Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 in the PM

Until today, I think my longest evening run was 5 or 6 miles. Morning running usually works much better for our family and schedule so I rarely run at all in the evenings and usually it's 30-45 minutes.

I wanted to do one more long run before next week's 15k. Finishing the distance isn't an issue for me (I NEVER thought a few years ago I'd be able to pop off 9 miles without a lot of prep). But I know putting those miles in will help my muscles to be ready to perform to the best of their ability next week. Since I don't run in the dark and my treadmill is hibernating for the summer (it's folded up!) an evening run right when the hubs got home from work was the best way to get this done.

I headed out around 5:45pm feeling a little anxious. How would running 10 miles at the end of the day feel? I wore my new shoes for the first time with tentative plans to make a stop at home to change them after several miles.  I am really happy with the shoes--but they are real different on my feet and I didn't want to risk injury. A few miles in, even though I was feeling good, I decided to play it safe and change shoes at 6 miles.

The first 3 miles of my first loop was big hills. On one hand, it's not my favorite route, but the street is long and gives me the distance which is a plus. And I know that running the big hills helps me overall. My first mile was WAY too fast! I was feeling too good and enjoying the shoes. I slowed down, especially when I hit the hills during miles 2-3. On the way back I tried to run as slow as possible downhill but it's impossible to not pick up speed.

I carried a small bottle of water and took at GU about 50min in. I had already finished the water though and was bummed I didn't have anything to wash the GU down. I was back at home a little after 6 miles. Changed my shoes and got a drink of water.

Although it was wise to change shoes, my feet missed the new shoes. I could instantly feel how broken down the old shoes are and the higher drop. The last 3+ miles were definitely the most difficult. I think part was due to my shoes and I was getting tired too! Even so, I still managed to keep a decent pace during those last miles with a few pick-ups.

I was VERY happy to head towards my house and hear my Garmin beep for mile 10. My tank top was completely soaked from sweat. The first hour or so I spent with the sun beating down and the sweat pouring. The last 45 minutes it cooled down some, there was a breeze and the sun was setting.

My legs are tired and I am ready for bed right now! And of course I still finished a little faster than I wanted. Partially due to the downhills in the first 6 miles and also that fast first mile.

I ran 10 miles in 1:45 for a 10:32 pace (Garmin shows my cool down too). I was aiming for 10:45-11:00. Next week I'm hoping to run a 9:45 pace for the 15k (9.32 miles). Based on my 10k at the end of May, I should be able to do this. I've done several days of speed work and tempo runs since then also.

Now if only the kids will sleep in past 7am tomorrow so I can too!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

just keep running

I ran for the first time in almost a week today. It was glorious!! Some mornings, I hardly recognize myself as I stumble out of bed before 6am to hit the pavement. But as soon as my feet start to pound, I am reminded why I stumble out of bed so early, even though it's the summer and I'm not working and we have no place to be. Out there on the street I find myself.

There is nothing like a morning run to set me up for whatever the day may hold.

I'm running a 15k next week on July 4 and have been loosely following a Hal Higdon training plan. The last few weeks I haven't been able to get a long run in and I was out of town for a wedding and unable to run until today.

I'm not too concerned though. I ran this race last year and I was sick and had terrible blisters, so even though I had trained decently, I didn't perform as well as I'd hoped. I don't want to get too competitive with myself, I want to enjoy the race. And I'd love to beat my time from last year, which I need to look up to remember.

Tomorrow evening I plan to do a last long run after my husband gets home from work.  I will take it easy and see how I feel but I'd love to get 10 miles in.

I came home with these beauties today and am contemplating running in them tomorrow.  The Saucony Mirage 2.

I am super excited about how good these shoes feel! I bought a different pair of Saucony's online but they were a half size too big and the sole was a bit too stiff for my liking. So I returned them today and tried on some different shoes. These are a minimalist shoe with stability support, which I didn't even know existed!

I don't know if it's a good idea to run 10 miles in a new shoe, although I'm tempted to try.

After next week's race I won't be on a training plan until mid-August. I want to get a lot more Insanity in as well as continue to run.

Just keep running friends!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I am ready for a rest day tomorrow! As much as walking around Legoland with three kids will be a rest day. Tuesday I did my tempo double jogger run and yesterday I did Max Plyo from Insanity. Let's just talk about how hard that was. So hard. Yet so good.  I love good hard. 55 minutes of dripping sweat is what it was. I think I lost 1/2 inch from my waist just yesterday. (I wish.) Today was almost 5 miles with 5x800 involved. I know my body and my legs especially, need some rest.

2. Although they need rest, my legs are impressing me lately. When I started Insanity yesterday, I wasn't sure if I would make it through the entire workout. My legs were tired and sore. But within several minutes they had warmed up and the lactic acid worked it's way out and I kept going. Today, starting out my run my legs were once again sore and tired. But after my warm-up mile, I ended up having to slow down on almost every 800 to achieve goal pace. I don't know where my legs found it, but they did.

3. I don't think I like 800's. I prefer 400 and 1600's. I could never find my groove this morning. I almost always started out too fast--like 20-30 seconds too fast. I would have to slow down, then I'd be too slow and have to pick it up at the end. It was just a tough distance to find my goal pace (9:36).  I ran out of time to do my 6th interval. Which was okay with me. Because the 800's weren't my favorite and my legs were more than happy after 4.8 miles to call it quits.

I am definitely in the sore category this week, not sorry!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

double jogger mother runner

The first 4 years or so of my "running career" almost every run was with a jogger. I didn't live in areas super conducive to running, so we always went to a local lake to run. It just made most sense to take the kid(s) and the jogger. Some of that time my husband was working a second job, so I'd go run in the late afternoon with the kids while he headed to job #2.

I've never really minded running with the stroller. Three years ago we moved to an area that is pretty good for running up to 4 or 5 miles. The streets are all on the shorter side, so after an hour of running turning on all the different streets gets old.  But it has been so nice to be able to step out the front door and run.

Three years ago is also when we had a 3rd child and my oldest has always been big for her age, so even if I had a triple stroller, she wouldn't have fit comfortably.  My jogging stroller runs decreased quite a bit at that point. I would sometimes run with the jogger on my days off when the big girl was in school. But a lot of runs were early mornings and later afternoons once hubs was home.  Or I'd sneak a quick run in after work before picking kids up.

I was a mother before I was a runner and so I've always been a mother runner. And so I've always been a jogging stroller mother runner.

I feel a bit nostalgic about my double jogging stroller days.  They are slowly coming to an end.  Summer is here and there's no big sister in school. In the fall, my middle girl starts kindergarten and I'll be down to a single jogger. Sure, there's a part of me that's excited because it will be 50% lighter. But I love my runs with my girls. I love how they interact in the stroller and I answer tons of questions. That is until the last mile or so of my run, when I'm dying and breathing so heavy and can't even hear what they are saying because I'm so focused on finishing strong and running until the end.

This morning I had a 40-minute tempo run on the schedule. 40 minutes at 9:45 (15k pace).  I could have gotten up early to get it done, but I was in the mood for a fun outing with the girls before we picked up big sister from her last day of school. We got her off to school and then loaded up and headed to the Bay. I was a little miffed at some traffic, but then I realized it wasn't even 9am, hence the work traffic.

Running with girls can be a little high maintenance.  On these June gloom mornings, they want jackets and blankets and toys. Not to mention a snack and drink. We loaded everything up and headed off.

While running, it wasn't cold at all. The air is a little humid and the breeze actually feels good. But I can see if you were sitting and moving at my speedy pace (haha) it might be chilly.

I started off with a warm-up mile at 10:30. I love running with the jogger at Mission Bay because it's almost totally flat and smooth. Unlike Lake Murray which has some longer hills and inclines. 

Running tempo miles with 85lbs of kid wasn't going to be easy. I wasn't sure what I was capable of. I decided that running around 10min miles would be equal to a solo 9:45 pace. But I always compete with myself and my own goals, so really I was going for under 10. 

Miles 2 & 3 were 9:47. Mile 4 was 9:50 and I kicked Mile 5's behind with a 9:39. I was huffing and puffing and digging so deep. I saw that I could end with a 9:45 pace, but thought if I turn it on the last .15 then maybe I can go under 9:45. I think my pace hit 9:39 right as the mile beeped.  I'LL TAKE IT!

I'm sure I'll run a bit more with the double jogger this summer, but probably not as much. 

This was a great way to cap off my years with my trusty BOB Duallie. The girls played at the playground while I stretched, and recovered. We came home so I could shower then it was off to pick up my new 3rd grader and eat frozen yogurt as a last day of school treat! 

My legs are tired. But I don't mind.  I ran tempo miles at pace with my 3 and 5 year old in a double jogger.

This mom RUNS!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

weekly report and next week's plans

That has to be the most boring blog post title. But I cannot for the life of me come up with something more creative tonight.

I had a pretty decent workout week last week. This was my first week as a summer stay home mom! The first couple days I was on the tired side, recovering from a long weekend. But as the week progressed I had new energy and motivation for exercise, my family and life in general.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 4 miles as 1 mile warm-up and 3 tempo miles (9:39, 9:36, 9:36). I was able to pump this run out pretty easily.

Wednesday: Insanity (Cardio Abs + Warm up for Max Interval Circuit), 30 min total. I was feeling very sluggish in the afternoon and knew getting my blood pumping in some way would perk me up, and it did!

Thursday: 5.25 miles (warm and 400x9 at mile pace w/ 2 min recovery). My longest speed training yet. Because I wasn't running on a track my splits weren't too even (see them here) but I was really happy with how it went. I used the workout function on my Garmin which was really helpful.

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Insanity Max Interval Circuit, 60min. I've been doing Insanity workouts for a year now, although I've never completed the entire program. I really enjoy them, but I love running too! Great cross training though. I switched to the "Max" workouts which are longer and more challenging. Wow, MAX is a great description.

Sunday: 8 miles (10:30 pace) Long, easy run.

Total: 17.25 miles and 90 min of Insanity

Most of my miles were closer to 11:00 pace but I did tempo pace the last two miles which brought the overall pace down. I've learned that tempo miles are crucial for me. It helps my body know what it feels like to run at my goal race pace and since I struggle sometimes to run "slow" enough for long runs, if I know I can go all out at the end it helps me hold back.

I was somewhat strategic in doing Insanity the day before my long run too. I knew I'd be sore to some extent and figured it would help keep my pace slower too. I did feel the workout for sure! I still had to pull myself back several times, but there were many times I looked at my Garmin and saw just the right pace.

Next week's plans:

Monday: Rest/Recovery. I may do an Insanity Recovery workout (yoga based) or Pilates.

Tuesday: 40 min @ 9:45

Wednesday: Insanity

Thursday: 6x800 @ 9:36

Friday: Rest or 3 mi EZ + core

Saturday: 9 @ 11:00

I'm also re-dedicating to healthier eating and losing the few pounds I've been fighting for a few years now. It seems SO ridiculous that I've wanted to lose 10lbs for maybe two years. I really need to dedicate myself and there is no better time because I'm not working for a few months and have no excuse for not planning ahead.

I've created a dinner menu for the family this week. I may alter my dinners slightly. I try to go easy on carbs and heavier on protein and veggies. Right now, I am about to work on my own breakfast and lunch menu's for the week. The kids are pretty standard for those meals, so I usually eat on my own after feeding them.

Let's get this done!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

picking up the speed

I know most bloggers schedule posts at night, to be read the next day. Being on the West Coast, I read a lot of those posts at night before I go to bed.

I never know how and when to post about my runs. Silly nuances. If I say "this morning" but someone reads it tomorrow, it just seems confusing.

Rocket science, I know.

Anyhow, this morning I had a great workout!  I did more 400's than I think I ever have.  As I said before, I took the basics of the Hal Higdon Advanced 15k Training Program to create a plan for the next 4 weeks.

This mornings workout called for 9 x 400 at mile pace. Yikes! I've never done 9-400's.  But I want a good time in the 15k and I want a new half PR in November, so might as well give it a try and see what I can do.  My mile pace is 8:15 right now.

Lily wanted her pull-up off at 5:30am. Which ensured I was nice and awake and no chance of skipping my run. I was out of the door a little before 6am.

400's are best done on a track. But I haven't figured out where to use a track. I need to check out the local high school track rules. I picked an area of my neighborhood that has some small hills, but is mostly flat. Doing that many laps at the park just wasn't appealing. Especially since the park isn't completely flat either.

I started with a 3/4 mile warm-up. I used the workout option on my Garmin for .25 mile distance with a 2:00 recovery for 9 repeats. I haven't used that option before, and it was pretty great! Usually with repeats I'm looking at my watch over and over to hit lap at the right time. I was still looking at my watch to try and hit the right paces but it was much easier.

With the hills and turns and nuances of street running, my splits were a bit scattered.

8:24, 8:16, 8:22, 8:17, 8:09, 8:22, 8:37, 8:25, 8:14

So, 4 of the 9 splits were pretty close to the right pace.  The others, well--not too far off and probably were uphill at some point. I pooped out at the end of the 8:37 lap and walked the last few seconds!

I was pretty pleased that I was able to do all 9 repeats. It seemed like a lot going in to the workout. I can definitely tell that these kind of workouts will help me get faster and hit my goals. Once I finished the last 400 and ran home, I completed about 5.25 miles.  One of my longest morning workouts too.  I usually get in 4 miles. But running those fast 400's racked up the distance in a similar timeframe.

I was so energized when I got home. My legs have felt a little fatigued today and if I had compression socks, I probably would have worn them for a while. I will stretch well again later today.

Tomorrow I will probably do a workout from Insanity and shoot for 7-8 miles on Saturday or Sunday.
Now that I don't have to be at church early and all day on Sundays, I have another option for a long run. Yippee!!

I have a Road Runner giftcard---hoping to get some new shoes this weekend too.

Happy running friends :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

national running day

I opened my Facebook this morning to tons of posts about National Running Day. Clearly I follow a lot of running related sites, blogs and companies.

I was immediately bummed because I was a little lazy this morning and slept in instead of getting up to run. I actually went to sleep on the earlier side too, but I just wasn't feeling it. I figured I'd do another form of exercise and run tomorrow. I did run yesterday after all.

Not run on National Running Day? Oh the horrors. My hubs was going out of town for the day to help my sister move, so running later in the day wasn't an option.

As the day wore on, I got a little annoyed. Who cares whether I run or not on National Running Day? I'm still a runner.  Then I saw this on Daily Mile:

Don't listen to the hype. EVERY DAY is National Running Day!

I'm so in on that! A day to celebrate running is great. And if it got some people excited about running again, wonderful.

Running is subjective.  You have to figure out what works for you and what doesn't. You can't compare your running or training to anyone else's.  That's one thing I love about running. It's just about me. This morning, it didn't work. But tomorrow, it most definitely will.

It's like the Run Streak I blogged about last week. It was a great idea and I had great intentions, but it just wasn't realistic for me. I'm not at a place in life that I can make a run happen every day.  And I'm okay with that.

I was feeling sluggish and tired this afternoon. Moreso than normal. After laying down and maybe dozing (in between the clatter of my girls wearing my high heels on the hardwood floors and them asking me things) I got up and decided I needed to sweat. 

Popped in Insanity and started off with Cardio Abs which is 15 min. I wanted to get a little more in, so I did the warm-up for one of the Max workouts. Oh boy was I dripping with sweat and my legs were burning! Although I haven't been through the entire Insanity program, I've done the month one workouts quite a bit. I think it's time to turn it up a notch with the Max ones. 

I made a training schedule for the next month leading up to the 15k (which Lily promptly wrote all over) and included Insanity as cross-training. We will see how it goes.

If only I can get my eating under control.

Monday, June 4, 2012

15k? Ok!

Last year I ran the Coronado Independence Day 15k. I didn't perform quite like I wanted to, due to a bad cold (I had almost complete laryngitis when I ran and breathing difficulties) and a painful blister on my arch.  I finished in 1:36 with an average pace of 10:19. My goal had been a sub-10 pace since my half marathon PR pace was sub-10.

I hadn't totally decided whether I would run it again or not--but this weekend I was gifted with the race entry from my church!! (I just resigned from my pastoral position because I'm going to nursing school).  They also gave me a gift card for new shoes.

I'm excited!! Especially since a big calorie burn on a holiday is a major win!

I just spent a few hours crafting a training plan. Since the race is a month away and 15k is a unique distance, I decided to combine a few different plans. I used the SmartCoach app,  the Hal Higdon 15k Advanced Training program, McMillan Race Calculator and threw in some Insanity too.

The Hal Higdon plan utilizes weekly tempo runs which I haven't done as much before. Tempo miles are always great for my brain--when I KNOW that my body is capable of maintaining a certain pace, it helps me push when my body is protesting. My biggest challenge this next month will be doing my long runs slow enough. I'm supposed to run around 11 min miles. I may need to throw in some walk breaks to keep my pace there. I've been struggling to find that slower pace recently, but I know it's important for training.

I don't NEED to PR but I know I'm capable of doing better than last year, so that's what I'll shoot for.  I also need to do hip exercises regularly as I am having chronic issues.

So, here goes!