Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hold steady

Another week done. During the school year I find myself in the sweet spot of 50-60 miles, usually closer to 50. The demands of home and school pull at the time, making a typical weekday run around 35-50 minutes. If I could get my act together I'd like to hit 60-75, but that's saved for when the days start to get a little longer.

One workout this week: 10x400 at the Dempsey Indoor at UW. Average was 69 seconds per rep, and had a solid 2 minutes of rest. It felt great to be inside where it's warm, lit, and fast. My running bros ran 300s a tad quicker. I'm glad coach didn't toss me into the deep end, as I would not have survived.

Mileage: 51.17 miles
Races: 1- 2 mile series, XC! Muddy and sloppy. Came in 12th in 11:20. Considering I ran 11:15 about a month ago in significantly better conditions (a bit muddy, but dry), this is great.

Next up: 2 mile series (track!) in 2 weeks, followed by the Valentine's Day 5k at Green Lake the following week.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Finding the trail

Back in October I was supposed to run the Twin Cities Marathon. That didn't happen due to a hamstring pull related to nerve shearing in my back. Synapses not firing appropriately, compensation to ensure proper movement, an end result of a hamstring that simply said "enough."

Fast forward to January and I'm back to training. It's been about 8-10 weeks of consistent training, and the end result is mixed. Do I still have pain? Some. It dissipated and then returned. Do I have more range of motion? Some. Same as above. As my PT exercises are done, I do well. As I drift off, pain returns. I need to keep at it.

This week: 57.99 miles. No races. 2 workouts: Tuesday float 400s, 400 on and 400 off (74-75 avg. fastest 72); Wednesday 4 x 1600 (513, 512, 512, 518). Lead balloon was dropped on the last half mile of the final rep. Getting there.

Next up: Monday indoor track workout, Thursday long reps, Saturday tempo and 2 mile XC race.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer of Run 2.0 Kickoff!

The best time of year just hit: the Summer of Run! It is the 7-8 weeks of morning runs, big miles, and naps. Last year was just shy of 1000 miles in 9 weeks. This time around the goal is over 1000, with a large chunk over 100 per week.

How'd it start? A little 8:15pm run of 10 miles, rolling around the lake. Then I added in this morning's 12.20 miles. Great start. Nothing like rising up from 6-7 a day (or 0s the week before when I had walking pneumonia) to 10-12 a day. Recovery is the key. Can't roll super goal pace; need to relax and let the pace come to you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Solo Workout Demons

Workouts are the filling of the training plan, sandwiched between some quality easy runs. I'm a regular at our club Wednesday night workout, as well as the Saturday morning workout and Sunday long run. I'm also notorious for being a slave to the pace- not slower, not faster, but on the dot. 

90-95% of my workouts are done with a posse. Sometimes it's 1, other times 6+. Usually there are 3-4 people training for similar distances and races, so it works out. It's that 5-10% of the time where the work gets hard. All I need is the foot strike behind me to keep me honest. Without? My attention wanes and my mind seizes the doubts sending the workout into a spiral of doom.

This morning I got a chance to slay the solo workout dragon. It was 4 easy leading into 12 miles at 5:52, and 2 easy. After the first 2 miles and a shoe switch, it was continuous. Last fall I hit this workout in 1:11:40 for the 12, caveat being that is moved the workout back 3 days due to a nasty cold/sinus issue. Nonetheless, I remember that fall workout as miserable, uneven, gutsy, and deflating. It was only gutsy because I didn't quit at mile 8 like I wanted to.

This time was a big difference. I started in 5:52 and 5:48, after floating between 5:50-5:56 for the next 9 miles (most 5:52-5:54), I closed in 5:42. What changed? Well, I'm fitter and healthy. Those make workouts go a little easier. I had hydration. I had 2 mini water bottles filled with Nuun Lemon-lime, plus a 3rd if I needed it. Hydration is a big factor in ensuring pace maintenance. I also did the workout in the morning when I was fresh compared to the evening when I was tired. Makes a huge difference.

3 weeks to go. More work to be done. But the work is way easier when you've slayed the dragon of workout's past.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Respect the Technique

Since the Valentine's Day 5k, training has been clicking off. I kicked off March by racing the Hot Chocolate 15k in a reasonable 53:38 for 4th overall. Being that it was 4+ miles of uphill, I'm pleased. But I opted to shift out of a plan to race a half marathon this weekend, instead choosing to get in a solid block of training.

At this point I know where I've been. Since January I've consistently hit 2 workouts a week, completing a speed cycle that led me from a 16:08 5k down to 15:58. In the last 9 weeks, 6 have been 70+, with 2 in the mid 60s and 1 55 mile week. The base is in place unlike prior springs where mileage is inconsistent (teaching, darkness, fatigue, excuses...). Now it needs a direction.

Next up will be 6 weeks of training leading into the Vancouver (BC) Marathon. The goal is to be fit... Just how fit is to be determined.

I'm training with Nuun. Their hydration is great. If you're looking to stay hydrated, use the code LuckyNuunFriends when you go to

Keep running!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

5000 meters as fast as you can...

Today was the Valentine's Day 5k. It was a chance to test my fitness, and see where I was at. Workouts seemed to point to something under 16. How far? Optimism said 15:40s. Pessimistic? 15:59.9

Welp, 15:58 it is! A new official PR. I ran 15:58 indoors last year during a training session. This was a chance to get it officially in the books! Job done.

I ran 5:04, 5:11, 5:09, 33. We'd strung out early and it was 10-25 meters between each of us in the top 6. By the 3rd mile I was stranded. Thankfully a buddy hopped in... Probably shouldn't have, but he wanted to run along. It was the best thing possible. I needed it. Otherwise I'd have run 5:17 for the last mile and missed it. 

Where to next? Hot Chocolate 15k and marathon training. So cheers with some Nuun (Orange flavor!) and keep grinding.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A lion and I walk into a room...

The Super Bowl is here, and I do plenty of reading in the lead up to it. One article discussed the sports psych the Seahawks employ to work with their athletes. In the article, the psych says that he is just trying to get guys to acknowledge the lion they're most fearful of. But they don't want just to know its there, they want to invite it into the room and pet it. 

That is the attitude of the distance runner doing speed work- or at least my attitude. I have 18-20 years of experience that tells me what is or isn't feasible. Most times, this is great. The ability to temper enthusiasm in a marathon, hold back a little in a 5-10k. Be measured. But to get faster, you can't say "too fast". You can't go "I've never done a workout that fast, so I need to dial it back." Instead you need to acknowledge the fear of failure (fading, not finishing), and then stare it down.

That has been this speed cycle for me. I've done consecutive workouts that have been as fast as I've gone. 2ks in 6:25-6:27, 1600s in 5:06, 1200s around 3:48, 800s in 2:29. Each time there is the concern- venturing where you haven't been is unnerving. But the desire to get faster needs to outweigh that concern. The difference in pace isn't too micha we're talking 2:29 for 800 instead of 2:33. But it's enough to go- careful. 

But now isn't the time for careful. It's the time for fast.