Wandering with a Purpose

Author: therosywanderer (Page 1 of 11)

2023 Dopey Training Week 5/6: July 25 – Aug. 7

This is a catch-up post because I didn’t write during these two weeks of training. Not sure why, but it just slipped my mind.

Training Week 5: July 25 – 31

This week was hot. It was just humid and hot. My Tuesday and Thursday runs were lackluster. I felt slow and sluggish, but I got both runs done. I didn’t do anything on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday – just pure laziness.

On Saturday, I did a 16-mile “run.” Since my weekday runs were not great, I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the full 16. Instead of doing a run/walk pattern, I opted to speed walk the full distance. This helped keep my confidence high and not get discouraged like on my 14-mile run. The other change I made was to do loops where my house was in the middle. I first did 6 miles, and then I stopped at home to get some Nuun and a wet rag. Then I went out for another 6 miles before stopping at home again. Then I went out for my final four miles. Those breaks helped a lot. I did the full distance in 4:06 which averaged a 15:23/pace. Well above any goal pace, but Coach said it’s training and walking is beneficial. I was below a 15-minute pace until mile 7 – then it keep increasing. At mile 11, I was over a 16-minute pace. I didn’t feel great, but I was happy to be done. It was just so hot.

Training Week 6: August 1 – 7

Monday I did get in a 10-minute yoga session – but that was all. Didn’t even close my green ring! My two maintenance runs this week were okay. Tuesday I did a 3.2-mile tempo run which averaged a 12:31 pace. My tempo portion was only at 11:51, which really made me mad. Thursday I got in 4 miles on my drill day. Wednesday, I did my final bike ride before Pelotonia and completed 4.5 miles. I felt ready to go since a bike ride doesn’t feel like a lot of work…

The big highlight of the week was going to Columbus for 2022 Pelotonia! On Friday, I drove to Columbus for the event. On my way, I finally stopped to tour the West Virginia State Capital in Charleston. It was nice to get some walking in during a road trip, especially by seeing something that I find really exciting. I love to tour state capitol buildings. I’ve been traveling on I-77 between North Carolina and Ohio my whole life. I’ve always seen the beautiful gold dome of the WV capitol building but have never stopped to actually see it. I’m so glad I finally toured it!

Pelotonia was quite something! I have a full recap here, but a high-level summary is that it’s an event to raise money for cancer research. It was my first time riding 20 miles. Read about my takeaways in the recap because I definitely learned a lot!

Takeaways

These past two weeks really got away from me. I’m not sure if it’s the summer heat, but I was really sluggish and unmotivated. Pelotonia was a great experience, and I am really glad I got to do this with my brother. Now, it’s on to training week 7!

2023 Dopey Training Week 4: July 18 – 24

The weeks are just flying by! We are four weeks into 2023 Dopey training, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m sticking to my schedule and doing what I’m supposed to do, but, like last week, I don’t feel confident at all.

Monday

Today was a pretty lazy day. I only did a 10-minute core workout, which is, unfortunately, an improvement on my Monday workout session. I’m struggling to feel confident, and I know the two things that would help would be strength training and losing weight. Strength training should help lose weight, so why don’t I prioritize it? Ugh!

On a fun note, I got my new Macbook Air M2 today! I had a Macbook Pro 2011, and I had been waiting the last few years to get a new Macbook. My old one is still a good computer (I love Mac quality), but I couldn’t really upgrade the OS anymore. Not a big deal because most of what I do is web-based, but I also wanted a new computer. The difference in 11 years of technology is just outstanding! Just look at the screen and the size. I’m quite excited!

2011 MacBook Pro vs. new MacBook Air M2

Tuesday

Tuesday is tempo day, and I’m focusing on trying to PR the Around the Crown 10K in just over a month. Overall, my total pace was 11:58/mile, which includes a 30/30 warm-up and cool-down. I did 2.16 miles at 90/30, but it was only at a 10:53 pace. According to my MM pace, I should do a 10K at 10:19/mile, but I’m not sure how to do this. I felt like I was sprinting to do what I did. I got in a total of 3.5 miles, but I was really frustrated.

Wednesday

Just a small, slow walk. I was feeling sluggish, so it only ended up at 1.89 miles at a 16-minute pace. Boo.

Thursday

Thursday’s training was drill training. My cadence drills again ranged from 41-45 or so. I feel like I should be able to do more, so I must be missing something from this exercise. Overall, I did 3 miles in about 44 minutes. My overall pace was 14:37/mile because I was really slow on the warm-up. I hate that I keep saying that “I wasn’t feeling it” because I do want to get out there. I’m just so, so sluggish. Despite being slow going, I did do squats, lunges, and calf raises when I finished, so got in a little strength training.

Friday

I did a short 10-minute pilates workout to help my core. Friday night I was so tired and skipped an event at my church and went to bed before 8 pm.

Saturday

Despite an early bedtime and the dogs sleeping all night, I didn’t feel well when I work up Saturday morning. I was planning to do my speedwork on Saturday so I didn’t have to get it in before helping in the nursery tomorrow. Based on how I felt, I just couldn’t do it. I wasn’t much in the mood for walking let alone speedwork. The pups and I had a slow morning, and I hoped I would feel better by the afternoon.

Sure enough, I didn’t feel so bad later and did the long bike ride I planned for Sunday that afternoon. I took my bike to the greenway for some shade and to ride without stressing about cars. When it’s really humid out, a bike is nice because it creates an automatic breeze.

Because it was so hot and humid, I brought a water bottle with a Nuun sport tab. Part of the issues I have with hydration have to be related to electrolytes. Despite the Salt Tab label listing it includes all 5 electrolytes, my running group said you still have to drink electrolytes; Salt Sticks are not a substitution.

I was about 4 miles into my ride when I stopped to take a drink. I didn’t want to slow my ride, so I went to pause my watch and I stopped the workout instead! The agony! Has anyone done this? I just hate it because now the workout will look shorter, and you wonder if you should just redo it. Sigh. I told myself that is dumb and to get over it. Therefore, by the end, I did a 3.77 mile and 7.22 mile bike ride back to back. Not quite 11 miles, but I could have done 11 miles if it was showing on my watch. The dumb things technology makes you do…

Pelotonia is in two weekends! I’m really excited to do this event and am feeling comfortable that I will be able to complete the 20-mile ride. My fundraising goal is complete, but if you’re interested in helping support cancer research, please feel free to donate here. Any size donation is meaningful!

Sunday

Speed workout day was finally here. I tried going to bed earlier and planned on waking at 4 am, but I was still so tired. It was 4:45 am before I woke up and finally got out the door around 5:30 am. I forced myself to eat a Honey Stinger waffle and brought a Ucann gel with me. I wasn’t sure I was going to use it, but I probably should to practice and because it would total 8 miles when I finished.

The dew point was around 67 degrees. I don’t know a lot about the dew point, but it has been mentioned in several running blogs and podcasts since it relates temperature to humidity. All I knew was that I just needed to do the workout. I walked a lot of my warm-up and then busted the 800-meter speed portions. Unfortunately, while I thought I was sprinting (which you shouldn’t do), I didn’t meet my goal times. My 800-meter time should be 5:05, which I only surprassed on my fifth round. All my other times were higher, which is very upsetting.

spadework segments

But survive I did. That was my second time completing a speed workout, and I can see how this can help you improve. I would still like to find a track to use, but this setup is working okay.

Takeaways

This was not a great week, but I did the workouts I needed to. I hope to start feeling better so I can embrace these workouts more and add in more strength/flexibility exercises. Next week, I need to watch my diet and eat more energy-rich foods. It’s still going to be hot, and next weekend has a 16-mile run on the calendar. Whew!

2023 Dopey Training Week 3: July 11 – 17

Week 3 of Dopey training is in the books. It is definitely summer in North Carolina, so it is really hot and sticky. This week was okay, kind of like last week. I managed to get in all of my runs, a bike ride, and some yoga. While I didn’t do “formal” strength training, I am adding in some exercises after my runs.

Monday

No real workout today. Churchill had a vet appointment, and then I had to get to work. I did some stretching after work but basically took it easy.

Tuesday

Tuesday is tempo day. I did my 10-minute warm-up at 30/30 ratio then switched to 90/30 ratio, hoping to hit a 10K pace of 10:19. This is what my Magic Mile predicted pace would be according to Jeff Galloway. If I can hit this (and sustain it), I can PR Around the Crown 10K on Labor Day weekend. It’s my goal to PR, so I will keep working towards this.

My pace was 11:41, which is way off, but I was also feeling way off that morning. Just super sluggish. Total workout time was about 37 minutes.

Wednesday

Today I got in a 5-mile bike ride. It’s funny about bike rides because they are encouraged, but I don’t feel like it’s a workout like a run. I just rode around my neighborhood and luckily didn’t have any encounters with crazy people in their cars. Pelotonia is in just a few weeks.

Thursday

Thursday is drill day. I’ve been keeping my intervals at 30/30 for these days so I do a warm-up, then cadence drills for 5 minutes, then acceleration gliders before making my way home. My pace stays about the same (low 13:00), which I’m not sure if that’s good or not.

Friday

Churchill had to go back to the vet today because, on Monday, they spilled his blood sample. The poor little guy had to redo this. I decided to do a full 30 minutes of yoga before bed, which was very nice. I was able to clear my head and actually focus on the exercise.

Saturday

Today went wrong in every way. The dogs were up at least once every hour starting at 11 pm. My goal was to wake at 4:15 am, but I was so exhausted that I hit my snooze until 5 am. Finally, I pulled myself out of bed because I knew how brutal the heat/humidity would be if I waited any longer.

I finally got my tail out of the door around 6:20 am for a 14-mile long run. The set pace for my long runs is 13:40. On our Tuesday call, Coach Twiggs referenced this as a stop sign. You can go slower, but you aren’t supposed to speed. I changed my ratio to 20/30 to try to slow down to this on my last run, which worked okay.

For the first 6 miles, I was definitely speeding. I kept trying to slow down, but I was having a hard time without constantly walking. My other goal was to worry about fueling. My fingers swell in the heat/humidity and Salt Sticks tabs are supposed to help with this, so I started taking them from the beginning. I had a Ucann gel around mile 4. I wasn’t hungry, but you’re supposed to stay ahead of things.

Well, I could feel the heat around the halfway point. Pretzels were my next snack, so I ate about 5 during the next mile, which was a win because I didn’t feel nauseous. I was still trying to keep up my ratio. By mile 9, I knew I couldn’t do it and gave up to straight walking. I took a really hilly route, so I could get some more exercise, knowing that I would be walking. Around mile 9, I decided to have my Honey Stinger gummies. They are yummy, but I was feeling nauseous around mile 11, so I have to think that is a cause. I just can’t handle sugar.

The END!

By mile 11, I couldn’t even give it a go at running. I really slowed my walk down. Coach says to just cover the miles. Well, I listened, and I got them in. It was ugly, but I did what was on the training plan. I was so wet from sweat. My legs were tired, my left calf was sore from mile 2 or 3, and my hands were swollen and hurting. But I was done and that was the biggest goal.

Sunday

It was another hot Carolina day, so it was nice to visit my parents and go to the pool. I was able to get in 45 minutes of light swimming. I know it’s doing something, but I never feel tired until I get out of the water. Maybe it’s because you don’t sweat in the pool. Not sure, but it was a nice activity to add to the training cycle.

Take Away

I have a lot to figure out with fueling and hydration during this Dopey training session. I love my hydration pack, but I was so tired by 14, I don’t know how I could do 26 (let alone 3 times in a matter of 2.5 months). Trust the training. Trust the plan. This is what I need to do, but I can’t help but think I need to run more during the week. I really want to be a better runner, but I’m not sure what to do.

Apple Watch Speed Workout Training Tips

I love my Apple Watch and wear it every day. They are expensive, so I cannot imagine having this and a Garmin, and since I like the integration with my phone and computer, I can’t imagine getting a Garmin. While the workout features are good, it is confusing to use your Apple Watch for speed workouts.

One of the components of the Jeff Galloway training program is speed workouts. These are a supplement your weekend long runs to help you go faster. Prior to joining Customized Training, I had heard runners talk about speed workouts and track workouts, but I couldn’t wrap my head around them. What were you supposed to do? How did you do it? What determines how fast you should do it? How do you know how many times? Since I found it overwhelming, I have never done any type of speed work in my training besides surges or running fast for a certain period of time.

This weekend, was my second speed weekend. You are supposed to go to a track, but I still cannot find one. The people on my group call said to use chalk to mark out 800 meters on the road and use those as markers, but I can’t find a half-mile stretch without hills. I can see how a track would be really helpful, but that is not what I will talk about here. I want to document how I used my Apple Watch for speed workouts to help me try to meet these time goals, in case anyone else is struggling to figure out the logistics to this. My first weekend was a disaster, but this weekend went much better.

Apple Watch Views

(Please note, I am using WatchOS 8) You can change the metrics displayed on your Apple Watch by using the Watch app on your iPhone and then scrolling to the “Workout” app. From there, you select the first option called “Workout View.”

Workout menu on iPhone Watch app

There is then a list of all of the available workouts, and you can select different metrics for each workout. I usually only care about the “Outdoor Run” workout, but you could change for anything. I should actually think about doing something for cycling.

Workout view on Watch app

The ones I currently find helpful are: distance, average pace, duration, current pace, and heart rate.

  • Average Pace is what I use during a long run to see if I am going at my total 13:40 goal pace. It will combine the entire workout’s average, so that is helpful with run/walk
  • Current Pace is what you are currently doing, which I found really helpful in doing this speed workout.

Another option is rolling pace. This option is what you are doing for the last mile. I am sure there are times when this is a helpful metric, but I can’t apply it to my needs right now.

Recording Segments

Something I found through research is how to create “segments” on the Apple Watch. Many times people talk about clocking laps on their Garmin. This is the same thing on an Apple Watch and so, so easy. When you want to “lap” or create a segment, you just double-tap the screen, and it will briefly show you the segment metrics. This is how I clock my Magic Mile in the middle of my runs. This is a game-changer, and I don’t think many people know about this on Apple Watch.

How to Use Apple Watch for Speed Work

By using a combination of the above, I was able to better monitor my speed workout. My steps were:

  • Record a 15-minute timed run workout for my warm-up.
  • Once this was completed, and I was ready to do my speedwork, I added a new workout for an open outdoor run. This cleared all of the metrics and let me work from scratch.
  • I knew I had to run 0.5 miles for the first speed section. Coach said to do this in 5:05, so that should be a 10:10 pace, and recommended a 90/30 run/walk ratio. I had my interval timer set for 90/30, but only followed it during a speed section when it told me to walk.
  • While I was in this 0.5-mile section, I watched my “current pace” and wanted to make sure it was below 10:10. In reality, it needed to be somewhere in the 9:00 range because I would need to add a walk break in at times. My run time was anywhere in the high 8 minutes to 9 minutes, but once I looked down and saw 7:57. It made me so happy, but I knew that wasn’t sustainable and backed off a little bit.
  • At the end of the 0.5 miles, I double-tapped by screen to end the segment and start my 0.25-mile walk segment. Here, I was told to do this in 5:05, which would be 10:10 x 2 or 20:20. I can’t walk that slow, so I decided not to think about pace, but just walk during these 400-meter times.
  • When I saw on my watch that I was at the next 0.25 milestone, I would double tap and get ready for my next 800 meters.
  • I would repeat this and count on my hand how many sets I had finished.
  • After I completed all of the sets, I added a new open run workout for my cool down.

The Results

You can see what it looks like on your phone in the Fitness App after you finish.

  • Yellow is how much actual time it took you to do the segment
  • Blue is the distance (in miles for my settings)
  • Teal is the average/mile pace of that segment
Segment display on iPhone

Challenges

This isn’t a perfect method, and I can see how a track would be helpful. A few of the gripes I have are:

  • It’s annoying to look at your watch a lot, but maybe that is just what you do in speedwork. I’ve never used a Garmin, so I don’t have a comparison.
  • I hate that it breaks up my run. I did about 7 miles today, but I recorded it in 3 workouts (1.something miles, 4.5 miles, and 1 mile). That just annoys me. I like to see a high distance number. I’m not sure if it would make sense to do them all in one for speedwork, but I think this is probably a better way to do tempo runs without knowing your current segment pace during the workout.
  • Not sure I needed to start a new workout if I knew the mileage after my warm up. If I ended the warm-up at 1.25 miles, I could just do the 0.5 segment to 1.75 or something.
  • I have no idea how I would do this if I had to really hit the 5:05 mark. “Current Mile Pace” shows your run pace then slows down a lot when you walk, but it doesn’t average them. At this point, the Average Pace metric doesn’t make sense because of the slow 400-meter recovery.

Apple WatchOS 9

This fall, Apple will release the new operating system – WatchOS 9. At WWDC they announced several really cool new features for running. One of them looks like you will be able to change your screen metrics to show “current segment pace” which would solve many of the problems I have here and when doing weekday runs. The public beta is supposed to be released in July, and I think I am going to sign up for it so I can use this feature. I don’t use my watch for much more than this, so I don’t think it would interrupt too many other activities if the features are buggy.

2023 Dopey Training Week 2: July 4 – 10

As many people have mentioned on Instagram, we are still in the honeymoon phase of training where things feel good and are manageable. I can agree with this on the running front, but I was a LAZY bum all of the other days. Sigh – how to keep motivated if this is supposed to be the honeymoon phase! The big downside to this week was the heat. This was the excuse I made on my cross-training days, which was definitely just an excuse.

Churchill and I celebrating July 4
Me and my best man, Churchill

Monday

Happy Independence Day! I was off work today to celebrate America’s birthday, but I celebrated by doing Run Charlotte’s American 4-Miler. Read a full race recap here. Ultimately, I was pleased with my performance.

Tuesday

Today was my scheduled rest day since I did my tempo run yesterday during the race. I was really lazy. I should have done something – a walk or yoga but NOPE. I did nothing but attend my group call. I had an event after work, so that definitely cut into any available time.

Wednesday

Today should have been a walk or a bike ride, but again, I didn’t do anything. I had to leave early for work and then felt it was too hot, so I didn’t do anything. I regret this a lot.

Rise and Run Pod

Thursday

Even though I had to leave early for work, I work up at 4:30 am so I could do my 3-mile drill workout. I was able to do my cadence drills (I think I got up to 48) and acceleration gliders. I think some people can get into the 50s and some even 60s on the cadence drills. I would love to know how they do it. I may have broken 50 one time. They say there isn’t an ideal number, but I feel like there should be a range.

On Thursdays, I get to listen to the Rise and Run podcast, which is one of my new favorite running podcasts. This week was the second installment of their Jeff Galloway interview, which I found very helpful and informative now that I am doing this training program.

Friday

Today was another lazy day, but I snuck in a slow 0.78 mile walk. Definitely, nothing to write about here.

Saturday

I set my alarm for 5 am and had intentions of doing my speed training at a track at a nearby middle school a neighbor told me about. He mentioned it had been a few years since he went there, so he wasn’t positive, but he knew he had run around it before. I got to the school and did a little bit of a warm-up around the school trying to find the track. Once I found it, I was sad – “Closed for Renovations. Do Not Enter.” I jogged back to my car intent on finding a track I could actually use.

I stopped at a local high school, and it was also not available. This was around the football field and there were tall gates prohibiting anyone from using the track. By this time it was about 7 am and getting more sticky. I was frustrated and decided to call it a day.

On my way home, I stopped and toured some townhomes that were under construction (very nice) and told myself, I would take my bike to the greenway for a trip. That definitely didn’t happen, so I ended up being lazy again. I did do a bunch of errands and projects that I had procrastinated but nothing good on the workout front.

Sunday

It was now or never. I had to get in my speed workout today! I opted to go to an area of a nearby neighborhood where I do my magic mile for this activity. Compared to the surrounding area, it is flat. The circle is about 0.33 miles around, so I couldn’t use it to measure the distance, but it would give me an idea.

Coach’s assignment was to run 800 m (0.5 miles) in 5:05, then recover at 400 m (0.25 miles) in 5:05. I was to repeat this 6 times after a 15-minute warm-up. Last time I had 4 sets, and I just couldn’t figure out how to monitor the times. This time, I think I did pretty well! I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but I actually ran most of the 800m segments faster than his recommendation. Afterward, I slowly jogged and walked a mile cool down. I put together some Apple Watch tips here.

All in all, I did about 7 miles today but it didn’t feel like that at all. I kind of liked the speedwork exercise because it changes things up a bit. I’m still wrapping my head around the logistics, but I can see how this can be beneficial. It was a slightly rainy morning (yes, I was a wet dog when I got home from the speed workout!), but the humidity broke and it was cooler, so it was actually a really nice day for a run.

I’m fitting in some yoga and strength exercises throughout the day on my Apple Fitness app and meal planning for the week. Here’s to a better Training Week 3!

Race Recap: 2022 American 4-Miler

The American 4-Miler is part of Run Charlotte’s 6-Pack race series. I had done the race in 2017, but the chip fell off my bib, and I didn’t get an official time. I am usually out-of-town for July 4th, but because it was on Monday, I decided to give it a try. This is also the first time I signed up for the entire 6-pack, so I might as well try to do them all.

As you can imagine, July 4 in Charlotte can be a really hot day. When I took the dogs out today, I didn’t think it was too bad. I left my water bottle out last night so I had it ready to go. This morning, I decided it “wasn’t as bad as yesterday” and that “it was only 4 miles” so I could make do with one water stop at the 2-mile mark. That was dumb. That was very, very dumb.

One of the reasons this was dumb was because I did 12 miles on Saturday and was so pleased with my new hydration pack. I love it. One of my best running decisions ever, so why I decided that two days later I didn’t need a small handheld will remain a mystery. Don’t be too tough.

The Course

The race was held in the midtown area of Charlotte, which is a really good location. We parked at a parking garage by the Trader Joe’s, who was a sponsor for today’s race. I arrived around 6:45 am for a 7:30 am race since I had to pick up my bib and shirt. For some reason, they changed the pick up on Friday to be on Saturday, which is really annoying. For anyone trying to go to the lake or beach this weekend, you would have to be there on Saturday. I was hoping to go on my way out of town Friday, but nope! I got it this morning, which turned out to be okay.

The 4-mile course would take us around Dilworth, which is a very familiar area to me. I usually drive around the area, so it was neat to actually run it. I’m horrible with directions, so I get from point A to Point B to Point E by Google Maps. What would have taken me a Google Map saga showed me how close things really were to one another.

Anyway, the race started with a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. I wish I would have written down her name because she sounded so wonderful! I love kicking off an event with our national anthem on a normal day, but today it was particularly special.

There were several hundred people at the race, so it was one of the better attended races for the season. When I looked at the results later, it showed there were 607 finishers, so quite a large race! I am always in awe of how many people sign up to do races. These people are either committed to doing something healthy or committed to a challenge. Think about how easy it would have been for them to sleep in or not make it back to town because of a lazy holiday weekend. Anyway, the DJ made his announcements, and we were off!

The Race

It was really busy at the beginning. I decided I was going to run this race at Coach’s prescribed half marathon pace, which was based off of my new magic mile (MM) time. This pace was 10:45/mile. In my normal training runs, I do a 60/30 ratio of running to walking, but I always feel like my time is high. On his recommendations, I am supposed to do a half a 10:45/mile and a marathon at 11:40/mile – both which would use a 60/30 pace. For the life of me, I cannot wrap my head around how you can change your pace in the same way. On Tuesdays call, I asked about this again and people suggested modifying the ratio. For this race, I decided to give 60/20 a try because I was told walking breaks should max at 30 seconds. Rationally thinking, I should walk less to go faster, right?

The beginning of the race was so congested! The roads were one lane and there were so many people. It’s so hard to do a run/walk in a race where people don’t practice that. At a Disney race, people will start that from the beginning, but at local races, that isn’t popular so people go all out right from the beginning. I tried to start further back, but I think I was too far at the front. Anyway, I eventually got to a part on McDowell where I could get on the sidewalk to take my 20 second walk break. From there I settled into my 60/20, where I would raise my left hand to signal that I was walking. Once I was about a mile in, more people were walking.

The course itself has some rolling hills, but nothing particularly terrible or notable. I was able to run most of the hills during my run time. But once I was a mile in, I knew not bringing my water bottle was a very, very big mistake. While the heat/humidity wasn’t anything like when I golfed yesterday, it was still horrible! I was already sweating and very thirsty. My goal became to get to mile 2.

Final Mile

The first mile went by in my steady 60/20 pace. By mile 1.5, I walked through one of my run times, but eventually I was at the water stop. Whew. That little cup of water, though, nope, definitely wasn’t enough. Again, I cursed arrogant Kristin thinking that it wasn’t necessary this morning. Humidity is no joke – water is needed. Eventually, I looked down in the second mile and saw my swollen fingers. Then I cursed myself for not bringing my Salt Stick tablets because my fingers hurt.

The third mile marker came right as I was about to start a walk time. I had definitely walked through some of my run times. I wanted to hit my 10:45 pace goal, but gosh, it was so hot. “Just be steady,” I kept repeating to myself. “You CAN do hard things,” was the other thing I kept repeating. I was listening to podcasts, so I had something to think about, but I was really ready for this to be over. I was surprised at how many people I was passing, but I’m sure they all went out too fast. This was just proof that my Galloway training was working the way it was supposed to work.

The nice thing about mile three was that I knew I was almost done. I didn’t even have miles to count down. I was behind a pair of women during this mile who were swearing the weather. One of the girls said, “this is bull****.” I chuckled to myself because, yes this was bad, but you signed up for a race in July. I mean, were you expecting to decide between a long sleeve and short sleeve shirt? That put my concerns into perspective, and I told myself to get on with it.

The Finish

I was sticking to 60/20. I was at mile 3.5, and my app told me it was time to walk. Do I run the last half or stick to my plan. I decided to stick with my goal of hitting 10:45/mile (which I was really close), and I opted to walk. It was hot, and I recall reading somewhere that you should add time to your goal if its hot, but I couldn’t remember the numbers, so best just to stick to my goal. I’m a Southerner, so man up.

Then I got to mile 3.8 or something, and my beep told me to walk. I rounded the final left turn and saw the finish line. Screw that – power to the end! I was on to the end. Not a full out sprint, but focused and going; it was a race after all!

I crossed the finish line to a song that made me happy, but I can’t remember what it was. It was surprising that I even passed a few people in the finish chute, but gosh, I was so happy to be done. I felt like I had gone swimming and, after finding some water, I really, really wanted a shower. Instead of medals, they handed out medal cups. This was my third cup I earned, but I miss a medal. I get that medals aren’t practical, but neither is a medal cup. Oh well, I know a lot of people like the cup, but I am not one of them.

In my dehydrated state (for the third time), I forwent my concern about germs and filled up my cup with water from the water stop. Run Charlotte is trying to be environmentally conscious and has you fill up your cup from the water bottle instead of having plastic water bottles. I agree with reducing the amount of plastic, but I hate not washing the cup first. On top of that, they still support plastic Gatorade bottles, and I don’t drink Gatorade! Be consistent or don’t, but I would really appreciate a bottle of water. If you want to say no bottles, then have a community Gatorade fill-up, too. <rant done>

Results

I was so proud of myself – my finish time was 43:00 which was a 10:46/pace. Despite the horrible heat, I basically hit my pace. I walked several of my run times during the second and third miles, but I was still about at my half marathon time. Hooray!

I didn’t stick around too long before heading home – a shower was required. Not bringing my beach towel was another regret like the water bottle. I was a sweaty mess! Also super proud I wrote my race recap the same day as the race – this is my new goal! 🙂

2023 Dopey Training Week 1: June 27 – July 3

I’ve really slacked at writing training weekly updates lately, but I think they were helpful for me when I was training for the 2021 Chicago Marathon. I started training with the Galloway Customized Training Program in April, so I am not following the Hal Higdon Dopey Training Plan or the RunDisney Galloway Training Program since Coach Twiggs created a training plan for me. When I signed up for the program, I told him I wanted to finish the 2023 Disney Marathon strong and in 5 or 5:15 time (I forgot what I told him). That is how he created my current training plan.

Instagram is abuzz with 2023 Disney Marathon training kicking off this past week (June 27 – July 3). The RunDisney training plan has a 3-mile long run this weekend, which is the plan a lot of people are following. I did a 12-mile run on Saturday, so my plan is a bit different. I decided to keep up with everyone, this week was my first “official” training week for Dopey 2023. The excitement and camaraderie makes the difficult training cycle more fun, so I am going to do updates based on this broader plan. The first of 28 weeks…

Monday

This is my rest day. I was supposed to do yoga, but I didn’t…I did fit in the speed workout I was supposed to do on Sunday. My business was robbed early on Sunday morning, so I didn’t get to do my first track workout then because it was too hot. (Don’t get my started on the idiot who tried to rob me and likely won’t have any repercussions to his STUPID actions.)

Coach prescribes a track workout to help with speed. Today I was supposed to do 4 x 800 in 5:15 (90/30 pace) and a 400 meter cool down in between in that same amount of time. I tried to go to a local middle school and use their track; I left because it said “no trespassing” and got nervous. Instead, I tried to use a neighborhood circle, but I couldn’t keep track of the time/pace/distance and basically botched the whole thing.

What I learned for this is WOW, this is going to be tough. This was only 4 sets, but my later training exceeds 10. I’ve never done a speed training before, and this is going to be INTENSE! That’s what I’m here for, and why I decided to work with a coach.

Tuesday

My typical Tuesday training is a 10 minute warm up (30/30 ratio) then 10-15 minutes at race pace (60/30), follow up by a 10 minute cool down (30/30 ratio). I did this with my neighbor, which it is nice to have someone to run with, and it was actually a nice morning. This generally works out to a 3-mile run. Overall, I did a 12:15 pace for the workout. It was a good run, and I finished in time to get ready for work.

Wednesday

Coach has me scheduled for cross training. I try to bike this day, but I decided to go for a walk instead, even though I should have biked for my Pelotonia training. Cycling is so overwhelming because I am terrified of the cars. When I walk, I don’t feel bad about using the sidewalk…

Thursday

Today is Coach’s drill day. I still go about 3 miles, but my schedule is:

  • 10-minute warm up (30/30)
  • Cadence Drills (keep on 30/30 timer)
  • Today I did a MM instead of race pace
  • Acceleration gliders
  • 10-minute cool down (30/30)

I kept my timer on 30/30 the whole time today but ignored it during the MM, but it was easy to do everything else with this timer. The thing I should note here is my MM. On Tuesday’s group call, Coach suggested I do a MM because I was really struggling to slow down enough to hit my recommended paces. This would be my 3rd MM a month or two, and since I know I haven’t been able to execute it well, I thought that was a good decision. I added in more walk breaks since that is the recommendation he makes to other group members. My “track” is a neighborhood circle 3+ times. I put my walk breaks at half way, at the start, and then repeated that 3 times, so it was 6 times instead of 3 times as I did on my second try. On my first try, I ran with 0 walk breaks.

I really don’t understand it, but I ran faster with 6 10-second walk breaks than I did with 0 walk breaks. It was a hot day, and I did a mile in 8:58; that is crazy! I don’t know if I ever did a mile that fast before! Super happy about this!

Friday

Today was a low-key cross train day, so I just walked for 2 miles.

Saturday

Today was my weekly long-run. I did 12-miles, which I did at a 30/30 ratio. It was really tough, but I was steady. Not sure I could have gone too much further, as I was excited to be done! Best of all, I basically hit my 13:40 pace!

Let me tell you, I’m so happy with my hydration pack. That makes a huge difference. I’ve been trying out Salt Stick tablets and using my vest, so I feel like I can sustain myself for longer. My fingers are swelling, but they don’t hurt like they usually do.

Sunday

For today’s cross-training, I finally got in my swim. It has been a long time since I got into a pool. but I know how beneficial it is. I walked to the pool before its opening. Having signed the waiver saying that I was adult and could manage the pool without a lifeguard, I was disappointed to find all of the gates locked. In a mature fashion, showing my real age, I jumped the fence. Yep. I’m 37 but definitely felt 15 again. The lifeguard came in about 30 minutes later, and asked how I got in. I couldn’t lie…

Even though it was hot, I did get in 18 holes of golf that afternoon and had one of the best games that I have done (I’m still a beginner). It’s just so pretty!

May 2022 Training Update

Even though no one reads this, I find updating my blog helpful for accountability. There are a lot of things I need to write for my training updates, but I haven’t prioritized a weekly update. Therefore, I have a lot of updates in my running routines, and I will do a high-level update here.

Customized Training Program with Chris Twiggs

On May 17 or 18, I started the Customized Training Program with Coach Twiggs, as part of the Galloway Training Program. I learned about this program on a podcast I’ve been listening to when Coach Twiggs was interviewed. When I first received the schedule, I panicked. It was so different than what I was planning using Hal Higdon Dopey plan. I was also overwhelmed because he had me running 26 miles in November with the race in January. The shock was a lot for me to take in.

Take it in I did, and I emailed him questions and comments. I also signed up for an extra 6 months (taking this program to 1 year) so I could see the full plan for Dopey. He has been really wonderful to work with and help with making changes. I think this Galloway program will be good for me to improve as a runner.

Upcoming Race Plans

With my new training program, I had to adjust the races I was signed up for. I was signed up for the Charlotte six-pack series, Cannonball half marathon, and the City of Oaks half marathon. I was toying with doing the Charlotte half marathon but Coach said that would be a challenging date. Instead, I signed up for the Kiawah Island Marathon in December to do during my Dopey dress rehearsal.

Favorite podcasts

Podcast have been both keeping me motivated and teaching me new things. My favorite running podcasts are:

I’ve learned a lot about running from each of them, and highly recommend them. l enjoy listening to them on runs.

Finding Community

I’ve been really nerding out to running but don’t have anyone to talk to about it. One of the things I hear in the RunDisney community is meeting virtual friends. Even though I have to have a limited relationship with Facebook, I decided to join some Facebook groups for Dopey people. It is neat to see the updates others have and feed off their excitement.

2022 Hit the Brixx 10K Race Recap

Sunday was my second race in the Charlotte Six Pack Series – the Hit the Brixx 10K. Brixx is a local pizza chain based in Charlotte. I’ve run this race twice in the past in 2016 and 2017. This time it was held in South Charlotte, whereas it used to start Uptown. I think this probably helps with logistics, since we ran through a lot of neighborhoods, which probably help with road closures.

The Race

For some reason, the race organizers decided to start the 5K at 7:30 am and the 10K at 8:20 am. This is Charlotte, NC in May, when the likelihood of heat and humidity is very high. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t start the 10K at 7:30 am and the 5K at 8:00 am or even 7:45 am. By the time we started, it was really hot and humid.

There is a party at Brixx after the race where they give you free pizza and pasta. There are also several beer vendors giving out a can of their craft beer. It is a really fun end to a race.

The Course

The 10K course went through a series of neighborhoods that had a good number of hills. It was a very hot and humid day. What was most surprising to me was they only had 2 water stops. Several people brought their water packs – those were the smart people! I should have brought one because I was feel really dehydrated towards the end.

I had just started my new training program with Coach Twiggs, so I was supposed to do a run/walk at a 30/30 run/walk pace. It wasn’t easy to run/walk at the beginning because of the crowded course, so I ran the first mile. I also felt like that was a good warm up (in addition to the mile warm up I did to do the 7 miles on my training plan). I then transitioned into a 60/30 split, but I was down to more walking in the second half.

The first 5K was a loop back to the start line, and then we went (south?) to do another loop of a different neighborhood. There wasn’t a lot of fun things to look at, but there were neighbors out cheering which I find really nice.

The Results

I’m not sure why, but I cannot find my results. I’m not sure if my bib wasn’t entered into the computer or what, but I cannot find my bib anywhere! Strava estimated by finish to be 1:06:57, but I did a mile before, so I’m not sure where this started tracking. If Strava is right, then I was just 6 seconds off my PR and the conditions were way worse than ATC10K in 2021.

Overall, I felt okay about the race. It was definitely hot and I struggled towards the end, but I feel good about what I did. I was a little surprised by the inefficiencies of the organization since they usually think through some of these details. Despite that, I would do this again in the future.

Training Update: April 18-24

What a week! With the beautiful weather, calmer allergies, and a successful Dopey registration, I was really motivated to get out there and be moving.

Monday

Monday was a lazy day because of travel. I did some stretching, but no real exercise.

Tuesday

Dopey registration day! I got in a 3-mile, easy run in the morning and wore my Dopey shirt to celebrate the date. I was really nervous about it, and it turns out I had every reason to be. It was a crazy day, but I was really lucky and secured one of the coveted spots. My run was nice and just what I needed to start the day.

Wednesday

Sometimes a walk is just what you need. I didn’t run in the morning, but I opted to enjoy the beautiful weather with a 2.69 mile walk and strength training.

Thursday

2-mile speed run

Friday

Nothing specific

Saturday

10K run went really well. Just a steady run/walk and I felt great afterward.

longest ride yet

Sunday

I completed my longest ride yet – 9.3 miles! It went really well and is almost half of my Pelotonia distance. I’m going to be able to do this! Just need to keep training, and I’ll get ther!

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