Workout of the Week

Yesterday wrapped up week three of my half marathon training plan. It was a mixed bag that started with some tough, hot and humid runs, included a couple missed workouts and ended with a couple great workouts. I put in a little more than 30 miles for the week.

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My workout of the week came on Saturday morning at the track. I warmed up by running the roughly mile and a half to the track on a bright, sunny day.

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I had 600 yard repeats on tap for the day with 400 yard recoveries. I decided to walk the recovery laps and really push on the 600s. Maybe I let myself recover too much by doing this, but I still felt like it was a great workout!

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I hit or beat my goal pace for every repeat and left feeling spent but great. I cooled down with about a mile run and a half mile walk home. This was the second week of training I added a speed workout in. This coming week the goal is to add a second speed workout with a tempo run in addition to intervals. And with that, training continues!

How did your workouts go last week? Any one race this weekend?

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Workout of the Week

Last week I wrapped up week 2 of my half marathon training program. I’m putting it in the books as another successful week and am really starting to feel like my fitness is coming back.

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I got in a little more than 40 miles, although technically my long run didn’t happen until this week, I’m still going to count it for the last one! It was supposed to happen on Sunday, but my bachlorette party was also over the weekend and well, let’s just say I didn’t really feel up to running long on Sunday!

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My runs this week took me through D.C. in the early morning, along some running trails I haven’t hit up in awhile and by the waterfront in Hoboken featuring stunning views of the NYC Skyline, so needless to say there was a bit of competition for my favorite workout this week.

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Hands down it was my lone speed workout of the week, which took place after work on Wednesday. I made an unfortunate decision to sleep in that morning instead of going to the track. I set up a workout of 400 yard repeats with 400 yard recovery jogs in my Garmin and watched anxiously as I waited for the clock to hit five and saw the skies turning increasingly gray!

It was just sprinkling when I set out for the trail though that leads from the office to my apartment. After roughly a mile warm-up I started my repeats. As I progressed though, so did the rain until it was monsooning and I was getting pelted with rain. It might be the hardest rain I’ve ever run through. My clothes were drenched and my shoes were sloshing with water.

For some reason though I could not stop smiling. Everyone else on the trail was so friendly and seemed to be having the same experience as me – well except for the bikers, they seemed pretty grumpy. There were high fives, laughs and smiles exchanged and jokes yelled out about what a beautiful day it was to run as I passed others along the trail. It was a blast.

I questioned my sanity a bit more when I finished my repeats and got ready to do the roughly 2 mile cool down that would take me the rest of the way home – ALL UPHILL. Fortunately the rain had let up by then and I was able to stop by the Iwo Jima water fountain for a quick sip before the last push.

When I do the speed workouts on a trail on my Garmin, I don’t see the split times as I go along. Instead, I listen for my watch to signal the start and end of each repeat and don’t get to see how long each took me until I finish. I was really pumped with my times and very glad I didn’t resort to a treadmill because I would not have pushed that hard. I was mostly consistent with just a few slow ones in there, but given the rain and the not completely flat terrain I wasn’t worried about them. It was one heck of a workout!

Do you like running in the rain? What was your favorite workout last week?

Footprints: Workout Recap

Ah, so I’m a day late with my usual recap. After a weekend out of town and pushing my long run till yesterday after work, there wasn’t much time for blogging! Last week felt good and strong. After a couple of tough weeks, it was just the confidence boost I needed going into taper time. Here’s the day-by-day breakdown:

Monday: I put in five easy miles along the Mt. Vernon Trail after work.

Tuesday: Despite the government shutdown and closing of National Parks, there were no barriers blocking the Mt. Vernon trail and plenty of other bikers and runners there, so I took my speed workout to the trail for the day. After a mile warm-up, I did eight half-mile repeats with 1-minute rests in between followed by a mile cool-down.

Wednesday: Another easy 5-miler along Mt. Vernon after work. I felt stiff and slow, but when looking at my watch at the end actually ran about 20 seconds per mile faster than Monday.

Thursday: Strength workout.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday:  6.55 miles around Hoboken with the NYC skyline in the background!! I woke up a bit earlier than expected this morning so thought I might go long, but immediately realized that wasn’t going to happen. I’ve run in Hoboken a handful of times, but only really have one main route that I take. I was able to scoot through there once, but they were setting up for an obstacle course race, so multiple loops through there weren’t going to happen. Running the main streets was too frustrating for me with the constant stops, so I decided it would not be a very good long run to end on before taper mode and headed back towards my brother’s place after mile five. While the view is spectacular one things that drives me crazy about running in Hoboken is constantly having to be on the lookout for dog poop everywhere. After dodging it for the first 6.25 miles I managed to step in some in the last few blocks home. Pick that sh** up people!!

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Sunday: Rest Day. After a super fun night out at my good friend’s wedding and a drive back to D.C., I just wasn’t feeling like running at all, so the long run was put off for one more day.

Speed Work off the Track

This week I took my speed work off the track. This is something I used to do a lot when I worked by Hains Point, which was mostly flat, straight and long enough to get my various workouts in.

This week’s speed workout however, took place on the Mt. Vernon Trail, which has a lot more ups and downs and twists and turns. I incorporated half mile repeats into my run after a one-mile warm-up. I’m not sure what it is about doing these off the track, but they seemed SO MUCH harder.

I took advantage of the interval setting on my Garmin so that it would beep down the last few steps of each half mile, and then beep the last 5 seconds of my one-minute rest between repeats letting me know it was time to get moving again. It’s a really great feature and keeps me focused on running hard rather than staring at pace or distance on my watch to see if I’ve gone far enough and fast enough.

I ran hard for all eight repeats and looking at my times after I was a bit all over the place. I think that had a lot more to do with the changing terrain though, not necessarily different levels of effort. Despite the seemingly much longer than normal half miles, I felt really great after finishing this workout and proud that I upped my mental game to push through.

Do you like taking your speed workouts off the track? Does it make it easier or harder for you?

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

It was another hectic week that started in Montreal for work and ended with a trip to NYC! Some of my runs felt better than others as I was pretty exhausted for some, but overall it was a pretty decent week. My long run got pushed to today, so you’ll see that in next week’s recap.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday: Fartlek run around the streets of Montreal for 3.75 miles

Wednesday: Rest/Travel Day

Thursday: It took all of my energy to get myself to the track tonight, but I’m so glad I did. I love how good I feel after those workouts. I did 4X1 mile repeats with a minute break in between and hit my splits at: 7:18, 7:23, 7:22, 7:21.

Friday: 7.35 mile run plus 4 striders around the Mall and Hains Point.

Saturday: 3.65 hilly miles before heading out to Hoboken/NYC!

Sunday: Strength workout with a focus on core/arms.

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Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Other than a missed workout on Saturday I had a pretty solid training week. It’s hard to believe Cherry Blossom is coming up this Sunday and the Nike Half is less than a month away now. I ran 28.64 total miles last week. Here’s the day by day training breakdown…

Monday: Spin Class

Tuesday: Another blister as a result of Sunday’s long run was really bothering me, so I didn’t want to do my speed workout today and make things worse or cause another injury by compensating for it. I did get in 3 easy miles on a run home from work followed by a lower body strength workout.

Wednesday: With my feet feeling much better on Wednesday and very thankful for the easy day Tuesday, I had a strong speed workout back at Hains Point again. I was able to get out on my lunch break and enjoy some sunshine and pretty decent weather for it too. I ran 6.25 miles total with a 1.5 mile warm-up, 3 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery jogs and a 1 mile cool down.

Thursday: Not wanting to do back to back speed workouts I moved my usual Friday rest day to Thursday this week.

Friday: I got in a tempo run around Hains Point after work. The best part about this run was it was my first in shorts and a tank! OK, so I had arm warmers and calf sleeves on too, but spring has to be getting closer. I got in 6.36 miles at an average 7:53 pace including my mile warm-up at an 8-minute pace. I was a little disheartened by the pace as I was hoping for a 7:30 average during the tempo portion. It was a particularly windy day and I really struggled keeping my pace into the wind. It knocked me down to an 8:30 pace at parts and when I checked my watch if the wind would momentarily die down I realized I was going at a 6:40 pace at the same effort level. Seeing that I was running on parts of the race course, I really hope it’s not too windy on race day.

Saturday: Unplanned rest day. I don’t remember doing it, but I turned my alarm off without getting up this morning. By the time I woke up I had to rush off to a meeting about joining a triathlon team (because clearly I don’t have enough on my plate already), and then Ian and I headed into D.C. to watch Syracuse play in the elite 8 at the Verizon Center. Running is pretty important to me, but I definitely wasn’t missing that game! I contemplated doing a double session on Sunday, but I knew that just letting this go and not beating myself up about it was the smarter decision to make.

Sunday: After a beautiful day Saturday I was really upset to see a lower temperature, gray clouds and rain, so it took me awhile to get myself out the door for my long run. I finally headed out around 2 in the afternoon and was really glad I did. I definitely felt better after the fact. I put in just more than 13 miles over the Key Bridge, through Georgetown to the Mall, around the Capitol Building, through Hains Point, over the Memorial Bridge and back home. It was dreary and rainy the whole way, but I kept a steady long run pace. Later that night I got in a lower body strength workout as well.

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Haunting Workouts

I’ve done my last couple of interval speed workouts at Hains Point rather than the track. It’s pancake flat so I’ve found it to be a pretty good substitute for the track if you can deal with the winds that always seem to be strong there. It’s a nice change of pace for me too since it’s close to my office because I can sleep in but still have my speed work done at a decent time – either on my lunch break or I plan to run home on my cool down as soon as I’m done with the repeats so I’m still finished before dinner time.

Speed Intervals around Hains Point

Speed Intervals around Hains Point

I’ve made myself do all of my interval workouts outdoors this training cycle primarily because I just can’t get myself to take the time to warm up and cool down properly on the treadmill. By about three minutes in I’m ready to speed things up on those things and get going, and forget about a cool down, I’ll just walk it out for a few minutes after my last repeat. Also, even though I can run faster on a treadmill, I feel like I push myself harder outside and get a better measure of where I’m at since I’m not forced to keep up with the speed of the belt.

I was all smiles (at least when I was done) after the last two week’s repeats around Hains Point.

All smiles after I finished!

I couldn’t help but think back to my last speed workout on Hains Point when I headed out last week though. It was last summer. I normally love the heat and would rather sweat than shiver any day, but that particular day I headed out on a late lunch break around 3 p.m. on a 98-degree, 90 percent humidity day. I was dehydrated, hadn’t had the healthiest lunch and downed a coke with lunch instead of a water. You might say I wasn’t all that well prepared.

I had eight 600-meter repeats on tap that day and it seriously felt like I stepped into a wall when I walked out of my office into the heat. It was hard to even breathe. Somehow it was still windy along Hains Point, but it was by no means a nice breeze coming from the water – it was just more hot air. I pushed my way through a very ugly and not so speedy speed workout. I was proud of myself for not giving up early and calling it a day, but it was not fun and I definitely was not smiling afterwards. I still shudder when I think about that workout.

How about you – do you have any workouts that haunt you?