Monday, January 30, 2012

1 down, 11 to go!

Week 1 training: recap (70.2 miles total; 9:00 average pace; 12.6 total workout hours)

Mon: started the week off with a "whatever" run (whatever distance, whatever pace) of 8.75 miles.

Tues: ~4 easy in the morning, then an evening track workout with the Impalas. After a warmup, drills, and some strides, the workout was 3-5x1600 at LT pace with 1 min recovery. I did 3 in 6:37, 6:37, 6:46. The first two were definitely too fast, but they didn't feel like it - the benefits of working out with others. I don't know why I stopped after 3. I felt tired, but probably no more than to be expected, and I was honestly annoyed with myself for a good 48 hours for not doing at least 4, if not 5. It made me really think about my mental game and pushing myself when things get hard. It's been evident in my races, and I don't want it to come through in my workouts, especially those with the team. I want to push myself to the limit to see what I'm capable of, and that won't happen by giving up in the middle of a workout.

Wed: a double recovery day, and a bit more mileage than I planned, but my slow speed didn't make the miles very straining. 5.56 in the morning, followed by some kettlebells and core work. In the evening, I ran to the bar where my Wednesday night running/drinking group met to join them, for a total of 6.5 (3.5 solo, 3 with the group).

Thurs: I had written on my plan "20-30 min @ LT." When I left the house, I definitely felt a bit sluggish, and so thought instead to do a MLR without speed. But, as you may have noticed, I said I was annoyed for 48 hours, and it hasn't been 48 hours yet. I started thinking about my workout on Tuesday, not so much that I was "missing" LT miles, but that I felt like I had given up when I got tired. So, as I neared the flattest part of the park, I thought, what the hell - I will pick up the pace for 20 minutes. Not to LT pace, but at least to HMP effort. Those 20 minutes were ~7:19 pace, which isn't really even MP, but my AHR was 177 (high for MP) and my Garmin was a bit wonky, so I'm still calling it HMP effort. And I didn't die. Score one for the mental battle.

Fri: not surprisingly, my legs were tired! I called this run before 5 miles - I was glad to have gotten out for a few, because after the run and some stretching, I know I felt better than had I not run at all. But, no use adding miles just for mileage sake. I wanted to make sure I had lots of energy on Saturday (which probably was not served well by the number of beers I drank Friday night, but, I made it to Saturday, which was...)

Sat: the Impalas met at 8:30 am for a hill workout. Even when I went to bed on Friday, I wasn't 100% sure if I would meet them or just do a long run on my own. When I woke up at 7:30, I figured I might as well go, even if the beers the night before weren't so thrilled about the idea. It was an absolutely perfect morning, there were a ton of women at practice, and I was determined to score another for my mental battle and do all 8 of the 400 m hill repeats. I came as close to puking during a workout as I have in a very long time, but I did them! Number 6 and 7 weren't very pretty, but I nailed the others at a very consistent pace. And, as I was catching my breath and trying not to lose my pre-run toast at the top of Strawberry Hill, the crystal clear view of the San Francisco skyline helped keep my spirits up! After practice, I ran back home to collect my friend Richard, who was in town for business and crashed with me the night before (hence the beers). Together, we did another 6 easy miles to round out my 16.25 for the day.

Sun: After a lazy morning of sleeping in, reading the paper, and drinking a pot of coffee, I wrapped up the week with a nice 6.25 sunny, beachy recovery run followed by some kettlebells. My legs didn't feel too bad, and I did a leg-heavy strength routine a la Chris later in the evening.

Even with 3 quality workouts, I kept the rest of the paces slow enough that my average weekly pace was only 9:00! And I'm fine with that, if it lets me add in the quality without sacrificing too much mileage. I don't know if I'll hit 90 mpw like I did in my last training cycle, but since I want to emphasize quality, that's probably for the best.

I'm signed up for the Kaiser Permanente half on Sunday, and I'm 95% sure I'll be doing it as an MP run instead of racing full-out. Even though I could technically afford a mini-taper week this week and a mini-recovery next week, I think I want to train through it. My mileage already dropped a bit around Houston, and I just want to give myself the most appropriate workout at this point. I'm not sure racing another half is what I need right now.

This week's goals:
~ Nailing Tuesday's workout of 1200 m repeats at 10 K pace. That's about 6:30 for me, so I will just focus on not going out too fast so I can complete all the reps.
~ I missed swimming last week. One good swim session, probably on Thursday night.
~ More kettlebell! Well, strength in general.
~ 8 hours of sleep per night. Which means getting over the "guilt" factor of sleeping in a bit. I freelance and work from home, why do I need to get up at 6:00 if I know I can't get my butt to bed before 22:00? Once a night owl...
~ One mid-week blog post in my old "list" format.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Return to Boston

Since the end of December, I've been running plan-less. I've been trying to do at least one "workout" per week - basically a few tempo miles thrown in to my Tuesday evening runs.

Then I ran the half marathon in Houston on the 15th. I decided on the 14th that I was going to try to race it - not expecting a PR but at least wanting an indication of what my current fitness was.

And my 1:34 time told me what I kind of already knew: that I'm fat and out of shape.

It gave me the motivation to actually want to train for Boston as a goal race. The race is 12 weeks from yesterday. Which, in cycles past meant I would crack open the Pfitz plan and get going. But I'm ready for a change, to mix things up a bit. I've been reading Daniel's Running Formula lately; I thought about using his plans for NYCM last fall and decided against it. Daniel's plan revolves around two quality workouts per week, and the rest of the days are easy or general pace runs. This seemed to be a good foundation to incorporate more quality and still be able to be flexible with the rest of the runs.

The other piece of this cycle is that I'm starting to work out with a racing team, and I want to participate 100% in the Tuesday evening track workouts.

So, taking all my basic goals - Tuesday night workouts, more targeted workouts, flexibility, getting away from Pfitz - my training plan looks like this:

T- track
R - Daniel's T-based runs OR a Pfitz-like MLR
S- easy long run OR a Daniel's targeted long run workout

The R/S runs will alternate each week. The weeks I do a T run on Thursday, I'll do a long, steady-state run on Saturday. The Saturdays I plan a Daniel's targeted run, I'll do a longer steady-state run on Thursday.

I have penciled in which workouts I think I'll do, but it also depends on what happens on the Tuesday. So, there are essentially no numbers in my plan yet. This is quite strange for me, but I think it'll allow me to be very good about running on the non-workout days as much as I can, trying to keep my mileage high, but not feel pressured to do so in case the quality days take too much out of me. And for as much as I'm a slave to numbers, there's something to be said for still being able to leave the house not knowing how far or fast I'll run and just listening to my body. This will be one big experiment, but it's making me excited about training instead of feeling "meh" about it, which is what I would be feeling if I was facing another cycle of Pfitz.

I also want to be better about doing weekly recaps and blogging more about how I'm feeling on my runs and workouts to get feedback and to keep myself honest about how I'm feeling.