I’ve Missed You Guys!

WARNING LONG POST AHEAD!  Yes, yes, it’s been awhile.  But I warned you in my last post.  Work is just insane right now.  All good things, but I’ve had to prioritize my time a little.  Hopefully it will settle down in a couple of weeks.

So what exactly have I been up to?  Well besides work, I have been continuing to train for the Baltimore Half, I ran the Charles Street 12, and I got a few new pieces of gear.

Lets start with Baltimore training.  When we last spoke, I had just wrapped up week 5.  I’m now about to start week 10.  I just realized I have 4 more long runs until the race.  Wow, time sure does fly doesn’t it?  Training has been going well, except for the fact that I have unfortunately missed the last few weeks of tempo runs.  First it was due to work, then weather, then just pure exhaustion.  This past week it was raining in the morning, so I planned to go after work, then I got out of work an hour later than I wanted, it was still rainy and I just bailed (it’s a step back week anyway.)  Or so I reasoned.  I’m recommitting this week, so it will get done, come hell or high water.

Mileage counts have been:

Week 6 – 13.3
Week 7 – 15
Week 8 – 16.2
Week 9 – 10

This week I’ve got a track workout Tuesday, tempo on Thursday, and 12 on Saturday.  I have to be honest though, I’m so sick of training.  I’ve been training for races since February.  In May it was the Frederick Half, then in June it was the Baltimore 10, and then last weekend it was the Charles Street 12.  The Baltimore Half will be my last long distance race and I’m so glad that I’ll be done with it for a while.  I need a break from long distances.  If I was just running for fun, maybe I’d feel differently.  There is just pressure (self-imposed) to perform and run well, so it’s just been a bit draining.

Next on my adventures over the past month was the Charles Street 12.

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Facebook followers got this last week. At mile 11.9 I found a small droplet of energy I didn’t know was left and booked it to the finish.

I won’t bore you with a full on race recap, because you can read a nice recap over on Salt’s, Lisa’s, and Amber’s (who placed 3rd in her age group wahoo!) pages.  But I will share my tale.  This was the FINAL installment of Charm City Run’s B3 race series.  It started north of Baltimore City and for 8 of the 12 miles took Charles Street all the way down into the city.  It was my first time running and this race was a doozy.  It is net downhill, but that doesn’t mean downhill.  It was a typical Baltimore City run loaded with rolling hills, awesome city views.  The weather was overcast, but HUMID!  I was running it as a training run, so I wasn’t trying to race it (but I did have a super secret time goal – spoiler alert, I didn’t make it).  The humidity got to me as did the need for the bathroom at mile 6.  I waited much longer than I would have liked.  There were several downhills that I took way too fast and then at mile 10 when it flattened out, I was just dragging.  The last two miles were a real struggle for me – the sun had made its way out at that point and there were no more downhills to ride to the finish.  Oh well, I made it to the finish in one piece and collected my bling.  I felt pretty beat up last week following the race, so I took it easy (step back week as I mentioned).

This race was really fun and challenging.  Not sure if I will do it next year or not, but I would definitely run it again – I love my Charm City Run races.  The premium was nice, it was an Under Armour waffle long sleeve shirt.  It was kinda odd, but I have so many tech shirts it was a nice change of pace.  I Will (see what I did there Under Armour?) definitely be sporting it once he weather cools a bit.  The B3 premium was a really nice Under Armour gym bag.  I think it was originally advertised as a vest so this was a really nice surprise.  The color is a weird reddish brown, but whatevs, it’s still a really nice bag.   I’ve already used it on an overnight trip Labor Day weekend.

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Next on my adventures…new gear!  Everyone loves new gear…but not new gear they really weren’t in the market for.  Like a new Garmin.  In my last post I mentioned how my Garmin 110 was acting funky, well Garmin support couldn’t help, so a new 220 it was.  I haven’t used all the features yet, but I’m loving the wireless syncing.  That is just amazing and so worth it.  I’m actually really excited to use the Workout function and download some workouts to try on my own.
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Next on the gear list is new shoes, no pic yet as I just ordered them today.  I’ve been rotating between a pair of Saucony Triumph 11s and ASICS Nimbuses for the better part of the year.  I was starting to feel the pavement towards the end my long runs.  I actually had been looking for a while, just trying to find a deal.  Since I need a wide shoe, its hard to find my size in stock, so I bit the bullet and just got the Nimbus 17s.   Now was the time to get them so I can break them in before the half.  So I’ll wear these Nimbuses exclusively until I can get a deal on a second pair.

Then yesterday there was this:

   

Charlotte ran the first race of the Charm City Run Kids Cross Country Series.  To say she was excited was an understatement.  She was in the 4 and under age group and they ran one loop around the track.  It was so cute.  I ran with her and she did such a good job.  Before the race I told her that if she gets tired to just slow down, but don’t stop running.  Well during the race she stopped a time or two but I encouraged her and we ran holding hands.  When she made it to the finish – she had the biggest smile on her face.  She kept saying “I did it!”  It’s not her first kids race, but it was the longest.  Our next one is in two weeks.

Anyone with the Garmin 220, what’s your favorite feature?  How do you break in new shoes?  How is your training going?

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Baltimore Half – Week 3 & Week 4

Looks like it’s been two weeks since I’ve posted an update.  I’ve been more MIA than usual the past two weeks because I was preparing for and going on vacation!  Charlotte and I left Saturday the 1st and we enjoyed long glorious days at the beach with her cousins and my brothers.  I’ve been going to either Rehoboth or Bethany Beach in Delaware since I was a kid.  We’ve stayed in Bethany every year since the 90s, but we always head to the Rehoboth boardwalk to visit Funland.  I love watching Charlotte ride the same rides I rode as a kid.  This was probably the best beach week I’ve had in a long time, the weather was perfect all week long.

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Dig a hole they can’t climb out of…perfect beach baby sitter!

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Yes I was in a house with 8 kids…

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Selfie on the helicopters

I haven’t taken a vacation all year, so it has been really nice to be disconnected from work and those types of obligations.  I forgot how nice it was to take off a full week at a time.  I tend to take long weekends and just do housework or other errands.  Those Ocean City ads are right!  (Our Ocean City MD billboard ads state, “Vacation Days are for Water Parks, Not Power Washing”)

This also happened:

 

 

Yes, I registered for the Cleveland Half Marathon next May.  It was early bird pricing and I couldn’t pass up he $50 price tag.

I was able to get some workouts in since I’m still getting up early, the only thing that suffers while on vacation is my diet.  During the day at the beach we snack on celery sticks and peanut butter, apples, bananas, popcorn, and pretzel crisps.  Dinners have usually been decent, but there is an extreme lack of fruits and vegetables.  Plus, there is usually a lot more beer in the house than at home.

Here are my workouts for Week 3 (at home two weeks ago):

7/27 – A little yoga, stretching, foam rolling, core work

7/28 Yoga in the AM – I’m loving these Yoga with Adrienne videos, 2.76 mile Hill Workout in PM The hill workout was totally humbling. It was hot, humid, and a big freakin’ hill. We had a .33 mile climb followed by a .22 mile jog down. We were to do that 4-5 times. I stopped at 4, but after I left, I felt bad for not going for 5. They weren’t easy, I was walking by the time I was halfway up the hill. Even with slowing down. It was brutal in the moment, but I feel like I should do workouts like that more often.

7/29 – Rest Day – Seems like Wednesday has become an unintentional rest day due to the late Tuesday workouts. I’ve been trying to make sure to stretch in the evenings though.

7/30 – 2.12 mile Tempo Run – It was so nasty Thursday morning…so nasty humid, 93% to be exact.  I did my 5 minute warm up, but had trouble keeping my tempo pace for the next 20 minutes. My cool down ended up being a walk.

7/31 – PT, Myrtles, & stretching

8/1 – 9 Miles – On the NCR trail. Felt good the entire run. I did a good job keeping my pace consistent and completed a fast finish mile.

Total Miles – 13.88 miles

 

Here are my workouts for Week 4 (at the beach):

8/3 – PT, core work (planks and side planks), a little yoga

8/4 – 3.28 miles – at home this would have been a track workout, so I added some fartleks to my run.  I did a one mile warm up and two miles of fartleks of varying distances.  The first mile was much faster than I wanted since it’s so flat out here.  The last mile and a half was right into the wind.  It made it difficult, but the wind felt so good.

8/5 – a little PT, a little yoga, and a little stretching

8/6 – 2.93 miles – This was a tempo run, 10x20x7.  I should have cooled down for 10, but I made it back to the house at 7 minutes.  I’m really starting to enjoy tempo runs.  Is that crazy?  I wish I had gotten up a smidge earlier, but I still got a great picture of the sunrise this morning:

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8/7 – Rest Day

8/8 – 9 miles – Downtown and a total struggle.  I had planned to do 10 but I just wasn’t feeling it.  My running partner and I took a wrong turn which cut our run a little short anyway.  This happened to me last year too – a bad post-vacation long run.  A week of poor eating (and drinking) and definitely poor hydration all week probably didn’t help.

Total Miles – 15.21

So there you have it – two weeks of decent runs and workouts.  Goal this week – do a yoga video on Tuesday AM and a strength workout on Wednesday.  Still not getting my strength workouts done.  Oh and look at that, the Chuck 12 is less than a month away.   That really creeped up on me.  I’m using it as a training run, so my long runs over the next week will put me at 12 by race day.  (Hopefully I’ll survive).

How does going on vacation impact your workouts?  Or do you let it?  Despite your best efforts, is there something you mean to do but never get around to doing during your training cycles?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baltimore Half Training – Week 1

 

Wowza!  That was one hot weekend!!!!  I hope you all stayed hydrated!  I read a lot of posts from people who cut their runs short or just had a miserable time.  I spent Saturday at Hershey Park!  For those of you not on the East Coast, Hershey Park is an amusement park based in Hershey, PA, AKA Chocolate Town!  It was my first time there in a bajillion years and Charlotte’s first trip.  We told her all about the chocolate tour that shows how they make chocolate so all week she was asking about riding through the oven.  (There is a part of the ride that goes through a “roasting chamber”.)  It was crazy hot so we only rode a few rides, Charlotte got to drive the old timey cars, meet a Hershey Kiss, and met a “super tall man”.

HP 1

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She was really into the characters, so that makes me super excited for Disney World in September.

So lets get on to the workouts…

7/13 – PT, core work, foam rolling

7/14 – 2.67 Miles – This was supposed to be our 2-mile time trial to set paces for the season.  Unbeknownst to any of the coaches (half or marathon) the college where we do track work had some lacrosse camp or something going on on the field and said there would be too many people on the track.  So after running to the track, we ran another two loops around the campus.

7/15 – Rest Day – I was just tired this morning.

7/16 – Tempo Run – 2.12 Miles – I totally nailed my tempo run!  Kinda sorta.  I was on cloud 9 after the run.  I was supposed to run 5 mins easy, 20 at tempo pace, then 5 mins easy cool down.  I ran 5, then my mathematical skills were challenged and instead of running the tempo pace until my watch hit 25 minutes, I stopped at 20 minutes.  Soooo, I only ran tempo pace for 15 minutes.  Although, my tempo portion was at 11:31.  Prior in the week someone said to focus on time during the tempo run, don’t worry about the miles and that’s what I did – not sure why I get it now, but I do and I’m excited to do it for the full length this week.

7/17 – PT, core work, foam rolling

7/18 – Hershey Park – lotsa walking

7/19 – 6 Miles – This long run had all the makings of disaster.  It was humid, my Garmin was dead, and my legs were so tired from the day before.  But, since I am choosing to embrace my “easy” pace this season, I figured I would just take it easy and get through it.  I started up Map My Run and went to town. My splits were:

Mile 1 – 12:44
Mile 2 – 13.51
Mile 3 – 12:18
Mile 4 – 14.15 (pee break)
Mile 5 – 12:27
Mile 6 – 11:53

So my goal in addition to running long runs easy is to at least have a strong finish mile – which I was happy to have done here.  I also ran into Lisa out on the trail.  I saw her running towards me and though could that be her?  I called out her name and sure enough.  I also came across these guys:

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So I’m giving this run an A.  I felt great the entire time and even though it was off to a rough start, it never felt like a struggle.

Total Miles – 10.79

This week I’m traveling again – but I’m meeting up with the Second Sole training group here in Cleveland to get my 2 mile time trial done on a track.  Now that I’ll have my first drop in out of the way, I won’t be so intimidated to drop in again when I come into town.

Hope you all have a good week!  If I can get another post in this week I will.

Do you have trouble slowing your pace for long runs?

 

 

 

Workout Review 7/6 – 7/12

Happy Monday!  It was a quiet, yet busy weekend.  Not sure why it felt so busy, but it did fly by.  My first run of training season was on Saturday morning.  Then I came home, took Charlotte to gymnastics, and then went to get my hair cut that afternoon.  Sunday I did a quick 2-mile run with my cousin (still sore from the day before), went to the pool, then crashed on the couch late in the afternoon.  Charlotte was insane yesterday, hence why I probably felt like I was so busy.

I did have a good week of workouts so here you go:

7/6 – PT & core – my usual routine of all manners of leg lifts along with some sets of the plank exercises I did during my plank challenge.

7/7 – 3 miles – this was just a plain old vanilla run.  I had thought it was going to be rainy and gloomy, but the sky actually cleared up a bit by the time I got outside.

7/8 – unintentional rest day – I was just to tired to get up.

7/9 – hills, 2.02 miles – I should have run a little bit after finishing the last one, but I was running on the mini hill in front of my building and after my last sprint, I decided against it.  Next time I’ll remember that I can’t do them in front of my house.  I did a mile warm up and then did 6 x 30 second sprints up the hill…some were 29.  I was pretty consistent with my sprints though, even negative splitting.

7/10 – PT, arms, core, stretching & rolling – I wanted to make up for my rest day on Wednesday, but not go too crazy since I had a long run scheduled the next morning, so I did some PT and some bicep, tricep, & shoulder work with dumbbells.  I did a few sets of planks and then did a lot of stretching and spent some time snuggling my foam roller.  My legs were feeling tight, particularly my glutes, hams, and calves (thanks hills) so I wanted to get them loose for Saturday.

7/11 – 4.52 miles – Six miles was the plan.  We met at the Charm City Run store and I met up with my pals from last summer.  Three of us had wanted to do six, the other has not been running and was only going to do three.  So I decided to take the 3 miler with her, then turn around and go back out to get my six.  While running and chatting though, I convinced her to run the big loop with me again and hopefully that would put us at 5.  She was game and we did that and finished up at the store…I was a little disappointed though that it only turned out to be 4.5.  I’m not going to sweat about the mileage today – I have 14 weeks to get to where I need to be for Baltimore in October.

7/12 – 2 Miles – My cousin had texted me Saturday asking if I was up for a run.  She’s just coming off a minor back injury and hasn’t been running so she was up for as little or as much as I wanted.  Since I was still beating myself up over the missed miles from the day before I figured a quickie 2 miler would be okay.  So we met up on the trail and did our 2 miles.  Then we ended up walking and chatting another mile.

Total Miles – 11.54

So now I’m officially in Baltimore Half Training!  Tomorrow is my 2 mile time trial to set my paces for the season.  This is an all out 2 miles that we will then plug into McMillan to get our training paces for the season for both long runs and the track.  I really want to get my paces down and understand pacing.  I’ve mentioned before that I run everything the same and my overall goals for the Baltimore Half this year is to get my pacing right so I can run a strong race.  My short term goal for Tuesday?  Just to run it faster than I did last year.

How was your weekend?  How is your training going?

I’m baaaack!

Forgive me blogosphere.  It has been two weeks since my last post.  Time flies when you just don’t know what to write about.  I’ve just been too tired at night to write about anything and frankly there hasn’t been much to write about.  I took nearly a full week off from everything following the half marathon and last week was finally able to get back into somewhat of a routine again.

Let’s go all the way back to May 9th.  I met up with my Mom’s Run This Town group with Salt and ran an easy 3 miles.  The first of anything since the half.  I probably could have kept up with something that week, but really wanted to take a week to sleep in and do nothing.

May 10th was Mother’s Day and I ate ALL THE FOOD at a Mother’s Day Brunch.  I had gone back to Frederick with Brian & Charlotte and we took my Mom out.  We’ve done it a couple times since Charlotte was born and it’s becoming a Mother’s Day tradition.  The rest of the week went like this:

Monday – May 11 – Easy run – 3 miles

Tuesday – nada – went to VA for work

Wednesday – Yoga for Athletes – This class was great, she had us using straps to pull and push in different poses.  It was quite interesting to feel how different muscles engaged in the poses while needing to keep the strap in place.  If you relaxed a bit the strap could fall.

Thursday – Ran 3.1 Miles – Now that the sun is coming up earlier, I can make my runs a little longer during the week (as long as I get up).  My plan was 4 miles, but I didn’t get up in time.  I ran my fastest 5K this morning all while tackling this hill again. Later in the evening, rather than sit on the couch and watch Sofia the First, I took Charlotte out for a bike ride.  She rode, I walked.

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Friday – nada

Saturday – PT exercises, core work, and some sun salutations with Charlotte.

Sunday – Bob Harper Pure Burn Pure Strength DVD – I had gotten this from the library because I wanted a strength video that was just purely strength training.  I did the 20 minute version just to see what it was all about and because I had fully intended to actually go to Body Pump Monday morning.  It was an intense 20 minutes.  I’m actually kinda scared of the 50 minute version.  Needless to say, my quads were still hurting so I did not go to Body Pump on Monday.

Total Miles – 6.1

Brian was out of town with friends this past weekend so I didn’t get a long run in.  I’m headed to Cleveland today.  I had wanted to squeeze in a run this morning but my quads are still achy and I took some Nyquil and getting up wasn’t happening.  I’m hoping to take advantage of a cool afternoon in Cleveland tomorrow and try for 4-5 miles.  I need to get my mileage back up to a comfortable place so that the Baltimore 10 Miler is not a disaster (it’s 3 weeks away).  I’m sure I’ll be fine, but since I haven’t run more than 3 miles at a time in the past two weeks, I’m inside my own head.  So my goals for this week – run 10 miles total between now and Saturday and get some light cross training done.

In other positive news, you might have noticed a new badge on my page.  I’m now a Sweat Pink Ambassador!!  I’m still tinkering with all the community pages and  making the connections.

Are you a Sweat Pink Ambassador?  Do you get into a fitness slump after big races?  Ain’t nobody got time for a slump when there’s a 10 mile race looming on the horizon! 

Frederick Half Marathon Training – Week 10

Last week flew by, and so it this week too.  It’s Wednesday and I’m just now getting around to posting Week 10’s workouts.

Work and personal life has been super busy and blogging hasn’t really been on the top of my priorities.  I know I’ve fallen behind in reading some of my faves and my posts aren’t anything of much substance.  Guess I’m feeling a little insecure about my lack of blogging activity.  Right now I just want to get through the half marathon and the next few work weeks and see what’s what.  I’ve got all sorts of posts in my head, but nary a minute to formulate them into something worth reading.  I won’t let you down though!  You’ve stuck with me this long just reading posts about my workouts…I want to give you a little bit more…just like all of you give to me.

Okay – enough with the Frederick Factoids.  I’ve depleted all my interesting facts!  It’s a great little town with a cool downtown.  It wasn’t much to grow up in back when I lived there, but it’s come a long way since 1998.  So go pay it a visit for a day trip if you are in the area.

Here is how my workouts went last week:

Monday – Rest.  My legs were super sore from Sunday’s miserable 13 miles.  I rested as much as I could, since I was traveling.

Tuesday – 2miles & 80 Minutes of Yoga.  When I travel to the Cleveland area I stay in Westlake and last summer I discovered a really great yoga studio called Krysia Energy Yoga.  A couple nights a week they offer Candlelight Basics.  It is just basic poses, with a few extra things thrown in.  I really just wanted to get all the stretching since I was still sore and tight.

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – I finally felt back to normal.  I did 5x800s on the hotel treadmill.  Four at the 5.5 speed and the last at 5.6.  I’ve never started at that speed with the intervals before, so to finish it put me over the moon.

However, after that my knees started bugging me.  Nothing persistent or even painful, but just a little something that wasn’t there before.  So I was mindful of it the rest of the weekend.

Friday – Rest

Saturday / Sunday – I wanted to do 8 miles Saturday, but I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I was so tired in the morning that I put it off til Sunday.   I ended up doing my PT exercises and a little yoga.  I did a 1 minute 40 second plank.  I might have been able to hold it longer, but Charlotte started patting my butt.

It was a great run on Sunday morning.  The weather was awesome, I felt good the entire time and felt I could have kept going.  And my knees didn’t bother me afterwards like they did after my Thursday run.  I’m still staying on top of it, but I’m hopeful the reduction in mileage over the next few weeks will help keep it calm.

Earlier in the week, I actually debated how far to go.  I felt like I needed at least another 10-11 mile run to feel solidly prepared.  I checked my training plan from the fall and the taper did go from a long run of 11-13 down to a long run of 7-9.  For the past 6 weeks, I’d been on a steady mileage increase so I figured I would follow the taper plan.  My 10 & 11 mile runs went well previously, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be fine physically – right now it’s all mental I guess.  Is this what they call the taper crazies?  Not feeling prepared?

Total Miles – 13.65

So this week I’ve got a work event on Friday, a 10K on Saturday, and who knows what on Sunday.  Hope you all are having a marvelous week!

Would you have crammed in another 10 miles or is that the taper crazies talking?  Did you get out and enjoy the weather this weekend?

Frederick Half Marathon Training Week 9

This is going to be a short post.  As I mentioned Friday, I had been sick all week.  So not much in the way of running or any other physical activity had taken place.

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This weekend was busy too.  Besides the holiday festivities almost all weekend, I had to pack for another work trip.  I left this morning (Monday) at 7:30, which meant getting to the airport at 5:30, which meant waking up by 4 in order to get ready and on the road.  I didn’t think it would be so bad, but I’m not taking that early of a flight again.

So needless to say, I’m a wee bit tired as I type this.  Thankfully it’s a short post.

Last week’s workouts:

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Sick

Wednesday – Sick

Thursday – Sick

Friday – 3 Miles!!!  I wrote about this in detail last Friday, but it sure did feel good.

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – 13 Miles – This was not a pretty run.  The first three miles were a struggle.  It didn’t help that I had to pee about a quarter mile in.  I ran back to the porta potty and someone had pooped all over the seat.  Like all over.

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C’mon!  Not fair!  I had to go, so I held my breath and squatted.  The next 7 miles weren’t too bad.  I kept telling myself I could stop at 10 or 11 if I wasn’t feeling it.  I was getting ready to pass my car at mile 9.5 and took a short break.  It was at this point that I should have refilled my water bottle before moving on, but I didn’t and that made those last 3.5 miles total crap.  Or at least that’s what I blame it on.  I tried to keep the walking even with the running…I’m not sure I was successful.  BUT – I finished 13 miles!!!!  I saved the extra .1 for race day.

Total Miles – 16

While the week did not go as planned and neither did the run, I did finish 13 and now it’s time to taper.  I made it!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  I leave you with this:

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Did you get outside and enjoy the weather this past weekend?  How did you celebrate your holidays?