Monday, August 1, 2011

Train: Brain training for runners-week 9

Trail was still easy enough at this point for a photo opTwo months behind me, I'm now kicking off my third month in my Brain Training for Runners program. I'm feeling very committed to it, and not having any problems sticking to each day's workouts -- at least as far as the running is concerned.

This week I missed doing my drills (slipped my mind that day) and one slated resistance workout (slacker!); but, I did plenty of cross-training, including walking, yoga, swimming and some challenging mountain biking w/my husband at Brunet Island State Park in Wisconsin.

Week nine of 20-week half marathon training plan:

July 25 (Day 57 :: stretch + strengthen)
Stretch/Breathe 00:41 - Early evening yoga/qigong set on the lower porch. Back was hurting a little today, so this felt terrific.

July 26 (Day 58 :: 6 mi run)
Pine Lake Ln (swampy bog) 6 mi 01:07 11:11 pace - Evening jog (temp 79F, 51%hum, 6mph winds)...tough one. Was planning on doing this nice + relaxed because I have a race tomorrow night. Couldn't have pushed it any more than I did. Lack of enough sleep (up late writing + photo editing; a darn crow squawking loudly right outside bedroom window for about 30 mins early this morning didn't help) and I think even fueling wasn't good today (salad + a half banana didn't give me enough oooomph).

Side stitch beginning around 4.25 had me slow it down. Last two miles, no ego involved at all -- walked up three large hills. Glad to get this one done; but, it was a battle. Positives: lots of butterflies flying up at me from the grass at the side of the road and a deer intently watching me pass, also from the side of the road...I know I must have been a pretty picture, huffing + puffing, since it was so riveted by me that it didn't even flinch as I plodded by. ;-) Going to bed early tonight.

Splits: 13:00, 10:04, 10:10, 10:10, 11:15, 12:28. Elev gain: 290ft.

July 27 (Day 59 :: 4 mi intervals)
Demmler Park 1.81 mi 00:30 16:43 pace - Walk to packet pick-up + return T-shirt to car.


Owen Park 0.83 mi 00:08:28 10:15 pace - Warm-up before Tortoise & Hare 5K. Was already feeling that I didn't have any zip in my stride and it was just going to be a hard slog tonight.


Tortoise & Hare 5K 3.1 mi 00:28 09:03 pace - My first ever evening race (temp 76F, 89% hum, 6mph winds). Had planned to do this small local (Eau Claire, WI) Indianhead Running Club run intending it to be a novel + fun way to get today's training miles in. Sleep has been the weakest link all week (after a not-so-good sleep stretch last week w/the heat + no air) + it factored into things tonight, too. Woke at 4:30 this morning and never could get back to sleep, so I just got up + went about my business. Tried to take a nap later in the day, but wasn't able to nod off.

Blaming my forgetting to turn Garmin on at start of race on that -- or because I kept having to turn it + off + on to record different pre-race elements (walk to packet pick-up and warm-up mile).

Anyway, I started out the best I could; but, side stitch + no turbo boost in the caboose a half a mile into things pretty much sealed the deal. I hung on + never stopped to walk, but sure wanted to. There were unfortunately so many gnats that it sent all of us scrambling after the race was over; I went to my car to wait out the results but never got to see them, and I was so glad just to get over the finish line that I didn't note the time on the clock; if the race started at 7 on the dot, then I came in somewhere around 30 mins. No PR or anything. But, I enjoyed the race itself.

My dailymile race report. Official race results: 28:05.7 - 109/219 (overall) - 6/19 (40-49 female division -- would have been #2 in 45-40 AG had they broken it down in those groups)

Race collage

July 28 (Day 60 :: 30 mins cross)
Brunet Island SP 8.06 mi 01:16 6.3mph pace - Mountain biking w/my husband on Brunet Island, a state park we've never been to. When we got there, they told us their Nordic Trail was maintained and groomed for cross-country skiing, so it's a pretty flat course. hahahahah With all of the wind + rain storms the past weeks up here, there were large trees down all over the place. I think we must have had to lift our bikes over at least 10 on the course; lots of water-logged areas + other tree limbs down, too, making it pretty tricky.

Haven't done that kind of cycling in a long, long time (I swear I wouldn't any more, because I'm just not that good at it); but, we managed + had a really fun time sweating up a storm on a super humid day. Beautiful scenery.

I made a picnic lunch for us, and we found a quiet spot overlooking a small beach and the Chippewa River. Rode through the campsite area + was glad to see a lot of ppl in their campers and pitched tents. Love camping myself; so, I love seeing others having the chance to enjoy it, too.

July 29 (Day 61 :: 5.5 mi run)
Pine Lake Ln (swampy bog) 5.6 mi 00:57 10:07 pace - Evening hilly intervals run (temp 79F, 60% hum, 5mph winds): 5 mins pre-run dynamic stretches; 1-mile warm-up; 3X1-mile @ 10K pace (target: 9:28) w/3-minute active recoveries; 1-mile cool-down. Nothing special.

Worked hard to reach my targets. Was strong (enough) for the first 2 intervals + held on just enough to reach my pace target for the last one. Splits: 10:59, 8:55, 8:54, 9:28, 10:40. Elev gain: 236 ft.


Pine Lake (plochman's island) 710 yd 00:21 51:13 pace - Post-run sunset freestyle swim (mixed crawl, breast, back + side strokes). Refreshing + took time to give thanks for a good time on Pine Lake this month.

July 31 (Day 63 :: 9 mi run)
Long Prairie/Stone Bridge Trails 9.01 mi 01:31 10:05 pace - Morning LSD run (temp 74F, 88% hum, 3mph winds) started off sluggish (even warm-up mile was slow, considering this is a very flat trail), but found my groove after mile 2 + settled in. Nice to run after a long drive home last night. Went to sleep w/a belly full of late night pizza since I missed dinner, so happy I got to work that off, too. ;-) Lots of people out enjoying the cooler morning hours. Wildflowers are charming along the trail, now. Shade trees were even better than eye candy + kept me from being a hot mess.

Trng notes: This week's proprioceptive cue is Butt Squeeze -- contracting my hip/glute muscles the instant before I plant my foot on the ground + through the ground contact phase. This is hilarious. Cannot do it, and I'm a slow runner. I'm just finishing week 9 of my brain trng plan and have to say that all of the proprioceptive cues have been helpful, helpful, helpful. This one? Not so much.

Splits: 11:42, 10:27, 9:43, 9:34, 9:51, 9:57, 9:53, 9:50, 9:49.


Long Prairie Trail 0.37 mi 00:07:51 21:07 pace - Post-run cool-down.

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