Monday, February 27, 2017

What a difference a week makes

Last Saturday was absolutely perfect - upper 60s and sunny. I LOVED being outside in just a skort and tshirt. Best winter day ever! Yet... It wasn't altogether perfect for my first long run. It was 20 degrees warmer than anything I had run in all year. I started conservatively (slow), but the whole time I felt like I was running through molasses. I should have taken water. I should have eaten more. It was beyond frustrating because 10 miles used to be... easy...

Fast forward a week. My Friday miles didn't happen. I'm normally done working at 2:45, it was 3:30 this week. Driving home, the sky was navy blue and a bolt of horizontal lightning lit up the sky. By the time I waited it out, it was dark. I don't mind rain, but I didn't want to be 3-4 miles away from anything and start lightning again. I opted for safety and did a deceptively hard bike ride - 10 speed drills at 100+ rpm for 30 seconds, 30 seconds recovery.

Saturday was everything I loathe about winter. It was 100% clouded over, cold, and windy. I procrastinated and procrastinated. I didn't want to do my run, I didn't want to be outside in that nastiness for almost two hours. It would have been so easy to skip it, no one is monitoring my workouts, no one cares if I skip a run, even a long run. Yet I knew I needed to do it for myself. No one said marathon training was easy...

The wind chill was 28 degrees, which makes dressing difficult. I have clothing for the really cold and for the fairly mild, but nothing for when it hovers around freezing. I didn't want to dress too warm and sweat so I was cold the first miles until I warmed up. It was 40+ degrees colder than last week! 40!!!! Weather in Michigan...

Getting started was the worst part. I was running directly into the wind, and two minutes in, ice pellets started pinging against my face.

I went out way too fast with a 10:05 first mile because I wanted it to be over!!! Eventually the wind subsided a little and I settled into a groove around 11:00 pace. Keep going keep going. The ice stopped as well. Just keep going.

Mile 8.5, I needed a bathroom, but there weren't any, and even if I found one, I would momentarily warm up then have to go back outside and it would be so much colder. Don't think about it. Run run run strong. Finish.

My final time was 1:50, I was hoping for a 1:55. Even better was how I felt after. Took a shower, picked up dinner and I felt great! After the warmer 10, I had felt like death warmed over. Skipping the Friday miles made it so much easier, but they're so important. The whole idea behind the Hansons program is cumulative fatigue - feeling tired, running on dead legs. I had to exercise caution though, especially when there's a bike righting my living room. I felt really defeated after the warm run, but this cold one restored my confidence in my comeback race, even if the process was so miserable! :)

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Tempo Time

Wednesdays are my tempo runs - those done at race pace. I finally decided on a 10:15 goal, faster than my PR, yet slow enough that I can maintain it for a long long time. If I'm feeling great after 18-20 miles, I can always go faster. I don't want to make the mistake of starting too fast and falling apart at the end, especially since I know the weather in Cincinnati - it'll be hot and humid, or hot and rainy, both of which are good for a more conservative approach.

This week Wednesday was almost 60 degrees, dreary and overcast, and very humid. It was great practice for Cincy. I loved wearing a skort and tshirt in February! The humidity was such that before I was done, I was wishing I had worn a tank.

The numbers:

The last mile I looked down and was running a 9:40 pace! It felt great and sometimes I let the pace speed up the final mile, but I wanted to be spot-on with my pace for all 5 miles. I tried and tried to slow it down and didn't get quite there. All around an awesome run :)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Ending the week with Bart

The Hansons training program, in my opinion, runs from Wednesday to Tuesday. Week 1 starts on a Wednesday then every Tuesday is a day off, which signifies the end of the training week, yes? Cruelly, the very last workout of every week is speed work. Get my legs good and tired, get me mentally ready for my day off, but first! Speed work! I know it's intentional, just always a struggle.

I do my speed work at the track. It's enough to consistently monitor my pace, I don't need to pay close attention to my distance as well. Much easier to just run laps. Unfortunately the squishy squishy high school track is locked so I have been forced to use the cement track at a different school.

This weekend was super nice weather, even a tad bit too hot for running in the middle of the day. It was great!!!!!! Today started cooling off, and the clouds were getting heavier as my run went on. It was mid40s and very windy, which was 100% ok with me - I'm training for a race in THE WINDY CITY...

I started with a 1-mile slow warm up, which took me from stiff lurching to a fairly comfortable easy run, then I started with a version of Yasso 800s. I ran the two laps at the appropriate pace (4:30 per set, or 9:00 pace), with a quarter mile recovery after each. To be honest, they were easier than I expected and I finished each one with a pace between 8:53 and 8:57. It hurt so good :)

Then I immediately began my 48-hour break until Wednesday's run aaaah :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The timely question

Tomorrow is my first "tempo" run, a training run done at race pace, so it's time to make a big decision - What exactly is my goal pace??? I shot for 9:30s when I trained for Chicago in 2015, but that seems too fast for my comeback tour. I haven't run more than a few 9:30s since I've been back. 10:30 is comfortable, but is to too slow? Is 10 flat too fast? Decisions decisions...

Update - I decided to take a moderate approach and set a goal pace of 10:15. Faster than my last go-round with the Pig that resulted in a 10-minute + PR, but not so fast that I'll flame out early like Chicago 2015. I have to fully expect it to be in the 80s and humid. If things are going well after 18 miles, I can pick up the pace. That happened to me before. Once...

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weather, lazy, falling apart

I try to not let the weather deter my running, unless there's several inches of snow on the ground, or ice, etc. One year I always ran, regardless of how cold it was. Recently, though, I've become a baby with the cold. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be outside when the wind chill is under 20 degrees. I improvise and do "equivalent enough" workouts.

Thursday I was scheduled to run 5 miles, I did a YouTube spin class for an hour, dripping sweat off my forehead onto the floor. It was more anaerobic than an easy run.

Friday I should have run 4 miles. I made a stop after work and it was crazy cold and dark, so I ran in place for 42 minutes, mixing in high knees, high kicks back, and speed drills.

Saturday I volunteered at a RunningFit event in exchange for a $30 voucher off the Martian. By the time I got home, it was dark and under 20 degrees so I did Jake Maulin's endurance ride. I had forgotten how tough his rides are!!!! It was good, then as I was stepping off, I felt a slight twinge in my right upper quad/hip area.

Sunday, I still notice it. The Hansons want a 4-miler today, but it seems more beneficial to rest this twinge, heating pad, roll it, and not let it continue to be a factor. Maybe do an easy easy bike to loosen my joints. If it's not one thing, it's another. Getting older is for the birds!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Dating a runner

I met my boyfriend in the throes of PFland, where I did a decent amount of biking and the occasional short run. Exercise was forced to the back burner and he got to know me, at least not-a-runner me.

Then I started running a little more in the fall.

Then I got back with the Hansons and oddities started popping up more frequently....

Why is there a pile of dirty laundry in the hallway next to the bathroom? (My running gear gets washed more frequently and separately from work clothes)

Why are there 5 pairs of running shoes next to the front door? Why are three of them the same shoe? Why do you have two pairs same brand same color???? (Different shoes for different needs)

Why is there black tape on your foot, even after you shower? (KT tape is expensive and seems to help control the callus)

Why in the world are you running in place for an hour? (Bc it's too cold outside!)

It all makes sense to me :) And yes, I go on trips specifically to run. Doesn't everyone??? :D