Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pre-Race Fartlek

8-6-4-2-1 with half rest gradually getting faster

3 mile warmup
8-6-4-2-1 starting at 545 pace and getting faster to about 5:20 pace
2 mile cool down for 10 miles total

I wanted to get in at least 3 miles of work for my pre-race workout, but still get some turnover, so I drew this workout out from the dust. I hadn't done this since before Twin Cities, so it was nice to pull something out that I hadn't done in quite some time.  Fortunately, Phil was open to doing this workout too, which I was very grateful for since this workout is much harder than it seems.  Of course, I wanted to start out at like 550-600 pace, but I took us off much faster than that and had to maintain that faster pace for the remainder of the workout.  I had worked the night before until 8:00PM, so I believe that this made me feel like the effort was much harder than it should have been.  However, I was still pleased with the splits and the effort.  I've got the Rumba on the Lumber 5k on Saturday, so this was a great tune-up in preparation.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Week in Review

64 Miles
15.5 Mile Long Run w/ 3 miles uptempo
2 Workouts
2 Yoga Sessions
1 Weight Session
3 Days with Meagan

When I found out that Meagan would be coming this week, I knew that it would be a week of great quality workouts.  Instead of doing one workout this week, I did 10x400m with Meagan in some of the most dismal conditions ever, but still hit times faster than normal.  I've only been doing workouts for about 5 weeks, but I've already seen marked improvements in my fitness.  It's been a really exciting last couple of weeks because it's very easy to see how quickly I'm improving as times are dropping quickly.

Today's long run was a success as I ran 3 solo miles around 6:00 pace in the middle of the long run.  The guys were trying to hit goal marathon pace, which was a tad slower than what I was trying to hit, so after about 800 meters with them, I dropped the hammer to hit 6:00s instead.  Considering that last fall I had trouble hitting these paces after a 2 mile warmup, I'm confident that running lower mileage right now is the best thing for me.  My race season begins in full force in March and then carries through April, with 4 races in 6 weeks.  I am still on the fence about the USA Half Champs because I want to run a race where I have men to push me, instead of being in no man's land.  Grandma's race committee knows how to put on a great race, however, so it will be a tough decision.

Friday, February 22, 2013

10x400m with Meagan!

No workout

2.5 mile warmup
10x400m with 1:00 rest at 75-78
3 mile cool down for ~8.5 miles

While I had hoped that the sun would make an appearance for Meagan's visit to Charlotte, it didn't quite work out that way.  Instead, the temperature hovered at 37 degrees the entire day, from 5:30AM until 5PM, not budging a smidgen over that.  To make matters worse, it was raining.  I woke up to Meagan peering outside the window, desperately trying to tell if it was raining hard.  Without less than a second thought, we both decided sleep outweighed running. As a side note, when I went to work, both my boss and my co-worker commented that I looked "tired."  So that definitely means that running in the morning makes me look more spritely rather than sleeping in.

We headed out the door later that afternoon for the Dilworth Speed Loop, where we traversed back and forth on the 800m section.  I felt good through about 7 and then I started to feel less energized.  My quads were very cold and much too red, but I powered through, without a single interval slower than my times a couple weeks ago.  Meagan pulled away from me on the last 3-4, but a part of me didn't care because I knew she was running really fast, while I was just running fast.  Indeed, I was already ahead of myself since I hadn't planned to do a workout anyways.

While the quantity was low, the quality was high, the company splendid, and the weather terrible.  But that didn't stop us from getting the work done in miserable conditions and then rewarding ourselves with a smoothie from Carolinas Smoothie.  Nothing is better than working out with one of my besties.  Too bad this is tricking me into thinking Meagan's back for good!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

3x2 Mile

3x2 Mile with 2:00 Rest at 600-555-550 pace

2.7 mile warmup
3x2 mile with 2:00 rest
11:36 (5:50/5:46)
11:31 (5:46/5:45)
11:17 (5:40/5:37)
2.3 mile cool down for 11 miles total

Just like last Tuesday, Caleb, Charlie, Brad and I rolled out of bed to meet at the speed loop for some 2 mile repeats.  We had a guest appearance from Jaskot, which was a appreciated addition to the group, especially for me.  The weather was pleasantly perfect, with temps in the upper 40s and little wind.  We started and the boy immediately took off ahead of me, as I settled into what felt like a comfortable pace with Matt.  After 3/4 of a mile, Matt had fallen off my pace, and I was still 10-15 meters behind Caleb and Charlie.  I finished with a solid time and made it my goal to continue to get closer to Charlie and Caleb. By the second interval, I had closed the gap from 10 meters to 5 meters.  At the start of the third, they weren't too far ahead of me, so I made a move to charge a couple of strides to tuck in directly behind them.  I stayed with both of them through 1.5 miles and then Charlie and I began to pull away from Caleb.  I felt absolutely great the entire workout and was pleased to close in such a solid time.

What I liked most about this workout was that I was basically alone for the first four miles of the workout and still found the motivation within myself to push hard.  Last fall, I really struggled with this mental tenacity and I feel really confident that my mentality is finely tuned again!  This also proves that running 60-65 miles a week is really enabling me to bring my quality back to what it should be.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week in Review

62 Miles
1 Workout
15 Mile Long Run
60 Min Deep Stretch
2 Days in NYC

I'm behind on my blog because I had too much fun in NYC with Jay, Aaron, and Lauren.  The first five days of the week were spent in Charlotte, where I crushed my first real speed workout back and knocked out a nice 15 miler on Friday morning before heading to work. Fortunately, Caleb and Charlie have become my reliable Tuesday workout partners in the early morning hours.  They have pushed me to run faster than I would have expected at this point in my comeback.  I had a slight scare on Thursday night because my oblique had been twitching for 24 hours.  About every 10 seconds, my oblique pulsated for a couple of seconds, before quieting down.  Garrett massaged it for me after we discovered that it was extremely tight.  It wasn't painful or anything, more just uncomfortable like strong hiccups.

On Saturday morning, I ran Denise's dog in the sleet/freezing rain before heading to the airport for NYC.  Some highlights from NYC include:

  • Witnessing several American records get shattered at the Millrose Games
  • Staying out until 4AM bar hopping from most likely one of three track & field bars in entire USA to an underground club, to a pub, to a speakeasy and finally to a pizza joint.
  • Hanging out with Jay and Lauren in their awesome neighborhood, Chelsea, in Manhattan
  • Seeing Nicole Schappert and Kelly Polisin, my old Wake teammates
  • Eating delicious vegan food from Blossom, and eating unhealthy food from Jacques Torres chocolate
  • Eating at the Grey Dog with Nicole and Heidi and Aaron - the food was delicious
On Sunday night, I closed the week by turning out the lights at 9PM while Jay worked until midnight.  I don't know how he runs so much and functions so well at work.  Either way, he was a great host and I'm very grateful to have him and Lauren as such gracious friends.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week in Review

60 Miles
7 Runs
15 Mile Long Run
2 Workouts
2x lifting
60 Min Yoga

This week was a success in my book.  Although I decided not to the Cupid's Cup 5k due to a sore calf early in the week, I was able to still get in a solid 12x400m workout as well as a 15 mile long run with 3 miles at MP.  While Nemo found its way to Boston, Charlotte runners put on their sunglasses for Cupid's Revenge.  The Wilmore Running Club ran about 9-10 miles before catching up with the entire group.  Caleb, Phil, Pezz, Charlie, Thomas, Michelle, Summer, Matt, Danielle and a guy I can't remember his name all met at the finish of the race to run up to the Booty Loop to start our assault on Providence Road.  Originally Caleb was planning on running 615 pace, and I originally was planning on alternating between MP and slow miles.  Well both of us threw those plans out the window as we settled into a nice group with Phil, Charlie, new guy and me.  The first mile was flat/downhill and we came through right at 6:00.  The next one, we had to dodge some cars at the Sharon intersection in front of Flywheel and had to power up a hill for an entire mile, still keeping the pace honest at 6:07.  For the third, we ran 5:56.  It wasn't hard, but it wasn't easy. I felt like my legs were definitely lacking the strength to maintain a 5:50-ish pace for a long period of time.  However, for my "cool down" I ran 6:30 and 6:20 pace and that felt absolutely amazing, so I felt really good about the run overall.  Garrett picked me up at a gas station two miles earlier than the rest of the group, and we called it a day!

I am really excited about running at this point, which is really something that I haven't felt since summer. I'm already toying with the idea of a fall marathon and getting pumped about sharing in that experience potentially with other Charlotteans.  Looking forward to seeing my fitness continue to improve throughout my spring racing season!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

12x400m with 1:00 Rest

12x400m with 1:00 rest

3 mile warmup
12x400m with 50-60 sec rest at 78-80 depending on uphill/downhill
3.5 mile cool down for 10 miles total

Was supposed to do this workout on Tuesday, but a tight left calf made me push the workout back a day.  I did this in the late afternoon with Billy after work while he did 6x800m on the Dilworth Speed Loop.  We started at the start line and ran back and forth between there and the 800m mark.  As always, 1/3 were downhill-ish and 2/4 were uphill-ish.  I got to run the first half of Billy's workout with him as he continued to finish out his interval.  It worked out quite perfectly for my first legit workout back.  While I didn't feel amazing and felt like I was actually running 75s instead of 78s, I was very happy with this workout.  I didn't feel my calf and I was able to sustain the effort the entire way.  It may not have been pretty, but I've got to be consistent to bring my fitness back to where I want it to be.  Garrett biking alongside me helped tremendously and forced me to push up the inclines when I really didn't want to.   Looking forward to a long run with a tempo this weekend with the Cupid's Revenge group.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week in Review

59 Miles
6 Runs
3 Mile Tempo Fail
14 Mile Long Run

2 Lift Sessions
60 Min MOGA Deep Stretch
60 Min Foam Rolling

This week wasn't exactly what I was looking for in quality running.  The fluctuations in temperature and humidity had a negative impact on my body.  As a result, I performed dismally in my what-was-to-be a five mile tempo.  On Saturday, I was hoping to do 2 miles uptempo, but the fastest I got was around 6:45.  We ran the entire long run around 7-715, so perhaps my legs were just tired in general from my first race in over three months.  Fortunately, my mileage has been consistent and I look forward to continuing this upward mileage trend.  What I love about running 60 miles a week is that it is so entireably manageable.  I felt like taking a day off on Monday.  I did.  It's amazing how running fewer miles makes me feel like I have so much more time!

In unrelated running updates, Garrett and I continue to explore our options for post-graduate studies.  Garrett is taking 12 hours a semester to reach the pre-requisite requirements for Physical Therapy and I'm researching part-time MBA programs.  There is a possibility that we will have to leave Charlotte in the Fall of 2014, and there is another small possibility that we will have to be a long-distance married couple.  It all depends on which programs we each get into.