Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Outside Speed

It was grey out today and I had a feeling it was freezing by the looks of it. But I checked the weather and it was about 40* F.

I changed my plans, bundled up, created a workout on my garmin (love this feature) and headed outside for a super quick speed workout. I did 4 400s with a half mile warm up and cool down and .25 mile rests in between. My goal was 1:58 (7:55 pace) for each 400. I am usually wanting to cry after each one on the treadmill at 7.6 mph (7:54 pace). My 400s were: 1:47, 1:58, 1:56, 1:55. And they felt awesome.

I feel like the treadmill and outside running shouldn't seem so drastically different.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Return to the Pavement

I ran six miles today... Outside.

It was glorious. It was cold (35* F). It was SO much better than the treadmill.

I haven't run outside since the Turkey Trot. That was two and a half weeks ago.

I had completed 5 runs on the treadmill. Which isn't that many. But it is more than I would have hoped.

I bundled up. I wore my new Nike pants and pullover. Gloves and a headband. Two pairs of socks. And it was perfect. The only cold weather breathing issues I had were because I'm still mildly getting over a cold.

I hope to get at minimum my long runs in outside (and having to wait until 2pm to get the most warmth our of the day) unless it's completely freezing and the side walks are covered in snow and ice.

I have a feeling I am going to become quite knowledgeable in winter running in these next couple months.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ghost Writer

Anyone want to be my ghost writer? Anyone? I pay in cookies? Or cupcakes? Or maybe even a penny a word if I'm feeling generous.


No one? Really? Fine.

A large number of bloggers like to blog because they like to write. I can't say I am really a fan of blogging yet... and I definitely don't like to write. 

Its the easiest way to really let some feelings out and straighten out some thoughts. And I find myself wanting to write through some feelings a lot of times. But I always get discouraged when things don't turn out they way I envisioned they would. And I am switching it up from making my posts centered. I didn't just forget to switch it.

All that being said, I should probably talk about what I have been meaning to post about for nearly two weeks. Training.

As I think I have mentioned I started training right after Thanksgiving. And after an (hopefully) outdoor 6 mi run tomorrow I will have completed two weeks of training. 


You see, I will have completed all the runs to a level of success that I am completely satisfied at this point. There has been some walking and some mild stops. But its the beginning and I may have some lofty training goals. I realize my goal should be to finish but I figured why not try to train hard. If its too much I can always take a step back. Go at slower paces.

Also in my defense. I was sick this week and managed to complete a relatively short speed interval run (3 800s) and a short tempo (3 at tempo pace... maybe not all completely consecutive). It was hard to breathe. There were definitely some phlegm and snot issues; I won't go into details. But I was on the treadmill trying and that is a success for me at week 2.

So, how am I sorta not completing training? 

I chose a plan that only included 3 days a week of running. That isn't much. You're supposed to cross train 30-40 minutes 2-3 other days a week. I had planned on 2 days of cross training and a day of yoga and of course a day of rest.

So far, we had 3 runs, 2 elliptical sessions, and 2 rest days. Eh. Not too bad. Then 2 (soon to be 3 runs), a yoga/Pilates DVD, and 3 rests (I was way more sick one day than the days I had ran and had already used my rest day for a crazy day in classes). 

So, definitely room for improvement. But with finals next week I am not taking things too hard on myself. 

I have a crazy holiday season coming up. With a packed exam week. 4 straight days babysitting. Christmas. A trip to Florida over New Years for my college's bowl game. And then my LAST semester will start. 

I have been messing with my training plan to work around this stuff as much as possible. My goal through break and until I can get on a solid schedule with the next semester is to just get those three runs in each week. All else is a much welcome bonus. 

Maybe I should post my schedule? Next time. I already rambled enough today.

And if you made it through this and realize just how painful me dictating my own thoughts is and have changed your mind and want to be my ghost writer. Let me know :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Back to the Scene of the Crime: Turkey Trot 2011

The Turkey Trot last year was my first race. Since then I have only done a 10k and then the 5 miler for the same Turkey Trot this year. 

My 5k was steady and I ran the whole thing, which, at the time was the farthest I had run without stopping. It was a success. 

I then ran a 10k at the end of last may. I went out too fast and felt horrible after it. I learned a valuable lesson about racing that I knew beforehand, but I needed to experience it for myself.

This year, I was going to just do the 5k Turkey Trot with hopes of beating my time last year, but there was a new 5 mile option, and I have this strange liking of running 5 miles. Nothing more, nothing less. So, I decided to go for it. 

I had followed a very loose and not intense 'training schedule' for a goal race pace of 8:59, and that was my goal. Unlike the previous two races where I had the goal I tell people (sub 33 min for the 5k and sub one hour for the 10k) and the secret goal that is a little far fetched that I didn't want to share (sub 30 min for the 5k [success] and sub 55 min for the 10k [not success]), I just had one goal. Due to some confusion of how close to 5 miles the course would actually be I decided to have a goal pace, not a goal time: sub 9 min/mile pace. It was that or nothing.

I could say things about the course and what was going through my head during the race, but it now seems like all a blur. I do know that one of the songs in my playlist was corrupt and it stopped at the beginning even though it said it was still playing. I have no idea when my music stopped... I didn't realize it until way after I was finished. 

For about the last half of the race, I followed a girl right in front of me and just used her to keep pace with. Not the most effective method but it turned out well and she was going at what felt good for me. I wouldn't have followed her if it didn't feel like a good pace.

I sprinted right at the end and crossed the finish line at 4.93 miles on my Garmin. My official time was 43:31 and 8:43 pace, but my real pace was 8:48. Which was way better than I ever expected. It was amazing! And, I felt great after the race!

I wanted to immediately sign up for the Bayshore half marathon! December 1st at 8am I am all over that!

I start 'training' Monday for the DC Half Marathon! I guess I should finish up my training schedule!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I am horrible at sticking to a training schedule apparently. Not that I thought I would be good at it though.

I made a small, easy, only 3 days a week schedule to stick to for the 5 miler I am running on Thanksgiving and if that went well I would sign up for the Bayshore on December 1st. I am not nervous about not being able to do a half marathon, I am nervous about not sticking to training.

If I complete a 2 mile run on Tuesday I will have technically completed all the runs more or less... just not exactly on schedule. I usually end up postponing my Thursday run that sometime then postpones my Sunday  run all the way into the next week. Throw in even colder temps and snow... this is not looking good.

But, as I finish up my half marathon schedules for the spring I have decided on only 3 day a week training with 2 days of good cross training and strength and one day of yoga and one day of rest. I will also not beat myself up if things don't go exactly as planned.

I have had a couple more runs since I last posted, I don't recall all of them and their specifics, but I did spend my Saturday night at the fitness center with a quick 3 mile speed training run with 2 800s at an 8 min/mile pace. It was hard.

Then I did a speedy 2 miles outside this afternoon... and decided I needed smaller running capris... or to remember to tie them really tight. That was a fail.

Speaking of running clothes I am excited to invest some money in some cold weather gear and a new pair of running shoes! Just have to look around a bit more and make some decisions. 
Any suggestions?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Treadmill Musings

I, like a lot of people, hate the treadmill. 

Some people love it... who these crazy people are, I have no idea.

I also will be training in the dead of winter in Michigan. 

I will need to learn to love the treadmill.

The treadmill will not be my only form of training, and also I hope that it won't be the majority of my training. But, realistically, it is the most convenient most days. Its a 20 second walk from my apartment door, and it doesn't having my running on poorly lit streets in the pitch dark. Or on icy sidewalks.

I plan to embrace cold weather, snowy running. I plan to utilize the indoor track on campus. But, I also anticipate many runs on the treadmill.

I have realized that running is mostly a mental game. Many people say this, but everyone has to realize it for themselves to truly understand it. 

I can run 5 miles outside happy as can be; I try that on the treadmill and I want to punch someone, and most times have to stop to walk, even if I am going at a slower pace than outside. 

I think this had lead me to my goal for training on the treadmill to be about completing the distance and embracing having to walk and working on the mental game. And, as always its best used for speed training... if I get around to that in my first real training attempts.

I tried a "speed" training last night. After a mile warm up at about 10:00 min/mi I think and then half a mile at 8:13 min/mi, quarter mile at 10:00, half mile at 8:13, and then three-quarters of a mile at 10:00 or less (3 miles total) I had to get of and pedal on the elliptical for five minutes because I didn't even want to walk on the treadmill for another second. I sucked it up and completed an additional half mile at 8:13 and then slow half mile jog to bring the grand total to 4 miles. It. was. torture.

Tonight, I completed 5 miles of running and about three quarters of a mile of walking. I did 3 miles at a 9:31 pace, walked .1, 1 mile at 9:31, walked .15, half a mile at 9:31, walk .15, and a last half mile at 9:31 for 5 miles of running with walk breaks. Then I walked a long cool down until the treadmill reset itself for a total of 65 minutes and 5.75 miles. Then I came back to look at my schedule and realized it said 6 miles.. not 5. Maybe 6 will happen tomorrow... if I can run outside after class (and a special professor meeting that I am very excited for!)

Here's to hoping for no rain tomorrow. I miss the pavement.


Now technically two days ago I did something on a whim. Well, if you consider talking about it with many different people and trying to decide for hours a whim.

I signed up for the Rock 'n' Roll USA Half Marathon in DC on March 17, 2011.

I have run a 5k almost a year ago, a 10k last spring, and a 5 miler this Thanksgiving. That is it. But why not sign up for a half marathon in a few short months that is no where near close to me?

I had already planned on signing up for a local half marathon at the end of May with a friend (and will still be signing up December 1st!), but with the Rock 'n' Roll sale yesterday and seeing the date for DC, I just couldn't resist. My sister goes to grad school in the area and I still have a couple friends from Study Abroad in the area so it was probably about the only location that made sense to travel to without having someone planning to run it with me. 

Plus, how cool will running through DC be?! I haven't been there much and can. not. wait.

So, I decided to try this blogging thing again as a place to talk about my first real race training. Complain about having to run on the treadmill and at the track and in the snow. And anything else that strikes my boring fancy. I will post an amateur training schedule that incorporates both races. I plan to start training right after Thanksgiving after I complete the 5 miler that I have been sorta 'training' for if you can call it that.