Training Update: Well… not the best of weeks…

I know, I know… I still have not posted my race recap from last week. Things have been very stressful and I’ve been going through some ups and downs in my personal life. Actually, my personal life has been all ups. My work life has really been the downs. I think the stress of these last few weeks has really gotten to me and my training. Last week just didn’t feel right. I was hesitant to get out the door to go for my runs and when I did, I was having trouble keeping the paces I was trying to hit. Stress in one aspect of my life has a way of seeping into all of the other parts.

Also, yesterday, this happened:

Uh.... I thought it was spring. Where did this snow come from?
Uh…. I thought it was spring. Where did this snow come from?

Anyways, I am only 4 days out from the Holy Half… last week was peak training, but I don’t think my body got the memo on that.

Monday: Rest + Yoga
Felt pretty good and was excited for some speed work the next day. I was feeling fresh after my race during the weekend and was ready to run.

Tuesday: Speed work… only did 2.25 miles + yoga
I went out to do some intervals and was feeling pretty great. I had my headphones in and after I had finished with my 10 minute warm up, Frank called me to tell me that he had gotten a job with NEON (National Ecological Observatory Network). His current job runs out of funding soon (being a scientist sucks… our lives are based on government funding cycles). He had been applying for stuff all over for a while and he had finally gotten one. I tried to continue running, but I had a ton of questions, so I just went home.

Wednesday: 5ish miles
My run group meets on wednesdays to do a 5k, but I decided to get a few extra miles in. I left the house, but my Garmin was acting up. It didn’t connect until I was at least a half mile into the run, and even then, it was telling me I was going 11 minute miles, which I was most certainly not. I think I ran about 5 miles…

Thursday: 0 miles… unintentional rest day
I was just really unmotivated. I was anxious about telling my boss about Frank’s job, since it means relocation for us. I was supposed to do yoga and core work. I did nothing.

Friday: Another unintentional rest day + yoga
This unmotivated day, I was supposed to do a Tempo run. I just didn’t. At least I did some yoga…

Saturday: 4.5 miles Tempo
I did a 10 minute warm up, then ran 20 minutes at tempo, which felt pretty terrible, and then a 10 minute warm down. I kept getting a persistent stomach cramps. I felt pretty discouraged after this run and hoped for a better long run the next day.

I always love my long runs. The city is just so much prettier when you are on foot.
I always love my long runs. The city is just so much prettier when you are on foot.

Sunday: 12 miles long run + Yoga
My long run went much better. I had some trouble getting out the door, but once out, I was good. I listened to podcasts and kinda cleared my mind a bit. I kept a 9:35 pace, which felt really comfortable and good. I was pretty happy that I hadn’t talked myself out of the run once I was out.

Total milage: 23.75 – not really what I was hoping for…

Oh well. I guess bad weeks happen. I just don’t like that it happened the week before a race. I’m hoping that I can refocus and have a good taper week, although things have been pretty stressful around here thus far. 😦

The good news is that Frank got a really awesome permanent job, which means no grant cycles, no feverishly looking for a job because the last one is about to run out. He can keep this one for as long as he wants to. We will be moving to Manhattan, KS (The Little Apple) in May. I’ll be coming back and forth a lot as I finish my PhD, but home base will be there. Kansas wasn’t really where I dreamed of moving, but it’s actually really pretty.

This is the Konza prairie, which is only 10 miles south of town.
This is the Konza prairie, which is only 10 miles south of town.

And it’s only 7 hours from the Rocky Mountains. I can feel some serious trail running in my future!

How do you run when you’re stressed out? Have you ever had a terrible week in the peak of your training? How do you stop stress from taking over?

Training Update: Spring is here!!

This week began with temperatures in the single digits, but ended with highs of 45 degrees. I’m pretty excited about the change, and I’m hoping that the snow leaves for good. I’m definitely feeling a lot better than I was a week ago, and I’m back to my usual training intensity. Also, I jumped on the bandwagon and got a Believe Training Journal. I gotta say, I love it. There are lots of helpful hints on training and also on what you should include in a training journal. The material in it is light hearted, and it helped me keep track of how I felt all week.

My Believe Training Journal. I think this will help me track potential injuries and things that really work for me in training. I still need to write out my goals.
My Believe Training Journal. I think this will help me track potential injuries and things that really work for me in training. I still need to write out my goals.

Monday: Rest day
I felt pretty terrible, and ended up taking the afternoon off from work to sleep.

Tuesday: More Rest
I was still feeling pretty icky, so I laid low, went into work late and did not run.

Wednesday: 3.1 miles on treadmill + Yoga
I was feeling a lot better and decided to run. I didn’t really want to run in the cold with such a terrible cough, so I went to the gym and ran for 30 minutes on the treadmill. I took it really slow and just focused on my breathing. I had to stop a few times from coughing, but I felt ok and pretty strong, despite the cold.

Thursday: Unintentional 0 miles + Yoga
I had intended to run on Thursday, but I got stuck at work until pretty late. I had to teach yoga at 8 pm and I took the class before mine and did most of my class along with the students. I didn’t really want to run at the gym late at night, so I just went home to rest. I wanted to run, just didn’t work out. Eh….Oh well.

Friday: Hill Repeats x 6 – total of 4.4 miles + yoga
Friday was the first day that I felt totally fine again. It was also 7 degrees. I sucked it up and ran outside with a 10 minute warm up, and then 6 times up and down the only hill in town. It isn’t exactly big, but I tried to keep a pretty good pace on the way up to tire myself out. Worked pretty well, and I had major runner’s high afterwards. I warmed down for about 10 minutes and kept an overall pace of 9:15/mile. Pretty fun workout! Yoga was awesome, as per usual.

This is the only hill in South Bend.
This is the only hill in South Bend.

Saturday: Easy 4.3 miles + Hiked 6 miles
Saturday had a high of 45 degrees (I know, it was 7 the day before. The midwest is nuts!), so Frank and I took the opportunity and went hiking at a state park close by. The trails were covered in snow, but the skies were blue and it was wonderful to finally be able to be outside without a jacket. In the afternoon, Frank biked while I ran along a bike trail about 30 minutes outside South Bend. It was relaxing and fun! I tried to keep it chill and had a pace of 9:30/mile.

Running along the scenic Pumpkinvine Trail.
Running along the scenic Pumpkinvine Trail.

Sunday: 12 mile long run + Yoga
Ah, finally a long run. I missed mine last week from being sick and I was really happy to get out. The day was perfect too, with blue skies and warm (for Indiana) weather. I ran along the river, at my usual long run spot. Miles 10 and 11 were kinda slow, since I was on tired legs from running three days in a row. Besides that, it felt great to be out there. I kept a 9:34/mile pace.

Nice view for my long run! I'm loving the spring weather.
Nice view for my long run! I’m loving the spring weather.

Total Milage: 23.8

I’m pretty excited about this upcoming week. I have the first trail race of the season on saturday, and the temperatures are supposed to make it all the way up to 60 degrees. I can’t wait to be running in comfortable weather and IN SHORTS! The trail race is at Mounds State Park and is through the Do Indiana Outdoors trail series. I’m pretty excited for this one, and hopefully I’ll get to participate in a few more of their events. Next week should look something like this:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Kristina’s Virtual 10K
Wednesday: Recovery Run with Run Group
Thursday: Intervals
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 15K Trail Race
Sunday: Recovery Run

How was your week? Is the weather looking better where you are too? 

It’s cold here in the midwest!

Wow… This week has really been a wonderful experience. I really can’t believe A1A is over AND that I totally crushed my A goal with a time of 1:56:45 for my half marathon debut. On top of all of that… I signed up for the A1A Half Marathon again next year. It was an extremely positive experience and I can’t wait to do it again. But now I’m back in the midwest and hitting the training hard.

Uh... why do people live here?!
Uh… why do people live here?!

I have a few running related things up on my to do list over the next few months. The DINO trail series starts up again in less than a month and I am planning to do a few of their races again this year. The season begins with a 15K at Mounds State Park on March 14, about 2 hours south of town. I never really plan a real time goal for trail races because every race is so different. Depending on how they make the course, there can be sections of bush whacking and river crossings that really slow you down. Trail running is really just a fun experience and pretty scenery. But I gotta say, I love doing it.

My next big goal is the Holy Half Marathon. I have no idea what to expect and I am sure a lot of it depends on weather. I am not very good at running in the cold, which may have been the reason I over-estimated my pace so much before A1A. If the temperatures are reasonable, I’ll probably shoot for getting into the 1:55’s. If the weather is bad, I’ll just aim to finish.

Elly has done a good job of keeping me warm despite the temperatures.
Elly has done a good job of keeping me warm despite the temperatures.

So, how did training go this week? I was tired and it was SO COLD! I had to take a few of my runs inside even though I hate treadmills. My long run was with a few of the professors in my department, so not only was I intimidated by running 10 miles one week after a half, but I was also intimidated by the people. There was certainly some suffering, but less than I would expect given the conditions.

Monday: Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday: 3 very slow miles on treadmill
Wednesday: Yoga
Thursday: 4 very slow miles outside + yoga
Friday: 4 miles + yoga
Saturday: Cross country ski
Sunday: 10 mile long run

Total: 21 miles

I was a little worried about doing 10 miles after my half, but I was so intimidated by running with the professors in my department that I kept it together. Peer pressure I guess.
I was a little worried about doing 10 miles after my half, but I was so intimidated by running with the professors in my department that I kept it together. Peer pressure I guess.

This next week I am switching over to Matt Fitzgerald’s half marathon training plan. His method is to run by time and heart rate, not by milage, which is what I am used to. I’ve heard good things about his plan, but my main reason for making the switch is that he has some pretty good speed word in his plan, which is what I am really looking to add to my training. He also has some pretty strict nutrition plans, but I’ll see if I stick to that.

Next week training:

Monday: Rest Rest Rest
Tuesday: Intervals
Wednesday: 40 minutes easy + yoga
Thursday: Figure out max heart rate (20 min run) + yoga
Friday: Tempo run + yoga
Saturday: Hiking?
Sunday: 12 mile long run

What are your upcoming plans? Have you ever tried to train by time instead of milage?

How about some goals?

Oh man…. The A1A Half is only FOUR DAYS AWAY!!! How did we get here?

It's sold out!!! There are going to be so many people there!
It’s sold out!!! There are going to be so many people there!

I guess it’s time to talk about some goals.

I feel like I’ve been talking about this race forever. I had planned to run a half marathon back in October, but pushed things off due to injury. So… here we are. I am feeling ready, nervous, scared, excited and pretty much every other emotion about this race I could think of. I’ve put a lot of work into it and I’m flying across the country to run it (and to see my parents, of course). But I guess it’s time to think about some goals for the race.

a) Finish in less that 2:00

b) Finish in less than 2:15

c) Finish the race

Honestly, anything could happen out there. I ran my last 10 mile long run at 9:41 pace, which would have had me finishing around 2:07. I felt like I could have gone harder after that run and finished 13 miles around 2:05. In fact, I spent the whole time chatting away with my roommate. Had the race been sunday, I probably could have made an attempt to break 2:00. However, I don’t always feel that way. I’ve really had some mental battles in past races. I don’t fuel well the night before or in the morning. I usually get a little upset to my stomach and I’ve have terrible side stitches.

But, man, I have lucked out with the weather for this race.

It's seriously winter in Florida. Can't wait!!
It’s seriously winter in Florida. Can’t wait!!

I was worried because my training has been in South Bend, Indiana, where the temps run uncomfortably cold and you have to run more than 4 miles to break a serious sweat. But the A1A Half is going to be happening during a cold front in Fort Lauderdale! My parents will sure be miserably cold watching me, but I’m going to be one happy camper while I race.

I ran a nice comfortable 4 miles yesterday and today I’ll be going out with my running group at the local store. Tomorrow is my last run, just 2 miles, and then the next time I lace up is for the half!

Have you ever run a race and had no idea what pace you’d be at? Has weather ever completely changed your race day plans?

Heading into Race Week

One week exactly from the A1A Half… and I’m a little nervous. I really don’t know what to expect and honestly, I have no idea what pace I’ll be running it at. I’ve been totally all over the place this week. There was a ton of snow on the ground at the beginning of the week, which made my legs felt like they were carrying lead. I finished my week off great, though! My second long run was definitely a high point.

Due to the crazy blizzard last week, I had two long runs this week. I had planned to run the first on monday, but I was so sore from galavanting through a blizzard on sunday that I decided to push it off. The run went well, but I was definitely tired by the end. I had a recovery run on Wednesday, where I spent 30 minutes complaining to my running buddies about how sore I was from the day before. Thursday I took a much needed rest, but spent most of my day bouncing around with energy. I guess the training is working. Friday’s tempo run went great and I finished feeling strong and ready for the half.

Saturday was spent cross country skiing ALL DAY LONG! I think I skied close to 14 miles total. It was a perfect day for it too.

My friends and I by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.
The South Bend Adventure Club by our snowman after many hours of cross country skiing.

I gotta say though, my long run was definitely me at my best. I ended up going with my roommate who is training for the LA Marathon. She was running 20 miles and I was doing 10. Normally I take my long runs at about 10:00-10:30 pace. However, with her, we were going closer to 9:30 and I felt great. I had minimal suffering and I seemed to be just winning the mental game that I battle with so badly when my milage is above 8. For the first time, I was really feeling ready for this half.

Training this week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 10.56 mile long run
Wednesday: Ran 3.12 miles for recovery + yoga
Thursday: REST REST REST
Friday: 5 miles tempo (1 mile warm up, 3 tempo, 1 mile cool down) + yoga
Saturday: Cross Country Ski
Sunday: 10 mile long run + yoga
Total: 28.7 miles

This is my highest milage since my ankle injury over a year ago and I felt really really good. However, I am kinda glad to be heading into the taper week. My goals are just to keep being positive and trust the training I’ve done.

Taper Week

Monday: Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: Run 4 miles
Wednesday: Run 3.1 miles
Thursday: Run 2 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: A1A Half Marathon

How was your training? Any big running plans coming up?

Training Update: Keeping up the Intensity!

Here we are, two weeks out from the A1A Half Marathon. And, I gotta say, this week was great! It was exactly what I needed to get myself back on track after being so sick. I am certainly not quite 100%, though. My husband says that I have been snoring sometimes at night, which is very unusual for me, and likely it’s due to still being a bit congested. I’m also definitely not as quick as I was before I had the flu, but that’s ok. I’m sure it’ll come back. In good news, I have also had absolutely no IT band pain, so I have concluded the pain last Wednesday was a fluke.

Beautiful view for my tuesday night run! It was a little chilly out, but worth it.
Beautiful view for my tuesday night run! It was a little chilly out, but worth it.

Tuesday’s run was especially awesome. I went along the river after work while my husband biked along side. It was really beautiful watching the sun set along the river. I went caving Saturday in Southern Indiana with the South Bend Adventure Club. We went into a wild cave (meaning no guided tours, you just get a key to the cave and go in) and spent about 4 hours underground. Caving has a way of showing you muscles you never knew you had, but it’s pretty freaking fun.

The caving group from the South Bend Adventure Club. Pretty awesome time!
The caving group from the South Bend Adventure Club. Pretty awesome time!

That brings us to Sunday… Sunday’s long run (attempt) was a bit of a fiasco. I woke up in the morning and decided that no blizzard was going to stop my long run (haha, I’m a native Floridian, what was I thinking?). Well, I only made it 5.5 miles AND I was miserable the whole time. I was nearly plowed over and ran through some white out conditions. I cut things short, so I am going to go out for my long run tomorrow after the snow settles (and if it doesn’t, I’ll be running at the gym).

See South Bend there tucked in the middle of that wonderful splash of blue? Yeah, I tried to do a long run through that. Didn't happen.
See South Bend there tucked in the middle of that wonderful splash of blue? Yeah, I tried to do a long run through that. Didn’t happen.

Training Summary for this week:

Monday: rest
Tuesday: Ran 5 miles at 9:30 pace along river + teaching hot yoga
Wednesday: Ran 3 miles at 10:00 pace with run group + yoga
Thursday: Yoga + rest
Friday: Tempo run: 1 mile warm up, 3 miles at 8:45 with 1 min break between each mile, 1 mile warm down + yoga
Saturday: Caving!
Sunday: Ran/walked/stomped through snow for 5.5 miles through a blizzard + yoga
Monday: Run ~11 miles for long run (either in the gym or outside if the weather is better)

Total: ~27 miles

Overall, despite the blizzard, I had a wonderful training week. My goals for next week are really to keep up the intensity from this past week. I can’t wait to finish up my training and get to the race!

Training for next week:

Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 3-4 miles with running group + yoga
Thursday: Yoga + Bike (or rest)
Friday: Tempo run + yoga
Saturday: Cross Country Ski
Sunday: Run 9-10 miles for long run

Hope you had a great week too! And all you midwesterners, stay warm! 🙂

The Ups and Downs of Training

I am officially less than three weeks out from the A1A Half Marathon, and I have no idea what to expect. This week was full of ups and downs. On the up, I seemed to have beaten the flu. On the down, well, I had a flare up of my IT band syndrome on Wednesday’s run. However, I rested it, and my long run on sunday went great. So, go figure. I did change a few things, and I hope maybe I can get to the bottom of this once and for all.

Over Christmas, I went to the Delray Running Company to check out their shoes and see how they fitted me. I had come in with my Brooks Ravenas, and the owner of the store swore that I was in a shoe that had too much of a drop. She convinced me to come back in and get fitted by showing me her awesome setup where they record your running gate on video and slow it down to see your weird running tendencies. When we looked at mine, I was horrified. I am a super duper crazy pronator and I do this really strange kick out thing with my right foot. To improve my form, they fitted me into a pair of Newton Pop 1‘s. These shoes were really weird (they have these strange things on the bottom called lugs that force you to mid-foot strike) and ridiculously expensive. So, long story short, I took the info from my gate analysis, and didn’t buy the shoes. However, after my flare up on Wednesday, I decided to try and attack my form a little and go back to some of what I learned from my analysis. I also bought a compression sleeve for my knee and that seemed to help a ton. On my long run sunday, I concentrated on not kicking my foot out and trying to not over-stride, which seemed to be causing at least some of the over pronation. Hopefully, these adjustments help and I can forge ahead in my training without too much trouble.

Aren't these the weirdest shoes? I just can't commit to something so different for $175.
Aren’t these the weirdest shoes? I just can’t commit to something so different for $175.

My training last week:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5 mile run outside at ~9:30 pace
Wednesday: Tried for 3 miles, but only did 2.5 because of the IT band + yoga
Thursday: yoga + rested my leg
Friday: More Yoga
Saturday: Hiked 6 miles + Biked 50 min + Yoga
Sunday: Ran 9 miles at ~9:30-10:00 pace for my long run + Yoga

Total: Ran 16.5, Hiked 6, Biked 50 min and a ton of yoga

My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!
My one picture on my long run before my phone died. It was snowing the whole time and my face felt like it was being pelted by tiny razor blades, but besides that, it went great!

As you see…this is a pretty all over the place week. My long run went great and gave me a ton of confidence for my training ahead and the A1A Half coming up. However, Wednesday had me pretty worried since I had so much pain. Hopefully this week goes a little smoother. I have my longest run of my training cycle and this week will likely be my hardest week.

My training this week:

Monday: Yin Yoga + Rest
Tuesday: 6 miles chill pace
Wednesday: 3 miles with Fleet Feet run group + yoga
Thursday: Yoga + Bike
Friday: 5 miles with 3 miles at 8:45 pace + yoga
Saturday: Hiking
Sunday: Hiking + 11 mile long run

Total: 25 miles

Muddy Monk Trail Run! Woohoo!

I just signed up for one more trail race in 2014 and I am super excited! A group of people from the South Bend Adventure Club will be heading out to run either the 5k or the 10k in about two weeks (I’ll be doing the 10k). Although trail races tend to be quite a bit slower than road, they are still tons of fun, if not more fun. However, it is important to adjust expectations to the race you are running. If you know there will be hills and lots of turns, you will run a substantially slower race. A few months ago I ran the crazy hilly Knobstone Trail 10k in 1:07, which is close to 15 minutes slower than my PR on road. So what are my goals for this race? I’m not sure yet, but I think I’ll just go for breaking 1 hour. Here’s to hoping for no snow on the trails! 🙂

Another trail race on the books! Super excited!
Another trail race on the books! Super excited!

Training Update

Training has been going well this week. I made sure to take a good rest on Monday after the Yoga Journal Conference. With all of that deep stretching and hard work, my muscles were feeling very overworked, which for me, is a precursor to injury. I followed up my rest day with two pretty easy runs to get myself back to my normal intensity. I still have some speed work to do friday (10 min warm up and cool down along with 30 min of intervals). I’ll finish up my week with my long run or 7 miles. Hopefully it’ll be warmer than 12 F (that’s what it was for my Tuesday run).

Monday: REST!!

Tuesday: 4 miles at 9:47 pace

Wednesday: 4 miles with running group at 9:21

Thursday: Yoga

Friday: 10 min warm up – 30 min speed work – 10 min cool down

Saturday: Hiking & Yoga

Sunday: 7 miles at long run pace & yoga

Total: 20 miles!

Freezing temperatures don't stop me!
Freezing temperatures don’t stop me!

I have been very slowly bringing up my milage to the milage I held prior to my IT band troubles. The first 20 mile week is a real milestone. I really attribute my good health to lots of stretching and strengthening though yoga. Hopefully next week goes just as well. I am going to be in the Smokey Mountains National Park on a backpacking trip with my husband where we’ll be covering tons of miles! It’ll be a chill week for running though, but I’ll get some in. 😉