When a Training Run Becomes a Race

Howdy! I’m linking up this week over at  Mississippi Piddlin and HoHo Runs as well as at Run Megan Run to catch up on this past week.

With only one “real” week of school left, the end-of-year mania is stirring up: benchmarks, awards, field day, OH MY. I finally nailed down some wedding-related details this week, including the last big task of booking our tent and rentals. Now it’s on to smaller details like welcome bags, table numbers, and favors (which Mr. Groom and I are “crafting” together). The tent was unnecessarily stressing me out because a.) I didn’t really want one and b.) I didn’t realize how RIDICULOUSLY EXPENSIVE they are. I wasn’t crazy about the idea of the tent, because our venue has some really beautiful, very old oak trees and I didn’t want to hide them. However, the estate’s house isn’t large enough to hold all of our guests, and my mom was adamant that we get a tent in case we have record-setting rain like we did this past October. Yay! Obviously she won that debate and here I am with a slightly messed-up budget. It’s only money, right? 🙂

Anyway, on to the running part of this week. It was actually a race week for me, but I didn’t have a goal in mind for this one. The forecast all week predicted rain, and having just run my big half three weeks ago, I was just looking to finish this one.

Monday | Rest

Thank goodness there was no workout on the schedule for today. Lady somehow ran into the retaining wall outside last Sunday while she and Molly were wrestling and scraped up her side pretty badly. We cleaned her up the best we could, but when I got home from work on Monday afternoon, she had had a blowout in her crate. It was EVERYWHERE. So after the lovely experience of cleaning up doggy doo from her bed, blankets, and Kong, and scrubbing her crate, and cleaning the surrounding carpet, I took her to the vet to see what was going on. I’m happy to say that her parasite tests were negative and she is healing up nicely now! Thankfully, she didn’t need stitches, but by the time I got home, I was exhausted. Thank goodness for rest days!

Tuesday | 3 Mile Progressive Run

It rained on Tuesday, so I took my workout to the treadmill. I definitely got bored, even with some higher inclines thrown in, but it wasn’t too bad. Pretty uneventful, though. After I finished, I did strength training on my legs/lower body for about 30 minutes or so, which I didn’t keep track of. Maybe I should start doing that…

3.00 miles; 10:36/10:08/9:18 

Wednesday | Speedwork

I won’t lie. I bribed myself with pizza to get through this workout. Judge me if you want. I hit the track around 6 on Wednesday to tackle some fartleks. After warming up for one mile, I alternated 2 minutes of faster running with 2 minutes of easier running for 3.5 miles, then had a .5 mile cooldown. I peaked in mile 3, but managed to keep all of my surges between about a 7:30-8:30 pace. I followed this victory by bringing my sweaty, probably smelly self to pizza and trivia with Jeff (I am a font of useless knowledge. It’s my forte). Life is all about balance, y’all. 🙂

5.01 miles; 46:45; 9:20 pace

Thursday | 3 miles easy

I skipped this run. Teeheehee. My school celebrated its 80th Anniversary with a snazzy gala, so I ended up sticking around until it ended at 7:00. By the time I got home, I was pooped, and combined with the tough workout from Wednesday, I was not feeling a run.

Friday | Cross

I had planned to skip cross-training today because I knew I had a race coming the next day, and while I wasn’t planning on actually racing, I still wanted to have fresh legs so I could at least finish comfortably. Looks like this logic worked!

Saturday | Aiken Triple Crown 10-Miler

And here we are… The race I didn’t plan on racing. When I first registered for this one, it was mostly driven by the fact that it was part of Aiken’s newly created Triple Crown Race Series (which included a 5k and Half Marathon). The actual Triple Crown race was once held annually, but this year was its first running in several years. The forecast did not look optimistic for the morning of the race, but when I woke up, the skies looked fairly clear. I hate running without music and was less than excited at the prospect of running 10 miles listening to myself breathe. 🙂 I took a chance and bought my phone, and there was no rain! It poured all night on Friday, though, which was perfect because about two miles of this bad boy were on the dirt horse roads that are common in Aiken. We kicked off at 7:30 AM with me in the middle of the pack. I started out at a decently comfortable pace, but couldn’t keep from pushing myself. I felt strong throughout this whole race, despite not doing much of a taper (if at all) or having a strategy. Maybe that’s what helped me–just getting out there and running, and not worrying about when I’d take my GU, or whether to walk the water stops. I just ran it. Looking at my splits definitely makes me smile, because I was able to keep up a great pace throughout and had a really strong finish.

FullSizeRender (47)

I crossed the finish line and waited for other runners to finish and got some pictures with my Sole Sisters. 🙂

Then the awards started, and I was very surprised when…

FullSizeRender (49)

This happened! I’m lucky to be able to run in a small town, because I know I could never place in a larger race. But I’ll take it!

My official chip time was 1:31:40, but I also clocked my fastest 10K yet, according to my Garmin, with a time of 55:59. Hopefully I can beat that at the Peachtree this summer!

10 miles; 1:31:40; 9:07 pace

Total Weekly Miles: 18

All in all, not a big week in the mileage category, but a great week for speedwork and racing. Here’s to the last week of school — next week is all about field day and our farewell to first grade celebrations!

Blog signature

Advertisements

Weekly Wrap No.5

WeeklyWrap

Hello, friends! I’m linking up over at Mississippi Piddlin and HoHo Runs to recap week one of PEACHTREE training! It’s crazy to think that the 4th is only 8 weeks out, but here we are already!

I am LOOSELY following Nike+ Running’s Intermediate 10K coach program. I say loosely because I’m awkwardly in between the intermediate and advanced plans, mileage-wise. I didn’t want to jump into the advanced one and burn out, so I decided to try the intermediate one and really focus on speed work this summer.

May 9-14

Monday | No plan?!

Monday was the day before my plan officially started, and conveniently Aiken’s monthly Sole Sisters meeting! I was so happy to finally be able to meet up after joining the Facebook group a couple months ago. We got in almost 4 easy miles alternating running and walking. It was the perfect way to jump back into running after Run United. After we finished, we headed to Maria’s, a local Mexican restaurant. Cheers!

3.66 miles; 45:52; 12:32 pace 

Tuesday | Rest

You guessed it! Tuesday was consumed with yard jobs and more wedding planning. I lead an exciting life, my friends.

Wednesday | Speed Work

IMG_5822

On the agenda for today was my first speedy day (and, coincidentally, the first day of training). I headed to one of Aiken’s running tracks and did a one-mile warm-up followed by 2.5 miles of fartleks and a .5 of easy running. Despite the INSANE HEAT (although this is nothing compared to how it will be in a few weeks), I was really pleased with my pace. I alternated two minutes harder with two minutes easier. My harder paces hovered between about 7:50-8:30, with my final one averaging around 7:20. Score! It was tough but gratifying to see some good pick-ups, especially towards the end.

4.00 miles; 38:02; 9:30 pace

Thursday | 3 miles easy

After a minor wedding-planning-fueled meltdown, I headed to the track for some easy miles. I was truly running off the crazy. There is nothing that some sweat and take-out sushi can’t fix.

3.12 miles; 30:31; 9:52 pace

Friday | Cross

After work Friday, Jeff and I hustled over to the gym and I hopped on the indoor bike. That was victory number one. Historically I have skipped my cross days, then felt guilty, and then continued to skip. Resolution #1 this training cycle: speedwork. Resolution #2: cross train (including STRENGTH). I meant to snap a picture of my stats when I finished my bike ride, but we were trying to hurry to head down to an Augusta Green Jackets game, so I immediately grabbed some water and fit in about 10 minutes of core work.

IMG_5829

IMG_5845

Still a win! It was great to get in something besides running for the first time in a long time.

10.00 mile bike ride; core work

Saturday | 3 miles

I was wanting to do something a little different than road running, so I took my run to Hitchcock Woods around 10:00 on Saturday morning.

IMG_5839

I’m sure I’ve mentioned the woods on here before, but I’ll say it again. They are AWESOME. With 70 miles of trails spread amongst 2,100 acres, it’s paradise for hikers, equestrians, and the occasionally nutty trail runner. I probably saw around a dozen people out riding in the FABULOUS weather. While the trails are nicely shaded, they are mostly soft sand, so running in there is tough. Luckily the views and friendly faces make the going easier. My favorite thing about the woods is that I have never felt unsafe in there and they are extremely clean. I love that they’re smack in the middle of downtown Aiken, but you feel like you’re miles from everything. I still have a ton of trails left to explore in there!

IMG_5841

I ended up stretching my run to 5 easy miles to make my time on the trails worth it, which was smart, since later that night we went to The Big Mo, a delightfully retro and quaint drive-in about 30 minutes away. And, of course, you can’t go to the drive-in without….

IMG_5842

FUNNEL CAKE! That bad boy only cost me $2.50 and I don’t want to know how many calories. Seriously, though, for $8.00, you get to see a double-feature of current movies (we saw Captain America: Civil War and Jungle Book) and you can bring blankets and not get weird looks from strangers! It’s a win-win.

5.00 miles; 1:00:11; 12:02 pace <— forgot to pause watch when yielding to horsies. Oops!

All around, it was a pretty great week running-wise. This week I’m sticking-ish to my plan but will be participating in Aiken’s Triple Crown Road Race (a 10-miler). I say participating and not racing because I do not plan on killing myself trying to be fast (fast for me, at least) on what I’m assuming will be a hot and humid morning. Instead, this will just be an extra-fun training run that happens to include bling at the end. Yay!

On another note… today marks ONE MORE MONDAY in the school year and only 12 days left with my munchkins. I will miss those sweet faces, but SAYONARA, FIVE AM WAKE-UPS! Or, more accurately, five-AM work wake-ups… But I’m not thinking about that right now. 🙂

Total mileage for the week – 20 miles

 

Blog signature

Weekly Workout Recap No. 4

Hello, Friends! It’s time for another weekly recap hosted by Run Megan Run. Click on over to join in the fun! (<— I should quit my day job to become a poet.)

IMG_5657

April 17-23

Sunday | 6 miles easy

After the AG5K trail race on Saturday, I was looking to take it easy with six miles through downtown Aiken. Jeff and I parked at the library, which I really need to get a picture of because it’s this beautiful brick mansion turned book haven. Is there anything more wonderful than that? Possibly, and that would be running through downtown Aiken. Think: flat, wide roads with medians lined with “winter colony cottages” (AKA mansions). It’s the best, and it made me even more excited for the Run United half this weekend! We didn’t end up making it out until about 2:30, so it was pretty hot out. Jeff went for a couple of miles (he’ll be doing the Run United 5k this Saturday) and I kept on going. We ended up meeting at The Pizza Joint after I was finished. It’s funny because when he texted me to say he would meet me at the restaurant, I wasn’t bothered at all. Then I realized: dang, my fiance expects me to go ON FOOT to meet him for food. This would have made me semi-irate a year ago, but the first thought to cross my mind was: sweet! I won’t be pressured to cut my run short!”. I’m basically a butterfly that has undergone metamorphosis. 😉

6.30 miles; 1:00; 9:37 pace 

Monday | Rest or 3 miles easy

Knowing that the rest of the week was going to be incredibly hectic, I hurried home right after work to fit in 3 miles before we had a meeting with our wedding coordinator. It was HOT, since I left at about 3:45, but after a cold shower, it was off to the Church — we’re six months out from the big day!

3.00 miles; 26:54; 8:58 pace

Tuesday | 5 miles

Looking to avoid the peak heat of Monday’s run, I held off until after dinner to run through the neighborhood. Perfection!

5.14 miles; 48:44; 9:29 pace

Wednesday | 3 miles

I had a feeling that I was going to be too distracted on Wednesday to run, and I was right! I had the First Year Teacher of the Year banquet after school, and needless to say, running was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do after my family left to head back to Hilton Head. This was the first run day (aside from optional rest/run Mondays) that I skipped during this training cycle, so I don’t feel bad…at all. 🙂

Thursday | 5 miles

Once again, I had something going on Thursday night, so I headed out at about 3:45 to get my miles in. However, it was a lot cooler out than the forecast predicted, and it was nice to stretch out after taking off on Wednesday. I seem to subconsciously run faster when I know I need to be somewhere later!

5.00 miles; 45:19; 9:04 pace

Friday | Rest

Fridays are for groceries, chores, and date nights. 🙂 Jeff and I went downtown to a couple of restaurants for Aiken’s Earth Day festivities.

Saturday | 10 miles

I overslept Saturday, and by the time I was ready to run, it was HOT. I wanted to be able to enjoy my last long run before the race, and it was also the day of our neighborhood yard sale, which I didn’t want to miss. I instead set out in the afternoon (what is up with me and the peak of heat lately?!) for five miles that I told myself I’d do at an easy pace, and make up the long run in the morning While I wasn’t totally knocked out after, I definitely was fast. I may have the fact that I had plans for that night to thank. Either way, my pacing last week has got me pumped for this Saturday!

5.00 miles; 45:28; 9:05 pace

So…..

I’m feeling very optimistic about Saturday. With 84.2 miles finished at the time of this post, this has been my highest mileage month ever, and I will finally crack 100 miles on Saturday! Woohoo! I splurged on a new *sparkly* running outfit, and that combined with how flat this course will be makes me confident that I can beat my goal of 2:10 (hopefully by a lot!). I don’t think I’ll be doing any more halfs this year due to the heat and wedding planning stress, so this is going to be my time to meet my goal for 2016. All the details will be on here this weekend! 🙂

Blog signature