Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Little Mini Vacay Never Hurt Anyone

Besides the immediate week after San Diego, I cannot remember the last time I did not run for three days in a row. Three Full Days! After last week, I knew I needed a little bit of a break. Mentally, I wasn't as into it but mostly it was more for the physical aspect. I push my body hard. I like to run fast. I enjoy beating my assigned paces. So, it should be no surprise that the early morning runs as well as the heavy (UGH, but not as heavy as I'd like) mileage not to mention the Florida weather finally started to add up on my poor little legs. AND . . . let's not even mention that I've not been treating them too well. Ice baths? I haven't even thought of icing let alone taking a bath in ice since pre-San Diego. Stretching? I'm decent at it. Regardless, though, truth is, my legs are tiiight!

With a wedding to go to this weekend, in Charlotte NC, I decided that I'd take it easy. I planned on running a little ... but that just didn't seem to work out! I squeezed in a little bit of an upper body workout one morning and I danced my little butt off at the wedding, so that should come for something, right?!

I'm hoping to be back to my normal self soon! Even yesterday and today my runs didn't feel quite perfect! My legs are just tight. There isn't an easier way to put it ... they just need to be iced and stretched and they don't really want to run right now. I've had my fair share of talks with them ... and it seems as though they're finally listening ... or beginning to at least!

Monday
I ran a 3 mile tempo. It was supposed to be a four mile tempo, but I'll take it. One easy mile followed by a 8:02, 7:51, 7:46 and then two more easy miles.

This evening (because I slept through my alarm this morning), I met Nicole for an easy run. She had 5 on her schedule; I had 8. We met at 5:45PM and it was 93 degrees outside. Our goal was to keep it under an 8:50 pace.

I gladly compromised on the mileage (Tuesdays are supposed to be easy anyways, right) and we ran 5.5 miles. Much to my surprise, our pace was relatively fast especially considering the heat. 8:22 8:19 8:32 8:28 8:28 4:04 (8:12) pace. 5.5 miles in 46:16. Good run aside, my legs still ached!

I came home, made a recovery smoothie and headed downstairs to the gym to do a little core and upper body work! Then, I made eggs for dinner with an avocado. I typically eat a ton more but the smoothie filled me up and the boy is at a baseball game!!

Time to catch up on blogs, ice and enjoy a nice hot bath! :) Enjoy some pics from my weekend!!






My hair - the final product before makeup and getting dressed! :)

The bride, Diana, and me at the rehearsal dinner! Candy necklaces and all!


David and I at the rehearsal dinner. I had a super cute dress on that you can't see in these pictures ... UGH! Maybe I'll steal some pictures from some of the other girls! :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In a funk . . .

I've been going through a little bit of a funk the past week or so. I feel like every single run that I run is completely dictated by my schedule. Obviously, I run because I love to run but sometimes I forget that. When you have to wake up at 4:xx AM every single day during the week and run a prescribed workout before work (due to the heat and humidity ... and at best you're looking at 80 degrees w/80% humidity) . . . I don't know, it just starts adding up. On top of that, I meet people at certain times to run the above mentioned workouts. So, lately (this week in particular), I'm having trouble with it. I feel like a robot. I go to bed and set my alarm to meet runner friend(s) at 5:30AM to run 8 miles at x:xx pace. UGH!

Because of this, I find myself continuing to cut my run shorts and then I have to redo them the next day by myself which ironically typically goes even better. I think it goes better b/c I'm on my own time. It doesn't make a ton of difference if I run at 5:30 or 6:00 but just knowing that I don't have to rush through my morning routine puts me a little at ease. Also, knowing that others aren't depending on my pace ... puts me at ease. Not to mention ... that sometimes my easy pace doesn't feel so "easy" with others b/c I feel as though I'm keeping up! But, by myself, I'm not having to keep up.

Funny thing is ... this has happened to me before and I know it will pass soon! I'll probably be writing this post next month saying how dependent I am upon my running friends and how I cannot run alone for the life of me. I guess the key to getting out of a funk is to switch it up! I can't switch it up too much though because I have a redemption marathon in 90-something days! :)

Disclaimer: I love my running friends and am very grateful for them!!! They are the biggest reason why I love Tampa so much and why I never want to move! :) I've just had an off couple of days ... I'll be back to my normal self soon. Promise! :)

What do you do to get out of a funk ... especially when you have a marathon schedule to follow?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

So, this is how it's supposed to feel ...

I just love Wednesdays. I don't mind waking up early at all ... I always wake up with the hugest smile on my face .... you all know what is coming next ... Time to head to the track for a pre-work speed session!!

After last weeks, 10x400, I was thinking the worse. I figured we'd have some longer intervals thrown in there and wanted to make sure I was thoroughly warmed up! Good thing!

Right before the workout began, Coach said that he was moving me up a group (I just moved up a group 3 weeks ago).

Okay! Here we go .... Needless to say, I was super excited yet terrified at the same time.

The Workout: 1200 1200 800 800 400 400

Rest: 2:45 2:30 2:00 1:45, 1:30 (or something pretty close to that)

Expected Times: 4:54 4:54 3:14 3:14 1:34 1:34

I knew I could hit these times but that it wasn't going to be a walk in the park. I was also very grateful that the 1200's were first and not last. I just wanted to get through those because I can always push through 800's and 400's. It's those 1200's and 1600's that get me!!

My times: 4:51 4:50 3:13 3:11 1:32 1:29

No optional mile for me! But, next week I have to start adding it back in. Next week, it will be the mandatory-after-practice mile. UGH!

I'm still on cloud nine and I still heart speed work!! But, now I know how it's supposed to feel. I can almost understand why it's a lot of runner's least favorite day ... just almost, though!! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week Two of Running 6 Days a Week

Both times unintentionally, too! But, I must admit, I kind of like it!

Since I haven't written all week, let's recap, shall we:

Sunday: Successful 14 miler

Monday: Successful tempo which I was super nervous about since I had run the 14 miler the day before. 8:55 7:55 7:46 7:48 7:49 9:10 (the goal was to have 4 sub 7:50's)

Tuesday: For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to sleep in and run at lunch! HA! I was supposed to run 7 easy miles, but instead had 6.5 miles from HELL! At mile 6.5, I had to wait for a car. This was my only stop of the entire run and once I stopped, I just couldn't run anymore ... UGH! 6.5 miles in 58:11 (8:58 average pace). I checked the weather when I was finished and it read: 88 degrees, feels like 101 degrees, 58% humidity!

Wednesday - TRACK!!!! I love track. We had 10 x 400. My goal pace was 1:37 for all of them and I beat my times.

Thursday: Easy 8 which was anything but easy! 1:13:06 (9:09 average pace).

Friday: OFF

Saturday
: This was supposed to be my long run, but was a FAIL. I decided to make it 4 easy miles instead! 4 miles in 36:36

Sunday: Redemption from Saturday. My schedule read 4 easy, 5 at 8:15, 1 easy, 4 at 8:00. So, yeah .. this was HARD!!!

I wrote my coach afterwards and was like "Did you mean for me to have 9 of my 14 miles at faster than goal marathon pace?" I'm sure he did, I mean, I can't become a better, faster, stronger runner without working harder right? I started this run around 6:45AM when the humidity was around 90%.

Techincally, this workout was a FAIL! But, I'll let you be the judge. I'm still very happy with the effort that I put forth ...

Total Mileage: 13.1 miles in 1:50:39
8:47
8:37
8:47
8:42
8:17 - felt tough, 4 more of these. UGH!
8:16 - Getting in the groove, but this is far from easy
8:11 - Finally, under 8:15
8:14
8:17 - last one and that was ALL I had left
9:09 - felt heavenly, but there is no shot that I can run 8:00's now
8:10 - very surprised with this time. I seriously expected an 8:30
8:14 - pushing ...
8:04 - dying ....
:44 (7:38 pace for .1) - STOPPED! I wanted to finish, but I couldn't AND when I saw my Garmin read 1:50:39, I was just done! My half split in San Diego was 1:50:21 ... so I stopped and decided that I put forth a good effort today since this was in a long run, not race!

Monday (TODAY): Tempo time, again! This is why my long runs are supposed to be on Saturday, not Sunday. I knew I didn't have 5 fast miles in me (7:45 8:15 7:45 8:15 7:45), so I just warmed up and tried for part of it.

9:25
9:40 - My coach is going to flip out on these, but I was just enjoying myself and letting my legs loosen up
7:51 - not quite a 7:45, but I think I may be able to run one more fast mile
8:05 - faster than the 8:15 on the schedule - SCORE!!!
9:07 - decided to rest for a mile
7:44 - picked it up to finish hard!

Felt very guilty at the end of this workout for detouring away from my schedule.

So, there you go ... a week in review!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Saturday = FAIL ... Sunday = Success

What an interesting weekend!

Saturday

I woke up at 4:00AM to meet some friends for my "Easy 13-15 miler." For some reason, I just wasn't feeling it. I was trying to get my mind and body into the run, but I just couldn't. The goal was to keep all of the miles under 9:00. The first mile came around in 9:13. Though a little upset, I kept going. We ran the next mile in 9:33. The worse part was that it wasn't easy. My stomach was hurting and I was basically sleep walking. Heading to bed at midnight probably wasn't my smartest move, especially after an entire week of 5-5:30AM running. I guess I'm not super woman after all. HA! All I could think about was heading back to bed ... NOW! I said my goodbyes to the group, ran back to the car and drove myself home. I was back in bed by 6AM and didn't wake up until 10:30AM. Guess I needed that sleep after all.

Total run: 3.27 miles in 30:15

The worse part about quitting is that I felt guilty all day long. Luckily, David had to wake up early to go fishing on Sunday, so there wasn't any temptation to go out and indulge!

Sunday

Since I was running solo (everyone else actually ran on Saturday), I decided to sleep in a little. I'd take my chances with the heat and humidity. Plus, David and I didn't think it was that safe for me to run in the complete darkness by myself! So, I got to Ballast Point right at 6:30AM.

I was determined to have a better run ... all splits under 9:00. My schedule said easy and said 13-15. I knew I wanted to go closer to 15. So, I headed out on Bayshore. I had actually eaten breakfast this morning (not typical) and was carrying my new Nathan Handheld Water Bottle. Immediately, I hated the water bottle. It was heavy and awkward and I just felt very weighted down. I know ... very silly! But, I'm not used to holding a water bottle while running. Since I left a little later than normal, though, I knew it would be important to stay hydrated. A couple of times, I felt like turning around to take the water bottle back, but I kept going down Bayshore and then headed over to Davis Island. Davis Island was shaded, too, which was very nice! A little after an hour, I decided to turn around. I was extremely happy with my splits and was nervous that they would eventually slow down. My goal was to stay easy ... but, everytime I thought I was slowing down, I'd look down and be running an 8:20 pace. Oh well. I'll take that!

I kept hydrating about twice a mile. I took a gu at 60 minutes and at 90 minutes. Since I carried my water bottle, I even ran and took my gu's. No stopping today!! :) Well, I did stop once ... briefly! I'd bet it was less than a minute total. At mile 7.77, I found a water fountain and my bottle was almost empty. I stopped quickly to refill.

On the way back, I saw dolphins. There were 5 of them!! Unbelievable.

14.25 miles: 2:00:59

Splits

8:46
8:36
8:32
8:28
8:33
8:31
8:32
8:28
8:23
8:27
8:33
8:28
8:26
8:15
1:53 (7:32 pace) .25

I was so happy with this! After a quick stop by Starbucks (YUM Vivanno Smoothie) on the way home, I headed downstairs to the condo gym to work out my upper body and core. I've had a very productive morning since ... maybe a little too productive. Let's just say the entire house is spotless. Naptime now! :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Blog Awards: Blog of Substance




Thank you to Keri over at The Blue-Eyed Runner who left me this award!

The Rules:
•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words.
•Pass it on to 5 other blogs which you feel have real substance.


My blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience:

Running = Best Self Gift Ever

5 words ... that's hard! I crave running! Running makes me happy! It's my de-stresser. It's my me-time but it's also a lot of time with great friends. It brings out a very competitive side of me and pushes me to my limits. It takes dedication and hard work - traits that are carried to other parts of my life as well. It's even healthy and good for you! :) So, there ... Running = Best Self Gift Ever!

I am passing this on to 5 fabulous ladies who have loads of inspiration to offer!

Penny
Stephanie
Marathon Maiden
Runners Rambles
Run with Jill

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Wed. Track & Thursday 7

Yesterday's Track Workout

400 1600 400 1200 400 800 400

Expected Times: 98 6:40 97 5:00 97 3:20 97

Rests: Not exactly sure: Roughly 1 minute after 400's, 2 minutes after 800's, 2 1/2 minutes after 1200 and 3 minutes after 1600

Goal: To pace the 400's and to run the 1600, 1200, 800 all at the same pace. We were told that whatever we ran the 1600 in, we needed to maintain in throughout the rest of the workout!

My times: 1:40 6:36 97 4:55 97 3:11 85

So, I didn't quite figure out the first 400, but otherwise I feel like I ran pretty well! Slowly but surely, I'm getting faster! It felt good to let loose on the last 800 and last 400! For the 1600, 1200, 800, I really focused on running the pace that was expected and then trying to pick it up the last lap! Overall, I think this workout was a success!!!

This morning, I met Penny at 5:30AM for an easy 7 before work! Nothing too interesting. 7 miles in 1:00:04 (8:57 8:46 8:34 8:41 8:29 8:21 8:12)

It's almost Friday! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Long Run Friday & No more FLABBY ab-bys :)

Hi friends, and happy Friday! :)

My long run for the week was 13 miles. It's supposed to be run tomorrow and consists of 8 easy miles along with 5 miles at 8:00! Well, I made a very impromptu decision to run a 5K tomorrow which meant that I needed to run long this morning. I did ... but switched it to an "easy" 13. Of course, I cleared this with my coach! His only requests . . . that I no longer run above an 8:59 pace, even if the schedule says "easy." Okay!

I met some other runner friends at 5AM this morning (which meant that my alarm went off at 3:50AM, but that's beside the point) and we took off. We did the usual long run loop around Davis Island with some miles on Bay Shore thrown in.

It was 77 degrees, with a breeze and 88% humidity!

I had on my trusty Garmin, but wasn't exactly sure of the mileage. It turns out that we ran a little extra .... Oops! Oh, and I've been wearing my heart rate monitor to track my progress even further! I'll notate my average heart rate per mile in parenthesis.

8:53 (134)
8:48 (144)
9:07 (143) --> Already a FAIL! But, we got behind a slow group for a while and had to make a pass. Besides, it always takes my legs a couple of miles to warm up, especially at 5AM.
8:51 (148)
8:48 (153)
8:53 (150)
8:55 (152)
8:51 (154)
8:54 (153)
8:50 (155)
8:43 (156)
8:44 (159)
8:21 (163)
2:44 (170)(7:48 pace) .35 miles

Total: - 13.35 miles: 1:57:26 (151)

It was so much fun to run a half marathon before work! I've felt so accomplished ALL day!

NO MORE FLABBY AB-BYS! :)

Okay, so I've not been happy with my abs for ... a while now. I go through phases where I hit my core pretty hard and then just stop! Ugh! So frustrating, especially living in Tampa. So, I've decided that I'm devoting July to my abs! Regardless, I will do core work every.single.day! Even if just a little, I will spend time on my core daily!

I'm telling you ... so you can hold me accountable! I'm not going to go crazy about it - after all, I run a lot so my stomach is fairly flat ... but not defined! I still think twice before running in my sports bra! So, this month I'm devoting time to my abs so that by August I will have a little more self confidence when running in a sports bra! :)

Recap:
July 1st - Two one minute planks with 30 seconds rest

I'm hoping for more today! :) Will keep you posted!

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wednesday Speed Sesh & June Totals

Track Workout this morning:
800 800 400 400 400 800 800 300

My times:
3:17 3:20 1:35 1:36 1:35 3:20 3:19 1:00

Basically, we got between 1:45 and 2:00 rest after 800's and 1:00 rest after the 400's. The lack of rest made the last few 800's a little tough, but they were still manageable! It was fun to stride out and run the 300 after the workout was finished!

JUNE

Total Miles: 105.0 --> lowest mileage month of year besides January! January was VERY low (it was post NYC, moving to FL and just a little 4 week burn out phase that I went through).

* Ran 18/30 days (12 off days, but I ran a marathon this month and needed a few days off)! :)
* Raced 26.2 in 3:51
* Recovered from San Diego and am building a base for Apalachicola and really focusing on goal marathon pace miles in long runs!

2010
January: 55.8
February: 107.1
March: 158.5
April: 160.4
May: 166.6
June: 105.0

Total: 753.4

Happy with the mileage, but looking forward to building off of San Diego AND getting close to that 200 mile per month mark :)