Saturday, May 31, 2014

NC 8k USATF Champs

8k course PR (sub-28:09)

3 mile warmup with Stevven
8k race in 27:46 with splits of 5:34, 5:44 (some uphill), 5:23, 5:49 (uphill), 5:15
4 mile cool down for 12 miles total

The main purpose for this race was to come away with some cash and to introduce myself to some triangle runners that can hopefully be my future running partners and friends.   I did exactly that.  I met Tim Meigs - a 47-year-old who beat me by 18 seconds - and met a couple of ladies that live in Durham...And I came home with $500.  

At the start line, I didn't spot any of the familiar faces that typically come out to the NC USATF championships, so I figured it would be a fight with some men near me.  Tim asked me at the start line what I was aiming for, so we decided to work together.  After the gun went off, I found myself sprinting up the 200m hill and gasping for air.  I wondered, what the hell is going on? I felt like my lungs had been punched and the pipe to get air was getting smaller and smaller.  Then I just realized that this is what going out in a sprint start uphill does to makes you feel like you're going to collapse over.  

So after I gathered my breathing into a respectable rhythm, I kept my eyes ahead for guys that had gone out too fast and were already dropping off.  After that, it was mainly a group of 10 or so guys that were competing for the top 5 cash spots.  At the 1 mile marker, Tim commented that I had gone out a little faster than I had told him I wanted to run...And then we surged past me. I was weary about what I thought were the upcoming hills on the course.  Little did I know that they had changed the course to make it a bit faster this year so the hills I had been anticipating in mile 2 were actually not until mile 4. Go figure!

Any way, long story short, Tim maintained a reasonable distance ahead of me and I passed a couple of guys, but one guy did pass me on the long uphill in mile 4.  Then I cruised into the old Durham Bulls stadium and finished faster than I ever have on this course.  It was a good day!

Immediately after the start, a group of ladies had formed and we all decided to cool down together.  Loring lives in Winston-Salem and is trying to better her 2:44 for the Olypmic Trials B Standard.

After a long wait for the awards, I beelined it for the local farmer's market, bought a dozen eggs, and hopped in the car to eat brunch with my in-laws.  I'm excited to move to Durham! Looks like there are lots of great runners that I can train with.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Solo Pyramid Workout

2k @ 547 (75 sec) - 1k @525 (2min) - 600m @ 520 or faster (2min) - 600 (2min) - 600 ( 2-3min) - 1k (75sec) - 2k

3 mile warmup
2k in 5:38, 1:20 (1:15)
1k in 3:21 (2:01)
600m in 1:58 (2:03)
600m in 1:58 (1:52)
600m in 1:58 (3:01)
1k in 3:20 (1:16)
2k in 5:35, 1:19
6 miles total with rest in 38:00
3.25 mile cool down for 12.25 miles in am

4.5 miles in pm for 16.9 miles total for day

I forgot how much I absolutely LOVE speed workouts.  Somehow, even without my standard entourage of workout buddies, I was able to absolutely crush this workout...and enjoy mostly every second of it.  I love when a plan falls together.  

My paces were faster for the 2k and 1k segments at the beginning and I realized that since I had taken it out hard in the beginning that I would have to match that pace in the end.  I did just that.  I actually was quite thrilled with this workout and hope that it bodes well for my 8k this weekend in Durham.  I didn't say much on my cool down to Michelle because I don't want to jinx anything.  Plus, I need to be killing the endurance workouts at this point, so hopefully it all means a good half marathon is to come. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Week in Review

81 Miles
8 runs, 1 double, 0 days off
1 Workout Fail
20 laps on the track
16.7 miles @ 6:45 average with last 4 miles @ 625, 615, 600, 550

After a slight down week during my travels in Arizona, it was fun to get into the 80s again for my weekly mileage.  Everything seems to be coming along quite nicely, even if I did have a bomb of a workout on Wednesday.  Sometimes the bad ones just happen.  I'm confident that I'm doing the right things to position myself for a PR in just 4 weeks at the Grandma's Half Marathon.

Friday, May 23, 2014

20 x 400m Wave Tempo on the Track

20 laps alternating every 400m at 1:20 and 1:40.  Pace should roughly come out to 30:00 for 8,000m

2.5 mile warmup
20 lap in 29:30 total with fast laps typically at 1:19-1:20 (had one slow one at 1:23) and the slow laps at 1:35-1:40.  Did the last 400m that was supposed to be slow in a 200m slow and 200m fast (:38)
2.5 cool down for 10 miles total

After a crappy workout on Wednesday, I really wanted to crush this workout and run faster than what Terry had prescribed.  Unfortunately, on the warmup, my legs felt like garbage.  I began creating certain mental tactics that would help me tackle the workout successfully.  Mainly, I told myself that it really was only 10 hard 400s at 80, which isn't a hard workout for me at all.  I also told myself that I can run 26:45 in the 8k on the roads with competition, so all I was asking was for my body to do that three minutes slower on the track.

I came to the track and a guy I had never met, Austin, was there ready to help me out and also get in a good workout himself.  The next 20 laps with Austin went by without a hitch and that terrible feeling in my legs eventually went away and I was able to run faster than what Terry had asked.  Despite the humidity, I powered through and had a decent workout.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Workout Fail

4x 2 Mile @ 5:48 with 2:00 rest or less

3 mile warmup
2x2 Miles @ 5:49, 5:46 (1:46 rest) and 5:44, 5:55
6.5 miles cool down in 46:00 for 13.5 miles

PM:  5.5 miles with Laurie easy for 19 miles total on the day

After I bailed on this workout on Tuesday because I was still recovering from only 4 hours of sleep on a plane, I went for take two on Wednesday.  I failed miserably.  I just didn't have the mental capacity to handle this workout today and decided to do a longer cool down instead and to focus on the rest of the week.  Typically I have about 2-3 bad workouts a month, and this training cycle I can think of only one other bad workout, so my record is actually going quite strong.  I'm not too worried about the fact that I had difficulty finding the motivation to finish this workout and am happy to run hard in the 400m workout and long run tempo that I've got outlined for the rest of the week.  Sometimes life catches up with me and affects my workout and I just have to move on to the next one! That's what today was all about.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Week in Review

70 miles
1 workout
15 mile long run
4 days in Arizona
3 Cities in Arizona - Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson
1 Red Eye Flight

With three runs completed in Charlotte, I hopped on a plane Wednesday night to see my brother in Phoenix and to reunite with Merry in Tucson.  While the air was thin, the temperatures were scorching, with highs in the 100s.  I wanted a little bit of a down week, so while I got in 70 miles, it still felt like my legs were getting some sort of rest since I had a long run on the shorter side and ran only five miles on Sunday.  Reuniting with Merry felt oh so good!  We ran together at 7000+ feet in Flagstaff, did a long run touring the streets of her new city Tucson, and ate lots of delicious Mexican food that one must do when so close to the border.  My brother was kind enough to get us a night for free at the Hilton Conquistador Resort so we spent ample time at the pool before heading up to Mount Lemmon for a hike in the cooler temperatures.  The ultimate reward for finishing our hike was stopping by the Cookie Cabin, which sells only gigantic cookies, cobbler, and pizza.  Talk about an athlete's dream!  We split the brownie cookie that was the size of a small personal pizza.  It was more than enough for all of us.  Five weeks until Grandma's Half!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


14-16 miles with 5k @600, 4k @555, 3k @550, 2k @545,  1k @540 all with 2:00-3:00 min jog.

2.25M warmup
5k (3.1M) @ 556 ave - 18:28 via 559, 559, 553 (uphill), :35 (2:24)
4k (2.48M) @ 547 ave - 14:23 via 548, 557 (uphill), 2:38 (2:51)
3k (1.86M) @ 543 ave - 10:40 via 543, 453 (3:00)
2k (1.24M) @ 541 ave- 7:05 via 540, 1:25 (3:00) bathroom break
1k (.62M) - 3:28
10 miles total in 1:02:47
3.1 mile cool down in 23:52

Another humid, early morning here in Charlotte!  Thank goodness for having Aaron on this one because the thick air made it tough to be out there.  I'm a little behind on my blog so I don't really remember this one much.  I was really happy that I hit the times that coach had prescribed, despite having some GI issues along the way.  This workout was a sign that things are moving in the right direction to have a nice PR at Grandma's half marathon.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week in Review

78 Miles
4 x1.5 M workout
19 miles with 10 miles steady state@ 614 average
2 Lift Days
0 Doubles

With just six weeks left until Grandma's, I am in full swing of my half marathon training.  Meagan Nedlo would be proud of me because I did two hard workouts mostly solo, so I'm learning how to put on my big girl pants.  I'm a baby when it comes to running solo.  While I was fortunate enough to have company for the early parts of both of my workouts, I still had to gut the rest of it out solo on my own.  It's during those times where my mind can be its own worst enemy, but it's great practice for races where I find myself in no-man's-land.

The humidity has finally made it's way to Charlotte. How do I know this? From my Saturday long run, as sweat dripped down my legs as if I had just run through a sprinkler.  No sprinkler was involved.  How's that for an image?

Despite the thick air on Saturday, I had a solid 19 miler with a large group, but mostly Alice, Michelle and Sebastian for the first 1.5 miles of a steady state tempo.  While I didn't feel the best and desperately wanted water (I even stopped for water around mile 7), I was happy to come out ahead of the target pace that Terry had outlined.  Plus, with this humidity, I feel like my time would have converted to something faster had I been in California or something.

Over the last 3 weeks, I've hit 75-80 miles with a corresponding long run of 18 miles or more.  I'm hoping these weeks of hard work will build my strength to ensure I can run 5:47 pace for a half marathon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

4 x 1.5M on the Speed Loop

13-15M with 4 x 1.5M with 800m jog rest
First mile @ HMP (5:48) then last 800m @ 2:47 (10k pace of 535)

3 miles warmup
4x1.5 via 7.35M in 44:25
832 - 545, 247 (3:36 .48M jog)
830 - 542, 248 (3:45 jog .5M with water stop)
829 - 544, 245 (3:13 .37M jog)
833 - 547, 246
3.5M cool down really slow for almost 14 miles

This morning's nice 520AM start didn't seem to affect me nearly as much as the humidity.  In the early hours, I was already drenched in sweat one mile in when I met Laurie halfway. Both of us felt bad as we jogged our warmup and I hoped those feelings would pass.  We headed to the Dilworth 2-Mile Speed Loop so that it would work out perfectly for the rest.
Dreadfully, I started the first interval and immediately we were breathing really hard, even though we could still talk. I broke away from Laurie for the faster 800m part for first two sets. On those sets, the 800m fast portion was almost all on a slight uphill and that was really tough on me to get the legs moving.

By second interval, we weren't talking. Laurie was done after two so I took a bit longer of a rest to grab water on Rebecca's porch.  Once Laurie headed home, I chose to turn a different way for the 800m fast part so that I could use the slight downhill / flat instead of the uphill on Park Ave. 
On the last interval, my legs felt really heavy and I had to push HARD to hit the times, hence why my times are a little slower. 

While I hit the workout targets, it was a bit tougher than I would have liked.  
I typically don't do too well solo, so I was happy that I was able to run fast even by myself. Also, as I already mentioned, it was more humid than I am used to.  I just need another couple of weeks for my body to adjust to the heat and then it will be a non-issue.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Week in Review

81 Miles
2x3.5 miles with 1 mile jog rest in 6:00 average for the 8 miles
14 x 200m on / off @ 40/50 in 17:30 average for 3 miles
18.7 mile long run in 2:20:30 easy
2 Lift Days
0 Doubles

With just under seven weeks until the Grandma's Half Marathon, I feel really good about where things are heading. I conquered two fairly tough workouts with a solid long run in seven day's time. The weather has been perfect for running, with the humidity still holding off from making its mark quite yet.   I enjoyed a long run out at Latta Plantation, with a combination of rocky single track trails and soft, wide horse trails to get lots of miles on.  I felt like the focus this week was the focus in on my goal half marathon pace - sub-5:50 - and to get comfortable with that pace. I still have more work to go where I can run that pace for a sustained period of time, but I've got several more weeks to get that done.

Friday, May 2, 2014

200 Meter Repeats on the Track

2-4 miles of 200m on / off track session (to practice precise pacing and also to come away with an avg. pace to get in a tempo effort) - 200 on (40) - 200 off (50) for anywhere from 3200-6400 meters (cutting anywhere in between is fine, even if an odd distance)

3 miles warmup
3 miles in 17:30 with 400m anywhere from 39-40.5 and the off anywhere from 46-49 with mile splits of 548, 551, 551
3:41 jog rest with some fast with Michelle, then 2 more with chad at
18 min cool down for 10 miles cool down

At 6:45AM on Friday, I headed out the door with Aaron, Michelle, Chad, Phil and Danielle to the JCSU track.  JCSU was prepping for graduation, so there were 3 huge boards right after the start line to protect the track from the trucks carrying stage equipment.  The boards were a little wobbly, so we decided to start first with the slower 200m.  Of course, we went out a little too fast (43) but eventually brought it back to a slower pace, closer to 50s.  The workout was really fun with such a big group, but I definitely started to feel tired after 3 miles, so I called it quits.  Then after doing an easy lap and 200m fast with Michelle, I decided to jump in with Chad to help him finish up the last of his workout.  It was good to get in the work and it wasn’t overly exerting.  On Saturday, my legs felt totally fresh so I realized that I probably should have just done 4 miles of the 200’s.  Oh well!