When did my short runs become so long?

Yesterday morning I was struck by a sudden jump in my weekday mileage. I’ve always enjoyed when my long runs have climbed to a distance that makes normal people shake their heads and wonder at my sanity, but I like to keep my week day runs on the shorter side. I’ve repeatedly avoided training plans that climb to 8 or more miles on a weekday. I mean, come on, who has time for that? Certainly, not someone running at my pace.

But right now, I do have time for longer runs during the week, so this week I allowed my training plan to trick me into an 8+ mile run on a Thursday morning. I say trick because it was written as a ladder workout (warm-up, 1 mile @ goal pace, recovery, 2 mile….etc.), those miles sure do add up!

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I never get sick of running by the water.

My 8.13 mile run (yes, I count every teeny tiny bit, I refuse to round down to 8) included two 1 mile segments and two 2 mile segments each run at goal pace. Currently I’m using a range of 9:35/mile to 10:05/mile for goal pace workouts. (I don’t have a very strict time goal, so I used my predicted marathon pace based on my last two races to arrive at that window.) I ended up running around 9:50/mile during those portions of the run, and it never felt impossible, which I’ll take as a good sign.

One thing I’ve been doing that I’m not sure is a very good idea: walking on my recovery intervals. I don’t walk the entire recovery part, but at least half. I don’t know whether this is bad or not. I’m not super concerned because I plan on taking walk breaks in the race, but I still feel a little guilty when I do it.

What’s the longest “short” run you’re willing to do? Should I stop walking my recovery? 

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#100HappyDays – Days 8 – 14

It hasn’t been very long, but I’m enjoying the happy days challenge so far. I’m trying to remember my happy things throughout the day as a way to stay focused on all the good things in my life and smile more. I don’t know if that’s actually working, but it’s not hurting. So, with no further ado, here’s week two:

Day 8: Having a Muppet movie marathon. Okay, to be fair, we only watched two movies and that’s hardly a movie marathon.  We’ll watch another one or two soon, though.  The first movie we watched was the new Muppet movie: Muppets Most Wanted. It was very funny, and I liked it a lot. We saw it in the theater, so I also got to have movie popcorn for lunch. The second movie we watched was Muppets From Space. I think this one is from the late 90’s, and is centered on the origins of Gonzo. I liked Muppets Most Wanted better out of the two, but that could just be because it’s new.

Day 9: Easter candy from Winfrey’s. A few months ago, or maybe it’s a year now, a handmade candy store opened near our house. This weekend we stopped in to pick up a small treat while taking a walk, and that’s when we found something awesome. Candy eggs filled with fudge. So, obviously, we spent $10 on candy, which we ate over the course of two days.  Chocolate for the win! See, I told you the grilled cheese wouldn’t be the only happy thing based on food.

Day 10: Knitting for someone special. I’m knitting a blanket for my soon to be niece or nephew. It’s fun to knit and I like imagining a little baby wrapped up in the blanket in just a few months! I can’t wait to become an aunt for the second time. 🙂

Day 11: Stocking up on Chickpeas Yes, I’m aware that this sounds incredibly lame, but having a freezer full of beans is definitely a happy thought. We buy bags of dried beans, cook them, and then freeze them in 1-1/2 cup servings (equivalent to one can). We like to have a supply of chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, and pintos.  In a typical week, we use anywhere from 4 to 8 “cans” of beans in chilli, hummus, tacos, and bean burgers. Eating all these things makes me happy, so having the ingredients is also a happy thing.

Day 12: Finishing a hard workout I didn’t feel like doing I’ve been having a serious motivation issue this week for reasons unknown, and had absolutely no desire to run intervals on the treadmill today. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who will encourage me to come with him to the gym even if I’m whining about it and dawdling and he’d probably prefer to just leave my annoying self at home. Once I started running, I was perfectly happy doing it, and I really love intervals. They make me feel fast and awesome.

Day 13: Watching Friends with Jeff Sitting on the couch with Jeff watching Friends (or something else we find funny) is definitely one of my happy places.

Day 14: Visiting with mom A trip to Buffalo is always full of a lot of family time, and I got it kicked off right by having lunch and running errands with Mom and Pam, then Beth came over to visit and eat pizza. What a great time!

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Spring 1/2 Training: Week 10

I can’t believe I’ve been training for 10 weeks. This is a long training plan! I think I made it this way because I was excited to get started. Ha! 

Here’s how week 10 went:

  • Monday: 3 mile easy run followed by spinning. Also, stretching and foam rolling. 
  • Tuesday:  Jeff and I planned to run together tonight, and despite neither of us feeling like it we got all dressed up for intervals at the track. Unfortunately, when we drove over to the track we found it was taken by the high school track team. We then decided to do a short run from home instead. However, we still weren’t feeling it and after stepping out into the wind we quickly headed inside in favor of dinner and a few episodes of Friends. (Am I a bad runner if I find this more funny than guilt inducing?)
  • Wednesday: Did my intervals that I skipped on Tuesday. I REALLY didn’t want to go, but Jeff sort of dragged me with him to the gym. It turned out to be a great workout, so I’m pretty grateful that he didn’t give in to my whining. On another note, I really like intervals. They feel easier than just a regular 4 mile run. Think I can do intervals for the whole race?
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I love intervals!

  • Thursday:  Took the night off to get ready for my weekend trip to Buffalo.
  • Friday: Traveling and visiting with family, no running.
  • Saturday: Baby shower day for my sister, again no running.
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Shower success!

  • Sunday: After talking with a few people, I decided to do my long run on the trail by the Niagara River.  Unfortunately, because it’s Buffalo and Spring is not coming this year, there were 3″ of snow on the ground when I woke up. After dawdling as long as I could, I finally forced myself on to my mom’s treadmill for 12 miles. I didn’t really feel like running (theme of the week), but again, once it started, I was fine and had a good time. I even ended up with negative splits!
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Oh, hello there March 30th.

This is how I did on my goals last week:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles Check!
  2. Speed work – 9x400m Check!
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile – 3 mile yes, 5 mile no
  4. Strength – Once – Still have a wrist problem, but shouldn’t be failing so badly at this
  5. Stretch + Foam Roll – 3 times – Only once
  6. Spinning Once Check!

This week I’m hoping to:

  1. Long Run: 12 miles
  2. Speed Work – 45 min tempo run
  3. Easy Runs: (2) – 3 mile + 5 mile
  4. Pace Run: 5 mile
  5. Strength – Once
  6. Stretch & Foam Roll – 2 times
  7. Spinning Once

One of these weeks, I’m going to meet all of my goals, but it certainly wasn’t week 10. I’m happy with how I did though, considering I was doing a bunch of last minute baby shower planning and then traveling to Buffalo. In addition to that, my motivation to workout was definitely lacking this week, so I consider everything I did an extra little victory.

Do you ever have weeks like mine, where everything is 10 times harder to do than normal? I tend to give in and skip some workouts, but not all of them. I find that taking it easy on weeks like this can help me get my motivation back quicker, but it’s good to have some workouts to look back on that were hard to start but turned out good. 

The Friday 5 – 2nd Edition

Happy Friday!  Interested in some randomness? Yes? Well, you’ve come to the right place.  Enjoy my Friday Five:

1. When I do intervals on the treadmill, I change the setting to kilometers. I know that 400m is almost the same as 1/4 mile, but it’s not quite, so using the kilometers setting makes more sense to me. Of course, the entire time, I have no concept of what the numbers on the screen mean in terms of distance and speed. It’s kind of fun. I’ve figured out what the equivalent km/h setting is required for my interval pace, and that’s all I really need to know. Last night, the woman on the treadmill next to me kept looking at my screen; I’m really hoping she was confused/impressed by how fast it said I was going (even though I wasn’t – haha). Also, maybe this will help me get a bit of a handle on the metric system, I’ve always wanted to be better at that.

2. It’s Pi Day!  I’m thinking of making something pie related to celebrate, but I just made chocolate chip cookies yesterday, so maybe not.  I made these: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/05/27/the-best-healthy-chocolate-chip-cookies/ and they’re quite delicious.  They don’t look great, though. And they are thin, wafer thin. Ha!

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3. Jeff and I have one car. Her name is Betty, but admittedly, we don’t refer to her by name very often. One of the best little features that our car has is a saved seat position button. So when I get in the car, I just need to push “2” and the seat automatically goes to my preferred position. It’s a really awesome feature in a shared car. I still have to adjust the review mirror, but that’s not nearly as irritating as adjusting the seat would be. Whoooa, black Betty, bam ba lam!

4. I’m really freaked out about my test next Friday. I’ve been doing practice tests for a few weeks now, and I have only completed one that I feel confident would be a passing score (the grading is complicated, and there is not a predetermined percentage that would indicate a pass, so I don’t know for sure). I’ve really put it out there leaving engineering and pursuing this, and pretty much everyone I know knows I’m taking this test. I think that having to tell everyone that I’ve failed would be worse than actually failing. I’m generally a good test taker, and I know that people expect me to be able to pass. The test is so hard, though! The pass rate is less than 50%, more than half of the test takers fail…ugh!

5. While I’m terrified of next Friday, I’ve reserved a little piece of myself to be excited for the new Muppet movie. I’m a HUGE fan of the Muppets, and Muppet movies, and I can’t wait to see it. I’m hoping it will be playing at 9AM like the last Muppet Movie. I like going to the movies in the early morning – it’s cheaper and there are less people. (Yes, I still get popcorn).

Me and my Muppety Friends, Mupbert and Princess Muppette:

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And, that’s it for the second edition of the Friday Five. Enjoy your weekend.