It’s been a while! Last time I posted, I was about to:
Run the Frigid Fanny 4-milerNailed it. And by nailed it, I mean “came in 1st in my age group”.
Run a 12 mile long runI’m hoping this one was a harbinger of things to come. Run in the “Perfect 10” 10-milerNailed it. And by nailed it, I mean “came in 3rd in my age group”. For a 10 mile run!
So, yeah, I’m feeling pretty good physically right now. My legs are nowhere near as sore as they were when I was preparing for my first half back in October, when I had shin splints and charleyhorses on the reg. Plus my legs just ached all the time. But my mental game is starting to act up just a bit. The RTB is in 2 1/2 weeks, y’all. Eek.
From here on out, my weekly totals decrease quite a bit as I save up my energy and try to avoid injury. Fingers clenchedImeancrossed.
Sorry about the late posting – the week has gotten a bit away from me! So last Saturday was the evil run, the mean run, the dreaded run. For some reason, me and the 9 mile distance just don’t really get along. 8? Cool. 10? Fine. 9? Sucks. So knowing that I had this in front of me plus the fact that it was like 10 degrees that morning made me look like this:
Hm. A little trepidatious. At least I was color-coordinated. Not bad for an early Saturday morning. So, how did it go?
I hesitate… but now that I have some distance on the run (ha) it was…ok? I think I’ll reserve judgement and see what happens next time I run the niner – so like, a month from now.
Tomorrow I’m looking at 10 miles during what will be a unseasonably warm day. High in the 60s! In February! I’m drinking an iced coffee right now, actually! What is this madness?!?! After tomorrow, I’m looking at:
- Monday: 4
- Tuesday: 3
- Wednesday: 5
- Thursday: 4
- Saturday: 11 (with a Frigid Fanny 4-Miler event in the morning)
Oh and yesterday I signed up for another half on May 21. Who AM I anymore? 🙂
A week of crazy-unseasonably warm temps ends the all “3 miles during the week” training portion – which means that the mileage will increase a little more dramatically week to week from here on out. Just in time for the return of the cold weather. My treadmill hill (treadhill? should i trademark that?) training took me through mile 6 of the RTB course simulation… so far, so good. And the 8 (8.14 if I’m being technical) mile long run on Saturday felt pretty awesome.
For the last few Mondays now, I’ve run into someone who said, “Hey – I saw you running Saturday!”, and that feels good to hear. Funny to think that when I started out I would only run when it was starting to get dark and would purposely run on quiet streets so no one would see me. The pathology of diffidence is REAL.
For a different spin this week, I thought I’d share a new recipe that Greg couldn’t stop eating…
Mung Bean and Red Lentil Soup (adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
Serves 4-6. Or just Greg.
1 cup split red lentils, dry
1 cup mung beans, dry
7 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
In a large pot, bring the legumes and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and then add 1 carrot, peeled and diced, and 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated. Cover and simmer until the lentils and mung are soft. While that’s working, toast 2 Tbsp. of curry powder in a dry skillet over very low heat (I put my burner at 2 on a 1-10 scale).
Toast until fragrant, stirring occasionally so as not to let burn. Set aside. (Even better: take the powder out of the hot pan and set it in a bowl so it doesn’t continue to toast off heat.)
Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the onions and apricots. Sauté for 3 minutes stirring often, then add 1/4 cup tomato paste and sauté 1-2 minutes more. Add the curry powder to the onion mixture and then add this to the soup pot, along with 1 can unsweetened coconut milk.
If you want to add a little more water, you can – it is really up to you. Taste for salt and serve with a shower of fresh cilantro and slivered green onion on top.
Or just eat it out of the pot.
So I don’t know if I’ve written about how my time has been improving. Partly, I think, because I don’t want to jinx it, like write about it and then all of a sudden lose whatever momentum I am building. Partly , also, because I haven’t really believed it. But my regular run time for a 5 K is now in the 25-26 minute range, whereas this Fall I was pretty psyched if I was 29:30. So that puts me at about an 8:00 mile at the 5 K distance (and a 5 mile run I did a couple weeks ago). I’ve been a little slower at distances higher than 5 miles, about an average of 8:35.
I’ve been using a combo of my new Fitbit Charge + Map My Run in order to figure out time + distance on my runs (why both? let’s just say I’ll listen to those who tell me that I need a wearable with GPS next time) My incredulity was great enough after using both of these consistently that I ended up registering for a Run Keeper account because I figured that this combo was somehow wrong and under-reporting my time or over-reporting my distance. Nope.
Actually, let me explain the importance of a wearable device with GPS, should you be new to running or just the whole wearable thing. Most wearables use your steps to estimate distance traveled. So if you walk 10K steps, it is about equivalent to 5 miles depending on your stride. If you use your sans-GPS wearable to estimate running distance it counts the number of steps you have taken but not the correct distance you have traveled because when you run it presumably takes you fewer steps to reach a similar walking distance due to increased stride.
So tl;dr means get the GPS-optioned model if you are shopping for a Fitbit or something similar.
Another update: I decided this week to start weekly hill training workouts. Although I’ve been trying to incorporate hills into my outside routes, it’s a little difficult to figure out exactly what I should be doing to prepare for what I have been told will likely be the most difficult course I will ever run. (Kentucky is known for its rolling countryside, and that’s fine — it’s just what goes up usually must come down. Apparently the RTB course mainly just goes up. And up. And up.)
The folks at RTB very helpfully provided us with a route simulation designed for treadmill use. That way I can pre-run the course, at least in chunks that correspond to whatever mileage I have planned for that day. It won’t be the same as doing all 13.1 at once, but at least I won’t be completely unprepared.
I did miles 1-3 last Thursday and will continue working off of this plan on Thursdays til the event. I’ve spoke to a couple people who have done this race and they think it’s a solid plan, so… we’ll see!
And one more training update: this is the last week where my M-Tr runs are 3 miles only, as next week I start getting some longer weekday distances. This weekend my long run is up to 8 miles. The weather looks like it will be PERFECT.
I was feeling a little sad that I wouldn’t get to do my 6 miler this week due to Snopocalypse 2016. Luckily, cabin fever had set in long before today (when I DID actually get to run – all 6 miles!) and I was able to get a bunch of walking in. Which basically was cross-country skiing. Which totally counts as cross-training. Which made those beer cupcakes (yup, made with West Sixth Oktoberfest!) with maple bourbon cream cheese frosting taste even better.
Training week 2 is down. Crazy KY weather meant I was running in shorts last Saturday and this today:
What I learned about 14 degrees:
- A silk baselayer plus a poly top is just fine.
- The balaclava is great for warming up my inhale, but I HATE exhaling through it. I don’t feel like I’m getting all my air out, or something just as irrational.
- Balaclava+glasses=C.S.S. (can’t see sheee-it… due to foggy lenses)
- My heavier tights are too big for me now.
- My knee-high compression socks are pretty great; I hadn’t yet worn them. And I got to pull off the dorky socks-over-my-tights look which I secretly love.
I shouldn’t have too much trouble if my next race lives up to its name.