Back in the Saddle… I think

Hi Friends –

Until just now, I had not realized that I haven’t written here in over 7 months. I’m shocked and a little disappointed about that. I AM still running – nothing will stop me from that – and I AM still chasing that brass ring of a BQ and I AM still knocking out states on my 50 states quest… (I now have 19) – however, I had to make some changes in my training.

I was tired. So, so, so very tired.

I was having a hard time keeping with training and although I got faster for a while, I was starting to slow down in races (though not in training) and it was something I complained about right after the Tobacco Road marathon last year. I’ve not done a full marathon since – only half marathons (which, by the way, are no small feat, so I’m not at all diminishing them – I just thought that at this point in the year, I’d have a nice shiny BQ, or at least a PR at the 26.2 distance…).

While attempting to train for a spring marathon, I finally broke down and got a FitBit (all my runner friends were getting really fancy runner watches, but none of them had *all* the things I wanted, so I got a FitBit Charge HR to hold me over until the Garmin 235 has been out for a while) and I noticed a trend: my resting heart rate was higher than I expected… Also, my heart rate jumped really fast when I started a run and took foreeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvveeeeeeerrrr to recover. I had lost fitness 😦 How could I have let that happen? I was a Runnah! Running is supposed to make you fitter, thinner, healthier! I ate well (what all the running blogs told me to eat), I followed training plans (which I blabbed about on this very blog for a couple of years), I did speed intervals, hill workouts, and I ran 30, 40, 50 miles a week… and, yet… I was getting unfit… and fat… and slow… and frustrated!!

Apparently, that was too much. I’m over trained (admitting it is half the battle, friends) and probably have been for at least a year, and (like any other injury), I need to take the time to recover. An active recovery (of course), but a recovery all the same.

While attempting the training for that same spring marathon, and complaining about my lack of energy to a friend, she recommended that I read The Big Book of Endurance Training to help me learn a little more about heart rate training. I’ve found, though, it is teaching me a lot more in the process about just being honest with myself about how I feel and how to be healthy and still reach my goals (they can be complimentary).

Although was not completely finished with the book, I immediately started to implement some of the tactics he discussed. My first shock: my resting heart rate was still really high and getting higher. Okay, I thought, maybe it is the FitBit – it can’t be all that accurate – so I bought a chest strap. To my surprise, the FitBit was really all that accurate – they are usually within a couple beats of each other, for what it is worth. It became clear that I needed to change my strategy and try things a different way to see if I can make my goals a reality.

I’ve been following heart rate training for about 3 weeks now and I am starting to feel a little better. I’m starting to have some energy again and I no longer dread run days. For the most part, I’m sleeping better and I have craved sugar a lot less lately. I follow a schedule when I run 2 days, take day off, and then run 2 days. I keep my runs to under 45 minutes for now (except for the long that is once a week) and keep my pace so that it is within a range as outlined in the book. My heart rate is still keeping me pretty slow and I can’t say I’m not frustrated about it (especially when I see friends cruising along at 8:00 paces), but I’ve got my eyes on the prize and I really want to get there the right way. I’ve been walking more and actually warming up and cooling down as appropriate, steps I skipped in the past and shouldn’t have. I am getting faster, but I have a long way to go and I need to be patient (to me, friends, that is the toughest part of training…).

I ran my first half marathon last weekend (the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon) with this strategy and came in at 2:00 on the nose – one of my slower half marathons, but the faster end of my target completion time. My heart rate was just a tad over the target rate set by my heart rate monitor (I train at a lower rate) and I didn’t have to refuel or stop once throughout the entire race. I actually felt good throughout and just after – not even sore muscles. I hope to get that post up soon – and of course there are port-a-potty stories involved – haha.

I am running my second Half Marathon since I started heart rate training in NYC next week. My goal is to finish a tad faster than Myrtle Beach (with fewer Potty moments…) Wish me luck 🙂

Until next time…

Random Marathon Training: week 3

Hi Friends!

Yes… I just finished week 3 of training for a marathon I’m not entirely certain I’m going to do yet. Almost 1/4 of the way through a training plan for it, in fact. I did, however, make a move in that direction this week: I registered for the City of Oaks half marathon. I said that if I did a full, it would be this one. I registered for the half, though, because it tends to fill up and I wanted to secure a spot (and, for a cheaper price) just in case training did NOT work out as planned. I could always do the half and be pretty happy with that. I checked before I registered and I can upgrade to the full if training goes well.

So how has the training gone so far? It’s been ok – not great but not bad. I’ve “missed” only one run but that was a trade in of the first “long” of 8 miles for about 7 hours of back breaking yard work, so I’m calling it even.

I’m following the same training plan I’ve followed for the last two marathons: the 3:30 plan. Not because I can do a 3:30 (clearly – the closest I’ve come is 4:05 and that was my first), but because I want to work my way up to that. I’m using that plan to gain the fitness I’ll need to do a sub-4:00 one day. Since my leg injury last winter, though, it has been tough for me to get back to the speed I had before it on a consistent basis… and this summer, I have had a much tougher time with the heat than in previous summers (in fairness, this summer has been hotter than the more recent summers here – we got lucky with the summer weather the previous three summers in NC… we’re back to normal now).

All that to say: training is going ok so far. I do feel like I’m barely able to squeeze in the runs I get, so I’m a bit dubious about having the ability to carve out time for a full marathon and to train for it the way I know I need to. I don’t want to set up these lofty goals and then feel bad about myself because I can’t manage to reach these goals. I need to be realistic. For now, my goal is to see how close I can get.

This week, I managed to eek out 35 miles. I say “eek out” because it kind of felt like that. I did complete 5 runs: 5.6, 5.2, 6.1, 7.1 and 11.5 – overall, not a bad week. A couple of these runs were slower than I wanted and the speed interval (the 6 mile run) was really tough toward the end and I couldn’t finish it as planned. For the speed interval, I had planned on a 4/2 interval split with the intervals at 7.6, 7.7 (for 1:30 each) and 7.8 (for 1:00) – I think that might have been a little aggressive. I did manage about 35 minutes of it (with a 2:00 rest at 7.1 and 7.2 respectively), but I couldn’t do much more than that and ended up settling for a 1/1 interval/rest combo for the rest of the run. I plan to do the 4/2 again this week and see if I can make that happen this time.

Target mileage for this upcoming week is around 38 (gulp). It is going to be a pretty busy week, so I’m hoping to stay on track. I set my monthly goal for August for 125. That was my goal for July and I came within 7 of it, only because I had a 13 mile week due to the yard work stuff – so it wasn’t as though I wasn’t working, I just couldn’t count the mileage 😦

On that note… I’m going to get started with the rest of my Sunday so I can try to get ahead of my busy week and make the time for my runs this week… or at least get a decent start with it. Hope you all have a great week!

Revving Up

Happy Sunday, my friends!

It is a new week, and it has been around 3 months since I last posted. A lot has happened, so let’s catch up.

  1. My sister is through chemo and will have surgery in two weeks. She’s in high spirits, all things considered, and has seen significant improvement in the size of the tumor. We are crossing our fingers the tumor is dead and the chemo worked like it was supposed to. She had very little trouble with the chemo – other than the expected tiredness and occasionally having a hard time remembering things, but all that seems to be getting better for her. I am so proud of how she dug in deep and used her feisty fighty little Irish attitude. This trait we share has served us well in times of need (and, I must say, kind of a cornerstone for this running habit of mine…), and though I take a lot of heat for it in times outside of need, I’m grateful we both have it in times like this, so I wouldn’t trade it for all the world. I’m so proud of her and she’s my hero in more ways every day.
  2. I finished two more half marathons in two more states, NJ and MA, bringing my total now to half marathons in 16 states (I’ve lost count of how many, but over 20 half marathons total now). I drove to both, which were fun adventures in New England this spring. I absolutely love New England, and I would love to do more half marathons there. The coastal towns, especially: Newport, Monmouth, Boston – all just gorgeous and quaint towns with awesome people. I can’t wait to go back. Although the races this spring were not fast for me, they were both great fun, I loved both towns and the people there, and I will write posts on them shortly.
  3. Because of the great experience I had in the NJ half, I signed up for the NJ full for next year. Unfortunately, though, they moved the date of it, so I’m thinking about switching to the half and just doing a local full instead in the spring. Though… I did like the course for the half, so I’m not sure if I want to change it because it could mean a better experience… we’ll see. Apparently, this race had a positive impact on me!
  4. I’m planning to train for a local fall full, but we’ll see how well the training goes before I totally commit to it. I should start training for it in the next couple of weeks. If I don’t end up doing an official full, I’ll just follow the training plan twice like I did for my first full.
  5. I’m still running and still regimented about it, sorta. I’m at around 30 miles a week this month (except for the first week of June when my schedule was beyond crazy and I only managed 9 miles). A lot, a lot, a lot of treadmill miles still – more than I’d like – but treadmill miles > no miles, so I’ll *try* not to complain too much. I’m still getting one long a week (1:30:00 or more – I did 1:45:00+ yesterday), one speed interval (which are short, 2:00 intervals now, but I’m gradually adding to them) and at least one hearty tempo run (at or below 8:30 or target marathon pace). Any other run in the week will likely be an easy recovery or a second tempo-ish run. When I start my training, though, I’ll have one long, one speed, one tempo and the fourth will be a hill repeat or second tempo, depending on the schedule with the kiddos. The 5th run (if there is one – I might swap this one out for a cross-train activity like spin or swim) will be the easy, lower mileage recovery run.
  6. I’ve changed my goals/perspective on training from mileage-based sessions to duration based sessions, so you’ll see me talk about my training differently going forward. I do still have pace goals in mind and I’m tracking mileage, but considering it takes me over 4 hours to finish a marathon, I decided that I need to get my body acclimated to moving like that for that period of time. I think focusing more on running for periods of time rather just by distance might help me break through mental barriers I have when I hear “22+ miles”. I now have goals of a particular mileage within a duration rather than miles at a particular pace. So, instead of saying “I’d like to run 8:30 for 15 miles” I say “I’d like to run 2:15:00 and have more than 15 miles in that time”. It is a bit mental gymnastics, I know, but these duration goals seem a little more attainable to me. I’ve discovered, (and it took me three full marathons to finally admit it), that being good at the half distance just isn’t enough… I have to gradually step up to the distance, especially if I have time goals, which I do. When new runners ask for advice, I always tell them to start with a duration goal and add to it gradually. Maybe I should start taking my own advice. I have seen improvement in the training – recovery is getting better, but it isn’t good yet at the speeds I want to go, nor is my strength. Now that I’ve identified where I need improvement (core strength and overall endurance/stamina strength), I think the duration goals make a little more sense. Crossing my fingers I’m right this time 🙂
  7. I have a solid core workout routine established. Now… if I can only make myself do it three times a week. It only takes about 20 minutes, so you’d think I have plenty of time to get it done, but I never manage to get it done because something always comes up so I find myself late for something I thought I was early to. I’m really working on managing my time better at home so I can cut that waste down quite a bit. So far, my record is 2 1/2 times (or… I did it twice and started a third day only to run out of time, which, unfortunately seems to be a theme with me lately…) For this marathon training cycle, my standing goal will be three sessions a week, usually on running days.
  8. I’ve decided that I do need some cross-training – such as swimming and spinning – so I’m trying to work that in every other week so I can keep my running muscles fresh. I’m out of practice with swimming and I’m bummed about it, so I’ll be starting over with swimming. I’m invested, though – I bought new goggles and a second suit, so I’m serious about it now. On the Spinning front, last week I did two spinning sessions and averaged about 19 mph for both sessions combined, which surprised me and made me very happy, especially since it had been a very long time since I went last – probably about 6 months. I’d like to capitalize on that. Also, I’ve discovered hot yoga and I liked it…. it kicked my butt, though. I expected it to be tough, but I wasn’t expecting to be as sore as I was after. I’d really like to add it to my routine, but… Again… it is just a matter of carving out the time to get it all in and still have a life and get house work (and yard work) done.
  9. Speaking of yard work… thanks to my HOA, I’ve been spending a LOT of time on yard work this spring and summer so I have a little less time for writing these days as I’d like. I hope I’m caught up enough now to actually balance this a bit. But… I can honestly say that the yard work has given me extra workouts that have worked parts of my core I probably couldn’t have been able to reach otherwise, but Lordy… that is hard work, especially in the 100 degree heat we’ve had here recently.
  10. I have 2 fall half marathons lined up in 2 states: OH in September (USAF Half) and MO in October (Kansas City half) to bring me up to 18 states. I’m hoping to find a couple in drivable states (at this point, PA, TN, DE, KY) I can ninja trip before the end of the year, but we’ll see. It would be pretty awesome to end this year on a nice round number like 20 states… Nevertheless, I’m targeting the Alaska half next June, so there might not be as much travel in the early part of 2016 due to saving up for that trip.

I think that about does it for now. I’m going to start my week with a core workout and an easier run on the treadmill to get closer to ensuring that 30+ mile week this week, and my goal is to get the NJ Half Marathon write up done!

Until then…

Post Marathon Blues

Good morning, My Friends –

Despite the title of this post, I’m not in a particularly low mood today, specifically, but my mind has been heavy the last few weeks, more so than the previous two marathons. I tend to be a Pollyanna more than a lot of people, but when I get low, I don’t really hide it well. Since this blog is cathartic for me, I thought it made sense to talk about it all here.

First: the marathon itself. I had similar feelings that I had postpartum: feelings of overwhelming joy about the event that finally took place that took me months to prepare and I knew it was going to change me… but now I miss the preparation portion of it and physically, I’m feeling slow and lumbering. The joy of my children as babies (and now as the incredible young men they are becoming) far outweighs the feeling after the marathon, but that is the closest feeling I can relate to for the first couple of weeks after each event. No offense or inconsideration intended – just trying to explain it using another experience that makes the most sense and of which I have the clearest memory. I have felt this way after all three marathons, but it seems to hit me harder this time, for reasons I’ll explain shortly.

Second: I’m less patient about recovery. The other recoveries have been slower and it took me longer to get back into the habit. Physically, I’m actually farther along than I was the other two times, but I am less patient this time than the other times because I know I can do better and I want to prove it to myself and get back in there and just do it already. I’m also suffering a bit from some marathon training burn out – mentally, especially toward the end of the training, I was emotionally burned out and I had a tough time making the runs happen and/or enjoyable. That does not seem to have disappeared yet, especially since I have had to walk run the first few runs. I hate having to walk/run, even though my runner maturity tells me I have to so I obey. Reluctantly. I am annoyed about it and almost indigently begin to take off like I want to… but, I physically can’t go as fast at this point in the recovery and I’m getting very frustrated by it. I am really having a hard time with that this time around.

Third: effing cancer. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two months ago, and as it has in the past, my emotional state is affecting my physical performance. She’s in good spirits and, so far, is kicking cancer’s ass, but it is early in the process and there is still a long road ahead. So far, it has been positive news (I refrain from using “good news” at this point because the only good news is that she is in remission), so I’m encouraged. Still… as her older sister and designated protector, I feel very helpless and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to fix this. I support her and buy her healthy foods (which is something she asks for, is grateful for, and graciously accepts), so I’m helping in the little ways I can. However… now that it is a first degree family member with the diagnosis, I’m at a higher risk, which means I have my own health to worry about now. I got my mammogram yesterday and am hopeful that there is nothing on it so I’m strong enough to help her through her battle without having to battle on my own – or alone. I have friends that would help, but I’m not sure how much help I’d get in the areas that mean the most to me.

Fourth: indescribable… I witnessed a horrific accident this week that has changed me in ways I cannot explain well in words yet. I’ve always valued life and have been immeasurably grateful for my own, but it completely changed my perspective having to witness someone else’s ending. I really can’t stop thinking about the impact they likely had on their families and friends and how much they would be missed. I never met that person, but right now, I miss him quite a bit and am sorry to have to had witnessed this – he will forever be in my thoughts and prayers, as will his family, friends, and anyone who was close to him. As a result, I have held people closer to me than ever before… much more than I have probably demonstrated because I’m still processing everything. In fact, it may seem as though I’m pushing people away, but that is not how I feel – I am just not good at stuff like this. I have always “run away” (not to be punny on this subject) from big traumatic events at first, and then gone back and dealt with it after I’ve had time to let it settle. I might need a little more time on this one, though. I’m very hopeful that my friends and family will understand and be there for me when I am ready to deal with it appropriately.

So… until then… I’m going to continue to recover…. and run when I can. I’ll likely use the treadmill to help me recover the right way from the marathon …and contribute to the emotional recovery for the other two.

My therapy.

Until next week…

The Calm Before The Training

Happy New Training Week, all!

I know I’m still woefully behind on posting race reports – and I do plan to get to them. I’ve had yet more computer issues, and I’ve finally given in to the notion that I need to get an iPad and a keyboard because I’m over spending this much time futzing around with Windows, mal-ware and updates. I’m pretty close to just selling the damn thing and calling it a day. I wish I didn’t need this particular device at all, at this point. Or… maybe I’m just frustrated about all aspects of technology failing me today. I seem to spend a lot more time “troubleshooting” ineffectively working devices/internet connections/web applications, etc. for something that is supposed to *enhance* my life and save me time. At least for today, it has done neither of those things and it has frustrated me.

</technology rant>

A good time to start training for another marathon tomorrow, in my opinion. Or maybe I am feeling that way because of aforementioned frustration – haha.

This week (starting tomorrow, officially), I start training for the Tobacco Road Marathon – my third attempt at a full marathon and my third try for at least a sub-4:00 marathon… and an effort to see how close I can get to that magical BQ time I need: sub 3:45. It is a huge leap, especially from my last full (4:16). I’m not sure I can get all the way down to 3:45, but damn if I’m not going to give it my best effort.

All that being said: in spite of my frustration today, I’m resting. I’m not gonna sugar coat it: it is tough for me not to walk down the hall, fire up that treadmill and knock out a fast 4-miler. Killing me, in fact. I need the rest after a couple of really tough runs last week (including the fastest run I have ever done of any distance, which I’m still kind of feeling a week later). I need to be in good shape for my training and I’ll get mucho miles soon enough – experience has taught me that I need to be patient here.

but… it is killing me!

I can’t wait until tomorrow’s 6-miler 🙂

Until then, I’ll continue to get the computer issues sorted out and I’ll work on my posts.

A Shiny New PR… and other news

Good evening, Friends –

It has been a busy few weeks since I got my computer back and I owe you FOUR race reports:

  • Midtown 13.1 Race in Raleigh NC on 9/20 – which was hot, but an awesome event and one I highly recommend
  • The Portland (OR) Marathon on 10/5 – to be clear: there happened to be a marathon in both Portlands that weekend, so I needed to clarify. Unfortunately, this one was not quite what I wanted or expected, but I learned a lot that I hope to take with me going forward.
  • The Oktoberfest 8k in Raleigh on 10/18 – where I *FINALLY* broke my 8k PR – you may recall I was somewhat frustrated about the fact that this same race in March (they do it twice a year: once for St. Patrick’s day and once for Oktoberfest) was my slowest 8k ever, and all of them had been slower than the last… so I did not have any expectations other than “beat the spring time”.
  • and finally from the City of Oaks Rex Healthcare Half Marathon from 11/2 where I broke my year old PR quite substantially (by over 2 min). It, by the way, was also a pretty awesome race as I always knew it would be…

Plus… I am lining up my race schedule for the first half of 2015 and so far I’ve registered for three that I’m absolutely doing:

  • Tobacco Road Full – I did the half this past spring and loved the event, so I thought that I might have a better chance of cooler (read: less than 75 degrees at finish) weather at the critical mile 18 if I did it in March when, typically here, it is kind of chilly. Fingers are officially crossed and training starts the week of Thanksgiving.
  • The New Jersey Marathon Half – I have family in the Long Branch/Monmouth area and I’ve been promising them for a while that I’d come up for a visit and bring my kids – so I’m happy it worked out this way for 2015. Plus, it is just over 4 weeks after my full, so it fits perfectly.
  • Boston’s Run to Remember Half – I’ve also been promising to do this race for a few years and the rate was going to go up soon so I decided to pull the trigger. I’m really looking forward to this race as I absolutely love Boston. I can’t afford to stay long, but I plan to make the most of the time I get there 🙂

I have a couple of others sitting in the corners of my mind that I need to look in to more and make sure I have the money for them – including one in mid-January as a training run. If I can afford it, I’m going to do it.

I hope to start on those race reports this week – before I do my last race of the year on Thanksgiving!

Have a great weekend, all!

Portland Marathon Training: Week 4

Hello My Friends! So… This week was a bit of a bump up that I couldn’t take advantage of and I did fret about it a bit. The biggest obstacle was that I traveled for work – which is usually not a problem because most major hotel chains have fitness centers and treadmills these days, and I’ve learned how to pack efficiently so I can take the suit *and* the run stuff. It is much easier to do that in the summer, too, so there is no excuse. However… Bad weather and the resulting delayed or canceled flights wreck havoc on a training cycle. Thankfully, Mother Nature made it up to me this weekend and I got a tiny bit back. Let’s see how the week went:

  • Sunday, 07/13/2014 – On Plan – rest day, plus stretching. I had a pretty productive day, actually. I was way behind on cleaning because of the travel the week before and I knew the next day was going to be early, long, and busy, so I got everything ready: laundry, cleaning, and chores… But I had also made a promise to take the boys to play laser tag, so I did that… Oh man, was that fun! Not exactly restful, though.
  • Monday, 07/14/2014 – On Plan – 7+ miles (plus :30 sprints at the end with 1 min rests between) and then abs. I was tired, but determined to get this run done… I dragged myself out of bed and made it to the treadmill in my house. I discovered that my bluetooth headphones no longer power on (??) so I dug my holder and earbuds out of my packed bag and hit the treadmill. I did the ladders again, but instead of 1-2-3-4-5, I did 2-1-1-1, which seemed to work well to keep my pace even. At the end, I did my :30 intervals at 8.0 because I was curious if I could do it yet. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I could. Even though it was for only thirty seconds, that’s faster than I’ve been able to these in the past and I did all 5 at that pace. I walked away from that run thinking “damn, that was pretty awesome,” and looking forward to the rest of the training week… Though, I ran out of time for my abs.
  • Tuesday 07/15/2014 – On Plan – 4 miles slow, plus abs: this run was impacted by the day before. I was supposed to fly to NYC on Monday evening, have dinner with some coworkers, go to bed early, sleep soundly (a girl can dream…) and wake up fresh and ready for a hearty 4 miler on a posh NYC hotel treadmill. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans. Traveling to anywhere in the North East on this evening was a headache, if it happened at all. Didn’t happen for me… Because of weather grounding crew necessary to get my plane there, I was stuck in NC over night. I was rebooked on an 8 am flight, but because I really had to be there earlier, I tried to get there in time to fly standby on a 7 am flight. I actually considered getting up at 3 am to get this run in, but because I went to bed at 10, had trouble falling asleep, and slept horribly, I could not get up. I was supposed to fly back that night, but just in case the weather blows up again, I brought an overnight bag – I didn’t pack run stuff, though, because I sincerely thought (and hoped) I wouldn’t need it. It’s only 4 miles – I can tack a little bit to the end of other runs this week and make it up. I took advantage of the situation, though, and went out exploring in NYC with a few coworkers – which was a lot of fun and made up for missing my run 🙂
  • Wednesday, 07/16/2014 – On Plan – 4 x 1.5 mi intervals (8:00 – 8:20 target pace with 2 mi warm up, 1 mi cool down and 3:00 rest) (abs): …not so fast, kid… Because of exactly the same reason I was stuck in NC on Monday night, I was stuck in NYC on Tuesday night, though, the worst of it seemed to be concentrated in the South East this time. I was rebooked on a 6:30 am flight this time, though, so even if I had running clothes with me, I wouldn’t have been able to use them. I was at the airport by 4:45 and it was a reaalllllyyyy long busy day for me with no breaks. Again, I slept horribly the night before, so I was drained. I did attempt a run that evening when I got home, but made it only 1.5 miles before I finally accepted that even the 4miler was out of the question and got off. I didn’t even log the run.
  • Thursday, 7/17/2014 – On Plan – rest, plus stretching. I was tempted to try a run, but taking advice from others, I decided to follow the plan and actually rest this day.
  • Friday, 07/18/2014 – On Plan – 5 easy – I was supposed to meet a run group friend for a run through the downtown of my small town, but he bailed so I ran this in my neighborhood. I was a bit worried about my motivation when running by myself at 7 pm, but thankfully, it was quite nice out (lower than normal temperature and humidity for this time of year) so the hills were really my only foes. I finally got a chance to figure out the workouts feature of iSmoothRun, so I entered some of the upcoming workouts and used the “easy 5” this night. I still did it faster than I probably should have, but I was closer to the target pace than I probably would have been without the audio cues. The workouts evaluate your pace and tell you to go faster or slower to meet your target pace. I liked getting feedback between splits to let me know if I needed to go faster or slower. I plan to enter the other workouts in it today.
  • Saturday, 07/19/2014 – On Plan – 13 miles at target pace of 8:30-9:00 and then abs: ran this with a friend who wants to PR a half marathon and is considering (if schedule allows), a full. He lives on the other side of the county from me and suggested one of his favorite running routes – I had never been there, so I was looking forward to seeing it. One of the changes I’ve loved seeing the most in my home town is the expansion of the greenway system, and there are many sections I have not seen yet. He suggested running the Upper Neuse Trail by Falls Lake Dam. Again, we completely lucked out with the weather – mid-60s, lower than usual humidity, even a bit cloudy. This trail isn’t particularly hilly, either, so it was a nice, pleasant run. I then came home, mowed the grass, did my abs, and got ready for another run – haha. My friend also suggested I join a pub run for an E3 fund raiser. The idea is that you start at one bar, run to the second, have a beer, run to the third, have a beer… And so on. I don’t drink, but I thought it sounded like fun, and a good way to get some of those missed miles back and meet other runners, so I went. It was a fun time, and I got 4 miles, so I still landed 30 for the week! I had hoped that all this activity would finally wear my ass out enough for a really good night of sleep, but (sigh)…

A bit of a step back this upcoming week, though, because of the step back last week (and the week before), I may alter this somewhat… Also, ab work was behind this past week, so I’m hoping to stay on schedule this week. I did only one ab session, and that was Saturday, so my goal is 5 sessions this week, hopefully adding one set (half as many reps) to a day… Stay tuned.

Here is the training plan for next week:

  • Sun: rest (stretch)
  • Mon: 5+ and (abs)
  • Tue: rest, but I’ll likely join a run club and do 3-5 (abs and stretch)
  • Wed: 9 mile tempo mi (2/6/1 -sub 8:30 overall) (abs)
  • Thu: rest (stretch)
  • Fri: 5+ and (abs)
  • Sat: 8 mi – 8 mi at 8:20-8:45 (abs)

Hope you all have a great week!