March 2016 Recap

Thursday, March 31, 2016

TRuns: 14
Walks: 17
Miles: 70.7
Races: 2 (Get Lucky 14K, Hot Dash 5K)
Outdoors: 28
Indoors: 3
Longest: 8.85 miles
Average Running Pace: 12:44
Bike: 6 miles
Swim: 1.9 miles

March was a good month for me. The weather was perfect! My pace wasn’t any faster than last month but my average run was a mile longer. I had 4 long runs and they were all 7 miles or longer. I had an amazing run on Good Friday. I always have amazing runs on Good Friday! I ran 8 miles in 1:37. My average pace was 12:10! Other than the Hot Dash 5K race, that was the fastest pace during the month by over 20 seconds per mile! And that was an 8 mile run! I ran the first 6 miles in under 12 minutes per mile. I had my fastest 10K on that run too. It was great. Since then, my legs have felt tired so my runs have not been great. It gives me hope that I can run fast again.

I’m looking forward to April. There are two races, Goldy’s 5K and Hot Chocolate 15K. I have to seriously start training for the triathlon. I’ve got the running down; it is the swimming and biking that I need to focus on. I only went for one bike ride but it was outside! It felt great to get off the training and head out. It was a short 6 mile ride but it was the day after the Get Lucky 14K so my legs were tired. Swimming has been ok. I had my fast 200 yard sprint in the beginning of March. I’ve missed a couple weeks for various reasons but I’ll get back at in April.

How is that possible?

Monday, March 28, 2016

So I’ve mentioned it many times before my affection for intervals. For the two half marathons I’ve run, I have done a half a mile run, one minute walk, repeat. This method worked, I was able to finish in the upright position. Granted the last few miles, I struggled to run a half a mile before I had to walk. Sometimes I would even drop to quarter mile run, one minute walk. It seems to work. Earlier this year my pace was struggling with this strategy. I was getting frustrated. I started seeing post on my running group on Facebook about their successes with Galloway. The difference is their intervals were shorter. How is that possible?

On one of my runs this month, after struggling to get to 5 miles, I decided, what the heck. I started with 2 minutes of running, 30 seconds walking. It seemed to work really well and the last two miles of that 7 mile run were my fastest. And way faster…over 30 seconds faster. How is this possible?

So fast forward to the Get Lucky 14K. I decided I was going to run the first mile straight and then jump to intervals. The first mile was great at 12:12. Starting with mile2, I ran 2 minutes and walked 30 seconds. Miles 2-4 were great. My overall pace was 12:24. But I got tired and last five were bad. At mile 6, I resorted to 1 minute run/1 minute walk. A lady that I was running with during the first 4 miles was doing this interval and she smoked me and disappeared so I thought what the heck. I survived the race but decided that 2 minute run/30 second walk may not be the best choice. How is it possible that I struggled to run 2 minutes?

Later that weekend, somebody posted on the Facebook running group that she changed her intervals from 1 min/1 min to 45 seconds /45 seconds. She finished a half marathon in under 2:30, which was her fastest ever by over 10 minutes. She walked half of it! How is that possible?

I like even numbers so 45 sec/45 sec would drive me crazy. I decided on my next run I’d do 40 sec/20 sec. What the heck right? Well I ran the first mile (to make sure I can still run a mile straight). It was terrible. Over 13 minutes.  But like I promised myself, I tried doing for 40/20. It was amazing. I thought I’d be sick of all the stopping/starting but really it didn’t bother me. My pace dropped considerably. Mile 2 was 23 seconds faster than mile 1 at 12:53. Mile 3 was 30 seconds faster than mile 2 at 12:24 (almost a minute faster than mile 1). After mile 3, I stabilized and my pace was right around 12:42 for the last 4 miles. My overall pace for 7 miles was 12:45 pace! How is that possible?

During one of my mid-week runs I was playing around with the intervals but stuck around 40/20 or 45/15. Now Jeff Galloway has always said that you should start right away with the intervals. It was hard for me to accept that because, especially with races, my adrenaline is going and I want to run. The thought of stopping 45 seconds in seems crazy to me. But I wanted to give it a try so on my long run on Friday I did just that. I started my long 8 mile run with intervals of 45/15. Amazingly it went great. My pace was just under 12 minutes in the beginning. UNDER 12 minutes! I monitored my pace throughout the run to make sure that I wasn’t falling off. I tried my best to stick to the 45/15 the whole way. And much to my surprise my first mile was 11:56.  Under 12 and feeling great. Mile 2 was 11:58. So I lost 2 seconds big whoop, still feeling great. Mile 3 12:59. Lost another second but really that is amazing. I just ran 3 miles in a training run in under 36 minutes...what is going on? Mile 4 was rockstar at 11:48…but mile 5 suffered a bit but still my over pace was 12:00. This is crazy. I’m 5 miles into my 8 mile run and I’m running so much faster than I have in a long time. Maybe Galloway knows what he is talking. I lost another 12 seconds on mile 6 but still my overall pace was under 12 minutes. UNDER 12 MINUTES and FEELING GREAT!! During the first 6 miles, my mind was set that I was going to do it under 12 minutes per mile. After mile 6 I figured I’d slow down a bit. But my goal was to not let my pace get above 12:15. I lost 24 seconds on mile 7 and another 17 seconds on mile 8. But mile 8 was 12:53. That is still way better than I would have imagined after running 7 miles. This was an incredible run. My overall pace ended up being 12:10. It was my fastest 10K and my fastest 8 miles ever. It was better than all my races that have been 8 miles or longer. I ran 7 miles earlier this month and my total time was 1:33:32. My total time after mile 7 on this run was 1:24:29. That is 9 minutes faster! How is that possible?

I can’t wait for my next race. I think it will be hard for me to start the intervals right away. Maybe I’ll start after the first 5 minutes or something just to get out of the starting area. Hopefully I found my solution to getting faster on my long runs?!

Hot Dash 5K

Sunday, March 20, 2016

There is not more demoralizing than waking up on race morning and seeing a fresh coat of snow. Yep, it snowed Friday night into Saturday morning. It was the snow plow that woke Eric up. What makes it worse is the fact that exactly a week ago our race was sunny, beautiful and warm. I had to trade in my tank top and capris for long sleeve layers and long running tights. Ugh! On top of the dismal start, the snow and ice caused accidents everywhere. It was a slow drive into Minneapolis.
The Start
As we were walking to the start, I saw Jennie, one of my coworkers. We stood by each other and chatted. Eric made a beeline to the porta potties which were all the way back by the 10 miles start (we had different starting points). I eventually saw him in the crowd and we jumped into the line. This race was a free for all, no “pace” groups. As I’ve mentioned many times before this drives me crazy because people who walk the race start up front and then everybody has to run around them. Oh well. The start wasn’t that exciting. I had a great pace starting off with. I was averaging just below an 11 minute pace and I felt great. I was hopefully this was going to be a great race. Just before the end of mile one is the Plymouth Ave. Bridge. I hate this bridge! I didn’t walk up the steep long incline up the bridge but my pace plummeted and my first mile came in at 11:32. Oh darn!

The Middle
Once we past mile one, the fun began. We took a right onto West River Parkway. It was a sheet of ice. It was so slippery. People were falling all over the place. There really was nowhere to go so “shuffle steps” was the only way to proceed. It slowed me a down a bit but the fact I managed to get mile two in under 12 minutes was amazing. The ice was big blow to my hopes of a fast race. Mile 2 was 11:55. (This is 27 seconds faster than the Valentine’s Day 5K mile 2 and there was no ice).

The Finish
We turned off of West River Parkway and onto the Stone Arch Bridge. I’m not a big fan of this bridge. I should restate that I love this bridge; it is very cool…to walk across. The layer of snow made the bridge a little slick. The worst part is in the center of the bridge is a medal drainage plate. It runs the entire bridge. It had snow on it which means you step on it, you end up on your ass. So passing people on the bridge became very difficult as it usually required a stop on the drainage plate. Anyways, it made for an interesting mile 3. After the bridge we had a half a mile on old cobblestone. As you can imagine, with the snow, it was slick. Not as bad as the other road but still not fun running ground. Mile 3 was a smidge faster than mile 2 at 11:52. I tried to sprint across the finish line but it was much slower than I wanted. Sadly my 5K wasn’t super-fast. I was just marginally faster than the last one. But this race was bit long so my overall pace was the best I’ve had since August so I call that a win!

Get Lucky 14K

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Start
The start was right by the Union Depot. The temperature was really nice at 52 degrees. The sun was shining and there was a slight breeze. As usually, I overdressed. I should have left the long sleeves in the car. The start line was under a bridge. What a weird start line. Thankfully I’m slow so I didn’t have the problem of my watch not connecting to GPS like the fast/elite runners that were queued up under the bridge. Fail on Team Ortho’s part. You cross the start line and make an immediate left on to Shepard Road. I have no idea when they did it that way. You would think they would have lined us up on Shepard Road but nope…whatever! We ran 3/4 of a mile east and had to turn around in the median which was full of sand? What the heck was that? The first mile was great even with the sand. I ran it straight and managed a 12:12. The other fail on Team Ortho’s part was the mile markers were way off. By the time I hit their mile 1 sign I was already at 1.1! It got worse as the race went on. I was so hot when I hit the mile marker I had to walk and take off my long sleeves. It was more difficult than usually because I was wearing my water belt. Anyway, my slowdown during mile 2 makes sense. Mile 2 came in at 12:35.

The First Intervals
I was starting to feel the lag after mile 2 so I decided now was a great time to jump into the intervals. I decided to start with 2 minute run, 30 seconds walk. There were a bunch of us doing intervals so that was cool. I know that intervals are not a bad thing as mile 3 was almost as fast as mile 1 at 12:17. I continued with this interval during miles 4 and 5. Mile 4 was a bit slower than mile 3 because there was a water stop. Now normally that wouldn’t be a big deal except I was choking on the water. I was trying to drink it fast and of course it went down the wrong “tube” and I was coughing like crazy. So I had to walk a bit longer to get over the choking. Mile 5 was slower too. I was really struggling and I’m not sure why. It came in at 13:09 which isn’t horrible but it was slower than I would like.

The Second Intervals
After mile 5, I struggled to run the 2 minute intervals. I really need to go for longer runs! So I switch to 1 minute run/1 minute walk (1:1). A lady was doing this interval earlier in the race and flew past me. The thing was when she was running, she wasn’t running that much faster than me. But when I started to fade, she kept going strong. So I thought what the heck, how can that be? Well I had almost 3 miles left to go, so I said screw it, let’s try 1:1. Mile 6 was a disaster. There is a long gradual up hill. On top of that this part of the course was an out and back so there was a hoard of people running at me and the runners that were running at me for some reason thought they should be as far over to their left (my right) as they could be. Well I was running there too. Boy did that piss me off! My mile 6 time was 13:50. I was very irritated with myself but I carried on with the 1:1 ratio.  Mile 7 was great. When I was running, I looked forward to the walk, when I was walking I was looking forward to my next run segment. I felt great again. My time wasn’t super-fast at 13:00 but it was faster than Mile 5 and 6 so that made me happy. Maybe this 1:1 isn’t such a bad idea!

The Finish
After my great mile 7, I slowed down for some reason during mile 8. It wasn’t as bad as mile 6 but it wasn’t great. Like I said before, I need to go on more long runs! I don’t’ remember much of mile 8. When I got the mile 8 marker my watch said 8.2. The course was long!  Mile 8 was 13:26. I had just under a mile to go. There was this annoying women in the crowd who looked at me and said you need to start running now. You are almost there. I was ready to punch her in the nose. I was during my “walk” segment. She kept walking along with me and telling me “you need to run now.” She seriously pissed me off. I didn’t even acknowledge her. I started my next run portion and basically ran to the finish. The total distance was 8.85 miles (that was .15 longer than a 14K) and my time was 1:54.05. I was glad to be done. I got my medal, met Eric and walked to the Union Depot for the food. I’m not completely happy with my time but I wasn’t prepared as I should have been so I’m not surprised.

Lessons I learned
  • When it is 52 degrees, leave the long sleeves in the car!
  • I think I was running my 2 mile splits too fast and that lead to my early exhaustion. During my last long run, I was running the 2 mile splits slower and I was able to go longer because of it. The race adrenaline got the best of me. 
  • The 1:1 ratio wasn’t bad. I might try that during my next long run and see what it feels like. I have heard of people doing really well with that ratio and I thought how could that be? I also thought my mind would go crazy doing all the stopping and starting but really it wasn’t so bad. Granted I only did it for 3 miles. I would need to see if I could do it consistently for 13.1 miles. 

The Running Group

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

So I stepped WAY OUTSIDE my comfort zone on Monday and joined the running group at the new local running store (River Valley Running aka RVR). I’m new this thing and was excited but also nervous. I’m a slow fat runner; would there be other slow fat runners? Are they all going to be tiny marathon looking, speed demons?

Monday was the inaugural night so there were only 8 of us there…all skinny looking fast types. Crap! Eric came with me just in case this happened. He was my comfort. He was going to be slow and fat with me. So we broke up into two groups. Fast and slow. It was agreed that we would do 4 miles. I was hoping to do 3 but whatever. The fast group consisted of 5 people and the slow group was Eric, Amber and me. The first quarter mile we stayed sort of close together. But it wasn’t long before the fast group was gone. No big deal, I still had Eric and Amber. After about a half a mile, I could no longer keep up. Eric and Amber were running just under a 10 minute pace (yeah right “slow”) and I can’t run that fast for very long! Finally I just said screw it and let them go and I slowed down to a faster-than-normal-for-me pace of 12. Since I was no longer with a group my second mile also slowed down. But in my defense, I ran 7 miles the day before so I wasn’t on fresh legs. And secondly, I don’t start out my runs at under a 10 minute mile pace so I’m sure that had something to do with it too.

Yes, my “I’ll run with you” husband left me in the dust. So much for being my comfort! I spent mile 2 just pissed off. I vowed to never join a running group again. I am too slow and fat to be considered a “real” runner. I’ll just putz along at my pace and screw them all. During the third mile I saw that Eric and Amber were slowing down. I eventually caught up to them but I was still pissed off. I walked the last half mile to the store, grabbed my banana, water and eventually went home deflated. I was hoping that I could run with somebody but that wasn’t meant to be. Oh well back to solo training for me.  :(

Saturday is the Get Lucky 14K (8.7 miles). I will be running it by myself, at my pace and I don’t care.

Edinborough Concert

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

The Viking March
Highlights from “Oliver”
Southern Hymn
Bond…James Bond
Irish Tune from County Derry
The March of 1941
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Fantasy for Flutes
Tritsch-Tratch Polka
Instant ConcertStars and Stripes