Weekly Wrap-Up: June 19-25

73, 72, 70, 75, 74. Those were the temperatures this week at the start of my runs, and the humidity for each was was somewhere around 90%. Somehow, I survived. I also had an interesting long run, although at least this week, I managed to avoid killing my phone with sweat.

Also, it was my last “normal” week for several weeks.

Weight Check: 168.7 pounds, down 0.2 from last week. Well, I suppose it beats the alternative. It’s still too high, and there’s still too much Mountain Dew in my life.

There’s going to be travel next week (More on that later), so I have no idea how that’s going to affect my weight, and I also have no idea when I’ll do my next official weigh-in. It’ll either be Thursday before I leave, or the following Tuesday after I get back.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 6 miles easy 6.01
Tuesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday 2 mile warm up, 8 x 1 minute uphill hard (jog
down hill in between), 2 mile cool down
Friday 6 miles (first 5 easy, last mile moderate effort) 6.01
Saturday 12 mile long run (include hills if possible) 12.02

Total: 33.66 miles

Hey, I finally reformatted the table to include my schedule.

Monday, I stepped outside, felt the heat and humidity, and thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I may have added another word before kidding. (Also, I probably should have saved that thought for later in the week.) My legs felt fine, though, and after a slow start, I got through the rest, and even finished strong in the last quarter mile or so.

I got a late start Tuesday and didn’t have enough time to drive over to the Y and get on the treadmill. You know the weather is pretty miserable when the treadmill sounds like the better option. My legs still felt OK, though, and I survived.

Wednesday was a hill workout. They’re not fun at any temperature. My legs felt a little tired during the last couple of intervals, but otherwise, they were OK. I did manage to get my fastest pace on the last interval, so there’s that.

Friday was the hottest run of the week. My legs felt OK, and I managed to speed up for the last mile rather nicely.

And then came Saturday. Lately, it seems like there’s always something with my long runs.

First, when I got to Freedom Park, I realized I left my watch at home. So I had to use RunKeeper. That meant I had to keep my phone available. Of course, after last week, I wasn’t taking any chances, and I had brought a Ziploc bag for my phone. So, yes, I had to use RunKeeper on my phone while it was wrapped in plastic.

Second, we got a decent amount of rain throughout the week. Nothing while I was running (either Saturday or anytime during the past week), and not enough for there to be any flooding on Saturday, but there was enough to wash some mud up onto the path underneath a few of the bridges. Running through the mud isn’t very much fun.

Adding in a few hills wasn’t much fun either.

But the worst part happened at the 6.36 mile mark. I had been keeping my phone in my pocket. I did take it out every so often just to check it, but for the most part, I relied on the audio updates from RunKeeper every 5 minutes. (Fun fact that I discovered today: The default RunKeeper voice has a name, Kat.) Well, at some point after 6.36 miles, I noticed that my average pace was really slowing down. I checked my phone, and sure enough, the time was increasing, but the distance was stuck on 6.36. Some further investigation revealed that somehow, bouncing around in my pocket, I managed to turn off GPS on my phone. After going through the steps to turn it back on, I have no idea how I managed to turn it off in my pocket. So I did some quick math, figured I’d go 5.66 miles to get me to 12.02, and started a new activity.

I probably ran about half a mile without my GPS. It’s hard to tell for sure. I do know it was a little over 8 minutes from when the GPS was turned off until I stopped RunKeeper, but I know I stopped at a water fountain in there, too.

Somehow I managed to run the 5.66 mile portion of my run faster then the 6.36 mile portion. Near the end of the run, my legs started to feel a little tired, but I still managed to speed up a little. I’ll take it.

Next week, I’m headed up to New York*. I think that’s the easiest way to describe it, because I’ll end up spending some time in New Jersey and Connecticut as well. Speaking of Connecticut, if all goes well I’ll be able to add it to the list of states that I’ve run in. (I picked up New Jersey in 2015, and New York…well, you know.) I had to adjust my schedule quite a bit, and it’ll be a step back week with no real long run. But hey, I’ll get to run somewhere that I’ve never run before. Oh and my next Weekly Wrap-Up (and Monthly Wrap-Up) will be late.

Weekly Wrap-Up: June 12-18

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Dads out there in general, and in particular, the winner of the 70+ age group at the 2017 Teal Diva 5K. (Part of me wishes I had congratulated Mom for winning her age group when I posted on Mother’s Day, but then, that would have spoiled my race report.)

I found out the hard way that the armband that I’ve been using to carry my phone isn’t exactly sweat-proof, despite claims of being waterproof. Well, I’m getting a new phone, although on the plus side, my old phone came back from the dead after it dried out completely, so the transition will be a little bit more smooth. I’m still trying to figure out how I’m going to safely carry my phone during really sweaty runs like Saturday.

In spite of my armband troubles, and the fact that it was 72 degrees and really humid, I’m actually really happy with my long run this week. I didn’t expect that either.

Weight Check: Do I have to? Sigh, OK. 168.9, up exactly 2 pounds from last week. I’m not happy at all with that. The only thing I can say was that was before my long run, since I drove up to my parents’ house (for the 2nd week in a row) later that day. Now I have to buckle down this week, when I’m on call for work. I swear, running in the heat sometimes feels easier than trying to manage my diet.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.01
Tuesday 4.01
Wednesday 6.01
Friday 6.01
Saturday 11.01

Total: 33.05 miles

Another long (but good) weekend means I haven’t reformatted my This Week’s Runs table to include what each run was scheduled to be. The short answer is easy runs every day except Wednesday and Saturday.

Monday was the best weather of the week, but my legs were still a little sore. I think during the previous week, I was doing my bodyweight routine, and I think I went a little too heavy on the leg exercises. I’m going to tweak the routine a bit, maybe replace some of the leg exercises with some that will work my core, and see how it goes.

During a lot of my runs, if my legs are sore at the beginning, the soreness tends to go away after a mile or two. This run went kind of like that. The problem is that right around the time that my legs started feeling good, nature called. I put it off, took a few walk breaks to avoid having an accident, and made it to the end, but my pace on the last couple of miles wasn’t what I would have liked. (Considering the alternative, I’ll take the slightly slower average pace.)

Tuesday, I decided that my legs needed a break, and despite the protests from my brain, I got on the treadmill. I stayed at a steady pace, 10:43/mile, for the entire run. It definitely helped my legs, even if hurt my brain.

Wednesday was my first official fartlek workout, even though I’ve done some interval runs the last two years that were kind of similar. I started out with a 20 minute warm up, then 5 x 3 minutes hard with 2 minutes recovery in between, then a cool down of at least 15 minutes to get me to 6 miles total. (Spoiler: At my pace, my cool down took longer than 15 minutes.)

It was a little more humid on Wednesday, but it wasn’t too terribly hot, only 66 degrees. Once I warmed up, I ran my intervals, and it went pretty well. I was shooting for 8:25-8:30/mile pace, and my splits were 8:45/mile, 8:46/mile, 8:35/mile, 8:28/mile, and 8:18/mile, so I got better as I went along. My legs felt a little tired at the end, because I had really pushed it, but there was no soreness, so I was pretty happy with the resutls.

Friday was warm and humid, uncomfortable but not completely unbearable. My legs felt fine. I kept it at an “easy” effort until I started pushing in the last quarter mile or so. It was a pretty uneventful run, which isn’t necessarily bad.

Then came Saturday. The weather sucked. It was 72 degrees and really humid. If there was one bright spot, it was overcast the whole time, so the temperature stayed pretty steady, although that also meant the humidity stayed steady, too. I was scheduled for an 11 mile run, with the last 2 miles at a moderately hard effort. OK.

I’ve noticed that when I have a long run in the heat, I can usually keep my pace pretty slow for the first mile, while my legs are still getting warmed up, but after that, I sometimes need to take walk breaks, not because my legs are tired, but because I’m running too fast and that’s the only way I can slow myself down. Well, somehow, during this run, I managed to keep my pace fairly slow for 9 miles. The only walk breaks I took were at water fountains. I managed to hover around 12:00/mile for most of my miles, with mile 6 (when I stopped for Gu) noticeable slower, and I slowed down a bit on mile 9, knowing that I had two tough miles to go, so I tried to save my energy.

When I got to the 9 mile mark, I sped up, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much energy I had left. I had hoped that I could get down to around 11:00/mile. I somehow managed a 10:27 and 10:29. This was a pleasant surprise.

So, yeah, that was a pretty good run. (Even if my phone got sort-of ruined.)

With my upcoming travel (sandwiched around a full week of on call for work), this is going to be my last “normal” week for a while. I’ve got a hill workout and a 12 mile long run on the schedule. And it’s going to be pretty freaking hot, too. Hopefully I’ll find a way through it.

Weekly Wrap-Up: June 5-11

I’m a day late, because my nephew had his 1st Birthday Party on Sunday. His actual birthday isn’t until next week, but yesterday was the best day for everybody to get together. Somebody gave him a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, which is hands down the greatest present ever given to a 1 year old. Anyway, I got to hang out with both my nephews for a few hours, and they’re still the best.

My first week with a coach was…less than ideal. Let’s just say that I’m glad my coach is more of a build you up type of coach and not a drill sergeant type of coach, because otherwise I’d probably be getting called a maggot (and a few other things that I try not to say here) right about now.

Weight Check: 166.9, up 1.2 pounds from last week. Not good. I did weigh in Saturday morning before my long run, but I still shouldn’t be relying on a long run to bail me out. Also, I spent the rest of the weekend with my family undoing any benefits I might have gotten from my long run. Eventually I’ll figure something out.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.01
Tuesday 4.11
Wednesday 5.21
Friday 6.01
Saturday 10.01

Total: 31.35 miles

I probably should switch up the format to indicate what each run was scheduled to be, but I’m already late and want to get this thing published soon. Maybe next week.

One benefit to working with a coach is that she’s asked for as much detail as possible for my runs in order to make any necessary adjustments to my training plan. So (in theory) there should be no more “I don’t remember anything about this run” comments in my Weekly Wrap-Ups.

Monday was hot and extremely humid, even at 6:55 AM. My legs felt OK, though. I sped up for the last 1/4 mile or so, but otherwise, I kept a pretty consistent “easy” effort. It’s hard to describe any pace as easy in these conditions, though.

Tuesday was still hot and humid, but not quite as bad as Monday. My legs felt a little tired at first, but felt better later in the run. I went with an “easy” effort (at least as easy as it gets in these conditions) most of the way, except for the last 1/4 mile or so where I pushed it a little.I was about a tenth of a mile from home when I got to 4 miles, and I ran it in.

Wednesday was my first workout, and it was hill repeats. Last year, I had some hill sprint workouts where I had to go all out for 20 seconds uphill. This one was longer intervals (1 minute) but not quite all out, around 5K race effort, with a 2 mile warm up, and a 2 mile cool down. I ended up making it a 2.11 mile cool down. I guess I ended up about a tenth of a mile from home again and ran it in. Consistency?

The weather was still warm, but cooler. My legs felt fine. I did OK. One thing that I noticed that was really odd is that in Garmin Connect, the elevation gain/loss for my intervals was all over the place. I noticed that with my hill sprint workouts last year, too, and the most egregious one was for 10 hill sprints where I supposedly had 0 elevation gain for 9 of them, and for the other, I had an elevation loss. However, my coach uses a website named Final Surge to keep track of my run, and it’s set up to automatically import data from Garmin Connect. Well, when this workout was imported, the elevation gain was very consistent, varying from 45-50 feet of elevation gain for all of my intervals, and that seems about right. It’s just odd, though, you’d think the data would show up the same on both sites. (You’d also think that if there was a discrepancy, Garmin Connect would be more accurate because, you know, I’m actually using a Garmin device.) Shrug. Anyway, I got through the workout. Hopefully it’ll help prepare me for the 59th Street Bleeping Bridge in November.

Also, Wednesday was also Global Running Day. “Celebrating” it with a hill workout is less than ideal, but that’s what was on the schedule. I did take a picture at the end of my run to mark the occasion.

Thursday was a rest day. (Well, I did some bodyweight exercises, as I was scheduled to do some strength training.) I had to mention it here because this was by far the coolest morning of the entire week. D’oh!

Friday was still fairly comfortable, though. My legs didn’t feel all that great at the start, but they got better after a couple of miles. I kept the effort easy until the last mile. This was my kind of run, it was 5 easy miles followed by a final mile with moderate effort. I pretty much always try to speed up on the final mile, so I really liked this one.

Saturday was my long run. I drove up to Freedom Park. My legs felt a little stiff and tired early, but got better as I went along. I accidentally left my Gu at home so I didn’t have any mid-run fuel, but I stopped at water fountains roughly every mile. It was warm, but not unbearable. If it was like this for the rest of my long runs this summer, I could live with it.

So, overall, I felt like my paces were a bit disappointing this week, but I got through it, put in the miles, and hopefully my body will adjust a little bit to the heat.

Next week, I’ve got a couple more miles on the schedule, including an 11 mile long run, and something sort of new, a fartlek workout. (I know the name sounds weird, that’s why I included the link to prove I’m not making it up. Besides, I’m not that creative.) I’ve done something similar before, it just wasn’t labeled as a fartlek.

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 29-June 4

My training plan officially starts tomorrow. Also, there’s another milestone, as Monday will be exactly 5 months from the New York City Marathon.

This week was pretty good up until Saturday.

Weight Check: 165.7, up 1.8 pounds from last week. This one’s got me stumped. It wasn’t a great week of eating, but I don’t think it was that much worse than any of my recent weeks, and I had decent mileage, too. I guess I’ll just have to try to buckle down this week.

I realized this morning that this was my last official weigh-in before I start my training, and my initial reaction was that I was hoping to be a pound or two lower at the beginning of training, but then I looked back to last year, and while I didn’t start my training plan until July, I was at 170.7 pounds when I did. (I gained weight while I was hurt last year.) So I guess it could be worse.

This Week’s Runs
Day Total Miles
Monday 6.01
Tuesday 5.01
Wednesday 5.01
Friday 5.01
Saturday 10.01

Total: 28.65 miles

As I was looking over my comments for each run, I realize each one had some variation on “My legs felt fine.” So I’ll say it once at the beginning and get it over with. Potentially having to say that repeatedly is a good problem to have.

Since Monday was a holiday, I went over to the McMullen Creek/Four Mile Creek Greenways to run. I managed to forget my Garmin watch. Luckily, I still have Runkeeper installed on my phone, and it still works. It was fairly warm, but not completely terrible. I finished strong on the last mile.

Tuesday’s weather felt pretty miserable, but I managed it pretty well. I somehow pulled off a reverse split.

On Wednesday, I got on the treadmill, because clearly my brain needed punishment. I started out at 10:43/mile, and this time, I got down to 9:22/mile for the last 0.6 or so.

Friday was kind of humid, but I still ran pretty well. I probably could have gotten in a little more than 5 miles, but I figured I’d need my energy for my long run.

Then there was Saturday. I didn’t make things any easier by waiting until 8:27 AM to start. I really need to get out there earlier. The heat really got to me. I also probably should have slowed down a bit on the earlier miles. I did manage to recover on the last mile a little bit, but overall, it was pretty miserable. I got to 10 miles, though, so there’s that. I don’t think I’ve quite gotten acclimated to running in the heat, but I’m pretty sure I’ll have a few more chances to get it right.

So, this week, my training officially begins. June looks pretty close to May as far as mileage goes, just with a few different workouts, and specific warm-up exercises, and nutrition recommendations. And while you could argue that I started training for New York last November 7, or maybe March 2, the day I got in to this year’s race, tomorrow is when it gets real.

Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2017

I got a year older, the weather got warmer, and I had a good (but short) race. That’s May in a nutshell.

May 2017
Total Mileage: 137.20 miles
Average Pace: 11:03/mile
Number of Runs: 24 (or 23, depending on whether my warm-up run for the Teal Diva 5K counts)
Last Month (April 2017): 140.11 miles
Last Year (May 2016): 67.34 miles
Races: Teal Diva 5K, 26:22 (Not a PR, because course was around 3.01 miles.)

Total Mileage for 2017 (through May 31): 675.73 miles

Last May, I was still working my way back from my injury, so that’s why it was so low. I’m a little disappointed that my mileage was down slightly this month from April, but I lost a long run due to my race, and I also cut back a little during the week of May 22. Also, April had 5 Saturdays, and that’s cheating.

Let’s see how I’m doing with my 2017 goals.

Goal 1: 1500 miles

Average miles per day is 675.73 miles divided by 151 days, that’s about 4.47 miles per day, times 365 days for the year, comes out to over 1,633 miles for the year. Last month my projection was 1,638 miles, so I slipped a little, but that’s still well over my goal.

Goal 2: 6 races, with 2 that are 13.1 or greater

With the Teal Diva 5K, I now have 4 races overall. I still only have 1 so far that’s 13.1 or greater, since the Teal Diva 5K wasn’t even 5K, let alone 13.1 miles.

Goal 3: A PR in 3 different races

I may have run my fastest 3 miles ever in the Teal Diva 5K, but I can’t count it as an official 5K PR, so I still have 2 PRs this year.

While my specific goals are on track, my non-specific goals don’t seem to be gaining much traction. I guess I’m still doing well with the slower easy runs/faster hard runs thing, considering my results in the Teal Diva 5K. One that I had been good about, getting some other exercise, I’ve kind of slipped a bit. I missed a few days of my bodyweight routine, and it wasn’t just when I was visiting my parents. My diet hasn’t changed a bit, I still drink too much Mountain Dew and not enough water. I guess it was nice to have a post marking my birthday, but that was the only post this month that wasn’t a weekly wrap-up/monthly wrap-up/race report.

Best Run: May 13, Teal Diva 5K(ish), 3.01 miles in 26:12 (8:42/mile pace) according to Garmin

Man, I wish the course wasn’t short. But yeah, it’s hard to argue with my fastest 3 miles ever. Added bonus, after I was done, I got to briefly run with my 3 year old nephew Jack. He didn’t run very far (it wasn’t fatigue, it was mostly because he got distracted), but it was fun while it lasted.

Shout-out to my birthday run, 5.17 miles on May 17. It was my first outdoor tempo run in months, and it went pretty well.

I might have to retire this section (at least temporarily) because with no races on the calendar, I have a hard time imagining a run in June that will be memorable for a good reason. We’ll see.

Worst Run: May 23, 5.31 miles, 11:42/mile pace

Not only was it my slowest run of the month, my legs felt terrible. I had thought about cutting back on my mileage that week, but my legs pretty much made the decision for me. Also, the weather was pretty freaking miserable.

Looking ahead to June, this is when I actually start my training for the New York City Marathon. I’ll be getting a plan from my coach, so I have no idea how it’s going to go. I expect the weather will get worse, but I’ll figure out a way to get through it. I just have to keep my eyes on the prize.