Race Envy + 50 mile week

I am pretty excited to share this article with you.  A reporter from the Staten Island Advance contacted me shortly after the Ironman for a quick recap of my race (time, event, etc).  After a short discussion, he reached out again for a more in-depth interview and ended up writing the below story which was featured last week in the Staten Island Advance. The full article can be found here.

si advance

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I had serious race envy this weekend seeing all the pics on Instagram and Twitter from those participating in Hood to Coast. I already gave my husband the warno that I want to do it next year.  I’ve never done a relay before but this just sounds TOO fun to pass up.  Now I just need to find a team =)

Last week ended my first week of marathon training.  My coach (more on that in an upcoming post!) has me on a 8-days on / 1-day off schedule, so I ran all 7 days last week. 3 stress workouts, 4 days of easy running. I finished the week with 50.63 miles – my first 50+ mile week since early April! So I am already basically at the peak mileage I reached for my previous marathon. In the first week of marathon training. This makes me happy. The fact that I finished the week with an easy 5 miler that felt comfortable and fast makes me GIDDY.

After the 2×2 tempo workout and 2 days of recovery/easy running last week, it was time for another toughie. This time it came in the form of 12 x 400. 12 repeats of any distance is tough. Throw in that the recovery was only 1 minute (of jogging which looked more like a shuffle by the last few repeats) and you have a really fun workout (and by fun I mean a puke inducing type of fun).  Goal time was 95 -> 92 per 400m (6:20 -> 6:08 pace)

The first few were tough because I was not used to what that pace should feel like. It was a constant speed up, slow down process and I found myself staring at my pace every 5-10 seconds.  I know that these paces will eventually become much easier to run based on feel and I won’t have to rely so heavily on my watch.  After those first 3 or 4, I finally settled into a rhythm and was working hard but not dying. And then the 8th repeat happened and I wanted to quit.  I guess I quasi-quit because instead of a 60 second recovery, I took a 150 second recovery. It took every ounce of motivation I had to hit “start” on my watch again.

Splits: 1:34, 1:33, 1:33, 1:31, 1:32, 1:33, 1:32, 1:35, 1:34, 1:34, 1:35, 1:34

So although I hit the times, I also needed that extra 90 seconds to catch my breath so I wouldn’t die. Had a 2 mile warmup and 2 mile cooldown. Total: 8.27 miles.

Friday was an easy day (5 miles at 8:04 pace ) followed by my first drill workout (EVER!). It included things like cone hops, strides, box steps, knee kicks and butt kicks.  Best part of the whole thing was having my boys at the back door cheering and waving to me the whole time. If the grass wasn’t soaking wet, I would have had them outside with me. Maybe next time =)

boys7

I had been dreading Saturday’s workout all week.  Not the whole workout. Just the last 2 miles. The plan called for 14 miles with a 2 mile fast finish. Last week I did a 10 miler with a 1 mile fast finish, so this wasn’t a huge change for me, but the thought of 2 miles fast after 12 had me a bit scared.  My legs felt a bit sore from the drills the day before so I began the run trying to convince myself that a slower-than expected pace would be totally acceptable.  However, by the 3/4 mile mark, whatever soreness I was feeling seemed to have subsided and my legs felt great. Strong. The first couple of miles were in the dark and I didn’t have a great idea of my pace until my watch beeped after each mile. I was surprised to see the times: 8:00, 7:42, 7:36. 

I spent the next few miles having an argument with myself. My brain was telling my body to slow down and save something for the last 2 miles. But my body was pretty comfortable with the pace.  So I decided to just go with what felt comfortable.  7:43, 7:44, 7:47, 7:39, 7:39, 7:40, 7:42, 7:43, 7:39. The weather was amazing. It was 60-65 degrees with little humidity and a crispness in the air that reminds me of fall marathon training. My whole body felt alive, happy, and excited to be on this journey again.

It was time for the final two miles.  The first .75 miles were into a bit of a headwind and I didn’t want to push too hard and not have anything for the last mile so I didn’t quite hit the time I wanted (7:18 instead of 7:15).  With one mile left, I began to gradually pick up the pace.  I pictured myself on race day being 1 mile from the finish line and having 7 minutes to cross to hit my goal time (which is still undetermined). Last mile: 6:51.

A run like this teaches your body to finish a race fast – regardless of how many miles you already ran or how tired you are.  It hurts during training but will give you that push you want at the end of a race.  

Splits

Splits

We spent the rest of the day outside enjoying the perfect summer day.

flying

We were all flying high Saturday afternoon

relaxing

Have you done a relay before? Hood-to-Coast? Do you want to one day?  

Do you do fast finish long runs?  

What was the highlight of your weekend? 

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I don’t post here every day, but I post all of my workouts (and other happenings) on Instagram on a daily basis {NYCRunningMama}.

For More NYC Running Mama training updates, pictures and ramblings, check out:

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    22 thoughts on “Race Envy + 50 mile week

    1. I was also suffering from race envy. HTC is one I really want to do in the near future. I’ve done 6 Ragnar relays and highly recommend them (Ragnar or otherwise). They challenge you in such a different way than a marathon does and what better way to get to see a new area than by running and driving through it?! Best of both worlds in my book.

    2. Awesome week of training. And great long run with a faster finish. Your training is looking solid! I’ve done lots of the faster finish long runs. This time around, I’m just in it for fun and endorphins so it all depends on how I’m feeling but always feels good to pull out a low to mid 7 min mile at the end of a longer run. Just a way to end with a smile (well, AFTER the fatigue wears off ;)). I’ve done HTC 3 or 4 times now but I had a serious case of race envy this weekend. Since we moved from Portland, OR to North Carolina for a year, we are very far from HTC. I had many people ask if I wanted to be an alternate or fill a spot and I had to say no. I’m sure you’ll find a team! Maybe you’ll be next on the Nuun Team. So fun! Wish I could do that all over again. Anyway, good luck with training. Nice stopping by here.

    3. Nice job on the workouts! Are you keeping up any of the cycling and swimming from triathlon training or just running these days? I always found it easy to stop swimming but hard to stop biking when I would switch from triathlon to marathon training mode :-)
      I love fast finish long runs. I find it harder to throw in fast miles early in the run as opposed to later – I guess I need the extra “warm up”.
      Andrea @ The Fit Scoop recently posted..Shower WeekendMy Profile

    4. That’s so awesome about the article!

      I would LOOOOOVE to to Hood to Coast some day! It looks so awesome!

    5. Congrats on the article! You have probably posted this but I have not read many blogs lately with the chaos of kids going back to school- what marathon are you training for? Sounds like you are starting out strong and solid. Great job on a 50 mile week- especially with 3 tough effort sessions. My coach has had me doing 400 repeats lately too. They are tough but I know they work! Keep it up girl!
      Tia @ Arkansas Runner Mom recently posted..Running to Improve VS. Just RunningMy Profile

    6. Congratulations on the article! That’s awesome!! And awesome job on all your runs this week, especially the fast finish long run. My last 2 miles of my 13 this weekend were my fastest of the day as well, so I know your feeling (of course, no where near as fast as you!). I totally want to do another relay someday – I did a Ragnar Relay in 2011 and would LOVE to do another Ragnar someday. And Hood to Coast definitely would be one to do as well!! Maybe you could put together a Mom-Blogger team!
      Lani (@armytbonegirl) recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    7. Congratulations on the article! That’s awesome!! And awesome job on all your runs this week, especially the fast finish long run. My last 2 miles of my 13 this weekend were my fastest of the day as well, so I know your feeling (of course, no where near as fast as you!). I totally want to do another relay someday – I did a Ragnar Relay in 2011 and would LOVE to do another Ragnar someday. And Hood to Coast definitely would be one to do as well!!
      Lani (@armytbonegirl) recently posted..Wordless WednesdayMy Profile

    8. I love a fast finish long run like that! It’s how my body likes it and it also is such a confidence builder. Way to get it done.

      Excited to hear about who your coach is! And sitting at 50 now is great–btw, did you decide on which marathon?
      misszippy1 recently posted..Who’s afraid of the dark?My Profile

    9. That was an AMAZING long run! Great job! I have never done a relay, but I must admit, like you the pictures from HTC had me quite jealous! My workouts have all gone for the most part well. I have been following a new plan and I like the workouts…I just hope they help come marathon day!!! Today I had a 5 mile tempo. I am terrible at getting my splits just right, but my last mile was fastest, so I was happy :). I am working more on stamina than speed for a bit….hoping that will help me to hold my pace for the marathon.
      Your boys are precious! Have agreat day!
      Jen recently posted..The big 26.2!…a mile to a marathon…part 4My Profile

    10. HTC is on my radar too. I was on the Livestrong team for 2008 and had to back out when my mother in law fell very ill and admitted into ICU. RedCross brought James home from Iraq, it was very scary. Luckily she pulled through, but the desire to do the race hasn’t gone away. I’ve been trying to form a team for next year but it’s hard to find 12 people who want to do that. So far I have about 5 or 6 other bloggers who want to do it as well. I’m sure teams will be fighting to have you represent them you are way awesome!
      Adriana @Laced Up With Lipstick recently posted..Friday Feature Profile: Meet the Bloggers Behind Cookies On The RunMy Profile

    11. I have always wanted to do a relay.. i have looked into Ragnar, i just don’t know if i have enough runner friends who would be willing to form a team!! Seems like such a fun thing to experience!!!!

    12. I was thinking about you yesterday when I saw all the IM tweets and updates! Had a few friends I was following. Nice job on the fast finish- runs like that always hang over my head… just thinking about those last two miles or however many minutes the fast finish is scheduled for! Your splits were nearly perfect the entire run!
      Lindsey Hein recently posted..CRRG Summer Series 5K #2 – Another tryMy Profile

    13. COngrats on the article, such a great read! Also congrats on 1st week of marathon training, kicking it off with a bang too.

      I do try and do fast finish long runs, it makes a big difference in training for endurance races or actually any race. The ability to dig deep and finish strong is something that takes time and practice.
      Laura @losingrace recently posted..Wineglass Training Week 5 (with a side of RICE).My Profile