Tag Archives: training

Back In The Saddle Again

Excerpts from my Running Journal over the past couple of weeks.
Excerpts from my Running Journal over the past couple of weeks.

I have been pretty off my game here lately. I haven’t been posting – mostly because all of my “running related” thoughts are really bum-tastic for me. About two weeks ago, my husband and I went to the emergency room because I had some pretty bad ankle pain. The day before I had laced up for the first time post-Volition Half Marathon. Within a mile, I was miserable. Driving home was horrible and Wes had to help me walk upstairs when I got home. I decided to let it rest for a day before I went to the doctor, but ended up feeling so bad I needed to go to the ER after the next work shift.

Sitting in the ER, I was miserable at the thought of being sidelined during training. Up until that point, I had been feeling wonderful in my training. Most of my runs were fabulous and I was feeling great with my training. The half went well (other than the sock issue!) and I was looking forward to getting through the upcoming training weeks. I was also horrified at the thought that I was losing out on one of my major stress relievers – even if only for a short time!

When the doctor told me that I had probably suffered a sprain and would need to be off of my ankle for up to 6 weeks, I was really bummed out. I listened to the doctor (for the most part) and stayed off of my foot for a couple of weeks. I rested, I iced, I elevated, and I compressed. I dutifully took my prescribed meds and I dutifully stayed away from running (although it about drove me crazy!).

Last Saturday after work, I laced up for the first time in almost two weeks. I put feet to pavement and I gloried in the feeling of running. I loved how it felt pumping my legs and arms as I soared across the pavement. I loved how my stress just seemed to melt away. My heart pounded and I could feel the blood rushing underneath my skin. I really felt alive. I felt like me!

The days post-first-amazing-run-back… well, lets say I hobbled around for a bit. My calves were on fire. They yelled at me, “Whoa! You haven’t really used us… what are you doing?!?!” But it was a happy soreness, if that can make any sense. It wasn’t a debilitating painful feeling… it was a glorious “you used your muscles for what you love” soreness. I ran again yesterday morning and while my ankle did have a twinge of pain, it didn’t feel anywhere near as bad as it did before.

And so… without further ado… I plan on returning to my training with haste. I plan on doing an easy 13,1 miles for the Sub30 Club Virtual Runner’s World Half Marathon this weekend to launch myself back into it. For those of you that worry… yes, I will most certainly slow it down and/or stop if necessary.

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Training Week # 8 Review

Training Run #1: 40:04, 3 miles, 13:21 min/mile, Galloway Method 1:1 (Mile 1), 1.5:1 (Mile 2), 2:1 (Mile 3)

Treadmill run at YouFit!
Treadmill run at YouFit!

Training Run #2: 38:58, 3.01 miles, 12:56 min/mile, Galloway Method 1:1

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Long Run: 2:04:21, 9 miles, 13:48 min/mile, Galloway Method 1:1

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I love getting to see beautiful sunrises on my runs!

Review:

Both training runs this week were pretty decent. I ran my first run at Youfit so that I could simultaneously watch an episode of Rookie Blue (I’ve recently started rewatching the series from the pilot after I got a coworker watching it). I tend to kind of “cheat” while running on the treadmill so I tried to make it a little tougher than usual. Instead of running 1:1 throughout the entire 40 minutes, I changed up the intervals to stretch my running out a little further.

My second training run was humid humid HUMID! Here lately I feel like just stepping outside feels like walking through water. We’ve had a lot of rain and the air feels like it is made from water. I hate running in it – but I hate running on the treadmill more so I guess I have to put up with it. I just keep telling myself it will make me a much better runner… especially when it cools down and the humidity drops a little.

My long run was awful. I wore compression calf sleeves to help my legs but as I got close to mile 8, I just felt like I was out of gas. That was entirely my own fault. I didn’t fuel correctly – the night before I drank my normal amount of water but I only ate half of a chicken sandwich and some bread pretzels with craft beer cheese at TGI Fridays. That left me feeling very hungry by the time mile 7 rolled around and it also made me feel very ill prepared for the long distance I was running. I was proud of myself for getting it done but I definitely needed to be better prepared. That is something I’ll need to remember to be better at!

Training Review Week # 6

Training Run # 1: 3.18 miles, 40:01 minutes, Galloway Method 1:1

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Training Run # 2: 2 miles, 26:25, Galloway Method 1:1

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Long Run: 7.01 miles, 1:32:16, Galloway Method 1:1

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Review: 

I started the week out pretty good. My first 40 minute training run went pretty well. I averaged about 12:34 min/mile despite some leg stiffness. I’m really enjoying listening to the “Zombies, Run!” storyline while on my runs. It helps to keep my mind focused on the task at hand while providing some amusing entertainment (there is nothing like hearing “You picked up a sports bra” half way through your run, ha!).

Most of my long runs will take place on the weekend but this week I decided to change up my schedule a little bit. I went into the week planning on running a 5K race at St George on the weekend and didn’t want to have to split up my long run. I did a little tweaking of my schedule and decided to run my long run midweek. On Wednesday I ran an early morning (STILL HUMID AND HOT) 7 miler. I actually felt pretty good throughout most of the run. The first few miles ranged from 13:05-13:27 but I was able to run faster for the last two miles (12:47, 12:57). I tried out a new route and encountered some unexpected hills but handled them pretty well.

Unfortunately my second training run was not a great one. Instead of running in the wee hours of the morning, we went out prior to midnight… which may have been a little bit of a mistake. I wasn’t properly hydrated for the levels of humidity and heat we experienced. I ended up cutting the workout short because I felt absolutely miserable. Hopefully Week 7 will be much better! I was kind of disappointed that this workout didn’t go so well. I picked up the newest Brooks Ghosts and wanted to immediately love them out of the box (as unrealistic as that might be!). But coupled with the heat, my still-sore legs and the lack of proper hydration… that just was not meant to be!

Hopefully next week will be much better.

In other news, I added another race to my line up. I registered for the Volition America Orlando Half Marathon on September 19. I am very excited to participate in this event. I’m hoping for a better half marathon time so that I can submit a better marathon time frame for the WDW Marathon in January. I’m still planning on treating it as a “training long run” but I think I’ll be able to do much better than the PHM time (especially considering how many times I stopped to take pictures in the parks!).

Marathon Training Week # 5 Review

Training Run # 1: 2.48 miles, 30:00 minutes, 1:1 Galloway Method

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Training Run # 2: 3.10 miles, 40:02, 1:1 Galloway Method (with a little more walking thrown in — the second mile was pretty hilly!)

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Long Run: 4.01 miles, 50:47, 1:1 Galloway Method

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Week Review:

Another good week. I got both of my training runs in and completed my long run despite being soaked to the bone half way through. All three of my runs this week were early morning runs while it was still dark out (with the sun peeking out towards the end for the first training run and my long run). During my first training run both my Garmin and my Yurbuds died half way through the run. The Garmin died from a low battery (I had wanted to kill the battery to see how well the battery lasted. The battery lasted for approximately ten days without me turning it off, set at some seriously battery draining settings with about 2 hours, 46 minutes and 10 seconds of “run” time. Not bad!). The Yurbuds died from unknown causes which was pretty disappointing. Luckily, Yurbuds is a pretty fantastic company and I should have a replacement pair within the next two weeks. Unfortunately, that means I’ll have to use an older not-so-nice set of Bluetooth earphones I have!

Midway through the week I decided to “shake up” my training plan a little bit. I love Galloway, but his beginner training plan seemed a little too easy for me. I bumped up my training runs (previously 30 minutes two times a week) to 40 minutes two times a week. I also changed all of my “3 mile” long runs to 4 miles. At this point, I want a little bit of a tougher schedule to better condition my body! The first 40 minute training run on this schedule went well. I was definitely tired after the run but it did not seem like it was too much for me.

This morning I hit a little bit of a road bump… when I walked out of work, it was steadily drizzling. I’m not a huge fan of running in the rain. I was wearing my glasses this morning so I was definitely not wanting to set out for four miles. But it was only drizziling and I did not want to have to run tomorrow. So I put all of my stuff in my car and set off for my four miles. The first mile and a quarter were great. The drizzle was cooling and not too distracting. As I got to a mile and a half the rain started to pick up. Within another quarter of a mile, it had died down a little. By the time I got to mile 2, I was running along out campus “bike trail” in a steady deluge of cold water. I had to keep snatching my glasses off of my face so that I could see where I was putting my feet. I was definitely cool but I was definitely feeling uncomfortable with my shoes soaked through. I couldn’t even dry my glasses off because I was soaked all the way through! Once I was able to break away from the bike trail I ducked into an apartment complex to get away from the worst of the rain. I waited for it to die down a little bit and snapped this “drowned rat” selfie.

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Do you think looking like a drowned rat will be in this fashion season??

The rest of my run was fairly uneventful. Even though I was soaked through I completed my four miles. I even stopped at one of my favorite breakfast joints to meet a friend – looking like a soaked through drowned rat that had just run four miles. I have no shame.

***Side Note*** I am LOVING the Zombies, Run app! It is a really fun and interesting way to entertain myself during my runs. I especially love the zombie chases. ;D I am not a huge fan of “subscription based” apps but this is one that I just might have to make an exception for once I have run through all of the “free” missions!

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Marathon Training Week 2 Review

Training Run #1: 30.01.7, 2.42 miles

  
Training Run #2: 30:01.1, 2.41 miles

  
Long Run: 52:36.7, 4 miles 

  
Review: 

I am proud of myself this week. I nailed each of my workouts. I completed both of my training runs as well as my long run. I have been branching out of my comfort zone here lately. On Monday, I joined a local group run and did a couple of miles with two of my girlfriends. I’m not one for running with other people – but I surprised myself by actually enjoying the run. We paced ourselves well and it was nice to have the companionship along! 

This week has been a hard one for me. This week has been one of those that featured runs that I needed rather than wanted to do. I don’t just run for fitness – I also run to reset and relax my brain. When the world gets tough around me, sometimes it feels like the only way to straighten it out and make things right again is on my feet. The feeling of my heart pounding in my chest, of my feet lifting off of the ground, of the wind on my face and air flowing through my lungs… All of it transports me to another place. No matter what is going on in my life, I feel like life is right when my feet have wings. 

Marathon Training: Week 1

Back in April, I registered for the 2016 Walt Disney World Marathon. This week was the first official week of the 28 week marathon training plan (from Jeff Galloway, of course!). My plan calls for three runs during the week – two 30 minute training runs and one long run (ranging from 3 miles to 26 miles). Some of the long runs have a “Magic Mile” thrown in to help predict what my race pace will be on race day. For the next six months I plan on writing a weekly blog post about how my training week went. This will be a great way to keep myself accountable while also providing a medium for me to keep track of my training and how I felt/what I did.

Week 1, Training Run #1: N/A

Week 1, Training Run #2: N/A

Week 1, Long Run (3 miles): 34th Annual Firecracker 5k, 38:20.0

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Apt for the first week of training! Photo Credit: Herb Wills

End-of-week Review:

I could definitely be off to a better start when it comes to training. Luckily, I have gotten back to running 3 times a week so my base is up to what is “normal” for me. Since this is the first week of training, I’m not too upset about the fact that I missed the first two training runs. My hubby and I planned a quick trip up to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park so that kind of interfered with my running schedule a little bit (low motivation coupled with really bad weather while we were there – blah). This is definitely something that I need to be careful about, though. To me, the long runs are definitely the most important aspect of my training (to help build my endurance) but the two training runs are important in other ways, too (helping to maintain a base, helping to throw in some speed work and/or hill work). I definitely cannot fall into a habit of skipping on runs. I want to do well for this marathon and I definitely want to be able to finish!

Here's a bear we saw in Cades Cove.
Here’s a bear we saw in Cades Cove.

I did much better for my long run (probably because my legs were fresh from not running for a week!). I registered for the 34th Annual Kiwanis Firecracker 5K the night before, worked twelve hours over night and braved the awful heat to get my long run (and my July race!) in. By the time the race started, I was already nice and dewy from sweat. The race was also a little bit hillier than last year’s course – especially at the beginning of mile 1 and 2! I did pretty good though. According to my Garmin, my splits were: 12:08, 12:28, 12:06 (my splits would have been more even but I stopped at the start of mile 2 so I could get some water from one of the coolers). I averaged about 12:10 and finished the race with an official time of 38:20.0. By the time the race was done, it was already 80 degrees and not quite 9 am!

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Definitely looking a little red in the face!

Upswing

In less than two weeks, I will officially start training for the Walt Disney World Full Marathon. I can’t put into words how excited (and nervous!) I am to be making such a huge step in my running journey. I can tell you that the last two months have been a struggle preparing myself to get ready to undertake such a huge achievement.

It is no secret that I was having a rough time in many aspects of my life to include motivating myself to run. I slowly started to notice an upswing about three weeks ago. I ran in my first race in over a month (the Memorial Day 5k) and I also pushed myself to run more than once a week. I was able to crank out an additional run and also pushed myself out the door to get a two mile walk in. The next week, I pushed myself to get three runs in and a couple of walks. All three of my workout were outdoors. They were hot and they were sweaty – but I got out there. I also had a weekend race to motivate me. Last week, I had no race planned to motivate me to keep my momentum going. I also was in my “long week” of work (60 hours in the week, twelve hour long shifts at night, etc) which meant I might be more willing to sacrifice my workouts to get an hour more of sleep.

Going in to this week, I promised myself that I would do at least two things. I would go to the beach to treat myself to some sunshine and relaxation. And I would run at least three times during the week. Well, I succeeded.

FullSizeRender (8)On Tuesday morning, I was exhausted after a long 12 hour shift. My legs were achy and I very easily could have jumped in my car to drive straight home. But, I powered through the groggy feelings and got in a short and slow loop around campus. Certainly not my fastest times, but I was proud of myself for getting it done.

Wednesday – I treated myself to the beach. It was glorious.

On Thursday, I lost a little bit of motivation. I had intended on getting out of bed early to go for a run at the gym. When my alarm went off, I simply could not haul myself out of bed. So, I went back to sleep. I ended up getting to the gym later that night (much, much later!) and cranked out a pretty awesome workout. I increased my intervals with each mile and when I hit the third mile, I felt great enough to also up the speed during every interval. Because of that, I cranked out one of my fastest mile times in quite awhile! Leaving the gym, I felt like I was on cloud nine.

That runners' high feeling? Yeah, its pretty damn awesome.
That runners’ high feeling? Yeah, its pretty damn awesome.

By the time I got to work for my “long” three day weekend, I had already finished two strong workouts and only needed a third to complete my goal. I brought some running clothes to work with me Friday night and threw them on when my shift ended Saturday morning. I didn’t plan on a long run but I wanted to run hard. I have been running 1:1 intervals lately but decided to up that to 1.5:1 intervals. I also pushed myself really hard. I was drenched in sweat and huffing and puffing during my running intervals. I felt uncomfortable but I was also flying. It felt incredible. My Runkeeper clocked my first mile at 12:35 and it clocked my second at 11:18. I stopped running at two miles because there was no way I could keep up that pace – but it felt glorious. I was so proud of myself and excited to write in my running journal.

FullSizeRender (9)I’ve been struggling. But I truly feel like my running mojo is back. I ended only ran 10.2 miles in May. So far, I’m at 24.0 running miles for June. I feel great and I’m excited for the next two races on my schedule (this weekend’s Freedom Run 5K at Wakulla Springs and the annual Firecracker 5k for July 4th). It feels good to be back!