Weekly training recap… new mileage PR!

I haven’t done a weekly recap in a couple weeks, so let me recap LAST LAST week before I recap LAST week.

The week of Sept 19-Sept 25 was my highest weekly mileage PR ever: 66 miles. We finally had some beautiful fall weather, and I got to 66 with 6 days a week of running and double two-a-days. Rounded out the week with an 18 mile run Saturday and 12 Sunday for the first of several scheduled 30-mile weekends. Legs were tired but GOOD for the long Sunday recovery. And I had even more miles on the table for the following week and I was READY!

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Found a neat little trail behind my office building; will definitely be returning soon!

The week of Sept 26-Oct 2 was a really fantastic week of training. And ANOTHER MILEAGE PR of 70 miles! The weather wasn’t great. My legs were dead by my Thursday doubles. But I felt GREAT. So here’s the day by day:

Monday Sept 26: 6 miles
Ran Monday with my Joe to Go coffee crew. Nice and easy, chatting with folks, catching up from the weekend. This run is always really relaxed; it’s my sociable (ish; it IS pre-coffee…) recovery run.

Tuesday Sept 27: 5 miles am, 5 miles pm
Ran in the morning in dark, drizzly, humid weather which meant SLOW. But I made up for it in the afternoon when I moved my Wednesday PM run to Tuesday because the sun came out and it was a perfect evening for a run when I got off work. I romped around in the woods a bit and had one of the runs where things just flow and feel good.

Wednesday Sept 28: 10.1 miles
Decided Wednesday morning that I didn’t want to run 10 miles in the dark and gloom, so I moved my run to the evening, and since I cannot do speed work on Thursday am after a long Wednesday pm run (experience has taught me this), I did a longer speed work session Wednesday. I ended up doing 1 mile warm-up to a local park which has a .65 path around some soccer fields, then used that path to do 8 Yasso 800s aiming for a 3:20 to 3:30 800 and I clocked in at 3:22, 3:26, 3:25, 3: 24, 3:28, 3:26, 3:29 and 3:28, even against some strong 12-15 mile winds! Ran 2+ miles roundabout home and called it a night. My legs were super tired, but in a good way, the rest of the night (and most of Thursday).

Thursday Sept 29: 8 miles am, 6.4 miles pm
Eight slow, dark, windy, drizzly, gloomy morning miles. Then 6.4 miles in the wind and the damp and the dark with my Pacers Thursday group in the evening. Overall a dreary day to run, but managed to get all the miles in! Legs were better in the evening than the morning, but not by much. I was definitely feeling the cumulative fatigue that I plotted!

Friday Sept 30: REST DAY, HALLELUJAH.

Saturday Oct 1: 20 miles
20 miles a bit slower than I wanted; paced 9:22 and I wanted to pace 8:45-9:15. But I was really, really feeling the miles from the week. I decided to take a few walk breaks on hills so that I wouldn’t have to cut the run short. I’ve been testing a different fueling strategies, so I had two stops at my car, and getting going again was SO HARD. But my 16 oz Gatorade, 16 oz water and 1 gel gave me LOTS of energy for the last 2 miles when I dropped the pace to race back to the parking lot to down the rest of my giant Gatorade bottle 😉

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Sunday Oct 2: 4.6 miles am, 5.4 miles pm
I went with my Oiselle-Pacers team to the USATF-NJ 5k women’s championship, and luckily I was able to spectate and did not have to race! I did the warm up with my team, then ran the course backwards, spectating around 1 mile out, and then ran the cool down. I did some more miles when I got home from the race to get to 10 for the day and 70 for the week.

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Total miles for the week: 70.5 miles!!!

I’ve been shocked the last two weeks how good my legs (and the rest of me) feels with this mileage. My peak week during my last training cycle was 64 miles, so to do two weekly mileage PRs back to back (I mean, 136.5 miles in TWO WEEKS? That’s more than I used to run in a month not sooooo long ago!) and still feel good seems mind-boggling and totally amazing now.

What’s even cooler is that when I decided last summer that I wanted to keep upping my mileage until I couldn’t anymore, I had 70 miles in my mind as a Holy Grail kind of goal. The first phase of working toward this 70 mile goal began last fall with a training schedule running a range of 45-60 per week with a peak of 59 miles. The second was this spring when I was running a range of 55-65 per week with a peak of 64. The third is this fall with peak weeks at 70-72 miles and a range of 60-70 miles per week. When I first decided a year+ ago that 70 was my Big Goal, it seemed like such a crazy number. And now I’ve done it, and it doesn’t even seem like my limit. My legs and my brain continue to amaze me; 3 years ago you could not convince me I’d be running this volume because it sounds crazy. And maybe it is crazy, but I’m having too much fun doing it to stop 🙂

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A bit aboooot my run comuuute!

I’ve done a couple run commutes since I started my new Big Girl Job in August, and some people on my running forum were curious about it, so I thought I’d do a blog post about why I run to/from work and what I do to make it work. So onward!

Why I Run Commute
The first time I ran to and from work, it was out of necessity. I moved into a new place August 31/Sept 1, but since my lease didn’t start until Sept 1, I couldn’t get my parking permit until that day, so I had nowhere to park my car on August 31. So I parked my car at work, ran home from the office, and then ran back to work the next morning.

I decided to do another run commute this week (Wednesday night work to home, Thursday morning home to work) because it was a convenient way to get my doubles in. I’ve just started my marathon training again now that my calf is A-OK, which means doubles on Wednesday and doubles on Thursday. Running home from work means I get my run in a little earlier, because I don’t have to drive home, prep and head out. And running to work on Thursday nets me a little extra sleep because I don’t have to shower and drive to work after the run. Convenient!

My office is “only” 4-4.5 miles from my house, and there’s sidewalks the entire way, so it’s a safe and easy route to add into my routine. There’s no reason for me NOT to do it!

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Plus my commute route is really pretty. Just a perk!

How I Prepare to Run Commute
I don’t have a running backpack or anything, so my run commute takes quite a bit of planning ahead. Usually early in the week (Sunday or Monday), I make a large meal that I take into work through the week for lunches. This week, I’d made a crockpot of chili, so on Wednesday I brought two lunches to work, ate one on Wednesday, and kept the other for Thursday in the work fridge. I like to eat my chili with scoop chips, so I kept a bag of them at my desk at work. I also tend to eat breakfast at work, so I have a drawer at my desk filled with flavored almonds and dried fruit which I snack on through the morning, so no need to bring breakfast on my commute!

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Above are the essentials of my run commute (with a few essentials missing because they were too essential for the picture). As you can see, I’ve got a running outfit for running from the office to home: shorts, bra, shirt, shoes, socks, my Garmin. Then I’ve got a work outfit for post-run: jeans, moccs, bra, shirt. I leave that outfit at work overnight to change into in the morning. These are pretty simple.

Then I’ve got a small towel to dry off before heading to the bathroom to freshen up when I get in. I take with me the little pouch in the lower right-hand corner, dry shampoo, a hair dryer (not pictured), deodorant (not pictured), and Nathan shower wipes (also not pictured; they live in my desk at work). In my little work pouch, which I stuff in my bag every day, I have chap stick, eye liner, mascara, hair ties, bobby pins, among other things like ibuprofen, bandaids, floss… anything I could possibly need, basically.

In the work bathrom, I get into a handicap stall and wipe down with the shower wipes (I got a pack of 15 for $4.99 at my local running store) and change into the fresh clothes. Then I blow-dry my sweaty hair, use some dry shampoo, put on makeup and deodorant, and put my hair up. Then bam! Ready to work!

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When I run to and from work, I have to wear my Oiselle distance shorts. I love my stride shorts, but they don’t have big enough pockets. When I go to/from the office, I need to bring my car/house keys, my ID and a credit card, and my phone. All those fit in the distance short pockets no problem. Above is the commute outfit I wore from home to work on Thursday morning… looking pretty good!

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View from the morning commute.

Do you run to or from work? What are your essentials?

Last week recap!

Life stuff has been keeping me busy, but finally! A training recap!

Last week I was more or less tapering for the Via HM / letting my calf seal the deal on the whole healing/recovery thing from when I strained it 4 weeks ago. So low mileage for me!

Monday September 5: 6 miles
Labor Day! I met up with my usual coffee crew but an hour later than usual to run some easy miles on a gorgeous day. Temps were low, the sun was bright, and I got a good whiff that dead leaf autumn smell.

Tuesday September 6: 6 miles
I usually rest on Tuesdays, but I had my MA thesis defense on Tuesday morning at 10 am, so I thought I’d get some miles in to wake up my brain. Definitely a good call! It was a bit warmer than I’d have liked, but my calf felt good and I felt much more awake and alert at my defense than I would have without a morning run.

Wednesday September 7: 4 miles
I had planned to run twice on Thursday, but some scheduling conflicts came up so I ran after work instead so I could get to the office around 7:30 on Thursday morning. It was hot and I was mad that I had to rearrange my runs so I ended up calling this a speed workout day. My calf had been a bit tight to start but it didn’t get tighter and it was ok by the end of the run, so at least I didn’t set myself back on that front!

Thursday September 8: 3.2 miles
We had a Pub Run with our Pacers running group, and I was tapering, so I just did the first loop of the run and then hit up th ebar! And one loop was more than enough as it was 95F when we started. Ugh! BUT there were super cool air-brush tattoos done by Princeton Face and Body Art which made the heat a bit more bearable because we looked cool 🙂

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Friday September 9: REST DAY

Saturday September 10: 5.3 miles
I got my miles in Saturday by doing a friend’s warm-up and cool-down for a 5 mile race, and I spectated in between. (She killed it, won first woman overall; woo!). It was a warm day and I was glad I wasn’t racing. Plus I had my own race to contend with on Sunday.

Sunday September 11: 13.1 miles
Via Half Marathon! This did NOT go well for me. I had thrown out most of my goals; I was no longer running the full for a BQ and I knew it was not going to be a PR, but then I wok eup Sunday and the weather was even worse than predicted. The forecast had said it would be an overnight of about 74 degrees. NOPE. I woke up at 4:45 Sunday and it was 79F and 80% humidity. I started the race optimistic that it would be fine. I chose to run in just a sports bra and shorts to maximize air flow; there was a nice breeze so I figure more breeze-skin contact would be good (and it was).

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However around mile 6, I started to feel pretty “blah.” I drank at a water stop — a bit of water, a bit of Gatorade because I was sweating a ton — and the “blah” turned to nausea. I had to walk a bit and then carry on, but every time I drank something, my stomach churned. But I decided that some nausea and walk breaks were better than not drinking for the rest of the race and feeling dehydrated (read: headachy and miserable) all day long. I had wanted to do a 1:45 or better, then decided around mile 4 that 1:45-1:50 was good, and then around mile 6-7 I thought it would be nice just to finish without puking.

So I spent the rest of the race walking as needed, chatting with people, encouraging other people who were being crushed by the heat, and enjoying the course. The course is really beautiful, largely flat, and incredibly scenic. It was nice to take it slow and look around!

Ultimately, I came in at 1:54:54, which is not bad at all for the conditions. This wasn’t a goal race and I didn’t have anything on the line (even my ego!). Post-race I got a beer, drank my G2, put on some dry socks, and waited for my stomach to settle before eating some runner goody bag snacks, and then camped out by the finish to cheer for the full marathoners coming in and the last of the HMers before taking the shuttle back to the start and heading back to my hotel.

All in all, I ran 37.6 miles last week, which is more than I’ve ran in a while. And my calf felt fine after Via and continues to feel fine this week (spoiler alert) so I am giving myself the green light to resume training!

Tomorrow I am run commuting, so expect a post from me before the weekend (I hope) detailing that!

Weekly recap! (Aug 29-Sept 4)

This week was crazy and stressful and nutso, and with my calf still on the up-and-up, I didn’t sweat getting a ton of miles in. So let’s round ’em up, shall we?

Monday Aug 29: 3 miles
I met up with my Monday morning coffee group and did the first loop (we ususally do two 3 mile loops). I had to get to work around 8 am, so I didn’t have time to run til 7 and get coffee with the crew like I usually do.

Tuesday Aug 30: Rest day
But I did get a good arms/back/core workout by loading up my car so I could move in to my new place Wednesday evening.

Wednesday Aug 31: 4.4 miles
I didn’t run in the morning, and I got to work around 7:30 so I could leave at 3:30, run errands on campus (pick up my thesis from the printer and drop it off to the necessary folks on campus), sign my lease on my house share, and then move enough stuff into my house so that I could take my car to my office lot and park it. I didn’t have a parking permit for Wednesday night, so I left my car at work and ran home. It’s just shy of 4.5 miles and it’s either on the tow path or sidewalk the entire way. Will definitely be making use of this throughout the fall!

Thursday Sept 1: 4.3 miles
This time I ran TO work instead of from work. It was hot and humid and rainy, but I made good time. I’d stashed all my clean-up stuff at work as well as a change of clothes, and it worked out really well. I’ll be writing a separate post about my run commute details in the near future.

Friday Sept 2: Rest day

Saturday Sept 3: 9.4 miles
We had some really spectacularly cool and fall-type weather this weekend in NJ. And no tropical storm manifested itself! I ran a gorgeous, rolling hill route with my running group Saturday morning in low-6os, breezy, sunny weather and it got me so excited for fall training. Plus, my calf didn’t get tight at all until 8.6/9.4 miles, but it wasn’t tight enough that I felt like I had to walk it off. Big improvement! The farthest I’d gone before Saturday without having to walk off some tightness was about 5 miles. I’ll definitely be HM ready next week and ready to train again the week after that!

Sunday Sept 4: 5.7 miles
Normally, my short-long run is Saturday and then I do a long-long run on Sunday, but since I’m tapering/babying my calf I just wanted a solid 45-60 minute run instead. I got a good whiff of fall (dead leaves + cool air), and so even though it’s going to be hot later this week and humid/warm for my race next weekend (or so it’s forecasted a week ahead of time), I can safely say that fall is very near!

Weekly total: 26.8 miles

This is my lowest weekly total since my big slump in May/June. But all week, I was going to work at 7:30 am, leaving at 3:30 and running errands from 3:30-5:00. I was just too exhausted to get up early enough to run before work or to run after all my dashing about was done. Plus I moved to a new house, and that was a whole process all by itself! I’m just going to say this was part of my taper. I was so busy that I was surprised that I had run “only” 27ish miles. I’ll have low mileage again this upcoming week, but after the Via HM I’ll be getting back up to the 50s, then 60s, and then I should be hitting high 60s or low 70s by the end of September/first week of October!!

Updates big and small!

Ok so it’s been a little while. Again. Oops. But I have a perfectly valid reason! I was busy finishing my thesis! I turned in my final draft last Tuesday and have my defense next Tuesday, which means I am like 95% done with my Masters. One. Last. Hurdle!

I’ve also been getting settled in at my new job.

And I’ve been preparing to move again this week (to a more permanent place, thank goodness).

And, oh yeah… I injured myself like an idiot. I managed to strain my left calf — my on-and-off trouble spot — by stepping weird in a pothole during a long run. I’ve been taking good care of it (took some days off, been foam rolling, got a massage 36 hours after it happened, did lots of icing and compression sleeve-wearing), but there’s no way I’m running the full 26.2 at Via in two weeks. I’m gonna switch down to the half-marathon at the Expo that weekend and just have a good time. If I PR, great, but I just wanna enjoy the scenery and have a fun time to jumpstart the fall training season. I have another race in October that will be a PR attempt for the half.

The silver lining of this injury and not running a marathon in early September is that now my fall training opens up for my goals that I had kind of laid to the side when I realized Via and Philly are 10 weeks apart. But now I get to reach for them. I will yet again try to hit a sub-3:30 time for a marathon but I also get to strive toward consistent 60-70 mile weeks. I saw amazing progress this spring doing 50-60 per week with a peak at 64, so I want to hit the 70 milestone once or twice this fall during peak weeks.

Plus, fall is my favorite training season. Crisp air. Cute running fashions. Not being drenched in sweat at the end of every run. It’s the stuff dreams are made of, folks.

 

Summer Lovin’ (Running Edition!)

Since I don’t have races or fun insights to write about lately… it’s time for a list! Here are some running stuffs and things that I’ve been loving this summer!

  1. Popsicles.
    Few things are better than coming home from a hot, humid, sweaty, gross run and chopping the top off a Flavor Ice push-tube popsicle and turning my tongue blue with chemically-dyed-and-flavored frozen water.
  2. Oiselle stride shorts.
    This spring, I raved about Oiselle’s distance shorts. Well, summer and its humidity rolled around and we are not getting along. In the humidity, the distance shorts tend to roll up between my legs and stay there. And if I wanted to run in glorified underwear, then I’d do that. So I’ve turned back to my trusted tight shorts, and I have been loving my Strides. With a 4.5″ inseam and a dollop of Vaseline under the seams, they don’t move at all. I’ve come back from many a long run drenched in sweat — like, sweat is literally dripping out of my shorts, my socks are squishy, my wicking shirt is wring-able — and there is ZERO CHAFE. It’s amazing.

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    Strides shorts featured here in the fun new Burgen Tribeca print!

  3. Saucony hydralite, in all forms.
    One of my summer go-to styles is Saucony hydralite. I have one tank and three short sleeves and it’s amazing for hot and humid runs. I hardly wore anything else during our three consecutive heatwaves in July. Even when I’m soaked head to toe in sweat, the shirts don’t feel heavy. Or, if you abandon shirt mid-run they make a super absorbant face wipe (I’ve done this quite a few times!).

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    I don’t have any good pics of me in my fave short-sleeves, but here is a hydralite in hibiscus and LOOK HOW SWEATY I AM!

  4. Joining the #sportsbrasquad.
    Even though I gained 5 lbs after running the New Jersey Marathon during my major slump and not having the “summer body” I always MEAN to carve out of my lumpy mid-section during the spring, I’ve thrown caution to the wind with the humidity and heat this year. After one shirtless run on some lonely roads and realizing that it felt SO GOOD to have more skin exposed when it was 100% humidity, I’ve become a strong advocate of losing the shirt. I don’t care if my tummy is a bit more blobby/less toned than I’d like… comfort will win out! Plus if anyone wants to give me shit, they’ll have to catch up to me first! 😉

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    Post-run pic after my first sports bra-only run in late June. Feeling strong!

  5. Gatorade!
    Specifically the G2 variety, and I’m expanding my flavor horizons! Though the blue G2 is the nectar of the gods that gets me through the last miles toughest summer runs (I daydream about it until the second I walk through the door back into my house!), I now have deemed the grape G2 flavor quite acceptable and have been alternating between the two when I make my weekly grocery stops. Even though the actual benefit of G2 may be debatable, I can’t deny that a sweet and sugary (but low calorie) beverage after a 75F, 100% humidity July morning has gotten me hydrated and out of dehydration headache territory several times a week.

What have you been loving this summer?
And has your weather been as completely awful as we’ve had it in New Jersey lately? For the first time since probably early June we’re finally getting mornings with temps below 70, thank goodness!

Happy Hump Day!

Training recap! July 25-31

The week is over, and let me tell you, this one just flew by! Let’s break down the mileage day by day.

Monday July 25: 0 miles
Thunderstorm-inspired rest day! Usually I’d do a recovery run on Monday mornings with my coffee run group, but some nasty rain and loud thunder kept me in bed instead. Rainstorms in the evening then kept me in the house as well, so the run got bumped to Tuesday. But I DID manage to restart my core work on Monday! I have slacked on my core/stability work since April, so I’m trying to get back into the 3x/week routine.

Tuesday July 26: 5.5 miles (am), 2.5 miles (pm)
I did 5.5 easy miles in the morning, meaning to do 6 but the route didn’t quite work. But that was fine because I more than made up for it with my evening run, which was a warm-up and cool-down with two friends at an XC race. I ran this race 2 weeks ago but haaated it, so I just spectated again (as I’d done FOUR weeks prior) and cheerleaded the best I could.

I also managed to eat a piece of pizza while running the cool-down mile. I am a master of all things 😉

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Wednesday July 27: 7.5 miles
A finally nice morning to run! Lower temperatures and lower humidity… easy run. 3.5-4 miles were on tow path (dirt and gravel) and the other miles were just getting to and from the canal. Trying to get lots of tow path practice under my shoes before Via, since 10.5 miles of the course is on tow path-like terrain on cinder/dirt path.

Thursday July 28: 6.6 miles (am), 7.4 miles (pm)
I had a great speedwork session with a running friend of mine, for whom my “tempo”/marathon pace is her easy peasy pace. For the second week in a row, I managed to keep my overall pace under 8 min miles, which is the best I can ask for on a 71F/95% humidity morning.

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Evening run was with my Pacers store group. It was really humid, but we finally didn’t have to run in 90F temperatures, so I ran much faster than I have in the last few weeks at that group run: 8:07 pace instead of an 8:40+ pace. Felt so good!

Friday July 29: Rest day. Hallelujah!

Saturday July 30: 8 miles
This weekend and the first few days of next week are cutbacks for me because of Lady Time. I know I’ll be low energy and have heavy legs, so why push it? And boy was I glad for the cutback this weekend! Started at 7 am, and it was hot (mid-70s) and humid (~90%) and the sun was shining bright. Blegh.

Sunday July 31: 12 miles
This run defines the word slog. It was hot (73F to start at 6:00), humid (100% humidity, threatening or drizzling rain, so humid that it was foggy), and everything was damp and slippery. There were many walk breaks taken, one that was around 1/3 of a mile long. Just could not get my legs going.

However, those 12 miles DID knock my monthly mileage up to 220 for July, and 49.5 for the week. I’ll be back up in the 50s next week with my long weekend mileage that I have planned, so I didnt’sweat that precious .5 mile that set me out of the 50s game… at least not this week 😉

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6 weeks to the day until Marathon #5: Lehigh Valley Via Marathon! Getting nervous about the weather, but hoping to get some good training in before the taper starts!