Monday, February 28, 2011

Who Woulda Thunk

On Sunday I had a 16-17 miler planned with 10 at marathon pace.  I woke up to a slushy mess on the ground and a slushy mess in my stomach (not sure what's up with that lately).  It didn't seem like the ideal conditions to run long (i.e. away from a bathroom), or fast (picture me sliding into a slushy face plant).  So, I bit the bullet and realized that if I wanted the run done right and with as little embarrassment possible, some of it was going to have to be done on the mill.  (man that mill keeps appearing on here lately)!

I did a 3.6 mile warm up outside and actually did keep it at about marathon pace.  (BQ Circa 2010 pace)  I was pleased, but still thought it best to run at the gym with my mom.  We got to the Y and I headed onto the mill.  I figured I would try to get about 9 miles done there, and only 7 of them needed to be at marathon pace.  Of course I did make a few pit stops before beginning this attempt.

I knew I needed to keep myself interested, because that's what kills me on the treadmill.  I feel like one mile takes 30 minutes.  I decided to flip between two types of miles.  Mile one was segmented into 1/4 pieces.  The first I would do at about 8:50, then 8:25, then 8:00 and then 7:35ish.  Then mile 2 I would run segmented into 1/10 sections: 8:20 pace, 8:13 pace, 8:06ish pace then rotate back.  Then I'd go back to the mile 1 pattern, then mile pattern and repeat.  I kept this up for 8 miles and averaged 8:15 (which is BQ Circa 2011 and beyond pace).  Then I did 1.5 at about 8:45 (I think).  I finished the treadmill portion of my run with 9.5 miles at 8:23 pace.  If you're keeping track, this technically means 13.1 miles at BQ circa 2010 pace.  I'll take it (and the 13.1 was completely by accident).

Finally, I had to finish my 16 miler.  I went outside (in shorts!) and finished it off with 3.2 at 9:36.  And I survived a long run that consisted mostly of the treadmill.  Never thought that would have happened.  I know some of you busy moms have done 20 milers on the mill.  Do I ever want to do that; absolutely not.  Am I starting to think it may be possible, maybe....

Happy Monday Everyone.  Today is my rest day, but tomorrow is back to a busy running week!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Surprising Benefits of the Treadmill

The treadmill is not my favorite apparatus.  I much prefer running outside, no matter how cold, windy, etc. As long as the roads are safe to run on, you will find me outside, usually.

Yesterday, my mom and I went to the gym together.  I took this as an opportunity to tackle a treadmill run. Because, you see, there are benefits.

1. There is no mental game about speed here.  If you want to go a certain speed, you turn it up.  What it feels faster than a 7:40 pace?  Well, you can't say it's the wind, or the cold, or the stop lights, or the icy sidewalks, or even the hills (cause you control that too).  If the 7:40 feels too fast, it's you.

2. I find myself reverting to the swimmer in me and making up fun sets when I'm on the treadmill.  I have to, in order to survive the mental anguish of such a dull machine (sorry it's hard to list its positive qualities without including some of its no so positive ones.)

3. It is cold out, and though I love running in the cold.  There's a fairly good chance that it wont be cold in Nashville on April 30th or in Burlington on Memorial Day Weekend.  Therefore, getting some indoor training should make that adjustment a little more possible.

Yesterday, I ran 2 main sets on the mill for a total of 8.5 miles.  My first set was 3.5 mile repeats (don't ask about the .5 I changed my mind into running my 8 mile run instead of my 5 after I finished the mile repeats).  First mile was at 7:54 then 7:45 then 7:36 and then 7:27/7:18.

Then I decided I wanted to do my 8 mile run so I hopped back on the treadmill for a 3.2 mile progressive run at an average of about 8:29.

All in all, a pretty good workout!  Headed out for a 12 miler in a little bit.

Have a happy hump day.  And don't forget today is the contest deadline. Guess my training mileage total with a $2 donation to Team in Training (per guess) and you can win a $50.00 gift card to a favorite restaurant.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Long Run Recap

Yesterday's long run was tough.  I can't really pinpoint why, though there were a few factors that seemed to be testing me.  I think I only scored a C on this one.

17 miles at 9:20 pace.  Wanted to hold under 9 dare I say under 8:50 really
My hamstring/butt/sciatica was ANGRY.  the.whole.time  (thought it's feeling a little better today)
it was 20 degrees which isn't bad, but with average winds of 15 mph and gusts of 31, it felt a lot colder
My stomach was angry in the a.m. and I don't I had much left to work with

Not really making excuses.  It just wasn't a good run and trying to decide how much of it was mental.  Certainly you have to have bad runs in a training cycle.  Way better to have them during the training than during the race.

For now, I'm keeping my 2011 goal of a 3:40 marathon.  No, that's no longer a BQ, but it's a goal I've had for a while and I have been unable to reach it yet.  Does it make sense to be mad at myself if I get the 3:40, even if it's no longer a BQ?  I don't think so.  One thing at a time.  Then I can readjust and go after a BQ.  When I swam in high school and college, I was nowhere close to qualifying for things like NCAAs etc.  It didn't stop me from setting personal time goals.

Currently I'm training for the Country Music Marathon, which I will run with Team in Training on April 30th.  On Memorial Day weekend I'm rematching with Vermont City.  Burlington is pretty much my favorite place on earth and so many of my friends are still there.  I can't wait for that race.  Then in the fall we'll see what happens: maybe Hudson Mohawk, maybe Philly, maybe even Baystate again.

Remember you can still enter the guess the mileage contest.  A $2 donation to Team in Training and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society can win you a $50 gift card to your favorite restaurant.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Holy Hills! (and a contest reminder)

Yesterday I had an awesome 12 miler.  I ran right from school and knew that I wanted to get in the 12 but also get in some speedwork. 

I've been playing with my own patern for speedwork.  Each week I try to include an interval workout and a tempo workout.  Yesterday was interval. My pattern has been Week 1 800s, Week 2 1200s, Week 3 Mile Repeats.  Then I start the cycle again.  It keeps things interesting, gets me to see what I can do, etc.  Yesterday I was at 1200s.  I don't do anything fancy with Garmin like set it to "workouts" yet, so I just change pace when I look at it and it's at the right spot.  (I know it would be worth the time to looking into my Garmin features).  I like the 1200s because, when I'm running hard for the 1200 and backing off for 400, I know my pace for that interval every time since the new mile starts with my next repeat.  I can't record this since the 400 easy throws it off in my final summary, but I have a pretty good idea of where I am at for each mile. 

That being said, most of my repeats were on pace of 8:05-8:25ish.  I think I could go faster and maybe should go faster, but 12 miles is long for me to do this type of workout and my elevation gain for this workout was 750, so it was quite hilly.  I was pretty pleased with how I did, and I'm feeling good today.  I ended up doing 8 repeats and an overall pace of 9:04.  My last 2 miles were super slow, but it felt like the right thing to do. 

I finished my run and went to Trader Joes and bought a Pure Protein drink.  I was dreading this puppy, but I knew I needed something for my 1+ hour drive home.  I didn't want all the calories in the protein bars and the less caloric bars had no protein.  So I went for it, and you know what, not too bad.  I'm hoping doing things like this helps my recovery through this cycle. 

People are still frustraing me by lying on their horn when they have to slow down, since I'm running in the road.  I don't remember people being so rude any other cycle.  I'm thinking of designing a t-shirt that says: Honk at me if you like cancer, Share the road if you want to help me fight it.  However, my bright reflector vest that I wear every day would cover it anyway. 

Well, that's enough for today.  Sorry for the lack of posts; I'm trying to find the time again and get back in the routine.  Reminder about the guess my mileage contest. A $2 guess that goest toward the Leukeimia and Lymphoma Society could win you a $50 gift card to a restaruant in your area.   Just read this post for more details:

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Bloggy Fundraising Contest!!!

Many of you know that I have been training with Team in Training for the past two years in order to raise money to fight blood cancers.  Currently, I am training for my 3rd event with TEAM the Country Music Marathon. 

As a part of my fundraising, I have developed a contest:

Guess How Many Total Miles I will Run in the 17 Weeks of Training!!!

Currently, after 5 weeks of training, I am at 189.2 miles.  The whole program, including the marathon is 17 weeks.  (12 weeks to go).  My mileage will top at about 60 miles a week (but that's only for 1-2 weeks depending on how I am feeling).  There is a 3 week taper at the end of the training.  I cannot predict: injuries, illness, and weather.  For the most part, I try never to miss a run. 

How to enter:

- Send me your guess/es through email or a comment on this blog  carlee dot brandom at gmail dot com. 
- Each guess costs $2
- You can send the $2 donation through my fundraising page:, or through mail (email me if you want the address)- Entries must be received by February 23
- Entries must be received in Mileage
- The tiebreaker will be: how many minutes did I spend running?
- You can enter as many guesses as possibe, but each guess is $2

How to win and what is the prize:
- Price is Right rules apply (closet to the exact number without going over wins)
- Throughout the training, I will also be doing random drawings using the names of people that have entered the contest for smaller prizes.  (about bi-weekly)
- The grand prize (for the winning guess) will be a $50 gift certificate to a restaurant near you.  (I can't tell you the restaurant yet since I don't know who the winner is or where they live).
- The winner will be announced after the race (April 30th) and the prize will be received shortly after. 

So, send me an email or comment with your mileage guess and your tie-breaker guess (How many minutes I spent running during this training).  And then donate the $2 per guess.

Hope you guys can have fun with this.  Spread the word!