29 January 2010

Tedious Tempo

Distance: 7
Time: 54:28
BreakDown: 1mi warm up @10:00, 5mi Tempo @6:54, 1mi cool down @10:00

I am going to go ahead at start this out by claiming the title King Of Tedious Runs. I'll get to that in a but. Its been some time since I actually ran a tempo on purpose. That is, its been a while since I've had a structured training program that involved a tempo. That being said, I was slightly worried about being able to hold my tempo pace for 5 miles. I'm using my training paces given from the McMillian running calculator based on one of my hard effort runs early this year. Actually, I took the 10k split from a hard 7 miler. That puts my tempo range from 6:58-7:16.

I started out on the tm for my warm up, that way I could make sure it was slow. Then I hopped over to the track for the tempo. As I said before, I was worried about holding pace for 5 miles. Well, I can't seem to run slow on indoor tracks. I have no idea why, its just one of those quirks I have. So I knew running on the track would make it easier. Here is where my new title comes in: 1mile =11 laps! So, if you do a quick bit of math, thats 55 laps! It actually felt really good. The first half felt comfortable. The second half I really had to push myself. When I finished and looked at my watch, I saw why it was tough at the end, I was running 4 seconds per mile faster than the fast-side of my tempo range!

Oh, the fun part about running on an indoor track and being a marathoner: I was running faster than everyone else there, and longer. Even the couple of people who started after me finished before me! Once in a while on the run, the outside of my right calf, just above my achilles, would twitch/feel sore (today was a clockwise day on the track). Jess, if you're reading this, any ideas what would cause that or if its anything to worry about?

I'm on track to set two PR's this week. The first is a weekly mileage PR. If all goes well tomorrow and Sunday, I'll have 46.3 miles. In my marathon training, I barely cracked 40. The other is a monthly mileage PR, 170 and change (current PR 165 and change). 

We finally got information about our graduate projects for my Abstract Algebra class. I'll be reviewing a paper on the classification of groups of order 2p where p is a prime number. Then I get to write a paper and present it (15-20min) to the class. Well, now that I've rambled long enough, I'm gonna go find another way to avoid doing homework before class.

27 January 2010

The Day After

Before I start today's post, I'll finish yesterday's. The run went great! I woke up early to eat a bannana and yogurt before I ran. When I was training for my debut marathon, I didn't bring water with me on a run unless it was 17+miles. Well, seeing as my wonderful fiance bought me the Nathan Speed 2 belt, I thought I'd bring it with me. It worked great! I love having it with me. I think that's part of why I ran as well as I did.

I didn't want to run it fast but I wanted it to be quicker than a recovery run. Since I don't have a 23km route mapped out, I switched my Garmin to read km and just turned around at 11.5 km. Let me tell you, switching the Garmin to km is a great way to trick yourself into running slower. Ignoring the units, when I glanced at the watch to see how far I ran, it looked like I was running 5:10 per mile (really it was 5:10 per km)! So you sort of think you are moving really fast, but you're actually holding a steady pace. I got to the 11.5 km turn around in 1:00:20. Then I picked it up and finished in 1:57:56.

As for today, I got in a nice 5 mile recovery run @9:00 pace. Ususally, I run on a regular treadmill (read not the new fancy touchscreen controlled ones that double as a tv). So I have to stick to the 30 minute rule. Today, I decided to run on one of the new ones. One thing I didn't notice (at least, I don't remember noticing) is that you can "hide" the data fields so they don't obstruct the view of whatever tv show you are watching. I found a way around the system :)

School is getting easier and harder at the same time. My algebra courses are moving so slow that you can skip one day a week and not miss anything. And we only meet two days a week! That being said, differential equations is starting to kick my butt. Luckily, we are getting to some material that I have studied before.

Also, I finally got a copy of Advanced Marathoning. It should be a good read and help when I start training for Portland. After a bried look at the plans, I can't decide if I want to do the 18/55 or the 12/55. If I keep up what I'm running now (with a recovery week after my half) I'll have near 5 months of 40+mpw. So I could probably get away with the 12/55. Any thoughts? (FYI, the plan I'm doing for my half is a self-designed 8/52)

Oh, I think I'll be looking for new shoes soon. After this weekend my GT's will be over 400 miles and my Waveriders are starting to wear out early (around 300 miles). Hopefully they will last until 400 miles as well. If not, I may be looking at some new kicks around March 1st.

26 January 2010

Quick Bday Update

Distance: 23km (14.3mi)
Time: 1:57:56
Pace: ?

I suppose I could calculate my pace but am too lazy to at the moment. I would normally just read it off the Garmin but I switched it to km this morning. It was weird at first but I liked it in the end because it slowed me down. Also, this was my longest run since the marathon (time and distance wise). I'll post more tomorrow. I'm going to go celebrate my bday some more by not doing my homework/studying.

23 January 2010

Semi-Successful LR

Distance: 12
Time: 1:36:58
Avg Pace: 8:05

I thought it was interesting that I ran the time I did today. It is my halfmarathon PR to the second. Being a math nerd, I love when little things like that happen.

Anyway, I wanted to run slow today. I'm trying to slow down my long runs a little. I say I was semi-successful because I wanted to go slower, but still ran slower than my last LR (last one was 13.5 @7:45). I tried to pull back and thought I was running slow....I guess I can't just my pace. That being said, I wasn't too much faster than my LR range (8:10-9:10).

Well, tomorrow is going to be very homework heavy. I've got a new diff eq assignment and need to catch up in my algebra classes (which are moving at a snails pace so that won't be hard). Somewhere in there I should get an easy 7 in to finish the week off with 41 miles :)

22 January 2010

Sometimes, Another Gear Comes Out

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 50:11
Avg Pace: 7:10

So, it was rainy out today. It always is, its Oregon. I have nothing against running in the rain. Today I wanted to run fast and usually can't do so when its raining. So, I headed to the gym after class. Seeing as it was the afternoon, it was super busy. That mean I had to stick to the 30 minute rule (I really hate that). Instead of doing what I could in 30, I split the run in half. I ran the first 3.5 on the dm @7:36 pace. Then I grabbed some water and headed to the track.

Now, before I get to my pace I need to talk about the track itself. The student rec center is Brand New, like just opened on the 3rd new. The track surface is good and the turns are banked (barely). However, it is an 11th mile track. So it takes 11 laps for 1 mile. That being said, I ran WAY faster, 6:43 pace to be exact. I can't wait for my half in March!

Speaking of which, below is the plan that I drew out for myself. It is an 8 week plan that starts on Monday. Week 1 is a little funny because Tuesday will be my birthday. I'm taking a page from marathonmaiden's recent past and running 23km (~14.3mi) since its my 23rd birthday. Week 3 is funny because my amazing fiance is coming over for Valentine's Day weekend! For the uninitiated, we go to different grad schools. That being said, I would love to hear what you guys and gals think of the plan. I would love any comments on structure, workouts, etc.

20 January 2010

Slowing Down To Speed Up

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 47:15
Avg Pace: 7:52

Okay, so I didn't exactly slow down today. But that is the plan for tomorrow. As I'm in my first week of my half marathon training plan, I'm going to be doing some speed work soon. Also, my short runs (3-5) are going to be much faster. So on my medium long runs and long runs, I am going to slow the pace a lot. So tomorrow, I'm running a slow 5 miles outside. I say outside because I realize that I've been running on the dm for more than a week now....and its not cold outside...I just worry about being seen by drivers since I live in the city. Well, that is why I bought my Brooks Nitelife Pullover.
 Back to today's workout. The gym was busy again, so I had to split my run in half (damn 30 minute rule). Still, I had a good workout.

My friend marathonmaiden   mentioned something about doing a post related to college-gym-goers. If you're reading this (98% sure you are since you are the only one who leaves comments) I've got a few for you: The non-traditional student, the girlfriends and the wannabe jocks. If you have ever been to a college gym, you know who I'm talking about. And once in a while, you will see another runner. Even more rare than the real runner, is the marathoner. I spotted a fellow marathoner today. After I left the mats from stretching, I had to pass the dm's to get to the stairs. I saw a woman a long stride holding a comfortably quick pace. Then I saw she was wearing the shirt from the Seattle RNR Marathon (the same one I ran for my first). This was the first time I spotted another marathoner at the gym. Back in Montana, there was one other girl there who for a few months I called runner-girl. She was the only other person who was on the dm for more than 30 minutes. I later learned her actual name and that she had qualified for Boston.

Now, I'm going to try and crank out a few more diff eq problems before class. Well, lets be honest. I'm going to try and crank out one part of one problem.

19 January 2010

Recap and Recover

Well, I've been mia for a few days. I went home to Washington for the weekend. I got in a few decent runs. Not as far as I wanted to go but I'll take it. I didn't get much homework done. I have a hard time focusing when I'm at home. I did finish one problem for diff eq theory. It took me a total of 5 hours to do the problem but I did it. Now, I have to do two more of the same problem and type it up before Friday!

I was not happy with my running last week. I logged somewhere around 32 miles. I had planned on running 40 but had to cut a few runs short. Most of the runs were slower than I wanted them to be. On the plus side. I transitioned to running 6 days per week, instead of 5, without injuring myself. Anyway, here are today's stats:

Distance: 4
Time: 28:18
Avg Pace: 7:04

The workout was a 4 mile pick up. I started slow, ~8:30 pace, for the first quarter mile. The first mile passed at 8:03. Then I picked it up. Didn't think I picked it up that much but the next mile came in 6:58. The final two were 6:49 and 6:27! I was very happy with today's run. If it is any indication, this is going to be a great week. Oh, today is the first week of my training cycle for my half marathon. If all goes well, I should have 41 miles at the end of the week. Now I'm off to get some Starbucks and work on my diff eq hw.

13 January 2010

Daily Run: Going Through the Motions

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 52:xx

Before getting to today's run. Yesterday was suppose to be an SRD. I decided I'm going to run 6 days per week instead of 5. At least while I am training for my half marathon. So I did an easy 3 on the dm.

Today, I went back to the gym for another run on the dm. Since I woke up a bit later, the gym was busier. So, I had to stick to the 30 min rule. I had originally planned on running an even paced 7. I did the first 3.5 in 27:29. Then I walked a lap around the track, drank some water and hopped on another treadmill. Well, this time, my legs didn't have it. Had I been able to just stay on one treadmill, I would have been able to tough it out. But that little walk break told my legs to quit working. I managed to slog out 2.5 before I had to stop. I'm still happy with it. I mean, it wasn't as far or as fast as I would have liked but I still ran almost 30 miles in the last 4 days. I'm glad tomorrow is a rest day. Should leave my legs fresh for this weekend.

Now for the school part. Things are actually going well. My algebra courses are super easy. Although, we are getting to some new material in Abstract Algebra. So that might get harder. Diff Eq is new material, but I find it easier than last quarter's material. I understand it so much better that I'm actually done with my homework due on Friday. Usually I don't finish it until Thursday. I mean, I still have to type it up (ugh) but the problems are all worked out.

I also have about 2 months to prepare for my comprehensive exams. For those who don't know, in the math program here (and at most other schools) a Master's student must pass two comprehensive exams to receive his or her degree (3 exams for Doctoral students). To add even more pressure, you can only take each exam twice and they are only offered twice each year. Did I mention you still have to write a thesis? Speaking of which, I need to decide what area/prof I want to work with and start looking at topics. I'm thinking I need to start studying this week. Then I'll worry about my thesis later this quarter. Off to type up that diff eq homework!

11 January 2010

Daily Run: Recovery

After yesterday's awesome run, my legs were tight and sore this morning. I dragged my butt out of bed at 6 and headed to the gym. I did 5 easy miles on the treadmill. I think I'm going to do all my recovery and some easy runs on the TM. It forces me to slow down, which is what a recovery run is suppose to do. Anyway, now I've got to do some diff eq theory.

Plan for the week:
T-SRD or easy 3
W-double, 3 am, 7 pm or 7

10 January 2010

Daily Run: Longest Since the Marathon

Distance: 13.5
Time: 1:44:34
Pace: 7:44

Well, another day of running that I am very happy with. This morning I intended to do an untimed 10 mile run. I decided to wear a watch to have a time, but didn't want to know my pace. So I left the forerunner in my room and grabbed my regular old watch. The run started out good. It always does since its down hill.

Despite my overall pace, I felt like I was crawling. Probably because my last run was sub-7 pace. Still, I figured I was running 8:00-8:10, which I was happy with. When I got to my turn around point, I felt good so I just kept going. I kept going until the trail was closed (it went under an overpass that was having work done on it). My halfway split was 52:04.

I tried to keep a steady pace for the rest of the run. I felt like I had horrible form but still felt strong (oddly). Then, with about a mile and a half to go, I crossed paths with another runner who said "Looking smooth". I don't know if he was saying it because I really did look smooth or because he thought I needed a little encouragement. Eitherway, it definitely helped. I finished the second half in 52:30.

On a side note, it was one of my best runs in my WaveRiders. Lately, all of my awesome runs have been in my LunarGlides. Speaking of which: I haven't seen many people running in them. Until today. Santa must have stock in Nike or something because I saw at least 2 dozen pairs of LunarGlides on the trail.

I've decided I'm not going to follow any training plan for my half in March. I'm just going to keep building my mileage and throw in a speedwork day once a week. As for tomorrow, I'm thinking an easy 5.

08 January 2010

Daily Run: Epic Win

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 48:21
Pace: 6:54

Wow! This was the same course I ran on my sweet untimed 7 on Wednesday. Today, I brought my watch. I had been having some slower runs and was starting to wonder if I would be able to PR at Mercer Island in March. Well, lets just say I have no more doubts. I checked my watch at the half way point and thought it was wrong, 24:15. I thought there was no way I had ran that fast. I even double checked the distance at the end of the run. Hey, I just noticed that I ran negative splits (with an uphill second half). Lets hope this continues!

On the school front, today was the last day of the first week of winter quarter. I think my schedule is going to be nice. It's going to challenge me material wise but I won't be overloaded with work. Diff Eq Theory II has weekly homework and no tests. Advanced Linear Algebra is no homework and 3 tests. Abstract Algebra II has homework (not due at all until the end of term) and 2 tests. I've definitely got my work cut out for me but its do-able.

06 January 2010

Daily Run: No Watch

Distance: 7 miles
Time: ?

Let me say, after tracking your pace for every run for 2+ months, running without a watch is awesome. I did it in hopes of running easy. Well, that didn't happen. I went out at a comfortable pace. Less than a quarter mile into the run, I passed a clock and glimpsed at the time, 1:00. Once I got to the river trail, I started passing other runners. That's when I knew I wasn't having an easy day. It was an awesome run! I was only passed by one other runner. Some of you may know this runner. I can't be 100% sure since I didn't see his face but he was the right height, decked out in Nike clothes, stride looked familiar and he was haulin' a$$. Plus, I know he lives in Portland. I'm pretty sure it was Adam Goucher! Made my run that much better!

Plan for the rest of the week: Thur: rest Fri: 7 Sat: rest Sun: 10

05 January 2010

Daily Run: Fail

Well, today I was going to run 6 miles on the dm at tempo pace. Atleast, at what my tempo pace should be which is slower than I've been doing my regular runs. For some reason, I just didn't have it in me today, for the pace or the distance. Oh well, every run can't be better than the last otherwise there is no reason to strive for improvement.

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 41:15

04 January 2010

Daily Run: Times Three

Its only January 4th and its already a busy year! First, a catch up on runs.

January 1: 6 miles 47:39
January 2: 5 miles 38:38 + 2 miles 20:50
January 3: SRD

Today's run was nice. I woke up an hour later than planned (8:00) but that worked out ok since I don't have class until 11:30. I went to the new student rec center that just opened yesterday. I cranked out 3 miles on the treadmill. It was probably the slickest tm I've ran on. The entire thing is touch screen operated, you can plug in your ipod and control it on the screen and the entire screen can be used as a tv! It was pretty sweet. Being the first week of the new year and the second day the center was open, it was super busy. So I hopped of the tm for someone else to use after 3. Then I hit the track for another 2 miles. So today's run:

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 39:17

I've decided I'm not going to be able to run all the half marathons I had planned. I'm still running one on March 21 as that is the first weekend of spring break. But since I'll be starting research for my thesis spring quarter, I probably won't have the time to go home for a few weekends just to race. Hopefully I'll be able to find more runs during the summer or a lot of shorter races during the spring. I'm not taking any goal races out of my schedule, just the other ones. Well, its time for class: Theory of Differential Equations II.