Friday, March 26, 2010

Speed Workout #2

We're having Indian Winter here in fabulous Chicago. Or so I hope. After last week's taste of spring this week is colder than normal. The temps are even too cold for me in the morning to head out for a run. Which isn't saying all that much since generally, I don't run outdoors when it's below 30 degrees. To most runners around here that's not that cold. But to me, having sprouted my running roots in Portland, OR, that is damn cold for a run and it leaves my hamstrings like guitar strings.

Friday morning I headed to the gym to run on the DTM. On Tuesday I did a speed workout on the DTM and my plan was to do the same workout again today. I don't think at this point in the year I can do any run on the DTM without it being a speed workout. I need intervals to help pass the time.

On task was 2x [1200, 800, 400] with 400 rest between each. The 1200 and 800 were to be done at my 10k pace and the 400 at 5k pace. I set the DTM at 7:20 for the 1200, and increased to 7:10s by last .25 mile. Remarkably, this felt fairly easy. For the 800, I set it to 7:13 to start and finished up at 7:00. Again, not all that bad. For the 400, I started at 6:58, finishing up at 6:45s. The second set was a little better and still not super tough. I do fear doing this workout outside, sort of. But, becausue I set the DTM at 1% incline, I think I should be right on pace with these. My best interval of the day was my second 800, which I did at 6:40 pace. This puts me practically back to pre-pregnancy fitness. Or at least makes me think that by mid-summer I'll be able to run some of the paces I was running two summers ago.

Saturdays long run took me to the Arboretum to run with my friend Christine and her two running pals. They are training for Boston, which is in just 3 weeks, and were running their last 20 miler. I got to bail after 12.5 miles. Thankfully!

30.5 miles for the week, including two speedy days. Ya-hoo!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I need sleep. Miss Daphne is not making this easy for me. The past 3 nights she has gotten up 3 times, once every 3 hours. This is not giving me much restful sleep. We've started to stuff her at night before she goes to bed (around 6:30) and this is at least allowing her to sleep a good 5 hour stretch to begin her night. But then once 11 or 12 hits, the waking every 3 hours begins. I'm breast feeding her at night every time she wakes up because it allows her to go back to sleep easily. I figure 15 minutes of feeding, a diaper change and she goes back to sleep without any problem. Maybe I should give her a bottle instead so that she perhaps gets a little more full, and doesn't get the satisfaction of the warm, comfy breast? Or, do we just let her figure it out on her own and let her cry? She'll be 6 months in another week. And I need sleep.

Yesterday I finally hit the weights. I have been slacking with weight lifting since it's been so nice outside to run. But yesterday I made time between Daphne's nap and Camille's swim lessons to do some core and strength work. Man oh man I am sore today. My hamstrings, chest and calves are really screaming. Even my upper abs are sore. And that's a rarity for me. (not that my abs are six pack... far from it... but I do some sort of ab work every day so this, I guess, helps to keep the soreness away.) So this is a lesson to myself: cross train 1-2x week!

I still need to pull myself out there to run this morning. My goal is 6 miles at an easy pace. If I do this, I may reward myself later with a little nap if I can squeeze it in between play dates and a Target run.


6.4 miles completed. Not as easy as it should have been (8:10s) but I felt ok and really wanted it to be over with.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Testing 1-2-3

Today my lovely babysitter Angela was flexible enough to change her scheduled time to come so that I could run outside. Because we all know that everything, everyday, revolves around "the run." So for me, that was running after Camille's pre-school drop off and during Daphne's morning nap. Originally my plan was to take Miss Daph to the gym and run there while Camille was at school, thus sacrificing the morning nap, and running on the DTM.

So, after a great inspiration last night, and several text messages, I got my run time set up and Angela's stay arranged.

I headed out into a lovely damp 52 degree day with little wind. From home I ran to the Prairie Path and headed west. On tap today was a 4 mile pace run. The trouble is that I don't know what my pace is. Before I got pregnant my half marathon pace was about a 7:30 mile. Now, I just don't know. I'd like to run a 7:45-7:50 but I don't know if that is realistic or not. So, these pace runs are more like a test than anything. Last week's pace run on the DTM was much harder than it should have been at a 7:47-7:53 pace. So I was a bit nervous heading out today.

First mile I felt like I was dying. I kept telling myself to run like I could hold it for 90 minutes plus. I wasn't doing this. It felt more like mile repeats. Gut busting, not at all comfortable. But I was unable to slow the turn-over. It was one of those runs that felt slow so I figured it was and figured I just sucked. So I kept pushing. I reached the mile marker and to my absolute amazement I ran a 7:20.

Thank God.

Ok. So now I could run a more realistic pace. One that I can really hold for 90 minutes plus. I got my newbie stuff out and now I can come back to being a real runner who knows how to pace and realize the difference, and importance, of hard and fast runs and slow recovery runs.

Miles 2, 3, and 4 were better. Much better. 7:50, 7:51, 7:48. Me. Pacer extraordinaire.

After I did a 2 mile cool down towards Camille's school and picked her up all stinky and super-duper psyched.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Flying Feet

Or so they at least feels like it. My last three runs have been outdoors. Amazing, to say the least, about how awesome I feel. Saturday I ran with some gal pals at the Arboretum for a 10 miler. It felt amazing to be outdoors chatting with friends about everything from qualifying for Boston to how tiring kindergarten is to how difficult it is to give up that wine in the evening. Those 10 miles flew by. But perhaps our 8:40 average helped with that a bit as well!

Yesterday was one of those perfect Portland days where the air is filled with mist and the streets are wet, but it's not raining. It was a bit on the chilly side, but to compensate I just ran harder. I really couldn't help myself. I was so giddy to be running outside again, and I was running late. One kid thing after another ("Mommy I need to poop." "Mommy I want milk and cereal." Insert screaming 5 month old here.) postponed my run to almost 8:10. Usually the rule is that I need to be back by 8:00 so that Barry can focus on work rather than breakfast, diapers and Exersaucer time. So out the door I went with too much adrenaline.

3.5 miles later at 7:48 pace, I realized I hadn't touched my iPod once and I was listening to songs I haven't heard in months. Why is it when you're running on the treadmill, there is no song good enough? I could scan through my entire playlist twice over on a 10 miler indoors. But there I was running through the mist listening to Lenny Kravitz and not even realize it.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Speedy Day

It's official. I've signed up for my first post-baby race. It's May 2 and a half marathon, called the Great Western Trail Half. I have nine weeks to prepare... on top of the work I've already done. Fun!

Since I'm so goal oriented, I can't decide whether or not I want to have a goal for this race. A goal makes me work hard and keeps me focused, but I'm really afraid of not making the goal. I'm still just 5 month post-baby and I know it takes more time than you ever imagine to get back into shape. I realize I could do a shorter race for my first one back, but I really don't want to. Honestly, those shorter races scare me. I really don't think I can run that hard! The shorter the race, the faster you need (I need. Most people aren't like me) to run.

So this week marks week one of my Training Schedule. My husband thinks I'm crazy, attempting to stick to a schedule with a 5 month old and 5 year old. But I know he loves me for it. (right honey?)

Yesterday I did my first speed workout. On deck was a 1200 m, 2x800m, and 4x200m. It felt easy, surprisingly. But, I really don't know what pace to run them at because I've been running so much indoors. I don't know my true pace. Running on the treadmill is like cheating. My 1200 was done at pace and it felt fine. But it was only 1200 meters. Not even a mile. So sure. I can run whatever you tell me for a mile. Sheesh. If that were a a barometer I'd set a goal for a 1:30. Right. But then my other intervals were such a piece of cake. I could have totally done them harder. I know what hard 800s feel like. I've been there. Ak. It can be ugly. But yesterday it was beautiful and cheery.

Tomorrow I have somewhat of a more realistic workout to see what goal pace I should establish. 2x 2 miles. I don't know what I'll do them at, but hopefully I'll have a better idea once that run is complete.

This is all running journal today. Sorry. The gals have been good - loud but good. Little Miss Daph is getting up 3 times a night. It is not fun.