Thursday, September 27, 2012

Enjoying My Rest Week

I wasn't originally planning on making this week a rest week but between all of the terrible runs I had last week and how tired I was at the beginning of the week I switched moved my rest week up a week. Now that the week is more than half way over I am sure I made the right decision. So far I have enjoyed two rest days and have slept in almost every morning. All runs have been easy and in general I have been more relaxed this week. I am taking advantage of my extra time to take care of tasks around the apartment that I have been putting off for weeks. I have also knocked out all of my homework and have gotten a head start on next week's work.

Tomorrow I am running 10 miles and for the first time in weeks I am not stressed or anxious about that number. I know I can run 10 miles and I am actually looking forward to the run. Last week's 14 mile long run gave me so much anxiety that the idea of running 16 this week completely overwhelmed me. After a few days of rest and relaxation, though, I am getting excited about tackling my long runs again.

I am also looking forward to a weekend without traveling anywhere. Every weekend since I started school at the end of August I have been going home to deal with random things. For the first time this semester I am just staying at my apartment and hanging out. I am going to finish cleaning up my apartment and do simple things like make pancakes for breakfast and watch a movie. I feel like I have been go-go-go for so long lately that all I want to do is sit on the couch with a chai tea latte and watch a good movie.

It can be really easy to get caught up in training and to get the mentality to always do more. I constantly feel like I am not running enough so the thought of taking a rest week daunted me a little bit but it is proving to be exactly what I need. What I am most surprised by is how much stress can affect training. I started the week so stressed I thought I was going to have a breakdown, especially after last week, but now I feel ready to tackle my three weeks of peak training.

Monday, September 24, 2012

6 Weeks To Go

I was emailing my super fast marathoning cousin last night and realized that the New York City Marathon is only six weeks away. At first I started freaking out that I would never be ready in time. The longest run I have done so far was 14 miles while most people have already knocked out at least one 20 miler. My mind was plagued with thoughts of how I will never have enough time to build up enough endurance. And last weekend's long run certainly didn't help. Instead of filling me with confidence it left me questioning everything.

But I have been an athlete long enough to know that a lot can happen in only six weeks. I went from walking my bike up the hills on the Keystone State Triathlon course to hammering up them and actually passing people in six weeks. Back in high school I recovered from surgery and qualified for nationals after only being in the pool for six weeks.

I had some really great training runs in August that gave me a tremendous amount of confidence heading into both the Keystone State Triathlon and the RNR Philadelphia Half Marathon. I only ran three or four times a week but my training also consisted of cycling, yoga, strength training, and swimming. I did weekly track workouts that increased my love for running and boosted my confidence. I increased my long runs and actually enjoyed doing all of them.

I am writing this post to remind myself not to get too stressed out and just to take everything one day at a time. Don't get worked up about the long runs and find my love of running through track workouts. I am doing the best I can and that is all that matters. I will run 26.2 miles on November 4th and I will enjoy every mile. I signed up to train for and run this marathon because I love running and I want to challenge myself. I don't ever want running and training to become something that causes me anxiety.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

NYCM Training Week 4

After the Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon on Sunday I was in need of a rest day. I debated swimming or biking for a little but all I wanted to do was sleep so I opted for a total rest day instead.

I set out early Tuesday morning for an easy recovery run from Sunday's race but my leg pain came back and was still there a mile into the run. I turned around and ran/walked back to my apartment. Once I got back I did 15 minute of ab work followed by 15 minutes of stretching and foam rolling. Not happy with the failed run in the morning, I hopped on my trainer for a 45 minute easy ride while watching Friends. By the end of the day my leg was feeling much better, giving me hope for the rest of the week.

I took advantage of my big break again on Wednesday and got in a quick swim. I only got in 1,000 yards before the pool was evacuated for vacuuming. I had no leg discomfort or pain during the swim, which is improvement from the last time I went swimming.

I wanted to get in a track workout this week but also wanted to sleep in on Thursday. I thought it would be a good idea to go to the track after class, at 2:30. The only problem was that it was very sunny and there was a lacrosse game about to start. I did my mile warm up and then tried a mile for time. I finished in a slow for me 7:53 and felt crappy the entire time. As I was starting my second mile I was told to leave the track because of the game, so I ended up running back to my car for 4 miles total for the day.

I went out for an easy run on the trail near my house but felt pretty bad the entire time. I was really struggling to breathe and just couldn't get into any kind of groove. This run was a real sign about the long run I had scheduled Saturday. I was able to get in 6 really slow miles though.

I had planned on doing 16 miles on Saturday but only made it to 14 miles. This was literally one of the worst runs of my life. I just couldn't get going. I felt tired the whole time and ended up taking walking breaks. I considered stopping at 8 miles but pushed on. Hopefully next week's run will go better than this one.

I closed out the week with a 2 mile recovery run on the treadmill followed up with 30 minutes of strength and core work.

Weekly totals
  • Running: 28 miles
  • Swimming: 1,000 yards
  • Biking: 45 min
  • Strength & core: 45 min
  • Total hours: 7 hrs 22 min

Monday, September 17, 2012

Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Report

Like all races, this one was filled with emotions. It was one heck of a weekend that left me completely exhausted. After an easy run Saturday morning my mom and I drove to Lancaster to catch a train to Philadelphia. We got to Philly around 1:30 and quickly dropped our bags off at our hotel before heading over to the expo. I picked up my packet and then walked around for a bit. I ended up getting a new pair of headphones and a long sleeve shirt and shorts on clearance. After the expo we went over to the Reading Terminal Market to pickup some lunch. I hadn't eaten since breakfast. I was already pretty tired so we just hung out in the hotel for the rest of the evening before going to bed around 10.

I was able to get a banana and a bagel for breakfast from the hotel's complimentary breakfast, which worked out perfectly since I forgot to pack anything for breakfast. I woke up at 6:15, ate breakfast, and was out the door by 7:30. I decided to run over to the start to get in an extra mile for the day and also so I could get some stretching in before the race. Once I got to the race start I got in line for the bathroom and stayed there until around 8:10. I was supposed to be in corral 9 but didn't think I would make it because of how slow the line was moving. Luckily I was able to hop into corral 9 just as they started the count down to cross the start line.

I didn't have a super specific plan for this race but I wanted to keep my pace relatively easy for the first 5 miles. I wanted negative splits and really wanted to push the pace during the second half. The first 5 miles pretty much flew by. The first few miles were a little hot with the sun beating down but it was still in the low 60's out. It was really cool seeing the elite runners going by approaching mile 5 as we were in the first few miles still. Definitely the best inspiration.

I saw my mom somewhere between miles 5 and six and loved seeing a familiar face. Miles 5-11 were in a park where there was shade everywhere. I was having trouble breathing throughout the entire race but really noticed it during these miles. I felt like I could only take shallow breathes and consequently my stomach felt a little off as well. I took a strawberry banana GU around mile 7, which only made things worse. My stomach didn't necessarily hurt and I didn't feel sick but I just kind of felt off.

I made sure to stop at all the water stations and drink at least a few sips of water since I normally drink a fair amount during longer runs. I did skip the final aid station because I was feeling a little nauseous though. Miles 5-11 overall felt really strong. I picked up my pace and was passing a fair amount of people. I didn't feel sore or tired at all. My legs felt great and even like they could have pushed harder if I wasn't struggling so much to breathe. I also had a pretty bad side stitch off and on throughout these miles which made it hard to keep the pace up.

Once we left the park there was only about a mile until the finish. This mile had no shade though and everybody suffered. My pace slowed dramatically and I felt as though I was shuffling along. I was glad there was only one mile left because I felt pretty shitty. I tried to sprint as much as I could to the finish line but my body didn't actually go much faster. As soon as I crossed the finish line I sat down and stretched out for a minute. I grabbed a bottle of water but the thought of eating food made me feel sick. I walked around for a little until I found my mom and then drank a bottle of chocolate milk.

This was a pretty weird race for me. Normally it is my legs that feel tired and weak but yesterday they felt strong and capable. But based on how I felt during that last mile I'm not sure I could have gone any faster. I crossed the finish line in 2:08:36 for a 13 minute PR. I am really happy about my time but I really did think I had it in me to go closer to 2 hours. This was a great course for a PR and a beautiful way to see Philadelphia. This is a race that I would definitely consider again. Overall it was a great experience and now it's time to really ramp things up to the NYCM in November.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NYCM Training Week 3

I started the week off once again with a track workout. It was not my best track session but it was still a good run. I forgot water and was running directly in the sunlight so I'm sure that affected my slightly slower than normal splits. Regardless, I love starting each week with a killer workout. It makes me motivated to make the rest of the week just as strong. I had planned on doing 6 miles but cut my warm down short to make it 5 miles due to how hot and thirsty I was. In the evening after class I went to yoga. I am used to yoga being mostly stretching based but this class was definitely more strength based. It was still a really good class that I plan on attending weekly.

I woke up Tuesday to sore arms and legs from yoga. I knew I needed an easy day to recover from two hard workouts yesterday so I hopped on my bike trainer for 35 minutes of easy riding. I followed up with a few minutes of ab work before getting back to work on homework and studying.

One of my favorite things about my schedule this semester is that I have a huge break on Wednesday to swim and still have to time to eat lunch and study before my next class. I took advantage of the beautiful weather on Wednesday and got in a quick 1800 yards before heading off to a meeting.

Thursday was another gorgeous day so I persuaded my dad to go kayaking with me after work. We didn't go very fast but it was so peaceful out on the water. We even did some kayaking in the dark!

I spent literally the entire day Friday doing homework. I was planning on doing 6 miles and resting on Saturday but I was mentally too tired to do 6. Instead I did an easy 3 miles throughout my neighborhood.

I had to wake up pretty early Saturday in order to get my run in before catching the train to Philly for the weekend. I felt a little weird during the run but overall felt pretty good. I ended up doing the other 3 miles from Friday's planned six.

Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon! Race report to come! I did an easy mile before the run to loosen things up and make my long run a tad longer. Longest run ever- 14 miles!

Weekly Totals
  • Running: 25.3 miles
  • Yoga: 55 min
  • Biking: 35 min
  • Swimming: 1800 yards
  • Kayaking: 50 min
  • Total hours: 7 hours 5 min

Thursday, September 13, 2012

RNR Philadelphia Half Marathon Race Goals

I haven't mentioned too much that I am racing the Rock N' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon this weekend, probably because I am training primarily for the New York City Marathon in November. I signed up to run Philly back in November when Competitor had some really good deal going on but haven't thought about it too much since then. But now that the race is 3 (!!!) days away it is time to start getting into race mode and thinking about my goals for this race.

Since I haven't been specifically training for this race I am not exactly sure where I will be time wise. The 15K I ran a month ago predicted that I should run a a 2:11 half. The course for the 15K was really hilly, though, while the course in Philadelphia is notoriously flat and fast. My long runs have been between 9:47-10:07 pace which according to the McMillan calculator means I could run anywhere from a 2:05-1:53. While I doubt I could run a 1:53 I have been doing runs that include a few miles at a half marathon goal pace of 9:00, which would equal a sub-2:00 half. During my 12 mile run the other week I did the middle 6 miles between 9:05-8:36 and was pleasantly surprised that that pace didn't feel too terribly hard. A challenge, yes, unrealistic, no way.

A Goal Sub 2:00
I think an A goal should be your reach goal if everything goes right on race day. I have been having some issues with my right quad/groin/hip flexor that could potentially screw some things up for me come race day. If I am feeling good though, I think I have a sub-2:00 in me. I'm not going to get all upset if this doesn't happen, though, because I realize that it is a reach goal.

B Goal 2:05-2:10
This is more where I think I will finish. This time doesn't scare the shit out of me like running sub-2 does. Again, a lot will have to go right for this to happen, but primarily my leg. If my leg is hurting I am not going to push it and just see what happens.

C Goal 2:15
I didn't even want to include a C goal but only did because of my leg. I know I am capable of running much faster than a 2:15 but anything can happen on race day.

D Goal PR
I should be able to easily smash my PR even with a bum leg. This might sound stuck up but I think I have a right to be upset if I run slower than a 2:21 given how hard I have trained and how little I trained to run that 2:21.

Truly enjoy the race & soak up every moment
Besides time goals, I want to focus on really enjoying this race and setting goals that I can control. Even though races may take a few hours it is easy for the race to be over before you know it. It is even easier to stop paying attention to things when the race gets tough & your body gets tired. I want to look back at this race and remember how much I enjoyed myself throughout the whole thing.

Practice fueling
I have really not done that many long runs where I needed to take a gel, and even fewer hard long runs that require a gel. I have never taken a gel during a half marathon so I want to see how my stomach handles it. I took one on the bike leg of the Keystone State Sprint Triathlon a few weeks ago and had no trouble on the run though.

Leg permitting, walk only at aid stations
Walking during races is fine for some people but not for me. If I allow myself to start walking because things get hard then I will always allow myself to quit when the going gets tough. I do walk aid stations though to give my legs a quick break and because I have not mastered drinking out of a cup and running.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NYCM Training Goals

Now that the New York City Marathon is only eight weeks it's time to really get serious about training. I have been working hard to establish a solid base since from here on it all of my long runs will be PDR's and just about every week will be a new weekly high for me. I have spent the past month and a half learning what does and doesn't work for my body so I can move forward with training.

At the beginning of each training cycle I like to set some goals for myself that are related only to my training. That way I can race as prepared and confident as possible.

1. Do the little things right
So often in training we only pay attention to the obvious, like our runs. But training for a marathon is so much more than just running. I was taught from a young age to make decisions whether or not they will help me become a better athlete. Of course there are times to kick back and break some rules, but know that if you go out to the club until 3 am Friday night that your long run Saturday morning will be a sufferfest. Sometimes all it takes is planning ahead for everything to work out. Either way, it is the little things that can make or break training sometimes.

2. Stretch & foam roll consistently
I have had some minor tastes of injury in the last couple of weeks that have reminded me not to skimp on really taking care of my body. Lately I have been starting runs with a dynamic warm up, and following runs up by stretching, foam rolling, and icing if necessary. I have been one of those people who didn't ever stretch but I am learning the hard way that stretching after every single run is absolutely necessary.

3. Get serious about nutrition
Besides stretching, nutrition is the thing that I often forget about. I love food and sometimes I forget how much I have already eaten. Marathon training is not an excuse to eat everything in sight and there is no need to carb load every night of the week. I want to pay attention to what I am eating so that my body is fueled in the best way possible to have a successful training cycle. As a vegetarian I need to pay extra attention to how much protein I am getting especially. I also require a higher amount of sodium.

4. Pay attention to energy levels
Sometimes it is easy to stay up until 2 in the morning watching tv or studying for a test. And this is only a problem when I have to be up in a few hours to go for a run before a full day of classes. When I am tired the first thing to suffer is my training. I need 8-10 hours of sleep a night on average or I am pretty much useless. I have some really long days this semester and getting enough sleep really makes a difference in how productive I am each day.

5. Enjoy training as much as possible
The reason I fell in love with the sport of triathlon before ever having completed my first triathlon was because of how much I enjoyed the training. I looked forward to training instead of dreading it. So far I am loving marathon training as well but I want to make sure it stays that way. Of course there will be days when I don't want to go for a run but when it becomes multiple days that I am avoiding running that we have a problem. Should that happen I will reassess my training and figure out what changes I can make so that training is fun and enjoyable.

Monday, September 10, 2012

When Mysterious Aches/Pains Strike

For the past two weeks I have been having all sorts of mysterious aches and pains. First it was this weird pain in my left hamstring/hip/glute. I don't really know what or where it was but it disappeared as quickly as it showed up. For the time that the pain was there, though, it was pretty intense. It started on a Saturday morning and by bed time it was so bad I could barely walk. I skipped my scheduled run the next day and went for a bike ride instead. By Monday it was gone. The only problem was that a new pain had showed up in my right upper inner thigh. I get this strong discomfort when I first start running or when I walk down the stairs. It has been going on for a week now so I set up an appointment to get it checked out.

This is the worst time for me to have any kind of injury or pains though. I am just getting to the part of marathon training with the 16-20 mile long runs. I had been feeling really good about where I was with my training and was coming off a really great race. Now I feel defeated and am questioning whether I will even be able to complete my training. I don't have the kind of running background that allows for 1-2 weeks of rest or cross training. I need to be building my mileage and increasing my long runs. Hopefully I am just being dramatic and everything will be fine.

Besides cutting out lifting I have really altered a few aspects of my training. Of course I am doing the usual stretch, ice, foam roll deal but I am taking them to the next level. Since it is the beginning of runs when my leg is bothering me I am starting each run off with a dynamic warm up. Not only does this get the body warmed up but it also stretches out the body in a safe way before starting my run. If I am doing a harder run I end it with a dramatically longer warm down followed by stretching. I am also stretching after easy runs since it is best to stretch after all runs.

If I finish my run at my apartment I foam roll my entire lower body after I am finished stretching. I'm sure it means something, although I am not sure what, but I can replicate the pain in my leg when I roll my hamstring. Since it hurts I don't do that though. My quads and hip flexors are what really seem to be needing the most foam roll love lately. After I am done rolling I then ice my leg. Icing seems to eliminate the pain for at least a little while. If I run at school I still stretch after running but I foam roll and ice later in the day when I get back to my place.

I took it generally easy last week, even cutting out my long run when the pain started to increase. I am also doing a fair amount of cross training in the forms of yoga, swimming, and biking. Although a few people have suggested it, I haven't taken any anti-inflammatory medicines yet, nor do I think I will. I don't like to take any kind of medicine unless it is necessary and right now I want to track my progress to see what is or isn't working. I am also taking the elevator whenever possible since stairs produce the pain as well.

Any suggestions?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

NYCM Training Week 2

I started the week off the best way I know how with a 5 mile track run. It was a glorious run in a torrential downpour where I set some personal records. It was nice to do a shorter track run and be able to push harder on each interval. I normally plan on lifting after my track runs but took the week off from lifting because of some weird pain I was having in my left hip/hamstring/back.

Tuesday was when things started going downhill though. I was tired and opted to sleep in instead of go for my run. I figured I would just do it in the afternoon but before I knew it I was busy and didn't run at all. Unfortunately Tuesday was a rest day.

I finally got my bike set up on the trainer so I was able to squeeze in a short ride after class. It was such a difference to be stuck inside on a trainer then being outside riding out on the road in nature. I was hoping to ride for an hour but I got bored and called it a day after riding for 40 minutes.

I was lazy again Thursday morning and chose sleeping in over running. I ended up going for a run in the middle of the day when it was 90 degrees out. I didn't realize it was so hot out and didn't bring water with me. Needless to say it was a pretty miserable 4.5 mile run.

I went home Friday morning so I was able to run on my favorite trail near my house. I went out for a 4 mile run but only made it three miles before I had some major GI issues. I resorted to walking very slowly for the last mile but regardless it was a pretty good run.

Saturday was supposed to be long run day but I had this weird pain on my inner thigh when I started running so I bagged the run. I went home and did the recumbent bike for an hour. I decided once my leg started hurting to just go ahead and make this week a rest week. Most of my runs this week were cut short or eliminated in general so I figured to refigure my training plan.

I thought about doing a trainer ride on Sunday but ended up making it another rest day. I think rest weeks are really important mentally but I didn't get the mental rest this week so I took advantage of that on Sunday.

Weekly Totals
  • Running: 12.2 miles
  • Biking: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yoga: 55 min
  • Total hours: 4 hours 36 mn

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting Back Into the Swing of Things

Now that I have been back at school for over a week I finally feel like I am starting to settle into a routine. I am learning that going to school at 2:00 will result in parking over a mile away, and that having class from 10:00-2:15 leaves me starving.

It is so different to go from living at home with a fully stocked fridge, a gym membership, beautiful running trails, a safe area to go for a bike ride and having no commitments during the day to having my entire day scheduled, only being able to run on campus, and biking on a trainer. While it isn't ideal, I have found ways to manage. It is amazing, really, how the body and mind learn to adapt to things after such a short time.

One thing that is really helping me this semester is not having class on Friday's. It is the perfect time to do my long runs and then come home and take a nap, while still having the entire weekend to hang out with friends and get ahead on homework. And since I don't have any commitments to worry about I will have time to drive to a running trail about 30 minutes away instead of running the two mile loop on campus for 20 miles. I haven't had time yet but I found a new trail about 10 minutes from my apartment that I will hopefully get to check out soon as well.

I am going to a yoga class tonight that the school offers every Monday and Thursday, which will hopefully become a part of my weekly schedule. I loved going to yoga during the summer that I went twice a week. It became a critical part of my recovery after tough workouts and the thought of doing OnDemand yoga videos didn't thrill me.

One thing that I am struggling with right now is a lack of motivation to wake up early to run before class. I am up late doing homework and just want to sleep in the morning. Then it is often too hot to run in the afternoon once class is out and it isn't really safe to run after 7. This just means that I need to figure out a way to get to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier. Once it starts cooling off outside this won't really be an issue anymore.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My NYCM Training Plan

It is weird to be writing a post now about NYC Marathon training since almost everyone has already been training for well over a month now. Technically I have too, I just wasn't calling it marathon training. I guess it was pre-training. Anyway, I'm not here to give you a detailed day-to-day training plan because if you've been reading my blog for even a few days you have probably figured out I suck at sticking to what the plan says. I generally decide what workouts I want to do each week and then schedule accordingly. I do have my long runs pre-scheduled but they are subject to change should there be any setbacks with my training.

Running four days a week
I have run more and I have run less and neither seem to work for me. Four days is my happy medium that will allow me to improve my running without risking injury (too much). I will run five times a week if I am crunched for time and need to shorten a run, as long as my weekly mileage does not increase. Of my scheduled four runs I will do a long run, a track run, and two easy or recovery runs. I want to be as flexible as possible and will either do my recovery run after my track run or after my long run, just depends of how I am feeling that week.

Cross training
Over the summer when I was training for a triathlon is when I saw the most improvement with my running. I think swimming and biking over extra days of running will keep my body happy and injury free, and will help with the monotony of running all the time. As of now I am planning on swimming once a week and riding my bike on the trainer 1-2 times a week. I don't know the source but I have always heard that cycling has a direct correlation to improvement in running, which is another reason why I want to continue cycling. Other reasons for incorporating cross training include low impact exercise and maintaining a base for triathlon season next year.

Yoga and strength training
I started strength training a little over a month ago and can already see some major improvement in my leg muscles. Of course I want to tone up and look good but I also want to give my legs and body the strength it needs to run 26.2 miles. In addition to lifting twice a week I am going to go to yoga once a week. My legs actually crave a yoga class after a hard run now. Luckily my school has a few free yoga classes available throughout the week.

Rest, recovery & everything else
I am well aware of the stress that marathon training puts on the body and know how important proper recovery is. If I don't get an average of 8 hours of sleep a night I can hardly function. But sleep isn't the only part of recovery. I am going to take one full rest day a week to do absolutely nothing. I think I need this more mentally than physically but either way it is important. I have also noticed lately that eating enough protein, potassium, and salt are critical for me. If I am not on track nutritionally I feel sluggish and weak, which is not how I want to feel during marathon training. I will also be spending a decent amount of time doing injury prevention, including foam rolling, compression socks and sleeves, stretching after runs, and ice baths after hard runs.

Monday, September 3, 2012

I've Been Having Some Good Runs Lately

The title says it all. Almost all of my runs over the past few weeks have been really enjoyable. I have had my fair share of crappy I hate everything about running runs though too. Because of all the good runs I have been having lately I have really fallen in love with running. Instead of thinking when do I have to run I now think when do I get to run. I'm pretty sure all of my awesome runs lately are due to following a smart training plan that includes lots of cross training. More on my training plan sometime this week.

12 miles total {3 miles warm up, 6 miles @ HMGP, 3 miles warm down}

Friday evening I set out to do my longest training run yet. I didn't do a hard run last week because I wanted to rest a little after the triathlon, so I added some tempo work into my long run. As the runs get longer I will be slowing down tremendously. I also wanted to use this run to get a sense of where I am at for my half marathon in two weeks.

The first three miles were pretty hot but after that it was really nice out. I wasn't sure how hard HMGP would feel but was pleasantly surprised with how easy it felt. It was by no means easy but I was expecting it to be much harder. I had some GI issues during the last mile at HMGP and ran out of water so I decided to drive home and finish my warm down where my house was never far away. I didn't want to break the run up like that but it was only a 10 minute break.

2 miles trail run/walk with Gracie

On Saturday I met my boyfriend at a local lake that has some beautiful trails. He was going mountain biking so I decided to hit the trails by foot instead. I knew I didn't want to go for long after Friday's run. The trails are really hilly so I walked the steep uphills and ran the rest. I love running on the trails and wish I got out there more this summer. There is a huge state park about 10 minutes from my apartment with hundreds of miles of trails that I am planning on taking advantage of now that I'm back at school. If only I could bring this adorable face with me.

5 miles track {1 mile warm up, 5x 400 sprint-800 recovery, 400 warm down}

I had a minor injury scare over the weekend so I cut my track run down to 5 miles from 7, and reduced the actual amount of hard running during the workout. If anything hurt during the run I was going to stop. Luckily nothing hurt though. I have expressed before how much I love doing track workouts and I think part of the reason is that it may be the best way to measure progress week to week. At least in terms of speed.

1:32, 1:32, 1:33, 1:34, 1:28

I don't know if it was the cool, rainy weather, the sort of rest week last week or what but my legs came ready to run fast today. Normally those splits would be the fastest interval of my run and a number that I would see only once. Based on the last one I wish I would have pushed myself harder on the middle ones but at least I gave it my all on that last one. After seeing my first few splits my goal was to break 1:30. When I saw 1:28 pop up I almost started crying. I never in a million years thought I could do any sort of running at that kind of pace. It all makes me very excited for what's to come.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

NYCM Training Week 1

I wasn't too sore when I woke up but I was still generally tired from such a long weekend. I decided to go to the gym for one last strength session before leaving for school though. Unfortunately my left shoulder was feeling a little funny so I cut out almost all of my upper body exercises. It wasn't a long workout but I still felt strong.

I made sure to head to my Tuesday morning yoga class before heading down to school to move back in to my apartment. My legs were still pretty tight from Sunday's triathlon so the stretching felt fantastic. I'm pretty sad about not being able to go to yoga class anymore but I think I learned enough to get in some solid stretching on my own.

Wednesday was my first day of classes so I knew things would be chaotic. I didn't have class until 2:30 but really didn't want to wake up at 7:00 to beat the Baltimore heat. Instead I ran in the evening after class. I didn't have much motivation but I knew I needed to run. I accidentally left my Garmin at home so I just ran for 55 minutes and then mapped out how far I went. I was so surprised during the run with how great I felt. That same run would have kicked my butt last year but felt like a piece of cake on Wednesday.

Since I don't have classes on Friday this semester and have off on Monday for Labor Day I decided to go home Thursday afternoon after class. I was planning on running 4 miles but decided to call it quits after 2 miles because of how terrible my legs felt. I could have pushed through but I wanted Friday's long run to go well and thought it wasn't worth using so much mental and physical energy.

Long run day! I was all set to do my long run in the morning but my stomach wasn't cooperating and by the time it was it was already 90 degrees outside. I figured I could just run in the evening or move the run to Saturday. I wanted to do this long run with some half marathon goal pace miles to see where I am at before my half in a couple weeks. I did 3 miles warm up, 6 miles @ HMGP, 3 miles warm down. The first 9 miles of the run went really well but then my stomach started to hurt. At the same time I ran out of water. I decided to go back home and finish the last three miles after I could get more to drink. Those miles were brutal. I felt dizzy and exhausted but I needed to finish. After the run I ate all the salty things I could find and almost instantly felt better. I think I may need to start taking salt tabs with me on long runs because I am a really salty sweater.

I normally don't wait so long between my twice-weekly strength sessions but I wanted to wait until after my long run. I have been having some weird shoulder pain/ache for the past few days so I only did a few upper body exercises. I stopped as soon as I felt any pain or discomfort. Later in the day I met my boyfriend at a local lake. He was going mountain biking so I decided to bring my dog for a trail run, which turned into a trail run/hike. It was a really beautiful day but unfortunately my hip area started really hurting as the day progressed. By the time I went to bed I could barely walk up the stairs because of the pain. I am not sure what caused it or what it is but my guess is that it is from lifting.

I was supposed to do a recovery run on Sunday but decided to do a bike ride instead because of my hip/leg. It felt much better after when I woke up in the morning but I still wanted to be careful. I went for a 20 mile bike ride with my dad that really loosened up the area. The pain is definitely getting better but I'm going to be extra cautious next week not to do any more damage.

Weekly Totals
  • Running: 21.83 miles
  • Biking: 20 miles
  • Yoga: 60 min
  • Strength: 1 hour 17 min
  • Total Hours: 7 hours 54 min