Weekly Update: 6/1-6/7

It feels so great to be getting ready to head into the taper for Grandma’s! I will be tapering for two weeks, so this week still had some decent volume. Things got a little hectic as I headed into the last week of school, but I made the running miles a priority and continued to lay off the bike. Plenty of time for biking after Grandma’s, and I’ll probably go out once or twice during my taper for some easy miles to spin my legs out.

Looking ahead, I’m not signed up for anything past Grandma’s and a low-key, 1.5 mile open water swim in July – yet. I have a list of races that I’m planning to do for fall, including two marathons but I can’t bring myself to plan any of that until I’m through with this one!

Monday, 6/1 – 2800 Swim + Strength/Core/PT
Other than the fact that I felt surprisingly good on Monday, it was uneventful! Really enjoyed my swim. It was a fun workout.

Tuesday, 6/2 Core/Stretching + 10 Mile Tempo
I woke up and spent the morning on my yoga mat – not really doing yoga, but stretching and foam rolling, and doing core work. I was nervous for my PM run:


Although this is a pace I should feel comfortable with, I’ve been really struggling on my Tuesday runs. I sat in a workshop for work all day and really wasn’t feeling the run. When we broke for lunch, I went out and it was pouring and pretty cold out (really just like 50s, but 50 and rainy can be chilly). I was poorly hydrated and had a random lunch since I knew my coworkers were going out and didn’t pack my usual pre-run foods. I began to consider the treadmill in case I felt really terrible. But I was working near Easton and really wanted to check out the Plainfield Trail, which a lot of people seem to love. It’s a good 30 minutes from my house, but I was working right around the corner from it so it was really convenient. As I left work, there was a break in the rain so I decided to just do it…and I’m so, so, SO glad I did! My phone died part of the way through but here was a quick picture I got – there were much prettier sections and I’m bummed I waited until the turn around to snap a quick shot:

imageIn other news, I am fairly certain I broke my Terrible Tuesday run streak, because here’s how it went down:

Untitled-2Ummmm…so yeah! I was so freaking stoked. I felt awesome, and while it wasn’t effortless, I felt comfortable. Finally. It was the best I’d felt running since before my Achilles injury began in December. AND it was the first run where I had ZERO pain in my Achilles for the entire run! While I am so excited to have been able to hit these paces again, I am more excited that I felt good doing it. I needed that. I really believe my Tuesday runs have been so horrible because of the weather. The weather (much to my surprise) was ideal for this run and I felt amazing. I know it was a little faster than my coach told me to go, but there about two Tuesday runs over the past 10 weeks where I just completely bonked and couldn’t hit the pace he designated. Since I felt good, I thought it would be okay to just go with it. I actually skipped my MYRTLs and form drills altogether afterward (oops!) – we had dinner plans with friends and I had to get ready. Priorities 🙂

Wednesday Hill Repeats 5xHill/1 minute Sprints (10 miles total) + Yoga/Core
National Running Day! I celebrated with hill repeats. I chose a much more challenging hill than the last time I did hill sprints, and did 1/2 mile repeats (last time, they were more like .25 repeats). I ran two miles to warm up. When I got to the top the hill, I would sprint for a minute across the top to practice not backing down when cresting a hill, and then jogged down for recovery. I used South Mountain as my hill, which is on Lehigh University’s campus and pretty daunting. I haven’t run that one in a long time, so it was a nice change of pace. The elevation chart makes it look relatively of mild, but you climb nearly 200 feet in each repeat! It was the ideal hill because it had a nice section across the top where I could cruise:

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 5.47.08 AM

My overall pace for the run was not very fast, but that wasn’t the intention of the run. I focused on running the hill at a steady pace, controlling my breathing, and hitting the top of the hill hard. Between Tuesday’s tempo-ish run and the hills, it’s safe to say that my legs were cooked by the time I finished this run! My Achilles was a little achy at the end of this one, but I expected it. It was an overall improvement from my last hill workout, so I think it’s a win considering I did twice the distance and more than twice the elevation. I came home and made sure to do drills, foam rolling and MYRTLs, followed by some quality time on my yoga mat to work in some stretching and core work.

Thursday – 8 Mile Recovery Run
I actually had the chance to run at lunch (a very rare treat!) because the kids were only in school for half the day, and we had in-service for the second half. Since lunch was more relaxed, I intended to do all eight miles over lunch. But one of my co workers decided to come, and she’s just starting out with running. She normally averages 10-10:30 miles, but she lives in a hilly area. I was planning to run on a nice flat trail, and I knew she’d really like it.

Since being a new runner can already be intimidating, I didn’t want to stress her out more. Doing eight would mean I’m pushing it a little for time and I might be a few minutes late coming back from lunch. I decided I would do whatever I could in our allotted lunch time (45 minutes) to make sure I got us back on time. I offered to run with her – it was a recovery run and easy means easy, so I really didn’t care what pace we ran or how far we made it. I could tell the thought of running with someone made her anxious so I took off at my normal pace and let her do her thing.

The goal was to run recovery miles, but on the way back (it was an out and back trail) I saw a runner (not my friend) in the distance and I picked up the pace – probably too much. The run went from recovery paced to race pace in a matter of seconds. I don’t know why I wanted to pass her, but once I did I thought I’d keep the pace up to see if I could catch my friend and run it in with her. No luck – because she was wayyyy speedy! Her first mile was an 8:30! I was so impressed and proud of her! Since I didn’t finish the run, I headed up to Lehigh Parkway after school and did a super easy three miler to finish out the run.

I knew my last long run was Saturday, so I rested. I was going to swim, but I decided to really give the last long run my best shot.

Saturday20 mile Run + Strength/Core WO
I spent Friday resting, but I was so disorganized when it came to this run! I fell asleep on the couch the night before and got a terrible night’s sleep. When I woke up, I realized that my husband had eaten my last bagel and I had forgotten to get more. I happened to have a sweet potato in the fridge that I’d already baked, so I decided to go for that. I like sweet potatoes before running, but I still get more energy and less GI troubles with the plain bagel. But whatever, beggars can’t be choosers. Then, I went to grab some GU and realized I only had ONE LEFT! I knew I had another one stashed in one of my travel bags somewhere, so I dug it out. I also found a Hammer Gel, but my stomach doesn’t like those. I brought it along just in case. I drank two cups of coffee, but I sort of forgot about water so I probably had all of six ounces of water from a half drunk water bottle in my car on my way over to Kathy’s house.

I pulled up at her house and felt so disheveled, but we started the run anyway. We started fast, and it concerned me. I just gritted my teeth and put my head down: it was my last long run, so it was time to make it count. She isn’t training for anything and called it a day at 14 miles, and I continued on and slowed the pace slightly. I ended up only taking my two GUs and not bothering with the Hammer Gel because I felt really good and didn’t want to ruin that. It definitely showed that I could have used some nutrition in the last two miles, but other than that I felt awesome. I don’t get it. I was poorly rested, poorly hydrated, undernourished and should have totally bonked. Last week’s 22 was such a struggle and I did everything right. I really wonder if it was a mental thing, since I have some sort of fear of running 22 miles. Who  knows. Whatever it is, I hope I can feel like that on 6/20. I averaged 7:26 for 20 miles, which is the exact same as I had two weeks ago. But the difference here was that the last six miles were solo, last time I had friends pushing me.

Sunday 7 Mile Recovery Run + Yoga/Core

I’m not sure what part of Sunday was more exciting. Breaking in my new kicks…


ORRRR getting to go for a run and hang by my pool with Charissa from Charissa Running!

Pretty sure the answer to that is running with my new-ish (we’ve been following each other for a little over a year) friend! What a great day, and what a sweetie! Charissa and I don’t live too far from each other and she’s doing Grandma’s also. We talked about getting together for a long run, but decided on a recovery run so we could relax and and hang by my pool (with snacks, of course)! She came over early Sunday morning and we headed over to the Saucon Rail Trail. On the way, I took her past Bart’s Yasso’s place and he was actually outside getting on his bike. I was excited that I was able to introduce her to a running legend. He travels often so it’s rare that he’s even home on a weekend!

We got to the trail and started running with the intention of doing 5-6 miles, but it was a beautiful day so we stretched it 7 miles. Saucon is an out and back kind deal and pretty flat – slight downhill on the way out, meaning a little uphill on the way back. We chatted the whole time – and for the record, she knocked out 8:24 pace like it was absolutely NOTHING and way faster than her goal for Grandma’s. Here’s to hoping for good weather and an awesome day!

Post run, Bart met us for coffee at Starbucks and we got to hang with him for a bit, and then we went back to my house and hung out by the pool. Such a a great day!

And now…finally…BRING ON THE TAPER!!!

Swim: 2800 meters ♥ Bike: 0 miles ♥  Run: 55 miles

How was your weekend? Run any new trails/routes lately? Ever meet up and run with a fellow blogger?

45 Replies to “Weekly Update: 6/1-6/7”

  1. Awww I’m so jealous that you and Charissa got to meet and hang out already! NO FAIR!

    Awesome job this week. I also had my kick ass run on Tuesday. Like you, I set out for some tempo miles. I had no goal in mind and decided to run them by feel and ended up running the last 2 about 15 seconds faster than I thought I was running and progressing the whole thing! It was so baller. AND like you I also broke in new kicks this week 🙂

    I totally agree with you that when it comes to hills, practicing what happens once you crest the hill is just as important as practicing the ascent. Post-hill is always what does me in!

    1. Soon enough we are all going to get to meet and hang out! I’m stoked! Soooo happy to hear of your great Tuesday run. You absolutely killed it and it’s such a good confidence booster as we head into the taper!! I’m going to wear my new kicks for Grandma’s. I didn’t realize how beat up my last pair was until I put those on!

      1. Same here! I got another pair of Newton Kismets, and I have to be honest and admit it’s only because I like the colors of the new pair MUCH better. I am trying to break them in so I can wear them at Grandma’s although it kind of feels like cheating on my old pair that got me through all of this rough training! Like you, I can now feel how warn out my other pair was, although I’m sure they’d be fine for the marathon. Actually I have a THIRD pair I’m now thinking about wearing – I usually only use them for speed work but I wore them on my 20 miler a few weeks ago and they rode like a dream! Oh geez, the decisions…

      2. Ohhhh valid point – my old pair could get me through the marathon and has seen me through all of my tough runs…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hmmmm. Crap. I was a Newton girl for a few years and miss them! I stopped wearing them because of all of my calf/Achilles stuff but hope to return to them soon. I have a brand new pair of Distance S ready to go…maybe this summer!

  2. Awh how cool you two got to hang out! GREAT job last week!!! You are going to rock Grandma’s!!! My sister and I will be going at a MUCH slower pace than you, so you’ll have to watch for us at the finish line. We’ll probably be doing 11-11:30 pace.

    1. Charissa, Hanna and I are planning to meet around 3pm for coffee on Friday! Any interest in joining? I think I found your FB page that you have linked to your blog and can send you a message with the deets 🙂

      1. I’ll be with my sister, and am not sure what time we are getting to Duluth (I think earlier in the day). What time are you going to the expo? We plan to go early to avoid the crowds, as I heard it get CRAZY as the day goes on. If I can’t meet for coffee, lets definitely try to meet race day. Are you all hanging out after the race?

      2. I will probably go to the expo whenever it opens but we will also probably hang out in Duluth most of the day!! I will hang for a bit after the race but we are going to hit the road at some point!

  3. I LIVE for runs like you had on Tuesday. Such an incredible high after a challenging, yet comfortable workout! Definitely makes all the less than desirable runs with it : ) Taper time is the best! Enjoy all the extra rest and some delicious eats! Hope you have a fabulous Monday!!

  4. Holy hell, Alison. I am in awe of your running skills. I hope and pray that I can be like you when I grow up! I eat up these posts of yours like PacMan. Maybe if I keep up my training and leave this foot injury behind, then I can copy-cat these workouts of yours in 6 months or so.

    1. Ummmm hellloooooo, you ARE like me, sister!! I read your blog – you have some sick PRs. I do get the injury thing though – it totally blows. I’ve had too many over the past few years and I know what you are going through. You are going to get through it and be stronger! I heard this quote the other day – “Nothing ever leaves your life until it taught you what you need to know” – I’ve despised every injury but I have learned something from every single one! Hang in there!

    1. Yes! He’s really cool. We actually have a group of us that hangs out at his place sometimes and we travel with him to marathons. He drove us down to West Virginia for the Marshall Marathon since he was the guest speaker! Super guy. Loves the local running community and hangs out when he’s in town!!

  5. Great week! I don’t want to jinx you, but it’s looking like good things are going to happen at Grandma’s Marathon 🙂 so fun that you got to hang out with Charissa!! Also, you’ve probably explained this somewhere, but I’ve missed it – what are MYRTLs? 🙂

  6. That Tuesday run was pretty excellent. Good for you! I love the photo you snapped. What a stunning location for a run! Oh – and those kicks are such a cool color. I love them!

    1. Thank you!! That trail was really awesome. We have a lot of the trails around here but the surface is usually cinders, which is nice sometimes but not all of the time. This one was paved!! I only went 5 miles out, but I hear it goes to 6.9. I’m definitely going back!

  7. WOW, girl I’d say you DEFINITELY broke your Terrible Tuesday streak! Those paces are INSANE! You kicked some serious butt. Awesome week out there and I’m so jealous that you and Charissa got to hang…she’s one of my favorites! ❤

  8. i just recently met Charissa, too, at the Brooklyn Half, and i agree — such a darling! 🙂 glad you guys got to meet and run together. you’re killing it with those splits!!

    1. Thank you!! Felt good to finally be able to breathe on a run…although that didn’t last long – the humidity is back!! Eeeeek! I don’t blame you for the treadmill – I am sooooo not used to this heat/humidity!

  9. You say Bart is your neighbor like its NBG! Bart Yasso is your neighbor?!?! Amazing! So fun you got to meet up with Charissa! Your Tuesday workout kicked so much butt! (Lots of exclamation points for you today)

    1. LOL! Thank you!!! I was stoked about that workout! I happen to live in the same town as Rodale, which is where Runner’s World is published! We are lucky because Bart and the editors do a ton with our community, and he loves to get to know the local running community! He is such a great guy.

  10. I just started following but it looks like you had an incredible week of training. With the really strong 10 miler, and the 20 miler at the faster pace (when alone), you’ve definitely got the training in the bag. Of course, 26.2 miles is rough and anything can happen on race day but nothing beats knowing you did as much as you possibly could to prepare.

    I love your shoes and I just noticed the details on the little bands… so cute! Good luck breaking the shoes in before Grandma’s.

    1. Thank you so much for reading!!! I had a really rough winter of injuries so the past few weeks boosted my confidence. Even if I blow up in the marathon, I feel so much better going into knowing I did what I could!! As for the shoes, I wore them today and I am loving them. It’s my 4th pair of the Brooks Connect. The upside is that they rock and feel great, but the downside is that they wear out fast!

      1. I have heard that about the Brooks Pure shoes. One of my friends has a pair and they only lasted her like 200 miles! But, if that is what works for you and lets you train and run injury free then that is what you need regardless of price or how often you have to replace. I had a rough summer of injuries last year so it’s nice to be training this summer!

      2. Ughhh I hear you on the injuries and totally get it! I had an epic spring last year and then got hit with a calf strain last June, and it’s been one thing after another since then. I just haven’t been able to get my body healthy since then! I had an awful Achilles injury all winter – I think it was a partial tear, the doctor called it tendinitis – either way, it was no fun!!

  11. So cool about zero pain on your run! And hill repeats on national running day- what a great way to honour it!
    I don’t know any bloggers in Sydney… I need to join a forum or something haha. I know one blogger in NZ and we wanted to run together but living on separate islands was a tad challenging haha.
    Hope you’re having an awesome week! 🙂

  12. Awesome week! Your paces from Tuesday are so impressive. I would love to be that fast one day! I keep working on it.
    New shoes are the best!
    That’s awesome that you got to hang out with Charissa. I love her blog!

  13. Sorry I’m so late to the comment party! I’m FINALLY getting caught up today 🙂 You had an awesome week! Your Tuesday run was so killer and your 20-miler – FANTASTIC!!! (Make sure you have enough GU for the race though!) I can’t wait to see how Grandma’s goes for you!! And thanks for all the fun on Sunday. The Saucon trail was beautiful and perfect for our run!

    1. Hahah you actually just reminded me that I ordered GU, I wonder if it’s sitting on my front porch! Ha ha! I totally forgot. It was so fun hanging out, looking forward to seeing you at Grandmas and to more fun runs!

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