Training Recap: December 25 – December 31, 2011

Dates: Sunday, 12/25/2011 – Saturday, 12/31/2011

Three weeks in a row! I’m on a blog posting streak… And, lucky me, RunKeeper has some snazzy new reports making this *so* much easier, so I might actually be able to keep up with it

Total Running Mileage/Time/Pace:

  • Total Miles:   24.0 on the nose… doesn’t happen often! goal was 22mi, so I beat goal by 2 miles. Yay! Last week: 19.98 (+4.02)
  • Total Time:  3:39:16; Last week: 2:57:47 (+41:29)
  • Overall average pace for the week:  9:08.16 – Last week: 8:53.88 (+00:24-ish) slowed down a little from last week, which I think I needed. The runs this week just felt better.
  • Average Duration per activity: 54:49 –  last week: 59:15.66 – ended up not doing a super long, but, rather, opted for 4 overall longer (5+ miles) runs over last week.
  • +/- from Last Week: mileage: +4.02 mi; pace +00:24;  overall duration +41:29; duration per run down from last week by just under 5 minutes.

Running Days:

  • Monday: met the Tir Na Nog run group, which I have not attended in a while – I knew I had this 22 mile goal and that I wanted to start the week out right, so I chose the 5-mile route… well… they changed it and, let’s just say, there are parts of town I don’t visit in the day light by myself, let alone at night. Great motivation for getting a sub-9 5-er in though. I did eventually catch up with some folks that were doing faster than 8:30, so I tried to just stick to them. (5.02/43:11 – average pace of 8:36)
  • Tuesday: met the run group through my gym and opted for the 6-mile route since everyone else was doing that one and I didn’t want to run alone again – haha. This group went much slower than the night before, which I really needed at the time –  6.22 mi / 57:09 duration / 9:11 average pace)
  • Friday: very exhausted treadmill run – wanted so badly to do speed intervals the day before, but due to runny noses from my little guys, I was unable to make it happen, so I did the treadmill on this day when I didn’t sleep well the night before. I didn’t get the intervals I wanted, but I did work on speed by doing what I call “interval ladders” where I start at a slightly faster than comfortable speed and run it for 2 minutes, increase by .1, run it 2 minutes, and so on until I get to just under my interval pace and then go back down to .1 faster than I started and do it all over again. This week, I started at 6.5 for 2 min, 6.6 for 2 min, 6.7 for 2 min, 6.8 for 2 min, 6.9 for 2 min and then anything 7.0 or faster I did for 3 minutes. I ended up hitting as high as 7.2, which was pretty uncomfortable for me at the time (my speed intervals start at 7.5, which is just under an 8-min mile). So, long story even longer: I ended the run with 5.12 mi / 45:15 / avg pace 8:50. Not smoking, but soooo much better than I thought I would get when I stepped on the treadmill.
  • Saturday: met what I’ll call my Facebook run group for a trail run. One guy in the group has maxed his distance (up to this run) at 7.5, so we opted for 7.6 to make it his longest. Absolutely beautiful day for a long and fits in perfectly with my fatigue management approach (follow a shorter, faster run with a longer slower one). In all, we had 7.62 mi / 1:13:42 avg pace 9:40 – a sweet spot for fatigue management. Alone, I would have gone much too fast.

Cross Training Activities:

  • Tuesday: Swim at Gym (1250 m swim/.78 mile / 45:13 – average pace 57:58) – more on this in the goals section below… (sigh)
  • All week: finally… I have done some stretching. Nothing really formal, but I have taken pretty much every opportunity to pull out and lengthen muscles (especially leg muscles) whenever I could. I have also been looking for Yoga for Runners and found a great set of articles on Runner’s World that I’m going to work into my routine this upcoming week. I’ll keep you posted.

Days of rest:

  • Thursday: unplanned due to boys’ runny noses, but turned out to work out perfectly for the schedule, so took it gladly.

Progress on Last Week’s Goals for the upcoming week:

  1. Get at least one swim and hopefully add at least 50 more meters to last week’s swim – met this goal this week, as I did get one swim in, but… (sigh) all this time I thought I was making improvements… and I have, but… not doing myself any favors by struggling with an inefficient stroke. Whatever improvement I have made was, in my opinion, compensating for bad form because the crux of the matter is: I don’t know what I’m doing (sigh). A friend of mine that has stepped into Tris recently suggested that I work on getting down and back with fewer strokes – that sh0uld help me with my open water swim anxiety. She’s right – in many ways – because fewer strokes actually means a much more efficient swim form and you don’t spend so much energy getting across the water and wear yourself out before you even get to the bike, let alone the run. It all makes perfect sense. She sent me some videos to watch – and I watched them – but I don’t know how to translate that into efficient strokes. All the videos suggested that your arms are used more for balance than for propulsion and I’m not sure how to make that happen without lessons. Regardless, I’m aware and I know what I want to accomplish, so I’ve got something to work with now. I’ll keep you posted.
  2. Stretching, rolling, stretching – I did a little more stretching this week, but I’m actually keeping on the goals list for next week until I can do it long enough to put it into RunKeeper. Ha!
  3. Nutrition/Eating Better – Again, progress was incrimental, but it did happen. Less junk food, but still some got in. I’m going grocery shopping after I post this, and on my list? Potatoes and hummus. mmm… hummus.
  4. Mileage goal for Running: 22 miles. over goal. Me = happy 🙂
  5. Mileage goal for Swimming: I’d like to hit a full mile… 1 mile… not .97, but 1.00… or better. Didn’t happen this week, due to a couple of factors – explain more below, but I am proud of my swimming for the week and I’m planning to change this goal a bit.
  6. Mileage goal for Spin: Based on estimates from pedal counts, I’d like to hit something close to 25 mi for a 1 hour ride. Didn’t get a spin in at all this week, due to a couple of factors, but I’m planning for one this week, so help me.
  7. Weekly time goal for Yoga/Stretching: at least 2 days at 45 minutes each session. I’d say that with the bit I did do, I got about 3 days of about 10 minutes each day – better than last week, but I’m keeping this goal for next week because this needs to happen.

Goals for the upcoming week:

These are all the same as last week with the exception of the overall mileage for running…

  1. Running: 26 miles, at least 4 runs and overall average pace below 9mm.
  2. Swimming: at least one 1600m swim, work on stroke counts (to get down and back more efficiently) and gradually reduce the amount of time for rests between 50m intervals.
  3. Spin/Cycle: at least one 1-hr ride with average pedal counts at around 96-100 rpm for the full hour.
  4. Yoga/Core: at least one yoga session and at least one Bender Ball core session on a run or cycle day
  5. Stretching, rolling, stretching – do at least 3 stretch routines in the morning when I get up and again in the evening before bed.
  6. Nutrition – get rid of the junk food from the holidays; start a diet journal with potatoes as my carb-load food (instead of rice) and see how it goes.
  7. Training Plan: I need to write up and start a training plan for the new Hilton Head Half Marathon that I registered for this week. That’ll be number 6 on the 50-states goal. I think my goal for this training plan should be to focus on getting beyond 13 mi in training runs (up to 14 or 15), adding in interval work, and longer tempo runs.


  • An update on the Gluten issue… Potatoes are still my friend, and I have gone back to eating a bowl of GF oats about an hour before a run, which has proven to be helpful as well. I’m going to start an eating journal on the 1st to test some theories I have about how my body deals with gluten and potatoes (I keep getting more Irish as the days pass) and seeing places where I could make adjustments to my diet to support the longer runs.
  • Eating during long runs – I’m planning a longer run on Monday, so we’ll see how that goes. I didn’t feel the need for any fuel at all during the 7.6 today.
  • Garmin 405 update: still seems to be working properly and appears more accurate than the iPhone apps, so I’m going to start relying more on it than the apps for my data, I think…
  • iSmoothRun. I think I figured out the inability to see the data while running (some long message that comes up while I’m running that I don’t want to read… I hit the opposite button the last two times and it worked fine) – I’m not crazy about the dashboard, though, I do kind of like the auto-pause feature. So far, though, the weather and auto-pause seem to be the only things I like about it. I heard that you can put shoes in it – I still need to find that. If so, given the fact that it plugs in to RK, I may never use the RK app to record again. It might be worth the silly name at that point.

Hope you all have a great week training!


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