Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week was a pretty solid training week featuring a mid-week track race and a long run that included some trails that I don’t run on nearly often enough. I’d like to start speeding things up, but am happy with the mileage base that I have.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: Spin Class at Revolve – real ride.

Tuesday: I ran home from work again – this week it was “only” 90 degrees out when I set out and I got an entire extra mile in in the same amount of time. I finished up with 10 miles – love being able to hit double digits during the week.

Wednesday: DC Road Runners Track Championship! I ran the mile in 6:21 for a 3rd place finish in my heat. Check out the full recap.

track

Thursday: Rest Day

Friday: Strength training – core and upper body.

Saturday: 16.5 mile long run. I got myself going a bit earlier this week and was on the road before 8. I took a route I’ve only done once before and even mixed in some trails along the Glover Archbold Trail before running through the zoo and home via Rock Creek Parkway. I don’t run trails very often so it was a pretty challenging run for me, and I’m probably a little too proud that I didn’t fall this time and I only got lost once!

Sunday: 45 minute treadmill run.

Race Recap: Such A Rush

Last Wednesday I ran my first-ever track race at the DC Road Runners Track Championships as part of the Bring Back the Mile Tour. It was so much fun and made me sort of wish I’d run track in high school, although I wouldn’t want to give up all the great softball memories and friends I have either.

Rocking my Oiselle stipe tank and distance shorts with CEP compression socks.

Rocking my Oiselle tank and distance shorts with CEP compression socks.

Ian and I drove up to the track about an hour early so I could get signed up for my heat, watch some of the earlier races to see how things were done and get a full warm-up in. My coach gave me a goal time of 6:30 so I ended up signing up for the under-7 minute heat. After my warm-up I was feeling good and made my way toward the start to wait for them to call our heat. I was pretty surprised at how nervous I was for a one-mile race… I mean I’ve done 26X this multiple times.

DCRRTrackRace

Once the starting call was given the nerves were gone and the adrenaline was pumping. It was such a rush and I loved every second of it. I jumped out quick so I wouldn’t get tied up with others near the start and led almost to the 200 mark before the speedsters in my heat took over. I spent most of the race in 4th place. Clocks were set up at the 200 and 400, but somehow I managed to instantly forget my splits. Ian’s pictures gave me a pretty good idea though, and it looks like I ran my first and last laps the fastest with the 3rd one being the slowest.

During lap four I moved up a little and ran with fellow DC Running Coach teammate Michelle. We dueled our way down the final straightaway to the finish. I felt like I was flying. Obviously my pace was nowhere near the elite heats that would go later, but it was still a pretty quick mile for me! We crossed the finish line at almost the same time. They gave me third in 6:21, but to be honest, it was a pretty close call and probably could have gone either way. The pictures are great – we match each other step for step to the finish.

SprintToTheFinish

I’m really loving the shorter races lately and being on the track with people cheering and seeing you run the whole way was a blast. I’ll absolutely look to do another one of these soon.

Have you ever run a track race? What did you think?

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Holy heat wave Batman! Last week was Hot and Humid – in a much worse than usual kind of way. I’m talking triple digits with the heat index and really high humidity. I somehow managed to still get a lot of runs in outside, but the heat definitely made a difference. I’m running a lot slower than I want to be, but am trying to listen to my coach that it’s just the heat and I’ll see improvements when it cools down.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: Mostly a rest day with a little bit of core and strength work.

Tuesday: On a scorching hot night I ran home from work getting 9 hot and hilly miles in. It was a straight into the shower with my clothes on when I got home kind of run!

Wednesday: Rest day with a bit of walking.

Thursday: Track workout. 102 degrees with the heat index. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for the cloud cover that came in right as we finished our warm up. I started off with a 2-miler and was a bit off the mark – mostly slowing down on the second mile. After a 10-minute slow recovery jog I went right into a 1-miler that was also a bit slower than my target. I told my coach about my concerns about my times on recent runs and feeling like I was breaking down, so instead of calling it a night he had me do two more 400s. This was a huge confidence boost as I felt a lot better and much more speedy finishing the second even faster than the first.

Friday: Spin Class at Revolve – feels so good to be spinning again!

revolvestudio

Saturday: Despite  knowing that it was going to already be in the high 80s at 6 a.m., I hit snooze one too many times then dragged my feet about getting going so I finally started my long run at 11. Great time of day for a super hot and humid long run. I made it 15 miles though so I felt pretty good about it. I was wiped for the rest of the day though for sure. I downed some chocolate milk when I got home, took a long shower and then headed out with Ian for a big lunch at Fireworks.

Sunday: 45 minutes on the treadmill.

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Yes, I know it’s Wednesday night. I had great intentions of getting this post up on Monday, especially since I haven’t posted anything in forever. I’m behind…on everything. I have a bunch of unanswered emails in my inbox, which is a huge pet peeve of mine and a to do list a mile long that has way too many things not crossed off. After my four trips in four weeks exhaustion started to catch up to me at the same time I was moving, starting a new job and new car shopping. Needless to say it’s been a busy but awesome couple of weeks, and unfortunately I’ve fallen behind on the blog. I’m hoping to turn that around and get going on things again though, so let me know if there are any posts you want to see this month!

Now on to the weekly recap! I missed posting this last Monday, but there wasn’t much to report. I only got 3 runs in for about 11 miles all on treadmills, but was sorer than ever from moving. I did not realize the new place didn’t have an elevator – thank goodness we’re only on the second floor! Last week was a lot better although this heat wave has not been helping my speed any! Still, I got some quality runs and strength training in.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: I got in an easy one-hour run on the treadmill for a little more than 7 miles followed by a 20-minute strength training workout.

Tuesday: Tonight I did an hour boot camp style strength training workout.

Wednesday: I ran home from the new office for the first time. It’s a bit further run commute than the old 3-mile one that I used to have to add loops to. This ended up being 9 hot and hilly miles with the last couple miles especially being a tough uphill route. Despite the heat I really love this run and look forward to doing it more – this will be a great one for my longer weekday run each week.

Thursday: Rest Day.

Friday: Rest Day.

Saturday: Spin Class followed by a track workout. This was a bad idea and I instantly regretted sleeping in to late so that I couldn’t do the track first. It was great to be back at Revolve though – had been way too long. I walked from there to the track for 2X2 mile repeats with a 2 minute break that were supposed to each be 14:50. The first one I hit dead on, but then the spin class caught up to me and I locked up on lap 4 of the second set struggling to finish it in 15:23. Not surprisingly my Coach recommended that I don’t do my track workouts following another workout from now on after I sent in my recap.

At the track realizing this was not such a great plan! Next time track first, then spin class!

At the track realizing this was not such a great plan! Next time track first, then spin class!

Sunday: I split my long run into 2 runs today – the first about 55 minutes and the next just under an hour. I’m glad I made it outside for them both, but am looking forward to a true long run this week.

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.

skyline

Loving the Track!

I know I just talked about how much I’m loving my new group track workouts with DCRunningCoach yesterday, but after another great one last night, I can’t say it enough. I’ve been doing track workouts on my own for quite some time now, but now I’m learning the right way to do them.

Lets start with the warm-up. I know it’s good to do active stretching, but my 2-minute breeze through of a Runner’s World active warm-up routine (they obviously recommend spending more time on it) clearly wasn’t cutting it. Our group warms up together under Coach Mike’s lead. We do marching, skips, high knees, butt kicks, backwards walking (I’m so bad at this one!), side shuffles and more.

The repeats. I had general pace times in mind before when I went to the track, but once I got there I usually just ran as fast and as hard as I could leaving my split times all over the place. Now I’m learning how to pace myself and hit a split dead on every time. I’ve got a ways to go on this. Coach Mike has already told me more times than I’d like to admit that anyone can beat the coach’s time, but a good runner will hit the goal time every time.

Last night I had 8X800 meter repeats at 3:42 on the docket. As usual I went out too fast doing the first four reps in 3:37, 3:35, 3:37, 3:36 at which point I was told my breathing showed I was going too hard. I’m supposed to aim to hit these repeats at my tempo pace right now, which Coach defines as comfortably hard – not a sprint or a 5k pace!  Sent on a mission to hit the last four all on pace I came pretty close knocking each one of them out in 3:41!

Finally, the rest period. I used to do an active rest, which I don’t think is a bad thing, but I’m quickly realizing I gave myself way too much time to catch my breath and relax before starting again. My recent workouts have all had only one minute rest between repeats, and I can tell that that is making me a stronger runner.

Do you integrate track workouts into your program? What’s the verdict – do you love or hate the track?!

On another note, I saw this contest today for a free tee on MilePosts – a running blog I love to read. I’ll be honest, I selfishly don’t normally share contests that I’d like to win, but since I actually already own one of these tees I figured why not. It’s one of my favorite t-shirts – super soft and comfy. I just wear it as a regular tee, but you could run in it as well. I LOVE the saying Dorothy from MilePosts put on them – I Run this Body – so motivating! It also says Dream Big, Run Long in smaller letters. There looks to be a ton of entries already, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

Rocking my I Run This Body Tee!

Turn Up The Heat!

Happy National Running Day!

I’ll be hitting the track today to celebrate. It’s not my normal track day, but I’m heading out of town after work tomorrow, so I decided to fit it in tonight so I could still meet up with a group rather than go it alone. I’m really enjoying the group track workouts with DC Running Coach. We all have our own workouts, but it’s still nice to feel like you’re in it together with the others.

AUtrack2

Last week was one of my first really hot track workouts of the summer. Temps were still close to 90 when we started warming up around 6:30 and the sun was beating down. I’ll be the first to admit that I love the heat and I even like the feeling of running in it a lot. I know… crazy. I will concede, however, that it does make me slower and last Thursday was definitely proof of that.

My workout for the week was 2X1 mile at 7:25 and 3X1000 meters at 4:38. With the heat my coach suggested aiming for a 7:30 mile instead. I showed my lack of pacing ability and did the first one in 7:22. This normally wouldn’t be very difficult for me, but I was breathing – in his words, “like I just finished a 5k.” Not ideal! He told me to shoot for 7:35 on the second one, which I did hitting 7:34, but it still felt tougher than a mile at that pace should.

AUtrackShoes

He told me to aim for about 5 seconds slower on the 1000s and really focus on my breathing. I did just that and stopped paying attention to the watch. It made a huge difference. My splits came in at 4:44, 4:42 and 4:41 and I felt a whole lot better than I did on that first mile. I still pushed myself, but I’m learning it’s all about adjustments to make sure you get the best you can out of a workout!

How do you adjust to running in the heat?

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week was another solid week of base training. I didn’t have any great workouts, but didn’t have any bad ones either. As much as I love the heat and prefer running in it over the cold, even I have to admit that it slows me down. This was especially obvious at the track and on my long runs this week. Hopefully it’ll just make me tougher for a fall marathon though.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: Spin Class.

Tuesday: 7 mile run plus 4 striders after work. I got absolutely poured on during my run, but it just reminded me how much fun it is to run in the rain when it’s warm out.

Wednesday: Today I got in a 30-minute strength workout with a focus on legs and a lot of single leg squats.

Thursday: I hit the track at American University for a 2X1 mile and 3X1000 meter workout hitting my splits in 7:22, 7:34, 4:44, 4:42, 4:41.

AUtrack

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 9.65 miles starting at 10 a.m. along Mt. Vernon Trail with temps in the high 80s and close to 70 percent humidity. It’s definitely time to start getting my runs in earlier. As I passed through Gravelly Point Park on my way back and was struggling a little, a random lady yelled, “love your newtons, good job!” It totally made my run, put a smile on my face and got me moving along for the last couple miles. Runners are the best!

Sunday: I didn’t make it up early enough to get my run in before the day started and felt completely unmotivated all day. I finally got myself to the gym close to 9 o’clock at night and slogged through a slow 5-miler on the treadmill. It wasn’t a good run, but I’m sure glad I got myself to do something.

Footprints: Monday Morning Recap

Last week started off tough. I was really sore – a couple days of hard running and not keeping up with my stretching and foam rolling had taken its toll. I made up for it with a couple days of serious rolling, stretching and icing and finished the week strong. I’m really enjoying the new training plan I’m on and also liking the group track workouts. We don’t all do the same workout, but it’s nice to have other people in it with you.

Here’s the day by day breakdown…

Monday: After not fitting in the previous week’s track workout when I was back home in Syracuse, I headed out to Hains Point at lunch and ran 5X1000 meters. I was supposed to try and hit 4:38 for each one. I started out a bit too fast, but got the hang of it as I went on hitting my splits in 4:20, 4:30, 4:38, 4:39 and 4:33. After work I got a 40-minute strength workout including a lot of single-leg squats and pistol squats leaving my legs killing me!!

Tuesday: I took my sore legs out for a slow 5.35 mile run around Hains Point.

Wednesday: Today I got in a 30-minute full body strength workout after taking a client through a personal training session.

Thursday: I metroed out to my old stomping grounds at American University after work for a track workout with the DC Running Coach group. Today wasn’t too difficult of a workout, but I felt really great after it and feel like I’m starting to get the hang of the pacing thing. I was set to do 3X1 mile at a 7:25 pace with a 1-minute break and hit my splits at 7:18, 7:22 and 7:21.

Newton2

Friday: Our office closed at 3 for Memorial Day weekend so I decided to get my long run in early and put in 10.35 miles along the Mall and Hains Point. It was a bit chilly after the warm weather earlier in the week and really windy, but I felt surprisingly strong especially for doing a long run the day after a track workout.

Saturday: Rest day – although it turned into quite a busy day with some apartment hunting (more on that later!) and a fun trip to visit some family in Gettysburg!

Sunday: Today was a perfect day for running. It was absolutely gorgeous out. I put in just more than 6 miles along the rolling hills on the Custis Trail.

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?