Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weeks 3-5

I have been slacking on writing my blog lately because I have been slacking on my running a little bit. I spent a lot of time traveling during the month of November and work was really busy. Running was quickly moved to the bottom of my priority list, but I was pretty good with my training other than the week of Thanksgiving. So here is what I did over the past 3 weeks.

Week 3
My focus for week 3 was working on improving speed. When I get out and run by myself, I tend to run 1-2 minutes faster per mile than when I am running with someone else. My schedule that week forced me to run all alone except for one of the days so I was really happy with my running during that week. I have been running 3 shorter runs during the week and then one longer run during the weekend. I do a long run on Saturday's usually and then Sunday's are reserved for cross training, which is usually an easier run for me. I did not get in a long run during week 3 because that was one of those weekends I spent in my car so I just did what I could. During that week, I did manage to get in a day of mile repeats and was extremely happy with my times. Mile repeats are where you run one mile as hard as you can, walk for 2-3 minutes and then run another mile as hard as you can. I did 3 mile repeats and each one was less than 8 minutes, which I was completely shocked by. I guess running with my cross country team all fall has really paid off! Here are my distances, times and paces for week 3:

11/13/12 - 3 miles in 26:24 (8:48 min/mi pace)

11/14/12 - 1 mile in 7:35
11/14/12 - 1 mile in 7:41
11/14/12 - 1 mile in 7:36

11/15/12 - 4 miles in 44:29 (11:07 min/mi pace)

11/18/12 - 3.5 miles in 32:54 (9:23 min/mi pace)

Week 4
Week 4 was the week of Thanksgiving and I was a major slacker during this week. It was a short, busy work week and I headed home to be with my family for the holiday. I did do an hour of Zumba with my mom one night and it was nice to get a workout in other than running. I love going to Zumba and I love shaking it like there's no tomorrow! Other than Zumba, the only workout I got in that week was the Buffalo Turkey Trot.

Here is where I am going to get on my soapbox about the Turkey Trot! The Turkey Trot is hands down my favorite race that I run during the entire year. This was my 5th year running the Turkey Trot and it is the best race that I have ever run in. The Buffalo Turkey Trot is the oldest road race in America, which it is so awesome to be a part of something so historical. Usually the race is capped at 12,000 runners, but this year the race was capped at 14,000 runners. Where else can you go on Thanksgiving morning and run with 13,999 other crazy people? Most young adults in America enjoy going out the night before Thanksgiving and partying. I enjoy staying home the night before Thanksgiving to carb load, hydrate and go to bed early.

There is nothing that beats the excitement of race day and it is even bigger and better when such a large crowd comes out for the event. The best part is that so many people get dressed up in costumes for the race. There are all sorts of people who come out for the Turkey Trot from serious runners to casual walkers. There are people dressed as turkeys or Thanksgiving themed costumes or elves or Christmas themed costumes and there is even a group of young men who run in their underwear. I only wear a headband with a turkey sticking off of the top, but it's still nice to be a little festive. My first mile of the Turkey Trot was a little slow because it takes awhile to break away from the pack since there are so many people in the race. It took me over 3 minutes just to cross the start line, but luckily we wear chips so that our time is recorded from the time that we start the race to the time that we finish the race. Once I was at mile one, I was able to easily weave in and out of the slower runners and get running at a pace that felt good for me.

The Turkey Trot is an 8K, which is 4.97 miles but I consider it a 5 mile race technically. My race times had been really inconsistent for the Turkey Trot in the previous 4 races. My time from the first year began with 48:17, went way down to 56:05 and then slowly improved to 53:18 and 50:48. My goal this year was to get a personal record. I cannot believe that there was a year when I ran 56:05 so I was determined to break my fastest time this year. I felt good running the race and I knew that I had a really good pace going. When I saw the finish line, the clock was at 49 minutes and I knew that my actual race time would be 3 minutes faster than that so I was really happy when I crossed the finish line. I finished my 5th Turkey Trot with a 46:37 race time, which is a 9:23 min/mi pace. That was 1 minute and 40 seconds faster than my best race time ever, which was my very first race 4 years ago. I was so happy with my time that I think I let the race justify the fact that I was a slacker the rest of the week. The best part is that you can then be a bum all day and eat whatever you want on Thanksgiving and not feel guilty about it at all!

Week 5 
Week 5 came right after Thanksgiving and I knew it was time to get myself back in gear. I will never be able to run a marathon if I cannot stick to a training schedule. I know that there will be times that I will have to miss a run, but I really slacked off during Thanksgiving week. It was so nice to have someone to run with all week and there was only one day that I had to go out and run by myself. I had to run alone the day that I had to run 5 miles so I headed out into the hills in my neighborhood. I honestly could have run further than 5 miles that day, but it was beginning to get dark out and I refuse to run out in the dark. It's not only dangerous, but I find it creepy too. So I hauled it through 5 miles of nothing but hills and ended up having my fastest pace of the week! I concluded the week with an easy 6 miler this morning and will do an easy run tomorrow for my cross training. I am extremely happy with how my running went this week and am beginning to believe that I can actually run a marathon one day. Here are my distances, times and paces for week 5:

11/27/12 - 3 miles in 32:09 (10:43 min/mi pace)

11/28/12 - 5 miles in 47:55 (9:35 min/mi pace)

11/29/12 - 5K in 33:16 (10:44 min/mi pace)

12/1/12 - 6 miles in 1:05:37 (10:56 min/mi pace)

67.5 miles complete in 11:07:10 and only 179 days until conquering 26.2 miles!