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:

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

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.