#THSGetsFaster Week 4

 Posted by at 2:00 pm  fitness
Jun 292015

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week four.

Monday 22 – Sunday 28 Monday 29
Total Miles Planned: 19
Total Miles Ran: 19, though I spread them out much differently than prescribed on the prewritten plan


Favorite Run: This is a toss up between a really strong speed workout and what I’m calling my “make-up run.”

Speed workout was 400 repeats with a walking recover, which were prescribed at 8:45 or better pacing and I clocked 8 of them in sub 8 minute pacing.  YEAH BUDDY did that feel good. 

My “make-up” run was the last run of the week that I planned to do this weekend, but after a sick Benson T. Cat took much of my attention [and honestly, not so much #fightworry power – I was/am a mess] I never managed to get myself out the door until Monday mid-day.  I’m totally still counting it as last week and plan to hit all four of my runs on the schedule for THIS week Tuesday through Sunday.

The run itself wasn’t anything special. I had 4 miles of run a mile, walk to recover, repeat on the plan and I also had an errand to run that was a little over 3 miles away.  I walked about a mile to warm up and then started my repeats.  I hit my errand destination half way through my 3rd mile, so I paused my watched and when I finished taking care of business, talked myself into 2 complete mile repeats on the way home. 

THIS is why it was a good run. Because I did MORE than I expected to and although it wasn’t a cake-walk, I didn’t need to stop mid-mile for a break because of tired legs or struggling with my breathing and that felt GREAT. 

Least Favorite Run: I hated running so hard last Monday, when I took my booty on a nice long run to the bank to make a deposit after work.  I was tired and cranky, but I ran intervals to get it done. Sometimes I run intervals by distance [run a mile recover, for example] and sometimes, and usually this is what I switch to when I’m struggling like I was this day, I run intervals by time.

The first portion of this particular lousy run I ran 4 minutes, walked 1 minute and repeated, but the last mile was a struggle and I switched to run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes.  I was happy to keep up with my game plans once I set them and that I got it DONE [6+ miles in totally including a mile walking warm up] but boy oh boy did I think about quitting about 100 times.


Other Workouts: Two interval workouts with Steff, one strong, one “meh” besides a strong sprinting/racing to the end finish which felt awesome.

Also, I’ve pushed all the back porch furniture to the sides and made a big space for back porch yoga and have been LOVING it. I did my favorite Ekhart Yoga for Runners YouTube video after my speed workout and then legit fell asleep during the meditative/corpse posing at the end. [I use my iPad and a speaker when on the porch.]  I’m excited to get back in the habit with this video in particular, but also trying some other sequences in my new space, too.

Listening Notes: I am in the midst of building an awesome new running playlist, mostly thanks to a mix CD full of winning songs from my pal Megan.  I have been continuing to catch up on podcasts as I ran this past week, though.  Some Nerdist eps, Extra Hot Great Minis, and a couple of episodes of Doug Loves Movies. 

Fueling Notes: Before a long run last week I tried a Honey Stinger Waffle for the first time. It was chocolate flavored and the first bite was…okay…but a bit dry. I added a smear of peanut butter which totally helped the cause; just make sure to have some H20 nearby.

I liked how easy on my stomach the waffle was and I can totally see these being useful on long hikes or trail runs. I think I’ll stick to the chews and gels for long run road-training, though. A lot smaller and easier to carry in my pocket or SPIbelt.

#THSGetsFaster Reflections: I’m really digging my running + errand collaboration I’ve got going on lately.  Getting my fitness and my business done in one swoop feels ultra-productive.  If you add in the fact that I’m also usually listening to podcasts – it’s a productivity trifecta!

My first 5K is less than 3 weeks away, and although my speed work is SPEEDY, I’m not sure my endurance level is there to keep me running speedy for 3 consecutive miles without a walking break.  I know that I can be MUCH faster when I sprint and walk to recover for a race, as I’ve proven that before and even recently in my training. We shall see how I feel after the next couple of weeks of training.

#THSGetsFaster Week 3

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Jun 222015

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week three.

Monday 15 – Sunday June 21
Total Miles Planned: 18 total
Total Miles Ran: 14 total, 8 ran & 6 walked

week 3

Favorite Run:  After work on Friday evening, I hit the streets for 5 miles of run a mile, walk 400 meters, repeat.  It was hot and sunny and humid and gross, but I pushed myself through and didn’t quit early once, which is always a major success for me.  I ran a new-to-me route made up of sections of other routes I’ve run once or twice in the past couple of years and the semi-familiarity with the terrain, scenery, hills, and such really helped keep me going.  The experience of rediscovering things you kinda remember [like how to play Presidents & Assholes, which I happened to conquer at a party this weekend] is always a fun one for me.

After the run, I took a nice 2-mile walk to stretch my legs.  Walking long after hard workouts is a habit I’ve been happy to take on this running-season.

Least Favorite Run: I didn’t run this weekend, which is kind of odd for me; I usually run either Saturday or Sunday, and lately have been running on both days, taking advantage of the extra time available to log miles or tackle speed work.

There were two planned runs on the schedule I didn’t hit this week, one I traded for a long walk and one I skipped all together.

Other Workouts: A two mile walk, a light body weight strength training workout and a GREAT 5K workout of endurance building intervals with Steff.  It’s really great to see someone learn first hand that they are stronger than they realize and watching Steff’s reaction when she learns that she’s passed previous bests in terms of speed or distance is a lot of fun for me as an unofficial coach.

Listening Notes: Same as the normal, some old favorite podcasts.  I’ve been catching up on the backlog which included some episodes of You Made it Weird, one of my most favorite podcasts of all time.

Fueling Notes:  I definitely didn’t refuel soon enough after Friday’s workout and started to feel light headed when I noticed it.  I ate dinner immediately and felt better instantly.  I have to remember to take in some calories within 30 minutes of a hard workout.


#THSGetsFaster Reflections:  If there is one thing I have learned in the almost six [!!!] years of running and chasing a healthier, happier self is that prepping as much as I can for myself ahead of time is the key to making healthy choice making easy on myself.

The Taurus that I am, I have a lot of grand plans and great ideas – it’s the follow through that needs the most work when it comes to all the things I want to do for myself, no matter how great my intentions are when I set goals or proclaim plans.

I’ve learned that it’s when I take the time to prepare for the healthy choices I hope to make that I most often follow through with the good decisions.  After skipping a weekend workout and not hitting my mileage goal this week [errr…and drinking 6 out of the last 8 days – hooray summer celebrations!], I really want to focus on logging all my miles this coming week.

I’m helping future Heather make that happen by planning my workouts for week and packing up all the gear I need to bring to the office.  I’m an evening runner and love sweating off the stress after a long day of work, and I have workouts of one sort or another in the plan for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday so I packed a bag with enough gear for 4 runs and brought it to the office with me Monday morning.

I also took some time to make healthy lunch options and prepare snack dishes to bring to work with me to make nutritious decision making easier on myself, too.

#THSGetsFaster Week 2

 Posted by at 6:00 am  fitness
Jun 152015

In the spring of 2015 I set out with a goal to get speedy, aiming to PR each of the common race distances I’ve crossed the finish of thus far [5K, 5-mile, 10K, 15K, half marathon]. I decided to document the process of my training, hoping that it will help to keep me accountable to train strong.  Up first, I’m chasing the train to 5K PR city – currently at 29:35.  This is week two.

Monday June 8 – Sunday June 14
Total Miles Planned: 20: 15 running/interval miles and a 5+ mile walk.
Total Miles Ran: 15 ran, 8 walked


Favorite Run:  Saturday morning I walked a 5K to stretch out my legs, and then hit the track for 400 repeats.  The “planned pace” was 8:42/mile or better and I ran them in 8:16/mile pacing – so BOOYAH!

Least Favorite Run: Mile repeats on Friday.  It wasn’t horrible, but it was super humid which made it much worse than it could have been.  I got it done, and felt successfully sweaty, which was good enough for me.

Other Workouts: Two runs with Steff – a 4 mile interval run which was followed by body weight strength training and core work at the park, and a portion of my 6.5 mile weekend long run.  I conquered a 1.25 warm up solo, then ran 4 miles of quarter mile interval repeats with Steff, and finished with a 1.25 jog home.


Listening Notes: The running I did with Steff was headphone free, filled with conversation about all sorts of things and playing pop culture type games in which we take turns naming a movie or band starting with the appropriate letter and moving through the alphabet.  We have plans to try other topics and also spell out words or phrases rather than the alphabet, too, as well as some other “help to pass the miles” games I’m keeping in my memory bank for when we need the distraction.  As is true with most things in life, I have found that in running some days are better than others.

And although I mentioned wanting to take a break from podcasts in my last training update, I didn’t end up straying from my habit of podcasts in my ears during any of my solo runs.  I did try a few new-to-me shows [BuzzFeed has podcasts!!] which probably helped, but also depended on my pop culture favorites [Extra Hot Great and Pop Culture Happy Hour] to get me through my alone-time running.

Fueling Notes: Peanut Butter and Jelly before my long run, chocolate milk and lots of water and cold teas after all my “big effort” runs.  I need to evaluate my mid-run fuel inventory soon and possibly place an order for stock before my long runs turn REALLY long.

#THSGetsFaster Reflections: I often thought about this post from Katy Widrick – How I Got My 5K and Half Marathon PRs – and the idea quality miles over quantity, mostly because a majority of my miles were logged at the end of the week due to tornado-filled storms and busy evenings earlier in the week.

I was also having a hard time finding a balance between running with Steff as I coach her through beginning running, and feeling like I had a strong workout for myself.  Do I add a solo workouts in the morning if I’m running with Steff in the evening?  Do I just tack on miles to the end of our workouts?  Do I count our time together in my training counts?  I’m still figuring this out.

After having a strong weekend of running, I’m feeling like I’m doing a much better job of figuring it out.  I really pushed myself during the time I was running solo, and I was really impressed with my pacing, especially when on the track.