Week 5: Sub-50 10K Training

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Another great week of training has come and gone. I had some really great moments this week including an (unofficial) 5-K PR, a fantastic trail run and the Race for Recovery. I also ran my highest mileage week ever this week for a total of 27 miles!

I started off training this week with some cross-training on Monday. I did 2 miles on the elliptical and then 40 minutes of strength training. According to my training plan, I can either rest or cross train on Mondays and so far, I’ve cross trained every Monday. No rest days!

Tuesday’s run was a 3 mile tempo and I hit every split at my tempo pace or under which was really great. My first mile came in at 7:57/mile which is really fast for me and I was honestly a little surprised to see that on my watch. My second mile was a bit slower at 8:06/mile but still below my tempo pace of 8:12/mile. In the third mile I decided to try to kick it up and hit 8 flat but hit 8:02/mile which was still pretty awesome. Since my paces were so great I decided to run .1 mile extra to see what my 5-K time would have been and I finished at 24:14 which is by far my fastest 3.1 miles ever and it felt great!

I decided to run trails with two of my speedy coworkers on Wednesday because we had some trail shoes to test out. I was a little apprehensive about running with them because they are just so much faster than me but they assured me they wouldn’t leave me behind so I went. We ran about a mile and a half to the entrance of the trail which was kind of annoying because the shoes were clearly not meant to run on pavement but once we got to the trail they felt great.

The actual trail part of the run was about 3 miles of very steep inclines and jagged declines. The trail goes up a mountain near our office and gets pretty narrow on the way up but the views are beautiful. I will admit though, the ascent was pretty hard and I was forced to hike for some of it. I’m not too great at trails but I do really like them, especially the downhill because I feel like I’m literally frolicking through the woods. The entire run was just over 6 miles but it took us longer than the average 6-mile run just because we all run trails slower than we run on the road.

My ankles and achilles were killing me on Thursday post-trail run but I had intervals on tap and couldn’t skip out. I had to do 3x1200m at race pace (8:02/mile) with 400m easy pace in between. I did these on the treadmill and although they were not fun, I was surprised at how good my ankles felt once I actually got running.

Friday was my rest day which was good because my legs were completely dead and it gave me time to rest up for the Race for Recovery on Saturday morning. I took part in NYC Running Mama, Michele Gonzales’, Race for Recovery to raise funds for Sandy relief efforts on Saturday. She asked that everyone run either a 5-K or 10-K wherever they were so I ran with two of my friends at a local 5-K in Bethlehem. My roommate and I ran to the race start line to add on an extra 1.3 miles and ran the 5-K with our friend. It was great to get out there and although I didn’t time myself it felt good to run watch/GPS free for once!

I had my long run on Sunday and when I woke up, looked out my window and saw rain, I was less than thrilled. I procrastinated the run until noon and finally made myself get out the door, suck it up and get over the fact that I’d have to run in the rain. Turns out my run was fantastic! I did an 8-mile out and back run in 1:19 (9:31/mile). My legs felt so fresh and strong, I really couldn’t believe it. I almost wanted to keep going but towards the end of the run it started to rain harder.

During my long run I did a lot of thinking and couldn’t help but realize this is the first training cycle I’ve done where I haven’t felt super tired or achy or sore and I am so thankful for that (knock on wood!). I’ve never felt stronger and my paces are feeling much more comfortable. My goals with this time-goal for a 10-K was to get faster overall and I’m definitely starting to notice some changes.

I hope your training went well this week too! Also, I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to but that will change soon! I’ve been so busy getting acclimated with my new job that I’ve just felt completely shot by the time I get home after work. But don’t fret, I’m going to make an effort to keep it up :)

 

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Week 2: Sub-50 10K Training

This past week was another great week for training. I’m nervous to get too excited about how my training is going because, in the past, I’ve had problems with injuries/soreness but so far so good! That being said, it’s only the second week so I’m taking it day by day.

It’s been really great though to run five days a week. Most training plans I did before had me running four days a week, sometimes only three, but I really like running more often. I’m a strong believer in the fact that the more you run, the better you become. Which, is really starting to prove true in my times and how I’ve been feeling on my runs.

The week started off with cross training on Monday. I went to the gym after work and did two miles on the arc trainer (elliptical type machine) and then did a bunch of strengthening exercises- squats, lunges, lifting weights and ab exercises. I also made sure to stretch a lot too because I want to avoid any muscle tightness-related injuries.

On Tuesday, I had a 2.5 mile tempo run at 8:12/mile. I did this run during my lunch hour and nailed the pace time which felt amazing. It was fast but my breathing was really steady and my legs felt strong.

Wednesday was an easy paced 5 mile run. Unfortunately I had to do this run on the treadmill but I got it done. I ran 5 miles at 9:50/mile. When I first got going, my ankles were really bothering me for the first mile. I think this is due in part to the treadmill but after the first mile I felt really good and finished the run with no problems.

Thursday was my speedwork day and I had to do 4x800m at race pace (8:02/mile) with 400m resting in between. This was a 10 percent increase from last week’s speedwork but I was able to finish it and feel good. Eight hundreds are HARD, there’s no doubt about that, but I am really seeing results in my long runs and easy runs.

Friday was a complete rest day!

Saturday was my long run of 6 miles. According to my training plan I was supposed to run 6 miles at an easy pace (9:50-11:05/mile) but, instead I ran at 9:23/mile average and my fastest mile was at race pace (8:02)!! I was so happy on this run but I just felt amazing. I actually really wanted to keep running but I need to stick to the training plan to avoid injury. I don’t know what it was- the speedwork, my tempos, running more frequently- but I felt amazing on this run. Also, this was the first time in a VERY long time that I actually ran on the road with music. I always listen to music when I run on the treadmill but I usually don’t when I run on the road. However, I think this had something to do with my faster paces because I was jamming the whole time!

After my long run I came home and did some post-run yoga stretches and foam rolled.

Sunday (today) I just did an easy 4-mile recovery run. I ran at 9:27 pace and felt really good. It was a bit colder out today but I felt comfortable and strong. I also did some post-run yoga after my run today and was home in time to congratulate my cousin on finishing her first full marathon!

Training is looking good this week as well, although I’m a little concerned with when I’m going to get all my runs in because I’m traveling home for Thanksgiving. I may have to juggle the training plan around to accomodate my travel plans and some much needed family-time.

Also I officially signed up for my goal race 10K and it will be on February 3- it’s a Superbowl 10K! This actually gives me an extra week of training so if my schedule gets messed up because of the holidays, I have some wiggle room on the outset of the training program. I hope y’all had great training runs last week and I know everyone will run happy this week because it’s finally the start of the holiday season! Happy running!

Running the Race for Recovery Virtual 5K/10K

Yesterday as I was browsing through Twitter I came across a bunch of tweets about a virtual 5K and 10K dubbed the Race for Recovery to raise money for relief efforts for the destruction in NY and NJ caused by the monstrous storm, Hurricane Sandy.

As I started to read more about the virtual race, hosted by Michele, author of the running blog NYC Running Mama, I knew I had to take part. I have been looking for a way to get involved with some of the volunteer efforts but because I don’t live in New York or New Jersey, the only option was to simply donate money. While that’s a really good option, I wanted to do something a little more proactive to show my support.

I also felt a need to support Michele in her efforts. She decided last weekend to begin organizing this amazing effort and has been able to raise almost $5,000 already. Michele reached out to different running brands and running companies, including my amazing place of employment, Runner’s World, to donate prizes for race participants.

As soon as I finished reading her post, I was on her Crowdrise page before I knew it. Michelle has set it up so all of the money donated will go towards the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, a foundation focusing on clean-up efforts on the NYC, Long Island and New Jersey coastlines- the areas most severely affected by Sandy.

All you have to do to register for the virtual race is as follows:

1. Make a donation here!

  • Make a minimum donation (your race entry fee) of $20 on Michele’s Crowdrise page.
  • This money will also be your entry into the more than 40 different giveaways.

2. Register for the virtual race here!

  • Date- Saturday, Dec. 8 (Can’t run that day? No problem. Run whenever you want!)
  • Where- Anywhere!
  • Distance- Michele is asking people to run, walk, bike a 5K, 10K or both!

3. Download your race bib here!

  • Oh yeah, this virtual race even has race bibs! Download yours and where it on your run to let everyone know you’re supporting the Race for Recovery

4. Complete a 5K and/or 10K- also don’t forget to snap a pic and tweet it to Michele (@NYCRunningMama)

5. Enter your race results here!

  • Michele will use the results to randomly select winners of the giveaways.
  • Finish time is not important. This is about raising money for a good cause and having a little fun while we’re at it!

6. Have fun!

Oh yeah and I forgot to mention, the grand prize is a dream visit to our very own Runner’s World headquarters in PA! We’ll give you a tour, go on a run, bring you to our test closet filled with goodies and so much more! According to Michele’s website, the grand prize will be awarded to whomever raises the most money. So, if you’re planning on running on Saturday, Dec. 8, or really any other time, why not do it for good? It’s only $20 (a lot less than many “formal” races) and you’ll be helping out countless people affected by Sandy.

I know I’ll be out there on December 8th running a 5K and a 10K, along with some other RW staffers and maybe a few folks from Men’s Health. If you need more details please visit www.nycrunningmama.com.

Have you ever done a virtual race? Will you do this one? (Pretty please!)

Week 1: Sub-50 10K Training

Last week was a week of first in the life of Fit Girl Happy Girl. For one, I became a Greatist ambassador and it marks my very first ambassador-ship as a blogger! Also, I ran my very first lunch run and PR my mile time (according to my Garmin at least). Another first, which really wasn’t a first, but I ran five days last week, something I hadn’t done in a little over a month (I’ve been sticking to three or four times a week). And, to top it all off, I feel great!

As you may or may not know, I’m following a new training plan that will hopefully get me on track to run a 4?:?? 10K. I’ve never officially run a 10K race, although I have definitely run 6.2 miles (plus!) and know I can do it in under 60 minutes. Naturally, my next goal was to run it in under 50 minutes.

I’m following a training plan I saw in this month’s issue of Women’s Running. The plan has me running five days a week, cross training one day a week and taking one full rest day.

I started the plan last Monday and Mondays are cross training days so I hit the gym to do 20 minutes on the elliptical (really an arc trainer) and strengthening exercises afterwards. I want to get better at strengthening my leg muscles to avoid injuries so I’m hoping with this new plan, and the extra down time that comes with winter, I’ll be able to focus on that.

Tuesday I had a tempo on tap and I was determined to run my first lunch run. At my knew job, most of my coworkers go running during their lunch hour, so I thought I had to try it! Well, I LOVED it! It was great to not only get my run out of the way in the middle of the day but it was also amazing to get outside and get some fresh air! What made the run even better was I nailed my tempo pace of 8:12/mile and felt really great.

Wednesday I had to do 4-5 miles at an easy pace of 9:50/mile. I did a little over 4 because I was exhausted from work that day and my legs felt a little tired.

Thursday was by far the hardest day because it was speedwork. I hadn’t done a track workout in a few weeks and since I’m still new to the area, I don’t have a track to workout on so I had to do it on the treadmill. The plan called for 3 x 800m at race pace of 8:02/mile, with 400m easy pace in between. This was my first time doing 800s and they are no joke! I finished the workout and was pooped but glad I was able to power through it. (According to the plan, I increase this workout over the next 11 weeks!)

Friday was my full REST day! Phew!

Saturday was my “long run.” I put long run in quotes because according to the plan, I only had to run 5 miles at easy pace, which is nothing compared to the half marathon training I just finished up. I felt good on this run except for a little knee pain towards the end but I finished strong.

Sunday was a 4 mile recovery run at an easy pace but I ended up running about a 9:09 average mile. The weather was so beautiful and I felt great so I thought I’d kick it up a bit.

Overall I thought the week went really well and I’m excited to see what’s in store this week!

Are you training for something? If so, how did you runs go last week?

Running Rut Reversed

Lately I’ve been in a bit of a running rut. In part I think it’s because: 1. I just started an AMAZING new job 2. I just moved 3. I’ve been super busy but most importantly I haven’t been following any kind of training plan.

When I first started running I started with a goal- to run a 5k. Quickly, I realized I was actually good at running distance so I decided to run a half marathon. It’s now been a month since I ran my first half and I’m thinking to myself, now what? I remember when I was training for the half, I kept thinking, I can’t wait until the half is over and I don’t have to have a training plan dictate when and how much I should run. But now I miss that consistency and scheduling. While it has been fun to run whenever I want to and for however many miles I want, I miss the guidance you get in a training plan.

So what should my next goal be? Well, I have a larger picture goal of running a full marathon in 2013, but I think I need to do a few things before I start looking for the perfect first marathon. First off, I want to focus on getting my half marathon time down. I want to run at least one (hopefully two) half marathons in the spring before I start training for a full marathon. However, that still leaves me without a training plan for a very long winter. Solution?

I’m going to run a 10K in January, or February. I’ve actually never run a 10K and I found a great training plan in this month’s Women’s Running magazine to run a sub-50 minute 10K. This is a little bit of an ambitious time for me but I think I can do it! Also, I think focusing on a speedy 10k will help me then gear up to train for a faster half marathon.

The training plan will have me running five days a week with a mix of long runs, speed workouts, hill workouts, tempos- the works! I’ll upload the whole plan at some point this week and will fill you in on how the training goes throughout the training period. It’s going to be interesting to train as we head into winter but I think in the end it will be worth it. Plus, as the saying goes: “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done!”

Have you ever been in a running rut? Tell me how you got out of it in the comments section below!