Fell on the trails! (8M)

Running is not something we are guaranteed, nor is it something that should be taken for granted. The opportunity to go out for a run, whether easy or hard, fast or slow, comfortable or uncomfortable, solo or with company, is a gift. Never forget this.

I'm due for another down week in terms of mileage, which is perfect timing since I'll be running a 5 mile race this Saturday. I'm hoping that the recovery week allows me to freshen up and get some pep back in my step so I can hammer out a solid race. The goal this time around is to break 6:00 pace, which will require some serious effort, but in my opinion it's very doable. My thought process behind this goal is as follows: It comes three weeks after running a 10K in 6:03 pace, I've had plenty of quality work to get stronger since then, and in another two weeks I'll be looking to run 6:00 pace or better in a major 10K race.

None of these times are terribly impressive, and they are absolutely nothing compared to the workouts some of the people I follow are doing, but for me they're exciting. I'm only four to five months into running after literally sitting on my bottom for seven months. When you're starting from scratch, you certainly don't expect to be nearing a previous year's fitness levels on your first training season back. Hopefully in another six months or so I'll look back at these goals and laugh, but right now, these goals are celebration worthy for me! :)

Sunday, August 26th
easy biking & light running + weights

Monday, August 27th
40' easy run + 6 uphill strides
COMMENTS: Nice relaxed run in the boy scout camp this morning. I fell on the gravel pretty early in and have had a sore ankle and hip since then, but I'm hoping it's just a bruise. I felt very, very good on my uphill strides today, though! Super pumped about that!

Tuesday, August 28th
3M warm up + 5M of 3' @ HMP-10", 2' @ MP+20" + 1M easy 2M failed test run in AM
1M failed test run in PM
COMMENTS: Drove out to WRL, started running and felt great muscularly. As the run went on, my ankle grew more and more painful. After 1 mile I decided to be safe and head back to the care with intentions of taking advil, icing, and running in the evening. Gave it another shot at night but was absolutely no better. I've determined that the pain is not from pressure or weight bearing, but from the movement of my ankle when walking or running.

Wednesday, August 29th
60" failed test run + weights workout in AM (moderate weights, 3x15)
COMMENTS: Thought I'd try an easy run as a warm up to for my weights. Make it less than a minute and realized that was not a good idea. I have an appointment this afternoon with my doctor, but I'm assuming it's a pulled or strained tendon that just needs to heal up. Really frustrated by this since we've been so careful to restrict excessive miles and stay healthy.

Thursday, August 30th
7M with 2M @ HMP in the middle completely off
**Dr. says it's a sprain in my subtaylor joint, gave me a high dose 6 day NSAID, and told me not to run for 7 days. I'm planning to cross train, but since I still have pain during the day without exercise at all, I'm going to give it some total rest before I start up the light exercise. Really bummed about this.

Friday, August 31st
40' easy + 6 strides weights workout (light weights, 100 reps)

Saturday, September 1st
DRC 5M Breakfast Bash Race 90' bike with intervals + core

Weekly Mileage: 8M -- Sprained or jammed my subtalar joint on some trails


Enjoying the journey! (47M)

Last week went surprisingly smooth. Despite the traveling and 4:40 wake up alarms, I really didn't run into any problems getting my workouts in. Running solo at memorial park was such a blessing. On Monday and Friday I didn't even start my watch! I just set out for my two loops and got completely lost in thought! The rest of my runs went well too. A 12 miler goes by so fast when you're on a three mile loop... you run two laps and you're already halfway done! I got in three solid quality days with the 10k race on Sunday in 6:03 pace, 4 miles of fartlek averaging 6:27 pace, and a 6 mile progression averaging 6:39 pace.

I really want to have strong PR's after this year. I feel like the fitness levels I've reached over the past few seasons are so much better than my PRs... that, and most of them are old. The trick is going to be not getting ahead of myself. I keep catching myself comparing this season's training and races to last falls, but I need to stop. I'm racing later in the season and I don't want to end up over training or peaking too soon. Plus, a full season and race without stopping for injuries is bound to be more successful than dropping out halfway through from a broken foot. ;) At any rate, I'm really just zeroing in on consistency for now. I'll let myself get crazy with hard workouts when I'm down to 6 or 7 weeks before race day!

Sunday, August 19th
7M run at WRL + 11M easy bike with Jake
Weights in the evening
COMMENTS: The first half of the run was very slow (even though it felt pretty labored), but then we dropped the pace pretty significantly. It probably helped that at 3.8 miles I stopped to use the restroom! :) Regardless, it was nice to run in cooler weather and to have conversation the whole time. I really enjoyed running with Tom - He's the perfect pace for me and was full of funny stories this morning! Mile splits were 8:27, 7:53, 7:43, 7:42, 7:16, 6:53, 6:47.

Monday, August 20th
40' run in the Boy Scout Camp + 6 x uphill strides
4M easy bike with Jake in the PM
COMMENTS: Ran with some of Jake's guys, Hanna, Molly, and Tawnee for the first 20 minutes, then switched directions and ran solo for the second half. Very good run though... a much more solid pace than I got in last Monday, I'll say that much! :) Strides were good. Felt hard while I was doing them, but it didn't leave me as out of breath afterwards so I'm not sure if 6 is enough (or maybe my 60" downhill recovery was too much!). Foot pain on top of right foot again.

Tuesday, August 21st
3M warm up + 5M of 2' @ 6:00, 1' @ 7:00 + 1M cool down
COMMENTS: I went into this one knowing it would be hard, so I kept the warm up very easy. The recovery segments felt surprisingly good and comfortable, but I really, really had to fight to hit the hard segment paces. I don't think slower recovery would've helped much since I felt pretty good when each of the 2' parts started. It started raining on me and the wind picked up right as I finished my warm up, but I don't think it affected the run. Overall I averaged 6:18 pace for the 5M and my fartlek paces were 6:00, 7:01, 6:02, 6:49, 6:07 (up the spillway), 6:58, 5:59, 6:36, 5:58, 7:08, 5:59, 7:01, 6:01, 6:58, 6:05, 7:26, 6:00, 7:19, 6:12, 6:43 (15" walking rec before 1' segment), 6:00. If I had known how close I was to 5 miles when I started that walking recovery I wouldn't have done it, haha! Still had foot pain during the warm up and considered not running, but figured since tomorrow is off it would be okay. The encouraging part is that my foot aches the same regardless of what part of my stride I'm in - Which makes me think it's just a lingering pain from the old fracture and not anything to be concerned about. Typically a fracture will hurt to push off of more so than when it's in the air.

Wednesday, August 22nd
Weights in the morning

Thursday, August 23rd
12M in the neighborhood
COMMENTS: I felt absolutely awful from step one today. It took me six miles to break 8 minute pace and even when I did I was having to really work. Hamstrings, quads, calves, everything felt tight and stiff, almost a dehydrated feeling which stinks because it was the perfect weather this morning. I did a harder weights workout yesterday than usual and Tuesday's workout was high effort as well, so I'm sure my body was just ready for a break. Hopefully between today and tomorrow I recoup enough to attack Saturday morning full force! Averaged 7:58 pace this morning for future reference.

Friday, August 24th
40' relaxed run on the grass track & gravel trail at DBU + 6 x strides
COMMENTS: Still very much dragging today, but at least I let myself do it without feeling some pressure to try picking it up. By the time tomorrow rolls around I ought to be feeling like a star after the past few days! Haha! Got in my strides on the grass track after my run and followed them up with some stretches.

Saturday, August 25th
2M w/u + 8M alt pace progression (2M @ 6:30, 2M @ 6:15, 2M @ 6:00 - 7:30 pace in between each)
COMMENTS: Rough workout this morning, but only during the second half. I actually felt very good during the warm up and first three miles... In fact, I was able to slow down the second half of each mile to stay in my pace ranges. The fourth mile (1st 6:15 mile) started right as I turned into the wind and was straight into it the entire time... after that, I pretty much shut down. I fought like crazy to hold pace for the 5th mile, then walked about 20m before starting the recovery mile. I took 800m recovery between my last two miles as well and still didn't quite hit pace. It's not a total failure because I got in 8.5 miles averaging 6:44 pace, but it was definitely not what we wanted. Paces were as follows- 6:30, 6:26, 7:20, 6:15, 6:16, 8:21, 6:05, 800m at 8:18 pace, 6:03. Good hard (very hard) run this morning, but not really a true "alt pace" workout as planned.

Total Weekly Mileage: 48M


10k fitness test & 12 weeks to race day! (50M)

My legs finally started feeling better towards the second half of last week, but right about that same time I caught some sort of funny stomach bug. That or I have an infected, impacted wisdom tooth. I couldn't tell you the last time I took Advil, and yet over the past 72 hours I have been taking it religiously. Anyone who has experience with head pain around the ear, down the neck, and into the shoulder, feel free to offer advice! :)

This week we jumped into a last minute road race to get more practice with race morning simulation. I want as many chances as I can get to go through pre-race fueling trial and error now that I'm on such a restricted diet. The goal was NOT to race, but to practice patience and running half marathon pace. We're still a long ways out from my goal race, so I need to be ready to complete my workout successfully on Tuesday morning and get in all my miles healthily (it's an up week!). I've always had mixed feelings about training through races because if my name goes on the internet next to a poor time, that's never fun to see, but that's all part of the sport. You pick and choose your battles, which in a way allows you to pick and choose your victories. I choose November 4th this year. :)

Sunday, August 12th
2M warm up + 10k Hottest Half race (6:03 AP) + 1.5M cool down
COMMENTS: I felt very sick last night and this morning and was tempted to bail, but I'm so glad I didn't! I wanted to average 6:10 pace and was trying to stay conservative for the first half. It felt so easy going out that I had to make myself relax so I wouldn't get too far below pace. What a great feeling! I kept focusing on trying to get into a good rhythm and pass guys on the way back. Every quarter/half mile or so I would check my pace and as long as it said 6:10 or quicker I didn't care a bit... which it did! Very excited about the progression of my fitness at this point and even more excited that I have 12 weeks left to get stronger! Mile splits were 6:05, 6:02, 6:05, 6:00, 6:04, 6:05, 5:49 (last .4). The course was really long so I don't know my actual "10k" time, but it was 38:42 for the 6.38.

Monday, August 13th
6M easy + 4 x strides + 10' core
COMMENTS: I ran two relaxed loops at Memorial Park this morning, never pushed myself or picked up the pace at all. My muscles felt perfectly normal, but joints and such were really achy, particularly the bottom of my feet and my ankles. I cut the strides short to four just to get them a little less pounding. :) Other than that very good day. I'm going to need to hit the hay MUCH earlier tonight. Two days straight of a 4:40 wake up call is too much... And I still have the rest of the week left! :)

Tuesday, August 14th
3M easy + 4M of 90"/90" tempo fartlek (5:50-6:00/6:50-7:00)
COMMENTS: I definitely slogged through the warm up and felt real creaky and stiff, but made myself attempt the workout anyways. The first half went smoothly but starting about 3 miles in I pretty well fell apart. Paces were 5:55, 6:51, 5:52, 6:54 (long), 5:39 (short), 7:00, 5:56, 6:47, 5:51, 7:09, 5:53, 6:52, 5:56, 7:22, 6:07, 7:27, 5:57, 7:02. I ended up getting in 4 miles averaging 6:27 pace, so another hard, solid run is in the books regardless of the missed paces in that last mile!

Wednesday, August 15th
rest day

Thursday, August 16th
12M easy in the morning in 7:37 AP
Weights in the evening
COMMENTS: Got in 12 miles solo at Memorial Park this morning. Same aches I've had all week (nothing is a bone ache and it's not sore muscles), just achey joints and such. Other than that, it was a VERY relaxed and comfortable run; never got out of breathe or pushed things since Jake told me not to run this like a progression run. Miles were 8:26, 7:48, 7:49, 7:47, 7:44, 7:46, 7:34, 7:31, 7:27, 7:24, 7:20, 7:12.

Friday, August 17th
6M easy + 8 x strides
COMMENTS: Two untimed loops at Memorial Park. Still not feeling fresh or fit or fast by any means, but I'm getting everything in. Hopefully in a few weeks I'll pull out of the "slumps" and start flying. ;) Regardless, I'm super thankful for such a high mileage week (for me) and the soft surfaces!

Saturday, August 18th
2M easy + 6M progressive (7:30::6:15) (7:15::6:00)
COMMENTS: Very slow warm up but awesome workout. Katie and I were shocked by how easy the first three miles were... We just could not get the pace slow enough to match the planned progression. It worked out perfectly, though, as we were able to progress by the same increments anyways! Miles were 7:14, 6:55, 6:36, 6:24, 6:13, 6:02 for a 6:34 average pace. Good day!

Total Weekly Mileage: 50M


13 weeks to race day! (40M)

Last week may have been full of some pretty rotten feeling runs, but all of the miles got in and all of the workouts got in. I'm calling it a success and I'm excited to be starting a new week! :) It's not going to be a true down week, but mileage will be slightly lower due to a pre-race run on Saturday instead of my usual workout.

Sunday, August 5th
7M in 50:45 (7:15 AP) with Jake at White Rock Lake + 10M bike with Jake
Weights in the PM
COMMENTS: We started with the Luke's group so about 3 of our first 3.5 miles were sub 7:00 pace, but that averaged out with the first half mile and the last 3.5 miles turned into a very solid run. I actually felt a little better today than yesterday, but still got pretty tired (probably due to the steady segment that got thrown in so early on!). All in all, a good run!

Monday, August 6th
50' easy run + 8 x 30", 30" strides at the Boy Scout Camp + 5' core
COMMENTS: Enjoyed the company and conversation with my husband this morning. Definitely still feeling a bit lethargic, but I'm also beginning to feel more like a runner. For the most part of this build up I've felt very recreational and out of shape, so I'm encouraged by this new mentality. Slight pain in the top of my right foot again today.

Tuesday, August 7th
30' easy run + 20' fartlek of 10 x 1',1' (6:23 AP) + 5' core
COMMENTS: The first 30' felt surprisingly hard (as in 8:40 pace felt fast!), but we still were able to get the pace down when it was time for the fartlek to start. Jake had asked us to alternate between 5:50-6:00 pace and 6:50-7:00 pace, but on the hills at DBU that was almost impossible. Actual paces were ?, ?, 6:06, 7:09, 5:57, 7:19, 5:55, 7:01, 5:44, 6:35, 5:39, 7:03, 5:43, 7:04, 5:31, 7:33, 5:44, 7:35, 5:47, 6:31 to get in 3.13 miles in 20:00 (6:23 AP). Not a totally failed workout, but we'll want to do several things differently next time.

Wednesday, August 8th
rest day

Thursday, August 9th
10M run in 73:04 (7:18 AP) around the neighborhood + 5' core
Weights in the PM
COMMENTS: Jake joined me this week for the run, which was really nice! I enjoyed the conversation a lot! We started nice and comfortable and finished at a steady effort. My breathing was a tad more labored during the last half; but other than that, the effort didn't pick up much, we simply warmed up as the run went on. Mile paces were 8:39, 7:56, 7:42, 7:42, 7:17, 6:56, 6:47, 6:47, 6:40, 6:43.
**Brutal back and neck massage at night!

Friday, August 10th
40' easy run in the boy scout camp
COMMENTS: Ran with Jake this morning for a nice comfortable run on the trails. Rolled my ankle a few times on the rocks, but no lasting pain from any of them! :) I'm definitely LOVING my new Mizuno Wave Precision!!

Saturday, August 11th
32' easy run + strides through the neighborhood
COMMENTS: Nice conversational run with Jake this morning in my new New Balance 890's. Very different but I like them! I was pretty heavy this morning and still have terrible shoulder/neck/head pain on the right side, but I definitely feel like tomorrow could be a great race!

Total Weekly Mileage: 40M