Jun 26, 2012

30k Training - Week 3 Recap

Week #3 is the training week that barely happened!
Here's my training week in review:

Day 1 - Monday - Boot camp.
This was the best part of the week.  Really!  It was my last boot camp session and it was a good one!  Lots of different activity.  An hour of crab walking, skipping, sit ups, weighted squats, world jumps and kettle bell swings.  Woohoo!  
I was actually sad it was over.  BUT....I do have the option of returning any Monday night I choose to, so that is good news!

Day 2 - Tuesday -  3 x 10mins @THR.
A 10 minute warm up & cool down targeting 60-70% HR and in between 3 10 minute intervals at 80-85% HR (with a 1:30 rest in between each). 
38 degrees in the shade with 100% humidity.  OMG! This was a tough run.  And to top it off I did it while pushing L in the stroller.  Really?  Could hubby ever come home on time??!!
I felt great that I was able to get this done, but had to dig deep to finish.  My average HR was 81% as it stayed at just above the top end of the range for each interval.

Run stats - 5.81kms in 52:25 minutes.

Day 3 - Wednesday - Cross Training.
This was supposed to be a cross training day.  Unfortunately, I did absolutely nothing in the form of exercise besides swim in the pool.  It was dreadfully hot again and I didn't do any activity. Instead I invited L's babysitter and her family over for a swim & BBQ after work. No activity. I could have.  I should have.  I didn't.

Run stats - 0 kms.

Day 4 - Thursday - 40 mins EASY.
Today was pack & travel day.  No time to fit the run in.  We were leaving to visit my dad for the weekend who lives 6 hours away.  By the time we are all packed up & ready to go it was 9pm.  Arrived around 3am, got to bed around 3:30am.

Run stats - 0 kms.

Day 5 - Friday -  6x1k @10k pace .
My least favorite run so far, but I know this will get better!
Unfortunately after only 4 hours of sleep this wasn't happening for me.  I did the 15 minute warm up and the first interval before stopping.  I then decided just to finish off with a 20 minute run.  The other problem with this run (and yes it does sound like I'm making excuses) was the road conditions.  My dad lives at the end of a deserted, lonely, gravel country road.  I have never seen so much dust.  There were several vehicles that drove down on the way to their cottages and I literally had to stop & turn my back so as not to choke on the dust.  I know that conditions can't always be perfect but this was just nasty!
Total distance was 6.74 kms in 43:58 minutes.

Day 6 - Saturday - REST DAY.
The reason we were at my Dad's was for a family wedding.  My young cousin was married to her high school sweetheart.  A lovely celebration. Yes, a celebration. I may have participated a little too much! It was a late night, early morning kind of situation!  All in good fun.

Day 7 - Sunday - Long Run 165 mins
See above.  Too much celebrating. This run did not happen.  We also headed home on Sunday as well.  A drive that turned into 8 hours with all the weekend cottage traffic.  Ugh!

Run stats - 0 kms.

Total stats for the week:
Distance - 13.49 km 
Time - 1:36:26 
Average pace - 7.09min/km

This wasn't a very successful week on the training front.  I am a little concerned about the next few weeks as I have vacation coming up & lots of work to do before I go as well as preparation for 2 weeks of camping to finish!  Hopefully I'll be able to get in the majority of my runs, but most especially the long weekend runs.

I CAN make it happen!!

Jun 18, 2012

30k Training - Week 2 Recap

Week #2 has come & gone already. 9 weeks left until my 30k race!

Here's my training week in review:

Day 1 - Monday - Boot camp.
Once again I had another commitment and couldn't make it to boot camp.  Ugh!  Next week is the final session so I. Must. Go!

Day 2 - Tuesday -  40 mins EASY.
Easy, conversational pace = VERY SLOW! This is a tough one for me.  40 minutes keeping my HR between 60-70%.  
I'm sure as people pass me on the street they say "Oh, there's a runner! Wait, she looks like she's kind of running, but not really.  She's not really walking either.  What exactly is she doing??"
My pacing for this run should probably be closer to 8min/km.  My run tonight was about 7:15. I really find this pace hard to keep.  My knees seem to bother me a bit at this pace as well.  Probably because I'm shortening my stride as I try to slow down. I'm sure there's some running guideline that would tell me that's not the proper way to do it but I'm really unsure what is!

Total for this painfully slow run - 5.81 kms in 40:00 minutes.

Day 3 - Wednesday - 6x1k @10k pace.
When I started this run I thought "Hurray, I get to run fast tonight!".
Yeah, this wasn't happening for me. Not sure what my problem was (aside from the fact that my HRM was not adjusted properly for the first half of the run which just totally drove me crazy & kept me very distracted!).
I don't know whose "10K" pace this is...but apparently it's not mine.
Borrowed from http://roadrunner.name.my/
Goal was to keep my HR between 88-92% for each of the 6 1km intervals.  I could barely do it, was frustrated and eventually talked myself out of it.
I would give this run a big FAIL, except that I did try and wasn't home sitting on my couch eating chips (which I've been known to do!). And, I was able to run one 5:36min km, which means I was pushing it!

Run stats - 10.2 kms in 1 hour 12 minutes.

Day 4 - Thursday - 40 mins MOD.
I had to change up the plan a little on this night as I went running with a friend.  Something that doesn't happen very often so I do try to take advantage of it.  Company is nice sometimes!
I turned off the HRM and we just went running.  Funny thing is we actually ended up pretty close to what my target for the night was supposed to be.
40 mins with HR between 70-85%.  My average HR was 86% and we ran just shy of 40 minutes.

Total distance was 5.49 kms in 35:43 minutes.

Day 5 - Friday - 4x6mins.
Another speed workout!  After Wednesday I was a little nervous. 
This one was structured a little differently.  The goal was 4 6min intervals run at 80-85%. There was also a 10 minute warm up & cool down period.
This one was better. My average HR for each interval was 87%.  A touch higher than the goal, but I was able to run consistently and this tells me I should also be able to do the intervals at the increased HR from Wednesday.
Overall, I was quite please with this run.

Total distance was 7.04 kms in 50:00 minutes.

Day 6 - Saturday - REST DAY.
I really missed running on Saturday.  I rarely do not run on Saturday's so I really felt like I was missing something all day.  I did enjoy afternoon of lounging by the pool, no complaints there!

Day 7 - Sunday - Long Run 150 mins
What is it with my weekend runs and RAIN?? Again as soon as I stepped outside the heavens opened and poured down on me.  I ran anyway.  I tried to run toward the blue sky in the distance.  After 30 minutes the rain was behind me.
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this run.  I didn't feel like I ran for 2.5 hours.  I didn't feel like I was continually having to slow down or speed up.  I was able to run consistently with few annoying beeps from my HRM.  I managed to get in 1.5 more kms in the same time as last week although I did run a different route.
I am going to give credit for this run to both progress and less up hill running!

Total distance 19.34km in 2hours 30minutes.

Total stats for the week:
Distance - 46.88km (4.64km more than week #1)
Time - 5:48:04 (10 minutes more than week#1)
Average pace - 7.25min/km

With the exception of the speed work on Wednesday, a much better training week. Still areas for improvement, but I'm feeling much better about the HR training itself. I didn't fit in any strength training either which I'd like to do twice a week.
Next week brings new challenges as it's supposed to be very hot & humid here.  As well, we are going out of town for the weekend so I may need to reorganize things to ensure I get my long run in.  Hopefully it works!

Jun 13, 2012

30k Training - Week 1 Recap

Well week #1 of heart rate training for my 30km Midsummer Night's Run is behind me.  Thank goodness!
Actually, it went better than I expected really.  I haven't run with a HRM in a long time.  I go out, I run.  I typically run as fast as I can as long as I don't talk myself out of a fast paced run (which happens quite frequently!).

Here's my training week in review:

Day 1 - Monday - Boot camp.
This turned out to be a rest day as I had a prior commitment & couldn't make it to boot camp.  My older daughter returned from Europe (yay!!) and I had to pick her up at the airport.  A good excuse I think!

Day 2 - Tuesday - 3x10 mins @THR.
This run involved a 10 minute warm up & cool down targeting 60-70% HR and in between 3 10 minute intervals at 80-85% HR (with a 1:30 rest in between each). 
Hubby was late getting home from work and I was determined to run.  So L. got packed into her stroller with books, toys & snacks and off we went.
Holy crap!!
I think it is next to impossible (for me anyway) to run pushing a stroller with a 30lb toddler plus assorted paraphernalia and keep your heart rate less than 70% of max!!  The same can be said for keeping it under 85%.  This was a tough run for me.  My average heart rate for the entire run was about 87%.  Not quite where it needed to be.
Very slow run in my normal running terms - 7.22 kms in 54:34 minutes.
I blame it on bringing the kid!

Day 3 - Wednesday - 40 mins EASY.
An easy run means being able to run at a conversational pace.  In HR terms  we're talking between 60-70%.
Once again L. joined me on this run.  
My average heart rate for the run was about 76%.  There was a lot of walking involved.  There is no way I can run up hills with her in the stroller and keep my HR that low! 
Another very slow run (but that is the goal for this type of run) - 3.73 kms in 30:02 minutes.
For fun after the run I threw in some strength training (to make up for that missed boot camp) - squats, sit ups, push ups & kettle bell swings.  About 25 minutes worth.

Day 4 - Thursday - 5x3mins @10k pace.
A 15 minute warm up & cool down at the dreaded 60-70% pace. 5 intervals of 3 minute each at what this plan calls "10k pace" or 88-92% THR.
Apparently, this is not my 10k pace!  It was hard to get my HR up to this level and then run at that consistent pace.  Three minutes doesn't seem that long, but holy cow!  It's never ending! 
This run went better and I was flying solo finally.  My average HR was about 85% and I was able to achieve the 10k pace for a good length of time.  Hopefully this gets easier!
Total distance was 6.26 kms in 48:53 minutes.

Day 5 - Friday - Rest Day

Day 6 - Saturday - 3x10 mins @THR.
A repeat of Tuesday, minus L. & the stroller.
What I blamed on bringing the kid was apparently not her fault.  I only did slightly better without her!
I made sure to do this run early morning as it was supposed to be a hot day.  Can you say torrential downpour?  That's what happened. I got caught in a lovely storm, but I kept on going.  I'm determined.  I only have 11 weeks to get ready for this very long run!
I felt pretty good after this one, less frustrated.
Total distance 7.24 kms in 54:30 minutes.

Day 7 - Sunday - Long Run 150 mins
That's 2 and one half hours!
I'm thinking "Oh crap! I've never run for that length of time".
Then I look at the rest of the info.  THR is between 65-75%.  What???  That's ridiculous.
I started this one about 7:30am because it was going to be a scorcher.  It was 15 degrees Celsius when I left the house & 21 degrees when I finished.  Bright burning sunshine all the way.
While this was tough to keep my HR at the proper level this was the most enjoyable run I had all week.  It was very controlled.  The time zipped by. When I finished I didn't feel like I had run for 2 1/2 hours. The last hour was very tough to keep in the zone and my average HR ended up around 80%.
Total distance 17.78km in 2hours 30minutes.

To summarize, heart rate training is hard. Period.  I knew it would be.  It is going to take all my patience and then some to complete the 11 weeks.  I'm determined to do it.  Hopefully I still think that way a couple of weeks from now!

Total stats for the week:
Distance - 42.24km
Time - 5:38:01
Average pace - 8.0min/km

Overall not bad.  Some definite room for improvement.

Jun 7, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Run - Training Plan

So with the commitment made to participate in the longest run I've attempted to date, a training plan is a necessity.

I've thought a lot about this in the past few weeks. All of my prior training has been pretty standard - 3 - 4 runs of between 5 - 11 kms plus one long weekend run that progressively increased until just before race day.  For my last race I also tried to include some tempo runs as well.  Also, 95% of my training is done alone. That all worked fine and I've seen my pace & endurance increase but this time I'm going with a different approach.

Heart rate based training.  
Cheer or Boo at your leisure!

Why HR based training?
A couple of reasons:
  1. The challenge.  
  2. Added variety from my previous training plans.
HR based training is tough.  At least it is for me.  After my first 5 months of running I attempted HR based training and it was hard.  But it did help me & I really had to focus.  Focus on running.  Focus on breathing.  Focus on pace.  I moved away from that when I got back into running after my last pregnancy.

The plan I've decided to use is based on a Garmin Marathon training schedule. (You could search on-line & probably come up with the same plan.) It's only been slightly modified.  The scary part is I'm jumping in mid-plan (week 6) so my long run days are really long run days very quickly!  I may have to tweak this a bit further for those long runs if that ramp is too fast.  But my Half Marathon was only 3 weeks ago so really it shouldn't be a problem.  I have a tendency to talk myself out of continuing those long runs sometimes though so we'll see how it goes!

The one downfall to all this training in the summer is vacation.  See all those highlighted days up there?  Yep, that's my vacation.  3 whole weeks of it.  Training can't stop or I won't make my goal.  The good thing is that our summer vacation is camping, so I'll be in an area where running is possible and there are even some decent trails.

So let's dive in!  This is Week #1!!  Hopefully this all works out and I won't need to be placed in that padded cell I spoke of previously!

Jun 5, 2012

Commitment - an act of insanity or a pledge?

According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary the word commitment can be defined as:

Definition of COMMITMENT

a : an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) : a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) : an act of referring a matter to a legislative committeeb : mittimus
a : an agreement or pledge to do something in the future;especially : an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future dateb : something pledgedc : the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionallyimpelled <a commitment to a cause>

As far as I know I haven't committed any acts that would involve a stay at a penal or mental institution.  Well definitely not the penal, but there are days that some may say a nicely padded solitary cell is required!
Photo courtesy of www.123rf.com

No, I'm talking about commitment because I've just made one.  A personal one.  A BIG one. Obligated myself to participate in a future event.  
Take a guess what it is.
It involves wearing brightly coloured clothing, mostly skin tight clothing, and not particularly a lot of it.  NOOO!  Minds out of the gutter please, this is a family show!
It also involves a lot of sweat (okay, really, I already told you not to go there) as well as determination.
Ever heard of A Midsummer Night's Run? No.  Well it's a summer time endurance event.  There are 2 options for distance - 15k or 30k.  Last summer I ran the 15k and that was the hardest physical event I've completed to date.  I didn't have enough training, was 40lbs too heavy and it was HOT!
Photo courtesy of fotosearch.com

The 2 Half Marathons I did next were way easier than that race.
But because I'm a sucker for punishment or something (remember that padded cell from up above?) this year I'm going all out.  THIRTY K BABY!!! In. The. Middle. Of. August.
I've signed on the dotted line.  Paid my fees.  Made the schedule.  It's a done deal.
Photo courtesy of http://icondoit.wordpress.com
The commitment is made.  My schedule is posted on the fridge for all to see.  There can't be any excuses.  There will be a lot of running going on over the next 11 weeks.  I will need help.  I might need to beg, plead, whine, promise lovely gifts to enlist the help of my family. (I think I see some shopping trips & daddy play dates in my future!!)  It's all about teamwork right?

This is my next big step.  A trip down the path to my end goal of that full marathon run. More to follow in the weeks to come as I get going with the training.

Once again I'm hanging out at YeahWrite - a great blogging community.  Read & be read!!  Enjoy.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me