MarathonMaiden's Blog

September 9, 2010

Give Me Speed. How Fast Can You Go.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:30

Any takers as to what song that the title’s from?! 😉

Apparently I have it in my head that I’m doing a 5k.  Of course I need to find the money for it.  This might mean staking out a streetcorner for the next week or so.  But hey, a girl’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to race.

And that includes speed work.  It’s no secret that I don’t think of myself as a particularly fast runner.  Sure I think that my half time was rocking from this weekend but I guess I really mean that I don’t think of myself as a short distance (aka fast) racer.  I was never on any cross country team and my specialties in track were 100m and 200m distances.  So 5k? I’ve only done ONE.  Not too shabby there but I really didn’t know what I was doing.

Still don’t really.  Which is why I emailed  Lacey yesterday to get her take on what I should do to prep for a 5k in a week and a half.  Here’s what she said:

warm up with a couple of miles (and try to get the biggest hills out of the way) and find a relatively flat, but rolling hills/small hills are fine stretch where you know what is 1 mile, and 2 miles. I woud run 1 mile and shoot for 6:45. If you feel good, go right into the second mile and shoot for another 6:45. that would be your goal. of course if you can run faster than that you should 🙂 push yourself, but be able to do it for 2 miles.

I liked the idea of this workout.  Granted only doing 2 fast miles? The last time I was in training I was banging out multiple miles in the form of repeats or tempos.  But I was going to trust the plan to get me through.

Just so we’re clear here is what I was planning to do:

  • 3.7 mile warm up (in order to get to my speed area with minimal hills)
  • 2 X 1 mile continuous
  • 2.5 mile warm down

And I want to apologize for any time I have scoffed at a 2 X whatever continuous run when I would be saying “why not just say X miles?” Apparently the goal is to go the second time HARDER than the first, therefore being two separate things.  Because that’s what I did today and it was HARD.

Here’s what went down:

  • 3.7 mile warm up @ 9:04
  • 2 X 1 mile fast @ 7:03, 6:44
  • 1 mile recovery @ 8:23
  • 1 mile fast @ 6:20
  • 2.8 mile warm down @ 8:23

Total: 10.5 miles @ 8:13

Although I SWEAR that my warm down was actually 3.3 miles and giving me a total of 11 for the morning.  But apparently mapmyrun disagrees. Oh well.

First I want to say that all my post-race soreness is gone.  Well maybe 97.68% of it.  I’m really not feeling banged up the way I did the first few days post-race.  I had asked Lacey when I should do this workout too and she said that I could try Thursday and then again on Sunday.  Then take it easy before the race.  So the soreness was gone and I went for it (that goes for quads AND shins.  I think some people mistakenly thought that my shin pain from Boston training was back.  It’s not.  All I was feeling was the effects of a hard effort in the race).

In case you couldn’t tell I’m not the kind of person who just sits around and waits for things.  As much as I dreaded the hardness of the workout I wasn’t going to avoid it either. So Thursday it was going to be.

And with this song in my head too.   I ❤ it.  Apropos for letting go and doing some darn fast running:

Now onto my thoughts of the first speedwork session I have done since….Boston? I can count the 5M race I did on the 4th of July but still, it’s been awhile.

Here’s what I think: I need my warm up to be progressive.  I don’t think I really increased the pace over those warm up miles. The distance didn’t really bother me as I think that ~2-3 miles is perfect for warming up.  And 3.7 happened to be the distance between my apartment and where I wanted to do the speedy stuff.

But since I think I stayed pretty slow throughout — I’d have liked to see the average for that portion be closer to 8:45-8:50 — the first part of the first mile was getting me acquainted with speed.  And with it only being a mile that’s no good.  Icould tell because it was HARD and HURT to go that fast despite it being relatively flat (maybe a slight uphill but nothing noticeable while running it). 

But my second mile clearly was decent because after seeing 7:03 for the first mile (and the goal was to keep it at 6:50 or faster) I was determined to get faster.  Come hell or high water. And I did it of course and there was a mega hill at the very end.  I felt like dying!  But I powered through it and seeing that my split was 6:44 made me smile and NOT vomit.  My legs felt like absolute jello but I turned around and started jogging so I didn’t end up collapsing.

Because my first mile was awful  I decided to take the first mile of the speed route I just ran as recovery (and wooooot to running fast meaning good recovery paces! 8:23?!) and then bang out a HARD last mile.  Which I did. I kept telling myself to push hard because it was *only* one mile hahahah.  But it worked because I came up with a 6:20 mile!!

And then I warmed down, which felt slower than it actually was although I didn’t feel like it was a hard effort. Good feeling for a warm down.

So I’m not quite sure how I feel about it overall.  I’m pleased with miles 2 and 3 of the hard stuff but going from a 6:44 pace to a 6:20 pace after a recovery mile signals to me that I can’t pace myself right. Yes I love that everything gets faster but each mile split was 15-20 seconds faster than the previous.  To me that’s a bit too much! Or at least I’m a terrible judge of pacing. I just don’t have that internal mechanism some people have (or a garmin but that’s a different story.  And I may be walking a different street for that 😉 )

Oh no I didn't just say that 😉

According to Lacey I did rock the workout (she’s now officially my coach hah!) and that I should be really happy with how I did.  So I will be because she told me to be.  I think all the doubt I have is because 5k racing is not something I’m used to doing so I have no benchmark for what to expect.  Even when I ran that 5k (the one that I linked to above) I never trained for it.  I didn’t do any specific workouts for it.  I just had my summer training for a half under my belt.

Funny how I’m in a similar situation now.  Except I didn’t training for the half I just ran.  Oh well.  I’m hoping that good things come to me for this one too!

So the plan is for me to do this workout again on Monday.  I’m kind of scared for it.  But the good kind of scared 😀

October 26, 2009

“Be a better stalker”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:32

Title to be explained in a later paragraph, but too good a quote to pass up!

Well yesterday’s weather was nice enough to make me sweat hardcore but this morning? Not so much! It was a balmy 35* which was nice a crisp.  Felt good but definitely a bit of a shock to step outside!

I did 6 miles this morning.  Kind of on the long side but better than the 8-10 miles I have been doing Monday mornings.  So an improvement.  I figure that small changes will be the easiest to handle, so I’m going to slowly lower the mileage by cutting out 1-3 miles per day from my usual.  That will lead to maybe a 15 +/- 5 mile decrease over the course of the week.  I’ve also decided to cut out my lifting sessions as I’m far too tempted to include an extra 3 or 4 miles afterward, which isn’t necessary.

The miles were slow and steady.  I never felt like I was being a speedster (and my watch didn’t tell me otherwise) but I didn’t feel all lethargic and slow and dragging.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things this is what running should be: an enjoyable way to pass the time.  At least for the time being.  Once Boston training starts I’m sure I’ll change my tune 🙂

Leading me to re-ponder my paces.  I’m assuming that since there were no objections to the paces I posted that they all seem good relative to each other? As in my recovery/easy pace is okay compared to long run pace compared to tempo? I’m never sure if I’m running one pace to fast/slow given what my race paces and other training paces are.

I also really enjoyed watching a complete sunrise.  Even though I do core work before most of my runs I’m still not leaving my room until 0630 or so and the sun rises at 0706 (I think that was today’s).  I do get roughly 15-20 minutes of pre-sunrise light though (is this dawn?) so it’s not really as bad as it sounds.  Still, it’s a bit scary to look outside the window and see NO color in the sky

Well, there may have been a star or two when I was running. But still scary!

Well, there may have been a star or two when I was running. But still scary!

Well the colors are what I saw. Im in the middle of Nowhere USA so its not quite so scenic haha
Well the colors are what I saw. I’m in the middle of Nowhere USA so it’s not quite so scenic haha

This morning the route I chose didn’t incorporate laps of my school (another surefire temptation to add miles) so I hit the actual streets immediately.  It actually made me feel a bit unsafe which hasn’t happened in a really long time. Makes me think that I actually really do need reflective gear. I suppose I could wear my Halloween costume (oh burn! Another teaser!)  Any ideas on cheap (and non-dorky) actually I am trying to embrace my inner dork (in both academics, running, all aspects of life) so I guess I’m open to anything as long as it’s cheap and not tacky.  I can handle a little nerd but definitely not tacky.

Which (non-running tangent here) reminds me of Hot-Spanish-TA.  No, he’s not tacky but he was describing something in class the other day and said “chabacano” which means tacky.  It came out of nowhere so it was hilarious.  *LeSigh*. I need to learn his schedule so I can (to quote my roomie) “be a better stalker”.  Haha. But she is right: I am failing at this.

So I’m going to be creepy and go sit in the cafe before my meeting (seeing a woman who will “fix my life”) and study a bit for some upcoming exams. I have seen him there before so maybe I’ll get lucky? I’m open to ideas.  After Thursday night’s acknowledgment at the local bar I need to do *something*. Right? Oh man, hello MM, are you 15 again? Haha

Here’s some more Facts of Life to spice up your Monday!

26. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G as in…(10 second lapse)..ummm…Goonies”

27. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

28. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.

29. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get the fuck out of my neighborhood.

30. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

September 8, 2009

Great Eight

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 17:12

Hmmm, even if I hadn’t had a great eight miles this morning I still ❤ the rhyming there.

And I think that since I could do an eight-er really easily without any soreness I need to trust myself when racing that I’m not going to die and have to drop out if I go hard from the get-go.  On the flip side, I think I need to warmup better before racing so that the first few miles at the pace I want aren’t so hard and those “omg-I’m-dying” thoughts are not there. I’m not too worried about figuring it out immediately.  I plan on running and racing for awhile and from the looks of the comments of yesterday’s post, many of you want the secret if I ever figure it out. Pacing is so subjective and I am not subjective.  I am a science/math, one answer kind of kid.

Regardless, it was a great race and I re-checked the standing and I was actually THIRD in my age group.  Crazy happy, even though there’s no prize for it haha. Pride thing 🙂

I had a question from Emily about my core routine.  You can find my full options for core exercises here under Abs and Back.  I know core is defined as shoulder to hips but to most ppl it really means abs and back.  But, as an example, here’s what I did today after my run:

  • Plank
  • Row
  • Bicycle

I did 3 X :45 “on” with :15 “off”.  Basically I did each exercise 3 times for 45 seconds then rested for 15 before starting again.  I like to do 3 plank, 3 row, 3 bicycle but I know ppl who go plank, row, bicycle then repeat.  To each his own.

Then I followed it with some pelvic raises (putting legs on a chair — ideally medicine ball but hey, I’m in my room) and TheraBand Pulls (place a band over a doorknob and pull).  Each 3X15. Nothing fancy or extensive.

Now, back to the title of the post.  I had only planned on going my 6.2 mile route but I was feeling it.  The weather was 55*, the sun rose at the start and was all pretty the whole way, surprisingly little traffic.  All things that lead to me running more than planned.  Again, I must suck at pacing in the race if this is what I can do 2 days post: 8 miles at a strong but easy pace. It felt so good and quick yet controlled.  Only downside was that the extra 1.8 miles forced me to rush a little to get to class on time.  But hey, priorities.

I had jazz again today too.  I think I’m getting more comfortable in the class.  Not in the sense of I’m becoming more graceful or flexible (HA) but I’m letting a little jazz attitude shine through and it feels good and empowering. And that feels damn good.  Not sure if my muscles are going to feel the same tmrw though.  But I’m basking in this glow.

Final thought: Music Obsession of the Moment!

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