31 August 2013

my sweet treadmill set up [and where I am now] [and some more blathering]

my sweet treadmill set up

I don't run in the dark.

I know that I'm more likely to get into a car accident than to have some rando pop out of the trees and murder me, but I cannot get past the creepy factor of running in the dark. I tried a headlamp. I just can't do it. It takes the fun out of training and what's the point if it's not fun?

So now that it's not light until 6:15ish and the runs are getting longer and I need to start before 6, I find myself with my old nemesis friend The Treadmill.

I know a lot of people call it the dreadmill (and by "a lot of people" I mean the running and tri geeks I know. normal people don't come up with silly nicknames for pieces of gym equipment) but I don't really mind it. It's easy to keep a pace (well not easy but you know what I mean). It's all-weather (because, um, it's indoors). Yes it can get boring and that it is where one needs to get creative.


I used to watch Criminal Minds reruns but (1) I've watched almost all of them and (2) my coworkers make fun of my bad TV. Like, really make fun of me. Okay and I also have never watched The Wire which is just wrong because I used to live in Baltimore AND I am an Assistant State's Attorney (AND one of my coworkers used to work on the show) AND every time someone said "The Wire is the best show on tv" and I say "yeah I've never seen it" they say "WHAT? HOW HAVE YOU NEVER SEEN THE WIRE?"

So now I have a shiny new Netflix account and I've watched the first two episodes of season 1. And it's pretty good! I've heard that it takes a few episodes for the character development to kick in, but I'm enjoying it so far. Hell, it kept my attention during an 8 mile marathon pace run today, so that's awesomesauce.

Also can I digress for a moment (of course I can, it's my blog, duh)? Why are pace runs SO SUPER hard? I can keep an a sub 8 pace for 10 miles during a race but holding an 8:50 for 8 miles during a training run is tough. Pace runs are, for me, harder than Yasso 800s (yeah, they're fast, but they're over in exactly 3 minutes and 50 seconds) and harder than hill repeats. I know, though, that they are a really effective training run, and thus I will continue to do them. So today I ran 8 miles in 1:10:45 and I just need to do that a little more than 2 more times and voila! marathon PR!

[And bitch about them.]

Okay back to treadmill running.

In addition to watching good TV I made a motivation wall of sorts. I found a lot of motivational sayings and signs via Mr. Google and printed out the ones that really, well, spoke to me. I know that's cheesy, but I really love some of those and read them when I'm pushing through a tough workout.

where I am now

I am proud I haven't missed a workout during this training session --- Hal Higdon Advanced 1. (also, fun fact! if you're friends with Hal on Facebook and ask him a question HE WILL ANSWER IT!)  I know that if I give myself permission to skip a run it will snowball and the next workout will be easier to skip.

This week (week 7) was the highest mileage (yet.)

week 1: 35.85
week 2: 35.99
week 3: 35.42
week 4: 37.58
week 5: 40.71
week 6: 34.29
week 7: 42.71

and comparing July to August:

Run: 24h 27m 28s - 158.59 Mi
Stretching: 39m
Run: 27h 16m 12s - 176.36 Mi
Stretching: 52m
(and for shits and giggles, total for the year is at 170h 55m 28s - 1115.76 Mi)
I'm getting a little nervous about some of the upcoming weeks. Week 13, for example, has a 20 mi long run, a 10 mile run, 10 mile pace run (BARF), 4 mi run, 5 mi run, and 7x hill. I'm equally anxious about the mileage itself and finding time for these runs. Meh. Will figure it out when the time comes.
Tomorrow is a (much needed) rest day! I only recently started actually taking my rest day. I always feel a little off on the days I don't run but I know my body needs the rest and I'm looking forward to sleeping in. ( = when H wakes up, which is not sleeping in but at least it's not pre dawn)

25 August 2013

a perfect morning, a perfect race, a(nother) PR

I wasn't going to run the Annapolis 10 this year. I spent a few dollars a paycheck on races and I wasn't super interested in the race premium (a Timex watch). Then I blew up at the Baltimore 10 Miler and I knew I needed a redemption 10 miler.

I didn't taper for this race -- just loaded my longer and harder workouts towards the beginning of the week and did an easy 3 Friday and rested on Saturday (rested = didn't run but did chase a toddler around the pool at a birthday party). H came with me to packet pick up:

and liked the hat. "we picking up the PACKET!" he told everyone there (who was, of course, also picking up their packets).

I set my alarms (my phone and my alarm clock) for 5:15 and went to sleep around 10.

I have zippy memory of turning off my iPhone alarm. Or my alarm clock. What I do remember is waking up at 5:50 in a absolute PANIC! (my plan was to leave my house at 5:30) and freaking the fuck out. Thank god I had pinned my number on my shirt and packed up my bag the night before. James told me to calm down, that I had plenty of time, that I should not drive like a maniac. I told him I wouldn't (I may have lied). Fortunately, I hit no traffic on 100 or 97 (as you'd expect for 6 am on a Sunday morning). I hit a bit of a standstill once I got off 50 but I parked in Graul's parking lot and walked to the start around 6:25 (the race started at 7). And then I found (1) real flushing bathrooms inside the stadium (2) that were almost totally empty. Phew.

Oh and the WEATHER! The weather! 60*F at the start and a sunny blue sky and a little humid but it's August in Annapolis and it's normally at least 20 degrees warmer. It was a beautiful morning. Phew, again.

I got to the starting corrals and put myself in the 7:30/8:00 mm group.

7:01 and we are off!

the RD's race description:

Start: You will run downhill, past the Blue Angels jet (this is the hill you will run up at the end), and make a quick right, and then another quick right. You are in essence running around the stadium, which was built in 1959 and in its first event Navy defeated William & Mary in football, 29-2. Go Navy! Did you know that the stadium also hosted soccer games in the 1984 Olympics?
Mile One: The first half mile is basically flat, then there will a few rolling hills. Make a quick right onto Rowe Blvd. You will pass the District Court on your right (see the marble columns? They moved them there special a few years ago) and then the Courts of Appeal on your right, and go over a bridge over College Creek. If you look to your left, you will see another bridge, which you will cross around mile three.
Mile Two: Flat and fast mile, time to get in tune with your run. The State House is off in the distance! Pretty, isn't it? It is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772. It was also the temporary capital of the United States from 1783-1784. After the State House, make a quick right, pass St. Anne's Church, the first church in Annapolis, founded in 1692, and home to the Holy Water Water Stop.
Mile Three: Run down hill on Main Street (but look up real quick and you will see the Chesapeake Bay). This is one of the fastest parts of the course. Pass the Maryland Inn (portions built in 1695), Chick and Ruth's Delly (they say the Pledge of Allegiance every day before breakfast), the Market House, the Alex Haley Memorial, City Dock and the United States Naval Academy, founded in 1845 on reclaimed land. This section is also flat. When you get to the College Creek Bridge (after you pass St. John's College, which was a free school in 1696, a military preparatory school and now a great books college) look left, and you may see runners on the bridge you just ran on. Make a right onto 450, and you will see the bridge in the distance.
Mile Four: Welcome to the Naval Academy Bridge, built in 1994. Beautiful views from 110 feet up! If you look right you will see the Greenbury Point Towers, used for submarine communication in WWII. Look down and you will see beautiful views of the Academy.
Mile Five: Make a quick right after the bridge, and this is where the race gets extra hilly. You will go up a hill, and make a right into Ferry Farms (Pretty views to the right of the Academy!) and then a left into Pendennis Mount. It flattens out and then there is a downhill section, but fear not, another uphill is coming.
Mile Six: Another series of hills, nothing too overwhelming, but they just seem to go on forever. You will run down a hill to the turn around and back up the same hill you just ran down. Doesn't seem fair, does it. What makes up for it? The communities, who will have impromptu aid stations.
Mile Seven: You will make a quick right on Severn Ridge Road, a steep downhill, and onto Route 450. When you drive 450 it looks flat, but not when you run it. Stick with it, a big downhill is coming past the WWII Memorial, dedicated in 1998. Beautiful view of the sky line of Annapolis here.
Mile 8: The base of the bridge, push your way up, and you will see the lights of the stadium in the distance, after which you will arrive at:
Mile 9: A slight downhill, then flat. As you get closer to the stadium, you will be directed onto a short grassy section, and then a quick right up the hill, past the jet and into the finish!



1   8:01.7
check out that negative split! wheeeee!

Around mile 9 I knew I would PR but I wasn't sure about breaking 1:20 -- I knew it would be really close if I could swing it. I hit my watch at the finish at 1:20:01 and was slightly disappointed -- 2 seconds away from my "A" goal... and then checked the race results online and found that I ran a 1:19:59! SO HAPPY! (yes, I feel that deserves all caps, bold, italic, and underline)

I feel so good about this race. It's not (just) the PR and breaking 1:20 -- it was running a smart race. I felt positive during almost the entire race (once I hit the 5 mile mark I lost some pep in my legs and started feeling a little down but that was it) and I ran it exactly as planned -- around an 8 mm during and gave it my all from miles 8-10.

Finish time: 1:19:59
Pace: 8:00
(first) 5 mi split: 40:24

(second) 5 mi split: 39:04:02
Overall: 474/ 3426
Division (F 30-34): 19/ 214

(for those of you keeping score at home [because, c'mon, why wouldn't you??] that's a PR in the 5K, 10K, 10 miler, and half marathon this year. 4 down, 1 to go**).

a big ol' THANK YOU to my Sherpa, James, who couldn't Sherpa today because he was up with toddler H. (I hope the almond macaroons from Graul's express my gratitude appropriately :) and I love you!)

and then an ice bath:


**bring it, Philly