Tuesday, April 28, 2015

8K + 5x200 @85%

My legs felt decent today after yesterday's 10K kickdown. Not perfect, but definitely not trashed either. The weather was lovely, so it was a bit easier to get out there this morning. It was 6.1C (43F) and sunny and clear. The sun is coming up earlier, so it's not really dark at all when I go out now; I just used my flashing reflective vest as a precaution because it wasn't all the way light yet either.

The 8K was pretty unremarkable; my legs felt pretty much fine though they were a bit tired in the last km uphill. I did 6:28/km for 51:45 with ave HR 146. Then I was to do 5x200m. I tied up the dog to a telephone pole after the first one, because she doesn't really like to do intervals (ha! neither do I!). I tried to not push too hard on these, going hard until my legs were a bit tired and then pushing moderately hard to the finish. That seemed to work OK. Total for the 5x200m was 5:23. Not fast...but fine I guess? The point is to get my legs moving and try to get my few remaining fast-twitch muscles to do something :).

Monday, April 27, 2015

10K kickdown

Yesterday: Rest day. Today: 10K fartlek!

Last night I got the pre-workout jitters. I knew I hadn't done one of these in a long time, and I was nervous. I looked up how long it had been...drum roll...the last time I did one was Dec 18, 2012. Wow. That shows you just how sick I have been and for how long. I should just feel really happy that I can do the workout again now, but I'm also sad for all the lost time. Not that I could do anything about it - I tried everything I could think of to get better sooner, but the illness remains a mystery.

Anyway, I was really nervous, and chatted a bit with my coach, who reassured me that it just didn't matter how I did on the workout. At this point, it's just money in the bank, so to speak. I was still apprehensive, but felt a bit better reminding myself that there was no pressure.

I had a hard time waking up. I have forgotten just how much extra sleep I can need when training hard, and I have been shorting myself a little on sleep. I had gotten into the habit of reading a lot more, but recently I have also played the piano more and have kept reading just as much, which means that I have been staying up too late. I'm writing this to remind myself that I need to prioritize sleep when training hard.

I arrived at the track and there was a big concrete truck there (see photo at left). They have been doing construction on the south end of the track, building something. New stands? More restrooms? I'm not sure, but I'm curious. So today they were pouring concrete, and I had something to watch for the first bit of my workout that wasn't so hard. Once it gets hard, watching them pour concrete is the last thing on my mind.

I was very glad I'd chosen the track, as I needed the pacing help. It's easy to know your pace when you can check every 100m. I'd have started out too fast otherwise. Jim wanted me to do 6:30/km pace for 2.5km, then 6:20, then 6:10, then all-out. 6:30/km is 39 seconds per 100m - easy to monitor on my watch. 6:20 is 38 seconds, 6:10 is 37 seconds, and then...well...I'd see what would happen. When I started I felt really good; my legs recovered perfectly from the 15km and were not sore or tired at all on Saturday afternoon or Sunday.

My first 2.5km was right on target at 16:13.7, and it felt easy. The second 2.5km also felt fairly easy, and at 15:43.2 was slightly faster than intended (15:50 was the goal) but in the ballpark. The third 2.5km I was definitely working, but not too hard, and did a 15:20 (goal was 15:25), so my pacing was pretty much right on. Then I just prayed I could hang on for the last 2.5km! I did 2:57.5 and 2:58.6 for the first two 500s, and felt my legs flagging a bit, then did 3:00.2 for the next one. I told myself I had this in the bag, and willed my legs to move faster, and finished with 2:59.1 and then gave it my all for a 2:54.7 for the last one :). Total for the last 2.5km was 14:50.1, and I am very happy with that for my current level of not-very-in-shape-just-yet. That predicts about a 59-min 10K, which seems about right for my level of fitness.

Jim called me after the workout (hey, it was only 12:15am there :) but he likes to stay up late) and pointed out that my last 3K was under 18:00 (it was 17:55.2) and that my last 5K was 30:10 (on the nose!). I'm pleased with that since my 8K fartlek FIRST 3K was over 18 min last week... yeah, I was on tired legs from the half marathon, but still, doing the last 3K of a kickdown workout faster is much harder in many ways. The kickdown is deceptively difficult because your legs get complacent and then it's hard to move them faster. Anyway, I was glad for the phone call and it was so nice to actually have good news for my coach.

Total time: 62:07 with average HR 154 and max 171. I averaged in the upper 160s on the last 2.5km, so I was definitely working it hard.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


I wasn't looking forward to 15K today, as my legs have been pretty tired all week as I adjust to "real" training. I say "real" because it's still a very low volume, but at least it's 5 days per week with 2 speed days and one long day.

I was indeed pretty tired but the first 12km weren't so bad. The last 3 were definitely on quite tired legs, but interestingly they weren't horribly slow or a death march. A bit slow, yes, but could have been much worse. Actually, my last 5K, which contains a gentle uphill, was not as slow as the middle 5K. Splits: 31:43, 32:40, 32:37.

My left foot (peroneus longus tendinitis where the tendon attaches at the 1st metatarsal - injury from a few years ago) was bothering me a little, interestingly. Haven't felt this one in a while. I focused on keeping good posture and that helped a lot, when I was not too tired to remember. Arrgh! It's hard to get everything right, but that's actually what I love about this sport is the mental AND physical challenge. You have to stay engaged mentally or it all goes to hell in a hand basket.

The weather was great - good thing since it rained really hard last night and is raining again now but I got a break this morning in the weather - it was sunny (!) and in the 40s F (about 6C I think) and warming up to about 50F (10C). I got hot in my tights because I wore my thick pair, and I also had a long-sleeved shirt which I pushed the sleeves up on so I'd stay cooler.

Total time: 1:37:01 for 6:28/km with ave HR 149.

I'm glad for a day off to rest tomorrow.

Friday, April 24, 2015

5x878m; making progress

I'm not the fastest person around by a long shot, but I'm able to train again, and I'm improving. I'm feeling very content right now :).

I stayed up too late last night (self-inflicted - music stuff!) and so I didn't get out of bed early enough to go to the track before the kids had to go off to school. I ended up going up to the U and planned to use the outdoor track there, after leaving my stuff in a locker in the Student Life Center (gym) next to the track. I walked over to the track, and the weather was gorgeous (~50F? 55?), but I was dismayed to see that the track team has put up barricades so that the public cannot use lanes 1-3. Arrrrrgh! There are about 6-8 of them around the track, making it impossible to use those lanes. I understand that they want to keep the track nice, but the hours are already SO limited (7am-noon M-F) and so I just don't get it. It's not like the track was getting super heavy use. I was VERY annoyed. I calculated (online calculator at eracewalk.com) that in lane 4 it would be 2.38 laps per km, and in my irritated state it did NOT occur to me that that wouldn't be too hard to figure out as I could just do 100m less in lane 4 and I'd only be off my 1kms by 20m. Oh well. I just went back inside and did the workout on the indoor track, which ended up being fine.

I warmed up for 5 laps (292.6m/lap) and on the last lap did strides. Did some dynamic stretching and then I got going. My legs felt well-recovered from Wednesday's 12k, as I only did 20 min elliptical yesterday. I felt GOOD and STRONG today, and did the workout just fine, thank you very much! My interval times were 5:00.1 (5:41.8 is the 1km equivalent), 4:59.7 (5:41.3), 4:58.7 (5:40.2), 4:59.3 (5:40.9), and 5:00.4 (5:42.1). I was a bit tired on that last one, and even though I pushed hard there was no faster gear, so it was just right to do 5 (vs 6, or more...). 5K equivalent would be 28:26, which is still slow but getting faster :). I was very proud that the intervals were so consistent, with less than 2 seconds between my slowest and fastest intervals. 

Oh, and one nice thing about the indoor intervals? I could go out on the balcony (at left, along with a picture of the facility from the outside - it's beautiful!) and cool off in between. I had 2 min rest between each interval and I walked on the balcony and got a drink of water between each one. Not bad. The track would've been nicer, but... well... next time I'll be prepared for a lane 4 workout. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Two minute post while waiting for the bus home!

Nice and warm today. 50F (10C) and breezy. Took the dog and off I went - legs felt very recovered from yesterday's 8K fartlek, so I was a bit surprised when I was pretty slow and fatigued quickly, but that seems reasonable in retrospect. By 6km my legs were tired, and by 8km they were very tired. I think when I got to 12km they felt more tired than after the half marathon on Saturday. Maybe that's just because there wasn't as much adrenaline going today? Anyway, I felt tired! But I kept going even though it was slow, and the training is now done and I get a cross-training day tomorrow.

Good news: no weird soreness afterward. My legs feel great! :)

Total time: 1:18:29 for 6:32/km with ave HR 149.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

8K fartlek on not-quite-recovered legs

Yes, today was a speed work day.

Yes, my legs were still tired from the half marathon on Saturday.

Yes, I was slow and found it difficult.

BUT, after almost quitting at 5K, I dug deep, found another gear I didn't know I had, and finished the workout on an up note. I told myself "mind over matter", and reminded myself that there was no judgment here because my legs are tired post-race. I told myself it didn't matter if I was slow, because speed work will make me faster. I remembered that I needed to be able to keep going on tired legs when I do the 15K in Riverside in just under 4 weeks (!). SO...I finished it! Photo and video included when I finished :).
I'm very proud of my hard work, and hopefully it will pay off. I need to get back my mojo and my mental confidence, and this was a start.

OK...so how slow was I? Haha, pathetically slow. I did the 8K fartlek in 49:08 with ave HR 160, so I was working hard. My "fasts" if you can call them that, were 2:53.7-3:00.4 (the 3:00.4 was at 5K, when I almost gave up, but thankfully did not; I pulled off 2:57.0, 2:57.1, and 2:53.8 for the last three!), and medium effort recoveries were 3:09.5-3:15.8 (the 3:15.8 was at 5K, and believe it or not I got faster on the last three recoveries too). I'm not proud of the speed of this workout, but rather of the physical and mental stamina that I found. That means something.

Garmin data here. 

Bonus: the weather was super nice this morning. 8.9C or 48F with a slight breeze. Awesome. I wore long sleeves and capris and gloves, and ditched the gloves after about 15 minutes and rolled up my sleeves. April is lovely when it's not raining or snowing :).

Some photos from the half marathon on Saturday:

Monday, April 20, 2015

recovery; 6K

I'm recovering well from the half marathon on Saturday. No weird soreness at all - that's the good news. The (very minor) bad news is that I have a lot of delayed onset muscle soreness, especially in my trapezoids and deltoids (feels like I did too many weights) and also some in abs, glutes, shins, etc.  So I took a rest day yesterday :).

Today: coach gave me the choice of an 8K fartlek or 6K with 5x200s. I was too sore for speed work, so opted for 6K, no 200s :). The 6K was unremarkable, other than that I'm definitely sore and not feeling speedy at all. It was a gorgeous morning and nice to be out walking.

Total: 38:55 for 6:29/km with ave HR 143. HR nice and low; legs tired.

Garmin data here. 


I was feeling a bit sorry for myself reading Facebook and seeing that a FB friend who is quite a good runner, and also 43yo, did 1:36:40 with minimal training 12 weeks after knee surgery. Of course, that's about how much training I've had: minimal for a half marathon, and really only a couple months walking since breaking my toe. So I ran the numbers through an age-grade calculator, and her age grade was 72.93% and mine was 71.19%. Pretty close! That made me feel better. Nice to do >70% age grade with minimal training. I suppose I'll take it.

And in other good news, my coach actually wrote a 4-week long program for me leading up to the 15K next month :). First time in a year he's written me more than a week or two at a time. I'm optimistic!