Sunday, July 17, 2011

11 Weeks to Milwaukee Lakefront

There are exactly 11 weeks until I run the Milwaukee Lakefront marathon. I typically don't do weekly reports of my training, but because this was an eventful week and 11 is my favorite/lucky number, I'll recap it.

Monday: 8 Miles
My husband has plantar fasciitis, so he's been cross training at the gym and I've become reacquainted with my iPod.  Monday was a plain ol' 8 miler. Nothing fancy to speak of. Plus 41 seconds of the plank (x3).

Iwo Jima Hill Workout
Tuesday: 7 Miles, including hills
Call me crazy, but I spent 90 minutes in the car before work on Tuesday to drive down to the Iwo Jima memorial to run hills with Capital Area Runners (CAR). 30 minutes to get there, an hour to get back, but it was definitely, definitely worth it. We ran up a hill that was about 1/4 mile long at about 5K pace then took it easy, did a stride back down part of the hill, and then easy down the rest of it. We did this six times. It was record-breaking heat on Tuesday. At the time of the workout (6:15am)it was about 78 degrees, sunny and humid.

Here is a link to the elevation profile. It actually looks a lot worse than it was.  It looks like my group was around a 7:15 pace for most of the laps. When I got home I did the plank for 42 seconds (x3) plus one on each side. Yes, it made me even later to work but I am committed to the core work.

Wednesday: 3 "miles" pool running + 1100yd swim
On Wednesday, I went pool running for 30 minutes (which I equate to 3 miles) and then swam for 1100 yards. I got new goggles over the weekend, and I spent the first 4 laps adjusting them so that no water would leak in. Apparently, my face shape/size is difficult for goggles to fit. My previous pair hurt so much that it would be a limiting factor in the workout sometimes. My new ones are more comfortable, but I have to pull them very, very tight so they don't leak. Every time I swim I feel invigorated and refreshed. I really enjoy it and I think that it's a fantastic workout. 43 seconds with the planks!

Thursday: 9 miles, including tempo
I did a tempo workout as prescribed by my coach. 1 x 3 miles at tempo pace, 1 x 2 miles at tempo pace, 1 x 1 mile at tempo pace. I did recovery jogs for 0.3 mile (about 3:00) and had a warmup and cooldown to get me to 9 total miles. We finally had some cooler temperatures (65) with lower humidity, so the results were fantastic:
3 miles: 7:33, 7:28, 7:22
2 miles: 7:23, 7:20
1 mile: 7:00
This equates to a 7:21 average for the six tempo miles, and a 7:47 average if you include the recovery jogs. Compare this to my 10K bonk of a few weeks ago at a pace of 7:58 and it speaks volumes about how the heat/sun can affect me.

I also had some new gear for this run. The first were my Saucony P.E. shorts. Yes, I am a huge fan of the skirt and rarely buy shorts anymore. But I wanted something really lightweight for my summer speed sessions and these had come recommended by Dorothy at MilePosts. I bought two pairs of them during an online sale and wore them for the first time on Thursday. They were so comfortable and lightweight. And I also thought they were flattering, too.

Garmin Soft Strap HR Monitor
The other item was the Garmin Soft Strap heart rate monitor. My HR monitor has been acting weird for quite awhile. I probably just needed to change the battery, but I thought the soft strap would be more comfortable. While that may be true, I had horrible chafing during this run, despite the gobs of body glide I used under the monitor. The chafing was so bad that I kept having to tuck my sports bra under the monitor so it wouldn't rub. And then when that wasn't working, I just kept putting my hand there, which is no way to run a tempo. I had it on the tightest setting and it wasn't falling down, but I realized that I needed to make it even tighter. With my previous HR monitor, I used a hair tie to bunch up the extra material and make it really fit me. So with this one I bunched up a lot of extra fabric, tied it with a hair tie, and was fine for the next run. Overall, this heart rate monitor is more comfortable, I just needed to fix the chafing. It was one of the worst chafing incidents I've ever had and wearing a bra to work that day was painful.

Thursday was also my husband and my 11-month wedding anniversary! I was pleasantly surprised that he celebrated this occasion by sending me roses to my office. Such a sweetie!

Friday: Rest day! (except core)
Friday was a well-deserved rest day and I even took the day off from work. I actually didn't "rest" too much because I cleaned the house and also did some planks. I took a core rest day on Thursday, so Friday I was back at it with 44 seconds for the plank x 3. Plus side planks and other exercises on the Bosu.

Saturday: 16 Miles
I kept going back and forth on if I wanted to join CAR for the long run or just do it on my own with my new iPod playlist. I eventually opted for going alone because we were having guests later that day and I had food to make and even more cleaning to do. Doing it on my own allowed me to start an hour earlier and when I was done, I didn't have to drive 30 minutes back home. It was also one of those days that was relatively cool in the morning, but the sun rose fast so a 7:00 start would have been a lot harder than my 6:15 start.

This was a progression run with the first 6 miles being very easy (9:05-9:10 pace), the middle third being easy (8:45-8:50 pace) and the last third at marathon pace (8:15). Mile 15 was uphill and not at all shaded, so I worked  really hard on that one, and then backed off slightly for the last mile. The overall average was 8:46 with an average heart rate in the middle of zone 2, so I was pleased. The heart rate monitor didn't chafe me because I tightened it using the hair tie. However, I did need to place it two inches lower on my chest so that it wouldn't rub against Thursday's red mark.

Oreo Cake
I spent the rest of the day on my feet cleaning and baking. And of course, planks for 45 seconds. My legs were just aching by 4:00 and I was glad when our friends came over and I could finally relax. I am not much of a baker, but there is one cake that I love to make which tastes as good as it looks. I crushed up actual Oreo cookies and baked them right into the cake. To accompany this cake, I made soft serve ice cream with a soft serve machine we got as a wedding present. It was delicious. I also made an artichoke dip, and helped Greg out with his Sangria recipe.

Sunday: Pool running and Swimming
I plan to go pool running and swimming in a few hours once all the swim lessons are done and there are more lanes available. I really prefer it when the pool isn't overly crowded. I'll probably do about 30 minutes of pool running and 1000-1400 yards of swimming, depending on how I feel. Greg is going to come with me and it will be nice to have him workout with me again. I've already done the planks-- 46 seconds x 3, plus side planks and other Bosu ball core work.

Running: 40 miles
Pool Running: 6 miles
Swimming: 2300 yards (1.3 miles)
Core: Six days. Advanced plank from 41 to 46 seconds by Sunday.

Next week is a cutback week with 36 miles planned and no speedwork (except for the hills). I'll take two full rest days. It comes at a perfect time because next week's forecast looks miserable, with lows around 75 every day.


  1. Wow, it has been a great week! Nice workouts throughout. I used to have some chafing issues when I wore my HR monitor. Much less when I started wearing the soft one, although Garmin's still looks bigger than polar's. :)

    That cake looks incredible!

  2. You discussion on the HR monitor is exactly why I NEVER wear mine. Seriously, I only wore it for about a week. If it wasn't chafing, it was falling down constantly.

    Great job on the group runs. I totally understand the driving being worth it. I'm about to have access to a running group and cannot WAIT.

    Super cute cake, too! You had a great week of training; keep up the great work!

  3. It was so good to see you there on Tuesday!

    I share your dread of next week. Jeesh. I've actually decided to race a mile next weekend, rather than do a tempo run in those conditions.

  4. I have problems with my heart rate monitor staying in place so I'll have to try your hair tie tip. I stopped wearing it because it was so annoying.

    As for googles, did you get ones that have an adjustable nose piece (or different size pieces you can change out)? I find that makes the biggest difference in fit so that you don't have to make them super tight.

  5. Allison, my old ones had the adjustable nose piece, but these don't-- they are really flexible though. The woman at the store said they fit me better than the other pairs because of their flexibility. But yes, with my old pair, adjusting the nose piece definitely helped.