Run 4 The Parks 10k

Another weekend, another 10k.  [Last one for a while, promise.]

This weekend was my *redemption* weekend from last weekend’s mess with the port-a-potties at MCM 10k.  While I loved the course, support and overall race experience last week, I was ready to test my limits a little bit – I was ready to PR on November 3rd at Run 4 The Parks.

IMG_1436 A few snafus headed up leading to the race.  On Sunday/Monday of last week, the lupus flare I had been pretending wasn’t happening hit full on, meaning I basically slept for 16 hours a day M/T/W, and only attended classes, ate and did little/nothing else until the steroids kicked in.  Aka: I took M/T/W off from running.  Then, on Thursday I went out to run with the Thursday night run ladies. And a tree came out and attacked me and hurt my arch, so I managed about 2 – 2 1/2 miles before I took another two days of rest.

And then, race day morning happened I wasn’t sure if I was going to run – literally – until I arrived.  I decided I would go out “easy” and see how I felt.  So, we arrived around 7:40am (20 minutes before race start), picked up our packets and jackets, hit the port-a-potties (zero problems this week!) and then I jumped into the front area at the start line and said farewell to the Thursday night ladies and my sister who was visiting for the weekend – and who ran her first 10k ever – and the longest distance she’s ever run!

When the gun went off, I thought I was following my plan, I really did.  The pace felt easy and I was just enjoying the run, and listening to my body (it was also sliiiightly downhill, so that may have been why it felt so easy.

Mile 1: 7:05 (so much for ‘easy’)

I felt good after Mile 1, so I decided to keep going and once I realized my pace, knew I needed to pull it back a little bit.

Mile 2: 7:11
Mile 3: 7:15
Mile 4: 7:17

Pretty good, even paces and then was the run back, which is just every so slightly an incline, and I could feel that incline more than I thought I would.

Mile 5: 7:29

At this point I did the math and knew that if I kept it at a sub 7:30 pace I would definitely PR, and that depending on how fast I could push it, that a 44:xx would be possible.  However, there was a small hill in the 6th mile that kept me a little slower.

Mile 6: 7:26
Last .2(3): 1:44

Not my most flattering shot, by far...but the only one I could find.

Not my most flattering shot, by far…but the only one I could find.

Official Time: 45:27 – a shiny new PR by 41 seconds – and more than 2 minutes faster than my 10k last week.  That’s a win, for sure – especially after the lackluster running week I had.

And another bonus – NO TUMMY ISSUES AGAIN!  I think something is either starting to sync for me, or I’ve just been really lucky.  I’m hoping its the first one – because it would be amazing if I was finally figuring out pre race nutrition!

I thought the race was put on really well (these are my own opinions even though I work for Potomac River Running who put on the race – I did still pay for my own race entry).  There were plenty of port-a-potties great race day packet pickup (which is good for someone like me who doesn’t have a car and couldn’t make it to race packet pickup beforehand), and good food afterward (though a maybe a little short on some of the food items – either that or earlier runners were greedy as my sister didn’t get much to refuel with).

My only complaint would have to be about the race jackets/sweatshirts.  In the past years (I have seen my fellow employees wearing the jackets around), they’ve been nice, technical shirts jackets (like the ones you’d wear to the track to warmup in in the fall/early winter/spring), however this year they were basically glorified sweatshirts – and as they were advertised as $55 retail [and technical], I really felt like could have picked something up like this at Walmart or Target for about $25.  I know budgets are tight, but I felt like the jacket didn’t live up to the advertising, and I hope next year its a little higher quality, because I definitely won’t be wearing it except while working at the store.

IMG_1435At least it was embroidered and not screen printed on.  I will give them props for that.

After I finished I grabbed some water and my jacket, and headed back to find my sister who had just under a mile to go.  I ran her in most of the way and then sprinted to the finish to get some photos (when you can run fast after a 10k, you know you didn’t leave it all on the course.  Just sayin’…).  So proud of you, B!

Then we headed to a delicious brunch with the Thursday night run ladies, before I fitted my sister for new running shoes, worked and hung out with her and then headed to a Brooks event put on by Brooks and the running store I work at for employees – and we got to test drive some awesome clothing and get a sneak peek at the new shoe coming out in February!  I’ll have the deets and product reviews up soon!

Did you race this weekend? 

#MCM2013: Training Week 4

I can’t believe I’m 4 weeks into training!  The first three weeks definitely had its ups and downs, with coming back from Peru, packing up and moving cross country and starting law school.  Check out the recaps of Week #1, #2, and #3 if you missed them!’

This past week, #4, was very much like week #3.  There was a lot of stress with starting law school, getting settled and figuring things out in a new city.  But, by the end of the week, I have to say, things started looking up.  Here’s a recap of my last week of training.

Week #4

The Plan:

Monday: Active Rest (Spin, Aquajog, Swim)
Tuesday:
Tempo Run (6)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy + Aquajog
Thursday: 6 Track + 1200m swim
Friday:
60 spin + 60 aquajog + arms/abs
Saturday:
1 w/u, 7 MGP
Sunday: 14 LSD

What Happened: (In pink is what was planned that actually happened)

Monday: Active Rest (moving)
Although today was supposed to include some active rest, I just let it consist of moving furniture from Ikea, shopping, walking a ridiculous amount and called it a day.  It was exhausting for sure (we spent 2 hours in Ikea alone…)

Tuesday: 4.11 easy (34:12)
Today was suppose to be a tempo, but I was tired from all the moving insanity.   I opted to just get in some miles and push at a hard pace during the flat parts of the middle two miles (7:20-7:30 pace) and let myself just feel like I had a ‘hard’ effort on the hills.  Not what it called for, but some decent miles nonetheless.

My mother and I also hit up Old Town Alexandria and got in quite a bit of walking, so I got a little extra exercise outside my run.

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Lunch spot in Old Town Alexandria!

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Mom and me on the Potomac!

Wednesday: Elliptical and arms/abs
Did 2 miles on the elliptical and then some arms and abs.  It was my birthday, so I wanted to get a little activity in, but not too much.  Then my mom and I hit up the Pentagon for a tour!

Thursday: Track! (6.09 in 51:50)
Hit the track bright and early again with the DC Luna Chix.  1 1/2 w/u, 4×100 strides w/ 100 recovery.  Then my workout was 8×400 w/ 200 recovery.  Goal was 1:30 or just below.  Was on point for the first 5, and then once again the stress of moving/starting to live in a new place/walking far much more than I’m used to took a toll.  Still they weren’t too far off (1:35, 1:35, 1:32).  I’ll take it.

Oh, and then law school started.

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The joys of lawschool…

Friday: Active Rest (40 Spin) and 5 min on the rock climbing wall!
Did a 40 minute spin while reading some for law school.  2 birds, 1 stone.  Not quite what was on schedule, but hey – Active Rest!  And I tried out the rock climbing wall in my gym.

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Continuous rock climbing wall!

Saturday: 7 MGP (1 w/u, 6 MGP)
Was supposed to be 7 MGP, but let’s be honest.  This week has been about adjusting and figuring out what my body can handle given the past few weeks, so I was happy with 6.  All my MGP miles were within range, with the exception of mile 3 and mile 6, but they weren’t too far off and had some hills/instances of me getting lost…  Still getting to know the trails and city.

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One of the new trails I run on!

Sunday: 14 LSD!
Had 14 on the schedule, and 14 I did!  Got to do the first 10 with a good friend, and then did the last 4 solo.  It was raining, but it was cool and felt good (a rarity, apparently, in DC this time of year on the cool part).  The first 10 were at 8:30 average, and the last 4 were hard for me (8:54 average) as I went home and changed before heading back out.  But sometimes nice and slow is the way to go.

Although this week had its ups and downs, it was definitely nice to finish out strong with a good track, MGP run and LSD.  Here’s to things turning up!

Running Total: ~31 run + 2 elliptical +40 spin
Workout Time Total:
~5:25

Week #5

The Plan:

Monday: Active Rest (Spin, Aquajog)
Tuesday:
Tempo Run (6)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy
Thursday: Track
Friday:
Rest/Active Rest
Saturday:
8 easy
Sunday: 1:30 LSD

Here’s to having settled in and getting back on track this week!!

Anyone else training for a race?  If so what one/when is it?

#MCM2013: Training Week 3

[AKA: The Week I finished traveling cross country and moved into a new apartment and failed at running]

Lessons I learned this week:

(1) Do not underestimate the effect driving cross country will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.
(2) Do not underestimate the effect moving into a new apartment will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.
(3) Do not underestimate the effect moving to a city where you walk everywhere will have on your body.  O.M.G. it destroyed my legs, body, everything.  I was tired and my muscles were tight everywhere.

[Sensing a trend yet?!]

Basically Week #3 [and spoiler alert for next week: so is Week #4] is the week of adapting due to the stresses introduced on my body.  It was hard for me to adapt, but I did the best I could given the circumstances, you know driving cross country, moving into an apartment, and having to attend law school orientation, and learn a new city.

Week #3

The Plan:

Monday: 4 easy
Tuesday:
Active Rest! (My day in Chicago with friends)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy
Thursday:
6 Track + arms/abs + 1200m swim
Friday:
60 spin + 60 aquajog
Saturday:
7 easy
Sunday: 12 LSD + arms/abs — making up for the missed LSD and readjusting my schedule

What Happened: (In pink is what was planned that actually happened)

Monday: 6.5 Run (47:20)
I broke up my longest leg of my road trip (1050 miles which took me 18+ hours to cover) by running every few miles.  I did speedy miles (all under 8 min pace), and ran 4 times throughout the day.  Woke me up and kept me going for sure.

Tuesday: Active Rest
I spent the day in Chicago with my girlfriend, and we did active rest day by walking around and shopping ($10 shoe find!!!) and enjoying one of my favorite cities in the world.

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Fun day in Chicago!

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My amazing $10 [leather!] shoes!

Wednesday: 4 Run (4.21 in 31:29)After sitting in a car and driving from Chicago to Virginia for twelve hours, and after moving in all the boxes in my car, I needed to run.  It was hot, humid and speedy run.  I had frustration and energy to burn.  Not on schedule, but needed to happen.

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Move + run aftermath

Thursday: [Failed] Track with DC Luna Chix (6.15 in 48:21)
I headed to the track after just a few hours of sleep to meet up with the DC Luna Chix team for their am track workout.  My plan was 4-5×800 at 3:10-3:15 pace with 400 recovery.  I did 3, and after the the 3rd 800 was a 3:36, I knew my body was too tired, overworked, overstressed, etc from the moving, run, transition cross country that I just slowed down and took it easy with a couple ladies for a few more laps.

Friday: Active Rest!  (moving day)
Needed this day after Thursday.

Saturday: Active Rest!  (moving day)
My body was still hurting from the move and drive, so I took an extra day of rest — there was also a full day of orientation today to overwhelm me.

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New apartment!!

Sunday: 11.84 miles (1:41:03) (+ 10+ miles of walking + 25 cycle)Actually did a timed run, that ended up being about 12 miles.  (50ish minutes out and 50ish minutes back.)  Felt pretty good and had steady pacing (8:14-8:47), with the higher values coming with the ridiculous hills in Arlington.  Seriously, ridiculous.  And then, then the mishap happened where I was stuck 4 miles from home and the metro was delayed for more than an hour going to my place and I was supposed to pick up my mother from the airport.  Fast forward to the end of the day, and this happened…

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Holy walking.

Yeah…I accidentally covered another 10ish miles and rode a heavy bike share bike (and carried up to an overpass) for 25 minutes.

Running Total: ~28.5 run + a million miles walked in the city
Workout Time Total:
~3:50 (run only)

This week for me was hard (as you can tell by the really late posting) as the moving and starting of law school orientation really messed with my body.  I had to adjust a lot, and had zero cross training, which I (and my body) have been missing dearly. Regardless, here is the plan for Week #4 (note…some of this has already been changed/botched, but nonetheless, this was the plan).

Week #4

The Plan:

Monday: Active Rest (Spin, Aquajog, Swim)
Tuesday:
Tempo Run (6)
Wednesday: 5-6 easy + Aquajog
Thursday: 6 Track + 1200m swim
Friday:
60 spin + 60 aquajog + arms/abs
Saturday:
1 w/u, 7 MGP
Sunday: 14 LSD

How do you deal with messed up weeks in training and getting back on track?  How do you alter training plans to adjust for the unplanned (or not thought about) millions of extra miles walked due to a new commute on foot?