Monday, June 30, 2014

Marathon Training Week 5

Summary of Weekly Miles

Monday -3 miles, 27:26, 9:12 min/mile, 5:45 am. I had a doctor's appointment after work so I ran in the morning so that I could go to the doctor and head straight home to study for my quiz on Wednesday!

Tuesday - 6.13 miles, 50:17, 8:12 min/mile, (HR 158). Ran this at RIT with Trisha who is like 5 minutes faster than me at the 5K and an hour faster at the marathon. Seriously. Her easy run is practically my tempo! It was good to run with someone and get some mileage in while we were both trying to prepare for our quiz. It was hot, hot, hot out though!

Wednesday - 4 miles, 38:04, 9:31 min/mile. Did this before work and was pretty much a zombie due to a late night of homework the night before! Also ran an extra mile since I was supposed to do 7 on Tuesday but only ran 6.

Thursday - 4.24 miles, 35:01, 8:15 min/mile, HR 154. This was a tempo workout that I did on the canal path from Greece Canal Park after a coworker's graduation party. Did a 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at tempo (7:35, 7:40) then cooled down to hit 35 minutes total. Tempo pace should be a little quicker than what I hit - working on it. It was pretty hot and muggy but I have been dealing with the heat pretty well so far. I think my pace was off because I have a hard time focusing on pace in general.

Friday - off

Saturday - 14 miles, 2:12:12, 9:26 min/mile, HR 148. Since I was home this weekend for my mom's "Celebration of Life" memorial service I knew I would need to really focus on dragging my butt out for my long run. I have a tendency to skip runs while at home and I KNEW I couldn't this time. Randomly, my friend Jim commented on something I had tweeted earlier in the week and I ended up finding out that he had just done his first triathlon. We ended up arranging to run Saturday morning because I figured that he could handle a longer run with me and I was dying for company. We met up at 8 (ok, 8:15 because I was late) at The Jolly Farmer in Waverly, NY and Jim led me on a 2 hour tour of the valley. It ended up being a really good run and despite the heat, I felt really strong. Jim started to fade a bit after about 10 miles and I ended up running ahead after 12 and met him back at the Farmer for Gatorade and chocolate milk. It was really good to have company for the run and to catch up with a friend that I hadn't seen in a while! Also, it's better than running from my dad's house because it's difficult to do loops there and I always end up running out and backs which gets boring at those longer distances.

Sunday - 7 miles, 1:03:21, 9:03 min/mile, HR 143. Did this in the morning before we had to get ready and leave for the cemetery. I really had trouble getting out of bed but this run ended up going really well, I felt strong with absolutely no soreness or fatigue from the longer run the day before, and ran at a pretty decent pace (for me) for an easy run with hills. (There are nothing but hills in Bradford County, PA).

Week 5 Mileage: 38.37
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 152.75

All in all, it was a good week for running for me. I was VERY stressed out mid-week between work, school, getting my runs done, and my mother's memorial service which was yesterday. I will have a blog post of it's own for that.. but in general, it was a much better day than I was expecting and it made everything that I dealt with throughout the week feel incredibly unimportant in the big scheme of things.

Onto week 6!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

if you're going through hell..

I'm not going to lie.. I have had a really challenging week. I feel pretty terrible complaining about my first world problems when I know that millions of people have real problems. But I think all feelings are valid so it's ok to be upset/overwhelmed/whatever you feel no matter the reason.

First and foremost, my mom's memorial service is on Sunday. Because we never did a viewing, funeral, or burial after she passed away, I feel like I haven't gotten any closure. Even though I want that closure, I am also dreading it. It's like.. by having this memorial, I have to actually acknowledge that it happened. I have kind of been living in limbo for the past 5 months where I either avoid thinking about it completely, or think about it and break down crying (usually at a really inappropriate time). So with that giant emotional event looming, I have been pretty up and down this week. I had to write a eulogy which I have to give on Sunday. Writing that was no picnic either. I've known about it for months but every time I would think about what to say, I would cry. This week I knew I was running out of time so I had to suck it up and write it. I'm pretty pleased with what I came up with but I know the whole experience is probably going to be awful. Luckily there will be tons of family there and I even have a few wonderful friends from Rochester who are making the 2 hour drive to Addison, NY to be with me. It means a lot to me.

On top of that, I have just had a lot of schoolwork this week. I had a quiz yesterday that I've been trying to study for plus a homework assignment due today. I spent 5 hours with Trisha at the lab at RIT on Saturday working on our homework assignment, then several more hours there on Tuesday evening (after we ran 6 miles) preparing for the quiz, and then took the quiz last night and finished up the homework. I didn't get home until after 9:30 pm both nights. For someone who really needs "me time" to relax, it's been a rough few days and I haven't been able to sleep. I like to stay busy but I think it's been a little *too* busy this week!

I am off work tomorrow so I can do some Alexa things in the morning, but then I have to head home to PA later in the day. I also have to make sure I get my runs in over the weekend. I found a friend who is going to run 14 miles with me on Saturday morning. I haven't seen this friend in a few years so I am looking forward to it!

When weeks like this happen.. I just have to put my head down and plow through it the best I can, aided with coffee and friends! A friend brought pizza over at 10 pm last night because I hadn't even eaten dinner (he hadn't either). Otherwise, my dinner would have been Ritz crackers and peanut butter. I stayed up too late but I think it was needed.

After this weekend, maybe I can wipe the slate and start fresh.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Marathon Training - Week 4 & Real Beer 5K Race Report

Summary of Weekly Miles

Monday - 3 miles, 27:40, 9:13 min/mile, done at 5:45 am before work!

Tuesday - 6 miles, 54:43, 9:07 min/mile (HR was a bit high at 155 bpm) - I didn't have class this Tuesday so I ran after work. It was HOT. On Monday I bought a kiddie pool at Target and on Tuesday I blew it up, filled it up, and dunked myself in it after my run. Thinking about that kiddie pool is what got me through the run. We then had a pretty raging storm that night which the kiddie pool survived!
you're never too old
Wednesday -  3 miles, 27:47, 9:16 min/mile

Thursday - 6.2 miles, 57:11, 9:13 min/mile, HR 146 - This was hill repeat day. I ran the ~2 miles from my house to the Bay Park West entrance on Orchard Park Blvd. (this hill was recommended to me by Richard and it was PERFECT). It was exactly a quarter mile long, steep, and shaded the entire way. I did 4 hill repeats and then ran home. I was dreading this workout all day (especially after Rich told me he couldn't go) but I sucked it up and did it anyways (I suppose that is the joy of marathon training) and REALLY enjoyed myself!
here are my hill repeats - not so impressive

this is the elevation profile of the ADK Marathon which is WHY I NEED TO DO HILL REPEATS

Friday - off

Saturday - 5.90 miles, 45:46 (total time) - I ran the Real Beer 5K at Park Point. It started at 10 am, so I showed up at about 9 and ran 3 warm-up miles and then ran the race. The course was short so I don't really know what my time would have been (which I am bummed about) but it would have been 21:XX I am fairly certain, which shows improvement for me for sure. (My Garmin read 2.91 miles and my finish time was 20:17, at 6:59 pace). I ended up taking 3rd place female (small race) and won a free entry to the Boilermaker! So I'm pretty psyched about that! Need to work on my 5K pacing.

Sunday - 13 miles, 1:59:45, 9:12 min/mile, HR 151 - This felt pretty good. I felt like I ran strong, handled the mid-day heat well (didn't run until around 11 am), and ran a consistent pace. My legs started to get achy at about 11 miles but I cured that with a lovely ice bath in my kiddie pool after the run with some chocolate milk and Gatorade.

post-long run recovery - felt AMAZING

Week 4 Mileage: 37.1
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 114.38

I would say this week went really well for me. The kiddie pool was a fabulous idea and I think it will get much use this summer. I like that my miles are creeping upwards and I am still feeling good. I don't think I've ever run more than 40 miles per week so I'm excited to hit that and keep going! Life-wise, things are going well. I am extremely busy between work (has been a little nuts lately), marathon training, and school. But it is GOOD busy and not "rip my hair out stressful" busy (like it was training for Wineglass) so I can handle it. I flop into bed every night exhausted from my day but also smiling. Truth be told, I haven't felt this good about things in a while. I'm glad I've made it back to this place. Took long enough! Life has its ups and downs and sometimes you really just have to suck it up through the downs (and not dwell on them) to get back to the ups.

Real Beer 5K Race Report

I don't really think this deserves its own entry so I'm sticking it here. I entered it as a low key event to see how my training is progressing and to try to win the Boilermaker Entry that was advertised as the prize for first place. The Airport 5K which is a Rochester Runner of the Year series event was also on Saturday so I knew fast people would go to that race and that I *might* have a shot at the 5K with "beer" in the title. I ended up in 3rd place at this race, was passed at about mile 1 by one lady and in the last mile by another one. I am very disappointed that the course was short because now I can't use this 5K as a benchmark like I wanted to, but I ended up winning the Boilermaker entry because no one else wanted it! That would be me - claiming the prize reject! Also got a fun blue t-shirt and a free pint glass (and a free beer afterwards).

Update: After fiddling with McMillan, I extrapolated my expected finish time using my average pace from the 5K to be 21:43. That is 45 seconds faster than my 5K from May (22:32). So that makes me happy, and anxious to keep up my training!!

new McMillan predicted times based off of this 5K!

pretty sweet colored T-shirt

smiling and leading a pack of runners!

I'm basically an Eggers

me and my "real beer"
After racing, I hung out for a while at Lovin' Cup and then went to meet my homework/study partner at the lab at RIT. She raced the Airport 5K and it is safe to say that she is WAY the hell faster than me. But it's nice to have someone to study with who has other things in common too! We were there for 5 hours and finally left after finishing most of the homework and we were both fried I think. I went home and crashed on my couch for the rest of the evening. Ran long the next day, did some studying, and went to Jazz Fest in the evening which was fun! That wrapped up my week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Marathon Training - Week 3

Week 3 felt pretty good. Did a morning run on Tuesday for the 2nd week in a row! As much as I hate getting up, it is very nice to know that my run for the day is done and I can focus on other important things, such as homework! Shins are a little achy and hopefully that is not an ongoing problem. I'm trying to keep some of my runs on trails or the canal path to give my shins/knees a break. I'm also looking into getting a kiddie pool/ice bath setup in my backyard! :)

I wanted to go to Lake Placid that weekend as a "social member" of the Valor Triathlon Project training camp, but in the end I decided not to go. I had a TON of schoolwork to get done which was stressing me out. Unfortunately, I do not handle stress well (especially with regards to school) and the only way for me to deal with it is to cancel the plans that are making me stressed. It worked out ok - I was able to get the software I needed onto my computer (took several hours and the help of someone who actually knows things about computers) and then it took another 4 hours at RIT to get the homework going, but I feel better now knowing that I am not falling behind in class. I also sleep better at home and can keep my own hours; both of those things help reduce stress.

Anyways, on to the miles for the week!

Monday - 3 miles, 27:24, 9:08 min/mile

Tuesday - 5 miles, 46:52, 9:22 min/mile - done at 5:40 am - this is going to be the theme for Tuesdays, run in the morning, work, then class after work! (also, this was supposed to be 6 miles - oops)

Wednesday -  3 miles, 27:08, 9:02 min/mile - very sticky out but I felt pretty good

Thursday - 5.5 miles, 43:21, 7:52 min/mile - this was my first track workout since 2002 (high school track)! I guess this shows how motivated I really am to do well at this marathon because I freaking HATE track workouts. It was pretty hot out and I ran in my compression sleeves so I was dying by the time this workout was over, and I went into Wegmans afterwards completely soaked in sweat - sorry people of East Ave. Wegmans. I did 4x800 repeats with 400 recovery in between. I tried to run them as Yassos (at projected marathon time) and did.. ok at that. I need to figure out how to set up my watch to show the lap I am on and not overall time, so when I started and couldn't keep track of my split (wanted to check it at the 400m mark) I just ended up winging it. Ran 3:26, 3:32, 3:34, 3:35. FYI, my BQ standard is a 3:35 and I would really like to run as far under that as possible.

Friday - off

Saturday - 6 miles, 53:54, 8:59 min/mile - in hindsight this was supposed to be at marathon pace. 2nd oops of the week.

Sunday - 8.53 miles, 1:16:43, 8:59 min/mile - I did this with Kevin in Mendon Ponds Park. About half were on the roads and half on the trails. Felt pretty good, pace was probably a little quicker than I am used to for longer runs and my HR was a little high. I need to work on this more. I just replaced my very sketchy HR strap so I am hoping to run a little more by HR in the future (nailed my pace this morning).

Week 3 Mileage: 31.03
Total Training Cycle Mileage: 77.28

My goal is to take the easy runs easy and the hard runs hard. I also need to pay better attention to the specifics of my training plan. I missed a mile on my Tuesday morning run and also missed my first marathon pace run (supposed to do that on Saturday and I just ran it at endurance pace). Probably minor details but I am anxious to do this the right way! I printed the entire marathon plan out so that I can hang one in my cubicle, one on my fridge, and one in my home office. Maybe I should get one printed on a pillowcase too!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Marathon Training - Week 2

I will call this Week 2 because technically, I skipped Week 1 of the 18 week Hal Higdon marathon plan that I am using (would have been the week after the half marathon and I didn't realize this til halfway through the week). I took 2 days to recover after the race (my legs were TRASHED), did a few smaller runs, and then ran 15 miles on Sunday with Kevin! The 15 miler went really well - we ran from the U of R track and meandered past Dinosaur BBQ, along the river trail, through Genesee Valley Park, and other such places for 2 hrs 15 minutes. It was hot and I got sunburned, but I ran at a brisk long run pace for me (8:55) and felt pretty good. That's my longest run this year so far. Then I met with Mary to discuss my marathon plan.

Obviously, this is a pretty aggressive marathon plan that I am using given my background (endurance triathlete) but I need to do the work if I am going to aim for a BQ. I think some of the later weeks with the 60+ miles will probably get edited (this is why I have Mary) because that is an awful lot for my legs, but there are specific things I like about this plan which is why I am using it. I like: the runs done at marathon pace on Saturday, that the long runs are done at endurance pace and NOT marathon pace (or part at marathon pace even), the tempo stuff and speedwork (it's been ages since I've done it), and the alternating long runs with 12 milers on Sundays.

Monday OFFICIALLY started my training and here is my week!

Monday - 3 miles, 26:51, 8:57 pace (it was HOT)
Tuesday - 5 miles, 46:34, 9:19 pace, done at 5:40 am before work (this is a big deal for me.. Ms. Hates-to-get-out-of-Bed)
Wednesday -3.62 miles, 31:36, 8:43 pace, done with Richard (we ran the Johnny's Run Like Hell course) - usually Rich and I run together on Wednesdays so it will be nice to have a buddy when my runs get into the 10 mile range!
Thursday - 3.63 miles; 30:01, 8:16 pace, tempo run - 10 minutes warmup E-pace, 10 mins T-pace (aim for 7:42), 10 minutes cool down E-pace. I went to the canal path to do this so that I could avoid traffic lights and that was a good idea. The next time I do a tempo run I will do it by miles instead of minutes, because I can't see my splits and I am not sure if I nailed my tempo pace or not!
Friday - off
Saturday -5 miles, 45:28, 9.06 pace, this run didn't feel great and it took quite a bit of self-motivation to get going (including parking at Starbucks to do an out and back and using coffee as a reward for completing the run) but I felt SO much better after doing it! This run really set the mood for my weekend - I had been feeling pretty crappy for a few days and I was able to turn it around and have a great Saturday AND Sunday!
Sunday - 11 miles, 1:43:48, 9:26 pace, I started at around 10:30 am (had a nice lazy morning with a cup of good coffee and an episode of Orange is the New Black), mapped a loop around Rochester instead of a boring out and back, and just enjoyed the scenery for 11 miles! I ran through Mt. Hope Cemetery which I have never done other than in the Flower City Half Marathon (pushing too hard to look around) and it is truly beautiful in there! Also, I had planned to just run down Highland back to Winton but I detoured through Highland Park - ALSO beautiful! I need to do this more often! I actually wish I lived a bit closer to that area.. maybe my *next* house will be there. :) I wore my compression socks during the long run (I usually don't run in them but I used them on Thursday's tempo run as well) and I am not sure if I will keep it up - they got a bit hot and they rubbed a little. We'll see. My left shin is a bit sore so I need to do some ice/damage control with that.

Week 2 Mileage: 31.25

Total Training Cycle Mileage: 46.25

I definitely needed this marathon plan to start up. My summer session at RIT also started last week so I will be staying very busy throughout the summer (or at least for the next 9 weeks). The last 2 months have been a bit of a personal struggle; I broke up with someone who I really, really cared about and really thought I saw a future with, so that has been rough, but I am hoping that things are getting better and that I will really be able to focus myself on running, school, and life itself! It helps too that the weather has been gorgeous and I just want to be outside all the time.