Monday, July 31, 2017


I enjoyed 5 days back home in Abingdon, getting back to my normal fitness routine.  I did my Monday yoga, my Tuesday speedwork, my Wednesday workout, and a Thursday pace run.  Then I got up at 3:45 AM on Saturday to drive to Roanoke for a short hill challenge race.  After the race I headed to Lewisburg to spend a few days with some very good friends before they move away.  It's hard to be on the road again so soon after returning home from a long trip, but I'm grateful for the time to spend with some of my favorite people!

This week : 
 M : yoga/stretching 20 minutes
run 4.1 / 8:18 / 220 ft
T : run hill sprints 5.5 / 8:39 / 551 ft
W : TRX 3x10 @45/15
R : yoga/stretching 40 minutes 
run w/Corey 8 / 7:27 / 377 ft
(6 hard, avg 7:12)
F : rest day
Sa : warm up + strides 2.6 / 8:13 / 430 ft
race 1.8 / 6:40 / 449 ft
cool down 1.1 / 9:51 / 236 ft
Su : group jog 10 / 12:00 / 584 ft
horseback ride 2 hours
total miles run : 33.2

On Monday, I kept the run easy.  I wore my watch, but I did not allow myself to look at it during the run.  I made myself keep the effort easy the whole way.  

On Tuesday, I decided that my speedwork needed to be hill sprints in order to prepare myself for Saturday's race after not having any hills to run for a few weeks.  None of my group showed up to run club so I ran the workout alone.  5 times up a 0.2 mile hill with 112ft of gain.  The last time I did this exact workout was in April.  I hit each sprint a few seconds faster this time. I used my HR as a guide for each recovery, when I couldn't get my HR back below 130 on the jog back to the bottom, I decided to only do one more.  

On Wednesday, I designed a TRX workout to mainly target my arms, but with some exercises for my legs and abs as well. It was hard, as I just took a couple weeks off from TRX after hurting my back.  I was definitely sore the next day!

On Thursday, I did a nice long yoga stretching video to help with the soreness.  I was feeling overdue for a pace run workout, and Corey was up for whatever I needed as he had done his tempo run the day before.  I knew I definitely wanted 6 miles under 7:30, but wasn't sure what pace was realistic for how slack my training had been + my sore legs.  I ended up just pushing the pace to whatever felt hard but not injury-inducing.  All 6 of the pace miles ended up under 7:30, and the last mile was a 6:49.  It was really helpful to have Corey there keeping me to my pace but staying next to or behind me so that I was the one choosing the pace, rather than getting tired out trying to chase his pace.  He did lead me for the last mile to help me push that one faster.  We talked on and off throughout the whole run, and it was really nice for me to discover that my lungs were able to handle the occasional talking even while running at half marathon race effort.  

I wasn't sure what to expect from Saturday's race with my sore legs.  I didn't want to skip the race, but I didn't want to get injured either.  I did a longer warmup than usual, to make sure my legs were ready and as loose as possible.  When the horn went off, I just took off.  I didn't start at full speed, but gave my legs about a minute to settle into the fast pace up a hill, and then I started really pushing.  I moved into 2nd place overall within a few minutes, and held that position for the rest of the race.  I didn't bother looking at my watch, but just pushed hard.  I found that I was able to keep pushing hard the whole way, and that I just felt strong!  My legs and lungs were working together and carrying me up each hill much easier than I was expecting.  After the race, I decided to look up my time from the previous year, and was astounded to see that I had PRd by 34 seconds over last year.  I wouldn't have thought it was possible to take that much time off of a 1.8 mile distance!  It gave me a great feeling of validation for all the speedwork I have been doing!  It's always nice to know that hard work is paying off with results!  

More uphill than down in this race, but here I am coming off of one of the few downs before heading up the final hill. 

King and Queen of the Hill each got a plaque and a stuffed horse. 
(the race benefits a program called Unbridled Change which uses horses for therapy)

On Sunday, I enjoyed a social jog on the Greenbrier River Trail with some people in Lewisburg.  My legs and feet were staring to bother me towards the end from being held to a slow shuffle pace, but other than that it was fine.  I know it's good for me to do the long slow runs occasionally because it gets me miles without much strain.  

Monday, July 24, 2017

MIchigan Week 2 =>OH =>VA

Trying to bring my mileage back up slowly and wisely.  It helped that I couldn't stand the flatness in Michigan so it was hard to run too long anyway.  Monday's and Tuesday's runs went really well because it felt so good to stretch out my legs, but by Thursday my legs were over it and didn't want to go.  It was nice that I got some good use out of my bike this week though!

This week : 
 M : run 8 / 7:34 / 226 ft
T : run 7.2 / 7:29 /98 ft
W : bike 16 / 18.5 mph / 305 ft 
R : run 5.1 / 7:38 / 194 ft
F : rest
Sa : bike w/Lauren 19.6 / 16.3 mph / 912 ft
kayak 5.1
Su : run 4 / 7:28 / 262 ft
total run miles : 24.3
total bike miles : 35.7

Tuesday's speedwork was timed intervals.  10 minute warm up around 8:00 pace, then 6 x 4 minutes at 6:30 pace / 2 minute jog, then cool-down back to the house.  I used the Kal-Haven trail, which is a flat bike path that is mostly well-packed dirt.  Now that I'm back home, I will still do some track Tuesday's, but I am going to start doing some Tuesday's on the Creeper Trail instead to get longer intervals without having to run so many circles.  I dislike the trail because of it's slight downhill grade going out and uphill coming back, but it's time to learn to deal with it!  I want to start doing some 2 mile intervals, and I'm not going to make myself run that many laps around a track.  I also need to be building more muscle for the flats so that they don't hurt me in races.  

I feel like I am so very overdue for a long run, as I haven't had one since my marathon/half marathon week, but it just hasn't been in the cards.  And I know I can't just go out and force a long run if I want to stay healthy.  Not sure how long it will take to lose all that endurance I built up but hopefully it can hang on for another few weeks!  I'm hoping to stay in marathon shape while working towards my half marathon PR.  

Michigan fun

Ohio fun

back home in VA

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Michigan Week 1 : Ann Arbor

I'm not going to do a full post because I don't have reliable internet and am using my phone. I ran 4 times this week, 3-6 miles each. It wasn't much fun because it is so ridiculously flat here, but other than that my legs felt pretty good. I also did an 18 mile bike ride, the flatness didn't bother me so much for that and I loved the bike lanes and bike paths!

I'm on the last week of my extended road trip, going to enjoy some time with a very good friend before heading home!

Monday, July 10, 2017

RI week 2 :July déjà vu

Last year while in RI around the 4th of July, I strained my back with too much biking and then destroyed it with a track workout. This year, I strained my back doing TRX and then destroyed it with a track workout. I never learn... It was a lot worse this year. My back was strained by bad form in ab exercises, pulled on by tight leg muscles from overdoing the squats and lunges, and then insulted by 10x300 on the track. But hey, despite the pain, I hit between my goal times of 59-61 seconds every time. Perhaps without the pain I could have had them all at 57-59 though... Anyway, my leg muscles got so tight I couldn't straighten my back for a few days. The foam roller was minimally helpful. The heating pad allowed me to straighten for as long as the muscles stayed hot. I ended up not being able to get any exercise other than walking for the rest of the week. I've decided that my body creates problems just to make me take time off since I'm so bad at keeping training easy. Also bad at listening to minor aches and pains. My back had started hurting before the sprints but it wasn't bad enough for me to be able to give them up like I should have.

This week:
M : 30 minute TRX
       run w/ sister 4.2 / 8:47 / 337ft
T : warm up 1 / 8:52 / 91 ft
      10x300 : 61, 59, 60x6, 61, 59 
        recoveries were 100+m walk til HR was below 125
       cool down : 1 / 10:46 / 72 ft
W : 15 min yoga
       1.4 mile walk
R : 1.3 mile walk 
Su : 2.5 mile walk  
total miles runs : 9

Sunday, July 2, 2017

RI week 1

This week : 
M : run  6.1 / 8:09/ 510 ft
(5 w/sister)
T : warm up 1.5 / 8:55 / 95 ft (1 mile + 4x100m strides)
1600 time trial 5:54 (1500 @ 5:26)
cool down 1.5 / 9:08 / 89 ft
W : 30 minute TRX
rowing machine 15:00 / 2750m
R : run 8.4 / 7:52 / 505 ft
F : 40 minute yoga
Sa : group bike 20 / 17.1 / 584 ft
run w/sister 5.7 / 8:46 /354 ft
Su : run 3.5 / 9:09 / 253 ft
total miles run : 27.8
total miles biked : 20

I was super happy with my time trial on Tuesday, when I beat my HS 1500 PR by 10 seconds, plus it was fun to do my time trial on the same track where I started my running career!  

Wednesday's TRX had me sore for 2-3 days afterwards, which is always welcomed after a workout as it lets me know I worked hard!

Thursday's miles didn't feel quite as easy as I wish they had, but they still went well overall, especially considering the strong winds, and it was nice to get in a slightly longer training run. 

The runs with my sister were more about her than me, just trying to stick to a pace she could handle for some longer runs than she's used to and trying to give her tips here and there.  

 Today I made the mistake of barely drinking any water, napping too long, and then attempting to run straight out of the nap.  The result : dead legs and an angry stomach. But hey, any run is better than no run!  

Portions of Monday's and Sunday's runs were on grass, which was no big deal in HS but now feels so much harder than pavement!  So much extra effort required to run on grass.  I'm sure it's good for my legs and feet to work all those extra stabilizer muscles...but I definitely prefer pavement! 

I've drawn up a schedule for this coming week to try and get myself back into training and motivated.  TRX twice, a track workout, a distance pace workout, and hopefully 2 bike rides!  And an easy run or two of course. 

Hooray for being able to sprint faster than my high school self even though I'm much more of an endurance runner!