A little while ago I wrote about praise for having a running base and outlined my plan to rebuild my running base after having had my baby. I started back ‘officially’ May 14 and have been working on running at least three times a week, and a few outlier weeks aside, have been able to maintain that schedule. What I’m learning though is that base building is hard! I believe I took for granted that I’ve had a solid base for years and now all of a sudden I truly am starting from scratch. Each run humbles me a little and reinforces that the only way to really build a base is to just keep running and run consistently.
When I found out I was pregnant I was about two thirds of the way through marathon training for the Marine Corps Marathon. One of my first questions to my doctor was whether or not I could run that marathon at the end of October which would be the start of my second trimester. I was mentally prepared to run it regardless of the doctor’s answer but I knew I’d feel better having his approval. The doctor confirmed what I believed, and what I’d heard from others–it would be fine to run the marathon, just slower than I was planning. Because I had been training already, but more so because I’d already been running for years rather than having just started mid-pregnancy, my body would be able to handle the miles even while carrying a growing baby. What I really wondered is what running pregnant would do to my pace. Continue reading
This year, Mother’s Day fell on the 5 week birthday of my new son and I treated myself to my first post-partum run. Having run all through pregnancy I cheated a bit on the post-partum rest period and gave myself four weeks of rest instead of the typical six weeks after giving birth. My rest period did involve lots of walking but I was anxious to hit the five week mark and try a run. Continue reading
With the recent and persistent heat waves on the eastern half of North America it seems only natural to not only commiserate about the heat with other runners but also to write about it. I’ve written about running in heat and humidity before and as I thought about this post I went back to read what I wrote the first time to see if anything had changed or if I had missed some important details in the first discussion. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the post from two years ago was still relevant. The only thing that changed is the temperature. Two years ago when I was complaining about running in crazy hot weather it was only high 80s and 90s. This year, as anyone who has been outside in the last few weeks knows, its been high 90s, low 100s with humidity so thick it’s hard to breathe.
Yet, we crazy runners continue to lace up and head out for a run. Or rather a slow, slow shuffle. Continue reading
I believe one of the first 5K races I ever did was freshman or sophomore year at college. It was probably the farthest I’d ever run and I’m positive I didn’t train. After that first 5K I continued to run, added longer distances to my work-outs, and found myself signing up for 10Ks, 10-milers, and finally half and full marathons. Now after a nine year hiatus from 5K races I’ve done two in three weeks and am loving the 5k race! Continue reading
I’m not a huge fan of running on treadmills. It’s also not something I’m good at which makes me like it even less. But when it’s 45 degrees outside and there is a steady, heavy, cold rain, I have to admit I’d rather run on the treadmill than in that weather. The trouble is that I’m on week 12 of training for the Richmond Marathon and I already lost one 7 mile day to the weather and my own schedule. The weekend called for 8 miles and 15 miles and I started agonizing over how I was going to make this happen as soon as I saw the forecast earlier in the week.
I had already planned to flop the 8 and 15 so that the 15 was on Saturday and the easy 8 would be on Sunday. I believe I’ve run 7 miles on a treadmill before but I literally couldn’t wrap my brain around doing 15. For the first Saturday in a very long time I did not have to set my alarm clock and I was able to just let my body sleep as long as it needed. And apparently I needed sleep; by the time I got to the gym it was 10:45 a.m.! I was headed to the gym thinking I’d shoot for 8 miles and if I could get to 15 that would be awesome; I decided to deal with the remaining miles as best I can on Sunday and if I don’t get to this week’s full 47 then I’ll just have to deal with that. Continue reading
At the Annapolis 10-Miler this year I was behind a couple girls with t-shirts that read on the back “Trained on LSD and Speed” and as a runner I thought that was cute and a clever play on those two words. It wasn’t until days after the race that I started to really consider how the blend of long slow runs and speedwork really are the core tenants of training. And then I realized it was time for me to evaluate if I had been training on LSD and speed.
I’m on week eight of Bart Yasso’s Runner’s World marathon training program as I train for the Richmond Marathon. His plan very clearly spells out Easy runs, Hills and Hill Repeats, Speedwork, LSD runs, and rest days. This is the last week of the hill work-outs and then we move on to mile repeats and a variety of other track work like the famous Yasso 800s. Up until this last week the LSD runs have been between 7 and 13 miles and I have to admit I was only doing LDs. In each of the long runs, I went out with the goal of maintaining my 9-minute, or faster, pace. Over the weekend I was working the gracie’s gear booth at the Nation’s Tri with Coach Gracie Updyke and we each had a 16-mile long run planned for Sunday, so we got to talking about long runs. Continue reading
There are a number of training drills that call for running at 5K pace or a 10K pace. Some drills just tell you to run at your goal race pace. Though I’ve gotten into incorporating more tempo runs and speedwork into my training I still haven’t quite figured out the paces I should be shooting for in those runs. The most I’ve taken the time to figure out is my goal time for different distances. If I took the time (and was good at math) I’m sure I could quickly figure out those different paces and times that I should be using in training.
I’ve run a consistent 9-minute mile for a long time; on longer runs I might average 9:30 and shorter runs I can usually stay under 9 minutes. These ranges are what I consider to be my “training paces.” I’d like to learn how to better use these paces during different training runs and I’d like to set more training pace goals. However, I also would like to better establish my race pace. On my recent half marathon I finally think I achieved what I could consider a race pace. Mile after mile I managed to maintain an 8:58 pace. Continue reading
Until this past winter I’d never really run in what I consider to be extremely cold temperatures (teens and low 20s and 30s). Most of my running has been in the spring through fall seasons in warmer temperatures and when I was in college in Charleston, SC, I had plenty of runs in hot and humid temperatures. So while I always thought I was a warm weather runner, by the time winter changed into spring this year I had definitely gotten used to cooler weather running. I wondered if I would welcome warmer temperatures the way I used to.
For some reason, this summer in Annapolis has been a slow build to the hot, sticky, humid temperatures we usually experience in July and August. Up until a week ago we had almost no humidity and temps were lingering in the mid-70s, still ideal running weather. All of a sudden though, full summer hit Annapolis with temperatures rising to the high 80s, 90s, and sticky humidity too boot. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I definitely prefer cooler weather running and there is no question that hot weather negatively affects my running performance. Continue reading
I have been running 9-minute miles for as long as I can remember. Every now and then there is a little variation with my slower time hovering around 9:12 which I usually see on runs of 10 miles or longer and my lower end averages 8:54 on my shorter runs. And for as long as I can remember I have been perfectly content with my 9-minute mile pace. Until this spring. After I ran my first marathon and tacked some other races onto my spring and summer schedule I got my head wrapped around the idea that I wanted to run my 10K in 8:30-minute miles and maybe even try to run my 10-miler at the end of the summer in 8-minute miles.
I ended up dealing with ITBS recovery after the marathon and wasn’t able to ramp up my training to make my 10K goal but there is still plenty of time to work on my 10-miler goal. I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a slightly faster pace, but I never sought out the ways to make it happen. Since I have been triathlon training, however, my eyes have been opened to a whole new way of training. Instead of just going out and running at my same old 9-minute pace and consistently adding miles, I have *gasp!* been training with variety! Not only have the weekly work-outs included swimming and biking by necessity, but even the weekly runs are different. Continue reading