Tiki tiki tiki tiki tiki run (comments welcome)

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
8/30 outdoor interval run
Planned: 1 mile warmup + 8 sprint intervals @180-194 peak HR (45/60 work/rest splits) + cooldown -- 3.0 miles total
Actual: 1 mile warmup + 8 sprint intervals @180-194 peak HR (45/60 work/rest splits) + cooldown -- 3.0 miles total

I made a few adjustments since my last interval run, and am happier with this result.
  • I downloaded an interval timer app on my phone, as suggested by @Naomeri, which helped me maintain consistent timing without have to carry or look at my phone.
  • I used the Workout app rather than the Strava app, so I could define segments and better track my performance afterwards
  • I extended my warm-up to a full mile to make sure my HR started from a solid base of 150+
  • I extended my splits from 40/60 to 45/60
  • I just pushed a bit harder, and more or less hit the HR targets I was going for (in my peak zone for the last 6 of 8 intervals, peak of 188). I actually programmed my timer for 10 intervals, figuring that if I didn't push hard enough I could tack two more on at the end. After 8, I was pretty spent.
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My sprints varied from 6:09 to 6:59 (excluding my first interval, when I was trying to figure out how the watch segments worked and lost 5 seconds). Side note: people who run these paces for a full marathon are not human. Demigods, maybe. Aliens, perhaps. But not human.

My HR hit my target zone by the 3rd sprint interval, as opposed to last time when my HR wouldn't break 180 until the 5th or 6th sprint. Most of this workout was really doing what it needed to do.

I did take walking rest intervals after the first few; that isn't my preference, but I wanted to focus on giving a full effort during my sprints. The humidity was giving me a hard time and I felt like I needed to recover better.
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
8/31 outdoor easy run
Planned: 5.0 miles @140-154bpm (12:51/mile; 13:25/mile adjusted)
Actual: 5.0 miles @141bpm (13:00/mile; 12:30/mile adjusted)

A solid and enjoyable easy run! I was pretty disciplined about my pace in the first mile, then picked it up a bit once I'd fully warmed up and settled in. I watched my HR, and set a floor of about 12:30 so I wouldn't overexert myself. The full run was on the low end of my target HR range.
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The real headline news here is that, with my 9th run on this ~2-mile stretch of greenbelt trail, I've become a Strava Local Legend!
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Admittedly this is for effort, not for speed: my PR on this segment ranks 272 out of 291 (woof!) and at 22:42 is well over double the time of the pace recordholder. But hey: I'm a legend!
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
9/1 outdoor tempo run
Planned: 3.0 miles @167-181bpm (10:43/mile; 11:08/mile adjusted) + 1.0 mile warmup + 1.0 mile cooldown
Actual: 3.0 miles @159bpm (10:25/mile; 10:01/mile adjusted) + 1.0 mile warmup + 1.0 mile cooldown

I used the Workout app on my Apple Watch to record segments for warmup/tempo/cooldown, which was helpful. However, I had it set to display Rolling and Average pace, rather than Current pace, which made it really hard to tell how fast I was running once my warmup ended and my tempo started.

I tried to control my pace here as best I could, and if I compare my unadjusted pace to my unadjusted target, I wasn't too terribly fast. Even if I was almost 1 min/mile fast with T&D adjustments. The crazy thing is that my HR stayed so stubbornly low, barely peaking at 170 and staying well below my "tempo" zone for most of the time. Including the 2 warmup/cooldown miles, my average HR was 154 and my average pace was 11:22 (10:56 adjusted).

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Overall, this felt like a 5-6 for effort. Strava thinks I set a new 5k PR at 32:26 (my actual 5k PR of 29:48 was recorded w/ the NRC app). I feel like I could probably set a 5k PR this weekend if I wanted to!
 
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Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
2022-09-03 End-of-week Summary
This week I completed 28.1 miles against my plan of 27.0 across five runs.
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I pretty much hit my marks all week, with a couple of tweaks:
  • I bumped my Tempo run distance from 4 to 5 miles by extending the warm-up and cool-down mileage to 1 mile each. I kept the tempo pace at 3 miles.
  • I moved yesterday's 5-mile easy run to this morning due to weather. Tomorrow (Sunday) is my 10-mile long run, but I'm at the point where I don't feel like I need to have a rest day beforehand.
This coming week will be my peak at 30 miles, then I'll scale it back to 24 and 17 miles leading up to my 9/25 HM. (I'll also be out of town for those two weeks, attending D23 and visiting family, so it will be a convenient time to scale back.)

Assuming weather is amenable, I'm planning to run that as an "A" race with an 11:00/mile target, which would break the 2:30 barrier, setting a new PR and crossing an item off of my goal list. That feels easily doable based on HR data from my shorter runs, but after last week's rough long run finish, I'm still nervous about my conditioning. Tomorrow's 10-mile long run, with lower temps and proper hydration, will be an important check-in for me.

9/3 outdoor easy run
Planned:_5.0 miles @140-154bpm _(12:51/mile; 13:21/mile adjusted)
Actual: __5.0 miles @137bpm _____(12:40/mile; 12:11/mile adjusted)

I'm still caught in this space where my cardio health has improved so much that my pace targets are now well below my target HR zones, especially if it is not blisteringly hot. I don't want to push the tempo too aggressively, but I'm basically targeting my unadjusted pace targets, and not worrying about running 10 or 15 seconds faster than those. Even so, my average HR was below my target zone, not just overall but for each mile of the run.

Overall: it felt easy, it felt good, my legs feel strong, and (thanks to the RetroWDW Podcast) I know a lot about Horizons, an attraction I sadly never got to experience in person.
 
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Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
9/4 outdoor long run
Planned:_10.0 miles @140-154bpm _(12:30/mile; 13:00/mile adjusted)
Actual: __10.0 miles @150bpm _____(12:27/mile; 11:59/mile adjusted)

I am very very happy with this run!

Last week, I struggled through the last 2-3 miles of my 10-mile run. I was pretty sure it was due to the high temps and insufficient water, but it made me nervous about my ability to sustain my new-and-improved conditioning across distance. This week was the test.

I finished this run 50 seconds/mile faster than last week, with fairly consistent pacing and a strong finish. Looking at both raw and adjusted pace per mile, it's obvious both that I maintained consistently faster speeds, and that I didn't fade away down the stretch as I had before.

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Needless to say, I'm pretty thrilled about this result. After this week's peak 30 miles, I'll be dropping my mileage over the next two weeks to prepare for my 9/25 HM (Plano Balloon Festival), with a target pace of 11 min/mile. I feel pretty ready.


9/5 outdoor easy run
Planned:_3.0 miles @140-154bpm _(12:51/mile; 13:21/mile adjusted)
Actual: __3.0 miles @141bpm _____(12:00/mile; 11:35/mile adjusted)

I didn't really look at my watch much, and let my pace get away from me on this one. My HR/effort felt like they were right where they were supposed to be. I did slow down to 12:30/mile for the third mile. Whoops!
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
2022-09-10 End-of-week Summary
This week I completed 30.2 miles against my plan of 30.0 across five runs.
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This was my peak week before my 9/25 HM. I'll be tapering down over the next few weeks to rest up for an "A" effort. I have one more 8- or 10-mile run planned for Sunday or Monday, but then I'll be dropping back to mostly 3-milers for the following ~ 2 weeks until the race.

These two weeks coincide with a trip to SoCal (see you at D23!). On the one hand, that's a great time to be winding down! On the other hand, all those vacation calories will really stack up if I'm not burning them off like I have been lately. You can't outrun your dinner table... but the running does help.

Anyway, I'm looking at 170 miles in the past 8 weeks, building from 18/week to 30/week. I missed a few of runs here and there due to travel and my concerns about ankle soreness, and I'm about 10 cumulative miles (~5%) under my original plan. But overall I'm feeling really good about my progress and my readiness for the HM!
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Runs this week
My week got shuffled around a bit to keep up my mileage despite some worrisome tightness in my leg. No, it wasn't the 10-mile run on Sunday -- I felt GREAT after that. But I went duckpin bowling on Monday, and my left leg felt really sore and tight for a few days. Run 10 miles, feel wonderful; bowl for one hour, wobble around for days. Got it.

Anyway, I didn't want to risk injury with all-out sprint intervals, so I took a day off (well, if you count foam rolling and subsequently cursing prolifically as "off"), and then pulled forward my Tempo run to the next day instead. With a Saturday morning flight, I wasn't going to be able to make up the rest day so I just added those three miles across to my two planned easy runs. No intervals for me this week.

9/7 outdoor tempo run
Planned:_3.0 miles @167-181bpm _(10:43/mile; 11:08/mile adjusted) + 1.0 mile warmup + 1.0 mile cooldown
Actual:
__3.0 miles @160bpm _____(10:30/mile; 10:09/mile adjusted) + 1.0 mile warmup + 1.0 mile cooldown

Once again, trying to strike a balance between HR and pace targets. I ran a bit ahead of my target pace (setting aside T&D adjustments), but still didn't reach my target HR zone. Once I get through the HM I'll research into whether I should recalibrate my pace targets in light of my improving fitness. For now, it still feels like a good workout. Whether it's too hard, or not hard enough, I don't think it's egregious in either direction.

9/8 outdoor easy run
Planned:_6.0 miles @140-154bpm _(12:51/mile; 13:21/mile adjusted)
Actual: __6.1 miles @146bpm _____(12:40/mile; 12:11/mile adjusted)

9/9 outdoor easy run
Planned:_6.0 miles @140-154bpm _(12:51/mile; 13:10/mile adjusted)
Actual: __6.0 miles @146bpm _____(12:32/mile; 12:13/mile adjusted)

These were a pair of glorious low-70s mornings. Even though my spreadsheet says I should apply a T&D adjustment, it just felt great to be out there in the (relative) cool. Again, probably a bit too fast, but not egregiously so.
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Vacation Update
I've been on SoCal all week, so I've not been online or entered runs into my tracker sheet. But I have been running!

I had a 10.5-mile run at a 12:09/mile pace, and two ~3-mile runs at ~12:15/mile pace. All of my runs right now are faster than my pace targets, but on the low end of my HR targets. I'm really happy with how my conditioning has improved over the past few months!

This morning, I had a 3-mile tempo run planned (plus 1-mile warm-up). I ran up the San Diego Embarcadero, with beautiful weather and even better views.

Unfortunately, my Apple Watch decided to stop working about 1/4th of a mile into my 1st tempo mile! It still counted up the time, but my watch didn't capture any heart rate info, distance/pace info, or even exercise minutes or active calories. I had to go purely by feel, mentally noting the timestamps and physical markers so I could map the run later and calculate pace.

After my warm-up mile, I ran for exactly 30 minutes, and according to onthegomap.com, I covered 3.3 miles in that time. That's a pace of 9:06/mile, which was way faster than my intended target of 10:00-10:30/mile. I don't have exactly information about splits, but I know the second half was slightly faster than the first half (I turned around at exactly the 15-minute mark, and ran past my starting point by about 1/10th of a mile).

This was probably a 5k PR for me (current record: 29:48). I am not counting it, but I feel really good about the run. (I feel a little stupid about the timing of the run, as I'm meant to be tapering, but honestly I don't feel particularly worn out right now.)

8 days until my HM, with a target pace of 10:50-11:00 mile. I may not update here again until next weekend's race report!
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Race Report - 2022 Plano Balloon Festival Half-Marathon ***NEW PR***

Goal: 2:20-2:25 (~ 10:40 to 11:05 per mile)
Actual: 2:23:46 (10:59/mile) **PR**

I'm very happy with this result! This was almost 13 minutes faster than my old PR (2:36:05) and right in line with my expectations, despite punishingly high temperature and humidity.

Lead-Up
As I mentioned in my last update, I was on vacation in SoCal for the few weeks before this race. Other than my accidentally-fast 5k, I was fairly consistent about following my taper plan for the first week.

I was much less consistent in the week leading up to the race -- in part because I was also walking 4-6 miles/day while on vacation, and in part because I was lazy. I only got about 6 miles of running in, but with all that walking I really felt like I was more likely overdoing it versus underdoing it, so I decided to call it a wash.

The day before the race, I tried out a real carb-loading protocol. This probably wasn't really necessary for a half-marathon distance, but I wanted to use this as a trial-run before the WDW Marathon to make sure my body would react well to that protocol. I consumed 10.5g of carbs per kg of bodyweight, including 60% (553g) from Maurten 320, and the rest from solid foods. I definitely felt very tired (I was pretty exhausted from coming back from vacation the day before), and had to pee constantly.

I got to the race site at around 6AM for a 7AM start. Coming from two weeks in CA, the jet lag made that feel more like a 5AM start. I still had to pee constantly from the day before -- I think I did so 3-4 times before 7 AM, and twice more during the race. I was pretty tired, but excited.

The race was a combined 10k/Half with a split at the 3-mile mark. There were only 490 runners in the Half, and just under 1,000 altogether.

In the back of my mind, I was still holding out hope that I would be much faster than my target pace. My cardio fitness has improved so much that some of my recent runs could point to a sub-2:20 or even sub-2:15 finish. But given the high temp (77° at start) and the cautionary tale from @Baloo in MI, I was determined to pace myself, aiming for no faster than 10:30-10:40 through the first 6 miles.

The Race
It was an annoyingly hot day with a 77+66 start and an 81+69 finish. Thankfully there was scattered cloud cover for the first hour or so.
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My left ankle started to twinge almost immediately. I just powered through, and the feeling went away after 2 or 3 miles. Normally my right foot is the one giving me problems, so I'm not sure what happened there.

We ran through some very nice residential neighborhoods, and then had an extended jaunt through a lovely park.
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Since this race was attached to the Balloon Festival, we saw a hot air balloon, and a paraglider. Unfortunately most of the balloons were grounded due to the heat.

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I started to feel the heat after mile 8, and really began to lag around mile 10 or so. I kept going, but took a few walking breaks, and moved slower through the water stations.

In hindsight, I should have brought my own water: when my head stops sweating and my arms start to feel tingly, that usually means I'm running dry.

Once I passed the 12-mile marker, I just powered through, picking up speed to the finish line. I was still slower than I was for the first 5 or 6 miles, but after doing the math that a sub-2:25 was within reach, I was determined to get it.

I crossed the finish line absolutely drenched in sweat, but really very happy with my time.
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Analyzing the Results
As I said, this was a new PR for me, and was almost exactly what I'd predicted based on my training plan (notwithstanding my dreams of glory). Especially given the 150 T&D to finish, I'm very very happy with this result.

I am amused that I finished 146 out of 490, which is exactly below average. (I was only 29/42 for M35-39 though.)

Ignore the pace/runtime numbers below, as they exclude stationary time (pee/water breaks), so the official time is more accurate. (Strava's elapsed time was only 5 seconds different than the official time, as I tried to stop/start very promptly). I was very careful to take inner corners of turns, and tracked very close to the actual marked distance through the whole race, which was nice.
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Other than feeling salty in mile 5, I was pretty consistent and on-target through the first 8 miles of the race. I maybe came out a little bit fast, but stayed pretty close to my goal pace.

After 8 miles, the clouds cleared, the tree cover disappeared, and I started to struggle with the heat. I took a caffeine chew and dumped cold water on my head at the beginning of mile 10, which helped for a bit, but it was just a real slog in the back half.

My HR was fairly consistent for the first half, then rose fairly sharply even as my pace declined.

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I can push my heart rate into the high 180s for shorter runs -- you can see it was up to 186 at the finish -- but I didn't want to do that with 5 miles left in the race and burn out.

Could I have pushed a little bit harder in miles 9-12, or would that have hurt my overall finish? Did I lack mental toughness, or was I just bumping against the limits of my sustainable performance? I don't know. But I'm pleased with how I did.

Recovery
I'm bad at recovering from races. My family came to meet me at the balloon festival -- which was underwhelming, as the balloons were grounded due to heat -- so I ended up standing around in the heat for ~2 hours after the race was done. I was able to take a shower, ice my feet, take ibuprofen, and put on compression socks only after I got home at 12. I got a 20-minute nap in the afternoon while the girls watched Disney+, before the baby woke up and I had to attend to him. By 9PM, I was ready to collapse in bed.

I'll take the next few days off my feet, then do short, slow recovery runs through the end of the week. (Infuriatingly, after yesterday's scorching temps we have mid-60s mornings forecast every day for the next week!)

Next Phase
I'll also take the next few days to review the next phase of my marathon training plan. This finish predicts a ~4:55 marathon time, and I would really love a sub-5:00. I'd feel more comfortable with a ~4:50 estimated finish to allow more buffer against my goal. I feel like my short-distance cardio is strong enough to support that (and still improving!) but my endurance really needs some work.
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Congrats on the race! Always a good day when you PR regardless of what could have been else wise.

Could I have pushed a little bit harder in miles 9-12, or would that have hurt my overall finish? Did I lack mental toughness, or was I just bumping against the limits of my sustainable performance? I don't know. But I'm pleased with how I did.

Racing in the heat is no joke. I'd say treasure the PR, but know deep down that with a better condition day you'd likely do better. With that being said, we race the day we're given and you did very well on a non-ideal day. In theory because of the T+D 150, it would suggest something like a 2:16. But it only suggests.

Next Phase
I'll also take the next few days to review the next phase of my marathon training plan. This finish predicts a ~4:55 marathon time, and I would really love a sub-5:00. I'd feel more comfortable with a ~4:50 estimated finish to allow more buffer against my goal. I feel like my short-distance cardio is strong enough to support that (and still improving!) but my endurance really needs some work.

Using the Williams and Vickers calculations for M performance, I'd say the following based on the 2:23:46.

6% chance of 4:59
10% chance of 5:01
25% chance of 5:08
50% chance of 5:19

If we use the 2:16 theoretical value (which means the marathon must be under ideal conditions):

6% chance of 4:44
10% chance of 4:46
25% chance of 4:52
50% chance of 5:02
 

Cabius

More Disney-obsessed than is healthy.
Joined
Nov 22, 2017
Using the Williams and Vickers calculations for M performance, I'd say the following based on the 2:23:46.

6% chance of 4:59
10% chance of 5:01
25% chance of 5:08
50% chance of 5:19

If we use the 2:16 theoretical value (which means the marathon must be under ideal conditions):

6% chance of 4:44
10% chance of 4:46
25% chance of 4:52
50% chance of 5:02

That's some helpful grounding. I'd looked at an average of a few online calculators (like 538's) but my basic sense is: sub-5:00 is a stretch at my current level of fitness; I'd need to get 3%-5% faster while building endurance. Effectively, drop from an ~11:25 marathon pace to an ~11:05 marathon pace.

That feels aggressively doable to me: I'm not there, but it's not out of the question. My cardio fitness has been steadily improving and the gains haven't yet plateaued. I'm about 1 min/mile faster over the past three months, so an additional 20 sec/mile feels attainable. If I maintain my current weight loss trajectory, I'll be 10-15 pounds lighter, which would definitely help. I think my 5k pace is already about where it needs to be.

All that said: endurance is the most important thing by far. I couldn't have done another 13.1 miles yesterday, so that's priority #1. I'd much much rather run 11:30 and miss that stretch goal than start at 11:00 and then fall apart at the end.

I'll fiddle with my training paces over the next few days. I'll try out some sub-5 easy/long paces (I was already consistently over-running my old targets) and see how my HR zones match up. If it's too intense, I'll back off; if the cardio is there in shorter distances, I'll gradually build up mileage toward my peak (40-45 miles/week).
 

HangWithMerida

And away we go!
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
You ran a great race in really tough conditions! I could tell how sweaty you were by the slightly lighter blue dry patch on your sleeve in your medal picture. Congrats on the new PR!!
 









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