Fartlekking St Patricks wknd

This weekend was pretty hectic… I was rarely by a computer, and trying to limit my iPhone usage in front of company (thanks SarahsDoodles for making feeling guilty about that one 🙂 )…

I moved my gay bestie on Saturday. I love his family and his boyfriend, and we get along great, so no worries or unnecessary drama. In fact, we have kind of gotten into a routine of it. He has moved 6 times in the past 3 years- we calculated, and I’ve been around for all of them. So because this was planned out, I knew I wouldn’t want to get in extra miles after our training program’s 10-miler Saturday morning

So, I wanted to get in some miles Friday. Ideally, I wanted to do a short warm-up, then a close-to-5K speed for 3 miles, then just mess around with mileage until my legs felt shaken out. I had been thinking somewhere in the 5 to 7 mile range. The weather was beautiful- in the 60’s and sunny, so I was ready for whatever.

Well, as I’ve mentioned before- I’m recovering from a cold that has a cough that seems harder to kick than using my iphone so much. Every night last week, I got a cramp on my run (probably due to change in breathing). This run was no different.

Fri (3/15): Oops! I fartlekked!

I started out easy, and everything felt good. Then, when I started the 5K-pace, it felt like I turned into a wind turbine, creating extra (unnecessary) resistance. I managed a 8:12, but it felt so hard. I got through another 0.85 miles before “giving up” (on a fast speed… though I did almost stop completely), which I later saw was a 8:06 pace, so would have still been good. I dropped down to an easy jog for 0.5 miles, then tried again for a fast speed. I felt like I was hitting my stride, but after 0.5 miles, I started coughing so bad I thought something ugly might come up. So I dropped back down to an easy pace, and knew I’d stay there for the rest of the run. So, I got in one last 100-meter sprint (all out), then dropped down to an easy pace to settle into. When I got back into my apartment complex, I decided I had another mile in me. When I got on the treadmill, I decided I could be ambitious. I pushed my speed a little and got a 7:03-minute mile. Woo! Which means my “average” pace was a 8:45, not bad… Esp for 5 miles. Definitely a little harder than I had originally planned.

[Fartlekking= intervals by which you play with the intervals. Rather than use a specific time or distance (say, 0.5 fast, .25 easy), you run for whatever distance you want at whatever speed you want]

Sat (3/16):

So, Saturday morning, I had my half-marathon training group. We only had one lonely participant in the 10-11 group, and she had just dropped down to the 10-11 pace group, so I figured we’d go extra slow. It was 10 miles, so that’s not the time for a half-marathoner to push your pace. Well, I really liked her. The conversation was enjoyable. And she pushed a good amount up some of the hills, and took it easy when she needed to. Our first two miles were too fast- 9:11, 9:24… But, I kept asking if she felt okay. And she did, so we kept going in the 930’s, which was a speedier pace than I had thought we would go, but is a comfortable pace for a long-ish run for me. We completed 9.91 miles in 1:35 minutes, which isn’t too shabby at all.

*** Flash forward to moving my gay bestie. And he moved into a two-story house, so I probably did the equivalent of 30 stair climbs, and I burned a good bit of calories this weekend… Clearly, I earned St Pats this year

Sun (3/17)

I woke up bright and early- 645am to be exact. Stupid getting old! I stayed in bed (in the second bedroom) until 7am. Until I was finally like This is stupid! Just accept that you are old, and get up more regularly than these younger guys… And got up to pee.

Went to turn the doorknob. Ruh-oh! It wouldn’t open. I did that stupid thing everyone does in similar scenarios though- continue to jiggle it in hopes that I had just forgotten how to open a door. Still no luck.

So, I laid back down, and tried to convince my bladder to go back to sleep. Then, texted my bestie- “her-row? (the sound my cat makes at 2am looking for someone to snuggle with- or scaring the ghosts or something, either way it’s a creepy hello and we always do it) I am locked in the room”

He woke up 45 minutes later, and let me out. We waited for the cable guy, who came 3 minutes after his time window, and took 45 minutes to install. This is all pre-coffee. Which can be a scary state for those around me.

FINALLY! At 11am, I had coffee! Woo! St Patricks Day could officially start now!

I went home, met up with Dan and some other various friends- a few who had recently finished their first marathon- CONGRATS to them! And drank some good beer. And perhaps got a little too excited about stouts. Oh, and Dan lost his credit card in his kilt/ on his kitchen floor (apparently the cats decided to mess with it in the 5 minutes we were gone, and played with it until it was hidden under something). So, I was buying.

Fun times! Happy St Pats! Oh, and random, Johnny Knoxville has been in Raleigh for the past few weeks, and everyone is amazed! I’m more amazed that he must think Raleigh Times is the only place in Raleigh to get a beer (all the sightings have been there. Maybe he just moved here. After all, everyone else is moving here, per all the reports)

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10K+… the plus adds a lot

Sunday, Dan was planning a 5K track run, as a baseline; to figure out how much training he’ has to do to get a PR. I needed to get in 5-8 miles, but wanted some speedwork too. So, I decided in a fit of genius to run to the track, meet up with him, do some sprints, then get a ride back from him.

I headed away from the track for a quick lap around the area before heading toward the track (straight shot ~4 miles on a greenway). My first mile was 9:00, and I thought “Well that’s okay. I can slow down and settle in. I have another 4 miles, plus speedwork.” And I thought I settled in some during the second mile, but it was a 9:01. I then hit a half mile uphill jaunt, which slowed me to a 9:18. And then began pulling back a bit- a 10:33, with another uphill struggle for a good bit (and confusion of which way to fork on the greenway). My next mile I felt comfortable, and the 65-degree sun was warmly hitting my back. With the wind blowing, I felt great! And then Dan drove past, and honked with encouragement. 8:59.

I then hit my final hill (close to a mile uphill) to the track. I just tried to let my legs loosen up some. I noticed I was hitting 6.0 miles. I kept looking for the turn-off for the middle school, and was thinking I maybe missed it. Especially when the sidewalk ended. But the next turn off was the school. I slowly jogged to the stairs, hit them quickly. Then, hit the track with a decent stride for a 400m sprint. 1:21! Nice (Okay, I started a little after the official start line, so it was about a 335m, but still…) I dropped off to grab some Nuun (Thanks Dan for bringing that to the track for me). Walked around once, then ran a 100m sprint. Then walked 200m, and ran 200m. Walked 200m, and ran another 200m. My final “200m” was actually 225m, and I clocked it in 0:49. I don’t generally time these things. But felt like I finished strong. Well, hard. My legs almost gave out as I finished the last sprint. Which, isn’t that really the point of sprints? To push you to your limits? I stretched a good bit, and walked a few times around with Dan, who was finished and cooling down.

[Dan’s 5K was off. His goal was 6:30s for the first mile, and sub-6 by the last mile. Instead, he was keeping a strong 6:15, which he said felt way too hard. He was tight, and couldn’t loosen up, so scrapped it at about 9 laps, after a decent warm-up. I felt bad, as he was hoping for better. But I am guessing he has learned something from the workout and will hit his goal in the next one]

So my total mileage ended up at 7.05, average pace was 9:33; though average pre-track was 9:18. Mostly 9’s excluding the excruciating uphills of the course (which have made me stop to walk in the past)

All in all, I felt like I pushed myself well. I maintained a 10K pace for the first 10K, then got in some good strong sprints at the end. I ran a social run to kick off the Rock n Roll series coming to Raleigh in 2014. Three miles with Dan (and ~100 of my “closest” running buddies haha). All the major muscles in my body are pretty sore, but I definitely feeling like I am becoming a stronger runner. All thanks to compression socks. Or myself. But probably the socks.

I always think as I become a stronger runner, I become a stronger person. So, stronger is better.

Refocusing and holday challenge update

So, since I ran my marathon (more than a month ago? What the heck? When did that happen…?), I’ve been looking for my “next thing”.

Of course, I would love to up the anty somehow. Run 13 half marathons in 2013. Run an ultra. Or something else new and exciting. Honestly, if someone would fund the 13 half marathons in 2013, I probably would do it, but half marathons can get pricey average $75×13…= $1000, and that doesn’t include any travel expenses… I’d rather save that $1000 for something else. New shoes? (Gosh, not one new pair of shoes)

So I started this holiday activity challenge (do something active every day between Thanksgiving and the New Year). And I knew I wouldn’t completely fall off the running wagon since one of my goals for 2012 was to run 1,000 miles. And I’m almost there- 969 to be exact. So 31miles more in the next 20 days (that should be achievable).

My overarching goal for 2013 is to maintain my speed and intensity, and enjoy running (not that I don’t enjoy it now, but more preventing the burn-out and injury). I’ve been running pretty fast lately, for me. I’d like to keep that going.

So what’s already on my plate for 2013?

1. Palmetto200 Agony of De Feet team (not sure how many miles yet, but likely 18+), April 12-13. Oh, and I’m team captain.
2. Richmond Marathon (sub-4:30?), November 16.

So should I add…

1. St Pattys Run Green 8K. March 2 (5 miles through the historic area of downtown Raleigh, ending at one of my favorite little pubs, with a free delicious adult beverage)
2. Krispy Kreme Challenge. February 9 (run 2.5 miles from NCSU to Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen doughnuts, run the 2.5 miles back; all without yuking and under an hour for a prize. That leaves me ~10 minutes to eat all those doughnuts)
3. Raleigh Rocks Half Marathon. April 6 (one week pre-Palmetto-relay, and not likely to be speedy as a result)
4. Lookout Capital Half Marathon. June 1 (first weekend in June)
5. Mentoring Fleet Feet’s Beginner Half Marathon Training Program. Jan 22- Apr 14 (Which would ensure I don’t skip a Tuesday night workout and a Saturday morning workout, though I will likely go a lot slower and it will test my patience with slower runners)
6. Be a rock star and PR a couple 5Ks.
7. Be a rock star and PR a 10K
(This is assuming my Hot Chocolate 10K from 2012 doesn’t count, as I was pacing a slower friend 5 miles of the way, and finished in 1:12, which is a lot slower than I would imagine I would really run)

Holiday Challenge Update:

Alright, I don’t remember where I left off…
Let’s just say last Wed, 12/5 (Though I’ve done something every day, if you include sitting on an exercise ball to work my core one day at work and the pending headache)…

Wed, 12/5: Quick treadmill run. I was going to make it a “as fast as you can mile” but need some warm-up, and completed 1.5 miles in 11:39 (go me! 7:48 pace). I enjoy speed. And it was a 15-minute workout that burned ~200 calories.
Thur, 12/6: I was in Boston, but managed to walk 0.7 miles with my suitcase in tow (9am). Then walked 0.7 miles to work with my coworkers (11am), then wandered from hospital to hospital with coworkers (1pm). Walked the 0.7 miles back to our inn (8pm). Total miles walked: ~3 miles.
Fri, 12/7: Oh, Boston, how I walked you. I walked the 0.7 miles to work (9am). We then walked 1.5 miles to our lunch destination (12pm), and walked the 1.5 miles back (2pm). Then, walked 0.7 miles back to the inn (4pm). We then walked 0.5 miles to get on the green line (430pm), wandered around downtown, Boston Common, the State Building, the Financial District, and eventually back to Fanueil Hall (Fanueil Hall was about a mile from Boston Common, and about 2 miles from our “wait a second… I thought Fanueil Hall was on Congress” moment in the North End). Then we walked to dinner, maybe another half mile. Then! We walked from downtown Boston back to our hotel, through the Back Bay area, through Fenway, etc. A grand total of ~10 miles for the day. (I swear, that might actually be an underestimation; 1.5 miles for work, 3 miles for lunch, 3 miles wandering, dinner, then 3 miles back to the inn)
Sat, 12/8: Walked through the freaking rain! Ugh. That sucked. But I had scrapped my run Friday night, and had not calculated how much we walked Friday night, so I thought we could walk to Cambridge… 5 miles roundtrip.
Sun, 12/9: 9 mile run with Dan. I went out WAY too fast (probably low 8’s), and that caught up with me on the first major hill. My phone didn’t “start” the app, so I don’t know how fast we went out, but Dan (who runs consistent 8:00-pace) said he was out of breath the first few miles and hoping I would slow down. On the way back, I had to walk a little here and there, but we still managed 10:48 (average) with walking, so I’m okay with that. Next time, I’ll go out slower…
Mon, 12/10: 2 mile loop by my house. I tested my headlamp without a hat. But it was still 65 degrees out. It felt good. After a brief 9:30 half mile warm-up, my legs wanted to go fast, and with no training plan, I let them go nuts. 9:00, 8:16 for my splits. I was holding a steady 7:30 pace for the last mile, but decided I’d rather cool-down some, and slowed the pace for an even 8:16 🙂
Sorry those challenge recaps were so long. I feel the need to justify not running, but honestly, I walked twice as much as I would have ran in Boston, so I think it’s okay. My goal for the next few weeks is to increase my mileage so that my long runs seems decipherable (10 miles this Sat, 12 next, etc.)