Sunday, May 28, 2017

100 running miles for May!

I got up early and knocked out 7.75 miles to begin the day. Not going to lie — it wasn't my best run.

It was already kind of humid, and I'm not acclimated yet. My legs were still tired from a long ride and lifting heavy yesterday. And it was the first time I'd run early in months, so it was hard to get moving. My second mile beeped over at 10:0something, my slowest solo mile in a while.

BUT... I did it. And I even managed to run the last 1.75 a bit faster than the rest. So, minor success.
100 miles again!
And best of all, that run made 100 miles for the month. Hooray! I'm 4 for 5 this year. This feels like a good number of miles to shoot for per month — high enough to be challenging, not so high I end up injured (knock wood).

I'm out of town starting tomorrow so I don't expect to get in much, if any, training this week. Honestly, I am looking forward to a bit of a break after a full weekend.

Friday, May 26, 2017

First time on the track in a while!

I was out for a run this afternoon near a local college campus. I wanted to do some kind of speed work, and had just done a 5K time trial last week, so was thinking half-mile pickups.

UNTIL.... I saw the track's gate was open! I can't even remember the last time I ran on a track — it's been at least a couple of years. There was no one there to tell me to leave, so I enjoyed 10 quarter-mile pickups (well, as much as you can enjoy them) every other lap. I didn't really have a goal pace, just "faster."

I also enjoyed the GPS in my Garmin Connect after the fact:
Around and around and around and around and around...
I loved how squishy the surface was, and it was nice to change it up a bit. I really should find a track to run on more often! Maybe it will inspire me to do more speed work, haha.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Two very dumb reasons for a slow run

I ran easy after work today, but it ended up being a bit more easy than I anticipated for two very dumb reasons.

1: There was a rain front moving in and it was relatively muggy. Anyone who lives in Michigan can tell you when the humidity comes out, so do the bugs. Whenever I ran hard enough to need to breathe through my mouth, I KEPT EATING BUGS. OMG. No, no, no, no. So I had to slow it down.

2: My Garmin has been full of data and I keep meaning to delete the older runs. Even while I was driving to my run, I thought, "Oh yeah, I need to delete the old data before I start." Did I remember to do that 2 minutes later? Of course not. So when I started back up after my water break, my Garmin wouldn't start recording again at all. I'm sure I looked hilarious running down the trail trying to delete data at the same time.

Also, some hillbilly yelled something at me and it took me a while to figure out what I think he said, but if I slowed down every time someone yelled at me I'd never speed up faster than a walk. WHY do people think it's OK to yell at runners? Seriously.

May your runs be bug-free and your Garmins record all your data.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week in review May 15-21: Run, bike, and that’s it

Run and bike, run and bike.
A recap of the good news first: I rode my new bike outside not once, but twice. I wanted to take it to the route that’s closed to traffic Saturday, but I didn’t want to get all the way out there before I discovered there was a problem, so I squeezed in a ride after work Thursday to test it out. I can’t even remember the last time I’ve ridden outside – probably last June or so – so it was great to get outside in the fresh air and sunshine. I made sure to take a few moments to enjoy the day and be thankful that I was out there.

Other good news is that I ran four times this week for more than 31 miles. I am a little stiff and sore today from my long run yesterday but other than that, there weren’t any other big aches or pains. Not that 30 miles is the be-all end-all, but it’s a nice goal to shoot for weekly, and there’s a better chance I’ll hit my goal of 100 miles per month if I can crank out 20-30 weekly.

Some kind of good news, kind of bad news is that I discovered my speed run Friday, which included a 5K time trial, was my fastest run in at least the last 13 months, as far back as Daily Mile tracks. The sad thing is it was a 8:45 minute-per-mile pace so no, I’m not going to be qualifying for the Olympic Trials any time soon. BUT I guess I can be happy that I am getting a little less slow these days. It’s been a slow build from my IT band issues two summers ago, and I’m happy that I’m able to do half-marathons and ultra weekends, but yeah, I’m disappointed that it’s a far cry from where I was at my speediest a few years ago. But what else can I do except keep working and take care of myself? Nothing.

Other bad news is I didn’t do anything except run and bike. I took the evening of our wedding anniversary off to go out to dinner, and I did some gardening after my ride Saturday instead of the lifting I had planned, and other than that I just had to prioritize my time. Story of my life.

Anyway, the week was:

Run: Four times, three on the road and once on the treadmill, for 31.65 miles in a hair longer than 5 hours. I did my long run on the treadmill yesterday because it was storming when I started out. It was also getting late, so I hopped off at 45 minutes and 1:30 to move dinner in the oven and do some quick food prep to be ready for the week. I made it work. And I watched Ghostbusters for the zillionth time, so it wasn’t total misery.

Bike: TWICE ON THE ROAD for 42.65 miles in a bit longer than 3 hours. (Apparently 65 is my lucky number this week?) If you’re keeping track yes, that’s a very slow average. I went SUPER slowly Thursday as I was getting used to my new bike (I didn’t even have a chance to swap out the pedal cages) and not much faster on Saturday as I negotiated other people enjoying the closed route. Still, I was pretty proud of myself that I could bang out a 30-mile ride without too much trouble!

Total: 6 sessions in slightly longer than 8 hours. This was the first time in about a month I’ve come close to 8 hours, and the first time I’ve broken it since peak training week for the Gasparilla Ultra Distance Challenge. Again, it’s not like 8 hours is the be-all end-all, but it’s nice to have a round number to shoot for training-wise. I’d love to hit double digits regularly again, but I’m not sure how to do it without sacrificing food prep, work, sleep or my marriage. Still thinking about that one.

It’s supposed to be another beautiful week and I’m looking forward to running in it and hopefully biking in it again. Let’s see if I can do any other training this week, too.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A 5K time trial, because why not

So, I've said before, I've never actually raced an open 5K. I've done a bunch at the end of sprint triathlons, and I've jogged a few with my slower-than-me husband, but I've never actually RACED all-out, almost-barfing 5K without a swim and bike beforehand.

I try to do a rotation of quarter-mile, half-mile, and mile repeats on speed nights, but I couldn't mentally face round after round of quarter-mile repeats Friday night. I just did miles, so why not try for a 5K time trial? I don't remember doing one before, and I was on a route that allowed me to do 3.1 without stopping for traffic, so nothing was stopping me.

Verdict: Not bad, I guess? I clocked miles 1 and 3 at an 8:03 pace, which isn't too shabby for me these days. Hilariously, mile 2 beeped over at 8:27 ... quite a difference. But I was able to rally for a total time of 25:24, ish, with a bit of variance in my Garmin.
Not bad, considering.
I'll try to do another one in a month or so to see where I stand. Maybe I'll actually race one this summer — who knows?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Not one, but TWO outdoor rides

I had a few hours Thursday after work, and it was a nice day, so I decided to take my new bike out for its first ride with me! Since it was our first ride together, I wasn't sure if there were any underlying problems, so I stuck to a few easy laps around our island park.
This was taken going 0 miles per hour.
Everything went OK! I definitely have to get used to it, but it was fun and I felt pretty comfortable.

Saturdays during the summer, there is a 7-mile stretch of road nearby that closes to traffic, so I headed out today. Everything went OK, again! It was a cool but sunny day, and the headwind about killed me on the way back in, but I did a relatively easy 30 miles. It's nice to see I can still bang out 30 without too much fuss.
Also taken going 0 miles per hour.
Hilariously, this is the second bike I've bought used where the previous owners have thrown in the Cateye computer as a freebie. This is also the second Cateye computer I've inherited that I have no idea how to use.

Also hilariously, I didn't swap out the pedals, so I used cages for these two rides. I know my way around a wrench, but I suspected that since I THOUGHT the job would take me 10 minutes, it really would take me an hour and a half, and I would lose my window of the road being closed to traffic.

Also, my bike needs a name. He needs to be a boy so I can make inappropriate jokes, and he's white and blue. Any suggestions? I was thinking Jon Snow, but Vanilla Ice also made me laugh.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mid-week, mid-May check-in

I don’t have a whole lot going on this week, and I’d like to keep it that way after a very busy week last week.

Some good news is the weird pain in my foot is gone. It must have just gotten inflamed or whatever from standing on concrete all day Saturday. Funny that I can run all day long but STANDING is what turns out to be a pain in the foot.

I had some weird knee pain by the end of last week, in the knee that doesn’t have any cartilage, and that is also pretty much gone. I thought I might have overdone it Friday when I accidently ran 8 miles with three fast miles alternating instead of my planned 7 (misjudged the turnaround/water fountain point), but I doubt one extra mile really did anything. I’m guessing it was the combination of working speed back into my runs (finally), being on my feet, the trail being a little slippery and/or cambered in spots – who knows.

I DO know that the days of running 6 times per week are very likely behind me. I have been doing well with two easy days in a row, OR a speed run, OR a long run, with at least a day off after each. I’ve been averaging about 20 miles per week lately, with really good weeks hitting 30, which is fine for me at this point in my life. I’m also on track to hit 100 running miles for May, knock on wood.
May running is pretty good so far.
I took yesterday off training to celebrate with Mr. Mediocre our wedding anniversary, but I want to ride tonight and do a speed run tomorrow. The weekend is looking good too, so fingers are crossed that I’ll get to do a decent amount of training.