Category Archives: Long Distance Relays

Week in Review 5.19.14 to 5.25.14 and a VCM Half Report

This was a really solid training week and my first above 60 in a long time.

Monday: 7.7 mile recovery run with a still-broken Garmin.

Tuesday: 9.15 miles with 4 strides at the end. (4 by 60 meters at a pretty-darn-quick pace).

Wednesday: Best workout post-surgery!!! 8 mile structured fartlek on the Causeway. 2 mile warmup, 5 minutes at slower tempo effort, 5 minutes recovery, 4 at faster tempo effort, 4 minutes recovery, 3 at interval pace, 3 minutes recovery, 2 at interval pace, 2 minutes recovery, 1 all out, 1 minute recovery, 30 seconds all out, 30 seconds recovery, 2 mile cooldown. Felt awesome the whole time which was a miracle given that I did this at 1 pm in 75 degrees and sunny. So encouraging to have a good workout. Hipcore after.

Slow Tempo: 6:45

Faster Tempo: 6:35

Interval: 6:10

All Out: 5:40

Thursday: Scheduled Off Day, prorated 7.5

Friday: 8 mile run with Annie, extremely humid out.

Saturday: 4.5 mile run with Will and Annie with 4 strides after.

Sunday: 20 miles. 2 mile warmup, 13.1 at tempo effort in 2-person Vermont City Marathon relay, 5+ miles of jogging around the course afterward.

Total: 64.9 miles

Finally feel like I’m hitting my stride this week. I still need to be better about the extras, in particular lifting, drills and core, but things are starting to feel better and I don’t feel so clunky all the time. I see Dr. Kevin on Wednesday and am hopeful he can help me keep working on improving my form/getting back to pre-surgery form.

VCM Half Marathon Race Report

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

Giving Laurel her singlet pre-race.

I was really happy to only be running the half this year. It started off as a very humid morning and progressed to just plain hot by the time the second half of the race rolled around. It was reminiscent of 2011 when I led the pace group and people were just dropping like flies. I saw multiple pace leaders drop out yesterday and many experienced runners come in far off goal times. The weather really is getting too darn unpredictable at VCM recently.

I ran a full volume week so this race was intended to be a big workout for me and another opportunity to get back into racing. My only hope was to pop up a VDOT level with my performance and get through it without hurting myself or ruining this coming week of training. I’m glad for that, as I was drenched with sweat by mile 2 when I am not typically a heavy sweater. I didn’t wear a watch but remember a few splits from the course clocks. We went through mile 1 in about 6:45 pace and then Katie took off. I spent the rest of the run working through the pack (people went out SO fast) and just focusing on keeping good form. My pace was between 6:40 and 6:50 for the whole run and the only negative was that I felt like I could never get into a groove. My higher gear felt too fast and the 6:45 pace felt too slow. I was in the process of beating myself up for my second slowest half ever but corrected my attitude as we went through Church Street the second time when I reminded myself to be grateful that I was running a half 5 months after surgery. I finished the half in 1:29:05 (6:47 pace) which pops me up a VDOT level. Mission: successful!  Even after hours in the sun and lots more miles, my legs felt fresh. I’m happy to find that although my quads are a little tired today, everything else feels great and I’m ready for another week of training.

I have 2 weeks until the Causeway 15K and am looking forward to another opportunity to race the 15K on a flatter course with a few more weeks of fitness.

How was your weekend? Anyone race? How do you monitor your progress?

Old Route Relay Review

We had a blast on Sunday running across Chittenden County as Team Skirack. No one got lost (on our team), no one cried and we didn’t even have a team fight. And I worked on that whole toughness issue that I’ve struggled with before.

It was a very chilly Sunday morning (and day), but thankfully the rain held off for most of the run. We all piled into my car at CVU just after 8 am on Sunday after cheering Kyle on over the start line. After a coffee run, we drove along the first leg to cheer Kyle on as he climbed 3 miles up and over to Richmond. At the first transition point, Kyle tagged Eric and established our official team tag-off butt slap. Eric barreled towards Cochran’s and Sarah and I both prepped for our upcoming legs. We raced ahead of Sarah (she had a short first leg) to Camel’s Hump Middle School where I attempted to warm up for my leg.

I came into Sunday on dead legs, after running 20 miles on Saturday. I felt good, but knew it would be a grind to get through 13.6 on hilly terrain. Still, I somehow underestimated the hilliness of my route, despite coaching in that district on those roads. The first two miles were hilly, but manageable. It was the screaming uphill in mile 4 that I completely forgot about and where I realized just how tired I was. I was determined to be at or under marathon pace, however, and ground out a first leg at almost 10K PR pace.

The 90 minutes between my legs passed quickly; I rehydrated and fueled as we wound out of Jericho into Essex and like others in the car, felt pretty darn stiff as I warmed up at Catamount for the second leg. The first mile was a breeze; downhill and flat with the wind at my back. I caught a person dressed as a fox. And then things got worse. With the climb over 89 and the long, grinding hill afterward, I was a cranking teammate. I distinctly remember saying to someone “I’m not really having fun anymore.” Somewhere around mile 4 of my second leg, however, I decided that I was going to work on using the mantra I plan to use both for the MCAT on Saturday and during VCM: I am grateful to be here. 

I reminded myself that I was grateful to be running with friends, that I was grateful for healthy legs and lungs and for the opportunity to explore backroads near my home. Whether it was the mantra or the downhill, the last few miles flew by. My only major tactical error was at 7 miles, where I turned into Lake Iroquois, the transition zone. With the downhill and the finish in reach, I dropped the hammer down and started to push. Only to hear my watch beep for 7 miles and realize that I had half a mile left. Instead of backing off, I decided to push through instead and somehow held on for another unexpected half mile. I managed to better my pace on this leg, finishing firmly under marathon pace.

In the end, we finished 2nd overall (and to an all male high school team, SO unfair) and had a blast. It was refreshing to run in a new place so close to home and to compete as a team in an unconventional way. It was also good for me to practice pulling myself together even when my legs felt horrible. I highly recommend this race for first-timers and experienced relay teams alike.

Oh Yeah, I’m Doing This Race Next Weekend

Totally forgot that I agreed to be part of an Old Route Relay team next weekend, running 50 miles on a team of 5 through rural Chittenden County. Since I’m running 20 miles on Saturday, I’ll use Sunday as the perfect time to practice marathon pace on tired legs. The breaks in between each leg will give me time to refuel and the legs are just long enough to be tired!

The best part about relay races, however, are the picture and the inevitable hysteria that results from being in the car with three other teammates for an entire day. I’m looking forward to quality time with friends, music blasting from the speakers and the excuse to eat poptarts for most of a Sunday. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect way to kick off MCAT week.