Running Buddies

It’s nice to have a running buddy, right?  I’ve been training since May by myself for every single run.  I don’t remember what it’s like to run with somebody and quite frankly, I kind of like it by myself.  I run at my pace, I don’t worry about slowing anybody down, or somebody not keeping up with me.  I don’t have to carry on a conversation or feel obligated to do anything that I simply don’t want to.

That’s why it’s funny how my first two runs after my half marathon have been with a running buddy: my boyfriend.

I invited him along on Monday for my first run after my half marathon, which was supposed to be an easy three mile run.  My eyes were set on something along the lines of 10:00 minute miles, not being bothered by the fact that I didn’t eat properly that day, nor did I drink enough water.  The key words were easy and run.  Did that happen?  Of course not, Sean likes to run a little bit faster than I was keen on.

I ran 2.5 miles, which involved a little bit of walking.  The first mile averaged under 8:30, faster than my tempo runs, a little slower than my speed work miles.  Not exactly the way I planned to ease back into running, but what are you going to do?  I may be able to outlast my boyfriend, but I certainly don’t think I can outrun him.

After a quick Tuesday rest day, which ended up being much needed due to some random ankle pain, we went back at it today.

I warned him that this was going to be a tough run for me (6 miles – 3×1600 @ 8:16 with 800m jogs) and he could do his own thing since 6 miles is a lot on its own, let alone as speed work, but he stuck with me.

We started with an easy warm-up mile, but this time I actually stuck to my guns (mostly) at 9:25.  After a quick stretch, we took off for the first speedy mile and I definitely went out too fast.  The first quarter mile was steadily up hill but I felt good (thank you Gu!) and took off, leaving my boyfriend behind me.  I regretted it as soon as the ending of that mile sounded off – 7:30 minute mile, with my downhill averaging 6:30.  Not the amount of energy I wanted to spend on mile one!

After that, I opted to continue my 800m jog first, but run 800m at 8:16 pace, instead of 1600m.  It didn’t work.  I still finished that 800m in under 8:00 minute pace, which was at the top of the hill (again).  I had to walk after, or else I’d be vomiting more than my share of pizza.

My third speed section, another 800m, was still under 8:00 minute pace.  After that first ridiculous mile though, my boyfriend continued running with me and didn’t stop.  Surprisingly to me, he kept up and he even pushed me by just being there.  I’m convinced that without his presence I would not have run 5 miles, nor would I have continued with my speed work.  Who would have thought a running buddy could be motivation for somebody like me?

Even though I changed today’s plan, I feel great.  It was definitely a tough workout for me, but it motivated me a bit more to push for that next goal.  Five weeks!  Maybe this running buddy situation will continue to work out?

Trail Training

It’s difficult to write a training plan for yourself when you’ve always had somebody telling you what to run, how fast, and how far.  It’s not as though there are an abundance of training plans for a trail series involving 3 miles, 5.5 miles, and then 11 miles all within 24 hours, either.

With a combination of Smart Coach, a few articles, and my own knowledge of where I’m at in my fitness, I came up with this plan.  Most likely it’ll be adjusted multiple times.  I think taking the past five days off of running since my half marathon has been helpful for my legs, but I’m excited to ramp it up.  At my heaviest week I think I was running about 24 miles, so this plan isn’t too much of a mileage increase though the cross training is.  I kind of fell off the cross training ladder halfway through preparing for my half marathon.  Oops.

I have the actual plan saved pretty in Excel, but free WordPress isn’t kind to Excel and neither is this layout.  I ended up throwing it together in a PDF, which if you care to see the pretty PDF, feel free: Stage Race Training.  Thoughts and suggestions are welcome considering I’ve never run or trained for a stage race before.

I’ve kind of gotten to the point where I’m satisfied enough, but I know I might tweak the mileage down a little.  The main thing I want is to consistently (minus the mini-vacation during the one weekend in October) run or work out twice on Saturdays to get ready for the fatigue, followed by a long run on Sunday without much time for recovery.  Plus, I need to run more hills and hopefully get by butt to a couple of trails over the next month to remember what that is like.  All in all, it’s going to be a lot of listening to my body to be sure I don’t injure myself.  I suppose I should also go check out a new pair of sneakers to work in now before the race gets any closer… what’s another $100 to drop at this point anyways?

Running is Expensive

The last time I competitively ran I was in high school. In high school, my Mom paid for everything that came along with Cross Country and Track — running sneakers, clothes, race registrations, you name it. Fast forward six years later, I’m living in my apartment, taking care of all my bills, feeding (and spoiling) my dog, and paying for everything running related. Bummer. It’s expensive.

With the turn of the season, I obviously need new running clothes so I don’t freeze. A couple pairs of leggings, a couple pairs of t-shirts, and a couple long sleeved compression and Under Armour style shirts and I’m $250 lighter in my bank account. I still haven’t even bought a new pair of running sneakers, which I’ll undoubtedly need before my next race and I still need really, really want a Garmin.

Speaking of next race, check out my next goal – the Dirt Cheap Stage Race.  Unfortunately, the race is over two days and about an hour and 45 minutes away from my apartment and the nearest hotels are more expensive than a tank of gas, so I’ll be exhausting myself by driving at 6am on both Saturday and Sunday.  A little crazy?  Maybe.  Totally worth it?  I think so.  Who wouldn’t want to spend 24 hours running a 3.1 miles, followed by 5.5 miles, followed by 11 miles through the trails on two crisp November mornings?  It’s a total steal, too, considering it’s just $50 for three races.  That’s almost as good as a Groupon here in the running world.

Now that I have about six weeks to prepare, I’m mostly going to keep up my mileage and do a few Saturday two-a-days, whether it’s two running events or running with cross training.  I’m not sure exactly how I want to train since I’m unsure of what the course is like.  Judging by the times from previous years, it looks like it’s a tough one.  The men’s winner for the 3 mile was in 21 minutes, the women’s winner was 26 minutes.  Sounds like tomorrow after spinning and circuit training, I’ll be creating a training plan and waiting for my new running gear!