Wk 14, HM Training

Officially on the next-to-last week! My goals are to survive two full days of training mid-week, begin a successful taper, and end the week with a long conference.

Garmin says Monday’s 4 miles is just maintaining, so whatever. I think it was a solid effort!

Since the two days of training got cancelled, I went back outside for a tempo run on Tuesday. At first, I was disappointed because I only ran 2 miles, but then I realized it wasn’t so much about the miles…it was about the pace (avg 9:15-9:35). Duh, tempo run.

And THIS! 48 VO2 max!!

Did some cadence work on Thursday, then my final long run Friday! I had to shorten it by 30 mins due to lunch time constraints vs after work when I usually complete my long run. 5.84 miles with some tempo training toward the end. It was incredibly hot out.

“Chaos Coordinator”

Still stalking next weekend’s forecast. Hoping for mid-30s on the overnight! Trust me, I’ve never said that before.

Wk 13, HM Training

Clearly this week’s schedule doesn’t think I have a job. Sheesh. I know it’s Thanksgiving, but that’s doesn’t mean I have the week off. Anyway, I did have several days at home so I made do.

Typically my VO2 max is 45. One day it was 46. Honestly I don’t pay much attention to it, until Monday, when it reached 47! No idea what this means, but whoohoo. Garmin also said my training was peaking, so there’s that, too.

Funny not funny story: this training cycle has resulted in some strange chafing situations. And by strange I mean incredibly painful in places one would never wish to be chafed.

For Tuesday’s goal pace run, I went to the track so I wouldn’t have to think about crossing roads. But when the headwind hit me, I had a hard time sticking with it. My legs were seriously struggling but I managed to stay on track (pun intended).

haHA! Check out that 9:12! Learning I really don’t like progression runs but I do rather well at them so there’s that good moment. Considering it was pre-turkey, pre-stuffing, pre-pie…and extremely windy…

Long run completed! Super early, super cold (real feel 15°), and super long! I started with 23 layers, a hat, gloves, and a whole lot else, but I made it.

Lucky #13 (week) done. Just a few more remaining!

Race Ideas

Brainstorming future race ideas led me to this one: the inaugural Rock n Roll Atlantic City event!

I’ve only ever seen New Jersey as I raced through it on the way to Connecticut, though I do vaguely remember vast toll areas. Perhaps that was a different state, like Oklahoma. Nonetheless, I’d like to enjoy a proper visit and run a little race!

Credit: #myfavoriterun via Instagram

I’m also very interested in the Blue Bell runs in Brenham, TX. Held annually in April, the finish line party includes Blue Bell ice cream, which is my most favorite ice cream of all time. Pecan Pralines ‘n Cream anyone? I want to explore more 10k distances so why not start there?!

Credit: #bluebellfunrun via Instagram

I’m about over this training plan stuff. 15-16 week plans are just too long for me. Week 8 is about my cutoff. Maybe 10 if I’m feeling generous. Never before have I ever given a moment’s thought to running a virtual half marathon just so I can say I did the run and be done with it. A few weeks back – I hit that point. And I know that particular week was kind of a struggle, but I don’t feel like my fitness has increased much since. If I didn’t know that Morgan from Oregon was traversing the plains to attend, I probably would have called it quits awhile back. Alas, she has been training so I’m self-motivating to make it to the start line. My Garmin goal meter says it’s very confident I will reach it. My internal doubter has serious reservations. All I can do is run the race laid out before me knowing I’ve put in work to the best of my abilities.

break in an emergency

Now, with all that said, I just want it to be over. Thankfully start line emotions are a very real phenomenon and 10 mins after I’m done I’ll be kissing strangers and hugging babies. Jokes, lots of jokes. To keep myself on track I’ve been brainstorming things I want to do post-race. For example…

Short Term –

  • Take a long nap
  • Eat copious amounts of Mexican food, specifically tortilla chips
  • Lay on the ground contemplating my life choices
  • Call everyone I know with the great news I have a shiny new PR

Long Term –

  • January run streak?
  • Train for a March/April half marathon
  • Train for a March/April 10k unrelated to the above half marathon
  • Resume keto
  • Survive the winter months
  • Fantasize about vacation

Surely I’m missing many additions to my listing endeavors. I’ll keep thinking and update you all soon.

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving – filled with turkey and ham and as many rolls as you can stuff in your mouth at one time. And pie!!!

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I ask you –

Anyone have an upcoming race or race potential near northern Texas?

How often do you make lists?

Please share some thing(s) on your short/long term list!

Wk 12, HM Training

Started off – after a long weekend and my longest run yet – with a short(er) run(ch) session at the track. I forgot how good my feet feel when I do track miles.

Speed repeats on Tuesday were tough but overall I think I did really well! Anything in the 7-8 min/mile pace is way out of my league from an endurance perspective. Glad I ate my oatmeal that morning.

Friday evening long run went better than expected! We had a potluck at work which ended up being me standing for nearly 3.5 hours so I was worried how my legs would feel. Answer: very tired. It took 3 miles to “warm up”. Then the blissful numbness took over and I sailed right on. The more I do progression runs or goal pace miles, the more I believe I’ll be able to reach my goal.

The other day I had this wild idea to run in the 2:00 pace group. My thinking was I’ll start out strong and then drop into the 2:10 group (my goal time). But then I felt like an idiot because everyone knows you don’t start out too fast or you’ll burn up at the end. Yet somehow this still sounds so tempting… Stop it, Kel. Week 13 is up next. Taper is sounding better and better!

Wk 11, HM Training

Garmin says it has the utmost confidence in me reaching my goal. Utmost! I remind myself constantly.

With several appointments and work obligations with a holiday thrown in there for good measure, I adjusted the training schedule to make sure I hit all the workouts.

We celebrated Sheppard AFB’s 80th birthday with a 5k/8k – keeping in line with the prescribed run, I chose the 8k. Started out great, then gradually got slower. It was warmer than expected. Even though Garmin said I was unproductive, I felt very good!

As I took off an extra day at work – because why would I have a holiday on Thursday, them return to work on Friday – what better way to kill two hours than by running circles around my favorite lake. Two hours.

Done and done! Too bad it was 10.98 – I could’ve run the extra 0.02 to round up!

Nonetheless, another week has been conquered. Almost there!

When You Get Excited to Run!


I knew it! Check out this article here!

There you have it, folks! Notwithstanding it was written in a trail runner magazine, doubles really are beneficial! Now…I have to forewarn. Doubles in the article and doubles I was originally thinking of are not the same. According to the writer, doubles are what you do when you run twice in one day (separated by a few hours, of course). According to me, doubles are when you run same pace/same distance multiple days in a row when planning to run back-to-back half marathon or marathon distances. Details. Ehhh.

I’ve not yet registered for the BMW Dallas Half Marathon on 12 December. I’m procrastinating because that’s what I typically do when I want to pay last minute fees and freak out about the cost. What can I say? I’m a smart person in an idiot’s body. Maybe I have that backwards? Anyway, I’m how many weeks deep into training and still haven’t registered. There’s just so much commitment when you take that final step! Alas, I am excited to race again; my goal is within reach and my fancy Garmin says the confidence I can reach my goal is very high. Even if it does occasionally say my training is unproductive. I still don’t get that part. Unproductive is doing nothing, like literally staring at my watch whilst daydreaming about running. That’s unproductive. If I’m outside running – or even inside running – I’m being productive! You’re not the boss of me! Which reminds me…I really need to find out if my running buddy is traveling to TX.

Update: Morgan from Oregon is traveling to Texas. Whoohoo!!!

Have I mentioned my tendency toward meditation lately? I finally downloaded an app – Smiling Mind – because it felt like I was more frustrated with trying to learn how to meditate than actually meditating. The app has helped a lot. It even includes meditation practice for children and families. Mini and I have done a few together; personally I like her lessons better than mine. Smiling Starfish. Look it up! I was able to use what I had learned during a long run recently – what a difference! I felt like I was in the right headspace, I was light on my feet, and the miles melted away. Nothing prompted my lean towards meditation except for a friend mentioning she was trying to embrace it and I wanted to be supportive. On my own wasn’t working, so here we are!

Back to doubles – I’d like to complete the Texas Triple, but it just seems too risky to try to race in May. The final weekend in May. A holiday weekend in May. In the summer. Do I trust my body and train and hope for the best? Or do I err on the side of caution remembering what heat illness feels like and cut my losses? Running doesn’t matter to anyone but me, yet I still want to be smart about it. There’s time.

_____________

I ask you –

Thoughts on doubles, double runs or double races?

Have you tried meditation? What app, if so?

Stay tuned for an upcoming list of future race options! Share yours with me!

Wk 10, HM Training

What’s up with this: my legs have been exhausted lately. Even after two full days off, my legs are just slugging along at 50% of their normal get-up-and-go. I don’t think I’m overtraining. Ugh.

completed on Day 1

But in true me fashion, I continue running. I enjoy strides and intervals more than progression runs, that’s for sure! And goal pace isn’t too incredibly difficult. Hallelujah, because it’s a goal pace for a reason. The weather this week took a drastic turn towards frigid – 50s and rain which felt like 30° to me. Dramatic, huh? I had to find leggings and capris for my runs. Those short shorts weren’t doing it for me!

Speed shoes!

By the time strides rolled around on Thursday, the office felt like -20° and my patience had worn thin with the amount of cloud coverage. Back to the treadmill again.

As has become my routine, I did a switch from long run Saturday to Friday evening instead. AND I didn’t wait until the sun went down to keep cool! Straight from work was my motto so I would have no excuses.

slightly wind-blown hair

Wouldn’t you know this long run was amazing? Every time I think (read: doubt) I can accomplish my goal, I have a great run that reenforces the work I’ve been putting into it.

Let’s just hope it shows up on race day!

Wk 9, HM Training

Hallelujah this week didn’t start out like the last one! But somehow, even after two full days off, my legs really weren’t feeling it Monday. I kept slowing down and adjusting the incline because nothing felt “comfortable” much less easy.

By the time speed workouts rolled around mid-week the wind was gusting to 40+ mph and I took it inside to the dreadmill. I’m so excited to run in this beautiful, fall-like weather if only the wind would cooperate.

There were lots of work-related activities to contend with, as well. Not to say it through off my schedule because it’s mostly flexible, but the fact it’s Halloween weekend helped me to decide to do my long run Friday night (again).

Thursday night carb-loading

8.13 at 10:37 avg pace. Garmin told me to pace between 10:55-11:55 so I’m secretly happy I never go that slow, but I don’t know if I’m selling myself short by not adhering to King Garmin. I make the rules around here! It was windy, for sure. Now I can enjoy a weekend full of spooky activities, like candy-crazed children and Halloween costume contests. Fun fun.

Week 10 starts on Monday. 5 more weeks until race day!

Wk 8, HM Training

It started off rough and that’s putting it mildly. From getting out of bed approximately 5 mins before my butt should be at work (like, in seat at work)….I’m just reminding myself my standards and work ethic are much more strenuous than anyone else’s expectations of me.

forced smile pre-run

So of course I still had that frantic mindset when it was time for Monday’s run. Nonetheless, I managed to keep it within the guidelines. It just wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t feeling it.

Then Tuesday came around and kicked me some more. Once again, my watch died in the night, but at least I awoke earlier than the day before. (Garmin was really failing me at this time.) In my positive, uplifting way, I never thought it would do it again so of course I didn’t set a secondary alarm. Anyway, after a chat with Garmin, some sort of sync issue was identified as the culprit. Fast forward to mid-day and a prescribed 63 min workout of speed intervals. I thought I did really well. Garmin said otherwise. As if it had some room to tell me I was being unproductive when it hadn’t done its job two nights in a row.

To throw water on a proverbial inferno, Strava happily informed me I ran over 6.5 miles during the workout with an avg pace of 5something. Right. Like that’s ever happened. Upon calibration, it was more like maybe 4 miles at a not-too-shabby 8-or so pace. Unproductive, my foot.

Just pretend there’s a photo here because, by this time, I was livid.

Thursday rolled around, but at least my watch was working properly at this point. I thought I was doing well with fueling, but I missed the mark that day. I ate breakfast, then got busy during the time I would normally eat pre-run. Note to self: 4 hours between food and running is way too long. I slugged along, my legs hurt, and I couldn’t find a decent rhythm. Couple it with PMS = recipe for disaster.

In an effort to right the whole week’s wrongs and turn everything for good, I meticulously planned to complete my long run Friday night! Yes. Night run!

A little over 3 miles for my “long run”. It was a progression run, and although I feel like I did a great job, I don’t think it was exactly what the plan intended. Coupled with the fact my watch kind of gave up on me and wouldn’t register anything lower than a 10:34 pace, I’m just happy it’s done.

And I finally got a ‘you’re being productive’ message. Today I slept in and drank copious amounts of coffee. More than halfway through the training cycle now. Week 9 will be here soon!

Wk 7, HM Training

Fall is finally here! I’ve only been complaining about the heat for maybe 7 months. Holiday run with two bike riders. One of them crashed. You decide which.

Post-run smoothie happened again. Mini and I added half of a banana, a whole peach, vanilla yogurt, and some leftover iced chai tea latte. I thought it was good; she disagreed.

When in Rome, you know the rest. I have tons of hot/cold options at home, so I was forced to improvise when I decided to do what I kind of knew needed to be done…at work. Soda cans happen to be the perfect size and shape for “icing” my hamstrings/ACL/MCL in the office. Then I resurrected my lonely heating pad when I got home. Yeah, I know; I’ll make a doctor’s appointment soon.

9.80 miles in 1:45:00 for my long run which puts me right on track to hit my half marathon goal. The cold temperature was my absolute best friend! Surprisingly, I kept my jacket on the entire time…really I’d expected to warm up faster and toss it. Legs were a little numb at first, but it felt good on that hamstring issue I’m having.

Update: I did make a doctor’s appointment.

Next week is another week for good things!