Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FCHM Training: Week 5

This was a less than stellar week of training. But it’s not like I sat and did nothing all week. It was AirVenture week here in Oshkosh, so I spent lots of time out on the EAA grounds and I did LOTS of walking. Granted that meant by the time I headed home at night, my legs wanted absolutely nothing to do with anything other than sitting in my recliner. Oops.

So the plan called for:

Monday: 4-5 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles total, speed work consisting of 1.5 mile warm up, a “magic mile,” 3 easy miles and finish with 4x200
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4-5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 8-9 miles
Sunday: Rest

Here’s what I actually did:

Monday: I walked. A lot. In 100 degree heat.
Tuesday: Another long day at AirVenture and another day of a lot of walking. I made myself go to speed work at track, even though I knew it was going to hurt. I got to the track just as my group was leaving for the warm up and I probably took my warm up miles too fast. I finished my 1.5 miles in 15:31. After a bit of a stretching break it was time for the “magic mile.” The goal? Run a mile on the track as fast as you possibly could. Hmm. I told myself, it’s just a mile. So I went. The last lap was hard, but I finished in 9:26. I was hoping to get closer to 9 flat, but given the state of my legs, I was ok with that. Leaves me room to improve, right? Finished with a pretty slow 3 miles and then threw in the 4x200 strides at the end. Tough workout, especially on the trashed legs, but glad I made myself do it.
Wednesday: Rest day! But lots of walking at AirVenture.
Thursday: Nope. Legs wanted nothing to do with running after 5 straight days of tons of walking around looking at airplanes.
Friday: Rest day! I thought about sneaking in a few miles, but that thought only lasted a few minutes.
Saturday: 9 miles on the schedule. It was an out-and-back. The weather was glorious. We’re talking low 60s and no humidity when I started at 7 a.m. I ran the entire first half, making decent time for a long run. The second half of the run got a little more tough. My IT band was starting to get a tiny bit cranky, kind of expected given the amount of walking I did all week on the uneven ground. I took two very short walk breaks during the second half and then got stopped by a train a mile from the end. Ended up finishing the 9 miles in 1:42. I’ll take it. I followed up the run with a trip to my nephew’s baseball game and, oh, more walking at AirVenture. But this time it was purely for fun.
Sunday: Rest day.

So why all those extra rest days? I spent 5 days walking the AirVenture grounds for work. I’d guess I walked about 12-15 miles on the uneven grounds during the week. I’m not surprised though. Every year I struggle with training during AirVenture week. I just chalk it up and get back on track the next week. Which is exactly what I’m going to be doing this year.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

FCHM Training: Week 4

Four weeks in. And I'm pretty happy with the week.

Here's what the plan had:

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Speed work. Total of 6 miles with 4x800s.
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 7-8 miles
Sunday: Rest

Here's what I ended up doing.

Monday: Rest. I can't remember why I skipped the run. It might have been a late night at work, or a nasty headache. I don't remember.

Tuesday: I was supposed to work a night shift at work, meaning I wouldn't be able to make it up to the group speed work session. So the original plan was to get up early and hit the track before work to get those 800s in. The actual plan? I ended up not getting up early enough, my night meeting got cancelled, I was still at work late and I hit the YMCA late to sneak in a quick 4 miles. I kept it easy, two miles at 10:30 pace, two miles at a 10 min/mile pace.

Wednesday: Well, I had skipped speed work Tuesday and I knew I had to get it done. I headed to the track after work. I started with a two mile warm up, just from the school to the cemetery and back. It wasn't awful, but not wonderful. Then it was time for the 800s, with three minutes rest between 800s. The first three felt decent, but that final one? BRUTAL. I just wanted to quit midway through, but I gutted it out. The splits were OK: 4:30, 4:34, 4:37 and 4:44. I was supposed to finish with a two mile cool down, but my legs were trashed. After a 1.5 mile run/walk I threw in the towel and headed home. Well, first a pit stop to watch a bike race in downtown Oshkosh.

Thursday: I skipped this run. I had a date with a dude. We went to the Wisconsin TimberRattlers game to watch Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy make a rehab start. The game was good. The date? Well, let's just say he seemed more interested in his Blackberry.

Friday: I rested.

Saturday: My first long run in a REALLY long time that felt good. Granted, it didn't start good. The first three miles were rough. There was a train viaduct that I had to run up right around Mile 3, and since my cranky IT band still doesn't like hills, I was planning on walking it. At that moment, the coach I'm working with was riding his bike next to me and talking, but I got to the viaduct, told him my plan and he rode ahead. After getting off the viaduct, I started running again until I got to Mile 4 where the group had a water station set up. I paused, got some cold water and I was off again. At this point the IT band was just starting to get a little achy, but not bad. But I told myself I'd start doing the short walk every mile. Well, when I got to Mile 5 I was feeling good. So I kept running. Got to the bridge right before Mile 6, was feeling good so I tested myself and ran the bridge. Felt good. I kept running, finally taking a short short break around Mile 6.5. I told myself I'd give myself one more brief, brief break if needed, but I kept running. I felt stronger in the second half of the run than in the beginning. It was a good run. And I felt good at the end, like I could have gone further. No major IT band pain. No tape on my knee. I guess the PT is working!

Week 5 could be interesting. It's EAA AirVenture week and with five long days of work out there, including a TON of walking (hello cross training!), it'll be interesting to see how the legs (and IT band) handle the miles I've got to run this week.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

FCHM Training: Weeks 2 & 3

I disappeared for a few days, so you get two training week recaps in one.

Here's what the schedule called for:

Week 2:
Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - speed work at the track, 4 miles total with 2 sets of (200, 200, 400)
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 3 miles
Friday - rest
Saturday - 5-6 miles
Sunday - rest

Week 3:
Monday - 4 miles
Tuesday - speed work at the track, 5 miles total with 2x200, 2x400, 800, 2x200
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - rest
Saturday - 6-7 miles
Sunday - rest

What happened:

Week 2
Monday - This is also known as the week that Wisconsin became an oven. Seriously. You know it's going to be a rough week when a heat advisory is issued Monday morning lasting through Friday at 10 p.m. Temps in the 90s and high humidity means feels like temps in the 100-105 range. Not fun. So I took this run indoors on the treadmill.

Tuesday - This was supposed to be speed work. But it was also my first session with my physical therapist for my cranky knee. And even though there wasn't much therapy done, it was still really sore. That soreness combined with nasty heat outside and the lure of fireworks meant I skipped speed work. Plus I justified it by telling myself I had a race to run in the morning.

Wednesday - I ran the Firecracker 5K. Look for a race report in a day or two.

Not only was it hot, this is what it looked liked when I left the YMCA Thursday. Minutes before the storm rolled in.

Thursday - Still hot outside, but I knew I needed to get that speed work in, so I headed over to the indoor track at the YMCA, where I figured out 1.5 laps would be a 200. The 1.5 mile warm up (14:56) was a little rough, the knee was cranky, but I gutted it out. Pretty happy with the speed session. Splits were 0:59, 0:58, 2:05, 0:57, 1:01, 2:09. Finished with a 1.5 mile cool down (16:08) for a total of 5.1 miles.

Friday - rest

Saturday - Uh, this was supposed to be a long run with the group, but I managed to turn my alarm off in my sleep. Thought about doing it Saturday late afternoon/evening at my parents house, but got a little freaked out about running near the park in their neighborhood after a report of a stranger stabbing earlier that week with a suspect still at large.

 Lake Winnebago as seen on my bike ride.

Sunday - No running, but I did do 880 yards of water walking with my mom and logged a 14.1 mile bike ride out to High Cliff State Park.

Week 3
Monday - I skipped my run today after getting out of work really late due to training. By the time I got home at 7 p.m. I was hungry and figured food was way more important than 4 miles.

Speed work directions. 

Tuesday - Another later night at work, but I was bound and determined to make to the track to do my speed work, even if it meant having to do it solo. I headed over to the track, ran my 1.5 mile warm up (15:26) but then had to find myself another track since the one I was at was taken over by what looked like the HS track team. Very intimidating. Luckily we've got two public high schools in town, so I headed over to the other school, where some police recruits were just finishing up some testing. Armed with my workout, I got to work. I was supposed to do 2x200, 2x400, 800, 2x200. My splits: 0:56, 0:59, 2:01, 2:01, 4:27, 0:58, 0:59. Finished with a 1.75 mile cool down run/walk (19:20). The 800? HARD!

Wednesday - rest

Thursday - Headed out for a run after work. The miles got done, but I really need to remember to bring hydration with me, even for shorter runs, when the temps are above 80. The first two miles went fine, the second two miles were brutal.

Friday - rest

Saturday - Met up with the group for the weekend run. Finished 7.1 miles in 1:22 and ran with Jenny, another woman in the group. Her pace was a little bit slower and she took occasional walk breaks to get her heart rate lower, but I was OK with that. Didn't want to anger the IT band too badly. I also made the decision to walk the Racine Street bridge in Menasha on both loops. Even though I like hills, my IT band isn't so fond of them right now. So I thought I'd better play it safe.

Sunday - I rested. I planned on getting in a bike ride, but it just didn't work out.

Totals for the two weeks: 27.35 miles running, 880 yards water walking, 14.1 miles biking. Not bad. Bring on Week 4.

Monday, July 2, 2012

FCHM Training: Week 1

It's started.

Twelve weeks until Fox Cities Half Marathon, my goal race for the fall. I thought I'd do a short weekly recap in the weeks leading up to the race, just to give an idea of what's on the training plan, what I end up doing and how I'm feeling.

So here's what the training plan called for this week:

Monday - 3 miles
Tuesday - speed work at the track, 4 miles total with 6x200, 1x400
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 3 miles
Friday - rest
Saturday -  4-5 miles
Sunday - rest

Here's what I ended up doing:

Monday - I ended up deciding to skip this run. After a morning appointment with my doctor, I learned I was going to be sent to physical therapy for my cranky knee, which was most likely an IT band issue. The knee was acting up throughout the day, so I thought I'd take an unplanned rest day, in hopes of resting it up before my first attempt at speed work the next day.

Tuesday - Speed work. Read about it here. It actually ended up being 4.85 miles.

Wednesday - Planned rest day.

Thursday - It was warm out. Like mid-90s and humid. Not wanting to die, I headed for the treadmill and pounded out my 3 miles. Not super fast, but felt pretty decent. Followed it up with a half-mile cool down walk.

Friday - I rested.

Saturday - First long run with the new group. And I admit, I'm not sure what to think. Seems like 75 percent of the runners plug into headphones. Normally I wouldn't think twice about plugging in to some tunes during a long run. But I guess my mentality over the last year has shifted when it comes to long runs with groups. There are people. You can talk. You don't need headphones. So I've gotten in the habit of NOT bringing my iPod. I may have to rethink that strategy. See I'm in this no-man's land when it comes to my pace. Not super fast, but not the group of run/walkers. So I find myself alone. And this weekend when I did find myself by other runners? They were plugged in. So it was a little lonely. And not to mention hard. It was hot. Humid. There was no shade on the trail I was running on. Ugh. Hard. The first three miles went ok, the final three? I threw in some more walk breaks than I normally would have, to deal with the heat, but also because the IT band was getting a bit cranky. But I finished. 6 miles in 1:11. Eh. I'll take it.

Sunday - Swam some laps at the YMCA. Finished about 900 yards, mostly easy freestyle. Threw in a few 25 yard freestyle sprints, a bit of backstroke and even an attempt at the breast stroke. That one had to be amusing to watch. After the pool I headed out on my bike for 16 semi-hilly miles. Probably not the smartest idea since the IT band was starting to get angry the final 5 miles. Oops. Guess who's got a date with the ice and foam roller?

So for the week I had 13.85 miles running, 900 yards swimming and 16 miles on the bike. Not bad for week one. Twelve weeks to go.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June reading recap

Wow. June is done. Halfway through the year and a little more than halfway to meeting my reading goal for the year.

In June I finished five books totaling 1,870 pages. That brings the yearly total to 22 books and 7,475 pages. Compared to June 2011, when I had finished nine books and 4,149 pages. I'd say there's been a bit of an improvement this year. Even though most of the month was good reading-wise, I'm in a bit of a funk right now, but I'm just looking at it as needing a bit of a reading break.

So what did I read in June?

Fifty Shades Darker by EL James
Fifty Shades Freed by EL James
The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Hana by Lauren Oliver

The Fifty Shades books were good. Once again, not quite jaw-dropping like some of the reviews out there make them out to be, but they were good. Evidence? I finished the last two in the trilogy in a total of six days. The two Oliver books were good, although I have to admit, I read them in the wrong order.