Week 6- Pig Training Run Down

The week went great, the weekend was a bust.

Run Down

Monday- Pilates (Abs), Strength Training (Faster in Five from RW), About 15 minutes of home yoga
Tuesday- 5 mile tempo run
Wednesday- 3200 yard swim, 1.5 mile walk with David
Thursday- Faster in Five strength training, Yoga 75 minutes
Friday- Speed workout treadmill 6.1 Miles (2*1200, 3*800)
Saturday and Sunday- Rest

I have finally added some strength training to the mix! Took me long enough

Added bonus:

All my speed workouts this week were right at my FIRST paces, hello speedy legs, so happy to have you back!

3200 yards at the pool was nice. There was a downed cement truck on 90 so I couldn't get home and opted to go the pool instead. I just managed to sneak in the 3200 before the life guard went on break. By the time I left traffic was clear (It was backed up for over 3 hours)

I successfully did all my inversion poses at yoga this week. Very cool!


Missing the 20 mile run, and mis counting my intervals Friday, I shorted myself one 800, I was supposed to run 4. I honestly didn't even realize it until I got home and logged the workout and looked back at my splits. It was actually somewhat funny because I was mentally strutting the whole way home from hitting all my paces this week. That'll bring me back down to earth!

Funny stuff:

Twice this week I got complimented on my "tattoo" i.e. the monster bruise I had on my thigh from the dog who jumped at me last weekend. (I tried to take a picture but the light didn't do it justice. It's still pretty purple but the yellow tinge and swelling have gone down. There are two pronounced lines where the dogs claws landed, I guess that's what looks like it might be a tattoo.)

I bailed

I bailed on the run yesterday. I decided that mentally I just wasn't up for 20 by myself in the rain or on a treadmill. The FIRST program I am following has five 20 milers on it and I have already done 1, plus a 50k, and I have three more on tap (one of which I am going to do down on the pig course!) I think I will be ready.

I am bummed that this is the third long run I have missed or cut short but in all honesty my body was a bit tired, my shins were super tight, and my nose and throat are acting like they are about to have a cold breakdown, so a restful day at home was probably not such a bad idea.

I am running the Youngstown half marathon this weekend and if I feel good I will add a 2 mile warm up and a 5 mile cool down to get my 20. More likely I will get in around 17 but the 13 will be at a quicker pace, probably around 8:20. I am only supposed to have 13 this weekend so meeting in between the 13 and this weekends 20 probably isn't too bad of an idea. Can't wait to see what the weather has in store for me this Sunday! Bring It!

!@#$%#@! Mother Nature!

That's right. She's done it again.

What do I have on tap this morning? 20 Miles.

What does Mother Nature give me to work with?

Ice, Ice, and more Ice. The whole city is covered in it.

Seriously, this is getting old!

I can't believe I woke up at 5:30 for this.

Week 5- Pig Training Run Down

Mother Nature did not play nice this week and as a result I ended up with 4 "rest" days.

The stats:

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- 3+ hours of shoveling/Rest
Thursday- Yoga, then 5.5 treadmill miles (speed)
Friday- Rest
Saturday- 7 miles including the Chili Bowl 5K
Sunday- 1640 yard swim, 9 mile run, 40 minute trainer ride

Tuesday the snow started around 2 PM. My commute home took an hour and a half, as opposed to the usual 20 minutes, so I bailed on my Tuesday night run I had planned. The roads were closed out by David's work and he couldn't get home, so I spent the night snuggled up with the cats.

Wednesday I woke to over a foot of snow and had to call off work. I managed to shovel my way out by about 5:30, taking periodic trips outside to shovel for 15-30 minutes at a time. Pics of the process below.

Thursday I finally got some workouts in. I headed to yoga in the evening and then went to the Y and got my speed workout in. 3*1 mile repeats. 6:27, 6:52, and 6:53 on the treadmill. I was glad to get the run in but it did negate the 75 minutes of stretching I had just done as I left with incredibly tight hamstrings.

Friday night was the Cleveland Interclub Social. I spent a few hours snacking and chatting with friends before heading to my pals house on the west side for the night. We stayed up a bit late chatting but I finally climbed into to bed around 1 AM.

Saturday was the Chili Bowl which you can read about in this entry. And yes I did have a bowl of Chili after my cool down! Here's some more photos from the event:

Yesterday I woke up early despite feeling exhausted and headed out to my bi weekly swim class. Unfortunately the roads kept deteriorating as I went and after picking up Sam we ended up turning back and instead going to her gym for a short swim. My stroke was wacky and my breathing was labored. I guess maybe this was from the shoveling this week. Who knows.

I headed home and tried to determine when and where I was going to get in my long run. Instead of heading out I ended up napping. Turns out that was a good idea as I obviously needed it.

I finally dragged myself out of the house with the intention of running 18 miles at North Chagrin. I ended up with only about 9 miles. I brought my head lamp, but it was much darker than I anticipated. It was very bizarre running through the woods in the snow with only being able to see about 2 feet in front of me. I did manage to snap some shots before the sun went down.

I almost got mauled by a dog whose owner, even though he spent about a minute yelling at the dog to sit, decided it would be bright to unleash the dog directly after I passed. I felt bad for the dog but I was more worried about myself. The dog left a nice bruise on my leg from jumping at me while I tried to run by.

The trail was not ideal conditions. Most of it was partially plowed but there were sections they hadn't bothered to plow at all. Thanks to whoever managed to dig out a single track path on the trail running down to Wilson Mills! It was very pretty running down hill in the dark with the snow all around, albeit a bit creepy.

Upon arriving back at the car I decided to call it a night, I wasn't sure when the park closed and I figured there was probably a reason I was the only one out there in the dark. I headed to Chipotle and snacked on some chips and guac on my way home. Since I didn't get in the 18 I hoped for I hopped on the trainer for 40 minutes when I got home to round out the day.

I was tired this week despite all the rest days. I guess the shoveling took a toll on me. I am hoping this week goes better and that the weather will be a bit more friendly!

Chili Bowl 5K Race Report

I decided to look back at some of my high school splits before I confirmed my pleasure in running a pretty even split race today. It turns out I was right and today was the first race I ever came close to running even splits. WooHoo. That's the kind of progress I can get behind. Now I just have to work to make those splits oh about 40 seconds faster ;)

As you can see my coach Freshman and Junior year kept a very detailed log. My Junior and Senior year we were stuck with just our time but I am fairly confident I ran all of those races in a similar manner to my previous two years, just a bit more slowly. I can't find my 98 results at all but I think they were fairly similar to the year before. College I broke 22 about twice so I live with the fact that I don't have the results, it's like they never happened! (Although I do wish someone would have told me that when I was an old runner I would have liked to have all those splits, I never kept a log in high school or college, and I wish I could look back at what I was doing then now, oh well!)

It was cold out this morning. When I left it was 12 degrees, with the windchill it felt like 0 F. Perfect running weather!

I got to the race early and registered than sat around until about 9 and headed out with some friends for a 20 minute warm up. Daisy Duc, Solar Squirrel & T, and one of my CTC buddies joined me. It started to snow like mad on our way back in, just enough to cover the road with a nice slippery coating. Picked up Dr. Louis a few minutes before the start then headed in for the pre race huddle. The race started a bit late so we stood around a few more minutes than I would have liked, but what are you going to do?

I went back and forth on my race plan but decided I wanted to aim for 7 minute pace and hopefully run with Daisy Duc and Solar Squirrel, then kick it in the last .1 to try and sneak in under 21:37 to get Daisy Duc a PR. FIRST had a 3 mile tempo run at 7:03 pace for me this week so I figured this was a good way to get that in and practice running a 5K where I don't go out 30-60 seconds too fast in the first mile.

Well we took off and Daisy Duc was hustling! I decided to reel it in and Solar Squirrel and I fell into a comfortably hard pace and watched as Daisy glided away. I was worried about being too slow but we came around the first corner and hit the first mile right on at 7:00. I was glad and felt like this was doable, maybe I could even pick it up the third mile. The second mile of this race always feels slow to me but I forced myself not to look at the watch today, except at the mile markers, and the 2nd mile I felt surprisingly strong, so I was a bit disappointed to come through that one at 7:14. After the second mile I started picking off a few runners. Passed two girls and got passed by one. Better than getting passed by 2 I guess :) It was windy in the last mile and there is an out and back that requires a pivot turn which I was not graceful or quick at. We got back to the Country Club drive and I hit mile 3 in 7:00. I knew last year the .1 was long so I figured I should hold back on my kick a bit but I erred. The .1 was right on this year and I didn't quite get enough time to reel back in the girl who had passed me. I crossed the mat at 21:57 (Official time 21:53.10, 7:04 pace) My stomach was not happy at all and I was sure I was going to lose my breakfast. But of course within a minute I felt fine and was peeved I hadn't run harder. Ces't la vie.

Chatted with BWhit and cheered for Solar Squirrel who was right on my tail then congratulated Daisy Duc on her PR. She crushed the course today in 20:45 and won our age group. I was so impressed. A PR by almost a minute for her. Go over to her blog and tell her great job!

I headed out for my cool down and caught my friend B and we chatted. She had her Garmin on and it turns out the second mile was about .1 long so I was closer to even splits than I thought!

It was definitely humbling this year not getting an age group award, and I can't deny being a bit disappointed. But I ran the race I said I was going to and I broke 22 which was my stated goal. Sometimes running a blazing fast race just isn't in the cards, and perhaps you have to slow down a bit before you can build back to the speedster you want to be.

On super positive notes, after the race my legs felt great. I felt like I could have kept up the same pace for another 5K, which is awesome. I did a 20 minute easy cool down and felt like if I wanted to I could have kept going all day. I now know where I am at and I know what I want to work towards. I feel fitter than I have felt in a long time. I feel tone and flexible and am completely happy with my body (women you know how fleeting that feeling can be!) for the first time in a long time. And who can complain about that?

Check in on some of the other bloggers who toughed the cold today (This is to make sure they actually get up those race reports soon, even if they don't though stop by and tell them great job)! Mike, BWhit, DaisyDuc, B, Charlie

Fogged up post race photo. Note to self, don't leave camera in the car when it is below freezing and expect good pics!
More Pics to come in the weekly Run Down!

Week 4- Pig Training Run Down

Not a bad week, not a great week.


Tuesday-6 miles treadmill (Tempo)
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- Yoga
Friday- 5 miles treadmill (speed), 2000 yard swim
Saturday- 75 minute trainer ride
Sunday- 20 miles in the Piggy Bank

Tuesdays run went well despite the side stitch and crazy treadmill. Friday I had a repeat of the treadmill acting crazy. Why can't I make it through one speed workout where I actually get a workout summary upon finishing?

Friday was another blowup on the treadmill but I have to keep reminding myself I got in 3*1,000 at under 6:30 pace and that is good despite not finishing the other 2*1000 that FIRST called for. Started the workout with the headphones on. 2 mile warm up then straight into 0.63 miles on the treadmill at track pace with quarter mile recoveries. I thought I had 4 on tap and realized when I started I actually had 5. Ooops. Not good for the brain.

The first 2 went by great. Had some good tunes on and the pace felt tough but doable. (Treadmill was set for 9.3 mph on the first and 9.4 for the second). The third repeat I upped the pace to 9.5 and took off the headphones. The cord was annoying me. Bad move. This repeat was tough. I backed off the pace significantly for the quarter recovery and when I started into the 4th somehow about 25 seconds in I hit the stop button on the treadmill. Of course I was peeved. The treadmill reset with no sign of the previous 4 and three quarter miles. Lovely. I ramped back up the pace with intention of completing the 4th interval. Got it up to .96 but after a quarter mile ramped it down and walked for 5 minutes then headed to the pool. Mentally I was tapped. (Of course when I hit stop this time the treamill reported back to me my workout summary, wonderful)

Got into the pool and did 300 warm up, 8*50 on one minute send offs, 200, 8*50 on 55 second send offs, 200, 8*50 on 50 second send offs, then a 100 cool down.

The swim was fine and I was suprised by a group of girls who complimented me on my stroke. Made me realize how lucky I am I can swim and run so well and I shouldn't beat myself up over 2,000 missed meters of running.

Saturday was full of house chores. I did all the dishes, about 7 loads of laundry, vacuumed, and finally took the recycleables to the drop off site (They filled my entire car). There was a sign there saying they will be starting curb side pick up back up on March 1st, I certainly hope so because the drop off site is a pain! Picked up Little Miss Sunshine for my trainer ride, got some cat food, and headed to the running store to pick up a face mask for Sundays long run in the snow. Unfortunately they were out so I settled for a pearl izumi cap (lost my other one).

Sunday woke up early and headed down to Peninsula for my long run with Daisy Duc. It was cold but I overdressed for it. I had to strip my jacket and gloves within the first mile. The first half of the run went really great. We were right around my FIRST paces despite the towpath being covered in snow and it being so cold. Unfortunately I got a bit tired after that and couldn't hold pace. I was glad to have some company but felt bad knowing I was holding her back. Eventually we got back to the cars and snapped a shot before I headed out for my last three miles. I swear that was the first time ever I started to feel old. I bent over to throw my coat into the car and I felt like my back may never straighten again. Uggh. Not a fun feeling!

Icy Pigtails

But I got the run done only 6 minutes over my usual 20 mile runs at 3 hours 6 minutes. 9:20 pace so I have a bit of work to do but I'm not too far off the 8:45 pace I should be at for long runs.

Sunday night we headed out to David's annual work party. It was nice seeing everyone. Especially his old boss and wife. David has worked for them since he was 14 on and off so they treat us just like family. The food was great and I indulged in some nachos and a seafood garlic bread concoction but was good the rest of the evening and ordered a chicken, tomato and basil salad. Very yummy (after I sent it back to remove the blue cheese, I can't stand blue cheese).

I was short a swim this week and didn't manage to sneak in any pilates. Need to work on that for sure. I am trying to do a handful of push ups every morning and then work on my tripod pose for yoga. It only takes a minute and at least I feel like I have done a minimal amount of excercise every morning :)

Week 3- Pig Training Run Down

Missed my long run this week. It just wasn't in the cards. I had my mind all made up to get the 17 miles in on the treadmill but I just ran out of time on Sunday. Minus that disappointment the week went really well. I also don't feel too bad about missing the long run. Being that I did the 50K last weekend I think my endurance is coming along just fine.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6 mile run. Super snowy and cold. Ended up with about 2.5 miles hard, the rest easy pace.
Wednesday: Pilates 34 minutes
Thursday: Yoga 75 minutes
Friday: 44 minute treadmill run & 43 minute swim
Saturday: 75 minute trainer ride
Sunday: 2550 yard swim


Fridays run was pretty brutal. The treadmill got all wacky at some point and reset twice so I don't know my total distance, but it was around 4.75. (all repeats were supposed to be followed by 200 meter rest, this was usually estimated as I can't track 0.125 miles on the treadmill) The workout went like this:

9:44 mile warm up
5:18, 1200
1:21, rest
4:07, 1000
1:35, rest
3:13, 800
1:04, rest
2:22, 600
1:36, rest
1:36, 400
1:27, rest
45.35, 200
5 minute cool down

These weren't too far off the FIRST paces I am supposed to run so I was really happy with this. I basically ran each at the pace that FIRST recommended for the next distance up. So 800 was run at about 1000 pace, give or take a few seconds for the limits of running on a treadmill.

The swim followed right after and I ignored the fact that the pool was about 90 degrees and extremely cloudy. Better off not asking why the pool isn't crystal clear. I got in 2100 yards with a 1000 yard pull starting easy 200 and increasing effort to the end. Highlight of the workout was an attempt at 25 yards underwater. I only made it about 15. So sad. When I was a kid I could almost get around the perimeter of the pool!

Sundays swim was with my tri training group. We did a 20 minute time trial and I really felt great. I counted 1350-1400 but my lane partners counted 1300 so I erred on the side of modesty and turned in 1300 to the coaches. I had to pass both my lane partners around 600 yards so it is possible I tacked on an extra 50 there with confusion. I think I need to learn better passing etiquette as I had to try several times to get by the leader. I wasted a ton of effort and then about 200-300 after passing I kept feeling a tap on my toes so I ended up letting him pass me back. I should have just laid back and drafted the whole time! I was surprised how good I felt. The first 500 I was consistently swimming 1:30 pace. I guess swimming in a pool that isn't a billion degrees helps my pace.

I am a bit worried about it though since this pace will determine my swim workouts over the next couple months. Keeping that pace at the Y will be much different than doing it at the groups pool. I am glad to know though that the temperature of the water does affect your pace.

I am really pleased with the week. The treadmill is still my mental weakness. It would be so easy to slow down the pace or just get off and call it a day. Every day I get through the workout on that darned thing counts as a small victory in my book!

Side Stitch Alert

Had to head to the Y last night instead of my group run. I've decided BW is right and when its under 20 I should be inside. The place was packed. There was one treadmill open and it was one of the ones I don't get along with. I swear the damn thing goes faster than the other treadmills. I hopped on and started and sure enough 6 mph felt like 7 mph. Luckily one minute in a guy jumped off one of the treadmills that feels closer to normal effort so I quick ran across the room and hopped on.

I warmed up for one mile easy then started into my tempo run, only to be greeted by the worst side stitch ever. We are talking searing pain. That hasn't happened to me in a long time. I tried the breathing tricks I knew and it made it worse. I tried clamping my hand tightly over the pain, but running 7:30 pace with your hand clamped to your side isn't real easy.

I finally ramped down the pace thinking I would have to forget the workout, but after a half mile easy the pain subsided and I finished out the rest of my planned tempo run.

What a pain though! I hope that was just a fluke, although it still is a bit sore this morning. I can't recall what exactly causes a side stitch. I missed breakfast yesterday and lunch was light so maybe I just didn't have enough nutrition?

I broke down and wore the mp3 player for the run. I am not sure if it helped at all. Time still dragged and I swear they turned on a heater directly above me during my second tempo mile. I felt like I was trapped in a furnace. Somewhere during my 2nd tempo mile my towel came flying off the handle and rolled under my feet on the treadmill. Thankfully I avoided tripping and falling and the towel just shot off the end of the treadmill. I didn't stop and go get it out of embarrassment but it would have been useful with all the sweating going on. Some warning flashed across the treadmill screen but I didn't catch it. I think it thought I had an additional person on there.

Every mile dragged last night but somehow I suffered through it. I kept reminding myself that if it wasn't hard it wasn't helping.

Here's the stats: (FIRST called for 1 mile warm up, 4 miles at 7:19, and 1 mile cool down) Since I seem to put in more effort on the treadmill for any given pace I modified that to run between 7:19 and 7:35 pace. Start the first mile at 7:35 and work my way down to 7:19.

one mile warm up 9:51.23
800 m 3:48.85 (side stitch)
800 m easy 4:53.08
800 m 3:47.64
1 mile 7:29.82
1 mile 7:24.67
1 mile 7:19.12
800 meter cool down 4:48.48

On a lighter note

Milford and I have been re-reading the Harry Potter books this week. Which of course has caused me to stay up late at night and miss my morning workouts. I'll do better next week!

Is anyone else super geeked up about the movie and the last book? Only 6 months!

E-Speed no more?

Okay so for those that don't know. I didn't orginally have a "blog name". I earned my blog name while in Wisconsin for the first annual WIBA weekend. IronWil gave it to me, and I thought it was cute.

I know I shouldn't let what individuals think about me or my training get to me but I have let the comments of one blogger get under my skin. Mostly because I don't believe them to be accurate at all. But now I think it is good because I think that I am going to have to prove something.

I think I can be fast and I can go long. I have friends that do all the time. And what is fast anyways? I think that a 6:22 trail 50K is pretty fast. And I am guessing the people that it took 8-10 hours really think that is fast. Speed is all relative. The fact that I have run a 3:27 marathon qualifies me as speedy in a lot of peoples books. Whereas I think women running under 3:10 are speedy.

The key to me doing both is this. I am not putting in high mileage. I am running 3 days per week and cross training on 2-3 of the other days. That is NOTHING in most really serious runners books. But when I am running I am focusing on quality. One day speed, one day tempo, one day endurance. I do honestly believe that I will get faster this year. I believe my 5k times will be faster than last year and I believe I can drop my marathon time below 3:25. I also believe that if I want to run long on the trails every weekend I can do it without it interfering with those goals.

I am not going to get burned out from a few ultra races. Go check out what Chad and Bad Ben are running mileage wise. I think they would laugh at my "measly" 25-30 MPW average. I know the guys in my club think its ridiculous. But you know what. This is what works for me. It doesn't have to work for anyone else. And that is the beauty of it.

So not that I have to justify what I am doing to anyone but that's the deal. I know that I am mentally tough enough to get faster while going long. Come race day I always turn it on and that isn't going to change. Yes I lost some ground training for a half ironman, then a marathon, and then a 50 miler. But my body has done that now and it is ready to adapt to it.

And if for some reason I don't get faster I don't think that means I have to change my blog name. I have been running since I was 12 and I have won or placed in my fair share of races. No one can take that away from me. And even if all "E-Speed" is is a reminder of the runner I used to be, I am keeping the name.