Saturday, January 10, 2015

Dipping A Toe Into Training

When you go swimming in cold water do you ease your way in slowly? Or do you just jump in and get it over with? I know it's probably better to just jump in and not drag it out (like ripping off a band-aid) but more often than not, I ease my way into the water inch by chilly inch.

This week, I've been easing into the training schedule (a.k.a. skipping workouts) in an effort to ease the discomfort of early mornings and cold weather runs. It's amazing how easily the excuses come (see below) and in the end, I only ran twice since Sunday.

I'm getting my groove back though... acclimating to the cold and remembering that early mornings aren't so bad once I'm awake.

Goal For The Day: 55mins Easy.
Distance: 0.0 Miles.

Notes: Decided to take a day to rest. I don't want to do too much too soon and end up injured.

Goal For The Day: Speedwork. 6-10 x 800 meters @ 5 Mile pace (w/ 60secs rest).
Distance: 4.00 Miles.
Time: 8 x 800 meters. (3:05, 3:05, 3:09, 3:13, 3:10, 3:12, 3:09, 3:07).
Route: Parkway Northeast Middle School Track.
Conditions: 26 degrees. 6:00AM.

Notes: Feeling wimpy about the cold and wore too many layers. Felt heavy and slow. Also some stomach discomfort. There's a bigger group this year so lots of weaving in and out. 562 calories (Nike+).

Goal For The Day: 60mins Easy.
Distance: 0.0 Miles.

Notes: After last night's sluggishness and stomach discomfort, I took this morning off.

Goal For The Day: 30mins Easy.
Distance: 0.0 Miles.

Notes: Colin didn't sleep well so neither did we. The alarm was too easy to ignore this morning.

Goal For The Day: Rest.
Distance: 0.0 Miles.

Notes: I stuck to the schedule today! WOMP, WOMP.

Goal For The Day: Long Slow Run.
Distance: 12.05 Miles.
Time: 1:38:29. 8:10 Avg. (8:23, 8:28, 7:58, 8:36, 8:37, 7:38, 7:53, 8:38, 8:11, 7:56, 8:10, 7:33, 0:23*).
Route: Al Foster Trail.
Conditions: 10 degrees. 7:31AM.

I usually do the Saturday long runs on my own near home but this week's run was five minutes from my house and my in-laws are in town so they took Colin duty. The thermometer said 5 degrees when I woke up so the weather wasn't exactly inviting but I layered up and didn't even feel chilly during the run (which meant I was probably over dressed).



Liz has been trying to convince me to run the Al Foster Trail for a long time now and I can see why she recommended it. Even with bare trees, the riverside run through the woods is beautiful. Icicles on the cliffs and some deer along the route made it worth waking up and braving the cold.



In the last few miles, we passed a shallow creek and any branches overhanging the water were covered in frost. We noticed them when the sun was at our back but got the full effect when we turned around to run facing the sun. Then we could see steam rising off of the creek, which froze to the branches, and then the frost built up and became so thick that it fell like snow back into the creek. It was a gorgeous cycle!

Running in 10 degree weather isn't my idea of ideal, but it turned out to be one of those mornings that make you thankful you ventured out.

Notes: I'm still feeling out of shape and I'll be sore even from this slower pace. Time to foam roll. 1,840 calories (Garmin).

Weekly Summary:
Distance: 23.06 Miles.
Time: 2:55:16
Calories: 3,483

  Run - 23.06 Miles.
  Bike - 0.00 Miles.
  Swim - 0.00 meters.
  3,483 Calories.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Boston 365

It's time to dust off the old blog and return to some writing. It's been almost TWO YEARS since I last posted on this blog and a lot has happened since then. Instead of trying to recap everything, I'm just going to pick up at today and focus on moving forward.

When I logged back into Pace Of Mind, I found a draft I never published from January of last year. It was an introduction to a new training program I was going to try called 'Boston 365'. Long story short, the training worked wonderfully and I finally ran a time fast enough to get me into Boston!

So here I am. Ready for Round 2.

I've tried a lot of different approaches to running marathons and I'm always looking for ways to improve. Two things that have repeatedly helped me during training are consistency and accountability. I'm hoping that writing here and participating in the training program will help me with both of these.

So, first the blog:

When I trained for the New York City Marathon, I wrote in this blog after almost every run. It helped me stay focused on my training and my goals. And even if people weren't really reading it, it made me feel accountable to others. I didn't want to slack off later in my training and embarrass myself in the event that someone actually was paying attention. I set a PR at that race and finally broke the 3:10 time I had been chasing for years.

As helpful as that was, I don't feel the need to post after every run this time around. Looking back on the way I documented my NYC training, some of those posts could have been a lot shorter and probably weren’t interesting to anyone but me. In fact, this entire blog might only be interesting to me, but I'll still try to keep it shorter anyway. I’ll update every few days (possibly weekly) and write a longer post (like today) when I think something is worth noting. I'm confident I'll stay on track with less frequent posts. And if anyone is following along, it might be less boring with less frequent updates.

Now for the training program:

Fleet Feet Sports in St. Louis offers a variety of training programs to help runners achieve their goals. One such program is called ‘Boston 365’ and it is an advance training program for runners who are either trying to qualify for Boston, or who have already qualified and are preparing for the race. Information about the program can be found here.

 A special thanks to my parents for the gift card that helped fund my training!

Until last year, I had never trained with a group. I generally prefer to run and train by myself and I was hesitant about joining a group program. (I'll post about that whole thought process another time.) But training with Fleet Feet definitely provided the consistency and accountability I was looking for so now I'm back.

I'll get into some of the program details later. I don't want to run too long on my very first post. The important thing for now is that the program started this weekend and we're off and running!

Saturday was Day 1 and involved a kickoff meeting providing program information and a little swag. The meeting included a presentation on the mental side of training (goal-setting and motivation). It made me want to put together my own presentation so maybe I'll eventually post something like that here. I had to leave before the group run (6miles) and missed the foam rolling clinic, but you can't do everything.

Kickoff meeting goodies!

Sunday is the weekly group run for the runners in the advanced marathon program. These runs sold me on training with a group last year and I was excited to meet up with some familiar faces even though it was cold and windy.

Sunday runs are in Forest Park and we met at 7:30 for a 6-8 mile run in gusty winds and sleet. I was sick most of November and December and only ran eight times in two months so I was a little worried about keeping up with my pace group. Luckily, they went a little easy and the run didn't feel as bad as I expected. Even with the poor weather, it felt good to start settling back into a routine and have a plan.

So, here we go... The race is April 20th. I have just under four months to prepare for the race that I've been waiting years to run. This should be fun!

Goal For The Day: 6-8 Miles @ Marathon Pace.
Distance: 7.01 Miles.
Time: 51:37. 7:22 Avg.
Route: 2 x 3M Loop in Forest Park (w/ 1M offshoot).
Conditions: 37 degrees. Windy. Sleet. 7:46AM.

Notes: Ran "Marathon Effort" instead of Marathon Pace. Not as bad as I expected. 1,081 Calories.

Daily Miles: 7.01 Miles.
2015 Totals:
  Run - 7.01 Miles.
  Bike - 0.00 Miles.
  Swim - 0.00 meters.
  1,081 Calories