Sunday, November 28, 2010

Week in Review

60.9 Miles
0 Doubles, 7 runs
5 miles below goal weekly mileage
1 workout

So, if you're actually a regular follower of my blog, you might be wondering why I did not post about another workout this week. However, knowing that my blog doesn't quite have the comedic effect that Megean Nedlo's blog has, I'm doubting that you questioned my lack of workouts. Despite the fact that Meagan and Jordan were 1,197 miles away from Charotte in Texas, I picked up the exact same bug that they recently just overcame. The sore throat, scratchy voice, sniffles and mini coughs have plagued me (and my running) over the past three days. You read that right, I picked it up after Thanksgiving. While I had a 6x3 min fartlek planned for Friday, I scrapped that as my head felt like it might explode and that my lungs might be displaced while I coughed. For that reason, I kept it simple, but was still able to get a nice long run in of 16 miles on Sunday with Matt and John at Davidson in the mid afternoon.

I hope to return back to my normal routine of workouts next week, with the understanding that effort is the important aspect to focus on until this sickness passes. I won't focus so much on pace so that I walk away with a positive attitude.

Most importantly, I was able to still reach a respectable weekly mileage while away on the Thanksgiving holiday and spending time with Garrett's family. I had a great time cooking a Thanksgiving meal with their family. Undoubtedly, I missed my own family, but since I still have Costa Rica still fresh in my mind, I felt much better than I otherwise would have.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

4-Mile Tempo with Lat

Goal: 25 minute tempo at 6:00-6:05 pace
Actual: 4-Mile tempo at 5:51 pace (5:57, 5:49, 6:00, 5:41)

This morning I woke up at 5:45am to prepare for a 4 mile tempo with Lat. I was supposed to meet him at the Brixx at East Blvd at 615am, so I had 13 minutes to get ready. I was out of the door by 5:57am, an accomplishment in itself. I met him right on time, and we ran back a couple of blocks to our unofficial start line at Dilworth Road East / East Blvd.

For the first mile, we went out a little quick, and Lat pulled us back in to a respectable pace. This mile was flat, then downhill, then a little uphill as we turned on Sterling Ave, Mr. Garmin showed 5:57. The second mile we both knew was going to be the toughest, but we pushed forward and ran actually quite fast on this rolling section. Our breathing was more labored at this point, and when Mr. Garmin beeped, I knew why the breathing was heavier, as we came through in 5:49. To me, the flat section of the Booty Loop is always the toughest because it is flat and you think that you can slow it down a little bit because you were just pushing on the hills, but you really can't. The effort seemed to be most difficult on this third mile and I focused on keeping my breathing under control. We came through right at 6:00 flat and you can tell by this time that Lat and I settled in a little bit during this mile. The fourth mile was flat and then downhill, so definitely the easiest of the four segments. It's pretty fun to just let your legs run with a mind of their own down a hill at the end of a tempo, and that's exactly what I did. Running this last portion didn't require too much thinking; I just trusted my legs would carry me to a fast time.

Next time I do a similar workout, I hope that my breathing feels better. I also felt pretty uncomfortable at that pace, so I want to feel like the tempo is an easier effort the next time I do it. I am pleased with the time as it is faster than my goal going into it. Lat's company was essential, and I am grateful for having him out there to push me. On that note, I am ready for Nedlo and Kinley to return from the great state of Texas so that we can all run together again.

2 mile warmup

4 mile Tempo (23:27 for 5:51 ave)
1 - 5:57
2 - 5:49
3 - 6:00
4 - 5:41

4 mile cooldown

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week in Review

64.8 Miles
1 Double, 8 runs
15.5 Mile Long Run
1 Day in Winston-Salem

I don't really remember much about this week except for the fact that Liz was in town, which was a great time. As my first week back into "real" training, I posted two solid workouts (3x10 min and 12x1 min) and a long run of 15.5 miles. I feel more tired on my easy runs and more spent on my cool downs. I know that in just a couple week's time, I'll feel very strong, but I just need to be patient to get there.

I also can't help but think about how different/difficult it is going to be to train hard over the holidays, as this is something that I have never actually done in my entire running days. I am preparing my mind for this since I'm not used to actually working out over Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks. This Half Marathon training cycle will get me prepared for what it will be like next winter when I'll be training for the trials. This week I feel like I did not run with as many different people as I usually do, since Aaron, Jay, and Paul just finished up with the Richmond Marathon, and since some girls are sidelined with injuries. I'm sending everyone healthy vibes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

12x1 min

Goal: 12x1 min on/off at good effort
Actual: exactly that for 3.73 miles in 24 minutes

Today I had the honor to run with Liz, my old teammate and roommate from Wake! She had a workout too since she was selected to run for the BAA at the USATF Club XC Champs. I got together a solid group of Thomas, Aaron, and Eric to meet up with us at McAlpine so that we could check out the race course. In the late afternoon, we warmed up 2.34 miles and then really went right into the workout. In hindsight, I should have done strides since this was the first speedy thing I've done in quite some time, but Mother Nature's clock was quickly ticking to hours of darkness, so we jumped right in.

We started at the 1 mile mark on the bike trail and made our way into the 5k course. The entire time I felt strong and relaxed. I focused on my form and breathing to make the mintuers feel as effortless as possible. It was mentally taxing when Aaron and Thomas began to pull away from me on the 12th one, but I sucked it up and ran around the same pace I had for the previous 11.

We finished up and cut the cool down short so that we wouldn't get locked in to the Main Gate parking lot. Minuters are always harder than they sound, but the workout went well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First real workout since the marathon - 3x10 Min

Plan: 3x10 minutes with 2 min rest at 6-610 pace
Actual: 3x10 minutes with 3-4 min rest at 600-606 pace

After 48 hours back in the states, I decided to set my alarm for the early hour of 4:58am and to lace up my shoes for the Miner's Run at McAlpine at 5:30am. Mike and I had planned to run our workouts somewhat together as I did 3x10 minutes with 2 min rest and he did 3x2 mile repeats. After a 3.35 mile warmup with the Miner's crew of Paul and Bill, fresh off their weekend marathons, Mike Kahn, Ben, Billy, and Jinnie, we ran the workout on the first 2 miles of the USATF Club XC course, including the big hill. We started the first one way too fast, going through the 800m mark in something ridiculous like 2:41. After that, we ran much smarter intervals by running perfectly even 555 pace.

For all three intervals, Mike would pull away from me at around the 2k mark and create a 10 meter gap. I struggled going up the hill in the second half of the interval, and you will see this reflected in the paces for the last 4 minutes. Also, running down the steep hill was difficult in the dark, and the footing was loose. I was grateful when the sun came up for the third set. Since Mike was running to the 2 mile mark, I had some more time to rest since I had to wait for him to get back to the starting line.


1 - 10:53 (5:50, 5:03) for 1.82 miles at 6:02 ave pace...(3:03 rest)...ran past 2.8km mark
2 - 10:02 (5:55, 4:07) for 1.67 miles at 6:04 ave...(4:00 rest)
3 - 10:27 (5:56, 4:32) for 1.74 miles at 6:00 ave...stopped at 2.8km mark

1.65 mile cooldown.

Overall, I am quite pleased with this effort, especially after vacation. In the past, when I've returned from vacation, it's been very difficult for me to post decent times in workouts. I felt controlled and relaxed on the first mile, and a tad weak on the hill. However, with some more speed workouts over the next couple of weeks, I think that I can run with confidence at USATF Club Cross.

Mike did exceptionally well and ran negative splits on all of his intervals. Yes, he negative split on the second mile, even with the steep hill!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week in Review

45.1 miles
0 Doubles
1 day off
6 full days in Costa Rica
countless hours hiking up and down mountain

Considering my goal was the run 40 miles while on vacation in Costa Rica, I'm basically satisfied with this week. However, I am also a little bit disappointed in myself for not putting in the mental effort to run a couple more miles. It was difficult to run up and down the steep mountain in Manuel Antonio and it was both mentally and physically taxing to run up them. Also, who else wouldn't be drawn to the scenery below?

The rocks outside of Manuel Antonio National Park

The view from our ocean villa

Once I returned to Charlotte late Saturday night, Jordan was kind enough to run an easy four miles. Then, after a 12 hour turnaround, I picked up my parents at their airport hotel, drove them to McAlpine, and picked up some miles at McAlpine with Megan, Anne, John, Ben, Mike and Jordan. Overall, got in some good runs. No more international travel for me until after January 2012....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week in Review

60.7 miles
1 double
1 Flight to Costa Rica (4.5 hours)
1 Van ride to Manuel Antonio (4.5 hours)
5 miles of walking

The first part of this week (Mon-Thurs) was spent in Charlotte, so I was able to get in a decent amount of miles before heading out on a flight Thursday mid-day. Meagan and I had a mediocre workout on Wednesday morning and then I had a rainy morning run on Thursday before going to the airport with Garrett. Once arriving in San Jose, I ran in a gated neighborhood by repeating a 1-1.5 mile loop about 4 times on both Friday and Saturday. Sunday I ran down a mountain, walked back up, ran down another mountain to the beach, ran on the beach, and then walked back up the mountain to end my run. Overall, if I can keep this pattern up to run every day, I'll be good to go upon my return to Charlotte.

Also, thanks to Jay Holder and Mark Hadley for providing me updates on Shalene Flanagan's NYC Marathon Debut. Studly.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Costa Rica Update

After getting stranded in San Jose for two nights instead of making the drive to our villa in Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast, we finally arrived in our villa last night. That sentence makes our trip sound much easier than it actually was. But, an adventure isn't truly an adventure until things go awry, not as planned. Garrett, mom, dad and I all arrived in San Jose on Thursday around 3pm. The plan was to spend the night at an eco-friendly hotel in San Jose until the next day, when Vanessa, Sally, Joey, and Anna were arriving from LA. Instead, there was a hurricane that swept through the Pacific and Caribbean islands, which flooded towns and caused roads to collapse. This meant that we had no way to get to Manuel Antonio. After a lot of frustrating phone calls with our host, we finally found out that we could get to the villa after 36 hours of thinking we would never actually arrive at the villa and also not get an entire refund.

We are very grateful that everything worked out. I'm also grateful that everyone is now safe and able to repair their homes. We drove through a really poor town that housed many of the people who worked on the palm tree plantations and all of their houses were under water. It was definitely a sad drive through and we donated some of our clothes to them to help them recuperate from their losses. Our drive was through very winding, mountain roads. Coffee beans are grown on the side of a steep mountain. It is very scary and sad to know that those workers do not get paid much money. It made me feel better that I do not drink coffee. The roads were so bumpy that Vanessa and Garrett both felt nauseous that we had to stop for Ginger Ale at a street mercado.

When we arrived in Manuel Antonio, our driver was told the road was down and we had to wait at the bottom of the mountain road for our host to come pick us up. The adventure just kept getting better and better. Whenever we thought we were close, another curve ball would be thrown our way and we our original plan was thrown out the window as our future was not in our hands. After 4 hours in the car, 1 hour of waiting on a street in Quepos, and switching from one tour van to two random SUVs, we made our way up an old gravel mountain road that had not been used in over twenty years, but was being used since the main road had collapsed due to the five days of rain. We finally arrived at our four-level tree-house style villa at 730pm. We received our tour, put the boys in the crow's nest at the top of the house, and settled into our beds.

Now that you know all the background, you're probably wondering how the heck I am running here. If not, then you don't know that this blog is typically about running. In Manuel Antonio, I am able to run up and down the mountain road. There are several hills that are much steeper and longer than my running legs can handle, so I'm forced to walk. There also are not any sidewalks and ticos drive pretty crazy here, so I need to be very aware of the cars on the road. Fortunately for me, though, the closed mountain road is still accessible for pedestrians, so that means I have an entire mile of road that is free of cars. I've been able to run about 6 miles per day, which is what I had aimed for. I would like to get in more than that, but it's tough on my legs to do so many hills. At least it feels like I'm working out when I'm not actually doing a scheduled workout. My parents have run behind me for each of the runs, so it always helps to have company. We've also been walking at least 3-5 miles a day since the beach is about 1.5 miles away and since we have been walking to the grocery store. We've been a pretty active bunch of people on vacation.

Well, that's all I've got for now. I'll see you all when I get back to the States. Hopefully I'll be in the same running shape as I was before...