Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hansons Training Update - Workouts

It's time for another update on my Hansons training. I'm about 10 weeks in, 8 weeks out (less than!), so better than halfway through. The first 10 weeks went by pretty well: I generally hit the runs, mileage and workouts. The biggest hiccups involved the two races I did (Thirsty Dog 8k where I didn't try, the Parkersburg HM where I failed). I've run on the treadmill, in the heat & humidity, in the rain, in the mornings, in the evenings, etc. I haven't skipped a run, although I have moved runs around to accommodate my life.

Another thing I've done is the warmups and cooldowns as prescribed, which is 1.5 miles before and after each workout. At first, that seemed so long, but now I'm so afraid of the workout that I relish the time and the slow, gentle pace. The reward of the cooldown -- with absolutely no time goal -- helps get me through workouts. I even tell myself that I can run/walk the cooldown, although after talking with the coach, I really avoid doing that (even if my "run" seems slower than a walk!).

I would also like to point out that I've been running six days a week since June. My body is tired and there's sometimes some soreness, but I do not feel injured. The calf "injury" I had in June seems to have mostly resolved itself through use of compression, stretching and adapting to the increased workload. I am no longer wearing compression for all of my runs. I moved first to compression just on workouts and long runs, and then I tested not wearing it at all.

Did I talk about this? I started to wonder if putting on the compression was signalling to my brain to expect pain, so I tested not using it. And it's been fine, although I may wear sleeves for tonight's workout.

Speaking of the workouts, those were pretty new to me when I started this plan. I had done the occasional workout, but never anything on a consistent basis where I could actually see progress. Generally, there are two speed workouts each week: an interval-based one and a pace run. I'm assuming there are technical terms involving words like lactate, threshold, aerobic and anaerobic, but I can never keep that stuff straight. They do help improve my lactate threshold and they help me feel comfortable/recognize race pace, so we'll just leave it at that.

Initially, the interval workouts are short, and those sorts of workouts were familiar to me (400s, 800s, etc.), but I'm moving into the longer intervals that seem much tougher to me. I did mile repeats a few weeks ago -- three of them -- and they went well, but tonight, I have six of them. At 10k pace. Outside. I'm shooting for 8:45, which is my 10k PR from last year.

And probably NOT what I could run right now, but whatever. I'm hoping with the 400 jog rest, I will be able to complete the miles without my watch going apeshit on me.

I also have six miles at race pace on Thursday. That shouldn't concern me if I think I can run 13.1 miles at that pace, but it does. It *SO* does, but that's a panic for another day.

If you've done any math on those workouts, you'll have noticed how long they are. They've been around 8 weeks, but they're increasing this week. Tonight's will be 10, Thursday's will be 9. That's a lot of miles on a weeknight, especially when you run as slowly as I do. Total mileage is a post for another day, though.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 10 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

After the Parkersburg half, I wasn't sure what to do. I've committed more than two months to this program already, I should just see it through. (I don't know what else to do!)

I ended up with 45 miles for the week and feeling tired. I'm a little intimated by next week's workouts, but I'm trying not to think about it too much.

Monday: 5 miles, treadmill, 11:09 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 5 miles, easy
The weather was annoying -- first, super-hot and then pouring rain -- so I just took it to the treadmill. Not much to say about the run. I started out very slowly and increased each mile, finishing with a 9:56 mile.

Tuesday: 5 miles, 10:30 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 5 miles, easy
I was originally going to do my speedwork Tuesday, but my coach recommended another easy day, which went well. I love natural negative splits.

Wednesday: 8 miles, 10x400s under 8:42 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 8 miles with 10x400s
This was just sad: All of my friends were at the pub run (45 minutes away), while I did this. Plus, this workout was kind of a disaster, so I'm really proud of myself for getting it done. It was 90 degrees, so I headed for the treadmill. At the start of the fourth repeat, the treadmill decided 12 mph was more appropriate. I jumped off, pulled the emergency key and then tried to restart. Before setting a speed, it started increasing. So I decided to finish outside where, of course, it was pouring. The Garmin started acting weird outside, but it was prompting me through the repeats. I know I was under 8:42 for all of the repeats, and I know the last one was 8:12 pace or so. When I got home, it wouldn't upload, and then the Garmin would restart. Eventually I ran the Garmin dead and am hoping that fixes it for awhile.

I'm disappointed that I don't have my splits to compare to the last time I did 400s. However, I felt noticeably stronger, and I think the three days of easy runs after the half were a good idea.

Thursday: off

Friday: 8 miles with 5 at 9:07, 9:05, 8:55, 8:58, 8:50, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 8 miles with 5 at pace
Super-happy with this. I had a show in the afternoon, Aaron bailed on the run and I just didn't really feel that way. I bargained with myself the entire time, but I got the workout done, on pace.

Saturday: 6 miles, 11:07 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 6 miles, easy
Done Saturday morning, this was tough. I just went with the easy pace (the second half was quicker than the first at least).

Sunday: 13 miles, 10:33 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 12 miles, long
Taking it easy Saturday was the right decision because I felt pretty decent for the long run. 12 was scheduled, but we planned our route to do a loop and miscalculated a bit. 505 feet of elevation gain, but the last two miles were downhill and I was able to get my legs moving better then. Happy with this run.

Upcoming Week (45 miles):

  • Monday: 5 miles, easy
  • Tuesday: 10.5 miles with 6x1 mile at 10k pace with 400m jog rest
  • Wednesday: 6 miles, easy
  • Thursday: 9 miles with 6 at half-marathon pace
  • Friday: off (back to Fridays off, which means I'll have seven days in a row)
  • Saturday: 10 miles, long
  • Sunday: 5 miles, easy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 Parkersburg Half-Marathon Recap

Official results: 2:11:24
16/49 age group
127/353 women
368/744 overall

Barely beat the half-marathon walker winner (he finished just under 2:12).

In other words, one of my worst half-marathons. I'm still trying to figure out all that went wrong.

  • The plan from Coach Katie: 9:20 for 8 miles and then pick it up if possible
  • My plan based on the high humidity: 9:30 for the first 3 miles, pick it up 4-8 at 9:20 and then finish strong
  • Reality: 9:45 pace through the first 10k, finishing with a 10:02

I could post my mile splits, but they're depressing.

6am to 7:15am - Get up, drink a little water (not enough and no Nuun), eat most of a cinnamon crunch bagel (why not the whole thing?)

7:15am - Jog to the starting line (1.5 miles), do some light warming up, eat a Shot Blok from Aaron and take sips of G2. It's in the mid60s, but the humidity is close to 90%.

8am to 10:11:24 - Race starts. I run okay through the first 10k and end up with a 9:45 pace. I'm not hating that, and I think I'll be able to drop it down and end up with a 9:30 pace overall, which would have brought me in under 2:05. Seemed reasonable. I took a gel during mile 3 and maybe mile 9? I probably should have taken one more gel. There are a ton of water stops with Gatorade, water and ice. I drank Gatorade and water at most stops (no Gatorade when I took my gels). I think I spent too much time at the water stops, but clearly that wasn't the biggest issue with my race. I also shoved ice in my bra at one point because I'd read about other people doing it. I ran the hill in mile 11 and then was incapable of dropping the pace much afterward. I'd passed Aaron at one point (he was hurting and stretching a lot), but he passed me in the last mile. He ended up finishing 5 seconds in front of me.

10:15am to 10:45am - Drink some water, eat half of a banana, literally have a bite of a bagel and get our little group back together.

10:45 to 1pm - Jog back to the house. Drink water, do some stretching, text about the race, shower, etc.

1pm - Drive to lunch.

1:30pm - Drink beer, eat a steak salad and get on with the day. (More beer, lots of sun and pizza and champagne around 9pm. Lots of water, no electrolytes. Bed around midnight.)

I would like to point out some things missing from the post-run: Drinking any electrolytes and eating much immediately after the run. I think that contributed to Sunday's shitty recovery run: 3 miles and I walked the first one and parts of the second and third. Actual physical pain (can your kidneys literally hurt?).

ANYHOW, I'm not sure if I race poorly in general, if I run this race poorly, if I underfueled (probably), if it was just not my day, if my goals are unrealistic, if I'm too heavy, if I was too tired... I could go on and on. I'm trying to figure it out. It's probably a combination of all those things with the humidity playing a big role.

I was pretty upset because I feel like I've been working really hard. I'm running ALL THE TIME. I feel like I'm doing nothing else this summer but run, and if I'm just going to go out and run a 2:11, what's the point? I can do that on four days a week and without speedwork.

I'm clear on why yesterday's run didn't feel good, but I'm not totally clear on why the race went so poorly. I didn't start too fast and I did fuel (although I recognize that three gels would have been better for me). I'm really just afraid that my goals are out of reach.

Coach Katie reminded me that I'm in the middle of a training cycle, not at the end, and that I didn't have a legitimate taper. She thinks my goals are reasonable. I don't know what else to do but continue on. (That's how I ran Sunday morning. I was awake, and I simply didn't know what else to do.) Trust the process, right?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 9 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

Taper week! Truth be told, I was ready for a little break. So, so tired. I ended up with 37ish miles and, truthfully, some tears after Saturday's race.

Monday: 7 miles with 4 at 9:11, 9:02, 9:01, 8:34, 9:44 overall pace, Newton Distance III
Target: 7 miles with 4 at 9:09
It was only in the mid80s and fairly humid (storms a-comin'), but I doubt my ability to run 4 miles at pace on the treadmill. Luckily I missed the storms and only encountered rain during my cooldown. The paces are inconsistent, and I think that was partly because I, of course, doubted myself. I remembered the last failed pace run (two weeks ago, in HOT and humid weather), but I tried to put it out of my mind. I wasn't upset about the 9:11 and figured if they all ended up at 9:11, that's fine. Clearly I could have done better -- mile 4 was way too fast -- but I will take the run as encouragement that I am in better shape and I am capable of running 9:09s for a half-marathon... in October.

Tuesday: 3.25 miles, 10:46 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 3 miles, easy
→Tuesday was supposed to be 5 and Wednesday 3, but I switched them. 3 is easier to get in before work (hair appointment after work) *and* the longer mileage Wednesday is better for the group run since everyone else will be running longer.
Ugh. Less than 12 hours after finishing the pace run, I was up to get in this short run before work. Not much to say. I felt okay, although if I didn't know my pace, I would have said I was running 10:30s. It was in the neighborhood so it was a little hillier. Also 88% humidity (but the temps were cooler, of course).

Wednesday: 5 miles, 10:01 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 5 miles, easy
It was lovely out, and I attribute that to my negative split: 10:20, 10:17, 10:05, 9:55, 9:29. A little faster than prescribed, but given the weather, the lower mileage and time between runs, it's to be expected. Quads were a little sore for some reason (neighborhood isn't that hilly).

Thursday: rest
I should have foam-rolled, but I didn't.

Friday: 3 miles, 11:20 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 3 miles, easy
Another pre-work run, and I just don't get the "peaceful" run stuff about morning runs. It takes so much for me to wake up. I didn't feel great, not bad exactly. Plus I ended up walking during the third mile trying to deal with a bug in my eye.

Plus, I'm hungry all day: before noon, I've had water, Nuun, cereal & almond milk, iced coffee w/ milk, Kind bar, water, 1/2 of a Clif bar and another Nuun. I was tempted to eat my leftover pizza in the morning and then get Panera for lunch. Ridiculous.

Saturday: 16 miles with a 2:11 half-marathon, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 16 miles with HM
I'm like a broken record with this race. Recap coming soon, but the 2:11 is not good. Completely fell apart. Again.

Sunday: 3 miles, 12+ pace, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 3 miles, easy
3 hot miles after Saturday's race were rough. There was weird pain in my lower right side, so I basically walked the first mile. Felt a little better in miles 2 and 3, although there was walking there too. I think I was dehydrated (well, more like my electrolytes were out of whack). But whatever.

Upcoming week:

  • Monday: 5 miles, easy
  • Tuesday: 8 miles with 10x400s
  • Wednesday: 5 miles, easy
  • Thursday: off
  • Friday: 8 miles with 5 at pace
  • Saturday: 6 miles, easy
  • Sunday: 12 miles, long
This schedule may change -- not sure if I'm recovered enough for a workout tomorrow, so I have some discussions going on with my coach -- but as of right now, that's the plan. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Parkersburg Half-Marathon Goals

The Parkersburg race is Saturday, and I think I'm in better shape than I was last year -- and I'm going to approach the race differently. Last year, the guy helping me with my marathon training told me to go for sub-2 in Parkersburg, so I tried. (And failed miserably.)

This year, however, Columbus is my goal race -- that's where I am supposed to go under 2 hours (finally). So what should I do for Parkersburg? I could:
  • Run it as a long run (10:10 to 11:52 pace)
  • Run it with my friend (which would probably fall into the same long run range)
  • Run it as a workout and do pace miles or a progression run
  • Run for a PR (sub-2:03)
  • Run for a sub-2
Ultimately, after discussing with my Hansons coach, I'm going to go for the PR. I'm going to start at a 9:20 pace (which would put me in the 2:02s) and hopefully speed up after mile 8 or so. I've never really tried to run a race like that -- especially one that long -- so we'll see how it works out. As discussed earlier, the course is not flat. And shit, I'm not sure the last time I held a 9:20 pace for any length of time! Running a rolling course at a consistent pace will be tricky as well.

The weather will play a role in my performance as well. It will likely be warm (getting hot eventually, but hopefully that will be after I'm done!) and humid. I can't do anything about my fitness at this point, so all I can do is focus on nutrition and hydration. I will start carbing up today (let's be honest: I'm always carbing up), and I'm going to start upping my electrolytes today as well.

(I'm not breaking any new ground here.)

I am excited to see what I can do. I've spent a month and a half doing more real training than I've ever done, and I am looking forward to seeing where I am. I want to feel good during the race, I want to finish strong and I want to feel motivated about the rest of this training cycle. Those are my real goals. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 8 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

This was kind of a peak week before Parkersburg, although I've hit 44 miles before and the long run starts my mini-taper. The speedwork ladder starts coming back down, and the pace run goes up another mile.

Overall, the humidity was lower this week as evidenced by my successes in the 1000s and HM pace run. I'm feeling better about my fitness, although I don't know that I can come in under 2 at Parkersburg. In discussions with my Hansons coach, we've decided to go for the PR (start around 9:20) and hopefully speed up after 8 miles or so. Columbus is the true goal.

Monday: 8 miles, 5x1000s on pace w/ negative splits! Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 8 miles, speed/5x1000s with 600m recovery
So much win on this workout. See details here.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 10:22 pace, Newton Fates
Target: 6 miles, easy
We hit up the Summit Metroparks Running Spree for Tuesday's run. They had 4 miles, so we met earlier to get in 2 miles beforehand. I ran a little faster than I probably should have, although I felt okay. Nervous about Wednesday's run...

Wednesday: 8 miles w/ 5 at 9:00 pace, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 8 miles, speed/5 miles at HM pace
So, so happy with this! I was thinking about this way too much beforehand. I even dreamed about it. After last week's fail, I was really not confident that I could run 5 miles at pace (although if I can't do 5, why would I be able to do 13.1?). I warmed up and then settled into my pace. I have my watch set up with a workout so I don't have individual mile paces. It alerts me if I go too slow, and I check periodically to see where I am. I miss not having the individual paces, but that's okay. I am sure that I sped up for the second half of the pace miles, so that's good.

Thursday: 6 miles, 10:41 pace, Saucony Zealot 
Target: 6 miles, easy
Nothing much to say about this easy run. I felt fine, and the second half was a little faster than the first (10:52 versus 10:29 average). I really do think the recovery/easy runs are better than days off. With speedwork on Mondays and Wednesdays, I always have an easy day after a hard run, which is seeming ideal for me. But I'm ready for Friday's rest day.

Friday: rest

Saturday: 10 miles, 10:33 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 10 miles, long
Pleasant temperatures and company for the entire run made for a pretty good run. Nothing much to say, just nice & easy, with negative splits. I could have run faster if I'd wanted to. I can't decide how prepared I feel for next week's race. Right now, it looks clear, but maybe pretty warm and probably pretty humid.

Sunday: 6 miles, 10:38 pace, Saucony Zealot
Target: 6 miles, easy
I was not feeling very good at the beginning of this run, but I started to feel better after the turnaround. My mile splits are kind of funny: 11:33, 11:17, 10:46, 10:42, 10:03, 9:27. At the end of some easy runs, I like to run hard for a bit (less than a minute) and then back off. Apparently for the last mile, I was feeling a lot better!

Upcoming Week:
  • Monday: 7 miles with 4 at half-marathon pace
  • Tuesday: 3 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: 5 miles, easy
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday: 3 miles, easy
  • Saturday: 16 miles with HM
  • Sunday: 3 miles, easy

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Parkersburg Half Marathon

In less than two weeks, I'm running the Parkersburg Half-Marathon for the third time (2014 recap and 2012 recap). I wasn't planning on running it because of the Rubber City Race Series, but after I found out that my friend was going to do her FIRST half-marathon there, it was an easy decision. (Plus Parkersburg is a way better deal than the Goodyear HM.)

Initially, I wasn't going to "race" it. I thought about running with my friend or treating it as a training run or doing a workout, but after the Thirsty Dog 8k where I didn't really try, I started to feel like I needed to find out where I am. I have been doing speedwork (and mostly hitting them), but I don't feel very confident that I can maintain speed that long. It's about time to find out.

My coach says to go for sub-2, and we'll figure out more of a plan soon. I'm thinking goals as such:

A goal: Sub-2
B goal: PR (under 2:03:14)
C goal: Course PR (under 2:08)
D goal: Finish

There's not much wiggle room there, so maybe I should reevaluate. (Weather will also matter quite a bit. It can be very hot and humid there...) I can't tell if I'm in better or worse shape than last year. I'm running more (160 miles in July 2014 vs. 170 miles in July 2015), and I'm running harder. But I was maybe 5 pounds lighter?

In any case, I think I should have run at least a 2:05 there last year, but I had an emotional breakdown during the race. (God, reading last year's recap is embarrassing. It's just a race, and I'm not even remotely competitive.) Physically, I'm strong enough to run well; it's my mental game that needs a boost.

I'm both eager and anxious about this race. I am so curious to see if this speedwork is working, and I am fearful that I'll repeat last year's race. I just need to remember to have a good attitude, even if I get behind pace. Last year I was so focused on sub-2 that when it became out of reach, I really fell apart. This year I know it's very likely that I won't be able to do sub-2, but I can have a good race even so (like I did at River Run actually -- where I should have PRed).

Sidenote: I never recapped the River Run last year! Short story: I had an 18-miler on the schedule. My friend and I ran 5 miles beforehand and then ran the race. There was a little snafu with getting our stuff on the Fleet Feet truck, but we fixed it. That caused me to be a little stressed out right before. The plan was to sub-2 (or at least PR), but I didn't really believe it was possible. I just tried to run conservatively and not go out too fast. (I probably went out too slowly.) Then I got a little lazy around mile 10 or 11. I ended up running 1 second slower than my half-marathon PR. A SINGLE SECOND. So yes, I should have PRed.

ANYHOW, I just need to keep working, trust my training and believe in myself. Train the brain, not just the body.

Negative Splits! AKA 5x1000 Workout Recap

I had the BEST workout last night.

I had 5x1000s on the schedule, and this was the second time for this workout, which means I knew I could do it again. I decided to do it (again) on a bike & hike. It was warm out (mid80s), but the humidity was under 50%. I warmed up for 1.5 miles and then moved into the workout, which 1000 meters at 8:21 to 8:42 pace with 600-meter jogging recovery, repeat five times.

First repeat: 8:30 pace

That was hard, but doable. Just four more to go. I did my recovery jog and headed into the second repeat: 8:28 pace. As I recovered, I just told myself that all I had to do was get through the third one and I could turn around. I started the third one. Ugh! Hill, road to cross, turnaround. Another 8:28 pace.

Just two more. They felt HARD. I set up my watch to beep when I was off pace, and it beeped way more. BECAUSE I WAS GOING FASTER THAN THE PRESCRIBED PACE.

Fourth repeat: 8:22

I recovered and told myself, "Just one more, just get through it and you jog it in."

Fifth repeat: 8:17 pace → faster than prescribed, and I wasn't quite dead. I think I had another repeat in me.

I jogged in the run for 8 miles at an overall 10:05 pace. Not only did I hit the paces for my repeats, I negative-split them.

I did this workout for the first time on 7/13, and I hit the paces as well. I did not negative-split, however, and I remember it being more of a struggle.

July 13
Aug 3
Repeat 1
Repeat 2
Repeat 3
Repeat 4
Repeat 5

I just need to remember this workout when I think I can't do something. The humidity clearly affects me, and I need to remember that. I'm hoping for lower humidity tomorrow night when I attempt my pace workout. After last week's fail, I am hoping this one goes much better. Five miles at pace is intimidating, although it shouldn't be -- I'm hoping to do 13.1 miles at that pace, so 5 should be easy, right?

Monday, August 03, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 7 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

I ended the seventh week with 43+ miles, one failed workout and some fatigue. The usual.

Monday: 8 miles w/ three 1-mile repeats under 8:42 (8:22, 8:23, 8:18), Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 8 miles with three 1-mile repeats at 8:21 to 8:42 pace, 800m recovery jog
With 90+ temps, I again took my speedwork to the treadmill. I think as long as my pace runs are outside, I'm good. My watch and my treadmill disagree on pace, with my watch saying I'm running faster than the treadmill. My treadmill is 15 years old, and it definitely feels like I'm working harder than the pace it shows! Regardless, I hit my paces, and it was hard. I walked a tiny bit after the second and third miles and then finished the recovery jogging along.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 10:55 pace, Brooks PureFlow 2s (and they are DEAD)
Target: 5 or 6, easy
Aaron and I met some friends for this HOT run. I took it easy and felt okay, although it was like 90 degrees.

Wednesday: 7 miles, three miles at 9:12, 9:34, 9:14 so FAIL, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 7 miles with four at 9:09
It was super-hot again, and I should have I altered this workout by shortening it (which I ultimately did), switching it to Thursday or going inside. I hydrated well beforehand, it was just HOT. I warmed up, ran the first two "pace" miles, took an unscheduled quarter-mile recovery jog and then planned to do two more pace miles. After one, I quit and just jogged it in. It just wasn't happening. Longer recap of this run is here.

Thursday: 5 miles, 10:22 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 5 or 6, easy (depends on what I do Tuesday)
I'm really starting to prefer having an easy recovery run after hard workouts (versus a rest day). I was pleasantly surprised (again) at how decent I felt even though I had that difficult run on Wednesday. I think I might keep my speed workouts to Monday and Wednesday.

Note: Thursday's run brought me to 170+ for the month of July -- that's amazing!

Friday: rest

Saturday: 12 miles, 10:39 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 12, long
I repeated last week's long run with 8 miles on the towpath and the last 4 on the hill. It went about the same, actually. I felt decent, ran completely up the hill and felt great coming back. I'm really hoping that incorporating the hill onto tired legs will help me gain strength. Hasn't killed me yet!

Sunday: 5.3 miles, 10:52 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 5, easy
Blues & Brews was Saturday, so we were a little dehydrated for this run. Plus we didn't start until after noon, and it was HOT. I wanted to do a new route since there's a new bike & hike open near us. The route was great, but not very shaded. I don't think I could have run faster if I'd tried!

Upcoming Week:

  • Monday 8 miles, speed/5x1000s with 600m recovery
  • Tuesday 6 miles, easy
  • Wednesday 8 miles, speed/4 miles at HM pace
  • Thursday 6 miles, easy
  • Friday rest
  • Saturday 10 miles, long
  • Sunday 6 miles, easy

Thursday, July 30, 2015

My First True Workout Fail

This week's pace run was a total fail -- and I could have prevented it.

I had 7 miles on the schedule with 4 miles at half-marathon pace (9:09). I have done this workout twice before, and I have hit the paces. But last night was different because it was still 90 degrees or so when we started running. I was pretty well-hydrated and I had water with me. I warmed up and headed into the pace miles, and immediately I knew it was going to be a struggle (like it's easy any other time!).

Mile 1 clocked in at 9:12. As I started the second mile, I started thinking I should turn around at the 3-mile mark and just do 3 miles at "pace" (I was fine with pace being relative last night). Aaron and our friend were ahead of me, and I was a little worried that they might worry if they didn't see me on the way back. So I trudged on to the turnaround. Mile 2 was 9:34.

At the turnaround I came up with another idea: Do a quarter-mile recovery jog and then do the last two pace miles. After mile 3 (9:14), however, that seemed stupid, so I decided do another quarter-mile recovery jog and THEN do the fourth mile. After that quarter-mile, though, I was DONE. I jogged it in.

On the plus side, 7 miles is still an accomplishment. And in hindsight, I should have altered my plan for last night's run.

Best option: Switch last night's pace run with tonight's easy run because the weather will be cooler tonight. 

Better option: Adjust the pace for the pace miles since it was so hot. There are resources online about how much you should adjust pace based on the heat, but I ignored those. Doing those four miles progressively faster, but starting at, say, 9:30 pace, would have been a better option. (Aha! This calculator at Runner's Connect says I should have done the miles at 9:34 last night. I really should have checked that before going out.)

Okay option: Skip the group run and move the workout to the treadmill. That option SUCKS because that would have been a huge struggle for me.

In the end, one failed workout isn't going to make or break Parkersburg or Columbus. I can still come in under 2 in Columbus and still have a good, confidence-building race in Parkersburg. I am not beating myself up about it, and I am resisting the urge to try again tonight. I have another pace run next week (5 miles at pace!), and I will nail that one.