Thursday, February 18, 2010

MT Weeks 4 & 5

So work has been really hectic. I'm in an area now that has a great deal of work. It's great! But I haven't had as much time to blog. It's also been tough getting in my long runs due to snow every weekend!

I'll start with speed workouts. I found some fools willing to run track with me. The company has been great! They're motivated and motivating. We did a workout that consisted of 5 x 1K with a 400m recovery in between. It was awesome! It seemed weird at first. What is 1k? It's a 1,000 meters or two and a half times around the track. We decided to swap directions for each interval. It really helped the hips. I felt great after workout. The next speed workout didn't go so great. The plan called for 2 mins fast/2 mins easy. What? Minutes? That's just license to go slowly. I had a pinched nerve in my back that was affecting my neck and arm. So the workout was horrible. I was barely finishing 400m in 2 minutes. Lousy workout.

Speaking of lousy, the tempo runs have been going badly as well. The first one called for 1 mile easy, 4 tempo, 1 mile easy. I could not push myself during the 4 miles. I ended up walking some and finishing at a 10 minute pace. The next week didn't go well either! The plan called for 1 mile easy and 7 miles tempo. Again, I finished at a 10 mile pace. Part of the issue could be that it was really cold. In the 20s. Another issue is that I can't tell what pace I'm running. I'll think I'm running really hard and will find out it was a 10 minute pace. At some points I think I was running faster than a 9 minute mile but then dieing in the next mile. I'm not sure how to work on pacing. I was hoping this training would help. I thought that this was something that came with time, but I'm starting to think you either know it or you don't.

My long runs have been affected by adverse weather conditions and a adverse weather conditions. I'll start with my favorite, The Uwharrie 8 mile trail race. I love this race! I've only run it 3 times in the past 6 years though I've signed up 5 of those years. This year I ran it with my friend Jody. My friend Chloe ventured to the race as well, but took off and we didn't see her again until the end. The weather was cold, but not as cold as I've experienced there. It was at or around the freezing mark. They'd had a great deal of rain leading up to the race and were considering cancelling the race, but decided to do it. Chloe, Jody and I went back and forth the night before considering whether or not to do the race. The race is an hour and a half from Charlotte so we couldn't just go and check the trail conditions ourselves. Finally Chloe said 'Let's do it. It'll be ugly but it'll be a great story.' Later Jody would say that 'the great story' part hooked her. We met at 6am and headed East.

The trails were wet but not completely soupy which is what I had expected. There was no ice. Jody and I stayed together and got into a good groove in places while walking the more treacherous areas. We talked, laughed and caught up in general on what we'd been up to. The race directors had put up ropes to get over the worst of the creeks and we were able to get through the race course without any spills or broken bones. I had worn my wool socks and trail shoes and I was amazed at how warm my feet stayed. Along the course we met up with a lady who runs trail races all the time. She's been a runner for 30 years and left the roads 15 years ago. She gave us great advice on how to land so you don't slip or fall and gave advice on how to dress. I never knew there was such a thing as wool underwear and bras. Now I may have to buy them!

My next long run was a 12 miler that I had to run after a 3.5 inch snow fell the night before. I started my run at close to 11am. I decided to wear my trail running shoes and wool socks. I thought the trail running shoes would help grip in the snow. I chose a route close to home and wore a fuel belt to carry my water. The roads and sidewalks weren't bad. The shady areas did have a great deal of ice and I had to walk through those areas. In the end, the trail shoes were a bad call. They didn't offer the cushioning I needed for the roads and there weren't enough snowy areas to make them worth while. Live and learn, I guess. I was glad to get in the 12 as it had been close to a month since I'd been able to hit double digits. I lost one long run to snow and the Uwharrie race was only 8 miles.

This week's plan calls for a long run of 13 miles. I've decided to bump it to 14 miles. I feel like I need to get these long runs ramped up a tad faster than in the plan. Wish me luck!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

MT Week 3

Last weekend's long run was foiled by snow and ice. I got in about 45 minutes on an indoor track but one lap was 1/12 of a mile. So making it 45 minutes is pretty good (sane).

I was able to find a track that was snow-free to do my speed workout. This week's workout called for 3 1-mile repeats. Fortunately the kiddies were out of school and I was able to go during the daylight hours. My goal for one mile during speed workouts is to be within 8:05 and 8:20. I felt somewhat strong in the legs during the workout, but I noticed my breathing was really off. I was really struggling. It could have been the cold. It hasn't been getting out of the 40s much these days. Still I was able to stay within range with:


The last one I was doing pretty good the first 3 laps but lost it in the last lap.

I really hate track workouts.

The second workout was my tempo run. The plan was 2m easy, 3 tempo, 2 easy. The 3 tempo miles I did in 26:06 or 8:42 per mile pace. Not bad. This is a bit faster than I need to run for tempo. I'm also on a pretty hilly part of the course when I do these tempo runs. My legs after about 2 miles of tempo started feeling like spaghetti. I think I hyper extended my knees a couple of times because after I finished running they really hurt. I ran 3 more miles after my tempo run, but I walked a couple of times during the first mile after tempo. I think I'm running the tempo runs too fast and then giving out on the cool down.

Another interesting thing I discovered is that if I completely stop, like when trying to cross a busy street, I start back feeling stronger. This may be something I can do at water stops and I definitely want to experiment with in my next half marathon race.

My next race is supposed to be this weekend. The Uwharrie Mountain Run. Unfortunately the are calling for ice in that area this weekend. It's a trail run that is already difficult without adding ice to the mix. I'm keeping an eye on the weather, but I'm not hopeful I'll be running it this weekend. If not the race, then I'll probably get in the 12-miler that I missed last weekend.