Sunday, October 04, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 16 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

With three weeks to go, this is kind of a peak week (although it's similar to the last peak week that kicked my ass; at least I don't have to do speedwork, just the pace run this time). I'm trying to focus on rest and recovery as best I can.

I ended up with roughly 49 miles (50 scheduled) and a few of those were walks. I had about 45 running miles. Whatever - my goal was to hit my pace run and my long run, and I accomplished both of those. Thrilled with that. 

Monday: 8 miles, 10:34 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 5 miles, easy
Nice and easy. Plus, a little longer since I knew I wasn't do the SOS workout this week.

Tuesday: 3.6 TM miles before work, 11:40 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 10 miles with 4x1.5
I had after-work plans (dog running orientation!), so I wanted to get in what I could beforehand. It was raining and there was a recent sexual assault in my neighborhood (that happened at 6:45 am), so I just hopped on the treadmill for an episode of Buffy. I had hoped to get in a couple of miles after work with a dog at the shelter, but orientation went too long. Soon though!

Wednesday: 10 miles with 7 at 8:48 pace, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 5 miles, easy
FINALLY. I had a good pace run. The rest and the temps combined, and I was able to run pretty well. My slowest mile was 9:00 flat, and I didn't feel like I was dying. I took a gel about halfway through. In fact, my overall pace was 9:15 or so, my warmup and cooldown miles were quicker than usual, and I could have kept up the pace longer. This was a confidence-building run that was desperately needed.

Thursday: 1.4-mile walk at lunch, 2.25-mile run after work
Target: 10 miles with 7 at HM pace
Apparently I don't follow my training plan anymore. This should have been a 5-mile easy run, but when you're running dogs, you do what you can. We just started volunteering at a local pet rescue, and it's so fun. Expect more dogs!

Friday: 2.5-mile walk, Saucony Triumph
I wanted to run 3-4 miles before work, but I was so tired. It's more important for me this week to hit the key workouts rather than the specified mileage.

Saturday: 15 miles, 10:22 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 14 miles, long
The weather was atrocious (low 40s, rain), but the run went well. I met a couple of friends for two miles before meeting the group (which wasn't there - lots of bailing due to the weather). Then I ran 13. I added a mile to up my overall mileage for the week. Negative splits (first 7 at 10:44, last 8 at 10:04), and I felt decent. Gels at 5 and 10. I had a Clif Recovery drink waiting in the car, so I drank that on the way home.

Sunday: 6 miles, 10:15 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 6 miles, easy 
The weather was much better for Sunday's run. 6 easy miles felt pretty good.

Upcoming week:
Officially in the home stretch. Scheduled mileage is 44, but I might take it a little lower than that. Plus, there will be a dog-running day in there, so that will affect my mileage. On Saturday, I have a 4.4-mile trail race, so I might do a few miles beforehand for my long run. Alternatively I may run 8 on Sunday.

  • Monday: 6x1M repeats 
  • Tuesday: 7 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: 8 miles with 5 at HM pace
  • Thursday: 6 miles, easy
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 8 miles, easy
  • Sunday: 5 miles, easy

Friday, October 02, 2015

Be Fearless

I am so happy to announced that I am a 261 Fearless ambassador. Don't know what that is? Well, to start 261 is the bib number that Kathrine Switzer wore during the 1967 Boston Marathon. If you don't know the story behind that historic moment, read up on it. The gist is that Kathrine was the first woman to run Boston with a bib. She registered under K. Switzer. The race director tried to forcibly remove her from the course, but with a little help, she remained on course, with her bib, and she finished the race successfully. She started something amazing.

Source: 261 Fearless
Ultimately Kathrine completed 39 marathons, won the NYC Marathon in 1974 and ran her personal best (2:51:33) in 1975 on that same course that started it all: Boston.
Women from around the world have been wearing the number 261 on their outfits, bibs and body because it makes them feel Fearless in the face of adversity, whether it is a tough marathon, a difficult business presentation, or coping with the many challenges of life.
Kathrine created 261 Fearless to create a global network for women to connect, support and inspire one another through running. I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Less than three weeks to go...

With less than three weeks to go, I'm starting to really think about the race. I'm trying to rest and recover -- more sleep, less beer, etc.

I also need to figure out what shoes I'm wearing. Outfit is too hard to think about since the weather is so unpredictable. I'm thinking it'll be shorts, compression socks, tank and arm sleeves. We'll see!

Shoes, however, are iffier. My Kinvaras (both pairs) are well-worn. If I'm going to get new shoes, I need to do it NOW. I suspect I should just find an old pair of Kinvara 5s, but they're still going for nearly MSRP in my size. I will probably end up wearing the 5s -- and it will likely be their swan song.

I spend too much time thinking about such things.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 15 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

This week turned into a recovery week, and that's probably okay. I think I was supposed to run 48 miles, and I ended up with 44.5 or so (notice all of those missed targets!). This was my week to reset. I felt really, really tired and beat up.

Monday: 8 miles, easy (10:50 pace), Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 10 miles with 3x2M at 10k pace
I went into this run knowing that I might not be ready to do the workout. After the warmup -- where my both of my calves were hurting -- I tried the first repeat. I went about a quarter-mile and then killed the workout. I figured I could try again on Tuesday. Otherwise, the weather was great and my calves eventually loosened up. But man, the body is hurting right now.

Tuesday: 8 miles with 2-miles at 8:43, .5 mile at 8:46, 1 mile at 8:56, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 7 miles, easy
I suspected that the speedwork wouldn't go well, so I don't know if it was a self-fulfilling prophesy or if I was really tired. I started the second repeat and just felt like I couldn't do it -- so I quit. I figured I would run easy and then do a pace mile and then call it. No more speedwork this week. I need to take it easy.

Wednesday: 8 miles, 10:34 pace, Saucony Zealot (pink)
Target: 10 miles with 7 at HM pace
After Monday and Tuesday, I decided that I would just run easy Wednesday and Thursday and try to run Saturday's run at pace. My Hansons coach told me to just run easy until Oct. 1 when we'll return to workouts, so I guess Saturday's run will just be at my typical long run pace. I should end up close on my prescribed distance. For Wednesday's run, I hit the Bike & Hike and some of the neighborhoods. Apparently there must be a rule that you are required to buy a house WAY TOO BIG for you and your family.

Thursday: 5 miles, 13:00 pace, Saucony Zealot (blue)
Target: 6 miles, easy
For my fourth solo run of the week, I ended up running from home because I couldn't bear to run near work again. I thought I'd do 8 and then just decided to do whatever. I ran the long way to the park, 3 miles on trails and then home. I walked a lot.

Friday: rest
Target: rest

Saturday: 10.35 miles, 10:03 pace (negative splits/progression run), Saucony Zealot (pink)
Target: 10 miles, long
We were in Columbus for our scooter club's annual rally, so I didn't get much sleep Friday night. Regardless, Aaron and I were up and out the door before 8 for a run. We took the long way to the Olentangy trail. I ran about 5.5 with Aaron and then the last bit solo. I felt pretty decent (for the first time in forever) and finished strong with the last mile under 9.

Sunday: 5 miles, 11:50 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 5 miles, easy
I definitely was tired yesterday evening when I went out to get in this run. Again, I ran locally with about 3 miles on trails. I felt okay, just tired (better than last Thursday). 

Upcoming week: 
Peak week (which is actually kind of repeating the week before last) is upon us! Below is the schedule, but Coach Katie says no workouts until Oct. 1 (although I might switch Wednesday and Thursday).

  • Monday: 5 miles, easy
  • Tuesday: 10 miles with 4x1.5
  • Wednesday: 5 miles, easy
  • Thursday: 10 miles with 7 at HM pace
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 14 miles, long
  • Sunday: 6 miles, easy 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Is this legitimate?

Oh, things are getting hard.

After last Saturday's long run, I felt so, so beat. I spent Saturday taking care of myself and felt a little better on Sunday's recovery run. Monday's run wasn't much better and included an (anticipated) abandoned speed workout. Tuesday, my body felt MUCH better so I attempted the workout again. And totally abandoned it after starting the second two-mile set. I felt SPENT. I ran easy for another mile, did a final "fast" mile and then cooled down for 1.5 miles.

I've decided to just run easy tonight and tomorrow and then for Saturday's 10-miler, do the pace run. We'll be in Columbus for the weekend -- scooter rally! -- so that might be a bit challenging.

I just need to figure out if I'm being a wuss (possibly), if I'm just tired (definitely) or if I'm overtraining (possibly). I feel like I'm falling apart, and it's so close to the race. And I feel RIDICULOUS stressing about this. IT DOESN'T MATTER.

I'm so close to the end, just need to get through the next 3.5 weeks and then I can take a break. Just a few more hard workouts...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 14 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

This was the hardest week so far. Nearly 51 miles. I am generally tired, and my legs are fatigued (and sometimes actually sore). Just a few more weeks...

I really hope I hold up.

Monday: 5 miles, 10:22 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 5, easy
I mentioned earlier that I was sick of out-and-back routes, but sometimes I just can't figure out where else to run. I don't like running in my neighborhood, so I just hit the Bike & Hike near work. Not much to say about the run. I felt okay and had negative splits (starting 10:40, ending with 9:47). My legs are starting to feel like they're breaking down. I've been reading how ice inhibits your body's ability to adapt to the stress of training, but ice baths are starting to sound like a good idea.

Tuesday: 10 miles with two sets of 3 miles at 8:50 and 9:17, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 10 miles with 2x3M repeats at 8:45
Well, that was disappointing. I don't exactly know why I failed, but I did. Previously I decided 8:50 for the first set and 8:45 for the second. I ran with a friend, and that helped. I struggled to hit the first set and then couldn't even maintain half-marathon goal pace for the second, which is VERY discouraging. I'm not going to stress about it because I knew this would be a tough workout. I probably got in my head a bit. Honestly, this week's pace run is WAY more important.

Wednesday: 5 miles, 10:00 pace, demo Mizuno Sayanaro 3
Target: 5, easy
The 10-minute pace is a little misleading as this was during the monthly pub run, and there was a lot of stop-and-go. I am really starting to enjoy the easy miles. I demo'd a pair of Sayanaros, and I wasn't a fan. The shoe was kind of hot, I didn't like the fit and it was like there was too much heel and not enough forefoot cushioning. I'm still vaguely interested in the 2, but there's no point in that.

Thursday: 10 miles with 7 at 9:11, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 10 miles with 7 at 9:09
I don't even care that I was off-pace! I've had three 6-mile pace runs, and I've hit exactly one of 'em, so to do 7 close to pace is a win. I had plans to meet a friend for part of his run, and he met up with me on the last half-mile of my pace miles (and I was struggling and way off pace). Of the 7 miles, two were off-pace -- 9:19 and 9:21 -- so pretty bad, but I'm not going to let it get me down. After work, 80+ degrees and sleepy... And dare I say I'm looking forward to trying again?

Friday: rest
I was looking forward to this day all week.

Saturday: 14.1 miles, 11:05 pace, Saucony Zealot (pink)
Target: 14 miles
My legs are just BEAT. My first 4 miles were solo and rough. I met up with the group and I only had to run about a mile solo. THANK GOD. This was a struggle, although the last 5 miles were at least under 11-minute pace at least. I had a Clif recovery drink (made with coffee and almond milk) waiting in the car, and then I took a sorta-ice bath when I got home (cold water and one sad single tray of ice) and then spent time stretching, rolling and Myrtl-ing.

Sunday: 6.75 miles, 11:07 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 6 miles, easy
Accidentally went long while trying a new route from the house. The ankle pain I've been having on-and-off is back, so I iced afterward with the Polar Cube (and also later in my normal way).

Upcoming week:
  • Monday: 10 miles with 3x2M at 10k pace
  • Tuesday: 7 miles, easy
  • Wednesday: 10 miles with 7 at HM pace
  • Thursday: 6 miles, easy
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 10 miles, long
  • Sunday: 5 miles, easy

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Introducing Big Gray

I mentioned Big Gray in passing last week, but she deserves her own post.

We have fed the neighborhood cats off-and-on since we've lived in Akron. I've always hoped one of them would work out (remember Stacy?). In late spring/early summer, we had two regulars: Elena, a small black momma cat, and Big Gray, a larger, kind of mangy female. Elena was the early favorite, but then she got strangely skittish and then disappeared. I don't like to think about what happened to her, but she was very sweet so there's that naive hope that someone else (maybe where her kittens were?) took her in.

First photo of Big Gray

Big Gray, however, became very punctual. If we slept in or were out of town, we felt guilty. She started hanging out in our yard when we weren't there, after eating, she sought attention -- she was becoming ours.

Eventually we went to a TNR Clinic at One of a Kind Pets and found out that they have a feral cat package where you can bring in a trapped cat, get them fixed and vaccinated and then release them. Because she wasn't really ours and we weren't sure what would happen, we went that route. Two weeks ago, before work, we trapped her and took her in.

I picked her up the next day and set her up in the spare room to heal. She was super-sweet and used the litterbox. She's not living outside ever again! Last week, I took her to my vet for a checkup and bloodwork, and it's all good. (I was really expecting an infection or kidney disease or something, so the call that the bloodwork was good was surprising.)

The only thing is that her teeth are terrible. I have a dental scheduled for early October (wanted to give her time to recovery fully from the spay), and the vet anticipates pulling 5 to 7 teeth. We can tell that her mouth bothers her, and we're hoping that she'll be in a better mood after that.

The vet said it's hard to tell her age because her teeth are so bad, but she's probably around 6 years old (same-ish age as Duncan). She is mostly sleeping with us and ignoring Duncan. Sometimes we have to bribe her downstairs with treats (she LOVES 'em), but then she hangs out with us.

Duncan just loves her, though. Honestly, he's kind of a creeper. He likes to be near her, and he watches her a lot. I don't know if she'll ever really play with him -- he's definitely a rough-houser -- but I think their relationship will improve. When I left for work this morning, he was chasing her. (On the plus side, she's moving very well. Lots more running and jumping than two weeks ago.) I'm trying to let them work out their relationship. She can handle herself.

During the day, it's a lot of this where he's nearby:


And I woke up in the middle of the night to find this:

I'm guessing she didn't realize he was there. Look how his butt is kind of hanging off the bed! When she's in our bed, Duncan sleeps in the hallway and just watches the bedroom. Hopefully he'll rejoin us soon.

All in all, I'm super-happy with our new addition. Dunks may still need a kitten, but I think Gray is going to fit in just fine.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Weekly Recap: Week 13 of Half-Marathon Training with Hansons

I was supposed to be out of town Wednesday afternoon through Sunday, but the addition of Big Gray to the household has changed things. I'm pretty bummed, and I was definitely looking forward to running 10 miles in Chicago on Saturday morning.

I ended up with 47 miles, but I just don't feel great about this week. Struggling so much on Thursday's run overshadows Tuesday's relatively successful workout, I guess. One thing I'm noticing is how sick I am of out-and-back runs. I do a lot of runs on the Towpath and the Bike & Hike, especially workouts because I'm looking for some flatter territory, but man, I'm tiring of them.

Monday: 7 miles, 10:46 pace, Saucony Zealot (pink)
Target: 7 miles, easy
I ran with a friend for 5.5 easy miles and then finished up solo. I felt okay, if maybe a bit sluggish. I considered doing Tuesday's workout, but I was tired and no one else wanted to run that long.

Tuesday: 10 miles with 3 2M repeats averaging 8:36, Saucony Kinvara 5
Target: 10 miles with 3x2M at 10k pace with 800m jog rest
It was in the 90s again, so I planned to do the workout on the treadmill even though 10 miles on the treadmill is awful (plus, I think I'm more conservative when I run on the treadmill). I did the first two repeats without issue, but the possessed treadmill reappeared for the third repeat. Ultimately I went outside for the third repeat and the cooldown. Running fast in the neighborhood is such a pain. I'm pleased with this workout even with the issues. Post-run, I had some pain in my left inner upper ankle (is that a thing?). I iced.

Wednesday: 6 miles, 10:40 pace, Saucony Zealot (blue)
Target: 6 miles, easy
Not much to say about the weekly group run. Ran with a couple of guys, took it nice and easy. Toward the end of the run, I felt the same pain as Tuesday.

Thursday: 8 miles with 5 at 9:07 pace, Saucony Kinvara 6
Target: 9 miles with 6 at HM pace
I was supposed to meet a friend for this run, but he got caught in traffic. I struggled so much through the first 2.5 pace miles that I decided 5 pace miles was good enough. (It wasn't. I should have pushed through.) Because this run wasn't great, I'll be revamping Saturday's run. I wore a compression sock on my right foot, and I didn't have any pain. On the plus side, the first three miles were at a 9:09 average and the last two were at a 9:04.

Friday: rest

Saturday: 11 miles, 10:23 pace, Newton Fate
Target: 10 miles, easy
I added a mile to make up for Thursday, but that's the only thing I really did here, aside from trying out the Fates for a longer run. I had Aaron drop me off further down the Bike & Hike and then met up with him. There were thoughts of a progression run, but that didn't happen. I ran 4 solo, 6 with Aaron and then my last mile solo. I managed to drop the pace to 9:14 for the last mile at least.

Sunday: 5 miles, 10:13 pace, Saucony Triumph
Target: 5 miles, easy
Nothing to speak of here except that I had a lovely negative split. First mile was 11 and the last mile was 9:18. It was pretty chilly, so it took me awhile to warm up. I pulled out the Triumphs, and I'm still not sure about them. They have roughly 25 miles on them.

Upcoming Week (50 miles!):
Looks a little daunting. I made plans to do Tuesday's workout with a friend, so hopefully I can just follow her and get it done. Wednesday is a pub run, so that should be fun. I'm trying not to think too much about Thursday's pace run, but I do need to figure out where I should do that run.
  • Monday: 5, easy
  • Tuesday: 10 miles with 2x3M repeats at 8:45
  • Wednesday: 5, easy
  • Thursday: 10 miles with 7 at 9:09
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 14 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles, easy

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

What I'm Wearing Now - Shoe Edition

I have a pretty decent shoe rotation. Between working at a running store, being a shoe geek and being a Saucony Zealot, I have accumulated lots of shoes. Here's what I'm wearing now:

Speed Shoes:
The Kinvaras get most of the speedy mileage.
  • Saucony Kinvara 5, 88 miles - my favorite shoe of last year, and this is my last pair of this model. They're nearing the end of their life, which is sad. I use them for speedwork and races mostly. I ran Parkersburg in them, and I ran last weekend's 14-miler in them. I may go back to using them for long runs again. 
  • Saucony Kinvara 6, 153 miles - the update fits more snugly, so I don't like them as much. I wear them for speedwork, and actually I've been wearing them more than the 5s for some reason. I ran Athens in them. (Given how I liked the 5s for a recent long run, I may try these for next weekend's 10-miler.)
  • Newton Distance III, 65 miles - I really like these shoes, but they're a size 8 and just a touch small. As long as there's no downhills, they're fine. They're very comfortable and lightweight, and I'm tempted to get the updated version (or buy the IIIs online at a discount). Because my speed workouts are getting so long, I am hesitant to wear them too much (but I did wear them for 9 miles recently).
The Zealots get most of the easy mileage.
  • Saucony Zealot, 2 pairs (218 on blue and 102 on pink) - I've had the blue ones since spring, so they have a decent amount of miles on them. I've transitioned this pair to shorter easy runs.  I picked up the pink Zealots to use for long runs. This helps me avoid wearing the same pair of shoes two days in a row. They're more cushioned than the Kinvara, but still have a 4mm drop, which works well for me, but I don't feel as snappy with them (what does that mean?!). 
  • Newton Fate, 66 miles - I don't adore these shoes, but they're good for easy runs. Because I'm running so much, I've added the Fate in because it's comfortable and doesn't bother me. 
For the Kinvaras, I typically get 200-250 miles. I still have a pair of coral 5s that are technically in the rotation, but they're around 200 and feel pretty dead. They're good gym shoes. My guess for the Zealots is that I'll get around 300-400 (likely on the lower end of that range). 

But I'm hard on shoes, your mileage may vary (haha). For my Brooks PureFlows, I got around 200 miles, and I know others who could get 500. It's all based on your running efficiency, size, terrain, etc. I'm not the smallest or most efficient runner, that's for sure. 

Shoes I'm interested in:
The Kinvara is the only definite. 
  • Saucony Kinvara 7 - I'm looking forward to the update next spring. Even though I preferred the 5 over the 6, I still like the 6. They're changing up the foam (adding a special cushioning system that can only be described as similar to Adidas' Boost technology). Ideally the update would be a little more generous in the upper, particularly the midfoot.
  • Newton Distance IV - I heard there is some dissatisfaction with the tongue on the update, but I am curious to see for myself. 
  • Adidas Adios Boost - Speaking of Boost, I am interested in the Adios Boost, but the drop is 10mm and that concerns me. The shoe is so lightweight that it probably wouldn't matter.
  • Brooks PureFlow 4 - I hated the third version, which is when I went to the Kinvara, but I am curious about the updated. I wouldn't mind a demo run. 
  • Saucony Mirage 5 - Before the PureFlows, I ran in the Mirage, but (surprise, surprise) I didn't like the update (that's way back to version 2). I'm interested in the new version because I think a touch of stability might be good for me.
  • New Balance 1400 v3 - Same goes for the New Balance 1400. The new ones look great, but the drop and lack of cushioning is a change for me that I'm not sure I want to deal with.
  • Mizuno Sayonara 2 - I haven't heard great things about 3, but the 2 has its fans. I've heard that the toebox is more narrow in the 3, so the 2 would be the one for me. I've also heard that the 3 seems more like the Wave Rider, and I don't care for the Rider. Truthfully, the wave plate may not be for me, so it's unlikely that I will ever get these even though they're pretty cheap on Amazon.