Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 Mile Wednesday and Hill Workout on Thursday

Woke up Wednesday feeling pretty groggy but good otherwise. It was nice not to take the headlamp when I headed out the door. I started my run with the thought of only doing 3 miles because I am going to rack up the miles quickly this week. Besides the hill workout on Thursday I had planned to do a recovery on Friday, 10 on Saturday and then up to 20 on Sunday which would give me around 60 miles. A cool thought, but maybe a little more than my body can handle right now. We will see. But I digress...

I went towards Converse in what has now become a half loop to Holliday Park. My right ITB was a little troublesome at the start of the run which is something I hadn't felt in awhile. It did go away though as soon as the muscles had warmed up so that really pleased me because I have been spending quite a bit of time stretching. There weren't as many geese hanging out along the path and I wondered where they all went. The question was answered by my third lap while I went close to the lake to do a lap...they were all hanging out there. I like seeing the bird just waddle around without a thought in the world. It really gives me some inner peace.

My pacing through the whole run was solid with 3 of the 4 miles under marathon pace. Another run that helps my attitude towards trying to break 4:00 at NYC.

This morning I did not want to get out of bed. Had kind of a late night and I have not slept well this week. I even debated doing the workout after work...but then I remembered just how warm it has been in the afternoon and I didn't want any part of that so I got up and got going.

I headed towards East High School thinking I would give the hill by Okie Blanchard Stadium a shot for my hill workout. It is about 1.5 miles from my place so that is a nice warmup before a difficult workout. I set the Garmin on .25 laps and found the distance needed. It worked out just about perfectly. The grade is about 3% but it is very steady and I feel like it helps me keep a consistent effort all the way up.

The first 2 times up the hill weren't too bad. I hadn't done a hill workout for a few weeks and was a little concerned about 7 repeats which is what Mr. Higdon had in mind for this workout. By the 3rd time up I was starting to feel it. My breath was getting faster and the soreness was starting to kick into my hammies. By the 5th time up, my form was starting to slip, but I was aware of it so I really focused to try to stabilize. 6 and 7 were very tough, but I gave 7 everything I had and turned in my fasted repeat of the set. I then took off home at a good clip and powered my way up the hill in front of Carey J.H. and then home.

Hills are probably my least favorite workout, but few runs feel so good mentally after they have been completed. Another solid run in the bank. Thanks for reading!

Run home:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

10 Mile Tuesday

Woke up at 4:50 and that is always a bummer...10 minutes before the alarm. I just staggered around and tried to get moving. It was sooo dark. I was finally on the road about 5:25 ready to push for 10 miles. I wasn't sure which route to use so I took a chance and headed to Holliday Park for some loops. It was pretty chilly considering it got up in to the mid 80s later today. I actually put on my sleeves to help keep my arms warm. Need to start getting used to the cooler weather. The goal for today was 9:15 after the warm up mile and then 2 fast finishing miles.

The first few miles were pretty decent if uneventful. On the backside of the park I passed a street sweeper which is a little unnerving in the dark because even with my headlamp on I was not sure that he saw me. Heading back up Central was a little rough on the single path. Lost my footing a little bit on some holes that I just didn't see. I forget how different the lamp is to natural sunlight. I am sure within a couple of weeks I will be used to it.

The second time around the perimeter was very much like the first time with the tiniest bits of sunlight starting to come up. I was feeling pretty strong and had been hitting each pace almost exactly where I wanted. I like that feeling.

Once I completed the second loop I took off up the path into the park itself and saw all sorts of people out moving early in the morning trying to get some exercise. I had no clue that the park was that well attended around 6:30 in the morning. Something to keep in mind.

The last two miles as I headed out of the park I punched up the pace a bit. I was started to feel tired (and hungry...shhhh...keep that between us) but I still kept going. The traffic was really going by the time I was on Pershing and headed the final mile home. It was really busy and it made me keep focus on all the vehicles moving towards me even though I was on the sidewalk. Kept my mind off the exhaustion until the two decent hills towards the end of the mile that really took what I had left to keep pace.

Arrived home and did a little core work and leg stretching. I was feeling happy about this run the whole day. Feel like I am truly headed in the right direction. I decided to sign up for the half-marathon portion of the Boulder Marathon race this weekend. DailyMile friend David offered to run it. So I think I am going to show up and run an hour then do the half. I hope....hope to make this a true marathon pace effort. We will see how that goes. Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 27, 2010

4 Mile Monday

This is my last 4 mile run in the plan for awhile. Got up pretty early even though I was really tired, so I do think I am back on track finally. Headed out the door and made my little semi-circle to end up at Holliday Park. The legs felt pretty good and I decided to do 3 miles at marathon pace. I forgot about trying to run the last two miles the quickest until I was already in the final mile. I did kick it up a notch and finished with some decent splits considering. Then I did a about a half mile cool down back to the house. I am doing 10 tomorrow...this is a big run for me. I need to be up really early and get my running mojo going again. Hope it goes well. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

12 Mile Long Run (Saturday) then 4 Mile Progression (Sunday)

Friday night I was trolling the RunnersWorld forums and saw that New York City had posted Wave and Corral starts for the Marathon. I was like a giddy school girl when I looked at noticed my placement. Last year I was at the end of the 3rd Green Wave...I really wanted to start on the top of the bridge...just because that is what I always think when I think of NYC. That amazing skyline...and it will be something a little different. Even the fact that I am in the first corral of the 3rd Blue Wave. So there should be some open space for me to find a little space and try to lock in to my pacing. So it really put me in a good mood.

I woke up feeling still like whatever this ailment I have was still living in my head. Just something I am getting used to dealing with. The plan called for 12 and I wanted to do 6 at under 8:55 pace. (Yes my goal pace has crept down a little). I was down to one gel and thought I would just take it with me and consume midway through the run. I headed out, and it was cool and crisp, perfect Sean weather.

About a mile and a half in I was crossing a parking lot and saw someone in a car. I looked and saw it was an old friend that happens to be a runner. He was just leaving after going on a group run. He said they meet every Saturday at 7 like a block from my house to run. I have really been missing the running kinship so it was nice to get that news. I probably won't join them every weekend...I do like my long run time and pace...but shorter long runs I think it might be nice.

I continued to Lions Park (It is starting to become a new loop for me) and made my way around the perimeter. My first couple of miles were nice paces if a little fast. About mile 3 I needed to find a restroom and knew from the previous runs that my route goes right by one in the park at about 5 miles in. So it seemed to be a good time to pick up the pace a little. When I got to the restroom it was LOCKED! A tiny bit of panic crept in and so remembering the next public restroom was about 4 miles away on the greenway I decided to hit it as long as I could....and this turned up being good luck.

I pushed hard all the way around Hynds then up to Vandehi. I was pretty beat by the top and finished the hill slowly thinking I might go slow and take a gel but I figured what the heck and made back up the time to also get that mile under 8:55 as I cruised down the hill and onto the greenway at Central H.S. I kept chugging along, feeling pretty good but really wanting that bathroom. When I made it to Mylar Park I was very relieved to find that it was unlocked.

Once I got back on track after my stop I was able to push for the next couple of miles. The net downhill really did play into it. Mile 11 was my fastest mile and I was happy with that. When I got to mile 12 I slowed down quite a bit. The legs were feeling it mixed in with the stop I just kind of went with it. I am still getting back the confidence and wanted to have a solid finish so it was a 9:22 mile. I decided to walk after that to keep my legs stretched out and to keep strong.

I was very happy with this run. Felt pretty good at the end, even if the head cold was still bugging me a little I can tell that the run really helped with some of that brain fog and even today (Sunday) I feel better overall.

When I woke up today it took a little bit to get out of bed. Had a late night (for me) and so I was a little slow. I wasn't sure what type of run I wanted. The legs didn't feel like they needed recovery, but knowing how many miles I am gonna rack up this next week I wanted something fairly short. I decided on a progression run.

First mile I headed towards Converse which is quite a downhill, my legs weren't quite ready for it....I started thinking about my goal to run the first mile around 9:40 at NYC...and I remembered that my legs will already be pretty warm in NYC because of all the walking to get to the start. So I just focused on that and it made calm and let me just enjoy the warm-up. When I got to the park I was going at a pretty decent clip and just started to push. By the start of the 4th mile I was pretty tired, but I still kept pushing so I am happy with my effort.

After the 4th mile I decided to walk most the way home. When I got to the big hill two blocks from the house I decided to sprint up it to boost myself mentally. Nice way to end a run. I am excited to get back exactly on schedule this week and give it a great effort.

Feel like I am back on track! Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Mile Park Loop

Decided to get out for a run today. Still feeling kind of lousy, but I have to get miles back on the legs. So I went out this morning with the Garmin, not really sure how far I was gonna go. The Garmin died within the first mile. Weird because it said it had 90% of the battery left. Hope it isn't getting wonky on me.

I had made a large semi-circle to Holliday Park and just decided to go with it. The plan was to hit as many miles as possible at marathon pace and get that confidence back. I pushed pretty hard for almost the entire run. My lungs and throat let me know that it is no happy about the labored breathing. Felt really good to just sweat though.

The negative chatter started with about a mile left on my run. Kept saying go slower....walk...but I did not listen. It donned on me that I might feel this way a week from now...or a month from now...or even at NYC. So I did not give in and ended the run strong.

I am gonna do 12 tomorrow with at least 6 at marathon pace. Next week I fully intend to get back to religiously following Hal....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

4 mile Sinks Canyon

On a trip for work. Forgot my shoes so I bought some trail ones and a sporting good store. Odd I can't find money to go to the doctor but I can buy shoes...I do have a sickness ;-)

Sinks Canyon is really cool. Wished I had gotten there a little sooner but I worked late. Lots of neat trails and a little wildlife makes for an amazing run. I am beat though. Glad I went recharged my batteries.

18 Mile Long Run

I have been really sick since last Monday. It isn't the flu...but a lot more than a cold. Just really odd. If I was a little more flush financially at the moment, I would have gone to the doctor...but alas...those are the breaks.

I ended up doing this run on Sunday. I slept a little on Saturday hoping it would help me heal up. I didn't ran at all until Sunday. I got up at 6 but wasn't out the door until around 7. I had every intention of doing 20. I knew it was a tall order. I felt awful, and I woke up with a sour stomach so I knew I would not be getting any carbs during the run. I really wanted to attempt it anyway.

First hiccup came when I realized grab my water pack...sans bottles....oops. I was only a little ways from the house...but it was still a little lame. I made my way to Lion's Park again and went around and then through. Then towards Central High School on Hynds. Again I went up to Vandehi and pushed. My tempo the whole run was very very slow. I just wanted to get the miles on my legs. I then went back down Hynds and hit the greenway at Central.

I made my way along the greenway fairly well for the first three miles of it. I kicked up the tempo a little and although I didn't feel awesome, was getting the job done. By the time I got to my last mile on the greenway I was struggling big time. So by mile 15 I decided to bag 20 and just head home. I walked from 15-16 and then mixed in running the last two miles.

I was pretty bummed I didn't hit 20, but I have been very sick. So I am proud that I was able to gut out 18 miles. This week will be a down week and then I will attempt 20 again next week. Just need to get healthy and get back to it. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No run today :-(

Woke up sick as a dog this morning. If it just felt like a cold I would have gone out. This feels like something more so I decided to bag it. I called into work and have been sleeping all morning. I hate that I didn't get out, but I have to try to get healthy....

Monday, September 13, 2010

4 mile Monday

Took off yesterday. I have been feeling a little run down lately, so it seemed wise. I have a monster week with mileage so I wanted to go in strong. I got up at 6 today and was out the door by 6:20. It was quite chilly, which is just how I like it.

I decided to take a trip over to Holliday Park which is only about 5 blocks from my house. The park as mentioned last week is pretty nice, and seeing all the birds can be kind of a treat. I wanted to do the first mile a bit faster than what I put up, but that is ok. The next three I wanted under marathon pace. Which I was able to accomplish.

There were quite a few cars in the parking lot at the YMCA which made me happy. Tells me there are quite a few people trying to workout. I ended up doing a few laps around the park and then heading home. My left hammie was a little tight but felt good once I hit about 3.5 miles in. Once again I wore the compression sleeves on my calves.

10 miles tomorrow morning....10 MILES!!! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

19 Mile long Run

After the last three days, I was a little apprehensive about the 19 mile run today. I am still in territory that is pretty rare for me. As some others runners have mentioned, that is what keeps it fresh. Those nerves and the excitement to seeing what me body has in it and what more my brain can coax out of my legs when I am  tired. I was given that opportunity today.

Got a little bit later start than I would have liked. I was up later and dined a bit later than I normally do, and it impacted the run a little bit towards the middle and end. The temps have started becoming more fall like, and it was a little chilly which is just how I like to start a run. Gives your body time to adjust to working without overheating.

I am generally going to try to be more positive in these blogs, but I am going to complain a little about the ESPN radio station. 7:30 in the morning...during football season...and you are going to give me a radio infomercial about Vitamin D supplements is absurd. A half an hour...on a sportstalk station in the middle of the morning...and  I get some idiot doctor and horrible radio personality selling snake oil. LAME!!!

I digress....

I headed towards Lion's Park which is only about 1.75 miles from I filed that away for future references. When I was living here before I never really took advantage of the parks themselves. I was only there for events. Both times I have found myself pretty dang amazed at how nice the parks really are. Lions...there have been a lot of changes over the years. The Botanical Garden perimeter is really stunning. I ran along a path that wove in and out and although it cost me a second on my 5th mile was totally worth it. Just a very pleasant surprise. So now I have two parks for shorter runs that I will thoroughly enjoy visiting.

After Lions I headed down towards Central High School and up the service road to the top of Vandehi. It was quite an incline. Actually had a cool moment when three guys on bikes moved slowly by me and gave a respectful nod...made me feel good....

I turned around and went back to Central and onto the greenway. I have started taking gels again and took my second one at mile 10 while continuing to run. I did pretty well. My pace slacked a little...but not too much. I was attempting to mix in some marathon pace miles with my long run pace miles and it went pretty well along the path.

I started feeling pretty tired around mile 14. I kept chugging along and decided to end my run at my parent's house. So I went across Hwy 30 and then up to Pershing and picked the greenway back up and did the shorter path I had made a routine the last few weeks before I moved. I admit I completely stopped at mile 16 for about 10 seconds to get as much water as I could. I ran with a hydration belt, but only took one side. I didn't want the added weight the whole run. Probably would have been better off with more water. Live and learn...

I wanted to finish the run strong...I did finish the 18th mile very strong and most of mile 19 was at a great tempo. At about 18.7 on the Garmin my body gave me the "stop running or have an accident" high I was forced to pretty much walk the rest of the way. Kind of a bummer, but I had energy left, so it won't get me down.

Feeling strong even though the legs are sore. The ITB on the left hurt briefly towards the end of the run, but stopped the moment I did. I have been fine with it ever since. I did wear the compression sleeves on the calves and I am convinced that it helped a lot...even if I did look a little dorky :-)

Next week is one of three peak weeks in the training cycle...I am excited to hit it strong and get that confidence in the bank so come NYC I will be ready! Thanks for reading.

Friday, September 10, 2010

6 Miles....5 at pace

The schedule today called for 9 miles at pace. Having two fairly hard days in a row and looking down at 19 tomorrow, I decided to do 6 miles and call it good. My original plan was to go east on Pershing towards where I was staying with my folks. I figured it was about 4.5 miles there so I wanted to see where 3 miles would get me. It also seems like fewer traffic lights than heading the other way...that was a big mistake. The lights take a loooong time to change and I was a minute late for work because it added so much time to my run. I had noticed the wind going out and figured it was coming from the northwest...but as I was heading back was directly giving me the smack down. It sure does get windy. I had a really hard time finishing strong with both the wind and the incline, but I feel pretty good about it. The calves are a little sore, but feel pretty dang good. I also have had zero IT band pain for awhile now, so maybe I am getting used to this.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

9 Mile Wednesday and Hill Repeats on Thursday

I am just about settled in to my new place. I don't have internet yet, but I am hoping that will change tonight. I did a fairly hard 9 mile effort yesterday. The 2nd mile was 9:24, but each mile after that was below 9:20 with the last two miles below 8:30. I really had to go all over Cheyenne to get in the miles. When I can get the Garmin so upload I will post the map which is pretty interesting.

I had been having some pretty strong calf issues the last few weeks. I had been given the advice to buy some compression sleeves. I did and am absolutely amazed at the difference. I decided to go ahead and do a hill workout today and see how they would hold up.

I left the house around 6:20 and did about a mile and 3/4 warm. I ended up at the bottom of Pershing near Carey J.H. Growing up this always seems like such a long steep hill, I decided it would be neat to run it as a workout. The hill is really steep...but it does not last the .25 miles that I like to shoot for when I do repeats. On top of that, since there isn't much room, a family put their garbage can right in the middle of the sidewalk. It would cause me a few issues for each trek up and then back down. I was surprised how tired I felt at the top and I hadn't even gone .25. I could tell it had been awhile since I did this workout. I ended up doing 6 repeats with each one getting harder and harder to complete. The last repeat I hit the wrong bottom and stopped my watch. No biggie. I ran an additional mile home and continued with my day. It was a very hard workout, but one that needed to happen. I am feeling really good 5 hours later....really good....

Thanks for reading!



Monday, September 6, 2010

Gonna start getting back into this

I have become very accustomed to using to log my runs. It is very easy and has some cool graphs. It also does not let me focus so much on the negative of injuries or a bad run because everyone that is on there seems so supportive. That being said I am going to be better about posting here.

So I have just started week 10 of my training. There have been some very good high points this summer. I did run my first 10K (I did not break 50 minutes like I had hoped, but I did alright). I also hit my summer goal of running a 5K in under 23 minutes when I ran the Komen Race for the Cure in Cheyenne in August in a time of 22:12. I also set a PR in the half-marathon the following weekend in the Heart and Sole Half-Marathon/10K down in Boulder. My time was 1:50:59. I really thought I had a shot to break 1:50, but it truly was quite hot for me.

I have had some minor set backs, and those have mainly been my calves. While the IT Band pain I have had has been minimal, the calves really started to give me trouble when I got into doing track workouts over the summer with the High Plains Harriers over in Laramie (I live in Cheyenne now). Great group of people by the way.

I am following the Higdon Advanced I training plan that I posted on the blog. I have made a few changes mainly to do races and track work. I am trying to get back to it for the remainder of the cycle...only 8 weeks...whew.

So this week I started with a three mile run. It went pretty well. The wind was pretty crazy. I will let you see the route and my splits if you would like. As I said before, I will try to be better. Thanks for reading!