new shoes, new workout

Speaking of all this training (for Eugene!), I’ve had a pretty good training week so far.  After working Saturday and Sunday, and therefore sleeping until almost 11 on Monday (pretty sure I was battling off a cold all weekend), I was ready to go get some miles.  I’m off Monday-Wednesday and Saturday this weekend, which means those will be the days that I run!  With the cold/wet/snow/dark, I still can’t manage to get myself up before work, so I try to squeeze all my runs into the four days that I’m off.  The hardest part is not being able to switch out a workout/run if I’m not quite feeling it and realizing that I’ll hit a cap on my weekly mileage – you can only run so many miles in four days!

Moving on.

monday

As I said, I was fitting off a bit of a cold, so I wasn’t quite sure how this run would go.  Should I cut the run short?  Should I not run at all?  I decided to go out and see how I felt, and I was pleasantly surprised.  My legs felt a little creaky (trend for the week…), but they loosened up and I told myself to keep an easy pace.  I was also excited to do this run because I had just ordered new running shoes.  I got two pairs of the Brooks Ravenna 6…I thought I might get by having a pair of shoes without pink or purple on them, but I did not.  Sigh.  But at least the pair I wore was white as the shoe…not sure how long that will last!

photo 1 (34) Such white snow, such hot pink shoelaces.

Please note that I did not run in the snow, this was merely for photographic purposes.  The road was perfectly clear!  The run felt fine, and eight miles ended much easier than I expected when I started.  And the Ravenna 6 gets a thumbs up in my book…so far!

Monday, March 2 – 8.13 miles in 1:03:23, avg pace of 7:55

tuesday

I don’t know why I dread workout days so much…I think I get nervous about the pace even though it usually turns out just fine, and I end up surprising myself more often than not.  But oh well.  After recently reading Robyn’s major catch-up post (warning:  she still talks about 2014), I felt inspired to mix up my workout.  She posted about a 2 x 10 minutes at a faster tempo pace, which sounded nice.  I’m not quite sure what “faster tempo pace” means, so I turned to the McMillian calculator for guidance.  Based on my latest half marathon (1:38, not a PR) and my goal marathon pace (PR of 3:18 minus a few minutes), I got some numbers.

image Suggested tempo pace.

image “Goal” 10k pace.

Hrrrrrrm.  Still not sure what to aim for, I decied that 6:39 was a bit too lofty right now, but anything above 7 minute pace didn’t seem quite challenging enough.  I decided to aim for 6:45-7 minute pace, giving me a little leeway depending on how I feel.  Excellent.

I headed to the Hudson River Path for a 2.5 mile warm up – legs still creaky, gotta work out those kinks!  After a few nervous coughs, I took for my first round of ten minutes.  Ten minutes isn’t so long, right?  …….right?  My Garmin told me for about a quarter of a mile that I was running 7:30 pace, which certainly made me nervous while trying not to sprint to drop the pace.  I held on and I think it was a just satellite/cloud issue, and I eventually settled in around 6:50-ish.  This feels fast but nice, and I’ll stick with that.  I prayed as I came across some stoplights in the pedestrian path, hitting them correctly so I didn’t have to stop.  Thank goodness.  Time flew by and I felt in control…one repeat done!

image Sidenote:  I wore my heart rate monitor!

I did a four minute active recovery, which was greatly needed and much appreciated.  My recovery took me past two NYC Park golf carts and two girls who entered the path from Houston St, which I automatically assume to be NYU students.  (Could be totally wrong, but not too many people are running at 11am on a Tuesday…)  I turned around with just enough time to avoid a stoplight and took off on my second repeat.

If you’ve ever run repeats, you probably know that the first repeat seems the easiest.  (Maybe the second since you have the blood flowing already, but at least you’re 100% fresh for the first.)  You can drop a crazy pace on the first one, but you have to prepare for the later repeats!  Luckily, this workout only had two repeats, so I was just pushing through to the finish.  Also, the start of this repeat started with a chase – running down those golf carts and the two girls.  I felt strong as I approached them and strong as I passed them…with 6:40 pace staring at me on my watch.  Don’t go crazy, Susan – but please hold on!  I’ll admit that I think the wind was at my back for this one, but I felt really strong and in control.  I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard, and I could imagine myself pushing hard in a race situation like that.  (Like a 10K, not longer!)  The repeat passed along quite fast, except for the last two minutes.  I keep getting worked up over the end of my workouts, like I won’t make it and/or might vomit.  I’ve never had problems with this before, so it’s an odd feeling, but I think it’s totally mental.  No matter what workout I do, it’s within the final minutes!  Ugh.  But I pushed through and had a rocking split.

image Hooray!

I put my hands on my knees for a minute or two before cooling down.  Since I try to pack many miles into a few days, I ended up with about a four mile cool down.  My legs weren’t necessarily in the mood for two extra miles, but I switched my watch over to heart rate mode and tried to keep it comfortable and consistent, which seemed to be around 165bpm.  I dragged my feet around for a bit and made it home.  WHEW.

photo 2 (33) I mostly had the path to myself.  Winter running isn’t so bad…

Tuesday, March 3 – 10.11 miles in 1:18:27, avg pace of 7:46

wednesday

For some reason, I decided it might be fun to mix up my run a bit.  I tend to only run in two places:  Central Park and the Hudson River Path.  The ice/snow has limited some of the “extra” options that Central Park has (namely the bridle path), and the repetition can be kind of annoying.  Plus, my legs were still stiff from the miles over the past two days, so I wanted to try something different.  I should also mention that I wanted to do a midweek long run, about 12 miles.  Pile on the miles, my friends.

The plan?  Central Park —>  Columbus Circle —>  Broadway —> east on 34th St —-> East River Path —->  west on Houston  —->  Hudson River Path —->  Home.  Not a bad run, but probably not the best run for 10:30am on a Wednesday, aka when everyone is out and about, even with the threat of rain.  (Spoiler alert: it didn’t rain!)  While it was fun to try a new route, it was certainly stop and go basically the entire way.  So.  Many.  Stoplights.  And they’re certainly not set at my running pace, ha.  With the slush at every corner, I felt like I was in a steeplechase.  Oops.  Luckily, I didn’t have any goals for pace, so I didn’t totally mind the stop and go other than the run would have been over with much, much faster without it.  Oh well.

image So many pauses, hahahha.

After I reached the East River Path (including eight million streets to cross), I had High School Musical’s “Stick to the Status Quo” in my head…mostly because of these lyrics:

image

This directly references Central Park, right?

I thought the streets would be a little better to cross, but I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised at all the stop and go.  Ah, well, live and learn.  It was fun to run to mix up my route a bit, even if it involved a few catcalls on Avenue D.

I will say that I wore capris and light long sleeve shirt (and a visor because of the threat of rain!), and I felt 100% comfortable, even warm at times!  It’s amazing how good 40 can feel…

I think I push my luck a bit past 10 miles, as I was definitely feeling it in the last mile.  Somewhere around 12 miles is my limit for not having food/fluids – especially if it starts to get warmer.  (Which it won’t since we’re supposed to get snow again…winter, it’s okay to go now.)  The last quarter mile was rough, but thank you to the drug smoking teenagers who helped direct me over the puddle that was the entrance to the Hudson River Path.  It was like fording the river in Oregon Trail, and both myself and my new running shoes survived.

Wednesday, March 5 – 12.23 miles in 1:36:09, avg pace of 7:52

30 miles in three days – get me a rest day!  Or a day or two of nursing…it’s close, right?

Spring 2015 Race Plans

You may (or may not) be thinking…just what is Susan doing all this running for?  Despite the fact that I really, truly just love to run, I don’t necessarily put myself through 17 mile long runs and workouts that almost make me puke just for the fun of it.  (Although seriously, I’ve never really reached the puke factor before, why is it getting to me now??  Anyway.)  I’ve been around the marathon circuit for a few years (er…8.5 years!), and I’ve knocked a bunch of bucket list races off my list.  I took 2014 off from marathons due to a return of my back issues in late 2013, so I knew that I’d want to tackle the marathon again in spring 2015.  But which one??

Post-half Ironman last year, it took awhile to rebuild my running endurance, and time moved quickly!  I ruled out any marathons in March or earlier, aiming instead for April or May.  Sometimes I spend more time that I’d like to admit on Marathon Guide, and it didn’t take me long to realize that the Eugene Marathon was in May this year.  The past few years have found the race in April and July (neither of which fit my schedule for the respective years), so I was excited to see the date was set for May!  Eugene has been on my list for awhile now, but it is on the other side of the country, so planning is certainly involved – not a quick weekend trip, although I suppose it could be if you needed it to be.

My brother lives in Portland, Oregon, which is conveniently close (enough) to Eugene, and gives me yet another reason to head to the other coast.  Additionally, in discussions with my mom, we’ve turned it into a family trip!  My parents haven’t seen me run a marathon in years, so it makes for a great reason for us all (minus my sister) to get together.  Hooray!  That’s also Mother’s Day weekend and my brother’s birthday is on Friday – so many things!

I’ve only ever heard good things about Eugene – from the history of Prefontaine running there to a fast course (hilly enough to keep it interesting but not drain you, I’ve heard).  Not to mention I’m looking forward to challenging myself to the marathon again and hopefully pushing myself to a PR.  The last time I set a PR was fall 2011 at the Twin Cities Marathon – I definitely need to get myself in gear.  I’m excited and nervous – which is about where I should be.

and to get ready for it…

I wanted to race a half marathon leading up to the marathon because not only does it let me gauge my fitness, but it also lets me experience racing.  I don’t really race much which I generally blame on working two weekends per month – sometimes it’s tough to work in races or I have other plans.  Plus, I’m not so keen on paying money to run in Central Park, so there’s that.  Anyway.

I had high hopes of getting into the NYC Half (lolololol, I KNOW), but of course my name didn’t get pulled, so I was out of luck for that.  I don’t have my eyes on half marathons quite like I do marathons, so I don’t have a list of races I’d like to check off.  However, with some incentive (more on that later), I checked on the Rock n Roll website for their list of races – and they happen to have a race in Dallas in March!  As you may recall, Eric’s mom lives just outside Dallas, making this decision a bit easier.  Although after experience my race weekend anxiety, his family may not be so excited to have me around, ha.  (Just kidding, I think.  Although I do have a track record of puking post-half marathon…hm.)  But on that note, I recently registered to run the Dallas Rock n Roll Half Marathon.

Image result for rock n roll dallas

Highlights include a red participant shirt (hooray!) and Deena Kastor apparently pacing the half.  I don’t know what pace she’ll be pacing, but if it’s somewhere around me, that would be awesome.  The course looks like it has some hills to it, so that’s a bit worrisome, but we’ll see.  It’ll be a good test of fitness, if nothing else.

And now you’re all up to date!  We’re about nine and a half weeks out from Eugene, so that’s cool.  Not time to freak out yet, right?

Anyone else running Eugene or Dallas?  Let me know!  Or tell me your spring race plans…might be a race to add to the list!

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