Monday, March 30, 2009

My First Almost 10 Miler of the Year

I had my first 10 miler of the year scheduled for this past weekend, and I was actually pretty excited about it. The furthest have run recently was 8 miles, which I had no problems with, so I figured 10 would be a nice distance.

Saturday (when I was planning on running) I ended up going out and eating way too much for lunch and missed my I figured I would just move the run to Sunday - no problems.

Sunday I woke up not feeling good at all - stomach issues and a little light headed. I felt much better after I ate, but still not 100%. However, I was determined to at least attempt the 10 miler. I decided to run close to home in case I needed to cut the run short. I started on my 4-5 mile route and about 2 miles in I noticed that they were done with the continuation of the regional trail (which takes me the first 2 miles of my loop). I was feeling pretty good, so I took the trail. The 'trail' (it is a paved path) ended up taking me to a park about 3.5 miles away from home. Not really knowing where I was (and stuck in a 'no outlet' neighborhood) I turned around and took the trail back to my loop. I took the longer version of the loop and passed my street at the end of mile 8. I wasn't done, although I was really starting to feel tired and beat-up. There is a loop that is just over a mile that I decided to tackle, thinking I would add an extra block to it to get me closer to 10. Well, somewhere along the ninth mile I hit a bit of a wall and just wanted to get home.

I ended up with 9.5 miles...not quite 10 miles, but not too shabby either - especially since I wasn't feeling great to begin with. I was expecting to be pretty sore this morning based on how I felt at the end of the run, but I don't feel too bad. I ran an easy 2 at the gym this morning - I would have gone 3, but I wasn't wearing good shorts...if you know what I mean...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quick Update

Monday - Easy 2 miles to loosen the muscles after Sunday's race. I also got a little upper body weights done followed by 4.5 miles on the stationary bike.

Tuesday - 6 miles with intervals. I slowed down the speed sections to 6.2 mph and lengthened them to 0.25 miles for 6 repeats. Not exactly fast, but I was still recovering a bit from the race.

Wednesday - 4 easy miles. I wouldn't let myself push the treadmill over 5.6 mph.

My shins sure are looking forward to a rest day tomorrow…they don't like it when I increase mileage. Then Friday I have an easy 3 on the schedule followed by a 10 mile long run sometime this weekend. I just hope the weather turns out okay for a 10 miler! We got a little more snow this morning (nothing too exciting), but it has also dropped 30* in the last 3 days!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Human Race 8K Race Report

First of all, we had BEAUTIFUL weather for this race. A little windy, but the temps were about as good as I could wish for in March in Minnesota - right around 60* without too much sun. I went with my new capri-length tights and a thin long sleeve running shirt. It would have been better with short sleeves, but the long sleeves weren't too bad. I had to park a good distance away, and the 'event headquarters' were a good half mile from the start, so I got a decent warm-up before the race just walking to the headquarters and jogging to the start.

This is the only race that I have been too that had 2 different starting mats. Summit Ave is divided where we started, and the fastest men were to start on one side and the fastest women on the other. Everyone else could fill in on either side. Not that it made a difference for me, but I thought this was kinda cool since the women actually got a clear start without the men in the way. I started behind the women.

I stuck to my plan for the first mile...just under 10:00 mile. I felt really good, so I let my body set the pace for the next mile and it turned out to be right around 9:30. This seemed like a good pace, so I changed my goal to maintaining the 9:30ish pace until the end of mile 4. During the 'out' portion of the race we were running into the wind - I was glad because I knew I would be struggling during the second half if it was reversed. I was expecting some pretty bad hills on the course, since Summit Ave is home to the infamous hill during the Twin Cities Marathon, but it really wasn't too bad. Miles 3 and 4 I somehow managed to run almost exactly on my new goal pace of 9:30. The last mile started at the top of nice long gradual hill and I let myself take advantage of it. When I looked down at the Garmin I had to do a double-take because it said my lap pace was 8:19!! Whoa - I still have a ways to go to finish this mile! I continued to push the pace, though without the help of the hill I slowed down of course. I managed to keep the final mile under a 9:00 pace though!

I was surprised, but this was the first race that my Garmin matched the marked course miles pretty much exactly! My final chip time even matched to the second...and for that final time...47:03!!! Almost 7 minutes faster than my previous PR!! Average pace of 9:28 is the same as my current 5K PR pace! Only one minute faster to beat that 2009 goal of a 46:00 8K - my other 8K is tentatively planned for early June.

Race: Human Race
Date: March 22, 2009
Distance: 8K
Official Time: 47:03
Average Pace: 9:28
Overall Place: 714/984
Place in Age Group: 37/76

Friday, March 20, 2009

3 miles, 3 miles, 3 miles

It has been a rather slow training week for me. I did 3 slow miles Monday as recovery after my 8 mile long run on Sunday. Then, my calves were hurting Tuesday morning (weird, since they didn't hurt Sunday/Monday) so I took the day off. Wednesday I did some slow speed intervals, but once again only made it 3 miles. Thursday I attempted hills...made it 2 miles before I decided to get off and do some weights instead. I did run a fast mile afterward though, bring the daily total to 3 miles. This morning I was just too tired to make it to the gym. Tomorrow is scheduled rest day so that I am fresh for my race on Sunday. So, overall a pretty low mileage week for me.

Now about that 8K this weekend...

They said on the news the other day that it was suppose to rain in the afternoon! (my race is at 1:20) I still plan to go if it is raining, assuming it isn't too crazy/cold that is. BUT the family was actually thinking of coming, and they won't be there in the rain. I guess I will keep my fingers crossed until the race.

Looking at the map, it is an out & back up Summit Ave (the same road the Twin Cities Marathon goes up to finish). I am not sure exactly where the "Summit Ave Hill" is that the marathoners talk about, but I am assuming it will be uphill for the "out" and downhill for the "back".

Being the first race of the season, I really don't know what to expect time-wise. My main goal is to finish in under 50 minutes, which would be a 10:04 pace, but of course I am hoping for better. My plan is to start out keeping the pace just under 10 minutes and see how it goes. Hopefully after the first couple miles I will be comfortable enough to kick up the speed a little more.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Finally Thawing Out

We finally had a warm-up in the Twin Cities! I don't know what the high was yesterday, but when I was driving home from my run at about 3:30 my car said it was 57*!! It has been such a long cold winter that I just HAD to get out this weekend and run. Unfortunately, I wasn't the only one who thought that.

I didn't want to run the neighborhood again, but I didn't really have time to plan a route, so I figured I'd just go down to the Lakes…bad idea. I have never seen that many people there! And of course, most of them were wanderers who don't understand the ettiquette of the running paths - you all know them, they walk across the whole path, randomly change direction, come to a dead stop whenever and where ever they please. I still had a nice run though…nothing could ruin the great weather yesterday…not even having to walk/stop/dodge people for 8 miles.

This morning I took it easy for 3 miles on the treadmill.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Start of Racing Season

I officially signed up for 2 races this season is almost here!

I am currently registered for the Human Race 8K on March 22 and the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon on May 3rd. Now I need to get down to some serious long runs to prepare for the half marathon. My first (and so far only) half marathon went well up through mile 10 - then got pretty tough for the last 3 miles. I want to be able to confidently conquer the full 13.1 miles this time. Besides, that would set me up nicely for marathon training which will be starting right after the half.

This week's running has been going well. I did 4.65 miles of intervals on Tuesday with an average pace of under 10 minutes (ready to see that 8K PR get smashed?) Then on Wednesday I had a little bit of a tough time with 3.5 easy miles (I guess that means I got a good workout in on Tuesday :) ). Today was a longish easy run of 5.6 miles. Tomorrow is a rest day. Then, I am hoping to get outside for a good long run on Saturday - shooting for 8 miles - it is suppose to get into the 40s! I will keep my fingers crossed until then...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Back to the Real World

Well, the weather in Florida was beautiful. But I did a horrible job getting out to run (or even on the treadmill for that matter). Back to the real world, back to work, back to the cold dreary weather, and back to my running schedule. I am only looking forward to one of those things.

I realized yesterday that my next planned race is in only 2 weeks! I hadn't really been paying too much attention, but I just registered this morning, and the Human Race 8K will be here before I know it. Time to start thinking about my goals…I ultimately want to cut my 8K PR down by 8 minutes this year (yes, I know that sounds huge, but this PR is not in line with my others already, so the first couple minutes should be easy.