Sunday, October 29, 2017

Dopey Training: Week #4

The first month of training is complete! Yep, this was the first Recovery Week! Recovery week reduces the volume of training but not necessarily the intensity. I was feeling well after last week's training but had I not been, I would have taken extra rest days as needed.

Monday: Massage
Tuesday: XT (indoor cycling - spin bike); Pure Barre class
Wednesday: 6 mile run; Pure Barre class
Thursday: rest day
Friday: 10 mile run
Saturday: 5K race (plus 2 mile warm up)
Sunday: rest day

The schedule called for XT on Friday and long run on Saturday, but I really wanted to run a 5K race on Saturday for Autism Awareness! So I moved my long run to Friday and raced on Saturday. I ended up feeling fabulous during the race and ended up with 2nd place in my age group. The master's winner and the first place winner in my age group were less than a minute ahead of me! I intended to run this race at a comfortable pace... so imagine my surprise when I was "comfortable" with my 2nd fastest stand-alone 5K! I ran faster at the sprint tri in August, but my 5K PR was back in spring 2016 and I felt like I wanted to throw up when I finished! This time, I was only 8 seconds slower but I finished feeling fabulous! That was so encouraging! My hard work is paying off for sure!

Accepting my age group award! I'm digging my leg muscles in this picture!

The coolest age group award ever - they were hand made by little Tagg's grandpa!
So you'll notice there are 2 rest days in this week and Monday the schedule called for a massage. I have to get a thumbs up to any training plan that schedules in massages! LOL It feels so weird to have more than one rest day each week, but I am respecting the rest days. I could plan to do my Pure Barre classes on those days, but I really want to keep the rest days for rest. I'm hoping this will help me keep my body healthy and injury free!

So that's about all for last week. Tomorrow begins the 2nd rotation of training - two long runs this weekend! We had a cold front come through last night (you see how I was wearing a skirt and short sleeve shirt at yesterday's race with a jacket after the race when I cooled down?? Yeah, not so much today!). Today our high was in the low 40s! Tomorrow's run in the morning will be in the low 30s! I'm going to run with BJ so we'll just bundle up and knock out the miles together! :) The rest of the week will be warmer so that's a good thing! I'm not quite ready for temps like these! LOL

Enjoy your training! Enjoy the journey!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dopey Training: Week #3 (again)

Ok, this is going to be really quick because I actually have to post Week #4's training tomorrow! LOL

So Week #3 (last week) was my first race simulation. Here is what that looked like:

Monday: rest day
Tuesday: XT (60:00 swim); Pure Barre class
Wednesday: rest day (yep, two in one week! LOL)
Thursday: 3 mile run; Pure Barre class
Friday: 4.5 mile run
Saturday: 9 mile run 
Sunday: 12 mile run (2 mile warm up plus the Atlanta 10 Miler that I've already done a report on)

I was really nervous about this race simulation. I've never run 4 days in a row before - at least not with increasing mileage. I may have done it like to throw in a brick workout or something, but never doing more than a mile or two. And my right foot was hurting a bit - narrowed it down to the tightness in my right hip, so I focused stretching and rolling on that side. It got better each day, and didn't bother me at all in the week's runs! It felt like an answered prayer!

Saturday was my 9th Runniversary so I ran 9 miles! :D I can't believe I've already been running for 9 years and it's hard to imagine that this is my 10th year. I have so many great goals this year and it's going to be exciting! 

BJ ran 6 of my miles with me!! 

Garmin data from my runniversary! The run went just as planned!
One of the biggest reasons that my race simulation went so well is that I watched my pace for the first 3 runs, which enabled me to feel good for that 4th one. I really think that is going to be key and I hope I can do it again in November's race simulation! :) 

Check back tomorrow for Week #4's training report, including a race report on today's Team Tagg Autism Awareness 5K!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Race report: Atlanta 10 Miler

This morning I did a new race distance - the Atlanta 10 Miler! This is race #2 of the "Triple Peach Race Series" put on by the Atlanta Track Club. The first event was the Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July, and the 3rd and final race will be the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon next month. Individuals who complete the Triple Peach get an extra shirt and medal, and a special party area at the finish line of the Half Marathon. I've been wanting to take part in this event since it began a couple of years ago but my daughter always had Nutcracker on Thanksgiving weekend and dress rehearsal until 11 PM or later the night before Thanksgiving. So that was a no-brainer. This is her first year dancing with a new company so my Thanksgiving Day, and the Triple Peach, were on my race list for sure!

Flat Niffercoo - didn't end up needing the mittens!! I wore my new Skirt Sports skirt with my 2015 MCM shirt as a shout out to my many friends running MCM this morning!
There were lots of warnings about traffic so I arrived a little after 5 AM for my 7:17 wave start. I had to add 2 miles before the race to get my total mileage that I needed for my Dopey training, so I didn't want to risk sitting in traffic. That was a great idea and I would need that time later. I sat in the car for a long while choking down my Generation UCAN drink (my racing fuel). It wasn't cold outside but it was a bit chilly and I didn't want to stay outside too long. I met up with my friend, Michael, for a quick selfie in the parking garage and then I went to hit the restroom and do my 2 mile warm up, and intended to meet up with him again later but was only able to find him and some other guys from run group in their corral right before the race started.

The bathroom line at the ladies' room was ridiculous. I was in line for about 15 minutes, and when I came out, the line was twice as long. A volunteer said there were porta potties out on 17th (??) street, and I saw them while I was doing my warm up, but the lines for those were even worse! I did my 2 miles weaving back and forth Atlantic Station and finally settled into up and down one little road because it wasn't very crowded. Everything felt surprisingly good since I had run the 3 days before.

After my warm up, I needed to pee again, but the lines for the porta potties were even worse - and I had about 20 minutes until my start. I walked back to the regular bathrooms but they were worse than before. I then wandered around a bit trying to find an open store or some other bathroom options but couldn't find anything. At last I stumbled upon a marvelous sight - more porta potties! These were near the Target, and when I made my way down to them I discovered there were NO lines! They really should have announced these better! I had resigned myself to using potties on the course, but didn't need to! Yeah, this level of detail seems a bit TMI for a race report, but I was really surprised at the seeming lack of preparation in this area.

I asked a fellow racer where the start was located and it was directly behind me, so I started walking to my corral. I was placed in Wave B, which is generous since it was for 8:30 pace and there was no way I was doing that for 10 miles today. I decided I would be lining up in the very back for everyone's safety!

Start Line Selfie!!
It was pretty cool to be starting off the race before sunrise. We made the first turn after the start onto 17th Street and the ATL skyline was beautifully accented by the rising sun. It was breathtaking! I hope someone took a picture of it - if they did, I'll come back and add it to this post!

The course itself was new this year, featuring running down Cardiac Hill (the beast of a hill from the Peachtree Road Race). It didn't mean much to me since this was my first time! LOL But I really, really enjoyed the course! I don't know much about downtown and I only very rarely knew exactly where I was, but we ran through some lovely places. Of course, the hills were there - it's downtown ATL! But I've been training on hills again for the last few weeks and I felt much stronger than I did during the Peachtree. There were 2 really significant hills in miles 7 and 8. I was doing 2:00/0:30 intervals and it helps so much in situations like that. I have also been working on my form going uphill and not powering my way through. It helps to conserve energy!

I felt so very good today. I can't even describe it - I was expecting to be sluggish and slow but I felt strong! Once I saw that I was able to run at my target "race pace" I just went with it. I ended up finishing about 20 seconds per mile faster than race pace! Oops! I'm definitely going to have to be careful at Dopey and make sure I don't get carried away by the atmosphere! LOL

One funny thing about this distance - I passed the 8 mile marker and thought, "Only 5 miles to go!" and then I realized, "No! Wait! Only TWO miles to go! WOOHOO!!" That was surely a great feeling!

I crossed the finish line feeling amazing, but I didn't see any photographers. Bummer! I was able to get a nice selfie with my medals, though! My finish time was 1:41:46 - and average pace of 10:11/mile. Pretty good for

I'm going to blame the excess wrinkles around my eyes on being happy! Laugh Lines, right?!
The medal is really cool! It's the number 10 with a spinner in the zero!

Front of the spinner

Back of the spinner
Needless to say, this is a race I will be doing again! I had so much fun! And I wonder what I can do in terms of pace when I haven't gone into the race on tired legs! :D

Next year this 10 mile race falls on my 10th Runniversary (yesterday was my 9th!) so I'm pretty sure you can guess how I will be celebrating! I think I'll even make a cool shirt to wear that says something about it being my 10th year of running!

Lots of races this weekend - hoping everyone had a fun and safe time!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dopey Training: Week #2 (again)

This week's training went pretty well! This was a "One Longer Long Run" sort of week. I can't remember if I described the training rotation but it goes like this:

Two Long Runs
One Longer Long Run
Race Simulation (4 runs in a row)
Recovery Week

Having just come off of Half Ironman Training, I have to admit this training all feels like recovery, at least until this coming week when I have Race Simulation! I don't think I've ever run 4 days in a row! But still, when you're used to doing at least 2 workouts a day, every day, with a rest day only every 10 to 12 days, this feels easier!

So here is what this week's workouts looked like: 

Monday - 6 mile run; Strength Training (Pure Barre)
Tuesday - XT (60 minute swim)
Wednesday - 7 mile run; Strength Training (Pure Barre)
Thursday - rest day (What?!?)
Friday - XT (28 mile bike ride on the roads!)
Saturday - rest day (Nope, not kidding! I didn't set an alarm on Saturday!)
Sunday - The longer long run (14 miles of hills)

My hour swim went well, but I was mostly winging it. I'd like to get some sort of organized plan for my swims but I am not sure it's that important right now since it's truly just cross training and I'm doing it to keep up my swim fitness. I have a book of swim workouts for triathletes, but they are really long workouts (since I'm a slow swimmer) so I'm not sure how I would make that work. 

The bike ride was the BEST. Since I've been working on Tuesday and Thursday for the last few months, I haven't been able to join my group ride. When my cross training day lined up with my day off work, I asked my buddies if anyone could join me on a slow ride and 3 of them could make it! It was absolutely delightful to be back on the road with my friends again! 

My ride buddies - one had to cancel at the last minute so there was just the 3 of us! 
The runs went pretty well this week - I did a hill run on Monday and then a speed workout on Wednesday as part of my run group. I did have a little snafu come up on Wednesday - I did 5 miles before run group (speed) and then stopped and waited around for the group to come. When I started back up to do the last two miles, my right foot was hurting. Very odd! I went home to roll it out and take an epsom salts bath, but couldn't really find the actual part where it was hurting. Nothing hurt to touch. Nothing hurt to roll. I was perplexed.

The next day at work, I did one of my IT Band stretches (standing up, crossing legs, and doing a forward fold) and BAM! I felt the stretch the entire way down from my hip all the way to the exact spot in my foot where it hurt. You know how I'm always preaching that lower leg and foot injuries are usually related to issues in the upper part of the legs? Yep! Bingo! So at least that gave me a place to focus my efforts and I had a few non-running days to let it get better. I didn't feel it at all when I rode on Friday, not even when I came out of the saddle to climb.

So this morning, I didn't feel anything when walking, so I decided to give my long run a shot - at the Mountain which is a 5 mile loop. I would cut it short if it was bad. When I started out, I could feel the pain in the same spot - but I could also feel my tight hip. I focused on form and relaxing my hip... and in the middle of mile 4, my hip released and let my foot go as well! The rest of the run went very well, even on the hills! I did the 2:00/0:30 intervals which I have very surprisingly started to like. I only grudgingly did them because that's what my MRTT group did for long runs and I wanted to stay with them. I'm shocked that I have come to like that short of a break and I find if I'm in a groove I can easily hit a 10:30 mile that way. I even did it on the front side of the Mountain in mile 14 with 92 feet of climbing!

I did feel my foot and hip a little more towards the end of the run but nothing bad. And I worked all afternoon and felt just fine (aside from the fact that I had run 14 miles of hills that morning LOL). I'm not sure what that will mean for my 4 days of running in a row but I'm going to be diligent about my stretching and rolling this week and I already have a massage scheduled for a week from tomorrow! I'm fairly certain the tightness is from adding the hill workouts these last 2 weeks. I was a little cocky and started too far/too fast on the hills. Lesson learned and I will have to take responsibility for that one! It might mean a little extra down time from running during the Recovery week, but that won't be a problem. The most important thing is to get to the start line of Dopey in good shape.

Have a great week of training, y'all! And don't be cocky like Niffercoo! LOL

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Dopey Training: Week #1 (again)

After a week off from all workouts after the Half Ironman in order to fully recover from both the race and my cold, I was twitching and going a bit crazy! But I also knew that I was jumping headlong into Dopey Challenge training and really needed some time off before I jumped into that. So glad I did, as this week's training went wonderfully!

As a reminder, I am following a Dopey training template from Coach Jenny Hadfield - I have taken her framework, increased the mileage incrementally, and I think I have come up with a good plan! I did add a few miles to my long runs this weekend because I was feeling good and it lined up with the mileage I was doing in training for Augusta. Here's what it looked like:

Monday - 5 mile run; strength training (Pure Barre)
Tuesday - XT (50 minute group cycle class)
Wednesday - 6 mile run; strength training (Pure Barre)
Thursday - XT (one mile swim)
Friday - Long Run #1: 9 miles
Saturday - Long Run #2: 12 miles
Sunday - Rest Day

On Monday and Friday, I ran on hills because I am taking part in a local race series put on by the Atlanta Track Club called the Triple Peach, and the two final runs are both in downtown and are very hilly. Since Augusta and WDW are both flat, my emphasis has not been on hill training. I would be making a mistake if I did not do at least some hill work before those races!

I have absolutely no time goals for the Dopey races. I want to enjoy myself and finish and that's it! But my weekend runs were within 10 seconds per mile of each other and I was very happy with that. And I felt good when I was done, and today (rest day), and that is key. I want to get to the start line uninjured, something I have not ever really done with a full marathon before. In fact, I guess I do have a goal after all: GET TO THE START OF THE FULL MARATHON HEALTHY. This will be full marathon #6 and I have started each of my previous ones in some stage of injury and then have to take significant time off to recover. It's not fun - training injured, racing injured, recovering and starting all over. I have added strength training and specific stretches in an attempt to avoid the overuse injuries I have had before. If that doesn't help, then this will be my last full marathon (and the idea of a 140.6 is off the table). I enjoy half marathons and half Ironmans! I can train, race, and recover from them nicely - so I will just focus on those distances instead! :) But, by gosh, I'm going to put all I have into training well for this one and see how it goes! (And I'm NOT doing an 18 or a 20 mile training run because that seems to be my tipping point LOL)

This coming week of training focuses on one longer run (this week was two long-ish runs). I will be doing 14 miles which I did several times in my Augusta training so it shouldn't be too difficult. And then the following week will be my first race simulation and I am actually really excited about that! But first I have to get through this week's training! :)