Adjusted Reality

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Category: Half Marathon Training Page 3 of 7

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 7

Epic.  Fail.  I think that’s about all I can say here.

I was psyched up to do some pivital runs this week (my 8 mile tempo and 9 mile long).  I had rocked the hell outta my sprints Monday.  I was feeling great and then Tuesday morning before my workout, I sat down on the couch and OUCH, something just popped out and my left butt cheek hurt like hell and I could barely walk.  For three days.  I got better JUST in time to enjoy New Years Eve not in complete pain and only returned to a DDR cardio only workout yesterday.  I’m finally feeling up for a run today, but I also don’t wanna go into next week wiped out, so I think I am going to do something yoga-ish or DDR-ish or strength-ish later.  Or just enjoy my last day of vacation on my not-in-pain hiney and resume normalcy tomorrow.  Still haven’t decided.

I have been battling the head-demons a bit, but mostly succeeding.  They’ve been trying to hit me with little ditties such as “missing two runs in the middle of training is going to set you back” and “what if you just lost your momentum and you can’t keep up your paces” and the classic “you are a failure for not pushing through the pain/making up the runs/etc etc”.  What I’ve been telling them is such: “Tomorrow, I’m gonna rock some sprints.  Mid-week, I’m going to bust up my self-doubt a tempo run.  Saturday, I’m going to run 10 miles and it’s going to be the fastest 10 miles I’ve ever run in my life.”  I don’t see a reason WHY a minor injury that is pretty much all better now is going to do anything to my pace.  Or missing 2 runs.  That’s just excuses.

The only little nagging voice that is actually affecting me is the one whispering, “oh yeah, well why has this happened twice in less than two months…hmm?”  Right now I’m combating this with “being lazy about stretching, duhhh”, but I am actually really quite lucky and have a massage therapist friend who is coming to stay with us in January who I might be able to convince to work on my poor naughty knotty back.  I just really really really gotta be vigilant about a quick stretch every time I work out, and keeping up with the yoga.

So there.  This week, I ran sprints as planned Monday (4×800 @ 8:10 pace), took off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday unexpectedly and took off Friday expectedly (Jan 1st is official hangover day, y’know).  Yesterday I did 30 mins DDR, and today, as explained before, is up in the air.

Next week, the goal is to hit each and every workout as planned.  To keep my confidence up.  To keep my fitness up.

Monday: 6×400 sprints @ 1:58 pace (with the requisite 1 mile warm up, 1 mile cool down, and 400 recovery in the middle)

Tuesday: DDR circuits

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo (tempted to make up the 8 mile tempo but I think I’ll refrain)

Thursday: DDR circuits

Friday: off

Saturday: 10 mile run

Sunday: off

The mid-week might change a little as I might have an event to go to one night after work, but the book ends are non-negotiable.  By Saturday afternoon, I will log my 5th ever double digit run.   Wish me luck!

Nutrition/Other Stuffs:

I won’t be talking about losing weight very often anymore due to my resolution #1, but I am going to hop on the scale tomorrow as the first weigh in of 2010 and it will start the new modus operandi around here.  If it is under 155, no action is needed.  If it is over 155, I have one week to get it down.  If at the next weigh in it’s not under 155, I start tracking calories (attempting to average 1500 per day) until the next weigh in where I am under 155.  The only exception is right before a race – in which case the calorie restriction will start after.

My prediction is that I will be over 155 this week, but not next week.  I did indulge a bit more than normal but I didn’t go crazy all the time.  I am actually REALLY, REALLY looking forward to getting back into my normal eating habits.  I don’t quite feel right not having my normal regiment of protein bar mornings, fruit afternoon snacks, pistachio and jerky refreshers, and healthy home cooked meals most days.

As begrudgingly as I am returning to work and the daily grind, I’m finding that two weeks off without traveling was enough vacation to want a little normalcy back.

Second Half Marathon Training, Week 6

Wow, this upcoming week’s end marks halfway through.  Crazy.  It’s been… not a breeze so far, but seems like it hasn’t completely eaten my life.  But I know the second half of the training gets up there.  I’m definitely at the point now where the long runs start taking over a bit of my weekend (resting up the night before, getting out to do them for an hour and a half plus, and relaxing after) and some of these tempo runs (8 miles this week and then again 2 weeks from now) and sprints (5×1600 a few weeks before the race) aren’t child’s play either.  But still, it’s nice that I run 3 times a week, non-consecutive days, and I get my weights and cross training on 2 days per week still.  I’m liking this well rounded training.  I’m faster, stronger, and feel way less prone to injuries this way.

But, I’m only at 8 miles.  I still have quite a bit of distance to add before I’m ready.  All I can say thus far is that this training is making me a way stronger mid distance runner.  Hopefully that strength will carry on all the way through 13.1.  This week is another jump in mileage, and it will certainly test me.

As much as I didn’t want a break this week, my body showed me it was for the best.  Most of my runs this week were not exactly top notch, and I was having to expend a lot of effort to keep my paces where they should be, even at the shorter distances.  It’s a little disconcerting, because it all shoulda been easy, but I’ll just be happy that I had an off week on a rest week.  Maybe, just maybe, I’m finding I can settle into a pace during higher mileage runs better?  Who knows.  We’ll see.

By the details:

Monday: 3×1600 sprints – check.  I did these outside on the track and was a dummy and forgot my timing watch.  My tummy was a little upset from lunch and the first sprint was brutal, I almost heaved.  The second and third were better though.  I wish I knew my pace – I’m betting I just ran the first too fast but we’ll never know…

Tuesday: DDR circuits – check.  Didn’t wanna but I did it.

Wednesday: 4 mile tempo @ 8:59 pace – check.  The inside of my pants had a hole in them and I shredded the inside of my leg (it was ALL bruised and raw after), it was super humid – muggy almost, and I couldn’t really find a comfortable pace.  But I finished under 9 minute miles and I think I could have done way better if conditions would have been better.

Friday: 30 mins DDR – check.  I was supposed to do this Thursday but I was feeling crappy (happy fun knock-me-on-my-ass TOM time) so I rested and just got up before heading out to celebrate with the ‘rents.  Wasn’t feeling the weights and didn’t have time for ’em anyway, so I figured ONE day off would be ok.

Saturday: 10k pace – sorta check.  I ended up running 5 miles around 9:25 pace on the treaddy.  I ended up at the gym less than an hour before closing so I didn’t get a proper warmup (or cooldown), and couldn’t do the full 6.  I’m pretty happy with the pace though.

This week, up, up, and away with the mileage.  Oddly enough, it’s been HARDER to want to run/workout on vacation when I have all the time in the world.  I guess there is something to be said about routine.

Monday: 4×800 sprints.  Debating between outside and the ‘mill.  Sprints seems so much easier on the treaddy.

Tuesday: DDR circuits.

Wednesday: 8 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace – should be able to do this outside.  If I can just accomplish my same run from the Saturday before last, I’ll be happy.

Thursday: DDR circuits.

Saturday: 9 mile long run @ 9:40 pace – hope to do this outside as well.  If I can do Wednesday’s run, this should be a piece of cake.

I might be going out of town for a night tomorrow night/Wed, so if that happens I’ll have to bust out the tempo tomorrow before I go.  Not thrilled because I’ll have to do it inside because it’s supposed to be rainy and not making it out of the 30’s, but such is life.  Looking forward to taking on this week.  Cross your fingers for me!

Second Half Marathon Training Week 5

Aaaah, vacation.  Being able to run outside in the mid-afternoon when the sun has warmed everything up into the 60s if it’s too cold in the morning.  Being able to not feel rushed out the door, and having the time to do a nice, lengthy stretch before getting cleaned up.  Moments like this could make a gal want to quit her job and…

…yeah, reality check.  Never gonna happen.  But I am certainly going to enjoy the hell out of it for the next 2 weeks.  The only problem is once I get into “relax on the couch” mode, sometimes it’s hard for me to wanna get up.  I could easily sit here and continue to be a lump on the couch and play video games all day, but it’s a nice sunny day and as soon as the sun does it’s warm up thing a little more, I’m gonna head out to the track and do some sprints.

So, last week.  I posted a lot about it.  I always have this weird feeling when something’s good, it’s hard to believe it’s gonna last.  Week 3 I felt so damn strong, finally.  I figured week 4 was gonna trip me up.  Go back to being rough.  Hey, sometimes you just have to have a little faith, I suppose.  I didn’t just continue, I blew the last week out of the water.  Now, week 5 is supposed to be a recovery week.  I’m almost sad – I don’t feel like I need it.  This 3-day a week training keeps me feeling rested, I’m never running and feeling worn down, I’m rocking some of the most amazing paces I ever have, and I like it.

By the day:

Monday: 6×400 sprints  @ 1:58 pace – check.  Not much to say about these except it seems weird when my sprint days feel like my easiest.  Oh well, I’ll take it.

Tuesday: DDR circuit – check.  I probably need to vary my cross training a wee bit more, but for now it’s working.  It’s not as if I’m lacking cardio on the other days…

Wednesday: 6 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace – check (technically 8:56 but who’s counting).  Oh hell yah.  I was dreading this, and it was ROUGH, but I made it.  And I think I could probably tack on another 2 miles if I promised myself something REALLY nice after.  Pain by Jimmy Eat World is always my last song on the playlist for these for a reason, tee hee,

Thursday: 30 Day Shred Level 2 – check.  Had to be up early and off work early so I only had time for a short workout.  For the 30 mins I put into these, I always feel pretty worked.

Saturday: 8 mile run @ 9:40 pace – check.  More than check.  I have NO idea how I accomplished this, but I ran this at a 8:50 pace.  Maybe it was finally getting to run outside.  Maybe it was the gorgeous 60 degree weather.  Maybe it was my awesome new playlist.  But I finished my 8.03 mile course around the neighborhood in 71 minutes.  And – I wasn’t feeling AT ALL like I was on the treadmill.  It was a fast pace that was pushing me, but not uncomfortable and no head games needed.

So, this week is recovery week.  I *almost* wanna keep the building going for the next 2 weeks since I have the time and recover AFTER vacation, but that kinda sounds like playing with fire to me.  So I’ll kick off the first vacation week with a low mileage week to boot.

Monday: 3×1600 sprints (and I even get to do them outside yay!)

Tuesday: DDR circuits

Wednesday: 4 mile tempo (chance of rain that day, but it’s supposed to be warm, so maybe I can squeeze it in outside)

Thursday: 30 day shred/DDR circuits (depending on how the day goes, this is my one 3-ish hour workday)

Saturday: 10k pace (hope to run this outside, but it IS supposed to be chilly that day – I’ll wait until mid-afternoon and see if I can tough out the 50s, heh)

This is all sorta subject to magic hat picks.  This week I hope works out just about the way it should above, because I’ve got set plans on Christmas Eve and Day.  Speaking of magic hat picks, we drew the first one today and it is…

…wait for it…

…wait for it…


Heh, well, at least I have plenty of time to relax, wake up, and run when it’s warmer.  Well, I’m gonna keep things short and sweet because as I mentioned a few times, it’s vacation.  Happy Monday, everyone!

Second Half Marathon Training: Week 4

I want to bottle this feeling I had about this week’s runs.  Just the sense of pride I have right now.  Week 1 of training was a little mixed up because of the Turkey Trot.  Week 2 was screwed up because of illness.  Having the first two weeks not go as planned did not do well for my confidence.  The training plan I picked makes each and every run TOUGH.  In these 12 weeks, there are no happy fun lazy runs around the neighborhood.  The SLOWEST goal pace is 9:40, and that’s on my long runs (which are 8-12 miles here on out).  My tempo runs, which are up to 8 miles, are at 8:55.  The sprints are even faster and get longer and longer.

This week I finally got the chance to do a normal week of training.  Monday, it was sprints. which is honestly the thing I am MOST confident with keeping the required pace.  This week, it was mile sprints.  I have to say, I LOVED this workout.  It was difficult but the rest intervals made it tolerable.  The first mile was felt great.  The second and third was TOUGH by the end but not falling-of-the-treadmill hard.  It’s going to be brutal to tack one and then two more mile sprints at the end of this, but I look forward to the challenge.

Wednesday was COLD as HELL (ok, I don’t want to hear from you people with windchills below 0, it’s cold for me) and was in the low 30s in the morning.  I was planning to get up and run.  I even got dressed in my running gear, poked my head outside, and went right back in.  I left my running gear on, put a sweater over it, packed my bag, and headed to work.  I would conquer the cold at lunch.  I ended up out in about 40 degree weather.  At first it was a little chilly, but it was a huge breakthrough – it wasn’t that bad at all!  Also, I had planned to do my 5 mile tempo but ended up actually going 7 (my route went NOTHING as planned because of construction and I ended up on the other side of our office area at 5 miles so I just kept going).  I really enjoyed knocking my long run out in the middle of the week!  The mileage was estimated – I spent a lot of time running circles around parking lots – but I was bookin it and ran for 70 minutes.  I definitely don’t PREFER running in the cold (give me a 70 degree morning ANY DAY) but I felt awesome that I conquered my hesitation to run in winter temps.

By Friday, I was SO dreading this run.  Five miles.  Under 9 minute pace.  I didn’t even get that on race day.  It was Friday night, I was a little bummed that we were missing a fun-sounding holiday party, but I just kept telling myself that I had 5 miles between me and my weekend.  And if I made my pace, I would celebrate somehow.  I did a 5 minute warmup, reset the treadmill, and started again at 6.0.  I decided that I was gonna attempt a true tempo, so after the first .75 of a mile of ramping up, I hit 6.7 and just WENT.  I felt strong, I felt confident, and most importantly, I felt like I could hold the pace even if it was tough.  So I did it.  For 3.5 miles.  Then, at 4.25 miles I knew I had some time to make up, so I started ramping it up again, and by the end I was going 8.0.  My final pace? 8:57 miles.  Under 9.  I beat my race time 2 weeks ago by 1:05.

Then, we made amazingly delicious homemade pizza for dinner/breakfast the next day, which was much better than any crazy holiday party.  Or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The DDR circuits were in there too (Tuesday and Thursday) and I yoga’d Monday.  I meant to do another yoga session but got busy with holiday stuff.  Oops.  MUST YOGA TWICE THIS WEEK SOMEHOW.  I stretched well after each run but I can still feel tension.  MUST YOGA.

I went into this week scared.  I am coming out of this week feeling like a badass.  I am ready to conquer these next 9 weeks because I have it in me.  Sub 2 hour half, here I come!

Training for week 4:

Monday – 6×400 sprints @ 1:58 pace (with one mile warmup and one mile cooldown and 400 rest in between) = 5 miles

Tuesday – DDR circuits

Wednesday – 6 mile tempo run @ 8:55 pace

Thursday – off (holiday party)

Friday – 30 day shred (need something effective and quick as I have dinner plans)

Saturday – 8 mile nice outside long run @ 9:40 pace

Sunday – rest

Next week in theory should start my holiday break and I should be back to 2 weeks of training on whatever schedule I want, but since I have a shippable at work I’m in charge of that has to be done by the end of the year, I might have to work some half days that week.  But we shall see.

This is the week where the appetite starts to kick in too.  I can already feel it.  At least this time, I’m craving boatloads of protien, more dairy, and veggies instead of all carbs all the time.  I’m sure that will come later, or perhaps training this way is changing the way I crave.  It could make sense.  Each workout is brutal, so protein/dairy helps build my body back up stronger, but I have enough rest time that I don’t need to be pumping constant FUEL ME NOW energy into my body.

The problem is I’m sitting here at my desk, having eaten a 20g protien bar this morning, a huge buffalo chicken lunch meat sammich for lunch, and I’m currently destroying a full 1 lb bag of baby carrots.  It is not long for this world, folks.  And I’m pretty sure before the workout, I’ll be digging into the pistachios and the blackberries too.  I mean – it’s all ridici-healthy and all (minus the nummy onion bun instead of the normal horkin’ fiber bread), so I can’t be too upset.

The plan is to really watch it this month.  Eat super healthy on most days so I can just kinda let myself graze until I feel fueled without being restrictive.  On days I have holiday plan-type-things, make sure I watch my portions and fill up on all the healthy stuff I can.  Or moderate.  Like last night’s party where there were 4 appetizers and 3 desserts and NOTHING was healthy and the meatballs actually ended up being the best option.  Or Saturday night when bacon fudge made an appearance.  It was AMAZING.  I broke my no sweets/drinking in the same day rule twice this weekend, but it was totally worth it.

So I’ve got my playlists set, my gymbag with me, and I’m ready to rock some sprints tonight.  Hopefully I can stop shoveling carrots into my mouth by that time.

Second Half Marathon Training: Week 3

Again, I loathe to call this week 2.  Why?  Because I got my dumb bunny butt sick last Sunday and have been recovering, so it’s week 2 out of 2 I haven’t done the proper training on the proper schedule.  However, considering the half is 10 weeks away whether I do it or not, here we go.

Last week’s plan went to crap so let’s just examine what I did:

Monday – sick.  Barely made it through work.  Was in no condition to do anything but lay on the couch and go to sleep around 9pm.

Tuesday – still sick, but not quite as much.  I needed to move around so I did about 80% intensity DDR for about 30 mins.

Wednesday- felt better, but was snotty and coughy, so I stayed out of the gym for the sake of other people.  If it wasn’t freezy outside I would have run but I didn’t want to aggravate the cold.  Did 30 mins full intensity DDR instead.

Thursday – felt good enough to gym.  Did 4 miles, allowed myself to go as slow as I wanted even though it was supposed to be my tempo.  Got bored going supah slow and ended up around 10:20 pace.  Could have gone faster too, but I didn’t have a rest day between runs so I took it as easy as I would let myself without going insane.

Friday- felt good and did my 6 mile long run for the week.  Came in at a 10 min/mile pace.  I’m supposed to be long running at around 9:40 so considering I still had the phlegm going on, I won’t complain.

Weekend – fail.  Was supposed to do a 4×800 sprint session, or at least put in the miles, but I just rested.

So, considering I came down with the funk and sounded mostly like a dying narwhal all week, I feel like I did ok.  I still have some congestion going on, but feel 100% healthy, so it’s time to pick up the pace.  So, I present to you, Week 3!

Monday: warmup, 3×1600 @ 8:25 pace, cooldown.

Tuesday: DDR circuits (weights, I has missed you!)

Wednesday:  5 mile tempo @ 8:55 per mile (eeep – I didn’t even race this fast)

Thursday: DDR circuits (or equivalent gym type activities)

Friday: 7 mile run @ 9:40 per mile (yipes.  Just…yipes)

Weekend: rest

Yoga shall be done twice this week.  Whenever I can fit it in.

To be quite honest, the paces scare the crap out of me.  But I figure the next few weeks I’m going to slog through them and see how close I can get (since I have a day of not-running after each), and then later, if my body still doesn’t wanna move so fast, adjust my expectations for my half time.  This is the first week that *should* go as planned so cross your fingers for me!  The weather is not cooperating well with my happy fun outside time, but considering I continually feel BETTER and FASTER when I get to run outside than when I get on a treaddy, I think it’s less key this time around than when I had barely ever run outside.

Other Things of Thingeeness:

-After my diatribe on smoking, I went 7 full days without one, and didn’t feel so crave-y until the alcohol came out Saturday.  I think I was fairly responsible and didn’t have too many, and haven’t had one since.  The cold weather helps.  I think the goal will continue to be no smokes during non party times unless I’m crazy for one, and if I am, I should examine why (is it habit, stress, trying to suppress appetite, etc).  During party time, keep it to one smoke per drink, max (and not use that as an excuse to start chugging drinks).

-I haven’t touched my book.  I’m feeling burnt out in general, but definitely in terms of writing.  I’m giving myself a little leeway here this month but it’s definitely one of my resolutions.

-We hung our Christmas lights on Saturday!  Along with our tree, and old timey holiday music going all day, my little bah humbug heart grew at least 2 sizes.

-It really hit me Friday how gosh darn broke we are this month. Two weeks forced unpaid leave for Zliten at the end of the month, 6 months of car insurance coming due the 22nd (high time we get a better deal on car insurance), other bills, some dental work, gifts, etc etc. Considering we DO have 2 weeks off together for the first time in forever, we don’t want to just sit at home.  So for the next 2 weeks, it’s cook/hang out at home palooza (a positive spin on something otherwise known as eating out/drinking out = banned)!  We really sat down and looked for yummy recipes we’re excited about.  Some are a little heartier and higher calorie, but these are the sacrifices I make so Zliten doesn’t pout too badly.  Luckily, we’ve got a work party and 2 friend parties so we’re not going to feel *too* antisocial.  We have some really cool plans for our time off and don’t want to have to cancel them!

-Also in that vein, I have given up clothes shopping for the month of December.  I originally said that I would give up clothes for the month (which got a “woohoo” from Zliten), but that would be cold.  So unless my only pair of nude nylons gets a run or somehow I am in need of something for running I cannot live without, no fashion related purchases until 2010.  I know, I’m crying a little on the inside too.

-Oh, if anyone’s curious about my weight (yeah, didn’t think so), I’m still hanging out right around that 154 range.  As always, I’m making the effort to eat healthily the majority of the time, and y’all know my workouts are hardcore, but my body just doesn’t want to budge.  I counted my calories last week just as practice, but it’s reinforcing what I knew I would be at – about 1400 during the week, about 1800-2000 weekends.   Which I think is reasonable and think that it seems like cruel and unusual torture to drop below.  I’ve been doing some thought on that but I’ll save it for another navel gazing day.

I think that just about wraps it up.  Everyone have a good weekend?  What’s your #1 on your holiday wishlist from Santa?

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