A great running weekend!

It was a productive weekend running wise.

I got to run 7 miles on Friday, 7 miles on Saturday and 10 miles on Sunday.

Friday’s run was fun.  I ran a mile warmup, 5 miles close to marathon pace and a mile cool down.  I was really pleased, as that was the first time I ran 7 miles since my achilles injury.

Saturday was spent running with TJ and RS.  The three of us got up early and ran the 5K route we will run this weekend for the CityFest 5K.  Part of the run is on a busy road with little shoulder room, so it is rather difficult to run.  All three of us ran the route at about an 8:40 pace.  Then TJ and I decided to run it again at my 5K pace to see the best way to deal with the hills.

We rested up and then started our run. It really isn’t too bad of a course until you start the second leg of the busy road.  That is a pretty big uphill, then a run through a neighborhood with a couple big hills.  I did well until the last hill.  Suddenly my app stopped my run, which was annoying.  Then seconds later my shoe lace came untied.  TJ said, “I guess you wont forget to double tie your shoes on race day”.  True.  Then the downhill started.  The entire last mile is either downhill or level.  I did well until the end that I thought stopped at the stadium.  As we reached that point, we still had about half a mile to go.  I know on race day that we run into the stadium and around the track, but I was psyched to stop at the stadium.  So I did well until the last 10th of a mile and at that point, I lost it.  All in all, we ran just about 45 seconds slower than last week’s 5K which isn’t bad.  I’m looking forward to the race.

Sunday was my long run and considering I ran so much Friday and Saturday, I decided to run 10 miles with a 60 second walk in between each mile.  I don’t know if that helped or not, but it wasn’t easy.  I ran okay, but I could feel the effect of the miles on my body by the time it was over.

On to this week…  We have 3.5 months until our marathon in Pennsylvania.  It is slowly creeping up on us.  TJ and I were talking training last night and I think I am beginning to develop a training plan.  More on that another day.

All in all I’d say it was a great running weekend.

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The dreaded hill/trail/hill run

Some days you head out to run and things just click.

Some days you head out and it is just a normal run.

Other days are like yesterday…

TJ, RS and I decided to try out the 5K course of the CityFest 5K that is happening a week from Saturday.  Being a new course to us and an area we hadn’t run before, it was exciting to see how to run this race.  Now understand it was nearing 90, but this was a rough 5K.  Almost every 5K I have ever run starts with a downhill in the beginning, not this one.  It has a slight upgrade for about half a mile and then the hills start.  I’m thinking about 2 miles of up and down hills and not necessarily small hills either. TJ remarked that this course is not a course to set a PR on.  I guess I’ll keep to my original plan to just go out and have fun.  I know though that the competitiveness in me will come through and I’ll want to do well.  We will see.  There is a masters award given (40+), I’d like to win that.  My thought is that those who aren’t expecting this course won’t be able to keep a good pace.  I just have to figure out a strategy and then run the plan.

After the course, RS went home as he didn’t drink enough water for the heat.  I don’t think I did either.  I thought I had 96 ounces of water, but it might have been 64.  Anyway, TJ and I decided to run a trail that goes down to a park.  Not a good idea.  After the hills and a gravel trail for a mile, I was shot.  At the end of the trail we had a choice to make.  One was to go back via the trail and the other was to run up a rather large hill with traffic and very little shoulder (actually no shoulder, just lumpy grass).  We went for the hill as I couldn’t face the trail.

After the hill we just ran the neighborhood home.  Not bad, but at the top of the big hill my heal / achilles / something started hurting.  I was all taped up, but I found out after I got home that the tape didn’t hold for some reason.  So I concentrated on relaxing my foot and not pushing off but using gravity and actually had a good run at the end.   I was glad to stop and go soak my foot in ice water and drink Gatorade.  TJ went on for another 5 miles.  I had nothing left.  The hill/trail/hill run took everything out of me.

All in all it was a hard, but good workout.  I realized that during the summer I won’t be pushing speed as much as distance (except for speed workouts).

It seems summer is finally arriving a month or two late.

Spring Scramble 5K pre-race update

I had a great run yesterday.  5 miles with no pain and a lot of fun.  It was the perfect run to have right before my big 5K race on Saturday,.

I must admit that I am still a little nervous about Saturday’s race.  I really want to PR it and I would love to get below 21:00.  My race PR is 22:10 and my neighborhood PR is 21:29.  Time will tell.

Today is my off day before the race.  I usually run much better after an off day and I hope that will help.  The unknown is my running shoe.  My Saucony A5’s had to be returned with a hole in the sole, so I am going to be running in Asics Piranha’s for the race.  I’ve run in them twice so far.  Once was last week as we ran the course to get the lay of the land.  The other time was 2 days ago when I did a hard workout.  The shoes seemed to be sloppy on my feet and started causing a lot of pain on the bottom of my foot.  I think I had them tied too loosely and when I tightened them, they seemed better.  It is a little concerning though since I don’t want to be in the middle of the race and be in pain from and unknown shoe.

Tonight we do our pre-race routine.  Chicken caesar salads with macaroni and cheese.  I can thank by big brother for that since at a 5K we ran last year in Pennsylvania he and his wife made that for dinner the night before and we have eaten it before each race ever since.  We’ve since added watching Seinfeld, “The Race” during dinner – just to get motivated :).

TJ and I are healthy but RS and HM are getting over a bug as is my Lovely Wife, so I don’t know who exactly will be showing up tomorrow.  Either way, it will be fun and hopefully I’ll be prepared.  There will be several people running from my work and @bigbiggeek is coming so that will be fun.

I’ll try to post a short update after the race.

Tom

Final running workout before our 5K

One day left to workout before the Spring Scramble 5K.  It’s funny, TJ likes to run the day before a race and I don’t.  My best runs are usually the day after a rest day, so I’ll be running today and taking tomorrow off.

Yesterday I completed a hard workout (finally).  I feel it has been forever since I was able to do a workout.

I started out slowly and got in my 2 mile warmup with no problems.  I remembered my KT Tape this time and was able to use my new headset which was nice so that I could see how it did before the race.  I also wore my Asics Piranha shoes for the first time in a workout.  I did my sprints to get warmed up and then started my 1/4 mile repeats.

There were a lot of distractions and obstacles yesterday as I ran my repeats.  School was letting out and buses were all over the place.  Kids were riding bikes and playing.  In fact at one point, I was running up to a 4 way stop and a little girl was in front of me riding her bike.  She started to turn around and noticed me and got distracted.  Right then a car turned onto the street and she did not see it.  I yelled, “watch out” and the car honked its horn and she got quickly out of the way.  It was scary for me, but gave me some adrenaline to run on for a bit.

I completed all 8 repeats and averaged about a 6:30 pace which is what I wanted to do.  It was tough near the end.  Also, I didn’t tie my shoes tight enough and half way through the repeats the balls of my feet started killing me as they moved around in the shoe.  I could tell I was getting blisters.  Good to find this out before the race.  So I paused my workout and tightened my shoes and started up again.

Finally after I completed the workout I ran a mile cool down and headed home.  My achilles did great until the cool down.  For some reason (probably the workout) I could feel some pain, so I stopped after one mile cool down and just walked home.  I immediately put my foot into a bucket of ice water and let it soak for 15 minutes.

So all in all it was a good day.  I’ll be glad when this 5K is behind me.  There is another one in 2 weeks I am interested in.  I may run it – just for fun. 🙂

Running workout – Not yesterday!

The best laid plans…

I went out yesterday for my workout (1/4 mile repeats at 6:30/mile).  I was a bit hesitant since I had almost no sleep the night before and I was tired.  So I decided to set out for my 2 mile warmup and play it by ear.

Well I messed up.  I started way too fast.  About a half mile into my run I could feel my achilles again.  I got a bit overconfident and pushed to hard to soon.  By the time I got back home at the 2 mile mark, when I should have been putting on my racing flats, I decided the workout wasn’t going to happen.  My achilles wasn’t too bad, but I could feel a tug and I just don’t want to mess things up this close to the 5K.  I was wearing my Saucony Fastwitch shoes (which are becoming my favorite everyday shoe), so I changed into my Saucony Mirage since they have more support.

I did well for the next half mile – no pain and felt good.  Then I felt the tug again.  I threw in the towel.  I stopped at 3 miles, went inside, got a bucket of ice water and soaked my foot for 15 minutes.  TJ asked if I had used the KT Tape, which I hadn’t.  Not because I didn’t want to, but because I forgot.

So I will try my workout today if I feel up to it.  I did get better sleep last night, however my family is passing around a virus that I am desperately trying to avoid and I don’t want to wear myself down and take a chance at getting sick right before the race.  TJ has already gotten over his virus and RS just got it yesterday along with my Lovely Wife.  HM is still in the middle of his infection.  The bad thing is it gets into your chest, which isn’t good for running a 5K.

So I will try to stay healthy and not push too much.  After the 5K on Saturday I’ll probably take several days off and walk or (as Strive Balance suggested) ride a bike.

Nice app for a race and new bluetooth headset

I have written in the past about the iSmoothRun app and how much I like it. I’ve learned to like it even more now that I have begun to understand the interval settings.

Rather than just use the interval option for “intervals”, I decided the other day to use it for my whole run.  So I created a warmup of 1 mile and then an interval of 1 mile at 8:45 a mile (this was while I was getting over my achilles issues).  I then set my app to 1 interval of warmup and 4 intervals of the 8:45 pace.

As I have said before, the app speaks to you to let you know if you need to speed up, remain steady or slow down to keep your pace.  I had thought this was based on the full interval, but I was wrong.  Essentially it seems to be based on your current speed compared to the last time it updated (which seems to be about every 15 seconds or so).  The nice thing about this is that if you are ahead of your pace, you can “bank” that time and still keep to your target pace.  The app actually tells you from time to time how far ahead or behind your pace you are.  So the other day I was “20 seconds ahead”, but the app still told me I needed to speed up to keep the 8:45 pace.  Therefore I knew that if I was able to remain steady, I would finish that mile interval 20 seconds ahead of my goal pace.  It also will tell you your stats for that interval when it ends which is helpful.

I can see how this would be invaluable in a race.  So I decided to purchase a pair of bluetooth headsets that are waterproof (for sweat or rain).  I don’t use headsets since I don’t listen to anything while I run, but I also don’t want to bother other runners in a race with the updates of my time.  This will allow me to hear my pace and keep on target while not worrying about others getting annoyed at me for having my phone speaker so loud.

Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth Stereo Headphones

Here are the headsets I purchased – click the picture to see them on Amazon.  I hope they are good, but time will tell.

Our 5K is just days away, so I hope this will do the trick.  I also hope to use them in my first marathon in September.

5K race prep – run the route to learn the route

It was a lot of fun running yesterday with TJ and RS.  We decided to run the 5K route that we will be running next week.  As I mentioned yesterday, it is immensely helpful to run the course before the race so you know what you are up against and can plan how to run it.

The race is in a medium sized town and it begins in the middle of the shopping district, so needless to say it was hard to begin since there were too many cars to run on the road and the sidewalks had lots of shoppers.  But we decided to run the sidewalks slowly and stay out of the way of shoppers as best we could.

The race starts on a rather large downhill run.  It gets your momentum going so that is nice.  In fact most of the first mile or so is either level or downhill.  As we ran, we made a turn onto a busy street with no sidewalks, that was a bit scary as cars were coming toward us.  Finally sidewalks appeared and we ran up and down over curbs and around obstacles.

About half a mile into the run we turned into neighborhoods.  This was nice as we didn’t have to run the sidewalks and we could just enjoy our run.  I had a map on my phone from last year that I used to guide us along the way and I also put my phone on “Map My Run” so that we could have the route for the future and I could give to others who will be running with us.

We wound through neighborhoods and eventually back on the busy street.  I’d say this is the flattest 5K we have run.  Some hills, but most are inclines and not really hills.  The biggest hill is at the end (of course).  No, not the hill we started on thank goodness, but just a medium hill that leads back to the shopping district.  Once you hit that street, it is an easy run for the finish.

All in all it was a really nice run.  It will be nicer next week as we don’t have to run the sidewalks and can run the streets.  If interested, here is a link to my run that I mapped http://www.mapmyrun.com/workout/277053771.

No problem for me running and I used my new racing flats.  Next week I hope to run under 21:00.  If I stay healthy, I think I will have a shot.