Monday, April 25, 2016

Out of the running

Get it? Running. Because it's a running blog! I slay me.

No updates lately, which never bodes well for training. After a couple of disastrous long runs I've decided not to run the Alexandria half. I was registered and was really looking forward to it but it's not in the cards. D is still just a bit too needy to leave him for 2 hours at a time while I run. Maybe later this year? Maybe next year?

Those are the facts. Here are the feelings. I'm pissed. I'm angry that can't do this. Angry that my life is still so far from what I'd hoped. I had dreamed about qualifying for Boston this year and now I'm wondering when I'll get to run more than 5 miles at a time. I love D so much. He is the light of my life but it is so, so hard to be mommy every second of every day. He loves Nick but after 40 minutes or so he needs me again.

I am complaining. I sound ungrateful for this very wanted baby that we tried so hard for. I am well aware that I am lucky to have this baby at all. But... It is hard. Every day is hard.

Someday running will be a thing for me again. Until then, it's all D, all the time. I'm trying to be 100% ok with that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Alexandria half week 5

Yeah .. So... About training..

Monday-wednesday
I turned my ankle on a walk Monday morning and was limping by the evening. I took the next couple days off to ensure it adequately recovered. My self pity got an excellent workout, though.

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Alexandria half week 4

One third of the way through training whaaa?!? This week was the first of several busy weekends coming up. I knew it would be challenging to get all the workouts done. Success!

Monday
3.5 miles with the stroller around Solomons. Yippee.

Tuesday
Speed work! I did the last 400m repeats on the treadmill but because my husband loves me and wants to spend time with me, he convinced me we should go take the stroller and try to do some repeats out on the trail. I love the mindlessness of the treadmill for stuff like this, but with a 5k on the schedule for the weekend I need to remind myself how it feels to run fast with my own internal pacing. Splits were 1:42, 1:47, 1:46, 1:38, 1:41, 1:39, 1:40, 1:46. Fairly consistent! It felt hard and that pace is a bit ambitious for a whole 5k but it was good to get out and push ourselves.

Wednesday
3 miles with Nick. We got horrendous sleep and I was in a terrible mood but whatever. Run happened.

Thursday
Tempo run. This time with stroller on nice flat, straight road. I warmed up and then sped up to harder pace that wasn't crazy hard and tried to maintain. That pace was a bit faster than 8 min miles and I maintained for 3 miles before doing a couple intervals and cool down. Not too shabby.

Friday
Rest. Hike with the baby.

Saturday
5k. Fun fact, this was my return to racing last year after having D. The race is really convenient and supports a good cause so we decided to do it as our 3 "easy". Ha. Right. Obviously not going to be easy. It was raining and windy. Nick ran with the stroller. Turn out was pretty low because of the weather. There was only one runner in front of me the whole race, and unfortunately he was too far ahead for me to use as a motivator (he finished sub-20, I was aiming for low 21). Yeah... Started out too fast, finished in low 22:XX. Blah. Nick was shortly behind me because he's a beast with the stroller even in the wind. We got some sweet prizes for being first woman and second man, which sort of made up for my disappointment with my performance.

Sunday
We went to a wedding in NJ Saturday night and had a long drive in the morning. We intended go run first thing in Jersey but the wind was *crazy* and it just wasn't happening. We got home to more wind and grumpy baby (poor kid spent a lot of car time over the weekend) so I opted for the treadmill. I did 10 miles/90 minutes and just chugged along.

Week total: 30.5 miles!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Alexandria half week 3

This week was designed sort of as a step back week. Instead of a long run, Hal wanted a 5k race, so the workouts were scaled accordingly. I needed this! My legs are already starting to fatigue a bit from the increased volume. I'm also randomly getting unbelievably hungry. We had pasta for dinner one night and I found myself chasing it with pistachios and black beans. Not together. I didn't do a total step back but did cool it on the long run so the weekly total didn't increase.

Monday
3 miles with my dad! Nice to have a buddy. He's training for a duathlon in a couple months!

Tuesday
Holy hills with the stroller. The plan said 7 this time, so I did the same hill as in week 1, but this time with tired legs. I was struggling by the end but did all 7 repeats.

Wednesday
Nick came home early so I got 3+ solo miles. It was hot but glorious and I cruised at 8 min pace comfortably sans stroller.

Thursday
As part of the step back week, 30 minutes tempo was on the schedule. Since I had Nick home again and I'm not racing this weekend, I did 40 minutes on the treadmill instead. Why the treadmill? I've normally thought of tempos as xx minutes at a "fast" pace, but Hal actually calls for a warm-up, gradual increase to fast, hold a bit and cool down. I wanted to try that in the controlled environment of the treadmill. I did 7 minutes warm up at 6.4, increased slowly to 8.1, held and cooled down. It was hard but not as impossible as the tempos I've been attempting. 5.75 miles done.

Friday
3.5 miles on a slightly different trail with Nick. I'm getting spoiled by all these running buddies.

Saturday
Rest day. Went hiking with the family.
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Sunday
Nick again! We went to a trail and set out for a while. Nick hasn't been able to do a long run yet between illness and work, so we sort of eased into it with an hour long run, 7 miles total. Fit into the step back week theme perfectly and so nice to have someone to take the stroller half the time.

Week total:  26.8 miles

Monday, March 14, 2016

Alexandria half week 2

2 weeks down, 10 to go!

Monday
3 hilly, annoying miles done on a back road by the grocery store. Annoying because I'd have sidewalk on one side of the street for a quarter mile, then it would switch. Because that makes sense.

Tuesday
Speed work! Yippee? 7x400 at 5k pace. I did this on the treadmill because it was wet out and Nick is finally back on a normal schedule so I got to run solo. I feel like my form suffers from constant stroller running so it was nice to have a break from that but o.m.g. these were hard. I did the 400s at 6:38 pace (9.1 on the treadmill) with 400 recovery. I felt like I was going to puke a little at the end. In a good way.

Wednesday
Three miles done by the house. I was racing against naptime so I had a grumpy kid but he hung in there.

Thursday
I really really suck at tempo runs. Really. This week was 45 minutes total so I warmed up for 10 minutes and then took off.  The first mile felt comfortably hard but then my brain broke thinking about how much longer I had. After finishing the second mile I started alternating fast/slow to finish out the workout. Boo. Not my best effort.

Friday
3 miles with Nick! Yay! He had a random day off and we got to run together and most importantly, he pushed D half the time. Wins all around.

Saturday
Rest day. Busy life day.

Sunday
Longtime readers (hi dad!) will remember my love for the treadmill. Despite that love, I was sort of dreading doing this long run inside, but the weather was icky so it was my best choice. I did 90 minutes for a total of 9.8 miles (I run slower inside). My legs felt fine but my stomach was off most of the time. I sipped water every mile and took a GU halfway through to try out some fuel options.

Week total: 28.3 miles. That'll do.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Alexandria half week 1

One week down, 11 to go! That countdown might depress some but every workout feels like a victory right now and I'm scared of the actual race so I'm a little glad it's still over 2 months away.

Monday
3 miles? Thanks, Hal Higdon, for starting things off easy. Did 3 miles around Solomons with the stroller.

Tuesday
Hills? With stroller? That sounds like a terrible idea. It was also about 75 degrees this day, so that didn't help. I did 6 hill repeats by my house and it was ridiculous.

Wednesday
3 miles again! Knocked these out by my house.

Thursday
Tempo run with stroller? Again, what was I thinking trying to do this? Things started off ok, with a nice warm-up then started the tempo. I did about 15 minutes at what I hoped was my tempo pace (7:30ish) but was waaay hard. I then rode (ran?) the strugglebus, alternating tempo effort with slower stuff to reach my 40 minute goal. Rough.

Friday
Rest! I actually had a not very busy day and thought I'd want to run but after 5 days in a row I was ready for a day off. Walked Kiwi and that was sufficient.

Saturday
3 miles done by the house.

Sunday
The nice (?) thing about running with a baby is that it's not about me. My 90 minute first long run of this cycle was daunting for baby endurance reasons. I didn't really think about myself except to get pretty excited by cake on Saturday because of its carb-loading properties (actual dinner on Saturday was 2 pieces of cake, one cupcake, and a piece of cheesecake. Yum). How would D do? How long could he hang in there?

I brought my whole arsenal- Apple, carrots, Cheerios, veggie straws, and many toys. He played with this silly little remote for the first 30 minutes of the run! Then I rotated various foods and he started relatively happy. He is a wonderful distraction, if I look down through the stroller window and get his attention I get a big smile. He's the best. I ended up stopping me for me than for him at 9 miles/80 minutes. I felt tired and hungry but overall not terrible at all, which surprised me.

Week total: 26.5ish miles. Yay!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

That time I started training

I've been running- really! Not frequently, and not for very long, but consistently. So I thought it would be a good idea to hop into half marathon training. The Alexandria half is 12 weeks away. It's s flatish, fast race and I'm hoping to PR. Totally unrealistic? Maybe, but I'm aiming high.

Hal higdon's advanced half plan starts tomorrow. There are 2 challenges to following it: 1) running frequency and 2) long runs. I've been running 4-5x a week but some runs have been quite short because they were done when D was on a timer for being amused by something. That's related to the second challenge, the long run. The advanced plan has runs starting at 90 minutes long! D has never done longer than 60ish minutes in the stroller, understandably, so it'll be interesting to strategize how to make those runs work.

I'm excited and hopeful but also trying to be realistic and flexible. If nothing else, I should get to the end of May ready to run 13.1 miles, whether they're a PR or not.