Monday, April 13, 2009

Week 5 Training Recap

I hope everybody had a very happy Easter weekend! I owe y'all a recap of week 5 of Seattle RNR training . . . so here goes!

Monday: Rest Day. I sat on my arse and watched television once I finally got home from work around 9:30 p.m.

Tuesday: After work (8:30 p.m.) treadmill workout. 10 minute warm-up + 3 x 1600m + 10 minute cool-down. This workout almost got the best of me--I REALLY wanted to quit after the 2nd of 3 repeats--but I decided to fight it out, considering I'd cut both of my key runs short during the previous week. I completed the first 2 intervals at a 7:54/mile pace, and pushed the last one to 7:48. While I was happy to have survived the entire work-out, I noticed some hammy pain toward the end of the third interval that I wasn't so happy about. I figured it was nothing.

Wednesday: dun dun dun . . . I woke up, still feeling some tenderness in the hammy region. I thought about cross training, but decided to take it easy and just do some good stretching to try to help alleviate some of the hammy badness.

Thursday: I had 6 miles on the schedule (2 miles easy + 3 miles at short tempo pace (8:05) + 1 mile easy), but wasn't quite sure whether pushing the pace was such a good idea, considering my apparent hamstring issue. Wilson and I set out after work with the plan that we'd try the tempo pace when it came time, but slow back down if it caused me any pain. Well . . . it only took about half a mile of tempo pace for the back of my leg to start screaming at me. I held on for another quarter of a mile before I decided I was an idiot and needed to slow the pace back down before I REALLY did some damage. We dropped back down to easy pace and finished the six miles. One thing to note is that we DID run down and then back up the infamous "Watchtower Hill" in my neighborhood. This hill is one steep ass monster, let me tell you. It's less than a tenth of a mile long, but boasts about a 20% grade incline. I was pretty darn winded by the time we got to the top, but I think it was good for me . . . made me feel like the run wasn't a total wash, since I couldn't run tempo pace. I think I'll have to use this hill for hill training more often!

Friday: Rest day. Although, now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure hitting up the Atlantic Terminal Target in Brooklyn should be considered a rather intense form of cross-training. Let me explain. First you have the trillions of flights of stairs you have to go up . . . and down . . . and up . . . and up again . . . and up yet again in order to get there from the subway. Then there's the fighting through massive crowds of uncivilized people while carrying as much as your little arms can manage to stuff into a shopping basket. Then there's the lugging your many purchases through the stair-heavy, construction-littered obstacle course to the subway and the six block walk to your apartment from the subway. It is for this reason that I generally avoid the place at all costs (I seriously wish all of the Target lovers out there could see this store--I swear, it would break your heart to see the permanent state of disarray and general lack of merchandise this store holds--it breaks my heart EVERY time!). Unfortunately, though, I waited until the last minute to do my birthday shopping for Wilson (his birthday was yesterday--happy birthday, Wilson!) and was left with no choice.

Upon finally arriving home with my treasures, I hid them in the ONE closet in our apartment (so sneaky!) and put some gnocchi on the stove. Let me tell you, the gnocchi combined with Wilson's homemade pesto was quite a delicious dinner! I headed to bed a bit nervous about the long run I had ahead of me the next day.

Saturday: Long run day! When I went to bed the night before, the forecast was calling for rain, rain and more rain. Wilson and I woke up around 6:30 a.m., grabbed some coffee and turned on the news. I was excited to see that the weather people were thinking the rain might actually hold off until noon-ish. Woohoo! Some good news indeed! But then I was hit with some bad news . . . Wilson was going to skip the run to clean up the apartment in preparation for a visit from his fam and to get a head start on his school work. Boo hiss. I tried with all my might to convince him to come out with me just for a bit, but to no avail. Ah well . . . I'd survive. I downed my coffee and a granola bar and headed out the door around 7:45 a.m.

I was happy to see that there was no rain. But uh, that certainly didn't last long. Not even a quarter-mile into the run, it began to pour. So much for the rain holding off until noon! I knew I was in for an interesting run, but I didn't let it get me down. I took off in the direction of Prospect Park, determined to get in all 15 miles of my long run.

What's weird is that I don't remember all that much from the run. I remember forcing myself to start super easy. I remember being soaked within ten minutes of the start of my run. I remember seeing a guy walking like eight dogs somewhere around mile 4. I remember stopping for some sports beans and water right around mile 5. I remember the rain beginning to blow sideways around mile 6. I remember my left earphone going out around mile 7, and my right one going out around mile 8. I remember really wishing that hadn't just happened since I was really into the podcast that was playing at the time. I remember feeling like I could run forever starting around mile 9. I remember stopping for another sports beans/water break around 10.75. I remember seeing a man on a unicycle, walking his dog somewhere around 11.5 ( I SWEAR I was not hallucinating). I remember passing several other people (who must have been on long runs themselves) multiple times throughout the run . . . and thinking that we were all pretty badass for completing long runs in such horrid weather. I remember wondering whether the "ladies" were showing through my soaked white top/white sports bra combo (good one, Irish!) and then realizing I didn't really care. I remember being confused by the fact that some serious uphill climbs towards the end of the run felt no different than running on flat ground to me. And then before I knew it, the run was over . . . and I was back home right where I started.

I ran into my super (a chain smoking, non-exercising type of fellow) as I entered my building--he was getting the trash together right out front. I waved goofily and said hi, and he looked at me like I was completely nuts, pointing to the sky. I laughed and said, "Nice weather we're having, huh?" He shook his head in disbelief and responded with, "Get out of those wet clothes before you catch pneumonia!" So I did . . . and got right into an ice bath! Probably not what my super was thinking, eh? Ah well.

I followed the ice bath with a nice, hot shower, then got dressed. What I really wanted to do at that point was to take a nap, but considering Wilson's mother and her boyfriend were going to be getting in for a visit in less than an hour, I decided I'd better get my clean on instead. So I poured myself a cup of coffee and did just that. Vacuuming, bed-making and kitchen scrubbing ensued. My reward was a fun (but exhausting) weekend full of stories, margarita cupcakes (note to self: post this delicious recipe soon!), beer, yummy food and catching up. Not a bad weekend if you ask me.

Now, you may be wondering what ever came of the hamstring issue . . . well, it did start to hurt me a bit somewhere around mile 12 of my long run. Luckily, it never got to the point where it was so painful I had to contemplate stopping. As my leg was pretty sore yesterday, I took the day off in lieu of cross-training. I'm thinking just to be safe, I'll run easy this week and lay off the intervals/tempo runs. At any rate, I'll leave you with the statistics from Saturday's marvelous (but VERY wet) run.

15 miles in 2:25:33 for an overall pace of 9:42.

mile-1: 10:00
mile-2: 10:04
mile-3: 9:52
mile-4: 9:45
mile-5: 9:52
mile-6: 10:01
mile-7: 9:51
mile-8: 9:44
mile-9: 9:50
mile-10: 9:25
mile-11: 9:16
mile-12: 9:36
mile-13: 9:37
mile-14: 9:23
mile-15: 9:16

Hope you all had fabulous weekends! :)


Running and living said...

Glad the hammy is better. I've had some issues with my L one as well, but only during speedwork. For me, doing a longer warm-up was key. FIRST does say to do 10-20 min warm up prespeed, but I used to just run .5 mile, so I think I was not warmed up enough.
Hope the visit with Wilson's mom went well. Congrats on going out for the run in the rain. We had similar weather in Boston, so I was soaked as well:) Ana-Maria

Rachel said...

Sounds like a nice run...minus the threat of icky weather. Great job on getting 15 miles in. I can't wait to get some long runs in myself.

EmLit said...

a) I definitely have to use at some point because that was great.
b) even when you're dealing with pain you're still totally awesome!

I hope this next week being somewhat easy on the higher speed stuff helps the hamstring to get the time it needs to feel better! And as for Alien's owl being eaten by his dog (I know this seems to be coming out of nowhere), I was horrified by that, too! WTF?!

The Laminator said...

You are freakin' bad ass, Irish, don't let anyone ever tell ya otherwise.

Know what I did on Saturday, I went to the Scotland 10K Race in CP, saw it was raining, and decided to lame was that? Yeah, I was a little sick, but still, I could've ran!

But nice job on the long run. Good for you for taking it easy on the hammy. It's a good move.

The training plan is coming along quite nicely. Good for you!

Nitmos said...

Nice splits! Strong 15 miler...keep it up!

aron said...

awesome job on the 15 miler and the week!!!! you are doing great :)

Marathonman101108 said...

Non runners just don't understand the "fun" of running in the rain, do they?! Glad to see you had a great run (nice rain splits!), good food, and of course beer! Side note: I don't remember if you're a Mets fan or not, but I went to Citi Field for their home opener. It's a beautiful, "fan friendly" ballpark. I highly recommend that you and yours go there, even if you're not Mets fans. Especially since the beer prices actually went DOWN! How's that for motivation?!

Fair Weather Runner said...

You hands down win the BEST COMMENT EVER award on my blog. I'm still laughing thinking about it. Looking back, should have kept the sausage!

Nice running week by the way, you are TOUGH. I would have given up on that 15-miler. But the cupcakes and beer after make it sound worth it.

Spike said...

great long run, glad the hammy wasn't too much of a problem. I firmly believe that running in the rain is a statement about the kind of runner you are (even if I don't always run in the rain--I respect all who do).