It’s finally fall!

I have been monitoring the weather for tomorrow’s 5k all week long. Now, with less than 24 hours to go, here is what it is looking like:

fall weather

I really have no idea how to dress for this race, and I’ve got a few outfits packed in my bag. Runner’s World’s What to Wear guide suggests a short sleeve tech t-shirt and shorts. My constantly cold body says, “Brr!”

On my run yesterday evening, it was about 64. I wore a tank and skirt, which felt cold heading out and felt okay while running. I definitely think that I’d be too cold wearing that with a ten degree drop.

I’ve packed a long-sleeve top and a short-sleeve top with shorts. (I know! I just had the urge to wear shorts, which I will probably regret.) They have a bag check next to the start, so my plan is to wear one, bring the other, and switch out if I think I need to before the start of the race. I’m leaning towards the long-sleeve, though that might have something to do with the fact that it’s cuter. Although I’ve never run in it before (since it’s been 80-90 for the past month), so I’m therefore breaking cardinal rule number one of racing: never wear anything new. I did wear it to a concert, though, so maybe that counts?

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Week of 10/7/13 – 10/13/13: WDW Half Training, Week 4

The first recovery week of training, which means no long run this week!

Week to 10/7/13 to 10/13/13

I started out on Tuesday still pretty stiff from the week before. After standing at a concert on Thursday night, another on Friday night, shooting a wedding on Saturday, a long run on Sunday, and another concert on Monday night, my legs were dead. It was slow, but I made it through the 3.5 miles with several walk breaks. Then I went to another concert.

The next day I was scheduled for two miles. They were so rough. I was so achy to start with and when I got done, I collapsed on my couch, thinking I would never move again because it was hurting to even lie still. I made myself stretch and foam roll, which helped a bit, but resolved to stay true to recovery week and actually take some time to recover instead of torturing myself with another run on Friday.

Thus, I didn’t run again till The Color Run on Sunday morning. The day before I had shot another wedding, so my right leg in particular was still rather achy. But I knew The Color Run wouldn’t pose a problem, as it’s virtually impossible to run the thing anyway. We had a blast, and I’m happy to report that it seemed to have shaken some of the tiredness out of my legs, so that I may be able to actually start up week five relatively well.

The plan for the coming week is to do 3.5 miles on Tuesday (and then go to another freaking concert), 2 miles of speed work on Thursday, race the Go Commando 5k on Saturday, and then do my long run (going very easy!) on Sunday. This is my last race until the half, which I’m excited about, since I won’t have to worry about those times and how to squeeze them into my training plan anymore (it’s really not ideal to do a race and a long run back to back, but I’ll just take an extra day of recovery next week if I need to).

Am I overtraining?

Wikipedia says, “Overtraining is a physical, behavioral, and emotional condition that occurs when the volume and intensity of an individual’s exercise exceeds their recovery capacity. They cease making progress, and can even begin to lose strength and fitness.”

I mentioned last week that I was concerned I was getting burnt out and how I was needing to use counting meditations as a way to get through even what should be easy runs. Before I started half marathon training, I was running about 3-4 times a week, roughly around 10-12 miles per week. Starting training did not really change that. My first week of training I ran 4 times or 12.3 miles. I’ve slacked off a bit since then. Last week I ran 3 times, or 10 miles. So it’s hard for me to believe that I’m overtraining, when I haven’t been doing anything differently, and especially since my mileage hasn’t even started to climb.

Yet I never feel recovered on my runs anymore. Maybe it’s because I’ve been to four concerts in the last week, all of which I spent several hours standing. Plus October is busy wedding season. All I know is that my legs feel tired. All. The. Time. When I got done with a two mile run yesterday (that I walked part of), I nearly collapsed because my legs ached so bad. Stretching and foam rolling helped some, but I really don’t think I’ll be ready to run again tomorrow.

My half training looks like this (though the days can vary depending on my schedule):
First run (typically Tuesdays): 3-5 miles [currently at 3.5 miles]
Second run (typically Wednesdays): 2-3 miles [currently at 2 miles]
Third run (typically Fridays): 3-5 miles [currently at 3.5 miles]
Long run (typically Sundays): 3-14 miles [currently at 4.5 miles]

The long run is the most important, obviously, because it’s what increases my endurance to be able to last for 13.1 miles. I’m thinking of turning the week’s short run (the second run) into speed work. Those two being my hard workouts of the week, that means the two medium runs between them should be recovery runs. My current thought process is those are the ones I should skip if I don’t feel totally recovered when it’s time to do them. And at any time in any run if I’m feeling as achy as I felt during yesterday’s run, giving myself permission to stop. Overtraining will only lead to injury, and I definitely don’t want to be there again.

Who else has had to combat overtraining?

Week of 9/30/13 – 10/6/13: WDW Half Training, Week 3

October is a busy month for me, so I know that I’m not going to be completing every single run that’s on my training plan. And I know that I’m not planning on running the entire half marathon (yes, I will be stopping to take photos the whole time), so it’s okay that I walk a bit on my long runs. Still, these things frustrate me.

week of 9/30/13 to 10/6/13

My first run this week was on Tuesday. This was the first week that my weekday runs went up to 3.5 miles. I headed out to the greenway right after work (and when I finished, the sun was setting, thus reminding me that I’m going to be embracing the treadmill for these runs in a couple weeks). I ran steady but probably too fast for the first mile, but the whole time my mind was telling me I was tired and that I should walk. Sometimes I hate what a mind game running is! So I gave in on the second mile and walked most of the uphills. In fact, I was probably walking more than running for that mile.

At some point in the third mile, I decided to try a technique that I had read in my latest library book, “The Runner’s Guide to Yoga”. It discusses using meditation as you run, either by dedications or counting. It says,

You can also use the motion of running as a count of its own. Count your steps to 10 over and over or count down from 50…Or use a mantra, syncing it with the sound of your footfalls and breath.

I started counting up to 50, syncing with my breaths: odd numbers on exhales and even numbers on inhales. When I reached 50, I would evaluate how I felt and either walk or start over from 1. This helped greatly in taking my thoughts out of that “this sucks” mindset. I would usually do two sets of 50 counts, then walk for a count of 25. This helped me finish out the 3.5 miles without being completely grumpy.

The next day, psyched about how much the meditation actually helped, set out for my two mile run. I went ahead and just started with the meditation, not even waiting for my brain to go off track. This was a bad idea. I got really, really tired of counting to 50, so that keeping myself counting in itself became a mind game. Despite that I know I can run two miles straight with no problems, I ended up walking twice: once at the halfway point and then again a couple of minutes later.

Thursday and Friday were both out for running, since I went to concerts both nights. Then Saturday, I was second shooting a wedding and was gone from 10am to 11pm. With all that going on, I didn’t have time to fit in my other 3.5 mile run. (I considered doing it one morning, but I knew I was going to be on my feet a lot already, so just decided to forgo it.) I was a little scared then for my long run on Sunday, after having been on my feet for 12 hours the day before and standing at concerts the previous two nights. I set out on my 4.5 mile with some apprehension.

I made it through the first two miles with no walking with a little help from meditation. By that point, I was on an enormous uphill road. I ended up walking half a mile up that hill. And then something wonderful happened. It started to rain. I started to run and ran the last two miles with only one brief uphill walking break. I love rain! It also reminds me that I need to get a hat because sweat + rain = eyes burning.

This week is a recovery week, which I definitely am excited about. I have two more concerts this week, a wedding, and then the Color Run on Sunday!

Race Report: Fremont Oktoberfest 5k – September 22, 2013

After three sunny days in Seattle (I must’ve lucked out with the timing of my trip), I woke up Sunday morning to overcast skies and drizzle. The race wasn’t until 10am, so I took my time getting ready and (stupidly) ate a fiber bar for breakfast.

My bestie Sabrina drove us down to Fremont, and we parked and walked down to packet pick-up. They had a board set up with your name and bib number. Once you found your bib number, you got in the pick-up line to get your stuff: a neon green t-shirt, race bib, and shoe timing chip.

As I was putting on my bib and timing chip, I looked around at the other runners. Most of them were dressed much more warmly than me, with pull-overs and long sleeves dominating the crowd. I was wearing a skirt and a tank, of course. It was in the low 60s, so I had a hoodie on for warmth, but handed it over to Sabrina before the start, since it was not anything I wanted to run in.

before the fremont oktoberfest 5k

Tired but ready to start!

As I was waiting at the start line, a man next to me asked if I had run this 5k before. I said that I hadn’t and was actually from Nashville. He looked surprised and then said, “I’m from Tennessee too!” Turns out, he was also running on vacation from Johnson City. Small world!

Soon we were off. It had warmed up considerably and the sun was trying to peak through the clouds. I kind of laughed at all the people who were regretting their long sleeves and stripping off their pull-overs while trying to run.

I ran along at a pretty steady pace of 10:30 min/mile for the first mile, but by that time I was really wanting some water. I had (stupidly) failed to drink any that morning beforehand, and since the day before had been spent at on a wine tour and at Oktoberfest, I was probably pretty dehydrated. I had started to get side stitches, which, for me, is usually a pretty good indicator that I’m in need of water. On top of that, I think the fiber bar was making my stomach ache a bit. Usually a 5k will have a water stop every mile or maybe just one at the halfway point. I passed the one mile point with no water stop. I kept going. Shortly before the halfway point, I paused to catch my breath and hopefully try to see if there was a water stop ahead. There wasn’t. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hold my pace without any water, so I started doing run/walk intervals for the remainder. I knew it wasn’t going to be my fastest 5k, but I was a bit disappointed that it also wasn’t going to be my first 5k without walking.

I finished in a little over 35 minutes, which isn’t terrible. It was around what I was expecting to run, especially considering all the walking I’d been doing around Seattle and the imbibing from the day before.

My quarter mile splits:
quarter mile splits

Started too fast, eh?

They gave us a beer at the end, but I was way more interested in the water! So Sabrina downed half my beer and then we left to go check out the Fremont troll. 😀

Thrilled about beer, obviously.

Thrilled about beer, obviously.

the fremont troll

Fremont troll!

Shoes: Skechers GoRun 2