Thursday, February 28, 2013

HM Coming Up...

So I am about two weeks out form my half marathon on Sat the 16th. I am getting excited, but I am also doubting myself.
I really really want to PR at this race and I would be really happy if I could finish with a 1:40xx something. I hope this is not a far fetched goal.
I have been putting in the track workouts and doing hill repeats up and down Capitol Hill every week. But I guess the one thing I have been lacking is doing tempo runs. I kind of try to mix these into my long runs but haven't been doing that great with it.
Last week I ran 12 miles at an 8:00 min pace - but I probably only ran 6 miles hitting a 7:50 pace. My half marathon goal pace is a 7:40 and it just seems like it is going to very hard or near to impossible to do.
True I ran a 14k at this pace a few weeks ago, but could I hold that pace for another 4.5 miles? I don't know? Then there is the issue of running up that big stupid Calvert hill. I haven't ran that hill at all during training and during Capitol Hill repeats I can usually only hold a 8:30 pace running up that stupid thing. I plan on running most of the course this weekend as my final long run to include the fun hill. Maybe this will give me a better gage to were I am at? Or at the very least make me feel more confident going into the race.
Happy Thurs. All :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Missing a Workout...

Do you ever have one of those days you just don't feel like doing anything?

I had one of those days last Saturday, although my day did not start off like that. I guess the fatal mistake I made was going to do errands first before doing my 2 hour trainer ride. By the time I got home from running around VA it was about 2 o'clock. I was hungry as I didn't really eat lunch but I tried getting on the trainer anyhow. 5 minutes into the spin I was hungry. surprise. So I got off and ate a little snack. I tried getting back on about a half hour later and lasted only 5 minutes again. I just didn't feel into it and knew I would get nothing out of the workout.

About an hour later - I was mad at myself and knew I would be mad at myself for skipping the workout. I had no time to do it the next day as I would be coaching for 12 hours. So attempt number 3 on the trainer came and went. Once again I only lasted 5 minutes and got off the thing.

For the next two hours I watched M take his turn on the trainer and I wasn't jealous and I wasn't upset. Yes I completely missed my workout for no good reason other than being lazy. Yes I know it's bad to skip workouts. Yes I know that this workout leads up to another workout. But I skipped it anyhow.

I do not miss workouts very often and I def am not making a habit out of this! I had the day off of work on Monday and thought about squeezing this ride in with my long run & swim that were moved from Sunday. But then I thought I would just make myself super fatigued for the rest of the week doing all 3 sports on the same day. Not worth it.

Anyhow, if you miss a workout - do you try to make it up or just let it be?

Happy Wednesday All :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

VA is for Lovers 14k Race Report

Ok, so I'm finally writing my race report for the VA is for the Lovers 14k.
We (being M and I) drove down to VA Beach on Friday night and stayed with our friends Jill and Mike. They were also racing :)
Race morning I had a bagel and banana then the 4 of us headed to the field house. Parking was a little bit of a mess and we had to park farther away than expected. Not too big of a deal and we just gear checked our coats.
The nice thing about this race is that the start line is right outside the field house and the finish line is actually inside the field house. We got there about an hour before the 9am start time and it was so nice to hang out somewhere warm and pretend to stretch.
It was a super cold and windy morning (maybe 35 with at least 20mph winds) so we only gave ourselves about 15 minutes of standing outside before the race started. M and I had entered the couple challenge, but you actually don't have to run together. They just add your times together for your score. So I started in coral 2 with my M so he could hug and cuddle me to keep me warm even though I was suppose to be in number 1. Not really a big deal, but it was a little annoying weaving in and out of the runners at the start.

Miles 1 - 3: 7:19 - 7:39 - 7:46
I always always go out fast at the beginning. But I was really just trying to get around some of the slower runners and find my comfy zone. I really wasn't paying any attention to my watch until it beeped at mile 1 and I saw I was running to fast. My goal was to run a 7:45 pace so during miles 2 and 3, I got my pace to where I wanted it.
Miles 4 - 6: 7:45 - 7:44 - 7:40
I was feeling pretty good even though the wind was being a bitch. I actually probably shouldn't have bothered looking at my watch because this pace felt comfortable. I guess that is the weird thing about wearing a garmin though, you think you have to run a certain pace even though you don't. Maybe I could have ran a little faster if I just ran by feel instead of looking at my watch every time it beeped. During these miles I was also thinking "I have to keep up this pace, I can do it, I want to post on twitter that I got my legs back. I ran fast (for me)." I know.... the little things that keep us motivated during a race.
Miles 7-8.66: 7:51 - 7:56 - 4:57
Whomp Whomp Whomp. I was starting to get tired and we were really running into a head wind. I felt like I wasn't moving. I was pissed with the 7:51 mile and I was even more pissed at the 7:56 mile. It wasn't that I was giving up, it just felt like I wasn't moving. My plan was to run the last two miles a 7:30 pace, but I guess I just couldn't do it? I certainly did not give up though like the last couple of races. I kept pushing myself and brought my pace back down to a 7:30 for the last .66 of a mile.
Here are my final results:

Overall: I am pretty happy with this race and I am glad I finally had a good race. My goal was a 7:45 and I did that, I ran a 7:40 pace. Yet I am still nit picking my race apart and wishing I ran faster. I guess I will never be happy? I guess I will always want and expect more. Anyhow, it was a fun race and it was fun to hang out with my friends after wards in the nice warm field house and have a beer. M and I did great as a couple (Team MCKIWI) and placed 24th out of 185 couples! 

Happy Friday All and good luck to all marathoners this weekend! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Prince William Forest Park

Happy Tues everyone. I ended up having not only a great race, but an overall great weekend while visiting my friend in VA Beach.

While I am still super excited about my race time - I'm going to skip over writing a race report today and talk about Ms and I lovely bike ride on Sunday.

We had brought our bikes with us to the beach and our original plan was to meet up with a local bike shop and go for a ride. However it still seemed super cold in the morning, so we decided it would just be smarter to go later in the day. Stopping at Prince William Forest Park off 95 on our way home made perfect sense and we got there around 11ish. Perfect! Plus the park is only about 35 minutes outside of DC.

I have only rode here once and it was a big fail last yr. I had to walk my bike uphill. ha. I was scared the same thing was going to happen to me this year, because well I suck at hills and I haven't rode on any really since the fall. But nope. Didn't have to walk at all this time.

What is nice about the PWF Park is it's about a 11.5 mile loop that basically no cars drive on. I liked looped courses early season because it's nice to know you are always close to your car if your feet happen to freeze off. Plus there is a visitors center with a restroom you can use which is a big plus for me.

The loop has about 912 feet of climbing - and most of the hills seem to be in one section so your legs are really working. And by working I mean I was going 4mph up hill. Slow Slow Slow. And the down hills - fun but scary. Going 36mph weeee.

Overall it was a good ride and we just did two loops for 24 miles with 1,824 ft of climbing. I will def. be coming back here because it's a great area to ride plus I need hills, hills, hills this year and these ones are nice and close.

Have a great Tues :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter Cycling

Last year I wouldn't, I mean I didn't, even think of riding outside this time of year. It was the trainer without question every time I had cycling on my schedule.

This year I am changing my tune a bit and went out and bought winter cycling gear and have been riding outside on some of the days. Sure it's cold out there, but I loaf the trainer! I know you can and do get good workouts in on your trainer but... it's just so boring to me! I can't watch tv as it doesn't motivate me so it's just me, my bike, and pandora. I actually dread the time on my trainer even though it's never too bad once I get started.

Anyhow, I have been trying to get out there and ride if the weather is at least 35/40 degrees and the wind isn't something ridiculous. Yesterday I headed out after work at about 3:50pm to get in an 1:45 worth of riding. It was about 40 out when I left and I don't think it got any warmer while I was trying to out ride the sun set. My feet for me have been a big issue while riding in the cold so I have made some changes to keep them warmer. Instead of just toe covers I went out and bought full shoe covers. This made a big difference. I also have been using Heat Max foot warmers. These are kind of neat and just stick on the bottom of your socks and help keep your feet warm. As for my cycling jacket I went with a little bit of a warmer jacket (that has fleece on the inside) & has wind stopping material on the outside - the Castelli Viziata jacket. I love it and it keeps me warm, but sometimes I get a little too toasty in it. Strangely my hands don't get too cold while riding in aero and I use middle thickness cycling gloves. Now my commute is a different story - my hands are always cold on my commute to work and I'm currently on the search for warmer gloves. Lastly, I always have to keep my ears covered and just put on any hat that I have handy.

But even with all this stuff on I think my max ride time in the cold is about 2 hours. Yesterday for whatever reason my feet were still cold and turning into ice blocks. I thought about calling it quits an hour in but stuck it out. A warm shower never felt so good once I made it home and I just melted into the couch the rest of the night.

So winter cycling - Do you stay on your trainer or do you brave the cold?

I think for me I will continue to do some of my rides on the trainer and some outside.

Happy Wednesday All :)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Upcoming Race ~ VA is for Lovers 14k

So this weekend is my second race of the year, the Virginia is for Lovers 14k down in VA Beach. Actually M and I signed up for the couples challenge where they combine our times for ranking. Fun right :)

I ran this race last year with my good friend Jill - as it was her very first race! She has came a long way in a year and will be running this race again this year as a marathoner and a newly wed! Jill just got married at the end of Jan and her and her new hubby will also be running in the couples challenge.  

What is nice about the couple challenge though is that you actually don't have to run together. I know this sounds horrible since it's a Valentines Day theme race and no offence to my one and only but I want to try to see if I can go somewhat fast for me.
My last few races have well not gone well. I ran slow, gave up in the middle, then went home and pouted about my race times. Now, I'm not expecting a miracle here at this race but I have been putting in track workouts and tempos into my running. I guess what I hope to accomplish this weekend is not giving up 4 miles into the race because my legs aren't working or my head hurts or something. I want to give this a 100% effort. What that means is I would like to try for a 7:45 - 7:55 minute miles. Can I do this? I should be able to. I guess the real challenge for me will be to keep a positive mind set while running and not to think this is a stupid race and it doesn't really matter when I finish. I mostly say this because I always care about my time after I finish.
Anyhow, it should be a fun weekend and I am looking forward to visiting Jill and racing :)
Happy Tues All :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Training - Week 3

I am slowly working my way out of my motivation slump one week at a time and week 3 of lots & lots of weeks of training went well. Now lets hope I can keep the ball rolling and have another good week this week! Oh and plus I get to race this sat :)
Anyhow, here's how last week went:
Monday - Rest day with 4 mile bike commute
Tuesday - Bike: (1:44) - 30.5 miles: The weather was nice so I went down to Haines Point after work. I did  6 x short loops with one long loop working on intervals. I managed to hold 23mph on the interval sets but I think the tail wind was really helping me there.
2 mile bike commute
Wednesday - Run am (:44) - 5 miles: Woke up bright and early and was out the door by 6am with my M. We did a mile warm up then headed to Lincoln Park for our track practice. Maybe because I was half sleep my legs didn't want to turn over and I felt like I was extra slow. Did 1 x 1600 - 2 x 800 - 2 x 400. Then a mile cool down by to our house.
Swim pm (:49) - 2500 yards: Nothing to special here. Did a ladder that started and 100 and worked its way up to 500, then back down.
4 mile bike commute
Thursday - Bike (1:00) - 15 miles: Another early morning. This time fitting in my trainer session before having to be at my desk at 7:30. I hate the trainer and this ride was no different.
2 mile walk commute
Friday - Run - (:40) - 4.7 miles: It was cold and really windy (30mph gusts). I couldn't make myself go in the dark and the cold so I went during my lunch break. It was still cold and windy and I was hoping the wind would help push me up the hill during my hill repeats. I didn't think the wind did jack sh*t but I did 7 x Cap Hill repeats and froze my butt off. Once back at work I couldn't get warm for the life of me.
Swim - (:49) - 2500 yards: Sick of swimming slow. My main set was 10 x 100 at about 1:40 with 10 second rest between sets. This was hard for me.
4 mile bike commute
Saturday - Bike - (2:00) - 30 miles: Way to cold out to think about riding outside, so the trainer it was :( But as much as I loaf the trainer I got a good workout in.
Swim - (:50) - 2500 yards - Went to the pool with my M. It was crowded and I ended up sharing a lane with some stupid people with no swim etiquette. Anyhow more speed work with 10 x (50 - 100).
Sunday - Run (1:19) 10 miles: I put off my run all day! I woke up with a headache that just wouldn't go away. I laid back down for a nap in hopes I would feel better and two hours later, yes a two hour nap, my head did feel better. I was stupid though and wanted junk food when I woke up and had skittles and a coke. Finally at 3 I got myself out the door for my run knowing it had only been a half hour since I ate all that junk. And guess what - my stomach hurt- no surprise there. Despite my stomach slushing around with coke in it, I had a good run. I finished up my run with a 7:45 minute mile. Which is right around were I want to be this weekend during my 14k race.
Happy Monday All and have a great week :)