February Wrap Up

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Well, I definitely fell off the blogging wagon. My runs have been pretty lackluster all month and writing about hard run after hard run just wasn’t all that exciting to write – and I assume, read – about. Most of the interesting stuff in my life has been kid related, which I don’t like to blog too much about for a variety of reasons, so that left me without much to say! The running highlight of the month was probably the arrival of my new Mizuno Wave Rider 19s.

My youngest was just as in love with them as I was and every time I tried to put them on she was trying to wrangle them away from me to wear them herself! The picture on the left was the only one I managed to get without her, or her hands trying to grab them, in the pic. We have a great, local running store (Marathon Sports) that I ordered these from and they included a handwritten note in my box which was a really nice touch. #shoplocal

Last week’s training that I skipped blogging about:

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Just looking at it in a spreadsheet it doesn’t look bad, but the mile repeats and long run felt so hard. I listened to a really interesting podcast on Run to the Top with Matt Fitzgerald about running too hard during easy runs. I’ve read quite a few of Matt’s books and have always gotten a lot out of them. He was saying that runners tend to run their easy runs at a moderate intensity instead, and that studies have shown runners who run at a truly easy run pace see more fitness gains than those who run them at a moderate intensity. He also noted that it’s usually not a huge pace difference, just 10-20 seconds/mile slower will typically be enough to put the intensity level to easy. I stuck to that rationale this week and am interested to see how it pans out for me.

 

Weekly Training: February 22 -28

Monday: Gym – 15 min warm up (elliptical), 40 minutes of strength, MYRTL, stretching

Tuesday: Plan: 10x400m @7:24 (400 RI) – Actual: 1.5M w/u, 8x400m @7:24 w/400m RI @10:00, .75M c/d – Surprise, surprise another hard run. I skipped the last two 800s because by that point I was sure if I tried to do one more that I’d end up tripping and falling off the treadmill.

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Plan: 1M Easy, 5M Mid Tempo, 1M Easy – Actual: 1M @9:29, 5M @8:34, .5M @9:31 – Again this felt hard (notice a theme here). I debated breaking up the tempo miles with an easy mile in the middle, but talked myself (literally, in my head telling myself to keep going) into finishing it off. I hopped off the treadmill after the 5 tempo miles to refill my water with full intentions of running a cool down mile after filling up, but once I got off I just wanted to be done. .5M c/d was good enough

Friday: Plan: 6M Easy – Actual: 6M 9:31 – I had my sister-in-law’s company for this run and the miles flew by! Running + chatting = quick miles

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Plan: 14M @ HMP+30 – Actual: 14M @8:34 – I decided to drive to the Boston Marathon route so I could 1) have a lot of company and 2) get in some hills.  Screen Shot 2016-02-28 at 3.40.52 PM

I am SO glad I did this! If I had set out for 14 miles from my house I’m 99% sure I would have cut it short.  My splits were all over the place during my long run the week before so I decided to not look at my watch and try to just keep an even effort. I felt like I spent my whole run last week speeding up or slowing down and spending way too much time and energy trying to hit a certain pace. This run started off a little tough. It was a lot colder than I expected so I’m not sure if my legs were just cold or if they were tired, but it took me a while to warm up. By mile 4 I was starting to feel good and had made the turn to the start of the Newton Hills. The atmosphere on this part of the course is so fun. There were dozens of runners training for Boston out, people walking their dogs, kids riding their bikes, and BC athletes doing hill repeats. I got a little carried away by the energy out there and ran up Heartbreak Hill in one of my fastest miles of the run . . . and promptly felt really tired on mile 8! There were some really hard miles in there (1-3, 8, 11) and some really good miles in between. It was good practice for me to get through the hard miles and see that there could be good miles on the other side. 

Weekly Total: 32.5 Miles

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “February Wrap Up

  1. Great post Katrina and so cool you got run part of the Boston course and Heartbreak Hill – reading about it in posts is about as close as I’m likely ever to come so thanks for sharing! That was great pace on your long run too – real consistent. Also, great point on trying to back off the pace on easy runs. I always make that mistake it seems…I think I’m doing better on this training cycle, but I still seem to run every run of any kind of distance at or above target pace. I’ll have to check that podcast. Have a great week!

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  2. Wow nice pace on your 14 miler! That’s super fast, especially given all those hills! I sometimes forget that you’re on the RLRF plan, and marvel at the fact that your runs are often faster than mine even though we have similar goal times (I think).

    Matt Fitzgerald is one of the biggest advocates of truly easy running, but most knowledgeable running experts, coaches and athletes will echo what he said which makes me wonder why it’s so hard for us mere mortals to just slow our butts down on easy runs already. Many of the best runners in the world do their easy runs 2:00 min/mile slower than their marathon paces and excel at racing, so why can’t we slow down a mere 20 seconds per mile?

    I had the same feeling of every run feeling hard before I left for Guatemala a couple weeks ago.I had to slow down my training and take a couple days off, and it worried me but it was worth it. I think a lot of it was mental, too – runs seem harder when we feel like we are grinding them out and trying to keep caught up in our training.

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    • Thanks, Hanna! This long run should have been a good 10 sec/mi slower based on my goal HMP (8:15), but I was feeling good so I went with it. My legs are paying for it now 🙂

      Yes! Why is it so hard for so many of us to slow down? I know for me there’s a bit of an ego-thing where I want my easy pace to be faster than it is. But in the end, the smart move is to get the full benefit of the easy runs so that my race pace is faster. Even knowing this I still sometimes make run too hard on easy days. Definitely something to work on!

      Very good point about the mental aspect of running. Hope your trip to Guatemala has been incredible and I look forward to reading about it on your blog!

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  3. That’s awesome you can run the Boston course! And I totally agree with you on the easy runs. I did that for this past mini training cycle and I really did feel/see a difference. I think for me it was important for me to run my hard runs, hard. And run my easy runs, easy. I feel like in the past all my runs were at/near the same pace and a big reason I wasn’t seeing improvement.

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    • Well with 3 PRs in this cycle I would definitely say it is paying off! It’s nice to see real life examples of running hard runs hard and easy runs easy leading to improvement!

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