Monday, April 14, 2014

5 days to go!

Oh my.  It's been a while since I posted and I always feel like I have so much to say, but then when I sit down to type it out I don't know what to say.  Sometimes when I'm running I even think about things to write on here.  But it's funny, my brain is in some weird state when I run and I generally don't remember much about what I think about during my runs.  Probably cause all thoughts are being overridden by my constant arguing with myself "don't stop running - keep going - you aren't going to die".  

It's been a while since I wrote about anything, including running.  I hit a wall in my running.  I don't know why.  I don't even know when exactly, but I think it was after I ran my 8 mile run.  I seemed to struggle after that.  I have a lot of data thanks to my Garmin and I'm trying to analyze it all and piece it together to see if I can tell when. . . and maybe . . . . big fat huge ginormous *maybe*. . . if I were to run another half I'd choose a different training plan.  Let's just get the first half over with before I think about that!  

I posted about that really great 6 mile run that I did in early March.  I said how I found my groove and I kept such a good steady pace.  I tried to keep that going and I managed to do that for a few runs.  I'm just going to highlight the long runs here . . . 

following that 6 mile run that was so great I stepped back a week and that was nothing worth chatting about.   Then I had 7, 8, step back to 6, 9 and then 10 just this past Sat.  So here are the split for the long runs. 

7 mile run 3/15/2014

8 mile run 3/22/2014

9 mile run 4/6/2014

10 mile run 4/12/2014

The 7 mile run was great.  I liked the splits, the avg pace, and it was all good.  The 8 mile run was also pretty good.  We live outside of town and I was tired of finding routes that got me back to where I started (either home or at the park in town).  For this run I took off from my house, ran into town and texted my husband when I was finished and told him which gas station to pick me up.   It was great!  I liked not really remembering where to run or trying to plan it out.  I did this for the 9 and 10 miles too. I generally kept the same route as there aren't a lot of options, but added mileage by running through another subdivision or down a dead end street and then back.   

The 9 mile run is where I started to struggle more noticeably.  I felt like I had to push myself to finish the run.  My knee was really bugging me.  It really felt rough over all.   I hated the feeling I had.   Then the short runs in the week during the 9 and 10 mile runs were really difficult.  Last week I walked most of a 5 mile "short" run and I only did one short run.  I was afraid if I did another that I wouldn't get the 10 miler done.   

The 10 mile run didn't feel too bad till mile 8.  I was trying to just run and not pay attention to my pace.  I didn't look at my Garmin till it beeped at the 3 mile mark.  I was hoping to run it under 2:00, even if I was just barely under that, but then I just got slower and slower.  By the end of the run I would have probably cried if I had to do 3 more miles.  So I'm really hoping the adrenaline carries me through the race on Saturday.  Did I mention the race is SATURDAY!?!?!  OMG.  5 more days!!!!

So the Garmin gives me a lot of stats and graphs.  And I'm not sure that I need or use all of them.  Or even understand them all. Ha!  But I did start looking at things a bit closer to see the difference in the runs that I thought felt good and those that didn't feel good. 

One thing that I've always been interested in is cadence - steps per minute.   I read that you should listen to music that has 180 beats per minute or something like that - cause I think 180 is the "ideal" cadence for the average person?  Don't quote me on that.  I've read random things since I started running.  But here's what my cadence graph looked like for that 6 mile run that I posted about early in March. 

Look how even that is.   That one weird drop down is when I stopped to yell at dogs. :)  I feel like cadence and pace are directly related.  When I run I try to find that cadence and keep it and then my pace will remain even. I just have to find the cadence that gives me the pace/mile that I want.  Easier said than done!

My 7 mile run (which also felt good) had pretty even splits but I think I worked really hard at keeping them that way.  Check out this cadence graph. 

Ok -  kind of funky given my even splits, but I think I really had to push for my splits. . . I'd find myself slowing down.  So this makes sense. 

The 8 mile one was another rocking run when it comes to cadence even though the avg pace wasn't quite where I like it.   I'll save you from boredom and not post that one. 

But check out the cadence graphs here: 

The top is the 9 mile run.  The bottom is the 10 mile run.  This is what I think struggling looks like.  Those runs felt like crap.  I never found a groove - fast or slow.   I was all over the board.   I'd run fast, slow down, run fast again.  I hated it.  

I'm a numbers girl, so these kind of stats interest me.  Especially since I feel they are reflective of how I felt that day and really show whether my run was good or bad.   

As I move forward this week I'm unsure what I'm going to do for short runs.  The plan has a 4 and a 2 mile run.  Well it has 4,3,2 but I haven't been doing that middle run since week 3.  I tried 3 short runs in a row for 2 weeks and I knew it wouldn't work for my lifestyle. I just couldn't give up that many days during the week when I had other obligations.   I may do the 4 and the 2.  Or I may make it 3 and 3.  Or I may just run once.  I'm trying hard to keep my legs fresh and my knee in the best shape it can be for Saturday. 

This morning I added up my mileage and to date I've ran 155.5 miles in preparation for this half marathon.  This hasn't been easy.  This requires dedication. I'm envious of people that can sign up for these kind of distances and not really train that consistently for it. I'm jealous of people that don't think twice about signing up for a half marathon. I thought long and hard about it before I made the commitment.  13.1 miles is not a joke.  You can get hurt.  I struggled with my knee this whole time.  Plus other aches and pains.  I get a massage every other week.  I see the chiropractor every 2-3 weeks.  I look like an old lady when I get up from the couch in the evenings. My hamstrings ache.  This is not all rainbows and roses. This is hard work.   It makes me mad that I hit this wall.  I am annoyed that I struggle so much with running and trying to convince myself not to walk. I never walked at any time during any of these long runs.  There were a few short runs on the treadmill where I did run/walk intervals.  There was that bad 5 mile run outside last week where I walked what felt like most of the run.   But every single long run on the weekends was ran.  I'm as prepared as I can be for Saturday, but I don't feel I'm at the best point in my conditioning for the race.  The last 2-3 weeks have been a struggle.  I'm excited and nervous for Saturday.  I may post about my goals later this week before I leave.  :)   This post has become long enough.  Happy Monday everyone!

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