Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Back in the game. Really.

Last week I was feeling good. I had taken my mini break to get my head back into training mode after the not so impressive training cycle for Seroogy's 15K. I had three good runs during the week and was ready to knock out 9 or 10 miles on Saturday.

My body had other plans for me.

I was at work Friday and by late morning I was feeling like poo. A stuffy nose. But a stuff nose that wouldn't stop running. A headache. Sneezing. Oh the sneezing. And tired. So, so tired. I finished what I needed to do and headed home.

Had a low key dinner with my parents and went to bed, intending to still run on Saturday. But since I was running solo, I didn't have any set time that I needed to run. Obviously the earlier the better, but I wasn't tied to a particular time. I didn't set an alarm and went to bed. And more than 11 hours later I woke up. Still feeling like poo, actually feeling worse.

The run wasn't going to happen. Instead I caught up on episodes of Glee and Alaska State Troopers. It was another early night with plans to head over to the YMCA in the morning to do a combination of running circles around the indoor track and the treadmill in order to get my run in. But of course I needed to be done early since the Badgers were playing Ohio State.

Once again, I woke up almost 11 hours later on Sunday morning feeling like like death. Run wasn't happening. I took it easy again and told myself I could get the miles in on Monday since I would be getting out of work early. Once again, it didn't happen. Felt a little better Monday, but still not the greatest, so instead of running after work it was home, sweatpants and TV. Tuesday I felt better but thought I'd give myself one more day of rest before running. So it was more sweatpants and TV.

And today? Today I felt good. As in, I was anxious to run. My spring half marathons are getting closer and I knew I needed to get back into training mode. So even though there was a little part of me that just wanted to skip my run, I headed to the YMCA treadmill after work.

I wasn't sure how far I'd go. Or how the run would feel. So I started easy. And it felt good. And 4.2 miles later I was done. Happy to be feeling better. Happy to be back running. And ready to tackle the rest of my training plan.

66 days until the Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus, Ohio and 81 days until the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon. And an even 100 days until Ragnar Chicago. Let's get it done.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. For starters, I'm not dead. Just been MIA in the blog world. It's been a busy few weeks and the running mojo was missing last week. And sitting in front of a computer at night was the last thing I wanted to do.

2. Don't worry, the running mojo has returned. I've gotten a few good runs in this week. A little bit of tempo on Monday, some hill repeats on Wednesday. Add in some core and strength training and it's been good workout wise. Oh hill repeats. I forgot home much I dread you. But you do such good things.

3. I still owe you (a very late) race report from the Seroogy's 15K on Feb. 11. Now that I'm finally thawed out, I'll get to writing that. This weekend.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Three Things Thursday: Seroogy's Edition

1. Hey guess what. I've got a race this weekend. Yup. I'm running the Seroogy's Valentine Run 15K. Honestly it was one of those races that I knew I was going to be running, but it kind of creeped up on me and all of a sudden, BAM, it's race week.

2. I'm supposed to have some race goals. Uh, how about don't die? Seriously though. I'm not really sure what I should be shooting for. Yes, I've been running, but the runs have seemed to be very inconsistent in terms of quality. One week they've been good. The next, downright awful. If I have to put some goals down on paper, I guess they'd have to be:
A Goal: 1:42, that's an 11 min/mile pace
B: Goal: 1:45. That's a pace of 11:17.
C: Goal: Don't die. Have a good time.
Of course, any result I come up with will be an automatic PR since I've never run a 15K before. And I have a feeling how I do on Saturday will be somewhat dependent on the weather. Unfortunately Mother Nature has decided that this weekend (seriously, just Friday through Sunday) is a good time to give us a taste of what winter in Wisconsin is really like.

3. To be honest, I'm kind of ready for this race to be over. Because that closes one chapter in my running story and opens a new one. But that's a topic I'll touch on next week.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Trying out the this tempo run thing

Considering the length of time I've been running, I can't believe I'm about to say this.

I don't think I've ever done a tempo run.

See I usually just run to get the miles in. I've never been too concerned about keeping a specific pace during my runs. I usually just go with what feels good. If it starts to get hard I back off.

That changed last night.

I had been battling a headache for a few days and I ended up being at work late, so instead of going to my weekly group run, I headed over to the YMCA and snagged a treadmill. Side note: Still a huge crowd that are keeping their resolutions. I barely got a treadmill. I'm glad people are making changes in their lives, but I want the gym crowd to thin out a little more around 5:30ish.

So I got on the treadmill and started to run. I wasn't feeling the best and the legs were a bit heavy, so honestly I wasn't sure what I was going to be able to do. Heck, I didn't even know how far I'd go. But a half mile in the legs started to feel good. And I told myself I was going to push it for the next two miles, try to hold a constant pace and not stop.

I upped the treadmill speed to a 10 min/mile and I was off. The first mile felt fine. The second mile felt good, although I could tell the legs were starting to feel it a bit. But I decided to keep going. So I started playing games with myself. Just go another half mile and you can slow down. 2.5 miles at the 10 min/mile pace. Go another half mile. 3 miles. Well, at this point I've got a half mile left in my run. So I up the speed to a 9:50 min/mile and tell myself, you can do it. Then you really can have a cool down. So I ran.

Four miles at 40:11. That includes the warm up half mile (which took 5:15)  and 3.5 tempo miles in 34:56. And you know what? It felt good. Hard, especially that last half mile, but good. I finished it off with an untimed cool down of 0.7 miles.

I could definitely feel it in my legs today, which is why I just did a very easy 3 miles tonight. But I'm seriously going to start adding these tempo miles in. And of course I'm starting to wonder, why have I never done them before?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

That was much better

There have been some utterly craptastic runs over the past week.

First last Saturday's brutal 9-miler in the wind and snow. The one where I just wanted to curl up in a snowbank and cry until I froze. Then Tuesday night I struggled so much during a 4-mile run that I seriously would have given up at the 2-mile mark except that my car was parked 2 miles away.

I know what the problems was last weekend. I wasn't feeling good, the weather sucked and running through 2-3 inches of new snow makes it hard. Tuesday? Who knows what my problem is. Maybe it was a fueling failure. Or dehydration. Or something going on in my head. I dunno. I just know it was hard and I wanted to give up.

There was one somewhat decent short treadmill run sandwiched in between, but other than that, my runs stunk this week.

So I decided to give myself a mini break.

Even though the schedule called for it, I haven't run since Tuesday. Went home after work on Wednesday and buried myself in my book (side note, "Cutting for Stone" is REALLY good) and enjoyed a happy hour catching up with a friend on Thursday. And, well, Friday is always a rest day.

So when I went for my 6-mile run this week I wasn't sure what to expect. I'm not going to lie. The first half mile? My legs were not happy with me and I was worried it was going to be Bad Run, Part III. But after hitting the top of the overpass, heading downhill and finding flat land again, things started to get easier again. And the run felt good.

6.1 miles with Deanna and Krystal at fairly easy pace. Catching up. A behaving IT band (although I did stop for 2 quick stretch breaks just to be safe). And legs that felt like they could have kept going at the end. A good run followed by some post-run coffee. And a little bit of a confidence booster a week out from Seroogy's 15K. Because I'll admit, after the last week I was doubting whether next weekend's 15K was going to be possible.

So the day's run in done. Now it's off for a bit of strength training and Badger watching with Peggy. I just hope she still wants to be friends after today. She's never been with me during a game. And needless to say, I can sometimes get a little intense. Especially since Ohio State's coming to the Kohl Center today.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Three Things Thursday: The Very, Very Brief Edition

1. Happy hours and get togethers with friends are important. And sometimes forgotten. But oh so important. Make a mental note to fit them into your schedule.

2. I'm in a funk with my running. As in, had a little bit of a breakdown during a no good, very bad run on Tuesday. Just need to get to Feb. 12 to start fresh.

3. The last few weeks I've discovered I'm not a patient person. But I need to be.