Weekend Wrap-Up, 8/3

How is it August already?! This summer is flying by just a little too quickly for my taste! Especially as that means my first 10K is only 23 days away… yikes! Anyway, let’s see how I did this week:

Monday (scheduled): ??
Monday (actual): rest day

Usually Mondays are rest days for me… at least lately, when I’ve been running races on Sundays… but after the super lazy weekend I had, I thought maybe I should do something remotely active. Yeah, no. My lack of motivation shouldn’t surprise anyone by now, right? Drew had a soccer game after dinner, and I sat on the couch and read. The book I was in the middle of was due back at the library on Wednesday, so I really didn’t have any choice, especially since it wasn’t renewable. However, I did sprint through the pouring rain in the morning to get to a meeting across campus that was scheduled right in the middle of a thunderstorm. So that was something…? (And hey! I didn’t get winded! Hooray!)

Tuesday (scheduled): speed workout
Tuesday (actual): speed workout

The scheduled workout was 5 repeats of 800m at 5K pace / 100m recovery / 200m at mile pace / 300m recovery. Drew and I were both suffering from dodgy shins so our first two repeats were rough. I gave up trying to work on building my endurance and walked my recoveries instead of trying to jog (let’s be honest… my 5K pace is slower than everyone else’s recovery pace, so walking seems about right!). The third repeat was slightly better, and just as we were starting our fourth, Steve announced that Flying 30s were about to start because everyone else had finished their 5 reps. (Sigh.)

Drew surprisingly kept working on his 800m – he’s like me and loves sprinting the best – but that worked out for me because it meant I was the fastest sprinter for once! (At least until the last sprint when a former college sprinter started going all-out. No one was catching that guy.) One of the guys who runs a really fast 5K and always blows by me during the rest of speed workouts was trying to keep up with me because I don’t think he liked getting chicked in the sprints, but he was no match for the girl once known as Speedy Gobzales, no siree. 😉

This probably makes me a giant nerd, but I love looking at my speed charts after doing track workouts… you can really see the different parts of the repeats, and it’s fun to see how steady (or not) I was able to keep my speed.

Data from Simon. Look at those sprinting spikes at the end!

Data from Simon. Look at those sprinting spikes at the end!

The plateaus were my 800s, followed by little dips of recovery, then small spikes of 200m at “mile pace,” then big dips when I had to stop for water, and the fourth plateau gets cut off abruptly so I can do 3 Flying 30s. According to Simon, my top speed got to 4:07 on those sprints… it seemed fast until I realized elite marathoners complete entire (multiple) miles at that pace. What the heck?! I suddenly feel very unfit! (But it’s fast for me, so I’m happy!)

Wednesday (scheduled): core/arms/legs
Wednesday (actual): um… arms?

I’m noticing a bit of a trend here. It’s so easy to fall into a routine of just plopping down on the couch after I get home and change out of my work clothes… Drew and I tend to crack open a beer/cider and put on a movie or Friends before dinner, and once that happens the rest of my evening is pretty much out the window. I should start doing a quick circuit right after I change and before I sit down… make myself fit in in there!

I did get a bit of an arm workout though, as I rode the struggle bus through a small fit of baking:

Blueberry muffins... mmm

Blueberry muffins… mmm. I experimented with using brown sugar instead of white and they came out a bit pointier than usual. Still tasty though!

I always forget to put the butter out first to let it soften, so my right arm (unfortunately just the one…) got quite a workout trying to mix the chunks of butter into the batter. When I finally start working out my arms regularly, I’m going to have to work my left extra hard to even them up a bit.

I also walked a lot on Wednesday, which is better than nothing I suppose. My work sponsored a volunteering day and different groups were assigned to various organizations around Greater Boston. My group got sent to Cradles to Crayons, which provides clothes, books, toys, and school supplies to homeless and low-income children. My little subgroup of librarians got to work in the books section (so much fun!) and there was a lot of back and forth wandering around that section of the warehouse. The volunteer bus also dropped us off at a remote part of campus, so I had a nice walk along the river back to work. So despite the fact that I didn’t actually work my arms/legs/core, it was still a good day!

Thursday (scheduled): Shammies Fun Run #4
Thursday (actual): Shammies Fun Run #4

First, official results from last week. As you may remember, I was given a very generous finishing time of 20:45 for Fun Run #1, so last week I posted pictures from Simon to show what Fun Run #3 looked like in case the official results were dodgy again:

2.42 miles in 25:58; average pace 10:44

2.42 miles in 25:58; average pace 10:44

This time they were spot-on – at least as spot-on as you can be with a stopwatch and popsicle sticks – and my official time was 25:44. Still slightly generous – I stopped Simon pretty quickly after finishing this time – but I’ll take it.

Now for this week:

2.42 miles in 26:02, with an average pace of 10:46

2.42 miles in 26:02; average pace 10:46

Mile 1: 10:38; Mile 2: 11:!5,

Mile 1 in 10:38, Mile 2 in 11:15, and the last .4 miles in 4:09

This week’s fun run felt awful. I did not have fun. I walked to the race as my warmup again, but I got home later than usual and had to dash around – not even time to put sunscreen on, oops – and speed-walked the whole way instead of a nice, steady pace like last week. My shins didn’t like that.

I also started the race way too fast. I got caught up in the excitement of the start and took off with everyone else… I looked at Simon and I was running a 9:15. It’s hard at these races because I am so much slower than everyone else, and there are no walkers or back-of-the-pack peeps, so if I go at my own pace at the start I’m running by myself almost immediately. For this run I think I was trying to at least keep sight of the other runners, and clearly it was to my detriment. (I also wanted to start the race speedily because my neighbor, her daughter, and her 5-year-old grandson were at the starting line to cheer me on – the 5-year-old ran the kids’ race beforehand – and I didn’t want to jog off slowly in front of them. Silly, I know.)

My shins weren’t too bad, despite their anger during my warmup walk, but as soon as I ran off the pavement and onto the trail around the lagoon, my legs turned into lead. Usually the trail part of the course feels so nice after pounding the asphalt, but this time it was like suddenly running through molasses. Maybe because of my fast start? The whole lagoon area was a struggle, and I had to walk more of the Mile 2 hill than usual. After feeling so good about the fun run last week, this week’s felt slow and disappointing. AND I had to call Drew to pick me up afterwards because I started feeling really sick on the walk home… I thought I was going to pull a Lineker and no one wants that. Especially since so many people were out enjoying the nice evening.

Despite the “bad” race, Simon shows that it really wasn’t all that bad. It was only 4 seconds slower (closer to 3 even) than my “great” race last week. My first mile was faster by 5 seconds (that’s it?! after my speedy start?), my second was slower by 9, and my last .4 miles was faster by a single second. Really not too far off! It made me feel a little better too when I was talking to my Shammie bus friend (we’ll call him G) who said that everyone he talked to said their races this week were slower than last week’s. Maybe it was especially humid or something. Ah well. Hopefully next week’s will be better!

Friday (scheduled): rest day
Friday (actual): rest day

Drew and I went out to dinner with my buddy M-Dawg and had a good time catching up. Drew played soccer like the good, fit man he is, and I sat on the couch. It was nice.

Saturday (scheduled): long run
Saturday (actual): family time!

I spent most of the day hanging out in Central Mass with my mum, step-dad, and grandma and it was awesome. My choices of things to eat weren’t great at all, but it’s nice to have a splurge day once and a while!

Sunday (scheduled): recovery run or rest day
Sunday (actual): long run

With my first 10K bearing down on me, I’ve started getting worried about not having my mileage high enough. This has actually been a good thing because the worry has been motivation enough to kick my butt out the door and attempt long runs. I needed that kick in the butt today too… I was so sleepy this morning, and it was all overcast out, and I just wanted to sit on the couch. Instead, I got myself outside earlier than I ever have for a non-race run, and accomplished my longest long run yet!


That .01 really annoys me… I kept walking a few steps after Simon beeped because I thought the screen was going to change. Next time I’ll stop him at a nice even number!

I walked down to the pond as a warmup and figured I’d do two laps – each lap of the pond is about 2 miles – and then run part of the way home. I was aiming for 4.5 miles, or a little more if I felt up for it. The first lap was hard… my bad food choices from yesterday did not provide my body with good fuel stores, and I only had a banana and 2 Fig Newtons for breakfast, not wanting to eat too much before a long morning run.

Luckily I had thought ahead and brought along one of the packs of fuel that came in my Runnerbox – some Honey Stinger energy chews. I know fuel like this is meant for longer runs, but I’ve also read that once you’re running for an hour or more your body usually needs some carbs for energy and, because I’m slow, I figured I’d probably hit the hour mark. I ended up stopping for fuel after the first mile, which was earlier than I wanted, but my body was struggling. I had 2 of the chews and almost instantly felt better; it wasn’t as much of a struggle to get my legs going. I had a few more around the 2.5 mile mark and again they seemed to swoop in and rescue me. I was glad I brought them!

My splits looked like this:

Mile 1: 11:54
Mile 2: 13:01
Mile 3: 14:44
Mile 4: 11:41
Mile 5: 12:00

Not too bad… the first mile was a little faster than I wanted, and miles 2 and 3 were long because they included fuel stops (I didn’t even try to keep running as I ate the chews… the package was hard to maneuver and I wanted the breaks, to be honest). I also walked for a bit during mile 3 because it was so pretty around the lagoon that I wanted to take some nice pictures that wouldn’t be all blurry from my running:

These ducks all converged on me when I stopped to open my chews, and all lined up waiting for me to share. I may or may not have said - out loud - "I don't think you'd like these, little guys. Sorry. Can I take your picture anyway?" Passersby probably thought I was crazy!

These ducks all converged on me when I stopped to open my chews, and all lined up waiting for me to share. I may or may not have said – out loud – “I don’t think you’d like these, little guys. Sorry. Can I take your picture anyway?” Passersby probably thought I was crazy!




When I hit 4.5 miles, I was feeling pretty good. Again, feeling the pressure from knowing I have a 10K coming up, I figured I’d go for it and try for 5 miles. If I couldn’t do a full 5, anything after 4.5 would be a bonus. I was so pumped that I was able to make it a full 5! If you had asked me even just last year if I thought I’d be able to run 5 miles, I probably would have laughed. When I stopped at 5 miles and started the walk home, I felt incredibly tired and a little sore, but I was also so proud of myself for pushing a new distance. Huzzah!

How was your week?

What’s the longest distance you’ve ran?

What kind of fuel do you prefer for your long runs?


6 thoughts on “Weekend Wrap-Up, 8/3

  1. Great job on your long run! That’s great. I wish we had a group around here I could run with. Well I say that, but whether or not I would actually show up remains to be seen. I know I have read this but what are Flying 30’s?

    • Thanks! 🙂 Everyone’s different, but having a group to run with motivates me more to show up than if I were running alone. Have you searched a run club directory? I had no idea there were so many run clubs near me until I found http://www.rrca.org/. There’s also http://www.runningintheusa.com/Club/.

      I think the guy who runs speed workouts calls the Flying 30s something different every week – pickups, accelerations, etc. – but I like Flying 30s because it sounds fun 😉 It’s pretty much a 60m sprint where you accelerate for 30m, hold your top speed for 30m, and then take a few meters to slow back down. They’re fun!

    • Thanks! Man, 10 miles still seems so out of reach for me. Then again, so did 5 not that long ago so I guess nothing’s impossible! 🙂 Nice job with the 8 miles this weekend!

  2. Great work on getting that mileage in! I know it’s a challenge, believe me! I did my first 5 mile run back in March and it was a HUGE accomplishment. You should be proud!

    Also, I’m really jealous of your running route–it looks beautiful!

    • Thanks! I was pretty proud of myself… still kind of buzzing about it today even 🙂

      I feel really lucky to have such a beautiful path to run around, but I think I’ve been overdoing it lately… it’s starting to get a little boring. I’m glad I discovered the lagoon area because that’s a nice change of scenery, and there are a few other paths in there that I haven’t followed yet too.

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