Tuesday, November 26, 2013

XTERRA Trail World Championships Results

XTERRA Trail World Championships: 3rd female overall in 1:40:26

Went out to fast and died in the middle pretty bad, but all in all I really can't complain with a 3rd place finish. Recap coming soon. For now, it's back to the beach.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Recap

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon: 2:49:28 for 26.27 miles (6:27 avg) 9th female
(just 22 seconds off my PR!)

Though I didn't run a personal best, I have nothing but positive thoughts after this race. Sure I have had some major success this year off the road, but I haven't posted a single respectable time on the boards since May of 2012. It is was getting old.

2013 I spent half the year battle bad S.I. issues and cramping in my hips, and I made the decision not to go back to therapy, so things got worse before they got better (update, I've actually had some major success with one of the those injury-be-gone balls, and the thing only cost me 20 bucks at Stinky Feet). My self rehab has saved me a couple thousand dollars in physical therapy bills, and I do it religiously every day.

I was also more than a little worried about my fitness going into this race. I had a shocking V02 max workout with the women's team just a week and a half before the race, but as you know that doesn't always equal a fast marathon. I also missed over two weeks of training during the most important weeks with a knee injury, which mean I missed out on my marathon simulator run AND a confidence boosting half marathon at Jazz (a 1:26 half didn't quite give me confidence).

I did everything I could the week before to ensure myself success. I carb loaded (depleted for 3 days, loaded for 3 days) I rested, I drank proper fluids and I barely ran. I also made new goals, instead of  trying to  run a personal best I told myself that I would try to run a respectable time.

The Race

The race crew at Monumental really took care of me. They provided most of their elites with a free hotel room next to the start line, black care service to/from the airport, a free meal the night before, and elite start line access, and elite water stations so we could put out our own bottles.
I met some of the elite ladies the night before during the elite meeting and the pasta dinner. Probably staying for the pasta dinner was the most important choice I made all weekend, because it was there I met Ellie Peterson, who was coming  of a 2:53 at altitude. We finally talked about race goals and she told me she wanted to run around 2:50, so we decided to run together. I would be very pleased with a 2:50 finish.

I felt good all day on Friday, but I slept only 4 hours the night before. I took twice the sleep  medication as normal and still couldn't fall asleep before 1:30pm. Surprisingly, when my alarm went off at 5:50am I felt refreshed. I ate bread from the hotel restaurant (which they graciously offered to me free of charge) with almond butter, a power bar, and some Gatorade. This is the first time I have ever went through a proper carb load for a marathon, which means I felt as if I gained 5 pounds three days before this race. However, during the entire 26.2 miles, My legs never felt heavy or fatigued so I think I hit the nail right on the head.

Ellie and I went out easy for the first few miles, until I spotted Jackie about 10 seconds up at mile two. I knew Jackie from when she destroyed beat me at Rocket City last year, so I knew that if we kept her in our sites that we would probably run a good time. By 2.5 miles we caught her back and began comparing race goals. We all agreed to stick together.

Lucie Mays-Sulewski joined us just a few minutes later. Literally running a marathon just 4 weeks  before this one, she still did most of the pace setting for the remaining 23 miles. She was an instant friend and a Brooks ID. I let her take control and tried to stay calm and focused.
Our awesome pack early in the race
Things were smooth sailing until about 6 miles when My hip started to lock up. I grabbed my fluid bottle fairly easy at 10k and just tried to ignore it. It was frustrating and mentally draining, but I did my best to maintain pace at the back of the pack while taking large sips of fluid. By 12 miles, things started to loosen up again and I contemplated making a big push around the halfway point.

My Brooks Uniform

At 20k I grabbed my next fluid bottle and decided I didn't feel good enough to pick up the pace,  instead Lucie led the group once again and I did my best to ignore the mile markers. The ladies continued to talk to each other and offer words of encouragement. We split half-way in about 1:24:37.

So happy when this race was over and I felt amazing. Plus, I didn't take many pictures.
The race felt effortless. From 13-20 miles we floated along without much trouble. I grabbed my last
fluid bottle at around mile 19 and started to think that maybe I was going to make it. I still felt really good until about mile 22.

At 23 miles Jackie broke away from the group and everyone spread out. I couldn't bring myself to race. I had just ran over 20 miles with these ladies and I couldn't find any desire to race them. I continued to move forward, but I couldn't find another gear.
Restoring my glycogen post-race

I let the wheels fall off around mile 24, scared to run a good time or never really believing I could run a 2:49 and it would feel this easy. Eventually around 25.5 I snapped out of it and attempted to close the gap between Ellie and I. I finished in 2:49:28 and felt amazing. I wasn't overly tired or fatigued, part of me felt like it was more of a tempo effort. I immediately thought about training for a spring marathon.

Because I booked my flight early in the afternoon, after briefly talking with my new friends about our adventures, I made my way upstairs to my hotel room, showered, grabbed some coffee, and jumped into a black car to the airport. 

A 2:49 finish stamped my ticket back to the roads. I feel like I finally got me "grove" back. I've still got the hip problem, but I can manage it. And, it looks as if my season is not over just yet.

Friday, October 25, 2013


After running a disastrous half-marathon in NOLA in record heat and humidity (still finishing 2nd, I may add) I decided to really scale back my training. Surprisingly, my workout Wednesday after the weekend race went well, and the following Saturday I had a great 15 miler with the middle 12 at just a few seconds slower than my goal marathon pace.

Monday I cut 10 minutes from my regular run, and slept in Tuesday morning. That afternoon I hit the XC course for a little speed session.

20 min w/u, 20 min c/d
10 min at marathon pace
3x 1 mile @ 5:13, 5:11, 5:12

I had planned on hanging on for dear life at the back of the pack for the duration of the workout, but to my surprise I felt good, relaxed,and had a chance to push the pace up front. Either it's the taper, or I'm finally seeing the benefits of all those workouts I put together training for World Mountain Champs. Some what regretting that I'm not running National Cross, as it looks like I'm fitter this fall than I was last.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Saturday's Solo 21 miler

AM: 21 miles w/ 18 @ 6:35-6:45 (south farm, campus 5, downtown) hot and humid.

After scrambling last minute to find a sitter, I made a plan to execute this workout solo. Last week I was blessed with a group of perfect pacers, and this week I felt like I needed to go through the motions on my own, all the while keeping the pace as fast as I could without breaking myself.

We had been blessed with cool weather all week, so you can imagine my surprise when I stepped out the door at 7:15am and it was already warm. I ran the south farm loop first so I could get water after the first 8 miles, and by the time I got water it was no longer warm, but hot. I felt miserable in the sun, but relaxed in the shade. Overall, my pace didn't change when I hit the 5 mile loop so I just kept going.

It was game day in Starkville, and we were playing none other then LSU. That morning while I was dressing in the dark, I mistakenly selected a Brooks purple and yellow running outfit (with matching shoes, what was this?). I should have known something was up when half way through the South Farm loop a young man feeding the cows yelled, "Go Tigers." I thought..."What? Did he just say that?" Then, about 3 miles later I got booed (and almost mugged) while running through tailgates on campus, and then while running down Main Street an older man screamed and pretended that his eyes were burning. Wonderful.

Houston had recruiting duties all weekend, so I spent Saturday running Maddy around from birthday party to birthday party, and finally convinced her to go home to watch Daniel Tiger on the couch. We went to bed early and I woke up feeling good, fresh, and confident! Bring on Indianapolis!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mid-week workout on the XC Course

AM: 25 min run (oops! Slept in)
PM: 20 min w/u, 20 min c/d
4 x 1 mile @ tempo, 800m @ 5k pace (1.5/2 min rest)
5:49, 2:45
5:44, 2:43
5:45, 2:45
5:48, 2:45

I was irritated that I couldn't get my 800s under 2:40, but I was running this workout solo and the footing was not to my liking. Don't get me wrong, MSU has a fabulous XC course, but it took me about half this workout to get used to the bumpy grass and the holes. And judging by the miles at "tempo" I road the break a little too much on the 800s. Still, in the middle of a great week of miles, I'm pretty happy with how relaxed this session felt.

I'm running Jazz Half in New Orleans on the 12th. There is no elite field but it looks like the race still gets great support from some wicked fast runners. Because I haven't done the work to PR at the half-marathon distance, I would just like to have a successful race before I have to toe the line on Nov 2nd for another 26.2. Today's long run will be a little better judge as to where my current fitness is.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Long run success.

AM: 40min run, ~10 miles @ 6:25, 50 min run (~ 21 miles)

After Wednesday's workout I had a hard time getting my legs recovered. Maybe it was all the biking I did last week, or that I was about to hit 90+ miles after barely running the week prior. Whatever it was, it did not give me enough confidence to get my long run in Saturday, so instead I ran a relaxed 12 miles wth strides and pushed the harder session until Sunday.

I asked Houston to see if he could recruit one of his men to pace me for 10 miles of my 20 miler. It turns out must of his guys run their long runs at my marathon pace, which means they would not be sacrificing themselves (somewhat). Once I got to the track I was surprised to find a pack of 5 guys waiting to assist with pacing duties. We set off, running two loops of the hilly campus 5, boring but probably the best in terms of traffic. Immediately I felt tight and short of breath and spent most of the first loop trying to get comfortable.

Call it whatever you will, maybe pride, but as bad as I felt I wasn't throwing in the towel. I needed this workout, and frankly I appreciated the help and accountability. Even though 6:25 pace did not feel even slightly relaxed, I knew it wasn't because of fitness, rather it was fatigue, which is a common feeling  to experience in the late miles of a marathon.

In the end I finished it, even went 10 minutes longer on the "cool down" than I originally planned. This is what Houston likes to call "making the best of your bad days," and, I did just that.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

3x3 mile on the "Run For Education"

4:45am: 2 mile w/u, 2 mile c/d, 3x3mile w/ jog recoveries @ Mpace, Mpace-10sec, Mpace- 20 sec
1.) 6:19, 6:18, 6:10
2.) 6:12, 6:11, 6:09
3.) 6:06, 6:04, 5:56

This was my first "official" hard day after all last week's chaos, so I was a little bit scared and intimidated by this workout on paper. Honestly, in the past when I had 3x3 mile scheduled I have (more than once) swapped it for an 8 mile tempo or 4x 2 mile. It scares me, not sure why, but today I was determined to finish, solo or not (I did have Micah for company on interval 1 and 2). 

Thought I wasn't breaking any records out there on a flat-as-pancake course, I did feel great the entire time, and only felt like it was getting hard towards the very end when I decided to clock the last mile in something like 5:55. Regardless, I mean it was 4:45am, anything fast does not come easy that early.

Though my legs are still a bit wobbly from riding the trainer all last week, the rest of my body is quite fresh and I'm thinking that I might just get a marathon in this fall after all.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Rehab Week.

Last Monday I was worried I wasn't going to be able to run for 2 months. Today I ran twice, nearly 14 miles total. It's funny how quickly the body can recovery from some aches and pains, and seems to never come back from others.

This was my "rehab week" (below). Every time I got on the trainer I peddled hard. I finished off the week with extremely tired legs that were begging to hit the pavement. The bike is one of my least favourite cross training activities, but it's the most convenient. I can watch TV, check email and read while peddling. I still haven't mastered the art of reading while running on the treadmill.

saturday: 2 hr 5 min (knee hurt bad) quit early, this was supposed to be a 2:45 run (felt great physically at 2 hrs)
Sunday: bike 30/45 double
Monday: 15 min jog PM: ? I can't remember what I did that afternoon....
Tuesday: 70 min run (knee hurt) 45 min bike (intervals, hard)
Wednesday: 20 min tempo run, 70 min bike w/ 4 x 10 min up tempo
Thursday: 60 min bike w/ short intervals, PM: 30 min bike
Friday: 25 min run, 90 min bike (hard, intervals) 
Saturday: 10 miles @ 7:03-6:40, 15 min bike
Sunday: 12 miles in 80 minutes + 35 min bike
Monday: 30min/70 min run double (knee ok)
My knee was hurting this morning, but it felt fine during my lunch break run. Hoping that this means I can jump right back into marathon training. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I haven't had much for injuries that stop me from running in 3 years now. However, two days before the WMRC, I fell on some rocks on the trail and scraped up both me knees. It hurt but it didn't keep me from running, until I returned home and got back into my normal training routine.

On Saturday the plan was for a 2:45 long run and at a nice pace (nothing crazy) I felt great just before the 2 hour mark, when my knee started throbbing. I ended up having to stop right at 2:05. I haven't been able to run since.

I've road the bike like crazy for three days. Yesterday I saw the trainer and she told me I strained a tendon and bruised part of the bone. The fact that I can ride the trainer without much discomfort is promising. However, every day of running I miss is a day less training I have for Indianapolis Marathon. This week was suppose to be one of my biggest weeks, and I've already missed half of it. I'm not throwing in the towel just yet, but I'm hoping for a miracle of some sort. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

World Mountain Running Championships update

WMRC Results: 44th overall in 48:57 (1st Canadian) 12th as a team

Going into this race I had no idea what to expect. I guess I expected to finish top 50, but I never expected to have so much fun doing it. It is going to take me sometime to recap this trip. For now, here are a few articles and photos for you to enjoy.

Canadian Men Break Top 10 in the World, Women Place 12th 

Alberta PrimeTime Interview

Starkville Daily News Interview (don't worry, this one requires a subscription)

Photo album

Houston & I at the bottom of the Mountain

1st climb
Strange group photo (tell me whats off about it)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Last mini speed session

Tuesday: am: 28 min, PM: 20 min progressive w/u at 0 incline (7:00min down to 6:00) 5min @ 5:18 & 0 incline, 4 min @ 7:53 & 12 incline, 3 min @ 5:15, 2 min @ 7:53 & 12 incline, 1 min @ 5:00 & 0 incline, 15 min c/d

I've been doing all my treadmill runs at see sort of an incline (if not at 10 or above) so I thought today I would cut myself a break and alternate repeats at 0% and repeats at 12%. I was a little uncomfortable on the 5 min segment ( having not had the chance to do any strides) but things improved tremendously from then on. I felt fast and fit. Not the most exciting workout ever accomplished, but enough to get me turning over and to give me a little confidence before WMRC. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Weekend long run

Saturday: 20 miles progressive treadmill run
Incline @ 0.5-1.0 w/ random segments between 1.5-3.5 to break it up
30 min @ 6:53
35 min @ 6:49-6:44
26 min @ 6:31
26 min @ 6:22
8min @ 12 incline,8- 8:20 pace, 
2 miles @ 6:15-6:11

Originally I had not planned on running 20 this weekend, but my long runs have improved   tremendously lately, as has the rest of my running, so I decided to stick with the long term (marathon) plan. It was hot and humid so I opted not to kill myself and ran on the treadmill. I was able to drink, take salt and gels with out an issue, and I only had a few minor Maddy interruptions.

A treadmill run ended up being a smart move. This now makes 3 solid 20 mile runs in about 5 weeks time. Just the confidence I need to climb a few mountains next weekend some of the best mountain runners in the world.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Progressive run at Ackerman

18 miles w/ 10 at progressive tempo at Ackerman Lake (2.5 mile trail loop)
AM: 5 mile warm-up, 4x2.5 mile trail loop in
16:15, 16:13, 15:24, 15:04 (6:30/6:29/6:09/6:01)
2.5 mile cool down

Yesterday when I started my warmup it was only 75 degrees and 90% humidity...but by the time I finished it it was in the mid to upper 80s- still cooler than what it has been so no complaints.

Houston was taking his team out to Ackerman lake to run a fartlek on the 2.5 mile public trail so they could 1.) get off the roads and 2.) run as a team without worrying s much about traffic.I felt like it was a great opportunity to get a hard long run on the trails, seeing as I haven't ran on them since NACAC.

The course has lots of twist and turns and the surface is dirt, bridge, and gravel- therefore making garmin practically useless. Houston claims it adds about 10 seconds per mile to what one would "normally" run on the roads (however I'm pretty good a trail running, so I am not so sure that formula works for me).

I took a quick break after each 2.5 mile loop (just enough to gulp down water and take salt or a gel) and I think it was a good move, because by the time I finished I was freezing and shaking from being dehyrdated. With the humidity and temp combo and a 18 mile run (10 of which were progressive tempo) it was impossibly not to be.

I kept the first two laps as conservative as I could, and started to pick up the pace on lap three. Houston helped me around on the last one, and with the exception of a small panic attack about 600m from the finish (don't ask) I was pleased with how things turned out. In about 4 weeks time this worrkout will probably look completely different and I am really looking forward to reaping the benefits from training hard and smart this summer. Humidty and heat are not my friends, but they will make me stronger in the long run.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hill Work Part II

My lack of blogging lately has been due to work and life living with an almost 3 year old. I let the cat out of the bag the other day that we would soon have a "Birfday Party" and we have spent every night since planning out the details (Dora or animal theme, who are we inviting, what the cake will have on it). I am also just over 2 weeks away from the Poland trip and I am trying my best to have everything (work related) completely done before I leave. A "vacation" durring the first month of the fall semester is not recommended.

I'm in the thick of marathon training, the last two weeks brought two (very difficult) 20 mile runs in 95-100% humidity. The first one was great for the first 9...then so miserable that I turned my garmin off after 14 and suffered through the last 6 saving myself the embarrasment of knowing the splits for those miles. The very next week was much improved. Besides 94% humidity, the temps had dropped to mid 70s and I coasted along for most of the run between 6:50-6:40 pace, even getting down as low as 6:25 during the last mile.


Looking back at my log I've ran more this past year and a half than ever before. I've also not ran a single PR since may of 2012. There could be a number of reasons for this (lack of sleep, more work, not recovering from hard sessions) but Im trying to be honest with myself and realize that I just can't handle the higher mileage. The things in my life don't leave enough room for 90s or triple digit weeks and that mid 80s is all Im going to be able to handle. Still, its better than not having time to run, which I am thankful I have that.

Yesterday I ran another session of 400m hills followed by a short tempo. Saturday I will head to Ackerman with the team to run a 15 mile progression run. All in all, Im feeling pretty fit and Im excited for what lies ahead. Hopefully, I can capture one more personal best before I work on baby number two. After all, there is always a chance the running doesn't come back as easily the second time around.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


AM: 15 min w/u
6 miles continuous on Mt.Schmidt (aka Bevel Hill) alternating down hill mile, up hill mile
5:43, 6:41, 5:36, 6:54, 5:41, 7:01 for 37:39 total (90 seconds faster than last time)
12 min c/d
PM: 4 miles moderate

Mt. Schmidt is a mile long hill about 25 minutes from our house in the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge. Before NACAC I went out there with Houston and Renee for this same workout, which I ran in about 39:10. Honestly, it might have been more humid last time, but I also had friends suffering along with me. Yesterday, I was running solo, while Houston drove up and down the mountain shouting out words of encouragement and throwing me a water bottle...I couldn't have done it without him.

In college I ran this workout a few times, though we used to start at the bottom and run the first up-hill fresh. Because Poland is a down-up course we have been starting at the top, taking the first climb on tired legs. 

By the time the last climb came around I didn't think I was going to make it back up. Last time, I added nearly 30 seconds on the last mile, so I did my best to keep my head up, shorten my stride, and keep from falling over. I improved my time over a minute and a half.

A 90 second improvement over last time means that things are finally starting to click. My mileage is not very high yet, but I am running more each week and my quality is very high. Outlook, positive. Bring on the fall!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Interview with Level Renner

For those that might be interested, I was interviewed by Level Renner after NACAC. Here is the video:

Also, visit Level Renner at http://www.levelrenner.com/ they create a FREE magazine that is well worth the read. You can view back issues at: http://www.levelrenner.com/issues/.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

My NACAC Mountain Running Champs/USA Champs Survival Story

NACAC Mountain Running Championships Results: 49:56 for 13th overall (1st Canadian!) 
USA 1st, Team Canada 2nd, Mexico 3rd

I take back everything I knew...ok thought I knew...about running up mountains, and tell you- I know next to NOTHING about mountain running. Sure, I faired well, I actually placed high and I think I ran a smart race, but if the Poland course is going to be anything like Mt. Cranmore (which it is supposedly 95% the same) I've got a lot of work to do.
Going down on the first lap. Photo by Michael Scott
At 7:14a.m. on Sunday I loved running up mountains, I thought it was "fun" and "exhilarating", and then at about 7:44a.m. I wanted to fall over and die. I felt like a 5th grader running their first 5k. I was sprinting from the start and doing my best to put one foot in front of the other, while I shuffled down cliffs and barely caught my breath enough to climb back up. 

It hurt, a lot. Ironically, the down hill hurt more than the up, being that I was blessed with a killer chest cramp that gradually subsided as soon as I hit the uphill (probably because my pace slowed to basically a walk). This race was also the USA Championships so the field wen out guns a blazing, and I found myself caught midpack within the first 800m. My teammate Sarah was only a speck of red in the distance as she headed into war without me (later I would catch up but I started to get really anxious).

Hurting bad here. Photo by Michael Scott
This course was designed to be hard. Instead of an up-down like Sutton, its down-up-down-up. So, after running your butt off for the first 2 k, you then have to march full force up-hill.. sorry, up-mountain..sections that even the fittest runners can't even "run up". Instead, the majority of the field walks, putting their hands on their quads as they try to pull themselves forward. And, just when you decide to wave your white flag and surrender, you turn a corner that takes you back though the torturous adventure that you have decided you despise more than any other race, especially the marathon.  

About to finish. I am smiling because I am finishing (and passing my cheering squad - Thanks Susie and Emmett!)
Unfortunately the paparazzi was all over the course that day, so I had to keep myself from crying, puking and falling face first into a mud puddle.  I actually caught the two ladies that finished 11th and 12th on the first climb, and then within 5 minutes of the last climb, but somewhere along the way my body (and mind) gave up and I simply survived it out for the remaining 6 minutes of the race. Within these 6 minutes I dropped back nearly 50 seconds, which is something I am not proud of. I simply couldn't make my legs go. And though my male teammates stood just a few minutes before the top of the mountain and proceeded to scream their heads off at me to "RUN and LIFT up your KNEES" (in french AND english of course) I simply shuffled forward wheezing and cussing (In my head, being the paparazzi was there and all) until the finish line was in sight. Then, I smiled and picked up the pace to finish 13th, better than I expected but still, disappointed as it would have been nice to crack the top 10.

Still, I am new to this sport and the race was a great experience. I know exactly what I need to work on over the next 6 weeks before Poland, and hopefully the next time I tackle another Mountain similar to Cranmore, I will be the victor, as Sunday it was Mt. Canmore: 1, Meggan: 0.

Run Happy!
My pictures of the Sr. Jr. Men

Awards Ceremony by Scottmasonphoto.com

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Speed work

Wednesday: 22 min w/u, 2x (8x70-80 sec) hard, 60-80 easy, 4 min jog between the sets on hilliest section @ south farm (back side, gravel) 5:00-5:35 depending on if I was going up or down. Good workout, hot and 94% humidity, felt strong on the hills.

Saturday: 15 min w/u, 6.33 miles tempo on very hill route  ( 6:25 avg - Rez Run at tempo...no fast ladies showed up so it was an easy $500), jog, 3X800m @ 5:28, 5:25, 5:28 (on road w/ hills), jog, 6X30sec @ 5:18-5:00 pace, 15 min jog c/d. Felt great.

I get to taper off a little bit before NACAC and run a few speed workouts, which is nice because its hot as heck in Mississippi during the summer. I know, "It's summer everywhere." But being a Northern Transplant, I've never quite gotten used to 97% humidity and triple digit temperatures. Even with our 4:45am workouts, its still over 80 degrees and the humidity is at its highest. But, I'd rather have this then the frigid Canadian winters (sorry, its the truth)  and I've learned a few tricks from friends to make it through.

Next weekend I will travel the New Hampshire to run the NACAC Mountain Running Championships, which is also the USA Mountain Running Championships- which means I better bring my A game and expect to swallow my pride a little bit. The women's field is stacked, which makes me extremely excited as I rarely get to line up against a field of ladies like this one. I am so looking forward to a few days out of the office to run my tail off on Cranmore Hill.

Run Happy!


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hill work

After Sutton I took about 5 days off to get recovered from a pretty unimpressive spring season (with the exception of the mountain race). It was everything I needed, and I came off the break fully motivated and ready for the next round of training.

These past few weeks I've been extremely busy with work and with a July 1 promotion on the horizon (yay) I've been taking full advantage of the summer months to get prepared for the craziness of the fall semester. My workouts have changed, now that I've got to get usd to running up 20% grades for extended periods of time (do you ever actualy get "comfortable" with that?) and every workout has a down/up cycle to it as Poland is a down/up course.

For someone who doesn't do hill work (I run my workouts on hilly courses) I had no idea what I was missing. Running repeats alternatve 0% and 12% inclines makes every workout more interesting and extremely challenging. Ive found that it takes two full days to recover from the hard sessions, especially now that its summer in Mississippi, so I'm back on the hard/easy/easy cycle. I'm feeling extremely strong and my longer runs and workouts paces have started improving again. I'm also keeping my weekly miles at a steady 80+-, not where I would like to be but seems to be where my body feels comfortable right now.

With the exception of a nagging achilles, my body feels pretty good. I haven't had any issues with my S.I. Joint ever since I decided to postpone my marathon goals to the fall and focus more on the mountain running. I've got some very exciting racing scheduled in the coming months: NACAC in New Hampshire, World Mountain Champs in Poland, a marathon in late October, and World XTerra Champs in Hawaii at the end of November. After that I will put up my flats for a well needed break of (hopefully) 9 months or more.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Canadian Mountain & Trail Running National Championships Race Recap

Canadian Mountain and Trail Running National Championships Results:
1:18 for 1st female (woo, what?)
15 min w/u, 15 min c/d

Sutton, Quebec
I'm sitting on the front porch of the Auberge D&K just after 7:00 am on Saturday morning, June 1. I've just gulped down two plates of fresh fruit and french bread with butter and jelly. The free continental breakfast served here is fit for a King and I believe haven't eaten this good in a while.
I'm cradling a cup of coffee in my hands while enjoying the morning sun against my face. I'm asking myself what in the world I am doing here; Just 48 hours ago I booked my flight to Sutton, last minute out of frustration with my back problems this spring. I've really just arrived, flying into Vermont last night and renting a car to drive across the border. Yesterday I was in Memphis and I plan to head back that way by 1:00 pm after the race (the awards ceremony is scheduled at 1:30 pm, I didn't intend on getting an award so I didn't plan on staying.)
The Auberge D&K. 
I head back to my room to prepare for checkout and then drive 8 minutes up to the top of Mt.Sutton. I park in the open lot and look around. I'm feeling really out of place now. There are people running around with water packs and serious looking trail running gear. I look down at me feet, I have a pair of Brooks PureGrits on, that's the extent of my preparation. I freak out a little and spend 30 dollars on a running water bottle (later I would throw this bottle into a tree and forget about it). I'm not to sure what I'm doing but I know the race starts at 10:00 am so I proceed to warm-up.

By  race time the sun is blaring, much the way I remember the Canadian summers growing up in Alberta. I am not wearing sun screen and I will pay for this later. The gun goes off, I feel a bit flat (perhaps from yesterday's travel) and go out some where towards the back. I take a quick look behind and make sure I'm not last. These ladies are serious, we are flying somewhere around 5k pace. I continue to run in the back, I can't risk going out to fast. I have no idea what to expect here.

About 400 meters into the race we begin to climb and I begin to pass people. I offer words of encouragement as I pass as the other runners.... I am trying to be nice, somewhere I convinced myself it was good karma. I quickly find myself in third place.

"I'm in third? Maybe I should slow down."

The trail becomes narrow, enough for one runner, and we begin to really climb. I push past more men and one more lady. I am still feeling quite relaxed. It takes me a few more minutes but I pass the 1st place lady. I don't hesitate as I go by, I am feeling pretty good about my pace.
11.8km Mt. Sutton
We really start climbing now. The incline is somewhere in the neighborhood of 18%, but it feels like 90. There are sections of the trail so steep that I am using my hands. I am still running, but people all around me are walking at a fast pace. My calf starts to cramp up and my chest feels like it might explode, I feel my sock slowly slide back into my shoe and by now my Pure Grits are caked in mud. I know I'm putting distance on myself and the rest of the other ladies so I continue to run while others continue to walk.

We climb...and climb...and climb some more.

We climb for over 30 minutes, and I begin to question my sanity. Just when I feel like the climb could never end, the trail flattens out and we start rolling again. Men start to fly by me (they are jumping and hurdling the short banks) I've considered myself a pretty good down hill trail runner, but I am slow compared to some of these men. I focus on a man in front of me in a yellow jersey. I figure I would do my best to stay with him as we continue to jump trees, dodge rocks, and climb up short stair-step like hills. We get to 50 minutes in and I am still in first. I still don't believe things will finish this way.

Things get really strange for me here. For one, I misread the website so I think this course is going to take me an hour (it doesn't, it takes me nearly 80 minutes). I feel like we should be finishing any second now but we are not. I start to panic, I convince myself I went the wrong way (this is crazy by the way, the trail is very well marked and there is no way I went off course). There are less men around me and the ones I try to talk to all speak french. I see someone with a bib number on for the 21k, I convince myself I took a wrong turn.
Me and my teammates going to Poland. Sarah Bergeron-Larouche & Shannon Penway.
I pass a race official and ask her how much longer and she LAUGHS at me. This freaks me out even more. How on earth did this happen? I keep running regardless. Then I stop. I wait for another guy to pass me, and ask him if we are in the right race. He looks at me like I am crazy (I am). I continue to chase after him.

Eventually the course opens up and we are spit out into an open section of road for about a quarter of a mile. Someone yells "Premiere femme." I know this means first female and I start to feel better. I continue to run and ignore the craziness going on in my head.

Somewhere I convinced myself that there is no way I could win this race.

More time passes, maybe 15 minutes (I'm not keeping track anymore) I turn a corner and a boy yells at me "Premiere femme! Un kilometre!" I start really moving. We turn a corner, I start to hear people cheering, we turn another corner, I can see the finish at the bottom of a sharp hill. I kick like crazy, pass someone (I don't remember passing them but I was later told I did) I keep running through the line.

DONE! From TrailRunner.ca
I feel pretty good, but I'm still not convinced I won. I turn to the guy standing next to me and ask, "What place did I get...did I...win?." He looks at me,"You won, good job!"

"OMG!" I walk away in disbelief. People talk to me but I make zero sense, all I can do is babble, I am speaking words but I don't know where they are coming from. I can't believe it happened and therefore, don't seem overly excited. I walk to the car and call my husband.

Houston: How did it go?
Me: "Well, it was more technical then I thought. We climbed for over 30 minutes. I need to prepare a little better for that. And, well, I won."
Houston: "WHAT?"
Me: "Yeah, I won...and they say I get to go to Poland."
Houston: "OH @#$%!!"
Me: I know!...I still don't believe it...

I go back to find my teammates, Sarah and Shannon, and head for a cool down. We talk about the race and have a few good laughs. These ladies are awesome! I am instantly grateful for them and for our future travels. We run somewhere around 15-20 minutes (I once again forget to start my watch). Then head back to the lodge.

I find Adrian Lambert and break the news to him that I didn't actually intend on staying for awards (a few minutes later I would get a phone call from Houston where he starts threatening me to stay.) He is so pretty cool about it, shrugs his shoulders and says, "Hey they are actually at noon so you'll make it. Really, if everyone is around we can just go ahead with them." AWESOME. He tells me that they are actually engraving my name in a plaque right now. Later I would get two plaques, one that actually has my name scrolled in a rock that reads "CHAMPION 2013." Keepsake for sure (I promise I will post a picture). I also get handed an envelope with $150 bucks in it! I had no idea there was money in this race and who doesn't love winning money!

A few minutes later I jumped in my rental and drove 20 minutes or so across the border to Vermont. I didn't have time to shower, I stopped at a Gas Station to wash my face in the sink and change (apologize to those sitting next to me on the plane). With three flights and 4.5 hours of driving, I made it back to Starkville just before 3:00AM.

It was all totally worth it.

I must say this again, I really had no idea that I had a chance to win this race. I am tired of this S.I. problem. Its been 12 long years battling it. I have completed some AMAZING workouts this spring, but the locking up in my hips during a race has not allowed me to see any results. In the back of the mind, I have always known that (eventually) I would need to make a transition to the trail (or in this case, Mountain). I'm not saying I am giving up my marathon goals, or even the half-marathon, however with World Mountain Running Championships in Poland in September, and NACAC in New Hampshire next month, I am putting my marathon on hold until October. I want to do my very best to represent my country at Worlds!!

Here I go! Run Happy!

Press Release
Trail Runner.ca Article

(I've got more pictures from the trip, I plan on posting them soon.)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Canadian Mountain Running Champs Short Update

This is not an actual blog (sorry, no time) just a brief update. Recently I got so fed up with my S.I. joint problems that a booked a last minute flight to Sutton to Quebec to participate in the Canadian Mountain Running Championships. Like I expected, my back didn't bother me at all, and quite unexpected, I actually won the race....qualifying for the World Championship in Poland and NACAC in New Hampshire. It was also a relief to finally run a race and not lock up in my hips and get a chance to show my true fitness.

More on this later. For now, here is a short press release:  http://www.mountainrunning.ca/news.php?id=65

Sunday, May 19, 2013

More on Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction and Running

I've been getting a lot of questions about SI joint dysfunction lately. Before I post,  I just want to explain that I am not a doctor nor do I consider myself an expert in sacroiliac joint dysfunction. I am simply explaining what I know (scratch that, what I think I know) about my SI joint problems and what has worked for me. Also, I think its important for me to write that I have had this same injury for 12 years and was misdiagnosed most of the time. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you for a number of reasons. Read on for more.

What is the sacroiliac joint?

The sacroiliac (SI) joint sits between the sacrum (lower end of the spine) and the iliac bone . It is one of the largest joints in the body and the surface fits together like lego. A very small amount of motion should occur at the S.I. joint. The motion of this joint is typically so minimal that it might only slide a couple of milometers and it may only tilt and rotate a few 2-3 degrees. The primary function of this joint is shock absorbency and to provide enough motion and stability to protect the pelvis and spine from constant motion like running.

What is SI joint dysfunction

From what I have been told and from what I have read, SI joint problems develop when 1.) The joint doesn't move enough (hypomobility), or  2.) The joint moves too much (hypermobility). Keep in mind that there are actually two joints (one on either side) that are designed to move together as one.

Hypomobility (The joint doesn't move enough)
The joint locks up and doesn't have enough motion. This typically happens when the joint wears down due to age. 

Hypermobility (the joint moves too much)
If the ligaments surrounding the joint are weakened, maybe by pregnancy, a car accident, or another high impact injury (such as a bad fall from a steeple barrier, in my case). When the ligaments become weak, the SI joint moves too much and causes all sorts of problems, and pain. The locking sensation that can sometimes occur (for me between mile 4-8 of every race) is because the joint has over rotated. SI joint problems (for me) get worse as the race shortens and the pace gets faster (I.E. 10ks are a terrible race for SI joint problems)

Hypermobility can be quite tricky, especially in runners. Because there are essentially two SI joints, one side may actually move too much while the other may move just enough or not enough. This can make you feel off balance, like one side is tight (or needs to be pulled on or pulled out) and the other is loose. Its very annoying, believe me, I know.

What doesn't work for me
Chiroractic can work for people with hypomobility because it can return some motion into the joint. However, I have never had any relief from the chiropractor for my SI problems because while one side might move just right, the other side is hypermobile. Chiropractic care creates more motion in the joint, which in the beginning may be relieving if the area around the joint is inflamed, but over the course of a few weeks or months, might actually make your problems worse. My suggestion, make sure you understand just what your SI joint problems are before you consult a chiropractor.

Anti-inflammatory medicine, incline tables, acupuncture,  I've done all these things in excess. Thought they initially will give you some relief, over time your problems will return without strength exercises and a good physical therapist that understands your SI joint problems.

What works for me
A strength and exercise routine that is designed by a physical therapist. Simply massaging the joint never worked for me, however, the combination of physical therapy, massage, and exercises (at home, on my own, every day) have helped and continue to HELP my SI joint problems. Keep in mind that the flare-ups (locking episodes) will still happen if you are like me and genetics also plays a large role in your issues. Also, the more children you have, the more problems you will likely have with your SI joints. And before you start searching the internet for "strength exercises for SI joint dysfunction" you need to find out what kind of SI joint problems you are experiencing.

Ok, the really bad news
Sometimes the solution to the problem actually make the problem worse before it gets better. I have been working really hard on my strength all spring and sometimes over do. Thus I have dealt with major inflammation around the joint causing more "episodes". Also, if you get a good deep tissue massage, don't expect to do a workout a day later (or in some cases 2 days later). Taking two days between workouts and limiting yourself to one run a day will help when things are going really bad.

And, in closing:
If you think you are experiencing problems with the SI joint, see a doctor and get a referral to a physical therapist that has experience with sacroiliac joint dysfunction. If your therapist doesn't have much experience with dealing with SI joint dysfunction, see someone else or ask around your running friends. Someone you know has bound to have had some SI joint problems.

The end, for today.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Change of plans.

After battling sacroiliac joint issues all spring, along with insomnia/sleeplessness for the past few weeks, I have decided (after many conversations with Houston) not to run the Ottawa marathon.

This spring I have gotten really strong, but I have yet to get fast. I have logged more miles and put in more work then ever before. But, with what I have been dealing with these past 4 weeks, it looks like I need another 5-6 weeks to train, rehab my hip, and find out what is keeping me up at night. I can't run another race after a sleepless night, and I don't want to attempt 26.2 miles off of 0 sleep. Maybe a half, maybe a 10K, but not a marathon.

If I run Ottawa, I predict a 2:55 and I've worked too hard to settle for that. With more time to prep I have the chances to replicate the last five weeks of my most successful marathon, and potentially PR or get extremely close to it. I've decided to run Grandma's marathon on June 22.

Though I will miss the Canadian Marathon Championships, I want to give myself the best chance possible to run well. I've done really well with my strength, recovery, and building up my miles. I've done more long runs over 13 miles at marathon pace then any other marathon training cycle. I just need a few more weeks to deal with these issues.

Looking forward to the next 5-6 weeks.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

2nd track session of the year

I forgot to mention yesterday that I suffered terrible friction burn on my feet and could barely walk after the race. It took a couple hours before it stopped hurting and rubbed my feet raw. Unfortunately Monday's 20 miler never happened.

I cross-trained Monday and ran 80 minutes Tuesday. Wednesday I asked Houston to pace me through a speed session on the track thinking that it might help boost my confidence before this weekends tempo/long run double.

40min w/u, 15 min c/d
8x800m w/90-2min rest

This workout went fine. I never struggled, I negative split most of them. I even had a cheering section for the last two (thanks Ladies). I'm in shape, I know this. Still trying to prove it on the race course.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Canadian Half-Marathon Champs Results

Canadian Half-Marathon Champs Results: 1:22:17 (8th)


My first official race of the year turned out to be a huge disappointment. I felt fine Saturday before the race, but didn't sleep AT ALL the night before. Maybe it was nerves or an uncomfortably hot hotel room, but if I got any sleep it was a few minutes between 5:58am and 7.

I have never not slept the night before a race, therefore the 5:44 opening mile felt more like 5:35, and after three miles at about 5:45 pace I fell apart completely. I never gave up, if anything I pushed as hard as I could, hurting as much as I possibly could from 10k until the finish. There was no strength in my legs and I had to fight to maintain my position. Finishing 8th was not something I was proud of, I didn't travel all the way to Montreal to run a 1:22. If there is anyone out there that has really read my blog then you will remember that I just ran a 13.2 mile tempo in 1:22:11, feeling wonderful in the middle of a 90-95 mile week. This was slower than my recent tempos of 10-13+ miles.

My first thought was to throw in the towel, however it was just one race (and one badly executed after a sleep-free night.) when I returned home Monday, I had Houston review my last four months of training to see what "I was missing". His response was "this might be the most impressive 4 months of training I have seen. There is no way you are not in shape."

That gave me a little confidence and we talked about why I felt the need to go out at a 5:45 pace versus a 6:05. He once again pointed out that I did not execute the race correctly and should have known better. I know this. I don't know what I was thinking.

But, It's over now and I've moved on.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday's workout

With Canadian National Half marathon Champs only a few days away, this short and controlled "last chance workout" was the confidence boost I needed.
This week is National Volunteer Week, which means its the busiest week of the year for the center. I made time to run each day only once being that work took priority over everything else. Good thing that I had a recovery week planned.

Once Wednesday rolled around I got a chance to catch my breath and jump on the treadmill for one last speed session. Being that Houston is in Philly for Penn Relays it was a necessity evil, but because I find treadmill running easier then running on a road course, I was able to maintain a pretty good clip without emptying the tank. Surprisingly enough, I was extremely controlled the entire time. Is this is a sign of good things to come? Maybe. I'm not banking on that yet, I've still got a few days to mess things up.

20 min w/u at 6:45 avg.
10 min @ 5:35 (3:30 rest)
3 miles @ 5:46 (3:30 rest)
1 mile @ 5:24 (3:00 rest)
3x 1 min @ 5:10/5:07/5:02
10 min jog c/d

Run Happy! :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Mileage Experiment

This year I've decided to stop counting miles. I really like the numbers, but when I start running a lot I get caught up in the numbers and my quality always suffers. As much as I would love to be a mileage monster, I'm not. I've always ran my best when I'm focused on quality and not quantity.

I stopped counting miles in February. I started taking things day by day, running more when I felt good and less when I didn't. I started doubling again and running a quality 19-21 miles on Sunday, leaving Saturday for tempo runs or speed sessions. I started jumping in the occasional race so I wouldn't have to execute my weekend workouts solo.

These past two weeks I ran two lonely 5ks as hard tempos in the middle of 90-95 mile weeks. I know this because with 5 weeks remaining before the Ottawa marathon, I allowed myself to back in my log and count. Without obsessing about miles and focusing more on how I feel I've successfully built on my weeks from 80 to 85+, to 90+. I've also logged a number of weeks over 90 miles while keeping my energy high and running quality hard sessions. This is something I've never been able to accomplish.

With the past two race pace efforts, the first one was miserably slow. However I still pocketed $300 for the uphill effort, then turned around and logged another 19 miles with friends the very next day. This past week I ran 60 min tempo on Wednesday, a 5k race + workout on Saturday, and a shorter long run Sunday.

I still don't have anything to show for the training I've done this season but some lonely local stuff as training runs, and I'm probably not going to have anything big until Ottawa or after. Heading into Montreal, I'm not naive enough to think I'm going to run a huge PR. I'm still dealing with a little bit of S.I, though it has gotten much better over the last 6 weeks just by diligently doing my exercises. Montreal will be exactly what it needs to be, a hard, quality 13.1 miles (with an additional 6 mile run tacked on there after the race). I will give it everything I have, enjoy myself, and then focus on the next 4 weeks before Ottawa.

I'm at a place I've never been before. And though It may be some time before I see the benefits, I'm really enjoying it. I'm excited for what this year may bring.

Friday: AM: 6 miles PM: 15 min w/u, 3.14 race as tempo in 18:21, 25 min c/d (1st, $300 -Killer Kudzu 5K, very challenging hilly course) (13)
Saturday: 19 miles @ 6:43-7:15 (not hilly, lots of long flat stretches today, Refuge)
Sunday: AM 5/PM:4
Monday : 11
Tuesday: 10
Wednesday: 60min hilly tempo at marathon pace (6:18 avg) (16) (95% humidity today, and hot)
Thursday: 12
Friday: 10
Saturday: 25 min w/u, 3.15 miles on hilly road loop @ 18:03 (small local 5k for the 3 mile part, fun, 1st) 4 min jog, 2x800m on road course, 2:44, 2:42, 6x200m hard @ 5:00-5:05 pace, 30 sec easy + 20 min c/d (great weather)
PM: 30 min (14)
Sunday: 1hr45 min on South Farm, last 21 min progressive starting at 6:53 working down to 6:11

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

VestigeWear Repurposed Running Headband Review

Just before the Historic StarkVegas 10k, the owner of VestigeWear contacted me about wearing and giving an honest review on her re-purposed running headbands. Now I don't usually review much stuff, and I take the support I get from Brooks and Gu really seriously. But, neither company is in the women's headband market and for someone has yet to find a cute headband (for my massive hair) that doesn't slip off in the first mile of my run, I decided to give it a try.

The owner sent me this headband (click to order, pictured above).She told me that it had a former life as a pair of capri pants and the backside was made of a piece of towel to prevent slipping. It was extremely cute (first impression) but when I put it on it seemed a little loose at first which I was worried about. Fortunately, on my first trial it didn't move AT ALL. Imagine my excitement, finally getting to sport a cute headband versus bobby pins and clips (of which I have lost by the thousands). I wore the headband that weekend for the Historic Starkvegas 10K (which I won, in the rain), the next day for my 20 milers, and again the very next week for the Viking Half.

Anyone that knows me knows my hair is very long and wild. If VestigeWear can handle my hair, it can surely handle yours. Check out her awesome selection at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/VestigeWear

Me, Maddy, and my DAD!! I was wearing a VestigeWear headband after wining the Viking Half-Marathon. No slipping or falling off for 13.1+ miles

There are numerous adorable styles and fabrics available. Check out her store at http://www.etsy.com/shop/VestigeWear

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday's speed session

AM: 20 min w/u, 20 min c/d,
2x75 sec @ 5:13 w/ 1 rest
7 min @ 5:33 pace
6 min @ 5:30 pace
6 min @ 5:30 pace
4 min @ 5:27 pace
3 min @ 5:24 pace
2 min @ 5:18 pace
1 min @ 5:13 pace
( 2 min rest between each interval, treadmill @ 4:45am)

My legs were still tired from the tempo/long run double this past weekend, so I decided to run this one on the treadmill versus the road. The treadmill is a much easier on the legs and would help me hit my pace.

Even if you add the "15 seconds per mile" that most road to treadmill conversion chart suggest, I still would have been happy with the times. Physically I felt fine but I could still feel the Sunday's long run in my legs. Starting to think all the miles and long runs are paying off.
I decided not to double today.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Weekend recap

Saturday: AM: 3 mile w/u, tempo on hilly "campus 5", 5 mile loop @ 30:04, 45 sec stop for Gatorade, 1 mile @ 6:15 pace, 1 mile c/d
PM: 30 min easy

Sunday: 21 miles w/ 16-17@ 6:55-7:15 on hilly loop (South Farm x 2) + 20 min progression
Starting @ 6:58 getting down to 6:18 + 10 min at reg. pace c/d (2hr26min)

Saturday ended up being a horrible day for this workout. The wind was strong and in our face for 3/4 of the loop, it was hot and the sun was blaring. Normally, I wouldn't complain about a day like that but I haven't had the chance to train in anything besides cold and wet in a very long time (except for running indoors every once in a while). I was told to go out really slow, which I did (6:23) which just made me feel sluggish and tired. Eventually I brought things down to 5:53 after we got out of the wind but I just couldn't keep the intensity going. I was too wiped out.

I made the decision to only go six once Houston stopped us and made us drink after the first loop. I realized then, I was getting extremely dehydrated and felt it was time to call it quits for the day. I spent the rest of Saturday playing with Maddy and drinking pedialite (this was a smart move by me).

Sunday I went out solo for a long run on the hilly loop we call "South Farm". Have I mentioned how much I love South Farm? Anyway, I felt great for the entire run, stopped for one gu and a splash of water from a facet at the recplex around mile 11. It was miserably warm compared to what we have been running in, but finally I am starting to reap the benefits from all those crazy 18 milers indoors at 75+ degrees. I had no trouble in the heat today. Even got in a progressive 20 minutes at the very end. All in all, really pleased at how the long run turned out after yesterday.

I've really put in a lot of work this week. Not really too concerned about one bad session when I look at what I have been able to string together in the last 8 days.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Wednesday's fit test

AM: 15 min w/u, 15 min c/d
2k @ 5:48 pace, 1 mile @ 6:20-6:25, 1 mile @ 5:45, 1 mile @ 6:25, 1300m @ 5:45 pace, 1 mile @ 6:20, 800m @ 5:33 pace, 1 mile @ 6:25, 400m @ 5:30 pace, + 6x150m strides

This workout was done on my hilly tempo loop at 4:45am. There is no true recovery, you recover from each interval with a mile at marathon pace. though my marathon pace is (hopefully) faster than this, this is what I could handle today.

It ended up that every single "hard effort" ended on hill and most of the marathon paced "recovery" sections were on the flat or going down hill. At the time it was a little frustrating because the ups killed average pace on most of the hard sections, but in the end it's good for me...and overall I still hit my times. Thanks to Houston for pushing me through it.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Monday morning run at "up-tempo"

4:45am Monday: 1hr37min on hilly route w/ 10 miles @ 6:45 avg + 6X30 sec. at sub 5:10/ w/30 seconds rec.

After Saturday's 13.1 miles at marathon pace I logged 12 miles Sunday and still felt really good. Instead of running easy Monday I decided on joining Micah and Houston (my Dad is here for a visit) for a longer run at up-tempo, nothing killer but a good effort that still required concentration.

After every harder run I feel the hip getting stronger...and its about time. With Montreal 4 weeks away, I've got to get ready to run as hard as I can for 13.1 miles faster than I have ever gone before.

I'm already nervous.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Marathon Tempo #2

AM: 15 min w/u, 13.12 miles @ marathon pace (6:16), 20 min c/d
(Viking Half - 1st female/3rd person in 1:22:11)

Just two weeks after my first marathon paced long run, I ran this one on a similar course and averaged 5 seconds per mile faster giving the same amount of effort. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get in the 30 min of running before and after that I had planned on, but in the end I believe this day was successful. I was only beat by 2 men, ran 9 miles of it solo, and felt pretty good once again when it was all over.

Unfortunately the S.I. is still there and I suffered with it from mile 4-9, but only one of those miles ended up being slower than marathon pace. I've been consistent with my exercises and I feel like the long tempos are really helping with the strength in my hip. One giant step forward!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Unexpected workout success

AM: 30 min @ 7:08 pace
PM: 14 min w/u w/ 4x150m @ 5:10-4:45 pace
3x2 miles on hilly loop:
2miles w/ splits of 5:44, 5:34
4 min jog rest
2miles w/ splits of 5:36, 5:44
4 min jog
2 miles w/ splits of 5:57, 5:01 (SHORT & off road/through the bush)
15 min c/d

I did this workout on my lunch break Wednesday when traffic was absolutely awful. I had convinced myself that it was going poorly early on because I had not looked at my Garmin splits yet and just FELT like my legs were tired. The last interval I started without any plan of where I would end up, and quick thinking made me take a turn by the vet school and through the wooded cut-through on the backside of Sherwood. Here, the hills destroyed my pace and took all the fight out of my legs. Regardless of the bush whacking I was still able to come in under 6:00 for the first half of the interval and continue to keep the effort up from there.

I had summed this workout up to be a huge fail until I finally got a chance to go back and view my paces for each.  In the end, I'm pretty pleased and a little shocked, given the junk that's still hanging out in my legs. All this can mean is that there are much more sessions like this to come.

Run Happy! -M

Monday, March 25, 2013

Praying to the Turnover Gods

I've had two S.I. episodes this week, but the last one was not near as bad as the first so I feel like I'm headlong back in the right direction. I saw Jack Weimer for an hour, I did strength everyday. I'm running a large amount of miles, and with the exception of having no turnover, I'm feeling pretty good about it.

There is not question that the long tempo runs drive my training, so I've got another one scheduled at the end of this week, running the Viking half in Greenwood, Mississippi. I've got a long way to go until I feel like I can run 6:20 pace in my sleep, but each week it feels like it is getting a little easier.

I've started to feel like the treadmill running has made my hamstrings weak, so I've been trying my best to run everything on hills and hilly gravel loops. My Saturday tempo was sort of a disaster, but looking back I think I just needed someone there to push me when the hills killed my pace...and there was nobody within minutes of me. This week will bring more recovery runs and two quality sessions that will hopefully give me confidence for the next few weeks. I don't feel tired, but the recovery runs are planned...and I'm trying my best this year to keep on track with my schedule and not overdue.

Sunday:20 min w/u 13.21 miles in 1:23:59 (6:21 pace) 10 min c/d (S.I)
Monday: AM: 44 min PM: 30 min
Tuesday: 1hr 34 min easy w/ Kelly
Wednesday: 21 min w/u, 4x400m, 2x800m, 1x1600m, 2x800m, 4x60sec hard, 32 min c/d (11) (all at 16:40-17:05 5k pace on hilly road loop)
Thursday: 51 min easy
Friday: 81 minutes w/ Micah & David
Saturday: 20 min w/u, 32 min c/d, 6.3 miles of extremely hilly tempo in 38:30 (6:07 pace) S.I bad but better than Sunday. (13.3)
Sunday: 2hr 25 min (20 miles) long run on South Farm (dirt road w/ hills) last 5 miles @ easy progressive tempo, starting at 6:58-6:21 (felt great today)