Monday, April 30, 2012

WEEK 17: 34 miles and James Joyce

Monday: off
Tuesday: 4 mi TM + lift; LOG 4
Wed: Pisgah trails (Lily-Nash-SW + Mini Vistas) with Griffin; LOG 14
Thursday: spin class
Friday: Roads with Tat joining me for the last 3...tough morning; LOG 8
Saturday: ellipitcal + core
Sunday: James Joyce 10K 48:32/7:49 pace; LOG 8

Not the high mileage week I had hoped for.  I guess the long trail run Sunday and then Wednesday pooped me out.  Friday I had planned 15 on the roads, but it just wasn't meant to be...a pit stop in the woods and the wind and generally feeling like crap put an early stop to that plan.  Would have only done 5 had Tat not come out to meet me for the last 3. Blah.  and then another blah day Saturday.  Just tired I guess.

Sunday we decided to go tot he James Joyce 10K.  I didn't have any expectations except to use it as a good workout.  I was having some serious stomach issues during my warmup and 2 stints in the portopotty didn't put me at ease.  I was really nervous I was going to have an accident on the course, but went anyway- it was 40 bucks afterall.  It was a really nice day, bit windy, but I started the race and didn't feel my stomach like I expected.  Not that I felt good, I didn't.  Just felt rickety?  Couldn't get into a comfortable stride and I had started so far back I thought my first mile was going to be 9 minute pace.  Well clearly I haven't gotten any better at judging pace because I came through mile 1 at 7:40.  It's the fastest mile on the course and I wasn't feeling taxed cardiovascularly so I just locked in for fear of straining any more would cause a stomach issue.  Apparently I did lock in; the remainder of the miles went like this...7:50, 7:50, 7:54, 7:51, 7:54, and 1:30 for the last .2 miles (7:30 pace- that's all I got for a "kick" even with my cute husband yelling for me to do so...sorry honey!)  So I may not know what pace I am going but I can lock in on one!  Greg had a PR day and I wish I had dug in a little harder to get one too as I was only 20 seconds off.  I was 13/161 40-44 year old females.  Pretty big race with almost 2000 runners, but well organized and a nice venue.  It's a tough course but I really like the rolling hills - the wind I could do without.  :) Maybe next year!

I really need to go out with the pacer at Vermont City or I'm going to blow up early.  I am still feeling confident I can run 8:30 pace and come in at 3:45ish. Also feel like I should be able to do a half marathon at the 7:50 pace- that's next years project.  First gotta get through the next 4 weeks and the marathon!  Trying to stay confident but this week wasn't at all the confidence builder I had hoped for.  I guess it's normal to have the high's and lows like this...that's been the hardest part of this training.

This week I am taking care of Griffin's running needs so we will be in the woods Tuesday and Wednesday.  She doesn't like the rain, but she doesn't like days off more!  So rain or shine we'll be out there tomorrow.  Since I have to work all day Sunday (KSC women's lacrosse LEC championship game in Plymouth) my last long run will be next Monday instead of Sunday. Supposed to be mid 60's so that will be a good test.  I almost wish it was the marathon itself!  It's a process and I am loving it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

WEEK 16: 40 miles and feeling better

Mon: 0
Tues: lift plus 3 miles on TM
Wed: Chapman/Jordan Hills loop from KSC, 1:28; LOG 10
Thu: Spin plus core
Fri: Pisgah with Greg and Griffin after lots of yardwork; LOG 7
Sat: Spin at TFZ- tired legs
Sun:  Long run in Pisgah with Griffin, 2:50; LOG 20

Finally back to running.  The 3 miles I did after having over a week off due to sickness felt legs were fresh and I can't wait to taper for the marathon! My legs were tired Friday when trying to run after a morning of yardwork.  The big day of the week was Sunday.  It was pretty gross out and I had planned 18 miles on the roads in Keene.  That morning I had no motivation to head out on my own and had talked myself down to 10 miles if that...Greg suggested running with Griffin in the woods and that was a great idea. I had planned on doing mini-vistas and then go right into Lily-Nash-South Woods after a water break at the top of Winchester road.  At the end of the mini vistas loop I realized my mistake of doing it in that order...bombing down Hubbard Hill is way more fun at the end of a run than climbing out of South Woods!  SO halfway through our second loop on Lily Pond Trail I started thinking maybe I'd add on another Mini-Vistas loop!  I made the mistake of leaving my water bottle at the top of Winchester, but instead of going to get it and risk changing my mind, I turned left coming out of South Woods and went right on to Reservoir Road to Baker Pond- and up and over Hubbard.  Bombing down Hubbard at the end of almost 3 hours in the woods was as fun as I thought it would be...yah I was a little thirsty, but it was worth it.  Griffin had fun, she always seemed surprised when she realized we were heading back into the woods instead of home.  She was definitely tired, but I am rejuvenated and feel like I am back on track.  Just gotta get some warm weather runs in...doesn't look like this week....It's a process and I love it!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week 15: yikes

Monday: recovery bike for 35 minutes and some core
Tuesday: too busy at work all day to do a thing
Wed- Saturday: SICK; Sinus crap
Sunday: 10 miles in Pisgah with Griffin...pretty warm out.

Oh man,  a self-confidence building 21 miler followed by a week of 10 miles and being sick?!  How am I supposed to process this?  Even today I didn't do anything because I just wasn't motivated and can't quite breath- and have to work all day.  Needless to say my confidence took a hit this week.  I did have a left hip flexor issue that didn't get better even with the week off, but I don't think it'll be a huge deal yet.  I just want to run.  Hopefully I can manage a decent week this week and an outstanding one next week!  Gotta run in some heat so I'm not so scared of it in Vermont.  It's a process, and I love it!

Monday, April 9, 2012

WEEK 14: 31 miles and a long run

Monday: off
Tues: bike 30 minutes + core
Wed: Pisgah with Griffin- beautiful day; LOG 10
Thurs: Spin class 60 min + core
Fri: 21 miles at Goal Marathon Pace, 2:58/8:28pace; LOG 21
Sat: off - on feet all day with 5K/work
Sun: much needed pedicure while Greg and Griffin ran in MA

Not a high mileage week, but a good week none-the-less.  I'm really taking the recovery piece seriously.  Took Mon and Tues light because of the 14 miler on Sunday.  The bike and spin classes are great.  Then the 21 miles on Friday.  This run went really well.  I am again encouraged with the effort.  It was a windy day and the route isn't easy, so I think I am setting myself up well for the marathon.  Tat joined me for the last 6 again and that helps keep me going.  The hardest miles seem to be the two after picking her up and then I seem to refocus and get back into it.  My last two miles were at 8:20 pace so I was glad to see I can push a little - when I really just want to be done.  The entire run took me 2:58:00 for an 8:28 pace.  That's just where I want to be. 

I've read lots of things about how long runs should be slower than "race pace" and/or they shouldn't exceed 2.5 hours and on and on.  It can be confusing but I feel like I'll go into Vermont a lot more confident knowing I felt like I could've continued 5.2 more miles on Friday and had a pretty good marathon.  I wouldn't want to be schlepping around at 9 or 10 minute pace for 3-4 hours in training- I don't think that would help my psyche!  Plus I'm really trying to work on my form and efficiency- I find that hard to do if I'm purposely running "slower" - and lets be honest 8:30 pace is slow enough!  Maybe if I was trying to run a sub-3 hour marathon that kind of training advice makes sense, but I'm doing it this way and if it blows up in my face I'll try something else next time.  I think the key if you are doing the long runs is recovery and I'll take a lot of recovery after this one. 

I didn't really have any aches and pains during the run (well, I'm sure I did but I can only remember the splinter in my big toe at mile 13 which I removed after a shower), but I woke up Saturday with my left Psoas (hip flexor) completely shut down.  Had to lift my leg into the car and couldn't lift my knee up to save my life.  Standing around while helping with the Sports Med 5K and then for a lacrosse game couldn't have helped.  I woke up Sunday and it was working a little better although still sore and today it's better still so I'm not as worried.  Just going to be sure to recover because I know running will test it for sure.  Otherwise feel good!  Almost wish that was my last long run before Vermont City, but I know I need to get some medium and perhaps a longer run in warmer weather!  It'd be great if Burlington was going to be 40 degrees on race day, but that's unlikely and I know I don't do well in heat.  That may be a problem.  I had no GI issues on this run which was also encouraging.  I know that can change in an instant on any run, but the GU and water is working so I won't change that at this point.  Just have to practice on opening those damn packets on the run! 

This week, recover as if it was a race.  I also have a cold brewing, so I'll try not to get run down and sick again.  Today I just biked and worked on the hip flexor.  I have a lot going on at work tomorrow anyway so running probably won't fit.  Won't have a high mileage week, but a couple medium runs and depending on how they go a 14-15 miler Sunday.  Unless I can find a race.  Couple spin classes (I'm too easy on myself on the bike on my own) planned too.  It's a process, and I love it!

Monday, April 2, 2012

WEEK 13: 38 miles and Fast Friends Race

Monday: My Birthday.  20 min bike and hip/core strength
Tuesday: Lift + elliptical 25 minutes
Wednesday: Pisgah with my favorite wolf, Lily -Nash- South Woods; LOG 10
Thursday: 0
Friday: Keene rail trail with Tat, legs still sore from lift; Log 7
Saturday: Fast Friends 4.5 mile race; 34:37/7:42 pace; LOG 7
Sunday: Surry Damn + wheelock at Goal Marathon pace; 1:57:30; Log 14

I was still pretty happy with my 18-mile effort on Sunday and really wanted to recover.  Took Monday and Tuesday easy.  Unfortunately I over did it with the lift on Tuesday and my legs were terribly sore for the rest of the week.  Running Wed and Friday was torture and uncomfortable because of it and I didn't have much faith that I'd feel good Saturday.  Luckily I was wrong.  I felt pretty good Saturday morning.

We headed out to the race that's in it's third year but I had never run.  The first year I was injured (achilles bursitis). But went anyway to "volunteer" (to be honest I wanted to see if I could get the chance at talking to a certain cute runner-boy - I did a little bit :) (blushing)).  The second year I had "the flu" after 4 martinis bought by the before mentioned runner-boy for my birthday.  So this year I was gonna run!  I did some foam roller and magic stick and my legs miraculously felt better.  I wore my new addidas tempo- which I wasn't liking walking around but liked immediately upon picking up the pace!  It was a chilly morning, but perfect for running.  Lots of cute dogs around too.  We started and my plan was to stay comfortable and not go out too fast.
Mile 1: It's a deceptive incline to the bottom of ash hill.  7:38.  perfect, not too fast and maybe I can pick it up later. 
Mile 2: Not so decpetive giant hill.  Although not as bad as a thought as I hadn't been on this road in a long time.  I tried to stay comfortable and not completely breakdown.  I didn't get passed and felt ok.  I came over the top and hit the downhill hard- love that!  I passed a person or two on this section, trying to take advantage of catching my breath.  7:52.  I'll take that- it's a big hill.
Mile 3: Rolling hills, passed another person.  7:46 (I think, I didn't write down 4 mile splits so doing math I came up with the last one but not sure which mile it is)
Mile 4: More rolling hills on a lonely stretch of road.  I couldn't hear anyone behind me but started to get the feeling someone was coming.  Wanted to ask the people on the course how close the next person was, but didn't and didn't look back either.  Best I don't know.  Still stayed comfortable but was working somewhat hard.  7:43?
Last .5: I had been waiting to see this stretch of road.  Came around the last little set of turns to see Eric Macnight (winner) -he says a couple encouraging things and then a few seconds later he's yelling for his girlfriend (Kimber) and telling her "Jens' right here"...Oh man!  That made my knees weak and put a rumble in my tummy- I don't have the stomach for competition!  I just wanted to roll in comfortably, I figured I was top 5!  I wasn't sure how much of a gap I had but I decided to try to up the tempo a bit.  I came around into the parking lot- had to avoid a car- and felt I was going to get to the finish before Kimber caught me.  I did - Whew.  3:38 (7:20 pace).  Overall: 34:37 for 7:42 pace; 3rd female overall and 1st MASTER female!

Good fun.  My legs felt good.  I did a short cooldown and had to take off to work, so I didn't even get to enjoy it much!  Kind of a bummer, but it gets the write up in the sunday paper...I'm not even mentioned in the list of local participants let alone that I won my age group and was third overall (granted the first two had quite a large gap on me).  Would've been nice to be mentioned with my new last name and god knows winning my age group may never happen again!  So I was pretty bummed about that.  It gets weirder.  So I go to look at all the pictures- I'm still looking for a good running picture of me so I don't have to use wedding photos on my blog- welp you guessed it...none of Jen Hammett.  It'd be somewhat comical if I wasn't doubting my own existance!  Oh well.  I went to work and then headed to Andy and Tat's for a fun gathering with lots of food and friends.  I know I was there!

Sunday.  I decided to do a longish run since my legs were feeling so good.  I parked at the hospital for my trek to Surry damn, come back through so I can refuel at my car and go out Wheelock Park to a 6 mile loop.  I was tired but  felt good about being able to maintain a good run.  Started out at 8:45 pace and slowly but surely worked my way down to a final 6 miles at 8:20 pace.  Overall 14 miles in 1:57:30 - 8:30 pace.  I'm again encouraged and looking forward to the 21 miler I have planned for Friday.  It's supposed to be a little warmer- which will be a good test- and Tat has agreed to once again join me for the final 6 mile loop- that is such a huge help. 

This week, welp I've blogged away my only time to get on the bike today- oops.  But I'm surprisingly not sore and my legs feel good.  So I guess I didn't over do it.  Got some trails and spin classes planed, but the focus is on Friday's long run.  I'm excited!  It's a process and I love it!