Here we go, here we go!!! [32.5M]

This should be my first FULL week of spring half marathon training! Still just "base" with bits of quality thrown in, but I'm excited anyways! :) And I'm so happy to have a training partner, Carolyn, again! We should be able to meet for our long run and at least one, if not two, of our quality runs each week! This weekend I'll probably jump in the DRC 5k at the last minute just to keep practicing the mental side of racing. I'm still so weak at pushing myself in the middle/ end of the race - It's crazy what practices you can pick up when you take a break from running for a while! Time to remember that there is no such thing as dropping out of a race!! And there is also no point in running hard if you're not going to compete! Got to get that racing mind back, and soon!

Sunday, October 27th
8M plus one additional mile with Carolyn! We only had 8 miles scheduled, but decided we'd rather run the loop for 8 miles, then walk back the last mile or so, but we got tired of walking and it was taking way too long! We kept things nice and easy today and it felt so great; this is by far the fastest any of my runs have gone by this year! 8:49, 7:57, 7:56, 7:42, 7:32, 7:32, 7:28, 7:16 [7:47 avg], then the last (extra) mile in 7:54! :) 

Monday, October 28th
Rest day!

Tuesday, October 29th
5M w/ 200 on, 200 off for the last 2M. I did this on the grass track, so my 200's were actually 0.15 of a mile instead of an actual 200 meters, but that's okay... means more rest time as well! The 3M warm up felt great and I ran those miles in 8:26, 7:54, 7:26. Then I changed shoes, did a quick, single set of drills, and took off. And by took off, I mean it. I am a TERRIBLE judge of pace right now. I knew the hard segments were really hard, but I expected them to be, so I assumed I was still running the right effort level. Little did I know I had turned this into a true speed workout! I had to practically walk the recovery 200's! :/ Paces for the hard segments were 4:48, ? (didn't get it), 5:04, 4:58, 5:11, 5:05, 5:04, 5:05; recoveries ranged from 7:50 to 9:20 pace. I'll know better next time! Since I accidentally stopped my watch instead of lapping it when I started my 2nd hard 200, I ended up running an extra 200m hard today, lol!

Wednesday, October 30th
5M on the treadmill, thanks to my wimpy self and a windy/misty day. :) It worked out quite well though. I started at 8:27 pace, then every 0.33 of a mile I knocked it down by 0.1mph. This put me finishing up the run at 7:03 pace which was just perfect. Total time was 38:40, so 7:44 pace. First two miles were over 8:00 pace though, so I'm pleased with that. Changing the pace so often made it go by quicker as well. Bone stim on both feet and shins today just to be safe!

Thursday, October 31st
5M, 6 strides. Knocked out all five miles on a soft surface today! Score! Switched back and forth between our grass track and the gravel trail and it worked like a charm. I'm really liking my new routine. I feel better going into the day when I have a relaxed, slow wake up in the morning. Plus, now that I'm running at lunch, it forces me to stop snacking at 9:00, which is another bonus. Since I'm already very awake and loose, it doesn't take more than a mile for me to get rolling and even the first mile doesn't feel stiff or achy like it does at 6AM! I'll just have to find a way to make the morning runs work when I can meet Carolyn for workouts or when I have longer runs. Today's splits were 8:31, 7:43, 7:24, 7:14, 7:00. Talk about a nice progression without even trying! Followed it with one set of drills and 6 short strides.

Friday, November 1st
5M cut-down. The plan was to do a short 800m easy warm-up and then run 7:35 cutting down 15 seconds each mile, finishing at 6:35. It was absolutely PERFECT weather though and I guess I let that get the best of me. First mile was 7:02 and felt like a jog! Next mile was 6:51, then I didn't catch the next three miles because my watch changed screens, but I know for sure I cut down. After I finished the last mile and saw my watch was on the wrong screen, I switched it to the correct one and stopped it there. Should be around 33:55 for the full time (6:47 pace). Felt very good leg wise, but the cool air did cause me to get the sticky nose and mouth after a little bit! Happy though! I wore my old NB shoes to see if they helped my feet and I had no issues!

Saturday, November 2nd
3M shakeout in the neighborhood before we headed out to watch the Region II UIL Cross Country Meet. It's always fun scoping out new recruits!


The time is going to pass regardless... [23M]

I ran in the Komen Dallas Race for the Cure this weekend and was thoroughly impressed by Luke's Locker, Humana, and New Balance for their contributions and support for the elite group that participated. I felt very uneasy about about being in this "elite" group knowing how out of shape I am right now, but I was so honored and humbled, and could not be more appreciative. It was wonderful to have our own port-o-potties, easy access to the start line, and a safe place to leave our bags during the race. Humana also provided us with free entries (thank you!) and New Balance gave us some sweet racing flats, shorts, and a jersey (thank you!). Very neat to see how all these groups worked together to build support and excitement for the breast cancer awareness event.

After the race, my friend Jeff, (whom I actually met this summer while running on a treadmill at the gym!) reminded me to be patient with my training because the time is going to pass regardless. He basically said that I should not rush progress or be discouraged by small improvements. This year is going to pass just like all the rest and a new one will come. I have more than enough time to get where I want to be. It's better to make small improvements and continue building and progressing than to try making major jumps and end up on the couch again.

This week marks the start of my new plan that Jake has made me so I can run a half marathon this spring. The first couple days are off so that I can go into the training fresh and without all my current aches. After this weekend, I am even more excited to get after this. I am competitive at heart and it's difficult knowing how far back I've fallen. I understand it's all part of coming back from injuries and I also understand the need for patience, so no worries. I just am VERY ready to be back in the grind and feeling fit and fast on race days again! :)

Sunday, October 20th
Rest and recovery. Feels like I've pulled something on the front outer side of my right lower leg. So weird! Glad these are my off days anyways! :)

Monday, October 21st
Rest and recovery. Solid core and cross training session during lunch!

Tuesday, October 22nd (it's go time!!)
3M moderate effort, drills, 16 diagonals while timing Dawn. I was supposed to do 5M with the last 2M being 100m hard, 100m easy, but I was timing Jake's athlete this morning and ran short on time. So I did the three miles and then ran my surges from the start to the 200 (across the field) during her workout. Very chilly out which made me feel quick and I had half an e+ shot before I left so I was really awake and ready to roll from the first step. No wasted miles today!

Wednesday, October 23rd
5M; drills. I got in at least five miles this morning (probably quite a bit more) at a very solid pace. Definitely a good run. My hamstring has been really hurting the past two days though, so I held off on the drills. 
Drills, upper body strength during lunch. I put some Ageless Pain Relief Cream on mid-morning, stretched gently, and massaged it a lot and it felt good enough to go through drills by lunchtime. I still skipped lower body strength though as I did not want to push that muscle today. Just keep it loose! :)

Thursday, October 24th
5M + strides. I'm pretty sure I've run too hard in every single one of my runs this week! I have felt like I've been really working (almost harder than tempo effort) for almost all of my runs this week. I think the cooler weather, lower mileage, and my e+ shots have been part of this, but I definitely need to cool it! I've been BEAT after my runs! Arms and legs both! Today I ran to the gravel trail at DBU, stayed on there until around 30 minutes, then switched to the grass track. I stretched my calves when I got to the grass, so I happened to check the time on my watch when I started there... my first mile was 6:5x... Yikes! After I saw that I really eased up until I finished out the full 40 minutes. No strides today and no drills either; really wanting to baby this hamstring by not doing any quick movements with it.

Friday, October 25th
5M with last 2M hard with Carolyn Kelly. Carolyn and I have been great training partners! We're at about the same fitness level, and we're somewhat opposite in workouts - She tends to start hard and maintain, I prefer to start easier and cut down. Works nicely because then we usually end up doing both, haha! Today was a rough one though! I think we underestimated the temps and didn't warm up quite enough. We never broke 8 minute pace during our first three miles, and we did absolutely nothing before starting the hard part... Like not even stop the run to do a few quick drills, strides, or stretches. I think next time we'll want to throw in some surges during our last two "warm up" miles. Regardless, we ran 6:52 and 6:38 for the two miles today. Hopefully next week we'll be better prepared for it because it felt awful today!! Haha!

Saturday, October 26th
3M shakeout before helping at the Heartland Conference Championship meet since my husband is the host team's coach! No time for real running when you leave that early in the morning!!!


I need to at least be sub 20:00 this week!! [24M]

Yep! I've finally decided I'm confident enough in my body to select and train for a goal race!! Last year I had planned on running The Woodland's Half Marathon, but had to drop my entry because of the stress fractures. I ended up getting to go watch the event anyways because Jake raced the marathon, and let me tell you - It is perfect! Great course, nice Texas weather, friendly people, and FAST racers. I am so looking forward to finally running (completing) my first half marathon! I don't expect to be in as good of shape as the 1/2 I started in Houston (6:08 pace thru 8M), but, I would definitely like a respectable debut. :) In saying that - It's time to stop babying myself. No more trotting on my daily runs. I need a long run - every week. I need workouts - every week. Good thing my husband is a coach and knows what's doing! :)

Here's the last week of my "return to running" season. I'll cap it off with a charity 5k (Komen) on Saturday, and then BOOM, into the training we go!

Sunday, October 13th

6M with Carolyn at the lake (per usual!). I absolutely love these runs with Carolyn! We are similar fitness levels and have a lot in common with both our husbands being coaches. Always lots to talk about! Personally, I felt like I had died and been forced to run anyways today, haha. My legs were literally like lead from step 1. We did get in a solid aerobic run though, and I have all day today and tomorrow to recover before I run again! Splits were 8:02, 7:23, 7:08, 7:08, 7:06, 6:51 for a 7:17 average.

Monday, October 14th
No running day! Day one of my new abs and strength series - Whooo! I am going to be strong!

Tuesday, October 15th
4M + 6 x 30",30" on the treadmill. Yucky weather today and I didn't want to run on pavement, so treadmill it was! This was by far the fastest any treadmill run has passed, haha! Unfortunately I still felt heavy legged and heavy lunged, so I kept the pace very relaxed. Hoping this gets me feeling good again soon. For my "150m" strides that were scheduled, I set the treadmill to 6:00 pace and jumped on for 30", rested 30", jumped on for 30", and so on to complete six. That was probably too slow, but I just wanted to do something to get myself moving quicker again. 

Wednesday, October 16th
6M with 4x2', 4x1', equal rest. I was stuck on the treadmill again today - The weather is changing!! This should make for PERFECT race weather this weekend though! About time! :) The workout was okay. My left leg is really bothering me; hip flexor, quad, shin, arch, they all hurt. I ran nice and easy for two miles, did some leg swings, and then ran 6:00 pace for the surges. The two minute ones were tougher than I care to admit, but the one minute ones were just fine! Lots of work to do, but I'm starting soon! 

Thursday, October 17th
Switched Friday's rest day with today because my hip flexor and shins were extra sore. Hoping they feel a bit better tomorrow so I can be ready to roll on Saturday!

Friday, October 18th
2M + 6 strides. My hip flexor still bothered me throughout the run, but it actually got a little better over time. I stopped at 2 miles just to not push it any more than necessary. Ready to drop under 20 already!

Saturday, October 19th
5k warm up, drills, 5k race at Komen Dallas Race for the Cure. Well, I fell apart again on the second mile, but this week I had the least time gain from mile two to three out of the last three races. This time around I was 6:09, 6:20, 6:24, plus the final kick. The past two weeks I added about twenty seconds or more with each mile, so this was a slight improvement. Once again, though, when I saw how slow that first mile was I spent the entire second mile (most of which was up gradual inclines) debating if I should just step off or not. When I got to the third mile, knew I had to finish, and knew it was all uphill from there, I finally turned on my brain a bit; but that second mile and the last 100m or so of the long hill in the 3rd mile pretty much knocked me out. So, 19:35 for the day. Upset stomach, freezing cold outside, and windy, but even still, best chance I had to get my time down into a respectable range. Oh well. Back to work so I can show up more prepared on another day!


Week 1 of Fall Training!!!! WOOHOO!! [34M]

Jake is officially staring me up on a workout and long run schedule! I will still only run five days per week, I will still have low mileage, and I will still only have two quality days per week; BUT, I am on a program now!!!

I have a training plan laid out to get me through the end of November with several races scattered throughout there to give my quality days a boost! Last week's 5k was a great pre-training reminder of how important these quality days are! You can't run fast off of a low mileage base phase! :)

So, without further ado, here we go!! Time to get fit and fast!!!

Sunday, October 6th
6M with Carolyn at the lake. We both felt great and the weather was nice, so it was a perfect run! 7:50, 7:29, 7:27, 7:18, 7:18, 7:18. We actually tried slowing it down each mile because after yesterday's race we knew we didn't need to run hard today, but it wasn't hard and we couldn't slow down, hah! Must've been the weather!

Monday, October 7th
No running day #1!

Tuesday, October 8th
6M with 6x150m strides. I was extremely, extremely dehydrated today and I ran at noon so the sun was killer! Talk about oppressive! I did get it all in though, and averaged 7:54 pace which is all I need to be running on easy days according to McMillan! ;)  I had quite a bit of quad and hip pain though, so I'm hoping it feels better before tomorrow's workout!

Wednesday, October 9th
8M with 4M of 3'/2'/1' @tempo, 1' recovery between each.
What a nice morning for a workout! A tad bit chilly, but just enough to keep your hands cold and the air crisp, and a tad bit windy, but just enough to give you a good breeze when running into it and a good push when running with it! 2M warm up, a quick 30 second stretch, and then off I went. I planned to do the hard segments at 6:45 pace because Saturday's tempo run is supposed to be around that pace, but looking back I should I have set my goal pace a bit quicker. I jogged the second half of most surges because I was so far below goal pace and didn't want to "crash" before the end. Now I'm quite sure I could have handled it! Paces for the 3', 2', 1' surges were as follows 6:42, 6:40, 6:41, 6:41, 6:37, 6:30, 6:37, 6:28, 6:15, 6:20. Average pace for the four miles was 7:03. Last two cool down miles were good. My greatest nuisance today was my left hip flexor. I think it's just an extension of the quad problems I've been having, but I have ART tonight!

Thursday, October 10th
4M with 6x100m strides.

Friday, October 11th
No running day #2!

Saturday, October 12th
10M with 4M at 6:30-6:45 pace.