Not likely - August and September are the hottest months here in Tampa. :-/
Getting Ready to Get Ready
So...after my last race (see this post), for which I did little training, but still somehow pulled out a PR, I've decided that it's time to get back into shape - marathon shape, that is. I have a 5K on August 23rd, so in preparation for that (and for marathon training, which officially starts August 25th), I have been running 3 miles at least three times a week since July 22nd. Yesterday marked my 5th day of doing this, and I feel good. Not quite ready to run a marathon, but good nonetheless. I've mapped out my training as well, and my scheduled 10 miler and two half marathons fall on days where I should (according to the book) run 9 miles, 14 miles and 8 miles, respectively. All in all...things are looking up. Now, if it would only get cooler.
Not likely - August and September are the hottest months here in Tampa. :-/
My next race is the Jamestown Half Marathon in Rhode Island on July 12th. I'm running 3-4 times a week currently, but nothing over 4 miles since the marathon in April. I'm a little nervous that I won't be in prime condition, but I know I'll still be able to finish. I'd like to get a new PR - better than 2:22:32 - but we will see how the training goes for the next month. I'd like to be able to train more, but the weather is not cooperating (78 degrees at 5am, yay!) and I have a lot on my plate personally too. I put it all there, so I can't complain too much. It's all good stuff.
Miles for Moffitt 5K
I ran my first 5K today.
It was part of Miles for Moffitt - a morning of races to raise money for cancer research. It just so happens that Moffitt is where I was treated for my skin cancer, so this race had a personal affect that others have not. It was nice to have so many co-workers from Busch Gardens Zoo Department there as well. I did get a little teary running by the actual hospital (expected) and at the finish line (normal).
I believe my time was 27:49, but there seems to be an issue with my official time. There is a '#' where my chip time should be, and it says # = Under USATF OPEN guideline. I've tried to Google what that means, and I don't think I set a record for my age, so who knows? We shall see. I ran as fast as I could go without collapsing or throwing up. I think it was a good showing for only running three times since the marathon on April 13, and with it being 74 degrees at 8am and all. :)
Miles for Moffitt
So, I've signed up with the Busch Gardens Cares team for the Miles for Moffitt 5K. There are a few other races as well (8K, 1mile, kids' races), but I wanted to start "small" after my marathon. I have run exactly three times in the 25 days since my marathon - a rather nice, relaxing jog in England a few days after the race (it felt so good! my body was like "oh yeah, I remember how this feels!") and then twice in the last two days. I ran 3.1 miles (5K) on Wednesday morning with Kristin's dogs, Stella and Sherman, around the golf course, and then 3.1 miles on the treadmill yesterday afternoon. Both were a little tough - mostly, getting my mind into the "push myself" mentality. I can run it - my lungs can handle it, my legs can handle it - it was just a matter of convincing my mind to keep everything going. I plan on lifting some weights in the gym tonight after work and then the race is early tomorrow morning.
This will be my first 5K ever. Obviously, I ran more than 5K during the marathon, but it will be inspirational for a different reason. Yes, the marathon was an accomplishment. I'm extremely proud of myself for starting that journey and seeing it through to the end. I realize now that running will always be a part of my life (as long as I am able) - I enjoy it and it keeps my healthy. I did fight cancer while training for the marathon and it is this reason that this race will be more emotional. It is for Moffitt, it runs past Moffitt - even going to pick up my race bib on Wednesday was hard. It was hard to see that building, it's hard to see the patients and their families - something I was a part of just over three months ago. It is not fun to realize how many people cancer affects - I will most definitely cry (I have at every race). It will be different this time - it will be simultaneously hard and inspiring seeing all the survivors running yet that is why I'm taking part - so that there are more survivors. I'm grateful to be one of those survivors. I recently had a shocking reminder that some people do not make it through skin cancer.
I will get a PR tomorrow, but I will also celebrate my journey so far this year, be grateful for making it through my diagnosis, be hopeful that I won't have to go through it again, and be inspired by those around me who have faced much worse, knowing that I have a larger "family" out there that fights for me and everyone else affected by cancer.
It's Here - Week Twenty Summary
Just a few short jaunts this week - and the London Marathon on Sunday!!!
I'm still working this week and it's getting pretty warm, so treadmill it is. They say to train for the conditions of your race, but I'd have to go quite a few states north to get to 50 degree weather. Am I supposed to put ice packs in my shorts?
30 minutes on the treadmill on Monday - ran 3.24 miles (9:15 per mile).
30 minutes on the treadmill on Wednesday - ran 3.32 miles (9:02 per mile).
I was supposed to run 30 minutes on Thursday, but I worked until 2:15 and had to get to Orlando for my flight by 5pm and I still had some packing to do. Oh well.
Now, I'm in London and sightseeing. I think that's enough of a warm-up. I may still jog a bit tomorrow, but I also don't want to get run over. they drive on the other side here and crossing a street takes mental effort now. ;-)
My workouts continue to taper before the race. I tried to push myself on Monday, but as always, the first mile is a warm up for my legs and they never seem to want to go all out in the beginning. I picked up the pace at the end and finished with a sub-10 pace, which isn't terrible. I'm aiming for a 10:00 pace for the first half...I know I can't keep that up for 26 miles. I'm shooting for 11:00 pace for the whole thing. We will see.
I continued my Tuesday ritual - gym circuit - and am happy with my results. I'm doing more of every exercise in each 30 second bout than the previous week. I'm up to 13 pushups in 30 seconds. I had a tempo run on Wednesday on the treadmill. I ran two 10 minute runs at 8 mph or 7:30 pace. Lots of sweat, but definitely gives me some ideas for summer workouts.
I had to dive again this week, so I considered 3+ hours of cleaning windows and the bottom of the hippo pool as enough to cover the prescribed workout. And to round out the week, a nice, relaxing 6 mile jaunt past a pond with a six(?) foot alligator in it.
I'm happy he didn't come out of the water...and amazed that I noticed him only on my second lap. :)
I'm feeling excited and anxious for the race. I've prepared well, but it's been a long 4+ months of training and a lot has happened in my life. I can't wait for London!
The Taper - Week Eighteen Summary
I was dog/house-sitting again at the end of last week. Kristin's newest addition is the little squeaker to the left, Fiona. She is precious!
After last week's big 20 miler, this week was a piece of cake. I have now entered what is known as "the taper" in the running world - or at least, the training-for-a-marathon world. Not the zoo kind of tapir (of which I have a tattoo), but taper as in less than before. The distance that I will now run each week will be less than the week before in order to give my body time to recover before the marathon.
I had a 50 minute run to start the week and I'm not sure why, but I did run slower than normal. Eh, what can you do? Not every run is the same. I biked for 30 minutes on Tuesday and sprinted on the treadmill on Wednesday - 7:30 per mile for 20 minutes. That's the fastest I've run for the longest period of time in years. It took some mental fortitude to push through it, but I did. I had to go in on my day off to help clean the hippo pool (scuba time!) and I got up early to get a 10 mile run in before the heat got too hot. ;o) All in all, a good week, but I'm ready for the race to be here already!
This was a really good week - filled with a lot of running. On Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, I stayed under 10:00 per mile. I did the cross training as well - more of my circuit and weightlifting - I increased some of the weights on the machines and free weight exercises.
I was anxious all week for Saturday - the 18 mile run - what was (and is) the longest distance I have ever run. The weather could not have been better - at 7:30 am, when I woke up, it was 42 degrees! Very similar to the temperatures I will be experiencing in London in April. I made the short drive to Flatwoods and started the run. I felt shaky for mile 1 - this always happens, just my body getting into a rhythm. The next few miles felt great - I ran the first half of the loop and sidetracked out to the Bruce B. Downs lot, then turned around to finish the first loop. At mile 11 (the end of the first loop), I still felt good. I had been drinking water every mile and had my first energy gel at mile 9 (when they give you the same thing in all the half marathons I've done). It wasn't until mile 14 that I started to have to push myself mentally. I had another energy gel at mile 13, but it was not filling me with anything extra. I had enough in my tank to finish - it was just a mental challenge. I kept telling myself not to look at my Garmin because I would look at it in disbelief that I was not farther along...i.e. I seemed to run 0.2 miles in like 12 minutes.
Regardless of my troubles, I finished. I ran 18 miles in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 47 seconds (average of 10:33 per mile pace). I also ran the half marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes - a personal record! Extrapolating from my time for 18 miles, my marathon time would be 4 hours, 35 minutes and 6 seconds. However, my pace slowed the entire run (with the exception of a "surge" of speed at mile 11 and 12). I'm aiming for under 5 hours as a tertiary goal. Primarily, I want to finish. Secondarily, have a blast.
Slightly less involved workouts next week. :)
This week was tough. I was immediately tired at the start due to the schedule shift of last week - my distance run was moved from Saturday to Sunday because it didn't fit the schedule for the Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend. So...after running a half marathon on Sunday, I didn't want to change any more of the schedule, so I stuck with a 50 minute run on Monday, which was at a much slower pace than normal. I guess this should have been expected, but I did take two dogs (Sherman and Stella) with me, so it wasn't all terrible. They helped pull me a little bit. :)
I was so tired on Tuesday after working 10 am to 6:30 pm and I was still dog-sitting, so I skipped my cross training for the day, headed to my apartment as dog-sitting had ended and went to bed early (in my bed!). I think the not-my-bed part of dog-sitting maybe hurt me this time. I usually sleep well at Kristin's, but I think with the race, I was just extra tired. Wednesday came and I really tried to do the "Tempo A" workout - 20 minute run at a fast pace - but I didn't feel on top of my game, so I opted for a "Tempo B" - two 10 minute fast runs with a 2 minute brisk walk in between. I was able to do that. I rested on Thursday as prescribed and hit the weight circuit on Friday.
I headed to Flatwoods on Saturday morning and despite it being really sunny, it was a pleasant 8 miles at just over a 10:00 per mile pace.
This was my first full week training post-surgery, but it was also abnormal because I had signed up for a half marathon on Sunday - my one true "rest day." So, instead of the training plan-recommended 16 mile run on Saturday, I decided to do a 3 mile run (followed by 9 hours walking around Disney) and the race on Sunday. The half marathon was good. It was warm when I left the house at 5 am with almost 100% humidity and it stayed the way through the race with the cloud cover. I ran with a (slower but still awesome) friend for the first half of the race until I calculated that I would be running an extra 30 minutes if I stayed at that pace. That did not sound fun to me, so I politely excused myself from his company and ran ahead on my own. I pushed myself pretty hard - hitting 8:53 pace for a mile, then averaging out to about 10:00. My pace for the whole race averaged to 10:47 - not bad for running at 12:00 for half the race.
Before that, I did pretty good at the beginning of the week. The runs went well and the gym circuit was good - it kicked my ass, but I did the normal 3 circuits (30 sec activity, 10 sec rest - for 12 exercises). I did lose a bit of endurance in the two weeks I was off. For instance, I was up to 12 pushups in 30 seconds...and I slipped back to 10 this week. I expected to lose a bit, but I still pushed through it to try to normalize as soon as possible. I was exhausted on Thursday, however - which also happens to be my "Friday" at work - I went to bed before 6pm. And I honestly didn't feel great on Friday, so I decided to rest. I'll blame it partially on the weather...it's been 70 and humid every morning for the last week. Hopefully, next week will be better.