Sunday, August 20, 2017

Training Week #1

This week kicked off half marathon training with Holly! She is going to coach me this training cycle and I am excited to turn the thinking over :) This coaching things is all new to me, and I would call week one a win!
I am running a half October 21st, November 11th, and December 2nd.

October 21st is my target race, but I am not sure what kind of target I am trying to hit yet!
I'll just have to see how my feet hold up, distance is always a challenge.

October still has the possibility to be notoriously hot and humid in the morning, so if it turns out to be a tough morning, I'll flip my sights to November and hope it is a nice day!
I have a lot to pack in, so I'll be trying to to find a way to trim these training recaps so you won't fall asleep trying to read them!

I have been running a lot of miles, not long distance miles, but fairly consistent weekly mileage for several months, so I feel like I have a pretty good base right now...well of all easy miles. LOL  I just crossed 700 miles for the year.
Last week I cut back to only 9 miles of running and biked because I was experiencing some calf tightness, and I felt like my legs needed the break. Coach HoHo wanted to start with 3 runs a week, so I am trying to roll with it and let my mileage drop down in hopes my legs will get stronger with the recovery time.

Monday - Rest day! It was so freaking humid I did not mind resting :)

Tuesday - Training run #1 4 easy 
5:40 a.m.
4.20 mi
47:58 11:25 avg
Avg HR 139
Elevation gain 159 ft.














The haze was a step up from cruel for this run, I could actually see the water swirling in the air as my knuckle lights broke the darkness. I felt like I needed a bush whacker to part the screen of thick water...it was tough and I was glad this was and a low intensity run. My body feels very heavy in the high humidity and it has been my norm all summer to hit 11:30 - 12:00 minute miles, especially on hills. I don't walk or pause, that is just the speed I move at. Sometimes I am awed by how hard even small elevation gains feel in the heat.



Wednesday - rested all day except for 10 hours at work ;)

Thursday - Training #2  200's x 8 (:55 to 1:00 per 200) 
5:40 a.m.
4.05
41:40 10:17 avg
Avg HR 149
Elevation gain 54 ft

Since I struggle with easy miles in the typical morning humid 73-78 temps, I confess I was a little nervous about 200's.  I actually did not try to hit any specific paces, I just tried to pick up the pace and see what I could do without dropping over.  I didn't even look at my splits until I was at work to see how I did. I had a few snafus, but overall I feel like it was a very good session and I was pretty close to my target pace.
I headed up to the school near me because it is flat!! I can take off my running belt and water bottle while I run loops and it has light.  I pre-programmed this workout in my Garmin with a mile warm up/cool down mile in my watch, so I could just gooooo run. Problem was... the school is just a little further than a mile, I hit my first 200 when I was trying to cross the street...so I ran down the shoulder till I got a break in traffic!
When I got to the spot I wanted to drop my stuff I needed a restroom break, so I ran and popped a quick squat. I paused my watch, I hate pausing when I start a work out but what are you going to do?!  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I left my belt and water bottle on the curb and started around the loop...my headphones lost connectivity...I never claimed to be a genius πŸ™ˆ πŸ˜… or maybe I was not awake enough at 6 a.m. to think clearly. I did a few more 200's, but I finally stopped and put my belt back on so I could hear some music.
I was uncomfortable in the heat, but I never got lightheaded or nauseous, it was a big ol' sweat fest but I felt accomplished when I got in the shower.

200's
8:32 (1:03),  8:34 (1:03), 7:44 (:57),  8:17 (1:01),   8:07 (1:00),  8:19 (1:02), 7:54 (:58),  8:11 (1:01)
my recoveries were also 200's and I stayed 11:00 - 11:20 pace








FridayTreadmill - 2.35 mi 0:39:17
Legs and Core - 1:08:29
I was feeling very fatigued, which is strange because I have cut my mileage sooo much the past two weeks, but fatigue was chasing me all week so I slept in late and went to the gym. My mood was very dark (I've had a lot of dark days the past few weeks) ...I walked on the TM with incline. I realized I needed a good endorphin pick me up, so I did five 30 second strides and I started to feel like a new person. Thank goodness for endorphins! My perspective flipped completely and I could see some light again. Hopefully Coach Holly will forgive me, it was the only running I did outside of my plan. 

SaturdayArc machine- 0:16:43
Upper Body - 0:49:05
I did not get to the gym until very late afternoon and I had not eaten all day. It was a short upper body session because Kenny and I needed to eat. I busted out as much as I could, then I went and an ate a Boca burger with a egg on it #nomnom

Sunday - Training run #3 7 comfortable 10:40 - 11:00 target pace 
7:03 a.m.
7.00 mi
1:17: 23 11:03 avg
Avg HR 144
Elevation gain 220 ft

This was my first time programming a target pace range into my Garmin so I had no clue what to expect. I put 10:40 to 11:10 as my range. I admit I was very worried about trying to hit these paces and I gave myself a few more seconds thinking about how I struggle on hills in the heat.
I kept taking turns that avoided hills and provided some shade.  My Garmin would display my pace when I dropped below my target and would also beep and tell me when I was back in target range.
I started to feel fairly fatigued about mile 5 because I am not use to running that fast, but overall I did not have any major struggles.
I finished strong and enjoyed my walk home (2 miles). I was drenched and I drained my pack dry, 2 liters w/2 tablets of Nuun in it.

When I synced my Garmin I was surprised, all my usual screens with data were there except my splits.












Weird right! It doesn't really bother me not knowing mile by mile, I can still see my pacing and zones, so I think I will use it again next week for my long run because it really does help keep me on track. Without the cues from my watch I would have easily settled into that 11:30 or slower pace.
I felt pretty good about this run. I did feel a bit more used up than I normally would, but I didn't feel I over did it at all.
15.25 running miles...quality miles πŸ’¦πŸ˜‰

Random Notes from the week: 

I got run gum from Marcia and I give it a thumbs up. Thank you πŸ’—πŸ’—Marcia!!

I almost always run fasting in the morning and I have cut way back on my caffeine intake, so I do feel like chewing this gave me a boost. I felt a little more energetic during my weight sessions and my long run this week.













I also got this cute mug from Kristina who is donating a portion of the money to organizations that help animals. As a fellow furry mom I can appreciate her mission, and I know many of you can as well!
You can read about her online shop BEAMM

I enjoyed a cup of coffee Sunday after my run

























This was only my 2nd cup of coffee all week! I made a yummy breakfast after my run Sunday.


















That pre - programming in my Garmin is becoming quite handy for training! 
Have you used it or created any work outs with your Garmin or device you use?

Have you tried Run Gum? 
Do you make up your routes as you go? 
How did your week go? 

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  for the weekly wrap! 
Madhuri @ Ponder 'N' Wonder  is hosting this week. Stop by and show her some love. 
Please, wrap it up with us!

Thanks for stopping by! 
Karen 


Monday, August 14, 2017

I Cannot Believe I am 51 πŸ™ˆ

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  and Michelle @ Running With Attitude    Join in the fun πŸ’™













Last week I rested a lot!

7- Rest day

8- Rest day

9- Bike Ride - 25.08 mi 2:07:38

10- Henrico Warm up - 1.01 mi 0:11:03
      Henrico Moonlight 4 miler - 4.06 mi 0:42:05
     
11- Rest day

12- Evening Bike Ride - 21.31 mi 1:49:18


13- Back to it - 4.01 mi 0:43:19
      Walking - 1.77 mi 0:31:35
      Strength Training -1:22:52


I've had quite the head cold for the past few weeks and I was feeling a bit run down, and the aches in my left calf were building so I had to let the summer goals go.
My plan was four runs while I was on my summer work schedule.
(Three 40 minute runs and one 10K a week)
I am little hard headed once I set my mind on something so I had a very difficult time breaking that rhythm. However, I am going to start half marathon training this week anyway, so the smart thing for me to do was rest and be ready for whatever Coach HoHo tells me to do!

After I rested Monday and Tuesday, the temptation was lurking to hop back in Wednesday and check off my four runs. The urge was bad, like a dangling dark chocolate bar, but I resisted because my left calf was still feeling just a little tight. That urge to check off the runs is real!
I had to remind myself this:

Muscle absorbs impact, when muscles are fatigued and tight they can't absorb the impact and your bone is compromised and at risk for injury. 
The PT drilled this into me when I was injured a few years ago, but I had to do some self-coaching to make myself chill.
You would think as much as I've been hurt this wouldn't be hard anymore...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The fitness highlight of my week was the Moonlight 4 miler on my birthday.


I talked run buddy into meeting me and we ran in the freaking evening heat. It was no joke…it was about 85 degrees, but we both needed a few miles for the week and it was really fun it was on my actual birthday night πŸ’–
It was hilly, actually a few pretty big hills, and we pushed as hard we could. Mile three, I was starting to feel wonky and a little too hot, I was losing steam fast...so I dumped water all over my head and that seemed to help just enough to get me to the end. Run buddy could have finished faster for sure but we stayed together and finished upright!


We laughed when we saw our average, it felt so much harder when what the numbers show…
But considering most of our 10K heat runs were 11:25 – 11:40 average this was a step up!

My other non related fitness highlight was a ride on a boat at sunset - very nice πŸ’—



Surprises are fun and this was 51 :) 



Normally I don't have big birthday celebration or surprises so last week was pretty fun even though I really am 51!

I am excited to get back to training this week! 
Oh and this weeks senior moment, I did some elliptical time but I forgot to start my watch...lol oh well πŸ˜ƒ

Thanks for stopping by πŸ’ž














Ever had popsicles after a race?? It was the best!
Gone on a sailboat ride?
Do you have a hard time just chilling for a week?
Ever get a summer cold that took forever to shake?


Monday, August 7, 2017

Don't Let It End ♪♪


Bonus points if you know who sang the song in my title!

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  for the weekly wrap! 
Heather @ 3 Black Cat Co is hosting this week! Stop by and show her some love. 


Something happened this week I was not expecting.

10K Friday with my run buddy comes to a close.😒 I thought we had a few more weeks together, but she said this will be her last one. I was bummmmed. My run buddy recently moved to Richmond so we've been exploring new routes and it was fun to run in a new area. We discovered it is much shadier than the running routes around our neighborhood (mine still) and we had fun running and chatting away the miles!

Run buddy's daughter is starting school next week so she'll be busy getting back on a school schedule. She home schools her three and they have a home school co-op on Fridays.

I have four more weeks of ten hour days before I change back to five days. Anyone want to come hang out with me and run!? I only cry a little now in the heat! JK πŸ˜‚

via GIPHY

Public school here doesn't start until September 5th, and teachers come back on August 28th.  We also have Orientation days and other training activities before all that happens! August is going to get #holottabusy for me soon.

Anyway, it was another sweaty 10K and this week we tackled some hills. We didn't mean too LOL We were just exploring new streets ~ wooooza was it challenging. It wasn't 80+ for this one, but it was humid and in the 70's and honestly, 73 -75 doesn't feel that much easier to me, but we keep moving and get 'er done!


I sucked my pack dry. Almost 2 liters with Nuun. When I got home I was still thirsty, sometimes I am amazed at how much I can drink. I chug a lot of water and unsweetened ice tea, it seems like the more I chug the more I need. Do you ever feel that way?!


I feel a bit of self imposed pressure to pick up the pace when there is a temperature or humidity break. Sunday we had a random cooler low humidity morning. I love those! It feels so good to push myself and not be overheating, but I did wonder to myself, "Why can't I slow down, just relax and enjoy not sweating buckets???!"
I really think it is my pay off for all the months of hot humid miles. I need to feel like there is a reward for all the hard work, or else I'd just be crazy right?! So I feel like I must run faster...
Do you ever feel like this?!

Seriously, my 10:22 avg felt like I was flying πŸ’« and it made me tired πŸ™Œ

I continued on with Clarinda's fitness challenge 


The challenge ends on the 10th! I have done all the exercises except one...side lunges, I  just couldn't get my body to move that way, so I bailed on that one.  I figured it would be burpees or mountain climbers I wouldn't be able to handle, but I managed those. In the end, side lunges and single leg deadlifts were the hardest thing ever. Balance is a real issue for me...weakness exposed. Each week I did a mini workout with several things off the calendar. Thanks Clarinda for motivating me to try new things!

This is how my week went...
Monday - rest
Tuesday - Fartlek Six - 6.70 mi 1:12:03 (10:45 avg)
                   Stretch - 0:05:28
Wednesday - Listless Four - 4.30 mi 0:47:45 (11:06)
                         Curl and Press - 0:20:19
Thursday - rest
Friday - Buddy 10K - 6.22 mi 1:12:02 (11:35 avg)
               Buddy Walk - 2.86 mi 0:54:45
Saturday - Arc Machine- 1.25 mi 0:25:40
                    Fitness Challenge Session - 1:35:01
Sunday - Fun Five - 5.51 mi 0:57:03 (10:22 avg)
                  Walking - 3.19 mi 1:03:38
Run - 22.74 mi


These shoes πŸ’“


These are Hoka Hupana's and I am loving them. I only have 30 miles on them, but they have been 30 happy miles for my feet. I think I will still be doing long runs in my Clifton 3's which have more cushion, but I am thrilled to have a lower profile option from Hoka. I had to return my normal size and go a half size smaller because this model does run long, which felt odd but the fit is just right.  It is a win when I can find shoes that work well for me! It has been a long journey. 

My feet update is that things are about the same. I still have pain in the ball of my feet and toes. The right foot continues to be more of a noise maker than my left, even though it was the left foot that had the tear in it. I have good days and bad, so I try to take it day by day and back off when I need to. My orthotics are the key to my running.  I have tested it a few times and the pain comes on sooner and lingers if I don't wear them.  My πŸ‘£ are much more manageable when I take longer runs of the mix, so I am a little nervous to start training again for my Fall races, but I won't know unless I try! I will continue to use intervals when I do anything double digit and run a few more half marathons this year and see how I hold up. My last half wasn't really a typical course or run, so it wasn't a good gauge. I think I am finally at a place where I could give up running half marathons if it will help me stay healthy and running longer. Those daily 4 -6 mile runs are my sanity. I am going to take each day as it comes and see how it goes until the end of the year. 
Honestly, I've been getting more miles in than I thought possible, however, every so often I need a little mini break because I can feel the tightness and tenderness creeping up. This week may end up being much lighter to give myself some recovery time. 

Thanks for hanging with me, I know this was wordy! 


Truth...I have no get up and go about celebrating my B-day this year, I am trying to think of something to do. 
Ideas? What do you do for birthdays in your family? 
Random question - I let my hair air dry a few times this week, I just twist it up and go to work. Would you go to work with wet hair? Is that bad etiquette?  
Do you blow dry your hair? 

Questions from my post! 
Do you ever feel the more you drink, the more you need? 
Do you feel pressure to pick up the pace when it cools off? 


Thanks for stopping by!! Have a great week ❤
Karen 



Monday, July 31, 2017

My Sore is Sore

Picture heavy post warning!

I am linking up with my awesome running gal pals Holly  and Tricia  
I'm linking up with the lovely and inspirational Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner for the weekly wrap! 


The theme of my week has been, "My sore is sore"

I've been working hard at my fitness challenge with Clarinda from Enjoying the Course. Some exercises went better than others, but overall I have done every exercise and I have tried new things! When I go to the gym I've been incorporating several of the exercises into my workout and I end up sore.  I also discovered my single leg balance needs a ton of improvement. Single leg deadlifts were a serious mess. Motion and balance...oh crud, I am so challenged!
I've also discovered Burpees are extremely evil.
It was a win I was able to do them though. In the past, any time I've tried burpees I would get sharp pains in my wrist (I have ganglion cysts) and my toes, but I held up for 40 and wow, did I crack a sweat. Some part of my body was sore for every workout I did this week!


 This has been the norm for July. That is 6 a.m. I am so over it!


So when I woke up last Monday and it was 73 degrees I wondered if I could trick my body into believing it was "cooler". Normally 73 and humid is still survival mode for me,  but I've been baking in the mornings.  Why not try?! The worse that can happen is I will have to just go slower. 




Progression does not come natural to me. I have a hard time picking it up just a little and I often will have flip splits, one mile a little faster... one a little slower, because it feels more comfortable.  I do try to play around with a progression run when my mind needs a distraction or my legs feel good. My legs just felt so tired during mile two I could barely hold on, but then things flipped a bit. I guess I need a longer warm up.

Tuesday morning my glutes were talking to me!  How the heck does picking up the pace a little make me so sore?! 
It was all I could to keep moving. This is a pretty typical heat run for me, I call it my summer shuffle. I went into work late so I had time,  I just kept plugging away at the miles. This is the furthest I have run since my half last month. 
77 and mega humid - this is all I got! 


I thought I would be cutting back on miles, but it worked out to be a pretty good mileage week.


Our buddy run this week was another brutal 80+ degree run and we both struggled a little, but we got it done. Toward the end we found the most magnificent road.  We looped the block and ran it twice as our reward. Shade!!!





The shade and trees were all so pretty! We couldn't resist a  run photo opp! 

Then we walked 4 miles  and found some other great views. 


Sunday the most amazing thing happened! After rain and storms on Saturday some drier cooler air rolled in. Serious, 63 degrees at 7 a.m. it was like a dream after all these tough days.
It wasn't a perfect run, I was sore from workout Saturday (dang burpees) but that was not enough to make me want to stop. When I got to my planned four, I just kept running savoring the low humidity air. 
I finally stopped because I was so thirsty! If I wore my pack I might still be running LOL 

It felt so good to be able to push myself again! But I made my sore glutes, more sore! So as I type this Monday morning, the incredible weather did hold up, but I decided to not to run this morning because I felt like my body needed a break. It is so hard missing out on a fabulous morning, but sometimes I just gotta chill. 

Burpees?! Love or hate? 
Progression runs? Do you enjoy them? 
How's your balance? Have any great weather in  your neck of the woods? 

Thanks for stopping by! 
Karen 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Sea to Shining Sea With Me

How do you stay motivated through the summer?

The lovely Kristy from Runaway Bridal Planner is my guest host for this post!
I signed up for this virtual run because I needed a little extra motivation to start increasing my miles for Fall. The great swag is a fun bonus. Grab a friend, join in, and make your run extra fun!




Have you heard of a Virtual Race?

Virtual races are Runners, walkers and even hikers who sign up for a distance they want to conquer for their goal. Come race week participants pick their own course, race any day, and go any pace they'd like. That is the best part, time doesn't have to be scheduled away from other things in life, day or night what is ever best works! Efforts and completion as in a regular road race, are provided with a race t-shirt and beautiful unique finishers medallion to show off your accomplishments and add to your race bling collections.



Have you considered a Virtual Race before? 

Registrations spots for the Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races are filling up fast and prices go up August 1st. If you register today, you can use discount code FUNRUN and save 15% off the registration price. HINT: If you are willing to share you signed up on Facebook during registration you can save an additional 10% too. If this sounds like something you'd like to do, don't wait! Secure your spot today!!




Are you a parent? Do your kids need some fun motivation to stay active this summer?

Run Sea to Shining Sea has group discounts available so you can register as a family for some fun healthy competition. Your kids will love the finisher’s medal they can acquire by participating and will be fun for them to show off to their friends about their accomplishments!




Love great race bling?

Run Sea to shining Sea has created a unique finishers medallion you can earn for all your hard work here is a glimpse of the design. (Note: the actual medal will be a nice quality heavier nickel metal about 3 inches wide with a navy blue splash of color.)


It Doesn’t Have to be on a Treadmill or Neighborhood street

With a virtual race you can take it to the hills, mountains or even beaches. The sky is the limit, run a race on your own dream course, the course you create!




Need a Few More Reasons to Enter Run Sea to Shining Sea Virtual Races?

* Use it as a training run for a fall race you are gearing towards.

* To motivate you to stay active or to become active.

* Compete against yourself. Or grab some friends for some healthy fun competition.

* Compete in your own way with no restrictions, run during the time of day and day of the week that works best for your schedule.

* It supports American small businesses, medal creation, and t-shirt screen printing all done by American based companies. In addition, the event project itself is for a college thesis project so you'll be helping a runner get her Recreational Management degree!

* To earn a new medallion to add to your race accomplishment displays.






Want to give it a try? You can REGISTER HERE today before registration prices increase.