a blog about running fast with style
March 25-April 21
Before we dive into where April went and how one bounces back from almost four weeks of no running and then decides to make the awesome life choice to run a half marathon in a month and a full in two months I want to take a moment and simply acknowledge the events this last week at the Boston Marathon. My heart and prayers go out to those who were there and their loved ones who’s lives are touched by the events of the last week.
On to lighter things.
And some miles.
March 25-March 31
We last left off with a 26 mile week of running two sort-of workouts and an acidental 11 mile long run. Pretty much life was on the up and up.
Monday marked my last PT appointment and I could barley walk let alone run (though I totes tried… the running part that is…). I got up early before PT and hit the gym for a little AMT. 32 minutes later I was struggling to get my heart rate up and decided to finish off my effort on the streets. Big mistake. I shuffled my way through two miles at well, well over 10 min mile pace and wondered how could this be? Where was my 7:30 pace from the day before.
My PT had the answer (of course). My lazy hip muscle had finally joined the running party and were a bit on the hungover side of things. Nothing a little deep tissue massage couldn’t help.
By Tuesday I was back on the roads with a workout and by workout I mean the kind you run on a track.
It was an awesome morning:
My plan was to run a 1-2-3-2-1-2-3-2-1 at about 10k pace (6:08) and run equal recovery at a moderate pace (7:20ish). I was pretty close. I covered 5.19 miles and averaged 6:38s. I’d run the same workout in January and this one felt better though the HR was higher. My warm down was another story as I practically crawled back to my office.
But look… I’m still alive.
My heel for the most part was good but could feel it getting a bit fatigued towards the end so I hit the AMT on Wednesday. It’s also when I realized that I might have to break-up with the AMT. Apparently it gives me motion sickness: not winning.
Thursday I was back on the streets for and easy 7 miler at 8:13 pace which was pretty speedy for me (HR 157). I maybe should have scaled this back because my legs were not ready to run on Friday.
Friday I found myself back at my favorite spot but not quite as ready to run as I hoped:
The workout called for 2 x 2 miles at half marathon pace followed by 8 x 200m at 3k pace. The first time I ran this in January it was amazing, the second time I was coming off a cold and only made it through the first 2 miles and a two laps of the second rep so I figure anywhere in between the two would be good.
Before my injury the half pace I was training at was 6:30s. I still thought 6:30s was attainable but figured I start the first rep based on feel. My first lap was slower than anticipated but by the second lap I was able to find some turnover. I managed a 6:40 for my first mile and 6:35 for the second. I tried to stay true to half marathon feel and not push the pace too much.
The second set was harder. I still hit 6:38 and 6:38 and it felt like half marathon pace but it was pretty clear to me I couldn’t find anymore turnover. That should make 200m repeats fun right?
The 200s were hard. I ran 41-42s but they felt hard. No matter how tired I am I’m usually able to turn on the speed but it was clear to me I was just getting through these: my times weren’t bad but I didn’t feel like myself.
Saturday was a much needed rest day and it didn’t suck:
Sunday was an amazingly sunny day. I managed a 13.5 long run with the last two miles in 6:43 and 6:23 (and yes the 6:23 hurt).
Weekly total: 42.5
Monday I could barley walk I kid you not. I feel sorry for anyone who had to witness me running. It was cold dark and gray and limped through 4.5 miles and even tried some short hills, emphasis on tried. It was ugly and not fast and left me wondering I might had broken myself.
Afternoon yoga helped and Tuesday I was ready to run. I mean run! 4 mile easy warm-up and 5 x 3 min hills (half flat and half hill). I actually ran the hill part better than the last time I ran this workout but for the life of me I could not find a pace anywhere near 6:00 min pace for the first part. I shuffled a 2 mile warm down and called it a day.
I took Wednesday off because I couldn’t face the AMT and I wanted to rest my foot. I did hit my yoga class at noon and tried to stretch out the legs (especially the calves).
Thursday was an awkward 7 and strides. I ended up just running based on heart rate. It felt really hard. My stride just didn’t feel right.
Friday my plan (yes plan) was to run 2 x 3 miles starting at marathon pace and cutting down to half marathon pace. The last time I ran this it was epic this time it was not. Things started out ok 6:43 (a bit fast but not bad) then 6:39 (right on track) and 6:38… hmmm, was hoping for something closer to 6:30. 2 minutes rest and I was back at it and clearly in trouble. 7:09, 7:16 7:43. Yep, that last mile was slower than half my miles from the day before.
I should have just called it a day after my first rep, but mentally I just needed to finish for the W.
My cool down may have been faster than my last mile.
I was discouraged but knew I’d live to run another day.
And it helped that Saturday was a rest day.
Sunday was a wet and cold 15 miler with the last 3 at marathon pace. The last 3 miles sucked there’s no way around it. My legs were tired and that last thing I wanted to do was run fast. The first mile was on, the second was slow and then the third one was what I needed.
Somewhere in my last half mile or so I had a little Forrest Gump moment. You know the part in the movie when he’s a kid and running and his braces just fall off and he runs? Well my legs broke free from whatever was holding them back and found their stride and their freedom.
I just hoped they would show up again.
Weekly total: 52
Monday was a pleasant surprise. If you remember my previous Monday run was not awesome. This one was still slow but my stride showed up as did the sun and I made it 5 miles (and followed the 5 with a little yoga).
Tuesday my legs showed up again! I know! 7 easy and strides that actually resembled strides.
So Wednesday I tried a track workout. My all time favorite workout: 2 sets of 10 x 400m. I know, ambitious.
My plan was to run 2 sets of 8 but when I hit the magic number 8 I figured I’d run two more and I’d stop at 6 in the next set if things were falling apart. I’d love to give you my splits but I don’t have them. Good old Garmin lost it. I mean L-O-S-T it! It started hitting lap and start and stop all on its own.
I was eventually able to time a one hundred or two hundred and figured I was running between 91-89s. During my second set I even managed to measure 2 entire 400m repeats. #amazing
My last 400 was brutal but I was happy to make it through the workout and faster than I’d expected (I think).
I lost my mind a little bit and ran 10 miles on Thursday (I don’t know what I was thinking). The last two miles were ugly but the rest was less ugly.
Friday was an easy 5 with short hills, Saturday was a much-needed rest day and Sunday I went long.
My plan was to run a progression long run: 3 at warm-up pace, 3 at 7:40, 3 at 7:20, 3 at 7:00, 3 at 6:53 and a 3 mile cool down for 18 miles and 12 miles of tempo running. Things started out okay but sort of fell apart at the end.
I warmed up and ran miles 4-6 at 7:30s (felt great), miles 7-9 at 7:15s (felt good), miles 10-12 at 7:00s (starting to get ugly) and then mile 13 at 7:05 and mile 14 at 7:14. At mile 15 I was falling apart fast so I decide to jog a mile easy and then try the last tempo mile. And then I decided to jog another mile and then talked myself into a 7:00 minute mile. I finished the day off with two nine minute miles 19 miles total at 7:43 average and I was ok with it.
I’d like to find some more speed at the end of these longer workouts but can’t complain.
Weekly total: 57 miles
Monday REST! And I needed it. Not sure jumping from 15 mile long run to 19 miles was the best life choice but it’s done.
Tuesday was my real test. 7 slightly above average miles and 10 short hills. No limping. All good things.
Wednesday I was back at the track and ready to run 800s. My original plan was to run my 800s around Greenlake because I wanted to make sure I ran 10k pace (6:08-12 pace) and because the last track workout I ran before my heel bruise was 800s and I was a bit nervous to try 800s again.
I sort of panicked when I hit Greenlake and made my way back to the safety of the track. My plan was to run only 8 800s (when I injured myself I ran 10) and I planned on running them slower (last time I was sub 3:00s).
I started the workout with 4 200s (40s) and they were hard. 800s should be fun right?
I was running with a new Garmin 610 and hadn’t quite figured it out so I had no idea how fast I was running for my first rep. I reset my watch and figured out how to change screens and saw that I ran a 3:07. A little slow and I was a bit disappointed.
2 minutes and 30 seconds later I was ready to run. 3:00 minutes. Not bad. 3:00, 3:01, 3:00 (don’t really know I messed my watch-up). 3:00, 2:58 and 2:57.
And I’ll take it. I later figured out I was only supposed to take a 2 minute rest oops. I was sort of disappointed but what can ya do?
Thursday I ran 11 miles and averaged 8:11s AWESOME! And my heart rate was 151. Double awesome and good news all around. I was pretty surprised by this run since the week before was brutal. All good progress (right???).
Friday was a little fartlek. 2 mile warm-up 4 miles of fartlek and then 2 mile warm down. I ran 40 seconds fast and 2:20 at moderate. It was rainy and gross but I ended up averaging around 6:35s (6:00ish on the 40 seconds and 7:00ish on the 2:20s) and not gonna lie it felt hard.
My Saturday 6 miler was okay, harder than expected. But I remembered to finally take a picture:
13.5 solid miles and then the miles got hard (okay they were feeling hard at 5.5). 13.5-19 was brutal. I just had to power through and done right? Nope 3 miles at marathon pace.
I couldn’t find marathon pace but I did find low 7s (okay the second mile was slower but I almost knocked over an older gentleman and yes it was my fault- good decisions are hard at mile 21 but I did say sorry so I’m only sort of a jerk).
I finished the day with 22.21 miles in 3 hours.
And I was sick for the rest of the day.
Weekly total: 65… I know. I do dumb things.
But sometimes I do smart things… and those smart things might be related to these awesome things…
… more on all this awesomeness soon. Promise.
run pretty run fast