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 #4: SOS + Ironman 70.3 Augusta

Happy Monday!

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Our “summer of speed” and Daniel’s Ironman 70.3 Augusta training is plugging right on along. I’m fairly organized at this point in the week (like 5 minutes into things … haha), so we are going to go with a combined recap of our workouts from last week. I’m in pink and Daniel is in navy (so clever … I know :)).

Monday: 5 miles (8:27 pace)
Monday: 5 miles (8:25 pace)

We started the week off with an easy loop Monday morning (Daniel’s watch likes to beat my watch).

Tuesday: 2 mi. WU, 5 X 1200 (4:38, 4:36, 4:32, 4:33, 4:37), 2 mi. CD
Tuesday: 1 mi. WU, 16 X 200 (42, 42, 41, 40, 42, 41, 40, 41, 41, 42, 41, 42, 41, 42, 41, 34), 1 mi. CD

We were *finally* able to get a track workout in on Tuesday this week. Jill, Rebecca and I did some 1200s. I was a little surprised to see a 1200 meter repeat workout on the schedule. I haven’t done 1200s in a really long time (maybe 5 years or more ago). I think I would’ve been slightly dreading this workout had it not been for the mile and a half repeats that I did last week on the track. I did 6 laps around the track for the mile and a half repeats and a 1200 is *only* 3 laps. Granted it is 3 laps that are run at a decent clip faster than the mile and a half repeats … but still. I was trying to focus on the positive.

The 1200s were supposed to be run at close to 5K pace. My times were 4:38, 4:36, 4:32, 4:33, 4:37 (the paces ranged from just over 6:00 to close to 6:10). It was hot and humid during this workout (I know that’s pretty much a given at this point, but for some reason it still makes me feel better to go ahead and type it out) and I was really working to hold the pace during the last 1200. I was happy with the workout and definitely felt like effort-wise, I was right where I was supposed to be. I didn’t know it at the time, but those paces ended up being spot on with my 5K race pace on Saturday.

They guys went a classic race-week staple workout … 200 meter repeats. They did 16 X 200 and crushed it. They were really moving on that last one! Holy smokes.

Wednesday: 8 miles (8:27 pace)
Wednesday: 21 mile bike (20.2 mph)

Wednesday morning I ran some easy miles with Young Daniel and Cody while Daniel biked. Everyone’s legs were definitely feeling the workout from the day before.

Thursday AM: 8 miles (8:29 pace) + 4 miles (9:08 pace)
Thursday: BRICK! 40 minutes of biking on the trainer + 5 miles (8:17 pace)

It was souper humid (translates loosely to: feels like running through a bowl of soup) Thursday morning. Young Daniel and I did 3 miles while Daniel biked and then we met back at the house and all ran 5 miles together. Daniel had a work function to go to Thursday evening, so I decided to do a few treadmill miles while he was gone. Two of my favorite podcasters were on a show together! I geeked out over it.

Friday: 5 miles (8:23 pace)
Friday: Rest Day

I ran 5 miles with Young Daniel Friday morning. We saw a tortoise and a hare (or you know … a turtle and a rabbit) right beside each other during the last mile of the run. It was almost as if they were racing or something. That’s gotta be some sort of sign right?!

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Saturday: Hot Trot 5K (19:01)
Saturday: Hot Trok 5K (18:43)

We both did Hot Trot Saturday morning!

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You can read all about my race in the recap above. Daniel’s splits were 6:02, 5:58, 6:00, 0:43 for a time of 18:43. It seems like the biking he has been doing has helped him aerobically. He’s running great!

Sunday: 13 miles (8:46 pace) + 5 miles (7:55 pace)
Sunday: BRICK! 50 mile bike (19.4 mph) + 5 mile run (7:52 pace)

Our group met for our weekly long run and coffee conversations Sunday morning this week, as pretty much everyone raced on Saturday. We survived a solid, soggy 13 miles. Daniel left the house super early and rode 50 miles on his bike and met us at Warehouse afterwards. His goal in his race is to average above 18.6 mph for the bike portion, so he definitely did that today. Boom! He wanted to do a brick workout and he somehow convinced me to join him for a 5 mile loop once we got home (hashtag bad decisions).

That’s it for now. I hope you all have a wonderful day and a great week ahead!

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Daniel’s Ironman 70.3 Augusta Training Log (Week #2 (of Blog Documentation))

Hi friends! Happy Monday!

Here is Daniel’s Ironman 70.3 Augusta training weekly recap. He has been training since the beginning of May (i.e., that’s when he started biking), but we just started “officially” documenting it here last week. He had a solid running base when he started, so adding in a few rides each week has really been the only difference so far. He has done one triathlon before (a sprint tri) and this will be his first half Ironman.

Monday: 5 mile run (7:56 pace)

Tuesday: 5 mile run (8:05 pace)

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

This is Daniel’s favorite track workout! However, we just discovered this week that he has neglected to properly count the distance to make the workout a 5K instead of just 3 miles. I won’t say that we had a heated discussion about this at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning, but we definitely had a discussion (he also gave me permission to include this in the recap in case you were wondering :)). Haha.

He crushed me on the 200 splits (which I mentioned in my previous post). Here is the data from his workout:

400 splits were 1:28, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26, 1:27, 1:26, 1:26, 1:26
200 splits were 51, 53, 52, 49, 51, 50, 50, 45

The 400s are supposed to be run at close to 5K goal pace and the 200s are supposed to be run at about 1 minute over 5K goal pace. He finished with 18:00 for 3 miles. The workout is supposed to be a 5K, but we were still negotiating this by the time he finished up his run.

Thursday: 5 mile run (8:45 pace)

Thursday was supposed to be a brick day, but after Wednesday’s track workout, a few extra minutes of sleep won over getting up earlier than usual to bike.

Friday: Brick Workout! 19 mile bike (19.0 mph) + 3.5 mile run (7:35 pace)

Friday morning we had a cooler morning, which made for an enjoyable ride (per Daniel). He then met us at the track to get a few miles in with us as we finished up our workouts.

Saturday: 14 mile run (7:35 pace)

Saturday was the typical long run + breakfast combo. They kept the pace pretty consistent throughout the run and it got a little toasty towards the end.

Sunday: Brick Workout! 36 mile bike (19.9 mph) + 5 mile run (7:19 pace)

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Daniel met with a new group Sunday morning to ride (photo cred: Mary Trufant). He enjoyed the company! The group did close to 50 miles total. Daniel did 36 miles with them and got a run in afterwards to finish out the week with a strong brick workout.

His race is September 24th! So only 9,158,400 seconds, 152,640 minutes, 2544 hours, 106 days, 15 weeks or 3.5 months away!

 

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!

50K Training: Week 11

Hi there! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. It’s been a good one here. This week was the last big week of 50K training. It’s officially taper time now! Before we recap this week’s runs, let’s take a step back and chat about this whole, “I’m running a 50K in less than two weeks thing.”

If you’ve been reading for a little while you might recall that I decided to “take a break” from marathons last year. My last marathon was NYC in fall of 2015, so we are coming up on two years “off.” I have been focusing on shorter distances and increasing my speed. I haven’t met all of the goals that I set for myself by any means, but I did get a couple of PRs (2 mile, 10K, 12K) and came really close to a few others (5K, 10 mile and half marathon).

While I am still not ready to tackle another marathon quite yet, I decided that what I was ready to attempt was a 50K. In my mind, the training was going to be less grueling … so basically more long, slow runs than speed workouts. To an extent this has definitely been the case. It’s also been a tad grueling as well though.

A few thoughts as to why in the world I would want to do this:

One of the reasons that I want to get this done now as well is that I ran my first marathon when I was 26 and I want to run my first 50K (31 miles) when I am 31. You know I am a numbers person.

I have been craving time in nature (being stuck working inside all day during tax season gives you a new-found appreciation for time spent outdoors and in the sunlight). Our trip to Colorado has been planned since Christmas (Daniel found some awesome $80 flights … major score). We are planning to do lots of outdoorsy things while we are there. I can’t wait! As we were browsing the interwebs of things to do, I stumbled across a 50K (by stumbled across I mean that I googled “50Ks in Colorado during May”) and I found one the weekend we were going to be there. I think it was meant to be!

The race I am doing is called the Greenland Trail 50K. The race advertises itself as “Colorado’s fastest 50K.” We will be running on dirt trails with Pikes Peak in the background. With the wide, smooth double track trails, the Greenland Trail 50K is supposed to very beginner friendly (which is great to hear). There are several shorter distance races as well and Daniel is going to run the 4 mile race.

There is about 1,900 ft. of elevation gain and also 1,900 ft. of elevation loss. I feel like that is probably “easy” to people who are used to running on steep terrain, but I don’t know how well my legs are going to handle that. The whole race is at over 7,000 ft. (2,000 ft. higher than Denver (the Mile-High City)). It says that if you are traveling from elevations below 2,000 ft., be prepared for some shortness of breath. So yeah, I’m traveling from an elevation of 100 ft. We’ll see how that goes!

A few thoughts as to what the training has looked like:

I started building my long runs up in February. I kept 16 miles as my long run even during training for shorter distances, so my base was still pretty solid. There is a big difference in running 16 miles and 20 miles though. I still remember miles 17 through 20 mile of the first 20 miler of this training cycle. Rebecca and I ran the entire run together and averaged 7:50 pace. I remember thinking to myself at the time, “this is why I don’t run marathons anymore.” It was a solid run, but a struggle nonetheless.

My long runs steadily built up from there. 26 miles was my longest training run. I ran 26 miles with Rebecca the day of her 50K race.

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You can see the other workouts that I have done on my February and March recaps. As the long runs got longer, so did the other workouts. The paces were slower, but the workouts were still tough. It wasn’t exactly the easy, breezy 50K training I envisioned in my mind, but it was very enjoyable. If given the choice I prefer the training of longer, slower miles to shorter, quicker miles (I like both … don’t get me wrong).

I like the idea of having different seasons of training. I will probably go back and focus on speed again at some point in the near future, but I’m not entirely sure when or what that will look like at this point.

Now that we’ve gotten the overview out of the way, here is what this week’s workouts looked like:

Monday: 5 miles @ 8:40 pace

This week started off similarly to last week with an easy 5 mile run recovery and again, I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t too sore and my legs felt good.

Tuesday AM: 10 miles @ 8:21 pace

Tuesday morning I ran while Daniel biked. We went opposite ways on our loops so that we could see each other every few miles. He biked 4 loops and I ran 2 loops, which worked out great for both of us.

Tuesday was tax deadline day at work. Thank goodness! One more year is in the books! Our coffee pot saw us through to the end and conked out on the day of the deadline (it has been on its last leg for quite some time, but it’s almost as if it *knew* that we needed it to pull us through to the end).

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Tuesday PM: 6 miles @ 8:06 pace

I got to leave a little bit early Tuesday afternoon and even had time to sneak in a quick nap before the group run Tuesday evening at RW.

Daniel came through with some beautiful flowers. He never forgets a deadline day! I’m pretty sure he has the flowers on auto re-order at this point, but still … sweet and smart. I think I’ll hang on to him for a while!

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Wednesday: 2 mile warm up, 8 mile aerobic threshold tempo (6:51 avg.), 2 mile cool down

Workout Wednesday struck  again and man oh man, this one was tough! Thankfully Jill joined me for the majority of this run. I don’t know if I could’ve done it without her. The goal range for the tempo portion was 6:40 to 6:50. It took us a few miles to settle into the pace, but once we did, we clicked off some steady miles. I ended up with an average of 6:51 for the 8 mile tempo, which I was definitely happy with.

I decided to stop by the track for my two mile cool down (this seemed easier than trying to come up with a 2 mile route somewhere else … when all else fails, just run in circles around a track). Our neighbors Mollie and Corey were at the track doing some intervals and I got to run my cool down with them, which made the miles fly by! P.S. Check out Mollie’s blog → here. She is training for her first marathon, which she will run in Utah on the actual day of her 26th birthday. So cool!

Thursday AM: 8 miles @ 8:25 pace

Young Daniel and I ran 3 miles while My Daniel rode the bike trainer for 30 minutes and then we all ran 5 miles together.

Friday: 8 miles @ 8:24 pace

I was off work Friday and I did a new thing! RW has a group run on Friday mornings at 9:30, so I decided to take advantage of my day off and ran mid-morning. I guess it’s not really so much that I did a new thing as I did a normal thing at a new time. Haha. I enjoyed waiting until a little bit later to run (even thought it did get a tad toasty out), especially because it meant that I got to run with Lizzie and Jill! I think we stayed at the store chatting for close to 2 hours after our run (luckily my schedule was wide open :)).

Friday evening we celebrated the end of tax season with a crawfish boil. I don’t do crawfish (it’s too much work for not enough meat (IMO)), but I do enjoy all of the sides (potatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.). It was delicious!

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Saturday: 16 miles @ 7:57 (with a few “brisk” miles (7:10, 7:01, 7:00, 7:13, 7:31))

The last long run is officially DONE. I was technically supposed to do 18 miles, but I couldn’t seem to recruit anyone to join me for any additional miles. Daniel was nice enough to get to the group run a little early and bike with me for 4 miles before everyone else got there. Everyone else did 12 and so I called it a day at 16. I felt good and got a few brisk miles in at the end of the run as scheduled. No complaints here.

Of course we did the usual post-run coffee and breakfast thing and I got to spend some quality time with Rebecca and Jessica. I hadn’t seen them ALL WEEK and that is just plain unacceptable.

Daniel did his first swim of triathlon training mid-morning on Saturday. Brooks got to play fetch and swim a little before we got started. Here is our “old man of the sea.”

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We hoped that he would get nice and worn out so that he would “ride” on the paddleboard with me instead of jumping on and off while Daniel swam. He will ride with me sometimes, but turns out he does NOT like to ride when “daddy” is in the water. Swimming w/ daddy > sitting on the paddleboard w/ mommy.

He looks content in the picture below, but as soon as Daniel took off … so did Brooks (which left me in a bit of a pickle). I had our shoes, Daniel’s shirt, our camera (it’s waterproof) and Brooks’ leash as well as my paddle to keep up with. I definitely had a lot going on. Brooks got on and off the board about 10 thousand times (which is every bit as challenging as you can imagine it would be).

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Daniel had a really good swim. He will be swimming with the current in the Savannah River river during his race, so swimming in the bay is much tougher (i.e., great training). Brooks made a really good training partner too! Daniel outswam him, but Brooks stayed right on his heels (when he wasn’t taking a break on the board with me).

I’m pretty sure this will become a semi-regular thing. Daniel has biked with me A LOT over the years as I trained for various races, so this is a great way for me to return the favor … not that I mind one bit. It was a beautiful day out and there isn’t anywhere else that I’d rather be.

Sunday: 8 miles @ 8:21 pace

Sunday morning brought more quality friend time! We did an easy 8 miles and followed it up with coffee and breakfast again. I’m so glad that I got lots of quality runs with friends in this week. It made celebrating the end of tax season even sweeter.

I’m headed to play tennis this afternoon. It’ll be the first time I’ve played in well over a year, so who knows how that will go down. It might take me a minute or two to get back into the swing of it (see what I did there :)). I hope you enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

See ya soon!