Sunday, March 17, 2013

So Nice, I Did It Twice!

Saturday Workout: 8 miles, 10:52 average, Pace Gloves
Sunday Workout: 8 miles, 11:30 average, Connects

As this post's title suggests, I ran the same place two days in a row. Remember a couple of days ago when I fled Creepy McGee and also found a flat, snow-free stretch of pavement perfect for speedwork? Well, I went to scope it out yesterday and was reminded of how much easier it is to run on pavement, so today my body drove there without my mind ever agreeing to it. Funny how that happens.

Of course it was another bluebird weekend. This sunny streak is ridiculous. I'm pretty sure I have a light sunglass tan, and I totally have a watch tan. I'm obsessed with cold but sunny weather, so I've had a definite spring in my step. I'll have to remind myself of these few weeks when it's August and we're in our 42nd day of rain (no joke, one year when I came back to visit for a week, Anchorage was actually in its 42nd straight day of rain).

I didn't have high hopes for this pavement route, scenery-wise. It's next to the airport(s - there's a place where big planes take off and another place for little planes) and the FedEx complex so, like, industrial city. Not really up to my usual standards. However, the mountain views were actually pretty spectacular. Up where I live, you're up too high to really appreciate the Chugach as a whole. Down there, you pretty much see mountains everywhere you look.

Little planes! And a porta-potty I was super excited to see until I realized it's inside the fence. Not that I needed it, but living in New York made me a freak about bathrooms because you can't drop trou wherever you please in an emergency.

Besides jumping in terror every five minutes when a plane took off twenty feet above my head (that may be a slight exaggeration), it was a surprisingly serene place to run. I never run on roads, but these roads don't see a lot of traffic so it was more like a really large sidewalk.

Yesterday's run was the first of this training cycle where my legs felt tired (not to be confused with plain ol' pukey). It was a welcome feeling as it's all felt too easy so far, but it was also a taste of the  many, many tired runs I've got ahead of me. This was the first time I had to keep running when I didn't feel 100% and it reminded me that this running thing requires mental strength in addition to physical strength. Fortunately, I made it through just fine and felt great a few hours later. They'll all be that easy to recover from, right?

Like I said, I hit the pavement again for today's run, this time in the Connects. It was their first time on pavement and they passed with flying colors, although I was dismayed to see that after only a few runs, the traction on those stupid pod things is almost gone (the traction on the other parts of the shoe are fine). I saw this in a review I read prior to buying them so can't say it's a huge surprise, but still... they've only got 25-30 miles on them, most of those miles on snow! But hey, who needs traction, right?

I actually only did 2 miles on my new pavement friend before continuing down the road that parallels the Coastal Trail. If you had told me a week ago I'd choose to run on that road when I could just as easily run on the Coastal Trail, I would have called you crazy. However, the call of cement was just too strong, and after starting on pavement I couldn't handle going back to snow. I'm not sure if this is just a passionate but brief love affair, or if we're in it for the long haul. Stay tuned.

I'm glad I stuck to the road, because I ended up with some great views once I got out a couple of miles. Logan, I'm not sure if you're still considering it or not, but the Anchorage half marathon you were thinking of doing runs along this road before turning back along the Coastal Trail.

Interestingly, today's run felt much easier than yesterday's, despite having more miles on my legs and getting some elevation in (not a lot, but 350 ft. compared to only 60 yesterday). I'd attribute it to the slower pace and the more-padded Connects. Whatever the reason, I felt dandy. You're great, pavement! Don't ever change! Except when I want you to be lower-impact. Then you should turn into the softest of dirt.


I cannot believe I finished week 6 of marathon training today. What the what? This week had me shaking in my boots, but it ended up not being a big deal. I actually feel much better at the end of this week than I did last week, when I had some hip soreness (I pretended it didn't exist, did nothing to rehab it, and it went away of its own accord. I find that most of my weird pains do better when I just ignore them).

Here's a recap of the week:

Monday: 4 miles, easy
Tuesday: 7.25 shitastic miles including 12 x 400 (is that how you write speedwork? I'm such a noob)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday7 miles of sweet redemption, including 5 tempo miles (9:44)
Friday: 4 miles, easy
Saturday: 8 miles, easy
Sunday: 8 miles, easy

Total: 38.25 miles (yes, that extra quarter mile matters to me)

Say what?! 38 miles? That's only two short of my peak mileage week using Hal Higdon's plan last year (aka my highest mileage week ever). Crazy. I sure as hell feel a million times better at the end of this week than I did at the end of that one.

From what I can remember, the next few weeks will look similar to this past week. The jump from 24 to 38 miles seemed (and continues to seem) outrageous to me, but fortunately I survived it and now we're going to hang out around 40 mpw for a while. Phew. I'm not even totally dreading the 800s I've got scheduled for Tuesday (mostly because I get to run them outside and not on a treadmill). Oh, and I've done ab stuff every day for the past two weeks or so! This is big news.

Aaaand I'm out. I hope y'all enjoyed your St. Patrick's Day weekend. I know I certainly did!


  • Did you do anything special for the holiday? Are you wearing green? If not, I virtually pinch you (although I just realized I'm not wearing any. Such a hypocrite. It's okay, though; I had plenty of green going on last night)
  • What's your highest mileage week ever? If you tell me 100+ miles I'm going to punch you.


  1. Ooops. Except for Facebook and blog-land, it's easy to forget holidays like this when you're living abroad. I did nothing special, except wear green sandals. Except the color is official called "Green Bean". And yes, that is expressly the reason I chose THOSE particular sandals. [That and they are super comfy.]

    You wrote your speedwork correctly. All that's missing is a pace (on XXX) and rest interval (with XXX rest). BOOM.

    Also, I guess we learn from each other: I'm trying out your 'ignore the pains' philosophy at the moment.

    I was hitting about 50-60 mpw in my most intensive marathon training cycle... Nowadays, I'm hoping to crawl back up to 30-40...Oy.

    Glad to see this plan working for you. It's been really interesting watching your experience with it. I'm excited to see what happens over the next few weeks, and on marathon day. For now - keep up the good work, and enjoy that pavement! :)

    1. Thanks for the speedwork-writing formula! I knew I could count on you ;).

      I'm glad you're not bored of reading about the Hansons all the time! I was hoping it would be helpful, since in my searching I haven't come upon many people who have used their plan so didn't really know what to expect.

  2. Ugh your photos make me want to go there and run that race so badly!!! We actually changed our plans about a week ago because I wanted to go home to Colorado in July and then I am going o a week long rafting trip in September, so I don't have any vacation time (or flight money?) left =(. I really want to make it up there sometime, though - maybe next year!

    I wore green by accident - my normal "I'm at home and wearing my sweat pants and sweat shirt" outfit has green in it.

    I think I hit 42 once before I postponed the Hansons' plan...but I'm hoping to be working up towards the 60's here in the coming months.

    I'm glad the big mileage jump went well for you! I'm sure you are going to beat those 600's into submission!

    1. Well hey, Colorado's not a bad substitute! Mayor's Marathon isn't going anywhere.

      Thanks for reminding me they're 600s and not 800s! That sounds so much easier. I'll be interested to see how it all goes.