Jul 28, 2011

Untraditional Tempo

Untraditional tempo is a polite way of saying that I was trying to hold a hard pace for an extended period of time but decided to take a cool down break for a half mile in the middle somewhere.

The original plan for this weeks tempo run included 5 miles; 1 mile warm up, 3 miles @ 7:41 min/mile, and 1 mile cool down. The only way I would have known how to stick to a 7:41 min/mile was if I used a treadmill or went to the track (which still would have been messy).  The area I was planning to run is pretty well covered by trees and my Garmin usually struggles to show real-time pace. Therefore, pacing myself by my watch was not going to be an option besides at mile marks and/or doing insane math mid-mile while trying to push myself running.

So my realistic plan was to warm up for 1 mile and then "push" for up to 1.5 miles (the turn around point for my out and back). "Push" to me meant that I would be giving enough effort that it felt difficult but sustainable. I tried to think in terms of racing. Fast enough to meet my goal but smart enough to be able to finish.

I took a half mile cool down break at the turn around point to catch my breath and reassess. The truth is I've been struggling with a case of 'the grumpys' as I like to call it and I was really looking to kick my ass on this run. Some women like to watch sappy movies to cry and feel better but I like to run until I puke. Works like a charm. So after the half mile to collect myself I put on some serious tunes and got cranking for the next mile (7:07!). It felt amazing.

My warm up and cool down were both faster than I would have normally done but it felt appropriate given the circumstances. I felt very in tune with my pace with this run.

1.0 mi @ 8:33 min/mile warm up
1.0 mi @ 7:44 min/mile
0.5 mi @ 7:22 min/mile
0.5 mi @ 8:50 min/mile
1.0 mi @ 7:07 min/mile
1.0 mi @ 8:34 min/mile cool down

Total: 5 miles in 40:06 with average pace of 8:01 min/mile

Tempo - 2.5 miles @ average pace of 7:24 min/mile

Jul 26, 2011

Week 1 Recap

Week one of my Philadelphia Marathon training went really well. I ended up changing my schedule around thanks to the heat wave that rolled through, so my week went as follows:

Monday   Strength training
Tuesday -  5 miles EZ
Wednesday - 5 miles progressive/speed work, strength training
Thursday - 1hr yoga class
Friday - 5 miles EZ
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - 10 miles

Total: 24 miles

I hit my goals right on the head. Ideally, I would have liked to have spent one of those rest days (Monday or Saturday) cross training but I was really trying to listen to my body this week and it demanded rest.

Week 2 (The Plan):

Monday  Rest 

Tuesday -  4 miles EZ, strength training

Wednesday - 6 miles tempo 

Thursday - XT, strength training

Friday - 4 miles EZ 

Saturday - 12 miles

Sunday - XT, strength training

Total: 26 miles

Jul 20, 2011


I did it. I treadmill'd this morning. Judge me.

Speed work had to be done and it wasn't going to get done (without vomiting/dying/fainting) outdoors today.  It's been a LONG time since I've done a speed workout or any quality run for the matter (aside from the long run), so I'm easing into it.  Here's a run down of how it went :)

1 mile warm up @ 6.5 (9:14min/mile)
0.50 mile @ 7.6 (7:54 min/mile)
0.25 mile @ 6.8 (8:49 min/mile)
0.50 mile @ 7.8 (7:42 min/mile)
0.25 mile @ 6.8 (8:49 min/mile)
0.50 mile @ 8.0 (7:30 min/mile)
0.25 mile @ 6.8 (8:49 min/mile)
0.50 mile @ 8.2 (7:19 min/mile)
0.25 mile @ 7.0 (8:34 min/mile)
1 mile cool down 6.9mph - 6.5mph (decreased .1mph every 0.20 miles)

done at incline of 0.5 - 1.0 (varied)

Total: 5 miles 42:02 (8:24 min/mile average)

I felt like an animal. It felt so good to work. Lately I've been finding myself just pushing/slogging through runs to get them done with (in some nasty form) but this... THIS run was awesome. I felt like my old running self. I LOVE speed work.

Tomorrow night I'm doing "Urban Yoga Philly" in Washington Square with Lululemon. I'm so excited. It is supposed to get up to 99 degrees tomorrow so 6pm will be prime sweating time. Pictures to follow!

Jul 19, 2011

Heat Wave

The first run of my official marathon training plan was today. It was a hot mess. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself for waiting until 1030 to get out and run. I had full intentions of getting up early and getting out the door before it was egg frying temperature. The getting up part worked well but needless to say the getting out part fell through. 

I couldn't keep my heart rate or pace under control. I was struggling between just getting the run finished and trying to keep my pace slowed. It also would have helped had I picked the direction on the trail that's mostly shaded rather than the one I ran today which is maybe half shaded. Silly. Lesson(s) learned.

Took walk breaks every time there was shade. Water would have been helpful. Noob.

Here's what I have to look forward to for the rest of the week...

If this doesn't motivate my butt to get out the door earlier I'm not sure what will

Thankfully I get to come home to this...

Jealousy totally understandable

This place is air conditioned 24/7. You might think that is excessive - and you'd be right. The problem is that we adopted two loving little creatures last year. One of which has a heat sensitive/exercise induced type asthma. Last summer when we lived in a hot box of an apartment in upstate NY we found this little dude panting, drooling, and hyperventilating.

Marty McFly all grown up and loving life in PA.
Enjoys sleeping in two different places at once and/or hanging off of things while sleeping.

Exhibit B

Long story short they spent most of that summer stuck in our bedroom (the only room with air conditioning) and hating life. In the new apartment they get free reign of the whole place year round sans breathing troubles. 

I'm finding this summer much more tolerable than the last. I can't imagine why...
Bring it on Philadelphia. 

Jul 18, 2011

Week One, Day One

IT'S HERE!! Today marks the start of my 18 week training plan for the Philadelphia Marathon.  I've been working on building up my base since the first of the year.. BUT today on the big calender in my planner, it's official. It's week one, day one.

Week 1 (The Plan):

Monday - XT, strength training

Tuesday - 4 EZ miles

Wednesday - 5 miles speed work

Thursday  - XT, strength training

Friday - 10 miles

Saturday - XT (light), strength training

Sunday - 5 EZ miles

Total: 24 miles

I'm giving the 4 day run week a try.  This will give me a chance to incorporate more cross training and rest as needed. My overall goal in training is to focus on quality over quantity. I often find myself getting hung up on the number of miles that I have scheduled rather than making sure they are quality workouts. Squeezing in a crappy/miserable 3 miles on a Thursday afternoon just to meet my number goal isn't really going to do me justice in the long run (pun intended).

I'm modifying the plan I used when I ran the NYC Marathon in 2009. I had originally intended to use the next step up, but given my recent struggles I had to step back in order to be realistic. This way the plan meet me where I was at instead of trying to jump into a 27 mile week and act like it's no big deal. When in actuality, every time I've built up to a 26 mile run week this year I've found myself injured in some shape or form.  More on that in my next post. I should have done this at the beginning of the month but that's neither here nor there. It's time to reassess my goals.