Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Race Recap - Run for the Water

Sunday morning I ran the Gazelle Foundation Run for the Water.  I think this was the sixth running and it benefits a program to dig wells in Burundi.  The race price was $39 before the end of August for a 10 mile race which is incredibly affordable. I think the 5K price was $19.  Our swag was a short-sleeved tech shirt and a few coupons.  We got a bottle of water at the finish and I'd pay $39 again for this race.

I've been really tired the last few weeks and skipped quite a few workouts including my last long run.  As late as Friday, I was apathetic about running the race.  I talked to a co-worker and basically came to the conclusion that I had already donated my money to a good cause and didn't want to get up early.  Then Saturday as the day went on, I got more and more committed and invested in running.  I slept very badly and was up well before my 4:45 alarm. 

Weather was predicted to be 41 at race start and as high as 45 by the end of the race.  I wavered on whether to wear shorts or tights and even put on shorts at home, then changed into tights at home, then changed back into the shorts after parking my car while sitting in the car.  The website says that sunrise was scheduled for 7:05.  The race booklet said 6:40-something and the sunrise calendar on my google calendar app said 7:42.  Ok...  I got downtown by 6:00 and parked my car on the street about 4 blocks from the start and finish.  I didn't need to be that early but better early than late.  It was actually about 45 degrees at start. 

I walked down to the start and paced around and did a little jogging and got a temporary tattoo.  I was trying to meet up with a few twitter/running friends but never found them.  My hair is flattened because I was wearing a hat but here's a picture of me at the start. I got the person standing next to me to take it on my phone.  It's the only picture I have from the race. 

My plan was to run 2:30/1:00 until about 7 or 8 miles and then extend that time if I felt good.  The race was a lot of uphill for the first 7 miles and then downhill from there.  The start was good and I crossed the start line when the clock said 1:00 (compared to 28:xx the last time I did the Livestrong).  I spent the first few miles making sure to get out of runners' way when I needed to walk and avoiding walkers and a few dogs.  Right near the start I saw a runner in a spider man costume, a girl in a Super girl costume, and a girl dressed as a popcorn box. 

The sun came up about 2.5-3.0 miles in and was blinding for a few minutes but then just became pleasant.  I was happy to have my hat and took it off and carried it a few times but generally felt like my clothing were perfect and comfortable.  I ran and visited with various people including a man in his 70s who has run 77 marathons starting at age 50 and was run/walking a 1:00/1:00 ratio.  We ran the last few miles together.  By mile 7 I knew I wouldn't break 2:00 but still wanted to beat my last 10 mile time which was 2:07 (actually I looked it up later in the day and it was 2:06:19).  I pushed at the end (last two miles at 11:23 and 12:23), sprinting the last 200 meters or so to clock 2:05:26.  I'd like to have seen a more than :53 improvement but I think this was a hillier course and I really enjoyed the race.  I simply felt happy.  I enjoyed running. I enjoyed the city. 

Perhaps I can expect no more from a race than to say I enjoyed it and felt happy. 

Splits: 11.52, 12:04, 12:53, 13:07, 12:08, 13:38, 12:57, 12:40, 11:42, 12:23

Monday, October 29, 2012

Workouts 10/22 - 10/28

Taper Week. 

It was taper week and I don't think I've ever appreciated a taper week so much or well.

Monday - I was supposed to do 30 minutes of core work by doing Diane's video.  I did 15 minutes while the kids were playing right before bedtime and thought I could do another 10 while they got ready for bed but getting them ready for bed took more than I thought.  And then I figured I would finish while the kids were in bed but the puppies never calmed down.  So... 15 minutes of core is better than no core. 

Tuesday - 2.5 miles in 37 minutes included lots of walking.  Walked to warm up, then jogged, then 3 x 5 minutes in zone 3 with 2 minutes between and then walking home.

Wednesday - I was supposed to do the 30 minute Yoga video. I did about 10 minutes and went "you know what? I don't like this" and quit.

Thursday - 2.36 in 32 minutes. Ran at 3:30 and it was 87 and humid out.  I'm so ready for the cool weather.  Did the warm up, 2 x 5 in zone 3, and came home. Then took the kids out to run .5 miles for their marathon kids. 

Friday - Stretching & foam rolling.  35 minutes.  Lovely in that "ow" way.

Sunday - Run for the Water 10 miler - 10 miles in 2:05:26. (12:32).  More in the race recap post. 

All in all a very enjoyable taper week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Run for the Water Goals

Sunday (10/28) I’m running the Run for the Water 10 mile race in Austin.  The race starts in downtown Austin at 7:00 which means I’ll have to get up early, drive downtown, and park.  I don’t feel as well trained as I have for my previous races but I think that’s mostly an outcome of feeling so hot and tired on my runs all summer.  A few days ago I told ChocolateWife that next year the first time she hears me complain about the heat to tell me to join a gym and remind me how miserable I was running outside this year.  This morning it was 70 degrees with 97% humidity when I went out for my taper run at 5:00 am.  Sunday’s forecast calls for a low of 49, high of 64 and 20% chance of rain.  I don’t particularly want to race in the rain but I would love temperatures anywhere in that range. 

I feel hesitant to even set any goals for the race at this point but it’s nice to have something to shoot at so:

A goal – break 2:00.  I would have to run better than 12:00 miles and I don’t think it’s likely but perhaps I’m better trained than I know and cool weather could help me.

B goal – break 2:07.  I ran the Austin 10/20 in 2:07 which was 12:41 a mile.  Meeting this goal would give me a PR in my second 10 mile race.

C goal – break 2:10/finish. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Workouts 10/15 - 10/21

Eh. Yeah.  Another crap week in the books.  I think maybe this training cycle just went on too long for me.  I'll admit that when I saw the 14 mile run on this week's schedule I was shocked and overwhelmed.  I thought the week before a race would be maybe a 5-6 miler.  I checked with the coach and she said yep, that's the schedule. I think she indicated in the comments that I could alternately run 8-9 but I'm not totally sure.  But let's go in order.

Tuesday - Did Monday's Arms & core work that I didn't get done Monday because ChocolateDaughter would not GO TO SLEEP!  I did that work while I was home because ChocolateWife and ChocolateSon were both sick so I didn't do the Tuesday run.

Wednesday - I was supposed to do chest & back. Again the baby would not sleep and again I didn't.

Thursday - 4.1 in 52 minutes (12:40) plus walking warm up/down.  I had a super run. The schedule called for 5 x 8 minutes in zone 4 (up to obviously) with 2 minutes between and warming up and down. I didn't think I could actually run 8 minutes without a break but I did it not once, not twice, etc. but 5 times.  I actually think I was running faster on the last 8 minute interval than the first. 

Friday - should have done legs but dinner out/kids to sleep/apathy struck again.

Saturday - Stretching & foam rolling.  35 minutes of stretching and 15 minute of foam rolling.  Very good sessions.

Sunday - Was supposed to be the aforementioned 14 mile run with the middle 10 at marathon pace.  I just... I literally sat on the edge of the bed holding my sports bra and nearly crying because I felt so tired and just didn't want to. I couldn't even imagine running 5 miles.  Instead the entire family went for a hike/walk at a park we'd never been to (St. Edwards Park Trail) which was very nice. We took the puppies for their first hike and they did very well. 

I've got a 10 mile race in a week and I need to think about my goals.  At least this is a very easy week to get ready for that. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Workouts 10/08 - 10/14

Another week of so-so workouts but this week for a very good reason.  ChocolateWife and I had our first overnight date since having kids (almost 9 years).  I shifted a lot of my workouts around through the week to prepare and then took Friday off work to run my Sunday run on Friday. 

Monday - Tabata Arms and Core.  A very good and hard workout.

Tuesday - Did Pre-Dawn Runner's Core Workout for 30 minutes.  Hard!

Wednesday - Ran hill repeats. These were scheduled for Thursday but I was not going to run hill repeats Thursday and then 12 miles on Friday.  It was 87 out and felt hotter than that.

Friday - 12 miles in 2:54 (14:30). This run was supposed to be 12 miles with 10 at marathon race pace.  I was thinking that marathon race pace should be about 13:15.  I got out there in the 75-80 degrees and 80% humidity and was just slammed.  This was as fast as I could manage.  I'm impressed that I got the miles in at all given how not in the mood I was. 

Nothing on the weekend! 

During our date we went to REI and I got a new pair of Brooks PureConnect running shoes.  They fit and feel like my Brooks PureGrit but are road shoes rather than trail shoes.  I had a 20% off coupon so the price was pretty reasonable. 

Next week is more lifting (no tabatas), stretching, and what looks like 3 pretty challenging run workouts - mile repeats, mile intervals, and then a 14 mile run with 10 at marathon pace on Sunday.  I'm sort of surprised about a 14 mile run a week before my 10 mile race.  I e-mailed the coach to say "huh... that's weird" and she said that it's what the schedule calls for but also said something about having a 8-9 mile zone 2 run on my description so I'm not sure what that means. 

I may go volunteer or at least cheer for a marathon that's about 10 miles from the house on Saturday morning.  I would have to go and then leave pretty quickly because ChocolateWife has an appointment at 11:00 but I'd like to put in an appearance. What are the odds of a marathon run at a place I run frequently and with only 150 runners?  I sent an e-mail about volunteering but haven't heard back yet. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Workouts 10/01 - 10/07

I had another so-so week of workouts last week. I missed/skipped (I think) 3/7 workouts due to different issues including very bad allergies and just a hard week.  The workouts I did do ranged from awesome to wholly unimpressive.

Monday - Tabata workout for arms and core.  Wow. This workout utilized 8 x 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 3 shoulder exercises, 3 arm exercises, and 3 core exercises (72 rounds in all).  It was very challenging and awesome. 

Tuesday - 4.0 miles in 50 minutes plus walking warm up/down.  It was Livestrong day so I wore my Livestrong shirt.  Had no music though. The run was a "do what you want" run so I ran mostly in zone 1/2 and some in 3 and even 4. 

Thursday - Hill repeats.  Did 5 rounds up about 1/4 mile hill pushing myself into high zone 4 to do it.  Then walked between repeats.  Total mileage was not high due to walking but workout was challenging.

Sunday - 7.5 miles plus walking warm up/down in 1:39 (13:11).  The middle 6 was supposed to be at "10 seconds faster than race pace."  I questioned the coach on race pace and got not a lot of guidance (disappointing) about "race pace".  Her answer was basically about zone 3 so I tried to run the middle 6 at zone 3. I did 3:00/1:00 for about 3.5 miles and then 2:30/1:00 for the last 2.5 (mostly into the wind).  My legs felt so tired and heavy.  I averaged 12:50 over those 6 which is comparatively slower than my usual "race pace" (slower than the last HM I ran and the last 10 miler I ran as well). 

I felt quite dejected by the Sunday run. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Workouts 09/24- 09/30

I had a good and hard workout week.  It was the first week (I think) that I've actually done all of the assigned workouts since I've had a coach.  I didn't do them necessarily in order or on the right days (which I think was to my detriment) but I did them all.

Monday - Arms & Shoulders.  Hard but worth doing. 

Tuesday - Chest & Back.  Very fast workout so I could then make dinner.  This workout should have been Wednesday.

Thursday - 3.00 in 42 minutes including warm up and down. Run. This was Tuesday's repeat session 5 x 400s.  I measured the 400 meters on my GPS on the sidewalk.  2:18, 2:11, 2:18, 2:17, 2:20.  Not quite as fast as I thought it would be but not bad either.  69 degrees and 91% humidity was particularly gross.

Thursday - 10.6 bike in 55 minutes.  This was actually Thursday's workout.  Maintained steady cadence.

Saturday - Did Friday's Legs session.  A little killer with 4 different lunges and 4 different squats repeated 2x each.

Saturday - 12.66 bike in 1:15.  Legs were sore but coach said take it easy so I did.  Nice ride.

Sunday - 8.0 in 1:45 (13:07).  Building endurance run on very sore legs.  I had a brutal headache and worked to improve it, finally deciding to go run anyway and see how it was.  Head not bad.  Legs hurt.  I ran 4 mile out and turned around straight into a hard wind so that made it even harder.  Zone 2 with 3 minute surges to zone 3 every 20 minutes. 

I also registered for a race last week.  The Run for the Water which is a 10 miler and which some of my twitter/running friends are running.  The price was right and I haven't had anything to freak out about in a while. 

I'll admit that I'm a bit bummed today about my running/fitness.  I'm following the instructions from my coach but this week I'm not sure that I'm seeing progress. My weight is exactly the same as it was the day I started this program and the same as 4 months ago and 12 months ago and 24 months ago.  I seem to be quite settled at this weight.  My coaching comes with a meal tracking thing and when I track, I don't usually hit the # of calories allotted for the day (particularly if I exercise) and if I believe calories in & calories out, I should be losing weight.  But I'm not.  I would agree that my arms are more buff but beyond that...  I just don't know.