Columbus Training Week 9

3 weeks to the marathon!

Goals for this week were:

60-65 miles
Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 8 miles @ 7:20
Wednesday easy day @ 7:50 or slower
Friday: Pre-race 4-6 miles easy and 4 x 100.
Akron Marathon Relay
12 miles @ 7:20

How it played out:

67 miles

Monday- 8 miles 8:20 pace
Tuesday- 10 miles with track
Wednesday- lunch 8 miles 8:13 pace
pm 4 miles trail 9:20 pace
Thursday- 8 miles 7:16 pace
Friday- 4 miles 8:13 pace with 4*100 strides
Saturday- 2.8 mile warm up with strides, 7.9 race, 2.2 mile cool down
Sunday- 12 at 7:03 pace

Tuesdays track workout kicked my ass. Temps crawled back into the mid 80s and I just fell off a bit. On a bonus note though our friend Daryl Quentin came out and got some great photos of everyone in the training group. I'll just stick to the photos from the warm up and the beginning of the workout for inspiration and confidence boosting ;)

Decided coach was trying to kill me with this workout. Goal was 4 sets of 800, 400, 200. 60 sec rest after the 800, 40 sec after the 400, and 2 minutes between each set. Not really enough time to jog between the 800, 400, and 200 and was just enough time to take a sip of water and walk back to the line. Goal times were 2:42, 78, 38. I just wasn't feeling on, hit a few of the paces, but I was working hard to do it, and the last set was just killer. Breathing was out of control.





Thankfully Thursday was no tempo this week due to racing on Saturday. My legs felt like crap Thursday and it was once again hot, thankfully there were plenty of drinking fountains for water stops!

Took an ice bath Thursday night and thankfully race day temps dropped significantly so my legs were back when they needed to be and I had a steady race as the anchor for my relay team. Report to come.

Sunday got caught up starting out with a few of the guys and ended up running 6:40 pace to the water stop at mile 6, rather than the 7:20 I was supposed to run, so I backed it off and ran easy the rest of the loop. It's weird how some days it just comes easy (I'm sure the cooler weather helps!).

I am...

Iron Fan!

Last weekend was Cedar Points first full and half triathlon hosted by REV3. Without getting into all the stupid technicalities of this being a full distance tri and not an Ironman, let's just say I spent the day watching many people become Ironmen without the trademark.

Headed to Sandusky Saturday after the Potato Stomp and met up with my girl Daisy for dinner. She was getting ready to do her first Ironman even the next morning and I was excited to tag along with her hubby and friends cheering her and a bunch of other friends to the finish. After some fun times eating and laughing centered around a very naughty poster in the womens restroom we were off for some quick shopping and then to our tiny hotel room at Hotel Breakers. We managed to squeeze a cot in there for me and it was lights out b 10ish because we needed to be up around 4:30 to get Daisy's stuff into transition and then get her back to the 7:05 am start.

Everything was smooth sailing and we were all relaxed and getting ready to roll. Our friend ET made a funny poster for Daisy and we were laughing about that when disaster struck and we realized Daisy's chip was not on her ankle. Thankfully the race start was delayed 10 minutes for some other reason leaving us just enough time to hop in the car, race around CP, and get her chip that was hiding in her bike shoe out of transition. We arrive with a few minutes to spare. Not the ideal way to start your ironman day.

With Daisy successfully in the water we made our way to the hotel room for some coffee then it was off to wish any half iron friends good luck before their start and head to the half start and half way point of the full iron swim. We arrived just in time to see Daisy hop back in the water a few minutes ahead of her target. Wished many other friends good luck then we headed to the swim exit and cheered as swimmers made their way to transition. We came prepared with our cowbells and gave everyone a good shock as they exited the water. We noticed Speedo Steve taking photos but with him cheering for the half we wouldn't get to hang out.

We were also cheering for our friend BH who would end up around Daisy all day but was a faster swimmer. So we knew once Daisy got out of the water we'd have to hustle to get out to mile 25 of the bike in time to see them both.

One pit stop to get some Gatorade and frappacino and we found a prime location for cheering near the town of Milan. This location would allow us to see the full distance triathletes twice at mile 25 and 60ish and the half iron folks once. Hands down we were the best truckload of spectators on the course. With 6 of us we had cowbells and chants prepared as each cyclist came by. Once Daisy went by I knew I had about 2 hours to get in my planned run for the day so I changed and headed out backwards through the course so I could cheer on all my half iron buddies while getting in my run. This worked out perfect as I got to see everyone once including buddies Kim, Pharmie, Tri Sara, Tri Eric and Karen as well as many other local CTC buddies. I cheered for every cyclist who passed (except the peloton of half cyclists that were blatantly drafting, I don't cheer for cheaters). It certainly kept the run entertaining, and as a bonus I got to see some of the faster half iron cyclists on my way back.

Made it back in time to change and cheer for a few CTC friends and Daisy as they rolled through 65.

After 65 it was time to head to about mile 95 of the bike. We were in the middle of nowhere next to a cornfield and we had fun coming up with crazy chants and filling in for the traffic cop when he had to use the corn facilities. Highlights of mile 95 were handing corn to a fellow CTC athlete and dancing to Prince while cyclists flew by. Daisy was flying and looked great when she went by. Smiles all the way.

Once she was through it was time to pack up and head into Sandusky to cheer on the runners. Because of the timing we didn't get to see any of our half buddies on the run, but they did great! Daisy's husband found a prime cheering spot around mile 6 of the run course. A bar with a patio right on the course! By this point many of us were sun burnt and we were hungry for real food! So this was a great spot. Added bonus the course is two loops and at this sections winds back and forth 4 times so we got to cheer for our athletes multiple times each mile from 6 to 10 and 18 to 19.

Then it was back to the finish to watch them bring it home. With blisters on our cowbell hands, sunburns on our cheeks, and our voices threatening to break we made it to the finish line to cheer. Upon arrival I ran into one of my college sorority sisters working the finish chute, you just never know who you'll see at these events! Our friends did great and Daisy crushed her first iron distance tri placing 15th overall female and top 4 in her age group! She finished so fast we had time to hit the coasters!

I suckered ET into joining me for Top Thrill Dragster and if we had time Maverick. And by coincidence ran into Steve and Pharmie heading to do the same. Had a blast catching up with them and watching ET freak out on Top Thrill. We had no lines and made it to Maverick with plenty of time. It was a fun way to finish out the day. I forgot how much fun I had with Pharmie at WIBA way back in 2006 I think. Was very happy to hear she had a phenomenal day on the course.

ET and I headed back to the finish to cheer for one of her friends and around 9:30 we finally headed to dinner at TGIF. The place was absolutely packed. I just couldn't fathom the fact that there were still many runners out there on the course in the dark. You Ironman athletes are a different breed! Finished the night with fantastic friends and was very happy for BH and Daisy for having such great races.

After all that trust me I slept really well!

Dinner night before

Multitasking, stretching, eating, hydrating, and cheering

Chasing Ironbuddy BH

Dancing to Prince

Chant Tunnel "Pedal, Pedal, Pedal!"

IronFan Crew

Cutest Couple Ever (Note Steve's new Sheriff Steve badge)

ET and I about to go from 0-120 in under 4 seconds!

IronBuddies Daisy and BH

Columbus Training Week 8

Goals for the week:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 3 miles @ 6:30, 5 miles @ 6:15
Saturday: Air force Half pacing 1:40 group.
Sunday: Long run 15 miles @ 6:50

How it played out:

Total 65 miles
Monday- 7 at 8:13 pace
Tuesday- 10 with track
Wednesday- 8 at 8:28 pace
Thursday- 10 with tempo
Friday- Off (Slept in and traveled to Air Force, worked dinner)
Saturday-13.1 at 1:39:54
Sunday- 15 at 6:47 plus 1.5 mile cool down

Track was a tough one, quarters always sound easy in concept. In practice the workout seems to drag forever and lactic acid builds up pretty quick, especially into the windy half of the track. We did 2 sets of 8 quarters with the goal of 3km pace or about 81 per quarter. Rests were 80 seconds between each and 4 minutes between the sets.



Thursdays tempo was also rough, but unlike the track workout I didn't quite hit the targets. Nothing new there ;)

We had to wait out a pretty sever thunderstorm and got started in a sprinkle but about 2 miles in the rain died off and it warmed up. We hit the towpath this week and the soft surface combined with wet conditions made it a little tough to hit paces. Given the conditions I'm happy with the effort. Not too far off.


Pacing was fun. 7:38 is a pretty easy pace for me to nail right now since that's about the pace we do on our mile warm ups for the track, so I have it pretty dialed in. Hit miles 5 and 9 right on and was just 6 seconds under the target at the finish line.

Sunday long run wasn't a breeze like last weekends long run. But managed to get the pace down and finish it out. Though it was cooler out I was still sweating like a pig, could have used an extra water stop for sure.

Looks like we're backing off the mileage and getting ready to rock and roll in one month. I'm glad I'm feeling a little beat up and not 100% so I'm actually looking forward to taper rather than dreading it!

Columbus Training Week 6 & 7

Still chugging along steadily towards this years hopefully outstanding marathon performance. Training is coming along, definitely boosted by a break from all the hot humid weather. Track workouts are getting speedier, tempos are coming along, racing is going great, and long runs are starting to feel natural again.

week 6 goals
Total Mileage 75

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 10 miles @ 6:40 - 6:50
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower at least 8 mile on one of these days and 4 - 6 x 100.
Saturday: Westlake 5 miler.
Sunday: Long run 22 miles @ 7:15

week 7 goals
Total Mileage 75 - 80.

Tuesday: Track
Thursday: 10 miles @ 6:40
Wednesday and Friday easy day @ 7:50 or slower on one of these days 4 - 6 x 100.
Saturday: 12 miles @ 7:20
Sunday: Long run 20 miles @ 6:50

How it played out:

8/30/10 - 9/5/10- 76 miles

Monday- 6 easy 8:35
Tuesday- 10 with fartlek
Wednesday-lunch 8 at 8:37
pm 4 at 8:41
Thursday- 12 with 10 at 6:48 (stopped 6 times for water/rest)
Friday- 4 easy 8:20 pace with 6*100 strides
Saturday- 2.6 mile warm up, race 29:31, 2.8 mile cool down
Sunday- 22 at 7:10 pace

9/6/10 - 9/12/10- 82 miles

Monday- 15.8 at 8:05 pace
Tuesday- 10 with track
Wednesday- 8 at 7:58
Thursday-12 with tempo
Friday-30 minutes at 8:07 with 6 strides
Saturday- 20 miles on potato stomp course at 6:45 pace average (picked it up the last 4 or 5 miles since I felt good)
1 mile easy cool down
Sunday-12 miles at 7:17 while cheering at REV3

Key Workouts:

Tuesday Fartlek- Soccer season has started and our normal track is out of commission. We tried several different tracks and ended up having to settle for a paved loop just shy of .5 miles. Legs were still pretty juiced from the half and the loop had an incline on one end that just juiced me every loop. We did 3 minutes on 1 minute off until we hit 4.5 miles. Pace was on the slow side of things, somewhere between 5:40 and 6:20 each set.

Thursday Long Run- Not a good run for me. We went to Westlake to scope out the race course with the goal of running it twice at 6:40-6:50 pace. It was windy and about 90 degrees. I got super dizzy and had to stop for water and to catch my breath several times. Definitely not feeling good compared to how great I felt at the half.

Westlake 5 Mile- Managed to get my mojo back and PR by 45 seconds.

22 Miler - Really relaxed run, pace was easy, weather was nice, just an enjoyable long run despite feeling bad all week and racing the day before.

Tuesday Track-Again troubles at the track. Workout was delayed by a huge rain/lightening storm, but eventually it ended and we got started. 6*1200 targeting 4:20 with 90 second rests.
Other than wet feet felt pretty good on this run.


Thursday Tempo- Goal was 10 miles at 6:40 pace. We headed to an older stomping ground and managed to run a little faster despite some rollers, averaging 6:31 pace for the run.

Saturday 20 miler- Goal was 20 miles in 6:50 pace. BB had the great idea of heading to a local 9 mile race and doing the loop twice to get in the majority of our miles. We did the course beforehand and hit 10 miles with about 2 minutes before the start and I think we were around 6:50-6:55 pace at that point.

I felt really good all day so the last four miles I picked it up a bit to finish strong and then had to do one more mile to finish out the 20 at 6:45 pace.

Race time was 59:23. I had a blast, it was nice to go to a race with no pressure involved. I was pleasantly surprised by how good my legs felt on such a rolling course. Let's hope this bodes well for Columbus.

Celebrate Westlake 5 Mile

What's that another race? Yep for some reason I agreed to run a 5 mile race this morning just 6 days after the half. It's a fast course, good competition, and local so I was in. Thankfully got to stay with a friend who lives close to the start and had a very relaxing evening before the race. Unfortunately my legs have felt like absolute toast all week. The weather got hot this week and despite feeling good during the half I'm sure I was still recovering. But I drank a ton of water yesterday, took an ice bath Thursday and Friday night and made sure to stretch and massage the legs before bed and thankfully woke up to fresher legs this morning.

Woke up early to make sure the stomach was settled and the bladder was empty by start time this week. Very relaxed since I literally was 2 minutes from the start. The weather decided to be cold again which was great for racing, not so great for warming up and waiting for awards, but I'll take it. Next race though I need to remember to bring some proper warm up and cool down clothes. I was freezing post race! So other than a strong headwind on the way out conditions were pretty close to ideal.

We checked out the race course Thursday and other than a mile in the middle that winds through the woods on a gravel path it seemed to be fast and flat. It's a money race so some serious runners were out. I had no idea how my legs were going to feel but wanted to ideally run a 29:20 and would be happy with anything under 29:59. I also wanted to try and behave and run a more even split race than I did at Johnnycake.

No chips today so I lined up on the line with a few fast locals and a handful of fast foreigners. The gals seemed to take it out slow because I could still see some of them the first mile. But then things started to spread out. I was behind my training buddy NC and another locally fast chick and her speedy husband the first mile. I was feeling good, and happy that the legs were responsive. I managed to find myself in no mans land and wasn't too happy about that, but didn't want to push the pace and blow up so I stayed about 10 seconds back from the next pack of people. Thankfully near the mile marker two guys caught me and I tucked in behind them to try and get out of the wind. Hit the mile in 5:47 which was in my target range of 5:45 to 5:52.

The race was marked well and had mile markers and 1/2 mile markers as well as signs saying when you were 100 yards from the next mile. It was overcast and the second mile we were cruising along. I knew our pace wasn't quite as fast but we weren't falling back from the couple ahead of us so I just sat on the guys I was with. Hit mile 2 in 11:47 (6:00) and decided that was ok. Even if I ran 6:00 the rest of the way I would still break 30 which was my do or die goal. You head through the park on the next mile and my mini pack started to break up but I couldn't find another gear and had to let my "rabbits" go. I just kept telling myself to keep it up through 3 and see what I could do the last 2 miles. Hit 2.5 in 14:47 so I knew I was still holding steady at 6:00 pace and it felt controllable.

Mile 3 you head off the pavement and into the woods. Another 6:00 mile here and I knew it was time to go to work if I wanted to catch anyone and hold my place. My friend LT was shooting for 29:30 and I knew he would be gunning for me. Sure enough about 3.5 I heard some breathing behind me and he encouraged me to keep working. That got me moving a bit quicker and I managed to hold that mile to a 6:00 too, good for that mile since much of it was soft surface and winding.

With one to go the wind was at our backs and it was time to see if I had any juice left. We hit 4 miles at 23:47 so I knew I needed to keep up 6 or better to seal the deal. With about 1/2 mile to go the inevitable happened and LT passed me encouraging me to try and catch the next girl. We upped the pace but I just couldn't quite stay with him. It was sprinkling and the road was getting a little slippery. My traction was a little off but I did my best to up the ante and pick it up. With 1/4 mile to go I was pretty sure I wouldn't catch the next girl but I could hear footsteps behind me and I did not want to get caught! Coach as usual was encouraging me to get on my toes but I had to settle for running hard and upright. Surprised myself with a 5:44 to finish it out in 29:31.0.

Couldn't hold off LT or catch the 6th girl, but a 45 second PR and finally got that sub 6 monkey off my back so I am a happy girl! Keeping my PR streak going for the year. Another confidence booster for the marathon this fall!

Spirit of Columbus 2010

Last year I paced the Spirit of Columbus Marathon and I remembered thinking, damn I wish I was racing this. The weather was good, the course is a net downhill (About 210 feet of uphill and 378 feet of downhill creating a net drop of 2.42 m/km), and much of it is shaded. Race management could use some work, but overall it was a good race. So when I was deciding which half to go to to get an idea of what kind of endurance fitness I had this fall I decided this would be it. In addition past years the race had offered a decent prize purse which usually drew some serious competition. I was hoping there would be a good field to help push myself as well as take the pressure off. My last decent half was last fall at Buckeye and I do not feel I performed as well as I could due to putting too much pressure on myself. So with all that in mind I found myself on the road to Columbus this past weekend.

They canned the prize purse this year so the field was not stacked this year giving us mere mortals a chance to shine a bit. Columbus has some speedy chicks though so I wasn't sure what to expect place wise. Given the course is point to point and relatively fast I decided I should be somewhere between 6:10 and 6:20 pace. The great thing about having a slow for your fitness half PR is that even if I didn't meet those pace goals I would still have a significant PR. My worst case scenario goal was to break 1:24 since that is the standard for running the Columbus Marathon as an elite and I want to start right up front there this year.

I was lucky to be able to stay with a pacing friend that lives 15 minutes from the start so I got to bed early and up and to the race with no problem. In retrospect I should have woken up an hour earlier. By go time I still had to pee (for the umpteenth time) but had to go without because the porta potty lines were not moving and I needed to get to the start. So note to self at the marathon wake up 3 hours before go time and no more liquids after 2 hours to go. On the plus side I was definitely hydrated and had no problems with cramps etc.

The race started at 7:30 and thankfully the hot weather held off until later in the day. Still warm enough to get disgustingly sweaty, but humidity was low and for most of the race I was comfortable.

The half marathon distance is great because you really don't have to run at an aggressive pace, you never go completely anaerobic, you won't really ever suffer like you do in shorter races where you have to push your aerobic boundaries, and you won't run out of steam like in the marathon where you can run into endurance issues. The key is to find that sustainable pace and stay mentally focused throughout.

I was comfortable with my goal, mostly because during the week leading up to the race my legs were getting this twitchy feeling they get sometimes when I am ready for a breakthrough. So despite my struggles with tempos at paces slower than the goal I had a good feeling.

I lined up about 4 rows back from the start with another Second Sole runner and we awaited the gun. And we were off. I watched 3 or 4 girls take off quickly and knowing one was capable of a low 1:16 just let them go. A group of about 4 or 5 women and a few men were around me for the first mile. It seemed like the effort was good and despite starting a little quick I was sure we would settle in and this would be a good group to work with.

We hit the first mile and the clock read 31:30 something. It was awfully quiet so I made a crack about how it didn't feel like that mile was that slow. This seemed to break the tension a bit and got a few of the other gals talking who had run the race last year. In reality the mile was around 6:10 which was right in the ball park.

During the second mile I decided to pull forward with another gal who had been talking. I asked her just how "fast" she thought the course was and she said that she felt it evened out with the uphills. She had run a 1:24 there last year and was looking to do better. I stuck with her for about a mile but it was clear she wanted to push the pace so I let her inch ahead. Second mile was a little slower around 6:16. Just tried to focus on settling in. The next two miles had a long downhill before heading onto a bike path in the park. I was sitting about 20-30 meters behind the girl and trying to keep that gap from getting any wider. 6:14 and 6:09.

Mile 4

Through the park miles 4-6 I settled in a bit and was just gliding along. I could hear someone breathing pretty heavily gaining on me. It seemed awfully early to be working that hard. But this young girl passed me and I practiced patience letting her go. I then remembered there was a relay and wondered if maybe she was in the relay. Clipped off two 6:17s rolling through the park and got caught by a pack of about 5 runners that I had started with. I had decided I needed to catch up to the first girl I started with and upped my effort to stick with this pack and used them to get by the two girls by mile 7. (Neither of which were in the relay)

Mile 6 (I swear I am running 6:17 pace here even though it looks like I am walking)

There was one girl in the pack and I did my best to stay ahead of her. Miles 7 to 9 were rolling downhill and I did my best to pull ahead of the group (6:10, 6:09). But mile 10 was a slow false flat and the group once again caught and passed me as I clipped off 2 miles at 6:14. Again I decided to practice some patience and stick to my strengths (not uphills!). At 10 I did some math and realized if I could run a 20 minute 5k I would finish in 1:22:30. I knew I could keep the pace under 6:20 if I kept my effort up. It was warming up and the last 3 miles are the most boring part of the course. All in the sun and industrial.

I kept telling myself that I had sub 18 5k speed and I could close on the group if I worked on reeling them in. I missed the watch splits but knew my effort was there as I clipped a 6:15 to mile 11. I had trouble getting water at the aid stations and it was getting warmer but thankfully they had ice cold sponges which at least helped to cool me down! And a nice lady had water bottles which I was able to successfully grab for a quick drag.

Almost Done

Two miles to go just keep moving! I still wasn't gaining on the group but I was catching the stragglers. Unfortunately all guys. 6:13 to mile 12. 1.1 to go, let's turn it on Elizabeth. The group was starting to push and for a brief second I thought there is no way I can catch them, they are working together and I am by myself, but I pushed it out of my head and just focused on reeling them in. I asked myself what I would be doing if the girl ahead was in 1st and thankfully my response was I'd be doing exactly what I was doing right then, running as hard as I could to catch her. Hit mile 13 in 6:06 as I caught the female in the group. I encouraged her to push with me and told her we could break 1:22 if we hustled through the uphill (that's just cruel!) finish. We kicked it in and of course she was local so they are announcing her name and that she is a local TNT coach so of course I feel like a chump when I beat her to the line by one second.


But I felt much better when I realized I had just run a 5 minute personal best. 1:21:51. Right in the middle of my goal pace range at 6:15. Also puts this at my best race of any distance to date. Even if you handicap it a little bit for the net downhill it would have been solidly in the 1:22 range. I was very pleased with my effort. I was engaged the entire race, and when I needed to step it up and get out of that 6:17 box to pass those two girls I did. It would have been really easy to settle in with them and lose a good minute or two off my final time. I'm very greatful that group came along when they did, even though we had different strengths and never ran together it was helpful to have a target when they were ahead and it was good fuel when I was ahead to keep pushing. I ended up as 4th female (First three chicks were in a race all their own finishing in 1:17 to 1:19) and 30th overall. Not a bad morning. What can I say Columbus has always been good to me. I now have 3 different distance PRs residing in Columbus.

Other than some hot spots on my feet I had no race soreness or cramps etc. It is so nice to run a race where the only limiter is your fitness and mental capacity to push yourself. My last long race was Boston and believe me it still doesn't sit well with me to have what should have been an amazing day turn into a complete struggle because my quads gave out and forced my mind into self preservation mode. It was great to be able to push my physical and mental boundaries on Sunday and let loose. I've still got a lot of work to do but this was a huge step in the right direction. Big confidence booster and more fuel in the fire!