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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday morning, hit the ground running

Yes, I got up for another am run! I think this may be a record! Bad news, I did not get up in time for the group run in the morning, but I did drag my carcass out of bed early enough to get the five miles I needed done on the treadmill.

Part of me is really enjoying the treadmill runs. It may be because I'm actually interested in watching Fringe, and I'm not letting myself watch it except when I'm on the treadmill. So, I end up wanting to get on the treadmill to watch Fringe....weird, I know.

Anyways, I dragged myself out of bed with the "One hour of extra sleep isn't going to do you any good" argument, and well I wouldn't say "hopped" on the treadmill, more like, "hoisted myself onto" the treadmill.

I wasn't feeling awesome, so I started out at a "slow" pace. My calves weren't feeling all that great, I could tell my legs were still fatigued from Sunday's long run, so I tried to take it easy.

Other than the tired legs, the run was feeling good, until I realized that I was rapidly running out of time before I needed to hit the showers before work. So I cranked the speed and did some "intervals" trying to power through the last mile and change.

And here's where I realize I really need a new treadmill, or at least a good accurate watch for tracking my speed and distance on the treadmill. See my treadmill is all wonky, so I never know how fast I'm going. The Nike+ app gives me accurate distances, and somewhat accurate speeds, but for some reason it's not giving me my splits and now the graph thing is all messed up too. The distance markers on the graph only to up to mile four for some reason, even though the milage accurately reflects the five miles I ran.

So according to their chart, I was averaging around 11:30 min/miles for most of my run (the 'slow' bit), and did between 10:30 & 10:50 on my faster bits. Who knows how accurate that is though.

My legs still feel a little off, so I'm going to do some stretching and foam rolling tonight to hopefully get them sorted. I'm supposed to run tomorrow, but it's going to be hard for me to fit a run in around my work schedule (wednesday is my late day,) so we'll see if that happens.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Run Run Run in the Sun Sun Sun

So my running week was a bit spotty, but I'm not stressing it. I got most of the work done, and even slogged out a horrifically hot nine miler on Sunday.

We'll start with Thursdays run. I didn't have time to do a run until late late late, after the munchkin was in bed. So I started my run at 9 pm(ish), and since it was a four mile run, didn't finish until almost 10:00. Woooo hoo! I was using my nike plus running app again, which is still messed up, so I don't know my splits, but you can see on the little graph how I ran. Kinda kept it slow and steady for most of the run, then kicked it up at the end. The ups and downs on the chart confuse me, since I'm running on a treadmill at a set speed, but whatever. The run felt good, and I felt good afterwards.

Friday was a rest day, and then, Friday night, Insomnia struck, and struck hard. I didn't manage to fall asleep until well after 2 am. Which meant there was no way I was getting up at 5 to make the Saturday morning paced run. In fact, I was such a wreck from the lack of sleep, and had so much other life type stuff to do, no running happened at all on Saturday.

So my long run was Sunday. I was aiming for 10 miles. I set out as early as I could, which ended up being right around 11 am. I suited up, filled up my camel back, promised the Hubs that I would take it easy and call if I got overheated, and headed out the door. My plan was to do the route to my parents (nine miles) and tack on the extra mile running around their neighborhood.

As soon as I started I knew it was going to be a rough run. It was hot, and humid, and I realized as I ran how little shade there was on the route. In fact, I don't think there was any in the first two miles. Also I was running too fast, I knew that. Kept trying to dial it back, but was having trouble finding that "happy pace."

By the time I turned on to the canal path around mile two, I started thinking seriously that I might not be able to finish out the run. I slowed down even further and some point around here took my first walk break.

A lot of this run bleeds together in my head, because I was way overheated. I was drinking water like a fiend (I think I just about finished the entire camelback), but at some point that stopped really helping much.

At mile three I did stop at a water fountain to run water over my hands and wrists and splash some on my face and neck. That (and I suspect standing in the shade) seemed to help a lot, and I felt better for a while.

I kept on with the run walk, walking whenever I started to feel overheated, I would slow down and walk for a bit. I really am not sure how often I was walking, I was doing it all on feel, just trying to get as many miles in as possible.

I made a deal with myself to finish out five miles at least. When I got to the five mile mark, there was a water fountain. As I was walking up to it to splash water on myself, another runner came up to fill his water bottle. I asked him if he wanted to go first, and he told me to go ahead. He asked how far I was going, and I said 10 miles. He then told me, "I'm 13 into 20, and I don't think I'm gonna make it." I think he was glad for the excuse to stand around while I was splashing myself with water.

Of course I couldn't quit after that, so I kept up with the run walk, debating the whole time if and when I should call it. And I kept convincing myself to keep going. Even as the runs got shorter and the walks got longer.

I did call it at nine miles though. I just couldn't convince myself to do the extra loops to make the tenth mile. I dragged myself into my parents house, ate some ice chips, changed into my bathing suit, and got in the pool. I'm not going to lie, the thought of getting into that pool was what kept me going for the last couple of miles.

It was about this time that I realized I had forgotten sunscreen before my run, as there was a very visible line where my RoadID had been. Add to that that I also realized I was seriously dehydrated. Even with all the water I had been drinking I didn't need to go until around 9pm, which was the point where it really hit me just how dehydrated I had been.

Looking at it now, I should have called the run earlier, but I really felt like I had to make the distance, since I've been falling so far behind on my training schedule.

Looking ahead we've got a drop back week this week (long run of 8 miles) so I should be able to recover some ground.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Solid AM run

I got to bed early last night, and even managed to get my gear laid out so it would be quick to get on for the morning speed work session. My stomach had other ideas.

I was up at 5:30, which should have been enough time to get dressed and out the door and to the Armory (which is less than five minutes from my house.) However, three trips to the bathroom later, I called it.

Between the time constraint (I was most likely going to be late at that point,) and the likelihood of another necessary bathroom trip, I decided to do the distance option on the treadmill. It was five miles, so I set my pace to what felt easy, set up the next episode of Fringe, and just chugged along.

Side note: Chase scenes in Fringe are great for making you unconsciously run faster.

Around mile 1.5 I had to jump off the treadmill for a quick pit stop. I was very happy with my choice to use the treadmill at that point.

Towards the end of my run, I realized I was running out of time, I still had to shower and get dressed for work, and it was getting awfully close to 7:00 (I have to be at work by 8, but I can usually make it if I leave the house by 7:30, yay for short commutes!) So I pushed the speed a bit, cranking it out to hit five miles.

It felt good to get the run in before work, and even though I was horrifically sweaty (still need to find a fan to put in there,) the run felt comfortable. Not easy like I should have been pushing harder, but a comfortable level of effort.

My knee felt good on this run, but since I didn't really have enough time to stretch, my calves are not happy with me now. I'm going to spend some quality time with my foam roller tonight.

In other news, I got an email back from the Trainer for the training group and She basically told me that it was awesome that I was listening to my body and not trying to push it too hard. She said she wanted to discuss it with me in person before she switched up my training plan.

Thursday is the monthly Pub Run, and I'm going to try to get to that. If I do, I'll talk to her then, if not I'll have to track her down on Saturday at the Long Run. Either way I'll have a plan to move forward with after this week, which feels good.

After last weeks Whine Fest, this week is bringing the positive back!

Monday, July 21, 2014

An Awful, No Good, Very Bad Week.

Last week was kind of a non-starter. I missed two runs entirely, and only managed three short runs all week.

Tuesdays speed work crashed and burned after the tempo repeats. My leg started bothering me during the last repeat so I cut out the "hill" section (sprinting for 20 seconds). Which left me with a short 2.86 mile run in the books.

Saturday, I was really busy so decided to move my long run to Sunday. I did a solid 5 miles. Nothing to write home about, but I did average 11'14" a mile. Unfortunately, there seems to be something wrong with my Nike+ app, so the splits are all messed up.

Sunday the weather was nasty rainy out, so I opted for a treadmill run again. I was going to try for the full long run distance on my calendar (13.1 miles), but figured I might have to cut it short due to time. (I could only really run until the munchkin woke up from her nap.) I settled into a nice 11 min/mile pace for the first 3 miles, just kinda crusin' and watching Fringe (I decided to start watching that from the beginning since I never really got into it before, I'm only on episode two right now.) Then my left knee (the bad knee) started bothering me. Not too badly, but just feeling kinda wonky.  So I slowed it down a bit, and kept chugging on. By mile five my knee was starting to complain loudly, so I made the call to finish out the hour and then stop (I was right around 50 something minutes at the time.) I ended up with an hour long run and 5.37 miles in the books.

I'm trying not to feel too defeated by my runs this past week, to just write it off as a bad week and move on.

Two weird things about the week, one is that I honestly think running on the treadmill is what's bugging my knee. I haven't had issues with it all season, and now it's acted up on two out of three treadmill runs. Also, I sweat a lot on the treadmill. I'm not sure if it's just because it's hotter in my house, or if I'm running faster, or the sweat evaporates better outside, but by the time I'm done on the treadmill, I'm drenched.

Ok, putting this behind me and moving on.

Monday, July 14, 2014

A long run, and some sore shoulders

My long run this weekend was supposed to be an 11 miler. Spoiler alert, it wasn't. However, it was an awesome run.

I stayed with the 13 minute pace group for this run, both because I feel more comfortable at that pace, and because I really enjoyed the group when I ran with them a couple weeks ago.

I had made the decision to wear my camelback for this run. There was no way I was risking running out of water again! This is the first time I've run serious distance with the pack on, and I was a little worried about it.

I told the pacer that I was supposed to do an extra three miles (the base run for the majority of the group was eight miles.) When we took off, I settled in right behind the pacer to talk to a woman I'd talked with a bunch the last time I ran with the group.

At first, like before, the pace felt super slow. I spent a lot of time keeping myself from speeding past the pacer. Eventually I ended up running right next to her and talking with her. She is a beast! She was telling me about all the races she's run, including 50k races and mountain races.

A little less than half way, we had a "photo Op" stop, where they had all the pace groups taking photos for the Fleet Feet 10th Anniversary. The 14 min mile pace leader (who had no one in her group today!) had been trailing right behind us (running much faster than her pace I'm guessing,) and took the picture for us. I took the opportunity to start "sippin" my Gu that I had brought for the run.

This was the first time I used Gu while running somewhere other than the treadmill. I actually had a lot of trouble "eating" it fast enough. I did find myself needing to take a drink of water with each "sip" from the packet, and found my mouth felt really dry while I was taking the Gu. I ended up only having half the packet. Which presented a problem, as I had to cary the half full packet of Gu as we ran, looking for somewhere to throw it out. I'm still not completely sold on the Gu, but I'm not ruling it out yet. Next week I'm going to go with the Honey Stinger Chews and see how those work out.

A little past the half way point (so about a mile after the photo op) one of the Coaches had set up a water stop. She was almost out of water (the sucky part of being in the "slow" group I guess.) But had enough for a few people to fill up their water bottles. The Camel Back was still pretty full, so I didn't bother trying to fight for water.

When we started running again, my legs felt awful. For the next quarter mile I felt like I had lead in my shoes. It was a really odd feeling. Luckily, it wore off relatively quickly and I was able to get into a nice rhythm again.

The second part of the run had some serious uphills, but I was still feeling strong. I stayed right with the pacer and was still able to have a conversation, even while powering up a few hills. The only hill I really had a problem with came around the six and a half mile mark. It was an underpass along East ave, going under the highway. It was really sunny and warm at that point and after we passed under the highway, the road went up sharply, for a really long time (it seemed.) By the time we crested the hill, I was more than grateful for the brief stop we had to make because of a red light.

After that hill, I was feeling it, but I was still able to hang right with the pace leader. I wasn't quite as talkative, but I was still keeping up. The last hill, over an overpass, took a lot out of me, and I really had to push to crest it, falling a little behind the pacer. She thought we were short on distance (although my map says we weren't) so she lead us on a tour around the parking lots to make up the 0.2 mile distance.

Unfortunately, this tour lead us right past a rank dumpster.

As soon as we got next to the dumpster, I gagged. The smell totally did me in, and I had to stop, almost dead in my tracks, and put my head down to keep from puking. It was awful.

So I stopped my run right there and walked my way across the parking lot to the store. My legs were pretty spent at that point, so I called it, and did not go back out for the additional three miles. I felt good about the eight miles, but I wasn't ready to push it any further.

I'm actually really glad I didn't, because there was an unexpected side effect of wearing the camelback. My shoulder started aching later that night, and by Sunday morning were so bad off they were sore to the touch. So I canned my planned run for Sunday in favor of some light yoga and rest.

Unfortunately I have a toddler, so there wasn't much rest, and the shoulders made sleeping Sunday night problematic. However, I'm feeling much better this morning, so I'm going to try to do a makeup run tonight.

After chatting with some of the other people in the pace group, and evaluating how burt out I've been feeling, I have come to the conclusion that I may have signed up for the wrong training plan. There are two half marathon training plans, Beginner and Advanced. I signed up for Advanced based on the description (for people with one or more half marathons under their belt and 20 miles a week base milage.) I met both of those requirements at the time, however I now believe that I belong in the beginners group. I've emailed the coach about it, and am waiting to see what they say.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Time Trail, take two

Last night was the second two mile time trial for the training group I joined. This time I was better prepared for the one mile out warm up, and took it slow, hanging out with another slower runner and just chatting it up on the way out.

When we started the time trial I pushed it a little too hard, like I always do, and flew through the first loop (we do four half mile loops.)

By loop two I wasn't feeling so hot, so I slowed up a little, concentrating on just keeping my cadence up and my form good.

By loop three I was concentrating on my breathing, since it didn't seem to want to sync smoothly. I kept feeling like I wasn't getting deep enough breaths.

Somewhere in the fourth loop I got my first side stitch in a long time. I concentrated on my foot strikes (making sure they were mid foot), and tried changing up my breathing.

I didn't feel awesome about how I was running, and most of the run I kept thinking that I was sucking at this. Especially when the faster runners looped me...twice.

When I finished the coach called out my time: 21:53. I had shaved almost two whole minutes off my time.

So that was awesome.

On the run back, I fell in with another runner, and got caught up chatting with her. I wasn't paying attention to my pace at all.

I had mapmyrun running the entire time (with auto pause for when we stood around at the start and end of the two mile loops.)

Apparently I did that last mile faster than my time trial loops. Weird.

I feel a little better about my running, and my progress after this. I had a good time actually talking to some of the other runners.

I am still however questioning my ability to stick with this program. While it is doing amazing things for my running (and my waistline...can't forget that) I've been finding that running is now a source of stress for me, instead of a respite from it. I worry about getting runs in, about missing runs, about spending too much time running and not with my daughter, about how much energy I'm spending on the runs, about how zonked I am after a long run. I worry about the additional stress it's putting on the Hubs as he has to be the parent on duty (or POD) so often when I'm either out running or recovering after a run, sometimes while managing to cook dinner, feed the Toddler and sometimes handle bedtime or nap time duties.

This program is supposed to be for a half marathon. My target Half is in October. This weekend our long run is scheduled to be 11 miles, next week it's a full 13.1. I know the coaches know what they're doing, but I'm looking at that number with doubt. That's my target distance right there. I'm going to run it now, one third of the way through my training plan? Where are they going with this? Can I really keep up with the time commitment as the miles increase?

Yeah, a whole lot of negativity after such a positive run, I know. Right now my plan is to stick it out for a few more weeks, and then reevaluate.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Feeling a bit negative this week.

Well, here I am being a terrible blogger. I'm finding that by the time I have the time to blog, I don't have the energy. I need to change that.

I'm starting to doubt my training plan. Or, rather, to doubt my ability to commit as much time as the training plan requires. It's a five, sometimes six, day a week plan, with runs lasting, on average, an hour. The milage on the long run feels like it's skyrocketing. I have an 11 mile run on my schedule this week. I struggled with 7 last week. I feel like I'm taking too much time away from my family, when I'm already gone from home for 40 hours a week.

All these doubts, and tonight is a time trial.

On Tuesday, I did not get up for my AM run. I still had a bit of a migraine from the night before, so I played it safe and stayed in bed. I was supposed to be doing speed work and hill repeats, but by the time I got home a massively epic storm was raging outside.

So I hopped on the treadmill and did as close an approximation of the workout as I could. 10 minute warm up, followed by 5x3 minute repeats at Tempo pace, and then 5x20 second sprints. I had my nike plus app working to try to get an idea of how my pace went. It didn't really work super well, I think it had a hard time, especially with the sprints, since it took a minute to figure out i'd changed pace. Also, sprints on the treadmill are hard, since it takes a minute to speed up and a while to slow back down.

It was a good workout though, I pushed hard, running faster than my target tempo pace I think by quite a bit, and burning it up for the sprints. I felt like I was really able to push myself on the run, which was nice after Sunday's Bonk.

By the end of my run, I was soaked. I kept thinking that I would have stayed drier if I had decided to run in the storm. I blame the sprints, but I seriously haven't been that sweaty since the long run in Mendon (the awful hot one with the hills.)

I had a run on the schedule for wednesday, but I skipped it, since I really do not have any time on wednesdays to run.

Tonight, like I said earlier, is a two mile time trial. It'll be interesting to see how (and if) i've improved, since lately, I feel like every run is harder than the last.