 miles (8:13 pace)
Thursday: 5 miles (8:19 pace)

It was back to easy running Thursday morning to recover from #workoutWednesday.

Friday: 2 mi. WU, 4 mile tempo (6:27 pace), 2 mi. CD
Friday: 5 miles (8:20 pace)

I had a tempo run on tap Friday morning. I took this one to the treadmill, which was a nice change of pace. It’s been a while since I have done a tempo workout on the treadmill (I’ve gotten much better about doing my workouts outside these days). If you are going to do a workout on the TM, a tempo is a good one to do (in my opinion). You are working hard, but not so hard that you feel like you might fly off of the machine.

Saturday: 12 miles (8:07 pace)
Saturday: 12 miles (8:04 pace)

Daniel and I got in a long (ish) run Saturday morning. We waited until about 8:30 a.m. to run, which is much later than usual. It rained on us a little bit for the first few miles and then the rain dried out and it got HOT.

Sunday: 10 miles (8:43 pace)
Sunday: Rest Day

We weren’t able to run until Sunday afternoon and Daniel decided to take a day off. I decided to brave the heat and ran at 1:30 p.m. (i.e., TOASTY). I had to take a few walk breaks (walk of shame … whatever you want to call it), but I got it done. It’s not always pretty, but as long as you consistently put in the work day in and day out, the results will come.

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I hope y’all have a great week!

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for man.
Colossians 3:23

Summer of Speed, Track, Weekly Recap

SOS: Week #3

Week #3 of speed training is in the books. The sun came back from its hiatus towards the end of the week, which made things much more pleasant. Rainy weather makes me feel gloomy, so I’d definitely rather have sunny and hot over rain any day!

Monday AM: 5 miles (8:37 pace)

I started the week off with an easy treadmill recovery run.

Monday PM: 5 miles (8:01 pace)

Daniel was ready to do a loop Monday afternoon after work, so of course I decided to tag along.

Tuesday PM: 5 miles (8:21 pace)

The rainy saga continues … track got rained Tuesday morning again this week. We slept in and did a loop that evening. For whatever reason, I was majorly on the struggle bus for this run and even had to stop and walk for a little bit during the last mile. Eek!

Wednesday AM: 1 mi. WU, 8 X 400 w/ 200 float, 3 mi. CD

We woke up to more rain Wednesday morning, which was a major bummer. I had another workout planned for the week in addition to the 400s, so I couldn’t push the workout back another day without getting to the end of the week and having back to back to back hard runs (I used to be really, really bad about doing that to myself). Daniel and I ended up at the track by ourselves Wednesday morning. We get major hardcore points for doing a track workout in the rain!

The track was very soggy, which makes sense after 10+ days of rain. Argh. I wouldn’t say that either of us were thrilled to be out there in the beginning, but once we got into the workout were done, we were definitely happy! My workout was supposed to be a 2 mile warm up, 12 X 400 and a 2 mile cool down, but I modified that slightly in order to do the same workout that Daniel was doing. He and his buddies have done this same workout a few times and I hadn’t ever done it, so I kind of wanted to see what it was all about.

The workout is basically just 400 repeats w/ a 200 recovery except for that you don’t truly get a recovery. You are supposed to keep the pace for the 200s at close to 1 minute per mile over your 400 pace. As an example, my typical recovery between intervals would be close to 8:30 or 9:00 pace, but for this workout the “float” pace was close to 7:00 pace (which means you still have to push). It was very difficult to get into the mindset of continuing to push through the 200s, since I am so used to completing an interval and having a recovery period.

Daniel and I started the workout together, but he got ahead of me during the first 200 float (since my body was still like “what in the world are we doing “) and he steadily got farther ahead as the workout went along. The funny this is that our 400 splits were almost identical even though we didn’t run any of them exactly together except for the first one. He crushed me on the 200s though! Haha. My 400 splits were 1:28, 1:26, 1:28, 1:27, 1:27, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26. I finished with a 5K of 18:54 (give or take for Garmin accuracy issues when running on the track).

Wednesday PM: 4.5 miles (9:01 pace)

The rain FINALLY cleared out Wednesday afternoon (for good!) and Rebecca, Savannah and I were able to celebrate National Running Day with an easy run that evening.

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Thursday AM: 7.5 miles (8:34 pace)

It felt amazing out Thursday morning! It was so nice that I found myself wishing I had a workout so that I could capitalize on the cooler weather. You know you’re a runner when you think of cool weather in terms of how much better your paces would be that day. But alas, I had to put an easy day in between my workouts and so Thursday morning was just a nice easy run with the Daniels.

Thursday PM: OTF Class (3.7 miles @ 7:15 avg.)

Thursday’s class was intense! It was “power day” at OTF, which is apparently one of their tougher classes (this was my first experience with it). I actually had intentions of taking it kind of easy, but there was a competition going on between all of the classes that day to see which class could earn the most splat points (i.e., minutes in the orange or red heart rate zone) and I just couldn’t let my class down. My competitive nature got the best of me and I pushed a little harder than I was planning, but oh well. I had fun and got a great workout in. Win, win!

Friday: 2 mi. WU, 4 X 1.5 mile (9:45, 9:41, 9:41, 9:41), 2 mi. CD

Friday morning it was time to tackle the second workout of the week. This one was a bit longer than anything I have done in several weeks, which was a tad intimidating. I decided to hit the track for this one (have I mentioned how much I am loving the track recently?!) and thankfully, I had some good company.

The goal range was 6:20 to 6:30 pace for the repeats and I stayed right within that range, so I’m very pleased with how that went. I didn’t realize it until I looked at my splits after the fact, but the last three repeats were all the exact same. I couldn’t do that again if I tried! My mile and half mile splits within those three are all slightly different, so it’s crazy that the sum was exactly 9:41 on all three. I really felt like I was fading on the last repeat, so it was great to see that I held it together. Definitely goes to show that sometimes our perception doesn’t line up with reality. Even if you feel like you are struggling late in a race, just keep pushing and you might surprise yourself!

Saturday: 7.5 miles (8:50 pace)

After Friday’s workout, I wanted to take it fairly easy on Saturday. Rebecca pushed Savannah in the stroller, which definitely helps to keep our pace honest, but I don’t know how much of an “easy” run it truly is when you are pushing a 30 (ish) pound toddler. I offered to push her up one of the hills and goodness gracious … that is tough! I don’t know how she does it. At one point the front wheel almost came off of the stroller, which was no bueno. The official diagnosis is that one of the thingys came loose from the other thingy. Amazingly enough, we managed to fix it ourselves, which was good because the guys left us in the dust long before this little mishap.

Sunday: 10 miles (8:04 pace)

Sunday was supposed to be long run day, but I decided to call it at 10. Physically I felt fine, but for whatever reason, I just didn’t feel like running any farther. I am more focused on my speed workouts than distance workouts at this point, so I had no qualms about cutting it short. The Hot Trot 5K is coming up next weekend and I want to be relatively fresh for the race. It is definitely one of my favorite races of the year!

Gotta run! I hope you had a wonderful weekend!