Tuesday, July 31, 2012

5 Mile Wave

5 Mile Wave at 3:00-3:05/2:45-2:50

2-ish warmup
2 mile cool down

14.5 miles for the day

I've been spending so much time watching the Olympics that I haven't been going to bed at a reasonable hour, so needless to say that when my alarm went off, I wasn't having any of it.  So, I just did a short double and then texted Matt to see if he wanted to workout in the evening.  Matt is almost always guaranteed to be willing to workout in the evening.  I wasn't feeling too hot, so when we went to the Dilworth Speed Loop, I just figured that I would go on feel and try to not focus on the time.

We started out and Matt would be a little ahead of me on the fast, and then I would get a little ahead of him on the easy part.  Essentially, I should have slowed down more on the easy portions of this workout, but I felt good so I just kept going.  Matt dropped off after 4 miles, so I was left solo for the final mile.  In the end, I didn't hit the goal times for the fast portion, but I also went too fast for the easy portion.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Week in Review

95 Miles
4 Doubles
19.5 Mile Long Run
2 Failed Workouts
1 Bike/Car Accident

This marks my second week of running in the upper 90's for my mileage.  Fortunately, this time around it felt much easier. Somehow I even managed to run only 5 miles on Friday and still hit 95 for the week.  In my spare time, I watched hours of the Olympic Games, sometimes fast-forwarding through events like the men's road cycling since it lasted like five hours.  I've seen more heartbreak than victory at this point, but then I remembered that out of the 10,000 athletes that have made it to the Olympics, only a couple hundred of them will walk away with a medal. So, in the end, the Olympics is typically filled with more heart-wrenching defeats rather than inspiring victories.  However, I still believe that every athlete at the Olympics is a Champion in some way shape or form because they can say that they are one of the top athletes in the world.

Speaking of the Olympics, I'll be flying to London next Thursday to watch the women's 10,000m track final and the women's marathon.  I'm not sure what kind of mileage I'll be able to hit while I'm in London due to the expected crowds in the places I would typically run--Hyde Park--but I'm crossing my fingers that I'll still be able to get in some pretty high volume.  I'm running with Meagan's friend Emily Kroshus who also happens to be good friends with Heather Magill, so that should help me at least get some solid miles in without even thinking about it too much.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Workout Fail

8 mile progression from 6:20-5:50

3-ish warmup
5 Miles in 31:00 (6:12 average)
4 miles cool down for 12 miles total

Yeah this workout was an epic fail. I know that my latest goal is to not drop out of workouts, but I think this deserves a special exception given the circumstances.  Essentially, I ran within 2 seconds my road PR in a 5k on Saturday night, and then 12 hour later, ran for 1:40 at Salem Lake in the humidity.  Then I floated a river in the sun for three hours.  I think that this alone took a lot more out of my body than I had expected.  In hindsight, I kind of wish I had just not done a workout at all today, but there were so many people running a tempo from the dowd that I couldn't resist.  In the end, I got in 5 miles of a poor tempo at a slower pace than I'm used to, but at least I got in some sort of decent workout in this weather.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Week in Review

73 Miles
2 Doubles
13 Mile Long Run
5k Race in 17:04
$380 in prize money

This was a down week to prepare for the NC 5k Championships at the Beat the Heat 5k in Winston Salem.  I posted a good pre-race workout, enjoyed racing at the 5k, and got in some solid miles at my old stomping grounds at Salem Lake.  The heat and humidity is probably at an all time high, meaning it's absolutely awful and sweaty and squishy and just plain nasty.  Every run ends with a puddle of sweat on the sidewalk, at least four gatorade bottles consumed, and a soaked pair of shoes that require newspaper to dry out. In just two weeks I'll be in London, spectating at the Women's 10,000m final and the Women's marathon.  Can't wait!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Beat the Heat Race Recap

Break 17:00

5 miles in the morning

5k warmup
5k Race in 17:04 (5:20, 5:43, 5:30, :30)
4 mile cool down for 15 miles total for the day

So I haven't done a real 5k since this race last year, unless you count the Moe's Burrito Dash I did back in April that featured a brief pause to scarf down a burrito.  Since I don't actually count that as a real 5k, I had no idea of where my 5k fitness stood prior to this race, but I figured I may as well just go all in with my goal and try to break 17:00.  I had grandiose plans to work together with Eric and Caleb to race in a way where we ran as even as possible...so like at 5:25-5:27 for the first mile, at 5:30 for the second, and like 5:25 for the third.  Yeah, that didn't happen, but somehow we still had fun.

After a solid warmup of the course, Caleb, Eric, Pezz, Alana, Danielle, Heather and my former teammate Marley, and I all toed the line in a clump behind the elite men.  My plan was to keep Alana in sight for the first mile to gauge our pace.  The gun went off, and we were out!  Caleb kept the pace honest in the first mile, and we were a comfortable distance from Alana in the first half mile.  By the time we passed the mile mark, we had caught Alana, and were all in a tight pack.  I tried not to panic that we had gone out way too fast and ignored the fact that I was breathing very heavy.  Somewhere around 1.5, we passed Alana and Mark yelled "Go with Caitlin!"  Caleb lead the way as Eric and I faltered a bit, but somehow stayed close behind Caleb.  By the second mile mark, Alana had pulled right back alongside us, and it was a definitely a battle.  As the boys pulled slightly away, Alana and I were left to our own battle against each other.  It actually helped me out a ton as my legs were dead from the humidity and didn't really want to keep pushing.  We helped each other out, and with 800m to go, somehow I had pulled slightly away from Alana again.  Then the 3 mile mark appeared, and Alana was alongside me again.  This is where the race really started to get exciting as I tried to kick and as Alana decidedly kicked better than me.  She edged me out by a second or two, and I crossed the finish line with spaghetti legs.

Overall, I'm really pleased with my race here because for the third year in a row, I'm within seconds of the same time:  2010 - 17:01, 2011 - 17:03, 2012 - 17:04.  I haven't focused on 5k speed whatsoever in my training this year, so it was nice to see that my build up to marathon training has proven to be effective in the shorter distances as well.  I also am motivated to try to break 17 on the roads again by racing the Greek Fest 5k, where Alana and I can work together again to get a PR.  It was exceptionally nice to have so many friends to race against and to push me when the weather conditions were by far the worst they've ever been at this race.  Looking forward to August!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pre-Race Workout

3 Mile tempo at 5:50-6:00 + 3x400m

6-5-4-3 with half rest + 2x400m
Gradually got faster 5:48, 5:45, 5:41, and 5:37 + 77 and 77 for the 400s
10 miles total

Pre race workouts are typically a lot of fun because they are low pressure and super short compared to the typical workouts in a week.  I really enjoyed the one because I had the great company of Eric and Caleb.  We are all planning to race Beat the Heat 5k together in hopes of breaking 17, so it was nice to get into the groove with both of these guys.  I didn't want to push too hard because I've done that before and paid for it during the race.  Instead, I just pressed the pace faster purely on feel, allowing my body to dictate the pace.  I felt good throughout until the 400s and then I just felt tired. I'm accounting this feeling to the heat and humidity, which seemed to be at an all-time high this morning.  I'm sure that it won't be going away anytime soon, so may as well just get used to it now!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Week in Review

96.5 Miles
18.5 mile long run
2 Workouts
4 Doubles

So, Meagan Nedlo has hit triple digit weeks multiple weeks in a row, maybe even over 10 times in her life.  I could be super stalker and review her blog to get the exact number, but I don't have time for that.  Instead, I'll just guess.  Each time she told me (or I read about) her mileage in the 100s, I just thought, "Oh, cool!" and never really considered what that really meant.  It meant waking up before the sun rose (even in the summer).  It meant fighting any desire to take a nap at 1PM in the middle of a work cube.  It meant running almost every evening, giving up whatever dream of a social life you had constructed.  It meant going to bed at 9PM to be ready to repeat it all again the next day.  It meant taking a nap for two hours on Saturday and Sunday.  It meant yawning in almost every work meeting.  It meant walking like a duck to get that much deserved Starbucks soy chai latte after a hard Sunday long run.

Maybe the above isn't exactly what it was like for Meagan, but that's what it was exactly like for me.  I'm not whining, I'm just telling it like it is.

Running 95+ miles a week with a full time job is tough shit.

It's not easy.  Sometimes, it's not even fun.  Especially when you have to drag yourself outside in the sweltering NC heat for a measly five miler.

But, when you sit at your laptop on Sunday afternoon typing a review of your week, the sense of achievement sets in, and it does feel damn good to know that you just ran a crap ton of miles.  If Jay Holder is reading this, I'm still in awe of how he managed to run consecutive 100+ mileage weeks with one of the worst work schedules one could ever imagine in NYC.  I didn't even run 100 miles this week, but I got a good taste of what it's like, and now I'm fully in awe of my friends who manage to fit this into their schedule.

But enough about my friends.

So, yeah I ran my highest mileage ever.  I danced 5 hours this week.  I consumed a gazillion calories.  Sometimes I didn't eat as much.  I only doubled four days.  I had fun!  I was miserable on Wednesday.  My relationship with 95 miles a week is somewhat bipolar, but that won't stop me from doing it again.  My goals for Philly are too big to not try again!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mile Repeats

Mile Repeats with 1:30 rest at 5:32-5:40

2.2 mile warmup
4x1 mile with 400m rest
5:38 (2:35)
5:33 (2:28)
5:32 (2:46)
2.6 mile cool down

5.5 miles in the pm for 15 miles total

Finally - victory!  I would prefer that I dominate workouts on Tuesdays because the week inevitably is off on a better note, but I'll take a late one.  Another early morning was spent again at the Dilworth Speed loop.  Quite possibly my second home, the Dilworth speed loop is where I'll be doing the majority of my workouts until marathon training starts in September.  What was nice about this morning was the cool breeze, the company of Matt Jaskot, and the distance of the workout.  Four miles of workout is really easy to prepare for mentally, so I figured it would go well.  Spada, Eric, Matt and I all took off from the corner of Worthington and Dilworth Road East for our first repeat and simply ran two loops of the two mile loop.  The first repeat was rather uneventful.  We jogged back to the top of the hill for the start of the second one, and Spada and Eric took off.  I was a comfortable distance behind them and I heard Eric say something to Spada as they reached the middle of the uphill.  Suddenly, I blazed past them.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't actually speed up whatsoever.  Instead, they had slowed down.  I smiled mockingly and said, "Wow you guys really slowed down on this uphill" and barreled past.  After 200m they caught back up, but again I stayed strong on the uphill portions.  Eventually, they caught me on the flat surface (darn) and we finished the interval.  During the rest, Eric told me he slowed down so much because he saw 5:10 pace on his Garmin for the downhill segment.  As his coach, I used my infinite wisdom to tell him that in a race, if that were to happen, he would have been passed by Caleb Boyd and that sometimes it's just best to rely on your own instinct than your Garmin.

On the third interval, it felt just as easy as the one before, but a tad bit faster.  On the fourth, we ran the same course as the second one and I noticed that Eric didn't look at his pace on his Garmin until after he crested the uphill.  I was proud of him.  He hit his target of sub 5:20 too!  I ran a controlled 5:28 and was pleased with the effort.  Mark wants to make sure that I feel like I could add on some more intervals when I finish my speed workouts.  I definitely felt like that today, although I wasn't complaining about stopping.

I'm already at 70 miles for the week, and I'm on target to hit 100 miles if I double tomorrow.  I'm not that obsessed with hitting triple digits quite yet, so I'll likely be in the mid 90's instead, which will still be my highest mileage ever.  I can already feel the effects of high mileage:  constant hunger, constantly yawning, constantly yearning a nap, going a couple of days without a shower, and cleaning soaking wet and sweaty clothes.  It's all worth it!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

5 Mile Tempo

5 Mile tempo in 5:50-5:55

3.3 mile warmup
5 mile tempo in 6:02 pace (6:18, 6:03, 5:58, 5:56, 5:54)
2 mile cool down for 10+ miles total

45 minutes of dance lesson

Today was muggy.  Real muggy.  Considering the fact that I wanted to drop out of this tempo after two miles, I would say that this was an accomplishment because I ran the entire workout.  Fortunately, the company of Spada, Caleb and Aaron helped tremendously and was 100% of the reason why I did not drop out.  In fact, Spada and Caleb pulled away after 1.5 miles and I just hung onto Aaron as best I could.  The first mile went out to so freaking slow because no one else was willing to help me with the pace and my efforts to push it weren't getting us anywhere any faster.  At one point, while Aaron was talking excitedly, Spada said matter-of-factly: "Aaron.  Is Caitlin talking?  She's working.  She's give you one line responses."  And Aaron shut right up.  Not that I mind listening to Aaron.  In fact, I kind of like his uncanny ability to keep a workout lively.  After that, Aaron just kept me company by being my trusty sidekick.  I thought of how the tables had turned.  Last time I worked out with Aaron, I felt awesome and was the motivation that kept him going until the end.  This time, I was the one hurting massively.  I think that I ran a faster five mile split in the last bit of that 14-mile steady state I did.  Oh well, workouts are all relative.  Today wasn't the greatest, it was muggy, and my legs were tired.  I'm hoping the pep will return for the mile repeats workout I've got set for Friday.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Week in Review

Goal: 80-90 Miles

85 Miles
4 Doubles
15.5 Mile Long Run
2 Workouts
1 Dance Lesson

Considering I was in Atlanta for three days this week and in a car for a full day, this was definitely a successful week.  I performed all the workouts on the plan and hit my target mileage, despite high temperatures and no training partners for two days.  I enjoyed a fabulous visit with my sister who came all the way from California to hang out!  The humidity here didn't scare her away and we were able to enjoy a couple of my easy runs together as she rollerbladed alongside me through the houses of Myers Park.

Our trip to Atlanta was filled with several, expensive trips to Whole Foods in Buckhead and some wedding shopping at Lenox Square.  Vanessa was a good sport when I took off for five hours to attend Ottie and Sheryl's wedding where I reunited with several of my Wake Forest teammates and reminisced on past memories that I would have rather forgotten.  Of course, I was the designated driver and spent almost thirty minutes carting around several very drunk former teammates before finally settling on dropping them off at Taco Mac for them to continue on in their drunken activities.  It was at that moment that I wished Garrett were there because either 1) he would be my sober wing man or 2) I would be in the backseat participating in the debauchery with my friends, acting just as obnoxious.  Clearly, option 1 was what I was stuck in, which was fine because I had a lot of fun hearing their antics.

Next week I'll be in Charlotte for the entire time and am looking to hit 95 miles, which will mark my all time high!!!

Friday, July 6, 2012

8x800m repeats

8x800m with 2:00 rest at 2:40-2:44

3 mile warmup
8x800m in 2:43 (1:58), 2:42 (1:51), 2:41 (1:52), 2:41 (1:47), 2:40 (1:48), 2:44 (1:55), 2:41 (1:50), 2:43
3 mile cool down for 10 miles total

Had a nice crew out in the morning for this one...Billy, Caleb and Spada all met at the Speed Loop for some 800m fun.  We alternated the 800m route by going back and forth, which meant that the even numbered intervals were considering harder and more uphill.  However, this change in the route made it a bit easier to mentally handle 8 repetitions.  At the start of the first interval, I kept my new plan in mind and stayed in the back of the pack to let the boys take the lead.  Caleb stayed next to me for the first 6 intervals, who again proved to be a trusty sidekick to keep me going.  While I hoped this effort would feel a lot easier, it felt somewhat difficult and I was ready for it to be over after 5 reps.  I didn't want to bail in front of all the guys, so I pushed my own discomfort aside and kept going.  Really, finishing a workout is quite simple when you put your mind 100% into the game and just convince yourself it's really just not that hard.  That's what I did today.

Now off to Atlanta I go for Ottie and Sheryl's wedding!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

5 Mile Wave

5 mile wave at 3:05/2:50


3 mile warmup
5 mile Wave at an estimated 3:10/3:00
1.5 mile cool down for 9.5 miles total
4.5 miles in the PM

Since I spent 9 hours in the car and returned home from Indiana last night at 10PM, this workout was doomed before I even laced up my shoes.  It's difficult to stay hydrated while in the car for that long and it probably prevented healthy blood flow from my legs.  I didn't feel bad on my warmup, but once I started the workout, it was really difficult to hit my target paces even though my breathing was fine.  My legs just didn't have that extra gear.  It was definitely hot and humid, and I think that some days it affects me more than other days.  Today was not particularly a great one, but even after my Garmin died, I maintained a hard/medium effort for the whole five miles.  My cool down was ridiculously slow, but it was all that my legs could muster.  Looking forward to a better workout on Friday.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Week in Review

63 miles
1 Double
2 Workouts
0 Long Runs

As I perused Facebook today, I saw that all of my friends either hit triple digit mileage weeks or at least came very close to that.  I did not.  Of course, after the initial disappointment in my measly 60-something mileage week faded, I realized why I had a lower mileage week and my self pity party ended. Why?  Because whenever I visit Garrett, time becomes very precious and priorities shift. For example, a typical baseball schedule goes something like this:

  • Be at field (in 105 degree heat) for baseball game from 4-10:30PM
  • Eat with Garrett from 10:30PM-11:30PM
  • Shower and hang out from 11:30-12:30AM
  • Sleep and wake up at 10:00AM
As you can tell, the schedule above isn't very conducive to summer running because going to bed at 1AM and waking up at 5AM to beat the heat don't really mix so well.  I only get 5-6 hours to spend with Garrett during the day, and considering that these are the only two days I'll see him over the course of four months, those are some very precious hours.  So precious that leaving to run for 2.5 hours is the last thing I wanted to do...so I didn't.  In fact, every time that I visit Garrett in season, my running numbers plummet so drastically that I should know by now that trying to hit my mileage targets is most likely never going to happen. So, all of that to say that I didn't do my 16 mile long run this morning as Mark had outlined on my training plan.  To my defense, this long run was the least important of my three workouts this week, so this was the one to skip.  As much as I would love to pretend that I'm a professional runner, I am not, and for that reason life sometimes gets in the way--whether it's spending quality time with loved ones, staying late at work to meet a deadline, or getting sick.  While running brings me so much joy, sometimes it takes a lower priority because it isn't the end-all, be-all in my life.

Enough about that--in more exciting news, I got a new training plan from Mark Hadley to take me through Philly.  I've got some big goals for Philly and I want to play my cards right this time, so I'm really trying to adjust some major things:

  1. Actually finish my workouts.  How will I do that?  I'll actually run closer to my marathon pace.  I typically try to PR in all of my workouts.  What I've realized is that for marathon training, it's not necessarily about running as fast as you possibily can for as long as possible.  Instead, it's more about making your marathon pace (or 5-10 seconds faster than your marathon pace) feel as easy, relaxed and comfortable as possible. I want 5:50-6:00 pace to feel like a walk in the park, so I'll need to actually slow some of my key workouts down to ensure I finish them all.
  2. Shorten the distance in my speed workouts.  Instead of trying to hit 5-6 miles of quality speed work, I'm not only going to hit 4 miles.  This is because I typically feel great on one workout, feel like shit on the next, and mediocre on the third...and the cycle repeats.  I'd rather feel great on all three and the key to this will be to reduce the amount of miles I'm trying to post some fast time on.
  3. Run more doubles.  I want to finally hit the upper 90s or even the triple digits this time around, and that usually means more doubles to run!  While this will be a slight adjustment, it really won't be too terrible as it's just a couple of miles here or there.
I'm really excited to execute my training plan into a reality (of course, next week since I skipped my long run this week).