PGH Marathon: Race Recap

Holy Crap. I ran almost 4 minutes slower this week at Pittsburgh compared to last week’s performance at Glass City, but I feel so much better.

Expo: This was a large Expo. Not many vendors that I was interested in, but definitely something for everyone.

5K (Saturday): I loved that the Steel City Road Runners offered Pacers for a 5K. I wished more 5Ks had this, especially for new runners (or someone wanting to set a PR). I used the 9:00/mile pacer and she was pretty accurate. Until I got sick of the crowds/congestion and broke loose. The course was narrow at points which wasn’t fun. There were a lot of walkers who started too far forward, and so many kids running without adults. Even with the adults, they lacked some common running manners. But you get that with many 5Ks because you have so many newbies who don’t know the proper etiquette. There was one point turn right before mile 2 and the water stop, never a fun maneuver when running. I really tried to hold it back but as I approached Mile 3, I let it go because I wanted to get out of the pack and I headed towards the finish line weaving in and out of runners. Yes I was that guy. The primary goal of this 5K was to be used as a shakeout run for Sunday’s Marathon.
Finished 32nd (AG), 155/1,744 (Gender), and 440/2,777 (Overall).

Wake-up: I had ants in my pants. I was a ball of nerves. I could not keep still. I had to force myself to just sit there and do nothing. I tried not to drink too much water, but I always feel so thirsty the morning of the race I can’t seem to help it.

Weather: The race started in the high 40s and warmed up to the low to mid 60s. Approximately 80% Humidity and a chance of rain throughout. With weather being a factor, I switched out my ProCompression socks for my SmartWools because they offer more cushion and protect my feet better in wet conditions.

Goals: Running two marathons in 7 days was a true test of my training. I didn’t want to go in with “goals” but still with a sense of how I wanted to finish. I set out with a pace goal for a 3:50 finish. I knew with the elevation changes, that this would hopefully put me in PR territory and maybe even break 4 hours. This was really dependent on how the weather played out and how my body responded. After that pace goal, I really just wanted to run a strong, fairly even/consistent race and finish.

Start Line: I arrived to the start line around 6:25am, and it wasn’t very crowded. I waiting around for the 3:50 pacer. Around 6:45am the corrals closed and we began to approach the start line. When the National Anthem played people were still moving forward, but I stopped, took off my hat. It’s probably one of my biggest pet peeves before a race, when people don’t stop (talking/moving/everything), take off their hats and honor the flag. After the National Anthem was over, I had to weave through the crowd to rejoin the 3:50 pacer. And then it started to sprinkle.

Mile 1-5: It started to rain right before the race started and as I crossed the Start Line I couldn’t help but smile and think of how grateful I am to be healthy enough to run. I was also grateful for the rain because I love running in the rain. The pacer started out slower than the intended marathon pace, and I knew when he picked it up, I wasn’t going to stay with the pack. We crossed 3 Bridges in the first few 5 Miles and revisited parts of the course I saw on the 5K Saturday. Despite the rain, the crowd support was alive and well.
Average Pace: 8’53”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Mile 6-10: Once the rain stopped, the humidity started. Thankfully there was a Misting station (and later on there were fire hydrants open to shower us!) Bridge #4 came and went. I felt good about my current pace, even though it wasn’t on target for 3:50. Mentally I was just grateful to be running and feeling good, so physically I was just out for a Sunday run. Overhydration got to me and I had a 2 minute potty stop at Mile 8.
Average Pace: 9’01”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Mile 11-15: The last bridge of the course, and I knew this was were the elevation got challenging. Then the races split, you turned right and saw the hill. I ran a little bit and decided that it was a smart decision to walk and save my legs. I didn’t want to burn out early. I crossed the half marathon point at 2 hours exactly and I had hopes that I could break 4 hours. But that would really depend on how my body responded to the coming miles. Around Mile 14, I saw Krista. This mile last week was where I felt my run fall apart, so seeing her here was the best. Around Mile 15 was another relay exchange point, which meant fresh legs. It also meant some rabbits to chase.
Average Pace: 9’27”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Mile 16-20: By Mile 16, I was walking the inclines. Krista gave me advice for a consistent effort not consistent pace. So I charged up those hills as fast as my legs would allow me walking. Which was a different mentality than last week. This week I walked to conserve and avoid burn out, and last week I walked not because I had to or chose to but because I mentally was quitting. Homewood really was the best neighborhood along the way and this is where I found two rabbits to fall in with.
Average Pace: 9’27”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Mile 21-23: The elevation didn’t quit. But my legs couldn’t have felt stronger. The humidity was getting to me at this point. I was drinking a lot at water stops and pouring just as much down my shirt. I had some gas left in the tank, but I knew it wasn’t enough for a PR. I ran this race conservatively, and I felt despite my pace that I gave a consistent (albeit comfortable) effort throughout and I was happy. The hills will change you as much as the miles do. During most of the race I had my iPod playing, and I was dancing along and singing; this didn’t stop–I was having fun today.
Average Pace: 9’49”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Mile 24-26.2: Some seriously loss in elevation. And during Mile 23’s climb I was worried I would feel like Flying Pig all over again once the decline to the finish came…but I didn’t. I felt great. I wasn’t able to pick it up quite like last week, but I still felt incredibly strong at this point in the race.
Average Pace: 8’52”
Elevation Gain:
Elevation Loss:

Finish: The longest finishing chute of my life (and I thought Columbus used to be long). I wasn’t lacking for anything but I really just wanted to sit down. I was so grateful to have run the way I did, and I was extremely proud of myself. It wasn’t the time that I wanted, but it was the race that I wanted.
Official Finish Time 4:04:27
Average Pace 9’19”

Summary:
-Fast Mile: 24 (8’28”)
-Slowest Mile: 23 (10’18”)
-Number of Miles under 9 minutes: 11
-Number of Miles under 10 minutes: 13
-Number of Miles over 10 minutes: 2
I ran this race incredibly safe and comfortable. Mentally I was 100% and physically too. Personally I feel I ran an even effort race, regardless of my splits. This was not my fastest race, but it most definitely was my favorite performance.
Finished 57/311 (AG), 274/1,449 (Gender), and 1140/3,666 (Overall).

Randomness: During this race quite a few things happened. I developed a few blisters in places I never have before, I rubbed holes in my Trail Toes tape, and apparently I experienced chafing on my back from both my Sports Bra and my Shorts. Though the chafing bothered me every time I poured water on myself, I never even noticed the blisters on my feet during the race.

 

To find out more about my PGH/GCM Training look here. And you can find all of my Race Recaps here!

Question: Have you ever run Pittsburgh? If yes, what was your favorite memory of the race?

Jes

PGH Marathon: Transition Week Training

There is no “training plan” for this transition week. I’m still trying to analyze what went wrong last weekend at GCM. Did I overtrain? Not do enough? Did I not get enough rest on Saturday? But I’m also trying to focus on what went right, and get my mind right for the next one.

 

    • Monday:
      • 2.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I ran this slow. To shake out my legs after GCM yesterday.
      •  Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Tuesday:
      • 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I wanted to get 3-5 Miles in, and was almost decided on getting 4 Miles in. I started off slow, but comfortable. After the first 2 Miles, my legs felt really good. By Mile 3, I decided I would probably get in 5 Miles. It was a very humid run this morning, which helped keep my pace slower while I recover from Sunday.
      • Pure Barre in the AM.
      • Foam Rolled.
    • Wednesday:
      • Actual – 4.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I wasn’t sure what to run this week. I was using a standard taper strategy mixed with a recommended recovery week schedule. I debated between running 4 and 6 miles, and due to time constraints I settled on 4 miles.
      • Pure Barre in the AM.
      • 90-Minute Full Body Massage.
    • Thursday:
      • Actual – 2.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
        • I was hoping for 4-6 Miles. But after getting out in the windy weather, I settled on a shorter distance; although by the time I hit 2 Miles I felt I could go longer but really don’t want to wear myself out before Sunday.
      • ProCompression Socks.
    • Friday:
      • Rest/Travel Day!
      • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Saturday:
      • Actual – 5K Run Outside in the AM.
      • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
    • Sunday: RACE DAY!

Total Weekly Mileage: 16.6 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you train when running races close together?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Sixteen

IT’S RACE WEEK. And I’m in my head. I’ve been changing my mind daily about my Race Goals and pace strategy. I mentioned my goals briefly during Week Twelve. Someone mentioned that I sounded like I was talking myself out of even attempting to run a 3:35, and maybe that is true. So I broke down every speed workout and tempo run this training period and color-coded them as to what MP they matched; surprisingly I didn’t run a single workout at 3:40 MP. To date I have run 30 workouts (not including this week’s) and I ran:

  • 13 of these runs on a treadmill, so personally I don’t feel like these runs are any indication of my actually race pace abilities.
  • 4 runs at 3:55 MP
  • 3 runs at 3:50 MP
  • 4 runs at 3:45 MP
  • 5 runs at 3:35 MP
  • 1 Missed Speed Workout

Watching the Boston Marathon on Monday didn’t help this decision making process. I feel like I am going to stick with my current goals:

  • Goal A is to run a 3:40 marathon,
  • Goal B is to run a 3:50 marathon; and
  • Goal C is to run a PR.

Monday: Training Plan 5 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Who forgot their running shoes and had to move her morning run in 46 Degrees to the afternoon at 81 degrees? This girl. Originally I wanted to get 6 miles in, but with the change in temperature, I figured 4 solid miles was the best choice.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Tuesday: Training Plan 16 x 200m

  • Actual – 6.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • 1 Mile Warm-up. 16 x 200m +200m recovery. 1 Mile Cool-down. The 200m repeats flew by quick and felt great. I’m not a fan of running in the evening and I wasn’t looking forward to this run, but after the first 200 I was in love.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Wednesday: Training Plan 3 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • It was a rough morning. I was on-call, and of course got a call, right before my run. I was worried I would miss my run, but thankfully I was able to squeeze it in!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.
  • 60 Minute Upper Body Massage.
    • I’ve been having some shoulder related issues. Lots of tension. For two weeks I’ve been harboring a knot in my right shoulder that won’t go away, so I needed a last minute session to help rid it before race day!

Thursday: Training Plan 5 Miles [Miles 2-4 at MP]

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Last run with the Dave’s MIT crew. I haven’t made it out to many group runs because well let’s just say that 6:30pm is just too late to run for me when I wake up every morning between 3:30am and 4am. But tonight was special. And I also didn’t have time for a morning run. I ran alone for the most part because there really wasn’t anyone there from my pace group. But I felt really good. I was tired and exhausted, but I hit my paces and left feeling confident for Sunday.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – REST DAY!
    • I was restless, but also realized how exhausted I was. Very grateful for today.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 2 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 20 Minute Run Outside in the AM.
    • I ran extra slow to conserve energy, but also because I knew I had an extra long day ahead of me. Yikes! A busy morning, plus working 4 hours at the expo. I was completely hydrated by 2pm, but my mouth was so dry I felt thirsty, which is a sign that I’m very nervous. Ugh. I tried to cutback on the water to avoid frequent restroom breaks (especially during the night). Thankfully I made it home in time to eat my pre-race sushi and get some rest.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Sunday: RACE DAY!

Total Weekly Mileage: 21.9 Miles.
Total Marathon Training Mileage: 680.3 Miles (over 16 Weeks).

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How did you training go this race season?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Fifteen

I’m exhausted. It’s that time during every training plan when Taper comes and I feel like it’s the perfect excuse to slack off. But looking back on my race performance that plan isn’t working. So this year there’s a new plan, thanks to the coaches over at Dave’s Running and their Marathon-in-Training program. The philosophy is to keep the intensity to maintain fitness, but to cutback strategically on total weekly mileage. But I’m struggling because as my mileage increased, my eating habits decreased, and now I’m feeling the effects of all the unhealthy snacks I’ve consumed. So I’ve worked on getting back on track with my meals and snacks, so hopefully I will arrive at the starting line full of energy!

Monday: Training Plan 6 Miles Easy

  • Actual – Sick Day.
    • My long days this weekend took a toll. Not to mention I came into contact with quite a few individuals who were feeling under the weather. Less than two weeks from Race Day and a busy work week ahead of me, I knew I needed to take a real rest day if I wanted to stay strong.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • 90-minute Full Body Massage.

Tuesday: Training Plan 12 x 400m with 3 Minutes Rest

  • Actual – 7.45 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • I almost skipped this one. I’m still feeling completely exhausted. And its partially because I’ve been eating like total crap. After work I knew I had to get a run in, this run just seemed so long I wanted to skip it, but I knew it’s clutch time and I just can’t. And I’m happy I didn’t 🙂 It was a pretty solid strong run.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled.

Wednesday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM + 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Who loves extra early morning runs? It’s a great way to start the day. Then lets follow it by another run in the early evening! I originally planned on 6 miles today, but after missing Monday’s 6 mile run, I knew I needed to squeeze in miles today, but not overdo it!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 7 Miles [Miles 2 & 6 at MP, Miles 3-5 with 3 min on/1 min off]

  • Actual – 7.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • This week I’ve lacked energy (primarily due to eating like crap) and last week I struggled ALOT. But holy crap I’ve rocked my workouts so far this week. This morning’s run couldn’t have gone better.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – 3.5 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • The Sun was shining; the birds were chirping. The weather was warm(er). Someone commented on my “dedication.” That made me spend all 3.5 miles of my running thinking about this training period. My effort. And regardless of the outcome, I’m happy that I’ve stuck to it and have gotten it done this far. I’m pretty impressed with myself. And if nothing else, I hope when I cross that finish line I can remember that and be grateful.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 14 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 15.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Another GCM course preview! Got cheered on around Mile 4. Saw so many others previewing the course too. I missed my final long run with the Dave’s MIT crew, but I had other plans for today’s run. It was also significantly warmer today than the entire week, and the forecast is predicting some warmer temps for race day.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Epsom Salt Soak.
  • I also drove the entire (-0.2 miles) Half Marathon course so my mom could familiarize herself with it. Most of the course is labeled with directional arrows, but we did find a few spots. Thankfully there are course marshals on race day, and I’m really familiar with the course already 🙂

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – REST DAY.
  • Red Vinyasa at Red Yoga (90 Minutes) in the AM.
    • I really felt the need to sweat everything out. Get hot. And get a really good yoga practice in. Red was perfect. I’ve been slacking on my yoga practice as I’ve been getting into Pure Barre more, but I knew a week out from Race Day, physically and mentally I needed it.
  • Pure Barre in the PM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Total Weekly Mileage: 41.0 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you handle the frequent changes in the weather?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Fourteen

It’s Taper Time! Well it’s my last cut back week, then it’s taper time, but it pretty much feels like the taper is beginning with the reduction in mileage.

There are varying opinions on the length of a taper and exactly how much mileage should be reduced, but most running philosophies do agree that you should maintain your level of intensity but decrease the total mileage. Personally, my goal is maintaining my current level of fitness. That is my priority.

As for Taper Strategies…
In Advanced Marathoning, it is suggested that three weeks out from race day, you should run 80% of your weekly mileage; two weeks out, 60% and one week out, 30%. When I ran Shamrock and GCM six weeks apart in 2014, I started tapering two weeks out at 50-60% of my peak week mileage. In retrospect, I liked the two week taper, but with Pittsburgh one week after GCM, I’m not sure how this will work out in the end.

 

Monday: Training Plan 7 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 5.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • It was cold and windy, but I was so warm I ran in a tank top! I wanted to get in 6-8 miles this morning, but I was short on time. I also realized that I had too many miles on the schedule this week and I would need to cut back somewhere, why not today!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Tuesday: Training Plan 2-3 x 2000m with 4 Minutes Rest

  • Actual – 4.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • An easy morning wake-up run after PB! A very brisk chilly morning, but it definitely a morning that showed me how much I love running.
  • 5.7 Mile Speedwork Outside in the PM.
    • Well oops! I had my watch programmed perfectly, but I set out on my first warm-up mile (in my new Hoka Claytons) without starting the workout and did a whole mile before realizing it. Darn. So I began my workout and since I couldn’t change it on my watch, I ran a second warm-up mile. I had planned on running all three 2K repeats, but after two I knew it was time. I quickly changed into my new Hoka Tracers and ran my cool-down mile.
    • On a side note, breaking in my new Hokas was a game-changer. I am so very happy with these new shoes, and can’t wait to put more miles on them.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Wednesday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 8.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Some days the hardest part of the taper is not pulling back on all the miles. By this point in training, it’s like the need for a cutback week. It took me a bit to get out on the road today, and it didn’t take long after for me to hit the wall. But I pushed through and smashed tonight’s run. The first 4 miles averaged roughly 9:10/mile, but the second 4 miles averaged roughly 8:50/mile. I felt really strong!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 8 Miles [Miles 2-7 at MP]

  • Actual – 18.0 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Because of my weekend I had to switch up the schedule, which meant moving my long run to Thursday. I tried to aim for good weather conditions, but there was no avoiding the wind and the rain. This run was a toughie. Physically my body has had enough with marathon training, which is completely normal at this point. But it makes it really difficult to push forward and stay positive. I headed out to my favorite Columbus Trail because I wanted to avoid running in circles but also running places I don’t like running alone at 4am. I ended up doing 9 miles out and back. Which I am so grateful for because after 9 miles out, I had no choice but to finish my run to get back!
    • I gave my Honey Stinger Waffles one last shot, because they are honestly my favorite thing to eat (when compared to gels and chews). But I just can’t eat them while running, I have to be walking otherwise they are too dry and I choke a little. I will pass on them for GCM (but packing one JIC), but plan on using them for PGH.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. Lacrosse Ball. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

    • .Actual –  8.65 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • I had to fit in the Bread and Butter MP workout in this week. So I ran my Thursday Tempo run the day after my long run. It was extremely challenging but I couldn’t be happier just because I did it 🙂
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Saturday: Training Plan 18 Miles Easy

  • Actual – “Rest Day.”
    • If you consider 12 hours on my feet on top of a very long day a rest day then yes I swapped my long run for a rest day!.
  • Foam Rolled. Lacrosse Ball. ProCompression Socks.

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – Rest Day.
    • I don’t like taking two back to back rest days, and I had wiggle room for 2.6 extra miles for my weekly mileage, but I was exhausted and knew I need rest more than I needed miles.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.4 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: How do you like to Taper?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

GCM16 Training: Week Thirteen

Lucky 13! PEAK WEEK!

Here I am trying to get another pair of shoes to throw into rotation before race day. With this high mileage training period, I’ve been cycling through too many pairs of shoes. As two pairs of shoes have reached 300+ miles, I no longer wear them for any runs longer than 4 miles. I love my Hoka’s for recovery runs, but they are increasing in mileage as well so I’m shopping for another pair to use solely when my legs feel like they need the extra TLC. I have a spare pair of LunarGlide 7’s, but they just don’t love me like the previous versions of this model.

Here’s how my current weekly rotation looks:

  • Monday: Nike LunarGlide 7 (Navy Blue)
  • Tuesday: Nike LunarGlide 6 (Pink) + Nike LunarGlide 6 (Purple)
  • Wednesday: Hoka One One Challenger
  • Thursday: Nike LunarGlide 7 (Navy Blue)
  • Friday: Hoka One One Challenger
  • Saturday: Nike LunarGlide 6 (Orange)

I feel like there’s a visit to a local running store in my near future!

Monday: Training Plan 7 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 7.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • Plenty of wind to give me an added challenge. That also made it feel colder than it really was. Regardless I loved this run. Flooded roads made for more fun, and I couldn’t help but laugh when my running scared some mallard ducks into flight which in turn scared me because it was still dark outside.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Tuesday: Training Plan 8 x Yasso 800s

  • Actual – 7.55 Mile Run Outside in the PM.
    • Skipped my morning run due to unfortunate circumstances. Oops.
    • My evening run was a 1 Mile Warm-up followed by 8 x 8 Yasso 800s and a 0.75 Mile Cool Down. I hit almost all of my 3:35 splits with the except of two really close calls (#1 and #5). I walked during my “recovery.” My last 800 was 3:30 and felt really strong.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Wednesday: Training Plan 3 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 6.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • As warm as it was last week, it’s been cold this week. But I’m enjoying it. It helped me run effortlessly this morning. I ran just enough to stay warm, but at a pace that felt easier than conversational  pace. After yesterday’s hard Yasso 800s, I needed more recovery than Easy Pace. While this morning’s run was still in my “easy” pace range, the goal wasn’t so much focused on pace but on how I felt. Effortless.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Thursday: Training Plan 8 Miles [Miles 2-7, 4 min on/1 min off]

  • Actual – 8.2 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • I ran the workout as prescribed. I kept on pace for my 4 minutes on, but because my legs are still fatigued from Tuesday’s Yassos I took my 1 minutes extra easy, and even walked a few of them. It was raining for most of my run, but I didn’t mind. As of today, I’ve ran 224.4 Miles for the month of March!
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • [Home Yoga in the PM].
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks.

Friday: Training Plan 4 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 6.25 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
      Since I missed my additional miles on Tuesday I’ve been happy that they’ve added themselves back in organically. Except for today. I had completely planned on today’s 4 Miles, but realized I really wanted to hit my weekly mileage and there was no way I was going to add them on tomorrow or even Sunday. Which was fine by me, because 4 Mile runs feel so short (remind me of this during recovery when they feel so long!). It worked out perfectly.
  • Pure Barre in the PM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands.

Saturday: Training Plan 22 Miles Easy

  • Actual – 22.0 Mile Run Outside in the AM.
    • If I didn’t already love my Garmin Forerunner 230, then I fell in love today. The ability to enter my training workouts with appropriate pace is beyond fantastic. I decided for today’s long run to set up my workout by 4.5 mile increments so that I would know when I needed to consume fuel, but I also set the paces so that I wouldn’t go out too fast, but also so as the miles grew on I would be motivated to maintain my easy pace. It worked like a charm. It was also a test run, because I am considering doing this for GCM, but wanted a trial long run first.
    • The weather was almost perfect. Even though it was close to freezing and at times there was a bit of a chilly headwind, the sun was shining and I was running in tights and a tee. Sometimes I needed gloves but my long sleeve was around my waist the entire run. Towards the end of the run I realized that my long tights were just too warm and if the weather was any warmer on race day, I would substitute capris.
    • Today’s run was the biggest test of nutrition. After Pure Barre, I consumed 1 Nick’s Spicy Turkey stick and 1 Banana Bread LaraBar. I think the dates in the LaraBar work my stomach too much, and I won’t be continuing this practice prior to long runs or race days. Even with the sub-40 degree weather, I didn’t have the “freezing” of the chews and waffle that I’ve previously experienced, but I did realize that trying to eat the waffle on the run can be difficult because it is just so dry. I’ll give it one more try next week before I decide to keep it or not. I also carried 8 ounces of water with me, which was just enough to consume with my fuel. I will not carry extra water with me on race day (except I do normally start with a small bottle that I can throw away at any time, because the water stations can be crowded early on with the half marathoners).
      • Mile 4.5-5 ProBar Bolt Berry Blast Chews + 1 Clif Blok Margarita chew.
      • Mile 9-Same as above.
      • Mile 13.5-1 Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle +1 Clif Blok Maragarita chew.
      • Mile 18-3 Clif Blok Margarita chews.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Foam Rolled. ProCompression Socks. Mini-Bands. Epsom Salt Soak.

Sunday: Training Plan Rest Day

  • Actual – Rest Day.
  • Pure Barre in the AM.
  • Yoga in the AM.
  • ProCompression Socks.
    • I was pretty exhausted from the weekend. My body didn’t feel too bad, but I didn’t want to do too much and cause soreness, so I kept my recovery low.

Total Weekly Mileage: 57.0 Miles.

You can view all of my weekly workout recaps here.

Question: Tell me about your shoes. How do you track them? How do you know when they need to be retired? How to you find a new pair?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

 

Preparing for the Incline

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Running a race that is known for it’s hilly course means having to prepare for those inclines. When I signed up to run PGH, I knew I would have to make sure I included hills in my training plan.

The number one way to prepare for a hilly course is to run similar hills in training (and run them often). For example, if you know there is a Half Mile long 5% incline about halfway through the race, then at least once a week you should be running a similar hill halfway through a training run.

But what if you don’t have similar hills to train on, or you’re running a flat course? Hills are like speed work, and can strength your legs and help make you faster, so even if you’re preparing for a flat course, you should still pepper hill workouts into your training plan. Hal Higdon includes Hill workouts in some of his advanced training plans; he recommends only three hill workouts during the training period, but suggests that additional hill workouts can be substituted in place of interval or tempo runs.

If you don’t have similar hills to train on, or you’re preparing for a flat course:

  • Find an “ideal” hill: 4 to 7% incline at least 0.25 mile to 0.5 mile in length and repeat 4-6 times. Warm-up and cool-down with a mile each before running hill repeats.
  • Substitute a treadmill: 5 to 8% incline, running hard for 30-60 seconds and recovering easy for 3 to 5 minutes.

If you live in an area that is predominantly flat, and don’t have access to an “ideal” hill:

  • Use a treadmill (see above). In addition to substituting for an ideal hill, you can also use a treadmill to simulate the hills you might see on your race day course.
  • Parking Garages. These are great places to get short bursts of decent inclines with flat areas for recovery. Be mindful and safe. I would recommend that Parking Garage runs are performed when traffic is minimal or restricted.
  • Bridges and Overpasses. While not always “ideal,” like Parking Garages, Bridges and Overpasses offer great inclines with declines for recovery.
  • Stairs. No this isn’t your standard hill workout, but running stairs work your legs similar to running an incline, while also having similar cardiovascular effects.
  • Use what you have! Make do with what’s available. Some coaches even recommend shorter hill sprints in their training plans. There isn’t a one size fits all approach. Personally I prefer to use longer inclines even if they aren’t 2% in grade over using extremely short steep inclines.

One of my favorite ways of getting in regular hills in my workouts are to include an ideal hill in my route and do mile repeats!

I hope you enjoyed this post. Good luck training for your next race!

Question: How do you use hills in your training?
Tell me in the comments!

Jes

P.S. If you’re interested in running the DICK’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon you can save $10 off Race Registration with the Discount Code TAYLOR2016. You can also save 15% at the Official Gear Store with the same Discount Code (TAYLOR2016)!