Sunday, August 31, 2014

Taper week: Bird In Hand Half

Just a quick update:

Ran Wednesday 4 miles at 909 pace.  Felt awesome.  Ran with a friend.

Ran Thursday about 4 miles.  Extremely humid.  Much slower.  With a few friends.

Felt worn out and burned out for my Saturday pace work.  I didn't get out Saturday AM and I woke up feeling the same Sunday AM.  Listened to my body.

Very much looking forward to Bird-in-Hand Half.  I'm ready to crush it.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

19 miles: Bird in Hand Half Marathon Training

This week went very well.  I ended up doing three training runs during the week (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday).  Thursday was completely a social run.  I could have run faster, but I chose not to since I had 19 miles on the schedule for Saturday (and Coach Chris said to not run fast on any extra runs).

My Monday run was a group run.  We had three of us and we did an easy 3 miler.

Tuesday run was more challenging because we did a run that had portions that I had never done before.  We had a great view and it was awesome (just like the rest of my runs).  This was a group run as well.  See a theme here?  This run was 5 miles, but it felt really good.  Afterwards I accepted the ice bucket challenge.  I did this because I was challenged by one of my friends that I ran with both on Monday and Tuesday.  I knew this would happen eventually... but it was because I opened my big mouth.  This truly felt good after a somewhat challenging and hilly 5 mile run.

Thursday we did 4 miles.  This was again a social run and nothing out of the ordinary needs reported.  Felt awesome and I kept it a social run even though I know I was capable of running with some of my friends that were a little faster, but I kept my word.  I said I would not run fast on my extra social run so I didn't :-).

Today, Saturday was a fantastic 19 miler run.  I ran the first about 7 miles by myself.  Then I met up with my running buddy to run the other 11-12 miles.  This was fantastic because it helped me have the support when I needed it.  Notable things about this run:  we saw several deer at three different times (pays to get out there early!) 

So how do I feel?  I'm writing this blog about 3 hours after I finished and I am feeling strong.  I did get an ice bath which helped my legs a lot.  Overall, I'm very pleased with how things went.  My running buddy asked me what I thought about my goal for a sub 2 hour half marathon.  I believe I said something to the effect that I am fully confident that I will get a new personal record of faster than 2:15 minutes.  I'm uncertain about getting faster than 2 hours, but I know that if everything lines up (weather and how things going race morning).  What I do know is that the confidence that going almost a 10K beyond the race distance really helps me realize that I am strong enough to do this.

Next week I have repeats (14x800).  Then the following week is Bird in Hand Half Marathon.  I'm super excited that my training has gone so well.  I will keep you posted.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

week 18: track work 13x800's

This was a great running week for me.  I did 3 runs during the week and my pace work this morning.

Monday I chose to not run because I had friends to meet up with on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning.  I felt like a slacker so I did not meet for the Tuesday AM run.  Kinda felt bad about this so I did end up going out for a 5 mile very, very wet run.  It felt awesome.  The only thing notable is that it was pouring and there were only a few other runners out there.  Since we were running in the pouring rain I gave one of my fellow runners a high five.  We are crazy enough to be out there... we might as well enjoy it!  Bottom line, ran 5 miles on Tuesday afternoon.

Then Wednesday morning I met up with TNT friends.  We did a "nice and easy" 4 mile run.  This run was great because we all stayed together and talked.  My running buddies are awesome... and they even got up at 5:30am for this run :-).

Thursday was a very "chill" run as I already ran twice this week.  We kept the pace of extremely conversational and more like a long run pace.  It ended up being 3.5 miles and I felt wonderful afterwards.  Again, so thankful for the conversation.

Today I did 13 repeats of 800 meters.  It felt amazing due to the mental preparation and the reality that it was MUCH cooler and I did it starting as soon as the sun came up this morning.  I was pretty much done by 7:30am this morning.

Here are the specifics:
1:  2:16; 2:08 = 4:24 (not sure what happened... guess I was just warming up?
2:  2:08; 2:14 = 4:26 (warmup I guess)
3: 2:02; 2:15 = 4:17 (2 seconds too slow)
4.  2:08; 2:09 = 4:17 (close!)
5.  2:07; 2:09 = 4:16 closer!
6: 2:02; 2:10 = 4:12
7: 2:08; 2:06 = 4:14
8: 2:02; 2:14 = 4:16
9: 2:06; 2:11 = 4:17
10: 2:09; 2:12 = 4:21
11: 2:04; 2:11 = 4:15 (perfect!)
12: 2:01; 2:10= 4:11
13: 2:01; 2:04 = quite fast for my last repeat!

 Overall I was very pleased with how the whole week went (outside of sleeping in Tuesday AM).  I didn't run too many of the miles at a "fast for me" pace (other than of course the speed work).

I am excited to crush my 19 mile training run next Saturday.  I need to be home and showered by 9:30am so I'll have a very early day, but that's how I like it.  Can't wait!  I'll be starting from home and running 8-9 and the meeting up with the same friend that ran with me two weeks ago.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Week 17: 16 miles BIH Half

This week went very well in regards to my training.  On Tuesday I met up with friends to run 4 miles.  This was run at a "chill" pace and we enjoyed talking.  Part way through the run we switched the people we were running with and it was a nice change of pace.

Wednesday it ended up being just one of my running buddies that could make it.  This run was very interesting as I had never run just with this running friend.  I found out as we were running that she has a very good pace for me (for shorter runs).  I ended up not using walk breaks (just because it was a short run and I was feeling good).  We ended up running a fairly fast for me pace of just slightly over 9 minute miles.  This was encouraging because if I can do this on a 4 mile run without walk breaks then I knew that I am getting stronger and faster.

Today was an amazing 16 mile run.  I started out the first 6.5 miles by myself.  I was very thankful for my Knuckle Lights as it was quite dark.  I met up with my running buddy at Wildwood Lake and we went around the lake for the first 3 miles (gets me up to 9.5).  We went the "typical way" around the lake (starting on the foot path).  We had fun with the hills and we eat them for breakfast (at least that's what I told my friend).

After stopping at the cars for a few seconds we went back on the toe path and then ran towards HACC.  On the way back to the car (we went back via the toe path again) we saw a deer.  This was between 6 and 7am that this happened.  I also saw several deer on this same path earlier in the morning.  It ends up that I did a total of three loops around Wildwood.  I did it the "hard" way twice and the "easy" way once.

I feel so good after this 16 mile run.  This is encouraging since last week I had such a hard time with my repeats.  I used the 2:30/1 for the entire run.  Again, I feel amazing and I'm so grateful for my friend who ran those last 9.5 miles with me.  I truly believe I could have kept going.

Next week I have repeats and the following week I have 19 miles.  Yes, 19 miles on the schedule for a half marathon (13.1 miles).  The cool thing about this is that I will be going almost a 10K beyond the race distance.  I will use this to help propel me into a sub 2 hour half marathon.  Regardless of the actual race result, my training has been a tremendous success.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 16: Tough track work - BIH Half

Overall it was a productive week.  I ran with friends on Tuesday and Thursday.  On Wednesday I ran by myself.  I did my magic mile at 7:31 which is one second slower than my best time ever.  I was pleased with it and it felt pretty good.  I bet that if I was running with someone else I could have pushed it a little harder.

This week was different for me because I skipped Monday (on purpose) and ran three days in a row.  The weather was amazing so I took advantage of it.

This morning I slept in as I was tired (no specific reason that I know about).  This was unfortunate because this meant that I did my repeats during the hottest part of the day.  Your advice to switch to 400's instead of 800's part way through was a great idea and it made it "doable."

Here's the stats!
800's were as follows
1:  2:13 and 2:08 - 4:21
2: 2:00 and 2:13 - 4:13
3:  2:14 and 2:11 - 4:25
4.  2:14 and 2:10 - 4:24
5: 2:11 and 2:14 - 4:25

Next were the rest of the repeats as 400's but I'll put them together to equal 800s
6:  2:10 and 2:06 - 4:16
7:  2:14 and 2:09 - 4:23
8: 2:09 and 2:13 - 4:22
9: 2:09 and 2:09 - 4:18
10: 2:09 and 2:11 - 4:20
11:  2:17 and 2:13 - 4:30
12:  2:19 and 2:16 - 4:35
Again number 6 through 12 were actually two separate 400's that I would walk between and take a drink.  I put it all out there.  I was beat afterwards.  Note to self.... don't sleep in because the run is "easier" in the morning before the sun comes out.

Looking forward to my run next Saturday of 16 miles :-).