Saturday, April 19, 2014

April 13 - April 19

(total running miles = 12.21 miles)

M o n d a y

Insanity - Plyometric Cardio

This Insanity workout made me incredibly sore so I don't think I will be repeating this workout until after my race is over.  I will stick to the Pure Cardio and Cardio Power and Resistance workouts.

T u e s d a y

Tempo Run - 4.21 miles 
AFA Academy to Stadium to Parade and back
50 F . real feel 47 F . Partially Sunny

2 mile warm up

tempo mile - 7:00 avg pace, 6:24 best pace
tempo mile - 6:56 avg pace, 6:32 best pace

.70 mile cool down

I was already up at the Air Force Academy returning the skis so I tried to find a nice long stretch where I wouldn't be going uphill during my tempo miles.  I ran down Academy from the dirt parking lot and then headed north on Stadium until I hit my 2 mile warm up mark.  When I turned around I was heading slightly downhill and flat for most of the tempo miles.  It was a bit breezy so that didn't help my pace any.  It was an ok workout.

Min Elevation - 6,604 ft
Max Elevation - 6,795 ft

W e d n e s d a y

no workout today

T h u r s d a y

no workout today 

F r i d a y

no workout today 

S a t u r d a y

Long Run - 8 miles
Santa Fe Trail from AFA trailhead heading south
61 F . real feel 61 F . Partially sunny

Today was a GREAT long run.  I headed south on the trail and did most of my warmup on a relatively flat course.  I tried to keep the rest of my miles pretty relaxed but solid times.  My goal was to not go much slower than a 8:30 pace.  I picked it up during the 7th mile as I was trying to catch up to two girls I had passed at the beginning of my run.  It was simply a game of cat and mouse but it was fun and it kept me going strong at the end of my run.

Avg Pace

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Track Workout

I have decided to revamp my track workouts to include some longer intervals.   As much as I like doing the shorter 400 m intervals I think I will benefit from mixing in some longer intervals such as 600, 800, 1000 and 1200m.  Here are the remaining intervals I aim to run before my race.  Of course this might change again if I can find a way to run with one of the running clubs around here for their track nights.  Still working on that.

A p r i l 

1000, 1000, 600, 600, 400, 400
400, 600, 800, 1000, 800, 600, 400
1200, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 400

M a y

6 x 1000
1200, 1200, 1000, 1000, 800, 800
600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800, 600

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 6- April 12

(total running miles = 16.9 miles)

M o n d a y

Insanity - Cardio Power and Resistance

Biking - 20 minutes on the trainer

T u e s d a y

Tempo Run - 4.90 miles 
Royal Pine to Union and back with Heartwood loop
32 F . real feel 32 F . Sunny

2 mile warm up

tempo mile - 7:22 avg pace, 6:19 best pace
tempo mile - 6:51 avg pace, 6:22 best pace

.90 mile cool down

I felt like I was running hard but my first tempo mile doesn't show it in terms of time.  I think I started out a little slower and started to build gradually instead of just taking the bull by the horns and going faster at the beginning.  Then in the middle of that mile I decided to take a different turn on the course which ended up being a little uphill.  I will have to be careful in my planning next time.  It's good to see that I did end up getting down to a 6:19 pace at some point during that mile.  I like to see the best pace time just as much as I like to see my avg pace.

Min Elevation - 6,833 ft
Max Elevation - 7,011 ft

Avg HR - 155 bpm
Max HR - 177 bpm

W e d n e s d a y

Insanity - Pure Cardio

T h u r s d a y

Long Run - 7 miles
Santa Fe Trail AFA South
50 F . real feel 47 F . Sunny

Min Elevation - 6,441 ft
Max Elevation - 6,690 ft

I had a really great run today on the Santa Fe trail.  I started out and warmed up for 2 miles.  I decided to run the next 3 miles around 8 min pace or under.  The idea was to pick it up for the middle of the run.  I like to play running games to keep myself motivated.  I decided that if my third pick up mile was slower than my second pick up mile that I would have to run another half mile at that pace.  So, I pushed it hard during the last pick up even though it was slightly uphill.  I came under by 2 seconds so I slowed it down for my last two miles.  During my last mile I noticed two girls ahead that I had passed at the beginning.  Another game I like to play is catch up.  If I see runners ahead of me I try and catch up to them.  I did end up catching those girls and ended up running my last mile a little faster than I had intended.  Still, it kept me going until the very end.  Here are my splits.

Avg Pace

I try and keep my warm up miles to around 8:30 pace.  My goal is to run my long runs at 7:40 pace like I did when I trained for my last 10K.  I think it will take me longer to get there here.  If I were running on a flat surface that pace wouldn't pose a problem but anytime I have to run uphill even if it isn't that steep, my lungs totally hate me because I can't take in enough oxygen and so my times end up being a bit slower.  I am sure over time my body will fully adapt.

F r i d a y

Insanity - Cardio Abs

No running today.  Resting my sore legs.

S a t u r d a y

Track Workout - 1000, 1000, 600, 600, 400, 400
Challenger Middle School gravel track
64 F . real feel 64 F . Partly sunny and a little windy
Shoes - Pearl Izumi Emotion

Ran with my new shoes today

5 miles total with warm up and cool down

1 mile warm up, rest between intervals, .75 mile cooldown

1000 m - 4:12 (6:37 avg pace, 5:56 best pace)
1000 m - 4:19 (6:46 avg pace, 6:20 best pace)
  600 m - 2:31 (6:39 avg pace, 6:22 best pace)
  600 m - 2:32 (6:43 avg pace, 6:02 best pace)
  400 m - 1:36 (6:21 avg pace, 5:23 best pace)
  400 m - 1:38 (6:28 avg pace, 6:09 best pace)

I strayed a bit from my original track workout intentions of doing 400m repeats and decided to follow more closely the workouts the Namban Rengo running club in Tokyo does every month.  I ran with them as much as I could before training for my last 10K and that totally helped.  I figure with the longer track intervals I will not only be training for 10Ks but possibly 10 milers and half marathons as well.  

This was a TOUGH workout today.  I don't know why I always seem to pick the windiest times of the day to run.  It didn't seem windy when I left my house but after my first 1000m interval the wind started to pick up.  The wind and the fair amount of gravel on the track made for a tough workout.  It's hard to not compare my times at 7000ft to my times at sea level.  I have decided that for now I am at least 10 seconds slower for every lap than my fastest times at sea level.

 400 m  - 10 sec slower
 600 m  - 15 sec slower
 800 m  - 20 sec slower
1000 m  - 35 sec slower

It is interesting to note that when I started adding in track workouts Sep 2012 in preparation for my 10K these were my starting times:

400 m - 1:35
600 m - 2:16 and 2:25
800 m - 3:07 and 3:14

So, I guess I shouldn't really be feeling bad about my times today since my beginning times for the 400 and 600 when training last time are pretty close to what times I ran today.  

My fastest 400 m at sea level was 1:25.  My fastest 400m at elevation so far has been 1:35.
My fastest 600 m at sea level was 2:11.  My fastest 600 m at elevation so far has been 2:31.
My fastest 1000 m at sea level was 3:49.  My fastest 1000 m at elevation so far has been 4:12.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

March 30 - April 5, 2014

(total running miles = 18.36 miles)

M o n d a y 

Insanity - Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Mountain Biking - 5.48 miles (24:41)
Santa Fe trail (Woodmen trailhead towards AFA and back)
48 F .  Real feel 43 F . Sunny

I only had a short amount of time to bike while Abby was in gymnastics today.  Still, I loved being able to bike on the trails again.  It sure beats biking on the trainer.  Today I focused on shorter spurts of speed.

Min Elevation - 6302 ft
Max Elevation - 6441 ft

Avg HR - 144 bpm
Max HR - 171 bpm

T u e s d a y

Tempo Run - 5.50 miles (45:14)
Pinecreek Clockwise Loop
2 mile warm up, 2 mile tempo close to race pace, 1.50 mile cool down
32 F .  Real feel 23 F . Sunny

Avg Pace

During the second of my fast tempo miles I got my pace down to the 6:20's and was able to hold it for a few minutes.  Granted, I was going downhill but I consider this to be a successful pace as I had just run up hill before that and the elevation here just kicks my butt.  

Min Elevation - 6,659 ft
Max Elevation - 7,010 ft

Avg HR - 164 bpm
Max HR - 179 bpm

Mountain Biking - 7 to 8 miles (@1:20:00)
Falcon Trail (my watch died on the way back)
37 F . Real feel 30 F . Sunny

Priscilla and I biked the Falcon trail starting at the B52 trailhead and headed clockwise on the trail.  We found some great spots to park for next time.  I loved this section of the trail as we passed by the golf course and had some great ups and downs.  We almost made it to the intersection of the trail and Community Center Dr.  We ate lunch and then turned around and headed back the same way.

Min Elevation - 6,644 ft
Max Elevation - 6, 780 ft

Avg HR - 125 bpm
Max HR - 159 bpm

W e d n e s d a y

Insanity - Cardio Abs

My body was pretty tired and pretty sore today so I opted to not do a full Insanity video but to do the Insanity ab workout instead.  I was glad I listened to my body.

T h u r s d a y

Easy Run - 3 miles IN THE SNOW (28:25)
Royal Pine loop
28 F .  Real feel 19 F . Snow showers

I was supposed to run my long run today but with all the snow I decided a shorter, slower run would be better.  It was snowing the entire time and the wind was blowing but I was able to have a great run.   Sometimes I just like running in the snow.  There is something so peaceful about it.  

Min Elevation - 6,855 ft
Max Elevation - 6,998 ft

F r i d a y

Long Run - 6.86 miles  (@1:01:57)
Ft. Carson trails
45 F . Real feel 42 F . Partially sunny

This was a really crappy run today as the trails were supper muddy and I had to stop to go to the bathroom twice.  I had to stop a bunch of times to scrap the mud off the bottom of my shoes.  I was pretty disappointed that I didn't choose my trail shoes today.  Mike was biking along side me but had to stop frequently to get the mud off his tires.  Hopefully the next time on this trail will be a more positive experience.

Min Elevation - 5,859 ft
Max Elevation - 6,141 ft

S a t u r d a y

Track Workout - 6x400
Challenger Middle School dirt track
48 F . Real feel 45 F . Partially cloudy with scattered sprinkles 

1 mile warm up

400 m - 1:36.1 (6:17 avg pace, 5:37 best pace)
400 m - 1:36.6 (6:23 avg pace, 5:53 best pace)
400 m - 1:36.9 (6:22 avg pace, 6:03 best pace)
400 m - 1:36.4 (6:25 avg pace, 5:48 best pace)
400 m - 1:39.4 (6:35 avg pace, 6:04 best pace)
400 m - 1:35    (6:16 avg pace, 5:36 best pace)

.5 mile cool down

This was a difficult track workout.  It was windy and cold outside with scattered sprinkles.  This was my first time doing this kind of speed workout at such a high elevation.  I seemed to be able to hold a sub 6 min pace during the first 200m but then lost it on the last 200m as I struggled to get enough oxygen to hold the faster pace.  Hence, most of my times pulled in only an average of 6:20 pace.  This definitely isn't as fast as my track workouts at sea level where I was running 400m anywhere between 1:25-1:29.  I have lots of room to improve and that is how I am going to view this workout today.

Elevation - 6,894
Avg HR - 144 bpm
Max HR - 177 bpm

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Training

It's time to get back in gear and ramp up my training for the spring/summer season.  To start out the season I signed up to run the Boulder Boulder 10K on Memorial Day and joined a women's mountain biking group that starts next month. I am super excited but also know that I need to get serious about my training so I have come up with a plan.   I have decided that in addition to running and biking I am going to add in a few days of Insanity to help strengthen my core and possibly start climbing at a gym once a week.  I have modified Hal Higdon's Advanced training program for the 10K to suit my needs.  I would arrange my schedule differently if Abby were in school everyday but as it stands the only days I am able to run are the days she is in school (M,W,F) and on Saturdays.   Although Hal suggests running 5-7 days a week I have found that the secret to running success is with 3-4 solid runs per week.  By solid runs I mean a speed day, tempo day, long run day, and possibly a hill workout.  Most runners tend to run too slowly to get faster or too fast to recover and get stronger.  They don't improve and they don't recover.  My motto is if you want to run fast, train fast.  Running 3-4 meaningful workouts gives me time to recover and then run hard again.  I proved this theory correct when I trained for and PR'd in my last 10K back in November 2012 with a time of 40:49.   Even with a hilly course I was prepared and beat my previous time on that course by over a minute.  So, with that in mind here is my general 8 week plan.  I will post every week exactly how fast and far I go with each workout.


Speed work on the bike trainer or 30-40 minutes fast on the trails

Tempo Run
Mountain biking on the trails (April)


Long Run
Group bike ride (May)                

Hill repeats, easy run or REST
Insanity Cardio Abs

Track workout


                                       Tues                             Thu                           Fri                              Sat          

Week 1             30 min tempo, 2 pace         6 m long run                 3 m easy            6 x 400 mile pace

Week 2             40 min tempo, 2 pace         7 m long run                 hill repeats        7 x 400 mile pace

Week 3             50 min tempo, 3 pace         8 m long run (3/1)        hill repeats        8 x 400 mile pace

Week 4             30 min tempo, 2 pace         9 x 400 mile pace         REST                   5 K Race                

Week 5             50 min tempo, 3 pace         8 m long run (3/1)        hill repeats        10 x 400 mile pace

Week 6             30 min tempo, 2 pace         11 x 400 mile pace       REST                   8 K Race

Week 7             60 min tempo, 3 pace         10 m long run (3/1)      hill repeats        12 x 400 mile pace  

Week 8             30 min tempo, 2 pace         6 x 400 mile pace         3 m easy            RACE            

(3/1) - run the first 3/4 of the distance at a comfortable pace, then accelerate to near race pace for the last 1/4 of the distance.

2 and 3 pace - Run 2 or 3 miles at or near 10 K race pace

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Healthy Body Weight and Fitness

I am definitely no expert when it comes to the BEST way to eat while training.  I have learned over the years that there are definitely things to not put in my mouth, especially while training.  However, I am not an extremist when it comes to healthy eating.  I don't follow any of the fads of dieting or eliminate things out of my diet as a vegetarian or vegan might do.  There is a lot of misleading information out there concerning dieting and eating healthy.  I find it interesting how so many people I know have fallen into the trap of following a certain diet based off of certain studies that may or may not be flawed. I have found that the best way to approach life and healthy eating is to eat in moderation.  While some people may only take this approach with eating I have noticed that moderation really needs to be applied to all aspects of life including exercise.  I like to run and be fit but it doesn't consume my every thought.  It's good to have goals, work towards them, and achieve them.  The moment those goals overrun our lives to the point of excess is the point we need to stop and reevaluate where our priorities need to be.  

In thinking about how I can become healthier and more fit for my upcoming race I have to think about what I put in my body and not just the workouts I am doing.  Of course I look at my weight and know that I need to lose the few pounds I gained over the last few weeks while on vacation.  As a runner you hear a lot about your ideal racing weight.  What does that really mean?  I read a great article that made sense to me about how to go about thinking about weight and performance.  The author made a great point in saying that body weight is important, but performance is more important.  He says, "A key implication of the functionally defined nature of racing weight is that you can't just pick a number and aim for it.  That number may or may not represent your true racing weight.  What you must do instead is focus on the process of maximizing your fitness through smart training and appropriate nutrition.  Wherever your body weight and body composition end up after an extended period of smart training and healthy eating is where they are supposed to end up, even when it's not where you thought they would end up...It's more important to track performance, because performance is the true goal.  A 2:59 marathon at 175 pounds is better than a 3:11 marathon at 168 pounds...In the proper approach to racing weight, training and eating right and improving performance are primary, losing weight is secondary."  There is no need to starve oneself in order to attain "ideal" racing weight. Proper training and healthy eating, hand in hand, will help to achieve ideal racing weight.  I don't believe in starving myself, eliminating meat or dairy out of my diet, or following some ridiculous fad of dieting.  I believe in moderation in all things.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Dirty Du Duathlon

Well, I finished my first ever off road duathlon and it was TOUGH. My time was 1:52:38--not that it will mean anything to most people. I mean, I don't even know if it was a good time. What I do know is this was the hardest race I've ever done and that includes all of my marathons, half marathons and sprint triathlons. In conjunction with the difficulty of this course I'm sure the altitude was also to blame for the sheer hardness of this race. The 3 mile run was so steep and rocky and it was bad enough to do it once but twice was definitely overkill. It was a total scramble up a 45 degree angle up the mountain. Then if that wasn't bad enough the three laps on the bike were challenging. I thought I was tough but the other more experienced riders were surprisingly fast and fearless. The biking course was not for the faint of heart. It took guts, great balance, lots of endurance and technique to get up and down the rocky scrambles. There were a few real technical spots that required some fancy maneuvering. It's good I have been riding that kind of stuff. The end was a bit scary as I flipped over coming down the last scramble of rocks. My handlebars hit a bush and over the handlebars I flew. Luckily I didn't break any bones and only damaged one of my front handle breaks. My leg was badly bruised and so was my pride but at least those things heal. One thing I learned from this race is that it is going to take me a lot more than a few months to get acclimated to this altitude.

First 5K Run

I was actually the second female to complete the first 5K with a time of 23:31. There were lots of teams racing today and very few individual competitors. In my age group there were only 8 female competitors doing it solo like myself. 

Mountain Biking portion

I started the biking section real strong. I was fearless and went pretty fast down the first scramble and into the valley of loose dirt and lots of narrow turns. Still, there were plenty of men who were passing me and it wasn't long before I saw the first female pass me. There were a few other females who passed me on the first lap. That was a little discouraging. It was then that I realized what level of athletes I was competing against. I was definitely one of the beginners and that was ok. The second lap was just as hard as the first but I still had lots in me. It wasn't until the third lap where I began to feel completely exhausted. It was during the last scramble down that my handlebars caught some brush on the side and I flipped over my handlebars. Luckily I wasn't hurt too bad. I scrapped my leg and badly bruised my elbow but I got right back on that bike and rode the rest of the way to the transition area. It wasn't until later that I realized I had damaged one of the breaks.

Last 5K Run and Finish

With zero energy left my last 5K was pretty slow. I clocked myself at around 27 min from the end of the transition area to the finish line. It wasn't as strong of a finish as I would have liked but considering it was my first duathlon after only having ridden for a few months I suppose I was proud for just finishing the race.  I ended up placing 6th in my age group.   For the first two weeks after the race I was still a little nervous to get back on my bike after my fall.  It was then that I enlisted two of my good friends to ride the course with me so that I could get over my fear.  I took some pictures along the way of the course so that I could remember what it was like.

The first downhill scramble

Into the woods and narrow turn

The big uphill before the last scramble

Up the boulders and big rocks

The big downhill scramble

The view of some of the course