Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Speed Sessions Week 1

Yesterday was my first track session with Fleet Feet Sports. It was a very new experience to me and it showed me just how far I have come as a runner!

We warmed up with a progressive five laps around the track. Basically, each lap was slightly faster than the one before. (Funny story: I thought that was the workout at first. I was wrong)

We then did some dynamic warm ups including high knees, butt kicks, and high jumps.

The actual workout (I came to find out) was a 2 mile time trial. We will be basing our workouts each week on this base time. So essentially, just run 8 laps as fast as you can!

Here were my thoughts on this. I have never been a fast runner, but I signed up for these sessions because I want to improve instead of just deciding I'm a slow runner. I am not under the impression that I will ever run a 6 minute mile, but I want to be able to maximize my own abilities. I have gotten very complacent in a very slow pace. It isn't necessarily "comfortable" but it also isn't "uncomfortable" aside from normal distance fatigue. So I signed up for the speed sessions to find out how much I am capable of and hopefully improve my times slightly.

Here's what happened. I surprised myself! I totally forgot music and water so I was bound and determined to just get the run over with. But I also didn't want to sell myself short. I've been running for a while now and I knew I could give a lot more. I basically did all I could do and gave as much as I could. While I'm still not sure I gave 100%, I think I was pretty much around 80%. When I completed my first mile and looked at my watch, I thought it was broken. It said 9:52. I know to most people, that is a pretty comfortable pace, but it is a good minute and a half faster than my fastest mile in the past year. I'm not going to lie, I may have cried a bit. The second mile was 10:21, still very impressive for me! So my total 2 mile time was 20:13!

Here are the implications (I hope) of this experience. I'm not yet real worried about my marathon time. My main goal there is to finish. However, if I can run 2 miles in 20 minutes, I can push my 5k's a lot more than I have been. I have a 5k scheduled for next month and so I am going to push for a good time in that. I'm hoping it will also improve my half marathon time. My ultimate goal for my half marathon is a 2:30, but I'm not sure I'm there yet. With my half marathon next month, my goal is going to be 2:40 and if I beat that, it'll be great :)

On top of all of this great running, we got super cool hats! (Will post a picture eventually) Thanks Christi Beth and Fleet Feet!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Craziness and Marathon Training Wk 9

This week has been reallllly interesting! Will explain in a minute.

Monday: Tabata Workout

super sweaty tabata supersets - hard but great work out...give it a try instead of sitting around eating bonbons and watching TV.
Tuesday: Weather=no run
Wednesday: Weather=no run
Thursday: 3 miles, strength session, Cycle Hip Hop
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 13.1 miles (on the treadmill) and personal training
Sunday: Sweet Surrender Yoga (90 minutes)

The weather has wrecked my training this week! I promise this is not just an excuse. I know that most of you who read my blog are my family and that most of you live up north. So here's the deal with winter weather in TN. 

1. TN does not have the resources to deal with the cold/ice/snow/gross. While we had winter weather all week, I think I saw two plows and zero salt trucks. They did a pretty good job, but they just don't have the fleets that northern cities do.

2. TN drivers do not know how to drive in any weather (except for sunny, no wind). I was much more worried about other drivers than I was about myself. My husband even told me he thought I shouldn't go out because of the other drivers. I think there were at least 4 major interstates closed on Tuesday due to major accidents. Not risking my life.

3. If I don't go to work, I feel guilty going to the gym. This is something my Mom always told us growing up. "If you are too sick/weather is too bad to go to school, you shouldn't be able to go to the fun stuff after school". We didn't have work Monday or Tuesday and Wednesday we started late. So I didn't get to do the fun stuff after work. (Except for the Predators game we went to Tuesday night. Whoops. *don't tell my mom!*)

Tuesday was supposed to be my first track session through Fleet Feet, but that got cancelled. So I'm looking forward to that tomorrow. 

Now for the half marathon on the treadmill thing:

I'll set the stage for you. There was an inch of ice everywhere, covering Nashville. Then there was snow for several hours on Friday, to cover the ice. Then there was freezing rain, to cover the snow. Then there was rain, to make the ice more slippery. Then it was Saturday morning and I needed to run 13.1 miles. My husband was wonderful enough to drive me to the gym, but that meant almost 3 hours on a treadmill. Would not suggest it to anyone. Even my worst enemy.
On the plus side: I'M HALFWAY TO 26.2! 

Weather is supposed to be a little better this week, so hopefully getting in all my runs! Have a great week! I'll have some fun news to share next week (not a baby). :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Official Pictures from the Hot Chocolate 15k

Just some fun pics for you to see!

I think this is about the point that I saw the finish line. I was very happy.

This shows the real struggle that I felt.

More struggle

Crossing the finish line (the time is not accurate, I started way after the clock started)


I did take a little nap in the middle of the race. It was an early morning!

Just thought I'd share some of my race photos! Thanks to RAM Racing for making the pictures free! Have a great weekend :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15k and Marathon Training Week 8

Well today is a very exciting day for me. Snow day! So no work, but also no running (it's a rest day anyway).

First off, quick recap of marathon training week 8

I had another off week

Tuesday- Nothing
Saturday- Hot Chocolate 15k
Sunday- 90 minute restorative yoga

Again, I don't have much of an excuse. It was a stressful week with lots of hard decisions that I will tell you about in the coming weeks. Don't worry, it's all good! I just have to remember that running does help me with stress, not make it worse.

Anyway, here is my race recap!

Hot Chocolate 15k

I went to the expo to pick up our packets on Friday evening. It was a little bit of a hassle to get to, but I also went during rush hour. The expo looked fun, but I didn't really have time to look around.
We got downtown at about 5:45am on Saturday morning. It was abut 20 degrees, but it wasn't awful. I, at least, was prepared with several layers.

Brad was running the 5k and I was running the 15k. The first 2.3 miles we ran together and it was the best Valentine's date for a runner! Especially when you can get your non-runner husband to run with you (even if it's just for chocolate).

 Here's a couple pictures that Brad took of me in the finishing stretch. I was very spent at this point. Let's just say I overestimated my training. Considering I ran 12 miles last weekend, I decided 9 miles would be easy. It wasn't. But I'm glad I did it and it felt good to get the first race of the year done!

I wore my super cool socks from Pro Compression. It was Valentine's Day afterall! The medal was really cool too.

Don't worry, I didn't actually eat the medal, but I was super proud of it!

I did get a PR, but only because I've never run a 15k before. Still not up to speed, but I start my Speed Sessions through Fleet Feet Nashville this Tuesday. I'm holding out hope that it will make me super speedy :)

Hope y'all had a great Valentine's Day and a great week :) 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Instant Gratification Run

I saw this article on Runner's World today and  had sooo many thoughts about it I had to share.

0.0-Mile Run in Philly Unites Runners and Non-Runners

0.0 Start Line

For those of you who won't follow the link and read the article (I know who you are (because I do the same thing))-here's a brief summary. In the name of united runners and non-runners, a "race" was organized where essentially every lined up at the starting line, the announcer said "congrats", and everyone went and drank beer and celebrated at the after party. The $35 race gave out a bib, a cotton tee shirt, one free beer, discounts on drinks, free food, and age-group awards. They also had bands and costume contests. 

Here are my thoughts (feel free to agree or disagree):

1. I have to say I like the idea of showing non-runners the joys of the after party. It may encourage some of them to actually run. I hope that the non-runners talked with the runners and learned the incestuousness of both running and runners. However,

2. This made me very mad. I, and other runners, work very hard to get to that after party. Even those of us who don't really drink too much enjoy the celebration afterward. That is not because of the celebration. It's because we put in a lot of hard work to get there. It can't possibly mean as much if you essentially just paid $35 to party.

3. It makes me sad. I know that some of the non-runners there will never run another race. It's sad to me that the whole running experience to them is torn down to a celebration afterward. As I said before, there is nothing to celebrate if you haven't put in the hard work. 

One of my favorite parts of running is the achievement. I don't really race against other people and I'm not really caught up even with my time, but knowing that I have accomplished something is the greatest reward to me. I think that's why this article provoked so much thought. I'm sure the intentions of this "race" were purely for fun, but I feel a little bit slighted by it.

Let me know your thoughts!  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Marathon Training Wk 7

It has been an awesome week of training and I'm excited to tell you about it!

Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: 2.68 miles (12x1minute at 5k pace), strength session, Cycle Hip Hop
Wednesday: 4.5 miles and strength session
Thursday: 3 miles, strength session, Cycle Hip Hop
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: Rest

And because this week went so well, I decided I would show you pictures of each of the parts of my training.

This is an example of what my trainer puts together for my strength training. This was Tuesdays drill.

A picture of the Spin bike while waiting for Cycle Hip Hop. I didn't take a picture of the actual class, because I look ridiculous :) 

During my long 12 mile run on Saturday. It was 60 degrees and sunny! Made me realize how not used to running in the sun I am.

This was before my face turned into a tomato. Yes, I got sunburned in February. I should never be trusted in the sun.

This was a really interesting article that I found while browsing this week.

A Few Rules to Run By

It's been a rough training cycle for me, but I'm encouraged that I feel better and am able to run 12 miles! (we still won't talk about time). Next weekend in the Hot Chocolate 15k and I'm excited for my first race of the year :)

Monday, February 2, 2015

Marathon Training Week 6

So if you are looking for a super up-beat and excited recount of my week of running-see last week. This week was rough.

Thursday- Zip
Saturday-7 mile run, personal training (my b-day!)
Sunday-90 minute restorative flow yoga

There are many reasons why I skipped my runs this week. Most of them are excuses and I am acknowledging that I could have done them.

Tuesday we went to another Nashville Predators game so that was my excuse. Maybe one of my only good ones.
Fun game: guess what section we were in!

Wednesday was a really stressful day at work and I didn't feel great, so I didn't run.

Thursday (see Wednesday)

Friday is supposed to be a rest day, so I had to rest from all my doing nothing.

Saturday's run was pretty normal. I felt out of it for the first two miles, but got into a groove for miles 3-7. It was still pretty cold, so I was glad to go lift afterwards.

Sunday's yoga was soooooo necessary. It was a wonderful class and very calming. Makes me feel ready to tackle marathon training week 7! (12 miles this Saturday!)