Skirt Sports 13er Training: Weeks 1-2

Remember when I used to do training recaps? You know, when I was training? That seems like about a million years ago. But I’m finally training again, albeit slower and with less mileage than before, so it’s time to bring back the training recaps. Plus, it gives me something to blog about, and I really need to get back on a more regular blogging schedule.

The Skirt Sports 13er (don’t forget, you can get a discount to join me by using code SKIRTAMB15) is June 4. Normally, I’d do a 12-week plan for a half, but since I’m coming back from injury, I decided that 16 weeks would be better for building my fitness and preventing another injury. I’m also making a serious effort to thoroughly warm up before each run and finish with some sort of strength or core work and foam rolling, and I’m keeping with my nightly 15-25 minutes of yoga. Here’s how weeks 1-2 went down:

Tuesday, Feb. 14 –First day of training!
Fartlek run — 8 x 1-minute at 10k pace with 2-minute recoveries. Total mileage, including warm-up and cooldown: 7 miles.

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Skirt and short sleeves in February! What?!

Wednesday, Feb. 15
3-mile recovery run

Thursday, February 16
Rest day

Friday, February 17
Had the day off, hooray! 5 miles, finished with a few strides

Saturday, February 18
9 miles! Longest run in a loooong time

Sunday, February 19
Rest day. Taking three rest days in one week felt weird, but Monday and Thursday were scheduled rest days, and I felt like the ol’ hamstring needed one the day after the long run. I’ll start taking Sunday rest days again, I think. That works best for my body.

Week 1 Total: 24 miles

Monday, February 20
4 recovery miles

Tuesday, February 21
Same 7-mile fartlek workout as last week. It was SO windy out. My paces were absolutely ridiculous: super fast when the wind was at my back, super slow when running back into the wind.

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Clearly had a tailwind here — see how my skirt is plastered to my legs?

Wednesday, February 22
3 miles easy. Super slow. I was exhausted and felt like crap, so I was not sad to only run three.

Thursday, February 23
5-mile easy run on the treadmill. The gorgeous, non-Februaryish weather was gone, and it was windy and snowing out. I knew that if I ran in the cold, all I’d want to do when I got back would be take a hot shower, and I’d likely skip my strength workout, so I ran did an alternating run/strength workout in my basement.

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No, this picture isn’t staged at all! Why would you ask? …

Friday, February 24
Rest day

Saturday, February 25
10 miles!!! I went to a “writing marathon” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Saturday morning, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to do my long run in Denver City Park after. It feels pretty darn good to be back to double digits!
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Sunday, February 26
Rest.

Week 2 Total Mileage: 29

I’m hoping to get back to six days of running this week or next. Just gotta play it by ear and see how my hamstring feels. Either way, it feels great to be running consistently again and to have a goal on the horizon.

What are you training for these days?

Ever had to come back from an injury or other setback? Tell me about it!

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Race Recap: Loveland Sweetheart Classic 2017

Before last weekend, the last time I had raced was in June, at the Skirt Sports 13er — and even then, I didn’t really race until the last couple of miles, when I realized I could place. Then I got injured in July, and moved and started a new job in August, and continued fighting that injury, so I hadn’t raced or trained hard for months.

Nevertheless, I decided to race the Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4-Miler last Saturday. My hamstring was feeling about 85% of healthy. I love this little race (this was my fourth time running it), and I figured that even though I’d have a slow-for-me time, it would give me a good baseline for getting back in shape for this year’s 13er. So I registered, and last Saturday morning found me lining up in the Loveland High School parking lot, enjoying the unseasonable warmth and getting re-familiarized with pre-race butterflies.
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One of my injury-healing (and -preventing) strategies is doing a thorough warm-up, so I did some dynamic stretching and ran an easy mile, returning to the start just in time to hear the National Anthem. Soon, the gun went off, and so did the runners. I wasn’t really sure how to pace myself, since the only fast running I’ve done recently is a few strides and a couple of fartlek workouts. I figured I’d just go by feel, playing it by ear and not paying too much attention to keeping even or negative splits, since the first mile-ish is downhill and the last mile-ish uphill.
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I ticked off the first mile in 6:50, feeling pretty decent. I picked it up a little for the flat second mile (6:42), passing a few people and high-fiving a few spectators (high-fiving little kids mid-race is the best. If you don’t usually make time for it, you need to start). Mile 3 is when I started to feel my lack  of fitness, and it was also my slowest mile (6:53), I guess thanks to a slight headwind? That’s when I started mentally repeating the mantra that got me through the end: “Just gut it out.” I knew that a race this short, even with minimal fitness, was mostly a mental game, and I just had to, well, gut it out.

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Don’t be jealous of my beautiful race face. (Photo courtesy of the Loveland Road Runners). 

Mile 4 ends with a mild uphill push, then a rewarding downhill sprint to the finish line. I managed to pass one more woman just after my watched beeped for mile 3, and then I was alone until the finish. I pushed it hard, hitting mile 4 in 6:47 and finishing in 27:36, good enough for fourth place.

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Gasping for air after the finish

After catching my breath for a few minutes, I jogged back along the course to meet my friend Christine and run her in, so I finished the day with just over 6 miles. We wandered around the post-race expo, I got a free post-race massage in the hopes that it would keep my hammy healthy, and then we stuck around for the awards ceremony. Since the overall top three women were excluded from age group awards, I took first in the 30-39 category (and my time was faster than all the 30-39 men. I like to brag). My prize was a handmade medal and a $15 gift certificate to Runners Roost. I was stoked, since I need new running shoes!
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After the awards, I took a baby-wipe bath in the bathroom (races with access to indoor bathrooms are the best), put on clean clothes, and headed to the Loveland Fire and Ice art festival with J.

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Snowman ice sculpture, part of the “ice” bit of the festival. 

Overall, I’m satisfied with how this race went. I ran hard but didn’t get reinjured, and I feel like I have a good baseline now as I build fitness for this year’s 13er, which I do plan to race (if you want to race with me, use code SKIRTAMB15 for 15% off!). Time to start training harder (but smarter)!

Have you raced lately? How did it go?

What’s your favorite local festival/event? We’re pretty darn excited to live closer to artsy things..

Updates

I made it just under a month between blog posts this time.  I’m getting better! My new goal is to post once a week, which was what I averaged back before this whole move-and-start-a-new-job thing.

Thanks to those of you who answered my poll in my last post. Sounds like you mostly want to hear about the things I started this blog to talk about — running and adventures. So that’s where I’ll keep my focus, with occasional side topics. I’ll try to keep it apolitical, as most of you were not interested in reading about politics. I need a politics-free zone in my life, anyway. My colleagues and I get so fired up that we decided to institute a “Trump jar” in our shared office this week to make ourselves talk about something else.
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So yeah. I will find other places to share my political opinions and keep this blog focused on… not that.

And on that note, let me give you a few quick updates so we’re all caught up as  I get back into this regular blogging thing:

  • I’m a Skirt Sports ambassador again! I am so honored to represent this company for another year. And good news for you: since I’m an ambassador, you get to save! Use code 1SSCAPT20 to save 20%, even on sale items!
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  • I’m slowly but surely (I hope) recovering from the hamstring injury that has kept me sidelined since July. It’s still not 100%, but it’s getting there. I ran 8 miles yesterday, which was the longest I’ve gone since getting injured. For long-time readers who remember my training posts with 70-mile weeks and 23-mile long runs, it probably sounds crazy that I’m thrilled to have run 8, but man, it felt good! Hopefully I’ll be back to my high-mileage self before TOO much longer.

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    Yes, this was February. I love Colorado. 
  • Related (I think): I’ve been doing yoga religiously. I started a 21-day challenge on January 9 and stuck with it, then spent a week doing other videos, and now J and I are starting the same challenge again. I never thought I’d be a daily yoga-er (“yogi” sounds much more advanced than I am), but it’s helping me sleep and I really think it’s helping my hamstring, too. I’m SUPER excited that J is doing it with me now, too.
  • That healing hamstring is a good thing, because I have a race this Saturday! I’ll be running the Loveland Sweetheart Classic. Last time I ran it, in 2014, I took second (read about that here), but this time, out of shape and working back from injury, I just want to enjoy myself (it’s a great little race) and use it as a benchmark and a starting point as I get back into shape for….
  • The Skirt Sports 13er in June! I’m already signed up. And I also have a 15% discount code for that, so you should sign up, too — code SKIRTAMB15 — and we will party. If all goes according to plan, my hamstring will heal completely, my weekly mileage will be back up to 50ish by the 13er, and then I can REALLY train for something — I don’t know what yet –in the fall.

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    Flashback to last year’s 13er. Isn’t it pretty? You should come run it with me.
  • I’m on Strava! Late to the party, I know. But let’s be friends! (Do you get “friends” on Strava? “Followers”? Whatever, let’s hang out on yet another online platform.)

Do you feel caught up? Cool. I’ll try not to drop off the face of the Internet planet this time.

I’m also waaay behind on blog reading. Again. What are you up to? What have you written lately that I must read?

Are you passionate about politics, or do you avoid them?