Monday, December 31, 2012

Training Schedule Week of 12/31/2012-1/6/2013

Here it is!  My first week of Half Marathon training.  As I said, I'm utilizing a slightly modified (this is me, of course) version of Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half program.

Why did I choose this?  Because after much research, it best fits "me".  It schedules 2 strength training days, which, on a good week I do anyway.  It also starts at a comfortable mileage per week and days running per week for me.  I have heard great things about doing a shorter run the day before the weekend long run to "teach" your body how to run on already potentially tired legs, so that was another reason.  And, most of all, and the main reason I picked Intermediate instead of a Novice program is the incorporated speedwork.  I've been doing speedwork for several months and have felt that I've gotten a lot out of it.  It's pushed me when I didn't know what I was capable of, therefore allowing me to reevaluate my goals and go farther... faster!  I truly enjoy it as well, as it breaks up the monotony of "just run at a conversational pace", which some days can make even a short run seem like it goes on forever.

What am I modfiying?  Well, first of all, I'm spreading it out to 13 weeks instead of 12.  I thought it would be awesome to start the program right at the New Year (yeah, cheesy me), and it would be great to have an "oopsie" week just in case I come down with the nasties, have a niggle I can't keep under control, or if a blizzard comes our way and I can't leave the house.  Right now on my written plan, it's giving me a bit more of a taper, especially since my first half is on a Saturday, not a Sunday.  Second of all, the races on Hal's plan and mine don't totally match up.  He calls for a 5K on the Sunday in week 3.  I have had my heart set on doing the Frigid Five Miler since I first heard about it.  That will be on Sunday of Week 2 for me.  As such, I've moved the long runs around to compensate.  Hal calls for a 10K on Sunday of Week 6.  My 10K takes place that Saturday, so again, I adjusted.  There is a 15K listed in Hal's plan for week 9.  I couldn't find one in my area at that time.  So, I'll be doing a scheduled long run instead that week.  Lastly, on the "Stretch and Strengthen" Mondays that are standard in the plan, I would also love to do crosstraining (just a simple 30 min bike or elliptical workout or a video done at home if I can't get to the gym) since I am used to doing that presently.  Now, if I'm feeling worn out, injured, or that I just need the break, I won't feel obligated to do that.  But, that's just my "in a perfect world" plan. 

Other than the changes listed above, I'm just along for the ride!  We'll see what happens with it.  As always, I'm going to keep an open mind and "play smart" and be open to having to change things as needed.

So, without further ado, here's my schedule for Half Marathon Training Week 1:

Monday: Today I did a 30 minute strength training video - Roger Dickerman's The Whole Package, as well as the 30 minute video Yoga for Runners.  Stretch and strength day DONE!
Tuesday:  3 miles EASY
Wednesday: 5x400 with 200 recoveries.  There will be a 1 mile w/u and c/d as well.
Thursday:  3 miles EASY plus upper body weights
Friday:  REST DAY!
Saturday:  3 miles EASY
Sunday:  5 miles LONG

Here we go!

Looking Ahead to 2013

New Years Eve.  That happened quickly!  As most people have been doing, I've also been thinking about the journeys I've taken this year as well as what I'd like to accomplish in 2013.

I only really started "seriously" running in April when I decided I really wanted to a) be able to run nonstop and b) be able to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes.  With these 2 seemingly simple goals in hand I set out on a trip that included many written and rewritten training plans, lots of internet research, the realization that my "walking shoes" were not meant for running (!), and the acquisition of more knowledge and more FUN than I'd ever imagined.  I finally found the race I wanted to compete in: The Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race.  It's a big deal here in town and I thought that it would give me ample time to train hard (it was in September) and I could get lost somewhere in the sea of thousands of people and now stick out like a sore thumb if I looked ridiculous.  And so, it went.  I originally started with a Jeff Galloway-type plan, but since I was looking more toward really wanting to just run, not take walk breaks, but scrapped it for a plan generated by Runner's World SmartCoach.  It seemed to do the trick.  I liked the fact that it incorporated speedwork and tempo runs, which I do swear helped my performance immensely.  However, I did still utilize run/walk intervals for the weekly "long run" (which topped out at 7 miles).  I specifically used the 4/1 ratio, in case anyone is truly wondering.  Aside from a few days missed out due to shin splints, I was able to run all summer long with no issues.

I'll write up an official race recap of the Great Race, but I went sailing across the finish line in 26:05, no walking necessary, feeling great, still able to smile, and honestly feeling like I could have went out a little harder!  Goals attained!

Since the Great Race, I've been in kind of a holding pattern.  I really wanted to focus more on staying injury free (I'd started to experience little niggles here and there that would put me off for a few days), while building up my speed and overal endurance.  I knew right after I crossed that finish line I wanted more.  On opening registration day, I signed up for the Pittsburgh Half in May.  I've also got other races on the horizon, as you can see on my Race Schedule page.  I scrapped the Runner's World SmartCoach because I didn't like the fact that it only had me running 3-4 days per week in 1 long run, then 1 or 2 2 mile jaunts (I can barely warm up by the 2 mile point sometimes, these runs just did nothing for me), then 1 speedwork or tempo run day.  I just felt like I needed something more spread out through the week and more focused on building up my overall weekly mileage, not just the 1 long run per week.  So, I searched some more and I found a plan by Shelly Glover on Running Coach that looked appealing.  It shared my thought that it was more important to run more days per week. Since I was already around the 15-16 mile per week point, I started the plan around that.  I made some changes, of course, but I can say this plan was successful for me.  I did use one of the runs each week as a tempo run, since I didn't want to lose any speed, but I laid off of strides or sprints during this point.  I will be (happily) picking that back up again this week.

In comparison to other people, my 2012 running report may seem quite boring, but I consider it a fantastic start.  I spent most of my time focused on completing 2 goals in that 1 awesome race and then since then I've been running to build up my mileage and speed so that I can take it to the next level in 2013.  I've also been running to run, you know?  This is supposed to be fun and all.  It does kinda dishearten me when people take it so seriously to a point it seems to me like it lacks enjoyment for them.  Fun, people, fun.  Many people would kill to be able to put one foot in front of the other.

Speaking of 2013, yes I do have some goals!

1. I want to do either 4 half marathons or 2 halfs in the Spring and 1 marathon in the Fall.  The final decision on which route to take will obviously be determined by how I feel after Pittsburgh in May.

2. I want to finish at least one of my half marathons in less than 2 hours.  I've heard horror stories about the first 5K and the massive hill at the beginning of my first one, so I don't know that it will be there.  I will be ok with any finish in less than 2:15.

3. I'd like to get up to the 30 mile per week point sometime after the Pittsburgh Half.  Of course I will NEED to do this if I'm going to go for a full marathon in the fall, but even if I don't I'd like to get to that point for, if nothing more, personal challenge.

4. I want to do several local races (5 and 10Ks, etc) that benefit good causes.  The race I'm planning on doing around Valentine's Day is an example of this.  Sure, local races might not be as well organized as the big name ones, the routes might not be the best and you might not get a fat bag of swag, but you get the knowledge that you helped someone out there who CAN'T run that race with you.

5. I want to be able to do at least one trail race.  One of my favorite parts of doing my long runs on the Riverfront trail is being able to watch the seasons change, see the wildlife if you really look, watch the sun sparkle on the river, and just be kind of among nature, even though I'm still in the city.  I also like the challenge of watching for rocks and holes and bad spots.  Maybe I'd enjoy trail racing more than road?  Won't know until I try!

I hope you all have a fantastic New Years, and I wish you all the best as you begin your journey in 2013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final Run of 2012! Week in Review!

I woke up this morning determined to get out and run.  The streets were plowed and I knew from some interwebs chatter that North Park was in decent shape.  So, we bundled up the kids with the promise of playing in huge piles of snow and off we went.  As we drove in, I saw a good amount of people running around the lake.  Great sign!  I did notice that there were some spots that looked kinda iffy, so I made a pact with myself that I was just here to get 3 EASY miles in.  I wasn't going to kill myself over keeping pace.  I was just going to enjoy myself and stay in an upright position.  The rolling hills honestly weren't bad.  I expected a lot worse.  Like I said, there were lots of people and even with all the weaving around, passing walkers and letting the speedsters by me, there was very little to worry about where traction was concerned.  The one and only dodgy bit was the bridge.  Since the jogging trail goes up on a sidewalk here instead of just being an extension of the road, it wasn't plowed.  So, it was all snow, ice and slush.  I defintely needed to slow WAY down (I think my pace dropped to like 10:30 something per mile around here) and watch my footing.  Thankfully the bridge isn't very long, and then it was back to the road path around the other side of the lake.  I really felt like I could have ran the entire lake loop today (5 miles, as I've mentioned before).  However, I was only out for 3 today, and didn't want to be stupid right before half marathon training, so I was a good girl and did an out and back.  I had fun.  The trip on the way back was more of the same, except I was more confident with the bridge.

Splits:
Mile 1 - 9:58
Mile 2 - 9:48
Mile 3 - 9:24

Overall: 3.03 miles in 29:32.  Average pace: 9:43.  Ha!  Even rocked negative splits, slushy bridge and all!  This was my last run of 2012!

This was an up and down week, that's for sure.  But, I expected that and adapted the best that I could.  My only real regret is not doing any weight training.  I must do better at compensating for that, even on days where it is impossible to make it to the gym.  Maybe I need to look into a new video for those days or dig out an oldie.  Suggestions?

I ran 15.07 miles this week (again, an estimate due to my app messing up the other day).  I also got that awesome 5 mile walk in with Leslie!  I planked every single day, with most days being 2+ minute planks and I was able to do my IT Band strengthening routine.  I'm not going to feel bad about that!  This was my last week of general running before becoming an official Half Marathoner-in-training!  Yeah!

I'm going to make separate posts regarding my Year in Review and goal setting for 2013 as well as for next week's training, of course - my first week of Half Marathon Training via Hal Higdon!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weatherman Fail.

You know how yesterday I said I was going to recon North Park to see if I could run today?  Well, I did that and it was really clear and I was super excited to run today.  The weather report was calling for maybe a half inch to an inch of snow to fall starting somewhere around dawn.  No biggie - I enjoy running while its snowing as long as I'm not running on sheets of ice and dangerous Pittsburgh slushy messy crap.  I set my alarm, laid out my gear and went to bed early.

My alarm went off and I rolled out of bed and instictively grabbed my iPhone as always.  I kinda noticed a glare coming from the window, but it really didn't register until I looked at the news on my phone: Many Areas Already Reporting 3-5 inches of Fresh Snow. 

Ahem.  WTF!?!  What happened to "just a dusting" or so starting in the morning??  I looked out the window.  Everything was covered.  I opened the back door.  The snow was up to the stairs....  Dang.  I ate some breakfast and had some coffee.  Got my #plankaday done... I really REALLY wanted to get out today - heck if I couldn't run outside I'd settle for the dreadmill again!!!  I threw on my shoes and went out the front door.  Nothing plowed.  Marginal shovelling of the walks.  The snow was still coming down in blankets.  Where I live this just isn't "runnable"...  and I obviously wasn't even getting to the gym.  My littlest boy ran out and tugged on my pant leg.  My husband was right behind him saying something to the tune of "you'd better not be thinking of doing something incredibly stupid".  So, I closed the door and went in the house with 2 out of  my 3 boys.

At this point, simply put, I was pissed.  I had a holiday screw up the first part of my week and now the weather is screwing up the rest.  I really wanted to do something today.  I wanted to RUN, but that was proving to be impossible.  Then I thought, why don't I WALK?  And then, I called on an old friend.  Leslie Sansone.  In my "About Me" section, I know I mentioned her.  I owe a lot of my present day fitness to her and her videos.  Almost a decade ago her Walk Away the Pounds series got me off my rear end and on the road to a better life.  It's still amazing and tear jerking for me to think about, but when I first started I couldn't even get through the ONE MILE walk.  I could not walk ONE freaking mile!!  And here I am, about to start training for a half marathon and eventually a full.  Just wow.  Anyway, Leslie has done a lot more videos and branched out quite a bit from those originals.  A while back, I saw her "Walk Slim 5 Really Big Miles" DVD on sale at Target (plus I had a coupon - SCORE!), so I picked it up.  I honestly placed it on a shelf and never got around to doing it.  Until today.  It seemed like just what I needed.  A 5 mile walk was perfect for this day!

Leslie always strikes me as one of those people who finds happiness in everything.  One day I hope to attain that.  God's still working on me!
 
 
This video was great.  5 miles in 75 minutes plus a warmup and cooldown stretch.  One thing I've always loved about her videos is that you really can make them as hard or as easy as you need them to be.  On a lot of her walk up and walk back parts I was jogging.  I will say that this video was particularly awesome because there were parts where you DID jog anyway.  This was also some of the best music I've heard from her workouts.  Another thing?  I love that she uses REAL people as workout "models".  Too many times you see perfectly toned and muscular, 0% fat, glamour girls in workout videos and advertisements.  Yeah, that might entice some folks (ahem, men), but that's always been a turn off for me.  I know I will never look like that.  After losing over 100 lbs and having 6 abdominal surgeries, my belly will never be flat, rock hard or defined.  And that's ok.  My body is healthy now and my mind is healthy for taking the journey.  'nuff said.
 
So while nothing can compare or take the place of getting a 3-4 mile run in outdoors, I was happy with the time I spent sweating in the living room today.  My kids also joined in for different parts and that's always time well spent.  Thank you Leslie!
 
Tomorrow..... I have no clue.  I'm not even going to bother making any plans.  I'm looking at another "maybe an inch overnight" forecast.  In a perfect world, the roads will be plowed and at least driveable tomorrow.  I would like to go to Mass, after all.  So, if I can get out - an easy 3 miler is what the doctor ordered.  But, if I'm homebound yet again, I'll make the best of it.  I could always use an extra rest day or a stretch/yoga day before my first week of OFFICIAL half marathon training!  YAY!!
 
Stay warm, my friends!
 

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Whirlwind of the Holidays and Getting Back on Track

Oh, the holidays.  I love them, really, I do, but boy can they throw the mind and the body for a loop quickly.  I knew coming into this week that I was going to have to stay flexible and be ok with the fact that my "schedule" was going to get tossed around.  And that's what happened!

Monday I was able to get up to North Park again to do my 6 miler.  The run was great.  I was wondering how I'd feel doing my long run here after the run the day before but I felt fantastic.  There were so many runners out celebrating this Christmas Eve by wearing holiday clothing, including santa hats and elf SHOES!  haha!  Even the dogs being walked around the lake had bows and hats on.  Cute.  I think seeing all this around me really pumped me up despite the bitter cold because I did this run pretty fast.  I didn't feel bad at all afterward, though, so it didn't worry me.  What a great way to kick off the week!

Splits:
Mile 1 - 10:12
Mile 2 - 9:33
Mile 3 - 9:33
Mile 4 - 9:21
Mile 5 - 9:09
Mile 6 - 9:02

Overall: 6.04 miles in 57:15.  Average Pace: 9:28.  A little on the fast side, but I felt great!

Then, in true blonde fashion I messed my knee up Christmas Eve night in an unfortunate portable dishwasher incident.  LOL.  So, I decided that it would be perfectly fine to delay my Christmas Day 3 miler to rest the knee and to not throw yet another wrench in the works of our travel plans.  We were leaving that afternoon to go visit my family approximately 3 hours away.

The trip went well, but we stayed very late and by the time we drove home it was in the wee hours of Wednesday morning.  I felt like crap (you know, between the trip and all that super wonderful healthy Christmas food - NOT) and knew that running was going to be iffy Wednesday afternoon.  I kept some hope that I'd get out, though.

That was until I woke up (very late due to the time I finally got to bed) on Wednesday to see several inches of snow and ICE outside and more of the stuff still falling down.  All in all, my area got 5-7 inches.  It was a lovely ice-snow-ice-snow layer.  No running was happening outside then, and obviously I couldn't drive to the gym to the treadmill when the weather was so bad.  So, I said "meh, I could use the extra rest from the trip, etc". 

The next day the snow was only barely cleared out, and if I'm being perfectly honest here, I was having a pretty crappy day and feeling lazy as all get out.  So, I didn't run outside because I will NOT run on ice.  I just will not risk the injury.  But, I also didn't drive to the gym, even though I could have, because of sheer LAZINESS.  There I admitted it.  I will say that I did plank every single day and on this particular day (Thursday) I did do my IT Band Strengthening Routine as well as some abdominal crunches.  That's more than nothing, I guess.

Today I was determined to get back on track.  I literally rolled out of bed, grabbed a bite to eat and got my #plankaday done.  I whipped on my gym clothes, grabbed my shoes, and headed to the gym (word on the street had it that my trail was a total disaster and that North Park was still dodgy in spots.  Plus, after all these days off, Nick was really itching to go to the gym too, so it just seemed like the best thing to do.).

I got there, put my game face on (lol) and hopped on a treadmill.  I started my Nike+ Running app, because it is a LOT more accurate than the treadmills at my ghetto gym.  My gym is tiny, and it's cheap for a reason.  The equipment is more often than not "out of order", and even when it is in order, it's not quite up to standards.  Plus, I really like hearing the coaching in my ear as well as my running playlist because it drowns out the gym chatter.  I AM, in fact, looking for a better gym when my membership here expires in February.  Anyway, I planned on running 5 miles on the treadmill.  I wasn't looking for tempo miles, just an easy 5 to get close to my mileage for the week after missing all these days.  Sometime after the halfway point and my "you're halfway there" announcement, my app paused.  It somehow stopped tracking distance and pace, but continued tracking time.  I was a little curious as to why I stopped hearing the announcements, but I kept plugging along.  Finally, I just said "screw it" and ran until the 1 hour point on the treadmill.  When I finally looked at my phone, it said that I went 2.84 miles in 58:08.  Correct time (since I walked 2 mins on the mill before starting the app), but definitely not distance or anything else.  Crap.  So, if I have to give it my best guess, I ran around 6 miles.  That's what I feel like I ran as well.  That would equal around a 9:40 mile average and that seems right to me.

So, my next task is to figure out if this was just some goof of the app or if my shoe pod is garbage.  I'll do that soon.   Here in a little bit I'm going to go do a recon mission of North Park to see if it is runnable.  If so, tomorrow I'd like to put in 3-4 miles there.  If not, back to the gym I go.  Same with Sunday. 

Getting back on track after the holidays is tough but necessary.  I hope you are all having good luck in finishing 2012 strong!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Training Schedule Week of 12/24/2012 - 12/30/2012

So.  This is a big holiday week.  I AM STILL GOING TO RUN.  I know things might get crazy.  I know I might need to do quite a bit of rearranging and planning to make sure I'm able to get out.  But I'm going to give this all I've got this week.

Monday:  6 miles Long Run
Tuesday:  3 miles Easy/Recovery - this is Christmas Day.  Needless to say, this might get pushed.
Wednesday:  GYM day
Thursday:  4 miles Tempo
Friday:  3 miles Easy - plus weights
Saturday:  4 miles Easy
Sunday:  OFF

Pretty much, if I don't run my 3 miles on Tuesday, I'm looking at running them on the treadmill on Wednesday in lieu of another crosstraining/cardio exercise and then do upper body weights (same thing I'll be doing Friday).  If I get to Friday and I'm feeling like I don't want to run a 4th day in a row on Saturday, I'll take Saturday as a bike plus lower body weights day and then run the 4 on Sunday.  I know this sounds confuzzling, but it all works out.  It will work out.

This is my last week before starting my half marathon training.  I'll be using a modified (of course) version of Hal Higdon's Intermediate Half plan.  I'll go more into why I chose that and what my modifications are in the next week.  Let's focus on this week first.

Speaking of focusing on this week, like I said, this is a big holiday week.  This is the week where I am personally celebrating the birth of the newborn Jesus Christ and the gift that he IS to the world.  Tomorrow evening my family will be attending Mass and giving thanks to God for his most gracious gift.  Christ is born, Alleluia, Alleluia!

No matter where or how you are celebrating this holiday season, I just want to wish you happiness and joy.  Peace be with you always!  May you receive lots of running related gifts under the tree!

Merry Christmas!

Week in Review

A little late (as usual), but here is my training week update/review.

Friday I made it to the gym.  I did my typical random recumbent bike workout.  I ended up going 7.52 miles in 30 minutes.  It was a good time.  Then I was able to do my complete weights circuit.

I did:
Leg Press - 2 sets of 12 @ 55 lbs
Shoulder Press - 2 sets of 12 @ 15 lbs
Triceps Press - 2 sets of 15 @ 45 lbs
Back Extension - 2 sets of 15 @ 80 lbs
Hip adduction - 2 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
Hip abduction - 2 sets of 15 @ 100 lbs
Abdominal Crunch - 1 set of 20 @ 50 lbs, 1 set of 20 @ 55 lbs - RAWR!
Chest press - 2 sets of 12 @ 30 lbs
Seated Row - 2 sets of 15 @ 30 lbs
Pulldown - 2 sets of 12 @ 35 lbs

This workout felt GREAT!

Saturday was a difficult day.  Because it was the kids first day of Winter Vacation and our schedules were just crazy, I couldn't break away for my scheduled run.  I still couldn't just sit around and do NOTHING, though, not with the holiday yumminess that lie ahead in the coming days.  So, I popped in a trusty ol' fitness DVD.  Now, I've "graduated" working out at home for the most part in lieu of running and going to the gym, but my roots are in the videos.  I've been doing workout videos since I had old Denise Austin VHS TAPES in the 90s.  Not to completely date myself, but yeah... I had the entire "Hit the Spot" series.  I was also a big "The Firm" fan.

Anyway, the DVD I chose was The Biggest Loser Cardio Max.

Jillian's intimidating even on the cover.  Yikes.  LOVE YOU JILLIAN!
 
This workout is awesome.  I love the fact that you can customize it.  Also, they add a lot of core focus and weights.  Cardio Max is truly an all inclusive workout.  It's also got a decent warmup and cooldown, which a lot of videos really seem to lack.  I sound like I'm being paid to write a great review here, but I'm really not.  I'm just a fan.  I bought the video at Target with my own money and I've done the workout in my own home, looking all sweaty and haggard because I have no one to impress here... lol
 
Today I was able to get to the park and run.  I went to North Park for two reasons - 1) to "practice" running there due to having 3 races coming up there, and 2) because the kids can play in the playground and snow with Nick so we're all getting a workout.  It was a chilly (20s) but very sunny day (thank goodness for my Oakleys).  I had on my Hyperwarm pants that's for sure!  There was some girl there running in her shorty shorts.  Wow.  More power to her - I think my legs would jerk right off my body and go running off somewhere warm.
 
 
My run went really well.  I fully admit to taking it a bit fast, but I think having the extra "rest" day from running just made me want to go go go.  And honestly, I tried to just not look at my watch and run by what felt "easy" and then every time I'd glance at my pace, it would be way faster than I "should" have been running.  So, after about half way through I just said screw it and ran how I felt like running, gps watch and mcmillan running be damned.  I was scheduled for 4 miles and I went 4.25.  The North Park lake loop is a near perfect 5 mile loop, and I was so tempted to run it all, but I cut my run off at 4.25 like a good girl and walked the rest of the loop back to the family and van.
 
Splits:
Mile 1 - 9:43
Mile 2 - 9:35
Mile 3 - 9:04
Mile 4 - 9:07
 
Overall: 4.25 miles in 39:35.  Average pace: 9:18.
 
So this week was another great week, I think, even with the crazy schedules and whatnot.  Overall this week I ran 18.48 miles in 2:54:44.  1 mile less than last week, BUT I did that in 4 runs, not 5.  It all works out, I promise.
 
I'm going to make a separate post regarding my training schedule for the coming week.  Obviously, I'm going to stay very flexible on this due to the holiday, but I will make my best attempt to staying on track however I can!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Could Be the Last Run EVER?!

I just wanted to come on and update this since 1) I've ran since I last posted and 2) This very well may be the last day on Earth, if those Mayans were correct.

Wednesday, like I had predicted, ended up being a total rest day.  There just wasn't enough time to get everywhere I needed to be plus get to the gym.  But, that's ok, because I truly believe my knee needed that extra rest!

Today I had a 4 mile tempo run scheduled.  I was kind of dreading this due to the problems I've been having, but I honestly felt fine and was hoping for the best as I headed out.  The weather was VERY windy and that was a bit complicated to contend with along the river (stadium loop again), but I think I did a pretty good job!  I started out with a 1 mile easy warmup, ran 2 miles at around 5K pace, then ran 1 mile to cooldown.  That third mile was kinda tough toward the end, but I didn't back down and I made it!  The best part?  No pain, no niggles, no tightness, nada!  I felt great!  I iced when I got home more out of precaution (paranoia?) than necessity.  I also planked and stretched, of course.  Like I said, I think that day of total rest did me good!

Splits:

Mile 1 - 9:54
Mile 2 - 8:26
Mile 3 - 8:03
Mile 4 - 9:21

Overall: 4.06 miles in 36:21.  Average pace: 8:57.  I'm pleased with that.  If that ends up being my last run ever, I think I can be proud of myself.

However, I don't think that it will be.  :)

That being said, on a down note, I think my favorite trail is not going to be accessible for a while...  They are doing some kind of construction in several places of it, making it quite cumbersome to get through, and due to the wet weather, it has really become just a slosh pit.  I attempted to go down it a bit today and barely made it a quarter mile before turning around and heading to the stadiums because I was sliding all over the place and then the construction folks seemed to think that I had no right running through their zone.  So boo.  Looks like I'll be mainly on pavement for a while until I can find a better path to run, or the construction and shitty weather let up.  I'd like to say I can make it up to North Park to run, but it is quite a trip from where I live.  I do want to get some runs done up there though because my next 3 races are there and I'd like to be familiar with it.  I've only ran there a couple of times before during the summer and once about 2 weeks or so ago.  I don't really prefer North Park even though a lot of people do.  The speed bumps really mess with me and I honestly prefer soft picturesque trail as opposed to running on a road around a lake.  The same 5 mile loop over and over and over... I don't know.  Maybe I'm just weird.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to try to make it up to the gym.  We're supposed to be getting one heck of a snowstorm starting tonight and throughout the day tomorrow.  If that's the case, my scheduled 4 mile run on Saturday may need to be either postponed to Sunday or done on the treadmill.  Or maybe if they clear North Park I'll run up there and let the kids play a bit.  We'll see.  I'm staying flexible on pretty much everything in life right now due to the holidays and weather and babies being born, etc.  Next week is my last buildup week and then I'm OFFICIALLY training for my half marathon.  I'm nervous and excited!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Easier Time with the Long Run?

Over the past few weeks I've come to realize something.  I tend to feel much better after my long run than the "easy/recovery" run the day after.  Why is this?  Take this week for example:  yesterday I felt fan-freakin-tastic after my 7 mile run.  Hardly felt the need to ice afterward (although I did anyway), and for the rest of my day, I couldn't even tell that my legs took me far that morning.  Not a twinge or niggle.  But today, after a 3 mile "easy/recovery", I feel a bit on the beat up side.  Sitting here on my chair an hour and a half post run, I can still feel my knee throbbing.  Yes, I've iced and stretched thoroughly.  It doesn't hurt as bad as it did in the previous week when I was fearing an injury, mind you, but I feel like I ran 8-10 miles at a brisk pace!  I don't understand this, and if you're reading this and can provide some insight, please do.  If I'm doing something incredibly wrong, I'd like to correct it!

Yesterday's run really did go great.  It was another warm December day (in the 50s), but it was sprinkling rain on and off.  No biggie.  That typically makes for a sweet run, especially on the trail.  Somewhere in mile 5, my knee started aching slightly, but it didn't last long and I was able to finish the run comfortably.  And, like I said above, I never felt the slightest discomfort the rest of the day.

Splits:

Mile 1 - 10:10
Mile 2 - 9:51
Mile 3 - 9:47
Mile 4 - 9:52
Mile 5 - 9:42
Mile 6 - 9:49
Mile 7 - 9:12 (you know how I love to push that last mile a bit)

Overall: 7.08 miles in 1:09:11.  Average pace:  9:46.  I really felt great!

Today's run was tough.  It started out ok, but felt hard.  I was battling an almost steady rain, much chillier temps than yesterday, and random strong gusts of wind.  The wind was the worst part... I don't mind the cold or the rain much.  I also ran the stadium loop again today because I knew the trail would be a sloppy mess due to the all night rain.  Anyway, right around 1.5 miles my knee started the dull ache thing again, but I was able to push through it.  It still bothered me through my walk back home.  I stretched, planked (of course), and iced.  It's not crippling by any means, but I can definitely feel it nagging me.

Splits:

Mile 1 - 10:02
Mile 2 - 9:52
Mile 3 - 8:57 (ok, so I really pushed that mile... lol)

Overall: 3.08 miles in 29:37.  Average pace:  9:36.  Still within "easy" range, but I feel like I just ran a big race.  :(

Tomorrow is scheduled to be a gym day, but my middle child has an appointment mid morning, so I might not be able to make it there.  If I have to take a rest day, I really won't mind or beat myself up over it.  Either way, I hope I feel better when I get back out on the road or trail on Thursday!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Training Schedule Week of 12/17/2012-12/23/2012

Training plan for the week:

Monday:  7 miles Long Run
Tuesday:  3 miles easy/recovery run
Wednesday: Gym day - this day may get thrown for a loop due to an appointment my son has.
Thursday:  4 miles Tempo (1 mile w/u, 2 miles pace, 1 mile c/d)
Friday:  Gym day
Saturday:  4 miles Easy
Sunday:  REST

I just hope this week goes as well as the last!  Same goal - keep it slow when it has to be!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Success!

This training week was, simply put, a HUGE success!  This is one of those seemingly rare times where I was able to do everything AS scheduled, ON schedule, and relatively easily.  Times like these make the times that are less desirable worth working through.

So, on Wednesday I went to the gym.  I rode the recumbent bike for a little over 7 miles in 30 minutes.  Then I did my full body weight circuit.  Well, aside from the Seated Row, which was being held hostage by a group of guys and I just wasn't up for waiting around for it.  I felt ok, but it was a pretty "meh" gym day, overall.

Thursday was my 3 mile Tempo run.  It went GREAT!  My legs felt super loose and I was just floating along through those miles.  I literally felt like I was flying and it was totally effortless.  If every run would be like that, I'd be in heaven!

Splits:

Mile 1 - 9:40
Mile 2 - 8:06
Mile 3 - 8:46

Overall: 3.11 miles in 27:32.  Average Pace:  8:51.  I can't tell you how GREAT I felt after this!!

Friday I was back at the gym for a 3 mile easy run on the treadmill followed by some upper body weights.  The run went ok - nothing to sing about, really.  And I was able to get ALL my upper body circuit in.

Shoulder Press - 2 sets of 12 @ 15 lbs
Triceps Press - 1 set of 15 @ 40 lbs, 1 set of 15 @ 45 lbs
Back Extension - 2 sets of 15 @ 80 lbs
Abdominal Crunch - 2 sets of 20 @ 50 lbs
Chest Press - 1 set of 12 @ 25 lbs, 1 set of 12 @ 30 lbs
Seated Row - 2 sets of 15 @ 30 lbs
Pull down - 2 sets of 12 @ 35 lbs

Rawr!

3 mile run Splits:

Mile 1 - 9:32
Mile 2 - 9:06
Mile 3 - 9:04

Overall: 3.14 miles in 29:19.  Average Pace: 9:18.  A little on the fast side, but it's hard to pace on the treadmill (at least for me).

Today (Saturday), I had a 3 mile easy run scheduled to finish up the week.  I chose to do the stadium loop again, because a local running club had a race scheduled on the trail.  No biggie.  The run went great.  My knee tweaked a bit when I first stepped off, but then it went away, so who knows... I feel fine now and plan on stretching and rolling through tomorrow.  Anyway, this was another one of those great runs where I felt like I could have ran for a long time, but I knew better and cut it off where I was supposed to and came home.

Splits:

Mile 1 - 9:59
Mile 2 - 9:46
Mile 3 - 9:14

Overall: 3.05 miles in 29:33.  Average pace: 9:39.

This was just such a great week.  I did much better with pacing and I kept up with a rigorous stretching and rolling routine.  I backed off when I felt like I needed to, and pushed forward when I was certain that I could.  I pray for more weeks like this in the future.

Overall this week I ran 19.45 miles in 3:06:30.  I ran 5 days!  A new PR!!  Average pace: 9:35.  Much better than last week.  I'm not feeling like I'm going to die.  I feel like I've earned tomorrow's rest for SURE, but I don't feel like I have to spend the day whining and wrapped and iced up.  YAY!!  My goal for next week is to just keep this up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Extreme Pittsburgh Weather

When I say "extreme" Pittsburgh weather, I'm not referring to hurricanes or 20 feet of snow.  I'm referring to the fact that Mother Nature never seems to be certain what season it is around here.  I have lived in many places and this is the ONLY place where you can literally go from shorts to a snowsuit in about 36 hours.  It's freaking strange.  Even the meteorologists around here seem confuzzled by it.  Before bedtime, they'll be predicting 3 inches of snow overnight, but once sunrise comes along, it's a clear mild day...  Gotta be prepared for anything around here, which is why I seem to have (and constantly NEED) a ton of running gear.

My long run on Monday went GREAT!  It was pouring rain, but nothing was going to stop me from getting out there.  I kept my pace slower than I usually do and just tried to relax.  I kept waiting to be in pain, but it never came.  Right around mile 4, I felt the slightest twinge in my leg, right around my knee, but it went away in a second and didn't return, so I did not feel the need to stop.  When that happened I glanced at my pace and noticed that I was really on the edge of "fast" for the pace I was supposed to be running, so I slowed it down more.  I finished strong and was just so happy.  The trail was super muddy so I was splashing in puddle after puddle and ended up covered in mud.  Oh well, I had a blast.  Here I am after coming home:


Playing in the rain makes me happy!
 
 
Splits:
 

Mile 1:  10:03
Mile 2:  10:13
Mile 3:  10:03
Mile 4:  9:53
Mile 5:  9:53
Mile 6:  9:34 (this one was a wee bit fast)
Mile 7:  9:48
 
Overall: 7.07 miles in 1:10:11.  Average pace:  9:56.  Yay me!
 
 
Today was a 3 mile easy run.  Yesterday's rainy run was in the 50s, and today's windy run was in the 30s.  I'm telling you, this place is crazy.  Anyway, my legs felt a bit like lead and my left/problem leg was extremely tight.  Not painful at all, mind you, just very very tight.  I got through the run, but it wasn't the most fun.  Instead of taking the muddy trail again, I ran around the stadiums and casino area.  I came home, did my standard 10+ minute stretching routine, planked, did my IT Band Strengthening workout, iced, and foam rolled.  I feel ok now, but now I have that "I just foam rolled tight legs" bruised feeling.  Sigh.
 
Splits:
 
Mile 1:  9:56
Mile 2:  10:02
Mile 3:  9:17 (I tried not to push it too hard.  I failed.  Not as bad as it could've been though.)
 
Overall:  3.06 miles in 29:55.  Average pace: 9:45.  See, it all worked out in the end!  ;)  I'm proud of myself for going slow these last couple of days.  I'm doing to do my best to stick with this plan.  I'm not achieving negative splits, but I'm sure they will come around again.
 
Oh, you see the black ensemble that I was wearing in yesterday's run?  I had black capris on too, and my husband complained that he didn't feel I was visible enough outside.  So, here's what I threw together for today:
 
Better now, honey?
 
Pic came out a bit yellowy... I'm a terrible photographer (and I honestly don't care - I'm a little tired of the snooty camera culture happening right now), but yes that's a hot pink shirt under a chartreuse pullover with a zebra print headband.  Just keepin' it real.
 
Well, now that I've posted 2 pictures of myself in one post I'm feeling a tad narcissistic.  I typically hate having my pic taken, trust me...
 
Anyway, tomorrow is a gym day for me.  I'm planning on working out on the bike for 30 mins and then doing the weights circuit.  Lots of stretching, rolling, and planking as well.
 
Until next time - God Bless!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Training Schedule Week of 12/10/2012-12/16/2012

Training plan for the coming week:

Monday:  7 miles Long Run 
Tuesday:  3 miles EASY recovery run
Wednesday:  GYM  - bike and full weight circuit
Thursday:  3 miles TEMPO (1 mile easy, 1 mile @ 10K pace, 1 mile easy)
Friday:  3 miles easy plus upper body weights at GYM
Saturday:  3 miles easy
Sunday:  REST

My original plan was to run Monday-Thursday, take Friday as the full gym day, run Saturday, then rest Sunday.  But after this past week, I don't want to run 4 days in a row again, so I moved Wednesday's easy 3 miler to Friday.  I just think that looks like a more workable plan for me at this point.

Again, pacing is my main focus this week.  So, in the spirit of reminding myself for the 10 millionth time, here are my recommended paces:
Long Run:  9:36-10:52
Easy:  9:34-10:28
Tempo:  Depends on if I'm aiming for 5K or 10K pace, but I'm going to lean toward 10k: 8:43

I am also committed to sticking with planking, making sure I stretch as much as possible, and foam roll at least once per day.  I will be doing the IT band strengthening routine several times this week as well.  It seems to benefit me greatly.

Here's to hoping for a great week, injury free, SLOW, and successful in every way!  I'm off to get a slice of German Chocolate cake.  Hey, I can claim carb loading, can't I? *adjusts halo*

I did it!

Lemme just heave a sigh of relief and say I DID IT!  I ran today and I was ok!!!  I kept waiting and waiting to feel pain or any twinge that would make me have to stop, but nope.  There was none.  I ended up doing 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym so I could get a strength workout afterward since I haven't been able to this week.

My strength workout:
Shoulder Press 2 sets of 15 @ 15 lbs (I am so weak at this!)
Triceps Press 2 sets of 15 @ 40 lbs
Back extension 2 sets of 15 @ 80 lbs <-- this is an increase from 75, yay!
Abdominal Crunch 2 sets of 20 @ 50 lbs
Chest Press 2 sets of 12 @ 25 lbs
Seated Row 2 sets of 15 @ 30 lbs
Pull down 2 sets of 12 @ 35 lbs

I stayed away from the legs machines due to just running and the fact that I want to run tomorrow as well.  No need to overdo it, right?  I think I'm learning my lesson on that.  I also did my #plankaday at 1:24.0 (not bad for doing it late in the day), and did a lot more stretching and foam rolling.

Overall this week I ran 18.44 miles in 2:49:34.  Average pace: 9:12 (a bit too fast, but I've already talked about that).  Goals for next week include slowing down that pace, getting to the gym twice, and running 19 miles.  I'll post my schedule later on tonight.  Right now I'm just feeling good.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Late in the Week Update

I'm sitting here, finally getting some downtime and listening to The Marathon Show.  I love Joe.  I hope I have the pleasure of meeting him at a race one of these days. 

So... hmmm... I'm kinda nursing a bit of a niggle in my left leg.  I'm suspecting it's an IT band flareup, but I'm not a doctor.  I've been icing, stretching, and foam rolling like crazy.  I'll talk about this more later, but first let me bring you up to speed on my training this week.

Tuesday was a 3 mile "easy" run.  It went pretty well, really... I took it easy until the last mile as usual when I try to always give a little "oomph" to the finish.  During the run, I noticed that my left leg was pretty tight feeling.  I couldn't place an origin on it - my calf was a little tight, but the worst of it was in my quad.  It wasn't bad enough to make me stop, but I did note it.

Splits:
Mile 1:  9:20
Mile 2:  9:29
Mile 3:  9:03

Overall: 3.11 miles in 28:51.  Average pace: 9:16.  After stretching and planking I didn't notice much discomfort in my leg, so I hoped that it was just a random thing.

Wednesday was another 3 mile "easy" run.  With good intentions, my husband and I drove up to North Park since it is pretty close to our gym so that we could go lift weights after the run.  Well, some drama ensued during the morning and I was pretty pissed off by the time I got to run.  So, I ended up running really agressively and just hard.  North Park is also a different terrain than I do my usual runs on.  It's all pavement/road whereas I run on part concrete and part trail.  By the end of this run, I just hurt.  My leg was in pain and I was just emotionally spent.  I skipped the gym and went home to stretch.

Splits:
Mile 1:  9:28
Mile 2:  9:26
Mile 3:  8:49

Overall: 3.02 miles in 27:59.  Average pace: 9:15.  Decent time, but ouchie.  My leg hurt through the day, but it felt more like soreness and icing and ibuprofen seemed to help.  I truly felt ok to run by the next morning.

When I woke up Thursday morning, my leg felt a little "off", but felt runnable (is that a word? lol).  I was happy to be returning to my normal trail.  The first steps of my run were a bit uncomfortable, but it seemed as I loosened up, the pain wasn't bad, so I continued my run (that was probably dumb).  This was a tempo run, so my plan as before was to do 1 mile at an easy pace, 1 mile tempo, and 1 mile easy.  Again, this was probably dumb... I should have just done another easy day due to having leg trouble.  I never claimed to be a genius.  My run honestly went great - I even beat my fastest mile time during mile 2 - but when I was home after walking about a half mile back to my house... omg the pain.  I stretched well, iced, took some ibuprofen, and wrapped my leg up.  My pain had isolated itself to the outside of my left leg and the upper outside corner of my knee.  Going downstairs SUCKED. 

Splits:
Mile 1:  9:31
Mile 2:  7:54  <-- new PR!  My fastest previously was 7:57
Mile 3:  8:40

Overall: 3.05 miles in 26:38.  Average pace: 8:43.  Great, but honestly, not worth the pain.

So.... I've been trying to do some rehab.  I have an IT Band strengthening routine from strengthrunning.com that I used the last time I had a flareup.  It helped immensely and I've returned to doing it.  I've also been foam rolling and stretching several times a day.  I skipped the gym on Friday and I rested today.  At night after rolling, I ice and wrap my leg and take Naproxen.  The pain in my knee is gone for the most part and stairs aren't killing me and I only get minor twinges here and there on the outside of my leg.  But, I'm playing it safe.  I'm still a good way from my half marathons and it doesn't make sense to do a lot of damage right now when I have the luxury of rest time.

I'm going to try to get out tomorrow and see what happens on a slow (I promise) jog.  If I'm in agony, I'll try run/walk, and if that sucks, I'll just walk or even rest period.

What I did wrong this week:  Pacing.  Most (all?) of my runs were WAY TOO FAST, especially when this was the first time I'd ever ran 4 times in a row.  According to McMillan Running, my easy run pace should be between 9:34-10:28.  I think it's evident that I've been going MUCH faster than that.  My 10K tempo pace is 8:43.  That run I did ok on, unfortunately I'd already done myself in for the week in the 3 runs prior.  My long run pace is supposed to be between 9:36-10:52.  I need to stop pushing myself and get out of my head all the speedy people on DailyMile and Twitter and focus on my own running.  Sure, I wish I could run double digit miles at a 7 min/mile pace, but that's just not in the cards (at least right now).  This isn't worth the pain to just see how fast I can go.

If I'm able to start my week comfortably on Monday, I'm going to change a couple things.  First - my schedule.  Running 4 days straight is stressful - granted, it would probably be less so if I'd pace correctly, but for right now, I have a bad taste in my mouth... So, I'm going to separate my runs more.  Secondly, I'm really going to focus on slowing down.  I have to.  I have my heart set on 6 races at least in 2013 and ending 2012 injured just isn't going to bode well.  I'll post my revamped schedule tomorrow WITH promised paces!

Until then - here's to crying while foam rolling but feeling that sweet sweet relief afterward!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Happy Monday!

Yes, Happy Monday.  I usually always say Happy Monday because it always seems like people give Monday a bad rap.  "Ugh... it's Monday" "I've got a case of the Mondays", etc.  Poor Monday.  No respect.  Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm surrounded by people/media/etc moaning and ranting and being down, it's a lot harder to be positive and happy and have a great day.  So, I counter it as best as I can.  HAPPY MONDAY.  Monday is a new start, a clean slate.  You can make it the best week ever and balk at how fast it flies by because you're having so much fun or at least because you're so busy being freaking AWESOME at whatever you do.  Or, you can choose the "woe is me, case of the Mondays" route and just trudge your way through continually asking "Is it Friday yet?".  I'm choosing to be positive.  Make every day count.  Stop dissing on poor old Monday.

Happy Monday!

This morning I had my 6 mile run scheduled.  I misjudged how far I was up the trail after my husband dropped me off at the trailhead on his way out, so I ended up going a total of 6.21 miles.  Oh well, not like it was hard or that it's going to kill me.  I may go a little over the "recommended" 10% rule this week, but I tend to think the "rules" are more guidelines and that you should listen to your own body.  If the end of the week comes and I need to tone it down, I promise I will.  But right now I think I'm a-ok.

My run went great!  I thought I was feeling the beginnings of some GI issues around mile 5, but thankfully they faded away quickly.  I doubt it was from my pre-run fuel, which was my standard PB on toast, because I ate like crap last night and knew afterwards that was a bad idea.  Oh well.  Live, run, and learn, right?  Today I tried to not gawk at my watch every couple of seconds and just run by what I perceived to be a nice comfortable pace.  I think I did pretty well.  I caught myself pushing it a couple of times, but I reeled it back in.  After stopping my watch I didn't achieve perfect negative splits, but really I wasn't too far off.

Splits:
Mile 1:  10:05
Mile 2:  9:34
Mile 3:  9:40
Mile 4:  9:25
Mile 5:  9:15
Mile 6:  9:19

Like I said, I don't think I did too bad!  Overall:  6.21 miles in 58:58.  Average Pace: 9:29.

I did my 10 minute stretching routine when I got home and then did my #plankaday!  Today's plank came in at 1:49.1.  Yay!

 
Planking is fun! Just DO IT!
 
I'll catch up to you all with more training updates through the week.  HAPPY MONDAY!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Training Schedule Week of 12/3/2013-12/9/2013

As promised, here is my training plan for this week:

Monday:  6 miles Long Run
Tuesday:  3 miles easy
Wednesday:  3 miles easy (will try to hit the gym here as well, so this will probably be a treadmill run)
Thursday:  3 miles tempo
Friday:  Gym Day!
Saturday:  3 miles easy
Sunday:  REST

Notice how my long run went down from 7 miles last week to 6 this week.  That's because I'm adding another 3 mile run to the week, bringing me to that holy grail of running 5 days per week.  Next week the long runs start getting long again (I don't really consider 6 miles "long" anymore.. lol).

And of course, I'm going to keep planking so the @PlankPolice don't get me!

Have a great start to your week everyone!

Week in Review

Well, another week is behind me.  Time always seems to fly once the holidays come around...  So much stuff to do and never enough time to fit it all in. 

Let's see, the last workout I posted on was Thursday's tempo run, and I've been a little slacking (already) on posting daily (see note about holidays and time above).  Friday was another gym day.  I did another random spin bike workout and got ALL of my weight circuit in.  As far as my weight circuit goes, I pretty much just utilize a plan laid out for me by a personal trainer with a couple of add ons that I either enjoy or feel beneficial to my running.  I'm really trying to make it to the gym twice a week from here until my half marathon.

Saturday was scheduled to be another 3 mile easy run.  It started out that way, but just as I was about to exit the park to head out to the trail I usually run on, a dog chased me down and jumped on me.  Of course it had to be some nasty pit bull mix hyperactive type mutt.  It didn't really hurt me, but it stopped me in my tracks for a moment or two.  I was so flipping mad.  This park has an off leash dog area, but some people think that means their dogs are allowed off leash EVERYWHERE.  I noticed this lady and her two dogs as I was making my way through the park and I just felt off about it since both of them were off leash already on the bridge before you get to the dog area.  I'm sorry, but if you can't control your dog(s) and they can't be trusted to stay where they are supposed to then keep them on a freaking leash.  I'll admit to several expletives flying out of my mouth.  At any rate, I had a really hard time keeping a nice even easy pace after the incident and the whole run just felt like crap.  I ended up doing 3.11 miles in 29:05.  Not too shabby of a run, but definitely not controlled and easy.

Splits:
Mile 1 - 9:22
Mile 2 - 9:38
Mile 3 - 9:08

Oh well.  I'm not a dog person, so this really drove me nuts. But I gotta learn not to let something ruin an entire run.  What if during a race something weird happens?  Not every run/race is going to be perfect.  This is obviously something I need to work on.

I've also been keeping up with #plankaday, which is just so fun.  I seem to plank better after running and stretching than other times.  I wonder if there is something to this?

I just have to brag a little too - I hit not one, but TWO awesome milestones this week!!

1) This is the first week EVER that I have ran 4 days in one week.  I've been a 3 day a week runner mostly.  But, I really want to hit the 20+ miles and 5 days per week point before I start my "official" training for my half marathon.  If all goes as planned, I will hit that in the next couple of weeks.  So, I scrapped my original plan (I just had Runners World Smart Coach generate a plan for me based on my 5K PR), which had me doing 1 long run per week, 1 super short (2 mile) run per week, and 1 speedwork day per week.  Instead, I dropped the distance of the long run slightly in favor of running more days per week and then building again onto the long run from there.  I honestly didn't feel like I was getting much out of the quickie 2 mile jaunt in between an 8+ mile run and a set of Yasso 800s.  This week was my first experiment with this and honestly this is the best I've felt after a week of training in a while.  We'll see what next week brings.

2)  I did my very first 2+ minute plank!!  2:05.1!  Yay!!  I have very poor core strength after 6 abdominal surgeries so any improvement in this area is a big deal to me.  Thank you #plankaday!!

Today is a rest day for me, but tomorrow starts a whole new week of training.  I'll be back later to post my training schedule.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tempo Thursday

I did make it to the gym last night.  I did a 30 minute "random" recumbent bike workout on level 5.  Afterwards, I lifted some weights.  I stuck with upper body and core work since I knew I'd be running this morning.  I didn't want to run on sore legs.

This morning I did a 3 mile tempo run.  I ran 1 mile at an easy pace, 1 mile at a faster tempo pace (was going for 5k or 10k pace, but ended up a little quicker), then the last mile at easy pace again.  It was a good run.  When I looked at the temperature before I went out and saw the number 22 I wanted to crawl back in bed, but I knew I'd warm up, especially since this was a tempo run, not just an easy jog.

Splits:
Mile 1: 9:10
Mile 2: 8:12
Mile 3: 9:18

Overall: 3.05 miles in 27:12

So all in all I think this run was a success!

This is what I get to come home to - this is MiMi thinking I need kitty kisses while trying to stretch.
 
Note the bright yellow shirt.  Can't miss that!
 

 
After my stretch, I did my #plankaday. 1:46.8 - not too bad for after a tempo run!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

This Week's Training

I'm going to post my weekly training schedule so it keeps me more accountable.  I plan on doing this regularly on Sunday nights, more than likely.  Unlike most runners, due to my hectic schedule for the next few weeks, my Long Run will be on Mondays instead of the weekend.  At the beginning of January, I will be able to flip that over to Sunday again.

At any rate here's my schedule for the week of 11/26/2012-12/02/2012:
Monday: 7 miles LONG RUN
Tuesday: 3 miles easy
Wednesday: Gym Day!  On my gym days, I typically ride the bike and lift weights.
Thursday: 3 miles tempo
Friday: Gym Day!
Saturday:  3 miles easy
Sunday: REST

My 7 mile run on Monday went very well and my easy 3 yesterday in snow showers went wonderfully.  I can't get to the gym until tonight due to work schedules, but I will get there.

Now, you might ask what I'm training for!  Well, right now I'm in a limbo point.  It's too early to really start hardcore training for the half marathon(s) that I have planned in the spring.  Yes, plural.  But it's never too early (I think) to build up more base mileage and just work on overall endurance and stamina.  So, that's pretty much what I'm doing right now.  I have 4 races I'm planning on in the future.  There's a 5 miler in January that a bunch of crazies run every year around here called the "Frigid Five".  Around Valentines Day, I have a 10K planned, and then in March and in May I have my very first two half marathons!  I had originally only signed up for the one in May, but after thinking about it and going back and forth on it, I really want to do the one in March too.  I may very well use the one at the end of March as the "tester" half because the one in May has been my goal since I re-started running a year ago.  I will go into more detail about these races as time moves forward.

In addition to running and hitting the gym, I also participate in #plankaday on Twitter.  I've only been at it a short time, but it's great and I encourage everyone and anyone to just give it a try.  Just hit your stopwatch - DO NOT LOOK AT IT UNTIL YOU ARE DONE - and plank until you can't plank any longer.  Post your time on Twitter and use hashtag #plankaday.  Be careful, though, it's easy to become addicted to planking.  You also have to look out for those @PlankPolice if you start slacking off!