Sunday, August 21, 2011

Training Recap: August 14-21,2011

I knew going into this week that it would be tough. Last week, I ran my furthest ever (68miles) with an 18mile Fast Finish (last 4 miles sub race pace) and a 3-turned-4x2400 workout.

Sunday, August 14: 21miler at 7:37 average on the Steelhead 70.3 course (hilly)

Monday, August 15: 5miles AM, 4miles PM after massage

Tuesday, August 16: 4miles before flight to Boston

Wednesday, August 17: 60min Tempo at 6:22 pace

Thursday, August 18: 8miles easy on hotel treadmill

Friday, August 19: 6miles easy in hotel/shopping center parking lot

Saturday, August 20: 9miles with the LifeTime Run Club

Sunday, August 14th was Ryan's 70.3Steelhead so I chose to run my 20-miler then (see prior post for recap). I felt amazing and still made sure to get a massage in on Monday. After traveling for the past two weeks (Jersey 8/1-6 and Georgia 8/15-19), I figured how to always fit my foam roller in so that I can make sure my ITs aren't getting too tight in between massages.

Tuesday morning I flew out to Boston after my 4mile 2:45am run. I knew I had a 60minute tempo on Wednesday, so was a little nervous since the day after flying is usually a little rough. I checked out the fitness find out that it smelled of rotten rubber. I figured, despite the hilly area we were in, running outside would be better for me than running on a treadmill inhaling those fumes.

I was sort of right. While I know I would have maintained a faster pace and faster overall average running on the treadmill, I'm glad I ran outside on the hills as it made me tougher mentally. I went 6:28, 6:37, 6:22, 6:40, 6:12 (finally a flat mile!!!!!!!!), 6:15, 6:03, 6:23, 6:26, and 2:30 to get a total of 9.45miles in an hour. This is a 6:22 average, which is the EXACT pace I need to break 2:46 in the marathon.

The best part of this workout was that I wanted to stop and wait to do it until Friday at only 2.5miles in BUT toughed it out. I told myself that they were slow because of the hills and to stop being a baby and just get it in. I took a gel at 3.2 miles and again at 7 and I honestly can say that they gave me a HUGE boost of energy. PowerBar gels (which, ironically I bought as I forgot to bring some--go figure, I get them for free from Ryan yet I paid $2 for them ha!) truly work!

The rest of the week was all just easy runs, which was nice to have. I was supposed to run a 10k (DeKalb Cornfest) BUT the date originally listed (8/20) turned out to be wrong and it is on 8/27, which conflicts with a HUGE long run workout. Oh well.

The week concluded with a 9mile group run at LifeTime Fitness to put me at 70miles!! Biggest mileage week ever! I am definitely noticing the fatigue, but am staying healthy, so know that Cari is training me to rock this marathon:)

GREAT NEWS: Ryan bought these things called "Recovery Boots" that are supposed to be as good as getting massages, SO I'm testing them out and will recap them next week. Check 'em out:

Less racing = Key to success?

Since the Viking Sunset 5k (previous post), I have yet to race and it is currently August 21st, almost a month after the 5k. If you know me, this is NOT normal.

Am I getting the "itch" to race? Every time I go and support one, which is pretty much every weekend...

The Saturday after the Viking Sunset 5k was the Hoffman 1/2 Marathon in which members of the DPFT team ran it as pace group leaders. I ran with Joe for the 1:40 (7:41) pace group. It was GREAT--with a mile to go, Joe took the front of our 10-person group and I took the back. The VERY last person in our group finished in 1:40:02! It was SO fun motivating fellow runners to push to PRs and I am so happy to have been a part of it!

The few weekends that followed were not nearly as hard to not want to race; I had AWESOME friends to run my long runs with in Barrington and ended each run feeling more confident than the previous week. I have also been ice bathing a lot and going to Dave Davis for weekly/10day massages as this definitely helps my recovery.

Travel for work has increased greatly so I've done a LOT of runs on treadmills lately, which is actually better for my body than the harder pavement of roads, but definitely more boring to me! I've been lucky enough to stay at hotels that have TVs connected to the treadmills AND Ryan got me a pair of wireless headphones for when this isn't the case and I use my iPhone to listen to Pandora instead.

Last weekend was Ryan's 70.3 Steelhead. Well, not quite 70.3; the swim was canceled due to 6-8 foot waves, so they did a time trial start for the bike. Ryan raced as a Pro like he has the past two years, for US Pro Tri Team. Right after he took off, I started my 20miler. Ryan's dad biked the first loop with me--we did the 2-loop 13.1 mile course for the run. It felt SO easy and the volunteers were AMAZING. They kept offering me drinks, and even though I told them every time that I was just doing a 20mile run and not actually in the race, they ran alongside with me to give me the drink! These 70.3 volunteers seriously rock!

Because I was doing my 20-miler, I didn't actually see Ryan on the bike. After the race, he told me that he was riding close to a pack of riders and with 5 miles to go, his water bottle cage started bouncing around and hitting his calves so he was forced to take it off. Next, he went to grab a gel and they ALL fell off. He got close enough to the pack to ask for fuel, but no one offered him any (I'm not sure they heard him though since people bike so fast on the last portion of this bike!). The last 5 miles he said he kept feeling like he was going to pass out and that he was "seeing those black stars" (you know, what happens right before passing out). He later told us that he saw a cup and full gel on the ground within the first mile of the run and downed both right away. This probably saved his race...

I continued to do my loops on the 5.5 mile loop (1mile out to the loop, 1 mile back to equal the 13.1) and got a little nervous when I started to see runners with numbers 20ish on as Ryan was #15 so should have been close to them. When I finally did see him, he gave me the same look that I give when I'm struggling. He wasn't very far back though, so I continued to encourage him. Something must have clicked because his overall 13.1 was 1:17, which isn't bad for not having fuel.

I ended up finishing my 20-turned-21-miler with a 7:37 pace (the first four miles were all over 8minutes, so I was pretty happy) and was so excited to see Ryan. He told me the news and I was even more impressed with how well he did. He finished 15th out of 38, and had he been able to run the 1:12 he would have (provided he had been fueling properly), he would have been in contention for the prize money. Just another one of those "lessons learned the hard way." NEVER tape all of your Gels together as if they all fall off, your race will suffer!

I guess I should have mentioned too that Ryan didn't go to sleep as early as he would have.... because I surprised him. I drove up to Benton Harbor on Saturday and arrived right as the expo was ending. I snuck up to his car and asked, "Do you need any help loading things?" and it took him a second to realize it was me, but I can't tell you how AMAZING it was to be reunited after 12 days. We for sure stayed up too late talking about our past 12 days, but both did well:)

I definitely need some motivation to continue with this "just running" training as it gets more difficult every time I go to a tri/du. For the first time in my life, I ran a 70-mile week. I used to think that was CRAZY in college, but now it's enjoyable! I do truly enjoy the running, but think I am much more of a duathlon kind of girl. I can't wait to get this marathon over so I can get back on the bike:)

"Flat and fast" does not mean "hard and hilly"--Viking Sunset 5k recap

You know how you sign up (and encourage others to sign up) for races that advertise that their course is "flat and fast" in hopes of PRing?? The Viking Sunset 5k was one of those races for me. I did it in 2008 and PRd by like 20 seconds (doing it as a workout!), so I of course signed up and encouraged others to do the same.

I knew the course had changed from my 2008 PR, BUT the website and email both still noted it as "fast and flat" with a track finish, so I figured it'd be pretty similar.


I ran a warmup with a DPFT teammate and noticed a slight incline in the beginning 1/2 mile, not really thinking much of it because finding a 100% flat course isn't an easy task! We both figured it'd be flat the rest of the time.

After changing my race time goal due to the heat (85-90degrees and super humid), I was ready to run. In 5ks, I tend to start the first mile off faster and then try to maintain for as long as possible since that's how I've had success this year. The first mile was 5:39, perfect.

Then the hills began. Around mile 1.5 is when Ryan caught up to me as he was doing a workout himself. He could see I was struggling (and knows I have a history of passing out from the heat) so was great and decided to run with me. The second mile was 6:10, which again was fine with the heat, but I told Ryan I was dying with the heat. He told me that the last 1.1 was going to be just based on effort, so I agreed and just ran what I could.

I will say I dislike the finish of this race as it is almost a full lap on the track, which kills me because we are SO close to the finish it's like a tease! But, I still broke 19 (18:58) which was the changed goal and again something I could barely do last year.

A LOT of people were frustrated that this race was listed as flat and fast when it wasn't. After being a race director, I know how hard it is to please everyone and no longer complain about things that are hard to control from the director standpoint. However, advertising as flat and fast on a hilly course just really frustrated me and others, so I did respond to that on the survey. I heard the reason that the course changed was due to the old course's track being under construction. I sure hope that next year it is moved back to the original course.

On the bright side, I got to run with my DPFT teammates which always makes for a great day:)