Thursday, January 29, 2015

Big Game 10k Race This Weekend. The Strategy and Goals Post

The 10k is on Sunday and I'm starting to feel the pre race nerves.   I did my last two speed work outs, and now the performance anxiety is starting to kick in.  A 10k isn't usually an "A" race for me, but I really want to see how fast I currently am.

My Latest Workouts
Friday 1/23-  I ran just a little over three miles at Corner Stone Park after work.  I love having this park so close to my work.  I ran these miles at recovery pace

Saturday 1/24- Rest

Sunday 1/25  9 miles Tempo-I chose a route that was pretty flat.  I planned on doing 8 miles with the second half being faster than the first, with some goal pace miles thrown in.  I ended up running the first mile as a warm up, and then I settled into Tempo pace for miles 2-5, and then I ran some goal pace miles 6-8, then I headed back home.  It was 8.71 when I passed my house, so I made it an even 9 miles.  I'm kind of disappointed with my goal pace miles.  I wanted them to be closer to 7:15 pace, but I should have ran the first few miles easier.... Here is the data.

Monday 1/26 - My legs felt pretty beat up from yesterday's tempo run, I went to the gym and did some light weight training and then I ran two miles on the treadmill at recovery pace.

Tuesday 1/27-Speed Work- 7 X 400  I ended up going to Corner Stone Park for my workout.  I usually go to a different park that has a nice dirt track that is 1/3 of a mile long.  But, it rained the night before and I was worried that the track would be a sloppy mess.  I don't think Corner Stone was the best idea,  The outer paved loop has a few hilly sections, and the dirt trails were being occupied by walkers, and I didn't want to come storming through and disturb their dogs. I ran a mile to warm up then I did some strides, and stretched.

 I  was able to find a paved section that had only a small concrete portion.  I measured out .25 on my Garmin and I got to work  Here's the data.  (96, 93, 95, 95, 80, 93, 97)

I was supposed to do 6 x 400 metres.  During the 5th interval I bailed and I cut it short at. .20 instead of the .25.    I was hurting.  I decided to throw an extra 400 on at the end.   This speed workout made me question my fitness.  But, I'm just going to hope that it is the taper week messing with my head.

I did a short cool down and then I headed back to work.

Wednesday 1/28-Rest

Thursday 1/29- 3.5 mile treadmill run,  I ran one mile easy, then two miles a little faster, Then I ran the last half mile on an incline.  After my run I did some stretching and a few ab exercises.

I'm going to rest Friday and Saturday.

Race Goals and Strategy

My main goal is to run an evenly paced 10k,  I don't want my splits to be all over the place, I know the first mile might be the fastest, I'm going to try to focus on holding back during the first half of the race, pick it up during the second half, and really  try to lay it down during the final mile.  I would love for my last mile to be the fastest.

Sunday's race will have quite a few turns,  my goal is to hit the tangents efficiently .
The nice thing about the back an forth loops, is that you will get to see who is in front of you and who is nipping at your heels.

Goals....Well-To be honest, I really want to go sub 44 minutes.   I will need to average 7:10-7:12 per mile.  That's only a little faster than my goal half marathon pace.  I ran a 1:36:04 for a half marathon last year on a flat course with a lot of turning loops.

But, doubt is messing with me.... My last few speed workouts have felt really hard.  I'm wondering if I'm in as good of shape as I was last year.  I know that I am a few pounds heavier, but we're only talking 3-4 pounds...
I really take for granted the days that I would sign up for a 5k or 10k on a whim without really training for it.  I could knock out a 21 minute 5k, and that was a given.  Now I have to work my butt, off just to keep my residual speed.  Last year I ran a 5k and I was shocked that it was 22 minutes and change.  Okay I'm done complaining,    I'll just be quiet now at let my running do the talking...

A  Goal- Sub 44:00
B  Goal -Sub 44:30
C  Goal  Sub 45:00

See you on the other side, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Improvising When I Have to, and My Latest Workouts.

Lets get into my latest workouts, shall we?

Tuesday 1/20- Speed work!!! I had 12 x 400's on the calendar,  I started getting dressed to head to the park on my lunch break. I was fumbling around and I couldn't find my sports bra....  I forgot to pack one...   Normally at the beginning of the week. I bring  a few different sets of running clothes to work, I like having extra socks, undies, shorts, etc.  Just in case I forget something.  Well I wasn't about to scrap my workout so I wore my regular bra, and then I improvised....  I wore my Nathan running belt backwards across my chest to keep my boobs from bouncing.
Who knew this could double as an athletic supporter?

 I felt like a total dork, and I"m grateful that I had the running track to myself.  But, I got my speed work  in.  12 x 400 sounded impossible so I decided to throw some 800's in the mix. My workout ended up being 2 x 800, 4 x 400, 1 x 800, 1 x 400.

I got to the park, and then I got over my initial embarrassment about wearing a female jock strap.  I  ran a mile to warm up, did a few form drills, then I got the workout started... First  I ran 2 x 800's, in between each 800 I slowly jogged for two minutes for recovery, then I ran 4 X 400's, in between each 400 I jogged for about a minute in between the intervals.   Then I did  another 800 meter repeat.  I thought I was done, so I began to cool down and do some strides, but then I decided to run one last 400 meter repeat.

 By running the 800's first, I think it prepared me mentally to run the 400's  800's are hard but, I don't feel like I have to run at breakneck pace like I do 400's...

Here's the data:  2 X 800's (3:23, 3:15), 4 x 400's (94, 95,96, 97)
                         1 X 800  (3:22)                            1 x 400 (95)

Wednesday 1/21- 7.7 miles. This was a  hilly lunchtime run.  On my schedule I had 6 miles plus strength training.  I decided to save the strength training for the evening,  I wore my ASICS GT-2000's and I can tell I only have a few short runs left in these shoes.
I bought these at the end of September and I wore them for the marathon back in December and they just feel old... I don't keep track of the actual mileage of my shoes But, I replace them typically every 3-6 months and I rotate between two pairs of shoes to make them last longer.

In  addition to my shoes feeling old, my legs were tired from yesterdays speed work.   Today was a day that  I gritted my teeth, tucked my chin in, and trudged forward during the run.  It was still a good run, I just didn't feel like I had any spring in my step... Here's the stats:

In the evening I did some ab exercises (sit ups on an incline board, Russian twists) and I foam rolled.

Thursday 1/22  Strength Training and 3 mile run.  I went to the office gym, and I did some strength training.  bench press, one arm rows, reverse crunches, cable flys, lat pull downs, Smith Machine pull ups, body weight squats on a Bosu Trainer, push ups on a Bosu Trainer.  Then I ran 3 miles on the treadmill.   I ran 3 miles in just over 24 minutes and I kept the treadmill at a 1% incline.

I was hoping that tomorrow would be  a rest day, but I took  a rest day on Monday and Saturday is usually another rest day.  I plan to just get a short 3-4 mile run in.  I only have one or two big workouts left before this 10k race. Next week is a taper week and then I get to race on Superbowl Sunday!! 

As always thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Training updates, I need to lose a few pounds, and my latest workouts

It has been busy and hectic at work for me lately,  My little girl is also battling a cold/ear infection.  I have had to modify a few of my workouts.  Thank goodness I'm just a hobby jogger and not a professional athlete.

I'm also in the process of trying to lose a little holiday flab.  I'm not fat, but I did stop tracking my food points last year (maintaining your goal weight is the hard part).  Last year around this time I was 121-122 pounds.  Currently I'm sitting at 126lbs.   Not a big deal but, it will make a difference with race weight.  I'm hoping to get down to the low 120's in the next few weeks.     I don't even like talking about my weight on this blog because, Hello! this is a running blog! But, again these things will matter on race day. I promise I won't take pictures of my meals or thigh gap.

My Latest Workouts

Friday 1/9  4 miles tempo,  I ran four quick miles before work in the morning.  Here's the data

Mile 1-8:19
Mile 2-7:54
Mile 3-7:39
Mile 4-7:54

Saturday 1/10 Rest

Sunday 1/11  8 miles (3 at pace).  I was a little nervous about this run,  I love having a Garmin most of the time, but I don't like obsessing over split times or constantly looking at my watch during a workout.  So I set my Garmin to time and distance only

I ran the first three miles easy then I ran the next mile  a little faster, then it was go time.  I ran two miles hard, one mile active recovery (slow running), and the final mile was at hard effort.  Here's the data.

Mile 1-9:41
Mile 2-9:18
Mile 3-8:51
Mile 4-7:59
Mile 5-7:07
Mile 6-7:14
Mile 7-10:17
Mile 8- 7:16

Monday 1/12  3 mile run with strength training.   I did the weight training first on my lunch break.  I did a few exercises:  cable rows, lat pull downs one arm shoulder rows, reverse ab crunches, Smith machine assisted pull ups, one legged balance exercises on the Bosu trainer, alternating lunges on the Bosu trainer.   Then I ran 3 miles at recovery pace.

Tuesday 1/13  Rest-   I was supposed to do speed work, but that didn't happen.  I stayed home in the morning with my daughter (she had a cold) , and then I went to work in the afternoon.

Wednesday 1/14  Strength Training/Speed work  I was supposed to do 11 X 400 yesterday.  I also forgot to bring my Brooks Pure Flows with me to work today for speed work.... I ended up doing a fartlek workout on the treadmill in the gym at lunch time.

I did some strength training first: Roman chair leg lifts, cable flys, body weight squats & lunges on the Bosu Trainer, sit-ups, bicep curls, and shoulder lifts, and shoulder overhead presses with an EZ Curl bar.
Then it was time to run.  I ran 4 miles in just over 31 minutes on the treadmill.  I ran the first 1-8 minutes at 7.0 (8:34 pace) to warm up,  Then I did 11 x 1 minute at hard effort with 1 minute active recovery (slow jog)in between the intervals.   My first hard effort was at 8.8,(6:49 pace) and then I kicked the treadmill up to 9.0 (6:40 pace ) for the next interval.  Towards the end of the workout my hard efforts were at 9.2 (6:31 pace)  My recovery pace was 6.4 (9:22 pace)

I also had the treadmill set at a 1% incline for the whole workout.

Thursday- 3 miles at cornerstone park at recovery pace.   I had to hurry up and comeback, but three miles is better than no miles.

Friday  1/16- I was going to run, but I was pressed for time, and I felt that I would benefit from some more strength training. I like to do circuit training/giant sets.   Where you go from one exercise to another to keep your heart rate up.  So I will typically do four different exercises before going back to the first exercise for the second set.   I will do three sets of each circuit.  For reps I do about 10-12 reps per exercise.

First Circuit
Bench Press
Leg Lifts w/ reverse ab crunch
One arm rows
Back extensions

Second Circuit
Body weight squats
One legged balance on Bosu
Push ups on Bosu Trainer
Mountain Climbers

Third Circuit
Alternating lunges on Bosu Trainer
Smith Machine assisted pull ups
Single leg body weight lunges (front, side, back) x 6 then switch legs
Cable flys

Saturday 1/17-  My little boy turned 4, we went to the Shark Reef as a treat for him.  He also got to eat birthday cake for breakfast

Sunday 1/18  8 Miles 3/1- On my schedule I had an 8k race,  So I decided to do an 8 mile run, with 2.5 miles of hard effort at the end.  The first 5.75 miles were a gradual uphill and the last 2.5 miles were downhill,  It's easy to run tempo progression runs this way.  Here's the data.

Monday 1/19  Rest(sort of)-  I went to Chuck e Cheese for more birthday fun with two small kids and I got a pretty good workout in.

Tuesday 1/20  Speed work...I have 12 X 400 meters on the calendar today.  I will save that for the next blog post.

Thank you for reading :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

My latest training updates Hal Higdon 10K Training

I haven't raced a 10k in almost three years. It's a fun distance to race.  I don't get to race too often and I'm usually training for either the 5k or the  half marathon distance. I'm really curious to see what kind of shape I will be in on February 1st.

My PR for the 10k distance is 42:35.  I ran that time in November 2009 at a Turkey Trot race. I ran this race as a tune up for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon-  I remember feeling really shocked that I ran a 10k that fast.
This was the final sprint to the finish

The last time I raced a 10k was back in May of 2012. I ran a  really shitty race.  Everything felt off and I just felt really tired.  I was really bummed out because I felt like was getting back on track and regaining some of my former speed (I had a baby in 2011 and it whopped my ass).   It turns out that I was pregnant with my second child but, I didn't know it yet.

I don't think I will be near PR shape, but I think that  I can maybe go below 44 minutes for the distance.  Oh who am I kidding !?  I will be pretty butt hurt if I don't break 44 minutes.  Last year during the Saints and Sinners Half Marathon, I was able to record a 43:26 10k Garmin PR during the half marathon( It was probably during the downhill portion).

I'm going with a Hal Higdon 10k training program.  I had to modify this 8 week training cycle into 5 weeks in order to recover from my recent Holiday Half Marathon.

I like Hal Higdon's training programs.  They helped me train for two half marathons last year, and I was really pleased with the flexibility of the training programs.

I've never really used a training program to train for a 10k.  In the past I would train for a marathon once or twice a year.  I would use a 10k race as speed work for the upcoming marathon  or just race them sporadically.

My Latest Workouts

Saturday 1/3-Rest,  This was a planned rest day, However I noticed that my left hip flexor was very sore from doing planks on a stability ball at they gym the day before.  I was doing reverse ab crunches with a stability ball after my run on Friday,  I started screwing around and doing planks, and then one legged planks on the stability ball. I noticed that my right hip flexor ( tensor fasciae latae) is a lot stronger than my left one.  I felt it twinge right away and I immediately stopped what I was doing.  The muscle was tender that night and a little on Saturday but, it is feeling a-okay now.  Whew.  I'm probably going to have to address these imbalance issues before they get any worse.

Sunday   1/4  I woke up late and I didn't get to run 8 miles in the morning like I had hoped.  However, I did get run in the afternoon at Sunset Park and it was really nice.

The temps were in the high 50's and I got to run in shorts and a T-shirt.   I kept trying to pay attention to my left hip and it didn't hurt while I was running.  I think the imbalance might be from hugging the shoulder of the road when I run.  I sometimes run in the gutter if cars are getting to close, I don't run on the sidewalks very much.  I prefer the shoulder of the road.  I ran 6 miles and it turned into a progression tempo run.  Here are the split times:  (9:18, 8:29, 8:37, 8:34, 7:31, 7:20)

Monday 1/5  Strength Training and 3 mile run
I went to the gym and I did a few exercises:  I did cable rows, one arm rows, body weight squats on a Bosu Trainer, one legged balance exercises on Bosu Trainer, and some lat pull downs.  I also did some alternating side lunges on the Bosu Trainer.  Then I ran three miles at recovery pace (8:37, 8:49, 8:42)

Tuesday 1/6 Speed work!!! 10 X 400's I flipped flopped my days because I am used to doing speed work on Tuesdays.  It was a really nice day!  It was 60 degrees and it felt like spring time on my lunch break.  I went to a park that is near my work and I measured the .25 with my Garmin and then I used a stop watch to time the intervals.

Before I got started I ran a mile to warm up and I did a few form drills/strides. For recovery I slowly jogged about 100 meters. Half way through the workout I switched directions.  I wanted to improve my times from the week before and I did slightly.  I wore my ipod nano and I was going to save the music for the second half of the workout.  I was so pumped up that I totally forgot about my music.   I also work my Brooks Pure Flows for the workout.  Here's the data:

89, 89, 89, 94,94, 95, 93, 96, 92, 92

I did  a very short cool down and then I headed back to work.

Wednesday 1/7 I was surprised when I saw 6 miles + strength training on my schedule.  I did a few upper body exercises; Cable flys, bicep curls, shoulder rows, shoulder presses, lat pull downs,reverse crunches, and Roman Chair Leg Lifts.  I then went for a hilly 6 mile run.  Oh man it hurt.
 The first three miles were up the hill and then 3 miles back down the hill.   I averaged 8:34 pace.  Slower at the beginning and faster towards the end.  (9:02, 9:36, 8:33, 8:00, 8:01, 8:12)

Thursday 1/8  Today is a rest day I'm beat.

I apologize for the typos and errors.  I'm in a hurry to post.  As always thank you for reading

Friday, January 2, 2015

My latest workouts, Getting used to my new ASICS-Gel Kayano 21's and other Shoe Talk.

I didn't mean for almost two whole weeks to pass without out a blog update.  Between the week of Christmas and then New Year's, everything has gone by in a blur.

I took a few days easy after the half marathon, and now I am slowly easing back into training.

My Latest Workouts
Week of December 21-27
Sunday 12/21-Rest
Monday 12/22 Two mile shake out run at recovery pace., My parents came into town that evening for the holidays.
Tuesday 12/23 Rest-
Wednesday 12/24   Six miles in the foothills

 It was a chilly morning, and I was feeling so happy.  I kept waving at strangers and wishing them a Merry Christmas.

Thursday 12/25 Rest-  I opened up my new  ASICS Gel Kayanos 21's...  In a previous blog post I was bragging about how I got a sweet deal on last season's ASICS Kayano 20's,  Well I ended up with a bait and switch.  I received an email from Kohl's that my shoes were no longer available.  I really wanted to try out this shoe so I ponied up the extra $30.00 for the Kayano 21's and I ordered them.  It still was a good deal considering I only paid $120.00 for a $160.00 shoe.

Friday 12/26 I went for my first run in my new shoes... I ran 4 freezing miles around Cornerstone park and the surrounding neighborhoods.  More on the shoes later

Saturday 12/27-Rest

Sunday 12/28  8 Miles, a cold front has moved over the Las Vegas Valley, Overnight lows are now in the 20's!!  It was a cold morning but, I bundled up and felt fine.  I'm beginning to like my new shoes a bit more.  I ran 8.12 miles in 1:07:59 (8:22 average pace)

Week of December 29-January 2nd
Monday 12/29- I went to the gym on my lunch break,  I did some upper and lower body exercises.  I did this as circuit training-  I did two different sets of four exercises each for three reps,
First Circuit
Flat Bench Bench Press
Bulgarian Split Squat
One Arm Rows
Triceps Bench Dip-With Legs on a Stability Ball

Second Circuit
Goblet Squat
Push ups on a Bosu Trainer
Lat Pull Downs
Cable Flys

I also ran three miles at recovery pace.

Tuesday 12/30- Rest day, my daughter wasn't feeling well so we stayed home today.

Wednesday 12/31 Speed work!! For the upcoming 10k next month I am going with a Hal Higdon 10k training program.  My workout was 9 x 400's.   I stayed home from work again, and before my husband went to work I headed to the park for a quick workout.  The weather was shitty (cold with snow flurries, that wouldn't stick)  but, I really wanted to fit this workout in.  I ran a mile and a half to warm up, I did some form drills, a few strides, and I stretched a little bit.
This picture is from a few summers ago.
This park  has an 800 meter track and I was running half laps around the park for the 400's. I used my Garmin to track the .25 distance.  I forgot to bring my stopwatch to time the splits. In between the interval's I would slowly jog across the park back to the starting point.  Halfway through the repeats I switched directions.  My data might be slightly off.  (95, 93, 96, 94, 97, 93, 97, 95, 95)  I also wore my Brooks Pure Flows for this workout.

Thursday 1/1-  I ran one mile while my son rode his bike to the park, around the park, and back home. Then I headed out for three more miles at an easy pace.

Friday 1/2  5 mile run with 2 miles at 10k race pace.  I modified my Hal Higdon plan, becuase this weekend there is a 5k race on the plan and I'm not able to race a 5k..  My legs didn't feel too overloaded from the speed work on Wednesday.  I was ambitious and hoped that I would run these two goal pace miles in the low 7's maybe even high 6 minute range.  Well that didn't happen.  Here are the split times
Mile 1- 8:48
Mile 2-9:33
Mile 3-7:11
Mile 4-7:33
Mile 5-10:07

I tried not to go out too fast during this tempo segment, but I think I might have because I was hurting so bad during the end second mile of that interval.   I think I was running closer to 8 minute pace towards the end.  It felt good to push myself though.

Getting used to my new Kayano's
and other Shoe Talk

I'm wasn't sure how I felt about these Cadillac's

This is a whole lot of shoe.....  I can tell why they cost a lot more than my other ASICS.  Hello cushion!! These shoes are  great for long runs, and slower miles.  I'm not really as much of a heel striker as I used to be, and I think these shoes were made for heel strikers.  The heel to toe drop on this shoe is almost 13mm.  That's a bit more than the 8mm heel to toe drop  that my ASICS GT 2000's were providing.

The first few miles in these shoes felt really awkward and funny.  I was kicking myself for blindly choosing a shoe without trying it on in the store first.. This shoe also reminds me of my Brooks Adrenaline's.
One of the reasons that I had stopped liking my beloved Brooks Adrenaline 

was that my heel stopped feeling snug in the back of the shoe.  When I would run, I felt like my feet would slide around a little bit in the shoe and that my heels weren't secure in the shoe. (I have skinny narrow feet with long toes, and normal arches)  When running down hill my feet would jam into the front of the shoe.  When I sized down  I ended up wearing out the front of the shoe so fast, and then I injured my groin trying to do speed work in regular running shoes.
Hello forefoot strike.

The Kayano has a similar feeling that my heel wasn't really fitting snug in the shoe, and since then I have made some adjustments to the laces and my foot isn't sliding around anymore.  I'm also going to try to notice the wear pattern on the front of the shoe to make sure I'm not wearing out the toe portion too fast.

I really liked the fit of my ASICS GT 2000's
My heels stayed snug in this shoe, and I really liked the fit of this shoe.  But, then when I purchased a second pair of ASICS GT 2000's  in different colors.  It felt like a different shoe.
Slicker colors but, not nearly as good as the first pair.

 This pair felt much stiffer and I don't feel that they lasted nearly as long as the first pair I purchased.   However my heel feels snug and it doesn't slide around when I run.

I will say that the Kayano 21 is a great shoe and after about a week of running in them, they are really starting to grow on me...This is a great shoe for marathon training.... When I ran my 8 miles on Sunday, my legs and feet didn't feel as tired towards the end of the run.   I'm hoping to find a bridge shoe that is somewhere between the ASICS Gel Kayano and my Brooks Pure Flows.

I miss the salad days of just buying my Brooks Adrenalines model after model and them working for me.  The Mizuno Wave Inspire was a good shoe too.  But, since the big model changes that happened in 2012 and because of  some of their marketing strategies towards bloggers. I'm not really a big fan of Mizuno anymore.

It  also seems like the price point for running shoes is getting so much higher.  When did running shoes become so freaking expensive?!!