Sunday, October 27, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 15 Complete!

Last week's workouts:
Sun 10/20: 5 mi, 55:53
Mon 10/21: Rest (I have a massage booked, can't wait!)
Tues 10/22: Intervals 1:00 2:2 6.25 mi, 1:00
Wed 10/23: Strength training Base + strides 6.75 mi, 1:12:43
Thurs 10/24: Base + strides 1:20 Lower body strength training with 15 min elliptical warmup
Fri 10/25: 50 min recovery run 4.38 mi, 52:19
Sat 10/26: 20 miles long 20.83 mi, 3:49:23
Sun 10/27: Fired Up 5K 3.1 mi, 29:41

Week 15 was one of my favorite weeks so far in this training season!

Monday's massage was so awesome! My masseuse worked a lot of tension out of my calves and hips. I will definitely see her again after our 22 mile run and of course after the marathon.

Tuesday's interval workout went great. We did a warmup mile, then 2 minutes fast and 2 minutes recovery (not sure how many intervals exactly) then 1 mile cooldown. It was a cool evening at the lake and my legs felt great after my massage. The weather was so nice again on Wednesday evening that I decided to move my leg workout to Thursday and run my base plus strides workout instead.

Saturday's long run was great, everything came together nicely. The weather was cool with a chance of rain in the forecast. We got sprinkled on a few miles in, but after that we stayed dry. My legs felt strong and the group conversations were great. (Although we all got very quiet on the hilly sections towards the end!) Our coach Steve ran with us for a while and we talked about nutrition: pre-race meals and race day fuel. I came away with a lot of good information! Once I got home I took an epsom salt bath and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon.

Sunday morning I ran the Town North YMCA Fired Up 5K. This is a small race right in my neighborhood and benefits our YMCA. Last year, the race also happened to fall the day after my 20-mile training run and I ran it in 34:33, my slowest 5k to date. This year, I managed to finish in 29:41! While this is not a PR by any means, I'm still surprised that I manged to finish in less than 30 minutes on such fatigued legs. I think the biggest difference is that this year, I have put more importance on recovery after a long run or hard workout.

This week is a step back in miles for us, we will run the DRC Half Marathon on Sunday and that will be our "long" run for the week. (I am counting the Fired Up 5k as my base run for this coming week.)

This week's plans:
Mon 10/28: Vinyasa yoga 1:00
Tues 10/29: Progression run 1:00
Wed 10/30: Recovery run :50
Thurs 10/31: Strength training
Fri 11/1: Base + strides 1:30
Sat 11/2: Rest
Sun 11/3: DRC Half Marathon

I am not sure what (if any) goals I should set for the half marathon. My pace leader Clay is going to be pacing for the 2:05 group, so I may join him.

Have a happy and healthy week!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 14 Complete!

Last week's workouts:
Sun 10/13: Strength training (plus lots of stretching and foam rolling!)
Mon 10/14: base/easy 50 min run 3.77 mi, 41:38
Tues 10/15: 4x1200m speedwork 5.16 mi, 50:28
Wed 10/16: Yoga 1 hour
Thurs 10/17: base + strides 1:20 6.58 mi, 1:12:58
Fri 10/18: recovery 50 min run 2.93 mi, 35:38
Sat 10/19: 18 miles long 18 mi, 3:12:55

We had more storms in Dallas this week! Monday morning it was drizzly when I woke up and the rain just got worse as I ran. I ended up cutting my planned 50 minutes short. On Tuesday, it was still raining and a cold front had moved in. I didn't feel like driving across town to our track workout (everyone forgets how to drive in the rain), not to mention run in the cold rain. So I decided to try doing the speed workout on the treadmill. I can't even remember the last time I ran on a treadmill, it usually hurts my knee. Surprisingly, my knee felt fine throughout the workout and I did all 4 planned 1200m repeats. I didn't get my pace up to the recommended speed, but did my faster intervals at around 8:30 which is pretty fast for me. I did have to cut my cooldown a little short because I was over my time limit and people were waiting for the treadmills. Nobody wants to be "that guy" at the gym!

The rain left on Wednesday, but the cooler temperatures stayed! What a refreshing change; after a hot, humid summer it seems like fall has finally arrived. On Friday, I also had to cut my run a little short only because I needed to get to work on time. I should have gotten up earlier but my bed was just too warm!

Saturday's run was great! The weather was downright chilly, in the 40's when we started at 6:00am and it never warmed up much. We had a fabulous route, running from White Rock Lake through East Dallas, Highland Park, the Southern Methodist University campus (practically my backyard growing up!) and then back through the Lakewood neighborhoods. Once we got back to the lake, training buddy Andrea took a bad spill. She scraped up her knee and elbow pretty good. (Thankfully, she didn't face-plant like someone we all know...) Travis had a bunch of band-aids, so we patched her up and a couple people stayed back while she called someone to pick her up. It looked bad, but she later said she felt much better and should be back next weekend. Whew!

Sunday morning, I met up with some fellow runners for an easy 5 miles at the lake. This group normally does trail runs on Sundays (and I occasionally join), but due to a trail closure most of the runners decided to do an easy loop around White Rock. Some of us who had done 18 miles the previous day opted for an easy 5 miles. It was a great way to shake out my legs and catch up with some of the ladies who are running the Marine Corps Marathon in just a week!

This week's plans:
Sun 10/20: 5 mi, 55:53
Mon 10/21: Rest (I have a massage booked, can't wait!)
Tues 10/22: Intervals 1:00 2:2
Wed 10/23: Strength training
Thurs 10/24: Base + strides 1:20
Fri 10/25: 50 min recovery run
Sat 10/26: 20 miles long
Sun 10/27: Fired Up 5K

Have a happy and healthy week!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 13 Complete!

Last week's planned and actual workouts:
Sun 10/6: 1 hour yoga
Mon 10/7: Base/easy 40 min run 3.57 mi, 39:56
Tues 10/8: 9x hill repeats 6.64 mi, 1:17:19
Wed 10/9: strength training 15 min elliptical warmup, legs and abs
Thurs 10/10: Santa Fe 5k 3.1 mi, 28:21
Fri 10/11: 1:10 base + strides 4.68 mi, 57:00
Sat 10/12: 18 mi long 17.85 mi, 3:14:07

Tuesday's hill workout was tough as usual! This was our longest hill workout, but also our last one for the training season. Very few people showed up, I think the 9 repeats scared some people off! But our small group did great and I felt like I finished strong.

Thursday's 5k was different and fun! I signed up for this race a while ago, it's been a long time since I've done a 5k! In fact, when I looked at my profile on Athlinks, the last one I did was in October of last year! I have also never done an evening race before, but figured it was no different than an evening workout. Getting to the race site was tough in rush hour traffic, and parking in the neighborhood was kind of a mess. I was late to the starting line, I got there almost 5 minutes after the official start time! Oh well, I just went ahead and started and caught up pretty quickly. It was actually a little fun, I got to feel fast passing the walkers and back-of-the-packers! The race started and finished at Lindsley Park, with most of the race on the Santa Fe Trail. Since my legs have been in endurance mode (not speed mode) for so long, I wasn't sure how I was going to do, but I'm pretty happy with my time. We also got these cute finisher's mugs!

There were also food trucks and beer, but I needed to head home so I didn't stay. But it was a fun race, I'd do it again!

Unfortunately I didn't stretch afterwards and when I woke up Friday morning, my legs were stiff and sore! I decided that instead of base plus strides, I would do more of a recovery pace (with a few walk breaks) and then stretched and foam-rolled.

Saturday morning, I was not looking forward to my run! I had only gotten about 4.5 hours of sleep Friday night (I went to see The Lion King at the Fair Park Music Hall, it was fabulous!), plus it was warm and really humid. I believe the humidity was almost 90% when I got to the lake at 6am! My pace leader, Clay, had been battling a cold all week but said he felt better. I was nervous about the run, I kept thinking about how my longest run (16 miles) had been 4 weeks prior, so I wasn't sure how I was going to hold up in the humidity.

Our group was small (10 runners and Clay), we started out of the parking lot with me up front with Clay. Before we even got to the lake, Clay said, "I'm calling it, I can't finish today." I turned to ask if he still wasn't feeling well and he had already turned around! I was so shocked, but fellow trainee Travis was smart enough to grab Clay's map. Poor Clay, he felt awful but he was really smart to listen to his body and give himself more time to recover. In the meantime, the 4:10 group (or "3:70" as we like to call ourselves) was on our own! I stayed up front but I am a terrible pacer so knew that I would have to rotate out as soon as we hit the first water stop. Thankfully, around mile 3 our coach Steve was waiting for us! Clay had called his cell phone and told him what happened, so Steve said he would step in and pace for us. (Steve usually starts with the fastest training group and checks on all of us throughout the run.) Haha, I was so happy to see him!

The humidity made it a tough run for all of us! Several of our members ended up dropping back (Steve was careful to make sure they knew where they were going) and we ended up picking up at least one person from the 4:00 group. The route was actually really fun, we ran along the lake, then into the neighborhoods, all the way to the Katy Trail, then back to the lake through East Dallas. Despite the humidity, my legs felt strong (probably all that extra rest!) and I was confident that I would be able to finish, even if I had to fall back. Somewhere between 7 and 8 miles, I accidently hit the "Lap" button on my watch, so my splits got a little messed up. I also apparently forgot to restart it at one point after a water stop, so I ended up about .3 miles short of what we actually did.

Most of our water stops were water fountains, but one had Powerade so I made sure to drink some as well as fill up one of my water bottles with it to get some extra electrolytes. I also ate a few Honey Stinger chews at each water stop. I was sweating like crazy, so I knew I would need the extra fuel! After we got back to the lake, we dropped even more runners but I managed to stick with Steve until the end! He finished with just 3 of the original runners we had started with (plus one we had picked up). I'm still surprised I didn't drop back, but like I said my legs were fresher than most, so maybe that helped.

This week will be busy! I have a lot of social obligations (not complaining!) but I think I'll be able to fit in all of my workouts even if I end up having to switch some around.
Sun 10/13: Strength training (plus lots of stretching and foam rolling!)
Mon 10/14: base/easy 50 min run
Tues 10/15: 4x1200m speedwork
Wed 10/16: Yoga 1 hour
Thurs 10/17: base + strides 1:20
Fri 10/18: recovery 50 min run
Sat 10/19: 18 miles long

There is a lot of rain in the forecast, so it will probably still be a humid week! It's supposed to be a little cooler, though, so hopefully that will help.

Mediterranean Barley with Chickpeas and Arugula

This recipe was super easy and made really delicious leftovers! I will definitely make it again.

The only change I made was that instead of pistachios, I used toasted pine nuts. We loooove pistachios and I think if I bought a bag, we would have eaten the whole thing! Plus, I had some pine nuts that needed to be used up. The great thing about a recipe like this is that it would be easy to mix up the ingredients. For example, you could easily sub quinoa or brown rice for the barley, use baby spinach in place of arugula, use cannellini beans in place of the chickpeas... the possibilities are endless!

Mediterranean Barley with Chickpeas and Arugula

1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 cup packed arugula leaves
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios


1. Cook barley according to package directions, omitting salt. Combine barley, arugula, bell pepper, tomatoes, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
2. Combine lemon juice, oil, salt, and crushed red pepper, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over barley mixture, and toss. Sprinkle with pistachios.
Susan Russo, Cooking Light
APRIL 2011

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Weeks 11 and 12 Complete (Kind of)

Week 11's planned and actual workouts:
Sun 9/22: Rest
Mon 9/23: Base/easy run 3.83 mi, 42:54 + 1 hour vinyasa yoga
Tues 9/24: 6x800 speed workout 6.51 mi, 1:03:08
Wed 9/25: 50 min recovery run 3.65 mi, 42:46
Thurs 9/26: Strength training (uppper body and abs)
Fri 9/27: 1 hour base + strides 4.87 mi, 55:34
Sat 9/28: 16 mi long

I wasn't feeling great this week, lots of sinus congestion due to the weather changing and poor air quality. But I was really looking forward to my Saturday long run.

Unfortunately, my father in law passed away unexpectedly on that Friday night. The next week (Week 12 on my training schedule) was a blur of making arrangements, extended family in town and spending time with family. It was an emotionally draining week. I did manage to get away for a loop around White Rock Lake (9.45 mi, 1:39:53) and one awful, hot run in the neighborhood (4.71 mi, 53:55), plus a yoga podcast. But I really just didn't worry about missing my workouts, I don't think one week will make or break my whole training season.

Saturday (Oct 4), we had The Loop 15k on the agenda. I honestly wasn't sure what was going to happen going into this race, I hadn't been sleeping or eating well all week but still toyed with the idea of doing some extra miles after the race to make up for missing my 16 mile run. Finally, I decided just to show up and see how I felt. I was definitely ready to be back with the running community! I got to Winfrey Point a little early to make sure I could find parking as well as pick up my bib. It was really warm and humid (not sure what the temperature was, the humidity was at 85%) but there was supposed to be rain coming in with temperatures dropping. I got my bib and headed to the start line with my pace leader, Clay, and Brad, a fellow 4:10 trainee. I didn't see many other people I knew, oddly. I felt pretty good early in the race but wasn't sure how long it would be before the humidity started to get me.

Around mile 3, I ran into my buddy Jessica (who is running the Chicago Marathon next weekend) and we stuck together for the next 4 miles. It was great to have someone to chat with for a while and we were both able to keep close to a 10:00 min/mile pace. We could see dark clouds getting closer to White Rock Lake and hoped the cool front would hurry up and get here! At mile 7, she needed to take a walk break and I decided to keep running. Not long after, I ran into Michael and Kim cheering at the next water stop, it was great to see them! There were only a few water stops during this race, I think I stopped at all of them to get water.

Just as I passed the 9 mile mark, the wind started really blowing. The cool front was moving in! As I crossed the finish line, it started raining. Luckily, it wasn't pouring so it actually felt really refreshing after all the humidity. I wish it had started earlier!

Looking back at the start/finish line as the rain was moving in.

My official finish time was 1:35:57, an average of 10:19 min/mile. Not bad considering the humidity and my low expectations.

I grabbed some water and Powerade and decided to just to head home rather than try to slog out some extra miles in the rain. Next week's 18 miles might be rough but I think I can make it.

I'm looking forward to getting back to my routine this week, I think it will be nice for things to feel a little more "normal."

This week's plans:
Sun 10/6: 1 hour yoga
Mon 10/7: Base/easy 40 min run
Tues 10/8: 9x hill repeats
Wed 10/9: strength training
Thurs 10/10: Santa Fe 5k
Fri 10/11: 1:10 base + strides
Sat 10/12: 18 mi long

Have a happy and healthy week!