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Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Report – Part 2

7 Feb

The looooong overdue part 2!  Life has been a little crazy, and sadly when life gets crazy blogging falls off the priority list pretty quickly.  Never fear, I’m still running and Weight Watching.

There are still a number of prizes left from the Team ASPCA raffle, so I’m just gonna bite the bullet and give them all away!  The winners are:

iFitness Ultimate II Running Belt – Kim E.
Sweetpea Baking Co. Gift Certificate – Cindy E.
RunWallet – Liza J.
Organicville Prize Pack – Emily H.
Ultima Replinisher – Mathilde P.
Ultima Replinisher – Carrie T.
O.N.E. Coconut Water – Sheridan P.
8 X 10 Print from My Zoetrope – Jackie D.
Gardein Prize Pack – Amey M.
Three E-books by Hannah Kaminsky – Alivia P.
Four Annie’s Coupons – Esther O.
Nasoya Prize Pack 1 – Sheridan P.
Nasoya Prize Pack 2 – Kim E.
Nasoya Prize Pack 3 – Alivia P.
Tofurky Coupon (pizza) – Kim E.
Tofurky Coupon (roast) – Brandy B.
Daiya Coupon (wedge) – Miles S.
Daiya Coupon (shreds) – Kim E.

The Team shuttle was scheduled to leave at 5:15AM sharp on race morning.  I got up at 4:30 and actually made it to the hotel lobby in time to pick up the provided breakfast and get on board with a few minutes to spare.  I’m really, REALLY awful at being on time in the mornings, especially when it’s that early, so I was pretty proud of myself.  I may have been driven by the fact that if I missed the shuttle I had no other way of getting to the start line!

For breakfast, I had a bagel with peanut butter, OJ and water.  I only had a little bit of the OJ to make sure I didn’t get any heartburn.  My typical pre-race breakfast is a sprouted grain English muffin with almond butter, so the bagel with pb wasn’t far off.  It was probably a bit more caloric than what I’m used to, but we had quite a bit of time until the race started, so I figured it would be fine.

The drive downtown went by really quickly due to the fact that it was 5:15AM on a Sunday.  We walked a short distance to the Team ASPCA area, started organizing our stuff for the race and bag check, and had quite a bit of time to kill.  I think the plan was to take the Team picture right away, but the sun hadn’t risen yet, so we had to wait a while.  I thought about my race plan and goals, which were:

1.  Don’t aggravate my IT band.
2.  Keep my pace under at or under 12 minutes per mile average, to finish in 2:37:19, which would be a personal best by almost 3 minutes.
3.  Negative split the race – keep the pace slow and easy for the first 6 miles and see if I could pick up the pace for the second half.

Those were my goals, but if the second two didn’t happen I wasn’t going to be too disappointed, considering training didn’t go as well as I had hoped and I was dealing with the tricksy IT band.  At the start of training I had wanted to run the race with no walking breaks, taking gels and liquids while jogging, but I knew I would need to walk once or twice and stretch just a bit to stay healthy.

When the sun came out and other runners started gathering, we headed over to the start line for the Team photo.

I’m on the right side somewhere in the sea of orange…notice Larry the Dog, Team ASPCA’s mascot, in the middle.  He ran the whole race!

After the photo we headed to our corrals; most of the Team members were in 13 or 14, and I was in 14.  They gave each corral their own start, playing music and counting down from 10 each time.  I really enjoyed the energy and excitement, but have to say that I question what the Rock ‘n’ Roll people might classify as rock – I definitely heard Call Me Maybe and other non-rockin’ songs.  While we waited and slowly inched forward, I checked out some of the costumes, since it was a Halloween-themed race.

A gaggle of Elvii

Soon enough, we were off!  This was my first big race with corrals, and it was nice to start with a group who ran about the same pace as me.  Everyone started nice and easy, and there was no need to dodge or weave.  I wanted to hold back my pace during the first four miles, so I just ran easy and enjoyed the bands and the costumes.  Two of my favorites were a Rainbow Bright and a Michael Jackson, fully decked out in a red leather jacket, pushing a cart with a boombox playing his music.

At the fourth mile marker, I took a quick walk break along with a gel.  In addition to carrying Ultima Replenisher electrolyte drink in my belt, I grabbed a sip of water at every station, since it was hot and dry.  At the first station with Gatorade I tried a bit, which reminded how gross Gatorade is.  From then on I stuck to water.

Miles five through eight were fairly uneventful; we passed the start line going the other way (the course was a double out-and-back) and a few more bands.  I took another quick walk break at mile 8 but didn’t stop to stretch, as my knee thankfully wasn’t bothering me.  Just after mile 9, we started up the only real hill of the course, an overpass.  I saw two of the Team ASPCA coaches on the way up, and they both told me that I “looked strong”.  I don’t know if that was true or if they were just being nice, but it was good to hear either way!  Honestly, the hill wasn’t that bad and I was only a little winded at the top, where we turned around to head back toward the finish.  We had a really great view of the downtown LA skyline, which I admired for a minute before I realized we had to run all the way back.  Doh!  I cruised down the hill we had just run up, and then started to feel how tired I was when it flattened out at the bottom.

Toward the end of that ninth mile I was exhausted, and started bargaining with myself as to when I could take another walking break.  I went back and forth in my mind about it, and finally told myself that NO, I didn’t need any more walking breaks.  I would keep running the rest of the race at whatever pace I could manage, no matter how slow.

The shade was nice, and the sun was HOT!

I don’t have accurate splits for the end of the race because we went through a tunnel that threw off my GPS, but the last few miles were definitely over 12 minutes per mile.  The ball of my left foot was hurting with every step, and at some points I caught myself practically walking.  With just over a mile left to go, we made a final turn and could almost see the finish line.

Best picture of me running, ever – both feet off the ground!

I had just a little bit of juice left and ran as fast as I could over the finish line.  I was really sore and tired, and happy to be done!

Jamba Juice had a tent just after the medals and were handing out smoothies, which were confirmed dairy free, and it was SO refreshing.  Then a bagel, which I started wolfing down right away, and a slow walk back to the ASPCA area.  It was right around the time when the first shuttle was scheduled to depart back to the hotel and I assumed I had missed it until it was announced that they were rounding up to walk to the shuttle right then, so I grabbed my bag and booked it over there as quickly as possible so I could get back and take a much needed shower.  I missed out on the main concert and free beer, but showering and food were much more important to me at that point.

My official finishing time was 2:39:59, exactly 2 seconds faster than my previous half marathon time.  I am nothing if not consistent!  I really think I could’ve shaved a bit more time off if the heat hadn’t gotten to me, but I was happy to set at least set a PR.  And, while my muscles were quite sore, I was knee pain-free at the end, which meant I had achieved goal #1 of not re-aggravating my IT band.

Apart from the heat, I enjoyed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, and would definitely recommend it.  The start and finish were well organized with plenty of porta potties and supplies, and it didn’t feel like I was surrounded by so many thousands of other runners.  The course was marked well, and the on course entertainment and support were fantastic.

I’d like to write a separate post on my experience with Team ASPCA but I don’t think I’ll get to it, so I’ll jot down my thoughts here.  I really enjoyed my Team ASPCA experience, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to train for an endurance event and raise funds to help animals nation-wide.  It’s a big commitment, time and energy-wise, and you do have to raise a certain minimum in order to get your race entry and accommodations.  Even with all the work I put in and the generous donations of friends and family, I had to cover a bit of the amount myself.  I would say that unless you know a TON of people who will donate, you will need to hold at least one event in addition, such as a bake sale or raffle.

I wasn’t in an area that had enough team members to train together, which is definitely part of the experience I felt like I missed out on.  The support I did have was great though; both the Regional Manager Tina and the National Coach Spencer were swiftly responsive to e-mail, and very helpful.  Spencer gave me good motivation and tips when I was training through my IT band issues.  Tina is about the bubbliest person I’ve ever met, and she even took me and a few other team members out to dinner one night when she was in the area.

So, if you’re considering joining Team ASPCA for an event, I would say go for it with the understanding that it will take some time and energy!  There are a few different training plans available, so it’s good for beginners and experienced runners alike.

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Week 12

27 Oct

Today’s winners are Molly F. and Miles S.! I’ve e-mailed for prize selection.

I’m in LA! And the half marathon is tomorrow! I’m currently in my hotel room with my feet up, resting my legs after walking around a little too much yesterday.

Week 12 – the last week!

what was supposed to happen what actually happened
Mon – 4 miles easy, strength 3.5 miles easy, strength
Tues – 3 miles easy 3 miles easy
Weds – cross train rest
Thurs – 2 miles easy 2 miles easy
Fri – rest
Sat – rest
Sun – rest

Considering how poorly I did with training the two weeks prior, I knew it was really important to stick to the training plan this week. On Monday I ran on the treadmill and had an inkling of knee discomfort during the third mile, so I cut the planned 4 miles down to 3.5. Tuesday’s run was a good one, a confidence building run, clocking in at an average pace of 11:20. On Thursday I knew I should be keeping the pace easy, but the run was short, I felt good, and was in a hurry to get home and pack, and I finished with a speedy pace of 11:15.

I’m ready for the race tomorrow, as in I’m ready to get out there and get it done. My training overall, and particularly in the last three weeks, didn’t go as well as planned, so I am a little worried about how well I’ll do. I know I can finish, but I don’t know how quickly or how many walking/stretching breaks I’ll need to take, or what kind of pain I’ll be in at the finish line. I do think that being around other Team ASPCA members and having the coaches on course, as well as the spectators and bands, will give me plenty of motivation and hopefully keep my mind off any discomfort.

When I signed up for this race, my goal was to step up my training, incorporating speed work, and shave five or more minutes off of my previous time of 2:40. Now, my hope is just to beat that time, even if it’s only by a few seconds. I do feel that I am stronger and faster than I was for my last half marathon, but I just don’t know what to expect from myself considering how sporadic my long runs have been in the second half of training. Either way, I think it will be fun! Wish me luck!

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Weeks 10 & 11

24 Oct

Alternate Title:  “Life, or How I Didn’t Run for Almost Two Weeks During What Should Have Been the Peak of Training”

(Today’s raffle winners are Matt W. and Molly G.  I’ve e-mailed for prize selection!)

Week 10

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 5 miles easy, strength                   rest
Tues – 6 x 800 w/ 400 recovery,         rest
1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        rest
Thurs – 4 miles easy, strength                rest
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 13 miles                                                  rest
Sun – rest                                                          rest

This week was the perfect storm of excuses plus events getting in the way of exercise.  Monday I was absolutely exhausted after work, and I told myself I could miss the scheduled workout as long as I got up before work and ran the next morning.  Of course, that always makes more sense the night before than the morning of when the alarm goes off.  At 5AM, unless I have a plane to catch, my brain pretty much always thinks that sleep is  more important than everything else and resets the alarm.  So, that didn’t happen.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, the A’s had home playoff games, and we had tickets.  It was pretty much work->baseball->sleep for two days, with nothing else in between, and then Thursday I left the game early to catch a red eye to New York for a somewhat last minute work trip.

I spent Friday walking around Manhattan and Brooklyn, so at least that was a little exercise.  Since I had barely slept though, I was a little bit of a zombie.  I planned to run a loop around Central Park Saturday morning before my work event, but since I was still mostly on west coast time I didn’t get to bed as early as hoped, and again needed the extra sleep more than I needed the run, which was sad since it meant I didn’t see Central Park at all.

On Sunday I flew to Reno to meet up with Dave and a friend, again in a very much zombie-like state.  We drove home Monday, and needless to say I was too exhausted to do anything other than regroup and try to plan for the coming week.  That week was a little crazy!

Week 11

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 5 miles easy, strength                   rest
Tues – 10 x 400 w/ 200 recovery,       rest
1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        rest
Thurs – 4 miles easy, strength                rest
Fri – rest                                                           5K (3.1 miles)
Sat – 9 miles                                                    8 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

I went back to work on Tuesday theoretically rested and ready to get back into my routine, and dedicated to getting a run in, since I had missed over a week.  That afternoon though, I started feeling ill – head ache-ey, hot and chilly at the same time, and a little bit of a sore throat.  I left work early to rest, and ended up staying home sick Wednesday as well.  Thursday I felt mostly better, but the Niners were playing right after work and I thought it wouldn’t hurt to rest one more day to get back to 100% healthy.

On Friday, I was finally ready and itching to run!  I was scheduled to rest since it was the day before a long run, but I really wanted to get out there and move my legs, and it was also my only chance to participate in the Cupcake Classic Virtual 5K.  I had never participated in a virtual race before, and I know the point of this one was kind of to get together with a group, but I decided to head downtown solo.

It felt awkward at beginning since it had been a while since I ran.  I started to feel better and more natural during the second mile and let my legs go a little, probably too fast.  My time for the second mile was 11:04, quite fast for me.  I slowed down at the beginning of the third mile to conserve some energy and planned to pick it back up for last half mile, but my leg started to hurt and didn’t want to push it, so I kept it kind of easy until the end.  My total time was 35:11, for an average of 11:19 per mile, which is quite good for me!  It was a little bit of an affirmation to remember that I can run a 5K whenever I want, even after some time without running.

On Saturday I set out for nine miles and vowed to take it easy the whole time no matter how I felt.  The first few miles felt sluggish, but I was feeling decent by the third and fourth miles.  I started to feel discomfort in my knee around mile 6.  Discomfort, I can deal with as long as it’s not too bad.  However, in the eighth mile my hip and the ball of my left foot started to hurt, bad enough that it was making me a little nauseated, so I stopped at 8 miles.

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Week 9

21 Oct

Today’s raffle winners are Janet W. and Miles S.!  I’ve e-mailed you for prize selection…

Week 9

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 5 miles easy, strength                   walked 20 minutes, strength
Tues – 8 x 400 w/ 200 recovery,         walked 40 minutes
1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        rest
Thurs – 4 miles easy, strength                ran 3 miles, walked 30 minutes
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 12 miles                                                  12 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

That Monday, as often happens to me on Mondays, I had zero energy when I got home from work and skipped my scheduled run.  The angel and the devil on my shoulder really have it out on Monday afternoons sometimes…

Tuesday after work we went to the A’s game, and this was about the time when baseball took over my life for a week and a half.  The A’s were playing for the AL West division title.  They had to sweep the Rangers to do so, and we went to the games Tuesday and Wednesday, and they won (!!!), but I missed two workouts those days…I finally got in a run on Thursday, but had some IT band discomfort and stopped after three miles.

On Saturday, I was committed to finishing 12 miles, and I headed back to the Iron Horse Trail for the second time.  I was really determined to finish, and I even took a minute at the beginning to visualize, which is a technique I haven’t really used before.  I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and pictured myself running back to that spot with no knee pain.  I also committed to keeping mental focus throughout the run and keeping good form.  It worked!  I felt surprisingly good after 6 miles but told myself to keep going until mile 8 and see how I felt then.  Sure enough, by mile 8 I was beginning to fatigue.  I took walking breaks at miles 4 and 8, and stretched my IT band and glute as well.  The last two miles were really tough and my legs were starting to hurt, but I kept my mental focus, and finished with no knee pain.  After having a few weeks that felt not completely successful, it was really good to have a confidence boosting run!

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Weeks 7 & 8

9 Oct

Today’s raffle winner is Jackie D!  Jackie, I’ve e-mailed you for prize selection.

Week 7

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 4 miles easy, strength                   yoga, strength
Tues – 10 x 400 w/ 200 recovery,      40 minutes stationary bike
1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        walked 40 minutes
Thurs – 5 miles easy, BodyPump           elliptical, BodyPump
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 12 miles                                                  4 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

When I left off last time I had aggravated my IT band injury during a long run.  I e-mailed the Team ASPCA coach and asked what he thought, and he advised cross training for a while instead of running, and assured me that I wouldn’t lose fitness by skipping a few runs.  So, that’s what I did!  I found a yoga for runners video online, I rode a stationary bike and used the elliptical at the gym, and I strength trained.  On Friday I went to a running store to see if they had any advice to further prevent recurrence, and upon looking at the shoes I was using they told me they were totally shot, which I’m sure is another reason the injury reared its ugly head.  So, I tried a few pairs on since I wasn’t in love with the current ones I was using, and settled on Asics GEL-Evolution 6, which felt lighter and seemed to fit my foot better.  I couldn’t really afford new shoes at the time, but had to do what I needed to do to get out on the road.  I was becoming one of those people who get cranky when they can’t run!

By Saturday I was feeling mostly recovered, so I set out for five miles in my new shoes.  I had a little bit of knee discomfort in the fourth mile so I cut it short, but it felt good to be back out there.

Week 8

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 5 miles easy, strength                   4 miles easy, strength
Tues – 5 x 800 w/ 400 recovery,         10 x 400 w/ 200 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                       1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        rest
Thurs – 4 miles easy, strength                4 miles easy
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 11 miles                                                  11 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

I got on the treadmill for five miles on Monday, but again cut it short to four due to a little knee discomfort.  I really didn’t want to aggravate my injury or prevent it from healing completely!

On Tuesday I was scheduled to run my first 800’s ever, but considering I missed 400’s the week before, I did that instead to avoid jumping from 200’s straight to 800’s.  I took it easier than usual on the running intervals, but ended up with a good pace overall.

On Thursday, I finally added a fourth run into my week, which I had been meaning to do for a few weeks.  I meant to take it easy, but really felt like letting my legs go once I got out there, and I probably ran way too fast during the first mile.  My average pace was 11:16, which is great for me over four miles.

I cautiously set out for 11 miles on Saturday, heading to a new trail that I’d never run, the Iron Horse Trail.  It’s a little further of a drive to get there, but I was hoping it would pay off to avoid the gravel that lines the trail I usually use for long runs.  My stride felt really tight and off for the first few miles; it felt like I wasn’t fully extending my left leg, or like I was favoring my right side, so I tried to pay attention and even things out.  I took walking breaks after four and eight miles, and stopped quickly each time to stretch my IT band and glute, which seemed to help loosen things up.  I definitely had some discomfort and didn’t feel great overall, but I finished all 11 miles and wasn’t in pain.  The trail was nice, it’s wide and flat and paved the whole way.  It’s slightly banked in a lot of places, but I can usually find a flat spot by moving to the middle.  There are always lots of runners, cyclists, and dog walkers out which is nice, and the scenery is decent.  The trail actually goes right through the middle of a golf course at one point, and there is a chain link fence that curves over the top to keep people from getting hit!

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Weeks 5 & 6

5 Oct

Tonight’s raffle winner is Mathilde P!  Mathilde, I’ve e-mailed you for prize selection.

Weeks 5 and 6 of half marathon training started really good, and ended REALLY badly.

Week 5

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 5 miles easy, strength                   5 miles easy
Tues – 12 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,       12 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                       1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        walked 30 minutes
Thurs – 4 miles easy, BodyPump            elliptical, BodyPump
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 10 miles                                                  10 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

I did Monday’s run on the treadmill and took it really easy.  For intervals on Tuesday I was feeling really good until there were three left to go and I had some thigh discomfort, so I eased up a bit for the end.  I still had an average pace of 11:09, which is great.

I had planned to add in a fourth weekly run on Thursdays this week, but I was stuck on going to BodyPump at 6:30 and couldn’t figure out how to get a run in in between work and class, so I did the elliptical instead.

We were in Lake Tahoe over the weekend, and I was looking forward to some great scenery on my long run.  I tried to do some research on a good place to run but didn’t come up with much, so I settled on Pioneer Trail, which is a somewhat major two-lane road that I knew had bike lanes the whole way.  Safety was my main concern, so I wore my brightest orange shirt and carried pepper spray.

The road was hilly the ENTIRE way.  My plan was to try to run the whole thing without any walk breaks, but it became quickly apparent that I ought to take breaks in order to preserve enough energy to finish.  By mile 7 I was sick of running uphill and my legs were getting fatigued, so I used a couple of the bigger hills as an excuse to walk again.  The elevation was more uphill overall on the way out, so at least on the way back there was more down than up!  My time was 2:11:07 – not great, but all things considered, not terrible.

Week 6

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 4 miles easy, strength                   rest
Tues – 12 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,       12 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                       1/2 mile w/u & c/d, strength
Weds – cross train                                        walked 30 minutes
Thurs – 5 miles easy, BodyPump            rest
Fri – rest                                                            ran 3 miles
Sat – 11 miles                                                  11 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

On Monday we drove back from Tahoe, and there was no way I was going to exercise when we got back.  To make up for it, I decided to give Tuesday’s workout my all and add my strength routine, since I feel like strength is really important considering my IT band issues.  A few intervals in, I started to feel a little pain around my tailbone.  I think maybe I was trying to hold my form a little too tightly, and my glutes/hips were tugging on my lower back muscles.  It felt like discomfort, rather than an injury, so I decided to keep going and ease up on my effort a bit.  It loosened up a bit, and other than that I felt great on that run.

I had nothing in me on Thursday.  I was a little PMS-ey, and Dave and I decided to go to Chili’s for happy hour and dinner.  (I haven’t been to Chili’s in…oh, about five years?)  On Friday I was feeling guilty about ditching my workout, so I ran three easy miles on the treadmill, which turned out to be an awful idea in hindsight.

Saturday morning, I set out for my long run at the Marina, like any other Saturday morning.  I took it really easy in the first half to ensure that I’d have energy to get all the way through.  I felt really good at the turnaround (5.5 miles), so I decided to try something like intervals; not necessarily running faster, but focusing on form and really using my leg muscles for a half mile then recovering for a half mile.  After two miles of this, I felt a telltale sharp pain on the outside of my left knee – my IT band acting up.  I had over three miles left to go, and I knew I was in trouble.  After my walking break at mile 8, I completely stopped to stretch my IT band and glute, then jogged really easily the rest of the way, taking another stretch break before the last mile.  I finished the 11 miles, but knew I had aggravated my injury, which was incredibly frustrating.  I think it was a combination of running the night before (horrible idea), running on gravel, and running longer than I had in a long while that did it.

Until next time…

RnR LA Half Marathon Training – Weeks 3 & 4

21 Sep

Today’s raffle winner is Molly G!  Molly, I’ve e-mailed you for prize selection.

There are still plenty of rad prizes available in the Team ASPCA raffle!  I’m a little less than half of the way to my fundraising goal of $2300, so please donate if you can!

Now I’ll catch up on weeks 3 and 4 of half marathon training.  These weeks were…okay…

Week 3

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 4 miles easy, strength                   rest
Tues – 8 x 400 w/ 200 recovery,         4 miles easy, strength
1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        walked 50 minutes
Thurs – elliptical, BodyPump                  elliptical, BodyPump
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 8 miles                                                     8 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

I missed my workout Monday evening because of our fantasy football draft.  You have to have priorities, you know :)  I knew if I ran intervals Tuesday as scheduled I wouldn’t be up for strength training, and strength training is really important to my plan to prevent any further trouble with my IT band, so I made up the four miles from Monday on the treadmill and did my strength routine.

For the 8-miler on Saturday, my goal was to run the entire thing without taking any walk breaks, and I did!  I even took a gel and drank my electrolyte drink while jogging.  I was feeling a little sore from BodyPump on Thursday, so to keep my focus I kind of ran fartleks.  I would choose a landmark and “run strong” until I reached it, then recover by jogging more slowly until I could pick up the pace again.  I wasn’t necessarily trying to go faster, but by focusing on my form and really using my legs, I naturally go a bit faster.  My average page over 8 miles was 12:05 minutes/mile, which is really great for me!

Week 4

what was supposed to happen                 what actually happened
Mon – 3.5 miles easy, strength                 3.5 miles easy, strength
Tues – 10 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,        10 x 200 w/ 200 recovery,
1/2 mile w/u & c/d                                            1/2 mile w/u & c/d
Weds – cross train                                        walked 30 minutes
Thurs – elliptical, BodyPump                  elliptical, BodyPump
Fri – rest                                                            rest
Sat – 9 miles                                                     4 miles
Sun – rest                                                          rest

Monday’s treadmill run was progressive – 1 mile @ 4.8, 1 @ 4.9, 1 @ 5.0, and 1@ 5.1.  I know that’s not very fast, but treadmill running still seems harder to me than outside.

Tuesday’s intervals were actually supposed to be on a hill.  I ran a hill alright, Leona Canyon Trail – up a giant hill on the way out, and downhill the whole way back.  I actually hiked a few of the recovery portions on the way up, and had to watch my footing really carefully on the way back.  It was a beautiful, peaceful trail, but much better suited for a hike than running intervals!

That weekend we went to Reno, and I planned on running 9 miles along the river, which I’ve done before.  The path along the river there is really quite lovely.  Thing is, I had a little too much wine the night before, and stayed up too late, and slept really poorly, and felt pretty wretched that morning.  I set out for the run regardless, telling myself that I could go 8 miles or even less if I wasn’t up for it.  I had a wedding to attend that afternoon, and I wanted to be decent company instead of a tired mess.  Upon my first few steps it was pretty apparent that I was feeling terrible, and I didn’t want to push it or get sick, so I only ended up going four miles.  I was glad that I listened to my body and didn’t push it too hard, but mad at myself for not preparing properly to do a long run.  Since I’m training for this half marathon with Team ASPCA I feel more responsibility to train properly, so I felt like I was letting myself AND the animals down.