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.

Progress.

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

Mt.Schmidt

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!