Training Log: September 14th – 27th

If you read my last training log, then you’ll know I had a bit of a meltdown regarding my stats class. But after talking with my advisor, I decided to stick with it which meant I had some catching up to do with lectures and getting my first homework assignment done by mid-week. Honestly, I’ve never been a very disciplined person, but something kind of flipped this week and I was able to buckle down each day and get done what I needed to get done for both my classes and assistantship. While the week started in a panic, it ended with me feeling accomplished with the effort I had put in to the week and I actually had the weekend free. However, it meant some long days at my desk.

Monday, September 14th: Rest day. Supposed to be a strength day, but I had stuff to do for my assistantship in the morning and class in the evening and after yesterday’s not great long run, I just wanted a break to reset.

Tuesday, September 15th: 45 min run/walk with five 1 minute pick-ups in the middle. I finally finished the last section of our study’s manuscript this morning which felt like a huge weight off my shoulders (the paper still needs edits before we send it for publication, but at least the hard part is done!). I was so excited that this ended up being a little fast and I think more than 5 pick-ups. I realized around the third one I should probably be counting how many I was doing, so from that point it was basically just a best guess. I think I actually did 6. Also, rather than just breaking into a slightly faster pace, I think they were more tempo-ish/5k pace. Whoops. Oh well. It was fun and I had energy to burn off. I then went to a yoga class at my Y later in the evening. Distance: 3.5 miles; Avg pace: 15:19; Avg HR: 143.

Wednesday, September 16th: Rest day. Again, supposed to be a strength day, but I’ve been spending my week trying to get back on track with my stats class and I had a homework due the next day. I am super proud of how much I got done and felt accomplished for successfully working through the stats problems (especially with as panicked as I was on Sunday), but wasn’t feeling up to a workout when I was finished.

Thursday, September 17th: 45 min easy run/walk + 6 strides. My legs felt like they had zero bounce today. I’m not sure if it’s because I ran too fast on Tuesday or whether it’s the shoes I wore, but my legs weren’t sore, they weren’t heavy, the run didn’t feel hard, my legs just didn’t pop off the ground well. I felt like it took several strides before I got in the groove, but looking at my top speed I topped out at 6:42 today. I would not have guessed that by how I felt. Color me pleasantly surprised. Also, after this run I’ve officially surpassed last year’s mileage…and it’s only September (and last year I was training for a half)! Distance: 4 miles; Avg pace: 15:34; Avg HR: 133.

Friday, September 18th: Because I felt like I may not have actually needed the intervals on last week’s increased interval run, my coach took them out today and challenged me to run for 30 minutes straight. I haven’t done that since…October? November? It felt chilly when I started (it was 65*…I know, I’m ridiculous) but I popped on a podcast and went for it. And…it actually went really well. I started looking at my watch during the last 10 minutes and was counting down the minutes during the last 5, but that was way more mental than physical. Physically I was feeling fine. Most of my strides were a little slower today, but I was kind of expecting that after running two days in a row and without walk breaks today. That 30 minutes equated to 2 miles on the dot, so it looks like working back up to being able to run a continuous 5k is very closely within my reach! Distance: 3.7 miles; Avg pace: 15:19; Avg HR: 142.

Saturday, September 19th: Rest day

Sunday, September 20th: Long run/walk + 5 strides. This wasn’t great, but wasn’t terrible either. I went back to the Picky Bar apple oatmeal this week and had zero issues, so I’m guessing my stomach just doesn’t like the trail mix oatmeal for some reason. I started to get bored/tired around mile 3 and looking at my HR, it was higher than it has been on recent runs, so I’m not totally surprised at how I was feeling. My hip flexors also felt like they were working more today. Maybe because I spent more time at my desk this week? But they weren’t cranky during my other runs, so who knows. I just know they got really tired and achy and I was feeling them for the last couple of miles. You would think after running the same distance long run all summer this would be easy by now, but nope! At least the weather was really nice. Distance: 6.25 miles; Avg pace: 15:34; Avg HR: 144.

Week 1: 4 runs for 17.5 miles (4 hours 30 min); 1 hour of yoga; 0 strength sessions; Total time: 5 hours 30 min.

Monday, September 21st: Rest day. It was supposed to be a strength day, but I had things to do during the day and class in the evening.

Tuesday, September 22nd: 45 min run/walk with eight 30-sec pick-ups. Nothing too notable about this run. My HR felt high, but I realized afterwards I was running a little faster than normal, so that makes sense (I don’t run with pace on my watch face – just time and mileage – so I don’t know my pace until I upload the run). Pick-ups were a little fast, but felt controlled. Distance: 3.5 miles; Avg pace: 15:05; Avg HR: 144

Wednesday, September 23rd: Hey! I finally got in a scheduled strength session! Chest, shoulders, tris, and core.

Thursday, September 24th: 45 min easy run/walk (2:00/1:00) + 6 strides. Again, nothing too notable, except I ran in the evening (when did it start getting dark early?!). I was really annoyed all day due to a series of events outside of my control. I let myself be grumpy until the strides. I told myself to pound it out and leave it on the pavement. I’m not sure it worked, but my strides felt really powerful. Distance: 3.75 miles; Avg Pace: 15:49; Avg HR: 133

Friday, September 25th: 2 mile continuous run (no walking!). It was supposed to end in strides, but I forgot about them. Honestly, I wasn’t in the mood to run this evening but I am *thisclose* to having my highest monthly mileage ever so I made myself go. And yes, I did the math beforehand to see if I could still hit my mileage goal without this run. I could not, so I went. I ran in the evening again and I think it works well for me. Distance: 3 miles; Avg pace: 15:34; Avg HR: 140

Saturday, September 26th: Rest day, although my calves have been feeling tight on the last couple of runs so I spent some time with my massage gun.

Sunday, September 27th: 1 mile time trial/Virtual Main Street Mile. How did I do? You’ll have to watch out for the race report for that. 🙂

Week 2: 4 runs for 12.5 miles (3 hours and 6 minutes); 0.8 mile walk (15 min); 1 strength session (39 min); Total time: 4 hours and 1 minute.

So what’s your take on morning vs. evening runs? Do you prefer one over the other? When I run in the morning I am 100% mentally done with the day by about 1pm and it’s a struggle to get myself to stay focused and be productive, so I think I’m going to stick with evening runs (at least on weekdays) for a while. Plus it’s a nice way to unwind and create that boundary between work and not work when I live in a one bedroom apartment and I’m working from home (meaning, my office is a corner of my dining room – there are no boundaries unless I create them).

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