Last Week in Training

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I finally managed to get a full week of training in last week.  It felt good to hit the pavement more regularly, even though a majority of the runs were hot, sweaty messes.  Let’s recap the week in training!

Monday 22Jun15

I went out for a 5K around the neighborhood and my pace died as each mile passed.  I ran the first mile around 8:01 but ended up running around 9:45 at the end.  It was humid and HOT.

Tuesday 23Jun15

Even though it was pretty hot, I made myself run outside during lunch.  I was much happier with the pace I maintained for this run (8.5 min miles) and then I felt nice and warmed up for soccer later that evening.

Wednesday 24Jun15

No extra running, just had a 40 min soccer game.  We lost due to a crap call by the ref (a PK that was not a PK, we still aren’t sure what he called bc I was standing right next to the guy he called the foul on).  Bummer, but a good workout.

Thursday 25Jun15

Running with Conshy Running Club.  I really considered skipping since it started raining on my drive over from work, but I didn’t bail and got a nice, easy 4.2 miles with some friends.  There was even a photog out for the Times Herald and I got to be in a photo op for their article about the Schuykill River trail.  You can check the story here (I’m in the back in the purple tank!).  Overall pace was 9:36/mile.

Friday 26Jun15

I took a half day from work because why not.  I didn’t have much lab work to do so I prepped some things for Monday and then went home to go out and run.  It was pretty warm out and halfway through I popped inside my house for some Gatorade and to splash some water on my beat-red face.

run26jun15This was my first really longer run in quite a while.  I’m not unhappy with the pace.  It was pretty toasty out there.  After the run, I cooled off then dashed over to my favorite yoga studio for their 5:45pm class.  I was pretty spent after that and just relaxed the rest of the evening.  Overall pace was 9:29/mile.

Saturday 27Jun15

The weather on Saturday was craptacular.  I went back to the yoga studio for a one hour session in the morning, then did some odds and ends around the house.  It poured all.  day.  long.  I was glad I did my first of the two long runs the day before because running in that mess would have been miserable.  Instead I enjoyed watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup matches and some light cleaning.

Sunday 28Jun15

I finally had a Sunday morning free to go to the Sunday bRUNch run with Conshy Running!  I was originally aiming for around a 9:30 pace for the out and back, but the morning was cooler and overcast so the first few miles FLEW much faster than I planned.  At the 4.1 mile mark I met with a couple ladies who were going to do the back at the pace I wanted to be at.

run28jun15We had originally planned to have brunch at Local Table, but they weren’t open!  The thought of a smoothie kept us going the last three miles so it was a little bit of a bummer the place was closed.  We ended up getting brunch at The Lucky Dog which used to be Spamps.  I hadn’t been there since it changed over and I was pleasantly surprised.  I had a omelet with bacon, avocado, and American cheese and it was amazing.  Anything might have tasted good after that run, but I think I may have to drag Dan here again for brunch another weekend!  The manager/owner was so excited such a large group came in for brunch that she snapped pics of us, then offered to make us the smoothies we missed out on!  It was awesome!

11666242_10153362043089004_1783148091311118129_nCheers to smoothies!  I’m hoping to meet up for another long run again on the 12th when I will desperately need some motivation to tackle that after doing the Spartan Super the day before!

Total Mileage for the Week:  26.1!

This week should be interesting with the holiday weekend coming up.  Here’s the tentative plan I have:

Monday – 5 miles easy
Tuesday – yoga & soccer
Wednesday – 4-5 miles (maybe) & soccer
Thursday – 6 miles easy
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 4-5 miles
Sunday – 4-5 miles
Total Goal:  ~24 miles

Rock The Canyon Training Update

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Or lack of training update I should say if we’re being totally honest.  Last week was a bit soccer-heavy and when the weekend rolled around a combo of being lame, unmotivated, a wimp, and feeling some ankle tweakage convinced me to be lazy.  Whoops.  Fitness-wise, I think I am okay enough I can chalk that up as some rest time, shuffle on with the plan, and still be fine.

I’m not a fan of running in this weather though.

2015-06-23Gross.

I made it out last night for a run around my neighborhood.  The conditions were pretty similar to that right there (which is today) and I nearly skipped it.  But, I sucked it up and sweated through wondering why I sign up for summertime races.

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run22jun15_2The first mile wasn’t so bad, but I quickly died after that.  I’m happy I still went out and did it.

Today was a little better.  I changed at the gym during my lunch break and originally planned to run on the treadmill.  But then I kind of felt like a sissy since I was only doing two miles, so I again sucked it up and took my run out in the heat.  I’m pretty happy with the pace I was able to maintain while not completely dying out there.

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10154392_10101405128582956_6235413450926802838_nSweaty selfie for posterity.

We have indoor soccer playoffs this evening (at least three 18 min games) and I didn’t want to kill my legs doing too much mileage.

The rest of the week’s planned workouts are as follows:

Wednesday – lunchtime run of 2-3 mi, co-ed soccer 40 min
Thursday – hot yoga one hour, run club for 6 mi
Friday – hot yoga for 1:15
Saturday – hot yoga for 1 hour, 9 mi super easy pace, ice bath at night
Sunday – 9 mi super easy pace, hot yoga for 1:15

Things from the Past Weekish

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Random post ahead, just FYI.

Last week I was supposed to kick off my training for the Rock the Canyon double half marathon, but in typical me fashion I didn’t.  That isn’t to say I didn’t work out.  I had quite the busy week, actually:

Monday – rest day
Tuesday – indoor soccer, 40 min
Wednesday – indoor soccer, 2 games @ 40 min
Thursday – Midsummer 5K #1
Friday – hot yoga
Saturday – outdoor soccer, 60 min scrimmage plus dancing all night at a wedding
Sunday – outdoor soccer, 90 min of hot hell on a turf
Monday – rest day (blisters a-plenty from the weekend)
Tuesday – lunch run, 3 miles in 24:13

I hadn’t planned on playing two games last Wednesday, but a friend needed some help and I’m known to usually say yes when asked if I want to play more.  Can’t help it.  Thursday was the first of the three 5K series hosted by Bryn Mawr Running Co.  It was hot, humid, and in the 80s.  I was sort of hoping for some rain or a storm, but no dice.  I ended up running it in 23:52, which is not bad at all!  Last year I ran the June race in 24:20, so it looks like I’m definitely improving my 5K times in the summer.  I’ve pretty much accepted I can’t chase sub-22 until the temps cool off.  As a consolation, I enjoyed some cherry water ice.

IMAG2798And still had a good hair day post-race.  Winning.

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Friday I spent the post-work hour at Hotbox Yoga enjoying some sweaty vinyasas then booked it to my friend/teammate’s place to shower off before we watched USAvsSWE at the Hard Rock.  I was a typical 30-something after the match and went home to sleep.  During the game, another teammates asked if I’d fill in Saturday morning since they were potentially going to be short.  Again, can’t say no.  We had enough to play, but the other team didn’t and forfeited, and a fourth team didn’t show so the three teams divided up and played a scrimmage.  I scored a goal (two in as many weeks!) and then rushed home to recolor the blue in my hair and get ready for my friend’s wedding.  I decided to try Rent the Runway for the first time and was super nervous about the dress I ordered fitting right.  I had backup dresses, but luckily didn’t need it.

IMAG2838_1I was super sad I had to send it back yesterday.  I highly recommend using that site, and their customer service is incredible.  I had picked a larger size that ended up being damaged, and they overnighted me the next size down (which thankfully was the right one) and another dress in case that didn’t fit.

I picked the wrong shoes, which I had worn before but apparently got blisters this time around.  Made soccer no fun on Sunday (plus minor hangover, oops).  It was the last game of the season so now my Sundays are free for some sweaty ass running.  Yay!

Speaking of that…

IMG_20150616_130921I hopped on the treadmill during lunch today to knock out three miles.  I was POURING sweat.  Ew.  But, I had a great run and made myself do negative splits:

1 mile at 7.0mph
1 mile at 7.5mph
1 mile at 8.0mph

Total time was 24:13 which averages to 8:04/mile.  I’m also heading to hot yoga again for the evening, so more sweating is on the way.

And that’s a wrap from me for now.  Hoping to hit somewhere around 30 miles this week.  We’ll see what happens though.  :D

Rock the Canyon Race Plan

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Race talk time.  In about seven weeks I am going to attempt my first time at a marathon… split up.  I know that at some point, I’m going to run a full.  When that will happen probably depends on when I am willing to give up outdoor soccer for a season, which isn’t right now.  Or if I get robot legs.  But until either of those, my friend found something I could wrap my head around training for.

The PA Grand Canyon (yes, I didn’t know we had one of those either til this race) Marathon takes place on a gorgeous course in July out in Wellsboro, PA.  Unfortunately in 2015, some construction and other things have prevented the full from happening.  To keep the race somewhat intact, they’re offering half marathons on both Saturday and Sunday with the option to run BOTH days that weekend.  My friend presented this to me (likely at a time of weakness for me) and I agreed to take on the challenge.  Running 20 miles in a single day for training just seems really hard (wimp alert), but somehow running 10 then recovering overnight to run another 10 the next day seems actually feasible.  I might be crazy though.

So I crafted a little plan with the help of Runner’s World Smart Coach that I will probably only follow 80% of.  My main sticking point will be following the long run plans.  The other stuff I am okay subbing in a soccer game or other activity as long as I move for a similar amount of time to the run it is replacing.  I may also switch out the speedwork or tempo runs for some hill running to get my legs in better shape for the elevation changes on the course.

I’ll check in weekly to update on how much I did or did not stick to it, and all that jazz.  I’m fairly curious how I am going to handle the weekend of my Spartan Super as well as a long weekend away before the race.  Those will be interesting.  Not mentioned on the plan will be supplemental exercises of yoga, strength moves, and soccer.  I am NOT running this race for time.  Being that it’s in the middle of the summer and something I’ve never attempted, that’d be silly.  I’m hoping I have a lot of fun and enjoy the challenge of testing myself!  Who knows, maybe this will finally lead me to buckle down on that full soon.  ;)

WEEK 1: 29 Mi
Mon Jun 8 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @10:06
Wed Jun 10 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 8:42; Cool
Thu Jun 11 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:06
Sat/Sun Jun 13/14 Long Run Dist: 7/7 Mi @10:06
WEEK 2: 31 Mi
Mon Jun 15 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @10:03
Wed Jun 17 Speedwork Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 8:01 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Jun 18 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @10:03
Sat/Sun Jun 20/21 Long Run Dist: 8/8 Mi @10:03
WEEK 3: 33 Mi
Mon Jun 22 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @9:59
Wed Jun 24 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 8:36; Cool
Thu Jun 25 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @9:59
Sat/Sun Jun 27/28 Long Run Dist: 9/9 Mi @9:59
WEEK 4: 24 Mi
Mon Jun 29 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:56
Wed Jul 1 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:56
Thu Jul 2 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @9:56
Sat/Sun Jul 4/5 Easy Run Dist: 4/4 Mi @9:56
WEEK 5: 38 Mi
Mon Jul 6 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @9:56
Wed Jul 8 Tempo Run Dist: 5 Mi, inc Warm; 3 Mi @ 8:33; Cool
Thu Jul 9 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @9:56
Sat/Sun Jul 11/12 Long Run Dist: 9/10 Mi @9:56 (Sat is Spartan Super)
WEEK 6: 26 Mi (Wed –Sun Vacation)
Mon Jul 13 Easy Run Dist: 6 Mi @9:53
Tues Jul 14 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:53
Wed Jul 15 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:53
Fri/Sat Jul 18/19 Easy Run Dist: 5/5 Mi @9:53
WEEK 7: 39.2 Mi
Mon Jul 20 Easy Run Dist: 4 Mi @9:50
Tue Jul 21 Speedwork Dist: 4 Mi, inc Warm; 2×1600 in 7:49 w/800 jogs; Cool
Thu Jul 23 Easy Run Dist: 5 Mi @9:50
Sat/Sun Jul 25/26 Double Half Marathon Weekend 13.1 Mi on Sat, 13.1 Mi on Sun

Updates and Things

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Hello there!  I’ve been MIA since the Marine Corps Half, but I haven’t stopped running.  Well, I did stop my run streak, let’s talk about that.

So post-half marathon, I kept going with my running streak.  On Wednesday the 20th, I had a 5K at work.  I finished in 23:55, the first of my age group (it was a tiny race) and scored a $50 gift card.  Pretty sweet!  The following days I felt pretty good, nothing wonky or hurting.  I felt pretty happy about that.  Then, Friday rolled around.  I was packing up my stuff to drive down to Delaware for the weekend and debating on going out for a quick mile.  My stomach was feeling unhappy for whatever reason, and even though I wasn’t experiencing any major pains, my right shin still didn’t look too great.  When I put pressure on certain areas, I don’t feel anything.  It’s weird and I’m not sure if it’s just slow-draining fluid or actual nerve damage.  After weighing the pros and cons, and thinking about the fact I had a 5K in the morning I wanted to run hard, I made the decision to call the streak quits after 19 days.  I was a little bummed, but I think I just mentally was ready for a day off, too.  I got down to DE with no issues other than some traffic in Rehoboth/Dewey, and went to bed early.

I ran the Justin Jennings Memorial Day 5K on Saturday and wanted to go hard for the race.  I had some good tunes on, queued up Strava, and had a sea level course of three miles to crank out.  The miles flew by fast and before I knew it I was sprinting down the boardwalk and crossing the finish in 22:27.8!

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I was SO close to a PR and snagged the 4th spot in my age group!

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I did notice that during the run I could feel it in my right shin, so I think stopping the streak was definitely a good idea.  I grabbed some lemon water ice after, then went home to relax with family for the rest of the day.

The rest of Memorial Day weekend was spent catching up with the fam and my friends from high school.  Good times!  I played soccer on Tuesday and Wednesday, then was a maniac at work the rest of the week.  I’m pretty sure I put in a good 10 hours a day to get things squared up before the weekend where I had yet another 5K.  This time it was the SlyFox Fox Trot 5K and I was running with Conshohocken Running Club.  The race was at the brewery in Pottstown and started at 10am.  The weather was hot, humid, and sunny.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to accomplish running-wise, but figured I’d be happy anywhere under 25:00.  I’m not good with heat and humidity.  The first mile had a bit of a downhill, which was nice.  Mile 2 was hooooot.  There was little shade and finally I took a walk break because I felt myself getting goosebumps.  Not really a good sign when it’s 85 and sunny and you’re sweating.  The walk break helped me power through to finish fourth in my age group and well under 25:00!

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I’m definitely happy with how my recent races have been going.  I think taking off some of the pressure with the MC Half was needed and the running streak kept me happy with just getting out and moving my legs!

FB_IMG_1433012483874The post-race party was a total blast!  Many laughs and beers were had and new friendships made!  Conshy Running also won a ton of awards (including 1st overall and 2nd female overall, among other AG placings) and I’m hoping maybe I’ll be one of them next year!  It was a good beer-themed race to kick off Philly Beer Week, for sure!

IMAG2743Also, the shirt I rocked for the 5K was provided by my BFF Devon, because she’s awesome and shares my love of beer!

IMAG2738We were definitely channeling Florida with the weather this weekend!

My race calendar is calming down for a couple of weeks now.  My next race isn’t until the first of the Midsummer 5K series in Ardmore.  Until then, I’m working on doing some yoga to limber up a little more over the next month, the usual 2-3x a week, soccer, and of course, running.

 

Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon 2015

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Race recap time!  This past weekend I had the pleasure of running the Marine Corps Historic Half for the second time.  Friday night after gathering up our needed odds and ends, Dan and I drove down to Virginia to beat all of the crazy traffic the roads would have Saturday from the Preakness.  We got to the hotel room in Fredericksburg a little after 2am and went immediately to bed.

Saturday morning I got up and hit the hotel gym treadmill for an easy 10 min run and got to about 1.05 miles.  This was day 14 of my running streak and I couldn’t let it end!  After that I showered up and we ventured across the way to the expo to go pick up our bibs for the race and do some wandering.

11154999_10101351878561426_900823216436037220_oMy bib number happened to also be the year I graduated high school, which was pretty neat.  At the expo I eyed up another pair of shoes, but Dan talked me out of it.  After we had enough of the booths, we dropped stuff off at the room and took the trolley into downtown Fredericksburg to look at some shops and grab lunch.  We ended up at the Italian restaurant we had dinner at last year and I clearly couldn’t resist getting the pesto gnocchi again.  The rest of the day was fairly uneventful so I’ll just cut right to the race now.

I had decided before the weekend that with the weather predictions of hot and humid temps, I was tossing out any and all time goals for this race.  I didn’t pack my Garmin, I left my phone in the hotel room.  It was just me and some music for this race.  A little after 7am, I was off on the course heading out for the first few miles.  I felt pretty good but within the first mile I was already sweating from every inch of exposed skin.  Fun.  I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying myself.  The playlist I had was really fun and kept me pumped.  One other thing that got me going was the fact that somewhere between mile 5 and 6, the lady with tequila would be there.  I remember counting down each mile until the area I knew where her house was.  The early hills were a bit tough, but I felt good.  I made sure to take water at every station and dumped a couple cups on my head.

HH2015_4As I rounded one bend and ran down a familiar street, my view revealed a disappointing fact:  the tequila people were not there!  I was pretty bummed as I talked about this aspect of the race a LOT.  I continued on to mile 6 where an awesome lady was handing out orange slices and enjoyed one along the way.  A bunch of residents also had sprinklers aimed into the streets for the runners which was great.  Somewhere after the orange slices and before getting into the main part of downtown Fredericksburg, I saw a table with jello shots for the runners.  I wanted to take a shot of SOMETHING this race, so jello shots would have to do.  They were tasty and I think the sugar helped fuel me another mile or so.  I also took a Gu halfway through which I haven’t done during a race in a long time.  It was needed this day though.

HH2015_8It. was.  hot.  The miles through the town breezed by pretty fast.  I remember pumping my arms a lot whenever people cheered.  I knew Hospital Hill was getting closer and closer and tried to just keep a steady, easy pace until then.  I grabbed a watermelon slice from another resident along the way, and they were perfect!  Shortly after that, a house had a giant kiddie pool full of water bottles.  I accepted one from the cutest little girl, drank half and dumped the other half on my head.  I felt totally hydrated at that point and plodded on to the last four miles.  Hospital Hill finally arrived and man it was doozy again.  I made sure not to stop, but just make my way as best I could.  There were a lot of people cheering the last quarter of the hill so I picked it up and waved and cheered back.  Then when I crested the hill I wanted to puke so I slowed back down to recover.

You’d think after that hill, you’re pretty much home free, but getting to mile 12 you have one last hill to climb up.  Not as long as Hospital Hill, but still a pain in the ass especially when you feel pretty spent already.  The cool thing about this hill is the line of volunteers holding flags.  One runner made sure to touch every flag on their way up the hill, which was neat to watch.  I picked it up on the straightaway for the last mile, high fiving any and every little kid with their hand out along my way.

HH2015_10I think I was looking at the giant American flag there, but not sure.  Clearly I am happy about this race!

HH2015_11As I was approaching the finish area, I heard the announcer say they were getting closer to the 2:00:00 mark.  I may not have set any time goals, but I was excited to hear I kept myself under 2:00:00!  I dashed to the finish then did a heel click jump as I came across the second timing mat.  I was hoping there’d be pics, but I haven’t found any yet.  Boo.  So, here’s how I did without knowing how I did along the way:

mchh2015splitsMy official finishing time was 1:54:55!  Only 43 seconds slower than last year!  I’ll take it.  I am so so glad I adjusted my expectations heading into the race.  I knew with the weather it was a crapshoot on if I could run well, and seeing my pace slow along the course would have really been demotivating.  I also noticed I paid far more attention to the scenery and spectators instead of constantly checking my watch for my pace.  It was really good to get back to basics with a half marathon and it paid off with my third fastest time!  I have the Philly Half Marathon in the fall to really kick ass, and it’s nice to have a no pressure race once in a while.

PART_1431873345878_20150517_094444I feel like I have some of my confidence back with running and am more accepting of the “not every race has to be a PR” mentality.  I’ve got a few 5Ks lined up in the next couple weeks, then it’s time to start incorporating some double long run training weekends for the PA Grand Canyon Half & Half challenge at the end of July.  But right now, I’m looking forward to continuing my running streak (18 days so far), working on strength training again, and finishing out the soccer season.

MC Half Training Week 14

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week14milesWeek 14 is a wrap for my half marathon training and I am still kicking on the streak with eight days of running in a row (image is from Strava which I did not use during the Broad Street Run, hence only seven runs being shown).  I have now set up a minimum goal of running 20 miles a week, which I realized AFTER my runs I just missed hitting.  I’m guaranteed to crush that this week though.

I will note that I did not get in a traditional long run this past weekend.  Being realistic is something I try not to avoid (most of the time, haha) and so when I saw Sunday’s soccer game was going to be short-fielded for us with only 10 players, I cut back the distance.  I think 90 minutes of sprinting around a soccer field plus five miles of running in the humidity was sufficient enough.  As much as I’d like to be all “I played soccer AND ran 12 miles,” I also recognize that could be stupid and derail my streak and the half marathon itself next weekend.

Speaking of which, I did a lot of thinking during those sweat-filled five miles and am coming closer to the conclusion that going balls to the wall for a PR this race is perhaps just not worth it.

mchalfweatherYeah….  The weather looks pretty annoying for Sunday.  And hot.  And humid.  While I’ve been running daily in warmer, more humid weather, I just feel like this race is not going to go well if I set too much pressure on hitting specific time goals.  What I’m considering doing is to just make a nice playlist of good tunes and run with that and no other tech.  No GPS, no split tracking, no paying attention to pace.  Just go back to running for the heck of it and waiting til the end to see how well I did (or did not) do.  I ran my first half this way and getting back to that once in a while seems like a good idea to me.

Plus, I always have the Philly half in the fall to work on crushing.  It seems to be my sweet spot race and I do much better in the cooler temps.  I dig the idea of having a lower pressure, fun half marathon to tackle.  And I won’t ruin my phone or Garmin if any torrential downpours occur during the race.  Win.

TL;DR my legs feel good, I’m not running the half for any specific time goals right now, and spring is definitely transitioning to summer already.