Posts Tagged ‘long run’

Workout: 10 miles @ 7:19 pace.  Weather: 57 degrees, partly cloudy.

Recap: Boring…then fun.

Today’s run was all mental. Week 12 of training was a cutback week, so my easy days and long run day was reduced. With today being 10 miles instead of 15, I didn’t have a lot to strive for. This run was not about breaking new ground, but just recovering. The challenge was keeping up the pace when I didn’t want to be outside. The first 2-4 miles were a little brutal in fact. Time seemed to go by so slowly. Reminded me of being a boy in church. I felt heavy, as if the next step was going to break my leg.

After breaking into the run a little bit, it got easier. I remembered the method of breaking the runs down into 3-mile chunks from last week. Instead of thinking “hold back for later”, I thought “attack the 3-mile portions” and get it over with. Probably was a little too aggressive to be honest. Closed the last mile in 6:39 for a 7:12 overall pace.

Well…one month to go now until race day. Some fun goals to shoot for until then and a few things to consider. Looking to tie and top my longest run (16 miles) in the next two weeks. Hoping to get better at the speedwork that I’ve begun in the last two weeks as well. My training shoes have had it, and likely won’t survive another week. Time to replace those. Need to pick a race (preferably in a Southerly location like Houston or Austin). Above all, the goal is to stay healthy and enjoy the weeks. I enjoy training (and making progress) a lot more than racing, so it’s important not to get too caught up in the goal next month. I will improve regardless.

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Workout: 15 miles @ 7:19 pace.  Weather: 36 degrees, partly cloudy.

Recap: Epic.

Did the run a day later this week because I spent Saturday traveling to Indianapolis. So, that meant having to cover 15 miles in a city I’ve never run in before. My goal was to complete the run without getting lost. Fortunately, the hotel where I stayed is right across the street from a trail. The trail runs alongside a river. The river trail goes for 6 miles. To complete the run I needed to:

(a) Stay on the trail, or

(b) Stay next to the river, and

(c) Perform two out-and-back routes of 12 and 3 miles, respectively.

I accomplished none of the above. 

Doesn’t mean the run wasn’t successful though. Morning weight was a little high (up 4 pounds over two days) from eating pizza and candy yesterday, but whatever. My nutrition’s a mess. And I haven’t been able to correlate “healthy eating” with good running…at least in the short term. Very cold weather for me – adjusting down about 35-30 degrees from what I’m used to running in. I did pack warm running gear for this weather and was ready to go on.

Mentally (there’s always something with me), I wanted to think of this run as five different three miles runs (5Ks). I wanted to pay as little attention to mileage as I could but stay on pace during the runs. The first couple 5Ks went well. Passed a Navy ROTC group training on the trail and gave a couple high fives to the guys and gals out there putting in the work. Good feeling. I was on pace and everything was good.

Coming back from the end of the trail, I promptly failed objectives a through c.  The trail ended at a place where I was supposed to cross the river and continue the trail on the other side. Not wanting to lose my pace, I panicked…ran away from the river and that’s when an easy run got interesting. I stopped three times over the last six miles to ask four homeless men, a police officer and a hotel valet how to get back downtown. Each of those stops meant that I had to work hard to get back on pace during the run. (The Garmin did help me a little bit by auto pausing in some places).

The 15 miles expired close to the hotel, so I was able to walk back. Closed last mile in 6:57, and finished with a 7:18 pace overall. Still having issues with my heart rate monitor early in runs though. Really have to make an effort to wet the thing better before going out. That said, these long runs are still my favorite runs during the week.

Time to eat, rest, watch football and pull out a map.

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Workout: 14 miles @ 7:25 pace.  Weather: 61 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: There we go – that’s more like it.


Great day. Can’t complain about a thing. I feel like a commercial for bad dietary habits but here goes. To fuel today’s run, I ate two small pizzas and six chocolate chip cookies last night plus ¾ cup of sugar in the form of Kool-Aid this morning about an hour before getting outside. Now, I’m not recommending it, but I wouldn’t lie to you either. It’s bad for my character. I didn’t want to bonk again like Thursday, so something had to change. This IS what I ate.  And the run turned out great.

Body responded really well to having…you know..fuel. Usually on these longer runs, it takes a second to get into it, but not today. Found the goal pace early and never really let up. With about four miles to go (10 miles in) I felt like I was breathing a little bit harder. When I lost concentration and started daydreaming, I tended to fall of the pace slightly. But there was never any real doubt. Knees and feet started getting a little sore about mile 12, but with two miles to go it didn’t take much prodding to finish. Made it my goal to finish the last mile with as few steps as possible. Felt more efficient. Last mile was in 6:56. Run was at 7:21 pace overall. Proud of that. The goal is 18 miles at 7:02 pace in five weeks. Good to know I can close out at that pace now.

The Incredible Shrinking Heart Rate

Past experience had taught me only to look at distance and pace during my harder training runs – not heart rate. Today was a good example of why this practice began. After completing the workout, I checked the overall stats and saw an average HR of 170 bpm – pretty high for a long run. I wondered why, on a day where I felt great, would my heart have been working so hard.

After checking the mile-by-mile statistics, I knew exactly why. My heart rate monitor gives me problems about half my runs, registering heart rates that are way too high. Usually it does this for a second or two before popping back into normalcy. Today, it did something outrageous.

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Maybe this graph doesn’t make a lot of sense, so allow me to interpret. Telling the story from the monitor’s point of view, apparently, I ran the first two miles at average heart rates of 194 bpm, about, you know, 97% effort. Then, without slowing down, the run got easier. The heart rate dropped to about 170 bpm for the next few miles. BUT…I finished the run at around 160 bpm, while speeding up.

Lesson of the day: there is a danger in looking at the heart rate monitor for guidance during the run. I would imagine this would hold true at even lesser margins of error. In the end, I felt fine. Didn’t need the machine to tell me anything different.

Lesson 2 might be to get another heart rate monitor.

Tough Week…But It’s Done

After hitting my mileage goal last week, I felt a little less motivated this week and it showed. Missed two easy runs on Wednesday and Friday. Had a crappy speedwork session on Thursday. At the end of the week though, great long run, and I think everything’s still on track.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!

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Workout: 13 miles @ 7:31 pace.  Weather: 43 degrees, sunny.

Recap: Done…for the week.

“So It’s Like That, Huh, Weather?”

43 degrees. All I asked was that I not have to run in 80-degree weather in October. There were a wide range of suitable temperatures below 80 degrees. 70. 65. 58. Nature…Texas decided to take it to the extreme. 43 degrees outside. And out came the winter gear. Running pants/tigths. Long sleeve tops. Gloves. Hat. Stuff I haven’t worn in six months. I suppose I should be grateful. But I find it amazing that there won’t be a true fall here. Just straight up cold weather. Brrr…

“It’s All Mental”

I had full confidence that today’s 13-mile long run would be completed…before today. As soon as I woke up to the cold, things changed. Now, I’m wondering how my form will change in more restrictive clothing. If I can keep up the speed in the cold. How about that breathing…sucks taking in cold air now, don’t it? And surely enough, the first 4 miles of today’s run reflected this sudden lack of confidence. I stopped “running tall” and starting straining a little bit. Striding out. Really laboring to stay on pace. Flailing like a kid in a swimming pool.

The turning point came with 9 miles to go. This point was important because 9 miles was my standard easy run this week. It’s a distance I’m familiar with. I knew that no matter what happened earlier, that I could complete a 9-mile run. Go back to basics. Run tall. Breathe. Stay on pace. It’s all mental. Physically, this run is not a problem. We’ve prepared for this. And just like that, 9 miles came and went. 7:29 pace overall

Record Week

That 54 miles for the week! Personal best. It took all 13 miles to get there too. Previous best was 53. Alrighty. Not going to lie. That took a lot of effort. Today and the whole week. It’s hard to convince yourself when you’re training for a 3-mile race that you need to put in the distance to build your aerobic system. But it’s working. The long stuff is making the short stuff easier.

Also, got a surprise this week with the personal best speedwork session. Two more personal best goals to go. The long run in week 13. And of course, the 5K in Week 16.


Really happy to be able to interact with other runners on these blogs. The idea to start longer running came from another blogger. And part of being able to get through those early miles today was wanting to tell a winning story. Thanks for the motivation. Thanks for reading. Keep grinding.

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Workout: 7 miles @ 7:37 pace.  Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy.

Recap: Good grief…

Warm out there today at 77 degrees and 83% humidity. Awful conditions, and I felt them after mile 3. The first two miles were pretty comfortable. I thought I’d have another easy run. Then it got hard. I wanted to quit the whole time. Rather than try to silence the voice in my head that said, “Quit”, I embraced. Like being a pitcher at an unfriendly ball park, I just pictured the fans booing me the whole time and still doing my job. Only instead of fans, it was just me telling myself to give up and try again another day. I didn’t run for the last two days – partly to let the foot rest, and partially because I just didn’t get out there in time.

Every time I kept trying to declare the Texas summer over, it keeps coming back. I’m done this time. It can end when it wants to… hopefully soon. Off to watch Texas-Oklahoma. Hookem Horns!

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Workout: 12 miles @ 7:37 pace.  Weather: 75 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Back on track.

Today’s run was sponsored by sugar…lots of it. Kool-Aid. Sprite. Quesadillas. Chips. Brownies. All on the menu yesterday. Really struggled on Thursday with the speedwork, despite having completed a near-identical workout the week before. I wanted to make sure that nutrition wasn’t the factor today. Began the run a little tentative but on pace. I didn’t want to run out of gas. Had a rough moment around mile 4 when I wanted to quit the run. Not sure what happened, but I figured I must have started holding my breath for a couple of seconds during the run. Focused on breathing and found the rhythm.

Really turned to be a great run for most of the way. Weather is still a little warm out there for October, but otherwise, a pleasant experience. Wasn’t using a lot of willpower out there. Probably could have dropped a few sub-7:00 miles towards the end. It’s important to remember the purpose of runs though. Speedwork is for speed-endurance. And long runs are for endurance-endurance. Keep cool. Ended up finishing at 7:33 pace over the 12 miles.

This run meant a lot to me. It’s hard after a bad run to get up with the same kind of enthusiasm. Today was on-point. Overall, the week went pretty well. Lost a chance at getting over 50 miles for the week when I quit the speedwork, but I’ll try to get past 50 again in two weeks. Next week is a down week, so reduced mileage on all the workouts. More importantly, looks like a cold front hit in the middle of the day here, and the morning lows are supposed to be in the 50s and 60s for the next few days. Hope it’s a trend that stays. Looking forward to easier runs in the cooler temperatures.

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The Fall – Week 6, Long Run

Posted: September 28, 2013 in Fall Plan
Tags: , , , ,

Workout: 11 miles @ 7:43 pace.  Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy.

Recap: Got it done. I’ll take it.

Came into the run with a lot of confidence from the past two weeks. Didn’t think it would be much of a problem. For the most part not that bad a go out there. First two miles, I wanted to be somewhere else – a familiar story. After that, started to settle in and put the run away.

Nice to see a family reunion at the park. People with the BBQ pit having a good time and such. Also a man golfing out there. Just seemed like a good Saturday family scene. On the flip side, it felt like the BBQ smoke made the whole back half of the park 5 degrees hotter. Also, didn’t help that in my mind, smoke —-> food. Food that I wouldn’t get to eat. 😦

Started to hustle with an effort that I didn’t want to put into the run during the last three miles. Hoping to hold some of that back mentally. Thought about all the fat that the body must be processing at this stage of the run, and it motivated me to continue. Almost 80 degrees and 80% humidity outside.  Shirt and shorts were wet and heavy by the end. Heart rate stayed pretty consistent at 164 bpm throughout the whole run. The monitor is starting to produce some weird glitches though. For instance, miles three and four registered averages HR of 211 and 185.  No way I got that high. After that every mile was run at 164 or 165 bpm. Really like the consistency of that heart rate, even though I was tiring.

48-mile week. Not very often I get to this kind of mileage and not get hurt. Hoping that things will be different this time. Well-earned day of rest tomorrow from running.  Looking forward to eating and watching the NFL.

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