Monday, January 30, 2012

1/30/12: I Hate Recovery

I hate taking time off to recover. My can't my body just go 100% all the time?

I was intentionally going to take the weekend of 1/21 and 1/22 off while we were down in Fort Lauderdale with friends (which was awesome). Then I ended up having to take off the following Monday and Tuesday due to some crazy work travel and very delayed flights.

After four days, I was already getting really antsy and ready to make up for lost time. I figured my legs would be fresh and ready to go.

Wrong. I felt terrible. My legs were really tired, and I had all sorts of tweaks and pains that felt like the onset of injury. I ended up running a bad 8 miles on Wednesday and a terrible 5 miles on Thursday. I enjoyed a 10 mile trail run on Friday, but mostly because I was running on my favorite local trails with sunny and unseasonably warm weather. The legs were still not good though.

Things were no better by the weekend, and I was feeling a bit sick, too. I very reluctantly limited myself to a 6 mile hike on Saturday (which was very nice) and some cross training on Sunday with the bike and stairmaster.

On Monday I snapped back and felt a whole lot better. Apparently my body decided it needed an entire week off and wasn't going to let me run. Over time I have gotten much better about listening to my body. It is tough to feel like you are losing fitness, but you have to trust that taking a few days (or a week) doesn't really matter and that you will come back stronger. I was not happy about taking time off, but I think I am now in good shape to push hard for 5-6 weeks before tapering off for the National Marathon.

Tomorrow night's speed workout with the DC Road Runners should be a good gauge of fitness. Hopefully it shows that the time off was helpful!

Monday, January 23, 2012

1/23/12: Training Update

I kicked off this week in style with a very good run on Saturday with the DC Road Runners. I forgot how awesome it is to train with them. I was tired from a long week and traveling on Friday but managed to drag myself out there.

The route was 14 miles, and I was planning to run 17 in total with a warmup and cooldown. I was aiming for somewhere in the 7:15 to 7:30 pace range. I ran with a guy who is a 2:45 marathoner and ended up going both faster and further. Hooray!

The guy I was running with added an extra loop around Hanes Point, which made it 19.25 miles. I averaged 6:57 pace and ran 24 miles total with the warmup and cool down. I ran easy for the first three miles or so, but I felt pretty good and started stretching out the legs. I immediately dropped the pace below 7:00 and held it there.

I was super comfortable running in the 6:50 – 6:55 range and could have run a lot longer at that pace. I pushed it hard in the last few miles and must have been well into the low 6 minute range. My legs were hardly even sore the next day, and I ran another 17 miles on hilly trails at around 7:45 pace.

This was a huge confidence booster for me and is the first time that I have been able to wrap my mind around running a sub 2:50 marathon. My legs did feel tired throughout the rest of the week, but I still notched up some good overall mileage.

  • Saturday: 24 miles with 19.25 @ 6:57

  • Sunday: 17 miles @ 7:45 on hilly trails

  • Monday: easy 15 miles and lifting

  • Tuesday: Off

  • Wednesday: 7 miles easy

  • Thursday: 13 miles with 2 x 1 mile @ 5:49 (legs were tired, so I cut the workout short)

  • Friday: 9 miles easy

  • Total: 85 miles

Saturday, January 14, 2012

1/12/14: Training Recap

I have had the usual ups and downs in training over the past 3 weeks, but the ups have been pretty solid. I took advantage of the down week between Christmas and New Years to run 91 miles and crank out some really good workouts.

I did some hard runs both before and after this week, so I ran about 125 miles over 9 days with lots of tough workouts. Needless to say, I needed a bit of recovery after that (and after New Year's Eve). I dialed it back the next week and ran 62 miles with nothing that hard.

Last week I hit 70 miles despite some work travel and got back to running some decent worksout.

Here are some of the key workouts I've run over the past 3 weeks:

  • Tuesday 12/27: 8 miles @ 6:22. Felt pretty easy.

  • Thursday 12/29: 3 x 2mi @ 6:00 (6:07, 5:56, 5:56). This was outside in Chicago, and it was crazy windy. I was hurting in the first 2 mile repeat, so I was really happy to be able to crush the second two.

  • Saturday 1/7: 19 miles total with 14 @ 6:56 on a hilly route.

  • Thursday 1/12: 10 miles with 2 miles in 11:38. Did a morning run and was going to do a nighttime workout. Worked late and ran out of time, so I just hammered it for 2 miles.

  • Saturday 1/14: 24 miles with 19 @ 6:57. Felt very comfortable the whole time. Big confidence booster.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/8/12: Sunrise in Washington DC

Jen got a really nice new camera recently. I am secretly very excited to use it to take awesome pictures of sweet running scenery. Ok, I guess it isn't secret now. Jen, don't worry ... I won't take the camera WITH me on the run.

Earlier this week I woke up bleary eyed and started getting ready to run. I looked out the window of our condo and saw the most amazing sunrise just beginning. I quickly grabbed her new camera and went out onto the balcony to capture the glorious scene (and I nearly froze doing so).

Here are a few of the pictures from that epic sunrise.