Training Run Down-Threshold weeks 2 and 3

Admittedly I am not always clear just what my coaches master plan is and sometimes I wonder what the benefit is of certain workouts, but it is apparent that despite my fears about my current fitness level his system is working as I am feeling more confident after that past two weeks races and workouts that despite not doing anything super fast right now I am right where I need to be leading into Boston.


January 17th through 23rd
Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: Easy.
Tuesday: 2 miles @ 6:20; 10 x 1 minute repeats @ 5:30 pace with 2 minute recovery jogs @ 7:30 pace; 2 miles (mile @ 6:20 pace; 800 @ 6:00; The last 800 is split into the first 400
at 5:50 pace and the last 400 as fast as you can manage)
Wednesday and Friday: easy miles @ 7:20 or slower. 6 x 30 sec @ 5:30 pace
Thursday: Tempo run 6 miles @ 6:30

Case 3k and mile
16 miles @ 7:20

January 24-30th
Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: Easy.
Tuesday: 4 sets of: 400 @ 5:40 pace, then slow down to 6:00 pace for a
mile. Recover between each compound set with 3 minutes jog @ 7:30 pace. Warmdown
Wednesday and Friday: easy miles @ 7:20 or slower. 6 x 30 sec @ 5:30 pace
Thursday: Tempo run 6 miles @ 6:25

Akron 5k
18 miles @ 7:20

How it played out:

17th-23rd-73 miles

Monday-9 miles 8:04 pace
PM Hour bootcamp

Tuesday- 10 miles with workout

Wednesday-8 miles 7:58 pace with strides
PM Hour bootcamp

Thursday-10 miles with tempo

Friday- Lunch: 7 miles 9:00 pace (snow) forgot to do strides.
PM: 2 miles with strides

Saturday- 11 mi with races (3k 10:24, mile 5:20)

Sunday- 16 at 7:12 pace

January 18th workout (Kent track)
2 mile: 12:25.10
10* 292 meter laps: 1:00.12
1600: 6:15.67
800: 3:07.83
800: 3:05.60
(struggled the last two miles, but better than no workout at all)

January 20th tempo:

24th-30th- 81 miles (went a little over coaches orders but got it approved first)

Monday: 8 miles 8 minute pace
PM Hour bootcamp

Tuesday: 10 miles with workout (Akron Track)

Wednesday: AM 4 miles with strides. Lunch 8 miles 8 minute pace
PM Hour bootcamp

Thursday: 9 miles with tempo

Friday: 8 miles 8:00 minute pace with strides

Saturday: AM 10 miles with race (5k in 17:48)
PM 6 miles easy

Sunday: 18 miles 7:12 pace

January 25th workout:

We weren't really clear on where we should start the 400 meter section of our workout so we just estimated and it was probably a hair long. Other than a near collision with a walker in lane one on the 3rd set it went pretty smoothly. I didn't feel great, but got through the workout ahead of pace.





January 27th tempo:


Other than some funky searing pain in my foot for a few minutes in the middle of the run the workout was fine. Definitely glad I wasn't supposed to run faster though as it was an effort that day to get it done.

Long runs have been feeling great, probably due to the slow pace. It's nice that I can crank out a track race and go out the next day and feel just fine for a 2 hour hilly run. Definitely feels good to know that my recovery process and strength are good right now.

Round the Roo 5k Report

Jim Chaney certainly puts on a good event. It is so nice when a race event management company is ran by someone that actually cares about racing and the runners.

Race day and results and video are already up on the internet.

Instant gratification :) Every runner can get behind that. (Videos in posts below)

Had a good race this morning. Perhaps not the best executed race, but any time you miss a PR by a few seconds I don't think you can complain. Especially when you do it on an indoor track in January on no real speed training since the fall. I'll take it :)

Round the Roo was basically a road race 5k, but instead of running it outside it was run inside at Akron University's track. 300 meters. 3 heats of 30 people. For the seriously fast this was probably an issue as they were having to lap quite a few runners multiple times, but for most of us I think it worked out pretty well.

Good first mile right on my training partners heels at 5:34. Goal was 5:40 pace, so a little quick, but seemed ok at the time. Started to fall off my little pack as we got lapped the first time by the race leader just after the mile. Lap splits started going from 1:02, to 1:03, to 1:04. Wasn't feeling too hot but trying to keep my head in the game. Came through the 2 mile in 11:19. Slowing down a bit here in 5:45. Now if I could just get back down to 5:40 pace we'd be good. Unfortunately the splits started going to 1:05 now and no matter what I told myself or my efforts to up my effort I just couldn't get those splits back to 1:03. Held on to be the second female across the line but missed my best 5k by about a second crossing in 17:48.

Today's event was age graded to make things more interesting. Our friend BB who is 60 this year ran 21:10 which age grades her heads and heels over the rest of us. So she snagged 1st female, another quick masters female running 18:59 age graded 2nd while my training buddy who ran a new PR at 17:25 finished 3rd and I finished 4th. Lots of other running pals from SERC and Second Sole kicked butt and it was a fun way to spend the morning.

Would have liked to have shaved some time off that PR this morning, but given I have been a little unsure of my speed right now it is nice to know that at a minimum it is still at the same level it was last summer. I am struggling with these shorter races, it is really hard to know if when I start to fall off after the mile if it is because I just went out too fast, or if I am just not willing to suffer more to reach a higher goal right now. The latter half of these races I feel like perhaps no matter the pace I will feel like I am struggling, just not sure if there is some mental wherewithal I can untap to break through that barrier, or if it is actually physical and not mental. Good thing I want to be a marathoner and not a track star I guess :)

Round the Roo 5K Heat 3 Finish

Round the Roo 5K Heat 3 Start

Butt Kicking Boot Camp

As previously mentioned I've been going to a boot camp class for about 9 weeks and I have to say I am enjoying it thoroughly. There are many nights lately when I leave work frustrated and overwhelmed with the juggling of all my life "hats," but each night when I leave boot camp I am in such a good emotional place. I'm not sure there is one specific part of the class that makes me feel so much better, it is just a nice combination of things that happen to line up well to fill some void I need filled right now.

I'm admittedly not much of a "gym rat." I enjoy classes with friends when I go, but I would not be driven to get to a gym 2-3 times a week to lift weights by myself, just not my thing, even if it is important supplemental training to prevent injury and strengthen my weaknesses. My pal Iron G got a sweet deal through her employer to check out this class: It was before the holidays and I figured why not do some cross training and keep those holiday pounds at bay while hopefully targeting some of my weak core issues and hanging out with my pals G and TZ.

I intended to just do 10 sessions and be done before indoor track meets started, but I've decided to go to 8 more sessions because I'm having fun and I think I can still derive some benefits from it before Boston training gets too overwhelming.

Despite it's Boot Camp name there are no drill sergeants present. They play good "get your workout-on" tunes and the instructor moves around the room as a class of about 15-20 people move through a workout series. I must say having good tunes is probably one of the highlights for me, somehow doing an exercise to failure is made much easier by being able to sing along with my favorite tunes.

The class is an hour. We do a quick dynamic warm up and then follow it up with a series of exercises. The exercises are different each night and the class is based on timed intervals. AKA one night we might do 10 rounds of 45 seconds on 15 seconds off and repeat the whole series 3 times. The next night perhaps 6 stations with two exercises each repeated for 30 seconds on 10 seconds off 6 times with 1 minute rest between stations. Then the main workout is usually followed up by a "finisher" set which is sometimes just 6-10 new exercises on the same interval, or sometimes a core or body weight emphasized series. Added bonus the class has a plethora of foam rollers so after wards you can get a good stretch! (Much needed by this lunch runner who goes straight back to a desk every day)

I like that different muscles are hit at each station and that you aren't always working the same muscles every class. In addition I like that if you are having an off night you can work as hard or as easy as you want. Since it is timed no one is counting your reps or worrying about what weight you use etc. You get out of it what you put into it!

I'm looking forward to 4 more weeks of classes. While my body is certainly a bit more sore than it would normally be for my Tuesday and Thursday running workouts I figure as long as I am hitting the paces it can only make me tougher!

Only thing that would make the class better is if I could get more friends to join me :) I like to mix exercise with social time since obviously my schedule doesn't allow for too many evenings out. If you are local you should come check out a class! They have a few locations and lots of different times to go!

I convinced Nate to offer up a deal to any of my friends who want to check it out. First week is free so no commitment necessary! While I am obviously using the class to boost my running fitness and can't make any statement about it's benefits to me on weight loss since I don't need to lose weight, I can definitely see how for those with other goals it would provide a boost to weight loss and better body image.

"Check out the site at, where you can see the days and times offered and to register by March 1st. You can get 50% off your first month- $99 for 3 sessions/wk for 4 weeks (normally $199) or $79 for 2 sessions per week for 4 weeks (normally $159).

When you register, be sure to use the coupon code below, to get your discount:


Case Spartan Relay Report

Headed back to the indoor track today to get a feel for what speed I have left from last year. This year we were signed up for both the 3k and the 1 mile. I went in with very little expectations. I expected the field would be similar to last year and that NC and I would try to sit behind whoever took each event out and then try to hammer it in. Got there early and did 3-4 miles of warm up with some strides and stretching.

Our friend CE had to drop before the race taking the field down a bit, but there were still some good girls lined up. All 9 of which had a faster seed time than me, but I was hoping to hold my own and hopefully keep the pace under 5:43 since that is what I had at my best 5k last year. Best case I figured 5:30 pace, but given that I had struggled with 10* 60 seconds at that pace Tuesday I wasn't too sure about that.

Unfortunately, like last year, my seeding (bib 1) left me in the lead after lap one again and chugging along doing my own thing. Fortunately though, my own thing turned out to be running pretty darn well for the first mile +. Unfortunately though, my "strategy" was out the window and I was now the lead runner everyone was sitting on and inevitably the pack did eventually pass me, despite my friends best efforts to hoot and holler me into keeping the lead. But I never felt that I gave up, several laps in a row I fought off the runner trying to pass me. When I did get passed I did my best to stay with the pack and only fell off in the last 5 or so laps, admittedly by quite a bit, but with the fast first mile I was able to run 10:24.18. Which was solidly in my goal range and right about the 42 seconds coach instructed per lap. Yahoo! Also a nice boost to be doing better comparatively this year than last year. Could I have done better? Perhaps, but I thought it was a really solid effort given how everything played out. Added bonus my training partner whooped some serious butt and ran 10:03! On top of that our buddy BB who is 60 this year ran her first indoor race ever at 12:28!

Since it is $20 for however many events you do and 3k isn't much of a workout we did the mile too. In between events my right shin was not happy. I was a little paranoid about it, it would be a real bummer to get a stress fracture at an indoor meet when you are training your butt off for the marathon. While this meet was a good test/indicator, it really doesn't mean much in the scheme of things when the goal is the Boston marathon this spring. Shin was still angry during the strides, but decided to buck up. This time hip number 9 so I was going to do my best to do like I had intended in the 3k and sit on the lead pack and try to pick it up later in the race. Last year during a track workout I ran 5:17 for 1600 meters so I was hoping I could eek out 5:15 or better, but after the 3k was just happy to try and race well.

Thankfully once the race kicked in I didn't notice the shin, though during the cool down it was still bad. Hopefully just tightness from the track and with some ice hopefully it will be happy tomorrow!

First lap had a bit of jostling, but managed to get myself behind the first 4 girls including NC despite some awkward passing and trying to avoid elbows. Went through 800 meters a bit slow at 2:40 and started to get around the pack. NC and I seemed to pick up the pace and pulled away. I just tried to keep one stride behind her, considered making a move a few times but NC stepped it up each time. We came through the mile in 5:19.90 and 5:20.31 in 1st and 2nd. Not quite as fast as I would have liked, but it felt really smooth so I am calling it a success. And now my official mile PR since the time trial isn't really what I would call "official."

I still have a lot to learn about these track races, but I think today was a good step in the right direction. And a positive race to kick off the year on!

Back on Track

Literally. This week we headed indoors for our Tuesday workout and tomorrow I'll be heading back to Veale Athletic Center for my second year of indoor track racing. Let's hope I fare a little better than last year :) This year my training buddies NC and BB will be joining me so hopefully that will make it feel more fun and a little less intimidating.

No real goal other than to run hard and get a feel for where I am at. Would definitely be nice to be close to where I left off this fall or better so best case scenario 5:30 something pace for the 3k and low 5 for the mile. But anything sub 5:50 pace for both would be good considering it is winter and I haven't been doing too much speed.

Threshold/Lactate Training Week 1

Welcome back to the world of workouts. And for me welcome back to reality. The week in Cancun was a great mind and body refresher. But re-entry into the work world, workout world, and Midwest weather was a bit of a shocker.

My quest to be an early morning riser has been tossed out the window. With several failed attempts last week I am adjusting my schedule. Two more weeks of boot camp classes, so I will just do the later class so I don't have to worry about fitting everything in, added bonus I can stay up a little later which fits better with my husbands schedule anyways.

You would think that since I consider myself a marathoner that I would look forward to threshold training. But for some reason tempo type workouts seem to be the bane of my running. They just mess with me mentally. I always feel like I am not going fast enough to be reaching my marathon goals, and half the time I struggle with the workouts I already think are too slow. I am going to do my best the next few weeks to just do the workouts and not worry about what they mean etc, just get them done to the best of my ability.

This week was rough with a bit of a snow fiasco hitting Tuesday around lunch that forced me to move Tuesdays workout to Wednesday, footing was still bad outside so the workout was moved to the treadmill. AKA take a workout I normally might struggle with and add it to my worst case scenario training location. I know it is not just me, but I just can't stand doing a workout on the treadmill, especially a continuous workout like the one I was supposed to do. I managed to hit all the desired paces, but I had to stop for a few mental and water breaks rather than rolling through the whole thing consecutively. Oh well better than not doing the workout at all! And surprise surprise Friday when I headed out to do my tempo alone I had absolutely no problems, so I am chalking Wednesday up to my mental issues with the treadmill, not anything to do with my current fitness.

Goals for the week per coach:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: Easy.
Tuesday: Compound Set (2 miles @ 6:25; mile @ 6:10; mile @ 6:25; mile @
6:10); 6 x 30 sec @ 5:30 with full recovery
no recovery between distances in the compound set.
Wednesday and Friday: easy miles @ 7:20 or slower.
Thursday: Tempo run 6 miles @ 6:25; 6 x 30 sec @ 5:30 with full
12 miles @ 7:00
14 miles @ 7:20

How it played out:

70 miles

Monday- 7.5 miles 7:45 pace
Tuesday- 10 miles, snow 8:53 pace
Wednesday- 8.5 miles with workout, treadmill
Thursday- 7 miles 7:57 pace
Friday- 10 miles with tempo and strides 6:52 ave
Saturday- 14 miles 7:08 pace
Sunday- 13 miles 6:57 pace

Treadmill Stats:

everything at 1.0 incline
2 miles at 9.4 mph (water break),
1 at 9.8 mph (.25 mile jog and water),
1 at 9.4 mph (.25 mile jog and water),
1 at 9.8 mph
then 6*30 second strides between 10.5-11.1 mph

Tempo splits:


Training Catch Up

With the New Year, my husbands Birthday, and our family vacation to Cancun, running was put to the back burner a bit the past two weeks. Followed coaches orders pretty closely but was a little short on the miles.


Base Phase Week 5:

Total Mileage 65 - 70.

Monday: easy
Tuesday: Tuesday: 2 miles @ 7:00, 10 x 30 sec with 30 sec jog recovery @ 5:40 pace, 4 miles @ 6:50.
Wednesday and Friday miles @ 7:30 or slower.
Thursday: 7 miles @ 6:45.
10 miles @ 6:50 - 7:00.
14 miles @ 7:10.

If you're going out New Years Eve switch Friday and a weekend run.
Sunday is an easy day for you because of travel.

Base Phase Week 6:

This is the last week in this phase. The main goal for the week is the mileage.
Total mileage: 70- 75.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday do 6 x 30 sec with 30 sec recovery at the end on the runs.
@ 5:40 pace.

Long run: 15 miles.

7:20 or slower easy days and no faster than 6:50 other days.

How it played out:

66 and 66 miles

Monday 27th- Lunch 8.5 at 8:28 pace, PM 3 miles treadmill, pm 60 min boot camp
Tuesday 28th- PM 10 miles 6:59 pace with workout
Wednesday 29th- 16 miles 7:33 pace
Thursday 30th- 1.35 miles 8:34 pace too icy, Lunch 10 miles 6:57 pace with tempo
Friday 31st- 14 miles 6:46 pace
Saturday 1st- Rest
Sunday 2nd- 4 miles 7:41 pace

Monday 3rd- AM 8 miles 8:25 pace (3 miles with KT slow), PM 5.36 miles 7:41 pace with 6* 30 strides
Tuesday 4th- AM 3.5 miles 7:34 pace, PM 9.63 miles 7:39 pace with 6*30 strides
Wednesday 5th-AM 8 miles 7:36 pace, pm 5.23 miles 9:01 pace (ran with KT)
Thursday 6th-Rest (tour day)
Friday 7th- AM Beach run barefoot 4.29 miles 9:06 pace, PM 7.39 miles 8:49 pace (4 miles with KT) with 6*30 strides
Saturday 8th-15 miles 6:57 pace
Sunday 9th- Rest (travel)

12/28/10 workout:

5:19 pace
6:07 pace
5:09 pace
5:36 pace
5:31 pace
6:07 pace
5:19 pace
5:27 pace
5:19 pace
6:08 pace


12/30/10 tempo: