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29 In Weekly Wrap - Training Recaps

Great Race and UBHM Training Week 1

Fall 2017 Training

What I learned?  It’s all about that pace.  When it comes to training, there is a lot to think about.  One of those things is pace.  This could easily be a whole blog post by itself (wait for it…it’s coming!) but today, I’m going to talk about my struggles with pace.  I have two problems with pace. 

My first problem with pace is not pushing it hard enough.  When I’m having a really good day and the temperature cooperates I like running at a hard pace.  Not out of breathe but a really good breathing hard pace.  Most of the time when I am running, I like to run at a comfortable conversational pace (PS – running science says this is a good thing).  My problem is that if I could I would run all of my miles at a conversational pace which is not going to help me get faster.

My second problem is appropriately pacing and not going all out only to crash and burn later.  Sometimes when the adrenaline is pumping it just feels good to run fast…until it doesn’t feel good any more.  My mind and body aren’t always in tune with this.  It takes a little bit of time for my body to realize that I’m going too fast before my breathing gets out of control.  We’ll revisit this later in this post.

Monday:

Planned: Rest Day »  Actual:  Rest Day

To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember what I did on Monday aside from catching up on blogs.  Maybe I was just a couch potato?

Tuesday:

Planned: Track Workout »  Actual:  Track Workout

Today was my first official track workout of my new training cycle.  And while I should have been working on this for the past 8 weeks of my base training phase, I let other things get in the way.  To make sure that I hit my splits, I took hubs to the track with me.  My goal times for today were 1:42 400’s and 3:27 800’s.

Actual Workout: 1:40, 3:33, 1:41, 1:42, 3:30, 1:39

One of my downfalls with this workout is my pacing.  My goal should be even 25 second 100 meter splits (really it should be 26 seconds but I like 25 better).  I would always start off fast and then slow down by the last 100 meters.  My range would be 18 seconds – 30 seconds.  By the end of this cycle, if I can run splits less than 25 seconds per 100 meters I’ll be excited but until then, my focus is even with a kick at the end of the interval.

For the heat and humidity, I was pretty excited with these numbers.

Wednesday:

Planned: Cross Training »  Actual: Cross Training

Today, I went to the gym after work for 45 minutes on the elliptical + lower body strength exercises.  I still haven’t taken the time to write out some key workouts yet but I hope to do that today.  I know that I need to focus on core/glute/hamstring strength to keep a good balance and increase my speed.

Thursday:

Planned: Tempo Work »  Actual: SCRR Flash 5k

I don’t know what it is about Thursdays but I always just want to come home and sleep after work.  Today, I pushed myself out the door for this flash 5k.  It was a hot one!  80 degrees and 90% humidity.  My warm-up mile clocked in at 8:10 and I was happy to see that number.  It felt like a good solid effort.  Taking the weather in to consideration, I had planned on running most of the 5k at 8:40 pace (which is tempo for my half marathon training) with a kick at the end. 

Like usual, I was feeling good from the start…probably a little too good.  I set off without looking at my watch.  I have found that when I don’t look at my watch I can almost always push myself harder than I think that I can run.  Looking over my shoulder, I expected to see hubs but he was nowhere near me.  That should have been my first clue.  At about 0.5 miles, my friend that is coaching me caught up and asked if I knew I was running 7:30 pace.  Face palm.

I knew that would come back to haunt me but at the time it felt good so I pressed on.  Mile 1 clocked 7:40 pace.  I backed off on the pace and was still feeling good but about a quarter mile later I got a side stitch that I couldn’t get rid of.  I took a couple walk breaks which is just bad news in hot weather for me because then I just feel worse.  I pushed through even though the run just sucked by this point.  Finish time 28:43 with a pace of 9:14

Not a great race strategically but I’m a glass half full kind of girl.  I’ll take that first mile time as a win for my first week of training.  If I had reversed my splits and started at an 8:40 pace, I would have had a much better run.  Strategically and overall pace.  Live and learn.

Friday:

Planned: Rest Day »  Actual: Lower Body Strength

Today should have been a rest day but I decided to do some strength training for two reasons.  First, I am going to switch up my training days next week which will change my Sunday to a rest day.  Second, I am pacing two races tomorrow and figured that taxing my legs a little more today will help me keep a slower pace tomorrow.  I jumped on the elliptical for 15 minutes to stretch my legs out before completing my usual circuit.  After lifting really heavy on Wednesday and completing structured workouts this week, my legs felt dead today.

With a goal finish time of 29:31, this is my best pacing race to date

With a goal finish time of 29:31, this is my best pacing race to date

Saturday:

Planned: Long Run »  Actual: 5k x 2

One of my favorite pacing days!  Today, I paced two different races in two different states.  The first race, I was co-pacing a 10:00 minute mile and the second race a pace the 9:30 minute mile.

In the morning, we went to the St. Barnabas 5k in Gibsonia.  This is a wonderful race that supports the St. Barnabas free care fund.  This year they had great little swag bags, shirts, tons of food post race and three different beer companies.  This course has rolling hills and is a nice little challenge.  It was really fun helping people push at the finish to come in before us.  There were a lot of high fives and smiles at this finish line!

In the evening, we drove out to Weirton, West Virginia for the Debbie Green 5k which is also the State RRCA 5k championship race.  Love this race!  Once again, it not only supports a great cause raising funds for local families with children battling leukemia but it is also a great community event.  This race is a mass start gun time event.  Although I was fast out of the gate trying to get around the crowds, I eased into pace by a quarter mile in.  This is a really fast race with a nice downhill in the first mile and a flat course for miles 2 and 3.  I had a small crew around me as we were nearing the finish and every single one of them pushed to cross the finish line before I did!  I love seeing people put it on the line at the end of the race.  After the race, everyone went back to the WesBanco arena for a post race meal.  They had community tables set up and offered salad, pasta, pizza, cookies, bananas, and drinks.

A little bit of eggs with my bacon

A little bit of eggs with my bacon

Sunday:

Planned: Cross Training »  Actual: Rest Day

Since my training schedule is going to change for next week, today changed to a rest day.  Hubs and I took advantage of this by going to brunch after church at Bartam Bakery.  Love the treats here – they are soo good!  The rest of today will be spent getting ready for next week…Meal prep, writing plans, laundry, blogging and relaxing!

Meal Prep Inspirations

I also still have some work to do here.  I need to tweak my eating habits to lose the last 7 pounds I have been chasing for what seems like is forever.  7 weeks to go and 7 pounds to loose… I can do this.  I still don’t think that I have been eating enough food which is causing my body to store fat.  With my increase in training effort, I will need to spend some time today getting this figured out for a 2,000 calorie a day meal plan.

Breakfast: Cinnamon Roll Protein Breakfast Shake

Lunch: Eggplant and Zucchini Lasanga

Dinner: Avocado toast with eggs and carrots with hummus

Sharing the Love

This week, I’m linking up with Steff of RunSteffRun and the Pittsburgh Running Bloggers, Courtney of Eat, Pray, Run DC, and Holly and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap with guest host Heather

What’s your favorite part of training?  Do you struggle with pacing?

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Debra Rosen
    August 6, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    I always struggle with pacing!! For some reason, “tempo runs” just freaks me out. It doesn’t matter if I know I can run a certain pace, the minute I tell myself I HAVE to run a certain pace, I get super intimidated. Enjoyed your recap!

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 6, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      Thank you!
      I’m feeling you on the pace thing and I’ve also seen this from one of the athlete’s that I’m currently coaching. Running is such a mental sport. This is a great example of it. As I work through this and figure out what works to get over this mental hurdle, I’ll share my tips.

  • Reply
    Kimberly G
    August 6, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Congrats on officially starting a new training cycle! You had an awesome week. I love that you were able to pace two races in two different states on Saturday – thats awesome! That meal from Bartam Bakery just made me hungry for breakfast tomorrow, lol.

    Loving your meal prepping for this week. All those meals sound super yummy!

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 6, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Thanks! Breakfast is my favorite food type for sure! The quiche was the perfect texture and so tasty. Not something that I would eat every day but a nice treat here and there!

  • Reply
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner
    August 6, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    So I have the exact same pacing issues that you do! Can’t wait to see what tips you have for dealing with that. I also love to run at a conversational pace while chit chatting w my friends. I don’t really push myself on those

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 6, 2017 at 7:17 pm

      Hopefully I get it all figured out and once I do, I’ll share my tips!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Hatting
    August 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    My pacing is always a struggle! I trained with a coach last fall for Route 66, and it was tough running the faster splits fast enough, and then running the slow runs s.l.o.w.l.y. There were so many times when I felt like I was dragging tail…only to see my pace was much faster than it should have been. Of course, I also had some runs that felt like I was totally kicking asphalt only to discover i was running those too slow LOL I simply do much better (physically AND mentally) to just run by feel and not let the Garmin dictate my effort.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 6, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I love to run by feel as well! Only problem lately is that running by feel in this heat and humidity means 10-10:15 pace. I’m really looking forward to the fall to see how much this new training has helped with my goal to get my conversational pace below 9 minutes.

  • Reply
    Lesley
    August 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    I use the treadmill a lot to work on my pacing. Since I wanted to speed up this summer, it’s so easy to set a faster pace and make myself run at that pace. I also make sure I’m in a pack during a race so I don’t go out too fast. The crowd helps keep me in check so I don’t burn out later.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      That’s a great idea! I am afraid I would fly off the back of the treadmill if I set it for my 400 meter repeat time lol.

  • Reply
    Fairytales and Fitness
    August 6, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Yes I do struggle with pacing, but I never know what my pace is until I look at my watch after the first mile. I have no idea how some runners can plan what pace they are going to run at! Good job at your 5k races!

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Thanks! I agree…. I have to wait and see how my legs are feeling. Some days I can fool them and run harder but most days, they call the shots.

  • Reply
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home
    August 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    After all these years of running, I still struggle with pace. I almost always go out too fast. It’s so hard to hold back. You did a great job with your 5k in spite of your side stitch.

  • Reply
    HoHo Runs
    August 7, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Nice job this week! It’s cool you paced two races in one day. I just struggle period during the summer. During other seasons, it helps me mentally and physically to run progressively for most runs. This allows me time to dial into a certain pace.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      Agreed! Summer running makes pacing so hard!

  • Reply
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets
    August 7, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Nice job this past week! So cool that you were a pacer for 2 5K’s! Pacing is always tricky, especially those shorter races…I always get nervous that I won’t be able to hold pace if I go out too fast. There’s so much mental strategy involved too!

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:43 pm

      Thanks! I agree with the mental strategy. Usually when I’m racing 5k’s my goal is to go out fast and hold on for dear life. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t lol.

  • Reply
    courtney @ eat pray run dc
    August 7, 2017 at 11:29 am

    Great week – so many 5ks, lol! I am HORRIBLE at pacing 5ks. Other races I am much better but I basically put on a clinic on how NOT to race a 5k every time I try. My last 5k that I raced, I ran 7:19/7:32/8:00 lol. I’m the worst. So yeah, with you on that one.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      It’s the hold on for dear life tactic! lol
      Luckily for my goal race there will be pacers and I can race smart but when left to my own devices, it usually doesn’t go well.

  • Reply
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy
    August 7, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Funny, I have to watch my watch to (sometimes) hit my paces (and even then, like today, it just doesn’t happen). I’m naturally slow, and if I just run by feel, 9 times out of 10 it’s reeeeeally slow.

    2 races in 1 day? In 2 states? Wow.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 3:48 pm

      Sometimes it’s fun to run by feel or even without a watch to just enjoy the run!

  • Reply
    Marcia
    August 7, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    As I’ve aged, and hormones have come into play differently than before, pacing has become erratic. What feels good for me one day is no good on another. There are times when even walk breaks aren’t enough for me to keep a “conversational” pace. So it’s definitely a challenge to honor my body and do what I can when I can.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 7, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Kudos to you for listening to your body! Is weather or recovery a factor or do you think it is just hormones?

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Dashing in Style
    August 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but it’s very interesting to me that you’re such a precise pacer when pacing others, but feel you need work on your own pacing. You obviously have it in you to do a great job with pacing! Oh, I LOVE my easy miles; you are not alone there!

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 7, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    lol that is a really interesting point that I actually haven’t thought of! For me, I think I struggle because I’m trying really hard to push myself while when I’m pacing others it’s at my easy pace so that I can focus on talking with them and checking my watch obsessively to make sure I’m on pace.

    Easy miles are the best 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah
    August 8, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    I always struggle with pacing at the beginning of a training cycle, but get better further in. I’m never confident at the beginning that I’ve chosen the right target paces, but I figure them out as I go and then things start clicking.

    • Reply
      Sara
      August 9, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      Agreed! The more you practice it the easier it becomes. I’m just waiting for that day when it clicks this cycle 😉

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 8, 2017 at 7:47 pm

    I do struggle with pacing – often going out way to fast and my legs writing a check my body/mind cannot cash. I think with consistent running I might get better at it, but that’s another issue. 3 5Ks in as many days – that’s impressive! Thanks for linking up!

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 9, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    I like the way that you worded that….I usually feel like my lungs can’t cash that check though! lol

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