Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cross Country Race Next Weekend and Fall Half Marathon Plans.

Next Saturday I am racing a Cross Country 5k.  The Las Vegas Track Club hosts this race every summer to raise money for scholarships.  I have been looking forward to racing again and I would love to see what kind of 5k shape I am in.

I ran the Legends of Cross Country Race in 2009.  I also set my 5k PR (20:29) at that race.
The kid next to me smoked me during the last 100 meters.

Since then they have moved the course to another location and I have heard that it is much tougher.

I would love to go under 21 minutes but I know that might be pushing it.  I was stalking last years race results and I noticed that the times were typically  a minute to 90 seconds slower than on a regular road course.  I don't want to go into this race with unrealistic expectations and then be crushed when I don't meet them.  There will be two different heats, an open and a seeded race.  I'm going to try to get into the seeded race because I would rather place lower and run a faster time. I hope I meet the seeded standards.

Fall Half Marathon Plans 

I have two big races on my calendar for the fall.  The first is the Saints and Sinners Half Marathon. This race takes place the last week of September.  I have about eleven weeks to train for this race
I ran this race  last year and had a  fabulous experience.  I didn't really follow a training program.  I was running 4-5 times per week, with two longish runs on Friday and Sunday, with some shorter tempo runs during the week.  I trained while breastfeeding and trying to lose the baby weight and I'm pretty proud of the race that I ran.

Last year I ran a 1:36:01.  I would like to shave about three minutes off of my time.  I have been base building and I hope to get my mileage into the low 40's  by the end of this training cycle.

This year I am going to try to follow a Hal Higdon half marathon training program.  I used the advanced half marathon program while I trained for the Mustang Half Marathon and I liked the flexibility of the program.   The Saints and Sinners half has a mostly downhill course for the first seven miles, then four miles of trail and, finally two more miles of down hill.  I'd say it's a pretty fast course, but this year they moved the race from October to September.  The heat could be an issue...  I hope they start this race at 7am and not 8am

The next race on my calendar is the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  I haven't raced this event in a few years.  I know it will be a fast course.  I'm going to bite the bullet and pony up the $$$ for this event.  I am also toying with the idea of running the marathon...   

I know for sure that I am  at least racing the half marathon.  But, I have been thinking that training for a marathon may not be so different than training for a half marathon....  For the last two weekends I have been able to get out of the house before my kids wake up in the morning... That was my biggest issue before.  They would wake up really early and I would feel guilty taking off to run.  If I can get my running in while they are still asleep then its a win-win situation.  I'm not missing out on too much family time.

 I don't plan on very many high volume weeks.I'd like for my mileage to top out at 45-50 miles per week. I'm surprised that I hit 36 miles last week.    We will see how I feel about my mileage in two months.  If I feel like I am sacrificing too much of my family time I will pull back on the marathon.  I apologize to my family and my readers for jerking you guys around.

I think I could wing it with a  Hansons type training program.....  Rock n Roll Vegas is six weeks after Saints and Sinners.  This would give me two weeks to recover, two weeks to run long, and then two weeks to taper...    My goals for this race are up in the air until after the Saints and Sinners Half.  I would love to BQ but, again I don't want to set myself up for unrealistic expectations.  

This is why I hate registering for races so far in advance!!!   I loved being able to show up at an EXPO and pay for a race the day before.  I can't do this because the race may sell out or it will double in price.

My Latest Workouts
Thursday 7/17-Rest

Friday 7/18 Two a Days.  I ran almost thee miles in the morning 2.87 miles at an average of 8:19 per mile.  At lunch time I ran  a little over five and a half miles on the treadmill. I ran the treadmill run at a Tempo pace and with an incline.

Saturday 7/19 I ran 10.11 miles around my neighborhood.  The run had about 440 feet of elevation gain. The run took a little over 90 minutes.  1:28:45 moving time and for 1:32:30 for the elapsed time.  I took my handheld bottle and I just drank water during this run.  

Sunday 7/20 Rest

Monday 7/21 Two a days.  I ran two miles in the morning before work.  I didn't want to run near my office, so I drove to Cornerstone park and I ran two loops quickly and went to work.  At lunch time I ran four miles with some pickups and some incline thrown in.  After that I worked out my upper body. I did cable flys, cable bicep curls, cable press downs, cable bicep curls, shoulder raises and then I did a few one minute planks.

Tuesday 7/22 I ran four miles around the neighborhood before work.  I got out of the house early before the kids woke up.  Yay me!!  I did this as a progression run.  Here's the data.

Mile 1-9:01
Mile 2-8:04
Mile 3-7:47
Mile 4-7:41

Wednesday 7/23  Two a days. I ran three miles in the morning before work.
At lunch time I did another Tempo/Incline workout.  I ran the first mile easy and then I gradually picked up the pace.  It took me 39:14 to run five miles.  I remember hitting the last mile at 7:14.   I also did a few upper body exercises; incline dumbbell bench press, back rows, planks on a Swiss ball, crunches, and I stretched.

Thursday 7/24  Rest

Well that's all I've got for this week.  I hope to report back again soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My Latest Workouts and The Runner's World Cover Contest #RWCoverContest

Since the 1600 meter race I haven't been doing any formal speed work.   Instead I have been greedily logging miles and base building for fall half marathon season.  We have been treated to some sort of nice weather due to the monsoon season out here.
During monsoon season our weather systems will come up from Mexico and merge with the Jet Steam causing extra cloud coverage, cooler air, and magnificent thunderstorms. 

Workouts Since My Last Update

I took two rest days after the 1600 meter race to let my body recover and to look over my race performance with a fine tooth comb.

Wednesday 7/2 -Rest 
Thursday 7/3- Rest, I also took the day off from work to get a four day weekend with the kiddos. 

Friday 7/4- 3 miles at recovery pace 9:06 per mile.  That night we stayed up late to watch the fireworks.

Saturday 7/5- Rest

Sunday 7/6- 10 miles.  It seems like it has been forever since I have ran that far.  It was a nice cloudy morning and I took my time. I ran 10.05 miles @ 8:48 per mile. I stopped my Garmin for about 3-4 minutes to stop at a convenience store to refill my handheld bottle with ice and water. 

Monday 7/7- 5 miles at lunch time outdoors.  I must really hate the treadmill... It was 95 degrees when I left, but because of the cloud coverage it felt cooler.  I ran 5 miles and I averaged 8:24 per mile.  I did stop my watch for about a minute or two to purchase  a bottle of water.

Tuesday 7/8-  Treadmill speed work-  I didn't want to do speed work in the morning before work. So I ended up doing it on the treadmill...  I did some 400's and 200's at an incline.  I warmed up by jogging for 7 minutes. I then stopped the treadmill to stretch. I ran 4 x400 meters with a 400 meter jog for recovery.  I did these at 8.8-9.0 mph at 2% incline for the interval and my recovery was 6.5 pace (8:48 per mile) at 1% incline.  After that I switched the intervals to one minute hard effort, one minute recovery effort.  The total workout was about 5 miles.

It's pretty hard to run all out on the treadmill.  The highest speed I will attempt to run on that sucker is 9.0mph (6:36 per mile). I won't go any faster because I am so afraid of tripping and wiping out.

That being said I sometimes don't feel like I am pushing myself as hard as I can go.  So I will kick the incline up on the tread mill to about 1%-3% incline while I run the intervals.

Wednesday 7/9-  I ran a little over 3 miles in the morning at recovery pace. 

Thursday 7/10 - Rest

Friday 7/11 - 8 Miles Tempo Progression Run on the treadmill.  I ran this on my lunch break. I had such a good endorphin buzz that I decided to enter the #RWCoverContest.  More on that below.

Saturday 7/12- 7 miles around the neighborhood. 6.95 miles @ 8:13 pace
Sunday 7/13  8.6 Miles @ 8:52 per mile.  I was able to get out of the house early before both of my kids woke up... I think this was a first for me. 

Monday 7/14- No running, but I lifted weights and worked on my strength during my lunch break.  I'm always trying to find new ways to improve my running economy.  I have been working on increasing my core strength by doing push ups, sit ups, Roman chair leg lifts,  & planks.  
I don't really like to lift heavy when it comes to working out my legs.  Some of my favorite exercises include using a Bosu ball.
I like to do body weight squats and lunges.  I will also take turns balancing on one foot, while standing on top of the BOSU ball.  Its a great way to improve foot and ankle strength.  

Tuesday 7/15- Two a days... I ran 4 miles in the morning before work.  I tried to do this as a tempo run, but I felt sluggish in the morning. Here's the split times.
Mile 1 8:17
Mile 2 8:34
Mile 3 8:27
Mile 4 7:45

I ended up running the same 4 mile route on my lunch break and I did it just a little bit faster.
Mile 1 8:15
Mile 2 8:03
Mile 3 7:59
Mile 4 7:15

Wednesday 7/16
I worked out on my lunch break, I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill and then I did some strength training.

Runners World Cover Contest

I decided to throw my hat into the ring for this contest.  I have been a regular reader of Runner's World for almost as long as I have been a runner.  I'd like to think that I encompass what Runner's World is all about.  I eat, sleep, and breathe this sport. After my husband, and my kids this is what brings me so much joy.

 I tend to spend most of my disposable income on running shoes and race fees.

Here is a link to my entry submission.

I'd also like to throw a shout out to my new readers from GOMI.  Welcome to my blog. I love my hamcats!!

ETA: I noticed a few typos and gramatical errors. I was in hurry when I posted this.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Nothing Stings Quite Like The Feeling of Disappointment. 1600 Meter Race Recap

I ran my 1600 meter race last night, and I'm feeling pretty disappointed with myself.  I don't want to turn this post into a whine fest, but I do want to be honest about how I feel this race went.  I'm also a little disappointed with how the track club organized the race heats.

The weather conditions were not ideal
It is what it is. Everyone raced in the same weather conditions,
so I can't really use that as an excuse.

Before the Race

Last Saturday the LVTC was hosting a low key 8k at the Sunrise Picnic Area.  I always want to show my support whenever they host an event there.  If the turn out becomes too low, they may choose to hold less events there.
No Pictures were available from last Saturday., this one is from last May

I ended up running this race as a Tempo progression run.  I accidentally left my Garmin in my desk at work over the weekend, so I got to run this event by feel.... I'm also a complete dork and I erased the time off of my regular sports watch as soon as the race was over... derp...

Here's the splits that I remember.
Mile 1- 7:30

I ran into a fellow track club member/runner friend  and we talked about Tuesday's 1600 meter race. More on that below....

Mile 2- 7:15  I picked up the pace a bit

Mile 3-?
Mile 4-?
Mile 5-?
Finish Time- 35:59  (average 7:15 pace per mile)

I ran into a fellow track club member James Alejandro, whom I always finish just behind or ahead of depending on the day.   He's a great competitor and we don't take things too seriously.
LVTC Members from Left to Right (Toshie, Evan, James, and Me)
James Alejandro gave me his extra Turkey after there was
a mix-up over race results during a low key Turkey trot
last November.

During the first mile of the 8k we were discussing future races that we were training for. I was really hoping that he would run the mile, I told him how I was aiming for low six minute range and he said he would try to help me.

Day of the Race

I went to work and had a typical work day.  I wore my running sneakers to work  because I wanted to keep my feet as comfortable as possible.  I also ate a really big lunch knowing that I wouldn't be eating dinner before the race. My lunch was pita bread with hummus, falafel, and green salad.

I left work a little early to pick up my kids, feed them dinner, and get bath time started early.  I left my house at 6:30pm.  I had about 15 minutes to warm up, stretch and do some strides...  I ran into my LVTC friends Toshie and James.

During the registration process James and I both wrote down that we were going to run a 6:20 mile. With the heat it was a conservative estimate that I thought I would easily  come in under.

There ended up being three different heats for the mile.  The track club split the race up into two men's heats and one women's heat....  I should have asked to run in one of the later heats...  I'm kind of bummed about this.....

The women's race ended up being the first heat.  I ended up being the overall Women's winner.  My finish time was 6:24... Womp. Womp.....

Here are my lap splits
Lap 1-87 seconds
Lap 2 98 seconds
Lap 3 100  seconds (WTF happened here)?
Lap 4 98 seconds

I took the lead before the end of the first lap;  the first lap felt easy, the second lap a little harder, the last two laps were a death march, and I started lapping people during the fourth lap.  I lost my focus after I took the lead. It was really hard to push the pace without knowing how fast I was going.  I used my Garmin to time this race and of course my trusty Garmin measured this mile long......  For shits and giggles here's an overhead view of how off I ran the tangents.
I tried to stay on the inside lane as best as possible.
Even sweeter  is the bullshit my Garmin is trying to sell me.
I ran 4 laps around the track and it took me 6:24
but, if I hadn't wasted any energy passing on the outside
then I could have come closer to 6:00?!
My head hurts trying to make sense of this..
After my race I stuck around to watch the guys race.  My friend James ended up killing his mile race!  He ran a 5:42.  He ran the first half almost identical to what I ran, but then he held on and ran a much faster 2nd half.

I really wish that I would have had the nerve to speak up about racing in a later heat. It was hard not having a rabbit in front of me during my race.  The Las Vegas Track club hosts free track meets so I really don't feel right complaining about an event that was free.  

I don't really know when I will have the opportunity to race a mile again.  I almost want to go out to the track on Saturday by myself for a do over.   

Who knew I would have so much to say about such a short race...