Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Richmond Marathon Training - Week 7

Monday September 17
Pool run - 70 min (~7 mi)
I knew my legs needed a day off after the race so I headed to the pool instead of doing my normal Monday morning recovery run. There was a nice group there so the time flew by.

Tuesday September 18
Run 7.15 mi - AM
Yoga - 75 min - PM
I was banned from the track (and most definitely in no shape to be there), so I started Tuesday with a nice easy run commute. Then after work I went to a hips/low back yoga class.

Wednesday September 19
Run 9.75 mi
I couldn't make it to the evening fun run because I had a much needed sports massage scheduled, so I finally met up with the CAR morning group. I've been wanting to join them for a while, but I wanted to get in a number of doubles in before upping my morning mileage. Since I wouldn't be doubling this week, it seemed like the perfect time to jump in with them. I ran to and from the meeting point and then did eight with the group to end up with almost ten for the day.

Thursday September 20

Friday September 21
Run 8.0 mi w/4 mi tempo - 29:32 (7:38/15/22/18)
I had no idea how this workout would go since it was only a few days post-race and I also hadn't been to a tempo workout in over a month due to various scheduling issues. I was definitely still warming up during the first mile, but then I felt absolutely AMAZING during the first 1200 of mile two. You know that feeling when you feel like you're flying and it takes no effort? It was that times a million. This meant that mile two was definitely too fast. And then when that feeling didn't last, miles three and four were a lot of work. But even though it seemed like a whole lot more work, I didn't slow down all that much. So I'm proud of that and of the overall time, which is my fastest four mile tempo so far.

Saturday September 22
Run 21 mi (avg pace - 8:50)
I'm very encouraged by how this run went. The last third was hard, but twenty miles never feels easy. And I finally did a good job of progressive thirds, even holding slightly faster than I hoped at the end. Sure it was aided by a downhill, but mile 20 was my fastest of the day. I'd call that proper execution.

Sunday September 23
Run 6.5 mi
Normally I don't run on Sundays, but since I'd swapped in a pool run on Monday, I opted for some easy miles. It was a beautiful morning to be out running and was made even more enjoyable by the company. Chatty recovery miles almost always beat solo ones.

Week 7 - 52.4 mi
I can hardly believe that I've made it halfway and I'm sure that I'll be wishing for more time towards the end! This week brought the first twenty and, to me, that always marks the beginning of true marathon training. My mileage is right where I want it to be and I'm looking to keep increasing it over the next few weeks. This is new territory for me (previous high was 51), but I feel like I'm responding well.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Philadelphia Rock n' Roll Half Marathon race report

I was excited to head up to Philly to race, but it was the most relaxed I'd been about a race in a very long time. In some ways it snuck up on me and I found myself juggling my schedule around at the beginning of the week to get in what I felt like was "enough" miles for marathon training, but to also give myself a little bit of break in the second half of the week. I chatted with my teammates Crystal and Julie on Tuesday at the track and confirmed that they had similar goals in mind. We decided to start off together and hopefully end the day together with three new PRs. I haven't run many races with other people, but have really seen how it has benefited me in workouts and long runs. I was excited to have a pack to work with during this race.

I carpooled up to Philly with some teammates on Saturday. We had reserved a block of hotel rooms, so after checking in and meeting up with everyone else we headed out to lunch. Then it was over to the expo to pick up numbers, shirts and free samples before heading back to the hotel to rest for a bit. Then there was a big CAR team dinner (we filled the entire 50 seat restaurant), before an early bedtime. It was a really fun day and reminded me how lucky I am to have found this team and met so many great people.

With the 8:00 race start and a hotel that was only a mile away, we didn't even have to get up all that early.  A group of us met in the lobby at 7:00 for the jog over to the start. I had brought a throwaway shirt in anticipation of temperatures in the high 50s, but realized it was unnecessary as soon as I stepped outside. I think it was slightly warmer than predicted and also seemed a bit humid. Still a great running day for mid-September, but I wouldn't have complained if it was cooler.

We got to the start area with what seemed like plenty of time to hit the porta potties and hang out in the corrals, but after 25+ minutes in line, I decided I didn't have to go enough to risk missing the start. The corral was jammed by the time we got there but Crystal, Julie and I managed to squeeze our way in at the back before the race started.

I knew that I wanted to keep it nice and easy on the loop through downtown that made up the first 4.5 miles. I had been warned that there were a lot of turns, so it seemed like a good opportunity to practice restraint and just settle in. There would be plenty of time to push the pace later on. I was feeling strong as we came back past the start area and saw several different teammates in the crowd. Miles 1-5: 8:23, 8:11, 8:04, 8:07, 8:13

Once we got past the crowds around the art museum and headed out onto Kelly Drive, it was time to start picking it up. I remembered how this had been one of my favorite stretches of the marathon last November. I had made it halfway right on pace and was cruising along. I hoped to recreate that feeling, but it wasn't quite there. 8:00 pace felt a lot harder than I thought it should and I had some random aches and pains that would pop up and nag me for a mile or two. I tried to stay relaxed and remind myself that I didn't need to push the pace just yet. It was somewhere in this stretch that Julie and I got separated from Crystal. Miles 6-8: 7:55, 8:07, 8:00

As we approached the bridge that marked the turnaround point, my stomach started to feel kind of sloshy. I opted to skip the 8.5 mile water stop and hoped that it would be enough to get things settled down and absorbed. In my head, the bridge had been the point where I would drop the pace to sub-8:00 and really hammer it for the last four miles back to the art museum and the finish line. Unfortunately, I was finding it hard just to keep going at my current pace. A significant portion of my brain was telling me that it really would be fine to back off the pace a bit, that I wouldn't regret it later. Fortunately, the competitor in me would not let that happen. It also really helped to be running with Julie at this point. I just kept telling myself to stay with her and focusing on that, instead of on pace or my legs, really got me through a rough patch. A double caffeine Clif Shot just before mile 10, also helped when it finally kicked in somewhere around mile 11. At this point I was doing whatever it took to stay motivated, reminding myself that it was less than a tempo at the track left, counting down the remaining minutes, etc. Miles 9-12: 8:05, 8:03, 8:01, 8:04

As, I passed the mile 12 sign, I knew it was time to go for it, regardless of how little I thought I had left. I tried to pick up my turn over rate and focused on passing people ahead of me. At some point I got slightly ahead of Julie and hoped that she was right behind me. I really didn't think I could go any faster, but when I heard George yelling at me right at the 13 mile mark I somehow found another gear. More teammates were cheering on the sidelines in the last .1 and that really helped me kick it in to the finish. Mile 13, .1: 7:50, 47.6 (7:01 pace)

Final time: 1:45:49

During the race I had my Garmin displaying current mile pace and time only, so I wasn't really sure what my final time would be. My pre-race pacing strategy had assumed several more sub-8:00 miles in the final stretch to get to 1:45:00, so I figured I probably hadn't made it. Needless to say, I was thrilled to switch the display on my watch and see a 1:45:xx!

I'm obviously extremely happy to achieve my goal and I think the fact that it was more of a struggle than I expected is a not a negative. I had hoped that I would feel a lot more comfortable running at 8:00 pace than I did. But I actually take that as a good sign for the state of my running. I didn't do a full taper for this race, nor has it been my main focus. It's a huge positive step on the way to the main race of the fall, Richmond. And I know that on a day when everything comes together, I will go a lot faster.

All in all it was a fun weekend and I hope to do it again next year.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Richmond Marathon Training - Week 6

Monday September 10
Run 8.25 mi
Easy run to start the week.

Tuesday September 11
Run 9.25 mi
5x1200 (5:20/5:14/5:04/5:05/4:55)
I had a good day at the track and it was a good confidence boosting workout before Sunday's half.  The workout was 4-6 1200s and I opted to go with five to get myself over the three mile speed work plateau where I've been hanging out for a while. I know one of the keys to marathon training is more reps

Yoga - 75 min
Jess and I signed up for a a four week workshop focusing on hips and back and this was the first class. My hips are always a super tight mess, so I'm looking forward to really spending some time on stretching them out and figuring out how to stay loose.

Wednesday September 12
Run 4.7 mi
Run 5.15 mi
Morning run commute and CAR fun run in the evening. I'm trying to slowly build up the length on the morning run, but opted to hold steady this week since I was racing on Sunday.

Thursday September 13
Swim 3000 yds
Halloween suit swim with Beth!

Friday September 14
Run 6.0 mi w/1 mile pickup (7:56)
The one mile pickup was supposed to be done at 10k pace and I couldn't quite get there. The 7:56 felt a lot harder than I hoped it would. Fortunately I knew that I often feel sluggish in this kind of "last bit of speed before a race" workout, so I wasn't really concerned that it meant Sunday was going to be a difficult day.

Saturday September 15
A busy day that included driving up to Philadelphia, visiting the race expo and carbo loading. I had lots of fun hanging out with my CAR teammates.

Sunday September 16
Philadelphia Rock n' Roll Half Marathon - 1:45:49
Mid-race I wasn't sure if I was going to get there, but I'm very happy that I just managed to make my 1:45 goal! I'm even happier about the way I did it:
Full race report to come.

Week 6 - 46.45 mi
Another solid week that ended in the best way possible, with a new PR! The first few weeks of this cycle have gone about as well as could be expected and the next few weeks are what I always consider to be true marathon training. The first of three twenty milers is next weekend. It's time to focus on quality training and high quantity miles.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday Four

1. This suit has been hanging out in a drawer for a while, but finally made it's somewhat seasonally appropriate debut yesterday.

I met up with Beth who showed up in this suit, so it was a bit of a themed swim.

2. As a part of a relatively new healthy living initiative, my office has health challenges throughout the year. Participation in various events helps you to get discounts on insurance premiums. In the spring I wore a pedometer for eight weeks and this week kicked off an eight week hydration challenge. The only goal? Drink at least eight 8 oz glasses of water a day. We're on teams and while I don't think there will be an actual winner, we do get bonus points if the team as a whole averages 64 oz a day. Obviously I can't turn down a competition, so I signed up as soon as it was announced. Only later was I suspicious about how well it lines up with the restof my marathon training cycle. And check out the color of the cups they passed out.

A nice CAR red

Could someone have an in with our HR department?

3. I have the giant Garmin 305 and I always wear it over a sweatband because otherwise it slides around and chafes my wrist. The ones I bought a few years ago have finally stretched out to the point of uselessness, so it was time for some new ones. Now that I almost always race in a CAR top, I decided it was time to match.

4. On Sunday I'll be running in what may end up being my only tune up race before the Richmond Marathon. I'm headed out of town for the Philadelphia Rock n' Roll half marathon. Although I've never run this race before, it covers a lot of the Philadelphia marathon course, so I have a good idea what to expect. It's a flat, fast course and the weather is expected to as close to perfect as you could ask for in mid-September (lows in the high 50s, highs in the mid 70s). While I haven't done any sort of taper for this race, I have taken it pretty easy since I finished the track workout on Tuesday. I'm feeling excited about racing and looking forward to seeing what I can do in a half when I'm not severely anemic. So I'll be gunning for that 1:45 that I was hoping for last spring, before health issues got in the way. I think it's a realistic goal and I'm going to do my best to execute the way that I know I can and run a smart, strong race. Obviously not every race day goes quite as planned, so my B goal is to PR and break 1:50.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Richmond Marathon Training - Week 5

Monday September 3
Run 8.25 mi
Since it was Labor Day, I allowed myself to sleep in a bit and got a later than average start at 8:30. I was definitely feeling the heat and humidity towards the end of the run.

Tuesday September 4
Run 8.7 mi - AM
Yoga 75 min - PM
This week's workout was descending sets of 1200/800/400. Since it was my first workout back after Hood to Coast, I was told to do three sets only if I "felt 100%." I would argue that it is extremely rare to feel 100%, ever, but I did feel a bit off so I stuck with two times through. It definitely took me a long time to warm up and that is reflected in the first set times. (5:28/3:26/1:41)  Not all that bad, but I felt sluggish when I was running. Finally my legs woke up on the second 1200 and it felt easier to run significantly faster (5:06/3:17/1:32). I've noticed this "slow to warm up" phenomenon before and I think that as my weekly mileage increases it becomes more of an issue. I may need to start thinking about playing around with how I warm up.

At night I tried out a new yoga studio near my apartment and really enjoyed the class. I left feeling relaxed and a lot looser than when I went it. My new goal is to make Tuesday night yoga a regular event.

Wednesday September 5
Run 5.0 mi - AM
Run 5.15 mi - PM

Easy morning run commute, followed by the CAR fun run after work. Strange small world moment at the fun run when a new person showed up and we discovered by the end that we had been in the same yoga class the night before. I think he was even right in front of me.

Thursday September 6
Pool run - 60 min (~6 mi)
I wasn't feeling like swimming, but I knew my legs could use some pool time, so I decided to pool run instead.

Friday September 7
Run 18.0 mi (avg pace - 8:55)
I was headed to the beach to celebrate WALD (weekend after Labor Day) with my college friends and I knew that realistically there was no way I was going to run 18 miles while I was there. So I ran on Friday morning before I left instead. Strangely I could find no one who wanted to join me, so I charged up my iPod and headed out alone. I purposely hit some hills in the first few miles and then finished with a long flat stretch. I felt really great for about 16 miles and then the last two were a struggle. I was severely tempted to stop at 17, but after stopping at 15 in the week before (instead of 16), I forced myself to tack on another out and back to make it to 18. My average pace ended up being a bit slower than recent weeks, but I'll take it given the hills at the beginning and that I was running alone.

Saturday September 8
Run 5.0 mi
The first half was a nice relaxing recovery run along the boardwalks of Seaside Park and Seaside Heights, NJ. The second half was a fight against a ridiculous headwind. Funny how you don't seem to notice those when they are at your back.

Sunday September 9

Week 5 - 50.1 mi
It felt great to get the mileage back up after Hood to Coast racing and recovery. Although sometimes it's a bit of a struggle to get going, I know I benefit so much from higher mileage. I'm very excited to get to 50 miles, which I only did once during marathon training last fall. There should be several more weeks in the 50s before it's time to taper.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hood to Coast race report

Hood to Coast was my first relay and I had no idea what to expect. I figured it would be a good time, but I was a bit nervous about how I would handle the lack of sleep since I'm on of those people who gets extremely cranky with less than seven hours. It turned out to be one of the most fun running experiences I have ever had.

Amy and I were the last team members to arrive and thanks to some delays in the Minneapolis airport, got to the team dinner after it had already started. It was exciting to finally be there and to meet the members of our team (and drivers) that I didn't know. Since we had a relatively early start time (8:45am), after dinner we went straight back to the hotel and to bed. I slept pretty poorly (just what you want heading into a sleep deprivation situation), but was still ready to go when the alarm went off at 5:15am. We managed to get all of our luggage, food and teammates in the two vans and were on the road to Mt. Hood before 6:00.

Since only one of us had ever run this race before, we decided to send both vans up to the start of the race on Mt. Hood. I am so glad that we did this because I think those of us in van 2 really would have missed out by skipping it. Everyone was excited and upbeat as we made the hour and a half drive and there was lots of oohing and aahing at the gorgeous scenery as we got closer and closer to Mt. Hood. There were already runners coming down the mountain as we made the drive up (the first teams started at 6:30) and we marveled at the steep downhill grade they were running as we headed in the opposite direction. We were able to discuss this out loud since no one in our van actually had to run those legs.

When we got to the parking lot, we all piled out and our captain headed over to check up in. The rest of us admired the scenery, took lots of photos, wandered through the tents set up around the start area (manned by vendors and race sponsors) and got to work on some signs for van decoration.

The time flew by and we snapped a quick team photo before our first runner, Trevor, took off down the mountain.

After our start, we head back to the vans and drove down the mountain, making sure to yell at Trevor and bang on all the windows as we drove by. Since our van wouldn't be running for several hours, we headed towards the first major van exchange and stopped when we came to a small shopping center with a coffee shop and grocery store. After grabbing drinks and food, we bought some dry erase markers and set to work decorating our van.

Once the van was sufficiently decorated, we drove the rest of the way to a Safeway parking lot that was the site of the first major van exchange. We made the first of what would be many outfit changes in the van, discovered we could sneak in and use the hotel bathroom instead of the porta-potties (Honey Buckets!), took more photos, and sat around waiting for text updates from van 1 on their progress.

Finally van 1 pulled into the parking lot as well, told us runner 6 should be there soon and then our day really got started. Runner 7 was our amazing captain Tenley and she led off the van with a hard, hilly leg. I was runner 8 so I tried to prepare myself as we drove along and stopped to cheer for Tenley. The van dropped me off by the exchange area and went to find a parking spot. I stood anxiously in the porta-potty line, hoping that I wouldn't see her coming when I was still in line, or worse not see her because I was I was inside! Fortunately the line moved quickly and I was waiting for a few minutes before Tenley crested the hill and came into view.

I took off after grabbing the slap bracelet and immediately my heart rate skyrocketed. I started on a downhill and forced myself to slow down when a quick glance at my Garmin showed a sub-7:00 pace. I tried to think about my breathing and get my heart rate down, while setting into more of a tempo pace. This leg was described as easy, and it had net downhill, but there were definitely a few rolling uphills at the beginning. The road was pretty crowded with runners at this point, so I focused on passing the next person ahead of me. I was cruising along and really enjoying myself when I passed my van-mates cheering along the side of the road.

Though I was consistently passing people, there was a guy ahead of me from about mile 2.5 that I just couldn't seem to catch. That became my goal and I finally pulled even with him, and then ahead at the top of a hill somewhere around mile 4. After that I just tried to push it in the last half mile to the finish. I handed the slap bracelet off to Greg and my first leg was done with 22 kills!

After another quick change, I was ready to cheer on the rest of my vanmates as we finished off our first set of legs. I was still on a high from my first leg when I decided it would be a good idea to take a look at the elevation for my next one, which I knew was ranked "very hard."

Almost 1000 ft in 5 miles?!? Gulp.
During this set of legs it was late afternoon and as we got closer and closer to Portland, traffic continued to build. Unfortunately, this led to one of our runners, Maria, having to wait about 8 minutes for us to get to the exchange. Super frustrating since we left as soon as she took off running. But a short left turn arrow on a relatively long light cycle meant that we sat at one light for an extremely long time. We weren't the only team with this problem, Maria was waiting with a ton of other runners! Fortunately our next few exchanges went smoothly and then we were back in Portland and handing off to van 1.

During our break we ate dinner, tried to learn more about the fire that forced a change to leg 17 (a van 1 runner), and made sure that all of our safety equipment was in tip top shape.

Soon it was dark and time for our van to start running again. I was definitely nervous about the monster that awaited me and unsure if I would regret not having a bandanna (which was recommended to help with breathing on the dusty gravel road). My leg started eventfully when my front flasher flew off my vest with in the first few steps. It took me a few seconds to realize what had happened and, worried that I would get disqualified for running without it, I turned around and went back to pick it up.  I got it back on, but the reflective vest was pretty loose and flopping around, so it fell off again a bit farther up the road. Finally I realized that I it would stay in place if I hooked it over the vest and my top at the same time. After two falls it stopped flashing, so I hoped it's mere presence would prevent a disqualification.

It was a steady uphill climb and I didn't even bother looking at my watch. I knew I wouldn't be thrilled with what I saw, so I just tried to stay consistent and keep moving forward. I got a boost from seeing my vanmates cheering on the side of the road and kept on chugging. I knew that I'd get a break during mile three, which was flat or downhill the whole way. When my Garmin beeped at the end of mile two, I tried to stretch out my legs a bit and relax before the return to climbing. Because we started early in the day and were a relatively fast team, by this point we were towards the front of the race and I saw very few other runners.

As mile three ended, I started up again and the paved road ended. It was onto gravel, which just added to the challenge, I mean fun. It was not finely packed and at certain points I felt like I was running on the beach.  My vanmates had stopped again and were apparently making fun of the runner who didn't have a front flasher until I got close enough and they realized it was me. Oops! Then they drove off towards the finish and I was on my own. I didn't see another soul for the next mile and a half. It was pitch black and my headlamp only did so much to illuminate the path ahead of me. The road had a lot of twists and turns and in the low light, the gravel seemed to blend into the grass and bushes on the side of the road. I was weaving all over the road and almost stepped off the side a number of times. Depending on how much dust I was churning up, I could see next to nothing since the headlamp just reflected off the dust cloud.

In some ways, I think it helped to only be able to see the few feet in front of me because could never see how much farther up I had to go. But it also wore me down a bit. I started to get some weird tunnel vision issues, I'm sure as a result of the range of the headlamp. And after going over a mile without seeing anyone else, I started to worry that I might be in the wrong place. There were no turns I was supposed to make, but had the road forked, I could have easily missed it with my limited range of vision. At some point there were weird animal (?) noises on both sides of the road (and what sounded like laughing, kids having some fun maybe? Or I was just going crazy, who knows). I tried to pick up the pace, but was still climbing a mountain so it wasn't by much. I wasn't expecting to be freaked out by running alone at night, but in that stretch I definitely was. Finally my watch beeped at the end of five miles and the road started to drop, so I took this as a sign that I was still headed the right way. Shortly after this a van passed me and I started to feel better about the whole situation (except for the fact that it raised a giant dust cloud). Then, finally, I was rounding a corner and could see the lights of the exchange zone in the distance.

I was much happier after chugging a Gatorade and changing out of my sweaty running clothes into sweats and compression socks. All of my vanmates had great night legs and we were slowly but steadily getting ahead of our predicted time for the next exchange. I liked having one of the early legs in the van because it meant that I was done early and could cheer and relax, without having to worry about getting myself ready to run.

After our last runner finished a little after 1:00am, we went ahead to the next big exchange to park and attempt to get some sleep. There were four van benches for five people and Amy and I got stuck sharing, making uncomfortable and awkward van sleeping just that much more uncomfortable and awkward. At one point I moved around in a quest to find a better position and noticed Amy leaning against the window. It was at this point I realized that I really had drawn the shortest straw - I was next to the aisle so I couldn't even do the window lean!  I may have gotten a total of two hours of sleep, but I doubt it was even that much.

Safety first!

We were scheduled to be back "on" sometime around 5:00, so by around 4:00 people started stirring. My stomach had started to grumble as I was trying to sleep and by this point it was in full out rebellion. I made more than one cold trek through the muddy parking lot to the porta-potties and just really hoped that my stomach would cooperate and allow me to get through my last leg.

Although it seemed like it was freezing while we were resting in the van, I opted to run my last leg in just a sports bra and shorts. At the last minute I added arm warmers, which were nice to have for the beginning of the run, but definitely not necessary. Once you got moving, the weather was great.

I wasn't sure how my legs would feel about the third run in 24 hours, but it was my shortest and ranked "moderate" so I was relatively relaxed about it. I wanted to see how much I could push the pace, but also to really enjoy it. I started the leg a little before 6:00am, so I got to run as the sun came up, through fields covered in a light fog. It was beautiful and my stomach miraculously quieted as soon as I started running, so I could actually enjoy the scenery. At a little over four miles, it was over far too quickly and I passed off the slap bracelet, ending my running experience.

It was kind of hard to believe that the whole experience was coming to a close, as my vanmates flew through their legs and we cruised towards the beach.


When our last runner started, we had about forty minutes to make our way to Seaside, park the van and get down to the beach to run across the finish line with him. We reunited with van 1 on the beach and waited in the holding area for the announcers to say "Team 309 - Capital Area Runners, your final runner is approaching the beach."  Then we were all running across the finish line, ending our Hood to Coast experience in 24:27:13, good for 11th out of 360 in the Mixed Open division and 62nd overall (out of 1068).

We immediately headed for a breakfast buffet nearby and after stuffing ourselves, we made time for a brief ice bath in the Pacific before spending several hours at the beer garden on the beach.

The day wrapped up with one of the best showers ever after we could finally check into our hotel and a brief trip back to the beach for one more drink before having ice cream for dinner. I think I feel asleep almost as soon as I lay down, long before fireworks wrapped up the festivities on the beach. Then we were up early Sunday morning for a long day of travel back to reality, otherwise known as the East Coast.

I can't think of the right words to express how great of an experience this was and how much fun I had. So I will leave it at that. I would do it again in a heartbeat and highly recommend that you all jump at the chance to run it, should that opportunity ever be offered to you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Richmond Marathon Training - Week 4

Monday August 27
I took the day off from work since I got back so late from Portland and was planning to run at some point. By the time I got a bunch of errands done it was late afternoon. I got changed into running clothes and realized that I was dead tired. So I changed back and skipped the run. I rarely feel this way so I knew it was the right call.

Tuesday August 28
Run 6.0 mi - AM
Yoga 60 min - PM

I had strict instructions take it easy all week to recover from Hood to Coast. So instead of heading to the track, I went out around my neighborhood instead.

Wednesday August 29
Run 4.25 mi - AM
Run 5.15 mi - PM

My first double run day! I eased myself into this routine with a short run commute in the morning and the CAR fun run at night. My goal is to slowly build up the length of the morning run.

Thursday August 30
Swim 3000 yds
I've been trying to do more than just freestyle to keep things interesting, and my body is still adjusting. I only ended up doing three 200 IMs, but I could feel that 150 of butterfly in my upper back for two days. Definitely a sign that I need to be doing more of this. That amount of butterfly should not be nearly so painful!

Friday August 31
Run 7.85 mi
Another relaxed, easy run. I met up with Amy for five miles and then finished up by running to work.

Saturday September 1
Run 15.0 mi (avg pace - 8:43)
It was a very hot and humid morning, definitely the type that I thought might be behind us until next year. Hopefully it was one last dose of summer for the holiday weekend. This was a tough run, but I think it went pretty well considering the conditions. I had originally planned for 16, but given how I was feeling in the last mile, it didn't seem worth it to go past our finishing point to tack on another mile alone.

Sunday September 2
Swim 4700 yds
The main set of the day was 10x400. I was dreading how long it would feel at the beginning, but it actually went by relatively quickly.  I probably took it a bit too easy at first, as I was able to drop the pace significantly for the last three. I thought about going out for a short run (to make up for the one that I skipped on Monday), but decided that it was better to embrace the spirit of the recovery week and head into week five feeling really fresh.

Week 4 - 38.25 mi
The goal for the week was to recover from Hood to Coast and be ready to get back to track workouts during week 5. I think I took the right approach with an unplanned rest day to kick off the week and two swim days to give my legs a bit of a break. Despite the weather on Saturday morning, I had a decent long run, which tells me my strategy paid off.