Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Running with Jeff Galloway

Jeff Galloway
Jeff Galloway visited Orlando on Saturday, May 21 to kick-off our training program. We met at the track at 6 am. He mingled with runners for a bit, then talked to us about the program. I've met him and heard him speak before, but it's still very inspiring every time.

After his talk, we went for a short fun run with Jeff using 30/30 intervals. That's alternating 30 seconds of running with 30 seconds of walking. This is his usual intervals, and he can run sub-5 marathons every month using this interval, and as fast as 4:15! He even managed to average 9:30 min/mi for a half marathon with only 30s of running at a time. Amazing!

The shortest intervals I've ever done is 1/1, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I thought they would be too short and thus too jarring, but it's amazing how much faster you can run when you only have to do it for 30 seconds at a time. We averaged a pace under 12 min/mi, and I got to chat with him as we ran. So cool! I ran another 4 miles with my group, then quickly grabbed a bite to eat and changed before his running school.

The 3 hour running school was great. Most of the information I had already heard or read before, but there were a few nuggets of specifics I got out of it. But the best thing was just listening to him talk. He has a very conversational tone and it is very clear that everything he says is tried and true and backed by research. His answers to all of our questions flowed so naturally and I felt like I was talking to an old friend instead of an olympian athlete. I left there feeling inspired and eager to start training for my next marathon. We practiced some drills at the end of the session that I hope to incorporate at least weekly into my warm up runs.

Our Orlando Galloway training program official starts on June 4 with the magic mile. I'm sad that I'll miss it as I'll be flying back from Europe, but I'll be ready to hit the ground running with my group the following week. I'm so excited to start training for my next marathon and help others do the same!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Race Report: 2011 CF Duathlon #1

My 2nd Duathlon was a great success, and a much better experience than the first one. It was also far better than my last triathlon in the same course. I felt really strong and had a blast. My goal was to finish in under 1:30, and I nailed it! All my splits were faster than I hoped for too. Let's break it down.

Overall Results
  • chip time = 1:27:19
  • age group = 2 / 5 
  • females = 13 / 21 
  • overall = 34 / 50 
I woke up at 5 am, and got dressed. I opted for my green running skirt over tri shorts with my race ready singlet that has the built-in snaps for the bib and my "wanna race?" bondi band. We loaded up the car, grabbed a banana, and were on our way. We've done this race many times before, so we have the ritual down by now :) Packet pick up was quick and the swap nice enough. We got a tote bag and a nice t-shirt, though I wish they had the tech singlets like before. This was the 1st in a series of 5, and last year in the series some races had t-shirts and other singlets, so maybe there will be one in a future race.

Run 1 + T1 = 10:34

This is my official time, which includes T1, but this was clearly less than a mile because I am just not this fast. The time on my watch, from the start to the mat at the entrance of transition, was 8:33 + 2:02 for transition. The fastest I had ever run a mile before was 8:58, and I didn't feel like I was pushing that hard, even though I did push to run the whole thing to keep up with the pack while trying to keep my skirt from falling off. A friend logged it as .94 miles, which would mean a 9:05 pace. That's a bit more realistic, but still faster than I thought I was running. I guess the cool weather helped.

T1 = 2:02

Once in transition, I yanked off my skirt (was wearing tri shorts underneath), switched shoes, ate a shot block, shoved the gel I had in my skirt into my bra, put on my helmet and was off on the bike. A few things I could have done better at T1 was kick off my running shoes while I put on my helmet, and learn to run (rather than walk) with my bike. Mounting and clipping in also cost me some time, but it went relatively smoothly. 

Bike = 10.4 mi in 38:50 @ 16.1 mph

This is the time and distance I logged on my iPhone with Runmeter. I also mapped it on google, and this is closer than the advertised 10 miles (and also the distance I logged at the tri last year). The official results say 39:31 @ 15.2 mph, but that is based on a 10 mile route and includes the time it took me to walk from the exit mat to the mount line, mount my bike, and clip in. I started my app as I started moving, so mine is the average moving speed. Even though they only did top 5 overall, I had the fastest bike split in my age group, 8th fastest out of 21 women, and 24th out of 50 overall.

Bike Splits:
  1. 15.13 mph 
  2. 18.74 mph 
  3. 18.25 mph 
  4. 18.55 mph 
  5. 17.97 mph 
  6. 16.86 mph 
  7. 16.91 mph 
  8. 11.56 mph 
  9. 12.49 mph 
  10. 18.27 mph
Can you tell where the hills were? ;) Knowing that I would slow down at the end because of the hills, my strategy was to go out hard and push until I couldn't anymore. There was no sense holding back on a 10 mile ride. I'm thrilled I managed to average above 16 mph for most of the race. In fact, I averaged 17+ mph until mile 7 when the hills started and I began to lose steam, but I did even better than expected with those too. I just let loose in the downhills as much as I could then used that momentum to climb the hill.

The bike always makes me anxious because I fear of crashing into another bike while going so fast, but I always forget that we get really spread out on the bike, we have to keep at least one bike length between us, and being a mid to back of the pack I get the road to myself a lot. My training certainly paid off as I passed a lot people of people throughout the race and even on the hills when some had gotten off their backs and were walking up. I almost wish this course was reverse so we could do the hills at the start instead of loosing all momentum at mile 7 then trying to regaining for the last 2 miles.

T2 = 2:21

I'm a little surprised that T2 was slower than T2, but I think that's mainly because of the longer walk to rack my bike. Otherwise, I remember being in and out of transition pretty quickly.

Run 2  = 3.1 mi in 34:54 @ 11:15 m/m

This is the official time, which is 2 seconds faster than my watch. I didn't run with my iPhone since I had ditched the skirt with the pockets, so I do not know the actual distance, but the official results are based on 3.1 miles (not the 3 advertised). This makes sense and explains why my last mile was the slowest since it was actually 1.1. I took manual splits with my watch: 11:36 - 11:33 - 11:44 (1.1 @ 10:40 m/m). I negative split the run and I'm really pleased with the pace. I think most of my other duathlons/triathlon runs have been in the 12-13 min/mi range, so this is amazing for me. I initially planned to run with 3/1 intervals, but instead walked out of transition to get my legs back and drink some water, then ran until the first hill, walked up it, same with the 2nd, then ran except for the water stops. I really pushed hard during the last mile despite having a side stitch on each side.

Post Race

The post race food was great, even if I wasn't too hungry for it. In addition to the usual junk like cookies, donuts and chips (I did have some cheetos), they also had bananas, grapes, rice, and beans. I'm always really impressed with the support in this race, both during and after. I was a little disappointed that they only had top 5 overall for the duathlon, because I would have placed 2nd in my age group out of 5. That is significant for me, but it's ok because my amazing performance is reward enough. This was their first year adding a duathlon to the series, and they got a great turnout, so they'll be doing more with in the future. I'm thrilled to have another option right in my backyard.

Final Thoughts

This race was pivotal for me because it showed me how much I've grown as an athlete in the last 2 years. While it was not a piece of cake, because multi-sport events are challenging and cycling is not my strong suit, it was a lot easier than I expected and I exceeded my expectations. Riding with the Bike Bus has certainly made me a stronger and much more confident cyclist. I always feel amazing after doing these events because they are a bit outside of my comfort zone but oh so much fun. I just love the variety they bring to my racing schedule. I'm already plotting to do another one if I can fit it into my marathon training schedule.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Magic Mile in 8:25!

I didn't want to run when I got home, but Jason's enthusiasm rubbed off and made me feel guilty, so I got changed and headed out. The weather was fantastic, almost cold with the breeze, so I ran to the track to attempt another magic mile.

After a mile warm up, I went for it and was shocked when every lap was under 2:10 = 02:06 - 02:08 - 02:09 - 02:02. I paced myself perfectly, and still had enough for a little extra kick during the last lap. It was really windy, so the last half of each lap was a struggle but I didn't give up and I'm so thrilled with the results! This is over 30 seconds faster than my last attempt a month ago. I knew I was holding myself back, but I didn't know how much.

It's amazing to see how I've improved over the years, and I know I still have more in me.

  • 5.16.2011 - 8:25 (-0:33)
  • 4.16.2011 - 8:58 (-0:06)
  • 5.10.2010 - 9:04 (-0:11)
  • 9.13.2009 - 9:15 (-1:02)
  • 9.26.2008 - 10:17
Per the Galloway predictor formula, I'm capable of so much more with the proper training and optimal race  conditions:
  • 5K Race Pace = 8:58 min/mile (27:48) 
  • 10K Race Pace = 9:41 min/mile (1:00:01) 
  • Half Marathon Race Pace = 10:06 min/mile (2:12:19) 
  • Half Marathon Training Pace = 11:57 min/mile (2:36:26) 
  • Marathon Race Pace = 10:57 min/mile (4:46:40) 
  • Marathon Training Pace = 12:57 min/mile (5:39:04)
I can't wait to see how this year turns out as I push myself to my true potential! :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Practicing Determination


I know that a well designed training plan includes a variety of components. The most common ones are endurance and speed. I also know that rest is a key component of training, and just as important as putting in the miles or doing speed work. I even know the importance flexibility, core, and strength training, even if I often don't make enough time for them. Today it dawned on me that I often forget a really key component that needs to be practiced -- determination -- or pushing past my limits, be it physical or mental.

All the endurance and speed in the world won't do me any good when I need to dig deep at the end of a race but I feel like quitting. Forcing myself to work out when I don't want to without a good enough reason, and having it be a really good workout, exercises that part of my brain that looks for excuses when I don't want to push myself. I am capable of so much more, but I often hold myself back. Before both of my rides today (to and from work), I tried to convince myself that I shouldn't ride. I had all kinds of excuses: sleepy, too tired, hip hurt, long day at work, it's hot, blah, blah, blah. I managed to suck it up and get out there, and I had 2 great rides.

Saturday cannot come soon enough. I'm so ready for this duathlon, and this week is taking forever! Seriously, how is it only Tuesday? Since this was my last training ride before the race, I dropped off my road bike at Kyle's Bike Shop on my way home to get a tune up and a makeover -- I'm finally getting new bar tape installed that I bought over a year ago.  When I get it back Thursday night, I'll need to remove the bike rack (this is usually my commuting bike) and switch out the pedals as I'll wear my road shoes for the race instead of my bike sandals =P

I'm so ready for Saturday to get here already!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Hill Repeats, Bike Month, Century Ride

1) Hill Repeats w/Jason

Yesterday I got to run with Jason, since he needed an easy run. His easy pace is near my race pace, or at least tempo pace, so it's always a great workout for me that pushes my limits. To further prepare for next weekend's race, I wanted to do some hill repeats. While Florida is mostly flat, we do have pockets of hills here and there. There is a block near my apartment with a reasonable steep hill. We ran 4 loops around this block. As if hills weren't tough enough, it was a speedy run for me as I tried to keep up with Jason's easy pace =P

We ran a total of 3 miles in 32:47, for an average pace of 10:51 m/m, which is pretty fast for me outside of a race even without the hills, so I'm super proud of it. I did a pretty good job keeping up with him for the first mile, which I ran in 10:21.  Mile 2 was 11:45, which included the hills and short walk between repeats. I was pretty tired after that and wanted to quit at 2.5, but Jason wouldn't let me. I took a walk break instead then pushed through to finish mile 3 in 10:26. This was a tough workout, yet kind of awesome =P There's a kind of awe that comes with conquering hills and despite the fatigue and pain, I felt really strong and all the more ready for this race.

2) May is National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, and I've been busy planning social rides for Commute Orlando and Bike/Walk Central Florida to celebrate and get people out riding their bikes.

The fun starts tomorrow morning with a bike bus to Infusion Tea to join the Mayor's Bike to Work Ride and be part of Orlando's First Bicycle Flash Mob. We hope to have a huge turn out, shoot lots of video, and put it on YouTube. So if you have a bike, any bike, talk to your boss about coming in a little later and join us as we make history!

The celebration continues throughout the month with an Ice Cream Ride on May 14, Cycling Savvy on May 21, and Geocaching with the UCF Bike Bus on May 22. Check out Commute Orlando for all the details.

3) CF Cycle For Life

I'm finally going to train for a century ride. This morning I registerd for the CF Cycle For Life charity ride hosted by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and supported by Orlando Cycling Savvy, who will assist with route development, rider information materials, and a century training program.

From the CF site:
A memorable ride through some of the most scenic terrains in Central Florida, starting and finishing at Lake Sylvan Park in Sanford, FL and traveling through Seminole and Orange counties. You have a choice of three mileage options; 100 miles, 65 miles or a less challenging 35 mile route. Cycle at your own pace… this is not a race!
I'll be riding as part of the CyclingSavvy Team. I know I can at least do the 35 miles, but I want to push myself and do the full 100 miles. Since I'll also be training for a marathon in November, I'll train for the full century if I can but have the option to fall back to a shorter route if needed.

If you'd like to donate, or join the CyclingSavvy team, visit my CF Page.

Cinco the Mayo Special!: Today only, registration is just $5. You will still need to raise a minimum of $150 participate in the ride.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

April 2011 Recap

April was a great month. I ran a half marathon and 2 5Ks, one of which was a new PR in under 31 minutes! I started biking to work regularly again and logged the most miles biked since August. I'm feeling really strong on the bike, constantly averaging 14+ mph on our commute to work without feeling like I'm going to die lol I'm feeling really optimistic for the duathlon next weekend. Just in case, I'll be doing another hill workout this weekend because that will be my weakness. May is shaping up to be a great month too.

Goals/Races for May 2011
April Accomplishments

April Stats
  • walk = 26 miles
  • run = 51 miles
  • longest run = 13.1 miles
  • # of runs = 10
  • bike = 216 miles 
  • longest bike = 18 miles
  • total = 292 miles / 39.5 hrs (avg 1.3 hrs/day)
  • home-cooked meals = ??  (goal 90%)

2011 Goals Progress

To be on track, percentages should be around 33%
  • Run/walk
    • 352 / 1100 (32%)
    • 88/mo
    • 22/wk
    • 3/day
  • Bike
    • 534 / 2000 (27%)
    • 134/mo
    • 33/wk
    • 5/day
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