10 Days…and counting

by Katie on October 1, 2014

It’s here.  The taper.

Did I not JUST run a marathon?!

And here I am.  Another taper.  The point in marathon training that feels like it will never actually come to pass.  And then it comes to pass.  And it’s pretty glorious when it gets here.  Really, there’s nothing quite like it.  It almost makes me think that even if you never run a marathon, you should train as if you are going to, just to experience the sweet relief that the taper brings.  The work has been done.  Hard work.  And now I get to just run for the next 10 days, no workouts, no paces, whilst I let the hard work of months past permeate the mind and body and prepare to rip on race day.  Sounds pretty fantastic, huh??

I had a great week of running last week, which I will gladly share with you here – but the final workout that actually commenced the taper was this morning.  I learned today that this particular type of workout has secured the #1 position of loathsome in my great book of workouts.  3 x 3 mile tempo run.  Run 3 miles fast, 3 minute jog recovery, repeat 2 more times.  It’s a long and fast 9 miles at a pace I would not otherwise be able to run for 9 miles straight.  It was particularly horrible this morning for no apparent reason….other than the fact that it was pouring rain and super flipping early to be moving that fast.

Goal:  3 x 3 miles @ 5:53 – 6:00 pace, 3 minute jogs

Actual:  12 miles total @ 6:26 with 3 x 3 miles @ 5:52 (17:35), 5:56 (17:49), 5:55 (17:45)

First 3 mile set – oh my this is not going to be fun

Second 3 mile set – Why can’t I just do mile repeats?!  you know it’s rough when mile repeats sound enticing

Third 3 mile set – This is inhuman

Backing it up to last week…

It was a very busy week.  I had two main workouts on the schedule and my husband had a 50 mile trail race.  I’ll get to that, but I ended up doing a lot more miles over the weekend than planned, which may explain why today’s workout felt pretty tough.  Here’s what the week looked like:

Monday – 7 miles @ 6:58

Tuesday – 5 am miles @ 7:10

4 lunchtime miles @ 6:50

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(A few days a week I try to get miles in on the treadmill at lunch.  I am very efficient at running, showering, back to work in less than an hour.  It helps that I hardly sweat – at all – on the treadmill for that short distance.)

When I don’t run, I try to meet up with my little loves for a coffee date…

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Workout Wednesday – Goal:  4 x 2 mile tempo @ 5:50 – 5:55 pace, 1/4 mile jog recovery

Actual:  12 miles @ 6:16 pace.  A 1.5 mile w/u, 4 x 2 mile tempo, and c/d to make 12 miles

4 x 2 mile tempo averages – 5:48, 5:41, 5:39, 5:45

I was having a good day.  I was not having this good of a day today.  They can’t all be extraordinary.  This was a big surprise of a workout to run these paces.  This is mile repeat pace for me, and I had just run it for 2 miles at a time.

Thursday – 10 am miles @ 7:27

5 lunchtime miles @ 6:45

Friday - 10 miles @ 7:35

Long Run Tempo Saturday:

Goal - 18 miles with middle 10 @ 6:05 – 6:10

This was the mother of all workouts.  The ONE that I really had to run well if I wanted to bring any semblance of mental strength with me to the actual marathon that I am training for.  These long tempos are vital to marathon training, physically and mentally.  This particular workout is the long run tempo that I had previously failed.  twice.  The best I had previously done was an 8 mile tempo in the middle of the long run at about 6:07 pace.  I was a little nervous.  2 more miles.  Faster pace.  My true goal, no matter the pace, was to feel comfortable and smooth.  I don’t care if I was to run a 6:05 pace – if I felt like I was dogging it for the 10 miles, it wouldn’t feel 100% successful to me.  I wanted to feel good.  and strong.  and capable, more than hit the fast end of the pace.  So, that was my goal.  Stick to 6:10 and pray that it would feel good.  A straight up 10 mile tempo is a long one.  No breaks.  No recovery.  Just run.  I ran.  And it was the best long run tempo I have had yet.  Period.  I felt  strong and capable and smooth.  It usually takes me about 3 miles to settle into a rhythm and a good pace.  I had planned on fueling for this, but that would have required me to stop for 20 seconds to drink my stuff.  I was in a groove and did not want to stop, so I didn’t fuel.

Actual – 18 miles @ 6:41 with a 5 mile w/u, 10 mile tempo @ 6:04 average, 3 mile c/d

Tempo Splits – 6:10, 6:07, 6:01, 6:04, 6:01, 6:04, 6:05, 6:03, 6:02, 6:01

We left that afternoon for the VT50 trail race on Sunday in….VT.

  Sunday morning I ran early, no watch, so I don’t know pace, but it was about 9 miles and it was slow.

I enjoy figuring out where the hubs will be at what time at certain points on the race course.  We got to the first handler station within minutes of him coming through.  Perfect timing.  We waited awhile at the second handler station.  It got pretty warm on Sunday, so that was challenging.  I was not planning on pacing him, but one thing led to another and I was able to pace him for the last 10 miles.  So, I ended up doing an unplanned 10 trail miles.  Wow.  Trail running is so different.  I was sore on Monday in places I have never been sore with road running.  Think hip flexors and psoas.  Very interesting.  So, I ended up doing 36 miles over the weekend instead of 24 – 25.

The hubs did great at the race.  This was a tune up for him for the Javelina 100 in Arizona next month.

That extra 10 miles put me at another 90 mile week and now the mileage will drop.  I’ll probably be in the 65 – 70 mile range this week and much, much lower next week.

And….that’s all I’ve got at the moment.  My top 3 taper priorities are SLEEP, HYDRATE and RUN EASY.  simple.

Fall marathons are getting underway!  Who else is tapering?  looking forward to tapering?  registering for a marathon asap just to taper???

{ 3 comments }

3 Weeks, 95 Miles and #RWhalf Discount Codes!

by Katie on September 21, 2014

Not only did I leave you with a horrific display of bloggery the last time I visited these parts of the web, I left that monstrosity there with NO UPDATE for 6 weeks.  My sincere apologies.  I am a better runner than I am a blogger.  In a feeble attempt to win you back, I am going to give you some discount race codes and BEG you to come run with me!

I will be at the Runner’s World Half and Festival on October 17th – 19th.  If you are looking for a 5k, 10k or half marathon to run, here’s your answer.  If you are looking for an excuse to get away with the ladies for a fun weekend, here’s your answer.  If you are looking for an excuse to get away with the gents for a weekend, here’s your answer.  I have no idea what races I will be doing, as I will be one week post marathon.  I am confident I will be bringing up the rear in whatever races I decide to run.  The 5k and 10k are on Saturday morning and the half marathon is on Sunday morning.  It is going to be a blast.  Not only are there three races to choose from, but a ton of seminars you can join in on.  Be there.  I’ve got 10% off discount codes for you to use.  Have at it, friends!

5k: blogmsfitrunner5k

10k:  blogmsfitrunner10k

Half Marathon:  blogmsfitrunnerhalf

5 & Dime:  blogmsfitrunner5&10

Hat Trick:  blogmsfitrunnerHat

I am three weeks out from Hartford Marathon.  To say this has been the most challenging training cycle to date would be a massive understatement.  From life, to workouts and running, back to life again, it has not been easy.  I have had my fair share of doubts as to how this whole marathon thing is going to play out.  I’ve tried and failed more workouts in this training cycle than any other.  I have also reminded myself that this training cycle has had more and harder workouts than any other training cycle.  I have questioned my ability to even get to the start line of this race on more than one occasion. But, I will be there and I will be strong.  I can only do my best and that is enough.  I know for certain, right at this moment, that I could not be running the miles I am running without the support of my family and my husband.  A lot of change has happened in the past few weeks.  While change is good, it is very challenging and throws off that delicate balance of life that is comfortable and familiar, no matter if life at that moment is good or bad.  At the end of the day, this running stuff is still pretty new to me.  Training like this is still pretty new to me and my husband and my family.  With every marathon I train for, we have to make it work for the family and the kids.  It’s a priority in the list of priorities for me, but it also has to be a priority in the list of priorities for my husband to make it all happened.  I wasn’t a runner when we got married.  It is now a big part of my life and in that way, his life.  Growing pains happen.  And we are constantly figuring out how it all fits – my running, his running, the kids, their “stuff”, and now a new full time job for me.  Crazy town over here.  SO, we make the best of it all, like we always do.

Aside from the fact that I could:

1. Fall asleep at any given moment because 4:30am wake ups are really early

and

2. Eat anything that is put in front of me

we are doing pretty well.  I am not going to go through and recap 6 weeks of training.  I will say I missed two big important long run tempos, a set of mile repeats and I will have my third and final attempt at that long run tempo workout this weekend.  No pressure.  Missing workouts kills me.  But sometimes, there is just no choice.  I will also say I had some great training runs and two good races.  Let’s talk about the races….very briefly.

Old Wethersfield 10k

I ran this in the middle of August – flat and fast

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This was a 30 second PR from June and a new female course record by over 2 minutes

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There is really not much else to report on this one.  I was not tapered for it, so it was a good tune up race before the marathon.  I had done 7 x mile repeats and one of the two busted 20 mile tempo long runs in the week leading up to the 10k.  The bonk in the long run was purely due to dehydration, which was purely due to insane life stress that causes me to not pay attention to my fluid intake.  Bad decisions abound and I am left hanging on for dear life in the middle of a long run.  Not pretty. Fast forward 6 days and 7 x mile repeats later and I have a new 10k PR.  OK.  Not bad.

Onto race #2….

Surftown Half Marathon

I ran this a week ago.  I was really clueless going into this race about how it would go.  Training was not so hot leading up to it.  I also know from experience that this race runs “long”.   Let me clarify what I mean when I say this – it is a certified half marathon distance race, 13.1.  However, when there are a ton of turns and curvy roads, it is not rare for the course to go long for runners like me who can not run tangents to save a life.  There are also points in this race where you have to stay on the right or the left side of the road and when the course is measured down to the INCH, it’s not difficult to run long.  With that being said, my typical half marathon is a 13.2 distance.  I don’t think that is unheard of.  This one is closer to 13.3, that’s long.  I went into this race knowing I would be pushing 13.3 distance, my current half PR read a 13.2 on my watch, and that might make a PR tough on this course.  Sure enough, the distance was 13.28.  However, my goal was just to run in the pace range my coach gave me and more importantly feel strong.  He told me I should be able to run between a 5:48 and 5:53 average pace.

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According to my garmin, I ran a 5:48 average pace, on the nose.  So, I was happy with that.  What?!?!  I just need to say that I really do have these surreal moments where I think – where the heck did these paces come from???  I never thought three years ago that I would be running the way I am running.  My half PR in 2011 was barely under 1:30.  That’s almost 13 minutes faster now.  It’s silly to think about.   Back to the point at hand – that pace should have put me in the 1:16 range.  My coach said 1:16′s for this race and I thought he was nuts.  I ran 1:17:08 and now I really do feel like I can be in the 1:16′s for a half, maybe better if I actually trained for a half marathon and tapered for a race.  I was a little bummed I didn’t break 1:17.  I was not tapered for this half marathon, as it was a tune up for the big one.  In the week leading up to the race I ran:

20 miles @ 6:37 pace (#2 of the bonked long run tempos, but hard enough effort)

and

My fastest ever mile repeats:

 6 x mile @ 5:34 average (I usually average about 5:41/42)

I went into the race with almost 60 miles…and just ran

I ended up winning the entire race.  I don’t know how.  Actually, I do.  There was no one near me for the duration of the race.  That’s how you win.  2nd place overall was 81 seconds behind me.  I will tell you it is very challenging to run a half marathon completely solo.  SOLO.  I also set a new female course record.  And my crew was there.  It was a good day.

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And now we are here.  Three weeks to go.

I hit an all time mileage high this past week, 95 miles.  Oh my.

Here’s what this week looked like:

Monday – 5 am miles

5 pm miles, all 7:25 – 40 range

Tuesday - 8 miles @ 7:23

Wednesday – 12 am miles @ 7:25

4 pm miles @ 7:15…still recovering

Thursday – 10 am miles @ 7:19, pushed the workout back one more day

Friday – 3 x 3 mile workout

Goal: 3 x 3 miles @ 5:55 – 6:05 pace, 3 min recovery jog between sets

Actual:  12 miles @ 6:22 pace with 3 x 3 miles @ 5:55 average pace for each set (17:45, 17:48, 17:42), on the road

I’m going to be very transparent here – at 4:45am, this was literally the last thing on earth I wanted to be doing.  I ran my 1.2 mile warmup (instead of 2 miles) because I slept an extra 15 minutes and was now going to be running REALLY late.  I started the first 3 mile set and probably 2/10 of a mile in I came to a dead stop, at the beginning of a little tiny hill, potentially used some expletives, gave myself 15 seconds, pep talked my butt back into gear and finished the workout that I really didn’t want to do.  It’s not always fun.  3 x 3 mile tempos are never fun.  But, I didn’t get up on friday morning, 5 days after a PR half, to have a good time and enjoy myself running back and forth on a solitary stretch of road.  I got up because in three weeks I want to run a killer race.  I got up because in one year I want to run a faster race than that.  I got up because in 16 months I want to be in LA running in the trials.  Get out of the crappy moment, get out of your head and run for where you want to be.  Not where you are.

Saturday - 10 am miles @ 7:06

5 pm miles @ 7:15

Sunday – 24 miles @ 7:08-11

This was misery embodied in a run.  I am not even complaining about it.  I am stating facts.  It was pouring rain – really a non issue.  But, 24 miles in pouring rain is just a long flipping run and it brought me to 95 miles for the week, 51 miles in the past three days = pure delight to have this run over and done with.  Actually I was SO happy when I saw my husband in the car with the kids at mile 22 coming to find me – I asked him to go home, get me a shirt because I was wearing a sports bra and meet me at the coffee shop.  And that made my morning. Iced coffee.  That’s all I need.

DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER FOR ONE OF THE Runners World RACES!  If you are a New Englander, you better get your races in while you can – the winter is a dry and desolate place for race opportunities.  Enjoy October in PA with one or three races:)

What’s new, my friends?!?!

What races are coming up?

Who will I see at the RW Festival in October?

{ 16 comments }

Nine Weeks and the Nineties

August 11, 2014

Technically, I can’t say nine weeks, because we are 8 weeks and 4 days out from Hartford Marathon – one of the things that I do love about this marathon is that it is on a Saturday, not a Sunday – but for the sake of this title and the “nine” theme, we’re going with […]

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HMF Run The Rent – 5k Race Recap

July 29, 2014

You’re getting a two for one here.  A race recap AND a mini weekly recap.  Lucky ducks. I don’t quite know where to begin with the weekly recap because it was a slight DEBACLE of a training week. 68 miles ahhhhh!!! slightly shameful for what was 12 weeks out from hartford marathon…now less than 11 […]

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Better Late Than Never – Weekly Recap

July 25, 2014

Best of intentions to get the week in review up last Sunday – did not happen.  Today will have to do. A number of you have even requested a “day in the life” type post.  I would be happy to oblige.  At some point I will get that written.  For now, just picture something like a […]

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Three for Three and a Voting Opportunity

July 13, 2014

If I actually get this post up in a timely manner, I will be three for three on these weekly updates that I started.  That’s good news.  I’m following through. It was a fairly mellow week, compared to the previous week – thank goodness – because I ended up having to push a workout back one […]

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Tempos Galore

July 6, 2014

There’s a lot of tempo running going on here lately.  More tempo than I think I’ve ever consistently run. All sorts of tempo Aerobic threshold tempo Lactate threshold tempo, aka, death by tempo Tempo interval Tempo Thursday Tempo in the middle of a long run It’s the lifeblood of marathon training It’s everywhere This week, I […]

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Recaps…All Sorts: Ironhorse 10k and Training

June 1, 2014

Well hello I’m back to give you what is a grossly overdue recap of a 10k race, that took place on June 1st.  yeah.  little bit delayed. I’m also here to give you what were my intentions of weekly Hartford Marathon training updates.  I’m 4 weeks behind on that one. Just like that, it’s back […]

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Recovering and Up Next

May 7, 2014

The marathon distance is hands down my favorite distance to run.  It’s a funny thing that happened because I disliked the distance very much after my first one.  I love all the work that goes into them.  The long runs are probably my favorite part of it all.  I look forward to them every week. […]

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Boston – The Details

April 30, 2014

You all can thank my husband for the posting of this Boston recap, as he is breathing heavily down my neck making sure I get it written and posted.  The kids are in bed and he’s ever so kindly put on a man flick so that I am not distracted by what is on TV. […]

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