Monday, June 29, 2015

Upcoming Week

My mileage goes up to 34 miles this week, and the workout mileage is less, which makes me happy. Here's the schedule for this week:
  • Monday: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Tuesday: 7 miles with speedwork 8x600s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery
  • Wednesday: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Thursday: 6 miles with three at half-marathon pace (9:09)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 6 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Sunday: 5 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • I'm not as intimidated by Tuesday's speedwork, and I really, really hope I can hit the paces. The intervals are a little longer, but there are fewer. We'll see.
  • I'm kind of looking forward to Thursday's pace run. I have no idea if I can do it. I set my watch for 9:00 to 9:15 for the pace miles -- I figure it's early enough in the training cycle that I can be a little slower if necessary. 
  • There may be some moving around of runs since Friday is a holiday. Sunday could end up being my rest day this week. 
  • I really need to get my weight under control. 

Weekly Recap: Week 2 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

Week 2 is done, and I completed all of the workouts basically as assigned. I even went to the gym once!
  • 33 miles
  • 6 runs
  • 1 speed workout
  • 1 race (kind of a fail)
  • 1 strength session
Monday: 4 miles, 10:18 pace, Saucony Zealots
Target: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52) 
On the hunt for soft surfaces other than the Towpath, I found a new location to run  with a two-mile dirt trail and not much elevation. It runs through the woods for a mile and through a meadow/marsh for a mile, so it's not too bad. It's also convenient because it's on the way home. The pace would have been a little slower, but it started POURING and my last mile was under 9:30. I felt pretty good actually, and my calf wasn't a problem. Because of the heat, I only wore a compression sock on my right foot and a regular toe sock on my left.

Tuesday: 9 miles, 10:04 pace, repeats averaged 8:39, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 12x400s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery and 1.5-mile warmup/cooldown
In hindsight, this workout went okay. My coach did make me feel better when she said it's common for people not to hit the paces at all in the first workouts, so only missing on two is definitely a success. More details here.

Wednesday: 4 miles, 10:29 pace, Saucony Triumph
Target: 3 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52) 
I swapped Wednesday and Thursday so I would have fewer miles on Thursday. I took it easy, didn't let anyone else's pace determine mine, so that's a win. Slight negative-split with the last mile at 10:15 (which is the bottom end of my easy run paces).

Thursday: 3 miles, 11:16 pace, treadmill, Saucony Zealot + Strength
Target: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52) 
I hit the gym for this workout. I did an easy progression run on the treadmill after doing some strength-training. I felt okay - nothing really to talk about.

Friday: rest 

Saturday: 7.27 miles, 9:30 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6, RAIN & 65 degrees
Target: Thirsty Dog 8k with 1-mile warmup/cooldown 
This was kind of a disaster. It was raining, and I was cranky. So I didn't even try during the race (seriously, my overall pace for the race was about the same as the total workout. That's embarrassing. At least I completed the warmup and cooldown? Official results for the Thirsty Dog 8k: 47:43, 9:36 pace.

Sunday: 6 miles, 10:30 pace, Saucony Zealots, light rain & 60 degrees
Target: 6 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
We spent the night in Pittsburgh on Saturday, so Sunday's run was along the riverfront trail. Even after a night of drinking, we were up and on the trail when it was still appropriate to say, "Good morning." Nothing much to talk about. I felt okay, but after two days of pavement, my right calf was a little cranky.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Speed Workout: 12x400s

Tuesday's workout was a 9-mile evening run with a 1.5-mile warmup, 1.5-mile cooldown and 12x400s in between (with 400 recovery). I haven't been doing anything like that, and I was concerned how it was going to go.

My paces for the 400 repeats (I just did quarter-mile to make it easy to program the watch) was to be 5k to 10k pace or 8:21 to 8:42. It was a struggle, and I really only made it through all 12 repeats thanks to a friend pulling me through the final ones.

The good: I averaged 8:39 for the repeats, so overall, I was within the range. Seven of the repeats were 8:37 or 8:39, so over half were "consistent." My calf didn't bother me during the run (wore compression sleeves again), and it's not hurting the next day. Also, having a friend with me was clutch -- I needed the encouragement and the gentle prodding to get me through all 12 repeats.

The bad: It was truly a struggle, especially toward the end, and two of those repeats were over range (#5 at 8:54 and #11 at 8:44). I ranged from 8:29 to 8:54, and I would have liked to see more consistency/progressively getting faster.

I planned to meet a friend who was going to do a 1-mile warmup. I got there before him and started running. I stopped after a half-mile to wait. He ended up being later than expected, so I ended up finishing up my warmup and starting my repeats. I think I had just finished #3 when he started running with me.

I feel like I cheated on my workout because I stopped a few times during the recoveries for water. I probably spent about 5 minutes on stops. I also walked a little on the recoveries of the last two or three repeats. I almost didn't complete the cooldown, but I did -- and I'm glad. My legs were DEAD after the repeats, but they felt better after another 1.5 miles. (Need to remember that when I want to cut the cooldown short.)

I would say I ran the warmup a little too quickly (10:15ish pace), but the cooldown was around a 10:45ish pace, so perhaps I could have done a little better on the repeats after all?

I was really intimidated by this workout. 12 repeats seemed like a lot, but I was still hoping to speed up for the final ones. That didn't happen. However, I always struggle with pacing, and these workouts will help with that. I wasn't sure what that pace even felt like.

I'm both looking forward to next week's workout -- 8x600s at the same paces -- but I'm a little concerned. I struggled to stay in range for 400, but there are fewer repeats. I should be able to do it.

But before that, I have a race to do on Saturday: the Thirsty Dog 8k.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Upcoming Week

Here's the schedule for this week:

  • Monday: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Tuesday: 12x400s (8:21 to 8:42 pace) with 400 recovery and 1.5-mile warmup/cooldown
  • Wednesday: 3 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Thursday: 4 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: Thirsty Dog 8k with 1-mile warmup/cooldown
  • Sunday: 6 miles, easy (10:10 to 11:52)

It all looks pretty doable and will get me over 30 miles for first time in a while (since the first week of May/last week of April actually).


  • Tuesday's speed workout is kind of intimidating, especially with my troublesome calf, but all I can do it just do it. I'll start them with the slower pace and hopefully finish them a little faster. I'm also not sure about 1.5 miles before and after. I might cut it to 1 so the workout will be 8 miles instead of 9.
  • I will also likely swap Wednesday and Thursday so I can do a little more mileage with the group.
  • For Saturday, I found someone who also wants to do a warmup and cooldown, so that works out. I don't really have a goal for the race, but I will be disappointed if I can average under 9 (just under 9, I'm guessing!).
  • I'm also guessing Sunday's 6 miles will be a slug fest. We're going to Pittsburgh Saturday night, so I'll likely run Sunday when I get home. Maybe I can talk Aaron into some trails. 

Weekly Recap: Week 1 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

Last week was officially the first week of training for Columbus! The Hansons Half-Marathon Method usually starts on Thursday and the standard rest day is Wednesday. I'm swapping Wednesday and Friday so Friday will be my rest days. I ended up with just over 20 miles, which will be the lowest mileage for quite some time! (And it's also the lowest mileage I've had in a while.)

A recap of Hanson's is that you run six days a week, and the cumulative fatigue of running so much will help you achieve your goals. Because you run six days a week, it's important to do your easy run EASY. The past two weeks I've been working on that because I tend to run easy -- especially with other people -- at a 10-minute pace, so I need to slow it down. I've been very vocal so my friends should be WELL-AWARE that I'm slowing it down unless I'm doing a race or speedwork.

Monday: off (last Monday off for a while, I hope)

Tuesday: 3 miles, 31:30/10:29 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6, 80 degrees & 58% humidity
Target pace: 10:10 to 11:52
Aaron and I ran 3 easy miles at Sand Run. According to my official schedule, this was supposed to be a rest day, but I don't really think an easy 3-miler is a problem. I would like to say that I was practicing pacing, but I didn't really feel like running any faster.

Wednesday: 4 miles, 9:57 pace, Saucony Zealots, 70 degrees & 78% humidity
Target: 3 miles, 10:10 to 11:52
It was the Fleet Feet pub run, so I swapped Wednesday and Thursday's runs. It was a bit of a struggle to keep the pace slower, but I'm happy with 10 minutes or so.

Thursday: 3 miles, treadmill, 10:47 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6 
Target: 4 miles, 10:10 to 11:52
Just a short 3-miler on the treadmill before beer school at The Rail. BTW, Homestead Brewing has some really nice offerings, so if you see them, try something!

I did go back to the sports chiro on Thursday morning for some more Graston and other treatment on the calf. It is progressing, and it feels pretty good when I'm wearing compression sleeves or socks. 

Friday: rest (this will be my standard rest day)

Saturday: 6.35 miles, 10:53 pace, Saucony Zealots, 64 degrees & rainy
Target: 6 miles, 10:10 to 11:52
Aaron and I met a friend in Kent for a run around campus and on the bike & hike there. It was a great run. I didn't have any calf pain, and we kept the pace right where I wanted to be. Then we headed to Bandcamp!

Sunday: 4 miles, 12:25 pace (w/ walking), Saucony Kinvara 5 (new ones!)
Target: 4 miles, 10:10 to 11:52
I finished up the week with 4 miles on the treadmill. I didn't feel great (the week's activities caught up to me), but I think I would have been better outside. (It was raining.)

Coming up: The first full week of training comes with speedwork! I'm a little nervous about my first workout, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself. I also have an 8k race on Saturday, so that should be a good indicator of how fast I can run right now. I should probably find a shorter race to do later in the summer where I can (hopefully!) see some improvement. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Weekly Recap

The last week of base training is done! I ended up with 26 miles and a decent amount of body work. My right calf has been a little problematic (more on that later), so I've been babying it to some extent. Hopefully it'll feel much better before I delve into speedwork.

Monday: 3 miles (run/walk on tm), Saucony Kinvara 6 + strength
I went to the gym! The weather was questionable and my calves were still hurting from Saturday's trail run, so a run/walk on the treadmill was what I needed. The calves felt better afterward. I did a little core and upper-body work to finish the night.

Tuesday: 5 miles (9:45 pace), Saucony Zealots
I met some friends for an easy 5-miler on the bike & hike. Calves were still (!) tender, but it's nice and flat. It was a little warm, but I felt pretty good.

Wednesday: 4 miles (10:20 pace), Saucony Kinvara 6
The group met on the towpath for a hot & humid 4 miles. I practiced my easy run pacing, and given the temps, I didn't have any trouble with the 10:20 pace. No desire to run faster.

Thursday: 3 miles, Saucony Zealots
For the past couple of weeks, my right calf has been a little ... twitchy? Hard to describe, but because I'm heading into a pretty aggressive half-marathon plan, I wanted to get it checked out. I'm a little afraid of a stress fracture after a friend described his and it was similar to what I'm feeling. The doc doesn't think it's a stress fracture, but he wants me to stay off hard surfaces (pavement). After Graston, I met a friend for an easy 3-miler on the Towpath, and it was another successful pacing exercise!

Friday: off

Saturday: 6 slow miles, Sand Run, Saucony Zealots
We were supposed to meet the group Saturday morning, but storms caused everyone to bail. We reset the alarm and went back to sleep. (It was glorious.) After a lazy morning, we finally headed over to Sand Run. It was 80 degrees with 75% humidity, so the miles were SLOW. (The pace was where I should be -- 10:40 or 10:50, I think -- but it should have felt easier.) I wore compression socks, and I didn't really notice anything in my calf. Afterward, I did the Myrtl routine, abs and stretching.

Sunday: 5 miles, Saucony Kinvara 6
I wore calf sleeves for this run as well. It was even more humid, but we started earlier so at least it was cooler. I felt better, and my calf didn't give me any trouble. This run was under a 10-minute pace and felt a lot easier than Saturday's 6-miler. So funny how that works.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Weekly Recap

Training for Columbus starts next Monday, so I'm just chugging along these last two weeks. My right leg is a little troublesome, so hopefully that will improve over the next week as well.

I did sign up with Hansons Coaching for some additional help for my training program. I've traded emails with my coach, and I have my plan (which is similar to the one I would have followed in the book). I'm hoping that a little financial investment will help keep me motivated. Plus, I just need some help with setting paces, especially in the beginning.

My coach said to stick with 25 miles this week and next -- nailed it! I had 25.75 miles this week, and I did the Myrtl routine most days (although I skipped Friday, Saturday and Sunday).

Monday: 3 miles, 29:54, Saucony Zealots
I really needed about 5 miles, but I had things to do after work. I ran around my neighborhood at a pretty even pace even with the hills, so that's encouraging. Never felt great and certainly didn't feel like running more either. Followed up with the Myrtl routine.

Tuesday: 6 miles, 59:28, Saucony Triumphs
I didn't have a plan for this, just took it easy. The guys ran 5 (I got there early and killed time by running a mile beforehand), and they kept it closer to 9 after the first mile, so I didn't try to keep up. I felt a little sluggish.

Wednesday: 6 miles, 1:06, trails, Saucony Peregrines
About 3.5 of this was on trails, the rest was running to and from the park. There was a Summit Metroparks Spree run at the park in our neighborhood so we did instead of our usual group run. This group run was a loop of a pretty short trail. We ran the first loop solo and the second loop with another friend. Good run. Felt really, really good on the first loop actually (was fast for me). The run home was a struggle.

Thursday: 3.5 miles, 37 minutes, Saucony Triumphs
I would like to say I was practicing running at my easy and recovery paces, but I didn't really feel like I could go much faster. I was solo, so maybe if I'd been in a group, I would have gone faster, hard to say. My calves were pretty sore, and it took a while to loosen up. I stopped a couple of times to stretch them.

Friday: off (working & traveling to WV)

Saturday: 7.25 miles, 1:44, trails, Saucony Peregrines
Calling this a run feels like a stretch. We were at Blackwater Falls, and there are tons of trails (20 miles' worth). They're small, though, and the map wasn't that easy to follow, so it was tricky to put together a good run. But we did it! It was a really great day, actually. The park is about an hour from my parents' house, so we drove there with the Jeep's top back. The temps were good, it was slightly overcast in the morning and we never got rained on.

Sunday: off
Honestly, I had wanted to run, but when I woke up, my calves were KILLING me. Given that, the fact that we were short on time and my coach said 25 miles/week this week and next, skipping any run made sense.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Hansons Half-Marathon Method

In less than two weeks I will start my first structured training program in the hopes of having a big PR at the Columbus Half-Marathon in October. Clearly I've sort of followed other programs, but I've never really hit most of the workouts (or any, really). Last summer, I loosely followed a marathon program, but I was just given weekly mileage and long run mileage; everything else, I winged.

So this spring, I read the Hansons Marathon Method book that I borrowed from a friend. A marathon isn't in my future, but I am very interested in the theory behind the method. "Cumulative fatigue" makes a lot of sense to me, and I tend to feel better when I'm running more often. (I used to say I was good with higher mileage, but that "higher mileage" was just in comparison to my friends and wasn't truly higher mileage.)

After reading the marathon book, I ordered the Hansons Half -Marathon Method for myself. While much of the info is the same or similar, the book is definitely more targeted toward the half with different plans, workouts and paces. And the method is daunting. I'm not super-worried about the mileage (although the book doesn't advocate for splitting mileage, and I've often done that to hit weekly mileage goals -- which I think was a problem during last summer's marathon training), I'm worried about the speed and strength workouts. These are things I've never done before, at least not with any regularity or true structure.

I'm going to do my best to chronicle my experience with the Hansons Half-Marathon Method because my internet research is mostly turning up reviews of the book itself. To get a baseline for me: I ran my first half-marathon in 2011 in 2:18 and did another one a month later at 2:14. Since then, I've run more than I can count, but haven't gone under 2 hours. In fact, I hit 2:03 three times last year (once as part of an 18-mile run), so it's not an unrealistic goal.

However in 2015, I have not been running that much (averaging 27 miles/week -- I checked!), and I certainly haven't been running quickly. Between coaching the training group, the terrible winter and general apathy, I've been doing lots of easy runs. I ran the Athens half at 2:07, and I was fine with that because I treated it like a long run and negative-split the race.

Speed paces are based off 5k and 10k times, and strength/tempo paces are based off your half-marathon goal. There are tables to help you determine where to start if you haven't done a 5k or 10k recently. The strength ones are a little trickier, but there are tables to help you as well. The tables include 1:55 and 2:02 goals, so I'm going to start there and see what happens.

I don't have much else to say yet since I haven't started training. I will finish up the book before training starts on 06/15 (well, actually, that's Monday; their plans start on Thursday of the first week for some reason). I will also be altering the plan to account for long runs on Saturday and not being off on Wednesdays.

More to come!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekly Recap

I'm in base-building, I suppose, for the Columbus half-marathon. I will be following a slightly modified version of the Hansons Half Marathon plan, but I'll talk more about that later. But since I'm base-building, I probably shouldn't be doing speedwork. Ehhhhh, I think I'll still mix in a little. It'll help me figure out where I am for training. Unless it's hot; then speedwork is OUT. Of course, once I start "training," I'll have to push through.

Overall, not a terrible week, but I would have preferred five days running and at least one gym visit. I also slacked on the Myrtl routine. Two weeks until training officially starts, so I better finish out my base strongly. Next week, at least five days running for 30 miles, Myrtls everyday I run and at least one strength session!

Monday: off
I had hoped to do a short run, but we were in Columbus and didn't get home until after 8pm. So two rest days in a row, it is.

Tuesday: 5 miles, 50 minutes, Saucony Kinvara 5
Originally I had intended to do speedwork (800s), but it was really hot and humid out. I'm not used to the heat (yet), so I nixed it. Legs felt dead. Plus, I just read an article about the dangers of speedwork during base-building, so... Just an easy run worked.

Wednesday: 5.1 miles, 52:30 minutes, Saucony Zealots
This was supposed to be an easy run -- and god knows the pace indicates that -- but I didn't feel very well. It was warm again, but not as bad as Tuesday. There were a ton of gnats and tree stuff (pods? pollen? fluff?) in the air, so there was a ton of coughing. No real reason for a crappy run.

Thursday: 4 miles, 60 minutes, Saucony Kinvara 5
I met a friend after work who's just getting back into it, so we ran/walked for an hour and covered about 4 miles. We ran at Sand Run and avoided both bikers and bugs. Followed up by dinner and a beer at Ray's, this was a perfectly lovely Thursday evening. (I am feeling like the Kinvara 5s are dead. I really wish they lasted longer for me. Maybe I'm too heavy for such lightweight shoes?)

Friday: off

Saturday: 10.25 miles with 6 on trails, Saucony Peregrines 
I decided my long run should include trails. Why? Who knows. This week's runs largely sucked so why not make Saturday's harder? I mostly enjoyed it, although when I hit 10.25, I stopped and walked to Aaron's Jeep. Anyhow, we started at Station Road. I ran the towpath to Redlock where I hopped on the Buckeye Trail over to Boston Store. Then I ran the last 2 miles on the towpath back to Redlock where Aaron met me. (He ran 9 on the towpath.)

Sunday: off
Kind of an unintentional day off, but lounging in bed and then getting lunch seemed better. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weekly Recap

Back to the grind! Sorta. 24.5 miles, speedwork, trails and even a little strength. Success!

Monday: off
I could have done something, but I didn't.

Tuesday: speedwork, 6 miles, 59 minutes, Saucony Kinvara 5
Quarter-mile repeats, which I already talked about in depth. I will call the workout encouraging. I nearly hit my goal -- 2-minute quarter-mile repeats -- so we'll call it a win. I warmed up for 2 miles and then dove into the repeats. After six of them, I cooled down for a mile. Side note: At nearly 200 miles, I'm starting to think these shoes are losing their spring. A lot of those miles -- including last fall's marathon -- are road miles (not Towpath miles), so that's probably not helping. I won't do more than 6 in them.

Wednesday: pub run, 5 miles, Newton Fate
Ah, the monthly pub run (with demos from Oakley and Newton, hence me running in the Fates). We had a nice group running together so I was able to talk with several people. The route is less than 4, many of us went 5 and a few went 6 (and those 6 were part of 10 -- on a Wednesday night!). It was nice. I forgot to Myrtl it up when I got home.

Thursday: trail run, 3 miles at Goodyear Heights Metropark, Saucony Peregrines
We had beer school at 7:30, so I didn't have much time. I drove toward home and got in 3 miles. I wasn't fast (of course), but the parcours is runnable. Ideally I would start to watch my time on that out-and-back drop. I was pretty tired (to be expected after Sunday's race, only one day off, etc.), but I felt okay. Again, I forgot to Myrtl it up due to being crunched for time.

Friday: 2.5 treadmill miles + strength-training at the gym, Saucony Kinvara 5
Nothing too interesting to talk about, but I got in a few miles

Saturday: 8 miles (6 trails, 2 towpath), Saucony Peregrines
I met up Saturday morning for some new trail exploring in the CVNP. We hit the Buckeye Trail south of Redlock and took that over to Boston Store. It was a nice loop, although I might go the other way next time so that I can warm up on the towpath.

Sunday: off
We left early for a friend's party in Columbus, so there was no time (read: I didn't make time) to run beforehand.

This week, I'm hoping for a similar mix-up with closer to 30 miles. No real plans yet, so we'll see. I've already started off by missing Monday (travel and getting home later than expected; plus I was tired after Sunday's party so maybe it's better that I missed), so I'm already behind!