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!

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!

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.

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

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!

SOS: Week #2

Hello and Happy Monday!

Here’s a run down of the second week of the “summer of speed.” It was a rainy week on the Gulf Coast. I’m pretty sure it rained at least once each day. Several of our runs were delayed or otherwise rearranged due to the soggy weather.

Monday AM: 6 easy (9:00 pace)

Monday I got the chance to participate in the Memorial Day Flag Relay. In honor of the brave men and women who gave their lives for our country and its citizens, runners from across the area teammed up to carry the American Flag and the Armed Forces Flag from downtown Mobile, AL to the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, FL.

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We woke up to a monsoon Monday morning. Rebecca and I had planned to do a few miles that morning before the relay, but we had to take it to the treadmills to ride out the storms. I ran 4 miles beforehand and then Rebecca, Savannah and I had a 2 mile stretch of the relay that ran down Hwy 59 in Robertsdale. The sun came out just in time for us to run!

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Monday PM: 5 easy w/ Daniel (8:08 pace)

Daniel had to work Monday and he wanted to do a loop when he got home. I was happy to tag along. Keep reading for more on Daniel’s training (which is way more interesting than mine these days) …

Tuesday: RW Group Run (9:10 pace)

I was originally supposed to do a track workout Tuesday morning, but there was more rain! I had a race Saturday, but I figured I could get away with pushing the workout back a day and still have plenty of time to recover for the race. It seems like it has been so long since we have made it to a group run on Tuesday evening. I was more than ready to get out and run Tuesday evening and so were a lot of other people too it seems, because there was a really big group at the store. Everyone must’ve been going stir crazy from all the rain.

Wednesday: 4 easy (8:25 pace)

Wednesday morning we woke up to … you guessed it! More rain. Ugh. I couldn’t bear the thought of doing 800 meter repeats on the treadmill and so I slept in (again) and told myself that it was no big deal, I would just do my track workout Wednesday evening after work. Yeah. Nope! Not happening. I have a really difficult time making myself do workouts in the evenings. I definitely don’t mind doing an easy run in the evening every now and then, but a track workout is a whole different can of worms.

Daniel is the total opposite and would rather do a workout in the evening than in the morning. He claims that his legs are warmer in the evening, but I just think there is something wrong with him. Since he decided to go ahead and do his workout Wedneday evening, I tried to be a super supportive spouse and decided to go over to the track to watch him do his workout while I ran easy, listened to a podcast and cheered for him each time he blew by.

Thursday: 2 mi. WU, 6 X 800 (3:01, 2:58, 2:54, 2:53, 2:54, 2:54), 2 mi. CD

I finally got my speedwork in Thursday morning. The weather was still a tad iffy, but thankfully the rain held off long enough for us to get our workout in. Sasser and I did 6 X 800. My workout was supposed to be 8 X 800, but was also supposed to be done on Tuesday (and then Wednesday). By the time we got to Thursday, the 5K was just one day away and I decided to shorten the workout to 6 X 800.

My goal range for the 800s was 2:50 to 2:55. It took me two repeats to settle into the pace, but eventually I got there and the last 4 were all right within the range. I had to work pretty hard to hit those paces, but I was definitely pleased with my effort overall.

Friday: 8 easy w/ Rebecca (7:57 pace)

Rebecca and I got in a nice 8 miler Friday morning. She is finally out of school for the summer! Woo hoo. 8 miles has been our go-to running distance over the years and this run just felt just like old times. It was definitely just what I needed Friday morning!

Saturday: Grandman Tri Relay

I wrote a whole post about this one, so check it out if you haven’t!

Sunday: 9.7 easy w/ Rebecca & Jill (8:07 pace)

I ended the week with a medium-long run with Rebecca and Jill. Jessica met us and got her walk on! My legs were definitely feeling fatigued from the 5K (the hills plus the lack of a proper cool down really didn’t do me any favors). We still had a good run with even better coffee + conversation time afterwards!

That’s it for my week. I didn’t do anything too exciting workout wise. No classes or anything, just running. Like I mentioned earlier, Daniel’s training is definitely more interesting than mine these days since he is training for a half ironman (1.2 mile swim + 56 mile bike + 13.1 mile run)! I tried to get him to write a weekly recap, but he wasn’t really feeling that so I am going to do a little mini recap for him. If I was training for my first half Ironman, I would have no clue where to start and I would definitely enjoy reading about someone else’s training.

Monday: 5 mile run (8:08 pace)

He ran with me (see above). Haha.

Tuesday: 25 mile bike (averaged 21.7 mph)

He’s been riding with the Pro Cycle group on Tuesday evenings. It is what they call a “drop ride,” where each rider basically tries to leave the other riders in the dust (that’s my interpretation at least). I think this was a bit intimidating at first, but Daniel seems to have settled right in and is enjoying the group rides.

Wednesday: 1 mi. WU, 6 X 800 (2:52, 2:51, 2:52, 2:53, 2:53, 2:50), 1 mi. CD

I seriously don’t understand how he found the motivation to do this workout after work Wednesday evening. He crushed it!

Thursday: Brick workout! 15 mile bike (19.1 mph) + 2 mile run (6:28 pace)

I think this was his first official “brick” workout of the training cycle, but I might be wrong about that. I took his running shoes to the track with me Thursday morning and he stopped by the track to run a few miles after his ride. I had no clue that he was going to run so fast! I thought it was just going to be an easy run off of the bike, but I was definitely mistaken. Sasser and I were still in the middle of our 800s when Daniel got back from his ride and he started FLYING around the track! We were impressed.

Friday: [Much Deserved] Rest Day

Saturday: 13.1 mile run (7:29 pace)

The guys always like to push the pace a little bit on Saturday morning. I think it is physically impossible for a group of guys to run together and not push the pace.

Sunday: 52 mile bike (averaged 18.9 mph)

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Whew. I think I wore myself out just by typing all of this up. I need more coffee stat! I hope you have a wonderful week!

SOS: Week #1

Welcome! Happy Memorial Day!

For your reading pleasure today I will be sharing the first installment of the summer of speed weekly recap. Hopefully I won’t be sending out too many distress signals over the course of the summer, but I know it will be getting rather warm and I likely will be in distress at some point. SOS seems to be a fairly appropriate title for a summer training cycle.

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I don’t have too much to say about the easy runs. The average pace ranged from 8:10 to 8:30 on those and most of them were run with the Daniels.

Monday: 5 easy

Tuesday AM: 2 mi. WU, 15 X 1:00 hard with 1:00 recovery, 2 mi. CD

The first speed workout of the training cycle was a nice little one minute on, one minute off combo. This is a great way to ease back into the speed work. I really didn’t expect this workout to be all that challenging. Going into the workout I told myself that it was only 15 minutes of hard work (which is a true from a mathematical standpoint). We woke up to lots of rain Tuesday morning, which forced me to take the workout to the treadmill. I’m still enjoying the newness of our treadmill, so I wasn’t all that upset about this turn of events.

I did my typical warm up progression of starting at 6.0 mph (10:00 pace) and bumping the speed up by 0.2 mph every two minutes until I have done 2 miles. At that point, I alternated between 10.0 mph (6:00 pace) for my minutes “hard” and 8.0 mph (7:30 pace) for my “recovery.” The hard minutes seemed to last way longer than the recovery minutes! I was definitely working by the end of this workout and I was very happy when I got to my last hard minute. Only 15 minutes of hard running. Psh … right. Next time I’ll know better.

Tuesday PM: 5 easy

Wednesday: 8 easy

Thursday AM: 2 mi. WU, 4 mile progression tempo, 2 mi. CD

Thursday morning we woke up to glorious weather! The humidity was low and the feels like temperature was in the low 60s! It was in the mid to low 80s the rest of the week, so this felt quite amazing. The temperature made my tempo go much better than I expected or that it would have otherwise. I did this workout on the track (mainly just because several folks were meeting at the track anyway and it’s really as good a place as any to do a workout). I used to never do tempo runs on the track, but I’ve really started to enjoy a nice track tempo. There is something about running on the track that really just makes you *feel* faster.

The goal pace range for the progression was to start at just under 7:00 pace and to work my way down to the mid to lower 6:00 range (something like 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:20). I always like to try to get 10 seconds faster each mile. Well … since the weather was so nice, I got a little carried away with the first mile and ended up running a 6:28. Whoa! I was not expecting that. And shoot! That’s gonna make the next three miles a little challenging. Haha. Somehow I was still able to get 10 seconds per mile faster each mile and the finished the tempo portion with a 6:17, 6:07 and 5:54 mile. I was over the moon happy with this workout and I’m pretty sure the endorphins carried me throughout the entire day! It felt great to be back at the track.

I was even more pumped about the summer of speed after this workout.

Thursday PM: 5 easy

Friday: Orange Theory Fitness (3.1 miles)

I mentioned in my last post that I tried out an OTF class and really enjoyed it. I went to another class this week and enjoyed it equally as much. The workouts are heart rate based and are specifically designed to keep you in certain heart rate zones throughout the workout. The goal is to stay in the blue to green zone (60 – 80% of your max heart rate) for 30 to 35 minutes and to get in the orange or red zone (85 – 100% of your max heart rate) for 15 to 20 minutes.

The “theory” behind it is that spending time in the “orange zone” helps to increase your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also known as the afterburn (i.e., so you burn more calories for up to 36 hours even after the class is over). The heart rate monitored, high-intensity workout is scientifically designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism and increases energy. I’m not concerned with the calorie burn at all, but I do enjoy understanding the science behind it.

All OTF classes are made up of three components: treadmill intervals, rowing, and weight training. In the class that I went to Friday we only switched between the stations one time (we switched twice in the other class that I went to). I started out rowing and moved on to the strength training after that and ran last. My heart rate barely got into the blue or green zone during the first half of the workout (runner problems), but once we got to the treadmills I was able to push myself and get into the orange and red zones for a little bit.

The running incorporated hill intervals this week (my favorite … not really). We took the incline up to 4, 8 and 12% during the run, which was definitely tough!

Saturday: 10 easy

Sunday: 1 mi. WU, Half Marathon (7:18, 7:16, 7:22, 7:23, 7:20, 7:29, 7:29, 7:29, 7:32, 7:35, 7:33, 7:29, 7:32, 0:48 = 1:37), 1 mi. CD

Sunday morning I did a new thing … I registered and ran a virtual half marathon. I went back and forth (a few times) as to whether I wanted to go do a half marathon in Georgia, but ultimately decided that it didn’t make sense to drive 5 hours each way, pay for a hotel, etc. just to be able to say that I ran a half marathon this month. During the final round of deliberations, Daniel came up with an excellent idea. He suggested that I could try to find a virtual race to sign up for and I could still get my half in without having to travel. Genius!

Within about 5 minutes or less, I was easily able to locate and register for the Lest We Forget Half Marathon via Virtual Strides. Could I have run the half marathon distance without signing up for a “virtual race?” Absolutely. However, a portion of the race proceeds go to help support the National Military Family Association, which is a great cause and I will definitely be counting this as my half marathon for the month of May, so I was happy to “officially” register for a virtual race.

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I started my run around 6:30 Sunday morning, which was a little later than I typically run, but was earlier than most races would’ve started. The temperature was 77 degrees and the humidity was 95% when I woke up. Argh. So much for that wonderful weather we had a few days ago. I was originally hoping to run around 1:35 for the half, but I decided to go ahead and plug the temperature and dew point into the pace adjustment calculator before I even ran to see what a realistic pace would be. It converted 1:35 to 1:38, which seemed like a reasonable goal.

I kept it really simple and ran an out and back route along the bay. I picked a route where I knew lots of people would be out running and biking, which was great. I ran by myself and listened to a few podcasts. Let me just go on record and say that running a race by yourself is a bit of a challenge! I found it hard to push myself, which in actuality is best because I wanted this to be a solid effort, but not something that would derail my next week of workouts. I finished in 1:37 and I am totally fine with that … happy with that!

Have you ever done a virtual race before? How did you like it?

I hope you guys have a wonderful (short) week! Talk to you soon!