Happy Sunday, my friends!
Half way through the first training plan – can you believe it? I can’t. This week was another move forward in the plan, though, not as big as last week. Another set of distance PRs for me, too: a new longest single run (16 miles) and a new (barely) most mileage in a week (37 miles). I’ve counted the mileage for the month in my plan at 140 to set a goal in RunKeeper and, as of the 7th of the month, am already 1/4 of the way to that goal. Not too shabby… Here is how the week went:
- Sunday: The boys were with their dad and I was still recovering from the 15 miler the day before so I did not do much. I don’t think I even left the house, though, I was a little antsy so I didn’t sit much, either after updating the blog. I channeled a little of that energy into cleaning (emphasis on the little) and organizing a study spot for the boys, but otherwise, I didn’t do much.
- Monday: The plan called for 16 x 400 m intervals with (gulp) 30 sec rests and 2 mi warm up, 1 mi cool down – essentially about 6.5 miles or so. The rests were way over 30 seconds, and I’m OK with that because I did all 16 of the intervals at target pace for the first time ever. I’ve *never* done more than about 5 or 6 intervals, even at the 400 m distance, so I was delighted to finish all 16. I ended up with 7.5 mi at around an 8:30 pace – a bit slower than I had hoped, given the target interval speed of around 7:45, but I know I have another time to get that one right and I know I have work to do on that. I also read an article called 13 Essential Core Exercises for Runners on Active recommending to do core exercises *after* a run and to “make the hard days harder and the easy days easier” so, I shifted all my core exercises to this day. It was really tough to do them when I was already tired and sore, but I did them and felt alright faster than I expected, so I’m going to try this approach going forward.
- Tuesday: I did some much needed stretching, but nothing else
- Wednesday: the plan called for 2×3 mile intervals at a target pace of 8:00 to 8:10 with a 2 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down and a 3:00 rest between the intervals – that should have yielded me around 9 miles at a faster than tempo pace. I did not sleep well the night before – I had a difficult time falling asleep and once I was “asleep”, it was very restless so I was exhausted when I got up at 5 am to do this run. I’m actually impressed I got as much as I did considering how I felt. I ended up with just at 7 miles, so I ended up cutting off the cool down and part of the last interval, but still ended up with an average pace of 8:22, so, in all, I’m happy with it. Like Monday, I did my core work after I finished the run, same as Monday, only I added push ups to it.
- Thursday: Like Tuesday, I did some stretching, but nothing more.
- Friday: easy 6, and as it turned out, that’s all I had in me. It was a struggle, actually, to keep my pace under a 9mm, and that only came during the last mile. I ran a somewhat hilly route through the neighborhoods connecting to mine, and I’m sure the training of the week was catching up to me. This is the design of the plan, though, to teach me how to run through feeling drained, so I finished it.
- Saturday: the plan called for a steady 16-mile run, which is now my longest run. I chose the same hilly route as last week, planning to add some side streets in one of the neighborhoods I passed, and crossed my fingers that the weather would be better. The planets aligned and the weather was better. MUCH BETTER. My dad agreed to watch the boys for a couple of hours while I ran so I could do it outside. He arrived around 7:30 as we discussed, but I wasn’t quite ready yet because the damn alarm didn’t make a sound (it went off, apparently, but I never heard it… ??) and I woke up about 10 minutes before he got there. I was still cooking my breakfast when he arrived, so I ate quickly and got the boys ready and he took them out for breakfast. After they left, I finally got all my stuff together and opened the garage door to head out for my run and my kitten shot out into the garage. I had to chase his little furry ass for about 20 minutes, so I was nice and irritated by the time I got out for my run. Once I started it, though, I forgot all about that stuff and just enjoyed the run. It was 64 degrees and about 55% humidity, a stark difference from last week, so I had hopes of getting a much better time this week. The first six miles went well, but the hills around this area (and the full sun) got to me again and I had to walk a bit of it. I made it to the neighborhood I looked forward to last week and did some of the side streets to get the extra mileage. I also waited until I got to 8.5 to take the gu (I did it at 7.5 last week, and I’m trying to push it out a little so I only need 1 or 2 for the entire marathon). Unlike last week, though, the gu didn’t seem to make much of a difference in my stamina or performance. I just didn’t feel quite *as* drained, but I was still struggling with some of the hills. By the time I started back toward the lake, I started to feel thirsty and my sweat rate had slowed, so I was getting worried. All I could think about was stopping to get water (at the same place I stopped last week) so I just checked out. I couldn’t tell you anything about the people on the trail, what I listened to or thought other than “I can’t wait to get to that water fountain”. I got to the water fountain and stopped Runkeeper only to realize I had only 1.15 miles left! what?!? I got my water and caught my breath then started back again around the rest of the lake. I was pumped up that I no longer felt thirsty and started to pay attention to the people I passed on the lake. There was a man there walking with his son who appeared to be Autistic – and who smiled at me. That kind of made my day. I also passed a woman who threw her hands in the air and shouted “yes!” as she finished a run. I smiled and said “congratulations” to her as I passed her and she looked pleasantly surprised that I said that. These interactions got me energized as I rounded the last bit of the lake, but I got really energized when I finished at the lake and heard “15.5 miles…” on my audio cue. I had only 1/2 a mile left!?!? and, unlike last week, I wasn’t talking myself into finishing it – I was almost a little sad I only had 1/2 a mile left (probably because I knew how badly my legs were going to hurt after – haha). I got to the 16 mile mark just before crossing the big highway and stopped RunKeeper. I realized that I ran only 5 minutes more than last week, but a full mile longer. I was very proud of myself and grateful I was able to do this run outside. I walked a little more than a mile back to my house hoping to loosen my legs a little. That worked until I got about 1/4 mile from my house. My legs started to really, really hurt, just like last week. I got inside, filled my dad in on the run (he’s been very, very supportive of my running and takes an interest in my routes and progress) and had to stop talking to stretch out a couple of times because my legs hurt. But! This week, I was able to find my post-run drink and after my shower, my leg pain diminished quicker than last week. I spent a little bit of time playing video games with my youngest and just sitting to rest. But… going along with the “make the hard days harder and the easy days easier” mantra, I rested a bit and then went back outside to mow the grass in the afternoon… on my hilly front yard. Believe it or not, I’m not nearly as sore this morning as I was last week with one more mile and a lawn mowing. I’m taking that as improvement.
This upcoming week is another step up in intensity:
- Monday: 5×1 mi intervals – 2 mile warm up, and then 5×1 mi intervals at 7:45-7:55 pace and 1:30 rest between, followed by a 1 mile warm down – I’ll be doing this on my home treadmill. I’m expecting around 9 miles from this workout. I also plan to do my core work after this run, time permitting. If not, I hope to make it up to the workout room at my office and/or do some of them when I get home from work.
- Tuesday: non-run day – planning to do nada.
- Wednesday: 9 mi tempo – 2 miles slow, 6 mi at 8:30-8:40 pace, followed by 1 mile slow. Planning to do this on my home treadmill. I also plan to do my core work after this run, time permitting. If not, I hope to make it up to the workout room at my office and/or do some of them when I get home from work.
- Thursday: non-run day – planning to do nada.
- Friday: Steady 6 – no target pace listed, but I’m guessing it is close to the 8:35-9:10 recommended for the long.
- Saturday: Long steady 18 miler – goal pace is between 8:35 and 9:10 – I plan to do a similar route to the one I did this past weekend, adding another set of side streets and/or some of the Green way this time; this will be my longest ever run if I finish the whole thing.
That should do it! Have a great day!