Tuesday, May 6. 2014
Two more weeks to go. The weather has not been cooperating at all these past few weeks and I've been doing the majority of my easy & interval runs on the treadmill. I'm glad I got it, but I didn't really anticipate having to do this many workouts indoors. I don't know if it's a mental thing or what, but even my easy runs feel super hard on the treadmill and I downright want to die when I'm doing intervals.
4 x 1600 of misery
Speaking of which, oh how I hate you mile intervals. I felt like I was dying the entire way. It didn't help that I screwed up the calibration factor on my watch so it my pace I was around 30 seconds slower and my total distance ended up .25 miles shorter than what the treadmill said. In all, I really have no idea how fast I did these, all I know is that they hurt and I was so glad to be done.
55 minute tempo
As much as I'm starting to loathe the longer tempo runs, this one actually wasn't too bad. Josh, Zoe and I headed into town to do these on the waterfront trail which is finally clear of snow. Aside from one bathroom stop for the dog & I at the 50 minute mark (Thanks Super 8 for having a restroom very close to the front door), we ran these straight through.
Then we went to the bar and drank lots of beer because it was Friday.
2:00 long run
Although my paces don't really show it, this one pretty much sucked after 10 miles. My legs weren't too happy that I blew off stretching after the tempo on Friday and then spent all day in the car on Saturday. They were doing okay up until mile 10 and then my hamstrings started to get super tight and no amount of stretching make them feel any better, either. As soon as my watch hit 2 hours, I was done and I didn't care that I was about a mile and a half from home. Josh kept going (finished up with 14 miles, which is his longest run ever - nice!) and came back and rescued Zoe and I with the truck as we slowly walked home. I was (still am) pretty disgusted with myself for doing such dumb things before an important long run, but what's done is done. Lessons learned.
Eh, I'm walking a thin line with this one. I had some minor pain in my outer left leg the previous week and took a couple of days off to rest it. I started up this week thinking that I might need to cut back mileage or run slower, but as long as I kept icing, stretching and rolling, it felt better. Then, of course, I made the stupid mistake of slacking off as soon as it started to feel better and now I'm back in the same place that I started. You'd think after doing this for as many years as I have, I'd get smarter. But, nope! Dummy.
Also, my legs are just sore. All the time. Quads, hamstrings, calves, everything. I can't remember a time where this has happened to me before so I don't know if it's just all the extra miles and speed/tempo workouts or what, but it's pretty disconcerting.
I ended last week with 32 miles @ 9:50. This is the last big week of training - 6x800 intervals, 60 minute tempo (!), 3 miles @ HM pace and a 2:00 long run. I'm really starting to feel burned out, so it'll be nice to get over this hump and slide into taper mode.
Saturday, April 26. 2014
My life has revolved around my training calendar lately - what’s on the schedule for today, tomorrow, and good grief look at next week! Before I knew it, poof, a month had gone by since I last blogged. I’m not going to recap four week’s worth of training (too lazy, and boring) so here are some highlights.
I had my first mile interval session, which I ended up having to do on the treadmill because of the stupid weather we’ve been having. Wow, these were pretty brutal. I don’t know if it was the treadmill or I was having a bad day or what, but when that treadmill started getting closer to the mile mark, I felt like I was just barely hanging on to the pace.
These are definitely my least favorite of the intervals.
I’m starting to really, REALLY dislike these workouts and it probably has something to do with feeling like I still have no clue what I’m doing. My last tempo was 50 minutes and I have 55 and 60 left before the race. Yuck.
Since the long runs are going by minutes rather than miles, it’s kind of interesting to try to plan routes by what you think you’ll be doing.
My last long run was 1:45, which I ended up running just under 11.5 miles @ 9:30 pace, which was pleasantly surprising because the first half of the route has some monster climbs.
This was a 3:1 long run where you run the first 75% at an comfortable pace, then accelerate to at or near race pace for the last 25%. I think we did okay. The last half of the route is flat/downhill which definitely helped, but there is a climb in the last mile and, aside from one doggie pee stop, we kept up a pretty brisk pace for that section.
I’ve developed some pain on the outside of my left leg recently, so I decided to take a couple of days off this week to work through that. I’m not sure what’s going on, my personal trainer thinks it’s gym-related but I’m not so sure about that. In any event, I do not want this to develop into something more so I’ve been doing the whole rest, ice, stretch, massage therapy thing a couple of times each day to hopefully work this out. It’s definitely feeling better than it did a couple of days ago, so there’s that.
That pretty much sums up the last month of training. In March, I ended
up with 120 miles and I’ll probably finish up April with around 95
miles. There’s a little over two weeks until race day, I can’t believe
this training session has gone by so fast!
OMG did anybody watch the Boston Marathon? I almost had a heart attack watching Meb in those last few miles, it was definitely the most exciting sporting event I've seen in a long time. Meb is awesome, I'm so glad he won. He's such a great ambassador for the sport and seems like a genuinely nice guy.
Monday, March 24. 2014
This was a pretty high mileage week and aside from the epic blister that I developed about 3 miles into my 9 mile long run, I felt pretty decent for each run.
Monday – 3 easy becomes 4 easy (@ 10:12)
Josh, Amy and I planned our schedule 3 miler for lunch on Monday. Everybody wanted something flat, so I suggested an out & back on the waterfront. The path is used mostly by snowmobiles in the winter, so I was hoping that it’d be hard packed enough to easily run on. It got a little rough in the section between the Super 8 & the Dee Stadium, but for the most part it was pretty decent. We were only supposed to run 3 but Amy and I lost track of time gabbing away didn’t turn around until the 2 mile mark, so we ended up with 4 miles for the day.
Tuesday – 8 x 400 Intervals
We usually do these up at the SDC track, but work trumped runch so I ended up doing them on my treadmill after work. I do find doing intervals on the treadmill easier than the track. I set up a work out on my FR620 to alert every quarter-mile, I hit a button to speed the treadmill up, and hit another button to slow down. Pretty brainless.
I will say that having the watch right in front of my face was both a blessing and a curse because each time I looked a that the distance, it was way less then I thought I’d gone. I’d be sprinting along, convinced that I was half-way done, and I’d glance that watch only to see that it said I went .06 miles. Demoralizing, I tell you.
I don't know why my 2nd & 3rd intervals are slower than the rest, I had the treadmill speed set the same for everything. Strange, but oh well.
I get a giggle out of the peaks and valleys on the interval graphs. You can see my warm-up, which I think was 10 minutes(?), and then each interval. My between-interval recovery was 12:00, but toward the end, I slowed down to 12:15 because I need a little bit longer for my heart rate to come back down from the atmosphere.
I cranked up the speed after the 4th interval, as you can tell by the peaks in this graph. I was pushing over 180 bpm on those last ones, but I never felt like puking. Bonus.
I don’t know why I have that outlier on the cadence graph.
I ended the last interval right around 4.5 miles, so I cooled down until I hit 5 miles and called it quits. This was a tough work out but I felt surprisingly good in the end. Tired, but a good tired.
Wednesday – 3 miles easy turns into 5 (@ 10:17)
Another extended easy run for this week. It was nice out and I decided to run down to my mom & dad’s house with Zoe instead of noodling around the neighborhood. I also decided to use this run as an wear both my FR305 & FR620 devices to see how they matched up.
The good news is that the distances were pretty much right on. The FR620 would always alert first, but the FR305 was never more than a second behind.
Unfortunately the instantaneous paces were off the entire way, by a lot. For the most part, the FR620 always said that I was going faster than the FR305, but I think the FR305 was the accurate one just based on how I was feeling & what my heart rate was saying.
I figured the two were going to be far apart, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were pretty darn spot on.
One thing that I was also pleased about was the cadence. I’ve been using a footpod attached to my right shoe with the FR305 and it seems to frequently lose contact with the device. The FR620 has an accelerometer in the watch and the heart rate monitor strap.
Here’s the chart for the FR620:
And for the FR305:
Zoe and I did stop briefly to talk to Josh who was biking his way home, but that’s the only drop-off that we had with the FR620. The FR305 was all over the map, which was pretty typical. I was never impressed with that thing. I haven’t done any more comparisons since, maybe I’ll take both of them on next weekend’s long run.
Thursday – 40 minute tempo
I think I’ve read every article that the internet has to offer on doing tempos and I’m still feel like I’m just winging it. This time, instead of running by pace, I thought I’d run by heart rate. According to a lot of the articles I read, I should be running a tempo “comfortably hard” or between 80%-90% of my maximum heart rate. My resting heart rate is 61 and my maximum heart rate is 190, so 80-90% translates to between 164-177bpm for me.
There’s this cool feature on the Garmin Connect website which allows you to set up workouts, and you can set limits like pace, cadence or heart rate zones to your intervals. So, I created this workout with a heart rate zone and zapped it over to my watch.
After the mile warm-up, it beeped five times and told me to GET GOING. It beeped at me in the most annoying manner until my heart rate was in the configured zone. Once I got in the zone, it gave a happy little chirp. When I fell out of the zone, I got an angry little chirp. Once I hit the 40 minute time limit, it played a little song (I'm not sure if I was supposed to dance or not) to let me know that the workout was over and I could do whatever I wanted for the rest of the time.
The tempo went pretty well, I felt like I was running at a pace which was a challenge, but I could sustain throughout the interval. I had to push to keep my heart rate in the zone on the downhills but I didn’t have to slow down at all when I hit the uphills.
I ended up going just over 4.5 miles at and 8:44 pace for the 40 minutes, just under a 10k overall. Bonus, I didn’t feel like death when it was all over. I guess this means progress?
Friday – REST
TGIF and my running shoes can stay in the closet on this day.
Saturday – 3 miles easy (@ 11:27)
Josh and I were heading out of town on a quick trip to Menominee, MI first thing in the morning and I didn’t want to miss this run so I got up at 5:45AM and hit the treadmill. I forgot to plug in the footpod calibration factor into my FR620, so it only registered 2.87 miles when the treadmill hit 3 miles. Oops.
Anyway, this was only three miles, but they felt really hard. My legs were heavy and stiff and I felt pretty uninspired to push any faster.
After a shower, I dropped off Zoe at my mom & dad’s and we took off to Menominee (in a snowstorm, no less) to pick up this beauty. Take that, snow.
Sunday – 90 minute long run
I ended up with 32.25 miles for the week, which I believe is the most weekly miles I've ever logged for any of my previous half marathons. I'm sort of surprised, but I'm feeling pretty good after all this running. Aside from Sunday's blister and some tight calves, my body's holding up pretty well (leaving now, to knock on some wood). I like the variety of the runs - even though I'm growing to loathe tempos - it makes the week go by faster and it makes me feel like I'm actually training with focus rather than just plodding along aimlessly.
This week, we revisit hills (oh joy) and try not to die during a 45 minute tempo.
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