Sunday, April 16, 2017

Back on Track (literally)


Back on track, literally. That's what went down this past week. 

As I gradually increase my mileage (you know, for that little marathon happening in June), it was time to better utilize my training days. I do most of my long runs on Saturdays, with a short shakeout run (usually only 1-2 miles) on Sundays. I always do a #nevermissaMonday run, so I decided to up the distance on those (which, consequently, are also short runs, 1-3 miles, at an easy pace). My Tuesdays and Wednesdays have been pretty mild (other than a miscellaneous stair workout and/or some strength-training). It didn't make sense to essentially have 3-4 "mild" days all in a row with the impending mileage increase....so I decided to enhance the #nevermissaMonday with a #5at5  nuance. These runs are also at an easy pace, and coming off of the weekend, are a great segway to the new week. Stay tuned...this is still a work in progress.

Monday. Ironically, the weather was a bit wacko. It had been warm all day, and when I headed out to start my five miles, there was ample sunshine and temps in the mid-60's. Shortly after the first mile, though, the sun disappeared and the wind picked up. By the time I made it back home, the temps felt like they had plummeted 20-degrees and I was shivering....it was weird returning from a 5-mile run actually colder than when I left the house. #brrrr

I swear there was sunshine when I left the house....

Tuesday. No running, but there was some strength work and the daily April challenge exercises. Oh, and it was National Pet Day.

Celebrating national Pet Day with Max
Wednesday. A necessary evil (in my opinion) to marathon training is speed work. Let me state (loudly and clearly) that I have no grandiose finish time goals for Grandma's Marathon other than to hopefully run it faster than I did in 2015. I'm not interested in snagging a BQ nor setting a new PR, but I do want to run the race efficiently. That said, I do plan to factor in some speed work in my training, but I'm not gonna injure myself in doing so. My strategy? Do speed work every-other week (at least that's my current plan).

Back at the track....
There's a local runner friend who has extensive experience in all things running, and each week she posts a speed workout on our local running group's Facebook page. Her recommended workout was 12x200 (with 200 recovery between each speed segment). I had the afternoon free from work, so off to the college track I went. I did a 1.25 mile warm-up run....and as I entered the track area, I noticed a coach working with a couple of students on the front part of the track (running back and forth with pole-vault poles). In an attempt to stay out of their way, I ran my 200's on the back of the track, and ran them "track proper" but turned around for the recovery run back. Problem solved. I probably looked like an amateur running back and forth (as if running sprints didn't already make me look ridiculous). I decided to run 8 sets instead of 12 since it was my first speed session in almost six months. My splits were :54/:55/:56/:53/:53/:53/:55/:53  Not bad!

Thursday. Another #5at5 with Barb (my main running partner-in-crime). My body was feeling pretty tired from the previous day's speed work, but we still managed a pretty solid 9:30 pace.

Ahhhhh, back in shorts!
Friday. Pretty much a day of rest and recovery, but I did manage some strength work. If you happen to follow me on Instagram (HERE) or Pinterest (HERE), you have probably figured out I'm all about Cheetah print. My #fashionFriday showcased some of my favorite things, cheetah print, distressed skinny jeans, and pointy-toed sandals.


Saturday. There was a group run scheduled in my town! This was a first-time attempt to rally some local runners, and I wanted to be a part of it. The group wasn't meeting until 8:00, and all of my weather stalking indicated there would be possible rain (and storms) happening around 9:00. Barb and I decided to meet early, knock out a few miles, and then join the group. I wanted to get 10-12 miles done, and wanted to ensure the rain wouldn't dampen my day (pun intended).

I thought it was Barb clipping along fast, but she denied blame (LOL) and said she was trying to keep up with me....whatever the case, we ran three miles faster than either of us had anticipated. I tried to "resume" the run stats on my watch, but accidentally saved it instead. Oops. And, any predictions of possible rain were incorrect; instead the sun emerged and we had a beautiful morning, albeit crazy windy.

Granted, I may have still been a bit sore from Wednesdays' speed work, and that fast 3-mile warm-up didn't help, but once we got moving with the group, I boarded the struggle bus with a round-trip ticket to Ugh. We (the group) were trying to maintain a 9:30-10:00 pace, normally not a big deal, but my body just wasn't doing it without attitude. It felt like I was going so slow, and it felt like a constant struggle the entire way. The route was hilly, which only added to my crankiness, and the wind was NOT giving me (or any of us) a break. This run was very reminiscent of my Route 66 experience (minus the cranky hip/groin). None the less, we finished with almost 12 cumulative miles for the morning.  And get this.... my watch showed an average pace of 9:42 for those first 3.24 miles, and 9:59 for the remaining 8.5 miles with the group. Holy What!?! No wonder I was walking like a drunken sailor (minus the prerequisite beverages) afterwards.

Dang! Those 12 miles were "mental-strength-building" training at its best
Sunday. As typical, I did a short and easy 1-mile shakeout run...and was pleasantly surprised to feel completely recovered! I had done a bunch of foam rolling, but my hamstrings were still achy when I went to bed Saturday evening...apparently, I'm doing something right. It felt great to wake up (following a tough run) and feel completely brand new.

If I can't be an Easter egg, at least I can dress like one (or draw a pic of one in my driveway) 
Overall, I am pleased with how the week played out. My mileage (Monday - Sunday) came in at 26 miles...a bit of a jump from the previous week, but the weekly increases will be more conservative in the weeks coming. I added another half marathon to my spring schedule (which will fit in nicely with my long run schedule), but will also require a few tweaks to my 26.2 plan. Always changing, always evolving, never stagnant...right?

In other news:

It finally feels like spring is here to stay! The grass is a brilliant shade of green, and my bulbs are blooming everywhere!

This is my 8th year working on the prom committee for our high school. I'm in charge of the Presentation of Couples, so I have a stage to decorate and numerous details to oversee. The theme this year is Unmask the Night...a masquerade ball of sorts. Here's a sneak preview....

And, last of all, we all know there's a little race happening in Boston on Monday. Are you as excited as I am to stalk some of the runners?

In case you missed them, here's the blog posts from last week:


Grey skies, Blue skies, and Lots of Bling


Fight for Air Climb 2017


Am I blue?

How was your week? Any big races you're training for? Has spring officially set up residence in your town?

As usual, I'm linking up with Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap

and Ilka and Angela for the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup

43 comments:

  1. I am trying to add in some speed work too but jeez I really do not like it at all :) Love your Cheetah prints

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    1. Speed work is my nemesis, because I simply do not have the fast-twitch muscle thing happening. I feel great (though exhausted) when I'm done, though ;-)

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  2. Our weather is wacko too. 80 one day, 40 the next. Hard to decided what to wear. I used to go to the track. Just haven't make time to do that.

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    1. I'm not a huge fan of the track, but this time it was alright...because I had not been there in a long time

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  3. Loving all your photos from this week! There is a local high school near me with a track that i would love to use for spadework when i start marathon training in June. I just have to make sure there are no games scheduled on the field when i want to use the track!

    And yes, I'll be attempting to "watch" the marathon from work tomorrow :)

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    1. This track is on the college campus...just a few blocks from my house. I really should use it more often, but I get bored running around in circles LOL (I will choose circles over the treadmill, though...ANYDAY!)

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  4. Oh, maybe I'll run on the track this week - but not too hard since I have another race on Sunday! I'm always amazed at how quickly track workouts go by, although I'd have a hard time keeping track of such a big set of repeats!

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    1. Track workouts are a lot harder for me than Fartleks or hill repeats, etc. (and I feel the effects of them much longer). I guess that means they work? ;-) (and, I had a paper with me to write down my splits after every 2-3 sets....no way I could remember the stats or what count I was on otherwise)

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  5. I actually heard about your wacky weather on the news here how is dropped 20 degrees with in an hour. So weird.
    Hey, I'm going to try to join you in #FashionFriday. It's my goal!

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    1. Yes, this is Iowa! The weather changes hourly some days LOL I look forward to seeing your fashion post!!

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  6. I think I told you the track is my fave. Probably because that's where I started. My first love. I was just thinking about our prom's theme the other day and wondered if they still had themes. Now I know they do!

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    1. I have mixed feelings on track work....it's so structured, and that annoys me LOL But, the structure does make it easy to stick to the work to see where you're consistent (or not)

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  7. You make me want to get sidewalk chalk ;) Nice track workout. I was never any good at those.

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    1. Well, I wouldn't say I have the track workouts down to perfection LOL I loathe speed work because it's so hard for me...I'm not naturally gifted with speed, and my long legs feel so awkward trying to do something so "unnatural" for them...#circus #act

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  8. We were doing sidewalk art last night and I thought about you! :) I'm not a big fan of intervals (shhhh....) but will do them occasionally using the 600 meter oval(ish) trail in our park. I usually opt for tempo runs instead. You had a great week of training. My mileage jumped up this week too. Cute prom theme! Thanks for linking, Kim.

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    1. I'm not a fan of ANY speed work, but I prefer Fartleks over anything.....maybe next time, huh?

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  9. It finally feels like spring here and I am loving it! I haven't been to the track in well over a year. I do like going there in the beginning of marathon training to get in some shorter intervals to work on getting the legs moving faster!

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    1. I'm not a fan of speed work, but I do it (sometimes). It's a good workout that certainly adds some variety to my training.

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  10. Nice week! I forgot it was prom season haha :) Now I want to track down my old pictures to reminisces.

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    1. We have three kids (two are out of school now).....one more year of prom stuff. It's crazy how much time and $$$ go into an evening LOL

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  11. Great job on your speed work and long run!! I bet it feels great to be wearing shorts! I am watching the Boston Marathon right now! Would love to run it one day but a BQ will take YEARS! Happy Monday!

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    1. It's great to be in shorts and tanks again!

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  12. Nice week! I am watching Boston right now too.

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    1. I was at work this morning, so I'm gonna have to catch the recaps of Boston....

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  13. Which half marathon did you add to your schedule? I love using races as a way to help break up the monotony of long runs, and plan to incorporate a couple of half marathons into my marathon training schedule.

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    1. The 'new" half marathon is on April 29...Drake Relays Road Races Half Marathon (Des Moines). I've run it a couple times before, but the route is slightly different this year.

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  14. Great week! I need to start adding in some speed training - really I just need to set down a proper training schedule for my half in June and get focused.
    We've been drawing lots of easter items on our street all weekend with chalk!

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    1. I had a pretty good outline for my marathon plan, but it keeps getting changed LOL I'm not one to have a "100% total focus only" race anyways, I always have other races worked into the training

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  15. Ha! Love the Easter egg chalk drawing. :-) I headed back to speed work this week, too. It really is a necessary evil for well executed races!

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    1. I figure if I only do it every-other week, I won't get burnt out on it. It takes a lot out of me, and requires a lot more disciplined recovery afterwards...

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  16. Yes Spring has sprung and we will soon be at summer temps here! I like the speed work- I think I would like it even more at a real track and not just my neighborhood! Great job! Have a great week! and I will try to get dressed 2 Fridays in a row to play along :-)

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    1. It was so nice having you play along on Friday! I wish more people would...I mean, we're all wearing clothing, right? (I hope!)

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  17. The warm/cold thing happened to me on a run recently, too. It literally did drop 15 degrees on the run. Not fun at all.

    Prom sounds fun! I wish I had time to do that stuff. Maybe I will when my kids are a little older.

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    1. Well, I question just how much time I have for the prom stuff, but I do it anyways LOL Springs is always a crazy time with prom stuff, dance recital, tennis (for the current daughter at home...the other daughter had golf when she was in high school). Oh, and let's not forget there always seems to be someone graduating... last year it was the oldest (from college, this year it's the middle kid (community college), next year is the youngest (high school), and the following year will be the middle one from his 4-year college (transferring there in the fall). As you will see as your kids get older, it never gets less busy, it just transitions to a different kind of crazy ;-)

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  18. I believe track work is essential to keeping speed up during longer distance training- even if you're not trying to PR or set a time goal. I have no illusions of ever qualifying for Boston, but I do intend to keep up speedwork during my marathon training. I just don't want to lose my speed that I've gained these last few months.

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    1. I agree, speed work is crucial to retain any acquired speed...speed is just not a priority for me (and it takes so much work LOL).

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  19. Great week! I've had that warm/cold thing happen and it's just bizarre! Glad I'm not alone.

    It sounds like you have a really solid plan for Grandma's Marathon. You are going to do great.

    Can't wait to see the final results of all the prom prep!

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    1. The warm/cold thing was bizarre! I've had the temps drop slightly over the course of a few miles, but never that dramatically!

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  20. Congrats on the track work!You had some pretty good splits!! I remember the days when I made it to the track early in the morning. Speed work is so necessary during marathon training but it doesn't come easy for me either, but it sure gives you better results! Great work!

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  21. Oh, I need to get back to doing some speedwork, all I can seem to eek out are a few progression runs here and there.

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  22. Unfortunately, spring doesn't last very long here in Vegas. It came a few weeks ago and all the flowers were blooming and it just smelled like SPRING! Now those blooms are dying as the temps are already rising. I'm hopeful that the real heat will stand down for at least a few more weeks.

    Great week of running for you! Awesome. :)

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  23. Congratulations for getting back on the track! I've been itching to do some track workouts, but it hasn't worked out with my family's schedule. Are there any local running groups that do weekly track workouts where you live?

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  24. Oh wow how cool is the theme of the prom? Spending so much time in New Orleans, I have always wanted to attend one of the balls down there. One day I'm going to do just that!
    Oh and you simply look amazing from the ummm back side ;)

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