CIM, Marathon, Weekly Recap

Training Log – 09.16.18 (CIM Week 3)

Happy Sunday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 09.10.18 – 09.16.18:

Monday – Cross Train

I started the week off with a rest day from running. Cross training was an option if I wanted it, so I decided to go with it. I wanted to move my legs around a little bit without taxing them too much, so I did an easy hour of spinning on the elliptical. I can probably count the number of times that I’ve been to the gym for cross training over the last 5 years on two hands. It’s just not something that I typically do, but I actually enjoyed my time on the elliptical Monday morning. Sometimes my legs feel worse if I just do nothing, so a gentle cross training day seemed like a good option!

Tuesday – Quality: 11 miles (7:22 pace) 

Tuesday morning was my first big marathon pace workout. The workout was a one mile warm up, eight miles at marathon pace and a one mile cool down. I was a tad intimidated by this workout, mostly because eight miles seemed like a really long workout. I’m still trying not to think about the fact that I will ultimately have to do 18 more miles at that pace! Ha.

I ended up doing a two mile warm up, just because I can’t really get myself into “go mode” very quickly in the mornings. Daniel joined me for the majority of this workout, which was certainly nice and very helpful. In fact, I think he felt better than I did. He was having no problem carrying on a conversation, but I was in survival mode the zone and could only muster up a couple of sentences and a few one to two word responses to his.

My goal pace was 6:45 to 6:50. My splits were 6:57, 6:54, 6:42, 6:47, 6:55, 6:39, 6:47 and 6:48, which ended up being a 6:48 average for the eight miles. I was working to hit the paces, but for my first big marathon pace workout, I’ll definitely take it!

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First big marathon pace workout on the #road2cim is in the books! I did a 2 mile WU, 8 miles at marathon pace and a 1 mile CD. Goal pace for the MP miles was 6:45 – 6:50 and I averaged 6:48! @dgardner56 ran 5 of the MP miles with me and then I finished it up by myself (with @myrunangel). It was 73° with a DP of 73° as well, so a bit cooler, but still super humid. I’m proud of this effort! Of course, I always need some good puppy cuddles after a tough run! 🐶 Also, in one of these pics I am texting @jpcowart who did the same workout this morning and CRUSHED it. Like averaged 20 to 30 seconds faster than we thought! 🙌🏽 #marathontraining #mckirdytrained #road2cim #runitfast #likeagirl #runlove #puppylove

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Wednesday AM – Easy: 8.4 miles (9:04 pace) + PM – Pilates

Wednesday morning I had a seventy minute easy run. My left foot was bothering me a good bit Wednesday morning. It was sore on the ball of the foot and also along the outside edge. I think that the shoes I ran in Tuesday might have contributed to the “issue,” which has thankfully turned out to be a non-issue at this point. I have a pair of Altra Torins that I have been running in periodically for about a year. They are well past their expiration date as far as mileage goes and I am officially done with those shoes.

I was a little bit nervous that I might not be able to do Pilates Wednesday evening if my foot had still been hurting, but I iced my foot pretty much all day at work Wednesday and that seemed to take care of whatever was going on. I told the instructor that my foot had been bothering me some and we modified a few of the exercises slightly just to avoid further aggravation.

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (9:12 pace)

I was going to play it by ear Thursday morning, depending on how my foot felt. I had another seventy minute easy run scheduled, but wasn’t sure if that would happen or not. The foot was a tad tender for about a mile, but then it felt totally fine. I iced it pretty much all day at work again Thursday just for good measure.

Friday – Easy: 7.2 miles (9:21 pace) 

I had a one hour easy run on Friday. I didn’t notice my foot during the run at all, which was a huge relief!

Saturday – Long Run: 14.1 miles (8:28 pace) 

Saturday’s long run was just an easy, time on feet run. There was no hard effort involved. It was all about just getting out there and getting used to running for a bit longer than usual. I was a bit more tired than I expected to be, but otherwise this was a good run! I honestly feel like I am not doing enough to train for CIM at this point, but I feel fairly certain that things will ramp up soon. I’m used to having two to three workouts per week, but I’ve just had one workout the last few weeks. Technically a long run counts as a workout, even if there are no hard miles in it, but still … it doesn’t feel like a workout.

Sunday – Easy: 7.15 miles (8:30 pace)

Sunday morning was a one hour easy run with friends and was a nice way to end the week.

Total – 56 miles

I don’t know how I managed to end up with an even amount of mileage because I have completely given up on trying to end my runs at an even distance. Somehow it worked out this week though. I like it.

Have a great week!

CIM, Marathon, Weekly Recap

Training Log – 09.09.18 (CIM Week 2)

Happy Monday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 09.03.18 – 09.09.18:

Monday – Easy: 6.65 miles (9:07 pace)

I started the week with an sixty minute easy run with friends (thanks to Labor Day)! It was so nice to have that long weekend. I definitely wish we had more of those!  We met at Coffee Loft in Fairhope and did just under seven miles. We did the post-run coffee conversation thing and hung out for quite a while afterwards. It had been entirely too long since I have had coffee from Coffee Loft. They have the best coffee around, hands down.

Tuesday – Quality: 8.2 miles (8:34 pace) 

Tuesday morning I had a fun little track workout. It was a two mile warm up, 5 X 1000 w/ a one minute recovery, 5 X 200 w/ a 200 recovery and a two mile cool down. Thankfully, the 1000s were done at threshold pace instead of at V02 max pace. Otherwise, I would not have referred to this as a fun little workout. It would’ve been more like a big deadly workout. Ha!

I had some good company at the track, which always makes for a much more pleasant workout experience. Jessica did the workout with me and Daniel ran the 1000s with us. Mollie was also out there doing her thing as well! My goal pace for the 1000s was 6:25. Actual paces were 6:25, 6:16, 6:12, 6:15 and 6:07. I am so used to running 1000s all out that it was a bit of a challenge to hold back. I got a little carried away on those, but I felt relaxed and I didn’t feel like I was pushing myself too hard.

My goal pace of the 200s was 5:30. Actual paces were 4:57, 5:18, 5:00, 4:54 and 5:04! I LOVE me some 200s! I even switched out my shoes mid-workout for the 200s because I wanted to test out my new Nike Vaporfly 4% shoes. I’ve never taken two pairs of shoes to the track with me before, but I think this is actually pretty common for folks to warm up and cool down in their trainers and workout in their “speed” shoes. I mainly wanted to test the shoes because I was planning to wear them for my race this weekend and I figured that it might be a good idea to at least run in them a little bit before then. They made me feel very fast!

Wednesday – Easy: 7.85 miles (8:56 pace) 

Tropical Storm Gordon graced us with its presence late Tuesday evening and into the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I had a seventy minute run scheduled. Since the weather was iffy out, I conceded to the treadmill. Not that I mind the treadmill at all. I’m actually very thankful that I have it. I listened to Lindsey’s interview with Todd Williams, a two-time Olympian and founder of Run Safer. I enjoyed this episode a lot and I’m glad that so many people are having important conversations about safety.

Thursday – Easy: 7.5 miles (8:41 pace)

Thursday morning I had a one hour easy run. Daniel and I ended up running just over an hour (sixty-five minutes). We know most of the routes by distance and not by time, so it’s been a bit of an adjustment to try to figure out how to shorten the route to not go too far over the allotted time. The temperature and dew point were both 75 Thursday, which made for an exceptionally humid, muggy run. I could actually see the air it was so thick. I don’t like it when I can see the air.

Friday – Easy: 5.25 miles (9:19 pace) + PM – Pilates

Friday morning I had a forty-five minute easy run. Daniel, Bowie and I got in just over five miles. Nothing super noteworthy to report there. I wanted to make sure that we kept it very easy, which we did, since I had a race the next day! I went to Pilates Friday evening. I typically go on Wednesday, but school was cancelled and everyone’s schedules were a bit off this week with the storm. I was a bit concerned that doing Pilates the evening before my race might not be the best idea, but it seemed to workout just fine.

Saturday – RACE: 11.7 miles (7:50 pace) 

All the details you could ever possibly care to read about have been successfully documented in my race recap post. I did just over 3 miles as a warm up, raced a 5K, did just over 4 miles as a cool down and did 1 mile with Brooks when I got home. It was a smorgasbord of mileage that added up to what I might even consider a “long run.”

Sunday – Easy: 7.75 miles (9:00 pace)

Sunday morning I had a sixty minute recovery run. I ended up with seventy minutes, but the pace was on point. Our regular route at Warehouse takes us just over seven and a half miles, so I just went with that. My legs felt surprisingly good! Hooray! Although, my coach has warned me that I might be changing my tune by tomorrow. Delayed onset muscle soreness is a real thing. I’ve got an off day from running planned tomorrow just in case those DOMS try to get me. 

Totals – 55.7 miles 

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

CIM, Marathon, Weekly Recap

Training Log – 09.02.18 (CIM Week 1)

Happy Labor Day!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 08.27.18 – 09.02.18:

Monday – Easy: 7 miles (8:34 pace)

Monday morning I had a sixty minute easy run on tap. I ran two miles on the treadmill while Daniel biked on the trainer and then we did five miles outside together. A lot of my runs are going to be based on time this training cycle. I’ve never trained by time before, so it’s a nice change of pace. My coach basically explained to me that our body doesn’t understand miles specifically, but it understands time and intensity of effort.

Tuesday – Easy: 8.2 miles (8:34 pace) 

Tuesday morning I had a seventy minute easy run. I accidentally typed seventy miles at first … this time thing will take some getting used to. Haha! Within the first mile of this run, an owl swooped down and almost picked me up by the ponytail! It was nuts. We saw his shadow as he came up behind us. I even commented to Daniel at how close the shadow appeared. Turns out it appeared to be close because the owl was about three or four feet from my head! Yikes. Daniel screamed at it and started flailing his arms, which worked momentarily. He came back down on us one more time though and Daniel successfully defended me again. Most of our easy runs are fairly uneventful, but this one was a bit of a hoot (lame).

Wednesday AM – Quality: 8 miles (8:13 pace) + PM – Pilates

My main workout this week was a two mile warm up, 10 X 2:00 hard with 1:00 recovery and a two mile cool down. The two minute intervals were supposed to be done at between 5K and 8K pace. On the one hand, I knew this workout would be a little bit tough since it was twenty minutes of effort at a fast pace. On the other hand, I wasn’t expecting it to be nearly as tough as it actually was. Goodness.

My coach wanted me to do this workout on the roads so that there would be some rolling hills. I was also instructed to adjust the effort based on humidity, which I definitely had to do seeing as how it was 77 degrees with a dew point of 77 at 4:45 a.m. It took me a while to settle into a good rhythm during the first few repeats (even after a little big longer warm up), but once I got going, I was fairly consistent and about where I expected to be pace wise. I got stopped by traffic with about 10 seconds to go on my next to last repeat, which was a bit of a bummer. It’s always best to refrain from running out into oncoming traffic though!

I wasn’t looking at my pace at all during this workout. I tried to focus on keeping the effort at the appropriate level. Once I got home and checked out the data, I was pleasantly surprised at the paces that I ran!

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I went to Pilates Wednesday evening. I wouldn’t recommend doing Pilates the day before a hard workout, but going the evening of the workout seems to work pretty well. I got some good stretching and strengthening in and slept like a rock.

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Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:51 pace)

Thursday morning I had another seventy minute easy run. My legs were definitely feeling the effects of Wednesday’s workout + Pilates combo, so I took it extra easy. There wasn’t anything eventful to report about this run.

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:56 pace)

Friday morning I had a forty-five minute easy run. Daniel and I got in five easy, uneventful miles. My legs were still pretty tired, but nothing was sore or anything like that … just a little fatigued.

Saturday – Easy: 14 miles (8:17 pace) 

My long run for the week was supposed to be an hour and forty-five minutes. I actually ended up going a bit over that (not by much). The weather was a bit iffy before the run, but being the stubborn runners that we are, several of us decided to give it a go anyway. We made it through one mile without any rain, but during the second mile the skies opened up and we got absolutely drenched! At that point we were already out there and committed to the run, so it didn’t really matter. I don’t know about you, but I am totally okay with running in the rain if it starts while I am already out there, but I don’t really care for starting a run in the rain.

We altered our route a bit to stay closer to the car than normal, just in case the rain turned into something more substantial. Thankfully it didn’t. The rain even cleared out for the majority of the run. It started raining on us again during the last few miles, but at that point it was actually welcomed and felt quite nice.

Running in the rain can be quite therapeutic. The only downside is that your shirt will potentially turn into a dress.

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Sunday – Easy: 6.5 miles (8:51 pace)

Sunday morning I had a sixty minute easy run and I was able to run with some of my best running friends! Love these girls so much!

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Totals – 57 miles 

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 08.05.18

Happy Sunday!

This week was pretty chill on the workout front (i.e., no workouts). I did a tough workout last Sunday and then this week was primarily easy running getting ready for and subsequently recovering from the mile race.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.30.18 – 08.05.18:

Monday – Easy: 10 miles (8:53 pace)

I started the week off with an easy run with Rebecca and Bowie.

Tuesday – Easy: 10.5 miles (8:38 pace)

Tuesday morning we had a special treat! Tia (@arkansasrunnermom) joined us for our weekly hill run (815 feet of climbing). She and her family were on staying close by on vacation and we were able to meet up for a run. We have been “internet friends” for over three years at this point and it was so cool to meet her in person. She is a lovely person and was a wonderful running buddy.

Wednesday – Easy: 5 miles (9:14 pace)

I did a short five mile treadmill run before work on Wednesday. I was trying my best to take it easy and rest up for the race Thursday.

Thursday AM – Easy: 4 miles (9:40 pace) + PM – RACE: 6 miles (7:41 pace)

I ran a few easy miles Thursday morning. I wanted to keep my legs fresh and also stay in my regular routine the morning of the race. I figured that if I didn’t run, my legs would be stiff and I would feel a bit stale that evening.

Thursday evening I did a three mile warm up, raced the mile and did a two mile cool down.

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:38 pace)

Tia joined us again Friday morning before heading home to Arkansas. Rebecca and I did four miles and then Tia met us for four more. I expected to be a bit sore from the mile race, my legs felt surprisingly good!

Saturday – Easy: 8 miles (8:37 pace)

Saturday morning was a fairly standard group run at Warehouse.

Sunday – Easy: 13 miles (8:57 pace)

Sunday was more of the same! My legs were a bit tired Sunday, but overall I felt really good. I took Brooks for a little trot when I got home and walked a few miles with my mom.

Total – 65 miles

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

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.29.18

Happy Sunday!

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

Monday – Easy: 9 miles (8:52 pace)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday – Easy: 8 miles (8:58 pace) 

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

Friday – Quality: 9 miles (8:02 pace)

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

Brooksy was very proud of us!

Saturday – Easy: 12 miles (9:01 pace)

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

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

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

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

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

Total – 67.8 miles

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

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.22.18

Happy Saturday!

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

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

Monday – 10 miles (8:58 pace)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday – Rest!

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

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

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

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

Friday – Easy: 5.5 miles (9:02 pace)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Total – 69.6 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!

Weekly Recap

Training Log – 07.15.18

Happy Monday!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 07.09.18 – 07.15.18:

Monday – REST

I started the week off with a good, old-fashioned day of rest. In actuality I had an eight mile run scheduled for that day, but the possibility of an afternoon run sounded better than getting up when my alarm went off Monday morning and then I didn’t get home from work until almost 7 p.m. My evening running window closes between 6 and 6:30 p.m. and I seized the opportunity to take a little break.

Tuesday AM – Quality: 9 miles (7:50 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:59 pace)

Here’s the deal … Tuesday my schedule called for a three mile warm up, 4 X 1 mile at 5:55 pace (with a three minute walking recovery in between) and a three mile cool down. I saw this workout on the schedule and thought to myself, “Well, I’ve surely never done mile repeats in the 5:XX range, but I might as well give it a shot.” Carpe diem or whatever. I knew that it would be extremely difficult, but at the same time I knew that I could likely hit at least two or three miles at that pace.

A lot of my workouts recently have been very challenging and have stretched me to a place outside of my comfort zone. This is exactly what I needed and was looking for in a training cycle. I have been essentially been on a three-year running plateau. I’ve had some small PRs here and there, but I haven’t had any big breakthrough races in quite a while. The longer you run, the harder it is to achieve those big breakthrough races and seasons, but I am choosing to believe that I still have a few of those somewhere within me and these challenging workouts are going to help me find wherever it is that they have been hiding for the last few years.

Daniel came with me to the track Tuesday and was planning to run easy. We did the three warm up miles together and then it was time for me to start my mile repeats. Daniel decided (or rather, I somehow convinced him) to pace me for the first two laps of each mile (a mile is four laps on the track). This seemed to work really well, as I didn’t have to think about the pace at all for the first half of each mile and then once he peeled off, I only had half a mile to go. Sweet!

The first two miles actually went really well. I ran 5:55 and 5:53! Unfortunately though, that’s pretty much where it ended. After those two miles, I was spent. I tried my best to gut out another mile, but that one ended up at 6:30 pace. At that point, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put in the right work to get the desired adaptation from the workout, so I just called it a day and moved on to my cool down. I wasn’t too upset with how it had gone. I mean, I ran two sub-6:00 miles in swampy conditions.

My coach later texted me asking me “what happened?” Well, hmm … I don’t really know. There have been several workouts recently where I have “hit the wall” so to speak. Usually it is during a marathon that you “hit the wall” and not during a track workout, so I don’t know if that’s really the correct terminology for it or not. Basically at some point the monkey (or the elephant or whatever large animal you can think of) jumps on my back and I just can’t make my legs go anymore. My coach told me that based on my current race times, I should’ve been able to complete this workout. She also said that she’d rather have seen me do 4 X 1 mile at 6:10 or 6:15 pace than 2 X 1 mile at 5:55 and 1 mile at 6:30. I was frustrated because I just wished I had known that before I went out and tried to run four mile repeats at that pace that I knew was likely not sustainable.

This prompted a discussion about adjusting the paces to take into account the heat and humidity (which can obviously have a significant impact on summer training in the Deep South). We definitely need to be doing this. At one point my coach also said that I was “interesting,” because most of her athletes do better in workouts than they do in races, but she thinks that I race better than my workouts indicate that I should. I honestly didn’t really know how to take that. At the time it felt like a backhanded compliment, but I mean … I think I’d rather do it my way if I had to choose. There’s no reason to waste your good performances on workouts. If nothing else, we came away from this workout and conversation with better expectations and a more open dialogue of communication, which is important in an athlete-coach relationship.

Wednesday – Easy: 10 miles (8:57 pace)

On Wednesday I ran ten easy, flat miles with Bowie while Daniel and Kenny did a hill repeat workout.

Thursday – Easy: 11 miles (9:09 pace)

On Thursday I met Kenny and Bowie for what has become a weekly run all. the. hills. run. I ended up with 950 feet of climbing.

Friday AM – Easy: 6.75 miles (9:56 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:20 pace)

Friday morning I did 5 easy miles on the treadmill and then took Brooks out for a little over a mile. He ran out into the street Thursday morning while we were playing fetch in the yard and almost got hit by a car (basically the car slammed on brakes and then Brooks ran into the car (bless his heart)). It scared me way more than it hurt him and I wasn’t ready to play fetch again quite yet, so we went for a little dog-jog instead. He is fine and pretty much came away unscathed, but man … that could’ve ended really badly.

I did an easy loop Friday afternoon after work. I was still a bit behind in my weekly mileage and decided to go ahead and get an easy double in before the weekend.

Saturday – Quality: 13 miles (8:08 pace)

Saturday morning I had a tempo run. The workout called for a three mile warm up, 3 X 2 miles (with a quarter mile of recovery in between) and a four mile cool down. Prior to our discussion on Tuesday, my coach originally had the goal pace for this workout at 6:26. She adjusted this to 6:40, which was just about perfect. It was 79 degrees with a dew point of 78 Saturday morning at 5:30 a.m. Eek! Can it get any more humid?! Bonus points if you read that with Chandler Bing inflection.

This workout was better suited for the road than the track, so I decided to get this one done on the go-to weekend long route from Warehouse. Even after a three mile warm up, it was really hard to settle into 6:40 pace. The first mile of the first repeat ended up at 6:57, but we brought the pace down to 6:41 for the second mile, so the average pace for that set was 6:49. The second set started out uphill, but oddly enough, it didn’t really phase me too much. All of this hill running might actually be paying off after all! The splits for the second set were 6:37 and 6:32, so the average pace for that set was 6:35.

The hardest part of this workout was actually starting the third and final set. Once we got going it was okay, but actually getting to that point took some strength. Not gonna lie, we walked pretty much the entire quarter mile of recovery and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t supposed to happen, but sometimes you just do what you gotta do to get it done. The splits for the third set were 6:41 and 6:38, so the average pace for that set was 6:39. It felt amazing to finish the workout! The cool down miles were blissfully slow and I was super pumped to have that one in the books. Oh and my coach was proud of me too, so … woo hoo! Insert happy dance here.

Sunday – Easy: 11.65 miles (8:36 pace)

Sunday was another group run from Warehouse. This time nothing too hard, just some easy conversational miles to finish off the week.

Total – 71.2 miles

That’s it for now! Have a great week!