Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A little, happy Jaime + What do this Weekend? Advice encouraged! :)

First things first! It's Wednesday! :)

Track Workout:

400 800 400 x 3 , 1600

We had 1 minute (not long) rest after the 400 and 800 and 2 minutes after each set.

Expected Times: 98 for 400's and 3:22 for 800's

My Times:

98 3:19 98
98 3:17 97
96 3:07, 85
6:44 for the optional mile! :)

I almost let the word "optional" get the best of me, especially after that 3:07 and 85 but with a little nudge from coach, I gave it a try! I actually felt pretty good!

So, now for the advice ...

In my first four marathons, I only ever ran 2 20/20+ milers. Just two. That's enough, right?! This time around, I've already run 3 20 milers and I have my fourth scheduled for this weekend. Some facts and thoughts for you ....
  • I've already ran 3 20 milers.
  • The first averaged 8:36 and I was ecstatic.
  • The second averaged 8:24 and not only was I ecstatic but it felt really good!!
  • The third averaged 8:44 and it was torture and horrible from the beginning ... Keep in mind this was the week after the 8:24 run.
  • My BQ pace is 8:24
  • I have no balance in my life ... nor have I since February since I jumped straight into this marathon training post San Diego.
  • My 20 miler for SD was at 9:01 pace and 22 miler was at 9:00 pace
  • My cousin (that lives in Cali) and his gf are coming into town on Thursday and I want to be able to have a good time with them on Friday and Saturday.
  • I don't think I can push my long run to tomorrow .... or that I should wait until Tuesday ...
  • I probably won't do anything crazy on Friday and Saturday night but it would be nice to not have to wake up at 3AM and go to bed at 8PM. And ... let's not forget that I'm usually drained and worthless the rest of Saturday ...

So, what should I do. I think I'm going to plan on running an easy 20 miler on Saturday ... but I'm not going to commit to meeting anyone. If I don't show up .... I don't show up. If I do, great!! If I'm late, then that's okay! If I run 20 milers - AMAZING! If I go, 12 ... then is that okay, too? I need to listen to my body right?! Even if Matt and Finleigh weren't coming into town on the last week before my taper 3 back to back 20 milers is a lot, right?! My body has done the work ... One more 20 miler may even be too much? Dare I convince myself of that??!

Eagerly awaiting your response,

Jaime

Monday, September 27, 2010

20 miles of not-bliss :(

I should have known better. I was still riding my high from last Saturday when I attempted my third 20 miler of this training schedule. It was not the bliss that I had experienced the week before. Nothing about the run went well (maybe b/c I met Nicole at 3:55AM to begin). By mile 4, I was already tired and ready for it be finished. Luckily, I ran 10 miles with Nicole before the 9 mile shark loop. Those 10 miles weren't horrible, but by the time I got to the shark loop, I felt like I had run 10 miles and was ready to be finished ... not ready to start!

I don't have my Garmin on me now. I don't even want to look at my splits. I know I shouldn't be upset with myself or think that my race is doomed now. Let's face it ... I ran 20 miles at goal pace (basically) last week. My average pace was 8:24 and my average pace for the last 10 was 8:12. I felt amazing and had this crazy kick that I never have.

This week, I had zero kick. I stopped for gatorade or water probably ever mile for the last 6 or so miles. So frustrating. Even then, I was working so hard to maintain such a slower pace. I finished in 2:54 with an average pace of 8:44 ... not quite the 2:47 that I did the week before. I guess at least I can say I ran 6 minutes longer ... that's good for endurance, right?!

I'm going to be positive now! I had a GREAT rest of the weekend. I spent the rest of Saturday at the beach! :) AND ... my fantasy team won this weekend! Oh, I had a good tempo today, too ... 8 miles of bliss. That's on it's way to 20! :)

PS: I checked the humidity when I was finished ... 91%.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Happiness!

Oh, the temperatures are beginning to drop a little. It was 75 degrees this morning and the humidity was around 80%. Though this may sound horrible, it was quite heavenly! I've never been so excited for Fall. Never! :)

Nothing could be as tough as last week's track workout. Thank God it was the first skipped track workout since January. If it weren't for the treadmill, I may have quit track for life. But, with that in mind, I headed to the track in a positive mood this morning. If I could tackle last weeks workout successfully, then I could complete the workout this morning, too!

Turns out, I was right! Not so bad! 400 1200 800 800 1200 400 Opt. 1600

Expected Times: 98 5:00 3:20 3:18 5:00 98

The goal was to be consistent with the 1200's and to run the first 400 fast. Coach wanted to simulate a race (where you go off too fast and have to maintain). Probably not the best method, but it does happen ... so, we may as well be prepared! :)

Rest: 1 min after 400's, 2.5 min after 1200's and 2 min after 800's

Side Note: This is the first track workout in which I forgot my watch. There was only one other person in my group ... and I tried to pace off of him. He's usually in a group faster, but it was the only hope I had in running the times I needed.

400 - 95 ... not so bad. It was weird running without my Garmin. I had no idea what the pace was ... so the 95 was a nice surprise.

1200 - 4:52! Oops. We came across lap one in 1:44. I thought we were done. While it felt "easy," I was still worried about running back to back 98's to come through at 5min. Turns out my pacer took it up a notch. I ran a 4:52. That's a 3:08 for the last 800.

800 - 3:13 - Too fast, again!

800 -3:22 - Determined to slow it down so that I didn't die on the last 1200. I slowed it down too much, though. Oh well.

1200 - 4:58 - Not consistent with the first, but I did break my expected time. I'll still consider it a win.

400 - 96

I didn't run the optional mile because my left calf has been pretty sore for the past month or so. It's still sore, which is frustrating. Instead, I used the time to stretch out. Besides, it was "optional" and I didn't want to run a sub 6:40. I had a great tempo on Monday (1 easy 5 in 38:50, 1 easy) and a great track workout today. I didn't want to ruin the workout with a FAIL :) Way to be optimistic, right?!

Either way, I'm happy! I promised myself a duplicate of this past Saturday's 20 miler if I skipped the optional mile (which if you haven't read, you must! :)). So, it's set ... I will have another successful long run! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

20 miles of bliss!

It's been 48 hours, but I'm still riding my runner's high from my 20 miler on Saturday morning. I seriously had the best long run, ever!

I didn't do anything particularly different this time around. I got 10 hours of sleep on Thursday night and about 7 hours on Friday night. Otherwise, I tried to eat all day on Friday and take in both carbs and protein!

My alarm went off at 3:40AM and I wasn't that excited. I knew I had a 20 miler on my plate and to be honest, I was kind of blah about it. The truth is, I can never let my mind think about what it is getting ready to do. I don't really think of it as a 20 miler. I usually break down the run into 2 or 3 smaller runs (back to back of course). I don't know if that makes a lot of sense, but mentally, it works for me.

We started at Ballast Point and ran the 5.5 miles to the beginning of the shark loop. The group that I run with is a little faster than me. I knew they'd be doing their own thing once we got to the shark loop but I just kind of stayed with them initially. Once the loop started, Nicole and I met up with Beth and Angela and just started running our own pace. Beth mentioned that she wanted to average between 8:20-8:30 for her 20 miler and I kind of laughed. I even told her that she may need to run ahead and that I'd be ecstatic to maintain what we were doing and average sub 8:40.

Regardless, we maintained and even started picking up the pace after a few miles. I kept feeling better and better. My left calf was super sore at the beginning of the run (this has been the story of my life for the past couple of months) but after 2-3 miles, it was fine.

After the shark loop, I decided to throw in my ipod and just run! The music helped tremendously! I haven't run with music in probably three months. I only had about 5.5 miles left and I just started running. I noticed that my pace kept dipping into the 7:5x range but I tried not to let it scare me. I decided to just go for it and if I crashed and burned ... oh well! At least I knew. I didn't want to finish the run feeling like I could have run faster. No worries there though, I finished the run completely exhausted and spent! That feeling, though = the most amazing feeling ever!!
20 miles in 2:47:53

8:53

8:30

8:29

8:34

8:37

8:30

8:34

8:35

8:28

8:30

8:26

8:17

8:18

8:19

8:10

8:13

8:13

8:11

8:03

7:54

I don't know that I'll ever get tired of typing/reading all of those splits. Average pace was 8:24. The average pace for the last 10 miles .... 8:12!!!

Two more weeks of training and then it's taper time!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Treadmill Track and A Run with the Pup

After my volleyball game on Monday night and a not so stellar run on Monday morning (2 easy, 5 at 8:20 pace, 2 easy), I decided to sleep in on Tuesday morning. As much as I enjoy sleeping in, I know that it decreases my odds drastically of not running for the day.

I didn't run at lunch, so I was left with running after work. I didn't want to. But, it was a little cooler and when I got home I knew that I needed to! :) There is just something about running after work. I don't know how some of you do it. I'm so drained by the end of work that I just want to come home and relax!

I decided to take Heidi, our 5 yr. old Boxer, to BayShore and run with her. I used to run with Heidi ALL the time. Sadly, though, it's been probably a year since I've run with her. Our old neighborhood was very runner friendly. Now, our condo is off of a major road and I drive at least 15 minutes to the start of all of my runs. I wasn't sure how she would do. We used to run 3-4 milers together quite often and she still had energy left.

My schedule said "7 easy." I thought 5 miles would be a good goal. I had track in the AM and didn't want to be too tired. We set off and just kept running. It took about 1.5 miles to wear her out, but eventually she turned into the perfect running partner. I was nervous about running an out and back path so when we got to 2.5 miles, despite us both running well, I turned around. Little did I know that this was a great decision.

At 2.68 miles, she decided to lay down. She was done! I stopped for a few minutes with her. Then we walked a little and then run. This repeated 3 more times until we finally finished.

Heidi and I ran 4.0 miles and walked a total of 1 mile. We ran 4 miles in 36:24. Not so bad for an easy run with the pup! :)

Let's fast forward a little . . . I couldn't go to sleep. Running at night kept me wide awake! 4:40AM came early ... but, luckily (or not luckily) for me my alarm did NOT go off! Weird! Oh well. I enjoyed the extra sleep.

I emailed my track coach and he said to do the run on the treadmill at lunch (I had after work obligations).

1600 400 400 800 400 400 1600 Opt. 1600

Rest: 3 minutes after 1600's 1:15 after 400's and 2 min. after 800.

Expected Times: 6:44 98 98 3:20 98 98 6:40 6:59

Running track workouts on the treadmill is TOUGH! Everything was run at 9.0-9.2mph. In order to hit those times, that was the pace. UGH!!

The momentum of the treadmill helped a little, I'm sure. However, this workout was not any easier on my body .... my little heart was beating super fast!!

My times: 6:48 1:40 98 3:20 98 97 6:39 6:37

I love how you can manipulate the treadmill and just set it for a pace and run that time. I've probably never run such consistent paces! The 400's weren't so bad on the treadmill ... the miles at 9.0 and 9.1 ... yeah! Those are another story. Definitely not easy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Still a Dork!

Exactly a year ago was 09/09/09! I was so excited to run 9 miles on my lunch break that day! I seriously thought that was the coolest thing ever.

Exactly a year ago, I was training for marathon #3 (NYC).

Exactly a year, I blogged "I may be the biggest dork, ever!" about my progression as a runner - about how I've gotten faster, stronger and fallen more and more in love with running longer distances. I could and still can remember 9/9/99 and remember how hard it was to run 5K's and how much I hated it. I was VERY happy with my running on 9/9/9 and blogged about how I looked forward to getting stronger and faster and even better in the future.

It's funny how things evolve. It definitely doesn't happen overnight! When I got to work today, I realized it was 9/9/10 and I instantly remembered running 9 miles a year ago. I logged onto runnersworld and pulled up my training stats for that day:

Felt tired after mile 5. Pace started slowing. Feet burned and legs were tired from yesterday. I was being so dorky though that I couldn't stop early. I wanted to run 9 miles on 9/9/9. 9:21 9:00 9:07 9:14 9:26 9:29 9:59 9:51 9:32

Total time: 1:25:03
Average Pace: 9:27


Sadly, I had already gotten my run on when I was looking at this. Today's Thursday and my schedule called for an easy 8 miler. I don't have my splits on me, but I do know that I ran 8 miles in 1:08:52 (average pace of 8:36). Had I known different, I may have pushed myself or added on an extra mile! :)

I quickly began thinking about how far I've come in the last year ...

I am now training for marathon #5. And, are you kidding me? My average "easy" pace is almost a minute faster!! WOW!!!! I was so proud of how far I'd come last year at this point, but I'm even more proud now! I've worked really hard in the last year and I've definitely had some bad runs where I've doubted my abilities. Like I said above, results don't come overnight ... but looking back a year later all of the hard work has been worth it.

I can't wait to see what I do in another year! :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lovin' me some Wednesday!

I don't know why, but I've been in a great mood all day! Maybe, it's because I had my first good track workout in a while. Goodness, it's probably been six weeks at least since I proclaimed my love for the track!

I woke up not-so-exicted, though! I've grown to dislike track in the last month ... Not because I hate speed, but because I keep getting worse at it. Today, I kind of switched back into my old self and that makes me happy. In fact, I've had three back to back good runs this week!

Monday

I had a tempo on my plate. 1 mile easy, 7:40-8:00-7:40-8:00-7:40, 1 mile easy

I flew back from Indiana on Monday and had to do this run when I got home. I didn't want to wait until the sun went down, so I hit up the treadmill .... UGH! I actually felt really good on the treadmill and the 8:00 pace felt amazingly simple! :) The problem was, though, that I decided since I had only eaten oatmeal and coffee 7 hours prior to the workout that I should eat something. I made a cheese quesadilla .... not the smartest choice. That, along with my lack of dehydration, caused me to have to stop 4 times during this run. I had the worse stomach pain, ever! I finished the run ... I ran: 9:13, 7:42, 8:00, 8:00, 8:00, 8:00 ... I didn't see the 1 mile easy at the end and finished. I actually just noticed that right now. Oops.

Tuesday

Schedule: Easy 8

I met up with Penny and Nicole and ran this before work! I was nervous since I had tempoed the night before; however, I felt pretty good. The first five miles were done at roughly an 8:30 pace and then we slowed down with back to back 8:58's and then finished with another 8:30. Not so shabby! Great company, fun run!! 8.56 miles in 1:14:29

Wednesday - Track

800 800 400 400 400 400 400 400 1600

Typically, there is a mile at the end of all of our track workouts and it's optional. Today, it was mandatory. I used to run the optional mile in the sub 7 range, but lately, I've been giving it everything I have to just get a 7:30.

Expected Times

3:22 3:22 98 98 98 98 98 98 6:53

My times

3:20 3:15 98 98 98 98 96 99 6:42

WOOHOO!! 6:42! I did my best to pace the 400's. We only received a minute rest after them and I didn't want to push too hard! :) It worked because I successfully ran that 6:42! So happy.

Hope you're all having a happy Wednesday, too!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

When FASTER doesn't always equal better ... or so I hope?!

It's no secret that I am training for Marathon #5. While my first two marathons were run for charity and simply just to finish, I've still been training for marathons for the last three years. My last two marathons were ran for me. They were ran for my enjoyment, my pleasure and most of all for me to see what I was made of. I've gotten stronger, faster and been very pleased with my progress and training and even race times. Though happy with the efforts and results, there was still something missing . . . a race time to show for all of the hard work. Granted, there is nothing wrong with a 3:56 (Marathon #3) just like there is nothing wrong with a 3:51 (Marathon #4). But, to me ... there was something wrong. Something deep down that keeps saying I can go faster. I don't need to cut off 20-30 seconds per mile (like it looks on paper). I just need to keep the same pace for all 26.2 miles and not die after mile 19.

This is a pattern that each of the 4 marathons have in common. I run well, maintain a good pace until somewhere between mile 17-20. Then, not only do I hit the wall, but I hit it hard. Like REAL HARD. Like my average pace per mile slows by 1:45-2:00 and I'm not even walking a step. It's like I got hit by a huge semi and it's everything I have in me to just keep putting one foot in front of the other. You get the point.

So, I'm no pro. I have a lot to learn. But, the good news is, I've been keeping track of every single run for 3 years. I've noticed patterns in my training and patterns in my racing. This training cycle has been different (I won't say better yet because I haven't raced). I've realized that every runner is different and just like one shoe doesn't fit all, one training plan doesn't either!

So, I've been making some major adjustments in my training that I'm pretty excited about. The first being that I'm running my long runs faster. Screw the theory that I can run 45-60 seconds faster on race day. I can't! I've tried 4 times and I've fallen apart each time. I've been getting faster and faster on my long runs. See below:

New York
  • I only had three runs over 18 miles
  • 18 - 9:16 average pace
  • 20 - 9:00 average pace (on treadmill)
  • 20 - 9:37 average pace

San Diego

  • I, again, only had three runs over 18 miles (I stayed around 15-16 a lot).
  • 19.2 - 9:07 pace
  • 20 - 9:02 pace
  • 22 - 9:01 pace
  • ** This is the first time I incorporated speed work during an entire training schedule**

Apalachicola

  • I have already run 2 long runs over 18 miles.
  • I have 5 long runs left before the taper - 4 of which will be over 18 miles
  • 18 -8:35 average pace
  • 20 - 8:32 average pace

While I have still had my fair share of discouragement this training cycle (getting burnt out, not getting all of my runs in and becoming slower and slower at track), I have decided that you can't win all. So what, maybe I was a track rock star during San Diego training. You can't win them all, right? I'm trying to convince myself here that it's okay for my track workouts not to be as stellar and my long runs to be. I'm training for a marathon after all, not a 5K.

Track Workout this Morning:

1200 1200 800 800 800 400

My times: 5:03 5:06 3:26 3:26 3:28 1:34

I won't list what my times should have been, but it's no secret that I've run similiar workouts in the 4:5x range, 3:16-18 range and sub 1:30 range.