Friday, August 29, 2014

The dog days are almost over and my latest workouts

It is still broiling hot out here in Las Vegas, but the mornings are getting slightly cooler.  Last month the morning low was around 85 degrees.  This morning  it was 77 degrees...  Next month it will go back down into the 60's.   It will be so nice to leave the handheld bottle at home on some of my longer runs.

My Latest Workouts

Sunday 8/24-  12 Mile Long Run,  I didn't get to leave the house as early as I had hoped.  I ran the same route as the week before and I added to it.  I wanted to get the miles in and hopefully pick it up on the way back in. Here's the Garmin Stats

 I only brought my water bottle with me.  Before I left I had 1/2 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and two scrambled eggs.   I do okay without fuel for runs between 8-12 miles... I'm going to have to figure out my nutrition strategy if I want to run a marathon later on this year.

Monday 8/25 - 3 miles on the treadmill at lunchtime. I ran this at recovery pace, and I also did some strength training.  I worked out my chest. I did flat bench press with the bar (my max is 85lbs for reps).  I also did some one arm rows, push ups, tricep dips, and some bosu ball balance exercises for my ankles.

Tuesday 8/26  Two a days.  In the morning I ran 3 miles at an easy pace. I wore my Garmin because I wanted to be sure that I kept these miles above 9 minute pace.
At lunch time I did speed work.  I did 3x1600's  on the treadmill.  I wanted to go outside but, it was too hot.

I ran one mile to warm up.  Then I stretched, changed into my Pure Flows and then started the repeats.  I put the treadmill incline at 1% and I ran the 1600's starting at 8.4 (7:09 pace) and tried to gradually pick it up during the interval.   In between each repeat I jogged a quarter mile for recovery.  Here's the data.

7:13, 6:58, 6:56

After the intervals I ran another mile to cool down.  This workout ended up being just over 5 miles.

Wednesday 8/27-Rest, I went to Big Lots on my lunch break and treated myself to some new sunglasses and a few other household goods.

Thursday 8/28- Two a days.  I had a 50 minute Tempo run on my schedule.  I broke the workout into two runs, so I could get some extra miles in.  In the AM I ran a progression run. The first mile easy, the second mile a little faster, the last mile was a, "hurry up you are going to be late mile".  Here's the data:
Mile 1- 8:35
Mile 2- 7:56
Mile 3- 7:16

At lunch time I headed outside, it was hot but, I didn't want to run on the treadmill. I picked a hilly route that I could run easy up the hill, and then try to pick up the pace on the way back down.  Here's the data:
Mile 1-8:36
Mile 2-9:02
Mile 3-7:17
Mile 4-7:51
Mile 5-7:26

This weekend my mother-in-law is going to be in town for the Labor Day holiday. It's always great to have extra help with the kiddos, and more time to run.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shoe Talk, Sick Kiddos, and My Latest Workouts

I am sure glad this work week is winding down.  Happy Friday if you are reading this today.

Shoe Talk

At the end of last year I began to rotate two pairs of shoes to help them last longer.  I also purchased some Brooks Pure Flows for racing and speed work on the track.  I don't even want to wear these shoes for my upcoming half because I feel that I need the extra support when I'm running 13 miles.  I'm not light enough or fast enough where 5 oz of shoe is going to make that much of a difference, when it could also put me at the risk of injury.

A few weeks ago I purchased a new pair of running shoes to replace my ASICS GT-1000's.


I ended up going with the ASICS GT-2000.  I bought these online at  I bought a few pairs of shoes for  my kids and husband earlier in the month and I had some Kohls cash to spend.   With the Kohls cash and an additional 30% off I paid about $70.00 for these shoes.  I love it when I can save a few dollars.

I think I may have found my new go-to shoe....  Earlier this year I purchased the Saucuony Guide 7...
I will go find my strong elsewhere.

and to be honest these shoes weren't very good.  I paid almost $120 for these shoes, I expected a lot more from them.  I wanted these to fit and feel perfect.  But, I just think  this shoe is too soft and squishy to be supportive to my needs. I did like that there was only an 8mm heel to toe drop.  I had been having problems running in the Brooks Adrenaline (this was my shoe for years), because I was landing too far on my forefoot, and that shoe has a 13mm heel to toe drop.

In a few weeks, I will be purchasing another pair of shoes to replace the Saucony's in my rotation.  I might give the Brooks Ravena a go, we'll see.

Sick Kiddos and My Latest Workouts

Last Thursday 8/14- was a much needed rest day.  I went and had lunch with my husband at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Friday 8/15-Two a days, I ran 3 miles before work (2.89 miles at 8:29 pace), at lunch time I ran 5.6 miles on the treadmill. I ran this at a tempo pace, I ran the first mile easy, then picked up the pace for three miles, and then did a mile an a half cool down.  My tempo pace was 7:47 per mile. (7.7 on the treadmill).  I also kicked the incline up to 1% for the workout.

Saturday 8/16-Rest, I took my youngest to a pool party, she probably got sick before hand but I will never know.....

Sunday 8/17 10 miles with some Tempo pace thrown in.   I chose a new running route because I feel that I have been running the same loops around my neighborhood lately, and the last thing I want is for my routine to be routine.  I'm not completely paranoid, but it's never a good idea to be predictable with your running routes.

Anyhow I chose a very busy street but, since it was early there was hardly any traffic on the road and it was pancake flat!!  The neighborhood I live in gets pretty hilly if you keep running in a certain direction.  Here's the Garmin data.
Total time running 123:44, total elapsed time 124:39.  I think I stopped once or twice for red lights at the intersections.  The last two miles were a little hilly, I was doing loops in my neighborhood to round out the 10 miles.   
Later on that day my little girl started acting really fussy, and she just didn't seem like herself.  I ended up taking the next couple of days off from work.  She got a lovely childhood illness called foot and mouth. Please don't google it unless you want to be really grossed out.

Monday 8/18- 3 mile run plus strength training.  I'm lucky to have a treadmill at home.  My husband and I purchased a Life Fitness treadmill back in 2005.  This baby is professional quality and it cost close to $2,000 when we purchased it. It really comes in handy when I'm not able to leave the house for a run.

I took this picture when the display was flashing.
The display still works just fine...

At the time we purchased the treadmill my husband was an avid treadmill runner and probably clocking about 30 miles a week on that sucker.  Now I'm using it more often than he is, but I'm really glad that we didn't go cheap on this purchase when we bought it.  

Earlier this summer my husband also surprised me with a Chin up/Bar Dip/Push Up station.

 I love doing body weight exercises.  When I was younger and in really good shape, I could knock out about 4-5 reverse grip chin ups and about 2-3 regular chin ups.  I lost a lot of that upper body strength during my first pregnancy and I have been working my ass off to regain some of that upper body strength.  As of late I can now do three reverse grip chin ups.  Maybe next week I will have someone video tape the evidence...

Tuesday 8/19- Rest, I ended up going into work that afternoon while my husband came home to watch the kids.  No time for running today.

Wednesday 8/20- 4x 800 at 10k pace.  I did this workout on the treadmill.  I ran one mile to warm up, then I stopped to stretch and put on my racing flats.  I ran this workout at 0.5% incline. I also jogged 400 meters in between repeats for recovery.

For the first two 800's I ran the first quarter at 8.8 (6:49 pace) then for the second quarter I would kick the treadmill up to 9.0 (6:40 pace)

I ran the recovery jog at 5.6 (10:43 pace)
View from my treadmill, if you look closely there is a
garden  gnome.  He kept laughing at me during the workout.

For the second two 800's I ran the first quarter at 9.0 and then for the second quarter I would kick the treadmill up to 9.2 (6:31 pace)

After the 800's I did a few strides and then ran a cool down mile.  The workout ended up being just over 5 miles.
First time for everything... And the last time I will take a photo of my
legs.  Man I must have been feeling really good after the speed workout. 

Thursday 8/21- Two a days.  I ran 4 miles in the morning, and at lunchtime I ran a little over 6 miles.  I was hoping to turn this into a negative split run but, I really was asking too much from my legs after the speed work the day before.  When I took off it was sunny with clouds rolling in.  About half way through the run dark clouds and wind gusts started to pick up. I thought for sure the rain was going to dump down on me.  But, it was all show and no rain.  Here's the Garmin data.
Positive splits for the last two miles.  I was tired!

Friday 8/22-  I ran four miles at recovery pace and then I stretched and did a few upper body exercises at the gym.

I"m looking forward to another rest day tomorrow.  My little girl is doing much better and she seems like her old self. I'm hoping she doesn't pass her sickies on to her brother.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Latest Workouts-Hal Higdon Half Marathon Training is in full swing

It's time for another blog post before I have to write two weeks worth of running updates.... I have been running outdoors lately on my lunch break. It's been humid and the temps have been in the 90's as opposed to 110 and above.  It's still pretty brutal but, I really enjoy running in the elements*.

After the cross country 5k my legs felt sore for a few days and I eased my way back into tempo runs and speed work..  The day following the race I took a rest day.

My Latest Workouts

I am loosely following the Hal Higdon Advanced Half Marathon Training Program.  I had to switch weeks 4-5 around to accommodate the 5k race last weekend.    Here's what my schedule was supposed to look like

Here are the actual workouts.

Monday 8/4-  I ran 6 miles at recovery pace.  I didn't wear my watch or Garmin.  The route I ran was somewhere between 5.5 and 6 miles.

Tuesday 8/5- I did a Tempo run, but with the heat and recovering from the 5k, I didn't really go super hard.  Here are the splits:
Mile 1- 8:36
Mile 2- 8:33
Mile 3- 8:27
Mile 4- 8:38

I also did some strength training; push ups, dumbbell bench press, Roman chair leg lifts, and stretched.

Wednesday 8/6- Rest 

Thursday 8/7 Two a days  before work I ran 3 miles as a Tempo progression run, where each mile gets faster.
Mile 1- 8:23
Mile 2- 7:44
Mile 3- 7:17

On my lunch break I drove over to Cornerstone park and I ran 5 more miles.  I averaged 8:41 per mile for 5 miles.  I just wanted to keep the splits below 9 minute miles and it was doable.
This park opened earlier this year near my work and it
is my little slice of heaven right now. 

Friday 8/8 -  4 miles before work.  I ran these at a comfortable pace.  I averaged 8:54 per mile.

Saturday 8/9 - Rest 

Sunday-  8/10 12 miles!!!  This was my first long run in awhile.  I woke up early and I had to wait until 5:30am before I could leave the house.  It was a muggy morning and I could see a little lightning in the distance.  It was dark and I didn't run with any music for the first 5 miles.  I kind of want to get used to running without music, I also wanted to be hyper aware of cars, pedestrians, or anything out of the ordinary (stranger danger)  I wanted to run the first half easy and then turn up the pace towards the end.  I ran 12 miles in 1:47:16,  The actual time was 1:49:30.  I stopped for two minutes to fumble around with my phone/radio when I decided to turn it on 45 minutes into the run.   I only drank water from my handheld bottle (stupid).  I should have brought at least a gel with me. 
 Here's the Garmin data

It's kind of easy to negative split a run, when you run the first half up the hill and the second half down the hill.

This week I am doing week 5 of the Hal Higdon program.  I'm going to skip week six altogether because I am not going to race a 10k anytime soon.  Next week I will be on week 7 of the training program... Here's the plan for this week.

Monday 8/11-  I went to the gym and ran three miles on the treadmill and did some strength training.

Tuesday 8/12  Hill Workout. I drove to Cornerstone Park and jogged for 10 minutes to warm up, I then stretched and began my hill workout.  I found  a hill that was about 150 meters long.  I wish I  knew the grade % or the number of feet I climbed but, I left my Garmin at home....   I did take pictures of the hill...  I ran from this trash can 

Up this hill 

To this trash can

Here's a view from the top of the hill

As dumb as it sounds, the trash cans were really good markers for me to focus on during the hill repeats.  It took me approx. 50 seconds to run up the hill and I jogged slowly back down the hill for recovery.  This workout kicked my butt!!  After the workout I jogged another mile to cool down.

Wednesday-Two a days,  I really like having two complete rest days a week.  I think this keeps me from feeling burnt out and rest is a good thing.  I decided to combine today and tomorrows workout.

This morning I ran 4 miles Tempo Progression, I slept really good last night and it made a difference.

Mile 1-8:17
Mile 2-8:11
Mile 3-8:01
Mile 4-7:07

At lunchtime I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, and I did some strength training.  Push ups on a bosu trainer, cable flys, cable bicep curls, reverse ab crunches, wall sits (these hurt!!), planks, and some close grip lat pull downs.

Tomorrow is going to be a much needed rest day.

* Disclaimer-  I am very conditioned to running in the desert.  I hope I don't seem too flippant about the dangers of running outside during really hot temperatures.  I always bring water with me, I dress in light colors, and I try to err on the side of caution.  Be safe in the heat!!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I'm self-conscious about my writing, yet I still feel compelled to share my thoughts with you about running.

When I'm out running I sometimes get some really great ideas for blog posts.  But, when I get back to my computer to try to get it translate into a coherent blog post it is pretty tough.  I also wonder if you guys really want to hear about the sights and sounds of my six miler?

I'm a pretty impulsive person.  I usually get a haircut the same day I decide that I need one.  I will never book something two weeks in advance, I don't care how good the stylist is.. I also feel this way about blogging.  When I decide to write, it comes out in one big breath, I will proof read it and then I will hit publish.  Then several hours later I will come back to my blog and cringe at all of the grammatical errors.  (face palm).

I love to read and I think my reading comprehension is pretty good. I just don't feel that I can articulate my ideas so well through blogging sometimes.  That's why I tend to stay in my safe running bubble.  I have children but, I don't have the stones to be a mommy blogger.

 I like food but, I don't want to show you horrible pictures of the food that I cook.

Dutch Oven Raisin Bread, not my recipe but here's a link

I don't really know what the point of this post was, but I guess I wanted to justify or explain why some of my blog posts are  rambling or full of grammatical errors.  Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Legends of Cross Country 5k Race Report 2014

I have so many things to say about this race, and this post has a ton of pictures.  I hope I don't go off on too many tangents.

This race has  always been so much fun for me.  In the past I have raced this event in 2003, and again in 2009.  This event brings out many high school runners, and local running club teams.

When I ran this race in 2003 I didn't have any running friends out here in Las Vegas,  and I was just getting back into racing.  I ran a 21:15 that day.

In 2009 I ended up being the Women's Open race winner and I set my 5k PR (20:29) there. It was a different course I think ran a smart race, by holding back during the first mile, and then reeling runners in over the next two miles.

Going into this race I hadn't really been doing much speed work since my 1600 meter race.  I spent the month of July base building and running for fun.  The week of the race I scaled back my mileage and threw in an extra rest day.  My goal for this race was to go sub 21 minutes.  I wanted to average about 6:40 per mile.

Morning of the Race

I got up early and I made my breakfast of two eggs over medium cooked in cooking spray, a banana, and a slice of white toast with butter.  I decided to wear a tank top and some booty shorts (It's been a long time since I squeezed into them, I almost chickened out).

I arrived at Sunset Park at 630am.  I wanted to warm up, do some strides, stretch, watch the first Open race, and catch up with running friends.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Sylvia Mosqueda.  I can't say enough about her!  She is a former NCAA cross country and track champion. She is also a highly decorated athlete who qualified for the Olympic Trials five different times for the 10,000 meters!! To say I'm a fan girl is an understatement.
Winning the Carlsbad 5000
Women's Master Race in 2009 

She has a local running club and she coaches several athletes in our area.  Unfortunately her running club meets and trains on the other side of the valley.  At this  I just can't squeeze workouts with her group into my weekly training. I hope in the future I will  have the opportunity to train with her club.
Las Vegas Running Project

My strategy for this race was to go out hard, but try to reign it in during the first mile, so that each mile gets progressively faster.  With Cross Country races there are plenty of "rabbits" people that go out really fast and then crash and burn later.  It was a common theme for my high school cross country running.  I used the "hold back" strategy in 2009 and it worked out great.

I don't know if high school running has evolved since 2009 but, it was a much different race, and I totally underestimated some of these high schoolers....These girls had on compression calve sleeves and they were wearing Garmins just like me.

I was able to enter the seeded race by meeting the qualifying standards earlier this year.  The standard was a sub 22 minute 5k and I did this at the LVTC poker run earlier in February.  I registered as an unattached runner.
Me photo bombing the LVRP group photo.

I was really nervous that morning but, it was so nice to see old friends and catch up.  Before I knew it, it was time to get on the line, and then the gun went off.

The course was all dirt and grass.  I wore my racing flats and I just kind of tucked myself into the pack and I hoped I wasn't going out too fast... About 200 meters into the race I looked down at my Garmin and saw 6:10 pace (gulp) I knew this was way too fast and tried to ease up a little bit.
I was slightly behind this first wave of girls

Lead men after the first turn around

Mile 1- 6:42

I started to make ground on some of the people ahead of me.
I'm tucked into the pack and you can't really see me.

There I am.

Mile 2 6:55-  I'm starting to slow down. I don't even hear my Garmin beeping.
This picture is misleading, I passed that pack of girls behind me
and about half of them caught right back up to me.

Mile 3 7:05-
 I'm am hurting and I'm trying to decide when to start my final kick... It's a gamble, if you start your kick too soon, you can crash and burn.  You start your kick too late, then you run out of real estate to catch more runners.... I think I started my kick too early.... I had seen two yellow jerseys (Las Vegas Running Project) runners ahead of me, and during the final 600 meters I started to go for it.  I passed one of the yellow jerseys.  With 300 meters to go, and with Coach Mosqueda cheering her runner on, I got dusted.
It was surreal to hear a coach yelling at their runner to
out kick me. Much less a  famous athlete...
Mile 3.24  1 :32 (because I ran on the outside most of the race.)  6:34 pace.

Here's the finish

Final Time 22:10  3.22  6:53 per mile average.  I ended up placing 14th overall out of 52 runners. I also snagged third in my age group.

When I finished I was disappointed with my time, and  from getting out kicked. But, I had an absolute blast that day.  When the results were posted I noticed that no one set any course records. It was a pretty slow course with all of the turning loops. I also ran cautiously because of the younger runners.  I didn't want to elbow anyone or trip someone on the heel.    This was a really fun day.

Photo Credits:  Cesar Mata, Roma Cachito, and the Las Vegas Track Club.  You guys took some amazing pictures.  Many Thanks!!