Run Doodle Run

The long road to 26.2


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I am so over winter.

The end of February means the end of brutally cold long runs, right? Right?? *sigh* a girl can dream…

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winter

Saturday was long run day here in Baltimore 🙂 We met downtown and, in between bone-chilling wind gusts, were treated to gorgeous views of the frozen Inner Harbor. This is only the second time that I’ve seen this much of the harbor freeze (last year being the first time).

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Much of the Promenade was bone dry for us, but in more than a few locations our long run turned into an obstacle run as not all venues had cleared the snow away sufficiently (I’m talking to you, Pier Five Hotel and Bond Street Warf) or at all (that marina down by Aliceana and Boston).

Because of all the walking tip-toeing we had to do over these icy patches, we decided to take a more direct route home, avoiding many of these icy bits and instead continuing our run all the way down to Under Armour before heading back. Post-run Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate has never tasted so good.

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It was painfully cold, but it was a 11.1 mile run. I ran with J, one of my usual running partners this winter, as well as two other women and we just really had a great time being out there. This was the first time one of the women had run this long and she easily smashed it. Because I missed my long run outdoors last week I planned on taking this one a bit slower than usual and that strategy paid off – I had no achilles discomfort during the run or for the rest of the weekend.

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(The mileage doesn’t add up because I paused my Garmin to take a photo in the second mile and forgot to restart it until it threatened to go into power-save mode 5 minutes and .45 mi later 😣)

With the end of February that means that my first half of the year is just 4 weeks away and I couldn’t be more pleased with where my training stands right now. I don’t want to jinx it just yet, as I still have two more long runs (12.5 and 14, I hope) left, but I really think things are lining up for a great spring racing season 🙂

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That’s particularly impressive given this horrible winter we’ve been having. My 5k training group has cancelled nearly every training session due to weather or brutal cold (which worked out well for me while I was away on vacation!) and my half group has cancelled more than a few sessions as we hit the height of our mileage. I’ve been doing my best to get in quality indoor miles and keep my strength training up, but also make the most of any and all outdoor miles without doing too much.

Do you have any early spring races coming up? How has this winter affected your training? Are you feeling confident going into the spring racing season? 

Anyone get into NYC?? 

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Cold Night at the Track

I truly never thought I’d be excited about or calling 30 degrees warm, but it was a good night to be at the track.

We did 3×1200 repeats at tempo pace. Based on last year’s race results, that should be somewhere around a 10:00 min mile.

Well, it was supposed to be at tempo pace. Apparently I still suck at pacing.

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The difference in the net time per repeat and the pace was because I started out in lane 6, then moved to lane 3-4, and ended in lane 2.

It was probably a bit harder than I should have been doing – I could feel my mouth getting thick with lactic acid and had to walk at least a portion of each recovery lap – but overall it felt surprisingly good. It didn’t feel like an 8:20 pace. I don’t think I could’ve kept it up for 2-3 miles nonstop, but it’s nice to feel like I’m heading in the right direction. Maybe that sub-30:00 5k is in my future after all…

My knees felt surprisingly good considering how awful they look. I took an extra day of rest yesterday because they were still achey and stiff, which seems to have been a good call. My achilles was still tight but didn’t give me any trouble on the run (wish I could say the same about afterwards, however).

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On the bright side – we’re in the home stretch to spring! No, not because of some grumpy rodent – because daylight saving time starts in just over a month!! We spring forward here in the States on March 8th!! *happy dance* Although I’m really rooting for the warmth of spring, I’ll happily accept more daylight hours as a consolation prize.


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Outdoor Long Run!

It’s been a few weeks, but I FINALLY got a full-length long run in outside! It was a brutally cold 18 degrees and super windy along the water but totally worth it.

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All of Charm City Run’s groups met at the downtown location this morning. As much as I dislike running downtown (it’s so far away and the brick aggravates my achilles), it’s always so great to see so many runners along the waterfront.

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This week was a cutback week for us, but I was on a mission – I needed to get 9.37 miles in today in order to get my first 100+ mile month ever.

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I started off more or less by myself but picked up with some marathoners from the Annapolis store. Once I warmed up enough to not notice the cold (as much), it was a really nice day for a run. My pace was pretty comfortable and mostly in the lower 10s/upper 9s, even though it didn’t feel that fast.

I turned around in Canton when the Annapolis ladies stopped to gel up. In my 5th mile, the Promenade changed from brick to wood planks, like a boardwalk. Well, one of those planks was bowed up – and dammit if my toe didn’t catch it. I tried to stop the fall, but my legs were too cold for me to pull them high enough and yep, I ate it. Hard. When I stopped sliding forward, I hopped up, made sure my Nike Flash jacket wasn’t totally destroyed (which, surprisingly, barely had a mark on it!), dusted myself off, and kept going. The only thing I felt at the time were the scratches on my hand, which had sweat pouring in to them.

Down for less than 20 seconds and didn't even pause the Garmin!

Down for less than 20 seconds and didn’t even pause the Garmin!

The return trip was a bit lonely, as I turned around after the half marathoners but before the full marathoners, but there were so many other runners out there so I was never truly alone.

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My achilles were definitely a bit angry with me for doing such a long run on the brick, but I felt really great right up until the last mile. This was totally unexpected because I haven’t been on the road much lately.

When I got back to the store I immediately changed into some dry clothes and was able to survey the damage from my fall. My knees and hip are scuffed and bruised – I swear I can watch the bruise grow – but thankfully my clothes came out unscathed. Whaddaya know, running really can screw up your knees 😛

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The other great thing about these big group runs? Free brekkie when we get back 🙂 Bagels are good, but free, 10-mile bagels are awesome.


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Treadmill Conversion

We all know there are crazy runners out there, those who run in blizzards and when it’s so cold that your tears freeze to your lashes, those who truly let nothing stop them from getting out for a run. But if you’re not one of those brave (unhinged?) runners, you’re probably getting to know your treadmill quite well during this cold snap.

Truth be told, I’ve always hated the treadmill. However, after using it and the Alter G in PT this winter I’ve discovered that it’s not totally awful – just mostly awful. There’s a lot of debate about how treadmill running compares to outdoor running, and I will ALWAYS urge outdoor running if you’re training for a race seeing as most races are, well, outdoors, but one blog has come up with a rough conversion chart for how treadmill running compares to outdoor running.

http://www.hillrunner.com/training/tmillchart.php

I’m not entirely sure what I think of this, but I do think it’s an interesting concept. I don’t agree with the incline bit, per se, but hill training certainly has benefited by flat-terrain pace. So, take it with a grain of salt and do with it what you will, but I think it’s too interesting not to pass along. Happy Running (and defrosting)!