Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Emily v Hills

This time, I won.

Last week I ran my first hill workout. To be fair, it was not my first. I think I might have done a hill workout with Buckeye Running about a million years ago, or so it feels. I was looking through all of my garmin data to see if I could find that workout, but unfortunately no luck. I am apparently not very good at naming things there, so searching for "hills" and "mason" yielded zero results. Anyway, that workout was quick and steep. I think we did 8-10 repeats up a VERY short hill.

This past week it was a little bit different. LONG repeats at a hard effort. I had 5K effort for 5x 1/2 mile. And while I was not overly stressed about it (because I knew that it was not going to be 5K pace, just hard), I was stressed about trying to find the "right" hill to do a workout like this.

Enter my former (before he left my company and moved to Lexington) training partner Charlie. He had done a hill workout near our office once. I had come up with my own option early in the week. I went to scout it out and realized it was only about 0.16 miles long, AND I was breathing like 5K effort just walking. Where Charlie comes in is finding this website: www.findhills.com. And he sent me directly to the section near the office that he had run previously. The elevation profile looked like this:
So yes, tough, but not all red, right? And long enough. When he told me about that stretch before he sent me this, my response was "there is a hill there? I don't remember thinking of that as a hill." He asked if I had ever done hill repeats, and that I should expect to feel like death no matter what by the end.

Now, I had a bit of a mental hurdle when I actually got out there and started running. Basically, I made a dumb mistake and started running hard after two miles, but I was going down hill. I had the starting and ending point mixed up. And I almost broke down as a result. I got to the bottom, I was at 2.5 miles, and I had 5 miles to repeats to go. Half mile up and half mile down... 5 times. And then I had to get back to my office. I started to freak. I almost threw in the towel. But then I decided, well, I am about a mile from my office at the top of the hill. So instead of running a mile cool down, I do a half mile recovery and then a half mile cool down.

I am super proud of myself for relaxing and going with the flow when something turned into what I did not expect. That is not my strong suit, so getting over little dumb things like this are a big deal for me. And while the miles were not fast (not even CLOSE to 5K pace) they were all sub 8 (even with recovery), so I know that I met my goal of running at 5K effort.

Another 8 mile workout, done and done.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Training Update: Week of February 13

Another high-ish volume week of training has come and gone. Next week is a down week, and I need that. My legs are definitely feeling tired and needing a down week. Plus it is kind of nice that the down week is coinciding with my travel week.

So let's take a look at how this tough week went for me. 

Monday: 9 miles with 4x30s strides. 9.50 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 8 miles, easy (9:04 pace). Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 60 minute walk. Pure Barre.
Thursday: 5x0.5 mile hill repeats. 8 total miles. Core.
Friday: 8 miles, easy (9:17 pace). Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 9 miles with 2x1 mile at 10K pace (see post later this week for more details)
Sunday: OFF

42.5 total miles
4x pure barre (YUS!)
4x Core

So let's enjoy this down week (and the CA sunshine - it better not be raining when I am there. That will be enough to irritate me!) 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Here comes the sun

I rarely rarely rarely talk about work here. Other than the fact that I am an accountant, and therefore I have some busy times of the year (year end, etc) and times of the month (beginning of the month when we are closing the books for the prior month), you probably don't know too much about what I do (unless you know me in real life), and that is ok. In general, I am going to keep it that way.

But, there is one thing that I feel like I can talk about. My company is being acquired. I have been there for nearly 7 years, been through a lot of things, and it is weird to think that soon it will change. (The acquisition has been made public, there have been some press releases and articles about it at this point, so it is not like I am spilling the beans about anything I am not supposed to). So while I am not sure how I feel about the acquisition yet, because obviously it means a lot of change, there is one thing interesting and hopefully good that came out of all of it...

Next week, I am traveling across the country for the week. We are flying out of Cincinnati on Monday evening. We are leaving in the early afternoon next Friday. And so I will get to spend a week in February in Southern California. Pasadena to be more specific.

So next week, when it is cold-ish in February here, I will be enjoying (I hope) some So Cal sunshine, working on my runners tan (or at least, running in a sports bra even if the sun is not up yet), and meeting some of the folks that I will be working with going forward.

Bring on the sunshine.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Solid workout

Last week I had a great workout. It was a tempo-ish workout last Thursday that I nailed. Yes, I did it on the treadmill, but I mostly did that for my confidence. So I feel like it deserves a post, as it is a workout that my coach LOVES for marathon training. It turns out, I love it too. I did a modified version of it for my training this summer, and this was a much more full version of the same workout.

It is listed on my schedule as a tempo, which makes sense in that it is definitely not a repetition or interval workout. But it is not your standard tempo either!

So the full workout was 8 miles. 1 mile warm up with 1 mile cool down. I ran those at 7.0 on the treadmill. I used to try and push that up to 7.1-7.3ish, but honestly, its a warm up or a cool down. Therefore, definitely not worth exerting the extra energy. (Lessons that I have learned over time...)

The workout was set up to be 3x2 miles with a 1 minute walk in between. I was supposed to do the two mile repeats with the first mile at marathon effort and the second at 10K effort. After my disasterous "by feel" workout with an all-out 5K, I think Jenn wanted to make sure I was able to feel ok going into the workout, so she gave "recommended paces, subject to change."

She put marathon pace as 7:45-7:50. 10K pace was around 7:05. I was grateful for the time recommendations. It meant I could hop on the treadmill and not worry at all about what I had to do after that. I had my headphones and podcasts keyed up, ready to go, and hopped on the treadmill at the rec center near my office (my membership had expired, but they let me go this time without renewing it, bonus!)

I ended up running the workout very solidly. I did the marathon pace stuff at 7.8 mph (7:41 pace) and the 10K pace sections at 7:01 pace. I ended up covering 8.21 miles (the 0.21 was the walk breaks in between the repeats) in 64 minutes. I would call this workout a big win. Charlie told me I was no longer allowed to whine or be nervous about speed workouts, because obviously all of the pieces are there. While I know he is right, I do always get nervous.

I want to roll the confidence that I built up from this workout into this Thursdays hill repeats. CAN'T WAIT.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Training Update: week of February 6

Another week of training down, 9 weeks to go. Things are starting to get serious before the Boston Marathon and of course before the Glass City Marathon, and I am definitely feeling it, but I am really pleased with my progress, because this past week was a big hurdle in my training.

And I got over it...

So here is a look at this week's training...

Monday: 9 miles with 4x30s striders, 9.52 total miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute walk. Core.
Wednesday: 8 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: 8 miles with 3x2 miles, alternating between marathon pace and 10K pace. Core.
Friday: 7 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 16 miles with 6 at marathon effort

48.52 total miles
3x Pure Barre
5x Core

Goals for next week include a hill workout, 5 days of core, and 4 days of Pure Barre.  Plus next weekend's long run is another 16er. So here we go.

Friday, February 10, 2017


Sorry, no Friday Five today. I have another post ready to go and I feel like it is an important one.

One of the things that I am trying to work on this training cycle is to relax. Now, I know that I have been uptight about some pace work when I actually HAVE pace work, but as mentioned, I am also working on giving myself grace.

This is especially applicable on easy run days. Coach Jenn says easy runs should be AT LEAST 2 minutes per mile slower than 5K pace. My 5K PR is dead on 7:00/mile pace. That means generally, my easy days around around a 9/mile pace. But then there are times when I feel like my 5K time is out of date (it probably is) and so my runs are more around 8:40-8:50. And then, I wake up at 4 am often, and obviously my legs are not necessary ready to run at ALL at 4 am, so even 9s can be "not easy". As not easy defeats the purpose, well, I have to ignore my watch.

And lately because I have been putting my legs through the ringer on workouts, not to mention those 4 am wake up calls, plus a heavy load at work... I am wiped out on some days. Let's look at my run from Wednesday as an example. I had 8 miles, easy, on the schedule.

My alarm went off at 3:55. 8 miles easy is going to take me at least 1:12:00 (9 minute pace). And then when you add on 10 minutes to get ready (bathroom, dressed, outdoor when it is cold layers, etc), I am not going to be home until nearly 5:30, which is my drop dead time for letting the dogs out and starting my non-running morning routine (it is the time I get up when I am not running).

So let's see what this looks like at 4 am for real...
As  you can see, it starts SLOWLY... and by the end of 8 miles, my legs were feeling the way that they SHOULD feel during an easy run.

And so this is the lesson that I am trying to teach myself. It is OK that easy runs go like this. In fact, this is how easy runs are SUPPOSED to look. There is not a damn thing wrong with that.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

January Goal report

I figured I can take a look back at January and see how I progressed toward some of the annual goals (that had numbers around them). With any luck, I can keep up on these posts in 2017 (unlike 2016) and that can help to keep me on track for the year. At least, that is my goal.

1. Blog Posts - Goal: 150
I wrote 15 posts in Janaury. Not great, but ahead of the goal for 2017.

2. Pure Barre Classes - Goal: 150
I attended 13 classes this month. While that is on track for hitting my goal, I am still not overly pleased with this number. I can do better.

3. Running Mileage - Goal: 2200
On track for this one too. And I definitely know that it is likely going to be tight all around this year to reach this goal. Especially with multiple races (forcing me to take time off in October and May) on the schedule. I ran 189.66 miles in January. That is definitely the highest January mileage I have ever run.

4. Reading - Goal: 24 Books
I read one book. Oops. But I did start a second, so I guess that is something?

So far, that is the progress I have made on the year. I crossed into 200 miles in February already, so I know progress is happening, and I am hopeful that things continue to move forward.