Monday, February 2, 2015

Marathon #2 - Training Week 5

5 weeks?!  Wowza.  Oh, and Happy February! First off, sorry that there have been no posts between last weeks recap and this one.  To say things have been nuts is an understatement.  The last week of a month is pretty much always like that in my world, though so I'm kind of used to it.  That being said, I do have some more things to post about this week - I even have some already drafted (go me!).

So last weeks training FLEW - and by that I'm talking both the time and my running itself!  It was a good week.. not without its challenges, of course but I completed my workouts and smashed some goals and I'm happy about that.

Monday:  Workout C of my strength plan followed by #30DaysofYoga day 25.

Tuesday:  We had another bout of winter weather and I really was unsure what to do about this run.  As scheduled, it was to be a 9 mile run with 2 miles of warmup, 5 miles @ tempo, and 2 miles of cooldown.  I was honestly leaning more toward jumping on a treadmill but my husband is the one that encouraged me to at least get out and try North Park.  He knew I'd hate my life if I ran on the treadmill for this important workout.  So, I went out and was thrilled when I pulled in to see that it was pretty cleared out.  Just a little bit of slush in places.  Yes!  Not going to lie - that last mile was HARD!  I was weaving a web of profanity (I think I scared some lady as I flew by her), but I was not backing down. I swear those cooldown miles felt like a victory lap.

My overjoyed face after totally owning that run.  It's all about that zebra print, I swear!

#30DaysofYoga Day 26 let me recoup and round out the day.

Wednesday:  5 recovery miles.  Another lake loop in more frigid temps.  I ran with my new heart rate monitor strap on this run.  I was happy when it picked right up and seemed to be working fine until half a mile or so in.  Then it gradually started giving me higher and higher numbers, topped out as high as the watch would let it, fell to zero and then totally shut off.  I even lost the ability to link back up with it on my watch.  Let the gadget struggles continue.  It's a good thing I've gotten relatively good about pacing myself on these recovery days.  Anyway, it was obvious to me then that after a battery replacement didn't fix the problem and a new strap wasn't the answer either that the problem is simply the transmitter being dead.  Well crapcakes.   Wednesday also included workout A of strength training as well as day 27 of #30DaysofYoga.

Thursday:  Without the hrm that goes with my watch, I used my Polar FT4 for this run.  Yeah, I feel like half a goof wearing 2 watches, but you do what you gotta do, right?  The plan called for 10 easy miles.  Perfect, I could just run steady in the zone I'm supposed to.  The Polar worked like a charm, of course, but here's the thing - running within my general aerobic zone on this monitor had me running faster than the old one.  Probably about 30 secs per mile faster.  I didn't feel crappy during the run, in fact it felt good to stretch out my legs a little more than I'd been lately, but it got me thinking... Which is right?  Was my old hrm dying and giving me bad readings before?  Or is the Polar giving me wrong info?  During recent "easy" runs my old hrm had me running around a 10 minute mile, give or take a few secs one way or the other.  Today I ran a 9:23 avg.  Talk about being confused..  Again, I didn't feel bad during or after this run but I did feel like I worked a little bit harder than I had been on the general runs lately.
Later that day I did #30DaysofYoga Day 28.  Hard to believe the challenge was coming to an end!

Friday:  Rest day!  Woohoo!  Still got in #30DaysofYoga Day 29, though.

Saturday:  5 more recovery miles were on the plan.  The weather was showing temps in the negative windchills again and between that, my schedule, a kid that needed to go on a field trip, etc, I just hopped on the mill at the gym... I know - shock & awe!  I just kept it slow and simple, knowing I had one heck of a workout coming up on Sunday.  I was happy that my legs seemed 100% recovered from Thursday's faster 10 miles so maybe that is the correct easy pace for me... I still don't know what to think.
Saturday was also the very last day of #30DaysofYoga.  I did it!  Can I claim this as some kind of PR because I've never done yoga this many days before?  haha.  I officially love yoga and will probably always do some form of it on most days.  Whether it's just a couple sun salutations/vinyasa or even meditative practice it's rooted in me now. :)

Sunday: This was one of those once every couple of weeks workout long runs.  16 miles, but 10 of those were supposed to be at marathon race intensity.  I planned my route to head out of the North Park boathouse and make a left, doing that loop around the Tennis courts before doing 3 lake loops.  I wore the Polar again.  The weather was ok.. not great (it was snowing), there was a bit of slush around as well as the fresh stuff coming down.  I got lucky and on my first loop around a plow came up behind me and after I let him go past I had a nice clear path to run on.  My feet still got pretty wet, though and by the last loop I did my feet were so soaked I could barely feel anything but my shoes squishing like sponges.  Bleh.  Anyway, it made for an extra challenge and I always tell myself that challenges like this are what get you through hard races in the spring and summer when you don't have to deal with this crap.  But back to the run - after my 6 mile "warmup" you could call it, I kicked it up and started my marathon run.  Honestly, I didn't feel too bad and I was shocked to find I could get up the hills easier than expected.  My legs felt great and I didn't seem to have the same gradual drain with each loop like I did last week.  I did feel like I started to fade off a bit during the last one, but I didn't let myself and kept on with my workout.  I will say that I was pretty tired when I was done, but I felt good.  Sore and drained, but not like I was at my end.  I'm taking that as a good thing.  I was shocked to see my overall pace for 16 miles was faster than I expected.  Very confidence boosting, that's for sure.  What's not confidence boosting?  When your watch gives you "low battery" warnings during a 16 mile run even though the battery indicator shows it half full (I'm an optimist, ok?).  Sigh.  So, maybe here we have the heart of the problem.  My watch itself.  Granted, it's been hazy for a while now and I knew the day was coming, but still.  So, I ordered a new watch.  It should be here sometime by the end of this week.
Even though my yoga challenge was over I really felt drawn to doing it later Sunday afternoon.  So I did.  I just let my body & breath do their thing and I ended up on the mat nearly 20 mins!

Total Miles Ran: 45.07 (if you're keeping score, this is just a mile short of my peak week for MCM!)
Total Running Workouts: 5 - 1 tempo, 2 recovery, 1 easy, 1 long/marathon pace workout
Total Strength Workouts: 2
Total Yoga Workouts: 7 <-- this may be the last week for this number but there will always be one!
Total January Miles: 173.47 - my highest EVER!  Last highest was 166 in September 2014.

Nutrition this week:  Pretty darn good.  I made an awesome black bean & quinoa casserole that served as lunches most of the week and I also made some homemade chicken & rice soup which was just awesome during these cold days.  I kept my eye on eating more veggies and fruits in between meals instead of grabbing the box of crackers.  I did have some super bowl snacks and a few pieces of candy the kids gave me.  Rule of thumb: when a kid (especially YOUR KID) gives you candy or something they made, you eat it.  Those calories don't matter one bit.  

This coming week is a recovery week for me before beginning cycle 2 of my training plan.  I'm looking forward to shorter, easier runs.  You know you've hit a strange place when you say "My long run is ONLY 12 miles this week!!".  hahaha. 

On the technology side of life, I should have my new Garmin here by the end of the week and hopefully I can break it in a couple of times before starting more hard workouts.  Again, I'm glad to be working out these kinks early on rather than in April!


  1. Very interesting about the different readings from the new HRM. My Garmin (and HRM) is 5 years old. I actually just ordered a new one this past weekend too because it has problems with the auto lap feature. Very curious to see what readings I get from the new HRM. Enjoy your recovery week. You definitely earned it!

    1. Yes, I'm interested to see how things pan out with the new gear... At first I was kind of angry about my HRM going bad, but then I did a little digging and found that they really don't have that long of a lifespan. I've been using the same one for almost 3 years and that seems to be even long for some. I had no idea. I kind of thought that as long as you kept them clean and changed out the battery from time to time you were good. Live and learn!

  2. AWESOME week! You really nailed it! That is really interesting about your HRM - that's a pretty big difference!
    Great job on the yoga challenge, as well! :-)