Six in One

I’m solidly in the camp that you do not need to run every day to be a successful runner. I’ve adhered strictly to my run only three to four days/week rule for years now. That is, until last week, when I was reminded why I don’t run so much.

Monday morning I was excited to try a strength training class that I hadn’t done in years. I’ll admit, I went in a little cocky thinking that it wouldn’t be a big deal since I’ve been doing Orangetheory for more than a year now. I.was.wrong. Holy cow, an hour of strength training did me in. I was sore before the class was even over. Come 7 p.m. I get a text from my friend Ashley asking to go for a short, easy run with her. Couldn’t pass that up. We did about three miles.

Tuesday I had my usual run. I did a six mile tempo and my butt and legs felt it the entire time. I knew I was in for it on Wednesday night at OTF.

Wednesday, Orangetheory. Usually I run between 1.5-3 miles total. Yeah, not this week. This time I ran 4.16 miles of pushes and all-outs. Now I was up to three days in a row of running. That’s ok, I do that fairly frequently.

Thursday I did my first 400m intervals in a long time. With warm up and cool down, that was a total of 5.75 miles. That was my third day in a row of intense running, fourth day in a row of running. My body was feeling it.

I took Friday completely off. In fact I think I only took 6000 steps the entire day. I had the Rice Lake Classic to run Saturday morning and I didn’t want to totally blow it after four days and 19+ miles.

Saturday morning, I really did not want to go to the race. It was hot, humid and I was tired. Tired from my intense workouts, tired from having company all week, tired from not getting enough sleep. As soon as the race started, my legs made it known they were done. I felt my sore glutes with every step. I tried to move my legs faster, but they didn’t listen. Instead my bone fragment pulled in my leg causing burning and by the second mile had a minor locking incident. I just wanted it to be over. Turns out, I ran the exact.same.time as I did two years ago and came in third in my age group. I should be happy right? I placed in my age group. I was so disappointed. All I could think about is that I am stronger and faster than I was two years ago, so I should easily be able to run a faster time.

After talking to my mom last night I realized, I am stronger and faster. Two years ago if I had worked out that hard leading up to the race, I would have run way slower. I would have walked more and been in pain. I guess I needed someone else to help me look at it from another angle.

I was supposed to run 10 miles total Saturday, but after the Rice Lake Classic, running the kids run with Ella, and spending two hours at Maple Grove Days in 90 degree weather, I was exhausted. Sunday afternoon when we got back from camping, I went to the gym and slowly, ran my 10 miles. I wasn’t going to do all 10, but slowing my pace down made it doable.

Monday morning, I was so tired and sore. My body was not happy. I went for a walk and called that good.  It’s amazing how a few unplanned runs and an additional session of intense strength training affected me. Lesson learned, six days a week of running doesn’t really work for me. At least not when I have four intense runs. Not when I want to excel. I am considering adding a fifth day, just a short recovery run maybe on Sundays. We will see how it goes.

Indianapolis Monumental Half Training {Week Two}

I’m a firm believer in practice makes perfect and if it ain’t (I cringe at that non-word) broke, don’t fix it. That’s been my philosophy with my training for a few years now. I’m consistent. I found the marathon training plan that worked for me. While I deviate a tiny bit, I’ve stuck with it. It’s helped me go from a 5+ hour marathon to Boston. One thing this modified training cycle is giving me is an opportunity to do a little experimenting.

Here’s what I’ve been toying with:

  1. Warming up longer for short, fast intervals. I have always done a standard warm-up and cool down of one mile. I think adding the additional mile helps my legs loosen up a bit more and the 400 and 800 m intervals don’t feel so damn hard.
  2. The tempo run. Yeah, apparently I’d been selling myself short, which I learned in my class. Now I don’t include my warm-up/cool down in the total tempo mileage. So a four mile tempo is a legit four miles at tempo pace (not a half mile warm up/cool down and three miles at tempo), six miles total if I include my warm-up and cool down.
  3. Adding an easy paced run the day after my long run. My long runs are not what they usually are, but this week I really enjoyed my slow miles. I got on the treadmill to keep my pace in check. Come Monday morning, my legs felt good. I’m going to try to keep this up and see how it goes. Maybe I’ll keep them during my Boston training cycle.

You run and you learn right? Two more days until I get to register for Boston!

Monday -Rest
Tuesday – 1 mile WU + 4 mile tempo + 1 mile CD
Wednesday – Orangetheory
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 2 mile WU + 4×800 @ 6:27 + 2 mile CD
Saturday – 9 mile run
Sunday – 3.35 mile easy run

Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon Training {Week One}

This reset was just what I needed! You know how long my long run was this week? Seven miles. SEVEN! It was so amazing not to have to wake up at 4 am to get ready to go for a double digit run. Could I go out and run 13-16 miles? Sure, did I want to or have to? Nope! Gah, I should train for half marathons more often. Lightbulb: Maybe that’s what I’ll focus on after Boston.

Anyway, this week was the start of getting myself back in gear. It was also the last week before I send my baby off to kindergarten. What? How did that happen? Tear. More like lots of them. She’s so ready, but I’m just having a hard time believe it’s almost here. Back to running. There was not much of note this week, other than my weird knee burning flared up during my tempo run. I just slowed a bit and was good.

From my coaching class (more on that later), I realized I hadn’t been warming up or cooling down enough for my intervals. So this week because my intervals were really short and fast, I added an extra mile to both warm-up and cool-down. When I was done I felt great and fully recovered, rather than feeling like I may keel over.

Here’s how it went:

Monday – Rest (not really planned, but that’s how the cookie crumbles)

Tuesday – 2 mile WU + 4×400 @ 6:07 min/miles (first one was actually at 5:59) + 2 mile CD

Wednesday – Orangetheory

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 1 mile WU + 3 mile tempo + 1 mile CD

Saturday – 7 miles + 2.5 mile hike with the fam

Sunday – 30 min elliptical + 20 mins weights

Lake Wobegon Marathon Training {Week 3}

“The marathon starts in a few minutes,” I told my family with excitement on Saturday afternoon. Josh asked me to see if I could figure out if a guy he went to high school with was running in the Trials again this year. Found him, as I turned on the TV to watch the some of the fastest American marathoners do everything they could to secure one of the six spots on the Olympic marathon team. As I watched them look effortless as they ran sub-6 minute miles, I was in awe. I mean holy hell, I felt like I might die during my quarter mile intervals this week which were at a slow pace for them.

I continued watching at the gym, where I was again relegated to the treadmill for my long run. Damn Old Man Winter won again. I was exhausted from a rough night of sleep Friday night, so I decided to take it easy. I was just going to cruise. As I was just taking it easy, I could not take my eyes off the screen. These athletes are amazing. I was especially impressed by Des Linden who won marathon pacing. I mean seriously, to give it that kick in the last mile to come in second, wow. #pacinggoals

Right as the top three women were finishing, my run ended as well. It was one inspiring run. Maybe one day I will be able to run one mile as fast as their average for the entire marathon. Time to get on those intervals!

I was so excited about the race, I talked to Josh about it the rest of the day. I think he was sick of hearing me wax on about how awesome these competitors rocked the race in less than ideal conditions. Maybe in four years I can watch in person.

Monday – 8 mile stationary bike + weights
Tuesday – 10×400 @ 6:18 (6.75 miles @ 7:41 min/mile avg)
Wednesday – Orangetheory Fitness
Thursday – 6 mile tempo (7:58 avg. min/mile avg)
Friday – Rest (I remembered why I don’t run three days in a row. Sore!)
Saturday – 14 miles
Sunday – Rest

 

 

Swim, bike, run – Getting my feet wet

About a month ago I got an email from Lifetime Fitness about its Commitment Day Festival. It starts with a New Year’s Day 5k and concludes with an indoor triathlon. Knowing we’d likely already be out of pocket for New Year’s Day I decided to register for the indoor triathlon. I’ve never done one, but decided that the start of the a new year was the perfect time to try it out.

This is a very beginner friendly event. Rather that prescribed distance for each portion of the race, it’s done by time. We start with a 10 minute swim, followed by 30 minutes on a bike and 20 minutes running. Between each portion there are allotted transition times which is nice. No need to feel super rushed.

While I have not been following any sort of official training plan, I’ve been incorporating swimming and biking into my weekly routine in addition to my three runs. Over the past several couple of weeks my weeks have looked something like this:

Monday – Swim/Bike

Tuesday – Run

Wednesday – Group class/Bike

Thursday – Bike/Run

Friday – Group class or off

Saturday – Long Run

Sunday – Swim

Not all weeks go as planned but I’ve been pretty good at swimming and biking at least two days per week.

Here’s what I’ve learned about my fitness level for an event like this.

1. Being in running shape and swimming shape are not the same at all. Getting back into swimming has been challenging. Each week I see improvements in my fitness. For example, two weeks ago in 30 minutes I only swam 900 yards alternating between freestyle and breaststroke. Today I swam 1200 yards in the same amount of time, still alternating strokes.

2. Stationary bikes are way more comfortable than Spin bikes. We will be on spinning bikes for the event so I’ve been going into the cycling room when there is not a class. Those seats hurt after more than 15 minutes. I need some padded shorts.

3. My legs are jello when I start to running after biking. It’s such a different motion, my legs are confused about what is going on.

I did a trial triathlon this morning just to see how my body did. I made it a bit longer than the one I’ll be doing just to see how it went, plus 10 minutes in the pool is hardly worth getting wet.

In 90 minutes I completed a 1200 yd swim, rode 6.9 miles and ran 3.5 miles. It felt really good and surprisingly less difficult than I anticipated. That was a relief. I’m excited for the 4th!

We’ll see, I may just like this triathlon thing and register for the outdoor one this summer at the lake across the street from my house.