TCM 10 Miler - 11 weeks to go

Planned: 10-12 miles running
Actual: 10.18 miles, going very slow and very hot.  Finisher of 8 minute abs.  I did not go back to sleep after this run, so that's different from yesterday.

Planned: Hills or trails
Actual: 7.15 miles on paved trails at Baker Park Reserve.  This course is all the hills.  8 Minute Abs.

Planned: Low heart rate run + lift weights
Actual: 3.25 miles, Avg HR 129.  60 mins elliptical.  TRX/Kettlebell class.  And then some foam rolling to wash it all down.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.3 miles on the treadmill, 8 minute abs

Planned: 8-10 miles
Actual: 8 miles, Avg HR 139.  This was a solid run and I felt great.  Stretching/abs/etc were interrupted.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.9 miles at the Anoka Preserve becuase it was the most gorgeous day ever and I had the right shoes for it!

Planned: Speed workout: 3x7 mins, 4 mins recovery for each set
Actual: Speed workout complete.  I'm thinking maybe I need to have a faster pace goal for the race.  Everything I've read about speed work basically says at this stage of training I should feel like I'm dying.  I didn't feel like I was dying but I didn't think that was a pace I could've held for 10 miles either.  Paces were 10:38, 10:54, and 11:18.  (11:18 was up a wicked hill that I hate.)


Hills Monday - Baker Park Reserve

Plan: Wake up early.  (That was really the harder part of the plan.) Run around the loop. Finish down by the lake to stretch out and take pretty pictures.

Route: I've done this route once before.  Starts in the Baker camp grounds, and runs around the main 6.2 mile loop of the park. 

Weather: It was slightly cooler than the past few days.  I started around 68* and ended around 75*.  So much better than starting at 75*.  It was sunny and slightly humid but nowhere near as bad as it has been.  I got up early enough that a significant part of the course was in the shade. 

Execution: This run started out a bit rough because I was hungry.  Once I got my rhythm things went really well and I felt great. I kept my heart rate pretty low for the first part of the run, thanks to significant downhill portions.  Later in the run, I did let my heart rate creep up, especially on the hills.  I didn't walk the hills at all this time, though I did slow down a bit on some of the bigger ones.

Nutrition: I did not eat breakfast before this run.  I woke up around 6:30 and was running by 7:15. I didn't carry anything with me.  I wished I'd had a cup of yogurt.

Bonus: I finished down by the lake (better cell signal down there) and did 8 minute Abs and stretched out a bit.  Turns out I was in some freaky vulture flight line so I caught some cool pictures too.


10 miles on the (maybe not) cursed route

Plan: Get up and 5am and get out of the house.  10 miles, try to keep the heart rate low.

Route: Pretty sure this route is cursed I keep trying to run it anyway, to put a better spin on the situation.  I went out along the creek, up the river, back along the Greenway and then found my way home through the neighborhood.

Weather: When I started it was 73* and 90% humidity.  When I ended, it was 74* and 80% humidity.  Some clouds in the sky.  I got up at 5am to do this run because I was trying to find the coolest part of the day.  Sadly, the coolest part of the day is also the most humid.

Execution: This went from good to not so much, and I think that was mainly due to the weather.  I kept a low heart rate until about mile 6.  After that I got sick for a moment, and then I just wanted to be done.  I switched my watch so it was tracking but I couldn't see the screen and just ran for a bit.  After mile 9, I did intervals (1 block on, 1 block off) for the last mile and I felt much better then.

Nutrition: I had not quite a full package of chews.  I carried two 8oz water bottles with me.  I had just over 1 bottle while I was out, and then finished them off as I walked the last block or two.

Bonus: I was comparing my heart rate graph of this run to the last time I came this way.  (That run was the best one I've had on this route.)  Maybe I was so freaking slow today because I spent the first half of the run trying to keep my HR in zones 1 and 2.  (May is on the top or left, today is on the bottom or right depending on screen settings.)

Running With Discipline - Not running with discipline

These two weeks are 'down weeks' with very few training goals attached.  My self-imposed week off from running after Red White and Boom is over.  I want to use the next two weeks to ease back into things a bit before 10-mile training really starts.

Week 1 - Goal mileage: 20 
Actual - 14.4 miles run, 6.3 miles walked, 5.3 'miles' elliptical

Planned: At least 1 mile
Actual: Run 1.24 miles, Avg HR 130.  Walk around Lake Harriet with Olive.

Planned: At least 1 mile
Actual: 1.23 miles Avg HR 122.    After the run I thought I'd try something new and give a Barre Workout a try.  I got a solid 8 minutes into the video before I was all "well, my next goal will be to make it for 1 full round of exercises".  Later I did  Yoga Before Bed.

Planned: At least 1 mile, low heart rate.  Lift weights.
Actual: 3.35 miles on the treadmill (because air conditioning) Avg HR 134 not including w/u and c/d; 65 minutes on the elliptical, TRX/Kettle-bell class.  Foam rolling.

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate
Actual: 2.2 miles, Avg HR 136, on the treadmill because 20mph winds were not my thing today.   8 Minute Abs and Evening Yoga.  Originally I had grand plans for a longer and more challenging yoga routine, but I just wasn't feeling it when the time rolled around.

Planned: 4 miles
Actual: 4 miles on the track, Avg HR 139.  Today I learned my fancy new gym bag is too big for the lockers at the midtown gym.  Except it does fit in the lockers in the all gender locker room. So I got to try something new today.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.21 miles, Avg HR 123.  Bonus walk at Palmer Lake with a friend.

Planned: 1 mile
Actual: 1.17 miles, Avg HR 132.  60 mins Zumba no one was more surprised than me that I was awake for this, and Evening Yoga to cap it all off.

Week 2 - Goal Mileage 25
Actual - 24.9. I'm calling it good.

Planned: 1-4 miles
Actual: 4.16 miles Avg HR 138 (not including w/u and c/d)

Planned: Short distance, low HR
Actual: 3 miles of my heart rate being way too high.  I felt like crap.  Thanks hormones.

Planned: Low HR run, lift weights
Actual: 1.23 miles run, no lifting.  I felt like garbage and decided to take it easy.  Recovery is recovery.

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.23 miles run.

Planned: 6-10 miles
Actual: 6 miles track workout.  I was mostly a grump.

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 4.07 miles with a finisher.  I got up at 5am.  It was already 74* and over 70% humidity.  It was [not] a great run.

Planned: Speed work or 4 miles.  Maybe Zumba?
Actual: 5.3 miles.  At 5am.  In 74* and 90% humidity.  When I got home, I went back to bed.


Summer Track Workouts

The City of Water is on fire.  Almost literally.  So workouts are being done inside in the air conditioning. 

Workout: 7,6,5,4,3,2,1 - I've done this one before. I walked a w/u lap, the ran 7 laps (just over a mile), then walked 1 lap, ran 6 and so on. Total distance for the workout is 6 miles.

Heart rate: The first 7 laps of running were the only ones I cared about my heart rate.  After that, I just kind of let loose.

Pace: One of the few times my Garmin gets way off is running around the indoor track without GPS.  Garmin just can't deal.  I think my interval paces were faster than 11:00/mile except the first two sets.  My last pace was closer to a 9:00/mile based on the times on my watch.  Anything Garmin says is a bit slow on this one.

My attitude: Ok, I was a grump.  Absolute grump.  Before the workout I wanted to stay in bed.  During the workout I wanted to be done.  But then after the workout I was glad I put in the work and felt much better.


Running with Discipline - Race Week

Race and Recovery

Planned: 1 Mile Run
Actual: 1.23 miles, Avg HR 138.  Yoga for hips.  Downward dog is hard for me.  Sigh.

Planned: TCM Red White and Boom Half Marathon
Actual: Red White and Boom: Mission Accomplished.  When I got home I did a nice long foam rolling session.

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate, lift weights
Actual: 1.23 miles, Avg HR 129.  I tried this video but when I got to the part where she was all "we'll stay in child's pose for five minutes or so" I changed my mind.   Instead I did 15 minutes of Yoga after a crazy day of work.    Came to my senses and did not lift weights.  Recovery is recovery.

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate
Actual: 1.23 miles, Avg HR 126, stretching

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate
Actual: 1.24 miles, Avg HR 129.  Yoga for Runners

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate
Actual: 1.25 miles, Avg HR 126.  Yoga for Runners. Bonus 3 mile walk around Palmer Lake with a friend.

Planned: 1 mile run, low heart rate
Actual: 1.22 miles, Avg HR 137, Bedtime Yoga

We're 9 days into July and I've already done as much stretching as I did the whole month of June.  Recovery is recovery. 


Thoughts on Running with Discipline

Or we could call this "thoughts on actually using a plan"

A while ago I read this post. One of the things the writer mentions specifically is doing the same workouts or the same kinds or workouts on the same day of the week.  It really stuck with me.  After the slight catastrophe that was Lola's I decided training with an actual plan might be a good idea, and I'd give it a try in the four weeks leading up to Red White and Boom.   (Recaps: week 1, week 2, week 3: step back and week 4: taper.)

Basic plan:
Sunday: Long run
Monday: Hills or Trails
Tuesday: Low heart rate run + lift weights (usually lifting is TRX/Kettlebell classes)
Wednesday: 1 mile run (not a full rest day because the running streak is also important)
Thursday: Semi-long run/tempo run.  This seems to be the day of the week I care less about heart rate.
Friday: 1 mile run
Saturday: Speed work
Step back weeks: (every fourth week) cut the mileage on Sunday and Thursday and turned Monday into an easy run.

What I Liked:
Workouts the day after the long run: Running hills the day after the long run was a stupid training move and I hate myself for it.  Running hills the day after the long run was a great training move and I think it made me a lot stronger.   It's also taught me some discipline because getting started on some of those workouts was really hard.
Plans: Having a specific training plan is a good idea.  I could see how long runs and speed workouts were progressing, even just over 4 weeks.
Specific workouts: Having specific goals for each workout is also a good idea.  I'd always used this training plan or adapted it for half marathon training.  Thinking about speed or heart rate or hills or trails for each workout gave me much more focus than just worrying about miles/day and miles/week.

What I'd Like to Add: 
Lifting: I always want to add another day of weight lifting or similar.  It feels like it should be added on Friday.  My body says yes, but my brain is all WTF.  That would be ridiculous.
Stretch/yoga/other: I don't have any days specifically for stretching, yoga, or some other kind of work.  I think Wednesday or Friday could be used for that purpose but I haven't figured how to work it out yet. I can do yoga on a rest day.  Right?

What I'm looking forward to:
Hills or Trails: Hills/trails Monday needs to stay part of the training plan, as hard as it is for me to get off my butt on Mondays.
New running spots: I  have fallen in love with Baker Park Reserve.  I would never have predicted that.
Speed: I found a speed progression for half marathon training.  I'm going to use it even though my next race is a 10-miler. Speed work officially starts in two weeks. 
Distance: I will try to keep my long runs over 10 miles, and my semi-long runs 8-10 miles.  I ran one or two runs over half marathon distance in this training cycle and was very glad I did.  It helped my endurance at the end of RWB a lot.


Red White and Boom 2016

It was my first time ever running Red White and Boom.  Things went surprisingly well.

Registration: Online.  I was registered for this race as part of the TC Summit Challenge registration.

Packet Pick Up: I did early pick up at the TCM office conveniently located near my home office location.  There was same day pick up available.  Same day packet pick up and bag drop were 1/2 mile from the start line.  I did use bag drop.  The distance was not ideal, but I knew about it ahead of time because I was told at packet pick up.

Weather and Wardrobe: Start temperatures were predicted to be in the 60s with humidity 60-70%.  Temps were predicted to raise into the high 60s or low 70s by finish.  So, sunny and humid.  I wore shorts and a tank, race belt and a scarf on my head to keep my hair out of my face.

Start Line: The start line for the Half Marathon is on the downtown side of Stone Arch bridge.  I lined up with the 12:13/2:40 pacer.  We were far back and there were no speakers.  I couldn't hear the Star Spangled Banner, nor any race announcements. Otherwise, the start line was pretty orderly.  The pacers and pace signs seemed to help people know where to line up.

Miles 0-3: Starts along the river and then goes to Plymouth Ave.  There is some rolling but generally very pleasant.  Plus I had a cheering crew at mile 3 and that was awesome.
Miles 4-6: Hills.  A friend of mine called this Cardiac Hill.  I chose not to listen to her before the race.
Miles 7-9: Victory Memorial Parkway - fabulous
Miles 9 -11: Running in the industrial park - everyone told me this was the new part of the course.  2nd Ave north was partially opened to traffic but there was nothing coming, and plenty of room for the spectators that did come.
Miles 11 - finish: Back along the river, some down hill but not all.  Mile 12 was my pity party.

Pacing done right: I started out with the 2:40/12:13 mile pacer.  My goal for the race was to not start too fast and this seemed the best solution.  He said he'd take breaks every mile and I figured I'd pull away.  He caught me a time or two, with the last time being on Cardiac Hill.  After that, I really did pull away. 
Pacer Problems: In an odd twist, I started catching up on the 2:30/11:27 pacer.  I should not have been catching this guy up.  At mile 5, he shouldn't have been anywhere near the 2:40 pacer.  But he was.  So I let myself slowly reel him in.  And then pass him.  Slowly.  I never saw him again.
Not having problems pacing myself which is new: After two really poorly paced out races, my goal for this one was even pacing and trusting my Garmin.   Which I did.  And it was a pleasure.  I ran an 11:51 for the first half and 11:52 for the back half of the course.  I was aiming for 12:00/mile.  Side note - I'm very glad I wasn't aiming for a 2:30 finish because I would've been ticked at that pacer.
Endurance: I hit a wall around mile 12 and had a bit of a pity party.  I turned off the screen on my watch (it was still tracking), and ran based on feel.  I was somewhat rejuvenated for the last mile, which I knew was downhill and then flat.

Finish: I loved finishing on Stone Arch Bridge.  That said, they should've had the fan barricades sticking out further onto the bridge.  Finishers walking back across the bridge were impeding the course from time to time.  I did like the fans on the bridge cheering for me, but seriously, move out the way. 

Lessons learned from training: 
Endurance: Run Long.  After the fiasco that was Lola's, I focused on having runs that were over 13 miles, usually around 14.  I wanted to get used to being on my feet that long.  It was a good move.
Hills: Practice. Recently I've made a concerted effort to incorporate hills into training.  It gave me confidence going up the big one.  It also taught me common sense.  The race will not be won on that hill but it can easily be lost there.
Pacing: Trust the watch.  Reel in slowly. I learned from the last two races not to start out like a bone head.  I did a very small amount of speed work in this training cycle, but did manage to learn the quirks of my Garmin, including how to trust the pace, and when not to. 

Race Recommended For:
New to Half Marathon -  this race is well organized, well supported, and has tons of pace teams.
Road Runners who like the scenery - I really loved racing on Victory Memorial Parkway.  I'd never done that before.
Experienced runners - because again, this race is well organized and well supported and has tons of pace teams. 
Early risers - start time is 6:30am.  It needed to be that early too.  
Well, um... There seems to be a small contingent of dudes who run this race in underwear.  So if that is your thing, or if that scenery would be your thing, go forth.


Running with Discipline - Week 4

1 Week to Red White and Boom

Planned: 12 mile run
Actual: 11.6 mile run at Ft Snelling,  Pilates video, and Yoga to finish up.

Planned: Hills or trails
Actual: 6.6 miles including the Lyndale/50th Street hill, 8 minute abs

Planned: Low heart rate run + weight lifting
Actual: 3.6 miles, Avg HR 139, 12 mins elliptical, TRX/Kettlebell class
I got started late because of a long day at work which led to a very short elliptical session.  For the run, the heart rate was on the high side.  It was humid and I was grumpy about running in construction zones.  TRX kicked my butt. 

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.2 miles, Avg HR 130.  8 Minute Abs. 

Planned: 1-4 miles
Actual: 4.16 miles, Avg HR 151 not including w/u and c/d.  I really wanted to move.

Planned: 1 mile run
Actual: 1.22 miles, Avg HR 127, 8 Minute Abs and Morning Yoga Flow.  The yoga was hard and I was sweating by the end.  I don't do many videos with all those downward dogs. 

Planned: 1-4 miles
Actual: 1.23 miles, 20 minutes foam rolling