Monday, April 6, 2015

Running: Re-training from the bottom up

This is big. I just completed a week of actual training for my upcoming race. The last time I actually trained for a race was in October 2013. In November I tapered for the Stone Mill 50 Miler. In December I took the month off to rest for my 100 miler training, but secretly hoping it would help me get pregnant. Who knows if it had any effect, but something worked so I'll definitely use that excuse to get lazy when it's time for round 2.

Last week, I actually trained for the Baltimore 10 miler. I'm using Hal Higdon's novice 15k plan, and I'm really mad I forgot to print it out, because I love me some crossing workouts off training plans. I even pledged to re-join the world of daily mile, which I promptly forgot after I think two runs.

I brought back some old friends into my life.

1. The long run

Sure, it was only 6 miles, but the last time I covered that distance was last April in a 10k race, and the last time I actually ran it was probably the week I found out I was pregnant. With my average run now being about 2.5 miles, 6 is now considered long.

I met up with my training buddy, Katharine, on Saturday morning.

We ran six miles and did a deep dive into 6 month old baby minutia. It was glorious. The miles flew by, and I didn't even mind that we were running with her two (very well behaved) dogs, or that we were running one of the hilliest routes I know. The scenery didn't suck, either.

2. The speed work

Obviously ideally you don't do this the day after your long run but sick baby blah blah excuses and it's not like I'm really doing anything remotely hardcore here.

To make up for it, I went to the track. The real deal.

The workout was 4X800 at 5k pace, which I based off my recent 5k (9 min miles). The track is about a mile and a half away, so it's the perfect warmup and cooldown.

Well. I'm a little rusty. I ran around the track in about 2 minutes, patted myself on the back for completing my first interval, and was all confused about why it put me at a Louie Zamperini mile time. It took me longer than I'm comfortable admitting before I realized that a 800 is TWICE around the track, not once.

Once I had the math nailed down, I finished the workout, and all four repeats were between 4:00-4:25 minutes. It's no American high school record, but in my opinion not bad for a 31 year old mom trying to get back in shape.

20 miles total last week! No clue when the last time that happened was. Not recently.

Today I tried out something new and torturous.

He didn't understand that the sunglasses had a purpose other than to chew on.
Is there a reason this isn't an Olympic sport? Technically, today's workout said run + strength. I think this counts.

We did four miles, I thought I would die, I walked up the biggest hill, but I did get a "Go mommy!" from a random woman walking to her car, so that was nice. Dalton seemed to enjoy it. He loves being held up to the window to watch cars go by, so this was probably a huge score for him.

It's important to fuel your training properly. I went to Walgreens and bought out the majority of the 50% off Easter candy. I'll be sitting pretty in mini eggs and Reese's eggs for weeks to come.

So, so much more was added after this was taken.
Would you rather do a speed workout at the track, or a hilly stroller run? The jury is still out for me. I need to try a few more stroller runs. And re-learn track math.


  1. I'm going to go with neither considering my "workout" right now consists of 20 minutes of treadmill walking! Although I did stock up on all of the leftover easter candy at duane reade!

  2. Yeah, it's been so windy here, both would suck equally. Although I admit I sort of miss the stroller runs! I'm sure that feeling will go away after the first dozen 12:00-mile jogs with Codie chucking toys out and hollering for snacks.

  3. I don't know about strollers and hills, but my track limit is the 400. Even on an awful day, I feel like I can handle < 2 minutes of suffering. When it comes to 800s, 1000s, or mile repeats, forget it- I'd probably take option b.

    Hal Higdon is awesome :) And calories are essential. Judging by the tank top, does that mean your winter is finally over?

  4. Wait why is a 400 two laps around the track?

  5. Ugh, nothing could be worse than speed work! Also, I swear that is the first time I've read about you doing track workouts before!

  6. Speed work is really awful. I hate that in order to get faster, I have to actually run faster. How lame is that? I have tried exactly one time to push a child in a stroller while running. Now the stroller sits in the garage.

  7. I haven't done a track workout since I was pregnant and didn't know it yet and my last race for speed was October 2013. I am digging this weather though!
    I'm impressed with your 20 mile week.

  8. I went and looked at the Easter candy, but I only bought a bag of Hershey eggs. I'm trying to wean myself off of junk. I've been trying and failing for months though, so I may end up buying more discounted candy...
    As far as the running goes, you have to start somewhere, and 6 miles is six more than zero, right?

  9. Stroller runs are hard, I would take a speed workout any day! Congrats for getting back into the training. Peeps, we bought way too many peeps on sale at Walmart Monday and now I am questioning how smart that was.


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