Aerobic strength is the key! (34M)

One of the most important lessons that this time off has taught me is how valuable aerobic training is for distance runners. You can be incredibly strong and still not be fit when it comes to race day; this is because when your aerobic system wears down, your muscular strength doesn't matter anymore. I'm definitely looking forward to adding some longer runs, tempos, and progression runs to my schedule now that I've spent a few months getting used to running again.

Yesterday I ran a 5k in Mansfield for my first true quality run since October. I'll now be able to use that time to figure out pace guidelines since I'll start doing workouts in two weeks! This week I'll continue with the low mileage, easy running, and structured strides; I'll finish out the week with a free 4 mile social race in Dallas! Next week is a down week (I've been working to build mileage back since my stress fracture and haven't taken one yet), and then I'll finally start up my training for the season! Yipee!! :)

Sunday, May 27th
56' easy run at White Rock Lake + 20' light core work
COMMENTS: This week I ran the start of the DRC half course and turned around 30 minutes in. I kept things nice and relaxed but was still moving pretty good by the end of the run. I came back on a slightly different route, but had to tack two minutes on to get to the 56'. My stomach bothered me quite a bit, but other than that, nothing special to speak of! Just another pretty morning for a run (minus the gnats!)!

Monday, May 28th
39' run on the trails with Jake and 4x60" hill surges
COMMENTS: Nice run this morning. It's been taking me a long time to wake up on my runs, but once I get going things feel smooth and I feel strong muscularly. I'm definitely VERY weak aerobically still though, so I get out of breath easily. I suppose that will improve when I add to my mileage and start doing some aerobic threshold work here in a few weeks.
strength + core workout in the evening

Tuesday, May 29th
40' run through the neighborhood + 2x20" form drills
COMMENTS: I ran the first 15' with Jake and then finished out the run solo. My muscles were tired today - not sure if it's from yesterday's strength workout or just general fatigue - but other than that I felt good. My form feels surprisingly smooth and controlled even when I'm tired, so I'm excited to see how that will help me in the long run.

Wednesday, May30th
48' run in Grand Prairie w/ 4x400m (mile pace), 400m float + strength workout
COMMENTS: Stormed in the morning, so everything got pushed back to lunch. I ran faster than usual for the first 3.5 miles and felt really good (aside from my foot which was a bit achey). It was hot and windy, but I decided to give the 400's a try anyways (I had considered changing them to 200's to avoid some of the wind since it was so strong). The first one was a brutal 82", followed by 79, 80, 80. My form felt great and I felt much more fluid and strong than on the 300's last week, but every time I hit the wind it was like running into a wall! Needless to say, this workout was much harder than I would have liked or expected it to be!

Thursday, May 31st
rest day

Friday, June 1st
40' run on DBU's gravel trail + 6 relaxed strides
COMMENTS: Very nice, natural run on the gravel trail this morning. I started with a comfortable trot and progressed to a good, solid pace naturally. I ended the run feeling great and wanted to keep going! The strides felt good - This is the most controlled and natural I've felt doing strides for as long as I can remember.

Saturday, June 2nd
20' warm up w/ Katie & Linet + DRC Bloomin' 4 Mile Race in 24:47 + light core
COMMENTS: I ran MUCH smarter this week than last week. Average paces for each mile were 6:09, 5:56, 6:15, 6:06, 5:35 (for the last 20 seconds). It looks like I was all over the place, but I wasn't - there was a super long downhill in the second mile, and since it was out and back, that means there was a super long climb in the third mile. I was pumped in the first mile because of how relaxed that pace felt! The course was long by about 200 meters, but I ended up averaging 6:05 pace, which is much faster than I expected. I'm really excited to see what 22 weeks of true training can do! Can't wait for November!

Weekly Mileage Total: 36 Miles


Eyes on the prize! (30M)

I've finally set a goal for this training season. The long term goal that Jake and I set last winter was to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon - I've got four years to make some major jumps in fitness (especially considering I have yet to race a half), but that doesn't scare me at all. I'm a math person and I realize that a slow and steady approach is the best way to reach my goal. This fall, the plan is to run the DRC Half on November 4th in 1:20 or better. I have a solid training group with the Greater Texas Track Club ladies, I've got a great coach who had me in shape for a 6:10 pace half last fall, and I've a God who's been very gracious with my health this spring so far. I'm not naive or crazy enough to think this is well within reach - I know it's going to take a lot of hard work, sacrifices, and careful decisions, but I do believe it's possible and I'm ready to do everything I can to get there.

Sunday, May 20th
6M run at WRL in 45:32 + core
COMMENTS: Very nice run. I kept the first 5.5 miles really comfortable and gave myself time to wake up, then ran the last half mile hard. I hope to make this a habit on long run days since I will be finishing my long runs on the same course as my goal race this fall. By the time November 4th rolls around, it'll be instinct to run down that last 1/2 mile hard! Paces per mile: 8:31, 7:48, 7:37, 7:31, 7:17, (7:14/5:57).

Monday, May 21st
40' run on the grass track + 2x100m form drills + 8' abs workout (level 2)
COMMENTS: Nice relaxed run with Linet this morning. Nothing fancy to report. :)
20' bike during lunch

Tuesday, May 22nd
4.86M run w/ 2x60", 2x40", 2x30" hill sprints
COMMENTS: It was supposed to be 4x60", but due to a watch alert error, I had to improvise the second half of the workout! Hill rep paces were 6:00, 6:06, 5:57, 5:45, 5:46, 5:36 respectively. My foot was pretty sore, but nothing too alarming.

Wednesday, May 23rd
strength and core in the morning + 30' bike at lunch

Thursday, May 24th
40' run in the trails at Mountain View
COMMENTS: Uneasy stomach last night and today so I had to keep things gentle and easy. Ran with Jake and Josh Pauley... no foot pain! :)

Friday, May 25th
40' run in Grand Prairie with 4x300m on the track
COMMENTS: Stomach was still very uneasy so I considered dropping the 300's. I ran so slow for the first 25 minutes though that I thought I'd at least try throwing in some quality. Ended up with 56,57,56,56 (full 500m float recovery, so nothing fancy). My foot felt fine, but I definitely hit a wall every time I reached 230m!

Saturday, May 26th
18' warm up + light drills and strides + Mansfield Memorial Day 5k race + 2x40" pedestal routine
COMMENTS: This was a last minute decision, but I'm glad we got it in. I needed to get a better gauge of my fitness level before we start workouts and I wanted it to be at a small, low key event. I had trouble pacing and started way too quick, but that will come back with time. Obviously I was very weak aerobically (still feel strong muscularly), but without any threshold or long runs I couldn't expect anything different! Average pace per mile: 5:59, 6:16, 6:18, 5:34 (last .12 of race)

Total mileage for the week: 31


It's all relative! (30M)

This last week I enjoyed sprinkling my first bouts of quality running: 2x30" hill sprints on Wednesday, 4 x 30" fartlek on Friday, and 4 x alt miles on Saturday. The coming week will be no less exciting (for me) as I move up to 30 miles and continue with the three 'quality' sessions.

I'm titling this week with "it's all relative" because I'm having to remind myself of that with my training! 30 miles a week may not be half of what I was running last fall, but it's infinitely better than the walking boot and biking I was stuck with just 2 months ago. Similarly, many of you probably laughed at me calling 2 x 30" hill sprints and a 4 x30" fartlek quality, but for someone whose done nothing but cross train or run easy since last October; it IS quality and it IS exciting!

Here's to another week of healthy living and smart training!

Sunday, May 13th
50' easy run around Cedar Hill
COMMENTS: Felt good this morning; the pavement got harder on my feet and joints as the run went on, but I'm planning to stay on softer surfaces the next few days and I did not have any specific pains.

Monday, May 14th
45' progressive run at the Boy Scout Camp
COMMENTS: Three of the hilly loops in 42:12 (first two loops relaxed in 30:00, last loop steady), then I finished out the time in the parking lot. My lower back has been aching the past few days, but other than that, no pains or aches to speak of! :) God is good!
30' bike + 3x12 strength workout in the evening

Tuesday, May 15th
35' run on the grass track + 2x100m form drills + 8' abs workout
COMMENTS: Felt amazing on the run this morning. Nice and fresh and smooth, but I still kept things relaxed. I'm excited that consistency is building in my training! Can't wait to see what another 10 weeks of this could do!

Wednesday, May 16th
45' run with 5 x 30" hill sprints in the neighborhood
COMMENTS: I could definitely tell that tomorrow is my day off! I was pretty tired and worn down this morning; but the hill sprints went very well, so if nothing else, I got some quality in there! A little bit of aching in my foot, but nothing major.

Thursday, May 17th
light core and strength workout

Friday, May 18th
41:30 run around GP with 5x200m,400m fartlek @ mile pace on the track + 8' abs workout
COMMENTS: So nice to run with my husband this morning - beautiful (AKA absolutely perfect) weather as well. Got in the first 30ish minutes with Jake and then finished up with the five 200s (37, 38/39 for middle three, 37) and 400m relaxed in between each. Nice workout again, I like the challenge of trying to move fast right now - It's sad how much of a stimulus and challenge 80" pace is after such a long time off! The first interval has been hard both times, but then it gradually feels more natural during the workout.

Saturday, May 19th
40' run on the trails with Jake
COMMENTS: First time out to Prayer Mountain this morning. I definitely enjoyed the scenery; it made for a forced slower run, which is perfect for easy days. I also think running out there once or twice a week (maybe for doubles when I get to them) will help build stabilizing and core strength.


Another SIX day week! (24M)

I'm excited to be starting my second six day running week since last October. Every time a stress fracture knocks me down for numerous months, I find myself much more excited about the small things in training - Like running six days! When I'm in the middle of a long season and training has become routine, I don't think twice about going out for that sixth run; but it really is a gift. There's something about getting out in the fresh air and working up a sweat that makes you feel so much better! Not to mention, I know that the more I run, the stronger I will get and the sooner I'll be back to a fitness level that allows me to compete and get back into workouts (which happens to be my favorite part of being a runner!).

This week is an exact repeat of last week, with the exception of my accidental extra mileage last week! :)

Sunday, May 6th
45' easy run around Mountain View Community College + 8' abs workout
COMMENTS: I was EXHAUSTED today and I knew it was coming by the way I felt the past three days. I overslept last night and ended up getting 10 hours of sleep! I felt pretty weak and worn down on the run, but took it so easy that it didn't matter much. It's incredible how fast time goes when you're running compared to biking! :)
30' easy bike through the neighborhood while Jake ran his double

Monday, May 7th
30' core and strength work + 25' bike + 25' elliptical
2M run through the neighborhood at lunch + 2 x 20" form drills
COMMENTS: Very nice run today - I love going out during lunch and running in the sun! Now that I have a 2M loop measured, I don't even have to look at my watch - Just head out and enjoy another day to run!

Tuesday, May 8th
35' run on the grass track + 8' abs workout
COMMENTS: Grateful for the chance to run with my amazing, fast, handsome husband Jake this morning. He even sacrificed and ran the whole run on the grass track since there were dogs on the gravel trail! :) Another day in the books, praise God!
30' bike + 15' elliptical in the evening

Wednesday, May 9th
45' run through the neighborhood with 2x30" hill surges in the middle
COMMENTS: Nice relaxed run this morning with some solid, smooth surges after the first 20 minutes. My joints were real sore and achey at the start, but they loosened up by the end.

Thursday, May 10th
short strength workout + 20' easy bike

Friday, May 11th
4M run with 4x30" fartlek on the track
COMMENTS: Ran on the track and really enjoyed it. The run seemed go by quickly and although 600m of a fartlek is short, I left PUMPED to have run mile pace again! Details from the run - 8:30, 7:52, 7:11, 7:49 with 4x150 (5:20 pace), 250 recovery in the 3rd mile.

Saturday, May 12th
4M run alternating hard/easy miles on the road in Hull
COMMENTS: This was a spontaneous workout on Jake's side and I was happy for a chance to push things bit again! He drove behind me and honked on the miles; I noticed that the "hard" miles felt very fast (as in I couldn't have moved faster), but I felt I could have run the third mile all day long. Definitely still very out of shape, but I'm pumped to have a base-line workout to look back on when I get more in shape. Splits were 7:30, 6:40, 6:53, 6:22.

25M running, 1 hour 55 minutes cross training