50 Miler Training – Week 5

Can’t believe I’m in week 5 of this crazy plan.. the theme of the week is learning to slow down and recover.. generally to go forward and progress you need to take it a step at a time.  If you try to skip and go two steps, you’ll be thrown 5 steps back.  I’ve had two great weeks (Week 4 & Week 3) but they were high mileage (70s), more high mileage than someone who spends majority of her day butt planted to a desk should be doing.  Not only that, but I was keeping up fast interval strong runs instead of getting in recovery miles.  I got over excited and tried to take on too much.  I loved seeing my average pace rise and rise without a break.  While I still believe there’s nothing wrong in having high mileage weeks, I think I should have been taking easier recovery runs.  It’s hard to tell yourself to go easy when you want to cram in as much as you can into your free time and feel so strong.  Last week and this week (and hopefully not the next) will be the price I am paying for going too hard.

Monday – JM No More Trouble Zones – 45 minutes
I was good, I didn’t run.  Did a relaxed strength video.  By relaxed I mean while I lifted and did some core work, I skipped over mostly anything cardio looking (not even jumping jacks) and did slower reps while watching something or other on hulu.

Tuesday – 10 Miles 1hr 27 minutes

10 miler 2This is where I went wrong.  I should have rested and taken an easy run as I was still sore from the Derry 16 miler.  Nothing hurt yet, but I should have logically told myself to go easy.  I didn’t.  I ran 8 miles on incline 3 at 69:30 and 2 miles on incline 2 in 17:59 for an average pace of 8:39.  8:39 isn’t a fast pace for me but if I use the Incline/pace conversion chart it tells me that I was running at a 7:34 pace.

Wednesday – 15 Miles (7 Miles in 58 minutes & 8 in 65 minutes)
You would figure that by Wednesday I would have grown tired but no.  I had plans Thursday and wanted to get my midweek quasi 15 miler in.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I felt a little weary after 7 miles but I decided to finish the 8 miles in the evening nonetheless.  I felt great during the run but afterwards things just felt weird and wrong.  Not pain but wrong.

Thursday – 5.5 Miles on the Elliptical + 25 minutes of JM No More Trouble Zones
My left hip was completely off.  Once again no in pain but definitely out of whack.  I stretched and did an easy 33 minutes on the elliptical with some intervals.  I hoped and hoped for healing.  Did 25 minutes of JM video with abs, lunges, squats and all the fun stuff.

Friday – Complete Rest
Took another day off from running and everything in hopes to prevent any long lasting injury. Sending healing energy to my left weird feeling hip.

Saturday – 21.1 Miles

Cape Cod 25K

Come Saturday, I was nervous when my alarm went off at 4:35 but my hip and body felt fresh and ready to run! I’m not going to repeat myself as the race recap is up.  Basically the run was 18 miles of trail and 3 miles of road for a total of 21.1 Miles.  I didn’t track the time after the race.

Sunday – 10 Miles 1hr 21 minutes

10 miler

I debated between rest and running.  I felt fine and since it was snowing outside, I ran on my home treadmill.  Tried to resist the urge of doing intervals.  There’s nothing more boring than keeping a constant pace on a treadmill.

Total Miles – 56 Miles

Total Feeling – Scared of injuries and trying to slow down for long lasting running.  Now that my left hip is healed, my right knew is acting up.  On the bright side while I was low on mileage, I got 2 strength workouts and a long trail run!


How was your week?

50 Miler Training – Week 4

As far as training goes, the has been the week where things have clicked into place.

Monday – Rest day for MLK and I was a lady who lunched

Tuesday – 13.1 Miles (6.5 runch + 6.6 homemill)
My first run of the day was at incl 3 on the workmill on a progressive 5 minute approach.  After about 4 miles I maxed out how fast I could go and just switched on random speeds and walking breaks to finish 6.5 in 56 minutes, 8:39 pace.  My second run was post work on the homemill switching between 7.5 and 7.7 MPH for 6.6 miles for an average pace of 7:56.  My homemill should be nicknamed my vanitymill.

Wednesday – 5.55 Miles (Runch) & Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones
Woke up early for some Jillian strength (shocker) and a little bit of running during lunch.  5.55 miles at incline 2 in 45 minutes. Easy recovery run after Tuesday miles.

Thursday – 15 miles (7 runch + 8 homemill)+ Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack
Busy day – 3 Part workout – I’m a little ashamed about how much I worked out today but I’m committed to having a good race February 24th and an even better 50 miler in June.

Trying to stay committed on some strength/core work.  I usually don’t do other Jillian workouts because they have too much cardio for how much I already run; however, I was feeling too lazy for the full commitment of No More Trouble Zones, so I did 25 minutes of Zone 1 of  6 week 6 pack which felt too easy but better than nothing in the morning!  Even with an abs workout Jillian sneaked in squats and lunges that I was trying to avoid.

7 miles during runch in 56 minutes; 8 minute pace.  It sounds fast but I can’t vouch for the treadmill I ran the first 5 miles on.  It felt different from my usual one that was taken when I went up.  Last 2 miles were done at incline 2 on my usual friend.

8 miles after work on my vanitymill/homemill in a little under 64 minutes for average pace of 7:56.

Friday – 3.5 miles
Recovery slow easy miles on incline, 30 minutes

Saturday – 21.6 miles – 3:02
21.6 that I tried to keep relatively unstrenuousness  well as easy as a 20 miler can be.  Average pace ended up being 8:24.  It was cold and barely 20 degrees but the sun was shining and the wind was quiet.  There was a light patch of snow on the ground but nothing too troubling.  Sounds weird to say but I really enjoyed my 3 hours of solitude in the cold.  I guess I really am a lone wolf runner.

Sunday – 16 miles 2:05:35
Derry Boston Prep 16 Miler Race was on Sunday. I won’t get too repetitive as the recap is here.  Short story, hilly race 16 miles, average pace 7:52.

Total Miles – 74.8 Miles (wish I recorded an extra .2 somewhere to have a full number)

Total Feelings – Great, I felt a lot less tired this week than last.  Maybe it’s because I didn’t have any trail runs this week.  That ties into my disappointment: I try to have one trail run a week because it’s more of a full body workout and less damaging than the roads on my legs.  I’m also disappointed I didn’t fulfill my goal of having two full strength workouts.  I’ll count the zone 1 6 week 6 pack as only .5 strength but 1.5 is better than 0 which is where I was for 2012.

50 Miler Training – Week 3

You probably didn’t notice but I skipped week 2 because I ran about 18 miles due to wisdom teeth.  Anyways, it was depressing but I must got on. Now it’s week three and I am on.

Monday –  11.3 Miles (5 & 6.3) + Jillian Michaels 25 minutes
I woke up Monday determined to start the week of strong.  I wasn’t going to let this whole wisdom teeth surgery get in the way.  I woke up half an hour early and started Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zone video.  I did about 25 minutes of squats, lunges, shoulder presses, triceps and other classic Jillian moves.  I tried to return to running.  I turned off the incline and kept it slower than I would.  I was still concerned for the stitches I had left and didn’t want to do anything to ruin my jaw.  After 45 minutes and 5 flat TM miles I gave in.  When I got home I felt restless.  All those days of no running and I was suffering with just 5 miles.  I decided to try a short run at home and did 6.3 miles in 51 miles.  8:05 pace vs. my usual 8:00 pace (on the homemill). I felt much better but I started to feel delayed muscle soreness setting in from Jillian Michaels.

Tuesday – 6.5 Miles 57 Minutes 2 Incline
My run felt absolutely miserable and tough even at a lower incline than usual.  My legs were screaming from the squats and lunges.  However, I was determined to finish it panting, sweating and dying.

Wednesday – No Running  but 5.4 Elliptical Miles instead + Jillian Michaels 45 Minutes
I got on and off the treadmill 3 times in failure.  Once to start just to stop in 30 seconds.  Got a drink of water and tried again for the second time.  Lasted another 30 seconds.  I gave up went to the cross ramp elliptical for 33 minutes 5.4 miles in 4 minutes intervals.  13 Incline with 7 resistance and 10 Incline and 10 resistance.  I usually skip the elliptical as I find it pretty lame.  If it had the arms part I would probably use it more often but otherwise it’s just more cardio for my legs and I think they get enough of that from running.  My muscles felt less sore after the elliptical and I decided maybe I could do a mile or 2 slowly on the treadmill.  Got on it, started, ran 45 seconds on my third attempt and decided it was time to hit the showers.

When I got home, I felt disappointed in my workout but I knew running was not happening today.  Instead I decided that the only way to battle Jillian Michaels muscle soreness is to keep doing it until I stop being so out of shape that I can’t walk for a week from a few squats.  This time with no hurry I made it through the whole video.  I didn’t keep up with her reps.  I took my time instead and did less reps for each move.  Two years ago when I was boxing, I used to be able to do this video with ease and I was up to 5 & 8 pound dumbbells.  Now I’m on the 3s & 5s.  I may be leaner looking from running, but any muscle strength I had is long gone and I’m determined to gain it back.

 Thursday – 15 miles total – 7 Miles 59 minutes Incline 2 & 8 miles 64 minutes on the homemill
Okay, I was going to bear and face the treadmill.  On incline 2 on the work TM, I usually run between 7.3 and 7.5MPH.  However, I knew with how my run was going this week that was not happening.  I needed to take it down a notch.  My body in combination with my new strength workouts this week were not ready to handle my usual running routine.  I started at 7.1 MPH ran two minutes, moved to 7.3 MPH ran 2 minutes, moved to 7.5 MPH ran two minutes and back to 7.1 MPH.  That seems to work pretty well for the first 3-4 miles.  For the other 3 miles I was mostly running 7.3 and 7.1 in random breaks.  It may be slower than I woke like but the miles were getting done and I wasn’t feeling miserable.  My week was turning around and I rejoiced!  Average pace was about 8:25 (7.2MPH).

The second part of my run in the evening which much better! I ran on my home treadmill –  8 miles at 8 minute pace and I felt like i was back in action.

Friday – 3.35 miles 29 minutes Incline 3
I kept this run short.  I usually have Friday as my rest day but I felt weird doing that since i skipped running on Wednesday.  I wasn’t going to run but because I sit all day at work I needed to shake out the muscles.  I couldn’t get myself motivated enough to run during lunch so I ran after work.  Kept it an okay pace with walk break intervals but raised the incline a bit.  8:39 pace.  Kept it short as possible to save my legs for the weekend!

Saturday – 10.5 Trail Miles 4.6 Road miles 
I know I say this pretty often but really nothing more humbling that switching from roads to trails.  I know that other people probably have less difficulty adjusting but I am not a natural hiker.  Hiking downhill scares me and petrifies me.  You can only imagine what running downhill does to me.  I feel like my ankles and hips are sliding and bending all over the place.  Trail running really is a full body workout and I love it but my limits and speed is lower than the road. I recently joined TARC – Trail Animals Running Club which has commitments and no dues!  They’re awesome and usually a few of the locals get a Saturday run together.  It’s early around 8:30 and I know some people are early risers but waking up at 7AM on Saturday is cruel, it’s hard, but I do it anyways because the reward of running a few trail miles with this group is worth it to me.  Usually the run is at the fells about 2-3 miles from my house and I get to squeeze in a few road miles to help my self-esteem.

This week the group met up for a run at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield about a 30 minute drive from my house.  Luckily some awesome fellow animals gave me a ride there and a ride back.  We did one 6.2 mile loop  and then another half loop with an extra mile of getting lost.  I don’t know if it’s the snow or the trail, but I honestly barely saw any trail markers.  Luckily the other people knew the course.  10.5 trail miles in 2 hours.  A larger portion of the trail had about an inch of snow and some (but not many places) had a little bit of ice.  I learned that running on snow is actually not too hard if you can stay dry, running on ice, best avoided by looking for a snowy side instead.  Compared to the fells the trail seemed easier, flatter, and a lot less rocks.  I’m hoping to get Tony out there one day when the snow melts.  It looked really lovely.  I bought a snickers marathon bar with me that I realized I couldn’t eat because it got too hard for my healing teeth in the weather.  Bummer!

After getting back to hood, I finished the day with a large dose of a few spoonfuls of sunflower butter and 4.5 miles around the old concrete jungle of my home.  It was sunny and 45 degrees with 20 mile winds.  I don’t know if it was the trails, or the wind but by the time I was done, I was hungry and tired and ready to rest!

Sunday – 22.2 Miles – 20.1 road and 1.9 Treadmill
From the moment I woke up, got dressed and went out the door, my legs felt like they couldn’t run but run I must.  Every mile felt like it was my 20th mile and yet somehow I kept going.  I was tempted to stop by my house at mile 13 and then again at mile 16 but I knew if I stopped at home, finishing to 20 would have been nearly impossible.  I also had to stop back by the house after 1.5 miles to shed a layer.  Once I only had a tee and a windbreaker I felt better but my legs still felt dead.  It must have been the 15 miler from yesterday because everything felt heavy.  Even though things felt difficult I managed to keep running, and as bad as it was, it never got worse.  I kept a consistent 8:40 or so pace while I ran.  Granted it’s not the 8 minute miles I usually target but a 20 miler is a 20 miler.  It also gave me hope for my 50 miler.  Even though my legs will be tired, and I will feel dead of any adrenaline  I know that my body and legs are capable of functioning on automatic.  Today’s run proved it.  I didn’t feel physically or mentally there for the run but it got done!

Week 3 miles – 73

Week 3 feeling – Exhausted – Taking Monday off!

50 Miler Training – Week 1

It’s 2013, so let’s call this official Week ONE!

Monday – NONE 16 hours of sleep

Tuesday – NONE 16 hours of sleep due to a kicking butt sinus cold

Wednesday – 6.5 Miles TM @3 56 minutes
Lets felt lazy after 4 days of sleeping but I pushed through on the treadmill for 8:32 pace. Would have run more but felt too tired after work.

Thursday – 10 Miles [email protected] 1hr 25 minutes
It wasn’t my fastest and I’m really not a fan of evening longish runs but I figured I slacked enough.  8:30 Pace was all that I could manage before I got too sweaty and blisters started to form.  If only it was lighter outside.

Friday – 4 Mile Homemill 31 Minutes
I haven’t been a fan of running on Fridays since I started the double digits double long runs weekend training for the ultra. However, since I took Monday and Tuesday off and next week will be a wash, I figured I’d get a few quick miles after work at home before Tony came. 7:42 Pace

Saturday – 21.07 Miles mix FOREVER

I woke up early but after lots of tea and toast with PB and Pumpkin butter my legs still didn’t want to go. It happens, and I usually just go with my feel but I’m out next weekend due to (not so wise) wisdom teeth removal, so I had to push forward with the schedule.

Saturday Breakfast

10 miles on the homemill.  My usual 10 miles at home took an extra 5 minutes and with some effort.  I watched some TV while running to distract myself from how boring and tedious the run felt. After 10 miles in 1 hours and 25 minutes, I decided to hit the road.  The concrete road.

The run outside did involve a change of clothes and a small snack. All suited up and ready to go but of course in the worse time of need Garmin took FOREVER to sync up. It always seems that the colder the weather, the longer satellites take to load.  I hit the pavement in joy to finally be off the boring hamster wheel just to be greeted with snow on my trails and unshoveled sidewalks.  I basically had a 1.5 mile main street that went up hill to run up and down on.  Hill repeats is not something I like to do on a cold 20 miler but I roughed it out for 9 miles for about 1 hr 24 minutes.

When I got home, I was going to cool off with 1 mile on the home-mill  but wanted to finish my moth podcast that I went for 2.  Finally after 3 hours of running and 30 minutes of transition periods and me moaning about how boring this run was, I was done!  Saturday Run

Sunday 10 Miles Outside 1 hr 27 min
I had 15 planned but it got dark outside and icy and I was tired of my mile repeats.  The thought of the treadmill made me cringe so I decided that instead of finishing the run I should lay on my bedroom floor eating string cheese.  There’s always two weeks from now.

Sunday Run

Week 1 Goal Miles – 60.0
Week 1 Actual Miles – 51.5

50 Miler Training – Pre-season week 2

I thought about calling this week one since it was a great week but I don’t really have a plan in motion so I’ll keep it pre-season until January 1st.  New Year, New Plan? Right?

I did sign up for the Hyannis marathon February 24th (please don’t snow New England, PLEASE) with hopes of BQing so I guess I could choke this up as a marathon week training.  No trails this week but plenty of miles, no hills but with flatness comes speed.

Sunday – 18 miles 2 hours 22 minutes 7:53 pace
I can’t say I have yet to have a more perfect run that wasn’t a race. I say that each time until I have a new training PR.  This was definitely a pace with distance miles PR that wasn’t a race. The route was running along the ocean in Brooklyn towards Manhattan  two round and back trips on the 5 mile path.  Flat as flat could possibly get, something I don’t have in Boston.  The weather? Seriously perfect, sunny high 30s with moderate breeze since I was near the ocean.  I think I actually kept a pace of 7:43 for about 16 miles with probably a few 7:30 miles to average out the slow 8:30 miles when I ran with stop lights in streets before I got to my path.

The sad part of my run was seeing the destruction on Caesar Bay.  Whole parts of the railing was destroyed from hurricane Sandy with much of the path in rubble   I did feel a certain pride in seeing a good amount of runners and walkers on the path.  I know a recreation path in an immigrant elderly neighborhood won’t be a top priority in NYC, but I”m glad many people refuse to let it go to waste or at least ignore that it’s getting slummy and just run with it.  Nonetheless, I hope the broken parts of cement get remade and railings replaced, south Brooklyn doesn’t have a lot of nice things and I would hate to see one of the few things it got turn to slums.

Saturday – 11.7 Miles 8:43 Pace
Ran with Tony so the pace and distance was shorter/slower than I would have gone for; however, that saving of strength allowed me to have a great run on Sunday.  Run was completely flat. About 6 miles were an out and back 3 mile path with few stop lights.  The other 5.7 miles were around streets of Bensonhurst!  Gave Tony a small tour of my childhood, dropped him off at mile 8 and looped around in random turns wherever the light was green until I ran out of time.  Did a lot of people watching on this run, although with cold weather most people were in hibernation.

Friday – REST

Thursday – Double Duty 8 miles 1:06 on work TM @ Incline 2 and 8 Miles 1:05 on the home mill, average pace around 8:10 for 16 miles
The first 8 miles were good, but the evening miles on the homemill were misery.  I hated every mile after 3 but if I’m going to run 50 miles in June, I need to come to terms that with 50 miles I won’t be loving every mile and as Scott Jurek says, “Sometimes you just do things”

Wednesday – 6.2 53 minutes incline 3, 8:36 Pace
Incline run

Tuesday – 2.7 Work TM @ Inc 2; 22 minutes 7:59 Pace & 6.3 50 minutes, 7:56 Pace
My runch got cut short because I had some work to do so instead I followed up with some home miles for a total of 9.

Monday – 6.3 50 minutes, 7:56 Pace homemill
Busy day at work so I did some homemill miles

Total for Week 2 – 67.1 Miles!

A belated 50 Miler Training – Preseason Week 1 Recap

Hey just two days left to enter my giveaway for a free race for two! Check out my Commitment Day 5K Giveaway.

This week I decided to work on raising my mileage.  Unlike marathon training where I go for speed, my focus is time and miles.  More time on my legs, more miles, getting comfortable with a mental state of mind when I’m not running at my fastest.  For a type A personality whose always racing to reach her goal, pacing myself towards a 50 miler won’t be easy.  I burn out at races because as soon as I start I want to go at my fastest, which as anyone that reads enough running advice and articles, knows is not the best strategy for long distance.  I may get away with it at half marathons and to some degree at a marathon, but this stubbornness to go all out until I burn out won’t fly for 50 miles.

I decided my “official” training will start January 1st because with holidays and my own laziness I know it will take me a few weeks before I get used to doing double-digit runs on both days of the weekend and basing my runs on time vs. miles.  I’ll start my recap in reverse because all the action happens on the weekend and the rest of the week is just filler and fluff.  So here you go, the bad, the good and the boring.

Sunday – 6.5 Miles 52 minutes – Home Treadmill
It wasn’t exhaustion that kept me from running but pure procrastination until I ran out of time and had to get ready for a party instead of running.  By the time I was like o wait, maybe I should stop watching Vampire Diaries and go run, I had about an hour of free time so I banged this out because I figured better than nothing.

Saturday – 16 Miles – 3 hrs 15 minutes – 8 miles trail, 8 Miles road
If you want a real humbling experience, run the Skyline trail (hardest trail in the Middlesex Fells) with a bunch of guys training for 100 milers.  Yup, I joined the TARC group of ultrarunners in one of their billion mile loops they did that day in the fells and I got my butt handed to me literally twice as I tumbled and fell.  I did get a killer bruise to show off as well.  Did I mention I have a huge, like paralyzing fear of running downhill on trails, or going downhill on mountains.  The trail itself is probably around moderate level for hiking difficultly but the steep downhill parts paralyzed.  I did get a little better and more comfortable as I ran but definitely have a long way to go.  8 miles took me 2 hrs 10 minutes for a humbling 16:15 pace.  I ran 2 road miles to get to the trail and then 6 road miles afterwards to try to regain my confidence.  Those 8 road miles were about an 1 hr 5 minutes.

As NYC kid, I used to consider Prospect Park to be the wild terrain   Needless to say trails and trail running is not natural to me.  Hopefully TARC kids will let me tag along again in the coming weeks.  My 50 miler on my easier and flatter terrain but training on the skyline trail with people who are much faster and better than me will force me to get more confident and braver on the downhill slopes as I struggle to try to keep up.  I need to get more confident in my footing and conquer my fear of the downhill.

Friday – Rest! 

Thursday – 7 miles – 57 Minutes – Work TM Incline 2

Wednesday – 6.1 miles – 53 Minutes – Work TM Incline 3

Tuesday – 10 miles – 57 Minutes – Work TM Incline 2
Alternated between 7.3 and 7.5 MPH

Monday – 8 miles – 1hr 11 Minutes – Work TM Incline 2 & 3

Total Miles 53.6 Miles

So I wanted to get to 60 miles but my own laziness got the best of me.  Good thing this week was just a preseason training week ;).