Sunday, July 17, 2016

Twin Nines

The past two weeks I ran 9 miles for my long run. These runs were pretty identical in a lot of ways

  • 4 x 1 intervals
  • start 72 degrees and humid
  • same 6 a.m. start
  • dew point at 66 one week 68 for the other
  • finish times 1:40:56 and 1:40:49 (11:12 average pace)
  • elevation almost the same (I find the the least hills I can in heat)
  • lemon lime Nuun - 2 tablets in about 40 oz. of H2O
  • premier protein for recovery (160 calories chocolate)
  • same shoes/orthotics

...and yet this past Saturday kicked my tush! Run buddy came out with me, and it was great to talk and catch up, but trying to push those miles a little bit really challenged me. I hoped since my running has been more consistent week to week, I might be able to keep up with her. 

However, I was more tired, more hungry, more sore, and my feet were mmmph, even though I was grateful for the company. 

We have not seen each other or run together since May 18th. Run buddy couldn't make her training team this week, so she came with me. She is training for the Richmond marathon, so we probably won't see each other much until after the November race. I am just hoping I can run the race, I know she will make it. 

Robyn (co-worker)  actually emailed the organizers of the training team to see if they had a Galloway team for me, and they do not have a designated one, but said some people use intervals. I decided since my situation is so chancy/dicey I didn't want to spend $200 for the team and end up running alone. 

Look at the heart rate zones differences in my "identical nines"

    solo -------------------------------------------- run buddy

I could not get out of the red zone trying to keep up with Kasey. The finish times were in seconds of each other, but I felt so different doing the run portions faster, especially at the end. I could barely get through my last mile...

Solo run Run buddy run

Last week I was picking it up at the end.

I am little bummed I struggled so much, I was hoping I would feel a little stronger by now. 

I guess this was a good lesson for me. I have felt a bit worried (motivation wise)  thinking about the really long runs all alone, and I am a bit sad I have no one to run with anymore, but if I try to push myself I don't think I will be able to handle much more distance. 

I was kind of embarrassed after I posted this! but yes I did, EAT ALL this after my buddy run. I was SO famished feeling, even though I drank my premier protein as soon as I came in the door. I couldn't wait to get out of the shower and eat!

I didn't even eat after my solo run, I just wasn't hungry. I ate about two hours later. Weird....huh? The same timed run felt like night and day.

I learned there is something to this "easy feel running" I have been trying to embrace, and honestly maybe that is all I can handle right now. It has been so long since I pushed myself, it felt really strenuous. 

*I learned keeping my heart rate down may be the key for me.
I didn't exactly set out to heart rate train, but it seems those minutes in zone 3 and 4 are conserving a lot of energy for me.*

I really love spending time talking and running (I miss it), but I need to stick with my unhurried pace and take it one week at a time.

So, that is my little adventure and lesson learned from this week. 
Heart rate zones? Who knew??? 

Fire away...tell me anything. 
Oh! I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals for the Weekly Wrap

Join in with Holly @ hohoruns and Tricia@ MissSippiPiddlin  

Did you know HR's can make you feel so different? 
Ever experienced anything similar? 
Do you ever get lonely on long runs? 


  1. I don't have a HRM, but heart rate training is all the rage right now! I am lusting after the Garmin Vivoactive HR, although there is nothing wrong with my current vivoactive (except the random dumping of steps that drives me nuts).

    Don't beat yourself up so much, Karen, or draw conclusions from one run! Sometimes runs just suck and we never know why.

    Not to mention you couldn't run with me, because my easy run pace is about 2 minutes slower. Again -- don't beat yourself up!

    Maybe look to see if there is a Galloway group in your area? Or another group that is less expensive? And I am having to run solo right now and I paid for my group!

    There is little doubt that long runs are better with friends, but OTOH, I don't do my halfs with anyone, so they're good training for that.

    1. I couldn't live with out my heart rate data LOL
      I am fine with the outcome of my runs, I just thought the concept of keeping all the interval running easy felt very different, compared to trying to run the intervals so fast was an important discovery that actually confirmed what I was trying to do is good for me. I don't think I did a very good job conveying that though...I may need a week off writing lol
      All my group experiences so far have kind of sucked and I really didn't make any new buds, so I have kind of given up, but yes, if I do find a Galloway group I will try it for sure!

  2. Some days our runs just don't go the way we'd like. There could be a million reasons that this one particular run felt so much harder. The fact that you're consistently getting 9-milers in is something to be celebrated!

    1. I am very happy with my long runs :) It felt harder because I am not able to run the intervals so hard lol It was funny to me my lap times were very similar though.

  3. I can never figure out why a run is good or bad. I know if I ate / drank too much the 2 or 3 days before, that means a crappy run, but there is no one to blame but myself for that. On regular days though, there is never any rule... sometime runs are good, sometimes not. I have a hard time finding any pattern....

    1. I have been there, the random bad run, or the run where your legs feel like tree trunks lol Sometimes there is no answer for it.
      This was really easy for me to figure out, I just can't run the interval that hard.

  4. Great job with two 9 milers each week! It is weird how two runs can feel completely different effort wise. Paul just got a Garmin with a HRM and I was thinking of trying it out a couple times as I never tracked my HR.

    1. oh yes, you should totally wear it and see!
      This is the first time I had conditions so identical so I felt it was a good lesson in what truly running easy is. It was comical the lap times turned out so similar, but the was they were run was completely different.

  5. Isn't it just totally crazy how two runs can be so similar in data but feel so different in effort? I think we've all been there before. I usually blame it on not getting enough sleep the night/week before or not eating right the night/week before. Stress can also be a huge factor for me... and lifting. Ugh, there are so many factors! haha

    Keep your head high, you are doing so well!

    1. Thanks Kristina :)
      I have been there, heavy legs, lifting and feeling sore, it can just kind of randomly strike.
      I think I did a crappy job conveying my conclusions!

  6. I am really trying not to overthink my runs anymore. It can drive me crazy and steal my joy of running. That being said, I am a little bummed when a run feels difficult or is slower but then I quickly get over it. I do know that in the winter when we have frigid temps (below 10 degrees) or it's "humid" in the summer (CO is so dry so when there is any humidity I notice it), I will run slower. I am just trying to accept that. Last week the smoke and haze from several fires that are burning really made me struggle--not just w/ my running but also w/ just feeling good. Hang in there. You still are a bad ass so don't forget that.

    1. Awwww, thank you Susan :)
      I really do not over think my runs too much anymore. If I am moving I am happy. I do like to analyze a little and throw ideas out there as I move forward in my "new journey". My journey is changing for sure but that is okay, as long as I keep moving.
      For sure the weather can have a huge impact.

  7. Yeah, that will drive you nuts! I don't think you can compare any two runs even if they seem identical. I am more into HR training than I was. Today, I attempted to keep it in the 150s. Didn't happen. Although I ran slow and it started out low, it got too hot which causes a spike. I'm very impressed you ran two 9 milers!! You know if we were neighbors, I'd run with you all the time! We'd have loads to talk about! ;) Thanks for linking, Karen.

    1. I could use a run buddy for sure! A hard part of this "injury" was run buddy moving on and I couldn't keep up. I am happy for her, but I would be lying if I didn't admit it also was a big loss to me. Robyn got a new job too, and that was my only other real life fitness friend...
      I get those spikes a little too, but I do much keeping my HR relativity steady now than before, I just didn't realize how much better it made me feel until I ran that hard yesterday LOL

  8. I've been thinking a lot about how I'd like to have a run buddy. It was so nice to ride with my sister today. I've lost that loving feeling, I think!

    1. Well I wish you were closer, although I couldn't keep up with you LOL
      I do lack real life fitness buds for sure, it has been lonely trying to come back from this injury.

  9. I love running with friends, but they always feel a little harder than when I run alone! I think your body just maybe needed to go a little slower on your last 9-miler, and so it felt harder even though it was the same pace as the previous week. The heart rate data doesn't lie!

    1. It is funny because it was just last month when I started this run easier thing, and now it feels natural. I was having a hard pushing so fast on some of the intervals, but still like the company lol

  10. I love watching my heart rate while working out. My new heart rate monitor gives me the breakdown of zones I'm in & it really intrigues me how each zone feels.
    Good for you having a good breakfast - your body just needs it sometimes

    1. I am really intrigued by all the HR and data you can get now. I used to do everything in the red zone, so I rarely noticed that anything felt "harder".
      It was interesting after so many weeks at keeping my HR lower at how wiped out I felt!
      I felt like a pig!

  11. I love running w my running buddy but there is a sense of feeling like you need to keep up w them especially when they are faster. But sometimes I do like running by myself bc there is no pressure. Good job on your workouts for the wk!

    1. It is hard when you are the slower person, you feel like you don't want to hold everyone back. That is what happened when I tried a few group runs lol I would have PR'd if it was a real 10K but I couldn't do that for any longer distances.
      Thanks :)

  12. Could you have been tired? getting sick? It seems my heart rate goes up when I'm fighting off something. And I also find that what I eat 2-3 days before affect my long runs.

    I have never gotten lonely in a long run. But I have considered calling my mom and just letting her talk to me while I do long runs.

    1. I had slept pretty well, I think just running 30 seconds or so faster pace really wiped me out. It was weird the actual laps turned out so close.
      I have talked to Mom before but she couldn't take my heavy breathing! LOL

  13. What you eat the day before cam play a role in how you feel the next day. Maybe that's one reason for the difference in how you felt afterwards. Your meal didn't look huge, but then I googled premier protein and it looks like it's high in protein (30 grams?). Now I see why that would seem like a big meal!

    1. True, I didn't even look at what I ate. My percentages seem to stay similar week after week now, but i think just pushing those extra 30 seconds a mile or so really may be beyond me in the heat lol
      Yes, 160 calories, 30 gram of protein. I always struggle to get enough protein in so I try to drink one after every run now and eat a few hours later...except Saturday!

  14. I'm sorry you had a rough run - they happen, and I always try to take them in and move on because chances are, the next run will be great.

    I trained for a full marathon, pretty much on my own. I didn't really get lonely. I loaded some podcasts onto my iPod and that helped me get through the miles. I am doing my long runs on my own this training cycle, and it's been ok. Sometimes, it's nice to have people around me, but right now, I also relish the alone time.

    We have a great Galloway group here, but unfortunately, I can't always make the runs, so I have held off on joining. They seem like they have a blast together, but it's just not worth the $$$ if I'm going to miss a bulk of the long runs.

    Hang in there. I am coming back from an injury and my times right now are painfully slow. It hurts to see, but every day I get stronger, so I just have to keep my eye on the big picture.

    1. Thanks Jennifer :) I really felt okay with my lesson learned, I just need to go a little easier during my interval portions. I am not the best in heat and i just didn't like feeling so drained at the end, I kind of enjoy going a little slower and feeling like I have something left in the tank at the end :) Of course, I didn't know that until this run! SO I guess it was good for me.
      I wish I had a Galloway group :) I wouldn't sign up though if you know have to miss. I am usually fine on my own, but I have my moments where a little distraction would be nice! I am hoping my hubby will bike out to see me on my longest runs in Sept.
      Coming back from injury is very hard! I hope you can have a good experience moving forward...I try to tell myself all the time, as long as I am moving, it is all good :)


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