Picking up steam

Oh hey…summer is ending. And it’s still kind of dark when I wake up. But on the bright side – cooler temps and lower humidity!!! It makes running at least 48x more pleasant.

Assuming things go as planned, this will be by third week at 60+ miles and I’m feelin’ good. I still don’t know exactly what kind of shape I’m in, but I’m certainly in a better spot than I was a month ago. However, when I realized there is just over 2 weeks until the Philly Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon..I panicked. Running 7:00-7:10 pace for ONE mile does not feel comfortable to me and the thought of doing that for 13.1 miles is really overwhelming. I’m trying to chill out and do the best I can in the remaining 17 days. I have a decent mileage base, so I just need to be really diligent about workouts. Speaking of which…I’ve had two encouraging workouts in the past week.

I feel like these workouts would work really well for both half-marathon and full-marathon training, so if you’re looking for some new ideas, try ’em out! Note: I usually do 1-2 miles of each warm-up and cool-down depending on how I feel and time constraints.

Progression Tempo Run

I left work a little late and missed the team workout, so I did this one on my own, on the treadmill. Not ideal conditions, but it helped me practice maintaining mental focus. I liked breaking it down into 1.5 mile chunks because, as I mentioned before, sometimes a big workout can seem daunting at first.

The workout was 6 miles of continuous running, but I dropped the pace every 1.5 miles. Here’s what I did:

  • 1.5 miles @ ~7:40/mile (approximately marathon pace)
  • 1.5 miles @ ~7:30/mile
  • 1.5 miles @ ~7:18/mile
  • 1.5 miles @ ~7:08/mile (approximately half-marathon pace)
  • Total: 6 miles in 44:20 (~7:24 pace)


Ladder Track Workout

Repeats were to start out at 5k pace and then get faster on the way down the ladder. 400m recovery for all repeats except for the first 400m (200m recovery).

  • 400m – 93 seconds
  • 800m – 3:14
  • 1200m – 4:55
  • 1200m – 4:50
  • 800m – 3:06 (I *think* this is right, but it might have ben a second or two slower)
  • 400m – 89 seconds
I wasn’t breaking any world records or anything, but this was a solid workout for me, especially considering how much I didn’t want to do it at the start. After a long day at work, I just felt so sluggish and tired, running fast was the last thing I wanted to do. I told myself that I had to go and do at least half and if I felt bad, I could stop. But that’s the thing about running – starting is the hardest part. Once you get out there, finishing it isn’t so difficult. For me, it’s all about breaking runs and workouts down into bite size pieces and not overwhelming myself with expectations.

In mostly unrelated news, I’ve been eating a lot of meat lately. I’ve never been completely vegetarian, but for the past 6 years or so, I really only ate meat 1-2x a week. Well, last weekend very much deviated from the norm. A burger with fried egg (!) on Friday, a post-long run BLT on Saturday, a French Dip sandwich on Saturday night, and Short Ribs eggs benedict on Sunday morning. Give me all that protein and iron, please! There wasn’t really a point to this paragraph other than to say…it was all delicious. And don’t worry vegetables, I still love you.

For accountability’s sake, here’s last week’s recap:

  • Monday, Aug 20 – 8.25 miles
  • Tuesday, Aug 21 – 6.25 miles
  • Wednesday, Aug 22 – 10 miles
  • Thursday, Aug 23 – 4.25 miles a.m. and 9.25 miles in the p.m. including a 6 mile tempo.
  • Friday, Aug 24 – Rest Day. The best thing ever.
  • Saturday, Aug 25 – 18 miles at 9:00 pace, felt slow and longggg.
  • Sunday, Aug 26 – 4 miles and my legs were TIRED.

Total: 60 miles

And then this week (so far):

  • Monday, Aug 27 – 4 miles
  • Tuesday, Aug 28 – 6 miles a.m., 8.25 miles p.m. including track workout
  • Wednesday, Aug 29 – 9.25 miles
  • Thursday, Aug 30 – 8 miles
  • Friday, Aug 31- 6 miles
  • Saturday, Sept 1 – 10.5 miles including a 10k race. Because even though I LOATHE 10ks, it will make me better.
  • Sunday, Sept 2 – 10 miles [Planned]

Total: 62 miles

In other news….the blog quietly turned 4 years old on Monday, August 27. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for that long! Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the file that held all the photos from 2008, soooo sorry about that, but you can still read my first post. Man, I really hope I’ve improved since then…

And if you’re interested, you can read some of my all-time favorite posts. They’re kind of entertaining and you can pretty much stalk the previous four years of my life. Yeah, you’re welcome.

Year 1

Training for the Boston Marathon – Spring 2009

Summer 2009

Year 2

Returning from injury – Fall & Winter 2009/2010

Half-marathon training – Spring 2010

Summer Marathon training 2010

Year 3

 A lot of things happened this year, but I’m going to highlight the two most important:

Year 4

You know that sweet one-shoulder sports bra that I have? The company that sells it is a having a workout shorts giveaway on their FB page. The shorts are even featured on the cover of this month’s Fitness Magazine! The giveaway is open to US residents only and it will end on September 13, 2012. Everyone could use another pair of workout booty shorts.

And before I go….What was the best thing (only one!!) that has happened to you in the past four years? If you tell me it was eating ice cream for breakfast this morning, that’s acceptable.

  • Amanda

    Graduating college. It has allowed me to have a great job and life. The weird thing is was that earlier today I was thinking how much has changed in a year for me and how happy I am right now. Must be a day of reflection.

  • maureen

    adopting my dog, Turkey. Even though she doesn’t run (as I’d hoped), she is hands-down the love of my life and makes me want to get up in the morning. Congrats on your blogiversary!

  • Laura Rieckmann

    Graduating nursing school! I’m now a Registered Nurse and I can help people feel better and improve their health. Hard work for sure, but very rewarding! 🙂 It’s also helped me focus on my own health and wellness and has inspired me to achieve many other goals (like running a half-marathon, never thought I’d be able to say that!).

  • I feel like my “best thing” should be running related…alas, it is probably moving back to my hometown of Houston. We moved away to Toosmalltown, Oregon just before I started high school, then I headed to NY for colleged + 2 years and now that I’m back in my old stomping grounds, finally with a job that fulfills me and a boyfriend that actually has his shit together, I’m much happier.

  • ohh how far we’ve all come in the last four years… yeah, WOW. best thing? finding social work, since i’m an eternal sucker for punishment 😉

    PS dug this post. i like reading about your training. you actually sound rational (ie not like a crazy person) when you talk about running, and it’s refreshing. that’s all.

  • Meggie

    Best thing? I guess scoring well on Step 1 of my boards in 2010. I studied really hard for it and was really happy that it paid off. I feel sort of lame that mine is a test score — life of an eternal student!

  • That’s definitely something to be proud of!

  • Kate @ Naturastride

    Happy Blog Anniversary 🙂 Sounds like your training is coming along! Can’t wait to see you at RNR Philly – I’ll be at the water stop at mile 7.7!!!
    I have to go mushy on you here and say the best thing that’s happened to me in the past 4 years is marrying Joe (sorry!)

  • runnerskitchen

    not mushy! i <3 this. 🙂

  • Happy blog anniversary! I am quite pleased to have found it on a search for “running routes in NYC” (I’m running my first marathon this year.) The best thing that’s happened to me in the past 4 years? Moving to NYC and starting again 🙂

  • runnerskitchen

    I like your answer! Where’s your favorite NYC running spot?