Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: Doing 5am Like a Boss

Week 7 of training for the Mystic Half Marathon is done...5 weeks left to go!

Total distance for the week: 26.39 miles

This week of training was great--I finally felt 100% after my 2-week-long cold, and I nailed my pacing for each run.  Only downside is that I am definitely starting to feel the fatigue of getting up so early for workouts!  With evening activities like Small Fry's Wednesday night swimming lessons, Mom's Night at preschool, my husband's nights at the library to do PhD work, etc. it is hard for me to run any time OTHER than 5am.  Which would be great, if I could get my butt into bed before 10-11pm each night...yeah, really need to work on that.  I struggled to wake up on a few of these days, but am proud of myself for not sleeping in and getting it done all week long.  Here's hoping I can keep that up a bit longer!

Monday: Rest.  I've decided to replace my Monday stretch/strength days with full rest days for the remainder of training.  Now that my long runs have gotten...long, I feel like it is more helpful for me to rest the legs on Mondays rather than working them out in some other way.  (Also, I hate strength training, so this decision was not hard to make...haha.  I KNOW I should do more of it.  I know...)

Tuesday: 4.5 miles, easy pace.  Nothing major to report.  I went out at 5:30am, threw in some hill work for good measure.  Felt good!  9:37 pace.

Wednesday: 8 x 400 intervals at 5K pace.
  With my cold finally gone, this was the first speed session in a while that actually felt good!  Difficult, but good.  I was able to keep to a jog between all the intervals except the last three (I walked for the two slow periods between those).  But I kept 5K pace for all 8 and felt like a strong-arm emoji at the end.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace.  I woke up, looked outside, and wanted to cry, because there was SNOW on the ground!!  Ugh.  Temps were hovering right near freezing and I was afraid of ice (my Stabilicers are officially retired until next winter), so to the treadmill I went.  Pretty decent for a treadmill run.  9:54 pace.  I also started watching the documentary Fed Up while running, which made me never want to eat sugar again...haha.

Friday: Rest.  I know a lot of runners that see rest days with disdain (because they'd rather be running), but I LOOOOVE rest day!  Because as much as I love running, I also love not waking up at 5am.  :)

Saturday: 5 miles @ race pace.  This run rocked my socks!  First of all, because I looked like a ninja:

I like to refer to this as my Claire Underwood running outfit (for the House of Cards fans out there).  My husband asked me if I was going to a funeral, and then I ended up running past an actual funeral at the cemetery near my house, which was awkward.

ANYWAY.  The weather was in the 50's, beautifully sunny, and by the second mile, I was able to tell (without checking my Garmin first) if I was going too fast or too slow vs my intended 9:45 pace.  I ended up with a 9:39 average pace by the end (NAILED IT!).  Holding that pace is definitely taking more effort as the race pace runs get longer, but I am really glad that these are part of my training--probably the the most valuable training that I'm doing this time around, if I had to guess.

Sunday: 10 mile long run.  I loved this run.  I was nervous about it in the morning--my stomach was not feeling great when I woke up (thanks to imbibing a bit more wine than intended the night before with friends...and also that hot sausage sandwich for dinner did me no favors), but I ate my toast and peanut butter, sipped on my water, and was feeling good by the time I left.

I experimented with nutrition again during this run.  Since I plan to eat something every 45 minutes during the race, I decided that today I would take 2 different food options with me.  At the 45 minute mark, I tried a caffeinated Gu Roctane gel.  Aaaaand commence immediate stomach cramps...noooo!  I started gulping water like crazy, and thankfully the cramps subsided.  They did come back occasionally (especially around the 7 mile mark), but never amounted to anything, thank goodness.

At 1:30, I ate half of a Honey Stinger caramel waffle.  Only half because I got so annoyed with trying to chew it, that I decided it wasn't worth it to finish!  I know several of you said you use the waffles as pre-race fuel right before the start, and after this experience I do agree that that might be the way to go.  It tasted good (almost like a Dutch stroopwafel!), but was a complete pain to eat mid-run.

Despite the stomach cramps, this run went great.  I kept a pretty steady pace, and even though I was getting sore by the end, I had a good amount of energy left in me.  I had negative splits for almost every mile (not by a lot, I was trying to keep it slow), and the fastest mile was #9.  10:20 average.  Can't ask for anything better than that!  And woohoo for double digit miles!  I haven't done that since my half last year.

I am linking up again with Weekend Update at Running 'N Reading (a fantastic blog for runners and readers alike!!).  Check it out!

How was your running week, friends?

What's your favorite time of day to run?  And do you often get to run at that time?

I love running in the early afternoon (I feel better hydrated/fueled at that time than I do early in the morning), but really only get to do that on Saturdays.


  1. Kelly, KUDOS to sticking with your training plan and for all of your great work last week! Woo hoo! Now...the scolding. I am definitely a morning runner; I am regularly up at 4:15-4:30 am and do the majority of my running (every once in awhile I'll decide to enjoy the sunshine after work, but not very often) very early. HOWEVER, I am also regularly in bed by 9 pm!! I can't imagine what it's like trying to juggle schedules with a kiddo, so I'm sure this has got to be a challenge, but you're going to have to try to get in bed a little earlier to support your training...pretty please?!? You can do it!! It takes some getting used to, but you've only got a few weeks of training to go and you'll be so happy you did! Congratulations on an awesome training week! Oh, by the way, I totally thought that you looked like Claire Underwood before I scrolled down and saw your comment about it - hahaha!! Thank you so much for linking up with the blog today!

    1. I knowww I know, I'm really bad about bedtime! I totally deserve the scolding. My oldest goes to bed at 8pm, so I like to have at least one hour to myself, and one with my husband, before I go to bed...haha. But maybe that "myself" hour just needs to become more sleep time for a while!!

  2. So great you are over halfway to your race. On weekday mornings, I run early like you. I can't imagine chewing anything during a race as I'm usually gasping. LOL. I would choke on the crumbs of a Honey Stinger Waffle so I resort to GU. Good luck with your training the next 5 weeks.

    1. Haha yes, I could see me choking on crumbs as well. I had to take tiny bites to avoid that! Such a pain. Gu will definitely work better!

  3. Nice job on your training. I totally hear you on looking forward to sleeping in days. By the time I get to Friday (fridays are usually 1 versus 2 workouts for me) I have every intention of getting it done before work so my evening is completely free. However, I am so in need of sleepytime by then it usually doesn't work. Have a great week and keep crushing that training!

  4. Great week! I love that you called your outfit the Claire Underwood ... .soo true! I think I will have to do that soon :D Jennifer @ Run Jenny Run

    1. :) A little stealth running is good for the soul! Haha.

  5. Nice job with your runs this week!! The Claire Underwood running outfit was pretty funny and then when you followed it up with running by a cemetery - nice! :) I am usually up at trying to workout by 5-5:15. I'm so excited that the sun is up earlier now so that I can get outside early to run!! Good luck with the rest of your training!

    1. Agreed about the earlier sunrise! I have a headlamp so I was running in the dark, but it is pretty awesome to not have to go out with that thing stuck to my head the whole time.

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