Monday, November 25, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 19 Complete!

Last week's workouts:
Sun 11/17: Rest
Mon 11/18: Base/easy :50 + strength training 1.3 mi run/walk + 20 min elliptical
Tues 11/19: Pace 1:00 Power Yoga 2 podcast (25 min) + strength training arms and abs
Wed 11/20: Vinyasa yoga 1:00
Thurs 11/21: Base + strides 1:30 (plus I have a massage scheduled) 5.63 mi, 1:02:42
Fri 11/22: Recovery :40 Rest
Sat 11/23: 14 miles with fast finish 14.42 mi, 2:29:35

Last week did not start off well! When I got out of bed Monday morning, my right leg did not feel right. I had a lot of pain above my ankle, where it meets the shin. I started out for my run, but turned around after less than a mile because I was definitely limping. I put some ice on my ankle, foam rolled and decided to take a couple of days off to recover. I also skipped my leg workout to make sure I didn't aggravate it.

Thursday morning I went on a test run and it felt pretty good! I had a massage appointment that evening, so I let my masseuse know what had been going on. She theorized that it was the beginning of shin splints (which I have had before) and said she would work on my calves a lot during the massage. She also found a trigger point in my lower back that was causing my left hip flexor to be really tight. She really worked out a lot of knots, I left the appointment with tons of bruises! I was so sore and tender on Friday that I decided to let my legs rest.

Dallas had a huge cold front come through on Friday and with it came some rain. On Saturday morning, all I wanted to do was stay in my warm bed! But I bundled up and met my group for 14 miles. It was misting when we started out, but thankfully it stopped quickly so we didn't have to deal rain on top of the cold. But it was quite a chilly run, I don't think I ever really warmed up. My legs felt good, sore from the massage still, but nothing worrisome.

Since we're already in the taper portion of our training, I don't feel too bad about missing some running workouts this week. At this point, I just want to be healthy when I get to the starting line!

This week's plans:
Sun 11/24: Rest
Mon 11/25: Elliptical 30 min + lower body strength training
Tues 11/26: Pace :50
Wed 11/27: Yoga
Thurs 11/28: Dallas Turkey Trot (8 miles)
Fri: 11/29: Rest
Sat 11/30: 9 mi

Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 18 Complete!

Let the taper begin!

Last week's workouts:
Sun 11/10: Rest
Mon 11/11: Base/easy :40 3.5 mi, 38:40
Tues 11/12: Tempo 1:20 8.53 mi, 1:21:41
Wed: 11/13: Vinyasa yoga 1 hour OR strength training
Thurs 11/14: Base plus strides 1:30 8.02 mi, 1:27:07
Fri 11/15: Recovery :50 3.14 mi, 39:59
Sat 11/16: 22 mi long 22.44 mi, 4:04:07

This week's training was great, I feel like I am finishing the season feeling confident about the Dallas Marathon!

Tuesday night our group did a tempo workout. We warmed up, then ran our tempo pace (around 8:50) for 20 minutes, ran easy for 10 and then picked it up to a tempo pace for another 20 minutes. We were supposed to do an out-and-back run but we actually figured out we could go all the way around the lake it we took a shortcut. So it was a fun, adventurous run! It was definitely a tough workout, too, the tempo pace was really hard for me to keep up with. The temperatures dropped significantly on Tuesday so at least we were running in the cold.

Wednesday I was happy to be able to make it to yoga, I haven't been to the studio in a couple of weeks. It was a great class, very challenging with lots of backbends and hip openers. Thursday my legs were pretty sore (from speedwork and yoga) but I managed to keep a pretty good pace for my run. Friday I ran a little shorter than scheduled and really slowly with some walk breaks. I wanted to make sure my legs were well-rested for our 22 mile run!

Saturday's run went great. It was actually really humid (about 95% humidity if I remember correctly) but the sky stayed overcast and there was a breeze, so it didn't feel that bad. We all made sure to take in plenty of water and electrolytes throughout the run. Myriam led us on the first 9 miles, then Clay met up with us to finish the run. (He is tapering for the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon next weekend.) We had great conversation and I think everyone felt strong through the run! I finished feeling very tired, but happy with the way my run went.

Post-run: me, Brandon, Clay and Jessica.

Now I am officially in taper mode! I'm still reluctant to set a time goal for the marathon, I think my main goal is just to beat my time last year. The weather is going to play a big factor in how confident I'll feel going into the race. At this point, the training is done and I feel like I've had a strong season. Now all that's left is to wait for race day!

This week's plans:
Sun 11/17: Rest
Mon 11/18: Base/easy :50 + strength training
Tues 11/19: Pace 1:00
Wed 11/20: Vinyasa yoga
Thurs 11/21: Base + strides 1:30 (plus I have a massage scheduled)
Fri 11/22: Recovery :40
Sat 11/23: 14 miles with fast finish

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 17 complete!

Last week's workouts:
Mon 11/4: Strength training (legs) + 15 min elliptical
Tues 11/5: Base/easy 1:20 25 min Yoga for Runners podcast and ab work
Wed 11/6: Vinyasa yoga 7.1 mi, 1:16:21
Thurs 11/7: Base plus strides 1:30 7.87 mi, 1:26:48
Fri 11/8: Recovery :50 Rest
Sat 11/9: 18 mi long 18.61 mi, 3:18:48

Tuesday evening I was supposed to meet up with my training group for an easy 1:20 run, but I had a horrible sinus headache all day. Instead, I did a yoga podcast and some ab work. Wednesday I made up the run after work. It's not nearly as fun to run by myself, especially because it gets dark so early now! But overall it was a good run.

Thursday I set out to do my 1:30 base plus strides workout and my legs were super sore! I must not have stretched well after my Wednesday night run. I kept a slower pace and didn't push it too hard on the strides. I made sure to stretch and foam roll afterwards and decided to rest Friday so I could be ready for 18 miles on Saturday.

Saturday's run was pretty good, even though my legs were still sore. I was especially sore in my right piriformis, which was unusual. However, the weather was good and we had a good group so I was able to push through.

We took a picture at one of our water stops. I think we were about 10 miles in?

Back row: Me, Leslie, Kate, Kristin (pace leader), Andrea, Diana
Front row: Michael, Jeanette, Clay (pace leader), Brandon, Myriam, Brad

It was great to have Kristin back with us! She suffered a stress fracture in her foot early in the season and hasn't been able to run with us much. She didn't do the entire 18 miles but did over half of it with us on Saturday.

This week's plans:
Sun 11/10: Rest
Mon 11/11: Base/easy :40
Tues 11/12: Tempo 1:20
Wed: 11/13: Vinyasa yoga OR strength training
Thurs 11/14: Base plus strides 1:30
Fri 11/15: Recovery :50
Sat 11/16: 22 mi long

Hard to believe that Saturday will be our last long run of the season!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Dallas Marathon Training: Week 16 Complete!

Last week's workouts:
Mon 10/28: Vinyasa yoga 1:00
Tues 10/29: Progression run 1:00 5.97 mi, 57:00
Wed 10/30: Recovery run :50 Strength training, arms and abs
Thurs 10/31: Strength training 4.77 mi, 50:56
Fri 11/1: Base + strides 1:30 Rest
Sat 11/2: Rest
Sun 11/3: DRC Half Marathon 13.1 mi, 2:01:20

Poor Michael has been sick for a couple of weeks and, unfortunately, it caught me this week. Wednesday afternoon, I wasn't feeling so hot and Thursday morning I woke up congested and achey. I was feeling a little better by that afternoon and went for an easy run in the neighborhood. Thursday also happened to be Halloween, so it was fun seeing the kids in their costumes getting ready to trick or treat!

I decided to rest Friday and Saturday to make sure I'd be ready for Sunday's DRC Half. I didn't have any particular goals but planned on at least starting with the 2:05 pace group. Sunday morning, I felt a lot better and my congestion was only in my sinuses, no chest congestion or coughing. The weather was very cool, but I wore a short-sleeve tech shirt and shorts. I would rather be cold waiting at the starting line than too warm later in the race. (The DRC Half does offer bag drop, but I don't tend to take advantage of this. For some reason, I am afraid that my stuff will get lost!) I parked at Mockingbird Station and used the shuttle provided by the race to get to the start line.

I found Clay, who was pace leading the 2:05 group and lined up with him and several of our 3:70 group. I looked for Brandon, but didn't see him. I knew he was shooting for a PR and was planning to start with the 1:50 pace group. The DRC Half was doing a corral start this year and corrals were not assigned but you were asked to get in one of three corrals based on your estimated finish time. The 2:05 group was starting in the second corral (estimated finish times 2:00-2:15). Our wave didn't start long after the 7:30 start time at all, before I knew it, we were off! In fact, when we crossed the start line, I went to start my watch and realized I hadn't even asked it to find my location yet, whoops! It took about a mile until it found me, so I wasn't sure of my progress during the race.

The course took us north first, then back south to run along the west side of White Rock Lake. Next, we got to go into some of the surrounding neighborhoods, including my sister-in-law and brother-in-law's neighborhood! They brought my nephew out to cheer, I think he had fun watching all the runners go by! They also got some fun action shots, I'll have to go back and add them later.

I had told myself that I would stick with the 2:05 pace group for the first 10 miles and then pull ahead if I felt good. However, once we were around the 5 mile mark, I realized my legs felt really good and decided to go ahead and speed up.

Michael's sister, brother-in-law and our nephew came out to cheer! They got some good action shots. Luke now says, "Want to see Auntie Becca run the race!"

I managed to keep a pace close to 9:00 per mile as we looped the south side of the lake. As the course approached the 10 mile mark, I tried to do some math in my head (remember my watch was off) to see what kind of time I thought I could finish with. I figured I could get close to 2 hours if I kept my current speed. I was able to keep my pace, even speeding up a little bit the closer I got to the finish line.

When I crossed the finish line, the clock said 2:03:xx, so I knew I had beat that time (as the clock was displaying the gun time and I was in the second corral). I was happy knowing that I had just finished my second fastest half marathon! It's funny how when I go into a race with no expectations, I end up surprising myself. I had to walk around a little bit to get my heart rate back down, I didn't realize how hard I had been pushing until I stopped! I got my medal and some water, said hi to my friend Jessica who was working in the finish chute, then headed into the finisher's area.

I got in line for my finisher's shirt and found a few friends to chat with. Everyone had a great race, lots of my running friends set new PR's! I think the weather played a major factor, we could not have asked for a better day for a race! Brandon and I finally found each other, he had smashed his PR goal with a 1:52 finish! That's almost 20 minutes faster than his previous PR, how amazing! He, Serena and I went to the beer tent and got some Lakewood Brewery Company beer to celebrate.

Running and beer, what could be better?

My official time was 2:01:20, much better than I would have thought I could do and about 10 minutes faster than last year! The DRC Half was a huge confidence boost and a great way to finish off Week 16 of training! It's hard to believe we're in the home stretch, December 8 will be here before we know it.

This week's plans:

Mon 11/4: Strength training (legs)
Tues 11/5: Base/easy 1:20
Wed 11/6: Vinyasa yoga
Thurs 11/7: Base plus strides 1:30
Fri 11/8: Recovery :50
Sat 11/9: 18 mi long