Monday, February 18, 2013

Big Sur Training Week 7 Recap

Okay, okay, I'm posting my weekly training recaps. Gah, I'll do the picture stuff eventually. I'll be honest, I'm not really following a plan this season. I made up my own from last season, but I do have two that I look at for idea's. The first one is from my coach and the other(new) one from Runnersconnect that is a bit more detailed. I like the details and think next season I'm going to sign up and use that. For now, I really am just running when I feel like it and making sure I'm getting my weekend long runs in and enough mileage at a place I feel comfortable. It may not be as much as other people, but it's what is working for me so far!

I'm not really sure if last week was technically week 7, but I am following a 3 week increase, 4th week cutback, and this week is my second cut-back week, so that means I'm calling last week lucky number 7!

Nada! Brie cheese, Beaujolais-Villages, and Baguette was my after work indulgence. It was a much needed dose of carbohydrates and libations after a tough week.

5 miles easy
No time on this one because I ditched my watch. I rarely run watchless but I've been in a rut with these night-time runs. This run felt great and I was out there for about an hour and did a lot of weaving. Since I was in my neighborhood I have a general idea of how far a mile is and my guess of mileage is conservative.

Track Intervals
5.12 miles at 43:47 (8:33 avg pace)
These were intervals though so average pace doesn't mean anything. Here is what I did:

All effort in main set @ 85%, 30 sec rest between each- 1 mile warm up: 8:51 pace Dynamic stretches/track drills --Main set-- 1600m: 8:37 pace 1200m: 8:13 pace 800m: 8:03 pace 400m: 7:22 pace 1600m: 100m on/100m off (active recovery): 8:31 pace (~7:45 on/9:30 off) 2 laps cool down: 9:18 pace

I felt pretty great after this because I increased my pace throughout each set and wasn't completely wiped at the end. Sometimes track nights go really well and other times they suck.

Tempo Sets
6.52 miles at 1:02:15 (9:33 pace)
Valentines date with my running shoes!
The workout was 1 mile warm up, 2 x 2 miles at 9:10 - 9:20 pace w/4 minutes jog/walk in between set, 1 mile cool down.

It is a little over a mile to the track from my house so I just did my warm up and cool down over and back. I'm not a fan of stopping at lights when trying to hit a pace so I generally have 3 options for nighttime right now for uninterrupted workouts:
1)The Treadmill (boring but okay for intervals and to change things up)
2)The Track (the plus of getting fresh air, but can get monotonous. SO FLAT)
3)Portland Waterfront (love this route and it's a little over a mile to the loop, but sometimes it's so crowded and I don't want my ego to get the best of me and speed up)

I finished Thursday's workout feeling really good. Both of the 2 mile sets were at a 9:15 pace so I nailed that. But two non-easy workouts in a row meant I was TIRED on Friday.

Rest Day! Usually Friday's are a definite day off. Something about getting extra rest before the long run feels good. Though I'm realizing there is some value in getting in a medium-long run the day before to stimulate those later miles in a marathon. I may try that in a few weeks...

14.51 miles in 2:33:15 (10:34 pace)
Vista Hill!! I conquered it!! If you're not familiar with the hill up to Council Crest in Portland, it's a whopper. My fancy watch says close to 1,000 feet gained in just under 3 miles. Once you get to the top there are some rolling hills on a 3.5 mile loop, but they don't feel tough after you've made the climb. This was the first run my coach came out and met us to give us water/snacks! I had missed that.

I started the run about an hour before the group so I could actually run this whole route with them. I've been really lonely running extra miles on my own and most of the awesomeness about running with a group is finishing with the group. I'm not a morning person but I think this may have converted me to start my runs earlier. Plus it was pretty awesome to be done before 10:30! I had planned to run 15 miles but eh, not worried! Good hill training for Big Sur. The best part is, Hurricane Point is not nearly as long/steep as the Vista Hill. My pace on the 3 steepest miles was 12:09 / 12:21 / 11:39. I did power-walk a few times but I did not stop my watch or take a break! (Though at the top, when we met Jeremy, yeah, I did for about 4 minutes)

My heart rate was higher than usual on this run (on the flats) so I knew my body was still recovering from Wednesday and Thursday's run. A few hours after the run, after I refueled, I took a 40 minute walk around my neighborhood and ran some errands. I finally was able to exchange the Bath and Body works stuff my dad got me for Xmas and got some nice peppermint soap and some unscented lotion. Yay!

3.75 miles in 40:03 (10:39 pace)
Kept slowing myself down on this one but I know that running my easy days too fast is just a detriment to my training. I also felt like I could keep on running, but both Jeremy (Run Program Coach) and Jeff (Runners Connect Coach)are limiting my Sunday runs to 30 minutes/3 miles. I misbehaved a little. Ah, oh well. I feel pretty good today.I'm also happy to report I haven't had any foot pain or other issues! Just tight hips and calves, which I work out as much as I can.

Weekly Mileage: 34.9

Thursday, February 7, 2013

This season's marathon training plan!

This season my training plan is pretty much my own. The base is what I covered last year from my coach, but it's a lot more free flowing this season, because that is what seems to work the best for my motivation levels! I'm already a pretty structured person, so I don't need much structure in this plan.

My main goal was to maintain a 12 - 14 mile base early on in training. Over the winter our pace group from last season met up every Saturday for a 10 - 12 mile run. It felt really good to go into this season with a solid base. I ran 14 miles two weeks ago and it was pretty darn easy feeling! Who ever would have thought?!

I knew I wanted begin incorporating hills again but not too soon. Since the Columbia Gorge Marathon, I hadn't really tackled anything hilly and was feeling pretty nervous about it. I decided to ramp up my mileage to 14 miles on flats and then drop back and ramp up again but start to hit more elevation changes. Our run up to Forest Park the other week felt amazing! I remembered it being much harder than it was. This was some awesome validation that my fitness is improving.

I'm a little disappointed that we're not running in Vancouver this weekend because I'm ready for elevation again. Our sponsor, Brooks, is going to be visiting us so we're going to be at the Portland store. Vancouver's route would have been hilly, but next week is Vista Hill/Council Crest, which is about a 1,000 ft climb over 2 1/2 miles plus 7 miles of rolling hills up top, so I'll get my fill then.

My other goal is to log a few more runs in the 16 - 18 range because I felt those distances were the most beneficial. They still tire you out and increase endurance, but the chance of injuries doesn't seem quite as high. Maybe next season I'll incorporate a couple 20 miler's but not this season!

The longer distances seem to really take a lot out of you. Though I usually felt pretty good the day after towards the end of the season, I certainly wasn't doing anything but being lazy for the rest of that day! The 22 mile run we did was brutal but it was a confidence booster. I didn't end up running the 20 miles last year because of knee pain but did just fine on a trail for 22! It's tough for me, as a newbie still, to decide whether the 22 miles again is important. I think I'm going to max out at 21 on March 30th and call it good enough.

Another thing I've been trying to do is run every day after my long run. Usually these are called recovery runs but a lot of people are starting to call it an anticipation run. The distances are not supposed to be very long or fast, but I've been taking advantage of the sun when I can get it and they're often 5 - 6 miles, which is about an hour of running for me. These runs train the body to run on fatigued legs. Usually I feel really great and am not sore at all, but I am also still under the 15 mile distance!

Loving and taking days off is important! I've been consistently running 26 - 32 miles a week (depending on the week) so my mileage is at a good place for what works for me right now. I have been in the habit of running 5 days a week though and I'm trying to cut that back some weeks to 4 and only cross-train on the other day. Usually I'll run to yoga and back, or run for 15 minutes to warm up at the gym, so I'm trying to isolate those x-training days and stop running on all of them. We have two built into our schedule and one full rest day, but recently I've been taking two full rest days in a row because it felt pretty good!

With everything else in my life, I go in spurts. I'll run in the same place for a couple weeks and then find somewhere else. I'll take Thursday and Friday off for two weeks in a row and then take off Monday and Friday. I almost always take Friday off, even though my coach has us X-training. There's something about resting completely the day before a long run that feels good, but I've recently been seeing some training plans that have someone run a medium-long run the day the before the long run to deplete glycogen stores. It mimics the last XX miles of the marathon instead of the first. I don't think I'm ready for that yet, but I might try it out next season when I might be more time focused.

Right now, my Big Sur time goal is loosely 4:45. I'd love to run a 4:35 (a 10:30 pace) and so far all of my long runs average about 10:15, but it's those later miles that really can get you! After some of my longer runs I might feel better or worse about my ultimate goal time.

Alright, enough blabbering! Mostly this entry is just for me so I have a written down record of what I am doing, since I haven't been able to write about it in my hard copy training journal. I'm writing in it after every run but I don't have enough space to write out all of the details!