Owls, Hippee’s, and a training update.

So we are still in appliance hell. We got a call from the in-laws last week and they informed us that the new(ish) washer is no longer working correctly. Apparently it plays the steel drum and dances across the floor. It sounds really cool, except, it’s not really supposed to do that. I’m not buying another one though because I have more important things to spend money on….like races.

Speaking of races, I was thinking about how much it cost to race in other areas and how I never really do that because I fail to plan. And then I found these:

race banksWhat a great idea, right?

Over the weekend, MacGyver went to the cabin in Holopaw so the kid and I went to dinner together on Friday night. After dinner we made a quick stop at the dollar tree and then as we were leaving the store, I dropped my change on the pavement.

Within a second, a horned owl swooped down from a nearby tree, took the quarter and flew back up to the tree. I swear. An owl!

Really
The kid and I looked at each other in disbelief and without saying a word we both dug through our pockets and threw out more change….but he didn’t come back. Gah!

On Saturday I got my long run in and then I cleaned house for the entire day. MacGyver got home that evening and so we got up on Sunday and headed down to Venice. I was reading in the car on the way down and I saw this article and it really caught my attention. As someone who has suffered with hip problems, it spoke to me! I am definitely a hippee, you know, a runner who suffers from hip issues.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Ultrarunner Adam St. Pierre thought he had training down to a science. An exercise physiologist and running coach in Boulder, Colorado, he ran 40 to 70 miles a week, stretched 15 minutes twice a day, and saw a massage therapist twice a month. But at the peak of the 2014 racing season, the 33-year-old athlete was nearly sidelined by tight hip flexors. “The muscles run from your femur up to the pelvis. When they’re tight, you lose range of motion and considerable speed, and you feel like you have to pee all the time,” he says. That’s untenable for an average day, let alone a 100-mile race.

Go here to read the article in its entirety. It even has links to articles on how to sit correctly and other helpful things.

I’m still hammering away at my training for the Sarasota Half Marathon. I had a few successes and a few fails last week but as promised, here’s the recap.

marathon owl
Monday:
Ran 6 easy miles on the Legacy Trail
Marching Bridges – 3 sets – 12 reps ea.
Lying Side Clams – 3 Sets each side – 10 reps ea.
Tuesday:
Off
Wednesday:
Ran 6.5 miles in the neighborhood – Tempo Run – Avg. Page 9:30
Marching Bridges – 3 sets – 12 reps ea.
Lying Side Clams – 3 Sets each side – 10 reps ea.
50 Shades of Glutes Workout – This killed me!
Thursday:
Ran 8 slow miles in the neighborhood
Marching Bridges – 3 sets – 12 reps ea.
Lying Side Clams – 3 Sets each side – 10 reps ea.
Friday:
Off
Saturday:
Ran 12 miles in the neighborhood – I combined my long run with a hill run.
Marching Bridges – 3 sets – 12 reps ea.
Lying Side Clams – 3 Sets each side – 10 reps ea.
Sunday:
Ran 7 miles – Tempo Run – Avg. Pace 9:19
Marching Bridges – 3 sets – 12 reps ea.
Lying Side Clams – 3 Sets each side – 10 reps ea.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad training week. Unfortunately, after the 50 shades of glutes workout on Wednesday my butt was so sore, I couldn’t even fathom doing another session like that during the week. I’m switching up the strength training this week and hopefully it will go a bit better.

So, now it’s your turn. Tell me about your weekend and if you’re training for a race, tell me about it!

Sticking to plan A, B, C or whatever.

Y’all it was 45 degrees this morning when I left for my run. Forty five degrees!

cold weather in florida

Innovative use of sweaters if I do say so myself.

I love running in cold weather. I really do. I went out this morning thinking I’d just take it easy and get 5 or 6 miles in and then head back. When I started running, it felt so easy and the weather was perfect. Before I even knew it 6 miles were done and I didn’t even break a sweat. In fact, I was so happy with my time that I posted one of those annoying garmin pics on Instagram. Here, let me post it here too in case you didn’t see it.

annoying garmin pic

You’re Welcome

And because I’m an ‘all things analytical’ geek, I uploaded my Garmin data to Garmin Connect as soon as I got back, and I was pretty excited about my splits. It’s one thing to feel like you’re getting faster, especially after speed work, but it’s quite another to see negative splits and pretty decent times when you weren’t even putting forth maximum effort.

my splits

The splits, not to be confused with banana splits.

Listen to me, getting all excited. Everybody runs faster in the cooler weather. Check me in the summer months when my times are somewhere between OMG and WTF? It’ll be here soon enough and I’ll be bitching about it like a boss.

Anyway, today got me really excited to start my training again next week, although if I’m being totally honest, putting that sub 2 goal out there sort of makes me nervous. I’m going to put my faith in the training and my ability to stick to it and hope for the best. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Stick to the plan

Hopefully by putting it out there, it will help me stay accountable. Sometimes I need a little push, know what I mean?

Do you follow a training plan for every race you run? (I do now!)
Or are you one of those serial racers who signs up for all the races and hopes for the best?
(This was me early last year and the end of 2013. I just wanted to run everything I could and I wasn’t too worried about time.)

The plan to improve my time and hopefully PR

Hey, how are you today?

We just got back from Venice last night so we’re playing serious catch up down here. We went down right after the race on Saturday and had tons of fun with MacGyver’s parents.

Are they not the cutest?

They are the cutest couple!

We even got to head out on the boat on Sunday and spend some time on the water and on a pretty cool island.

snake island venice

island

If I got stranded here, I wouldn’t even mind.

I took Sunday off and didn’t run at all but I did run a little bit on Monday and Tuesday because you know how much I love the Legacy Trail! Usually the week after a longer race, I take it easy. That’s the plan for this week. But all of that will change next week.

Runners Problems
I may have mentioned in my last post that I am setting a goal for the Sarasota Marathon, well not so much a specific time, but the goal is to accomplish something I spent all of last year chasing. I guess that technically counts as a time goal but not really. It’s more of an improvement goal. Does that make sense? No? Stay with me.

Instead of running the same old schedule with the same types of runs, week after week, I’m focusing on training to get faster and I’ll be doing the following:

I’ll be doing speed work weekly.
Since my hips went all wonky and I returned to running on a regular basis, my speed work has been sporadic at best. Starting next week, I’ll be doing at least one speed workout a week eventually progressing to two.

Strength Training 5 days a week.
Strength training doesn’t have to be a one hour session with weights. I am doing 15-20 minutes of strength training 5 days a week. I vary the workouts that I do, but mainly my strength training consist of core work and squats.

I’ll be running with faster friends.
I’m making it a point to run with faster friends because I know from experience that it helps me become a faster runner.

Who said Turtle's are slow?

Who said Turtle’s are slow?

I’ll be practicing strides
Strides are basically short bursts of running at your race pace, gradually reducing your speed and easy jogging in between. I find that when I practice strides, my running form actually changes. My stride length gets longer and I get faster.

Okay maybe not this fast but just look at that stride!

Okay maybe not this fast but just look at that stride!

For instance in the Best Damn Race, my average stride length was 94 and my average pace per mile was 9:30. If you look at my training log you’ll notice that the stride length during my long runs varies between 88-91 and in my 3 mile runs where I practice speed it goes up to 96.

I’ll be running more hills and bridges.
I have a natural aversion to running hills or bridges because I have always hated them, but in order to get faster you need them. Therefore, I’ll be running hills more often.

My training for the Sarasota half marathon starts Monday, February 16th and to keep myself accountable, I’ll post my weekly workouts on February 23rd, March 2nd, and March 9th. The race is on the 15th of March and I hope you’ll follow along with me. I’m looking forward to seeing how much I can improve in the next month and if I can complete the Sarasota Half Marathon with a sub 2:00 time.

Are you trying to get faster this year or shooting for a new PR?
What is the one thing you do to help improve your speed?