Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Random running update

I can't believe it's been more than two weeks since I've written a post. My computer deficiencies make it less than convenient to just sit down and write a quick post...plus, things like work get in the way!

Since the 4th of July we've had pretty good weather most days. I think there were a few random rainstorms at some point but most of my running has been in sleeveless tops. I always run in the mornings so even on hot days it is comfortable. I've had a few long runs that have extended into the warm mid-morning, but that's not a bad thing...I need to acclimatize for Kauai anyway.

I am currently in week 7 of my 12-week Kauai Marathon training plan. This time around I used a Runners' World Smart Coach customized plan. I tweaked it to suit my schedule and needs, and frankly I've tweaked and modified it so much that I don't consider this training cycle a good test of the effectiveness of the plan. I've followed the basic structure, particularly with the long runs. But the one thing I liked most about the plan is the part I've failed most consistently; that is, weekday long runs. A lot of the weekday runs are supposed to be 8, 9, 10 miles. Despite my good intentions, I have not managed a weekday run longer than eight miles, and most have been 6.2 - 7.5. It's not that I don't have the ability to run the distance, I just cannot get the motivation to get out of bed early enough to add 2-4 miles to my schedule. I thought summer would be the perfect time to do that, but...I am weak.

The last two weeks I have been running both weekend days, with a short race on Saturday (i.e. a tempo run for me) and a long run on Sunday. Back on July 13 I did the Magnuson Run Series 5K. The last time I did this back in May I was just over 25 minutes, and really hoped to break under 25 this time around. But it was not to be. My Garmin was unexpectedly discharged, and so I had no timing to encourage me (I don't know if that would have made a difference). I ended up with 26:55...not horrible I guess, but not great! It's a fun 5K to do though. They also do a 10K and 15K (and sometimes a half marathon), but I had no interest in doing more than one loop! (Although actually, I ran the loop beforehand as a warm-up.)
Afterwards, my parents and I went out to breakfast.
On Sunday, I did an 18 mile long run. This was one of those days where it got hot out before I finished my run. My average pace was 11:03 and really, I didn't care that much. I did appreciate a Rainbow popsicle at mile 16! (I learned this weekend that a popsicle is still good on a run even if it is not too hot out!) (This kind of goes along with the study that says that drinking an iced slushy drink can help improve running performance.)
This last weekend, I upped my race to a 5-miler (with a two mile warm-up). Again, a middling time (44:20) but a decent tempo run at 8:43 per mile. By some fluke of fate, I finished third in my age group.
It was a cloudy, slightly misty morning, perfect running, but after standing around more than an hour waiting for the awards, I was freezing!

The weather stayed cool and cloudy on Sunday morning for my 20-miler. Despite the good conditions, my average pace was exactly the same as the week before, 11:03 per mile. Please don't say that is now my long run pace....

For the last couple weeks, I have been experiencing some discomfort in my left achilles and calf. This is disturbing as it has always been my right leg with the problems (oh, my right ankle is twinging too, but that's normal). I've been trying to baby it by not overdoing too much (never mind the consecutive race/long run weekends). After my 18-miler I did an ice bath, which I think was a good thing, but I was too lazy to do one this week. Last night I put an ice pack on my right leg and a heat pack on my left (because the calf muscle feels tight)...I'll see how that works for a few days. I am not too concerned because it didn't feel any worse in the second ten miles on Sunday than in the first ten.

This Saturday is the Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon, which I've run six times before (this will be #7). It's a favorite!

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