Week of 10/28/13 – 11/3/13: WDW Half Training, Week 7

week of 10/28/13 to 11/3/13

Another bleh week…

I finally dragged myself to the gym on Tuesday to hit the treadmill. I don’t know what they do to the treadmills at this place, but it almost feels like I’m running harder than I do outside and at slower speeds. They also keep the temperature in the gym up, so I was all kinds of sweaty after 4 miles. Like I haven’t been that sweaty after a run since like July. Anyway, I completed day 3 of week 9 of Couch to 10k.

I had good intentions about returning to the gym, but on Wednesday I had a hair appointment and Thursday was Halloween. I have no real excuse for Friday, but Saturday I shot a wedding. So, Sunday I went out for my long run of seven miles. I knew this would be the longest distance I had ever run at once. The weather was cool, the scenery was pretty. I put on my Nathan hydration pack for the first time and headed out to the greenway.

I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if I went out too fast or if the hydration pack was just a lot of added weight I wasn’t used to. Maybe it was the cooler, drier air. Certainly the fact that I had forgotten to take my Advair that morning played into it. But right around the end of the first mile, my asthma decided to show up.

I haven’t had issues with my asthma in months. Therefore, I had (stupidly) stopped carrying around my inhaler when I ran. But here it was in all its wheezy gloriousness. So I had to slow to a walk. I ran when I could, but those seven miles were very hard earned, with a lot of walking. While I completed the first mile in under 12 minutes, my subsequent splits were all closer to a 14 min/mile pace. By the end, my chest was hurting from trying to breathe. My back was hurting, probably from the same reason, with the added bonus of toting around 2 litres of water (I really didn’t need that much).

I will be prepared for my eight miles this weekend.

Planning out the rest of the year (and then some)…

With only a week left of my doctor mandated running break, I’ve been thinking ahead to how I want to spend the next few months. The first few weeks will just be me getting back into the habit: some one, two, and three mile runs a few times a week. Then I still have six weeks of Couch to 10k left, so I will attempt to finish them out before starting official half marathon training on September 23. This should put me in a good place for my 5ks this fall.

Right now I have two 5ks and two fun runs planned. The first of the 5ks is the Fremont Oktoberfest 5k while I’m in Seattle in September. I figured it would be nice to do a race there, and we were going to Oktoberfest anyway, so it made sense. (I’m also excited to get in a few runs around Green Lake while I’m there!) Then I’ve got two fun runs: The Zombie Run and The Color Run. The week after the Color Run is my second fall race, the Go Commando Clarksville 5k, where I hope I will get a nice PR.

Then November and December will mainly be spent upping my mileage in prep for the 13.1 I have to cover in January! I’m definitely not planning on truly racing my first half. Since it’s at Disney, I plan to enjoy myself and stop and take photos with characters. No matter what I PR, right? Then after Disney, I get to start prepping for the Country Music Half, where I do hope to PR.

I’m so excited to get back into it!

Week of 6/10/13 – 6/16/13

Nike+ isn’t showing my Sunday run on the graph, once again, but the totals are right.

week of 6/10/13 to 6/16/13

After taking Monday as a rest day, I knew I needed to head out on Tuesday. However, driving home from work, my car told me it was 96 degrees outside. Ninety. Six. Not counting the 50% humidity. I didn’t want to die, so I opted for the treadmill, which I suspect I will be living on through July and August. It’s been a couple months since I had ran on the treadmill, so I had forgotten how much easier it is. Pacing is no problem since it controls your speed. I don’t have to worry about hills. No wind. I also forgot that it’s boring. Especially when Roomba ate your headphones and you haven’t gotten a chance to fix them. It didn’t matter. I blew through my 28 minutes I was supposed to run for Couch to 10k and did 33 instead. Still only 2.5 miles since I paced myself slow on purpose. On a 1% incline, I started at 4 mph and increased 0.1 every 2.5 minutes, ending up at 5.1 after 30 minutes. Then I ran 2.5 minutes at 6 mph, using the last 30 seconds as a jogging cool down. That workout would have destroyed me three months ago, but it was a piece of cake now. Although the workout room didn’t feel a whole lot cooler than outdoors, and I had sweat literally flinging off of me as I ran.

Wednesday was even hotter than Tuesday with the heat index topping out around 100 degrees, so I took a rest day and went out on a date with myself to see “Spirit of the Marathon II” for inspiration. The documentary follows seven people running the 2012 Rome Marathon and leading up to it. Inspirational, it was! I don’t know if I’ll ever run a full marathon, but I’m convinced I need to do it in Rome. (Paris would be cool, too, but I’ve never been to Rome.) I got a bit of a laugh when one of the runners went to buy some “runner torture devices”, aka the foam roller and the stick. It also managed to make me tear up in parts. Just see it if you get the chance.

I wanted to get up early Thursday morning to fit in a mile, but my soleus was still kind of hurting. Will it ever heal? I went to see She & Him at the Ryman Thursday evening, so it turned into another rest day. Probably for the better, since I really need my calf to get better.

Friday I drove up to Clarksville to visit my parents and got up early on Saturday to put in 6 miles of intervals. Strava had a challenge to run a 10k that day, so that is what I did. For the first mile, I did 2 minutes running, then 2 minutes walking. For the second and third miles, I increased to 3 minutes running. Then went up to 4 minutes running for the fourth mile. I wanted to increase again for the last full mile, but I was on a section of road where I was running into the sun and was low on water, so I ended up doing more of a 1:1 ratio again.

10k splits

Overall, I finished 10k in 1:17, which isn’t too bad considering it’s only the second time I’ve gone that distance. Hopefully I will be a little faster at the actual race in a couple weeks.

strava any way 10k finisher

My legs weren’t feeling too bad, so I went out on a recovery run on Sunday evening. I didn’t have an exact distance/time in mind, other than I wanted to do at least a mile and if I did a full 5k that would be pretty cool. But I didn’t want to push myself. It was supposed to be recovery, after all. I paced well on the first mile, but sped up after that and wore myself out after 2.8 miles. So just short of the 5k, I walked for about 3 minutes before finishing it out with a light jog. Still, I ran for over 32 minutes straight. Does that make me a Couch to 5k graduate since the last day is to run for 30 minutes straight? Even though I didn’t really run a full 5k? I’m counting it. On to the 10k!

App Review: 10k Trainer for Pink

10k for Pink is the app I use for my Couch to 10k training. It is a fourteen week program, with the first eight weeks being the normal Couch to 5k program, so if you’ve already graduated from the Couch to 5k program, you would start with week nine.

It is a pretty simple app. You select the day you want to complete, press start, and the app will audibly tell you when to warm up, walk, run, and cool down. You can control your music from it, as with most running apps. I usually start it and run it in the background, so it’s just click a button and forget it.

If I’ve already warmed up before I start the app (so I can take longer than five minutes), you can easily skip ahead to the start.

Sometimes I do workouts that complete one of the days without the app running. In that case, you can just double click any day to check it off.

Also, I have the free version, but if you upgrade to the paid version of any of Zen Labs’ apps, they donate 5% to the Breast Cancer Foundation (hence the “for Pink”).

Negative things? I’ve had one workout that had a typo and said I would be running 20 minutes, when I actually had to run 22. Also, make sure your phone isn’t on vibrate or the voice prompts won’t work. Otherwise, I’ve never had any problems with the app; it does exactly what it says it will do! I was mildly disappointed when I got it that the first eight weeks were Couch to 5k instead of a slightly more 10k friendly workout, but I am happy to have that base now, so we’ll see how weeks nine and on go!

App Grade: A

Week of 6/3/13 – 6/9/13

week of 6/3/13 to 6/9/13

I took Monday off, still feeling the strain in my soleus. However, on Tuesday it felt a bit better, so I went out on a slow one mile run to see how that felt. I could definitely still feel it, but I could tell it was getting better. I still decided to take Wednesday off, so I wouldn’t push it.

Thursday morning I headed out to the greenway. I decided to do untimed intervals, running when I felt like it and then walking till I recovered, just to make sure I was going easy and not pushing too hard, especially on hills. I managed to squeak out just over four miles, which made me pretty happy.

Later that day, I headed down to Atlanta to see The Postal Service (which was awesome) and went to Six Flags the next day. Obviously, I didn’t get any running in, but I think all the walking really stretched my legs out nicely.

Since I’m running a 10k in less than a month (!!), I was a little worried that my week off had set me back on Couch to 10k. I decided on Saturday to do the first day of week 9. Normally, this consists of four intervals of 10 minutes running with a minute of walking recovery in between. I could still mildly feel my strain, so I lengthened the walking bits to 2-3 minutes each. However, I did complete all four repetitions of running without issue (besides being completely sore and exhausted afterwards), so yay!

Sunday morning I awoke to a thunderstorm. I waited for a break in the rain, then decided to head out. My warm up mainly consisted of looking for my water bottle that my cat Oscar had run off with and hid behind my nightstand the night before. I had decided to do day one of week 8, so 28 minutes of nonstop running. About half a mile in, it started sprinkling, and turned into a full blown rain after a mile. But I pushed through the rain and wind and completed the 28 minutes, running 2.5 miles. It felt great! Oscar promptly ran off with my earbuds when I returned, so I suppose my next warmup will consist of looking for those.

My calf seems to be doing a lot better. It’s still a little sore, so I’m being diligent in foam rolling, using the Stick, and wearing my leg compression sleeves to keep it loose. Hopefully I won’t have any more trouble before next month’s 10k!