Hitting the Pavement: 4 Mile Training Run

Earlier I posted about getting back to healthy, getting back to me. Well, there’s no better way to do that than to dive right into half marathon training! And that’s exactly what I did this weekend.

The weekend forecast was awesome, perfect for the first outdoor run of 2016–40s in the morning, 50s during the day. I had a full plate for my Saturday, so I couldn’t relish the 50s, but I did relish it being 38 degrees at 10 am (which was the earliest I could get out). I drove to the gym for a warmup on the elliptical and then hit the walking/running trail that was behind the building. Hamilton County (Indiana) has been working to add more and more trails for walkers, bikers, and runners. This particular trail was called the Midland Trace, and it runs through all of Westfield. It was my first time running on it, and I have to say I got a little lost at one point because there was no signage to point me in the direction of where to go once we hit a busy street. So I just ran along the road on the sidewalk for a while before turning back around to head back to the gym. Next time I’m hoping to be a little more prepared.

I started off the run nice and easy, and it wasn’t until I hit the spot that I “lost” the trail that I realized I was phoning in the run. That might not be so bad, but I really wanted to see how I’d feel during those 4 miles, after not running much this fall/winter (minus the treadmill runs on my lunch break).

After the second mile, I had to shed my pullover. I had a few issues during that third mile, and that really reflected in my split time. I really kicked it into gear for the final mile, wanting to push myself to finish with a 10 minute/mile pace.

4 Mile training run splits

What really kicked me into gear was running by the local Bible college. They had a sign that just seemed perfect for the start of training season. I stopped and took a photo because, c’mon, who wouldn’t think this was God talking to them during their time of seeking inspiration?

20160130_105854.png

When I returned to the gym, I did a quarter mile cool down on the elliptical, followed by some nice, long stretches. I decided it was definitely nicer to run from the gym than from my house because my cool down was still about me–I could take my time to properly cool down and properly stretch, gather my thoughts and reflect on that run. If I were at home, I’d rush inside to stretch a little bit, rush in the shower, and be dressed in no time to get back to being a mom. This forced me to continue thinking about me and thinking about my health.

When I returned home, I was starting to feel under the weather (a cold has crept up on me), and so was Baby A&W. We’re not sure if it’s teething or she’s just not feeling good, but after I showered and dressed, I gathered up my little girl for a snuggle session in the recliner so she could sleep some and momma could relax.

Poor Baby A&W

Poor Baby A&W, snuggled up with her blankie and her momma.

In my pre-momma training days, long run days were either spent recovering while binge-watching Mad Men, or going out and training the dogs in agility for an hour followed by log walks, etc. Now, it seems like I might be spending those days cuddled up with my little girl. And I think I’m OK with that.

 

Countdown to 13.1 No. 3 & Uncertainty

My third half marathon is two days away, and I think I’m more nervous about this race than I was even for my very first half marathon!

I know I went into this half marathon with the full intention of not running as much and not doing as much running training as I have in the past–I wanted to try to avoid the injuries that I’ve had occur from overtraining, so I decided to run once or twice a week with lots of cross-training with Man O’War CrossFit. But then my schedule went haywire, I got really sick and exhausted, and my training went down the tubes. Because of that, I don’t feel quite as prepared as I have in the past.

In previous attempts at the half marathon, I’ve trained up to 12 and 13 miles before. The farthest I’ve run for this race was 10 miles. Now I know a few friends who only run up to 10 miles before hitting 13.1, but I feel like I have to run close to the full length for my mental strength.

I know I can do 13.1–I’ve done it on a flat course and a very extremely hilly course. I’ve been warned the Bourbon Derby is constant rolling hills–different from the Run the Bluegrass where it has extreme hills and some flat parts.

I ran six miles last week before I headed out of town for an agility trial in Indy. I met up with my running group before work and did the maximum that I had time for. I figured six miles was better than none…right?

Fast 10K for one last tough run before the Bourbon Derby!

Fast 10K for one last tough run before the Bourbon Derby!

This week I’ve taken it easy. At MOWCF we worked on back squats and cleans on Monday, which caused my legs to be really sore. I was so tired from not sleeping much, so I slept in on Tuesday and took the day off (minus walking 1.5 miles at lunch with a friend and 1 mile with the pups and M after work). Wednesday I did some core work at MOWCF and changed up the METCON from legs to upper body:

21-15-9
Calorie row
Ring dips

Rest 2 minutes

15-10-5
Ring rows
Handstand push-ups (modified on the box)

I also did my very first headstand! OK, so part of the warm-up METCON was 20 second handstand holds, but I’ve never, ever, done a head/handstand, so I’m taking it slowly (I have this fear of falling on my head and crushing my neck…don’t ask, my mother was a head injury nurse). I was pretty proud of myself and my headstand!

Today will consist of an easy 3 mile run to shake out the legs and pup walk, plus I’ll be picking up my race packet. Friday I’ll walk the dogs, roll-out and stretch, and just relax to prepare for the early morning wake-up call. So far the weather looks much better than I anticipated–partly cloudy with a high of 78!

Your turn: Any words of wisdom/encouragement greatly accepted!!! 

Half Marathon #3 Training Update: Noblesville Mini Marathon

**Happy Memorial Day! I hope you take the time to remember why we have this long holiday weekend–thank you to the men and women who served, or are currently serving, our country.**

The countdown is on for my third half marathon, and I am not very confident that I’ll be able to tackle the 13.1 miles at my best. I haven’t been able to train as consistently as I would have liked. Granted I went into this training intentionally not running as much as I have in races past. I wanted to see if not running as much and doing more cross-training (CrossFit) would help me overcome the usual issues of overuse injuries that I’ve had previously. However, life and time got away from me and I couldn’t spend as many Saturday mornings running as I would have liked. But, I’m still going to give it my all!

After being sick with exhaustion/walking pneumonia in April, I tackled 8 miles with a couple of running group friends. The first four miles felt strong, but the last four miles were tough as my lungs weren’t completely recovered. As funny as it sounds, though, I think that run helped me recover a lot faster, getting a lot of the junk out of my lungs that had been bothering me.

The next week I had an agility trial over the weekend, so I met the Striders for a run on Friday, going 6.5 miles rather than the scheduled 9, because that was all I had time for. I figured that was better than no miles at all!

Then this weekend… Thursday I didn’t go to CrossFit in the morning, so I decided to run 4 miles in my neighborhood after work, testing out how I handled the heat (it was 84*). I completed 4 miles in 38:38 (9:37 avg)…I really need to work on my pacing, though!

Friday M and I traveled up to my parents’ for the long weekend. At the last minute I registered for the Noblesville Mini Marathon 10K Thursday night because I knew that I needed the training miles, and I’d be more apt to get my 9+ miles in if I was able to run with someone or in a race. I had played with the idea of doing the mini marathon and just not push myself to run the whole 13 miles, but I decided that wasn’t smart and I didn’t want to spend the extra money for that. So I registered for the 10K race and planned to run the 5K route after I finish the 10K.

This was the first year for the Noblesville Mini, so of course this race had a lot to improve on. The organization wasn’t the best–there were no marked starting areas for the different races, just pace corrals for the mini, and verbal instructions for the 10K racers to line up after the Mini runners, the 5K racers after the 10K, and the one-milers after the 5K. They wanted each race to take off 10 minutes apart, but that didn’t work very well. I lined up after a large crowd of runners, expecting to be in the 10K group. When the cannon blasted to start the race (no countdown, so it was a complete shock to us all), everyone just started running. After I crossed the start someone was yelling that only the Mini runners should be going right then. I pulled off to the side, then decided that was stupid because I had already started my time–that was a wasted 30 seconds. So off I went.

The race threaded through some neighborhoods and on some running trails–there were about 800 runners, so for a small race, this was OK but if the race gets any bigger, they might have to come up with a new plan. It was a concern how cars were allowed to drive along and behind us in the neighborhood–I was constantly yelling “Car back!” to my fellow runners to warn them to move over to the side. We had water stops every mile, and were told there’d be gel fuel in two spots (I never saw those). I never saw the turn-around point for the 5K race, which was a big problem for those running that race for time. Thankfully there was someone at the 10K turn-around to let me know it was time to turn. (I had thought the race was a loop, but apparently it changed to be an out-and-back after they sent the course map, so i’m glad they had someone tell me to turn around.)

I finished the full 10K without walking–score! I felt strong, and after I crossed the finish, I grabbed a couple of things from the race (banana, Chocola, water), dropped them off with my sister and husband, then set out to run three more miles. By this time I was starting to feel dehydrated–I know being home I wouldn’t have fueled as good as I should have. After two miles I walked a little to loosen my hips.

My 10K time (according to me) was 59:13–pretty awesome! Though my official chip time was: 1:00:28

Here were my splits from my 9+ mile run:

Mile 1: 9:26
Mile 2: 9:33
Mile 3: 9:37
Mile 4: 9:57
Mile 5: 9:33
Mile 6: 9:50
Mile 7: 9:43
Mile 8: 10:02
Mile 9: 10:19 <– walked a little
9.14 miles in 1:26:30

wpid-img_20140524_101726.jpg

It was a beautiful morning for a run! The race was sponsored by a local Chevrolet dealership, so of course my favorite car, a Corvette, was at the finish line. The organization still had a lot to be desired, but not too bad for a first-time race. (The 1+ mile walk to the starting line was a nice warm-up, but I know my sister didn’t like it wearing flip flops haha)

wpid-nvmm.jpg

The next two weeks will be so hard for me to get decent runs in. I have agility trials the next two weekends, which will make things harder to spend 2 hours running, not to mention meeting my running group. The week before the race I’ll be back in Indiana not only competing in the trial, but helping to organize it, so I have long days ahead of me. To make up for it, I’m going to try to get in some runs throughout the week, just to get time on my legs.

So I’m already thinking the Bourbon Derby Half Marathon will be a practice in just finishing…on my own two feet. 🙂

Your turn: How did you spend your Memorial weekend?

CrossFit 14.4 & a 6 Mile Run

This weekend was supposed to be about getting everything done that I needed to get done before I leave for Pennsylvania for the 2014 American Kennel Club (AKC) National Agility Championships. You might remember me going to Tulsa last year with Dally, and this year we’re lucky to get to experience Pennsylvania in March…ugh. Looking at the 10-day forecast I’m not so excited. But, I’m trying to look at the positive! 🙂

Friday I tackled 14.4 at Man O’War CrossFit. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get through the 50 toes to bar–I do well to squeeze out one real toes to bar. I really wished it went 50 wall balls–I can sail through those! Anyway, here’s the WOD:

CrossFit Open 14.4

14 minute AMRAP
60 calorie row
50 toes to bar
40 wall balls (20/14)
30 cleans (135/95)
20 muscle-ups

I outfitted myself with some hand guards made by Taylor for the toes to bar. It was my first time wearing such things, and I kind-of liked them! But I definitely need to practice making them myself…Taylor wasn’t impressed with my attempt (I wish I could have taken a photo). I did kipping knees to elbow instead of the toes to bar and zoomed through the wall balls. Half-way through the cleans I realized I hadn’t changed my weight from the warm-up 65 (we did a mini WOD to warm up) to the need 95. Whomp whomp. Udder FAIL. I just continued through the WOD, pushing myself harder. I got through the cleans, then started on my (red) banded ring dips, another modification. I finished the WOD in the 14 minutes allotted.

Then Saturday morning I hit the pavement for 6 miles around the neighborhood. I’m trying to keep a routine of long(er) runs on the weekends until I really start upping my training for a half marathon in June. I had 6 miles on the docket, and none of my friends were around, so I turned on the tunes on my phone and belted out 6.3 miles in 1:00:54:

Mile 1 – 9:17
Mile 2 – 9:15
Mile 3 – 9:40
Mile 4 – 9:34
Mile 5 – 10:08
Mile 6 – 9:47
0.3 nubbin – 9:03
9:35 avg/mi

I did walk a little twice, but I definitely need to work on my pacing more and keeping things consistent. I felt great during my run. It was lower 50s and perfect weather.

I followed up the run with a 2-mile dog walk, which included a friend’s two dogs that I was dog sitting–let me tell you, the looks I got from people in my neighborhood when they saw me walking four dogs… LOL

4 dogs? No problem!

4 dogs? No problem!

I ended the weekend grilling some chicken breasts for M to have for dinner while I’m away in Pennsylvania, making chocolate chip cookies for the trip, and cheering on the guys at MOWCF for 14.4. One of our guys, Jon, made it through 8 muscle-ups (8!!). Rough WOD!

Coach Taylor (right) and Iverson (left) attacking the 135 lb cleans during 14.4.

Coach Taylor (right) and Iverson (left) attacking the 135 lb cleans during 14.4.

Your turn: How was your weekend?

8 Miles that Turned into 20!?

Saturday dawned with a lot on my plate. I woke up early, dressed in my winter running pants, short sleeve tech shirt, zip pullover and fleece, and headed out to meet with the LexRunLadies at yet another new running spot. My plan was to run 8 miles, and the leader of our run said it’d be easy with a down-and-back course.

This time I was smart and took my fleece off before we started running–it was 34, and I knew I’d warm up within the first mile. Great thinking, because I later even took my pullover off after the half-way mark and ran in my short-sleeved shirt (thank you, sun!).

The run itself was very nice–we ran along part of a road that then turned into a running trail along some horse farms (this is horse country, after all, so most of my runs are along horse farms–I won’t complain!). We crossed one major road, but it wasn’t too bad because it was pretty safe. I was able to run with two other ladies who were at my pace, which was great! It was a lot of fun to be able to chat with someone throughout the entire run–it made it go by so quickly!

Only one time did I stop to walk, and that was when Jill and I took off our extra layer when we were about 3/4 of the way back. We knew where the 2 mile mark was and we were completely surprised at how quickly we were already done with 6 miles. At this point, I should have checked my GPS on my phone, but I didn’t. (Once again, I forgot to charge my Garmin, so I was just using my RunKeeper on my phone.)

It was fun talking with Jill because she had finished an IronMan, so she was telling me about training and her and her husband’s experiences with the races. She’s training for the Run the Bluegrass too, so we talked about future training runs, etc. When we finished our run, she pushed me to run two short cool down laps around the parking lot and then walking–which I needed. Usually I’ll walk to cool down, but I really need to think about making myself run a little longer to cool down after my runs, no matter how tired I am. (I totally forgot to take any photos from our run! The weather was perfect with sun and clear skies and a bit of a stiff wind at various points.)

RunKeeper

RunKeeper

So why does my title say 20 miles when I said I was running 8? Because, according to RunKeeper, we ran 20 miles in 01:15:08. That’s like a 4:30 mile! Crazy, huh?? I don’t know why it messed up so badly like that, but it frustrates me because I couldn’t see my splits and accurately record my miles and pace to go with my training. Has anyone else had any problems with RunKeeper?

So, we believe we ran the 8 miles in 01:15:08 (rough estimate, since I don’t recall the total time, and we weren’t sure exactly what time we started our run). Not bad. I felt great! I came home, quickly foam rolled and stretched a little more (I had stretched in the parking lot before I got in the car), showered, and then I was off to meet with a couple of friends for a presentation.

That afternoon I went to work the dogs in agility at an indoor facility (I was totally rocking my ProCompression socks all day after my run to help my legs recover). I was hoping to be able to rest more after my run, but the only time to work the dogs was Saturday afternoon. I did my best to not push myself too much, and I think it worked.

Then it was time for a date night with the hubby–using up wedding gift cards for dinner and then we saw “Broken City” at the theater with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe–definitely recommend it.

How was your weekend?

Some Times You Just Need Rest

This week I have just felt exhausted. I hadn’t slept well all week, either, which doesn’t help. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve started to amp up my workouts for my half marathon training, or just one of those things where you just feel drained.

Some times you just need to learn to listen to your body and sleep, much like what the Stump Kids do on a daily basis...

Some times you just need to learn to listen to your body and sleep, much like what the Stump Kids do on a daily basis…

Either way, I decided I needed to listen to my body. Yesterday morning I wanted to do speed intervals for four miles on the treadmill, but after about two miles, I knew that wasn’t going to be, so I aimed for 3.5 miles. Suddenly, at 3.2 my legs just felt dead and I was worried I’d injure myself, so I stopped sprinting and just walked the last 0.3 miles at a slight incline. I took a little extra time to stretch, and then went home to walk the dogs and get ready for my day.

That night I wanted to do some weight training on my upper body, so I spent 20 minutes working with free weights (my activity was limited, since I had forgotten to pack a sports bra…grrr) and then headed home, relishing in the idea of relaxing all evening. M took the reins on dinner, so I grabbed my Kindle and read on the couch until it was ready. Later, I fixed myself a cup of Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea from Celestial Seasonings (yum, one of my favorite flavors), and actually went to bed to read at 10. Half an hour later, I was out like a light!

I woke up this morning to my alarm going off at 6:30–the latest I’ve been able to sleep in a long time. I took my time getting out of bed (had to snuggle with the Corgi, you know) and then took my time getting ready for work after doing a few yoga poses to stretch and wake my body. It was perhaps one of the most relaxing work mornings I’ve ever had.

Today is a total rest day for me–my body told me it was tired, and I have an 8 mile run planned tomorrow morning, so why not. (My normal “rest days” include an hour-long yoga DVD in the am and weights in the pm.) We’re going to have dinner and play cards with friends tonight, and that’s exactly what I think my body, and psyche, needs after this hard week.