Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yasso 800s in the mix.

After focusing on marathon goal pace miles for the last few weeks, I decided I would run Yasso 800s yesterday. I wanted to test myself with some speedwork to kick off the week. My plan was to run 8 Yasso 800s, which requires me to run them at my goal marathon time, converted to minutes. So, 3:50-ish (my goal is 3:52).

If you're not familiar with Yasso 800s, here's a page that explains how they work.

I warmed up for about 3/4 of a mile and then took off running. I ran each 800 with a rest lap in between, where I jogged 400. Here's what my laps looked like:

Lap 1: 3:47 
Lap 2: 3:45 
Lap 3: 3:42 
Lap 4: 3:45 
Lap 5: 3:42 
Lap 6: 3:46
Lap 7: 3:48 
Lap 8: 3:41 

No 3:50s, but I was able to hold on. I mean, look at that 8th lap compared to the 1st -- 6 seconds faster! And I wasn't dying at all during these intervals. In fact, I felt really good. Really strong. I almost added on two more laps. But then I reminded myself to stick to my plan. No need to go all crazy with the Yassos!

That workout was a win. Now, I'm shifting my focus to my 20-miler for this weekend. I don't know where or when I'll do this run but I fully admit that I am already getting excited for it! 

Thanks for stopping by -- have a good week!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Clove Run 10 Mile Race Report.

Saturday was the day of two runs. My main goal was my 18 mile marathon training run. But it also happened to be the day of the Clove Run, a local 10-mile race that I've run for the past few years. I really enjoy the race and was even the top female finisher back in 2011.

This year, I decided to sandwich the race in the middle of my 18-miler. I figured it would be a good opportunity to test out my marathon goal pace over an extended run. Plus, I'd get to run 18 miles in a race atmosphere.

I started out by running 2 miles by myself and then hooked up with Elisa and Bridget for a mile. Bridget had already run 4 miles by herself (she was sandwiching the race in the middle of her 16-miler) so she left us and Elisa and I ran one more mile before the race started. I quickly changed out of my super-sweaty shirt and headed to the start line.

I had a plan. I wanted to run at a steady pace, but walk the two major hills. My marathon goal pace is 8:51 so I was hoping to stick close to that for the entire race. I know myself, however, so I know that I don't always start out slow enough in my races. I tend to bolt out of the gate. On Saturday, though, I kept it in check.

Mile 1: 8:40
Mile 2: 8:33
Mile 3: 8:29

I kept telling myself to slow down but I also tried really hard to only look at my watch at the mile markers. I wanted to run by feel as much as possible.

Those first 6 miles flew by -- surprisingly.

Mile 4: 8:36
Mile 5: 8:15
Mile 6: 8:31

There's no marker for Mile 6, but there is one for the 10K, which comes right before the first big hill. Because I had been feeling so good, I almost decided to run up the whole hill. But my plan was to walk at a certain point, so walk I did! My hip thanked me for it.

At the top of the hill, there is a family that has a water stop for the runners and they were so incredibly nice! I stopped, took my gel (honey stinger) and some water, chatted with the kind family, and then ran on.

As nice as that stop was, though, it might not have been worth it. That gel did me wrong. Or maybe it was the stopping? Or combination? Something was not right because a few minutes after taking the gel I got a cramp and it stuck with me for pretty much the rest of the race. Boo!

Mile 7: 9:24
Mile 8: 8:05
Mile 9: 8:29

And then there was the last mile. Ah, yes. The last mile with that hill. I walked it all. See, the hill comes at a point in the race when you've already run 9+ miles. Who wants to run up a steep hill at that point? Not me, that's for sure.

So, I walked and then tried my best to pull out a strong finish.

Mile 10: 10:14

I ended up finishing is 1:27:19 -- an 8:45 pace overall and good enough for 3rd place in my age group!

Not too shabby!

After finishing, I continued running for 4 more (slow) miles. The cool part of running those miles was that I also got to listen to my aunt's band that was providing post-race entertainment! Pretty awesome!

In the end, I ran 18 miles with 10 of them just under marathon goal pace. I learned that I do well with nuun in my water, but still need to figure out mid-race fuel. The gels really don't work for me. I re-confirmed that my Injinji toe socks rock for long runs. Same goes for my awesome favorite running skirt.

I wish I had some race day pictures but, alas, that didn't happen!

All-in-all, a good day of running! I'm glad I ran the Clove Run -- one of my favorite races -- as part of my 18-miler. Breaking the miles up like I did (4/10/4) made them relatively easy!

Sunday was a nice little recovery run and now, today, I will rest! Hope you had a great weekend -- thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


We've been doing a bit of celebrating here in Happy Runner-ville.

First, Owen and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary on Thursday. We had a great day together. We went to Adirondack Extreme Adventure Course during the day and then out for a delicious dinner that evening. Lots of fun!

Check out that wobbly bridge behind us! It was way up high -- and way wobbly!

Then, on Saturday, we had a surprise 60th birthday party for my aunt at my house. It was a huge success -- she was surprised and so, so happy. Just perfect. Another day of fun!!

We took a break from the party to get a group shot of the family.

To top it all off, on Sunday I ran 10 solo miles and they went way better than I expected. I call that something to celebrate!

Felt great!
All good stuff, for sure. This week is shaping up to be a good one, too. Just not full of celebrations, but still full of fun. I'm going to be disappointed when this summer ends!

Have a great week, everyone!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Going early, going long.

Some days, I don't even know who I am.

Some days, it seems, I'm an early morning runner. That is not me. Not at all.

Except for when I am training for a marathon. In the middle of the summer. Then, apparently, I turn into that strange being that is the early morning runner.

And I don't mind it -- mostly. So odd, right?

Now, I usually do all of my long runs in the morning and some other runs as well. But when I've done those long runs, they've been at fairly civilized times. 7:30, perhaps. Or 8:00. Times that allow me to sleep until at least 7. Nothing crazy.

On Friday, though, I had 16 miles on the schedule and one of my running pals had to get in to work after the run. So we needed to get out early. Which meant I woke up in the 5s!


But I did it. 16 hilly, early-morning miles. Done. The first 10 miles were with Bridget and Elisa and they were full of conversation. The last 6 miles were done alone. Miles 11-14 were run right around marathon goal pace (8:51).

The last two miles were run right around barely running pace. I was dragging. With a mile and a half to go, I wanted to scrap the whole thing. Not just the run but the whole marathon training.

I gave myself a virtual slap upside the head, got back in the game and ran on. I finished the whole 16  miles. And the benefit of starting so early? I still had the whole day ahead of me.

Then, on Tuesday, I got up in the 5s again! This time, to meet a neighbor for an easy run.

We ran a little less than 4 miles together and I ran a mile on my own. I hadn't run with my neighbor since before my half marathon in May so it was good to catch up. Even if it did mean seeing these numbers on the clock when I woke up:

Who am I?

Still the same happy runner, for sure. Just with the renewed ability to bust out some miles early in the morning!

That's what marathon training does, I guess!

Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone!

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