Saturday, August 20, 2016

Half Marathon Training - Week 7 - Technical difficulties!

After some not so good runs last week, I had a great week this week. This was a 3-day week.

Monday - 4 miles @ 12:33

After my run

My steady pace run day. Target 12:36. Back to River Park this week for my run to Moores Lane and back. I forgot to bring any specific running fuel with me again, but I ate a good lunch of falafels, pita bread, hummus and salad and apparently that was enough.

It was warm at around 92° and 60% humidity. I carried a plastic water bottle, having forgot my handheld also. At least I had my heart rate monitor. I leave my shoes in the car and if push came to shove, I could run in my work shoes since my work shoes are the same brand and model as my favorite running shoes.

This was not an easy run, but it was a good run. I know I ran 4 miles, at least. I think I ran an extra tenth due to where I started and where I ended up when my watch beeped for the 4th mile. My Garmin Forerunner 630 messed up on me, as evidenced by no trackpoints when I got home and looked at the uploaded data.

My supposed splits were 12:37, 12:34, 12:28 and 12:33. Which is really good for me. It's entirely possible that those are my splits. I felt pretty good about the run and overall, I know I did at least 4 miles and I know how long I was running. So it's entirely possible that is real. But since my watch messed up, I don't entirely trust that data.

Because of starting my cool down later than I usually would, I didn't walk enough before stopping to stretch and ended up with a little bit of an upset stomach. The water left in my water bottle was also warm, which is enough to gag me anyway.

But no real issues from this run. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't completely out of reach either. A good run overall. Just the geek in me wanted the DATA!

Wednesday - 6.75 miles @ 13:09

Before the run. Love my inknburn rose shirt!!

Tuesday was an off day and I worked all day. Didn't even get a chance to ride a horse.

But Wednesday was my long run day. Due to my struggles with my 7.5 mile run last week, I decided to keep at the 7 mile distance this week.

Long runs are run at 12:30/mi for 4 minutes, 15 seconds. Walk for 1 minute. This should give me about a 13:29/mi average pace.

The weather was great. High 70s. Of course it was humid, but it's always humid.

Due to my Forerunner 630 going nuts on Monday, I began running with my Forerunner 620 again. 630 on my left wrist, 620 on my right.

Very little elevation on this run. Last week, I was at River Park for my long run and had more elevation to contend with.

I use my Forerunner 630 to give me pace alerts to try to keep me close to my pace. Since I was doing run/walk, I just set a fast pace alert of 12:15/mi so I wouldn't go too fast and burn myself out. Usually this works well, but this time, I was getting alerts of going faster than 10:00/mi (I wish) when I was cruising along around 12:40/mi. It got ridiculous and I finally shut off the pace alarm and ignored my 630 for pace purposes.

The 620 has a much longer smoothing algorithm, so it takes it a bit to catch up when changing pace from walking to running and back, but it was good enough to keep me paced by glancing at it when I felt I had sped up or slowed down.

I already said I was scheduled for a 7 mile run. Somehow I got confused when my watch beeped the 6th mile, I thought it was the 7th mile and was too far from my truck to just walk in. So I kept running another 3/4 of a mile. I thought that meant I was at 7.75 miles for this run, but in reality, I stopped a 1/4 mile too early.

Besides the equipment malfunction and stopping short, it was a very good run. I think the weather helped quite a bit. I could have easily done another mile and a quarter. I fueled for this run by eating 80 calories of mostly protein 45 minutes before starting, a gel during my warm up and another gel at the turn around point. I also drank about 30 oz of water during this run.

Mile 4 was too fast at 13:06 and Mile 6 again, too fast at 12:17 and the last 3/4 mile at 12:21/mi. These speedy segments made me a little too fast overall at 13:09, but I'm not too concerned, especially since the 12:17 and 12:21 were the last 2 splits and I was running ok through them without pegging my HR too high.

Overall, very pleased with this run and ready to bump up my mileage for the long run.

Thursday - 2 miles @ 13:03 - Bonus Workout

Due to cutting short my run on Wednesday, I decided to throw in an easy treadmill workout. This was a steady pace run at 13:03/mi for 2 miles.

My Forerunner 630 usually tracks my treadmill workouts really well (recording 1.01 or 1.02 for a 1 mile split), but it updated to software version 5.4 immediately before my run and was wildly inaccurate, recording 1.44 and 1.47 for my splits.

One of the updates that came in 5.4 was to fix issues with instant pace (which I saw on Wednesday) and consequently, that wiped out the memory my 630 had of my pace habits so could not longer accurately predict my indoor running pace. It'll relearn that as I run outside over the next several runs.

Hill Friday - 4 miles

Me ready for my run. UA shorts and very visible Franklin Classic shirt. FlipBelt under my shirt to hold my phone.

What a great workout! Did that spoil the suspense?? I don't care, it was the best hill workout I've had this training cycle.

I got up, did a couple chores and then out the door for my run. I grabbed a half ounce of dark chocolate covered dried cherries and my handheld water bottle and off I went.

The weather was perfect. 75° and cloudy, about to rain, so super high humidity. I thought I might get rained on, but only a few sprinkles.

I love getting these shots.

This week, I decided to extend my uphill jog interval to 30 seconds and my walking interval to 90 seconds. Still the same ratio of jog to walk, but twice as long. I started that immediately with the first hill and did it on all 3 hill climbs. I didn't monitor my pace at all, simply ran where I felt comfortable controlling my breathing.

The downhill jogs I ran at a very comfortable pace, about 11:00/mi with my heart rate running in the 130s. Amazing!

This workout ended up being the easiest and the fastest hill workout I've done for this training cycle. Super stoked about my running and it's great to see some fitness gains.

Weekly Totals

Training mileage: 16.75 miles
Training time: 3 hours 42 minutes

Total Mileage*: 18.75 miles
Total Time*: 4 hours 24 minutes
Elevation Gain: 861 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Coming up

This week is a 4-run week, which usually means a couple easy treadmill workouts, a steady pace run and a hill run. But due to some vacation time coming up, I'm going to still run 4 runs, but they'll be a little different in composition and timing. Totally looking forward to this week's runs!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Training Plan Checkpoint

I've been running for 6 weeks and have not missed a single run so far. However, I think it's time for some small adjustments. This is a training plan for the Iron Horse Half Marathon in October. It's also serving as a base to my marathon training plan which will start just after the IHHM.

My training plan currently consists of 3 week cycles. Paces for each run type remain the same, but the distances get longer.

Week 1 is a 3 day run week - Steady Pace, Long, Hills.
Week 2 is a 4 day run week - Steady Pace, Easy A Run (slowest pace), Easy B Run, Hills.
Week 3 is a 5 day run week - Steady Pace, Easy A, Long, Easy B, Hills.

For my last marathon training plan, I only ran 3 days a week, so this plan is designed to help me run more days per week without overdoing my brain or body.

I really like this plan so far and it's working out well. My 5 day run weeks are tough, but followed by lots of rest and a controlled build up to another 5 day run week.

First concern and tweak. My Easy A runs have become too easy. These are run/walk runs at an overall 14:51 target pace. My Easy B runs are also run/walk, but at an overall target pace of 13:49. I'm going to swap out my remaining Easy A runs for Easy B runs and no longer have a run at a 14:51 target pace.

Second concern. My long run this week was pretty hard. I had a really rough time with my long runs during my marathon training cycle. My training plan calls for increasing my long mileage by a mile every time I do a long run. I don't think increasing my mileage when I'm struggling at 7 miles is a good idea. So I'm going to do another 7 mile long run next week and see how that goes.

I would like to add a long run day to every week. Right now I only have a long run in Week 1 and Week 3 of a cycle. This would allow me to practice my long run more often as well as let me bump up the mileage more often based on performance.

But if I do that, I will have to do something different for Week 2 as simply adding the long run to that week turns it into a 5 day run week and defeats the benefits of the controlled build up which is really working for me right now.

For the next 3 week training cycle, I'll adjust my Easy A runs to Easy B runs and do at least one more 7 mile long run. I may be in for a bit of a hurt doing the half marathon without having more longer runs, but I think in the long run, building up a better base is the way to go.

Half Marathon Training - Week 6

What a week! This was my 5 days of running week in my training cycle.

Monday - 4 miles @ 12:27

Map of the trail system at one of the trail heads.

Mondays are steady pace days. No walking scheduled. The first 5 weeks of my training, I did these at River Park, but due to a bit of a schedule change at work, I took the opportunity to go to Stones River Greenway (SRG) in Murfreesboro.

During my marathon training, I did a lot of my long runs at SRG, but haven't run there since. It was a bit weird to only be doing 4 miles!

I parked at the General Bragg trail head. There are bathrooms with real toilets and running water, a playground and a nice pavilion at this trail head. There are LOTS of places to access this trail, but not all of them have all the amenities.

I messed up my fueling for this run. I've started fueling my runs of substance (steady pace, long and hill runs). I planned to take a gel right before I started, but after a mile, I realized I hadn't taken the gel and I didn't have one with me. Not much to do but just keep going. I was prepared to fade pretty quickly in the last half of my run. I did the entire run on 70 (mostly protein) calories I'd eaten about 45 minutes before the run.

Temp was about 81° with 89% humidity.

These steady pace runs are targeted at 12:36/mile. Last week, I struggled with this pace/distance at River Park, so was prepared to struggle on this run. But I managed to hit 12:25, 12:35, 12:26 and 12:20 splits! When I did the first mile so fast, I dialed it back for the 2nd mile and was pretty happy with that split. When I hit 12:26 for the 3rd mile, I was sure my last mile would be too slow, but I managed to make my last mile the fastest split.

My HR stayed under control the entire time and my breathing was pretty good as well. While I was a little annoyed with myself for going too fast, I was happy that I was able to turn in such a good run and feel so good afterwards.

Near my turn-around spot, I passed a mother pushing a stroller and her young son on a bike. I passed them, then shortly turned around and headed back toward them. The young boy asked me why I would turn around?? I paused and had a fun little exchange with him before continuing on.

1st run of 5 down with a great performance!

Tuesday - Easy 4 miles

I hit the treadmill again for 4 miles of easy run/walk intervals while watching Hulu. This workout felt too easy. My average HR for each split was never over 125 and my max HR for each split never made it over 136. Soooo, I started thinking easy is one thing, but THIS easy? I think my HR should at least be in the 140s when I'm jogging. This is my easiest workout of the entire training cycle.

Wednesday - 7.5 miles @ 13:59

A family of turkeys that ran across the path in front of me.

First bad run of the week. I've had several good runs in a row, so I guess it was time for one that wasn't as good. I shouldn't say it was bad, but I had high hopes for this run given my Monday and Tuesday runs.

This was an afternoon run. 90° and 64% humidity. I went to River Park and probably 50% of the run was in sun. Running further put me into the hills south of Moore's lane. Not really a lot of elevation when it's all said and done, but still enough to make my run harder.

This training cycle, I do a run/walk of 4 minutes 15 seconds @ 12:30 and 1 minute walk for my long runs.

My first two miles were too fast at 13:17 and 13:12. During the 3rd mile I paused to refill my water bottle and had a little issue with that. 13:57 for that mile. I kept getting slower and slower and didn't turn in a split faster than 14:00 for the rest of the run. My slowest split was 14:33, so it could have been worse.

Completely out of water.

I did fuel for this run. I ate a decent meal about 3 hours before I started. I took a gel during my warm-up and another about half way. I drank about 30 oz during the run. I could have drank more, but that's all I had available.

I had a lot of trouble controlling my pace, my breathing and my HR. I got it done, but it just wasn't a good run. I likely overreached my distance and my pace, not to mention doing the first 2 miles faster than scheduled.

I was only scheduled for a 7 mile run, but because of all the HR alerts I was getting, I didn't see my Garmin watch tell me when to turn around, so I ran 1/4 mile past where I should have turned around.

Thursday - Easy 4 miles

This treadmill workout was NOT easy. I was still fatigued from my long run not 24 hours before. I also was scheduled for 3 miles, but my iFit workout was for 4 miles, so I did 4 instead.

iFit has an annoying way of doing workouts that you can't copy and alter a workout, you have to start all over from scratch if you want a new workout. Very annoying and time consuming, so it was faster and "easier" just to do the extra mile than spend the time to create a 3 mile workout.

My run intervals for this workout are 4.5 minutes at 13:03 pace with a 1 minute walk. My breathing was not pretty. Not very under control. But my HR did ok, placing me in the early 140s during my run intervals.

My legs were rather heavy during this run, so I spent 15 minutes after the run doing some extra body weight exercises and then another 5 doing PT on my left ankle. I broke that ankle several years ago and it tends to lock up after most of my runs.

I also ended up doing a 3/4 mile bonus workout because I started my run and then realized I had an appointment, so had to stop and come back later. Of course, instead of just continuing, I started the entire run over.

Hill Friday - 4 miles

View from the top of the hill.

I seriously didn't want to do my hill workout. I considered skipping it, but I don't have a target pace for this workout, so I promised myself I could walk all the uphills and even some of the downhills if that's what I wanted.

So I laid out my running clothes before I went to sleep. When my alarm rang, I immediately put on my running clothes and was out the door in 15 minutes, munching on some dried pineapple during my warm up. I usually don't run that early, preferring warmer weather and sun and to be conscious for my run (I don't wake up fast), but I was afraid if I put it off, I wouldn't do it at all.

I walked up the first hill, but ran too fast down the other side. It was really fun! I was lucky I didn't trip and fall on my face, but I didn't. It was great to run an 8:00/mile pace for a few minutes! I did 15 second jog and 45 second walk intervals up the next 2 hills and jogged nicely down them. I ended up with a decent run. My breathing for the uphill jog intervals wasn't as good as it could be. Hard to get into a good rhythm for 15 seconds though.

I was very happy to be done with my runs for the week! My right hip flexor began aching, likely due to the fast downhill running and my neglect of a decent cool down and stretching after the hill run. So I soaked in a really hot tub and that helped.

Weekly Totals

Training mileage: 24.5 miles
Training time: 5 hours 37 minutes

Total Mileage*: 26.8 miles
Total Time*: 6 hours 35 minutes
Elevation Gain: 999 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Coming Up

I have 3 days of running scheduled next week.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Gear Review - Nathan Quick Shot Plus

Lately, I have had several runs that I wanted to have a little water with me, but not so much as to use my hydration belt. On some runs, out of desperation, I've used a 16 oz plastic water bottle and while that got the job done, I ended up with cramps in my hands from holding the bottle, so I asked for some recommendations from my running friends. One of the recommendations was a Nathan handheld.

Nathan has an entire line of handheld water bottles. I paid Amazon $16 to send me a gray/black/yellow Quick Shot Plus.

I used it on my 4 miles hill run last week. So these are first impressions and don't include any longevity points.

The Good

  • It's small enough to fit my hands and is adjustable for the tightness along the back of my hand.
  • There is an indentation vertically along the back of the bottle that the heel of my hand fits nicely into. This makes for a comfortable fit without gripping as well as gives a bit of leverage to squirt the water into my mouth on the run.
  • I can get a squirt of water into my mouth on the run without stopping, walking or otherwise thinking about it. No opening valves or biting down. Just upend it and give it a little squeeze.
  • When I say a squirt, I mean a squirt. A mouthful of water that's easy to swallow without choking me. But if you squeeze longer, you can get a larger amount of water. As soon as you stop squeezing the water stops coming.

The Bad

  • While the back strap can be adjusted, it doesn't adjust a lot. So if you've got large hands, skip this and find something else. My husband couldn't even get it on.
  • When the bottle is full, a small amount of water squirts out with every step. After a couple of oz are pulled out of it, that seems to stop, but it makes the bottle effectively 8 oz instead of 10 oz. To be fair, I had this trouble with my Amphipod bottles that go on my hydration belt until I replaced their Jett-Squeeze caps with Push-Pull caps.
  • The pouch increases the bulk between my hand and my body. My arm swing is fairly close to my body and the pouch annoyed me by brushing my hip, sometimes catching on it and interrupting my arm swing. I didn't even have the pouch full. It just had my house key in it. If I start trying to fill it up with gels and tissue and whatnot all, it'll just get worse.

The Verdict - Not for me

I think the bulk of the pouch will do me in. I'll keep it around as a spare, but I'm on the hunt for something better for me. Suggestions are welcome! I have a couple other options I'm going to try out and I'll review those later on.

What's your favorite handheld water bottle solution?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Training Continues - Week 5

I'm well into my training program after 5 weeks. My workouts are still challenging as I extend the distance each week.

A bonus of my consistent running. This week I was able to slide into a pair of jeans I haven't been able to wear since before my marathon and might have been quite a bit before that. I haven't really lost much weight (only a couple pounds), but I'm definitely toning up. I have been monitoring my food intake to a certain degree. Running gives me less time to sit around and eat and a good reason to make better food choices to make my running less of a chore.

Monday - 4 miles @ 12:44

After my run. Sweaty, tired and proud of myself.

Dare I say it? Yes, I went to River Park again. But this time, I bumped my distance up. I do an out and back, so I extended my run to the tunnel under Moore's lane before turning around.

This added a bit of incline to my 2nd and 3rd miles that I previously did not have on my 3 mile runs. Not a lot mind you, but enough to make me work harder, get my heart rate higher and my breathing less controlled.

My goal pace was 12:36 as it always is on these Monday runs. I actually hit my first 3 splits at 12:38, 12:35 and 12:39. I was super happy about the 3rd mile split because it had a hill right at the beginning that I had so much trouble with I wasn't able to enjoy the gentle down incline because I had to get my breathing and HR back under control.

I wasn't able to fully recover and the 4th mile was slow at 13:02. Probably means I went too fast up the incline and I might have been better off to slow down even more on the incline to control my heart rate. On the other hand, I also did extend my run by a mile and that in itself is a challenge.

I did manage to run the entire time without having to break to a walk. I had my doubts near the end of the 4th mile, but I was able to eek it out.

It was another hot and humid day and since I was running a bit longer, I took a 16 oz water bottle with me. It's annoying to carry something, but having the water was worth it. Time to look for a handheld water bottle solution better than a plastic bottle.

Tuesday - Easy Miles - 4 @ 14:51
Thursday - Easy Miles - 4 @ 13:49

Tuesday and Thursday were easy miles. Since I was at home and not out and about, I hopped on the treadmill and used my iFit workouts to glide through these. They're still work and honestly, easy miles are not always "easy" for me, but it was nice to be able to catch up on a Hulu show or two and have an AC blowing on my legs during the runs.

Hill Friday - 4 miles @ 14:21

Hill Friday!! Same hill. What I do for the 3.3 miles is run up one hill, run down the other side, turn around and run up hill, but instead of running back down the other side right away, I turn around and run half way down the hill before turning around and finishing the run.

This time I did the back side of the hill fully twice instead of only 1.5 times and that got me to 4 miles.

Not only did I extend the distance, I made the entire thing a little harder. I did 15 second jogs and 45 second walk intervals up the hills and jogged all the down hills. That gave me 27 uphill jog intervals. The last 4-5 intervals were a bit tough and I was slower on the downhills as I let the downhills be more recovery than increasing my average pace. Overall happy with this effort. I believe I'm getting stronger and training this hill on a regular basis is excellent training for my fall half.

Weekly Totals

Training mileage: 16 miles
Training time: 3 hours 44 minutes

Total Mileage*: 17.75 miles
Total Time*: 4 hours 23 minutes
Elevation Gain: 811 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Coming up

My longest week of my mini cycles. 5 runs on the schedule.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Half Marathon Training - Week 4 in Review

This week was a short week with only 3 runs. After last week's 5 runs, this should have felt like a breeze, but I managed to be fairly tired by the end of my 3rd run anyway!

Monday - 3 miles @ 12:30

Cloud cover at River Park

My steady pace run day. 3 miles again. Soon that will bump up in mileage. I again went to River Park. Maybe I should vary it up a bit, but for now I like having the same route to compare to.

It was warm and humid, but overcast and breezy. I thought I might get rained on, but I never did. I was able to control my pace and my heart rate during this run! Yay! I ran the entire 3 miles and did 12:33, 12:24 and 12:33 splits. I would have preferred the second mile a little slower, but very happy with my run.

I managed to keep my heart rate well under control. When I glanced at my HR around 2.5 miles I was surprised to see it hanging in the high 150s. I have been struggling to keep it under 170 during these runs and here I wasn't even hitting 160 while still hitting my pace goal. Awesome!

Wednesday - 6.45 trail miles

Wednesday afternoon, my work had an outing at the Nashville Sounds game against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. (Sounds won 2-0, yay!). After the game, I headed to Percy Warner Park to run trails.

Me before the run.

I was planning 6 miles, but that stretched into 6.45 miles. My long run is supposed to be run at 13:29, but there's no way I can run that on a trail, and definitely not this trail. I started at the Nature Center and took the connector trail to Mossy Ridge (the red trail) and did the loop before heading back to my truck along the connector trail.

One of the tough downhills. This picture just doesn't show how steep this is!

I have spent many hours on the horse trails at Percy Warner Park, but only occasionally make the opportunity to run the pedestrian trails. It was fun to think of all the times I've been on the other trail when they connected or went parallel to each other.

This trail was tough for me and I was only able to turn in a pace of 17:03. It was hot and very humid. I ate 25% of a picky bar before I started out, 50% of what was left at 3 miles and the rest at 4.5 miles. I didn't have any of my running water bottles with me, so I carried a 16 oz plastic bottle. I rationed out the water evenly over my run, but would have liked to have had more. When I got back to the Nature Center, I filled up and drank during my cool-down and poured some of the water over my head. What a run.

Awesome water bottle filler at the Nature Center!

Friday - Hills - 3.3 miles

Misty view from the hill.

Since I did Percy Warner Park on Wednesday (which had a good bit of elevation to it), I honestly thought about turning Hill Friday into an easy day on the treadmill, but I decided that a 3 day run week was not the time to wimp out. Besides, my hill workout on pavement is probably very beneficial to me since the Iron Horse Half Marathon will be a street race with some hills on it.

So I headed to my nearby hill and repeated my hill workout. This time, I pushed myself and jogged 10 seconds, walked 50 seconds up the hills. All the hills. And jogged the downhills. Again, a hot and humid day, so lots of sweat involved. But a good solid effort and interestingly enough, the time went pretty fast when I was watching for the time to jog up the hills.

This day I wore a brand new pair of Altra Intuition 3s that I got on sale since they're last year's model. My favorite street shoe is the original Altra Torin. I have several pairs of those, but they're wearing out and I can't get them anymore. Boo! So I decided to try the Intuition 3s. They're not as cushioned as my Torins and they don't seem as deep. My right heel especially kept slipping out of my shoe on the uphill jogs. I'm going to have to play with my lacing to see if I can fix that, but these may be shunted off to be treadmill shoes.

Weekly Totals

I have started using combined with the SportTracks 3.1 desktop application. I have the website automatically grabbing my workouts from Garmin Connect and the desktop app grabs the workouts from the SportTracks website, so it's fairly effortless to get going. It's a paid site. $60/year with a price freeze guarantee and a fully free 45-day trial. I'm still in my trial period. But you can try it out without providing any payment information or credit card info. I've owned SportTracks 3.1 for many years.

Anyhow, now I can provide weekly totals minus my warm-up and cool down, so I'll start adding those numbers.

Training mileage: 12.77 miles
Training time: 3 hours 14 minutes

Total Mileage*: 14.02 miles
Total Time*: 3 hours 42 minutes
Elevation Gain: 1,691 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Coming Up

4 runs scheduled for this week, but 2 of them are easy runs and no long run this week, so looking forward to a great week!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Training Review, Week 3

Week 3! My longest week so far in this training cycle and the first time I've ever tried to run 5 days in a row. Like ever.

Monday - 3 miles @ 12:30

My lululemon speed track shorts and one of my 1/2 marathon shirts.

Since I ran last week at River Park, I decided to do the same workout this week and see how it went. Last week I had trouble controlling my pace, but this week was much better. It was quite hot and humid. 95 degrees with 71% humidity. My plan was a 3 mile run at a 12:36 pace.

I ran the entire 3 miles without walking once and was able to control my pace fairly well. Splits were 12:26, 12:30 and 12:36. So got a little slower each lap. Would prefer to see that inverted, but hey, I'm just happy I was in the ball park and didn't have to walk any.

My average HR for each split was 157, 167, 170. That doesn't bode well for eeking out a 4th mile. I can't be getting over 170 on these runs as that puts me into my zone 5, which is reserved for intervals only. But still, this was a successful run.

I was tired and a bit cranky after working all day and then running, but felt better after some food found its way inside.

Tuesday - 3 miles @ 14:47

Mill Creek Park

After my solid effort on Monday, my Tuesday run was my slowest paced run of the week and my slowest pace of my training cycle. I'll do several of these through the training cycle. Goal pace was 14:51. Jog for 2 minutes 45 seconds, walk for 1 minute 30 seconds, repeat.

I headed to Mill Creek Park in Nolensville. It's small, but good for a 3 mile run. Much more than that and I'll have to do more repeat than I prefer. The weather was very breezy and threatened rain, but I only got sprinkled on. I was covered more in sweat than rain.

I managed to hit my pace pretty well. Two for two. ;)

Then I headed to the nearest Publix to take advantage of their Ben & Jerry's Buy One, Get One sale. I run for ice cream!

Wednesday - 5 trail miles @ 14:11

Covered in sweat, but happy after my run!

Wednesdays are my long run days for this cycle. Thing is, I'll only be running on Wednesdays 2 out of 3 weeks. That's a little different, too. For my previous training cycles, I had a long run every week. 

Long runs are supposed to be at a 13:29 pace. This week, I decided to throw pace out the window and headed for the trails. I love trail running, but a lot of my training is on paved trails. I get a lot out of trail running, though. Very good for my soul, as well as my balance and overall fitness.

I got up early and drove to Henry Horton State Park to run before work. I ran along the river. I had a very hard time controlling my heart rate and breathing. Trails are always harder for me since I can't just mindlessly put one foot in front of the other. But that also makes them so much more interesting.

While this was a tough run for me, I was happy to be out doing it and very happy to complete it without twisting an ankle!

Thursday - 4 miles @ 13:49

My iFit workout

I was scheduled for a 3 mile easy run, but I didn't get to do it until after work. I decided I didn't want to run outside again, so I just pulled out the treadmill iFit workout from last week, even though it was 4 miles instead of 3. No issues with this run, although during the 4th mile I did fleetingly wish I'd stopped at 3!

Hill Friday

View from the hill

My 5th run this week! And my last one. The last 2 weeks, I've done the same hill workout, so why mess with a good thing? I think it's interesting to compare my performance from week to week. This time I got to do it first thing in the morning. High humidity, but slightly lower temps.

I jogged 10 seconds, walked 50 seconds up the first hill and then ran the downhills and walked the uphills. I took a little longer than last week, but felt better this week, which was surprising considering this was at the end of running every day of the week.


Training mileage: 18.3 miles
Mileage*: 20.79 miles
Time*: 5 hours 11 minutes
Elevation Gain: 1,185 ft

* includes warm-up and cool-down

Training Plan Checkpoint

My Garmin Connect Calendar
I have now completed the first 3 weeks of my training plan. I've hit every workout and been pretty close to my pace goals with the exception of my trail run this week, which is ok, since it was trail.

I feel surprisingly good after running so much more than I normally would in the early weeks of a training program. I've definitely run more days. My future weeks will follow this same pattern. The distances will get longer, but the paces will stay the same. This training cycle is not about speeding up. It's about consistency and control and so far I'm liking it.

Coming up

I'm ready to start my next 3 weeks where I start back at 3 days of running and build back up. So this week will feel like a breeze! At least I hope so! It's a step-back week in miles and days to let my mind and body reset.