Wednesday, January 29, 2014

8x1000m on DSL

8x1000m with 50s-60s rest w/ 1st 5 @ 3:38-3:39 (550 per mile pace), next 3 @ 3:33-3:34 (543 per mile), optional 1-2 more at any pace you like. With option to increase rest over 60s

4 mile warmup
8x1000m all with 60s jog rest in 331, 336, 331, 333, 335, 330, 330, 328
2.1 mile cool down for 12 miles total

A combination of things forced me to do this workout in the afternoon instead of Wednesday morning.  First, another polar vortex blew in one inch of snow along with bitterly cold temps (10 degrees), so it was probably slick out on the roads.  Sure enough, in the morning on my walk to the bus stop, my entire road was covered in ice.  The main roads were fine, but the side roads definitely were not maintained. So, I crossed my fingers that the sun would melt some of the ice to slush.  Over lunch break, I did a drive by of the speed loop and it looked clear enough, so I informed the forces that we were a go for a 4:30 workout start from my house.  Michelle, Danielle, Chad, Laurie, Caleb and Eric all showed up at the speed loop for some fun.

On the 1000m Speed Loop, there was one patch of ice as we turned onto East Blvd, so we decided to cut out into the bike lane instead of the sidewalk.  I was glad I had my Garmin programmed because it was much easier to tell where to stop as we avoided some minor patches of ice at both the start and finish.  Then we just jogged briskly back to the start line and repeated eight times.  For the first one, Laurie, Caleb, Eric and I all got out to a fast start and then we had to pull ourselves back to hit the prescribed paces.  We were talking through the first five intervals and then by the time that the 6th one came, we were all suddenly quiet, except for Laurie who has an uncanny ability to speak during any type of workout.  My legs were a little tired after the 7th one, but I just figured it was because of the race.  I'm definitely pleased with the workout and it's always nice to hit times faster than what your coach told you to do.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week in Review

70 Miles
12m MLR
6 x 2min workout
8k in 27:55 @ CRC Winter Classic 8k

This was my first step towards building upon my fitness that was lost during my recovery time after Cal International Marathon.  Taking advantage of the MLK holiday off from work, I started the week with 12 miles at McAlpine with some friends and then completed my first workout back on Wednesday.  Although the workout was really mini (only 6x2 minutes on and off), it was a great way to get the legs moving again.  Then, on Sunday, I completely surprised both myself and my coach by running a 27:55 at the CRC Winter Classic 8k at McAlpine.  In fact, the direct quote from Terry was "Okay so wow. Do not take this the wrong way but I did not see that coming."  Me neither!  My feat here was actually my third fastest 8k ever, which isn't saying much, but it does indicate that I had not lost nearly as much fitness as I had expected over the past six weeks.  Terry agreed:  "You were so good at recovering fully after CIM that I assumed there were would be a decent loss of fitness (but a healthy loss, for sure)."

My splits were promising as well:  532, 537, 527, 541, 535.  While there were muddy sections on miles 2 and 5, it didn't slow me down.  In fact, it really felt more like a road race because all other parts of the course were very fast, with nicely compacted dirt.  Also, this was the most competitive race I've ever competed in Charlotte.  I was 29th and had several guys to chase after throughout the entire race.  There were about 15 guys from Asheville and, to battle them, a slew of Charlotte guys also came out.  In the end, I'm very pleased with where my fitness level is at this point and am excited to get back to my first real week back to training under Terry's guidance!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Week in Review

60 Miles
11 mile MLR
15 miles LR with some uptempo
2 Lift Days
0 Off Days
0 Doubles

So, I'm still running only 60 miles a week right now.   Unlike Meagan, who ran 80 miles while on the road and in the crappy weather that New England brings every winter, I don't even have any reasons not to run more miles.  I've been slow to get my real training underway, but that was on purpose.  I like running lower mileage for the first part of the winter, when I get a thicker layer of fat to keep me insulated from the cold and I run more in the evening than in the morning.  While I've enjoyed not doing workouts and sleeping in more often than not, I know that this will be the last week of such a delightful break from serious training.  Starting next week, I'll begin doing workouts and even racing.  The 3rd Annual Charlotte Running Club Winter Classic 8k is taking place next Sunday and I am using it as a rust buster race to get into shape. 

Also, looking ahead, I am hoping to run some of the races in NC USATF LDR Series

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week in Review

56 Miles
6 Runs
14 Miles Long Run
1 Day Off
1 Day Lifting

Returning to the office after a three week hiatus with a nasty head cold wasn't a fun combination.  It was hard to adjust to the "new" schedule and while I had vowed that I would run every day in the morning, that really didn't happen...except for on the coldest day of the winter, when I rolled out of bed with a strong sense of purpose.  Other than that, I slept in, felt (and looked) tired all day and repeated the cycle. I'm attributing my lack of motivation to the return to a routine that now seems so foreign to me, but am confident that next week I'll get right back on track. I'm fortunate that North Carolina hasn't been plagued with the same storms as the Northeast or Midwest.  My mileage continues to be low and will until after the CRC Winter Classic 8k because, well, why the hell not?

Sunday, January 5, 2014

2013 in Review

3,244 Miles Run
35 Days Off
4 PRs (Mile, 8k, 10k, Marathon)
16 Races
9 Wins
48:  My finishing place at the USA Half Champs

Last year around this time, I started off 2013 without my sole focus on running.  I was in Kauai for my honeymoon with Garrett and was stringing together 45-55 miles per week.  Running took its place in the backseat of my life for the first couple of months as I focused on my new marriage.  I trusted that this would help me string together great races later in the year.  And so I took off 35 days from running this year and yet somehow still managed to have a stellar fall.  Ironically enough, none of those days off were due to an unforeseen injury.  Instead, they were just for my own personal mental (and physical) sanity.  I have found over the years that taking significant down time is extremely effective in shielding me from symptoms of Over Training Syndrome.     While I didn't ever burn out in 2013, I definitely had a couple of disappointing races in the first half of the year: the Capital City Classic 10k and the USA Half Champs, where I came in third to last  in 1:20:xx.  Sandwiched between those two races was a 5k road PR (16:36) within 5 seconds of my college lifetime best.  Go figure.

After the Half Champs, I took six days off and thought about what needed to change.  Duh--I needed a coach!  So I asked Terry Shea to coach me, and (gratefully) he said yes!  I'd met Terry and Carly after the Olympic Trials through Meagan.  I also knew that he coached Sarah Cumming, who is basically my real-world runner idol because she works ~90 hours in NYC and still runs a sub-2:40 marathon.  So, in August Terry started sending me emails on a weekly basis with the workouts outlined with every detail I needed to know.  And then things just started clicking.  I made sure to follow his plan, but he offered options so that if sometimes my body just felt like poop, I could opt for less repeats and not feel as shitty about it mentally afterwards.  Under Terry's tutelage, I achieved a new 8k PR (26:45), a new 10k PR (34:56) and a new marathon PR (2:40:28).  Qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Trials at the Cal International Marathon was a great way to end the year!

What I realized about this year is that it is absolutely okay to tune your training down a notch and run 20-30 miles less a week than you typically would in a normal marathon training cycle.  My speed shined during those lower mileage months, but when I ramped up the mileage during the marathon, I didn't lose that speed.  Surely, I will continue to tweak training so that workouts don't get stale, but I will definitely continue to adjust my mileage to ensure I can achieve very long term goals.

For the first half of 2014, I plan on focusing on the 10k and half marathon with hopes of improving my PRs in those distances.  Tentatively, I'm planning on running Grandma's Marathon with Laurie, Dalena and maybe Meagan.