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:
Ummmm…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:
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.
Saturday – 20 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?