Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wine & Dine: Week 1

Well, week 1 is in the books! It's been a long week, certainly, and at first I wasn't too sure on how this week was going to turn out, but come the end of it, I'm pretty happy with my progress. This is the first plan I've been on since April, but I really couldn't even call that last one a plan because I hardly followed it at all; so truly, first real plan since January. Rough.
Week 1!
Sunday: Do whatever (plan started Monday)
3 miles / 34:47 / 11:19 pace + 10 minutes bike cool-down
Quick run on the dreadmill in Nashville. Our hotel wasn't in the best place to get in a good road run, so Heather and I sucked it up and ran inside. I haven't run inside in so long, it's pretty torturous and I definitely felt the effects of that. Run and done, plus 10 minute cool down on the bike.

Monday: 3 miles
A long day on Sunday (run, business, touring Nashville, delayed flight to Atlanta, late arrival home) made for running being the last thing I wanted to do. So I took the fact that I had run on Sunday without really needing to as my go-ahead to rest on Monday. Also considering I was on campus volunteering at this:
Ooooh yeah!
Tuesday: 5 x 400 @ 5K pace
3 x 400 / 9:18, 8:21, 8:51 / x400 cool-downs for 1.67 miles
 First speed workout of this plan, and really, only my second speed workout ever. It's difficult remembering to hit the lap button; only since that I have learned that I can set auto-lap to quarter-mile increments on these kinds of days. Well, gee, if only I had known. These laps were crazy inconsistent, and I'm looking forward to challenging and pushing myself to tighten these up and make them more consistent over the next few weeks!

Wednesday: 3 miles + strength
3.01 miles / 30:18 / 10:04 pace 
I don't remember much about this run other than it was moderately difficult to get moving. Once I did though, I felt like I found a really great stride and was able to move along pretty well. I got to wear a long-sleeve shirt at 7 am... to run... in Georgia... in August. What a feeling! The mornings this week were in the mid- to high-60s and just heavenly. I know fall is around the corner and that makes me so excited! Please come quickly, fall, please!

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 3 miles
2.89 miles /  29:42 / 10:16 pace
I didn't take this run too crazy knowing that I had Saturday's long run to tackle. Another beautiful morning, felt really great getting in these few miles before work. I think I can get back into this morning runner plan. Nothing special about this morning, just lots of runners/walkers out and about - love seeing an active community around me!

Saturday: 5 miles
5.25 miles / 1:02:10 / 11:15 pace
Certainly one of my slowest long-ish runs, but a good one nonetheless. One of the grad students I work with, Paula, joined me - also a rarity in that I had a running buddy; I'm so used to running alone! So the overall pace was pretty slow, but I actually spent 5 miles running and talking, which I would consider quite a feat, considering that never happens, and I wasn't feeling like I was going to die! It also helps that we didn't head out until 8:45 this morning or so, and the high didn't hit 70 until nearly 10 am. Beautiful - dear weather, please stick around. I'd appreciate it. Nothing special to report about this first long run; glad it's on the books, glad I did it pretty well, and glad that I completed the first week back on schedule. It was nice getting back on my old loop, but I'm looking forward to exploring some new routes in the next few weeks as my mileage increases!

After mellowing out for a little bit, Molly and I headed out to the river for a little fun. Much needed and it totally wiped her out for the rest of the evening.

Things I want to work on:
- Journaling each run: that way I can actually remember runs when I come to blog, but also so I can look bac and see a visual log of the progress I've made.
- Stretching: I don't know why this is so hard for me to want to do, considering we always did it before and after pretty much every soccer game. Just need to get back in the zone! And take care of my knees.

Total Week Mileage: 15.82 miles

Are you getting back on a training plan? How was your first weeks(s) back? How do you get your head back in the game?

Hope you all had a great week!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dear Monday...

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Dear Monday, Though not a terrible start to the day, it's been rough. Long day ahead! But it's exciting because it involves volunteering at this:

I haven't really listened to country consistently in years... but I'm pretty excited.

Dear NEB, Thanks for an amazing weekend. I am so excited to be serving with such an amazing group of women and really hope I can live up to the expectations and hopes that have been set up for me and my position! You all are wonderful and fill my heart immensely.

Dear Nashville, Though I had all of 48 hours with you, you seem like a truly awesome city and I can't wait to come back and visit for real. Country Music Hall of Fame was neat, Vanderbilt seemed to be mostly under construction, and Broadway seems like a good time. There will be more visits in our future, don't you worry.
Dear Fall Semester, You are going to be amazing. And busy. And outstanding. I've got trips to LA, Pittsburgh/DC, Austin, Detroit, Austin again and Orlando. Exciting times ahead and I cannot wait! Slash... am looking for extra funds. Ideas, anyone?

Dear Lucy, I love you. I know I haven't been around, really, in like eight years and I'm so thankful mom and dad took care of you the way they did. I know you're better, off playing with Sadie again... I just wish I got to say good-bye. Love you, my original fur-ball!
Dear Life, Let's settle down a little bit and make it easier, mkay? Too much emotional and life stress really takes a toll on the desire to get out of bed and go running. I need help, thanks.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Wine & Dine Training

Wine and Dine training starts tomorrow, Sunday! I'm so excited to finally fall back into a schedule, cycle, something of some kind. After the summer run streak ended, I've fluctuated so much with my (in)consistency in keeping up with running and getting in the habit. After a last little fun run this morning in Nashville, tomorrow kicks off being back on a plan.

When I ran my first half marathon in January, the Callaway Gardens Half, I was so caught up on making sure I'd actually be able to run that much, that I didn't really incorporate any cross-training or speed-work into my plan - I just wanted to finish. And I did! (Remember? 8 seconds under my goal time?) When I ran ZOOMA Women's Half, it was just a royal training disaster (see that post for more info); when I got to the race I was really just concerned about finishing at one point.

So when I was working on this plan, I wanted to incorporate some new elements, things that I knew would help my running, my stability (especially for my knees' sake) and even have the possibility of bettering my time. I took parts of the Higdon Half Novice 2 plan, and tweaked it a little bit to fit not only the busy life schedule I have this fall, but also my late work days. What's different about this plan, you ask, than my previous two? Two major things:

1) Speed-work: I've actually made sure to leave in, and incorporate speed training into this. After reading about the importance of it, but also how much it really  can benefit you, I'm going to make a conscious effort to make this part of my efforts.
2) Cross-training: After half #1 (Callaway), and realizing that I had done no cross-training at all, I verbalized that I wanted to incorporate XT into my ZOOMA plan. Well, we all know that went to crap thanks to life, that obviously didn't happen. So this time, I'm serious. It's going to happen.

I want to take this training seriously, but at the same time, I've also said this is going to be a fun-sy race for me -- it's a Disney race after all and yes, I want photos with the characters! However, I am also going to be registering for the Athens Half here on October 21, so I can take that one for serious and do W&D for funs. See? I have a plan!

Have you ever created your own training plan based off a Higdon plan? What did you change? Or did you leave it as-is? Any advice for a speed-work newbie?

81 days until Wine & Dine 2012!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dear Monday...

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 Dear Monday, Today you welcome back our students to UGA and the start of what looks to be a mostly gorgeous week! Thanks for starting it off on a great note!

Dear (Last) Saturday, Thanks for providing probably the best weather ever for us to go tubing. Rains went away, sunshine, breeze, and best of all... no sunburns. Victory! What a great day, minus losing my driver's license (you win some, you lose some).
Dear NEB sisters, I am so excited for Nashville this weekend! First fall meeting, first time in Nashville, what a glorious weekend it shall be!

Dear Amazon, All the love to you in the world for making the Garmin Forerunner 110 the Deal of the Day. It was as if you knew that I've been lusting over it and saving up for it for months and was just waiting for the right time (and a few more bucks, but I can make that up). So, as of approximate shipping day Wednesday, I'm the proud new owner of a Garmin! Finally. 
Dear Wine and Dine Half Marathon training plan, Once Sunday rolls around and you begin, prepare to be owned. I will rock you. And I will be victorious! (Insert battle hymn music here)

Have a lovely week, all!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Dear Monday...

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Dear Monday, despite a rocky start to my work out plan for the day, thanks for cooperating and giving me semi-cool weather to run in outside. You helped it turn out okay.

Dear Ramsey, when I pull up your website on my phone, all I look for are Facility Hours. So putting your announcements about how the whole place is closed on the bottom of your page doesn't help me much. Especially when it takes driving to the gym at 5:53 am to discover that you're closed. #grumble 

Dear grad staff, welcome back! It's going to be so great having some liveliness around here again. Summer got too quiet and I am excited and ready for another year! Let's rock it! 

Dear Olympics, thanks for some truly incredible athletic moments and memories this last week. Women's soccer never disappoints, gymnastics has me more roped in than ever before, and Team USA is damn right beautiful this year, all across the board. Most of all, thanks for keeping me up until midnight when I really should be well and passed out by then. 
One of my faves.
Dear busy fall, bring it on. Lots of personal travel this semester, but am so excited and looking forward to each and every single trip. Truly. Lots of miles, lots of plane tickets, lots of fun

Dear beloved puppy dog, I'm glad that while I was productive this weekend and didn't sit still a whole bunch, you did all the lazing around for the both of us. Rough life you've got... rough... life.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Race Report: Twitter Road Race

Twitter Road Race
My original plan for Saturday's morning run was at least 5 miles. After last weekend's 7-mile self-butt kicking, I wanted to prove that I haven't totally lost it and haven't lost all the progress I made during the Summer Run Streak. So I figured doing at least 5 miles would be a great way to push myself just enough to prove that I can do it. Admittedly, I forgot I had signed up for the Summer TRR - it was so long ago! But I saw so many tweets on Friday night, that I realized I had something to live up to on Saturday!
Because I stay up way too late watching the Olympics (because who doesn't?), I decided to see how late I could push getting out of bed on Saurday so I could sleep more than 6 hours. Apparently, the high for Saturday was supposed to only be 89 (yes, only 89!) and it was supposed to be only 75 at 8 am. Bingo, 8 am here I come! After a 7:30 alarm, half an English muffin and a banana, I headed out the door. It was gray, cool, and glorious to run in -- I took off and busted out my first mile in just over 9 minutes, my quickest as of late. Somewhere around mile 1.5, the lightning started off in the distance. I'm not normally one to shy away from weather, but I gotta say lightning will definintely send me running home (pun intended). I stuck it out a little longer, while at 1.75 mi, the sprinkling started, and just about 2, it turned into an all-out downpour. I hauled home as quickly as  I could, just to get out of it... 2.51 miles, half the distance I'd hoped to get done that day!

Yup... it poured.

But not terrible.
After getting home, decided I would continue on with the plans of the day, at least, and get the house cleaned. I spent the better part of the entire day cleaning, vacuuming, dusting, unpacking from the last few trips -- yeah, I hate unpacking. What can I say? I decided later in the evening that I'd attempt my run again -- the sky had broken up, it appeared to be (mostly) sunny, and if I were going to finally make it into doing my TRR, now was my chance!

After the morning's semi0failed run, I decided I would go all out for this one -- after all, it was only 3 miles and I could surely make something count. And sure I did! I busted out that first mile in 8:14, my second-fastest mile ever. Once I got past that mark, I realized I could probably do some good work throughout. Well, yeah, I pushed it a little too hard that first mile because I alternated between running and a steady jog for the last 2.1! Oh well, ya live, ya learn. I also got to spend .3 miles running around a few buildings because a woman saw two dachsunds on the loose and we didn't know where they came from. Couldn't find the dogs, but had an entertaining side-run!

Overall, nothing special about this run, but made it work pretty well. The weather was great, not crazy hot, but definitely warmer than it had been this morning! Busting out that first mile worked out well for me, because with a total time of 27:47, that's my second-best (unofficial) best 5K time yet! Hard work counts, even if it kills the rest of your 5K!

 Glorious. After that, Molly and I headed to the dog park, where she decided to have a fun day of her own and found the deepest mudhole she could find... sad to say, this is after she ran and rubbed most if it off. She was a hot mess! Yay dogs!

Overall, 5.6 miles on the day, which is what my goal was. I just started running doubles early to prepare for Ragnar.. or something like that! But a great running day overall, and happy 2nd place to me!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When You're Struggling

After finishing the Run Streak challenge, I feel like I've totally fallen off the wagon! I mean, not completely, but pretty terribly. I can't attribute it to exhaustion from the challenge, because even though I felt like I was exhausted, I don't think I actually was (quite the contradiction, huh?).

Runnin' in SLC!
My streak officially ended on July 4th, with the Atlanta AJC Peachtree Road Race -- it's kind of a big deal, in case you haven't heard. After that, I took a few days off to allow my legs to catch up with themselves after pounding down 80 miles in 38 days, pretty big for me! And then it was time for Salt Lake City, where I put in a few miles. I ran three days out of four (pretty awesome for a vacation!), sometimes alone, sometimes with my sisters. All were fabulous.

7ish miles on a hot, hot Saturday.
And then I was back, and off a little bit again, and only ran once the next weekend on my mini-vacay to Arizona for the weekend. But one is better than none, right? Sure. And then Heather and I put in a long run this weekend -- somewhere between 7 and 7 1/2 miles. The longest run I've done in a long time, though of course Peachtree fell close behind. And, not to mention how freaking hot it was outside (yeah, get out of bed before 9 am if you want to get some miles in), but my head just wasn't in the game for this one. We did it, it took a long time, but we made it work somehow. And that got me thinking... 

How do you get back on the horse when you've fallen off... and you used to be BFF? I was rockin' through that streak, feeling amazing 99% of the time, and while I recognized that I had time to fill between that streak ending at Peachtree and starting up with Ragnar and Wine and Dine training, but I didn't think I'd fall too far backwards. Wrong.

This was July. Womp.
It's not like I've never fallen off the horse before. Because gosh knows that I have. So, as I'm two weeks away from starting my Wine and Dine training plan, and then working in a few doubles here and there as I prep for Ragnar at the end of September, I'm struggling with getting back in the habit. And making it a good habit that doesn't make me cry at the thought of getting out of bed in the morning. (Issue #1, I blame the Olympics. I stay up until 11 or midnight watching when I don't really need to!) So, my plan for getting back in the swing of things? Jumping in as much as I can now and getting my head in the game over the next two weeks:

... starts August 19!

How do you jump back on the wagon after you've fallen off? Tips, suggestions?