Tuesday, April 29, 2014

5k Time Trial #1

Every third week or so, I've added 5k time trials to my schedule.  I love a 5k because its an good distance to push yourself.  Recovery time is very, very short, so I can do one without messing up my training schedule.

24:36 was my final time.  7:55 average pace.  I am happy with it.  It is a 36 second improvement  over my last time trial a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately I let myself slow too much between 2 and 2.5 miles. I was aiming for negative splits, but that didn't happen.  7:51, 7:52. 8:00, and :52 (7:33 pace) for the .1.

I like the first two numbers, I kept a pretty even pace, but I let myself go that third mile.  At least I managed to kick it in to the finish.  I expected to be fighting burning in my legs, but actually it was burning in my lungs that made mile 3 a killer.  I rarely start breathing hard--even during my track workouts.  I guess that means I need to push it harder more often.  I don't know.  How does one make their breathing more efficient?

My next goal is a 23:59 5k.  It will be extra hard to make with the rising temps, but I think I can do it.

Run Less, Run Faster Week 3

Monday was a 6 miler, 4 miles at mid tempo pace, sandwiched between easy 1 milers.  Paces fell at 8:37, 8:44, 8:36, 8:25.  I found it hard to go slower.  It was a very nice day and I think that helped.

Speed workout.  2x1600 and 1x800 with 400m recovery intervals.  Finished strong.  I met all my times.     My final 1600 was at 7:36.  It was supposed to be at 7:55.  Nice weather helps.  I don't know if I should slow myself down, but I think if I can give it more and complete the workout with room to do more, then I should.

Friday was 8 miles at Long Tempo pace (8:56).  It was a HOT morning.  80 degrees and 100 percent humidity at 5 am.  We took it a little easy on the pace, though we felt like we were pushing it.  My average pace was 9:12.  I think the pace was alright considering the extreme early morning temps.  Gotta get used to it though!  Soon this heat will not go away!

For cross-training, I rode my bike and did a little yoga.  I have also done a few easy miles with my son.

Still liking this program.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Run Less Run Faster, week 1-2 Review

First off, I always want to say Run Less, Run Longer.  It makes no sense.  Except it does, because the weekly milage is about the same as other plans 10k plans, just you do it in fewer days.

Week One--
Tempo--4 m at 8:26, Right on.  RPE of 6
Speed--8X400m at 1:52, plus mile warm-up and cool-down.  I was right on or just under most intervals.  It was a hard workout, but felt good.
Tempo 2--6@8:53, plus hills.  We did this workout up the only hills that exist in my neighborhood.  This made it a lot harder than it should've been.  Splits were like, 940, 930, 850, 828, 813, 830.  So kind of all over the place.

Week Two--

Tempo--1 wu, 2 fast, 1 easy, 2 fast, 1 easy  This week was kind of crazy.  My husband was out of town, so I had to get creative with my running buddy.  We did a child swap for this run.  When I went it was 75 and 100 percent humidity.  Not cool.  I managed to make all my paces (tempo miles at 8:26) but it was hard and I was hot.  I peed my pants.  No lie.  I guess now I won't have to worry about peeing during a marathon.  Been there.  Done that.  Practiced in training.

Tempo 2--7 @856, finished with 7 @848.  This run felt easy.  I was so relaxed.  Maybe that had something to do with the 55 degree temperature and nice cool breeze.

Speed--5x800 at 3:49.  I was a bit off.  I couldn't get my splits right.  I wanted to either go a few seconds slower or faster.  Last split was 339 and I still had more in the tank.  Could've kicked out few more.  Maybe it was my new NB WRC5000?  Ran a total of 5 miles, plus my daily strength activities.

I'm starting to be able to feel my paces better.  I really have to learn how to relax when things get hard.  This plan certainly makes things feel hard on every run.  That's good.  I like pushing myself to the limit.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lunch: Flautas and guacamole

This is one of my go to favorites when I have a bit of leftover chicken.   Warm corn tortillas.  Shred leftover chicken for filling.  Roll tortillas and paint with a little vegetable oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.  Serve with guacamole...mines homemade...and shredded lettuce.  Enjoy!

For the record, I did offer some to my three year old.  However, she "Hates them" and instead is eating Cheetos dipped in yogurt.

Review New Balance 5000

A few weeks ago I picked up these babies for $50 on Amazon (regularly about $100).   It seemed like a good deal so I went for it.

These shoes are spike-less flats.  The New Balance website says these shoes are great for track and road racing up to 10K.

I wore them to the track for the first time today.  They seemed a little narrow, and I already have average to narrow width feet, but I figured that was because I wasn't used to tighter fitting shoes.  My second thought was these were nothing like the flats I wore in high school.  Two decades does change things a bit.

I could really feel the traction and I liked it.  I ran a total of 5 miles, including 800m repeats.  The ride was smooth and comfortable.  My last 800 felt just as good on my feet as my first.  I did have a bit of a hotspot on the bottom of my big toe that I noticed when I got home, but no blister.

Overall, I found these to be great shoes.  The uppers are thin and the laces seem thin, but I suppose that all saves on weight.  The soles are quite comfortable and felt surprisingly soft for how thing and light they are.  Good shoes for their purpose.  While I don't intend to buy new racing flats, I'm tempted to now so I can have something to compare these to.  Don't tell my husband.  He won't like that I've found a new thing to spend our money on! :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

10K training begins

I ran my first official 10k ever on Saturday.  I intended for it to be a starting point on my new training journey.  I know what I can give without 10k specific training, and now I'll see what I can do with.  Exact goals have yet to be determined.

I am basically doing the Run Less, Run Faster program.  The title is deceiving because you don't really run much less, just fewer days per week.  This is great for a runner like me.  No matter what my speed, I start to get injured when I run more than two days in a row.

Today was Day One.  I ran 1 mile warm up followed by 2 miles at 8:26, and ended with one mile cool down.  Then I did lunges, strides, sit-ups, pushups, and planks.  After I finish the laundry, I'm going to do some barre work.

My legs are still a little sore from the race so I expected to really have to dig deep.  That was not the case.  I wouldn't have called it easy, maybe medium?  I think a 5 or 6 on the RPE chart (rate of perceived exertion).

My first track workout of the season will be this week.  I'm a little scared.  More scared of that, then the work that needs to go into my new book.  That's pretty scared.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Muddy Trails Bash: 10k race recap

Saturday afternoon I ran the Muddy Trails Bash 10k at the Nature Preserve in The Woodlands, TX.  I finished in 53:45, that's an 8:39 average pace.  I was a little slower than I wanted to be, though I met my B goal, but also the race route was a little harder than I had anticipated.

The day started out pretty normal: breakfast, chores, kid stuff.  Every once in a while I would start shaking as I realized it was race day.  I didn't like that.  I needed to calm down.  Chill lady.  It's just a race!

My husband had taken the older kids camping, so I needed a babysitter.  She came right on time.  By 2:45 I was off to the races.

The temperature had been fairly warm in the days leading up to the race--think high 70s and 100% humidity.  However, the temperature dropped to the low 60's and 50% humidity.  The race weather was perfect, if not a little chilly for us Texans.

Parking was at a nearby church.  Shuttles were provided.  I had no trouble getting on one.  I arrived at the shuttle area and was immediately ushered onto a bus and within minutes we were at the race site.

The kids 1 mile was first.  I ran a little warm up and positioned myself at the last turn so I could cheer on the kids.  It was fun to see how my cheers helped them pick up their pace.

My race started at 4:20.  I lined up in the appropriate pace position (I was aiming to run 8:30 min miles).  The other races all seemed to line themselves up appropriately, too.  There wasn't too much passing going on in the early miles, or throughout the race for that matter.

My first mile clocked in at 8:06.  Way to fast. I was aiming to run a 9 minute mile for the first mile and then picking up the pace--aiming for negative splits.  Spoiler alert.  Didn't happen.   I forced myself to slow down.  I knew I would pay for it later and I probably did.

The course was so sandy.  I felt like I was running on the beach, and there were lots of tree roots.  I didn't trip, but I others around me did.  I don't think anyone was injured.  They got right up and continued on.  Water stops were nicely positioned every mile.  I didn't need water, but my mouth was so dusty from all the kicked up dirt that I did swish water in my mouth to subdue that gritty feeling.

Mile two came in right at 8:29.  That was right on with my goal.  I felt good.  Mile 3 was a little slower at 8:39.  This mile, and the next, were mostly uphill and the sand was thick. I was ok with that knowing that what goes up must come down.  I tried to keep to the edges of the trail, where the sand wasn't as bad, but I knew this was adding on mileage (not running the tangents).  I didn't know what was worse on my time though, the sand or ignoring the tangents.  I decided the sand.

Mile 4 was an awful 8:45. I was able to bring it down a little for mile 5 (8:35).  Still a little slower than I wanted to be.  Mile 6 was the worst.  I just wanted to stop.  I kept wishing I had just done the 5k so this all would be over!  I finished that mile in 8:58.  Not good.  Finally we were back on paved roads with a little over .2 to go.  I managed to find a bit of a kick and finished my last .2 (Garmin tracks me at .29, not running the tangents hurt me distance wise) at a 7:40 pace.  I really wanted to run mile 6 at an 8:19 or better. I guess I swapped mile one's time for mile six's.  Oops. I really need to work on my mental state in these later miles for sure.  I get really down on myself.

The route was harder than I had anticipated.  I knew it was a trail run.  I had planned for dirt and tree roots--not heavy sand.  But overall I was happy with my performance.  I managed to find a kick at the end and finished feeling like I had nothing else to give.  I definitely will work on my start.  I think it hurt me in the later miles. Also, the spectators at the finish were few and didn't cheer.  I would've liked a little more support from that area.  Oh, well, what can you do?

This was a great race and I will most definitely do it again next year!

Finish time: 53:45
Place: 7/60ish gender, 22/? women, 77/284 overall

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Run Less, Run Faster and Muddy Trials Bash 10K

Now that marathon recovery is complete, I am ready to get back into the trenches full force.  For the past few weeks I have been analyzing my past training and researching new training plans.  During marathon training I had to sacrifice speed training to build my endurance.  I missed track workouts so much.

Because of that, I decided to train to increase my 10k pace.  I don't know if I will actually sign up to run a 10k at the end of my training schedule--I hate paying run on my own streets--but I do plan on doing a formal time trial.

The plan that looked the best to me was Run Less, Run Faster.  It incorporates a lot of key workouts I missed doing while I was building endurance.  I do think it might lead to a bit of burnout, and since I don't have a key race in mind, I plan on doing a fall back week every third week similar to what I did during marathon training.  During the fall back week, I will not focus on times for most of the runs, but instead focus on hills (a component that's lacking in RLRF) and just having fun, easy runs.  At the end of the week, I am going to do a 5k time trial. 

In RLRF, pace times for workouts are determined by your current 5k pace.  So the time trial and fallback week will serve two purposes.  First it will give me a rest and let me just enjoy my runs and talking with my run buddies, and, two, it will help me reevaluate my training goals.  If I've improved, I know to focus on new paces in my workouts.

This week is my first 10k time trial.  I haven't run a real 10k since, well, ever.  I am kind of nervous because it takes place in the afternoon, and I generally run in the morning.  I don't know how my body will react.  Also, it is supposed to be hot this weekend.  I am no stranger to running in the heat, but I prefer not to for obvious reasons.  Hopefully I will be able to race my best!