Thursday, November 29, 2012

Funny Marathon Signs

Still haven't blogged on my last race. It's funny that when it goes well, we take forever to write a recap.

Because I have really no idea what to expect from my body next Saturday, I thought I would share a couple of marathon sign funnies. Most of you have probably seen these...either way, enjoy!





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photos from Canadian National Cross Country Championships

It's going to take me a few days to recap, but if anyone is interested in photos from Canadian National Cross Country Championships, I took almost 500 of them. The internet at this hotel is terribly slow, so its going to take me a few days to post all them, but you can see most of the photos on a public facebook (Canadian National Cross) album at: https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10100478782802486.2407718.26504510&type=1


Enjoy!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cross-Country (Pre-Race)

I "raced" in spikes for the first time since college this past Saturday at a small cross-country race in Clinton, MS. With National Cross one week away, I ran the race as a tempo.

Still, I wasn't confident in my ability to hammer out 7k on a muddy XC course in Vancouver, Canada, so I opted for one more workout Tuesday, 4x 1 mile @ 5:36/33/33/24, it wasn't difficult but it made me feel better than running quarters.

I told myself that I would taper down a bit this week, but when I arrived in Vancouver Thursday afternoon, I realised that my "easy" week was still going to be in the neighbourhood of 80 miles. Surprisingly, my legs feel fresh and my pace has picked up. I'm not cramping near as much when I sit down for long periods of time (I've actually been taking a vitamin supplement for that). I've put on about 3-5 pounds since the summer, which is almost invisible to anyone but me...and because of this, I actually feel better. Before I felt like my tank was kinda empty, even though I was still hitting my miles and workout goals. Now, I am starting to feel like I've got a little bit left.

And just in-time, I guess. I crammed as much 5-10k training as I could in these last 3 weeks, and though I know it is not as much time as I needed, I feel like I can still hit my goal of a top 20 finish and enjoy myself throughly in the process. Then comes Rocket City!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spiked up on the XC Course

AM: 20 mom
PM:20 min w/u,
2x400m @ 77, 84 (oops) 200m jog
1x1000m @ 3:19
2x400m @ 78, 77 w/ 200m jog
1x1000m @ 3:15
2x400m @ 77, 77 w/ 200 jog
1x1000m @ 3:15
1x400m @ 76
10 min c/d

I felt like this workout went on for ever, probably because there were so many quarters. The K's were no were near relaxed and 3:15 is a pace that is shockingly fast for my body right now. It was also pretty windy on half the loop, and Houston isn't exactly winning any awards for wind blocking.

Regardless I was satisfied with this session, so much that I called it a day before the last quarter. I felt like I was done at that point. Many thanks to my husband who paced me through it.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Long run at Boardtown

AM: 20.2 miles w/ 9 miles steady, 9 miles @6:15-6:25, 2.2 @steady

This long run/long tempo was not well planned and it was all my fault. When I checked the website to see this weeks route, I didn't notice that the whole thing was gravel and that it was going to be difficult to maintain a good pace and get accurate results.

Still, Houston paced me through it and it wasn't too bad. We had some slower miles and some faster ones when we finally hit a stretch of pavement, overall it averaged out about right. We did stop once for a hip stretch (gravel makes my hip extremely tight) and again when Houston was bit by a dog (yeah that happened) but for the most part it was a good run and I was pleased.

My next workout will be either Tuesday or Wednesday...and will be some combination of leg cramping, chest about to explode type session. Still, looking forward to it. I absolutely love this stuff.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.
-M

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Half-Miles on Mugshots

AM: 20 min w/u
8x800m on Mugshots: 2:41, 2:45, 2:32, 2:30, 2:37, 2:40, ?:??, ?:?? (these times are +/- 5 seconds always on mugshots)
20min c/d

Good workout yesterday. I ran pretty hard and got some junk in my legs early...which was the plan. I forgot the splits on the last two, probably because I was suffering so bad I forgot to stop my watch.

After number 7 I almost called it quits, but I hung on for one more interval, went out like my pants were on fire only for my legs to completely die with about 150m remaining. I was actually pleased with this....this National Cross course is no joke. If I want to be competative at all, I've got to learn to deal with a little lactic acid...and quickly.

After that....Rocket City!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

XC Workout Success

Morning Workout on the Cross-Country Course
20 min w/u, 2x2K @ fast on the flat, 10 min jog rest, 1x3K on upper loop @ whatever I could do.

2K: 6:56 (mile @ 5:34)
1000m jog, stretch,
2K: 6:37 (mile @ 5:22)
1000m+ jog, stretch,
3K~ on the upper loop in 10:54
35 min c/d

After feeling like my chest was about to explode in the 5K last Wednesday, I was a little worried about this workout. One, I have not run on the cross-country course in a while; Two, I have not run under 5:30 pace for over a couple minutes in a really long time; Three, I was running with the women's team who have been training for 6K since August. I was more than a little worried.

The plan was to run the women's workout (2x2K at fast) and then add a 3K on the end around the outer loop. The outer loop of the MSU cross-country course is a 400m flat,  500m hill, a gradual up/down hill for the majority of the course until you get the last 400ish meters were it gradually flattens out. It is beautiful, rough on the legs, and gives the advantage for downhill runners like myself.

I did my warm-up around the outer loop just to get used to the footing and the hill. I stretched well and toed the line with the others, I heard a rumor that the front ladies were running sub-5:30 pace. I wasn't confident my legs could handle it being the sub-par 5K I ran only a few days early.

Then we took off. The first 400m was way fast and rough on the legs, but soon after I found a rhythm in the front pack, surprisingly the first interval was not difficult, I hung tough and finished in 6:56, not bad for 6 months of marathon training. We took a long break and I used the time to jog a loop of the field. I needed the extra time to stretch and prepare myself mentally for what was to come.

The second interval was suppose to be faster than the first. I heard something like "77 through the quarter" and "5:15 through the mile". I doubted I could run a quarter at 77 let alone a 2k. And so we took off and once again, I found myself in the front pack through 800m in 2:42 and 1600m in 5:22. My legs gradually got tighter as the pace continued to get faster. People began to drop off rapidly as Renee jumped out to push the pace. With about 200m to go I found another gear, and closed the gap to finish in 6:37, tired but not worn out. I still had 3k to go.

I jogged another full loop and headed to the start line. The start had not been mowed, and the grass was long and thick for about the first 400m, I did my best just to keep the pace up before I hit the hill. The first 400m did a number on my legs and I proceeded to trudge my way up, trying to keep my legs moving fast. Once I got to the top I really started moving trying to make up for the slow start. My lungs were screaming but my legs felt strong, and before I knew it I only had 400m left. I finished in 10:54, ran 5 miles home for my cool down and called it a day. One more successful workout and plenty more to go. My legs seem to be adjusting well to the change of pace.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

New plans

After a number of doctors appointments and an extra week of feeling like garbage, I came to the conclusion that what sidelined me at Columbus was stomach flu, and that dropping out when I did might actually be a blessing.

The very next day coach John emailed me about National Cross Country Championships. I begged Houston to let me go, I even robbed all the piggy-banks in our house just to find enough change to pay for the flight (there are perks to being married to a change hoarder).
He agreed on one condition, that me ferritin levels come back over 30 ( actually it was  53!). So with the marathon on the back burner (maybe not completely) and a 7k through mud and snow in three short weeks, I am desperately trying to piece together workouts so that I don't get my doors blown off in the opening kilometer.

So far so good. One bad workout and two good ones. Tomorrow I have 2x3k with the women's team...in which my goal is not to cry, die, or throw up ( though one of those will likely happen)
As for training...my legs have been cramping terribly when I sit for longer than 20 minutes at a time, so I am trying not to worry about the miles. Instead, I am focusing on how I feel daily, how much I am sleeping, eating, drinking...all the things that I have convinced myself matter very little in the big scheme of things ( which I know is wrong).

This week my training suffered a little bit. At last minute, I got on a plane Thursday morning, knowing that other things were more important,  and that running would likely be pushed to the side for two days. I did manage to run both days that I was there, and even tackled the Rocky steps (a must for any Philly adventure).

The trip was neither work nor running related, it was personal. It left me caring very little about the miles I logged that week..or the races I had planned. It made me once again realize that life is so unpredictable from one day to the next...and that we all need to be grateful for our almost perfect middle-class lives and beautiful families. That life is funny and twisted at the same time. That beautiful moments become the most prized possessions that we will ever own.

Today, be thankful for who you are and what you have. Many people have just suffered great loss, and are learning to live with a lot less.

Thursday: 15min w/u, 6x3min @ 5:39, 5:36, 5:33, 5:33, 5:27, 5:27, w/ 2 min rest, 10 min c/d ( treadmill @ 0 incline)
Friday: AM: 20 min, PM: 50min
Saturday: 94minute run w/ 60 min steady (outside), 14min @ 6:15 (outside), 3min rest, 10min @ 6:15& .5 incline, 2 min, 10min @ 6:11-5:30 (progressive @ 0 incline)
Sunday: 75 min
Monday: 84min
Tuesday: AM: 20min PM: 20 min w/u, 5k for the United Way @ 1 mile too hard, 2 miles tempo (slow, legs died), 30 min c/d (1st/1st, no splits, no Garmin)
Wednesday: 64 min
Thursday:1hr57min w/ 60 min @6:40-6:55, 25 min of fartlek, 5 min jog, 15 min of fartlek, c/d
Friday: 45 min
Saturday: AM: 60 min PM: 30 min