Saturday, June 29, 2013

6/29 run - Adventures in Chaffing

11.45 miles: 2:09: 11:16 pace

I could not have asked for better weather this morning, low 60s, nice breeze, overcast. Not weather I want to BBQ in but perfect for running, especially for late June.

I felt really good for this run up until the last mile and a half and it's totally because I was in my head. I had mapped out a 11.5 mile route and thought I would be done sooner I kept looking down at the watch even though the glance three minutes earlier would have told me that I still had a little ways to go.

I also had negative splits outside of my first and last mile. My sixth through tenth mile were faster than the previous ones, which is a good thing. Overall, I felt pretty good, some foot pain, but nothing major.

But there was some chaffing. I won't go into the gory details but Body Glide and I need to get reacquainted. In the winter I had some issues with this pair of tights but hadn't had any other issues up until this run. I will just say ouch.

And that wraps up June, I just feel like I was doing a summary for May yesterday. The month flew by and I can happily say I didn't miss a single run this month and did all my speed work. Also, a record month -- which is going to be the norm for awhile -- with 90 miles.

June totals:

90 miles: 16:49:15: 11:13 pace: 15,723 calories burned

Thursday, June 27, 2013

6/27 - Want to get faster

4 miles: 45:20: 11:19 pace

Yeah, don't have a lot to say about this one. Thought about mixing up the speed workout but I didn't. I also thought about staying in bed but I didn't. At least I can say I didn't miss a speed workout in June.

Skipped boot camp yesterday because of a monsoon hitting the area. We received more than 3.5 inches of rain in about four hours and I was worrying about the basement flooding. Sump pump went on for about 20 minutes but then everything was good.

The foam roller and I have been good friends this week. My quads and hip flexors are still sore from Monday's Turkish get ups.

While I'm getting through these runs and feeling fine I feel like I may have some runner's malaise. I have the 5K in a couple of weeks and really want to break 30 minutes but am having my doubts. I'm going to have to find a rabbit for that race and just try to keep up. I can always push myself to finish a race or a long run but I have trouble pushing myself to go faster.

I'm pushing 40 so I don't expect miracles and know that there is a very small window where I will see improvement before a decline.

Anyway, boot camp tomorrow as long as I don't have to start building an ark and then 11.5 miles on Saturday, which will be the longest run to date. It only gets scarier from here on out.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6/25 run

7 miles: 1:20:21: 11:27

Ohhh the humidity!

It was thick out there this morning and I regretted leaving the fuel belt at home. I did hit the one water fountain I pass twice but it was still a brutal run. I know it'll get better as I acclimate but today was the first really muggy day. I got a little bit of a late start because there was some thunder and lightning passing through the area. Around mile four I was looking at the sky hoping it would rain to get some relief.

I'm also pretty sore from Monday's boot camp session, the 60 Turkish get ups with the 18 pound kettle bell have made my quads pretty tight.  Took a little extra time foam rolling this morning to try and work out the kinks. Should probably hit it again tonight.

The one positive from this run -- other than it's over -- was that the last three miles were faster than the previous three.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Preparing for the heat

Great weekend away in Wisconsin. The weather didn't cooperate and enable us to sit by the pool and read as much as I would have liked but it was still nice to get away, relax and recharge.

I did get a comical 1.3 mile run in on Saturday. There was a path around Lake Delevan where we stayed. I had no idea how long it was but quickly found out it was 1.3 miles round trip. What made it interesting was the humidity, the gusty winds and the water coming up on to the path from the lake so I ran most of it on the grass.

This week I'm sticking with what I have been doing. Tuesday will be a seven mile run, four miles of speed work on Thursday and 11+ miles on Saturday. After some discussions with people who know more about running than me, I'm going to start tweaking my Tuesday runs in July. I'm going to do one mile warm up and then three to four miles at faster than normal pace, one that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable, a true tempo run. I'm going to try that for a couple of weeks at least and see how it goes.

I may try to do a couple of group runs with those too, I heard about some folks that meet at a beach in Evanston for group runs Tuesday and Thursday morning's  and I check that out.

The Chicago Rock N' Roll Half Marathon is basically right around the corner. I'm also doing the 5K the week before where I really want to break 30-minutes. Did I mention I'll be wearing a tutu? Why yes, I will. I have a feeling the 5K is not the best idea I've ever had with this training but we'll see how it pans out.

I have two longer runs coming up and then taper a bit before starting to pile on again in August. And if there was any doubt before, summer is here in Chicago. Upper 80s and high humidity all week should make runs interesting.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

6/20 run

The shoes I will use for the Chicago Marathon.  
10.2 miles: 1:57:12: 11:26

Felt good this morning, started out strong and while I want to complain about the pace I'm not going to do it. Felt good from the get go, this is a little unusual for me, typically it takes me a mile or two before I really feel warmed up.

Had my first nature run in, red-winged blackbird thought I was getting close to its nest and started dive bombing me when I was running along the river between Main and Dempster off of McCormick. Scared the crap out of me and had me running for higher ground. I also smelled a lot of skunk in a couple of areas and that has me concerned for future runs.

Easing back the next few days, will try to get three or four easy miles in this weekend, but can use the rest with more than 66 miles logged this month. Already looking ahead to the next long run of 11+ miles, which is where I stumbled back in April. Also running my first training half marathon the first weekend in July.

Road Runner Sports had their VIP summer kickoff event Wednesday night. I wanted to check a couple of things out so I went. Is it a sign of a problem when the employees at the running store know your name? With the 20% off I decided to buy the shoes I will use for the marathon. I was tempted by the Brooks Glycerin 11s but opted for another pair of the Adidas Boost.

I plan to leave these in the box until after the Rock N' Roll half next month and then will start working them into the rotation. I was going to need another pair, I have just about 200 miles on my current Boost and use the New Balance for speed work but that wouldn't get me to October. The guys at Road Runner say I should get 400 miles out of my current pair but I've never been able to get more than 300 miles out of a pair of shoes. We shall see.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

6/18 run

4 miles: 44:40: 11:06 pace

Uneventful if not pleasant speed work Tuesday. I have had some friends send over different speed routines but I haven't gotten around to looking at them yet, will do it next week.

Ten miles tomorrow morning and then a nice little vacation. It will most likely be my second longest run ever. Will soon be in unchartered waters when it comes to new mileage.

Hoping to get a few miles in at some point while I'm gone but nothing too spectacular. Will hopefully update Thursday before hitting the road.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The week ahead

Rocking the new ESC singlet on Saturday. 
The nine miles on Saturday felt pretty good, not awesome, but still all right. It was muggy, while I may be getting a bit more use to the heat the humidity was a little rough. I welcomed the drizzle that started coming down the last mile or so.

With Saturday's run I passed 50-miles for the month already. I finished 17th out of 82 participants in the abbreviated monthly running challenge on Fitocracy. It's unlikely that I'll hit 100 miles this month but it should still be a record one for me.

Have to switch things up a little this week, Rory and I are getting out of town for a long weekend. Tuesday will be speed work and Thursday will be the 10-mile long run. Boot camp on Wednesday as well. I'm bringing my gear and will try to get a short run in over the weekend -- three to five miles max -- but am planning to relax, drink some beer and get some sun.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

6/15 run

9.2 miles: 1:44:45: 11:20 pace

Kind of a rough one this morning. It was quite muggy, legs were feeling heavy from the previous day's workout but I survived and passed the 300 miles mark for 2013. Have also already run more than 50 miles in June. Definitely will be a record month.

Friday, June 14, 2013

6/13 runs - and why I am loathing speed work

3.7 miles: 41:36: 11:11 pace
3.5 miles: 3713: 10:33

I started out running about eight-years ago when I decided to get some sessions with a personal trainer. He was great and I feel awful right now because I can't remember his name. At that point I had been doing the elliptical machine and weight working the big muscle groups.

I wasn't seeing results and having just gotten out of an awful relationship I decided to try and get healthy. The trainer put me on the treadmill, which I had tried a couple of times before but never really felt comfortable. He started me off walking for one minute and the running for 30 seconds. We did these intervals for about 10 minutes. I was hooked and other than some lapses in the interim have more or less kept running since.

Why am I sharing this now? I started out doing intervals and loved it. Now when I do intervals for my speed work I despise it. Just about every session has been torture and I feel like my overall pace is getting slower.

My speed work now is a one-mile warm up and then two blocks sprint and one block recovery walk. I'm wondering if I should mix it up. I can set up my watch to do times intervals and maybe I'll give that a try.

The second run was the Road Runner Sports Adventure Run. I had some friends there that helped push me a bit quicker than I normally would have gone. It was, as always, a good time. Though it was the first time I missed out on winning anything in the raffle.

I'm sadly going to miss the next one. I'm volunteering to help lead a group of beginning runners for the Chicago Area Runner's Association. The sessions take place Thursday evening's in downtown Evanston for anyone interested.

I will pass 300 miles for the year during tomorrow's nine-mile run -- that's what I ran all of last year. I should hit 600 with the marathon training but it'll be interesting to see what my total will be for the year.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

6/11 run

7 miles: 1:16:49: 10:58

Pretty uneventful run, was happy with my pace, felt good. Considering I was dragging ass on Monday at boot camp I should be jumping for joy. It's getting warmer and I'm starting to acclimate a little better, that may have been part of my problem last week.

Though this morning I was dragging again at boot camp. I wonder if I should start doing a gel before class to help with my energy level? It's just not where I want it to be and I'm feeling sluggish. Today's session was particularly brutal, haven't had one in awhile that really kicked my ass but that was this morning.

Speed work in the morning, fun run in the evening, more boot camp and nine fun-filled miles early Saturday.

Monday, June 10, 2013

6/8 run

8.1 miles: 1:30:45: 11:06 pace

I really didn't want to be happy with this run but technically it was the best one all week, at least pace wise. Tuesday's felt the best, Wednesday and Thursday just sucked completely and even boot camp on Friday was rough, I just had low energy and was feeling weak.

All that said, now I'll shut up and am glad the miles are done. Part of the problem may have the 28 miles I ended up logging from June 1 to June 8. I haven't checked, but it's safe to say that's the most miles I've run in a week.

Still feeling a little fatigued on Monday too. Legs were heavy during boot camp and the outside of my foot is starting to hurt a bit again. Once I get moving it's fine but it take a little bit to loosen up. I need to take care of this because I don't want it to be anymore persistent then it already has been.

Tomorrow will be six or seven, little more than three on Thursday morning and probably another three or so Thursday night for the Road Runner Sports Fun run and nine on Saturday. Depending on how things go I could pass 300 miles for the year this week, which is what I did all of last year.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

6/5 - 6/6 runs

6/5: 3.1 miles: 35:11: 11:16 pace
6/6: 3.7 miles: 43:11: 11:40 pace

Ug, really not great.

I don't know if I pushed it too hard this week or what. It's also cottonwood season up here and it's bugged me in the past and wonder if that's it or the fact that it's been raining a bit during these last two runs. I've just had issues getting my wind during the last two runs and feel fatigued.

I've been getting enough sleep, though this morning I really didn't want to go when the alarm went off this morning and my diet has been normal. I do need to spend some more time with the foam roller, IT bands, hip flexors and hamstrings have been tight/sore.

I probably should have skipped the run on Wednesday, but it was National Runner's Day and felt the need to get out there for a little bit. The one difference with both of these runs is I went without my music. When I run in the afternoon I usually skip the headphones because there's more traffic and I want to be a bit more aware. This morning I just forgot and didn't feel like going back and grabbing it.

Hoping tomorrow is a non-leg day for boot camp and will pound out eight miles early Saturday.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Limited time offer

To help celebrate National Runner's Day, for today and today only I will do a burpee for every dollar donated to the Wright-Way Rescue. Click on the link on the left-hand side of the page.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

6/3 run

7.3 miles: 1:21:52: 11:16 pace

Felt great when I was out there this morning. Perfect weather, about 50 degrees, and just felt good. I added on a little more distance than I typically do on a Tuesday but didn't feel like passing the house again and doing another loop so I called it a day when I hit my street.

My complaint: I thought I was moving a little quicker. I felt really good, took very few walk breaks and felt like I was moving at a good clip. I was using my Nike+ watch to track my progress but I try not to look at it while I'm going, especially since this was just a normal seven miles, Tuesday run. I know what route to take that equals seven miles, I also didn't get stopped by any lights or the rain so I didn't pause the watch while I was stopped.

I need to figure out a balance with the watch. When I used the app on my iPhone I originally had it giving me updated every five minutes and then changed that to every mile. Sometimes it was nice to get the update but sometimes I would also get discouraged if it told me I was going slow.

When I'm running a new route and don't know the exact distance I pay a bit more attention, but that's typically not until later in the run. During the 10K last weekend I glanced a bit more at the pace and it did make me pick it up.

Slight change to the schedule this week, going to run three miles tomorrow afternoon since it's National Running Day and I'm a sucker for fake holidays. I'm still planning to do speed work on Thursday too and eight on Saturday.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Chicago Dream Center 10K

10K: 1:06:08: 10:40 pace

Personal best for my 10K this weekend. I wanted to try and get in the 1:05 range but was nine seconds off, while I want to complain I really can't. There's always next time but I don't plan to run another 10K race until November at this point.

The route was around Humboldt Park in Chicago, which sadly I had never explored, and was quite scenic. The route was basically four loops around different portions of the park, which did get a little tedious but the scenery and volunteers kept me going.

Nice brunch after with Monica (pictured), Rory and some college friends. The race start line was only a couple of blocks away from Monica and her husband Steve's place which made the logistics nice and easy.

No races until mid-July with the next one being the Hometown Charity Run 5K. I will be sporting a tutu at that race as part of my fundraising for the marathon I also am going to try and break 30-minutes for my 5K time. The following weekend I'm running the Nike Rock N' Roll Half Marathon, my first half.

More of the same this week. Seven miles on Tuesday, four on Thursday and eight on Saturday, with boot camp on Monday, Wedanesday and Friday. Will be getting those miles in early Saturday as we're having a party for Rory's birthday.