Heart Rate Doesn’t Lie

I was going to title this blog post “2 Mile Repeats Suck A$$”.  Because after we ran 3 x 2 miles (at all out; goal MP for 1/2 mile then progressively faster; and at goal MP for 1 mile then fast) this morning, that was my reaction.  They were HARD. I didn’t feel good about my times (though the effort felt right on).  And I didn’t feel good about where I was in relation to the others in my group at the “finish line” (even though I KNOW I’m not supposed to compare myself to the others, it’s hard).  So I was all set to do a post on how much 2 mile repeats suck, how hard they were, how I suck, etc.

But then I did a few things that made me realize that I don’t suck.   What did I do?  I went back and looked at my running log from when we did an all out two mile in mid-June.  And I realized that although my time was a little slower today (but our 2 miles today measured longer than our time trial in June – must have had a slightly different start/finish line), my heart rate today was MUCH better than in June.  So I was basically doing the same effort today (all out), but my average heart rate and maximum heart rate were 7 and 9 beats per minute lower. That’s huge!  And that is consistent with what I’ve noticed about my heart rate on virtually all my runs the last month or so – recovery runs, tempos, intervals, marathon pace, long runs – for all my runs my heart rate is improving (i.e. getting lower while my paces are getting faster).  The other thing that I thought about today was that my mileage has been high and the quality of my workouts have been intense.  I’m in the middle of peak mileage/training – so of course my times now aren’t going to be PR’s and improvements all the time.  And coach has me doing different things than the others – so I need to stop comparing myself to them for every workout.  Example:  they all had 45 minute recovery run yesterday.  I had 10 mile run with 7 miles at goal marathon pace.  So it’s to be expected that I’m not gonna be able to keep up with people I normally can keep up with, right? What is important and what I need to remember to focus on are the objective things like heart rate AND how I feel.  And I feel strong and fast and fit.

So, lesson learned.  I don’t suck.

Although I still say that 2 mile repeats do suck.

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Don’t Out Run Yourself

This week – the past couple weeks actually – I’ve been constantly questioning MB, my  running coach.  I’ve been asking about the point of various workouts.  Asking for more miles.  Asking about what the upcoming workouts are for the week, as well as asking about the planned long runs weeks down the line.

I don’t do well with just doing what I’m told, without knowing the WHY behind it.  I also don’t do well with not knowing what is coming up in the days and weeks ahead, because I’m a planner. 🙂

So today’s words of inspiration (you know, my daily meditation;  I swear I can hear the collective groan from my 5 blog readers!) were particularly timely:

Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

Don’t get ahead of yourself.  There are many wonderful places left to visit, many experiences to have, many people to meet and enjoy.  But you aren’t there yet.  There will be come trials, too.  More lessons along the path.  But you aren’t there yet, either.

Stay in this moment.  It contains the experiences you need to have.  This moment contains your happiness.  Living this moment, being fully present for it, is the way to get to the next experience, the next person, the next emotion, the next adventure.  Cherish the moment.  Feel all there is to feel.  Learn the lessons of today, and y ou will be prepared for the adventures and joys of tomorrow.

LOVE LOVE LOVE it! 🙂

For running, it is a good reminder for me to just concentrate on my runs one run at a time. (Of course, no matter what I’m still going to be Type A and want to plan ahead; but there IS something to being adaptable with training and not planning too far ahead because you really do need to adjust the schedule, within reason, based on how you are running, how you are feeling, what life events are happening, etc.)

In life, this is such a good reminder to me to just live in the moment.  And THAT is exactly what I’ve been doing for a couple weeks now and even though I still don’t have it all figured out, I am having SUCH a fun time with the experiences that life is throwing my way.  Love it.

So, back to running.  This morning stayed in the moment for 6.5 miles of speed.  Wheee!  Well, actually only 2 of them were speedy.  But those 2 miles were so fun.  2 x 800m, starting at HM pace and getting faster each lap, then 4 x 400m at fast, but not crazy all out fast.  I was happy that I negative split the laps and even more happy that they felt fabulous and I didn’t feel like I was killing myself and could have done more.  Times, for the numbers geeks:  2 x 800 (3:22; 3:19)  4 x 400m (1:27; 1:27; 1:26; 1:24).

And now, in the spirit of living in the moment, I’m off to enjoy a glass of red wine while I soak in an epsom bath. 🙂

Trying to get my speed back!

Did random intervals this morning, just to try to get my body used to doing semi-speedy stuff again.  Finished 5 miles with 400m (6:49 pace), 800m (7:13 pace), 1 mile (7:49), 800m (7:30 pace).  It felt ok.  Not horrible, but not great.  I am SO ready to begin Lansing training so that I can be speedy again!

******

Huge shout out to Kara who is running the JFK 50 Miler tomorrow.  50 miles!  Girl is nutz. (But she has the cutest toddler ever!)

And extra speedy marathon vibes to Lora who is running Philadelphia marathon on Sunday.  Go Lora!

44!

44 is the number of the day.  Not 44 miles, 44 Toys For Tots boxes!

There’s a law office behind those boxes somewhere!

I spent my morning putting together 44 drop boxes (and taping signs on them) for the Toys For Tots collection which begins this week.  Thankfully I’m out of the office for the earlier part of the week and then the boxes will be picked up Wednesday so I can have my law office back!  SO much to do for this TFT stuff, but it’s fun and it’s already worth it when people write on their applications how thankful they are that we are able to provide toys for their kids for Christmas.  No matter how stressful and crazy my life sometimes seems, it really isn’t so bad compared to others who have MUCH more to worry about than I do.

***

In other exciting news, I did my first double digit run this morning since Twin Cities.  10 miles at about 8:30 pace.  I think.  Garmin was dead so I ran naked this morning (that ought to bring in more sickos to my blog when they search naked running; Sorry to disappoint.  No photos here, move on.).  It actually felt good to run without checking garmin.  Gave me freedom to just be.

Wrapped the week up with 33.5 miles and pilates 2 times.   Also brought back the tempo run and some slowish, short intervals.

  • M: 5.1 miles (8:57)
  • T: 6.2 miles (8:28) w/ 3 miles at tempo (7:45)
  • W:  rest
  • Th: 7 miles (8:36)
  • F: 5.2 miles (w/ 5 x 400m)
  • S: pilates abs
  • Su: 10 miles (8:30); pilates advanced

I feel energized and positive about the direction my running is heading again.

*******

Have people picked their Spring Marathon yet?  I know Chris is doing Lansing Marathon, Mindi is doing Wisconsin Marathon, Kristy is doing Boston (Lucky!!).  What are others doing?

The Return of the 400’s

Remember pre-Twin Cities, when I whipped out 12x400m at around 1:34 +/- and I blogged that 1:45 for 400m seemed awkward and slow?  Well today I brought back the 400’s.  Except I only did 5 of them (1:40, 1:48, 1:45, 1:48, 147) and these paces seemed awkward and HARD!  Ugggggg, definitely lost my speed.  I’m not super worried, since I’m not “officically” training for Lansing Marathon yet.  But it makes me anxious to get back to training so that I can be speedy again!

So, 5.2 fabulous miles done before work today.  Lots of life craziness that made me want to make it a double today, but ran out of time.

Believe!

Today was interval workout.  The training group is doing it tomorrow, but I’m going to DC, so I got it done bright and early today, by myself.  Old school (for me) – around the neighborhood on the roads instead of on a track.

The workout was supposed to be 3 x (4 x400m).  With 1 minute rest between intervals, 2 minutes rest after 1st set and 3 minutes rest after 2nd set.  My time goals were supposed to be 1:45 for each interval set 1, 1:40 for each interval in set 2 and 1:35 for each interval in set 3.

I found it hard to pace myself today.  1:45 felt awkward and too slow.  By the end when I was trying to go 1:30ish (because I had done the others too fast, so I tried to do the last set faster), that felt too fast/hard.  So most of my 12 intervals ended up around 1:35, give or take a couple seconds (range was 1:32 – 1:37).  For the most part this pace, 1:35ish, felt good.  Natural.  Right.  I could have done more 400’s at this pace.

Today’s workout surprised me.  It surprised me that my intervals were so consistently at 1:35.  It surprised me that I did better than I was “supposed” to.  It surprised me how much I missed being with the training group during intervals.

But the biggest surprise of the day was hearing that someone else believes I can do this marathon thing at what I once would have thought was an impossible, crazy-fast pace for me.  For the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking, to myself, that I have faster paces in me  – now – for this marathon.  But I haven’t really let myself believe that I could really do it.  When I hear someone else say that they believe I can do it, it gives me the courage to really believe in myself.  Learning that someone else believes in me was the best thing about the day today!

 

When will Boston registration close??

Boston (registration) excitement is in the air in blog land and facebook land.  The consensus (based upon my informal viewing of comments, etc.) seems to be that it will close before during the 10 minute under BQ time registration window.    I’m still holding out hope that those of us that are 16 seconds under our BQ time will get in for 2012.  Coach did just talk to us about dreaming big!  🙂

Any of you readers have thoughts on when registration will close?

*****

Today’s speed workout was 9 miles of FUN!  Warm up and cool down along with 6x800m (paces between 3:26 – 3:33), 4x400m (paces between 1:26 – 1:38).  Felt SO good to start the day off with a hard workout.  Love it!

******

14 years ago today I was in the middle of the hardest workout of my life – having Meghan!

Happy Birthday Meg!

Thursday Thoughts – Last Week of Summer Vacation Edition

Random Thursday Thoughts:

  • I like all-out speed workouts better than ones where we try to run a certain controlled pace.  I feel like it’s more of a workout, ya know?  This morning’s speed (all out, with goal to make second ladder within 4 seconds of 1st ladder set): 1 mile (6:54), 800 (3:11), 400 (1:30), 400 (1:28), 800 (3;13), 1 mile (6:57) all out.  Felt hard, but do-able.  Love it!
  • This morning’s speed workout was the first one in almost a month where I didn’t feel like I need to hold back or be cautious at all because of the hammy.  SO thankful!
  • Went to high school orientation with Meg last night.  Yikes!  She’s ready for this.  I’m not!
  • When I was running on my own, I felt like garmin and the pace I “should be” running held me back a bit.  With the group it definitely pushes me, but I feel like maybe the place that I/coach/the others think I “should be” is also holding me back a bit.  Does that make sense?  There seems to be a pecking order in terms of who “should be” fast and we all line up in that order and sort of go with it.  I’m not gonna let it limit me.  If I feel like I can keep up, or even go ahead of, someone who “should be” faster than me, I’m gonna go with it.
  • I am SO ready for the last long weekend of the summer.
  • My exciting work news:  I hired an attorney!  Lots of craziness going on with getting things in place for her to start at the end of the month!

Thursday Thoughts – State Fair edition

Random Thursday Thoughts:

  • Minnesota State Fair starts today.  We’re not going until the last day (when we’re seeing Maroon 5 and Train!  Yeah!).  BUT, my mouth is already watering for Sweet Martha’s cookies and a White Razzie Puppie (new this year: White-chocolate-stuffed Belgian waffle dipped in dark chocolate and drizzled with raspberry sauce).  Yum!
  • Track workout today was fun.  3 x 1 miles at 10k pace, with first lap a bit slower, then getting progressively faster on each lap to work on closing pace.  Then 1 mile of 100m fast, 100m recover.  Repeat.  I was a little nervous about how the hammy would react to the speed, but it was totally fine. SO relieved.
  • Meg is on a training trip with her cross country team.  3 days/2 nights in St. Cloud, with 2 or 3 workouts a day, good eats, fun times in hotel and team bonding. I want to do that!  Would it be weird if I suggest to coach that we go on a group training trip?!  If only this life and job thing would quit interfering with my running!
  • I signed up for a 10k on Labor Day.  The Victory 10k.  Let’s hope this one is better than my Heart of the Summer 10k pacing disaster!

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