Another welcomed down week! (37M)

The running vacation Jake and I took last week was not as successful as we had planned... at least not for running purposes. I was abnormally fatigued all week and started to deal with a headache and upset stomach about midway through. No complaints, though, because I still got to spend a relaxing week with my husband, see some family, and run on nice trails. I may not have had any impressive or noteworthy runs, but I at least got a chance to get out of my usual routine!

My brilliant husband already had this week planned as a down week, which works wonderfully considering how I've been feeling! I'll still have the same quality workouts and same long run as usual, but we're adding an extra rest day and decreasing mileage on my easy runs. I'm going to soak in the rest this week so that I'm ready to go to battle next week! I'm at the 14 week mark, so it's time to start getting serious about racing in November!!

Sunday, July 29th
6M very relaxed on the treadmill + light core and strength session
COMMENTS: After a last minute change of mind this morning, Jake and I opted to push our runs off until the afternoon. I knocked out 2 and a half hours of lawn work in the morning and then got my run in on the treadmill this evening. I felt much better today than I've been feeling (granted I started at 9:13 pace for the first mile!!), but I'm hoping the drastically easier run will make me feel better the rest of this week. :) I'm still battling a headache, stomachache, and fatigue, but no feet problems so I'm all smiles! :)

Monday, July 30th
rest day
*Finally got my blood work done and an MRI has been set up for Thursday! Maybe we'll start getting some answers soon!!! Yay!

Tuesday, July 31st
4M easy run + 2M on the track with 2x300/300, 5x200/200
COMMENTS: Ran with Hanna and Jake for this workout... Always nice to have company on these days! :) I still felt poorly on today's run (our last mile in warm up was 7:44 pace I felt like we were working!!); but, this is the third workout I've gotten in while feeling so bad, which encourages me because that means nothing is so wrong that I'm doing myself a disservice by continuing with the training! Total 2 miles today were in 13:19 with hard segments of 59, 58, 39, 38, 37, 36, 36.

Wednesday, August 1st
rest day

Thursday, August 2nd
10M run through the neighborhood in 75:35 (7:33 AP)
Weights in the PM
COMMENTS: I felt terrible again when I first started (as in I almost called the run off at mile 2), but I actually ended up feeling much better as the run went along. It was VERY windy and humid out today and this was my first run using the hills in a while - we'll see how I feel tomorrow. :) Mile splits were 8:47, 8:05, 8:08, 7:45, 7:30, 7:29, 7:07, 7:07, 6:51, 6:49.

Friday, August 3rd
43' very relaxed run in the boy scout camp + 8 x 30", 30" strides
COMMENTS: I felt absolutely terrible yet again, haha. No surprise, though. :) I'm going to have to just grit through it for another couple of weeks, I know my body will adjust eventually. I'm just thankful to not have any injuries! Special thanks to Jake for keeping me company this morning!

Saturday, August 4th
2M warm up + 5 x Alt Pace (2M @ 6:30, 2M @ 6:15, 1M @ 6:00; 7:30 pace miles in between)
COMMENTS: Another rotten feeling run, but WE DID IT!! I seriously almost dropped out of this workout several times... starting in the first mile!! :) It's not that I don't want to "hurt" because I'm not physically hurting on these workouts; I just feel SO heavy and weak. It's as though I can't move my arms any faster or pick up my knees any higher. Hopefully I'll pull out of this funk in another week or so. Times for today were 6:29, 6:24, 7:38, 6:19, 6:10, 7:40, 5:55 (6:39 AP). Special thanks to Jake and Katie for pushing me!! :)

Total Weekly Mileage: 37


It's VACATION week!!! :) (45M)

I'm not going to bore you with a long blog this week (mostly just because I don't have time to type one right now), but I will say that training is going as expected and I'm so very blessed by the Lord. We'll be on vacation the second half of this week, so my schedule is going to be flipped around a bit; but, I'm excited to say this will be my second week of this training season above 40 miles!

Sunday, July 22nd
7M run at WRL + 11M bike with Jake
COMMENTS: Jake and I started the run with Steve from the Dallas area and then finished it up on our own. It was a perfect first 3.5 miles and then an exhausting last 3.5 miles. :) But I have plenty of rest time now, so no need to complain. Some pain in the top of my right foot again, but hopefully it will pass since tomorrow is my off day. Miles were 8:44, 7:45, 7:20, 7:11, 6:57, 6:51, 6:55.

Monday, July 23rd
Rest day.
Weights workout since I didn't get it in yesterday.

Tuesday, July 24th
4M run + 2M w/ 100, 200, 200, 300, 300, 200, 200, 100 (equal rest)
COMMENTS: Met up with Hanna again - So nice to have people to run with! :) We started with a 4 mile run that averaged out to exactly 8:00 pace and then we knocked out some "structured strides" on the track. The full 2 miles were in 13:18 with times of 19, 41, 40, 60, 61, 39, 39, 19 for the hard segments. No major foot pain during the run!

Wednesday, July 25th
60' run on the Seabrook trails + 40' bike alongside Jake
COMMENTS: My legs were shot this morning. It was like running on cement pegs! Regardless, I got to enjoy running in the great outdoors on a beautiful trail with my husband for company. Couldn't complain a bit! :) Hopefully the fatigue is just a side effect from the long late night drive down yesterday.

Thursday, July 26th
60' run with Jake in the AM
25' run with Jake in the PM
COMMENTS: I still felt terrible on this morning's run, and to be honest, I didn't feel "good" this afternoon either, but I definitely felt better than I have been! I'm hoping that's a good sign for tomorrow morning. :) Either way, I'm thankful to have had such nice running surfaces this week and especially thankful for the health to run twice today! :)

Friday, July 27th
5M run + strides at Memorial Park
COMMENTS: I STILL feel like poop. Gosh, this has been one of the worst running weeks I can remember, hahah! At least I cherish my runs enough these days not to care about that. :) I did 5 miles at Memorial Park this morning and then tacked on one mile of 30" stride, 30" walk recovery. The full 6 miles took me 50:20.

Saturday, July 28th
2M warm up + 6M progressive (7:30 to 6:15 pace, cutting down 15" per mile)
COMMENTS: I have GOT to figure out what's going on with my body. It took me so long to loosen up this morning that I had to let Katie, Hanna, and Jake warm up ahead of me! The entire workout was pretty much a battle, but I'm glad to have gotten it in. I had to use the restroom after the first 2M in the progression portion, but held off as long as I could. Ended up having to use a port-o-potty right before our last loop so I had to do the final two miles solo. Mile splits were 7:26, 7:09, 6:57, 6:46, 6:29, 6:15 (6:50 AP) so we definitely hit the nail on the head, regardless of how bad it felt. Glad to be back at Trinity Park though... Nice to have a had a full week of training on mostly soft surfaces!

Total weekly mileage: 45M


Let's try this again! (41M)

Let's just say I got a few nice reminders this last week in terms of running. Since you all are already here, I'll go ahead and share some of them with you. :)

1. Don't take running (or any exercise, for that matter) for granted. It's a gift and a joy and an honor to be able to have control over your body, feel the breeze against your skin, and set out on your own two feet. The feelings you get from exercising or reaching a training goal are unbeatable.

2. Don't panic when you have to do some scratch outs and revisions on a training plan. Life happens and when you think about the thousands of days in your life, taking a day or two off to nurse an injury or switching up a few workouts is absolutely nothing to be concerned over! In fact, that's often a wise choice.
3. Trust your body and don't be afraid to be uncomfortable. Sometimes it takes two or three minutes of being uncomfortable for a run to feel completely fantastic, so don't put a cap on the effort in your run just because you're feeling a little "stiff". Give yourself the freedom to run whatever pace feels right to YOU on that particular day! 

So, now that you have an idea of what I've been learning, I'll explain what happened. Last week I woke up with strong pain in my peroneal tendon on Monday morning. I got in my full run anyways (simply relocated from the roads to the grass track), but knew something wasn't right. After resting on Tuesday morning I saw a trainer and he confirmed that a little rest should do the trick. I took all of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday morning off, giving the tendon over 3 full days off, and then eased back into the running (without pain! YES!). The time off was probably just a blessing in disguise on many levels, so I'm not concerned about what I missed last week and I am looking forward to this fresh week of training. Since I did not do any of the planned workouts after Monday, I will just be pushing last week's runs up to this week. 

Sunday, July 15th
7M run in 52:30 (7:30 AP) on the Trinity Trails + 6 x 20" stride, 40" rest
10' easy jog to warm up + 3 x 15 full body weights workout
COMMENTS: I was blessed with soft surfaces, a slightly cooler morning, and the company of Jake and Josh for this run, so it was very enjoyable. Nothing too exciting to share, though! We started with a 1/2 mile warm up, then went 8:09, 7:37, 7:33, 7:13, 7:03, 7:09, last 1/2 mile at 7:10 pace. The guys had another 9 miles and with a workout left, so that kept the last few miles nicely in check. Strides felt good... the recovery is finally getting to be too long, so i will move up to 30", 30" this week.

Monday, July 16th
5M run in 37:39 (7:28 AP) on DBU's gravel trail + 6 x 30" stride, 30" rest
COMMENTS: Nice run this morning once I woke up; definitely a higher effort than I have been giving so far this season, but much more in line with what I have done in the past. I will say that the shorter runs are make maintaining a certain average pace for your run much more difficult! :) Miles were 8:53, 7:36, 7:11, 6:59, 6:46 and I followed it up with 6 x 30" stride, 30" rest. No foot pain today but my calves were pretty tight and sore... could be from the calf raises I did yesterday.

Tuesday, July 17th
Core workout in AM
30' run around Grand Prairie + 2M of 200 fast, 200 float in PM
COMMENTS: The new strength workouts and faster daily runs have definitely knocked me down... I was completely zapped today. Thankfully Katie kept me motivated and allowed me to still get in the full workout as planned. All in all, it probably wasn't any better than the first time we did this, but on fresher legs I have no doubt it would've been. 13:50 for the full 2 miles with 200s in 43, 40, 40, 40, 38, 38, 37, 37.

Wednesday, July 18th
rest day... including a massage! :)

Thursday, July 19th
10M in 77:10 (7:42 AP) at Kiest Park with Jake and Pauley in the AM
Weights workout in the PM
COMMENTS: I'm still feeling very run down and fatigued, but I will say that today was better than Tuesday. I'll spend tomorrow recovering on the grass track and hope to back up to par by Saturday morning! Today's run was a 1/2 mile warm up, 8:28, 8:02, 8:01, 7:40, 7:29, 7:24, 7:26, 7:20, 7:13, last 1/2 mile in 7:02 pace. No foot pain still, so that's certainly a blessing!

Friday, July 20th
40' run in the neighborhood + 8 x 30", 30"
COMMENTS: I was definitely still tired on this run and opted for a timed effort as opposed to a measured one. I kept things EXTREMELY relaxed and ended up thoroughly enjoying my run! I love to get lost in thoughts and sights while running! Got in some solid uphill/downhill strides after the run... Should be feeling great tomorrow after this!

Saturday, July 21st
2M warm up + 6 x alt "miles" at Trinity Trails
COMMENTS: Ran with Katie, Jake, and Hanna this morning on the trails and things worked perfectly. My stomach was not very friendly today, but pacing wise we hit the nail on the head! Goal: 2M, 1M, 1M with 1M float in between; paces of 6:30, 7:30, 6:15, 7:30, 6:00. Actual: 6:28, 6:22, 7:22, 6:13, 7:25, 5:59... AKA, perfect! No need to beat the workout today... this was exactly what we were aiming for! So very thankful to have some hard working, talented friends to run with on these days!!

Total Weekly Mileage: 41M


The snowball effect. (26M)

I've been thinking a lot lately about the snowball effect of a runner's training. For most of us, our plans are designed in such a way that we will run our best for a specific race distance on a specific date - not every weekend all year long! :)

You see, if I were to put $1 in a jar every single day, by the end of the year, I would have a very nice sized amount of fun money to treat myself to new clothes or get out for a weekend getaway with my husband. On the contrary, $7 at the end of the week doesn't get you much... a cheap fast food meal at best, right? I believe our training is very much the same. We need to give our bodies time to soak in the benefits of the work we do. Getting in mileage, strides, aerobic running, strength work, etc on a consistent day to day basis will have an exponential effect on our fitness if we let it be (AKA, not force things too early!). If you constantly use up what you build, you're not going to make as significant of improvements as you would if you see the full training cycle through. In saying that, I think tune-up and benchmark weekend races are still a great avenue to mix up a training routine and stay motivated; it's important to remember how to compete and what it feels like to toe the line. The trick is remembering why you are racing, what your training has been like going into the race, what you plan to do in the coming weeks, and what your ultimate goal is.

This weekend I ran my second 5k since coming back from injury. I went into the race without crazy nerves or feeling as though I needed to win because I knew my fitness level, I knew where I wanted to be at this point in my season, and I knew I had 17 weeks left to get stronger and faster before my goal race. Fortunately, I ran exactly what I had expected - 5:59 pace. Granted, I did it the hard way by running too fast at the start and crashing towards the end, but this is a perfect time to be reminded of the fine line between competing and racing wisely. In the past, losing a race or running such a "slow" time would have bothered me and made me question my training, but I finally understand the concept of the snowball effect! I still have a baby snowball, as I should, and I don't want to use it all up now. My goal right now is to keep adding to fitness on a daily basis so that when November arrives my snowball is giant!! :) Don't get me wrong - I definitely raced this weekend and I could not have run much faster if I had to, but I also did not feel the need to panic or fumble for excuses afterwards. Maturity is a wonderful thing in this sport! :)

Sunday, July 8th
14 bike ride with the guys at White Rock Lake + weights in the evening

Monday, July 9th
56' run on the grass track + 8 x 20" strides
COMMENTS: I have mixed feelings about this run... I felt absolutely amazing muscularly, but I was a wreck structurally. After taking the first 10 to 15 minutes easy, I settled into a solid pace on the grass track at DBU. I had planned to run loops through our neighborhood, but battling some intense ankle/ lower shin pain for the first loop I reevaluated and ran to the grass track for the bulk of my time. I finished things up with 8 x 20" strides by our house and felt so much better for doing them! I really want to get back in the habit of doing strength, strides, and core on a consistent basis!

Tuesday, July 10th
4M + 2M of 200/200
Forced rest day. Went to the trainer for strong pain in on the inside of my ankle and he thinks it's a tendon strain. Resting until Thursday evening and hoping to get back into the swing of things that night.

Wednesday, July 11th
Weights workout + 30' bike with 20 x 20" surge, 40" recovery

Thursday, July 12th
10' core work + 45' bike in the morning
9M 30' test run at Kiest Park with Jake in the afternoon
COMMENTS: I waited until the afternoon to run and went out to the park with Jake. No major pain at all! Definitely a good sign! :) Glad to have Jake to push the pace a bit since I was going so short!

Friday, July 13th
6M in 44:00 (7:20 AP) at Kiest Park + 10 x 20" stride, 40" rest
COMMENTS: Day two of running was a success! No major pains at all and I'm confident in returning to full training now! I want to start picking up the pace on my daily runs so that they're 7:30 or faster most days (unless I need a recovery one, of course), so today's three 2M loops were progressively faster in 15:35, 14:40, and 13:45 for a 7:20 total run average. I kept the strides nice and relaxed so nothing too exciting there.

Saturday, July 14th
9M in 1:07:30 (7:31 AP) on the Trinity Park trails
COMMENTS: Still feeling good and healthy so I'm really enjoying my runs again! I wanted start easy and naturally progress during the run; this is my longest run since coming back from my fracture so I wanted to have a good balance of adding time on my feet and still getting in a little quality (had to skip two of my workouts this week). I ended up having good company from Katie, Hanna, and Jake so I didn't progress like I wanted, but it was still a great run! Mile splits were 8:25, 7:38, 7:40, 7:25, 7:26, 7:20 (followed by quick bathroom break), 7:34, 7:09, 6:50. Looking forward to next week's run... I love it out there!

Total weekly mileage: 26


Coasting on the downhill! (33M)

I'm so thankful to have gotten last week's training in without any hiccups! Every mileage increase is a risk when you're as injury prone as myself, so when I make a successful move forward I have a lot to be grateful for! Especially to Jake for designing my plan in such a way that my body tolerates it! :) Now that I have had three weeks straight of "up" mileage, it's time for another down week before getting back at it.

This turned out to be a perfect recovery week for me anyways, as I have another local road race this weekend. It's been nice to have the small, free races during my buildup because it's a great training stimulus, fitness indicator, and social activity. I enjoy seeing everyone from DRC at the lake and it's a great way to see how different parts of my fitness are progressing without getting myself thrown out to the wolves. :)

I ran a 5k at the end of May in 6:12 pace and followed it up with a 4M race in 6:05 pace, so I'm looking to see what a month of training with teammates will do for that 5k time! I'm still not expecting anything spectacular as we've been patient with my training and are not doing the quality to run fast times just yet; but, I am still very confident that I can run a solid pace right now.

Here's to another week of getting miles in the book! :)

Sunday, July 1st
6M easy at White Rock Lake in 7:28 pace
Comments: Ran with Tom and Jake this morning on the lake and took the full first mile to wake up! Either I'm getting old or I need to oil my joints up and start going to bed earlier! :) Total time was 44:50 with miles of 8:26, 7:29, 7:26, 7:19, 7:07, 7:04. Aside from the early-on stiffness I felt fine this morning. Not sore or tired to speak of, just still battling this spot on the sole of my foot! Followed my run with a 10M bike pacing Jake on his workout!

Monday, July 2nd
40' easy run + strides at Mountain Creek Lake Park
COMMENTS: I slogged my way through the run this morning; it's a good thing Jake was there to keep me company and distract me! :) Hoping to wake up a bit more later in the week. I also need to get into a doctor because my foot is getting worse and the local trainer said it needs to be treated. I forgot to do strides this morning, so maybe I'll sneak them in tonight if I'm feeling good!

Tuesday, July 3rd
30' run around GP + 2M of 30" hard, 30" easy on the track
COMMENTS: Jake ran with me for the first thirty minutes... Let's just say he had to practically run backwards to stay with me today, I was slogging along and felt like I was killing myself with effort, ha. The track workout was a disappointment due to poor execution on my part (ran too hard for the first part and paid for it later), but I'm sure it will still have its benefits. Total time for those 2 miles was 12:45.
**I went to a podiatrist today for the "blister" under my right foot. It turns out it's a hematoma (?) caused by a stress fracture - the weird part? The x-rays didn't show a fracture and the doctor said I could keep running. Not sure how to feel about it yet?!

Wednesday, July 4th
rest day
Ended up going on a 12M easy bike while Jake ran and then doing 2 hours of lawn work!

Thursday, July 5th
40' easy run on the grass track
COMMENTS: Another embarrassingly slow run, but I don't regret it a bit! Until I start getting that pep back in my step, I have no problem keeping things relaxed! My foot still has the same "blister" pain, but other than that all injuries have subsided! :) MRI today to check on the possible stress fracture.

Friday, July 6th
4M easy + 3 x short strides at Kiest Park
COMMENTS: I had to fast last night and this morning for a doctors appointment, so I delayed my run and  Jake and I ran together in the afternoon. I was a little anxious about the heat and tacking on an extra mile, but it turned out to be a nice run! My right hip flexor and left Achilles are still sore, but nothing serious!
**MRI results are back and great news! No new stress fracture!! Now I just need to figure out what this "hematoma" is from!

Saturday, July 7th
2.5M warm up + 5K DRC Independence Day Race + 1.8M cool down
COMMENTS: I was not feeling very well on the warm up (AKA, 10:00 pace for the first mile!), but I was still confident that I could get in a solid race. A friend from Houston, Catherine Kruppa (anyone in the Houston area looking for a nutritionist should DEFINITELY check her out!), and she said she was going to try to run around 18:20 so I knew better than to go out with her. Unfortunately, even my slower start was too fast for me at this point in the season! :) Paces were 5:51, 5:58, 6:11, 5:40 (last 60") for an average of 5:59 which is right where I wanted to be! Hopefully I'll learn to pace myself a bit better after a few more races! :) Longer "blog" on training thus far and today's race will come tomorrow!

Total weekly mileage: 33M