Sunday, September 29, 2013

NYCM: Five Weeks To Go

Like last week, this week started off great but ended off less than ideally. While I ended up with a weekly mileage high, I also missed two runs due to an untimely head cold. Overall I'm happy with where I am with my training but at the same time I know I'm capable of more if I could stay healthy.


When I woke up Monday morning I had every intention of doing my prescribed 7 mile interval workout. When I started running my legs not so gently reminded me that on Saturday I did a tempo run and Sunday I did a very hilly long run. Since Saturday was supposed to be a recovery run I made Monday my recovery run instead. My calves were pretty tight so I did 40 minutes in the morning, planning to do the last 3 miles in the evening.

Thankfully my second run of the day was much better. My boyfriend an I drove over to Patapsco State Park to get in some trail miles. I ended up taking a good fall, leaving my right hip a bit sore and bruised but the 900+ feet of elevation gain and gorgeous sunset views more than made up for it.

4 miles, 10:02 avg
4.88 miles, 11:09 avg


Normally I swim on Tuesday evenings but due to my eye infection I'm not allowed to swim until next week. This ended up being a much needed rest day that my legs thanked me for dearly.

rest day


As much of a struggle as I had last week getting out of bed to run this week was even worse. I snoozed for an hour and had all but put the run off until the evening until I saw that there was a soccer game meaning the track would be closed. Based on my warm up I had no expectations for this run. Glad things turned around quickly.

I did a pretty similar workout as last week, except this week featured more repeats at each pace
15 min warm up, 3x 1 mile @ 8:45, 3x 1 mile @ 8:30, 3x 1 mile @ 8:00, 15 min warm down, with 1 minute rest after each repeat and 4 minutes rest after each round
8:39, 8:42, 8:39 / 8:31, 8:25, 8:25 / 7:56, 7:56, 7:53

Somehow each round felt easier, which was the goal, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me how that happens. I'll take it though. This workout isn't the kind that has you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone on the verge of puking from pushing so hard. It is the kind of workout that gives you confidence. I found myself having to slow down to not go too fast to the point that I almost felt like I was walking at times. Mission accomplished.

Afterward I headed to the weight room for a quick 30 minute strength session. I've definitely been slacking in the strength department but am trying to get back on track.

12 miles, 8:33 avg
30 min strength


Thursday night Lululemon run club. I normally don't like running with other people as I tend to get too competitive and run faster than necessary but after the track and strength combo on Wednesday my legs are all about recovery come Thursday. Such a fun group of people too.

3 miles, 10:11 avg


First true long run done. 18 strong miles that flew by with the help of my dad. Really never expected to feel so good over so many miles.

A few hours after my run my face started hurting and I noticed I was getting congested. I've been sick enough times in the past to know this was not just allergies. I also wasn't hungry and only had a smoothie and an egg sandwich the whole day.

18 miles, ~9:10 avg


Planned bike ride but skipped said bike ride in favor of sleeping in and resting all day.

rest day


Another unplanned rest day. I almost went out for a run but fell asleep on the couch instead. 

rest day

41.88 miles
7 hours

Saturday, September 28, 2013

18 Miles Done

Yesterday I ran 18 miles. And it didn't suck. Nope, in fact every single one of those 18 miles was pretty strong. I went into this run super nervous since all of my 16-20 milers last year were just painful. I was so scared that this run would just make me think that I am way behind on training and freak me out more.

The first few miles were not great but not for the typical reasons. My stomach was a mess and I was jittery with nerves. I ran a little more than 3 miles before turning around and heading back. I was meeting my dad, who sometimes rides his bike alongside during my long runs, and I wanted to get a few miles in by myself beforehand. The second three miles were a bit better and for some reason the thought of only having to run 11.5 miles once I met up with my dad was oddly calming.

Once I made it back to the parking lot of the trail I took a quick stretch break since my right glute was feeling a bit tight and then we were on our way. Honestly I can't believe how quickly this run went by. My dad and I talked the entire time and the miles were just clicking by. I remember at one point looking down at my watch thinking I was around mile 8 and being almost at mile 11.

I noticed when I turned around the second time that my knees were getting pretty achy. This I did deal with last year on long runs. Any suggestions? Luckily the achiness faded within a few minutes. The kind of strange thing was that miles 12-16 felt slower than the previous miles but they were the right in line with what I'd been running the entire time. They didn't feel harder, just slower.

Since I was still feeling pretty good with two miles to go I decided to pick up the pace a little. I screwed up my watch when I stopped to meet my dad so I don't know what mile 17 was but I finished the run strong with an 8:13 final mile and didn't feel like I was pushing that hard.

This run was a complete 180 from the long runs I did in preparation for the NYC/Harrisburg Marathon last year. I finished the run laughing and joking and most importantly the thought of doing another 8 miles didn't completely terrify me. To be completely honest I've been a bit nervous about this abbreviated marathon training cycle but I've been doing everything Mike tells me to and clearly it is working.

Next week my long run is 21 miles, which surprise, surprise I'm already nervous for. The 18 miler did help reassure me that not all long runs will suck and that they can actually be enjoyable.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Morning Workouts: Just Do It

I've mentioned multiple times about my struggle with morning workouts. One of my New Year's resolutions was to do at least one morning workout a week and while I certainly haven't kept track I have been making progress lately. All spring while training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon I would set my alarm with every intention to get up and run before class and just about every single time I went back to bed instead of running.

Part of the struggle is that my favorite time to run is just before the sun sets. If I can run in the evening, I will. Over the summer I did almost every single one of my runs in the evening because it didn't seem as hot then and I had not much else going on so it wasn't a problem. And I preferred biking in the middle of the day when it was the warmest for some reason.

Being back at school has changed everything. With the warmer temps of Baltimore at the end of August/beginning of September I could only really run in the morning or the evening. I will run in the evening sometimes here but I don't exactly live in the safest area and since a student was attacked and beaten with a baseball bat by seven teenagers in my neighborhood just before dark I just think it is smarter to run in the mornings.

So how did I adjust to running in the morning? Truthfully, I don't know. Over the summer my training ramped up and with so two workouts most days I didn't have the option to pushing off a workout. It was either do it then or don't do it at all. I stopped dreading workouts or desperately trying to do them at some other time because my goals became more important not doing another swim workout. By the end of the summer I didn't think about what I had to do that day or how hard it was going to be. I just did it because that was my only option.

This mentality has translated well to morning workouts. When my alarm goes off [for the most part] I get up and go run, thinking as little as possible about it. I can't put it into words, but I just do it. I now finally understand what people mean when they say that morning workouts don't necessarily get easier they just become habit. While I do still enjoy running in the evening when I can and I still have trouble getting out of bed the morning of long runs, I actually really enjoy running in the morning.

Every Wednesday since being back at school I've gone over to the track right as it opens at 7:00 and done my workout. The women's lacrosse team gets there around 7:30 so by then I am warmed up and already getting to work. After my run I head over to the gym for some lifting.

It's such a rewarding feeling to not only be done running before my day starts but to have put in some quality work also. I always have a little more spring in my step on the days when I run in the morning, and being able to relax in the evening and not get stressed if spontaneous plans pop up is certainly nice. And the feeling of running when the world is still quiet and its just you out there, or those amazing sunrises, don't even get me started.

Do you run in the morning or evening?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Yoga & Marathon Training

For the past two summers yoga has been a regular part of my training. It is not what my training is centered around but I definitely made an effort to get my butt to class 1-2 times a week. The yoga class that is offered at the YMCA that I belong to over the summer is a very restorative class that focuses mainly on stretching and opening up the body. I am not the best at taking the time to stretch so I found that going to yoga was a way for me to get in some much needed stretching.

Unfortunately I can't stay in Pennsylvania all year and must return to Maryland at the end of August to go back to school. While there is a yoga class offered at UMBC it is the complete opposite of the one I take at the YMCA. At the class at school the first thing the instructor says when she walks in is that we are going to sweat. Her class is pretty intense and leaves me sore for days. Complete 180.

Last fall when I went back to school I had every intention of regularly going to yoga. The intensity of the class turned me away as I didn't want to be too sore since I was also training for my first marathon. This fall is a different story. I went to class on Monday and when I woke up on Tuesday morning I could walk no problem. Huge difference from the morning after my first class last fall. While my shoulders and triceps were sore for a few days my legs surprisingly felt pretty good.

Since I want to keep up with strength work while marathon training I am planning on going to yoga every Monday. I like that feeling when I'm in a pose and my legs are quivering and the cues from the teacher enable me to use my mind to tell my legs to hold on just a little bit longer. When I practice yoga [somewhat] regularly I am more flexible, have better stability and recovery quicker from workouts.

I haven't gone to enough yoga classes to swear by it for anything but I do certainly notice a difference in my body after I stop. I'm not going to try to tell you that you need to try yoga but I would at least suggest trying it. I also recommend that if you don't like it the first time don't write it off forever. There are so many types of yoga and each instructor is so different.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

NYCM: Six Weeks To Go

This was certainly not my best week but it also wasn't my worst. I planned on hitting around 40 miles but fell a little short no thanks to a nasty eye infection during the second half of the week. Still got the important stuff done though


I had every intention of running on Monday but when the time to lace up my shoes came around I just didn't want to. Luckily I was able to drag myself to a nice hard yoga class that had me dripping sweat within the first 10 minutes. I'm thinking of using this Monday night yoga class as one of my strength workouts for the week since the majority of the class is pretty hard. My shoulders and triceps were still sore on Thursday morning.

55 min yoga


I moved Monday's workout to Tuesday morning to kick off my already super long day. This run signaled the impending return of fall running weather. It was a bit chilly out, with temps in the upper 40's, but it actually felt really nice. As for the run itself, it went pretty well too. 2 mile warm up, 3 miles [45 sec on, 75 sec off], 2 mile warm down. I have a bit of trouble getting my legs to turn over fast in the morning but I'm working on it.

After class I met up with the swim club but left after only 30 minutes because I felt really shaky. Not sure what was going on but since I don't need to be swimming anymore I didn't hesitate to cut it short.

7.01 miles, 8:39 avg
1600 yd swim


I had one of those mornings where you desperately plead with yourself to just skip the workout and go back to bed. I stayed in bed for ~20 minutes after my alarm trying to justify pushing off the workout until the evening but knew that just wasn't a good idea. Dragged my butt out of bed and am darn glad I did.

This was a new to me track workout, as it was not intended to be a super hard all out one.
15 min warm up, 2x 1 mile @ 8:45, 2x 1 mile @ 8:30, 2x 1 mile @ 8:00, 15 min warm down
8:40, 8:51 / 8:28, 8:25 / 8:01, 7:54

I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable this workout felt, especially those last two miles. I could tell I was working but in no way was I overexerting myself. I felt really strong the whole workout and for the first time confident that this abbreviated marathon training cycle just might work out.

9 miles, 8:35 avg


The day when everything went downhill. I had to make an emergency trip back home to Pennsylvania because I was my left eye was in a lot of pain and I could barely open it. The verdict: viral conjunctivitis, which means no wearing contacts for a week. If you wear contacts you know how much this sucks.

Had every intention of going to the Lululemon run club again but between trying to go to class, going back to Pennsylvania and being at the eye doctor all evening a run just didn't happen.



I don't have an excuse for Friday's rest day other than I just had no motivation. 



I wanted to make up for missing my runs of Thursday and Friday but was nervous about attempting to do my long run in my glasses. I settled for an hour of running with 30 minutes of tempo thrown in so I wouldn't feel so bad about missing two runs. In the end I'm glad I only ran for an hour since running with my glasses had me on the verge of getting sick a few times. The only positive thing about this run is I held a decent pace.

7.12 miles, 8:26 avg


I was able to put my contacts in to do this run and honestly I think if I had to do it with my glasses I probably would have skipped it. I normally do my long runs on a gravel trail right by my house that is nice and flat but I wanted to get some hills in since the NYC Marathon isn't exactly flat. I ran in downtown York and always chose the hilliest street.

It may not have been my fastest run but it was definitely a good one. I didn't worry about pace at all but focused more on running strong the whole time. And the change of scenery made for a very enjoyable run.

12.1 miles, 9:00 avg

35.22 miles
6 hrs 12 min

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why I Run

Over the past few months I've been noticing a change when I am out training. Every time I go out, whether it's for a run or a ride, I can't help but admire how beautiful the Earth really is. Even on the runs that suck I find myself in awe of something.

It really hit me on an easy run I did last week that this is why I run. You frequently here that running is a metaphor for life and I couldn't agree more. When I'm out running and see the pink cotton candy sky turn into a fiery orange as the sun sets I can't but stare at the sky in wonderment. It is in these moments that the incredible beauty that is mother nature makes me realize just how great my life is.

There are times where I'm angry about where I live or this or that but its when I am outside running free that I am most grateful for everything my life is.

Running has also taught me to pay attention to how powerful mother nature is. I hate running on a treadmill and I could never figure out why until now. Whether it is windy, snowy, hot or stormy I would a thousand times over rather run outside than trapped inside on some treadmill. It is running through every type of weather that makes you appreciate when it is beautiful out even more.

When I am outside running I feel so small and insignificant. The world seems perfect in that moment. It's like everything bad in both my personal life and the world in general just disappears. I run for meditation and to calm my mind because honestly when it is 5:30 AM and the sun is rising on one side of you and on the other side the sky is still dark and illuminated by stars it is really hard to be upset about anything.

I run because it is my form of meditation. When I am out there my mind just turns off and my legs go. When I am out running nothing can touch me. It is my time to be disconnected from the rest of the world and destress.

I run to feel strong. There is no feeling that can compare to the one of self-worth and accomplishment I get after I run. I am confident and my mind is clear. I feel powerful and alive.

Movement is my therapy and always has been. My body needs to move for my mind to feel at peace.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Day in the Life

One of my favorite bloggers shared a blog link up called "A Day in the Life" and I thought it would be kind of cool to share a typical day for me. The only problem with this is that I have a different class schedule every day so no two days look the same for me. Thursday's are kind of my happy medium day so here is a typical Thursday for me.

8:00 my alarm goes off. Thursday's for me are my sleeping in day (minus weekends). I'll lay in bed and check my email and the news before getting up. I then shower, get ready for class, eat breakfast and pack up.

In order to get parking I have to get to campus by around 9:15. My first class is at 10:00 so I normally read for thirty minutes and then walk over to my class.

10:00-11:15 is my management class. It's a good class that I really enjoy but not that exciting. I take notes and pay attention and that's about it.

My next class isn't until 1:00 so between then I study if I have any tests or quizzes later or just get ahead on homework before the weekend. This is also when I eat lunch, and if I don't have much work to do I spend most of the time texting.

From 1:00-3:45 I have a French translation class and a research methods class. Again, more note taking and that's about it.

After class I come home and make a snack and read some blogs before driving to Columbia to meet up with the Lululemon run club. We run around 3 miles at a super easy pace, which is perfect.

After the run I'll come home and eat whatever leftovers I have from the week for dinner. Since I don't have class on Friday's I'm pretty useless on Thursday evenings. I usually watch some TV, get some cleaning done, anything but doing homework.

I normally stay up a little later on Thursday's since I don't have anywhere to be on Friday's. One of my favorite things is watching Friends reruns on Nick at 11:00. By 12:30 I'm normally in bed.

Not a very exciting day in the slightest but it's a relaxing day after three busy days of classes.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NYCM: Seven Weeks To Go

Week 1 of official marathon marathon training is complete! This week was also my highest mileage week ever. Last fall for my first marathon I peaked at 31 miles and in the spring training for the Nike Women's Half Marathon I peaked at 36.35 miles. This week I ran 38.2 miles. Not all of the were great but all of them were  certainly important.


After a weekend that consisted of both a race and a long run my legs were pretty shot on Monday. I wanted to do the run on the trails for the extra softness of the dirt and less pressure about pace. Pretty much from start to finish this run was a struggle. It ended up being a mix of running and hiking because of how steep some of the trails were. Luckily the gorgeous views made up for how tired my legs felt.

6.25 miles 


Tuesday's are really long days for me, with class from 10:00-7:00. I know this is not even equivalent to a full work day for most people but Tuesday's are just really stressful for me. There's only so much paying attention & note taking I can do in one day and this is pushing that limit. While I didn't have anything on the schedule for Tuesday I decided to get in a quick swim with the new swim club. The workout was super easy and was more about relaxing after a long day. There's something about swimming under the stars that is so calming.

2000 yards


My longest weekday run to date. This was also one of the strongest runs I've had in awhile. After the run I headed over to the gym to get in a little strength work. This was first time going to the gym at UMBC and hopefully not my last. However, I could only do about half of what I normally do because of a lack of equipment. This short but sweet workout sure left me sore though

10 miles
20 minutes strength


After a hard track workout on Wednesday my legs loved Thursday's recovery run with the Lululemon run club, Crossing Paths. This was a rainy and humid run but so great. I have trouble slowing down when running by myself so this was the perfect way to ensure that I got in a true recovery run. The beautiful scenery of this run coupled with the stormy weather made it feel like we were in another country too.

3 miles


I spent the entire day dreading this run, coming up with every excuse as to why I should just skip it. In the end I knew I would get mad at myself if I skipped it and figured I could always cut it short if I really needed to. As soon as I started running I knew this was going to be a great run. I wasn't moving particularly fast but I just felt amazing. It was the kind of run where you just want to keep running forever. The kind where you are in awe of how much beauty surrounds you.

5.7 miles


Finally a good long run! After a few weeks of pretty crappy long runs I was starting to doubt my ability to cover the distance in a respectable time. In order to beat solo long run boredom I did 8 miles worth of tempo work in the middle. I did a run very similar to this right before racing the Nike Women's Half Marathon and averaged 8:34. Although it's nice to see my paces dropping it would be really nice to be running even faster than I did in the spring. End rant.

Pace comparison aside, this was a really great one that truly did boost my confidence. The cooler temps were perfect and my legs felt recovered from Wednesday's track workout. Compared to what I've been doing this season I can tell I'm getting stronger and making progress, and that is all that matters.

13.2 miles


Even though triathlon season is over I want to keep biking some for two reasons. One, so I don't lose all the progress I made over the summer, and two because I really like riding. I don't live in a very cyclist friendly area so I joined up with the Princeton Sports Sunday ride. There were three options for pace and two options for distance. I didn't want to do a hard ride and trash my legs for my runs next week so I went with the shortest ride at the slowest pace.

Group C (the slowest group) ended up being a bit too slow so I ended up riding with two other girls and two guys. We ended up riding the Columbia Triathlon route, and after hearing how hilly it is I was pleasantly surprised that compared to the hills I ride in PA it is actually small rollers. It was a really beautiful day for a ride, although a bit cool.

26.47 miles

38.2 miles (running)
8:35 hours total

Friday, September 13, 2013

10 Miles of Repeats

This marks the first official week of marathon training for me. In the middle of August I started adding in a longer run of about 10 miles each week and was generally running a bit more but I was still in triathlon season. Between traveling for two weeks, starting school and moving back to Baltimore, and doing my last two triathlons of the year it was hard to really focus on training for a marathon. When September rolled around and I saw everyone already doing 16-20 mile long runs I started to get nervous about my own training.

I am happy to say that I am no longer freaking out about whether or not I will be ready to run 26.2 miles come November 3rd. I know that I have a lot of work to do but I am 100 times farther than I was last year at this point and that comforts me.

Wednesday morning I had a bit of a redemption run for Sunday's long run. Sunday I struggled to run 11 miles the day after racing a triathlon. Wednesday morning I ran 10 miles like it was no big deal. Funny how the same distance can be so much easier or harder depending on the day.

10 miles at 8:18 average

I am still in awe of this run. This was actually a track workout featuring 6 x 1 mile repeats. The last time I did mile repeats I averaged 7:41 over the 5 repeats with an overall average for the run of 8:36. My warm up miles were around 9 minute miles and my warm down miles were over 10 minute miles. While I felt pretty good during the repeats I did not feel so hot during the warm up and felt dead during the warm down.

On Wednesday I averaged 7:44 for the mile repeats, which is three whole second slower than last time. It's how much faster my warm up and cool down were that makes this run impressive to me because I wasn't pushing the pace then at all and went considerably faster than last time. I also had more energy to complete the distance. When warming down I felt like I could have kept running for awhile, instead of counting down the tenths until I could stop.

7:50, 7:47, 7:39, 7:48, 7:49, 7:31

As you can see in my splits, right under a 7:50 was what my body wanted to run on Wednesday. When I would try to speed up it was always way too much, and that's how that last mile became so much faster than the others. It was more that I couldn't lock into the 7:45 pace that I was supposed to.

This run was also a mental battle. The first time I did mile repeats the workout portion seemed to fly by. This time I felt like I was out there the entire day. After the first one I was having a hard time wrapping my head around still having to by 5 more. By the end I was so happy I stuck it out though. I got to the track before the cross country team and left after them. I worked my butt off and finished 10 miles by just after 9 in the morning.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Running Long After Racing

This weekend was a big one for me. Saturday marked my last triathlon of the year, followed by a long run on Sunday. While I'm no stranger to the 10-11 mile distance, running it the day after a race was a whole new beast for me. Since I knew ahead of time I had to do my long run on Sunday I tried to pay extra attention to recovery after Saturday's race. I wanted to do whatever possible to prevent Sunday's run from being a slogfest.

When I woke up on Sunday morning I was ready to bag the run. I thought about moving it to Monday but knew that wouldn't really happen. I ultimately decided to do the run that evening in favor of getting a few more hours of sleep. I knew it would be warmer later in the day but I just couldn't drag myself out of bed after having to be awake at 4:30 the previous day.

In a nice twist of events my dad ended up riding his bike alongside me as I ran. I don't really have any running buddies but this works out pretty great as he knows when to push me and when not to and he can carry my bottles for me too. When we first started I felt great. I felt like I was running on completely fresh legs and holding an 8:30 pace felt super easy. Miles 4-7 were pretty uneventful, except I started getting a little dizzy. I probably should have started off a bit slower, even if I felt good enough to run faster.

Somewhere between miles 7 and 8 things started going downhill. The hip pain that I dealt with off and on during May and early June made a return. After paying attention to when it happens I think I've figured out that it's mostly brought on by running long in my new Adrenaline's. When I first started feeling the discomfort I slowed down a little to see if that helped. And it did, for a mile or so. I wasn't going to do anything stupid and run through the pain but I figured if I could get the pain to subside then I could keep running. I finished the run with my last two miles holding 10:15 min/mile but minimal discomfort.

It was pretty frustrating because my legs felt decent enough to run faster but I didn't want to aggravate my hip anymore. I was going for 11 miles yesterday but ultimately called in quits at 10.85 since that's when I made it back to my car. Last weekend I did a similar deal of doing a long track workout of mile repeats on Saturday and then doing my long run on Sunday. Sunday's run was absolutely miserable even from the very beginning. Although this Sunday's run didn't go perfectly at least it was considerably better than last weekend's.

10.85 miles / 1:40:02 / 9:13 pace

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Diamondman Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Surprise, I did a triathlon this weekend! I had planned on Keystone being my last but I just couldn't stay away. When I found out that I was going to Florida after a week of being on vacation back in August I threw out the idea of doing another race. I didn't know how Keystone would go and I wanted another opportunity to race before the season's over. Between two weeks of traveling, racing the day after I got home and then going back to school I completely forgot about this race. To be 100% honest I didn't even know I was still doing it until it showed up on my schedule. Uhhh, sure! I'm not going to turn down another opportunity to race.

With a pretty busy first week back at school race day was here before I knew it. With the race being in Delaware I was able to stay at my apartment and drive up the morning of, but it did mean a 4:30 wake up call. I knew in order to get parking I needed to get to the park before 6:45 but somehow I missed the memo about transition closing at 7:00. By the time I got from my car, picked up my packet, got my chip, and was marked (all of which were required before entering the transition area), it was 6:50. Definitely the fastest I've ever set up my transition area.

The only thing that was a tad frustrating about this race was that the kids triathlon started at 7:15 (why transition closed so early) and then the first wave of the adult triathlon went off around 8:30. The kids triathlon and duathlon finished and the kids were given their awards all by 8:00. It was pretty cold out and I didn't love waiting around when we could have started earlier.

Swim (1/2 mile)
When I went down to look at the swim course I thought it looked quite a bit longer than the swim course at Keystone which was supposedly the same distance. The water temperature was a perfect 75 (wetsuit legal if you have one & warmer than the air temps so felt pretty warm). A lot of the swim was straight into the sun, so that sucked. It wasn't my best swim but wasn't my worst either.

I don't know whether the course really was long or not but it certainly felt long. I couldn't really settle in and had some trouble sighting with the sun. Luckily a half mile isn't too long any way you slice it and soon I was making the somewhat long run through the woods to transition. I looked at my watch before the swim started and after I got out and saw 12:XX so I'm not going by the official time since it included this run.

Swim: ~1:35 pace / 2nd female / 1st AG
T1: 1:18

Bike (19.5 miles)
Delaware is notoriously flat and going into this weekend I was pretty excited about doing a race that didn't involve even one decent climb. What I wasn't expecting was how quickly my legs would get tired. Even though climbing itself is harder, what goes up must come down. This is not the case when the whole course has a total elevation gain of only 125 ft. I kept finding myself wanting a downhill to coast to recover a bit.

The first few miles of the bike I felt like I was going too hard. I know it's a sprint so that's how you should feel but I felt like I was at that point where if I kept that pace I wouldn't survive the run. Surprisingly once I "eased up" I actually sped up. Funny how that works. The only thing I didn't like about the bike course was how much drafting I saw that was completely ignored by the marshals when they rode by. I don't care if you're going to draft but if you are doing it in plain sight of officials you should definitely be penalized. Rant over.

Back to the bike course. It was awesome. Once I got used to the whole no-coasting thing I started really enjoying myself. With the men's swim wave starting after the women I was passed by a lot of really fast guys who at times I thought were cars. That's how I know you're fast. I didn't know how fast I would be capable of riding on flat roads but was hoping for somewhere around 18.5. Luckily for me I'm not good at calculating bike paces in my head so I thought I was averaging near 18.5. If I knew I was holding over 19 mph I might have freaked myself out a bit.

Bike: 1:00:54 / 19.2 mph / 14th female / AG
T2: 1:13

Run (3.3 miles)
I could tell that I was using some different muscles, or the same muscles just in different ways, on the bike and wasn't sure how this would play out on the run. The course is advertised as being a mix of road, grass, and cross country. I would say it is more like mostly singletrack packed dirt trail, a good bit of grass and not much road. Good thing I decided to wear racing flats, right?

Since I decided not to wear my watch for the run my only goal was to pass as many people as possible. By the end I had passed 14 or 15 people and wasn't passed by anybody (insert thumbs-up emoji). I wouldn't exactly say I felt good during the run but I felt good enough. I don't really remember that much from the run except really wanting to be done with a little less than a mile to go. I also remember sprinting the last quarter mile to pass one last person and then tripping right in front of the finish line after I passed her, almost knocking her over. Oops. At least I got there first?

Run: 26:13 / 7:58 pace / 5th female / 2nd AG

After the race I hung out a bit waiting for the awards ceremony with Nikki. Saturday was the first time Nikki and I met in person yet it felt like we had known each other for years. Long story short Nikki swam for a college not too far from where I live in Pennsylvania and knows a lot of people I used to swim with. I'll let her tell you how her race went but all in all I think it was a pretty good day for everyone.

Finish Time: 1:43:27 / 6th female / 2nd AG

I know I said this after Keystone but now my triathlon season is officially over, which means it's marathon time! I've already been putting in some decent miles but am anxious to really get to work. Eight weeks until November 3. Let's go.

Disclaimer: Most of these pictures are from Keystone since I don't have any from Diamondman yet & I didn't want to just not put pictures. Once I get the correct photos this post will be updated

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mile Repeats & a Long Run

This weekend featured one pretty good run and one not so good run. At least they didn't both suck, right? Thanks to not having class on Friday's I was able to make the drive from Baltimore to York late Thursday afternoon and still have time to get to the track for an interval workout. I was nervous about doing two hard workouts so close to each other, but should have paid more attention to the two long-ish back to back runs over the weekend.

So Thursday's workout, great. Nailed it. On to Friday's track workout of mile repeats. Since I'd never done mile repeats before I was actually pretty excited to see what they were all about. So many people say they are the hardest kind of track workout but I think sprints are. I wasn't a sprinter when I swam and I'm not when it comes to running either. I like doing 400's and 200's but getting my legs to turn over that quickly is just flat out hard for me.

When I got to the track Saturday morning the only goal I had for this workout was to do it smartly. When I first started doing track workouts I would go out way too fast because track = sprint all out right? Wrong! I was hoping to keep them under 8:00 but had no idea what would actually be good splits. I did a slow warm up that left me hesitant about this all would go down and then got to work.


The first one felt really good and controlled. I actually loved that first one. It was nice to not go all out on the track but still be putting in some solid work.

7:44, 7:42

The next two were a bit harder but still felt pretty good. I was trying to pay attention to pacing these pretty evenly instead of going out too hard or slow and then ruining the repeat.


The funny thing about this one is that I thought I was running it so slowly while I was actually running it. I thought I was off pace and slowing down so I stopped checking my watch and just ran. I pushed significantly harder on laps 3 and 4 and clearly it payed off.


Last one! I wanted this to be my fastest of the day so I went out a little harder than I had been. I focused on even effort and finishing fast. I don't know what these should be at given my marathon goal but I'm pretty pleased with these. I probably could have gone a little faster in the beginning but I was sure toast by the end. Either way I got in 9 solid miles of work and did each repeat faster than the previous one.

Sunday's run was a completely different story. I started off slow and figured I would naturally speed up as the run goes on like normal. Nope, not this time. I was supposed to run for 90 minutes at an 8:45 pace but was barely holding a 9:45. I debated calling it quits on this run but I am not in a position to be skipping long runs with a marathon in 9 weeks.

This run was a mental struggle the entire time, and quite honestly my legs felt like they were running the last 10 miles of a 20 miler, not a regular 10 mile training run. I tried to ignore my slower pace and just finish the run. That's the most important thing. I ended up doing 10.4 miles in 1:41:17. One of the worst/slowest runs I've had all year. Bad runs happen to everyone so at least I got mine out of the way for awhile right?