Training: September 6-September 12

Last week I said how great it was to run in cooler weather. This week we had an awful heat wave, which made running miserable. I got all my runs done, but I sure am glad this week is over!!

Sep6

Sunday: 9 trail miles in Griffith Park with UnitedLA, average pace 9:49 (which is mush faster than I usually run trails – it probably helps that we didn’t go up into the mountains this time, but stayed on the horse trails).

I had 8 miles scheduled to run and the group was running 10, but it was an out & back route, so you could turn around at any time to shorten the run. I was hoping to do all 10, but my calves started to hurt me (I don’t run trails often) and I decided to turn around half a mile early. I ran 4 miles, ran/walked half a miles, then ran the last 4 1/2 miles back (the second half of the run actually felt better for me). Also, I started out too fast, which is something I always tend to do when I’m running with a group.

9:28, 9:05, 9:21, 9:37, 12:17, 9:58, 10:03, 9:24, 9:20

Sep7

Monday: 4 miles (3 easy, 1 faster), average pace 9:59.

The husband decided to run part of my run with me today. He is not a runner (he just wanted to get some exercise), so most of our run consisted of me running ahead and either waiting for him or running back to him and then running ahead again (I did run part of the first mile with him, but then he told me not to worry and just run ahead). After 2 1/2 miles he decided he was finished, and walked home while I finished my run. It was also hot out, which slowed me down some.

10:20, 10:28, 10:06, 9:07

Tuesday: Rest day.

Sep9

Wednesday: 5 miles (4 miles easy, 1 mile faster), average pace 10:00.

This run was HARD, both physically and mentally. It was HOT, 85° when I started, 90° when I finished, full sun the whole time. I divided it into 2 segments – an easy 4 mile out & back, and a faster 1 mile out & back. While I ran both parts continuously, it was easier for me to think of it as just running an easy 4 miles, and then once I get back home I just have to run a quick mile.

The first 4 miles actually went okay, even though it was so hot. I put on some music, and just kept my pace really easy. That last, faster mile? Awful. The heat just really started to get to me, and it took everything I had (plus pouring ice water down my shirts about every minute) just to finish.

10:28, 10:11, 10:08, 10:04, 9:16

Sep10

 

Thursday: 6 mile progression run (2 easy, 3 increasing pace, 1 cool down), average pace 10:26.

After Wednesday’s run, I needed a break from running in extreme heat. I woke up super early, and headed out at 4:20 to run my 6 miles). While it was cooler, it was still 75° with 80% humidity. Yuck.

I started with the 2 easy miles, which ended up being the slowest miles I’ve run in years (not counting trail miles). My faster miles weren’t much faster. This was my slowest progression run ever. In fact, this run was slower than any easy run in recent history. Let’s just say that I wasn’t happy with this run.

I think there were 3 things that contributed to my slow pace. Part of it was the humidity – I was just having a really hard time breathing. Part of it was running in the dark – even with a flashlight it was hard to see where I was going, and I really did not want to trip over anything! The main thing, though, is that it just took until the middle of the 4th mile for my body to wake up. I rarely run first thing in the morning, and if I do it’s usually for an easy run.

11:33, 11:14, 10:26, 9:59, 9:17, 10:10

Friday: 5 easy miles, average pace 9:43.

Ironically, this run was faster than my progression run. This actually ended up being my fastest run of the week, despite the heat. I wasn’t running faster on purpose, it just happened.

10:18, 9:52, 9:31, 9:27, 9:32

Saturday: Rest day.

That ends week 3 of half marathon training.

9 weeks to go until Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas!!

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We’re All Just A Little Crazy

I’m thinking that the percentage of crazy is actually higher

It’s been HOT here in Southern California this week! I just couldn’t deal with another run in 90+ degree weather, so I decided that this morning I’d wake up and get out early (during the week I typically run after I bring my kids to school, so around 8:45). The thing is, my husband had to leave by 5:30 this morning, which meant that I’d have to be back before that.

I had a 6 mile progression run to do, so I figured I’d leave the house by 4:15, which would give me plenty of time. That meant waking up at 3:45. I see plenty of runners on Instagram getting up and running at that time, but it’s usually for a long run. I’m not sure what it says about me, that I woke up and ran at that time for a 6 miles. Dedicated? Awesome? Insane? 

While it definitely wasn’t my best run (it was my slowest progression run ever), I’m still glad I got up early to run, since it’s pretty gross outside today.

Do you ever do things that make non-runners think you’re crazy?

Training: August 30-September 5, and My First Sub-8:00!

Last week was a great week, running-wise. The weather was cooler, with overcast mornings, which made running SO much easier. AND I ran a mile this week at 7:43! It was my first time running a sub-8:00 mile, so I was pretty excited about that. This was also my first time running 6 days a week, and my highest mileage week ever (31 total miles).

Sunday: 4 miles (3 easy, 1 faster), average pace 9:53.

10:39, 10:01, 10:01, 8:55

Monday: 8 miles, average pace 9:41. This was easily the best run I’d had on months! The first few miles were a little bit hard, but after that I felt fantastic. After struggling through most of most of the summer, a cooler run like this was exactly what I needed. It reminded me why I fell in love with running, and made me so excited for fall running!

10:09, 9:57, 9:44, 9:31, 9:33, 9:34, 9:25, 9:38

Tuesday: Rest day.

Wednesday: 5 Miles (3 easy, 2 faster), average pace 9:06.

10:06, 9:39, 9:38, 8:29, 7:43

Thursday: Fartlek run (1 mile warm up, 3 miles alternating 4 minutes faster/1:00 slower, 2 mile cool down).

For my warm up mile I ran to a nearby park, and then I ran on the dirt path there for my 3 miles of intervals. Like running on a track, I did not have to worry about getting stopped at red lights or cars pulling out of driveways, but unlike a track it’s not completely flat, so that make for a bit of a harder workout. I didn’t look at my pace while I was running these miles, but it ended up being that I got faster with each interval (my watch lost GPS connection during the first one, so I’m not sure of the pace for that one).  I ran 2 miles on the roads back home to cool down.

Friday: 5 easy miles, average pace 9:35.

10:07, 9:40, 9:20, 9:20, 9:32

Saturday: 3 easy miles, average pace 10:31

These miles ended up being REALLY slow-paced. Partially because I ran at night and it was hard to see where I was going (even with a flashlight), and partially since I was just having a hard time breathing (humidity, I guess). I don’t really worry about my pace on easy runs; it was just weird to see those numbers after my other runs this week felt so much easier. Oh, well.

10:39, 10:19, 10:38

10 weeks left until Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas!!

Only 4 Miles

I was talking to somebody on Sunday and mentioned that I had woken up early to run, even though I was only running 4 miles. She thought that was pretty funny, since for her (and many other people) there is nothing “only” about 4 miles.

Believe me, I get it. When I first started running in the spring of 2012, I couldn’t run for more than a minute or two without having to stop or walk. Running is HARD. It didn’t help that I had no concept of running at an easy pace; I thought all runs were supposed to be at an all-out effort. I eventually learned how to start pacing myself, but for my first 2 years of running, I was running strictly as a workout. I wasn’t trying to go faster (although that did happen naturally) or longer. I was running 3 – 3.5 miles a few times a week, and that was it. But I was so inconsistent in those 2 years that I never got to the point where I could run the whole thing without taking any walking breaks.

I still remember the first time I ran 4 miles straight. After 2 years of on again/off again running, I decided I was ready to get more serious about it, and I signed up for a 10k. I figured that it was long enough to get me to work harder, but not so long that I’d feel overwhelmed. I slowly started to increase the distance I ran without any walking breaks, and one day I just kept going until I hit 4 miles! It was slow (as you can see in the picture below, from when I logged that run on May 19, 2014), but I had done it! Today 4 miles is a short run for me, but on that day it had seemed like such a long distance to run without stopping, and I was so darn proud of myself!

4miles

 

This was a lot of rambling about running 4 miles, but it was something I was thinking about this morning right before I registered for the Los Angeles marathon (!!!). Because there is definitely no “only” when it comes to 26.2 miles!

Any advice for a first time marathoner?

 

 

Training: August 23-August 29

I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for ages now, and Jennifer from Jen Chooses Joy finally convinced me to. I’m not really sure how often I’m going to post, but since I just started training for my second half marathon this week I thought it would be a good time to start.

august23/UnitedLA

Sunday: I ran 8 miles with UnitedLA (if you’re a runner in the LA area, come join us!We usually run together every other Sunday). The group was great, as always, but my run? Not so much. I just had no energy from the minute I got out of bed that morning, and for some reason both of my knees were feeling sore. Oh, and I also managed to get sunblock in my eye! I was tempted to turn around after a mile and a half, but with such great company I was able to get through the run.

Monday and Tuesday: Rest days. After Sunday’s run I figured I’d take it easy until half marathon training started on Wednesday.

august26

Wednesday: My running buddy Ana & I joined We Run LA Crew for a 4 mile run in Santa Monica.

august27

Thursday: 5 mile fartlek run (for those who don’t know, fartlek is Swedish for “speed play”). 1 mile warm up, 3 miles of 3:00 faster/2:00 slower, and a 1 mile cool down. I’ll start off by saying this went a lot better than I thought it would. We’ve been having a bad heat wave here in LA, and we don’t have air conditioning. So I headed out for this run at 7:00 (when i was still in the mid-80s outside), after being in a really, really hot house all day. I was sweaty, I was cranky, and I was NOT in the mood to do any sort of speedwork. But I reminded myself how much this will help me when I run my race (I’m training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half, which is in the evening in November, so much cooler temps!). I put on some music, headed out, and did what needed to be done. The 3:00 faster intervals were all between 8:26 and 8:40 pace. Those are paces that i’m definitely capable of running for longer than 3:00 at a time, but yesterday those paces felt incredibly hard. But I know in the heat it’s all about effort, so I’m very happy with how the workout went.

august28

Friday: 5 easy miles. My husband is usually not home in the morning on weekdays (he leaves the house between 5:30 & 6:00), but this morning he was. Despite the fact that I had just had a hard 5 mile workout last night (and barely slept that night, since it was so hot), I took advantage of him being home to get out early to beat the heat. So I ran another 5 miles at 6:00 AM. While these miles were super slow, they felt really hard since my legs were still so tired. I’m glad I did it, though, since it was only 71° when I stared my run (still humid, though).

Saturday: Cross Training – 35 minutes on the stationary bike.

11 weeks left until I run the #stripatnight!

Is anybody else running Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas? Have any of you ever run it before?