Week of 3/31/14 – 4/6/14: Country Music Half Training, Week 12

week of 3/31/14 to 4/6/14

Tuesday

So this was a weird one. First of all, it was the first 80 degree day we’d had this year. So it was warm, and I’m, obviously, not acclimated to running in warmer temperatures yet. I went to go run with the Mt. Juliet Flyers, and I immediately started my warmup too fast. As in, I started it at goal pace. So since I was already going that speed, I just ended the warmup period on my watch and started the three miles.

My calves were SO tight. This was not a comfortable run by any means. Between my legs and the heat, I was not having any fun.

Around one mile in, I looked at my watch to see my pace. It said I was around 11:45 min/mi, which is the minimum for goal pace. So I sped up a bit.

Let me talk for a minute about the way my Garmin works. So, normally, if you just go out on a run just hitting start, it automatically counts each mile as your splits. And when you look at your pace it is displaying your average for that split. So when you go from mile 1 to mile 2, your average starts over.

I had pre-programmed my watch to do a workout. This means that I told it I wanted to 3 miles between a certain pace (11:15-11:45) and it was supposed to beep if I went outside that zone. However, what I forgot is that when you set it up like that, the entire three miles is one split, not three. So the average doesn’t reset every mile.

I forgot this. So on the second mile when I looked at my pace, I was discouraged when it said I was going 11:38 min/mi and I felt like I was running faster. Because I was, but it was averaged into the 11:45 first mile. This became even more discouraging on mile three. I had caught up with one of the ladies I typically do intervals with, and told her I was going to run with her through the next interval. Except she apparently decided this was a challenge. I felt like I was running at breakneck speed, but my watch said I was averaging 10:50 min/mi. I was actually running around 8:45 min/mi. As you might imagine, I wore myself out and had to walk for 30 seconds to catch my breath about a quarter mile from the end. Boo!

Once I got home and looked at my data, I figured all this out, of course. Because the entire run (3 miles + my piddling warmup) averaged 11:00 min/mi, which is faster than goal pace. *facepalm*

Wednesday

I started out Wednesday’s run with the realization that there was a rock stuck in the bottom of my shoe that I couldn’t remove. That really just sums up the whole run. I decided to do 5:2 intervals to keep it easy, and that was too much. My calves were so tight, running felt like torture. I began to wonder if I overtrained the week before. I was worried about my legs still being tight or possibly injuring myself before Saturday’s race, so I ended up cutting the run half short at 1.5 miles.

Thursday

Thursday wasn’t any better than Wednesday. My speed workout was supposed to be 1600m (or 1 mile) 5k pace with 400m recovery. I didn’t make it out to the track with the group because (a) I was scared that my legs were going to be tight and I wasn’t going to be able to finish and (b) I spent an hour after work talking to Amanda on the phone. So I just went out to the park. My legs definitely felt tight on the warmup, but I started my first 5k pace interval okay. However, I had to stop after 0.7 miles. It just hurt too much. I walked/jogged my 400m, then tried to start up again. No go. I walked it out a little more, then tried again. Nope. My right calf was bothering me something awful, and it felt like it could possibly snap at any moment. I decided not to risk injury and cut it short.

Saturday

After a relaxing rest day on Friday, I woke up bright and early for the Richland Creek Run. Full recap to follow, but it went well despite that my calves still felt a little sore. I ended up finishing the 5 miles with an average 10:19 min/mi pace and no walk breaks other than two brief water station stops. Woohoo!

Sunday

I hadn’t been thinking about Sunday’s 12.5 miles all week, since I had been so focused on my race. Therefore, it almost felt like a shock to me when I woke up and remembered that I had my last double-digit run before the half. I got all my stuff together and headed out to East Nashville, with the intention of doing half on the flat Shelby Bottoms greenway and half on the much hillier Stones River greenway, which join together.

It started out rough. I kept to my 5:2 intervals, but it was hard because I was so sore from the race the day before. Just after my turnaround point on the Stones River greenway, I ate my peanut butter Gu (which I recommend if you like chowing down on peanut butter–tastes just like it but without the stickiness). Then I made a pit stop at a bench because the toe ring on my right foot felt like it was bruising me and I needed to rotate it. It’s weird; people always ask if my toe rings bother me when I run, but I can honestly say I’ve never felt either of them until this run.

I felt a little better after my Gu, although I hadn’t really been hungry to start with. I made my way back to Shelby Bottoms, which included a trip up the steepest hill that I think exists on any greenway anywhere. I really hate that hill and that’s only the second time I’ve ever run up it. I was thankful when it was time for a walk break when I reached the top.

stones river greenway hill

No photo could accurately show how long or steep this hill is.

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, just tiring. I ate a strawberry Huma after mile 10, which I think is going to be my gel of choice in the half because it went down so easy.

Just one more long run before the half!

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