Monday, January 14, 2013

Training and such...

I had a great longish training run on Saturday.  I'm following the Train Like a Mother Own It plan for the marathon.  In the past I have used SmartCoach from Runner's World and it has worked well, but I wanted to change it up a bit this time and try something new.  Since I have very lofty goals and the Train Like a Mother plan says it can provide a "BQ or significant PR", I thought I'd give it a shot.  So far, I'm pretty pleased with the structure and slight flexibility in the schedule.  Most of the daily workouts offer a scale (i.e. 4-5 miles) and there is usually a weekly easy run that can be missed without huge detriment to the plan as a whole.  Those runs are marked with a steaming coffee cup which corresponds to: "If the universe is suddenly conspiring against you getting your run done, skip it - and don't sweat it."  I like being given the permission to not worry about the missed workout, normally if I miss, even an easy scheduled run, I worry about it for days.  The long runs, also seem to have a bit more structure than I've done in the past, which I like.  For example, instead of just going out and logging double digits, there are double digits with the instructions to have a 15 minute strong finish.

Anyway, Saturday's scheduled run was 15 miles with 5 of the middle miles being at marathon race pace.  Before I could run it, I had to decide what my ultimate race goal time was.  Once I did so, I was ready to go.  I was really excited to see how my body could hold up to my desired race pace of 8:00/miles... which, if I can hold onto for 26+ miles will give me a very pleasing PR, not to mention a significant Boston Qualifying time.  On Thursday, I took the kids for a drive to determine the best route for my long run with race pace sandwiched in the middle.  I wanted to do an out and back and I didn't want a lot of hills (ha ha, yeah right, no such thing here).  Mostly, I wanted to not have a lot of hills when I was trying to keep up my race pace.  The route I chose seemed great in the car.  (Isn't it funny, how things never seem all that hilly when in the car but then on foot, it's like "Whoa, where'd that hill come from?!")  It turns out it was slightly hillier than I had realized, but since it was an out and back, I got to enjoy the downhill portion too.  Here's a glance at the elevation for you:
Not exactly flat, well except for that little part in the middle where I turned around.  Ha!  I chose to do my race pace exactly in the middle of my miles, so miles 5-10.  I liked having the run broken up into neat 5 mile sections, a warmup, the race pace, then the quick 5 miles to home.

It was a clear and cold morning for the run and even though I had planned to run in a skirt and compression socks, I didn't at all regret throwing on tights at the last minute.  It. Was. Cold.  I had planned to leave around 6 but didn't end up getting out until 6:30am.  There was no real rush though.  I had on compression socks, tights, a skirt, arm warmers with fold over hand cuffs, and short sleeves under a long sleeved 1/4 zip pullover with more fold over hand cuffs.  I doubled up the hand cuffs and still was wishing that I had brought gloves.  I also wore ear warmers, a reflective vest, and my Nathan Intensity hydration pack, which I LOVE!!  I started off at a fairly easy pace, trying to warm up and not waste all my energy in the beginning.  The miles ticked by and before I knew it I was headed out of town
 and across the McCollough Bridge, where I told Dan that I would stop and get a picture for him (he isn't the biggest fan of heights)

and onto the section where I planned to do my race pace.
See, it looks relatively flat... ha ha, not around that corner.
I took the time to take off my reflective vest, ear warmers and headlamp.  It was light enough and I was going to be working hard enough that I didn't need all the extra stuff on.  Overall, race pace went quite well.  I started out and looked at my watch to see that I was going way too fast.  I tried to make myself slow down and managed a bit, but not really.  It wasn't exactly easy, I had to work to maintain my pace, but it felt somewhat manageable.  When I turned around, I realized I had been running with a tail wind, but I was met with the sun coming up, so it was a decent pay off.

I ended up staying slightly below 8s with closer to a 7:50 average.  I was pleased with the effort.  If I were running a 5 mile marathon, I'd be able to smash it!  Ha ha.
miles 6-10 where race pace(ish)
At one point during my middle miles, I thought it would be best if I stopped for a potty break.  I thought that I saw the perfect spot, but when I pulled off the road to be out of sight, I decided it might not be the best spot after all... also my need to pee, went away.
Once I was finished with my faster miles, I took a couple seconds to check in at home and take a picture of the beautiful sunrise.
Then it was back across the bridge and up and up and up to my house.  Although I am quite happy to live above the tsunami hazard area, sometimes it would be nice to not have to run up a ginormous hill to get to my house.  Without question, this little blip at mile 14 was the most difficult of my entire run!  It seriously about did me in.
I did survive it though and since there is a slight downhill to my doorstep, I was feeling good again (relatively speaking) by the time I got in the door.

It was a great run.  I'd say that I enjoyed every minute of it, except for one thing.  We had been playing Just Dance 4 on Friday night and I went to bed with Livin' la Vida Loca stuck in my head, so for the entire 15 miles I had two stanzas on constant loop: "her lips are devil red and her skin 's color mocha... she. will. wear. you. out.  livin' la vida loca".  Every so often I could get to the part where ol' Ricky sings "she'll make you take your clothes off and go dancing in the rain... something something something something something something like a bullet to the brain... she'll make you go insane" but that was it.  It. Was. Awful.  Although, it did make me run fast.  I continued to sing it the rest of the morning, however... just ask Dan and the kids, they'll agree... (I) it was awful!


Amber said...

What on earth was that poor animal???

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

We have JD4 as well... my favorite is rock lobster but my lil girl says the lobster freaks her out so she hates that one. lol

Jared said...

Its crazy how dark it is when you left. Must have been a nice sunrise

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Micha said...

Lovely sunrise! Any idea what the skeleton was? Every time I look at it I see a stegosaur, but I'm pretty sure that's a little off base.

Elizabeth said...

REALLY?! you ran across the NB bridge twice? That would freak me out. Hey - I remember when a "ship hit the span". The bridge was closed for awhile.

Janet said...

Sounds like it was a great run. There is nothing like watching the sun come up. Good job you!

Heather said...

Okay, if you continue to post things like this, I'm sure to get my act together. You would have SMOKED me if we had been doing that training run together. I think I squeaked out a 9 min mile on my 13 miler last weekend. Barely squeaked out. I will be counting on you to carry me to a BQ in Newport after you SMASH it in Eugene!!!

BeePieRuns said...

You have so much dedication! I think I'm going to check out that training plan. Also, I bought a rain cover for my jogger stroller this weekend and thought of you :)