Monday, March 27, 2017

Revel is 33 days away!- The last last two week's worth of workouts: a brutal 17 miler, and a much better 13 miler

The week before last was tough because of the heat. My long run was a bit frustrating.  But, then the heat let up and this past week ended up being much more pleasant. So let's get to the updates

Week of March 13-19
Monday 3/13- 6.2 Miles 50 Minutes General Aerobic running and then 6 x 25-second strides at 10k pace.  The general aerobic pace felt a little strained because it was 80 degrees outside.

Tuesday 3/14 8 Miles, 2 miles warm up, strides, 2 x 3.5 Miles at goal pace with a 400-meter recovery in the middle, and a short cool down.    I don't have the time to workout in the mornings.  So I usually do most of my runs on my lunch break.  This workout was humbling.   I went to Cornerstone Park to avoid traffic and there was no shade at all.

After my warm up I stopped briefly to wet down my hat and to get a quick drink of water.  It was a toasty 84 degrees my Goal pace was 8:10-8:15 per mile.   For the first interval, I hit 8:08, 8:10, and 4:12 (8:24 pace) during my 400-meter recovery I got to wet my hat down again and jogged for 2 minutes and 30 seconds.   During the second interval, I bailed early at 2.1 miles and my splits were 8:08, 8:15,  I took a short recovery for about two minutes and then picked it up again for .4 miles.   The heat made this workout feel so hard.  I ran a short cool down and then drove back to work.

Wednesday 3/15 4 miles recovery. I was so tired, and it was hot again....  I brought a bottle of water with me and it helped.  I didn't listen to any music either.  I think I'm going to race the first half of the marathon without music (more on that later)

Thursday 3/16 Rest, that night I stretched and worked on hip mobility exercises

Friday- 17 Miles- with 2 x 3 downhill miles at goal pace.
 I took the day off from work so that I could run in the morning and I also had to head to the DMV to renew my driver's license. I knew that it was going to be warm again so I figured I had no choice but to run in the morning.   I got started at 8:30 in the morning and it was around 68 degrees and by the time I finished it was 82 degrees.

My coach had suggested a route that would have me climbing for the first half and then running downhill for the 2nd half.   The Revel Marathon is downhill, so I need to practice running tempo pace downhill.  The plan was to take it easy going uphill.
During the 2nd mile,  I was being a careless idiot and I was nearly hit by a car.  There was an elderly couple driving a Lincoln Towncar and they were coming out of their complex and making a right turn into the road. I assumed that the car would make a full stop at the stop sign  The woman in the passenger seat saw me, and I thought she had told her husband that I was there.  He didn't come to a complete stop.  I was lucky that I had enough time to get out of the way.  It scared the shit out of me, and I did my best not to let it rattle me.  After that, I stopped for every red light and intersection crossing.  I have to be more careful!!!
**End Tangent**

During the run, I had to stop a few times for red lights, and I stopped at mile 7 to buy a bottle of water.
Shortly after this, I had a mini meltdown. I had been climbing for awhile, and when I was opening up my second gel, I tore the tab off the top of the gel. I tried to put the little tab in a pocket and I ended up spraying gel all over the back of my shorts and legs. I stopped for a minute to just eat the fuel and to pound water.  

This run was starting to piss me off because my wireless headphones wouldn't stay in my ears.

Grrr.  I ended up just taking them out of my ears and carrying them in my hand during the tempo portion.

Fortunately, the downhill tempo section went well. I didn't get stuck at any red lights.  Here's the data.

I climbed nearly 1000 feet and
most of it was during the first
8 miles
I ended up hitting the wrong buttons on my
Garmin during the first interval.

Saturday 3/18- Rest,  Two rest days off this week? Sweet!

Sunday 3/19- 55 minutes recovery with hills.  I find myself wanting to run hills even on recovery days. I enjoy climbing somewhat.  I also live near the foothills of Sunrise Mountain.  An uphill or downhill grade is just a fact of life

My version of the duck face selfie

Total mileage for the week 40.7 miles

Week of March 20-26

Monday 3/20- 4.5 miles, 45 minutes recovery effort. I had been expecting another one-hour general aerobic run, but I was happily surprised to see a short recovery run on the calendar.  It was hot again, and I forgot to bring water. But, 45 minutes recovery was manageable.

Tuesday 3/21- 6.5 miles- This was a step down general aerobic run.  20 minutes recovery pace, and then 40 minutes general aerobic effort, It was a little windy, but the temps had dropped a few degrees.  I spent the first mile cursing my wireless headphones.  I ended up having to wear them backwards with the left earbud in the right ear, and right earbud in the left ear to keep them from falling out.

Wednesday- 3/22 10 miles- 2 miles warm up 6 at goal pace, 2 miles cool down.  I didn't bring my phone with me because I didn't want to deal with the headphone situation again.  I brought my old school iPod with me, but in the end, I never used it.  I chose a route that was hilly, and I had honestly been stumped trying to figure out which way to run.  I didn't have time to drive to the park, and I also didn't want to have to worry about stopping for red lights.  I had planned on a route that would be uphill for 5 miles, and then back down for 5 miles.  

When I took off the winds were crazy!!  The route that I had planned would mean that I would have to run 5 miles uphill and into the wind, after two miles I bailed on that route and I chose an isolated bike path.  This bike path always makes me feel sketched out.  It's isolated and I worry about stray dogs in this neighborhood.  Anyway.  I ran three miles uphill on the path, and the wind was at my back.  The uphill miles felt easy... But, when I flipped a u-turn I was greeted with strong headwinds.  It felt harder running downhill into the wind.  Here's the data.  

At least the weather was cloudy and cool

Thursday 3/23- 4 miles trail. I woke up tired. I had wanted to skip running, and I didn't want to run my usual loop around the business park.  I am so over all of the traffic near my workplace. #suburbansprawl  I drove out to the trails and it hit the spot.  This run was 50 percent trail and 50 percent road. But, the change of scenery was nice 
I can't emphasize enough how much cooler the weather was this week.

That night my husband came down with a nasty sinus infection.

Friday 3/24- 13.2 miles 1.5 miles warm up 10.5 miles steady state, 1 mile cool down. I had 16 miles on the calendar and I had planned on skipping my lunch break to leave early to run after work.  However, my husband was really sick.  I left work early at 11:30 to check on him, and I decided to let him stay in bed and then I would go pick up our son from school.  That left me two hours to knock out a mid-long run.   I ran two six mile loops around my neighborhood.  It was a route with plenty of rolling hills, but I didn't have to stop for any red lights.  Halfway through my run, I stopped by my house to grab a bottle of water that I had left on the porch. During the run, I was worried about my husband, and I was worried about being late to pick up my son, this run went by surprisingly fast.  

Here's the data.

Saturday 3/25-Rest

Sunday 3/26- 7 miles recovery and a few strides- My husband was still sick, so I didn't get to head out for my usual Sunday morning run.  I bought groceries instead and then took the kids over to grandma and grandpa's house for a visit.  They were nice enough to watch the kids while I went for a run.

Total Mileage for the week 45.1 miles

I had planned on discussing my strength training and I was going to give a few honest (not sponsored) product reviews.  But, this post is getting super long so I will save that for the next time. 

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Revel Marathon Training-Two weeks worth of updates

My apologies for this being a long rambling post.  I just started working with my coach again, and when it comes to describing some of the longer runs, I want to include all of the gory details, and I can go on and on about the little incidentals, and annoyances.

Week of February 27-March 5th
Monday  2/27- Unintentional Rest day- I forgot my shoes at home.

Tuesday 2/28- 9.3 Miles 55 minutes general aerobic, 20 minutes tempo/steady state, with a 1 mile cool down. This run was a bit longer than usual because I was trying to make up for Monday's day off.

Wednesday 3/1- 3.3 miles at recovery pace.

Thursday 3/2- Another Rest day. I had already planned on taking the day off from running. I used flex time at work, to go to my son's class for  Nevada Reading Week.  I read my son's kindergarten class a story.

Friday 3/3-17.6 Miles

As comfortable as my 15 mile run felt the week before, that wasn't the case for my last long run. It was a grit your teeth and dig deep during the last hour kind of run.

On Friday I used a few vacation hours so that I could leave work early, It had been a busy morning but I was looking forward to running during my lunch hour and then just extending the run.  I didn't expect it to be so hot either.  When I ran my 15 miler, the temps were a mellow 55 degrees.  On Friday it was 70 degrees when I got started at 12:30 pm.  The trees were starting to bloom, and I wasn't used to all of the pollen.

I wanted to run a route that would be mostly free from traffic.  So, I headed out to Heritage Park.  I discovered this park a few weeks ago, and it has a nice two-mile paved loop.  Heritage Park is also a short distance from the River Mountain Trail Loop.

My plan was to do a few loops around the park and then head out into the trail loop.  I brought salt tabs, energy chews, water, and Gatorade with me.  I had planned to make a few stops by my car to drink fluid.
I wore a tank top and shorts, but sunblock might have been a good idea too.
I ran three loops around the park, (just over 6.2  miles) I stopped by my car to pound some Gatorade, and I took a small bottle of water with me, I also ate a salt capsule.  I headed up Burkholder road, and the climbing began.
I borrowed this photo from Yelp.
I climbed for a mile and a half and I noticed that my arms were feeling itchy.  I felt like I was holding back during the climb but when I reached trail head, I was feeling pretty tired.  I ate a few chews and I headed through part of the River Mountain Paved trail.   This trail is a wonderful resource for cyclists, runners, and walkers.  But, I always feel spooked because it is isolated, and cell phone reception can be spotty.  It also felt so much hotter near the mountains.
This picture is from a previous
LVTC Holiday Half marathon race.
I made it through the trail portion back out into a different neighborhood I was about 10 miles in and debating on flipping a u-turn back into the trail loop.  But, I decided against it.  I stayed on the residential streets and made my back to Heritage park. I had hoped to pick up the pace during the last few miles, but that was not happening. I ran two more loops around the park and called it a day at 17.6 miles.  Here's the data.

I took a cool shower when I got home but, the pollen had caused me to break out in hives on my arms.

Saturday 3/4- Rest

Sunday 3/5- 7.3 miles general aerobic with hills and strides.  It was cool morning.

 37.6 Miles for the week

The week of March 6-12
I reached out to my coach Brent Bowers again, to help me prepare for next month's race... I wasn't able to reconnect with him until I finished up with school.  I didn't want to have the additional stress of hitting workouts, and I didn't have any extra cash. Last month I was running, and doing some tempo work. But, now I feel that we are going to kick things up a notch.

Monday 3/6- 45 minutes general aerobic and 20 minutes tempo.  The first 20 minutes of the General aerobic pace felt hard.  I was still feeling tired from the last long run.  But, during the tempo portion things went well.  I ran most of the route uphill, and the tempo portion was downhill
I wanted to practice downhill
tempo pace
Tuesday 3/7- 4.4 miles recovery with strides.  I kept forgetting things all day long. I forgot my Garmin, I forgot to bring my hat. etc.

Wednesday 3/8 6.2 miles- 20 minutes warm up, strides, 4 x 800 at half marathon pace. I haven't done intervals in over six months.  And these hurt.  I ran two miles to warm up, and I did a few strides, In between each 800 I jogged for .25 miles.  Here's the data: 3:42, 3:35, 3:35, 3:36  Then I ran a short cool down.  I think these may have been faster on a track, and not around the business park.

Thursday 3/9 3.5 Miles recovery.  Hello, Heat!  Today Las Vegas hit 80 degrees.   I do not want to carry my handheld bottle just yet.

Friday 3/10 13.1 Miles 2 miles warm-up, 10 miles at Steady State, 1 mile cool down.  I had hoped to do this run in the morning.  But, I had a few meetings that morning, that I couldn't reschedule.  I used flex time and took, an extended lunch break.  There was a little bit of cloud coverage, but the sun beat me up during the 2nd half.  I chose a route that was sort of flat, and it was an out and back course.

Part of the route was on busy roads, but I did manage to run a few miles in the Wetlands Park.  I made sure to turn off my headphones while I was in the park.  It's a beautiful area, but I needed to be aware of cyclists, and possibly sketchy folk.  Homeless people sometimes camp out in the wash.

these pictures are from another time I was out at the wetlands.

I stopped twice briefly once at mile 5 to buy a bottle of water, and towards the end of the run, I got stuck at a red light.  I was really hurting during the 12th mile. But, overall I'm happy with how this run went.  Here's the data.

Saturday 3/11- Rest Day

Sunday 3/12 - 6 Miles,  This was a hilly run, at recovery pace.
I never get tired of staring at these mountains.

You can see the Las Vegas Strip in the distance.
40.2 miles for the week

The Revel Marathon is now 44 days away.  This marathon seems like it is sneaking up on me.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Revel Marathon Training and what's been going on so far

I can finally catch my breath again.  I finished up my MBA program last week, and I am currently in the process of my degree audit.  I have a lot more free time at night and on the weekends.  Last Friday I turned in my final term papers and my capstone assignment.  I had stressed myself out so badly that I had a horrendous tension headache, and I had felt so overwhelmed.  I also managed to run 15 miles last Friday, and it went well.  So let me do my best to update you on the last few weeks of my training...

In January I was easing my way back into running 25 miles a week, and in February after I signed up for Revel I knew that I needed to get those numbers up into the mid 30's.  I'm not currently doing any hard interval work,  For now, I'm focusing on general aerobic runs, and doing some tempo pace on the back half of some of my runs.  I won't take you all the way back to the beginning of February, just the middle.

Week of February 13-19
Monday-  5.1 Miles 4 Miles relaxed and then 1 mile with strides.   I was tired and I almost talked myself out of running that day.

Tuesday- 6.7 Miles, I ran for 30 minutes general aerobic, 24 minutes tempo, and a short cool down.  Here's the data.

I ran this at the park, and it was nice not having to worry about traffic.

Wednesday- 4.2 Miles. This was a recovery effort, but I decided to do some trail running.  It was the first time that I had been back out to the trails since I had injured my foot back in December. I was worried that my foot would bother me so I tried to run as easy and relaxed as I could.  I climbed 454 feet and I ran for about 50 minutes.

Thursday- Rest

Friday- 11 Miles,  I had hoped to run 14 on this day, but I was pressed for time, and the weather was horrible.  This was the same day that Southern California received over 5 inches of rain in some areas.  The storm was starting to reach the Las Vegas area, and the winds were terrible.  I had chosen a hilly route, I took off in shorts, and a long sleeve top, but I had to stop by my car at mile 3 to put on a windbreaker.  Then it started to rain.  I ran relaxed and was extra careful with my footing. I did not want to fall and slide down a hill.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the data.

Sat- Rest

Sun-8.5 miles, 2 miles warm up, strides, 4 miles goal pace, 2 miles cool down.  I chose an area that was nice and flat,  The weather was a little warmer than I expected and I ended up tying my half zip top around my shoulders for the tempo portion.  I felt like a goon, with my shirt tied around my neck.
But, I was also happy that I was able to hit my paces.

35.8 Miles for the week

Week of February 20-26
Monday- 6 miles relaxed.  It was nice to have the day off from work.  I did feel a little tired from the previous day's run. But, it wasn't so bad.

Tuesday- 8.1 Miles, This was 4 miles general areobic, 3 miles steady state, 1 mile cool down.  This was my last week of school and, I was feeling very frustrated with how my papers were shaping up.  Runcrastination was a welcome distraction.  I chose a hilly area, becuase I want to build up my quads and hammies in preperation of the downhill marthon course that I will be running.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the run data.

Wednsday- Rest

Thursday- 4 miles recovery,  I drove out to a different area to run, because I like to switch up my routine on a regular basis.  #safetyfirst.  I drove to an area that is near a paved trail. I ran 1 mile on the trail and then I ran through a residential area with a steep climb up.  I did this so I could run back down the steep climb.  I don't want to overdo it with the hills, but every little bit counts.

Friday- 15 miles,  this was my reward for turning in my final assignements early.  I was a mess last week, and I was grateful to be finished.  I did this run in the afternoon, and my goal was to just relax and enjoy the miles.  I stated off in the park, then headed out on a bike trail, and then headed out on the road, and then back through the park. I had planned to swing by my car one hour in to drink some gatorade, but that didn't end up happening until mile 11.  Here's the data.

This run felt great.  I saw a few cottontail rabbits, the pollen didn't bug me too much, the hills were okay.  I felt strong, considering I had been so stressed out all week long. That night  I slept for ten hours straight.

Saturday- Rest ( I did take my kids out for a short run/walk to the park)

Sunday-7.2 miles, 25 minutes warm up, 30 minutes steady, cool down  This route wasn't super hilly but, I ran the first 25 minutes uphill so that I could run the 30 minutes steady on a slight downhill grade.  Here's a picture of the elevation and the data.

Mileage for the week 40.3

I will save this week's training for my next post. I ended up taking an extra rest day. I had forgotten my shoes one day, and then I had to take another day off because I needed the personal time to attend a function at my kid's school.  Today I am heading out for hopefully 18 miles.  Next week I start working with my coach again. See you on the other side.

Thank you for reading!