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Training Journal: 01/28 - 02/03/2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Total Miles: 40.95



Time: 30:33
Distance: 3 miles
Ave Pace: 10:11

Time: 61 min
HR Alert: 125 (68% HRM)
Location: West Rim Route
Distance: 5.4 miles
Ave Pace: 11:16

Splits: 11:19 / 11:12 / 11:27 / 11:11 / 11:34 / 10:13

Notes: My heart rate was all over the place for the first 20 minutes of this run, bouncing back and forth between 166 and 113, so I knew that I was mostly likely have a PVC flare up. With this (benign) condition, the heart sometimes contracts the ventricle prematurely (before it has totally filled with blood). Several of these in a row can really confuse a heart rate monitor. Interestingly, PVC's rarely occur when the heart is beating in the aerobic range, so the "cure" is to get your heart rate up. About 20 minutes into the run, the heart rate pattern (and alarm) were working normally.

But it was hard to get into a good running rhythm during the first part of the run because the alarm was being set off prematurely and more frequently than usual. So even when things settled back into a normal pattern 20 minutes into the run, my brain really was not into it for a while. I had to bargain with myself ("go at least 45 minutes, then if you still feel like quitting, you can.") About 3.5 miles into the run, I finally started to relax and get into it. So when I reached 45 minutes, I did not stop. That's usually the way it works with me.

It's a nice day today -- mid to upper 60's and reasonable humidity.

Time: 60 min
Location: Hill Workout
Distance: 5.08 miles
Ave Pace: 11:50

Splits: 17:05 / 10:14 / 10:40 / 9:21 / 11:10

Notes: I was in the mood for something a little different this morning, so decided to do an ad hoc hill workout. I have a hill that I like to use for this purpose, roughly .3 of a mile, first third a fairly steep climb, middle third flattish to slightly down hill, last third another climb, less steep than the first climb and not quite as long since there is a flat stretch right at the end.

I walked over to this hill so that I would be warmed up (it's about a half mile from my house), then ran a half mile on an adjacent flattish road to get my heart rate up, followed by 3 complete circuits -- up and back down the hill, walking as needed. I took a brief water stop in between each loop. After that, I ran on another hill "next door" that is longer but less steep and did that one at half marathon pace. Then ran (mostly) home. It was an invigorating "maintenance" workout.

Time: 77 min
Location: Ledge Mountain + there and back walking in the hills.
Distance: 6 miles
Ave Pace (running miles): 9:32

Splits: 17:41 / 9:47 / 9:36 / 9:43 / 9:02 / 21:29

Notes: I waited longer than I should have to run today. It was fairly cool in the morning, but by the time I went out in the early afternoon, it was over 70. The air temperature wasn't too bad, but the sun was overhead and hot. Oh well.

I've decided it is time to transition back to using the Gymboss in preparation for my race in two weeks. I tried both :30/:10 and :45/:15 today. :30/10 was definitely more comfortable under today's sun. The more frequent breaks helped me deal with the heat more than the longer walk.

I would put the perceived effort today at moderate. If it had been 55 rather than 70, I think it might have been moderately easy -- my breathing was certainly easy. But the sun always makes me feel as if I am working harder -- I think I tense up more. I worked on staying relaxed.

All in all, it was a good run. We'll see if yesterday's hills and today's paces cause any issues with tomorrow's long run. I definitely need to get up early for that one. Which will be a challenge since I am going to the opera tonight and will be home late.

Time: 4 hours
Location: Lake Trail
Distance: 21.47
Ave Heart Rate: 131 (71% of HR Max)
Ave Pace: 11:10

Splits: 10:29 / 10:47 / 10:53 / 11:16 / 10:56 / 10:56 / 10:56 / 11:12 / 11:04 / 10:50 / 10:53 / 11:13 / 11:33 / 11:45 / 11:55 / 11:35 / 11:06 /11:38 / 11:05 / 11:16 / 11:21 / 10:58

Notes: This is the first time I've done a really long run without a rest day preceding it. Not only that, it was the fifth day in a row of running AND Saturday's workout wasn't an "easy" run AND Friday was a hill workout. So I was curious to see how my legs (etc.) would respond. More on that in a minute.

As I predicted, after a late night at the opera, I wasn't up early for my run. Had I been, I could have run most of it in 50 to 60 degree weather. It really was a nice day with very low humidity. However, I didn't get started until a little after 10 am. The first two hours were lovely, but by the 2 hour mark, it was 12:30pm and the sun was shining down from straight over head. It wasn't that much warmer -- just over 70, but the sun was hot when you were in open areas. Fortunately, the air was still cool and there was a reasonable amount of shade on the trail to break up the sun's effect. And the low humidity helped too. But the second half of the run was definitely less comfortable, environmentally speaking, than the first half.

I could tell almost immediately that my legs were a little tired. But not enough to be a problem at first. I started with :30/:20 intervals (for the first 2 miles), but that yielded a faster pace than I wanted, especially given that my legs were starting out a little tired and I had 4 hours to go. So I switched to :30/:30 at the beginning of mile 3.

At the end of 2 hours, I had covered 11 miles. My legs still felt OK, but were starting to tire more. I thought that I should probably cut back on the pace a bit, so in mile 13, I switched to :25/:30 and then, after a short while, to :20/:20.

By the end of hour 3, I was significantly tired. My shoulders and upper back were tense and starting to bother me. At that point in the run, they were bothering me more than my legs were. For the final hour of the run I focused on keeping them relaxed and that definitely helped.

I had given myself "permission" to slow down as much as I needed to, and in the last hour, I definitely slowed the pace of my run segments. Ironically, once I did that, I didn't feel the need for walk breaks as frequently and started skipping every other one, basically doing :40/:20. As a result, my average pace improved in the last few miles. This was extremely gratifying because I was V E R Y tired by that point (as my brain kept pointing out). But not so tired that I couldn't maintain my pace.

It was also clear today that my mental "toughness" has improved over the past year. Running on tired legs (as opposed to exhausted legs) is almost entirely a mental game.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Really interesting week of workouts. It's hard to picture having to deal with the heat of running outside since we've been having a terrific cold spell here the last few weeks. We've had a lot of days with highs in the teens.

    70 degree weather sounds heavenly...just not so much for running!
    1935 days ago
    1935 days ago
  • LAURIE5658
    Urgh. I have had "final hour" runs that completely zapped me mentally. Way to stick with it and finish.

    1935 days ago
    What a great long run! emoticon
    1935 days ago
    That is an awareness call to know tired vs exhausted, one is okay to keep running, the other can lead to injury. Interesting week, from 2 days in a row rest to treadmill, hills and a long run.
    The endless possible variations in training runs fascinate me.

    emoticon emoticon
    1936 days ago
    Great job on Sundays run. You really pushed in the days before. Glad you are having a rest day. I likes whee you told your self that you could stop at 45 minutes on the first run of this week.
    1936 days ago
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