August 10, 2011

Chicago Week Two


Another big week getting into the 40s and running 5 days. Had a few key workouts including my first go at speedwork this cycle and a long run with marathon pace miles in the second half. Hit most of my goals this week, but cross-training suffered with no swims or rides : / I especially enjoy swimming,  and I know it can be very beneficial, so I'm going to make more of an effort to include it during the rest of this training cycle. Plus, I want to maintain a base so I don't have to start from scratch when it come times to train for this. My folks were in Santa Cruz for the week so I had the place to myself which felt a bit strange but was a nice change, too. I did miss having my pup as a running buddy though!


run: 4 mi, 9:12 avg pace.
Knowing that I only had 4 easy recovery miles helped me drag my butt out of bed before work. Did a simple out-and-back and relished the cool morning air! While I hate the early wake-up, am temps are definitely a perk : )

run: 8 mi, 9:08 avg pace.
The schedule called for my first speedwork session of 10x100m strides, built into a regular 8 mile run. While I could have done the strides anywhere along my run, I mapped out a route that took me to the track at Sac State. This helped break up the run mentally and also made the strides more accurate and consistent. I had the day off so I waited til late afternoon to try and beat some of the heat. I did a "warm-up" of sorts along the river then ran through Sac State to the track. I took a short break to stretch then hopped on the track for the speed sesh. I settled on accelerating on the straights and doing my recovery jogs around the curves. Going into it, 10x100 didn't seem that bad. After all, it's only 5 laps, right? While it wasn't horrible, it was harder than I anticipated! My pace on the strides was somewhere in the 6ish range, and I guess my body  just isn't used to going that fast : ) It felt good though, and I'm actually looking forward to doing more speedwork! Finished with a couple more miles home as a nice cool-down.

Btw, I also wore another new running skirt! This one is made by New Balance and is a fun coral color. Once again I was hoping to protect my poor chaffed skin that is still very tender. The shorts underneath did ride up a bit, but actually seemed to work out a bit better than the Nike skirt (this may be due to size, as the NB skirt is a size smaller than the Nike). My fave feature of the new skirt is the iPod pocket built into the spandex shorts! Downside: no other pockets : /

run: 10 mi, 9:16 avg pace.
My second day off had me once again starting my run in the late afternoon/early evening. I had 10 medium-long on deck, which I usually do by running to work, but this week I changed things up and ran the opposite direction. I kept the pace fairly casual, and for some reason it seemed to go by much faster than usual. I ran 5 out just past William Pond Park, then turned around and headed back the same way. Quick anecdote: as I was crossing the bridge around mile 4.5, I happened to glance down by the riverbank and had to do a double take - a man was standing there stark naked!! I looked around to see if anyone else had seen him, but I was the only one. I have no idea what he was doing, but I was glad when I was far away!

Since I started my run a little late it was past 8pm when I finished so dinner needed to be fast and filling. Since I was on my own this week, I threw together a recipe with a few things I had on hand that was both healthy and tasty. I mixed some quinoa with sauteed squash, zucchini, roasted garlic, roasted red peppers, and spinach, and topped it all with feta cheese. You get protein from the quinoa, tons of veggies, and some healthy fats. And it was absolutely delish! In fact I made it again tonight for my folks (this time adding asparagus) and got two thumbs up. A new favorite dish for refueling!
mmm veggies
nom nom nom

run: 4 mi, 9:29 avg pace.
I felt quite nauseous throughout the night and thus did not sleep very well. I rested a bit in the morning before attempting an easy 4 miler. It wasn't great, but I kept it easy and let my body dictate pace. I felt a bit better after so I headed into work and by that evening was feeling much better.

run: 16 mi, 9:27 avg pace.
Once again I met up with my coworker to do part of my long run for the week. I ran a mile to meet her, then we headed out along the river past the golf course toward Discovery Park. As I mentioned last week, she's recovering from a persistent illness and hasn't been training much, so we kept the pace nice and easy, stopping a few times to stretch and get water. We turned around at mile 5ish and that's when my coworker started to struggle a bit. We slowed a bit more, but I could tell she just didn't have the energy. This was much more than she's done lately, and it may have been too much. Around this time I also checked my watch and realized that with the slower pace and the breaks, I was running much later than planned and had to be at work soon! So around mile 8 I said goodbye as she headed home and Icontinued on with the second half of my run.

The plan called for 16 miles with 10 miles at marathon pace (9:00-9:09), but I felt like this was big jump for me (first long run with MP miles, and 10 is a lot!), plus I knew my coworker couldn't run that fast and I wanted the company. I was also a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to hit that pace for an extended distance since I've been a tad slower in my other runs. I figured I would do what I could, and besides, I needed to get to work so that was another reason to run faster! So once I was solo I picked it up to see how I would feel. My Garmin was being a bit wonky and showing paces in the 10ish range, which was obviously incorrect, so I decided to just run off feel. My first mile was a little off, but I was surprised to find that the rest were all sub-9. Whoops! I did stop a couple times to get water at the drinking fountains, but was able to maintain the pace even in the later miles. I could definitely feel the extra effort of going faster, but it didn't seem too hard either. I ended up with 7 miles at MP: 9:13, 8:56, 8:40, 8:40, 8:40, 8:33, 8:50. Part of me is happy with the results, but the other part of me knows that the point of these is to learn what MP feels like. Hopefully next time my Garmin behaves!

Afterward I ran around like a mad woman to get ready for work, and as a result I didn't refuel very well. Then of course we were super busy so I didn't get lunch until 4pm : / I was quite grumpy until I was fed, but I made up for it later that night with ice cream : ) I do wish I had more time (or gave myself more time) after longer runs to refuel, stretch, do ice baths, etc. I think I just need to work on getting started earlier, and remind myself that these things are just as important as, say, an extra 20 minutes of sleep. On the positive side, I think working after long runs can be a good thing sometimes since it helps keep my legs loose.

swim - 0 yards : (
bike - 0 miles : (
run - 42 miles


  1. staying on your feet after long runs, even races, is the best thing you can do for recovery. just don't forget to eat and drink as well, even if you have to do it at work. good effort!

  2. I have the hardest time with marathon pace runs! I did one this morning and was too fast. Not by too much, but about 10 sec per mile. I know this doesn't mean that this could actually be my marathon pace and I need to really focus on slowing it down. My problem in races is that I start faster than I want but it feels "comfortable" but I think I should stick with it when really I shouldn't and end up dying.