Monday, August 25, 2014

Marathon Monday: 2014 Fall Marathon Training Week 5

We’re back on track!  After a so-so week 4 of training, I hit all of my scheduled workouts this go-around, including my cross training.  And please let the record show that at the conclusion of week 5 of marathon training, I have hit ALL of my scheduled training runs, with only very minor tweaks (for example, running 5.6 miles one day instead of 6 and then running 3.4 miles instead of 3).

Monday: Rest day

Monday is my guilty pleasure day.  It’s just me, a bowl of Trader Joe’s Mint Chip Super Premium Ice Cream (this is now my absolute fave!) and Bachelor in Paradise.  

Tuesday: Running, easy, 5.81 miles @ 10:24 minute mile pace—1:00:27 hours

I’m convinced RunKeeper gypped me on this recorded pace, but whatever.  The important part of this run was exploring another segment of the Philadelphia Marathon course.  This time I checked out Arch Street eastward from 18th to 4th and Chestnut Street westward from 4th to 34th Streets.  I’m not gonna lie: both stretches were ugly.  And Chestnut smelled like pee and mildew in various spots (but the historic area was obviously beautiful).  You win some, you lose some.

Wednesday: Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Level 2 with 3 lb. weights—20 minutes

Thursday: Running, tempo, 4.39 miles @ 10:18 minute mile pace—45 minutes

This was another run where I think RunKeeper lied to me.  I felt like I was hoofing it bigtime on this Philly 10k training run!  Granted, it was hot (80 degrees) and incredibly humid (69%-- quite high for that time of day) AND I was talking the entire time, but this felt more like a 9:15 minute mile effort.  No matter what the GPS shows, I’m proud of this particular workout.

Friday: Just Dance, Just Sweat mode, “Aerobics in Space”—27 minutes

Because I’m cool like that.

Saturday: Running, tempo, 2.09 miles @ 9:21 minute mile pace—20 minutes

Despite the marked difference in average pace, this run felt more relaxed than Thursday’s iteration.  The weather may have been a factor, although it was a tossup: while the rain and cool temperature (70) felt refreshing, 88% humidity certainly did not.

Sunday: Running, long, 12.00 miles @ 9:52 minute mile pace—1:58:31 hours
+ Yoga for Runners—36 minutes

I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for being pretty damn steady with my recent long run paces.  In Week 1, it was 8 miles at a 10:02 minute mile average.  In Week 2 it was 9 miles @ 10:05, Week 3 6 miles @ 9:47, and Week 4 11 miles @ 9:58 pace.  Kudos to me!

At this point I am left with several questions and training concerns.  One major topic is my goal race pace.  Of course, 5k race pace is not the same as marathon pace.  At this point in time, here’s what I’m thinking in terms of my planned races:

5k (estimated goal race in November): 8:02 minute mile

10k (goal race in September): 8:32 minute mile

Half marathon (goal race in October): 8:58 minute mile

Marathon (goal race in November): 10:18 minute mile

All of these are pretty closely linked to each other except the marathon pace.  Currently, my major goal for the marathon is finishing.  As I get closer to race day, if I’m feeling good I’m sure I will have a more competitive angle.

But first things first: I must attempt to follow each week of training.  This week will be tough: there are a number of non-running events and commitments crowding my calendar AND the weather is supposed to be atrocious.  I’ll have to get creative with scheduling this week, and it’s entirely possible that I will have to bump some workouts (although hopefully not any runs).

I’ll keep you posted!

~Tomato Face

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marathon Monday: 2014 Fall Marathon Training Week 4

There are just 96 days left until my marathon.  96 DAYS.  Holy crap.  This just went to a new level of seriousness.  Accordingly, my running intensified this past week.
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: Rest day
Wednesday: Running, easy, 3.11 miles @ 9:15 minute mile pace—29 minutes
+ foam rolling—5 minutes
While the pace at first seems impressive (for me) for an easy run, know that my Garmin was operating on auto pause and that I was stopped every few minutes at traffic lights.  Because I was able to catch my breath easily at intersections, I could maintain a steady pace the rest of the run.
Thursday: Running, race pace, 5.84 miles @ 9:15 minute mile pace—54 minutes
+ foam rolling—5 minutes
Note how this tempo run was the same exact pace as my easy run.  Bizarre.  Also note that this was the day that I got caught in a sudden and terrifying storm.  My waterlogged sneakers are still traumatized.
Friday: Running, hills, 3.81 miles @ 10:07 minute mile pace- 38 minutes
Saturday: Rest day
As is true for most of my rest days, this was not a rest day: I covered over 5 miles of the city on foot, plus I cleaned my apartment and (window) shopped ‘til I literally dropped.
Sunday: Running, long, 11.03 miles @ 9:58 minute mile pace—1:49:55 hours
+ Yoga for Runners—36 minutes
Sunday marked my second time working with a group for a long run.  I started out the morning with 3.5 miles on my own, since my group was only planning an 8 mile route (my schedule called for 11). 

Once we hit the trail together, I fell behind my pace group almost immediately: about 10 of us initially declared ourselves the 9:45-10:15 minute milers, but a few folks quickly settled into a sub-9:00 minute mile pace while others easily hit sub-9:30.  Since I want to make it to my marathon alive, I knew I had to reign it in.  For a humid summer training run, I am mighty proud of a sub-10:00 minute mile pace.
I am not proud of skipping out on my cross training, however.  This week I fully intend to hit both of my non-running workouts.  A girl’s got to have variety.
In this week’s random bit of news, check out the progress on the south end of the Schuylkill River Trail!  The boardwalk extension project that has been underway for two years is finally nearing completion.  Hallelujah.

~Tomato Face

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Rain Is a Good Thing, But a Downpour is No Fun

Hey y’all!  I’m almost done with my first four weeks of marathon training.  It’s pretty hard to believe, but my constant fatigue reminds me that, yep, my life at this point basically revolves around running.

Truth be told, this past week was a little rough.  I’ve been crazy tired and not too crazy about running.  On top of that, I miss my family and friends (the people closest to me are not close to me geographically anymore), and I was not able to see my absolute favorite entertainer/butt shaker/tight jeans wearer on his Philly concert stop the other night.

Woe is I!

But then I see videos like this and realize maybe it’s better to stay at home and listen to my CDs than become a part of the madness:

Yikes.  When did country get so trashy?

Right now I’m trying to brighten my outlook by doing little things.

I indulged in one of my special treats, Chicago Mix popcorn.

Yep, I look ridiculous in this pic.  Amazing snack food will do that to you.

It is sadly now all gone.  I devoured that family size bag in no time.

I’m trying new running routes and groups.  I still love my River Trail, but I need a little time apart from it.  Now that I’m running four days a week (I swear, I don’t know how hardcore runners do 5+ days a week), my usual route has become BORING.

So I’ve started gradually exploring small segments of the marathon course, like the 34th Street stretch through Drexel campus…

And I’ve kept up with occasional group runs.  I even joined a long run group!  Yeah, those kids are not messing around.  It takes all my power to keep up with the 9:30 minute mile group (aiming high, I am).

For some reason, it has been hard to get the motivation to get out the door each night, and never was it harder than this past Thursday.  

Spot on.

I must have had a premonition.  Not only was I not psyched about having to do 6 miles at race pace (I just want to stroll leisurely!), but I ended up getting caught in the most torrential of downpours in my final mile.  In South Florida, we used to call these gator gushers.  In Philly, we call it the Apocalypse.
I was epically drenched by time I got home, and not in sweat.  My sneakers were literally filled with water.  In retrospect, it’s actually hilarious, but only because my phone and iPod made it out alive.

Funny how when I first saw these clouds  I thought "Oh cool.  The storm's passing us."

Classy bathroom shot.

Tomorrow I have 8 miles planned with my run group, but I have to run 3 additional miles beforehand.  Uggghhhh.

Here’s to next week feeling easier!

~Tomato Face

Monday, August 11, 2014

Marathon Monday: 2014 Fall Marathon Training Week 3

Time is flying, my friends!  I cannot believe it is already the middle of August AND the start of Week 4 of marathon training.  Such craziness! 

Also craziness: this amazing, incredible tidbit of news from Shake Shack.  Let the world unite as one in the name of crinkle cut fries.

I promise that I will soon have more to discuss than just the rundown of my training plan, but for now, here’s another look at this past week of workouts.

Monday: Rest day

Tuesday: Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, Level 1 with 3 lb. weights—20 minutes

Wednesday: Running, race pace, 5.01 miles @ 9:09 minute mile pace—46 minutes
+ foam rolling—5 minutes

Thursday: Running, easy, 3.02 miles @ 10:04 minute mile pace—30 minutes

Friday: Running, fartlek, 3.01 miles @ 9:11 minute mile pace- 28 minutes

Saturday: Rest day

In all fairness, this wasn’t really a rest day.  Instead, I spent the afternoon in near-90 degree heat traversing the hills of the neighborhoods Roxborough and Manayunk.  Hill is a misnomer—picture a black diamond slope, minus the snow and the gondola, and you have a more accurate image of Saturday’s terrain.

Sunday: Running, long, 6.19 miles @ 9:47 minute mile pace—1:00:34 hours

I am super proud of Sunday’s run.  While the stats are nothing remarkable, I ran with a group—which I have never done for a long training run.  I have become accustomed to taking regular walk breaks during my long runs, but this group ran straight though, and I kept up with them for the first 4 miles!  In the last two miles, yes, I had to take a few short breathers, but I managed to catch up with my posse each time.  Next week I am planning on running eight miles with the group plus another two on my own—should be interesting!

And, in tribute to the immensely talented Robin Williams, one of my all-time favorite movie scenes:

~Tomato Face