Week 6 with the Coach and Whiskey Island Race Report

Friday Night Social Time with My Long Lost Trail Girls (Who I miss very much!!!)

In general this week I have just felt a bit tired. I am sure this is just the miles piling up consistently every week. Adding quality to the mileage was bound to leaving me feeling a little less perky eventually. Making a large effort from here on out to keep my easy and recovery days easier.

My Garmin bit the dust Tuesday during my track workout so I have gone back to my old mileage calculation methods which include mooching pace from my friends garmins, and running known mileage routes. Surprisingly my pacing instincts seem pretty good without the watch, but be sure I am trying to find the receipt/warranty so I can get it in and fixed. Tracking mileage and pace is so much simpler with that dang watch.

June 15th through June 21st- 61 miles
Monday- Rest
Tuesday- 7.2 track
Wednesday- 7.4 easy 8:48 pace
Thursday- 12.5 miles ~7:53 pace
Friday- 7.5 miles ~8:29 pace
Saturday- AM 4.5 miles easy
PM 7 miles including 3 k cross country race
Sunday- 15 miles ~7:53 pace

Key Workouts:


Usual warm up one mile at 8 minute pace followed by 4*100 strides
Workout was 1600 followed by 3 minutes rest then 4*400 with one minute rest follwed by 3 minutes rest and 1600

Goal for the first mile was even pace for 6:10 or better. Pace was way off with a 1:34 followed by 1:35, picked it up to try and get back aiming for 1:30s the last two since 6:10 was the goal. Instead over compensated and ran 1:27 and 1:25 for a 6:01 total. Ooops. Not how I would have liked that to go, definitely went anaerobic the last lap making the rest of the workout harder than it should have been.

400s we were aiming for 1:25-1:27
1:25.38 (58.84)
1:25.95 (1:00.25)
1:25.52 (1:03.93)
1:24.64 (3:12.98)

Last 1600 was supposed to be faster than the first. I was pretty toasted but managed to eek out 6 flat.

Medium Long Run:

Since I was feeling run down after racing last week coach took tempo off the plate this week and instead had a medium long run aiming for around 7:50 pace. With my Garmin fried I decided to just run home from work which I know is about 12.5 miles. I mapped the route on USATF Americas Running Routes to get an idea of a few of the mileage markers to keep an eye on relative pace. I didn't feel stellar but my pacing instincts must be pretty good as I was just over 7:50 average for the run.

My legs were feeling pretty thrashed so I opted for an ice bath after the run. Never fun but I am thinking it was necessary.

Whiskey Island Sunset Relay:

Saturday morning I went to try out a treadmill I decided to purchase and then I headed over to Whiskey Island to check out the race course I was running that night. It was a cross country relay race that I was doing with Salty. Ran the course twice and figured coach's goal of 5:50 pace or better was a little aggressive given the course lay out. The first mile wasn't bad, some rough grass and one mini steep hill, a few yards of sand, and a bit of pavement. But the last 1400 was filled with 4 short steep hills and what felt like a gazillion sharp turns. Did the course in about 16-17 minutes each loop that morning and figured I could shave 3-4 minutes off that while racing it.

The race was a relay and money race. Prizes for top three female teams, coed, and male. Since Salty and I both ran sub 19s at Flag Day I figured we had a good chance of winning the female teams. I opted to go first since Salty is a much better competitor than me. We decided to match and wore my bright pink Under Armour Tanks. Pretty comfy, and despite it being incredibly hot and humid the tanks were comfortable and worked well.

The chip system here was interesting. We got stick on Velcro and the bib velcroed to our shirt then as I came in I remove the bib and hand it to Salty to Velcro onto her outfit and go back through the chute to activate the second leg.

A quick survey of the start showed that all the other fast chicks were paired up with male competitors and were running the second leg. Looks like I will be racing the boys. Sure enough by the first turn it is clear there are no women around me and a handful of super fast guys bounding ahead. One guy was right next to me and was not holding a straight line, making it difficult to fall into a rhythm. I thought oh great, but thankfully I pulled ahead of him shortly after the beach section. I reeled in one more guy who had gone out too fast as I crested the first hill. The ground here was very uneven but thankfully no problems. We headed down a steep hill and a sharp left at the bottom onto pavement, almost bit it but thankfully did not.

As I headed out the lead males were heading back on this section of pavement led by local tri stud AJB. I gave a shout as I passed, not sure he had a clue who I was. Brian S was in close pursuit and looked strong. As I made my way back it was apparent that none of the female teams would catch me. There was a water station as we headed off the pavement and I opted for a quick sip since it was so humid.

Caught up to one more male as I passed the mile marker and headed into the tougher section of the course. I did my best to keep my effort high and push up the hills, but it was apparent my pace was slowing. I just don't corner well and it has been too long since I ran cross country. I could tell the lead guys had a huge gap on me as they were coming out of the woods that I still needed to run around to get into to. No one was around me anymore so I was just running hard to the finish. Into the woods and out of them, then back in again before you head to the finish, but you aren't done quite yet you have to go past the finish, around a tree and then back through the chute. I tore off the bib a bit early, and it was good I did because my velcro came off too and I needed to peel them apart before handing off to Salty. Finished in 12:25 and was happy with the effort. I probably could have gone harder the second half, but it was a good hard run and I had left Salty with at least 2 minutes on our next female competitor. (A quick look at the watch later showed 5:51 for the first mile, so obviously the last 1400 meters were slow!!!)

Headed out to cheer on Salty. Got a little worried when I saw a female in front of her, but got confirmation she was on a coed team. It's too bad she didn't start first actually because she ran a 12:35 obviously we could have pushed each other to better times. I missed Salty's finish but we handily snagged 1st female team. The next team had splits of 15+ and 16+. A couple speedy chicks were there but were teamed up with some fast men so we were able to sneak in a win and grab $100 each for our efforts. Not bad for 12:25 minute work.

The race was run by Clevelandplaysracing. Their events are awesome and they are relatively new in Cleveland. Check them out if you haven't already.

Long Run:

Woke up exhausted Sunday. Not sure if it was still left over from partying too hard Friday night or just the mileage building up on me. Still yawning after the 30 minute drive to Solon I was grateful for the small group which in turn usually promotes an easier pace. This was indeed the case and was very much appreciated as I slept ran my way through the run. My stomach was not happy and the humidity was making me lethargic but I survived my planned 15 with company (who thankfully gave me a gel which was a nice energy boost!) in about 7:53 pace.

Week 5 of Coached Training

This week was adjusted to accommodate the Flag Day 5k Wednesday night. Coach hadn't planned for any tempo like effort Friday but I pushed him to give me something to do with Salty. I pushed a little hard on Thursday during the easy run and my quads are definitely barking at me. Note to self, you aren't invincible. Took it easy on the long run to try and recover a bit but still get in the mileage for the week.

Officially decided I am racing Columbus this fall, but we aren't going to focus on marathon training yet. Still need to build up my strength so I can handle quality and mileage.

57.5 miles for the week

Monday-7 miles easy, 8:25 pace
Tuesday-4 miles at the track including one mile warm up at 7:30 and 4*100 strides, the rest easy
Wednesday- Almost 8 miles with the warm up, cool down, and race
Thursday-8 miles, 8 minute pace, worked a bit on the hills, probably shouldn't have!
Friday-10 miles, 7:23 pace with 8 in the middle aiming for 7:20 or better with the last two miles progressively faster (7:19 7:13 7:04 7:05 6:59 7:01 6:50 6:53)
Saturday-5.25 miles 9:26 pace
Sunday- 15 miles, 8:09 pace

Thursday night did yoga and Sunday worked in the yard planting and mowing etc. Nasty sun burn, ouch! I need to start adding back in pushups and core work, I have been slacking.

Key Workouts:

Flag Day 5k:

I think the race went well. First sub 19 is in the bank. Hopefully it will just get faster from here.


This workout kicked my butt. I don't know if it was residual soreness from yoga, the race, and Thursday or what but this workout was harder than it should've been. Ran at NC with Salty so maybe it was a bit of the rollers too, but the last two miles I felt like I was going to fall apart, actually surprised I finished the workout in one piece given how I felt at mile 6 (like toast). The uphill finish was excrutiating.

Long Run:

Just ran relaxed. Let the group go so I wouldn't be tempted to run harder and just had a nice conversational long run. It's amazing this run happened with the morning nonsense before it. I forgot my shoes (thankfully had old shoes in the trunk I have been meaning to take to good will), my garmin locked up (and died at mile 9) and I hit the snooze way too many times.

Fun May and June Photos

Finally Attached the Rain Barrel to the Garage. Completely full after one storm.

Front Bed full of Pansies and my pots I am attempting to start seeds in.

The neighbor saw me using my push reel mower and gifted me a manual edger so I went to town on the edges of our yard.



That is a lot of lawn that was hanging over the sidewalk!

College friends came to visit Ohio for the weekend

HB Telling stories

HB and LP

Me and HB. I miss them already!

David and I after the flag day race. I threw my race shirt on because I was all sweaty and we realized we both had flags on!

Flag Day 5K Race Report

Last night was the Flag Day 5k. Unlike the Cleveland half coaches orders were to race, this wasn't a run or workout, it was time to get down to business. We had a goal of sub 19 and I was supposed to try and run 6 minute pace which would be an 18:40. Despite running better than that pace at my track workout last week I was still nervous. 6 flat sounds a lot more intimidating than 6:07 (which would be an 18:59). My PR race (19:23) was back in December 2007 at Reindeer 5K, a pancake flat perfect weather kind of day. Flag Day 5k is not flat, has lots of turns, and it's usually hot and humid!

Picked up Iron G and headed out to Mentor. We got there early and picked up our packets then it was off to warm up. Did about 20 minutes with 4*30 seconds strides at the end. Finished up around 6:50 and changed into my race shoes. Salty and Evie were all pep chatting away, I was mostly nerves. Since I hadn't run at lunch like usual I was a bottle of energy ready to explode. I knew I was physically capable of the goal, but 5ks are hard and I wasn't sure how it would play out or feel. Thought we had timed the warm up well but things got off to a later start and we stood around at the start line until almost 7:10. I tried to keep "warm" (I was drenched in sweat after the warm up, temps were good around 70 but it was humid!) bouncing around and noted Salty was all calm no jitters.

Finally the anthem and the start. We had lined up just behind the leaders since this is not a chip race. The race goes down hill right away around a large curve. I took it out and tried to focus on how it feels on the track. My turnover felt good and once we reached the bottom of the hill I heard my husband cheer, I gave a wave and then it was back to focusing. I focused in on my breathing and tried to keep it in every two steps and out every two. That seemed to help my rhythm and I felt good as we made our first turn. Salty was on my shoulder the whole way and I was glad for some company. It seems like I am always in no mans land and other than her and a few men who had obviously shot out too fast we were in a gap behind the leaders. My previous PR mostly resulted from me staying on the shoulder of JP (good racer and great at pacing 5k appropriately), last night I knew I would have to rely on my own pacing and racing insticts to get the time I wanted, I wasn't going to get a free drafting ride this time around.

Heard cheers from Iron G and Evie through here as we made our way back towards the area we started. I had told Salty before the race we would likely be dueling for 2nd and 3rd (1st gal is a consistent low 17 and high 16 5k runner) and it looked like that was how it would play out. We hit the mile marker and the split called out was 5:48 which was right on target for me if I ran the course similarly to the past (The first mile here I am always about 20-30 second faster than what I will run the 2nd and 3rd miles). I held a thumbs up to show Salty I was pleased and we were doing well.

We climbed our first hill as the male leader Fred Kieser made his way back down it on course record pace. My hill skillz are lacking lately but I felt pretty good climbing up. Just churning and waiting for the hairpin turn that will take us back downhill. I mused what Salty must be thinking when she saw my old lady hairpin turn skillz, let's just say I don't corner well. Again get to see our friends coming up hill as we head back down and cheer. I felt strong and I felt like I was pushing. I tend to slack the second mile and I was making a conscious effort to not slow down and keep pushing.

I could feel Salty falling a bit back from me and thought that meant I was doing well with the pace. As we made a sharp right and hit the 2 mile water stop I was dismayed to here SG calling out 12+ splits. I really thought I was doing well with the pace and that I would hit this under 12. At first I thought maybe he was lying to get me going but alas I saw the finish line clock and that it was the truth. Hit the second mile in 12:07.

Some quick mental math as I passed my husband cheering again (listening for him to cheer for Salty hoping she was hanging tough). I knew I needed to step it up to clinch sub 19. Another sharp right and then a left as we push uphill into the woods. We were gaining on a man here and I pushed to pass him on the hill only for him to sprint ahead. Salty caught me towards the top of the climb (girl has been working the hills!) and I tried to go with her but knew I would have to save the push for the top and the descent, my legs were starting to feel tapped on the climb and I knew I needed to get a second wind to push.

I let Salty and the man pull a bit ahead as we reached the top of the hill and turned to start our descent. Got a grip on myself and convinced myself if it hurt I had to push harder and go faster. Started to close the gap as we finally got back to where we had started the race and curved down the final hill. I honestly can't tell you if I caught that guy or not. I assume I must have passed him in the final stretch because of where I ended up in the shoot but I was focused on one thing and one thing only, the clock.

I had promised myself before the race I would not stare at the damn clock as I came into the finish. Too many times I have watched as that clock rolled over my goal. But alas I just can't help myself. I pushed as hard as I could and watched in fear as 18:50 went by, 18:51, 18:52, push push push, 18:53, 18:54, 18:55, 18:56 Done. Literally ran into Salty in the shoot and looked at my watch to see 18:56. Sub 19 achieved. Took a few minutes to retrieve my breath and then I was ready to cool down with Salty.

We cheered in our friends Barb (New PR 21:14 at age 58!) and Iron G, Evie kicked some butt placing 1st in Ag with baby in tow. It was a great night, Fred Kieser broke his own record. Salty and I both got our desired sub 19s. Barb Pr'ed and Evie had fun and kicked butt. Iron G duked it out with a grunter and won, and was an awesome cheerleader even from the race course.

I can't lie I wish that second mile would have gone better. But I am super stoked to have broken 19. It is hard to believe that just over a year ago I was on cloud nine to break 20 (You would be too if it took you eleven years from a 20:03 to finally get sub 20!). The first 5k back is always tough for me, it is just hard to nail a 5k. I am glad it is out of the way and hopefully this is an indicator of more PRs to come this year!

Week 4 of Coached Training

Still working on getting speedy and so far so good. Had a good track workout this week and tempo run. Not sure if it was the nice weather or a mini fitness breakthrough but everything was faster without additional effort.

Run Down June 1st through June 7th(59 Miles)
Monday: 7.66 miles 8:10 pace
Tuesday: Track 8.13 miles
Wednesday: 7.17 miles 8:03 pace
Thursday: Tempo Run total 8.12 miles 7:26 pace
Friday: 7.78 miles 8:00 pace
Saturday: Rest (Cleaning House and Partying with College Friends)
Sunday: AM 15 Mile Long Run 7:39 pace
PM 5.38 recovery run 9:12 pace

Key Workouts:

5 by 1000 aiming for 6 minute pace or better. What coach didn't tell me is that if I hadn't hit paces I would have had to do a hard mile at the end. I did hit the paces but assumed I would have the mile at the end so he let me do a tempo mile instead of straight to a cool down since I felt fine, but he didn't want me to push it.

3 laps easy

one mile warm up 7:31

4*100 strides

5*1000 with 2 min rest aiming for 6 minute pace or better (3:45) Ran with Hawthorne

3:43.35 (2:03.65)
3:42.24 (2:01.87)
3:43.08 (2:06.68)
3:41.54 (2:02.74)
3:40.41 (5:48.69)

One mile tempo: 6:54.84

3 lap cool down

Tempo: (Or you know you are getting fit when you almost PR your 5 mile during a tempo workout)

Ran on Marginal with CV. Temps were perfect! The wind was absolutely nuts on the way out but at our backs on the way back for once :)

Aimed to make the 3rd and 4th miles faster (we did 2.5 out and 2.5 back) From mile 3 on CV pulled ahead, she ran around 6:20 for the 4th and 6:24 for the last with slowing down the last 50 meters.

I'd give most of the credit for the faster pace to the wind but we did do 3:15 on that first half of mile 3 into the wind...

800 splits:
3:15.10 (still into the wind!)

Mile totals:
Total time: 33:18 Only 5 seconds off my 5 mile PR at Malachi :)

Long Run:

Definitely had a few too many Saturday night with my friends and I was feeling it for Sundays long run. I brought my handheld to help hydrate and just got it done. Started to feel better later in the run but wasn't quite able to keep up with the group this time around. A little slower than last week but still under 8 so a good workout.

Team UA Runs

As runners we all love our free schwag. Well one of the perks of pacing for Jim has been some sweet gear and shoes for most races I have paced. I haven't bought a pair of running shoes in two years between the shoes I received for pacing and the few won racing trails. I certainly can't complain, the pacing gig has been good for my running wardrobe. Although it's funny I haven't had the same pair of shoes or brand of shoes in quite awhile so I do feel a little lost now that I am going to be in need of a new shoe soon, so many to choose from!

This year Jim got the pacing team a sweet gig with Under Armour. In a push to promote their running line UA created Team UA Runs with about 600 athletes of all levels promoting and racing in UA gear. (I even got featured in one of their blog posts for pacing!) As pacers we received some team uniforms and credit to purchase some additional gear and I have to say everything is fantastic!

UA just started making running shoes so I was a bit nervous about them but I wore my pair of UA apparitions for the Cinci Flying Pig marathon with no issues and I am alternating those with another pair of shoes as my main training shoes right now. I've been using the apparitions for track workouts and my long runs with no problems. I like teh footseleeve and found it similar to the New Balance trail shoes I have and adore. I'm not that picky about shoes though so go check them out yourself and see what you think!

I just wanted to highlight a few of the items that I am absolutely in love with here in case you are looking to stock your summer running wardrobe. I love these pieces so much I actually purchased a few additional pieces after using up my credit in different colors. UA technical clothes really are top notch! Guys these are really all womens pieces, but I am sure their mens line also offers some awesome technical gear.

My favorite piece of gear so far is the Women's UA Momentum Tank. It is a fitted tank with an awesome comfy sports bra inside and a zipped pocket on the side. It is so comfy. The length is great, no riding up. I just love it. I got one in black and blue.

I also like the Women's UA Momentum Sleeveless. Also got great length (no donut flashing) and it's cute and light. I have two in hot pink (didn't realize it was the same thing that came with our UA Team gear). I raced in this at the Run for the Border and looked totally hot with my teammate also done up in hot pink!

Since I have been running pretty much everyday I was really in need of some additional sports bras. I ended up getting two orginal sports bras and one of their duplicity bras and I love them all. I managed to score the duplicity in hot pink but it looks like now they only have blue. Ladies if you don't need a ton of extra support up top (A/B) check out these sports bras and fitted tanks. I just love them.

The other item I really like is their Women's UA Momentum 2" Short just the right length and quite comfy. I raced the Cleveland half in these and loved them. Only complaint is no key pocket, but there is a pocket in the back and when worn with my fitted tank I don't need the additional key pocket.

Anyways I've been meaning to share this exciting news for awhile but I have just been swamped getting caught up around here. Suffice it to say I have felt pretty spiffy running around town in all the new technical gear this spring.

2009 Race Schedule

Trying to plan out the year so that racing and training are the most productive they can be. I've already had to bag on my planned ultra in July but if that is what it takes to get fast right now I am okay with it. The trails aren't going anywhere. Here is how things look right now. If anyone has input on the marathon choice my ears are open. My preference is for local and cheap. I don't want a repeat of Richmond last year, if for some reason weather is a major factor I'd like to be able to bag the race or turn it into a training run rather than waste myself trying to achieve the unachievable and then having no back up races to follow it up with.


Wednesday June 10th- Flag Day 5k
Sat June 20th- Whiskey Island Cross Country Relay 3K


Saturday July 4th- Aurora Run 5k
Saturday July 19th- Johnny Cake Jog 5 Miler


Possible Cross Country 5k or 8k early/mid August

Sunday August 16th- Perfect 10 Miler

Sunday August 30th- Possibility of pacing a half marathon


Sunday September 13th- Buckeye Half Marathon

Saturday September 19th- Pacing Air Force Half (1:40, 7:38 pace)
Saturday September 26th- Pacing Akron Full Marathon(3:40, 8:24 pace)


I'm debating the fall marathons. I'm really tempted to race Elyria November 1st because that gives a few extra weeks this summer to focus on speed, and it is more time between Akron and the fall race. But I can probably be persuaded into Columbus on the 18th of October and I think Towpath is iffy since it is 2 weeks after Akron and the soft surface isn't conducive to max speed, Columbus would be 3 weeks out, and Elyria 5 weeks.

I'd like to do the fall classic half November 22 depending on how the marathon goes.