11th Week of Coached Training

After a week of feeling somewhat sluggish this past week I felt fantastic up through Friday. Then Saturday and Sunday my quads were thrashed, but overall a great week.

65 miles for the week.

Monday: 8 miles EZ 8:15 pace
Tuesday: 8 miles track
Wednesday: 4 miles EZ treadmill
Thursday: 9.5 miles EZ 8:25 pace
Friday: 10 miles with 7 at Tempo
Saturday: 7.5 miles EZ 8:28 Pace
Sunday: 18 mile long run 7:57 pace

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track:

Mile warm up: 7:50ish
4*100 strides

workout: 1600 aiming for 6 to 6:05 then each set faster pace for 1200, 800, 2*400, lap rest then mile at hard pace effort, not quite as fast as everything else.

1600: 5:56.60 (3:06.22)
1200: 4:23.89 (2:31.98)
800: 2:51.94 (2:04.53)
400: 1:22.90 (1:30.33)
400: 1:18.75 (2:44.27+1:05.41)
1600: 6:15.06

versus last time for the same workout (May 28th)

1600: 6:15.67 (3+ recovery)
1200: 4:35.77(3:23.79 recovery)
800: 2:58.59(2:42 recovery)
400: 1:26.02(1:54 recovery)
400: 1:22.46(4:28 recovery)
1600: 6:19.38


NC who came in 5th on Sunday at Johnnycake came and did the workout with me. It was so nice to have some company! Don't know if it was her influence, the good weather, or finally throwing on some lighter shoes, but I was in such a great groove for this workout.

Thursday Tempo:

Aiming for 7 miles at 49 minutes or faster.

Well I am definitely consistent. Ran the same course as the 7 a few weeks ago, and ended up with the exact same time, although it is getting a wee bit easier (and I even did the run at 6 am, which is killer for me). 48:41.6. Temps were good but the wind was tough on the 4th, 5th, and 7th miles.


Sunday Long Run:

My quads were thrashed after Friday's tempo and Saturdays easy run didn't flush all of that out. Hills were a little rough Sunday but overall my energy felt good and I was able to push the hills a little bit. Same pace as I have been holding for the 15 milers. I'm starting to feel like a marathon runner again now that the mileage is getting a bit higher and my long runs are going over 2 hours. I need to start waking up earlier for these because my stomach has become an issue late in the run lately.

Saturday Easy Run:

Not a key workout but it was a nice little change of pace for me. Headed to Chagrin Falls, ran some hills and trails with my SERC buddies and afterwards we had a picnic by the river with mimosas and cheese and crackers. What a great way to kick off the weekend!

Mimosa Toasting Great Running Friends

Mmm Brie!!!

Johnnycake 5 Mile Race Report

Last Sunday I was prepped to redeem my lackluster performance at the Aurora 4th of July 5k. Everyone has bad races, I am no exception, but I definitely didn't want that to set a precedent for the rest of the year. Based on workouts and coaches goals for the 5k I set a pie in the sky goal of sub 31 for Sunday and a realistic goal of around 31:25, worst case scenario goal was sub 33 or a PR. In an effort not to repeat the mistakes I made before Aurora I made sure to eat plenty during the week following the race and the day before. This was tough since I spent all of Saturday either at the Buckeye 50k supporting runners, at the movies, or at a late dinner at Winking Lizard.

We took the running easy Friday and Saturday and I felt TONS better on the warmup Sunday than I had at Aurora so that was a good sign. Found my gals and got in a couple of easy miles but picked up the pace a little this time which was a much better plan for me. Did 4 or 5 strides and headed to the start.

Weather was perfect and the field was stacked. I had intentions of trying to gauge my performance off KG if I could but didn't see her at the start so I ended up going with my own feelings and running what felt "right." I wanted to be aggressive and my mantra was "Fast Feet, Compete, Relax." If it felt hard I wanted to push and go faster. I knew that the second mile would be slow thanks to advice from my friend EH, so I wasn't going to worry about what the splits were the first two miles, just going by feel.

The race started and I was following Salty. I knew she was going for a PR and that was in the range of my "pie in the sky" goal time so I stayed tucked behind her and on the right side of the road. The pace didn't feel quite aggressive enough for me though and I saw a few runners I knew run well and decided to pass Salty to push just a hair harder. I was feeling pretty good, and the first mile was fast. 5:58ish. I knew the next mile had a hill but wasn't sure where. I kept waiting to see some faces I knew. Sure enough half way up the hill a few gals caught me (still not the greatest strength runner) but I decided not to try and go with them and to conserve my energy until I got over the top. In retrospect I should have tried to stay closer to them as I think the hill zapped my turnover a bit and I could have kept it higher by pushing just a wee bit harder in mile 2.

Second mile was slow as predicted around 6:32. Par for the course I somehow ended up in a gap all by myself. Not sure if this has to do with the fact that I am just in a barren pace range or if I just don't do a good job of sticking to a pack (probably both). I tried to focus on reeling in the group in front of me or at least holding the gap. My pace started to falter a bit from what I would have liked to have seen but I was still running aggressively. Mile 3 was 6:20 and 4 was 6:26.

Salty caught me around mile 4 and I tried to go with her. Mentally instructing my legs to push, but I just had no juice. The last mile is a straight shot to the finish and they have every quarter mile marked. Some people like this, I was not a fan as it was just a reminder of how much further that finish line was than I thought it should be. I was trying to pump my arms, keep everything up and down, and move my feet. Pretending I was on the track, where I have been cranking out some good splits, but my body was moving through quicksand. I hoped to eek out a 6:10 but in the end was satisfied with a 6:17. Getting blown by a gal at the finish line didn't help the ego any, but I assuaged myself with the fact that she is 4 years younger than me and at least not in my age group :) Finished in 31:35.3 for an almost 2 minute PR, 11th female and 2nd in my age group. I am very happy with the effort and pleased I was able to fix a lot of the things I let go wrong at Aurora. Next time I will know though that at that race it is better to go out a little less aggressively and save something for the finish since it is a straight shot and a great place to run some people down if you have anything left.

Finish Line Photos Getting Passed by Two "Young-ins"

Week 10 with the Coach

Start Line Johnnycake 5 Mile (CV, Salty, and I striding out pre start)

Gotta make this a quickie. I've just been swamped with work and kept myself busy this past weekend volunteering at the Buckeye 50k all day Saturday then raced Sunday morning and did some work and rocked out. The weekend went by far too quickly and it is already Tuesday.

This week ended up at 57 miles

Monday- 6.8 at 8:34 pace
Tuesday- 7 on the track
Wednesday- 9 miles 8:24 pace
Thursday- 8.65 in the am with tempo, 4.75 at lunch easy 8:24 pace
Friday-6 miles 8:28 pace
Saturday- ~1.5 miles actually running easy on the trail, plus whatever I did running back and forth with runners at the aid station.
Sunday- About 2.8 miles on the warm up plus 4 or 5 strides.
5 Mile Johnnycake race: New PR, report to follow shortly
Cool down 5.59 miles 8:30ish pace

Did not feel stellar most of the week. Girl stuff. But by race day was much perkier (thank goodness!). Slacked off completely on my core work (only worked on it at the track Tuesday). Need to make it more of a focus this week!

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track:

5*1000 with 2 minute rests aiming for 3:45 (rests got a little screwy as on every other set I tried to start off with the guys doing 1600s). Just wasn't feeling it, tried to focus on form but was informed the instant I started into any repeat I start to slouch, hunch over, and bring my arms up. I was tired so obviously just need to focus a wee bit harder tonight.

3:39.60 (2:06.98)
3:43.77 (1:58.72)
3:47.45 (2:01.34)
3:46.75 (2:49.35)

Thursday Tempo:

5 miles aiming for 7 minute pace. I did this on the track before heading to work. I did not feel stellar and wanted to quit multiple times but finished it out. The wind has been crazy on the track the past few weeks and Thursday morning was no different.

Total 34:51.5

Redefinition and Weekly Run Down

This past week I have been focusing on posture every day. I have done core work, upper body work, and stretching every day. I have also tried to focus while at my desk, while on my runs, even when I lay down for bed on my posture. I have been a chronic sloucher for 27 years (yes I slouched even as a kid, ask my cousins) and let me tell you this task is going to take awhile. I have been relatively successful this week, but the few occasions I was exhausted (Thursday after my tempo run, Tuesday during my last mile repeat) I fall back into my old ways and realize this is not going to be easy.

The hope is that if I can focus on this for a few months that it will become natural. I am realizing more and more all these little things I will need to change to improve my running, beyond running more miles and doing more speed work. My form will never be perfect, but perhaps if I can exaggerate the opposite of all the little things I do wrong I will at least improve.

Add to this the fact that I need to improve my mental running tactics and I have a lot to think about on my runs these days. It's a bit overwhelming but I am confident it will all pay off.

This week ended just over 62 miles.

Monday- 5.8 miles easy with Janet 8:40 pace
Tuesday- Track 8.4 miles
Wednesday- 7.9 miles easy with Janet 8:36 pace
Thursday- 9 miles with tempo. average 7:40 pace
Friday- 7.75 miles with Jim Klar 8:04 pace
Saturday- ~8.8 miles trails. We got lost and the weather got crazy so I settled for 90 minutes rather than 10 miles. It was probably around 8.8 miles, maybe 9.5 max. Lots of hills
Sunday- 15 mile loop 7:57 pace, felt good

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Track:

Dreaded one mile repeats.

Aiming for sub 6 first mile, 6:05 second mile, sub 6 third mile

mile warm up 7:24.92
3*1600 (rest/400 m)
5:47.40 (3:57.62)
6:08.91 (5:08.74)

Credit definitely goes to Frank on that first mile pace, as soon as I lost him the back stretch into the wind was just killing me. I was trying to focus on my posture throughout the workout, don't know if it made a difference or not.

Thursday Tempo:

7 miles tempo aiming for under 49 minutes. Finished in 48:42. Struggled a bit and upped the effort whenever it felt like I was dragging, I definitely felt the effort the last three miles, but got it done. These workouts always sound so much easier on paper than they are to execute.

Saturday Trail Run:

Went and watched the muddy paws trail race. Afterwards I headed out with some trail pals to get in 10 miles. About halfway through the run the skies opened up and the trails quickly turned into rivers. It was absolutely nuts, but fun despite getting drenched to the bone. After getting turned around we settled for ending the run at 90 minutes after cresting sound of music hills to lightning we had had enough!

Sunday Long Run:

Again started off easy this week behind the group and once again I felt much better. Ran most of the run with AS and kept a pretty even conversational pace. 15 mile loop has some rollers so I was glad to keep it consistent towards the end. Feeling much less run down post Sunday run this week. Hopefully that is a good sign.

Post Trail Run Saturday. Seriously Drenched

Week 8 with the Coach

Another training week in the bag. The week started off promising, fizzled in the middle, but ended with a nice comfortable long run.

I felt tons better Sunday than I have been feeling, I think the combination of starting a bit slower and pigging out Saturday made the difference. Going to be better about making sure I eat enough on the weekends to sustain my long run efforts.

Saturday and Sunday I also added in an ab workout, I am going to start doing abs and push ups everyday to work on my core strength, and thighs, hips every other day to prevent any itb issues etc. Really going to try hard to pay attention to my posture all day long, this will take time undoing 27 years of slacking on my posture!

57.75 for the week

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- 7.3ish miles on the track
Wednesday- 9 miles 8:20 pace
Thursday- 12.2ish @ 7:55 pace
Friday-6 easy ~8:30 pace plus 4*100 strides/100 recovery
Saturday- ~7.6 including warm up and cool down and Aurora Fun Run 5k
Sunday- 15 at 7:59 pace

Tuesday Track Workout:

As usual 1 mile warm up and 4*100 strides then we did 3 sets of 800, 2 minutes rest, 600, 3 minutes rests followed by one last 800 to get in 5000 total. With the extra long rest the goals were to hit 3:00 on the first 800 with the 600 at same pace and the last 800 was to be 2:50 or better (getting slightly faster each set up to that)

The first two sets actually felt good, but the last set and final 800 were work. Felt good to hit the times coach wanted though.

800 (rest) 2:59.92 (1:59.76)
600 (rest) 2:15.13 (3:01.37)
800 (rest) 2:54.37 (1:59.37)
600 (rest) 2:09.53 (2:59.23)
800 (rest) 2:52.04 (2:02.13)
600 (rest) 2:07.84 (3:12.75)
800 2:49.95

Thursday Medium Long Run-
I was just not in the mood for a solo 12 miler Thursday. It was storming like crazy in the morning so I held off to do the run after work. With no Garmin and more storms threatening I decided to just do the run on the treadmill. That lasted all of 4 miles before I was ready to crawl out of my skin so I headed outside to get in the rest and promptly got drenched in a quick 5 minute downpour. Ran to the track to get the rest of the miles in which was good for practicing pace, but not mentally stimulating at all. At least I got it done!

Rewarded myself with a Hoegarden and ice cream at dinner.

Saturday Aurora Fun Run 5K-

Well you can't have a PR race everyday and Saturday just wasn't my day. I try to look at bad races and use them as lessons learned so that I don't repeat the same mistakes in the future.

I didn't eat very well Friday and I really didn't spend any time mentally planning for the race, I was basically winging it, and that is evident by the result. Felt sluggish on the warm up and my strides but was still shocked to hear 6:10ish for the first mile after a hard effort. Mentally just shut down after this, no drive to catch anyone and no drive to up my pace or effort, my form was suffering, my legs felt toasted on the inclines and I just didn't have that extra race day gear to tap into. Definitely left something on the course, and next time I will be driven to work harder. 19:46, 6th female, 1st in age group. 5ks are tough on a good day, and Saturday just wasn't a good day for me. Oh well, it's over and I had a great time the rest of the day partying with friends and relaxing.

I do need to work on my posture and form though. I have got to stop slouching and swinging my arms all over the place, this is more pronounced when tired which was the case Saturday. If you see me slouching get on my case!!!

Also I don't think the warm up worked for me Saturday. I need more than 2 easy miles and 4 strides. Next time 30 minutes easy and perhaps a mile of that closer to marathon pace before the strides.

Sunday Long Run-

Took it out easy and just enjoyed the run, it was great weather (although still humid as evidenced by my entire shirt being soaked) and I had fun running with BB, S, and new gal R. I was definitely feeling the buns and thighs workout at the top of Hawthorne Hill but was still feeling perky when I finished out the run in just under 8 minute pace. Much better than the last few weeks!

Week 7 of Coached Training

Starting to get in a bit of a groove here. It may be all in my head but it feels like my body composition is definitely morphing. All I know is by the time my Sunday long run comes around I don't feel like the endurance junkie I used to. The long runs don't feels quite as easy now and I am sure that is because I have added in the speed work and tempos and they are slowly building me up but leaving me a bit more fatigued. High humidity, work stress, and lots more yard work this year probably adds to that Sunday fatigue. But I am getting it done and I think I am getting over a little week 7 plateau in fitness as we start week 8 and looking forward to racing this weekend.

My Garmin is still toast as I cannot locate my warranty receipt, got to get on that. So mileage/pace are estimated from my friends Garmins, track was calculated using the known distances and an average slow pace for recovery jogs, and Fridays trail run pace was estimnated based on how I felt and a small section where I knew the mileage. Can't believe I used to log miles like this all the time, the Garmin just makes the log book so much more straight forward.

June 22nd through June 28th ~59.75 miles

Monday 6.9 miles 8:30 pace

Tuesday ~9.64 miles including tempo

Wednesday 8.1 miles averaged 8:50ish pace overall but most miles were 8:25-8:35

Thursday 7.2 miles including track

Friday 82 minutes on the bridle trail, I am guessing 8.7 miles+ based on taking a pace on the last section where I knew approximate mileage

Saturday 6.2 easy in Aurora 8:50 pace

Sunday 13.1 8:06 pace (I jogged the last mile because I was feeling run down and my stomach was upset, the rest was 7:50ish)

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Tempo:
Aiming for 5 miles under 35 minutes with the last mile at 6:40 or better. Did this on the same route I have been so thankfully I knew the turn around point and used Janet and Christina's watches to mark the mile and 2 mile in order to get my splits, started with them the first two miles then was on my own the rest.

Ran the usual course but did it in the morning early (it was humid but cool compared to how it would have been at lunch).

Total 34:16.8

Thursday Track:

The track has been getting busy with fall athletics teams doing summer practices. We were going to do 600s but instead did 400s so that coach wouldn't have to run through a field of football and soccer players to give us splits.

It was humid but not too hot as a storm front was moving in. I was absolutely toasted by the end of the workout, praying coach only planned 8 quarters, but thankful for 10 rather than 12 :) Ran these by myself this week since SH was in CA.

We were aiming for 1:25 on all but I obviously faded a bit at the end of the workout:

As usual one mile warm up and 4*100 strides than 10*400

1:25.20 (1:18.51)
1:23.58 (1:22.66)

Sunday Long Run:

I had intended on doing 15 miles Sunday but by 9 it was clear that 13 would be plenty. Just wasn't feeling very perky and the hills were draining me. My form was pretty poor and I ended up jogging in the last mile because my stomach was upset with a slight push in pace the 12th mile.

8:06 pace for the run including 2 minutes walking to get my stomach under control.

It was cool but humid and I think having run and done some yardwork in the afternoon sun the day before had drained me a bit. Took the next day off and I am feeling much perkier now.