7 miles and a cold lake

I love how my Garmin shows me a little map of where I’ve gone! Here is this morning’s 7 mile long run. My buddy Jaqueline and I stayed together again, with the goal of the 11:30/mi pace on our minds. How did we do?

7.0 miles, 1:20:09, 11:26/mi pace. Rock on!

We felt pretty good for the first couple miles, tackled the overpass hill just fine. We even chugged up the big “into the park” hill really well. We took a water/walk break at around 35 minutes and then continued on our way. I was really dragging through miles 4 and 5, and 5 especially because it was back up the other side of the park hill. We took a second walk break at the top of the hill for some water, and then hauled it back in. We tackled the overpass like pros on the way back and were even silent for a bit while we just concentrated on bringing it on home. Here are the splits and the elevation:

So basically, we felt like rockstars at the end. Cuz we are.

Also, FURTHER proving ourselves rockstars, yesterday we took a trip down to the lake. And swam in it. In March.

Triathlons and half marathons, beware. We are coming for you. MOO.

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First Fartlek

So I’d never done a Fartlek before tonight. I’d done tempo runs, track workouts, mile repeats… but never an official Fartlek.

Tonight’s speed workout with my Fiesta training group broke that streak. Our prescription: Mile-ish warmup, 4 times through: 3 min hard, 2 min easy, mile-ish cooldown.

Alamo park was our destination, which is about 1.2 miles from the store. I didn’t feel like I was pushing it TOO hard on that first mile, but it clocked at 10:12. Ok!

Then it was time for the Fartleking. Alamo park has a track-like path that goes around the edge of it, which is longer than a track, about .4 miles around. Each 3 minute hard segment I fell just short of making it one trip around. Pushing it hard for three minutes was tough! I kinda felt like dying on the last one. A lot. But my pace on them was pretty great!

8:26
8:41
8:34
8:58

Whew. On the two minute rest breaks, I’d walk a bit, drink some water, and then try to jog really lightly until the next whistle blow. Those segments are pretty slow. But overall, the whole run ended up being 4.25 miles with an average pace of 10:15. Yay for speedwork! (And now my right shin is pretty cranky. Enter ice pack.)

Half Marathon training mumbo jumbo

So, my buddy Jaqueline and I have been excellent runners in training this week. We got together both Monday and and tonight to do our scheduled easy runs. We then have a group speed workout tomorrow night, and then Sunday it’s long run numero dos – 7 miles.

And a funny thing happened. See, on Sunday we averaged a 12:00 pace over the 6 miles. On Monday night, we also averaged 12, and we did take one walk break. Tonight we ran easy again, and averaged 11:00, no walk breaks (had to pause for a car for a second though). But really, it was kind of cool to see the difference of the easy run on tired legs and fresher legs!

Then that got us to thinking about what pace we SHOULD be going at to reach our goals. My A goal for a half marathon is currently 2:11, which is a 10:00/mile pace. (my previous PR is 2:17, so it’s a tough goal but shouldn’t be unreachable eventually). It also got us questioning whether easy run pace and long run pace are the same?

So I turned to Runner’s World Smart Coach. I built a 10 week half marathon training program using my current PR of 2:17 and it popped out the following paces:

Long run: 11:49/mi (first 4 weeks), 11:41/mi (second 4 weeks), and 11:34/mi (last long run before race)
Easy run: 11:49/mi (first 4 weeks), 11:41/mi (second 4 weeks), and 11:34/mi (last week before last long run), 11:49/mi (week of the race)

So they’re the same! Interesting.

Also something to note: tempo paces ranged 10:10 – 10:16 pace, speedwork was funky, and it projects a finish time of 2:14, a 10:15/mi pace.

So with a little tweaking, I adjusted it to get the training times where it would project my goal time of 2:11. Here’s the deets:

Long runs and easy runs: 11:30/mi (weeks 1-4), 11:23/mi (weeks 5-8), 11:16/mi (week 9), 11:30 (week 10), Half-Marathon @9:56, Time: 2:10:20

Soooooo, it looks like I need to step up my long run game a little bit, from the 12:00 pace to an 11:30. I’ll trust Fleet Feet’s speedwork to compare to their speedwork. At least I have an idea of what I’m dealing with. And I’m not too far off, so that’s good. In fact, tonight’s easy run was too fast!

In other news, know what else Jaqueline and I did? Joined a triathlon club. It’s called Mad Cows Racing, and it came with this awesome shirt:

You’re jealous. Admit it.

Plus we get the side benefit of being able to MOO in races now. Bonus.

So yeah, it’s time to start thinking about triathlon season. I’m not sure what I’m planning on doing quite yet, I’ve got a ton of possibilities swirling around in my head. But for now, some more training buddies nearer by is always a good thing. And there may be some open water swimming in the freezing lake this weekend. Stay tuned.

First long run of the half training

I love 6 mile long runs! My ideal off-season training is running about 6 miles on the weekend. An hour of running is really perfect, you know? Anyways.

So today was our first long run as a group. We’re starting at 6, then doing the mile step ups one mile per week, but repeating 10 twice. Good times.

There were about… 15? people there this morning. There are two guys who are at the front of the pack, and two women who hang on their heels. They run 8 minute miles or faster. Buh-bye. Then there was a trio of 3 girls, then another pack of three, then two, then myself and Jaqueline, then two behind us. Instead of chasing Alyssa on this run (she was in the two in front of us), I stayed with Jaqueline. I didn’t run yesterday because of some tummy issues and I wanted to make sure I was feeling ok. Plus, I like to talk Jaqueline’s ear off. 😉

Garmin didn’t get a signal for about .25 miles, though the timer started. So my splits are pretty off and I’m not posting them. Heh. We were usually running at an 11:30ish pace, one mile was 11ish. There were 3 decent hills in this run, placed on purpose because the half itself has rolling hills. Here is the map, where I labeled the hills and showed you where Garmin was lame:

We took a 1-2 minute walk break to guzzle water every 20 minutes, but ran the rest of it. It felt really good, not too hard at any point (ok, maybe one of the hills nearly wiped me out), and I finished still smiling and feeling strong and fresh. Our finish time was 1:08, my Garmin thought we’d gone 5.75 miles, but others did hit the 6 mile mark on their watches. Alyssa and her buddy finished at 1:05, so we weren’t really too far behind her anyway. I will definitely run with her on one of the longer runs to see how that goes as well.

Our midweek schedule has us doing easy runs on Monday and Wednesday night, so Jaqueline and I are going to be good girls and follow the plan exactly. Tomorrow night, off we go.

Ok, gotta go grab my laundry. Happy Sunday, all!

New Running Group

So tonight, I started a new running group. I had chosen to live in Vacaville because of the running community, and I am finally taking full advantage of it. Sure, I was dabbling here and there and did join the Solano Stampede group, but I feel more official training with a group FOR something.

Tonight’s group is the Fiesta Half Marathon group at Vacaville Fleet Feet.

We’ll meet Thursday nights and Sunday mornings, training for a half marathon on May 23rd here in town! My friend Jaqueline joined the group as well. I am happy that in addition to Jaqueline, there are about 4 other girls that were there tonight that were around my pace, roughly. I ended up hanging with a girl named Alyssa who pushed me along. I found out that she and I have very similar half marathon PRs (mine: 2:17, hers: 2:15) but her marathon times whooped mine (perhaps because she wasn’t modeling a trash bag at mile 20?) She wants to get faster at her half, and in fact her goal is much steeper than mine: she wants to hit 2:00. I figure if I can just chase after her, my 2:11 will come. 😉

So tonight it was about 3 miles, and I struggled. I haven’t been running harder, faster, at a strong pace and holding it, for a long time. Two weekends ago, when I ran with the bloggers, I did a sub-10 first mile and then had to back it way down. I want to be able to hold 10 minute miles for longer and longer. Also, it was freakishly warm out tonight. Yay Spring, but man those 10 degrees made a difference! Anyways, this run was actually pretty tough for me and I’m almost ashamed to admit that, because I know it shows how far I’ve backslid. But here it is, the starting run for the Fiesta Half marathon:

Our running plan has 4 days per week running – easy runs Mon/Wed, speedwork as a group on Thursdays, long runs as a group on Sundays. Sometimes I will switch Monday and Tuesday, I’m thinking, so I can go to that crazy Tuesday run I like. 🙂

I can feel myself getting faster already.

Green monster

Even though I’m always afraid of waking up my roommates, they have insisted they can’t hear the blender. So I’ve started making green monsters again. Not every day, but occasionally. This is just a really generic one, made with kale, almond milk, banana, and ice:

Ran the Shamrock’n Half Marathon this weekend, I did a relay with my friend Jenn. I ran the first 7.1 miles and she did the last 6. I got to see some of my friends there, like my high school buddy Chris (who broke 2 hours!), Jose, Layla and Aron (who all PR’d!).

Me, I did not feel so great. I am really struggling with this sleepiness thing, it’s manifesting itself into a lack of motivation and a kind of depression/anxiety and in general, I’m kind of a mess. I sleep all the time, do the bare minimum, and either don’t eat or eat crappy. On Saturday I didn’t eat anything until almost noon, even then I barely ate, and then in the evening I ate party foods. Not really the best way to fuel up for a race. I just felt drained and zapped for the whole run. Earlier in the year, I’d entertained thoughts of running this at a 10:00 pace, setting the state for that being my pace at a half marathon later on. I was happy that I kept it under 11:00.

Actually, looking at the splits, I ran a pretty decent race, just slower than I wanted. Without uploading the exact data, it went something like this:

Mile 1: 10:30
Mile 2: 11:00
Mile 3: 11:00
Mile 4: 11:00
Mile 5: 11:15
Mile 6: 11:00
Mile 7: 10:00 (yay bringing it home!)

I took a walk break at each mile marker, so all miles except for #1 have 45-60 seconds of walking including. I kinda liked that pattern and would consider using it in the half marathon. Although I really do want to work up to just walking at the aid stations, so like every 2.5 miles or so.

The good news is, I am seeing a doctor soon about my medical issues (the sleep/depression thing is related to my existing thyroid disorder), and I know things will be getting better. I start with a new training group this Thursday night for the Fiesta half marathon, and I really see it helping get me back on track. I’ll just keep trying to drink those green monsters and eat healthy.

Oh, and thanks for all the good vibes last week, I got the contract job and am in negotiations. This will definitely be a good thing!

Hiking is Healthy!

Sunday I went on a 2.5 mile leisurely hike on some gorgeous trails. It was the perfect way to stretch out the tired/sore legs from Saturday’s run.

Afterwards, I got all gussied up and attended a fancy Oscar’s party hosted by my favorite Vacaville running buddy, Jaqueline. Here we are wearing clothes other than workout gear:

Last night I took it easy, did laundry, bills, and caught up on my DVR. How about that blogger episode of House, huh? AND GOSSIP GIRL, my favorite guilty pleasure, how I’ve missed you so. ♥

Tonight I am going to see my new chiropractor, get the info on the Fiesta half marathon running group, and head out on that crazy hard 7+ mile night run. But first, I have some big wigs to impress. Wish me luck this morning, ok? I’m hoping to nail a great side contract.

Have a great Tuesday!

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