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I will admit that my training has been a bit off since my 20 miler two weeks ago. The day following that training run was my 48th birthday and it didn’t exactly go as planned. That whole week was crazy busy from kid drama (anyone with teens or tweens should be feeling my pain), to school meetings (the 2 minute long parent-teacher conferences at the high school require parent volunteers to keep the teachers on schedule), to work craziness, to multiple attempts to have a successful birthday dinner. Even the weekend was busy for the kids and their adult chauffeurs.  Birthday party, Hebrew School dinner, lacrosse try-outs, bat mitzvah, more Hebrew School, and lacrosse tournament. That’s not counting homework…. This meant that my training sucked. And for the first time this cycle, I actually missed a weekend long run (it was luckily a 5 miler so not a complete disaster). Needless to say, this inevitably impacted my mood.

Even this past week my training wasn’t great. The stress of the previous week left me feeling rundown and exhausted. My work schedule was different from usual which threw off my schedule. And I just started to feel down and unmotivated. Not a great place to be with the long runs getting longer and race day getting nearer. Some of this is related to seasonal changes and some of it is just a reaction to stress but it makes it easy to find excuses and hard to figure out how to work around a busy schedule.

I managed 2 week day runs last week. They were Monday and Friday so not ideal but the best I could do with my schedule. These were “get it done” runs with no effort to follow the specifics of my plan. Saturday I was supposed to do 5 miles with a magic mile but wasn’t feel great. I skipped the magic mile but got 5 decent miles done. Not perfect but better than the previous week.  And today I snuck in a run after giving an early morning lecture. Trying to get back on track. The weekend was enjoyable with plenty of needed down time and an effort to reset the system. I’ll see how much that renewal carries me through this week when I’m on call.

Surprisingly, I haven’t gained back any weight during these off-weeks. I was worried that several celebration meals out with decreased physical activity would lead to some unwanted pounds. I was actually afraid to step on the scale last week as I was worried that all of my exercise and healthy eating would have been lost in my 2 weeks of slacking off. So I was pleased to see that things are holding steady. I’m not expecting to lose a lot before the marathon but it would be nice to keep off the pounds that I worked so hard to lose. The real victory is when I wearing clothes that were uncomfortably tight earlier this year and now they fit well and look flattering.

My  goal for the upcoming weeks is to get back into my groove – both from an exercise perspective and an attitude readjustment. Sometimes training is more about mind over matter and I think that’s where I am right now. I think forcing myself to get my runs done will help improved my mood. That may be a more effective approach than trying to change my attitude and hoping the training follows. This weekend is another 5 miles so I get another easy week before going super long again.

The week after the half marathon I took it pretty easy. I had to do my “weekend” long run on Friday due to taking my recertification exam on Saturday morning and then heading down to Washington, DC – with my family – for a medical conference. My scheduled long run was 5 miles with 3 miles at tempo pace. While I tried to run the 3 miles faster than my typical long run pace, I’m not training for time for the Goofy so I didn’t stress about pace.

I did two short runs last week which were uneventful and tried to prepare – mentally at least – for my longest run in almost 2 years. This past weekend was a Goofy prep weekend. Long walk on Saturday and long run on Sunday. Friday night we ate pasta in preparation for our endurance weekend. Saturday morning I got to sleep in a bit before heading into NYC for birthday-palooza. The weather was a perfect fall day – mid 50’s and bright sunshine. Rich had a surprised planned for me down at the Oculus at the World Trade Center with dinner in Chelsea, about 2.5 miles away. We decided to park in Chelsea and walk down and back. It was about 3 miles down to the World Trade Center. My surprise was to get to experience opening weekend of the Avengers at The Void. This was an awesome virtual reality experience!!!!

We walked back uptown afterwards. My Garmin clocked about 2.5 miles before I stopped it at Chelsea Market. We bought some yummy hot sauce from the Heatonist, stopped at Milk & Hops for pre-dinner beer tasting, and headed to The Meatball Shop for some pre-long run pasta and meatballs. The evening was complete with a visit to Ample Hills Creamery for some yummy ice cream (there’s a Disney connection – they have a location on the Boardwalk at Disney World, they provided free samples at the Mickey exhibit in NYC last year, and they currently have Marvel-themed ice cream).

Sunday morning started with a 6:30am wake-up. I confess that I was slow to get up after a fun-filled day in NYC. But 20 miles were calling my name and the heavy rain forecast for the afternoon was super motivating. We were out the door around 7:15 and at the trail by about 7:30am. The starting weather was chilly – low 40’s and overcast – with an expected increase to about 60F before the end of the run. We started wearing long-sleeves with running vests but had some other clothing options available in the car for later.

My legs were a bit tired from the walking on Saturday so I wanted to start slow, slow, slow. We did 30/30 intervals the entire way. With me being on call, we were cautious about how far away from the car we went and opted for 5 miles out and 5 miles back for the first loop. Everything felt pretty good for the first 10 miles. We stopped at the car to change into short sleeved shirts (I was getting warm and boy was I glad for a change of clothes) and took a quick pee break before heading out again.

The second time we did just over 4 miles out and came back past the car until the trail hit town. It wasn’t quite as far as we needed but we walked the last 0.25 mile in the parking lot to make the full 20 miles. My legs were tired and sore at the end but overall I am very, very pleased with this long run. I never really hit the wall and I can honestly say that I could have gone a bit further.  My heart rate stayed in zone 2 until the uphill on the last mile when it went into zone 3. No need for extra walk breaks. Fueling and hydration were pretty spot-on and I’m definitely feeling like I’ll be ready for January.

Rich spoiled me with a Basin-purchased bath bomb when we got home. Leftover from when we ran Goofy two years ago, the Epsom salts in the bath bomb were amazing. I have some mild soreness after the run but honestly feel really good. I opted for a walk today instead of a run but that’s mostly due to logistics (early morning teacher meeting, dropping car off for inspection, etc.) rather than necessity.

Weight-wise I’m down at least 7 lbs and that’s been pretty consistent. I know that I could be more careful with watching what I eat but I’m pretty happy with where I am. Still have more pounds to go to reach my goal but my clothes are fitting again and my training is going well. It’s not about the numbers, it’s about how you feel.

Having reached the 20 mile threshold, I only have 2 more long runs before Goofy. One long run per month! It’s such a great feeling. The off weeks are 5 miles each. Easy peasy. Goofy here we come!

When I ran the Ridgefield Half Marathon 2 weeks ago, I finished feeling very discouraged. Getting through the 13.1 miles was difficult and my body was pretty unhappy with me at the finish. I knew that heat issues were a big part of the problem but it really made me worried about running twice that far in January. Or really 3x that far to finish the Goofy.

I wanted another try so I signed us up for the Westchester Running Festival Healing Half Marathon. This is an annual half marathon that starts about 3 miles from house and runs out and back along the Bronx River Parkway. I’ve run this course several times so it’s familiar territory and I was hoping the 2 weeks further into the fall would bring better running weather. After getting the ok from Coach Twiggs – he only reminded me that since I was scheduled for 17 miles that day, I’d better figure out how to walk 4 miles after the race – we were ready to run.

Race morning was an overcast 60F. Driving to the start was only complicated by my remembering the parking fee requiring cash minutes before leaving the house (scrounging up $15 was far more stressful than it should have been). We headed to packet pick-up where I was mistakenly handed a 10k bib instead of the half marathon one (and the same woman gave a 10k runner a half marathon bib so it seemed to be a bit of a mess). Luckily we got the bib situation figured out, dropped our long-sleeved tech shirts in the car, and had plenty of time for port-a-potties before the start.

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We were hanging out near the start line when we ran into friends. The announcers called out “5 minutes until the half start” while we were chatting. A few minutes later Rich said to me, “I think they just started!” There was no announcement. No starting gun. And certainly no national anthem. I was a little annoyed when I realized there was no timing mat at the start line and we started at least a minute after the “gun”.

The course is an out and back on the Bronx River Parkway. There are rolling hills in both directions but the course is net downhill on the out and net uphill on the back with the two toughest hills of the course in the last 5k. It’s a pretty route and very peaceful. Having run this race a few times I can honestly say it’s one I enjoy – despite the yucky hills at the end.

My run/walk timer was set to 30 sec intervals but my strategy was generally run 60 sec/walk 30 sec. For the 1st five miles I would run another 30 sec if my heart rate was below 160 bpm and walk the next 30 sec interval if my heart rate was above 160 bpm when the beeper went off. This meant that on the downhills I was doing run 90 sec or even run 2 min for every 30 sec walk break but on the uphills it might be run 30 sec or run 60 sec for every 30 sec walk break. After 5 miles I increased my threshold to 165 bpm, at the halfway point I increased to 170 bpm, and at the 10 mile mark I went to 175 bpm.

The good news is that I felt really good for the entire race. My heart rate was much lower than 2 weeks prior and, although my legs were tired by the end, I felt strong the whole way. The hills in the last part of the course definitely kicked my butt a bit but I was still able to do some run intervals across the finish line. My unofficial finish time was 2:38:40 but since the race only recorded gun time, my official time was almost a minute slower (2:39:32). That’ll teach me to chit-chat at the start of a race! Still happy to take 3-4 minutes off my finish time in just 2 weeks.

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After I finished and we got some post-race goodies – water, Gatorade, and yummy bacon, egg, and cheese wraps! – it was time for our 4 miles walk. We stopped at the car to drop off unwanted stuff and put on our race shirts so we wouldn’t get cold. Then we headed north on the Bronx River Pathway – the trail alongside the parkway. It was a lovely day for a walk and we took our time. I was surprised by how much better my sore quads felt after walking 4 miles than at the finish of the race. Maybe walking after a race is always a good idea. We were happy to finish our 17 miles for the day and heading home to clean up for Oktoberfest at our local brewery.

Now it’s back to the grind of training. We agreed to add some long walks on our pre-long run days to get used to the back to back of Goofy. I think we both agree that being well-trained for January is important and that putting in the time will yield good results in the end. While my fitness levels are not yet back to where I was a few years ago, I’m feeling more and more like I can get there with a little commitment and a little effort.

Where oh where have I been for the past several weeks? Here, there, and everywhere! We had a delightful family vacation to Florida in August. I did one long run of 800m repeats but the heat and humidity really impacted me. Ten days after we returned, we headed off to 10 days in France. The trip was wonderful but very, very busy. We had a nice run in Disneyland Paris one morning and walked nearly 10 miles per day. My work presentation in Nice was well-received. Overall a successful trip but not necessarily a successful running trip. Five days after returning home, I headed to Syracuse for another conference. I did run on the treadmill and gave two presentations. Work 1, Running 0.

I returned from Syracuse on a Friday evening and was scheduled to run my Proof of Time half marathon that Sunday. The weekend was beautiful. Sunny, temps in the low 80’s with a light breeze. Absolutely perfect end of summer weather…..unless you’re hoping for a good finish time from an endurance event. On Saturday we drove up to Ridgefield, CT to pick up our race bibs. The shirts were adorable – long-sleeved with a hood. We stopped at a favorite local brewery for some beer tasting and lunch and spent an idyllic afternoon. We drank lots of water along with the beer and enjoyed the sunshine. Saturday night we ate some lasagne and planned an early bedtime. My pre-race nightmare involved getting lost on the course.

Sunday dawned early. The race recommended an early start for anyone slower than 2 hours 30 minutes. We were at the start line for the early 7:15am start time. The course promised rolling hills and a confusing course map, including a mid-course loop (hence my nightmare). Even parking was a little confusing. The early start contingent was small but friendly and off we went. My plan was 60/30 intervals with maybe some extra running on downhills and less running on uphills.

I felt good going into the race. I was nervous about the warm weather and should have been nervous about the hills. These were hills. Lots and lots of hills. My first few miles were great but the hills started to drive my heart rate up and I found myself walking more and more. I was also unprepared for how fast the other participants were. Despite starting 30 minutes early, I was being passed consistently for the last half of the race by much faster runners. They were mostly lovely and encouraging and many took the time to say some positive words as I struggled.

The hills never ended. Even though most of mile 13 was downhill, there was a steep uphill stretch up to the mile marker. I wasn’t feeling great and realized after the finish that I was overheating. I knew I needed at least 2:45 to help me with corral placement in January and I came in at 2:42:19. Disappointing but not terrible. And I was lucky enough to have Rich waiting for me at the finish line!

(The first photo is mid-race and while I’m sweaty, I still look like I’m having fun. The second is my finish line photo where I’m still pushing but look oh-so-done.)

I realized after the finish that I was really overheated. I sat for a while to cool down and drank some water. The finish line party seemed really fun but I just wasn’t feeling up to it. Somehow burgers and hotdogs at 10am wasn’t my jam! We finally headed home and I cooled off in an air conditioned car. A cool shower and a nap later, I was a new person.

After talking to Coach Twiggs, Rich and I decided to give another attempt at a better proof of time. We will be running the Westchester Running Festival this Sunday. It’s a race I know well and the start line is about 3 miles from our house. There are definitely hills but not as bad as the Ridgefield race. Weather predictions are looking pretty good. I haven’t done a lot of speed work since our travels started but I’m back in training mode.

In the meantime I’ve lost somewhere between 6-8 lbs and my clothes are fitting better. I wore a dress to my presentation in Syracuse that I could barely zip up in May. It fits really well now and that certainly helped my confidence levels – both in terms of feeling good about my presentation and about feeling proud that my training is paying off. Hoping to keep living a healthier lifestyle so I can keep feeling stronger and faster and fitter.

This week’s training was marked by slightly cooler temperatures and slightly lower humidity. Both factors made for a much more pleasant training week with faster and more comfortable running.

Thursday was a typical drill day followed by a 15 minute race rehearsal segment. I enjoy the cadence drills but I’ll admit that I’m never 100% sure I’m doing the acceleration-gliders correctly. I mean I’ve read about them and watched videos but I’m still not certain. My race rehearsal segment went smoothly and I didn’t have to speed up at the end to average the right pace. Definitely an improvement!

Sunday was my magic mile. My previous magic mile was almost 2 months ago and was a disappointing 9:37. I had a bit of weather magic – a big thunderstorm on Saturday night brought in better conditions for Sunday morning. I drove up to the Valhalla High School track where I was the only human in sight. I did a slow, easy warm-up mile using 30/30 intervals. For my magic mile I used run 60 sec/walk 15 sec. This has me taking short walk breaks at approximately the corners of the track. I felt pretty good throughout but did notice myself slowing down a bit at the end. I wasn’t sure how I’d done until I finished my run (3 more slow miles after the magic mile for a total run of 5 miles). During my last few miles the weekend warrior soccer players started filing onto the field which only made me want to finish quicker! I hit the 5 mile mark and up popped my new one mile record! 9:18!!! I took 19 sec off my previous mile. (This is not my fastest mile ever. When I was training for the Hartford Marathon, my magic mile times were in the mid-8 min/mile range but this is still the fastest I’ve been in the last few years.) I expect to hear back from Coach Twiggs in the next 24 hours or so with my new training paces. It is ironic that just when my training paces are starting to get easier, he’s going to speed them up!

Today was a race rehearsal segment. Lovely morning. Felt good. No issues keeping up with my race paces for all 20 minutes of the run. In fact I was a little faster than race pace which is great because – like I said – my anticipated race pace will be getting faster. I spent some time this morning thinking about how grateful I am that my training is going well and I’m sticking with it. A great feeling for sure!

I’m down about 4 lbs. I haven’t been super careful with my eating but I’m going to try to stick with it. I’m happy to say that I’ve avoided over-eating after long runs which had been a problem in prior training cycles. I wonder how much of an impact the weight loss has on my pace…. Hopefully both will continue to improve!

This week I got back on the training bandwagon. I did my Thursday run on Friday due to work obligations. It was the usual drills and race rehearsal segment. I struggled a bit with pace on the race rehearsal portion – not sure why – but pulled it off in the end. I don’t think the point is to sprint the last few run segments to “catch up” to my desired pace but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Sunday was my 15 mile long run. This is the longest I’ve run since January, 2018 so I was curious to see how it would go. I “carbo loaded” the night before by eating spicy chicken wings. And while I worried that I would pay a terrible price for my choice, it ended up being fine. I did a decent job of hydrating on Saturday in preparation for a long hot run on Sunday and that definitely helped.

I set the alarm for 6:15am and was on the trail by just after 7am. In a perfect world I would have started earlier but chronic exhaustion isn’t good for running either. My assignment was to walk the first 4 miles so I took my UCan with me during the walk portion and then dropped the empty container back at the car. I knew that with walking 4 miles, my overall pace would be slow so I kept the mentality that pace doesn’t matter on long runs and that I need to just keep it slow. I think that really helped me mentally and then physically when the day started to warm up.

Although the South County Trail goes on for miles and miles, there is a long uphill stretch somewhere between miles 3 and 4. With me being on call this weekend, it seemed like the perfect excuse to do shorter out and backs and try to avoid the hill as much as possible. I did walk the hill during the walking-only segment but then turned around early into the hill on the final segment. I somehow completely miscalculated my distances because I hit the 15 mile mark at least 1/3 mile before getting back to my car. I did walk that last bit – not sure how long it was because I forgot to stop my watch before driving home. When my watch beeped for mile 16, I realized my error and got a good chuckle over the fact that I had “run” (or driven?) a fast final mile!

During the run/walk segment my paces were very steady between 13 min/mile and 13:35 min/mile. There was one slow mile in there because I had to stop to pee (the trail was super busy with cyclists so I needed to find a hidden spot in the woods without getting poison ivy so I lost some time looking for the perfect place). The temperature was well into the 80’s before I finished but a combination of good hydration, pace management, good fueling, and steady salt intake made it a decent run. My last 2 miles were the fastest which was probably a combination of a downhill finish with just wanting to get the darn thing over with. Overall I’m thrilled with how it went.

Today’s run was tough. A late night emergency on Sunday night followed by a long day on my feet at work yesterday meant that I was exhausted this morning. It was also super hot and humid, even at 6:30am. I did only the “mandatory” parts of my race rehearsal run and left off the optional additional 10 minutes. I managed to hit my pace but my legs felt a bit dead and my energy levels weren’t great. Even so, done is done.

I’ve managed to maintain my weight loss between 3-4 lbs but haven’t really lost any additional weight. I’m not complaining because we spent Rich’s birthday on Friday exploring the craft beer scene in Brooklyn and eating yummy barbecue food. Not exactly low cal. I’m almost surprised I didn’t gain weight but maybe the extensive walking around Brooklyn offset some of the high calorie intact. I’ve been listening to the Weighty Matters episodes of the Another Mother Runner podcast and found them inspiring and helpful. I’m going to try to incorporate some of the tips into my life – not only focusing less on what I don’t like about my current weight but also trying to eat less packaged foods and making sure I eat consistently throughout the day so I don’t get super hungry and eat junk.  Here’s a link to the website with the podcasts: https://anothermotherrunner.com/?s=weighty+matters

 

With the exception of this morning’s run, this week was Hades hot. Thursday I foolishly thought that the rain would make my run bearable. Nope. It just meant that the humidity was 100%. Or maybe 110% because it was so uncomfortable that I think it was working 10% harder for the air to hold even more moisture. I did my cadence drills and acceleration-gliders ok but I struggled with my pacing on the race rehearsal segment. The first mile was at 12 min/mile pace instead of the 11:35 min/mile pace that I’m aiming to achieve. The last bit was at pace but that was only about a 1/4 of a mile. You know it’s humid when you take a cold shower and you’re still sweating….

Worse yet was my Saturday long run. The goal was 8 x 800m at 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. I survived the 15 min warm up and ran the first three 800s with 60/30 intervals at desired pace. It was SO hot and humid that I cut back to 30/15 intervals for the next three 800s. Still managed to hit my pace. By now it was 85F and humid and it was only 8:30am. I started my 7th interval and just felt yucky. I decided that hitting two more intervals wasn’t worth risking heat disease and I decided to just walk home from there. Yuck. Yuck. And more yuck. Considering that we had a dangerous heat wave this past weekend, I’m pleased that I managed even 6 of the speed intervals.

Today was a bit cooler and raining. Flash flood warning raining. Which just makes me feel like a bada$$ for getting out there. I managed to hit my race rehearsal segments ok today and felt pretty good the whole way.

This weekend I have 15 miles on the schedule. My penance for not getting through my 13 miler is that I have to walk the first 4 miles of my long run and then run/walk the last 11 miles. That just makes the whole darn thing take longer but it’ll get me back on track with my distance. And overall I’d say my training cycle is on target.

In terms of weight loss…. I’m down at least 3 lbs maybe closer to 4 lbs depending on the day. I haven’t been super careful with my eating – Sunday was apparently ice cream day and I definitely ate some ice cream! I can feel the difference even if it isn’t a big number so that motivates me to keep going.

This past week didn’t go exactly how it was supposed to go. Tuesday race rehearsal run went great but I somehow hit the register button for a Thursday evening 5k instead of running my drill workout. I found out about the race on the Friday before. Twice a month I see patients at an off-site owned by a large multi-specialty practice in the area. I saw a flyer in the break room inviting everyone to join the 5k fun run as part of the team. The team captain sits in the office next to mine and has become a friend. She encouraged me to join the fun. I didn’t hit the register button until Tuesday and even though my registration seemed to go through, I noticed that the online registration deadline had been 24 hours earlier.

The race was held Thursday evening at SUNY Purchase. I ran two 5ks here last summer but this one was starting on the opposite side of campus. The 5ks run on the perimeter road around campus with the biggest negative being the hills. Lots and lots of hills. Thursday was a challenging day at work and I was pretty emotionally drained by the time I got home. I had about 10 minutes to change into race clothes before heading out the door. (I forgot my run/walk timer at home but figured out how to set it up on my watch.) My kids had volunteered to come cheer me on but after seeing the heavy rain outside, they declined. Rich came along as a fabulous one-man cheering squad.

This was a large corporate event with many tables set up for different teams. Not surprisingly my registration didn’t work but I was able to register for free on-site. They spelled my name wrong and didn’t even ask my age but I had a chip-timed bib and was ready to roll. I even got a team baseball hat to wear (big mistake – it was already warm out!) It was hot, humid, and very, very wet.

The race was advertised as a corporate fun run/walk so I started in the middle of the pack. I had my timer set for 30/30 intervals but planned to mostly use 60/30s. The first mile was the longest uphill of the race (it was mile 3 when I had previously run at SUNY Purchase) so I was optimistic that I would have more downhills in the later parts of the race. I didn’t have much of a goal but was hoping for sub-11 minute miles. I used some 30/30 intervals on the uphills and 90/30 or so on the downhills. Mile one was my fastest at 10:21. I was surprised that the hills continued throughout the race as that was not my recollection of this course. Mile 2 was 10:56 and Mile 3 was 11:35. I definitely suffered on the uphills during that 3rd mile! My official finish time was 33:52 (10:54 min/mile average pace). That’s only about 1 minutes slower than my fastest 5k in 2018 when I was actually training for a 5k. Still hoping to get down below 30 minutes at some point but I was very pleased with my performance. After a tough day at work, tough running conditions with the humidity and rain, and a hilly 5k course, I felt like I had done a pretty good job.

My long run this weekend was deferred until today (Tuesday) because we spent a fantastic weekend in Burlington, VT. Every July we pick a place to explore and especially to check out the craft beer scene. Burlington was a great choice and a place I would happily return to visit again and again. We had a jam-packed weekend of fun which didn’t include any running. I honestly didn’t even pack my running clothes.

Today I was supposed to run 13 miles. Which didn’t happen. My daughter had an 8:20am endodontist appointment, I had a 10am work meeting, a 1pm lecture to give, and a 3pm video appointment. I did wake up at 5:20am and got 7.33 miles done. Not 13 miles. But not nothing. I’m sad that I missed an important run but I know that I’m early enough in the training cycle to get back on track. I realized that my plan to run 13 miles after the endodontist wouldn’t have been realistic anyway given that it was 90F today. Not nice for a long run. Sometimes life just happens.

Despite a crazy weekend of fun, I’m still down 3 lbs from my starting point. I’m getting back on track with my training. And I’m ready to keep moving forward.

The theme for this past week of training can be summed up by the word HOT. I’ve never been great at running in warm weather and I can certainly say that I have not acclimated to the heat yet. Disney’s Marathon Weekend can sometimes be hot and sometimes be cold and even sometimes be just right. But it’s hard to control for that when I’m training in the heat now and will likely be training in the cold right before the race. Which means I have to adjust to whatever the current conditions are and move on…. Or move forward….

Thursday’s run is usually a warm up followed by drills – cadence drills and acceleration gliders – followed by an optional race rehearsal run and then the cool down. Since I was fortunate enough to sleep late on July 4th, that meant running in the heat of the day. With a peak temperature in the 90’s, even starting at 10:30am was way too late. I decided to play it smart and skip the optional part of the run (which is the faster part, too) and only do the bare minimum. It was hot, humid, and uncomfortable but I made it through.

My weekend long run was 6 x 800m repeats. 15 minutes warm up/15 minute cool down with six 800m repeats at a pace 30 sec per mile faster than desired race pace. For my current pace each 800m should take me about 5:30. We got up early on Sunday to get our training done and it certainly helped. It was super humid but not as hot and I NAILED all 6 repeats. I was faster than my needed pace even on the last one and felt really good about it. Some minimal leg tiredness afterwards and maybe a hint of hamstring soreness but mostly all good.

Today’s run was done in the late afternoon heat, on the treadmill, and was less than ideal. But I still did it. Consistency counts for something. I’m also down about 3 lbs from my starting weight (my daily weight fluctuates so I’m being cautious with my weight assessments). I’m also doing much better with my water drinking these days – probably because it’s so HOT that I’m actually thirsty all the time…

I somehow signed up for a Thursday evening 5k this week. Not looking to set any speed records but hoping to have fun and enjoy the race experience. I also had to move my weekend long run to next Tuesday due to super fun weekend plans. It’ll be a little tricky to fit in 13 miles on a week day but I’m determined to make it work. And so I will. It might be hot and ugly and involve a lot of walking if I have to start later in the day.

Overall I’m really pleased with how my training cycle is going so far and hoping to keep up the strong work.

 

Goofy Training Week 1

It’s been about 18 months since I’ve run in a runDisney event and the same amount of time since I’ve run a race longer than a 10k. My training for my last Goofy weekend was erratic at best and I fell apart in the later miles of the marathon. Although I finished the race, I was pretty disappointed in my preparation and performance. My running over the last several years has been inconsistent and I started this training cycle about 20 lbs overweight and not very fit. I’m definitely motivated to train by having races on my schedule but I’ve mostly stuck to 5ks over the last 2 years.  RunDisney was my initial inspiration to run races and so it seems fitting that runDisney should be the thing that gets me going again.

After several years of running multiple runDisney events each year, running and racing have taken a back seat to life. Since I have never earned even a dollar for running, my job and my family have both taken priority over fitness. Needing to lose a few pounds and wanting to get back into peak condition are now more important than ever and I’m hoping that having Goofy on my schedule will keep my honest. I love running at Disney – even after having had so many opportunities to do so – and so I was thrilled when Rich suggested that we look at the runDisney race calendar and pick a race weekend. I knew that many of our running friends would be there in January and the anniversary Goofy medal made it the ideal race weekend for me.

Immediately after signing up for the Goofy Race and a Half Challenge, I sign up for the Chris Twiggs Customized Training Plan. I have had good luck with Galloway training in the past and had done e-coaching with Jeff Galloway several times. E-coaching had gotten so popular that the price has increased beyond what I’m willing to pay. The Chris Twiggs program is offered through the Galloway website with many of the same advantages. It’s Galloway training customized to my individual needs (for example I have no long runs during a 10 day stretch in September when I’m in France) and can be changed to accommodate vacation or additional races. Part of the customized training program is an optional weekly video chat sessions with Chris. It’s an opportunity to check in with him and problem solve but also an opportunity to connect with other runners and learn from their experiences. I am definitely a social runner so I’m enjoy these sessions. I’m currently in week 6 of my customized training plan even though this week is technically the first week of Goofy training.

Because I haven’t run any longer distances in 18 months, I need a decent proof-of-time race before October. I am currently training for a time goal Half Marathon in late September to hopefully get me into a decent starting corral in January. I’m not necessarily looking to PR – did I mention 20 lbs overweight and not in peak physical condition? – but I’m hoping for something in the two and half hour range. That won’t put me in an early corral but should keep me out of the back. I’m not looking to run Goofy for time but I want to be fit enough that I can enjoy every minute of it without worrying that I’ll run out of steam. So I’m trying to take my training seriously and stay accountable.

In the last 6 weeks I’ve manage to lose 2 lbs and my longest run has been 11 miles. I’ve only missed 2 runs when I was out of town at a wedding and have completed all of my other miles. I’ve taken a few seconds off my magic mile and I’m working on heat acclimation. I’m pretty pleased with how this training cycle is going and I’m committed to staying committed.