Chicago Marathon Training: Week Nine

Yassos

Week nine was a bit hectic (eh) leading up to vacation (oh, hey!), but featured a lot of nice running (oh, yeah). Enjoying the higher mileage and more challenging paces.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

This run! I had a dr appt late this afternoon, which required no eating before. After spending the whole day hungry and groggy, I finally fueled and prepared to run.

Didn’t have high expectations. Thought at best, I’d see if I could tempo comfortably. If not, I’d switch the workout for an easy run and try again tomorrow.

The weather was perfect, and wanted to end the day on a good note. The run turned out to be fantastic! Ran comfortably, happily, and enjoyed the beautiful sunset along the reservoir.

Conditions: Sun (dusk) – 73F – felt like 73F – 41% humidity – 6 mph wind

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 4

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 3-4 mi @ 7:20-7:30; 10-15 min cd
  • Actual = 8.13 mi – 1:04:12 – 7:53 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.37 mi – 20:00 – 8:26 min/mi
    • (1) – 7:20
    • (2) – 7:15
    • (3) – 7:15
    • (4) – 7:13
    • (cd) – 1.74 mi – 15:02 – 8:39 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Kept run comfortable and relaxed, mostly on bridle path/reservoir.

Conditions: Sun – 72F – felt like 72F – 57% humidity – 4 mph wind

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeNike LunaRacer 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min @ 8:20-8:35
  • Actual = 7.17 mi – 59:49 – 8:20 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:26; (2) 8:23; (3) 8:22; (4) 8:14; (5) 8:19; (6) 8:19; (7) 8:20; (8) 8:26 for .17 mi

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Knew I was feeling off when I forgot to pause my Garmin…

Woke up tired. Anticipated legs feeling like logs, which they did for first two miles. Then a beautiful thing happened: they relaxed and I hit a nice, steady, comfortable pace.

Stuck to bridle path/reservoir. Mile 1 is off b/c of that grievous Garmin mishap.

Conditions: Cloudy – 72F – felt like 72F – 69% humidity

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 4

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min @ 8:20-8:35 pace
  • Actual = 7.07 mi – 1:00:05 – 8:29 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 9:35; (2) 8:16; (3) 8:19; (4) 8:19; (5) 8:21; (6) 8:21; (7) 8:14

Thursday

Run: 800m Intervals

What did Bart say to me about Yassos? “Get out there and Yasso tomorrow. You will not like me tomorrow but you will like me on race day.”

So out to do my Yassos I went. Told myself that by the time I started the first interval, I’d be ready to bust these out. And, they felt fine.

In fact, realize I’ve a warped perception of these paces. I start out much faster, and by the time I settle into pace, it feels so much easier. Have to figure out now how to start slowly and build up to pace instead. At any rate, pretty darn pleased I negative split these intervals, finishing stronger than when I started!

Conditions: Cloudy – 73F – felt like 73F – 89% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Protein-enhanced Chocolate UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 5 min drills; 6 x 800 @3:20 (2:00 min walking rest);10 min cd
  • Actual = 7.55 mi – 1:02:49 – 8:19 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 1.86 mi – 15:11 – 8:11 min/mi
    • (1) .5 mi – 3:19 – 6:40 min/mi
    • (2) .5 mi – 3:17 – 6:36 min/mi
    • (3) .5 mi – 3:16 – 6:34 min/mi
    • (4) .5 mi – 3:15 – 6:32 min/mi
    • (5) .5 mi – 3:15 – 6:32 min/mi
    • (6) .5 mi – 3:12 – 6:25 min/mi
    • (cd) – 1.94 mi – 16:00 – 8:15 min/mi

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Run: Long.

Summer Streets interfere too much with my Garmin, so not posting splits. Ran with Athletes to End Alzheimer’s friends. We ran the same exact route, but mileage/pace was different on everyone’s watches.

Legs felt a little heavy after a long week of running. But, overall run was good and finished feeling fine. Great company helps!

Conditions: Sun – 72F – felt like 72F – 73% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (2 packets), blended with banana, almond milk, almond butter.

ShoeNike LunaRacer 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 2 hr 15 min @ 8:20-8:35
  • Actual = 16.44 mi – 2:14 – 8:09 min/mi avg pace. (Like I said, not accurate, but it’s all I’ve got to post).

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •    6 hrs 20 mins
  •    46.36 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

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Chicago Marathon Training: Week Eight

summerstreet

Week eight was a weekly mileage record for me! In the past, I’ve trained using Run Less Run Faster. That plan promotes three running workouts/week. My mileage used to cap out around 38 miles/week at peak. Working with Coach Kevin, I’m now running five days/week. I ran nearly 44 miles during week eight. Love the challenge, and am quite pleased with how my body’s responding to the higher mileage.

Monday

Run: Easy.

Beautiful morning run with some cooler temps. Easy recovery after Saturday’s 5K race. Legs felt good.

PS – I don’t believe split #1. Garmin snapped from 13 min/mi to 7:50 min/mi so something was up.

Conditions: Sun – 70F – felt like 70F – 94% humidity – 0 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Nike LunaRacer 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 hr easy
  • Actual = 7.11 mi – 1:00:38 – 8:31 min/mi
  • Splits = (1) 8:01; (2) 8:32; (3) 8:40; (4) 8:31; (5) 8:36; (6) 8:40; (7) 8:38; (8) 8:48 (for .11 mi)

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Like birthday presents x 100: Coach confirmed new easy pace based on outcome of Founder’s 5K! Pace feels much more comfortable. Huzzah!

Gorgeous weather, park was crowded. Like how evenly paced this run was, minus split #7 when I left the park and ran on the street (darn traffic). What happened with split #8? Oh, that was me sprinting toward the chips, guac, and margarita finish line.

Conditions: Sun – 79F – felt like 79F – 42% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 hour @ 8:20-8:35 min/mi
  • Actual = 7.2 mi – 1:00:02 – 8:20 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:20; (2) 8:18; (3) 8:20; (4) 8:21; (5) 8:18; (6) 8:19; (7) 8:31; (8) 7:40 for (.2 mi)

Wednesday

Double workout day: Strength Training + Tempo.

Cross-training: Strength Training

Took a week off of strength training before the 5k. Back at it this week: 1 hour.

Circuit 1 (Dynamic Warmup): (x3)

  • Jump rope, (x1 min)
  • Reverse lunge with overhead arm stretch, (x10 each leg)
  • Ice skater toe touches, (x1 min)
  • One leg Romanian deadlift toe touches w/ knee crunch, (x10 each leg)

Circuit 2: (x3)

  • Squats with 30 lbs, (x15, x20, x24)
  • Squat jumps, (x20)

Circuit 3: (x3)

  • Reverse lunges w/ 30 lbs, (x15, x20, x24)
  • Standing side leg lifts, (x15, x20, x24)

Circuit 4: (x3)

  • Alternating arm dumbbell push with hip rotation, (x10, each side)
  • Squatting dumbbell row w/ 16lbs, (x20)
  • Straight arm dumbbell jumping jacks, (x20)

Circuit 5: (x3)

  • V-sit with 8lb medicine ball rotation, (x20)
  • Dead bug core, (x1 min)
  • Flutter kicks, (x1 min)
  • Crunches, (x1 min)

Stretch

Run: Tempo.

Good run. Ran tempo a bit faster than prescribed. Got the OK from Coach, who said I was between my 10K and half marathon pace. This run was a few hours after strength training, but that’s what I could work out schedule-wise.

Felt tired, but remember my brain cheering me on part way through the tempo: “I know you’re tired, Lora. But push through. That’s what champions do.” Not kidding. I’ll take that pep talk in the head over negative thoughts any day. Overall, felt fine and am pleased with that negative split.

Conditions: Cloudy – 81F – felt like 81F – 42% humidity – 0 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 4

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 3 mi @ 7:30; 20 min cd
  • Actual = 7.82 mi – 1:02:02 – 7:55 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.43 mi – 20:00 – 8:14 min/mi
    • (1) – 7:24
    • (2) – 7:20
    • (3) – 7:17
    • (cd) – 2.40 mi – 20:00 – 8:20 min/mi

Thursday

Run: Such cool temps for August, and rainiest run in a long time. Massive deluge, which I actually loved. Rain was so heavy at points that it was hard to see runners just a few meters ahead. Shoes were completely waterlogged. That’s one way to keep the pace easy.

Glutes still sore from strength training. Took about two miles to loosen up and feel comfortable.

Conditions: Rain – 70F – felt like 70F

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min @ 8:20-8:35
  • Actual = 7.1 mi – 1:00:07 – 8:28 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:33; (2) 8:26; (3) 8:21; (4) 8:14; (5) 8:24; (6) 8:35; (7) 8:45; (8) 8:35 (for .10mi)

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Race: Long.

Ran first 7 miles in Central Park, and remainder on Summer Streets. GPS acted weird (taking 10 mins to connect, then snapping pace from fast to slow during last 7 miles). Perhaps Summer Streets aren’t GPS watch-friendly. In any case, it was a fun and fantastic run.

Conditions: Rain/Cloudy – 72F – felt like 72F – 61% humidity – 0 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 2 hours @ 8:35
  • Actual = 14.25 mi – 1:59:04 – 8:22 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:36; (2) 8:19; (3) 8:27; (4) 8:10; (5) 8:19; (6) 8:21; (7) 8:08; (8) 8:28; (9) 8:02; (10) 8:39; (11) 7:56; (12) 8:41; (13) 8:34; (14) 8:18; (15) 8:27 for .25 mi

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     7 hrs 01 mins
  •     43.48 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

Monthly Mileage: July 2013

JulyMileage

Ramping up the marathon training mileage. Compared to June 2013: 92.75 miles.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Seven

getsome

Week seven was a 5K race week. It featured lower mileage in preparation for Saturday (eh), workouts that focused on sharpening speed and shaking out legs (ahhh), and a successful PR race (huzzah!). Another thing: this week confirmed I trust Coach Kevin. This partnership is a fantastic fit.

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Easy progressive tempo run in prep for Saturday’s 5K. Challenging trying to stick close to prescribed paces. Felt like I had to hold back. *Listening to Coach* Legs, everything felt fine. Enjoyed running in the rain, although it didn’t last long.

Conditions: Rain/Sun – 79F – felt like 79F – 79% humidity – 4 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 3 

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 3 mi tempo (8:20; 8:10; 7:50); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 6.46 mi – 54:07 – 8:22 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.36 mi – 20:00 – 8:27 min/mi
    • (1) – 8:17
    • (2) – 8:06
    • (3) – 7:43
    • (cd) – 1.10 mi – 10:00 – 9:04 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Oh, easy run, I’m still learning to accept you for what you are. Cooler temps, but humid as heck. Ran with Tao – excellent company while running the Central Park hills. Also great seeing Gia on the run!

First run in Saucony Kinvara 4. Very comfortable!

Conditions: Cloudy – 75F – felt like 75F – 89% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 4

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min easy
  • Actual = 6.07 mi – 52:12 – 8:35 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 9:14; (2) 8:42; (3) 8:24; (4) 8:22; (5) 8:30; (6) 8:25

Wednesday

Run: 5 x 400m Repeats.

Speed-sharpening workout in prep for Saturday’s race. Coach said these would feel like holding back, and they did. Pretty much hit his recommended pace spot on, for once!

Conditions: Sun – 79F – felt like 79F – 58% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 5x400m @ 1:45 (1:30 walking RI); 15 min cd
  • Actual = 5.26 mi – 46:21 – 8:48 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 1.75 mi – 15:04 – 8:36 min/mi
    • (1) – .25 mi – 1:43 – 6:56 min/mi
    • (2) – .25 mi – 1:44 – 6:58 min/mi
    • (3) – .25 mi – 1:42 – 6:51 min/mi
    • (4) – .25 mi – 1:44 – 6:58 min/mi
    • (5) – .25 mi – 1:44 – 6:58 min/mi
    • (cd) – 1.81 mi – 15:07 – 8:22 min/mi

Thursday

Rest Day.

Friday

Run: Shakeout.

Easy, relaxed shakeout run including 5x100m striders.

Conditions: Cloudy – 68F – felt like 68F – 68% humidity – 7 mph wind

Fuel: N/A

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min shakeout run with 5 x 100m striders
  • Actual = 2.36 mi – 20:01 – 8:30 min/mi avg pace + .46 mi in striders
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:29; (2) 8:26; (3) 8:44 (for .36 mi)

Saturday

Race: CPTC Founder’s 5K Race

Warm-up, Drills, Race, and Cool Down = 5K PR and Second Place Age Group

For details, race recap here.

Conditions: Sun – 75F – felt like 75F – 65% humidity – 0 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN shake for breakfast (1 packet UCAN, banana, almond milk, almond butter); Cran-Raspberry UCAN pre-race.

Shoe: Warm-up: Saucony Ride 5  Race: Saucony Type A5

Actual:

  • Warm-up = 1.96 mi – 19:17 – 9:49 min/mi avg pace
  • 5K = 3.11 mi – 21:17 – 6:51 min/mi
  • 5K Splits =
    • (1) 6:49; (2) 6:46; (3) 7:02; (4) 6:21 (for .11 mi)
  • Cool Down = 3.28 mi – 30:05 – 9:10 min/mi avg pace

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     4 hrs 03 mins
  •     28.5 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

CPTC Founder’s 5K

IMG_6449

Coach: So you’re ready to run fast tomorrow.
 Me: Believe so, Coach.
 Coach: That wasn’t a question. You are ready.

A few weeks ago, Coach Kevin requested I get a 5K race on the calendar. The intent being to benchmark my current fitness, and fine-tune my Chicago Marathon training paces. This made me giddy. I’d run a few 5Ks previously, but never one under the guidance of a coach.

Needing a race sooner than later, I registered for the Central Park Track Club Founder’s 5K in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. With that on the schedule, Kevin gave me a week of workouts focused on sharpening speed and shaking out legs to prepare.

Pre-Race

By all means, race morning started off well. I woke early enough to get ready before heading to Brooklyn, and made a UCAN shake to hold me over from 6:00 AM (breakfast time) to 8:30 AM (pre-race fueling time). For that, I packed a bottle with 8oz water + 1 packet cran-raspberry UCAN to have pre-race.

  • UCAN Shake = 1 packet Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN + 1 cup almond milk + 1 tbs almond butter + 1 banana, blended.

I met Dani at 7:00 AM to travel to Park Slope. The trip by subway, according to Hopstop.com, looked to be about an hour. We expected to get to the park around 8:00 AM, giving us time to check bags and warm up. The trip, in actuality, only took 30 minutes! (I’m looking at you, Hopstop.com.) The up side of being so early was we didn’t have to rush.

Race day central (bib pickup, bag drop, and the Generation UCAN table) was on a narrow, shaded drive in the middle of the park. But, as Dani and I approached, we saw a large tree had fallen across the road. Near it was a noticeable pool of blood. We were told the tree had fallen on a man, hitting him in the head. He’d been taken away by ambulance, still-conscious. What horrible, horrible news. (Does anyone have an update on his condition?) Park services quickly worked to plow the tree aside and clean the pavement. Race officials also reacted by re-routing the course. Understandably, the race was delayed until 9:30 AM.

Now having two hours before the start, I dropped my bag off and caught up with Varun at the Gen UCAN table. He was there mixing pre-race samples for the runners. We chatted, and after I while it was time to start my warmup.

Warmup

IMG_6442

#GranatoRacing dynamic warmup

Coach had given me specific warmup instructions. My plan was:

  • 20 min easy jog
  • 2 x 50m side shuffles each way
  • 2 x 50m kareoka each way
  • 5-6 x 100m striders

I was to do the jog in heavier shoes to keep my pace slow. I wore my Saucony Ride 5 for this, then switched into flats – Saucony Type A5 – for the drills. I kept my warmup miles easy and comfortable:

  • 1.96 mi – 19:17 – 9:49 min/mi  (+ un-timed drills)

As it was already 72F with 73% humidity, the warmup did the job loosening my muscles. I quick ran back to baggage, stripped down to my race gear, and took a few quick sips of UCAN. I was feeling sufficiently shaken out, but also a bit tired from being up nearly four hours by race start.

The 5K

Per Coach’s instructions, I lined up toward the front of the pack. Not exactly toeing the line – not quite ready for Pre’s suicide pace – but far enough ahead to avoid weaving. After a few words from the race directors, and the national anthem, we were off.

I’d been told about an incline in the early stage of the race. After, I was expecting to take advantage of a downhill and relatively flat finish. Having run in Prospect Park twice before, it sounded plausible. Not until the midst of the race I remembered (by concrete experience) the park has quite a few rolling hills. Steady, long inclines followed by nice downhills and into the next.

My race goal was a 6:40 min/mi in mile one, then drop to 6:30 min/mi pace. I heeded Coach’s warning not to surge on the uphill, so I conservatively took it at effort. After the first mile, I became frustrated. It felt as if my pace was dropping, as planned. What seemed like 6:30 effort, however, was showing up considerably slower on my Garmin. My body was coping with the course.

MIles two and three were pretty much a negotiation between my legs, lungs, and brain. I had enough in me for the final kick at the finish line, which was on a mild incline. I may have missed my goal pace, but I did run a shiny new 5K PR! 

Results

After all was said and done (and my lungs were sufficiently on fire) I earned 2nd place in Age Group and a 5K PR. Not bad for my first earnestly-raced 5K!

The results (per Garmin):

  • 3.11 mi – 21:17 – 6:51 min/mi
  • Splits: (1) 6:49; (2) 6:46; (3) 7:02; (4) 6:21 (for .11mi)

Official results (per race site):

  • 3.1 mi – 21:16 – 6:52 min/mi
  • Division Place: 2/22 Females age 35-39
  • Gender Place: 29/183 Females
  • Overall Place: 110/389 Finishers

5K PR: 2:02

Conclusion

At first, I felt disappointed missing my target pace. I truly believe I have it in me. But, given the later start, challenging course, and warmth of the day, I’ll take the accomplishment with pride. After I digested the circumstances, I was quite pleased with my performance. To give it context, last October I ran the 5th Avenue mile in 6:38. That had been a challenge. To triple the distance, at a pace 14 seconds/mile slower is proof of improvement.

After speaking with Coach about my results, he reassured me it was a very good start to racing shorter distances. The experience and speed will help contribute to a strong marathon in October.

As a result of the Founder’s 5K, my Chicago Marathon training paces will be dropping. That makes me very happy. Ultimately, that had been the primary goal all along. So, I’ll consider it a successful day!

IMG_6430

Hanging with Brooklyn Brutus post-race

IMG_6431

Brooklyn Brutus recovering from the 5K with treats. Oh wait, he didn’t run it…Where are my post-race treats?

IMG_6435

The most awesome bulldog in all of Brooklyn

Motivation: Wandering

Hellertown, PA Photo license: © All rights reserved

Hellertown, PA
Photo license: © All rights reserved

“Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering,
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life…”

Walt Whitman

As Toilsome I Wander’d Virgina’s Woods

As toilsome I wander’d Virginia’s woods,
To the music of rustling leaves kick’d by my feet, (for ’twas autumn,)
I mark’d at the foot of a tree the grave of a soldier;
Mortally wounded he and buried on the retreat, (easily all could
understand,)
The halt of a mid-day hour, when up! no time to lose–yet this sign left,
On a tablet scrawl’d and nail’d on the tree by the grave,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.
Long, long I muse, then on my way go wandering,
Many a changeful season to follow, and many a scene of life,
Yet at times through changeful season and scene, abrupt, alone, or
in the crowded street,
Comes before me the unknown soldier’s grave, comes the inscription
rude in Virginia’s woods,
Bold, cautious, true, and my loving comrade.

Read More

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Six

photo

Week six was supposed to be a 5K race week. The Thursday race was canceled due to hot weather and humidity. Coach quickly rescheduled my workouts, and we were off. Favorite run of the week: Thursday’s mile repeats!

Monday

Run: Easy.

Evening run on bridle path/reservoir. Weather didn’t feel nearly as awful as anticipated. Humid, but going at dusk helped. Overall, felt good.

Conditions: Sun – 91F – felt like 94F –  44% humidity – 3mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Nike LunaRacers

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 45 min easy
  • Actual = 5.36 mi – 45:24 – 8:28 min/mi pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:09
    • (2) 8:33
    • (3) 8:28
    • (4) 8:23
    • (5) 8:42
    • (6) 8:40 for .36 mi

Tuesday

Run: Tempo.

Hot, humid tempo. Somehow, in the heat of the moment (ha!), it didn’t feel that bad. Not until I stopped running that the air felt like a furnace. Felt fine on this run. Tempo miles were good, smooth, relaxed and controlled.

Conditions: Sun – 91F –  felt like 91F – 41% humidity – 6 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 3 mi @ 7:50-8:00; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 7.1 mi – 57:06 – 8:02 min/mi
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.43 mi – 20:04 – 8:16 min/mi
    • (1) – 7:35
    • (2) – 7:43
    • (3) – 7:38
    • (cd) – 1.67 – 14:03 – 8:24 min/mi

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Taking Coach’s advice to slow down the long/easy/recovery runs. Wasn’t too hard to do today. Heat was awful. Also, was incredibly tired from the start of the day. Only had enough time to get in about 47 mins out of 60. Stuck to bridle path for softer surface, more shade.

Conditions: Sun – 97F – felt like 97F – 37% humidity – 4 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 60 min easy (8:50-9:05 pace)
  • Actual = 5.31 mi – 47:03 – 8:51 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:47
    • (2) 8:51
    • (3) 8:46
    • (4) 8:46
    • (5) 8:56
    • (6) 9:35 (street lights)

Thursday

Run: 2 x Mile Repeats.

Braced for craptastic run due to heat, but it wound up being a really great go. Definitely humid, but by the time I hit first interval, felt relaxed. Repeat miles were fun! (Seriously…one of my favorites.) Of course, running into Jess made the run even better.

Conditions: Sun – 93F – felt like 96F – 41% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 2 x 1 mi @ 7:30 (2:30 walking RI); 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.40 mi – 54:52 – 8:34 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) – 2.33 mi – 20:01 – 8:36 min/mi
    • (1) – 7:25
    • (2) – 7:23
    • (cd) – 1.76 mi – 15:04 – 8:35 min/mi

Friday

Cross-Train: Strength Training.

Short strength training session (30 mins):

Circuit 1: (x3) (across studio & back)

  • Forward walking lunges
  • Backward walking lunges
  • High knees, forward
  • High knees, backward
  • Butt kicks, forward
  • Butt kick, backward
  • Frankenstein walk
  • Walking Romanian Deadlift
  • Lateral squat shuffles

Circuit 2: (x3)

  • Burpees, (x5/x10/x10)
  • Lateral moving plank (across studio)
  • Pushups, (x5/x10/x10)
  • Lateral moving plank (across studio)

Circuit 3: (x3)

  • Plank, (x1 min)
  • One-legged plank, leg extended (x10 sec) (each leg)
  • One-legged plank with abduction, (x10) (each leg)
  • One-legged plank with static abduction, (x10 sec) (each leg)

Circuit 4: (x3)

  • Bridge raises w/ feet on exercise ball, (x20)
  • Static bridge w/ feet on exercise ball, (x30 sec)
  • Hamstring curls w/ feet on exercise ball, (x15)
  • Static bridge w/ feet on exercise ball, (x30 sec)
  • Static leg lift w/ exercise ball squeezed between ankles, w/ added resistance from trainer pushing down, (x30 sec)
  • Crunches w/ feet on exercise ball, (x15)

Circuit 5: (x3)

  • Crunches w/ back on exercise ball, (x20)
  • Static crunch w/ back on exercise ball, (x30 sec)

Saturday

Run: Long.

All signs should’ve pointed to a junky long run: day after strength training, lack of sleep (don’t even want to admit how few hours I got).

Was still up at 5:15 AM and out the door before 6. Run wound up being great. A bit cooler today (less humidity, at least). Was entertained by cycling race in the park. Saw the lovely Abby on my run, which made me happy. Then enjoyed some miles along the Hudson. Saw a beautiful sunrise, and ended my run just as it started to get really warm.

Besides feeling a little tired, my body felt good. And, I tried to get control over slowing down my long run pace. Progress.

Conditions: Sun – 81F – felt like 83F – 66% humidity – 7 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

ShoeNike LunaRacers

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1hr 45 min @ 8:50-9:05 min/mi
  • Actual = 12.06 mi – 1:44:42 – 8:40 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:43
    • (2) 8:39
    • (3) 8:33
    • (4) 8:46
    • (5) 8:43
    • (6) 8:41
    • (7) 8:41
    • (8) 8:45
    • (9) 8:43
    • (10) 8:43
    • (11) 8:43
    • (12) 8:32

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     5 hrs 39 mins
  •     36.23 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

Cheering: NYC Tri

IMG_6091

The headline photo says it all. Spectating is an endurance sport! Last Sunday was the Aquaphor NYC Triathlon. I spent five hours cheering at the start of the run course at the Team Up Autism Speaks and Team In Training outposts.

Am thankful for Elizabeth, Jen, and Carolyn for their enthusiastic company! So much fun cheering with you, ladies. And, am grateful to not only see the lead male and female sprint past, but to cheer on dear friends racing that morning. Props to you – it was crazy hot out. You are all an inspiration!

Empty run course looking west on 72nd St

Empty run course looking west on 72nd St

Dad of a Team Up with Autism Speaks NYC Tri athlete

Dad of a Team Up with Autism Speaks NYC Tri athlete.

Elizabeth, Me, Carolyn, Jen, Cool Dad, and Andy's cheer squad member

Elizabeth, Me, Carolyn, Jen, Cool Dad, and Andy’s cheer squad member. Photo: Team Up Autism Speaks, Matthew Fisher

Jordan Jones, winner of the NYC Tri, in the lead on W 72nd St.

Jordan Jones, winner of the NYC Tri, in the lead on W 72nd St.

Dude running in a speedo.

Dude running in a speedo.

Jenna Parker, lead female at W 72nd St.

Jenna Parker, lead female at W 72nd St.

"We cheer in bunners for swim, bike, runners!" With Elizabeth

“We cheer in bunners for swim, bike, runners!” With Elizabeth

Hotel cart taking over the course. Because it's NYC...

Hotel cart taking over the course. Because it’s NYC…

Terence and Tes, winner of the NYC Tri Doggy Dash.

Terence and Tes, winner of the NYC Tri Doggy Dash.

I found my strong, spectating in my Saucony Type A5! #findyourstrong

I found my strong, spectating in my Saucony Type A5! #findyourstrong

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Five

A5

Week five saw my first 5 runs/week scheduled out of three marathon training cycles (love it), running in Nike LunaRacers (nice), and weekly mileage that nearly exceeds last cycle’s peak mileage (wow!).

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Expected a battle of a run due to heat, humidity, and nasal congestion. Instead, was greeted with that “feel like I could run forever” feeling. Quite thankful for that. Heat/humidity was noticeable but not as bad as past few days. Tempo miles felt great. No complaints.

Conditions: Sunny – 82F – felt like 86F – 66% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

Shoe: Saucony Type A5 

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 3 mi @ 8:00; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 7.16 mi – 58:11 – 8:07 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 2.45 mi – 20:46 – 8:29 min/mi
    • (1) – 7:47
    • (2) – 7:47
    • (3) – 7:42
    • cd – 1.71 mi – 14:07 – 8:16 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Easy run with Tanya up along the Hudson. Hot and humid still. Legs felt good. Run definitely cleared up remaining nasal congestion.

Conditions: Sunny – 79F – felt like 79F – 65% humidity – 0 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min easy
  • Actual = 6.01 mi – 52:43 – 8:46 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 9:10
    • (2) 8:46
    • (3) 8:38
    • (4) 8:30
    • (5) 8:49
    • (6) 8:49

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Recovery run on bridle path. Ran in Nike LunaRacers for first time. They’re very comfortable. Reminds me of my Saucony Kinvaras, but maybe a bit  more cushioned (springy). Definitely like them, but had been expecting something a bit firmer as a racing flat.

Accidentally recorded this run as a warmup, so there are no individual splits. Oops.

Conditions: Cloudy – 79F – felt like 79F – 79% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeNike LunaRacers

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 30 min easy 
  • Actual = 3.45 mi – 30:01 – 8:42 min/mi avg pace

Thursday

Run: 5 x 800m Intervals.

800m intervals on tired legs? Oh, but a little zen-buddhist “be present in the moment” attitude helped me crush them. Also: not sure if it’s good or bad that I over-ran those so much. I’ll wait for feedback from Coach. For the record, they felt great, tho.

Conditions: Sun/clouds – 79F – felt like 79F – 65% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Cran-raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 5x800m @ 3:35-3:40 (2:00 walking RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 7.04 mi – 59:13 – 8:24 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 2.43 mi – 20:02 – 8:14 min/mi
    • (1) 3:24 – 6:49 min/mi
    • (2) 3:16 – 6:33 min/mi
    • (3) 3:17 – 6:36 min/mi
    • (4) 3:18 – 6:37 min/mi
    • (5) 3:16 – 6:33 min/mi
    • cd – 1.53 mi – 12:38 – 8:17 min/mi

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Workout 1 – Cross-Train: Strength Training – 45 minutes.

Had to move my strength training session to this morning. Long run after meant shorter session, but still intense.

Circuit 1: (dynamic warmup) (x3)

    • High knees, (across studio & back)
    • Butt kicks forward, (across studio & back)
    • Reverse butt kicks, (across studio & back)
    • Bear crawls, (across studio & back)
    • Lateral moving planks, (across studio & back)

Circuit 2: (x3)

    • Leapfrog jumps, (across studio & back)
    • Squat jumps, (x50)
    • Plank, (x30 sec)
    • Up and down planks, (x10)
    • Plank, (x30)
    • One legged Plank, (x30 sec, each leg)

Circuit 3: (x3)

    • Ab crunches on stability ball, (x15)
    • Plank on stability ball, (x30 sec)

Circuit 4: (x3)

    • Warrior 3 to standing crunch, (x15 each leg)

Circuit 5: (x3)

    • Stationary leg raise (both legs 6in off ground), (x30 sec)
    • Stationary leg raise (one leg lifted toward ceiling, other 6 in off ground), (x30 sec each leg)
    • Leg raises with hip lift (x10)
    • Abs supine opposite arm leg crunch (x10 each leg)
    • Bicycle crunches (x25)

Stretch

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet)

Workout 2 – Run: Long.

Ran this a few hours after strength training session. Legs and body felt great on the run. Trying to concentrate on relaxing while running. Have a tendency to get tense in shoulders/arms, especially when I get tired.

Ran too fast, per Coach’s suggested training pace. Pace felt comfortable, relaxed and controlled. So, not sure what to do to get closer to 8:50 min/mi on  long runs. Running without a watch won’t help – I’ll speed up even more without a way to check.

Ran west side bike path for a flat run.

Conditions: Overcast/Rain – 79F – felt like 79 – 79% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

ShoeNike LunaRacers

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1:45 long
  • Actual = 12.11 mi – 1:41:31 – 8:22 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (1) 8:25
    • (2) 8:19
    • (3) 8:28
    • (4) 8:27
    • (5) 8:22
    • (6) 8:30
    • (7) 8:15
    • (8) 8:24
    • (9) 8:21
    • (10) 8:22
    • (11) 8:15
    • (12) 8:20
    • (13) 9:15 for .11mi (traffic lights)

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     5 hrs 46 mins
  •     35.77 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Four

sauconybridle

Week four consisted of more hot and humid running (makes for a strong fall), a thwarted attempt to run in Nikes (fate?), and a really satisfying round of intervals (love, love, love).

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Evening run. Warmed up comfortably; started to drop pace at end of warmup to head into tempo miles. Set Garmin to beep at end of warmup, end of each tempo mile, and cool down. Ran without watching my data. Seems to have gotten the best of me. But the entire run felt fantastic, especially after a relatively stressful day.

Conditions: Overcast – 73F – felt like 73F – 94% humidity

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 2 mi @ 8:00-8:10 min/mi; 15 min cd.
  • Actual = 6.19 mi – 50:14 – 8:06 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 2.42 mi – 20:00 – 8:17 min/mi
    • Tempo 1 – 7:38
    • Tempo 2 – 7:36
    • cd – 1.78 mi – 15:00 – 8:26 min/mi

Tuesday

Rest Day. Because of personal schedule, had to switch easy run to Wednesday.

Wednesday

Run: Easy.

Easy run on extreme time crunch meant cutting short, and running faster than plan. But, look at that nice little negative split. (Searching for the silver lining.)

Planned to test run Nike LunaRacers, but seems fate wanted me to stick with Saucony. Caught in massive downpour, Nikes got drenched. So I ran in my Type A5s, which I love. Message received, universe, message received.

Conditions: Sun – 79F – felt like 79F – 89% humidity

Fuel: Cran-Raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min easy
  • Actual = 5.12 mi – 41:36 – 8:07 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:22; (2) 8:18; (3) 8:10; (4) 8:05; (5) 7:46; (6) 7:46 for .12 mi

Thursday

Run: 8 x 200m Intervals.

Ran this around 1pm, on the flat near Engineer’s Gate. Great for 200m intervals.
Hot, humid, but this run was AMAZING. Really starting to dig interval workouts, when once I used to despise them. Go figure.

Conditions: Sun/clouds – 82F – felt like 89F – 70% humidity

Fuel: Cran-raspberry UCAN (1 packet)

ShoeSaucony Type A5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 8 x 200m @ :45-:50 (1:00 min walking RI); 15 min cd
  • Actual = 5.79 mi – 49:02 – 8:28 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 2.45 mi – 20:01 – 8:09 min/mi
    • (1) – 200m – :44.3 – 6:10 min/mi
    • (2) – 200m – :44.2 – 6:09 min/mi
    • (3) – 200m – :43.4 – 6:02 min/mi
    • (4) – 200m – :44.7 – 6:12 min/mi
    • (5) – 200m – :45.8 – 6:22 min/mi
    • (6) – 200m – :43.6 – 6:04 min/mi
    • (7) – 200m – :43.1 – 6:00 min/mi
    • (8) – 200m – :42.0 – 5:50 min/mi
    • cd – 1.85 mi – 15:09 – 8:12 min/mi

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Run: Long.

Even at 8AM the forecast was already 79F. Fortunately, I bumped into Brian’s Run 2 Remember (now: Athletes To End Alzheimer’s) team 4 minutes into my run. The team was about to log a long run for NYC Marathon training, so I joined them. Their company made the hot miles a lot easier to cope with! We ran an “off-the-beaten path” tour of Central Park.

Couldn’t have been more fun! Great company as we wound around the bridle path, park drives, and little concealed paths. We saw monuments, waterfalls, and stopped for some group photos. Never knew there were so many steep, hidden hills in the park (Harlem & Cat Hills get all the press).

Really a lovely way to start the weekend!

Conditions: Sun – 79F – felt like 79F – 79% humidity

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

ShoeSaucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 hr 30 min easy
  • Actual = 10.07 mi – 1:27:28 – 8:41 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:43; (2) 8:44; (3) 8:42; (4) 9:08; (5) 8:47; (6) 8:39; (7) 8:41; (8) 8:14; (9) 8:21; (10) 8:49

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     3 hrs 48 mins (approx.)
  •     27.17 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

Runner’s World-Mizuno Mezamashii Run Contest

Photo :: Mizuno USA

Run long enough, you’re bound to experience it: Mezamashii. What is that, exactly? The word itself – Mezamashii – means “eye-opening” or “brilliant.” But, in the more soulful sense, it’s the euphoric feeling of a brilliant run.

Contest Details

mezamashiirun

Have you had that Mezamashii run? Show us!

Runner’s World and Mizuno want to see your Mezamashii running moments. The theme is “Your Brilliant Run.” Achieve your most brilliant runs, and while you’re at it, inspire others to do the same.

Document your incredible, inspiring, blissful runs and share them. Capture the moment with a photo or video, and upload it on Twitter, Instagram or Vine. Use the hashtag #mezamashiirun

“Mizuno is constantly searching to find more sensational, energized, mezamashii running. And now you can help by showing them what mezamashii running means to you. The next time you go on one of these incredible runs, take a picture and upload it to Twitter or Instagram. Or if you’d rather, you can upload a video to Vine. Just use the hashtag #mezamashiirun. A few lucky winners will get flown out to New York to meet the Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World, Bart Yasso. So start snapping those pictures. And keep searching for mezamashii.”

Your mezamashii moment just may earn you a private training run with the lovely (I’m a fan!) Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World – and more!

Official contest instructions, prizes, rules & regulations are here. The contest runs from today – Wednesday, July 3, 2013 – until Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 11:59 PM ET.

Enjoy, and good luck!

Mezamashii Run Project

Photo :: Mizuno USA

Want to learn more about the Mezamashii Run Project? Head on over to the Mezamashii Home. And, be sure to check out the “What is Mezamashii?” video. I adore it. Especially because it features Michele.

“Not all runs are created equal. There are some runs that are special. The kind where you feel like you could go on forever. Your legs are stronger, your breathing is lighter and your entire body is working in perfect unison. We call this mezamashii running. And there is no other run like it.

Unfortunately, a run like this cannot be planned. It can appear anywhere, anytime. All you can do is go out day after day and keep searching. Which is why we created the Mezamashii Run Project. A community that supports the world’s most passionate runners on their quest for more mezamashii running.”

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Three

toetheline

Week three featured heat and humidity (’tis summer), a full week of workouts (hooray!), a fantastic-feeling interval session (elated!), and popsicles after the NYRR Pride Run (heaven).

Monday

Run: Tempo.

Holy freaking hot. Granted, running a tempo at noon in summer isn’t ideal. But, that’s what worked with my schedule. Took advantage of water sprinklers in the park. They’re misting stations for runners, no? Warmup and cool down on bridle path for shade; tempo miles on street for better traction. Despite the heat, felt great on this run.

Conditions: Sun – 90F – felt like 95F – 52% humidity – 3 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

Shoe: Saucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 1-2 mi @ 8:10; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 5.84 mi – 50:57 – 8:43 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 2.17 mi – 20:00 – 9:14 min/mi
    • tempo 1 – 1.00 mi – 8:00 min/mi
    • tempo 2 – 1.00 mi – 7:57 min/mi
    • cd – 1.68 mi – 15:00 – 8:57 min/mi

Tuesday

Run: Easy.

Evening run was still hot, still humid. Ran with Jess, and we were both sucking wind from the start. Air felt thick and run was a proper slog. Kept pace conversational and as comfortable as possible.

Conditions: 84F – felt like 87F – 58% humidity – 5 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

Shoe: Saucony Type A5. (Ran easy in these to get better feel for their foot strike.)

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 50 min @ 8:50-9:00 min/mi
  • Actual = 5.68 mi – 50:04 – 8:48 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 9:02; (2) 8:52; (3) 8:46; (4) 8:36; (5) 8:40; (6) 8:59 for .68 mi

Wednesday

Cross-Training: Strength Training for 1 hour.

“This is how we get stronger, Lora. This is how we get faster.” Jason upped the workout today and man, did I feel it.

Circuit 1: (x3)

  • Plank, (x1 min)
  • Lateral moving plank, (across studio & back)
  • Mountain climbers, (x30 sec)
  • Tomahawk crunches, (x30 sec)

Circuit 2: (x3)

  • Burpees, (x10)
  • Alternating reverse lunges, (x10, each leg)
  • Jumping lunges, (x10, each leg)

Circuit 3: (x3)

  • Single leg dead lift toe touches w/ glute & hamstring extension & 8lb medicine ball, (x 10, each leg) (aka: Single leg Romanian dead lift)
  • Jumping jacks w/ medicine ball press, (x 1min)

Circuit 4: (x3)

  • Hamstring curls on medicine ball, (x20)
  • Alternating leg lifts on medicine ball, (x10 each leg)

Circuit 5: (x3)

  • Bicycle crunches, (x10)
  • Crunches, (x10)
  • Leg lifts with hip raises, (x10)

Stretch

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

Thursday

Run: 7 x 400m Intervals.

Evening run meant I was sleepy minutes before I went out the door. Felt so much better on my run. Favorite workout of the week!

Starting to understand what coach said about never really getting to do speed work on fresh legs. Today’s intervals came after 3 consecutive workouts: tempo run, easy run, and strength training.

Still, felt good to get speed in the legs. Was so enthralled with my intervals that I mis-timed turnaround on out & back course. Wound up 1.5 mi from home at the end of workout, so ran that easy.

Conditions: 75F – felt like 75F – 83% humidity – 8 mph wind

Fuel: Vanilla protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

Shoe: Saucony Kinvara 3

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 6-7 x 400m @ 1:42 (6:48 min/mi pace) (1:15 walking RI); 15 min cd
  • Actual = 6.01 mi – 51:03 – 8:29 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu – 1.74 mi – 15:01 – 8:37 min/mi
    • (1) 400m – 1:41 – 6:45 min/mi
    • (2) 400m – 1:41 – 6:44 min/mi
    • (3) 400m – 1:38 – 6:33 min/mi
    • (4) 400m – 1:42 – 6:48 min/mi
    • (5) 400m – 1:39 – 6:37 min/mi
    • (6) 400m – 1:39 – 6:37 min/mi
    • (7) 400m – 1:38 – 6:36 min/mi
    • cd – 1.85 mi – 15:13 – 8:15 min/mi
  • Additional = 1.5 mi – 12:32 – 8:21 min/mi

Friday

Rest Day.

Saturday

Run: Long.

Three part run:

  • 3 mi to NYRR Pride Run start line – un-timed, no satellite signal. Sluggish because of humidity
  • 5.14 mi during race – ran easy. Felt better than first three miles.
  • 1 mi home from finish line – was after a post-race ice pop. No complaints.

Conditions: 73F – felt like 73F – 78% humidity – 6 mph wind

Fuel: Chocolate protein-enhanced UCAN (1 packet).

ShoeSaucony Ride 5

Plan v Actual:

  • Plan = 1 hr 20 min easy
  • Actual = 9.15 mi
    • 3 mi un-timed
    • 6.15 mi – 53:27 – 8:41 min/mi avg pace

Sunday

Rest Day.

Weekly Totals

  •     5 hrs 04 mins (approx.)
  •     28.18 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Two

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Week two: New racing flats (total awesomeness), speed work (more awesomeness), and a Philly run (so lovely).

Monday: Run. Tempo. Adore tempo runs; they’re always my favorite workout. Can’t wait for these to pick up in mileage. Had to cut cool down short by few minutes because of time constraint.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 1 mi @ 8:10; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 4.69 mi – 40:07 – 8:34 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.29 mi – 20:00 – 8:47 min/mi
    • (Tempo) 1 mi – 8:03 min/mi
    • (cd) 1.39 mi – 12:00 – 8:38 min/mi

Tuesday: Run. Easy. Extremely humid: 72F and 73% humidity in AM. Ran too fast for easy run pace. Felt comfortable, but still getting a grip on slowing recovery runs down.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 45 min @ 8:50-9:20 min/mi pace
  • Actual = 5.26 mi – 45:02 – 8:34 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:54; (2) 8:34; (3) 8:37; (4) 8:45; (5) 8:25; (6) 6:49 for .26 mi (that’s BS, certainly didn’t do that pace).

Wednesday: Double workout day because of my personal schedule.

Cross-Training. Quick 40 minute cross training session in afternoon.

Circuit 1: (x3)

    • Side lateral squat shuffles (across studio & back)
    • Lateral moving plank (across studio & back)
    • Bear crawl forward & backward (across studio & back)
    • Burpees with plyometric forward jump between each (across studio & back)
    • Cross-body leg kick into lunge (across studio)
    • Backward moving butt kicks (across studio)

Circuit 2: (x5)

    • Side lateral squat shuffles (across studio & back)
    • Jumping jacks (x20, x 15, x15)
    • Mountain climbers (x20, x15, x15)
    • Squat into high knee kick (x30 sec)

Circuit 3: (x5)

    • Agility cone drills (forward & backward)
    • High knees over cones (forward)
    • Agility cone drills (side-to-side)
    • High knees over cones (sideways)

Circuit 4: (x4)

    • Stationary leg raise (x30 sec)
    • Leg raises (x10)
    • Bicycle crunches (x25)

Run. Speed work. Lovely evening run with 1 mile of speed work in the middle.

Park was busy this evening. Ran into a bunch of friends on the move, including Ashley, Erica, Melissa, Elizabeth, and Mike. Apparently also just missed Jess!

Happened to be my first run in new Saucony Type A5 – love! More to follow.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 20 min wu; 1 x 1 mi @ sub-7:30 pace; 10 min cd
  • Actual = 5.09 mi – 42:11 – 8:17 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • (wu) 2.36 mi @ 8:29
    • (interval) 1x1mi @ 7:12
    • (cd) 1.74 mi @ 8:38

Thursday: Rest Day. Schedule called for 45 min – 1 hour cross-training session. Moved this to Wednesday, to work at the Back on My Feet First Annual Birthday Bash.

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Rest Day. Travel day to Philadelphia. Moved run to Sunday.

Sunday: Run. Ran a few miles through Philly – along Schuylkill River, Kelly Drive, Fairmount Park and Center City West.

Late start, so they were some hot, lovely miles. Saw a bit of the Philly Tri bike leg.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

* GPS didn’t kick in until about 1.5 mi into run

  • Plan = 1 hr 20 min easy
  • Actual = 9.04 mi – 1:17 – 8:31 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:38; (2) 8:30; (3) 8:24; (4) 8:37; (5) 8:34; (6) 8:22; (7) 8:29; (8) 8:32

Weekly Totals:

  •     4 hrs 04 mins
  •     24.08 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

I’m A Bit Type A…A5, That Is

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Without further ado, meet the Saucony Type A5! More to come once they’ve got a few speed sessions under their belt…

Weight: 5.2 oz (women’s)

Drop: 4mm

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Feet, Meet Flats!

Photo license: © All rights reserved

Photo license: © All rights reserved

This past Sunday, I did a tour de running shops. Mission: test various racing flats. It’s what we runners call “due diligence,” right? Except it’s way more fun, akin to opening loads of birthday presents. After some interesting conversation and a few test runs, I’ve chosen my first flats!

Without further ado, meet the Contenders:

Asics GEL-NoosaFAST

asicsnoosafast 

Weight: 5.3 oz

Pro: Decent fit in upper and toe box. Sufficient support for comfortable foot strike.

Con: Padding in heel counter rubbed uncomfortably on test run.

Mizuno Wave Musha 5

MMU5W1-3

Weight: 6.3 oz

Pro: Fit of upper and toe box was great.

Con: Heel was too roomy, slipping noticeably on the run.

Mizuno Wave Ronin 5

womens-mizuno-wave-ronin-5-blazing-yellow-diva-blue

Weight: 6 oz

Pro: Quick try-on at the store, but wasn’t in a position to test-run them at the time.

Con: ? Hard to say without testing them out.

New Balance 1600

1newbalance1600

Weight: 5 oz

Pro: Comfortable, narrow cut fit well throughout shoe. Most minimal feeling model I tried.

Con: Not enough support during test run. Video analysis confirmed these offered less support than other models tested.

Nike Flyknit Lunar1

Nike-Flyknit-Trainer-Unisex-Running-Shoe-Mens-Sizing-532984_551_A

Weight: 5.7 oz

Pro: Breathable upper felt airy and light. (Unfortunately, could only try on in half size up.)

Con: No store I visited had my size in stock.

Nike LunaRacer 3

Nike

Weight: 5.1 oz

Pro: ?

Con: The shoe Coach recommended, I wasn’t even able to test. Only one store I visited stocked this model, and they didn’t have my size.

Saucony Type A5

saucony

Weight: 5.2 oz

Pro: Familiar upper construction, comparable to Kinvaras. Comfortable fit. Firm sole and sufficient support, confirmed with video analysis.

Con: None noted.

The Winner – Saucony Type A5!

sauconyMy goal was to test all shoes with an open mind, and select the best fitting/feeling model. Taking several on test runs made for easy comparison. Each shoe had slight differences. Thankfully, choosing the best-feeling shoe for me was a snap.

The Type A5 has familiar construction and a similar fit to the Kinvara. The shoe’s lighter weight and firmer sole offer adequate support while providing a good feel during foot strike.

It seems my Saucony brand loyalty continues! Between the Ride and Kinvara, their line’s done well by me in the last round of marathon training. Hopefully this trend continues as I train for Chicago Marathon!

I’m looking forward to testing these further during short speed sessions, to start. Saucony Type A5, welcome to the family! #findyourstrong

Chicago Marathon Training: Week One

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Photo license: © All rights reserved

Week one: a return to speed work (love) and tempo runs (love). Learning to slow down those long and easy runs (dealing).

Monday: Run. Tempo. First tempo session since Eugene Marathon. Soft surface run – bridle path/reservoir. Felt fantastic!

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 1 mi @ 8:10-8:20 min/mi; 15 min cd
  • Actual = 4.39 mi – 38:18 – 8:43 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits = (wu) 1.7 mi @ 8:49; (tempo) 1 mi @ 8:04; (cd) 1.69 mi @ 8:59

Tuesday: Run. Easy. Started out faster than easy pace and pulled in once I realized. Not the easiest thing for me to do. Working on it. Physically felt fine on the run. Soft surface run – bridle path until last half mile.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 45 min @ 8:50-9:20 min/mi
  • Actual = 4.78 mi – 42:26 – 8:52 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits: (1) 8:38; (2) 8:40; (3) 8:52; (4) 8:56; (5) 9:23 (for .78 mi)

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Run. Intervals. First intervals session since NYCM training last fall! Oh man, how I’ve missed these! Felt great. Each interval felt like controlled, comfortable effort. Liking the walk breaks (previously jogged rest intervals). Humid but cool.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 15 min wu; 4 x 800m @ 3:35 (7:09 min/mi) (2:00 min walking RI); 10 min cd
  • Actual = 5.5 mi – 47:13 – 8:35 min/mi avg pace
  • Splits =
    • wu = 15:02 (~ 1.7 mi – 8:50 pace – Garmin GPS was messed up)
    • (1) 800m – 3:32.4 (7:05 pace)
    • (2) 800m – 3:32.7 (7:06 pace)
    • (3) 800m – 3:33.3 (7:07 pace)
    • (4) 800m – 3:28.9 (6:58 pace) :: headwind
    • cd = 10:04 (1.2 mi – 8:23 pace)

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Run. Long. One full CP loop including hills, plus 2 mi on bridle path. Pacing’s all over with trying to slow down. Doesn’t come naturally yet. Ran in Kinvaras – felt great.

Fueled with one packet of protein-enhanced UCAN.

  • Plan = 1 hr 10 min @ 8:50 – 9:20 min/mi
  • Actual = 8 mi – 1:10:06 – 8:45 avg pace
  • Splits = (1) 8:34; (2) 8:49; (3) 8:49; (4) 8:47; (5) 8:41; (6) 8:35; (7) 8:57; (8) 8:54

Sunday: Rest.

Weekly Totals:

  •    3 hrs 18 mins
  •    22.67 miles running

See all weekly workout recaps here.

LV Runs NYC

A Mile in Pre’s Shoes?

Pre's Racing Flats Photo: Coos Art Museum

Pre’s Racing Flats
Photo: Coos Art Museum

One item on my training to-do list is buy racing flats. More precisely, get professionally fitted for them. I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit I’ve dreamed of this. I equate racing flats with Pre, elites, pros, the fastest of the fast. Now it’s my turn? Well, not because of some qualifying standard. Coach says get racing flats, so off I go.

It’s been a journey to this point. The longer I’ve been running, the more my running shoe requirements seem to change. It’s fascinating (to me, at least).

When I first began running, I was fitted with stability shoes. You know, for those of us who over-pronate. My first kicks were sturdy New Balance “beasts.” (I’ll call them beasts because I forget the actual model.) These accompanied me on my first runs through my first marathon finish line.

After that, I wanted something “lighter.” I switched to Brooks Adrenalines. I quite liked these shoes. They were, in fact, lighter for a stability shoe. I felt so good in Brooks that I grew over-confident and undertook a self-initiated experiment. I purchased a pair of Brooks Pure Cadence. Result: shin splints, even though I never logged high mileage in them. Lesson learned.

I returned to the Adrenalines, with their 12mm heel-to-toe drop, and the shin splints disappeared. The Adrenalines stuck with me for my next two marathons, until I injured my foot.

The personal trainer who worked with me through recovery reevaluated my gait. Her conclusion: I was no longer (or, very minimally) over-pronating. She suggested I transition to a neutral shoe and recommended the Saucony Kinvara 3.

Feeling cautious, I sought a second opinion at the local running shop. They confirmed the trainer’s findings: neutral shoes were the way to go. As I gradually returned to running, I began running in the Saucony Ride 5. Its 8mm drop was a gentle change from the 12mm Adrenalines. Since I eased back into running slowly, the move into the Rides was immediate. No issues.

I eventually purchased the Kinvaras for shorter, faster workouts (i.e. tempo runs, hill repeats). As I trained for the Eugene Marathon, I rotated between the two Saucony models. The Kinvaras, with their 4 mm drop, provided enough cushioning for my feet while allowing me to better feel my foot strike. When race day arrived, I opted to run in the Rides since they were the shoes in which I’d logged all my long runs. I have to say, that training cycle converted me into a huge Saucony fan!

As I prepare for the Chicago Marathon, Coach wants me to begin using the Rides for easy recovery runs. I’ll be increasing my mileage in the Kinvaras, and adding racing flats to the mix.

Two types of flats I’m aiming to test are:

Saucony Type A5

Saucony Type A5

Nike Lunar Racer

Nike Lunar Racer

 

The question is, which flats will eventually work for me? Tell me, if you successfully run in racing flats, which model do you use? I’d love input as I shop for the latest addition to my running gear family!

Oakley New York Mini 10K

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Starting Line at Columbus Circle
Photo license: © All rights reserved

Let me first admit: it’s been over a month since I last posted. Leave it to you, Oakley New York Mini 10K, to help break the silence.

This was my fourth year running the Mini. I quite like this race. It’s a fantastic distance (long enough to pace, way shorter than a marathon), a nice jaunt up Central Park West, and yet a challenge with the park’s rolling hills. By far, what I love most about this one is its energy.

Race day with my Saucony Kinvaras

Race day with my Saucony Kinvaras

Last year, the race seemed to go through growing pains. The corrals were seriously over-crowded and the start was cramped. Luckily, those issues seemed to be fixed.

This was the first year I earned a spot in the BLUE corral. Little me, within sweating distance of the elites! We lined up right behind the pro corral, with enough room to stroll around our own pen, socializing. This experience made me realize how many amazing female runners I know. I immediately ran into Tanya, badass runner for Urban Athletics and fellow Gen UCAN ambassador. Met some of her teammates, and then spotted Elizabeth, a fabulously fast Dashing Whippet. We hugged, chatted, and settled into our spots.

Race Bib  Photo license: © All rights reserved

Race Bib

In the midst of waiting for the start, I had a questionable allergic reaction to my sunscreen. Don’t know why, how, or what. It was the same product I always use. Yet suddenly my arms and legs were covered in red, itchy welts. It was not pleasant. Quick thoughts included: “Should I go buy Benadryl?” Then, “Can I run with this?” And finally, “The gun’s going off soon, hopefully I’ll sweat it off.” Random fun fact.

From the corral, we could see a few of the elites speak on stage, including Desi Davila. Once the race started, it was the closest to a lead vehicle I’ve ever been. Until that gap grew, and I settled into a comfortable pace. My goal was not to race. At the start of Chicago Marathon training, my plan called for a short easy run. I took off faster than planned, but took a rest break at the first water table. I stood around, watching the runners go racing through the park. Once I jumped back in, I made sure to take a break at every water table. It’s the only way I can break up the urge to all-out race.

On Central Park West Photo: Ben Ko

On Central Park West
Photo: Ben Ko

In the end, I enjoyed the course and the experience. I didn’t bother to wear my timing chip, and barely took notice of my Garmin. The way a fun run should be.

Once I crossed the finish line and gathered my medal, I found Tanya for a quick post-run chat. Then made my way over to the finish area. Thankfully by then, I was allergic-reaction free. That was a huge relief.

Me and Tanya

With Tanya

I ran into Brian, my favorite NYRR ever, and hung out for a bit. Then, I found my way to Kai and finally – FINALLY – met Brooklyn Brutus, the bulldog who rules our hearts and all of Brooklyn.

With Brian

With Brian

Kai and Brooklyn Brutus

Kai and Brooklyn Brutus

One of the most lovely encounters after the race, however, was with Fran and her daughter, Gabby. Fran was the May Inspiration of the Month at Erica Sara Designs. Erica and I both love the strength and positivity of Fran’s story. So to meet her in person was such a pleasure. She and Gabby both ran the race, and I love that they share  these running adventures together!

With ESD's Inspiration of the Month, Fran and Gabby

With ESD’s Inspiration of the Month, Fran and Gabby

Overall, it was a beautiful (yet, slightly humid) morning to run and be among the inspiring female runners of NYC. The Mini was the only summer race on my schedule, and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off my Chicago Marathon training than with this experience.

Winner, Mamitu Daska

Winner, Mamitu Daska

Elites, post-race

Elites, post-race

The Medal

The Medal

Eugene Marathon: Pre-Race Thoughts

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With my shakeout run done and the race tomorrow, it seems a good time to reflect on some pre-race feelings. Speaking of Pre, there are signs of the larger-than-life legend everywhere. The track where Pre ran is beautiful and open, and largely unchanged from photos I’ve seen of him dominating his hometown turf. It’s not just charged with the life of Pre, but also the energy of those who ushered him to greatness – Bill Bowerman and Bill Dellinger. Visiting Hayward Field last night was awe-inspiring. The finish line was quietly going up on the track. May that hallowed runners’ ground carry me those last few meters.

Before I even consider tomorrow’s marathon, getting to this point is its own victory worth celebrating. I launched into training immediately (and I mean immediately) after being cleared to run post-stress fracture. It meant tentative steps and wrestling fears of re-injury. With every additional run behind me, my hesitation waned. I made it through training injury-free. As I look forward to the race, I’m not without a bit of sadness that the cycle came to a close so quickly. I like training (said without an ounce of sarcasm). It’s where the majority of the quiet magic happens: the transformation and the possibility.

What else? Your support has been steadfast through it all. The outpouring of well wishes has moved me beyond words. I’m just an average person pursuing a common dream, but you’ve stuck with me. And that means a lot. As a friend said, “Have a safe journey and a kick-ass time. You have a lot of people with you every step.” When the hard moments hit, as they certainly will tomorrow, I’ll remember and repeat, “I am not alone.” That’s because of you.

There’s not much left to do now. The last 26.2 miles await and I’m ready for them. Sure, they may hurt and I may need to call upon the untapped reserves that lay deep within my bones, my heart, my mind. But I can let it be easy by accepting the experience as beautiful and celebratory. I’ll keep moving forward because that 3:35 moment is as fleeting as a heartbeat.

Let it be easy. I am not alone. Unstoppable.

It’s time.