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 Marathon Training {Um what?}

I was pumped, half marathon training was going well. I looked forward to my shorter runs and was hitting my goal pace ranges. I was killing it. WAS being the key. From my previous post you’ve seen we’ve been busy. Life and fun have gotten in the way. All the sudden it is race week. I’m feeling under-trained, over tired and surprise, surprise, sick with a nasty cold that just won’t quit.

Lately my training has consisted of one speed workout, Orangetheory and then my long run. I tried to catch-up on missed workouts, which I would never recommend because yikes, my body was not happy with me. I just decided to do what I had time for and leave it at that. Because I’ve been consistently running double digit long runs for about a year, I know that I can cover the distance. It is highly unlikely it will be my best performance.

This race is more about time with my mom. We have been planning on doing this race for about a year now. To get my mom ready, I wrote her a training plan several months ago and she’s been training hard to do her first half marathon in more than a decade. I’m really proud of her and excited to cheer her through the finish shoot! I also wrote a training plan for one of her friends, who happens to make the best almond cake I’ve ever had, who will be running too. I’m accepting payment in the form of cake, because yum. Also because they are two of my first clients as an officially certified running coach. I’m really excited to see how they both do. I’ll report back on how we all do as part of my running coach posts I have in my drafts.

The kids and I are flying to Indy at the end of next week. While I was not originally intending on bringing them, they are really excited to see their Nana, Papa, Uncle Riley and Aunt Emma. It should be a fun weekend with way too much food and a little running mixed in.

 

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

The Burnout & Remedy

After Wobegon I was ecstatic. I had qualified for Boston which meant two things, I achieved a running goal I never thought possible back when I was struggling to run a sub-5 hour marathon, and I had a summer free of required training! Though I was already registered for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon which is the first week in November. With a pretty comfortable cushion under my qualifying time, I decided I’d switch to the half. Even doing that I wouldn’t really have to start training until later summer/early fall. But then I seemed to lose my marbles.

Somewhere along the line, I started doubting whether my 5:32 cushion under my qualifying time was going to be enough to get me in. I starting thinking, oh shit, I need to start training for the full even if I do get into Boston. After all, registration isn’t until September and if I fail to gain entry, I’d be so behind in training for a full, I’d hate myself come race day. So I started training for a full as if I was going to run it in November. I even ran a 16 miler with my BRF.

I put on a good front while on those long runs but the truth is, I was feeling burnt out. I was putting off my weekday runs as long as I could and often cutting them short or opting out of my tempos or intervals in favor of a ladder or just a nice easy run. I wasn’t sleeping well, was irritable, getting achy and sore, and other that loving the company, I dreaded the long run. Nothing about my running felt good, easy or satisfying. Deep down I knew that even if I don’t get into Boston (which I’m sure I will), there is no way I WANT to run a full in November. So why was I forcing myself to training as if I was? It was putting me in a funk that may be the worst running downer I’ve ever had.

So last week I decided to make a change. I had to re-examine my motivations. First was not getting into Boston leaving me with no spring full on my calendar. I will get into Boston when I register on the 16th. I get to register the first week and I don’t think the minutes under qualifying times are going to double. Second was feeling like I had to do a fall marathon. When did I start feeling like I needed to do two marathons a year? That’s just silly. Since we moved to Minnesota just over two years ago I’ve done four marathons. FOUR. While that’s not a lot to some, that’s a lot to me. I just needed to give myself permission not to feel like I have to do two a year.

Starting this week I’m starting my new training plan, for the half that I’m going to run. No more extraneous long runs or 10+ mile tempos. It’s unnecessary and was making me unhappy. And after Boston…I think I’ll take a break from marathoning all together, at least for a little while.