Coach Mark instructed me to run 55 to 60 miles this week with 3 quality workouts: 4 x 1000m in 4:20 with 400m recovery jogs, 2 x 2 mile tempo runs in 15:45 with 2 minute recovery jogs, and 20 miles with last 7 miles at marathon goal pace. Well, I didn’t run 55 miles this week (only ran46.7) and I didn’t run the 1000m repeats due to not only a sore right quad but also to a sore left hamstring. I had every intention of running the 1000m repeats but my smarter self took over and warned my stupid self skip that run. Boy, I am so glad I did!
Monday, September 24, 2007 – Easy Run – 6.2 SLOW miles in 54:30. My legs were just too tired to move. In fact, my entire body was exhausted.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 – EXHAUSTED! REST!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007 – Easy Run – 11.0 miles in 1:37:00. I purposefully took my time and stopped to stretch after every 2 miles.
Thursday, September 27, 2007 – Tempo Run – 9.1 miles. 2 x 2 miles tempo in 15:55 and 15:45, repectively, with 2 minute recovery jog in between. LEFT HAMSTRING WAS VERY SORE!
Friday, September 28, 2007 – REST, STRETCH, MASSAGE.
Saturday, September 29, 2007 – Long Run – 20.6 miles with the last 7 miles run at an 8:45 pace (my goal pace for the marathon). My hamstring actually started to feel better during the last 5 miles and I finished strong.
Total Miles for the Week – 46.7 miles
Total Miles Year to Date – 1,444.85
It’s true: you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone, like two healthy legs! Running with an injured quad this week renewed my commitment to taking care of my body and listening to it when it says STOP!
Monday, September 17, 2007 – Rest after Rochester Marathon.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007 – Hill Repeats – 10 x 1/4 mile hill repeats run at a hard pace uphill, easy effort down. Total mileage for this workout = 9.1. Great workout, but sore quad.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 – Easy Run – 7.2 miles. Right quad is KILLING me!
Thursday, September 20, 2007 – Rest, Stretch, Chiropractor for sore quad.
Friday, September 21, 2oo7 – Rest and Stretch quad.
Saturday, September 22, 2007 – Easy Run. 7.2 miles in 1:02:10. Chiropractor and lots of stretching.
Sunday, September 23, 2007 – 5K race and 20 miles with last 6 at marathon goal pace. Phew! Busy day of running! I didn’t race the Northwest YMCA 5K as quickly as I normally could due to my injured quad. My time was 24:08 which earned me 3rd in the 40 – 49 age group and 9th woman overall. Finished my long run along the canal path wearing my quad brace. Touch day of running.
Total Miles for the Week = 43.4 miles
Total Miles Year to Date = 1398.12
Sometimes my stupidity amazes even me. When asked for recovery advice from a runner who’s feeling especially sore, I’m always the quick to say, “Rest, rest, rest!” However, when it comes to following my own pearls of wisdom, I’m just plain stupid. Or am I stubborn? Perhaps a little of both!
A week ago Sunday, I ran most (nearly 20 miles) of the Rochester Marathon. The first 6.5 miles I ran at my race pace as I was responsible to my team for that portion of the race. My biggest mistake was not taking time to warm up my muscles prior to running fast. I guess I figured that since I was running nearly 20 miles that morning I’d save my legs, even though I KNOW that I have to run at least 2 or 3 easy miles prior to racing. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
After the race I didn’t bother to stretch. Instead, I jumped in the car and drove an hour and a half to take my son back to school. Just long enough for my legs to get nice and stiff.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Surely, you took Monday off and ran easy on Tuesday!” Well, I did rest Monday, but on Tuesday I ran 9 miles of hill repeats on the very challenging Cobb’s Hill in Rochester. Prior to the workout my legs, particularly my right quad, hurt. After the hill workout, they really hurt.
“Okay, so you took Wednesday off to rest, right?” you ask. Wrong again! I went out and ran 7.2 miles and as I was nearing the end of my run my right leg was screaming for me to stop.
Immediately after my run I started stretching. As I stretched, I felt something foreign in that quad: a golfball-sized knot. Time to call the chiropractor, (my chiropractor is a genius, a miracle worker) and time to take a couple of days off. That is, until Sunday’s race and 20 mile run.
Yes, I raced on Sunday. I purchased a rubber wrap for my quad (try running fast with rubber squeezing your leg, I dare you!) and set off for my race. I couldn’t run as fast as I usually do, but I still managed to place 3rd in my age group and 9th overall women, so I was happy about that. Then I set off to finish my 20 miles and ran 20.1. So, I met my goal.
Trouble is, I didn’t rest the next day. With a 60 mile week and 3 challenging workouts staring me in the face, I went out the next day and ran 6.2. Let me rephrase that, I attempted to run 6.2. I’d call my run a plod, a slow plod at that. It took me 54:30 to run my miles, and when I was finished my entire body – head, shoulders, glutes, legs, feet – were so very exhausted that it took all of my strength to eat and shower.
Tuesday my tired body forced me to rest. After I got home from work, I made dinner, watched 30 minutes of t.v., and called it a day at 7:30 and slept straight through until 4:45 the next morning.
The new day, to me, always means a new opportunity to run, and run I did. After work, I ran 11 very warm, very humid miles. When I finished, I noticed that my left hamstring was bothering me. “Probably nothing,” I thought. Wrong again!
Thursday evening I set out to run my 2 x 2 mile tempo run (9.1 miles including warm-up, cool down, and 2 minute recovery jogs). When I finished my workout, my hamstring was begging me to rest it. By Friday morning, it hurt. Period.
Now the smart runner in me said, “Get a massage, no race, and run easy, if your leg permits.” Luckily, I was able to get a massage Friday afternoon, and by Saturday morning, my hamstring was feeling considerably better. However, I still chose not to run the Rochester Runner of the Year cross country race that I was registered for. Instead, ran my scheduled 20 miles at an easy pace for 13 miles and my marathon goal pace for the last 7 miles (8:45). By the end of my run, my legs loosened up and felt much better.
Lessons learned? Overtraining does absolutely nothing to improve one’s fitness. In fact, it hurts one’s fitness and makes running painful and something to be feared. From now until October 21 I’m running smart. If my body is tired, I’m resting it. I’ve worked far too hard to throw away the Columbus Marathon!
Life sometimes gets crazy and leaves little time for the things that we love, like blogging. Don’t think I haven’t thought about writing, I have! In fact, everyday for the past 10 days I’ve told myself to carve out a few minutes to update my blog. That didn’t happen, obviously. Because I’m miles behind in my training blog, I’ll make this post short and sweet.
Monday, September 10, 2007 – Easy run – 7.2 miles in 1:02:35, 8:41 pace.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 – Speed work – 5 x 800m repeats in 3:34 with 400m recovery jogs. Total miles for tonight = 8.1. What an awesome workout – felt wonderful.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007 – Easy Run – 7.4 miles in 1:04:14, 8:40 pace.
Thursday, September 13, 2007 – Tempo Run – 4 x 1 mile with minute recovery jog in between. Ran 1st mile in 7:55, 2nd mile in 7:44, 3rd in 7:47, 4th in 7:45. Total miles for tonight = 8.0. Another wonderful workout!
Friday, September 14, 2007 – REST!
Saturday, September 15, 2007 – REST!
Sunday, September 16, 2007 – GRTC Relay Team for the Rochester Marathon . I ran the 2nd leg (6.5 miles) for my women’s masters team and continued running right to the end of the marathon. MY TEAM WON THE WOMEN’S MASTERS DIVISION!!! In fact, we were the fastest female team!! Total miles run today = 19.3.
Total miles run for the week = 50 miles
Total miles run year to date = 1,355.08 miles
Remember when you were a high school student bogged down with a couple of hours of homework each night? Remember how hard it was to make yourself get started but how great you felt when you were finished? I recall several occasions when I just didn’t want to do my work but I knew that I had to. I also remember how satisfied I felt when everything was done and I knew I was prepared for the next day of classes and quizzes.
It seems to me that speedwork sessions are much the same as homework. Inevitably, I always feel a bit of dread before I start my tempo or my 800 meter repeats. Will I be able to keep the speed I’m supposed to run? Will the recovery jog be long enough? Will I crumble in front of my new running group and look foolish? (Okay, I know that these questions are ridiculous, but, hey, they’re actually what I think!)
If you’ve been reading my blog you know that my coach gives me three quality workouts and asks me to run a specific number of miles each week. This week’s instructions were to complete 5 x 800m repeats in 3:40 with 400m recovery jogs, 4 x 1 mile in 7:50 to 7:55 tempo run with 1 minute recovery jog between each, and an 18 mile long run with the last 5 miles run at marathon goal pace. My total number of miles for the week should be 45 to 50.
1. 800m Repeats - Since I hadn’t had a break since Sunday’s race and long run of 15.2 (Monday I ran 7.2 at an easy 8:40 pace), I was a bit nervous about this workout. I’m happy to report that I did it! After a 2.7 mile warm-up I completed 5 x 800m repeats in 3:30, 3:37, 3:34, 3:39, 3:35, respectively. Including the 400m recovery jogs after each repeat and my 2.25 cool down, my total distance for this run was 8.1 miles.
2. Tempo run – By far, this is the most challenging workout for me. Whenever I read that I have to do a tempo run I always think that it sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Tempo runs should feel “comfortably hard”, according to Coach Mark, anyway, and I trouble determining what comfortably hard means to my body. But…I did it and I think I understand the comfortably hard concept…FINALLY! After a 1.9 mile warm up I ran 4 x 1 mile tempos in 7:55, 7:42, 7:44, and 7:43, respectively. As I mentioned earlier, I had 1 minute of recovery jogging between each mile. Including the recovery jogs and the 1.6 mile cool down, my mileage for this workout was 8.0. Importantly, it felt easier for me to maintain a consistent pace during this run!
3. 18 Mile Long Run – Coming Sunday with a leg of the Rochester Marathon thrown in for good measure! (I’m on a Greater Rochester Track Club Women’s Masters team.)
Speedwork really is hard work but it really does make me feel stronger and better focused. Like anything else that’s worthwhile, speedwork requires dedication and persistence. In fact, when I think of the commitment one makes to speedwork I’m reminded of “Ulysses”: “To strive, to seek, to find…and not to yield!”
You’re probably saying, “Wow! What an ugly woman! How could she include such a hideous picture of herself on her own blog?” Good question. I nearly didn’t post this gorgeous photo but I decided to include this picture from Sunday’s 10k race to serve as a reminder of the God’s grace. After the most traumatic week of my life, I was able to run a very challenging, very hilly 10k and place 2nd in my age group and 10th overall for the women. Even though, I look like I’ve aged 10 years in a week and lost a few pounds, I will forever look at this photo as one of my favorites. It serves as a reminder of the internal strength from which I can draw even when totally exhausted, both mentally and physically. Also, and most importantly, it reminds me that I’m so very lucky to have my son alive and kicking (and swearing a bit, too!).
Although my training was unimpressive to most, to me it was very significant. In fact, it was a life saver, a blessing. Each of us has our own personal goals for which we continue to strive. Some of us hope to run a sub 45 minute 10k, while others of us strive to break an hour. No matter what your goal, I think that what matters most is the effort you put into achieving that goal. The beauty of running is that it’s very much an individualized sport – you compete with you – and each accomplishment comes from your hard work only.
Monday, September 3 – No Run
Tuesday, September 4 – Easy Mental Health Run – 8.0 miles but I have no idea what my time was. Trust me, it was slow!
Wednesday, September 5 – Speed Workout – 2.6 mile warm up, 10 x 400m in 1:49 to 1:54 with 200m recovery jogs, 2.75 cool down.
Thursday, September 6 – Easy Mental Health Run – 4 miles in around 31 minutes. I wasn’t running for time but instead for sanity.
Friday, September 7 – Rest
Saturday, September 8 – Exhausted! Ran 1.2 miles and called it a day.
Sunday, September 9 – M.A.D.D. Dash 10k + 9.1 miles – Warmed up with 3.1 miles, 10k race in 49:37, 5.9 miles more. I loved this race! The course was challenging, the people were great, and who can beat the cause?
Total miles run this week – 37.6 miles
Total miles run this year – 1,305.08
Wow! Where did the summer go? Even though there were a few rough patches; all-in-all, this summer was great. The hot temps made for some very challenging runs, but it always made me stronger. The cooler temps that September will bring will make running so darn pleasant and easy when compared to August’s heat and humidity.
The following reflects my training for the week of August 27 – September 2, 2007.
Monday, August 27 – Easy Run – 6.5 miles in 55:18, 8:30 pace.
Tuesday, August 28 – Tempo Run – 2 mile warm up. 2 x 2 mile tempo runs in 15:35 and 15:54 respectively with a 2 minute recovery jog between each repeat. 1.5 mile cool down.
Wednesday, August 29 – Easy semi-long run - 11 miles in 1:34:15, pace = 8:34.
Thursday, August 30 – Hill Repeats – 2 mile warm-up, 8 x 1/4 mile hill repeats, 2 mile cool down.
Friday, August 31 – Rest
Saturday, September 1 – Rest
Sunday, September 2 – OAK TREE 1/2 Marathon plus 4.1 – Great race with lots of hills and some challenging terrain. 13.1 in 1:50:34. I ran an additional 4 miles after the race to get in my 50 miles for the week. Then, I was tired!
Total Miles for the Week = 50.18
Total Miles for the Year = 1,267.48
Well, I’m writing this post very, very late in the week (today is Saturday, September 8), but I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be sitting in my home office typing with my son resting peacefully in his bed.
Unfortunately, Brendan had an extremely rough start to his freshman year of college (that’s putting it mildly). Last Sunday after I ran the Oak Tree Half Marathon, I received a call from Campus Security saying that Brendan had collapsed and was vomiting blood. He was rushed to a local hospital where he spent 5 days in intensive care (6 days in hospital), lost half of his blood (that’s no exaggeration), and received 2 blood transfusions. Last night the docs gave their blessing for Brendan to return home. For the next several days, visiting doctors and nurses will come to our home and attend to Brendan – a much more comfortable setting for both of us!
Throughout this nightmare I once again was reminded of the power that running has to calm one’s being – body, soul, mind. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday the docs and nurses told me that I needed to go outside and get some fresh air and then eat a meal (if you’re anything like me, you just can’t eat in times of crisis). I wasn’t about to heed their advice until I realized that my anxious behavior was not helping my child. In fact, it was agitating him and scaring him. So, I laced up my trusty running shoes and headed out.
Each day my legs felt like I was running through quick sand, but my mind felt free. On Tuesday, I explored the downtown neighborhoods of Buffalo and discovered some incredibly beautiful mansions on my 8 mile run. Again, I wasn’t running fast; I was running to clear my head. When I got back to the hospital I felt calm and ready to face another difficult night.
Wednesday’s run took me to the Buffalo Zoo and Delaware Park where a 1.8 mile track resides for runners to enjoy. Seeing the track, I decided to do my 10 x 400m repeats in 1:51 with 200m recovery jogs sandwiched between each. In total, this run was 9.25 miles and the challenge once again helped focus my mind on something other than illness and worry.
Thursday was one of the worst days in the hospital. Brendan’s blood count dropped dramatically, the docs couldn’t find the source of the bleeding, and I literally fell apart. Thank God for my friends! I quickly called and emailed some of my friends, along with my parish, and a prayer chain ensued. Miraculously, by 4:00 that afternoon, Brendan’s blood count was on the rise and the docs were stunned. That evening at 7:30 I once again left the hospital, but only for 30 minutes, and run 4 miles down a very trendy street and saw lots of young people out enjoying a muggy September evening. I prayed that my son would be out doing the same in a couple weeks time.
While my training so far this week is unimpressive, I will say that it was my life saver, my prozac, my solace. Running this week brought me perspective and peace, and kept me from losing my mind. What do folks who can’t run do to relieve their anxieties?