Breaking the 23′

I wanted to go run yesterday. But I also needed to deep clean the floors of our house after my in-laws and their dogs visit.

By the time the floors were shiny enough I had less than an hour left before leaving for work. So I decided to run, as fast as I could, on a little 3.1 miles loop around our neighborhood. It was cold and windy which motivated me even more because I needed to warm up.

Maybe it was just what I needed because while this is not an official course in any way, I was back at my mailbox in 22’48”. Not only was I happy to run but thrilled to see my time. That is the best pace (7:21) I’ve run for a sustained period of time. Now I really need to sign up for a 5K and see how I can do in a race.

It sure feels good to get my speed back.


Half Marathon Training Week 5

Sea Kayaking in Ketchikan's Orcas Cove

I had to reorganize the whole week as we were flying out to Alaska Thursday night and I had a 15 mile run planned that week. Had I run it on the week-end at usual I would have had to do it on the cruise ship (which meant the dreadmill), no thanks, or on a stop Sunday but I couldn’t because we had sea-kayaking planned in Ketchikan. So instead I did my long run at the beginning of the week and the speedwork on the boat. It was a good decision.

Long Run: Half Marathon Course +2 miles
Goal: 15 miles @10:09 pace

Being that it would be my last run of 13mi or above I decided to run the course for the HM. I made the mistake to print the directions too small which resulted in having to stop at intersection to check where I was going (and stop the watch) and taking a few wrong turns. I added an extra lap around Beaverdam Lake to get me to 15mi.
The course was a little harder than I expected, partly because of all the turns, but also because it’s a bit of a roller coaster. I made it through though and with temperatures in the 70’s it wasn’t the hardest run I did this summer.
I felt like I was going slow to be honest, but surprisingly I was going at a much faster pace than needed. I guess it’s all about the perceived effort isn’t it?
I do look forward to see if I can improve my pace with an early morning run or not.

15.24 miles in 2h20’42” @9:13 pace

Group Tempo
Goal: 5 miles @9:34 pace

We met in Bent Creek. The goal was to go up North Boundary Rd for 30mns and turnaround. I have no clue how far we went exactly because starting a certain point it all looked the same. But my guess is about 3 miles up? On the way down I ran with a long legged fast guy, we were chatting and I had fun attempting to keep up. To be honest he adjusted his pace so I could because he could have gone a lot faster. We hoped off the forest rd after that for a blissful stretch on a dirt trail before heading back to the parking lot. There everyone turned to me and said “you’re still alive?”. I guess they expected me to be beat after following him but I actually really enjoyed the challenge.
I only talked with him for so long though, once we were done with the downhill and on the trail I had to focus on my running and save my breath.
Rice Pinacle->North Boundary-> turned back around-> Ledford trail ->Wold Branch->Deer Lake Lodge

7.37 miles (give or take) in 1h01’18” @8:19 pace

Speedwork on a Cruise Ship
Goal 10-20mns warm-up, 10x400m @8:35-8:30 pace 10mn cool-off.

I woke up right before 6am thanks to jet lag. All I could think about was to go on a run on the deck, enjoy the scenery and feel the coolness.
I was told it was 6 laps to a mile so I based my run on that. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be accurate to 400m. I wore my running skirt and didn’t need any water. I did get quite a few comments from other runners which was kind of fun. Later that week I met a mom and her son in our hallway and she too commented how was I was going. It wasn’t until I computed the times that I realized how fast. Alaska is really good for me.

1mi @9:24 pace in 9’24
510m repeats @6:15,6:18, 6:40, 6:40, 6:28, 6:34, 6:31, 6:31, 6:37, 6:21
in 1’59”, 2:00″, 2’07”, 2’07”, 2’03”, 2’05”, 2’04”, 2’04”, 2’06”, 2’01”
1mi @ 11:50 pace in 11’50

I’ve never run under 7:00 pace that I can recall. Totally shocked, impressed and happy with that. I just felt like it.

Cross training included sea kayaking in Katchikan with the wonderful Southeast Sea Kayakwhere we saw a whale bubble feeding. Amazing!

Humpback Whale at Orcas Cove, Katchikan, AK

Half Marathon Training, Week 9, Compromises

Entrainement du Semi-Marathon, Semaine 9, Compromis

Cúrate's Pan Con Tomato

There are weeks when things don’t go as planned. This was one of those. It wasn’t all that bad really, my monday speed work felt good and even with the heat I had a good group run on Wednesday. However with Hubby’s sister in town I had to skip the long run. On the good side did get to go eat twice at one of my new favorite downtown restaurants: Cúrate. A fantastic spanish tapas place that opened in March. My sister and brother-in-law liked it so much that they decided we should eat there twice in a row.

Monday Speed work
Goal: 10-20 minute warm-up
1 mile (400 RI), 2 miles (800 RI), 2 x 800m (400m RI)
10 mn cool off

First of all the training plan doesn’t really specify the pace for miles. Well 1 mile=1600 meters so that would be a 8:39 pace. But the 2 miles? I aimed for a somewhere around that.
I had some good intervals, if was warm but cloudy which helped.
So where did it go wrong? Well I ran out of space on my watch and most of the run did not save. Simply put it was stupid.

1.48 miles @10:29 pace in 15’32”
1 mile @7:59 pace in 7’59”
2 miles: that was somewhere around 16 minutes.
800m: I remember it to be around my usual time of 3’30-3’37”
1.07 easy, about 10mn.

Wednesday Tempo with the Running Group
Goal: 5 mile run @9:34 pace.

The race itself was good. We had a 4, a 5 and a 6 miles option. It was hot, 92°F, so I played it safe and went for 5 miles. It was actually not that bad, while it was hot in the sun we also had a good breeze. Also most of the course was in the shade in the pretty Montford area. I ended up going at a good pace. I was just feeling it. A fellow runner had a hard time keeping up with me, walked some and short-cut at the end.
So the run was great, the not fun stuff was an other runner getting dehydrated at the end of the run.
5.26 miles @9:17 pace

Long Run
Goal: 13 miles

Was to be replaced by two long hikes of 10-12 miles each.
However we underestimated that even though his family has been training for Mt Rainier, they live in Florida and they are not used to the elevation we have.
We ended up only doing an 8 miles hike that week-end… Oh well at least we got some good time with them.

Il y a des semaines qui ne se passent pas comme prévu. S’en était une.
Ce n’était pas si terrible que ça, les exercices de vitesses du lundi était bien, et malgré la chaleur j’ai eu une bonne course avec le groupe mercredi. Par contre la soeur d’Hubby nous rendait visite et j’ai du zapper ma longue course. Pour le bon coté de la chose on a quand même mangé deux fois à l’un des mes nouveaux restaurants préférés: Cúrate. Un super restaurant de tapas espagnols qui a ouvert en Mars. Ma belle-soeur et son mari ont tellement aimé qu’on y a mangé deux nuits d’affilé.

Vitesse du Lundi
Objectif: 10-20mn d’echauffement.
1 mile, 2 mile, 2x800m.
10mn facile.

Pour commencer le programme ne me donnait pas d’allure spécifique. Enfin 1 mile=1600m donc là le but était une allure de 8:39. Mais 2 miles? Tout ce que je pouvais faire c’est tabler dans cette zone là.
J’ai fait de bonnes séries, il faisait chaud mais les nuages ont aidé.
Donc où est le problème? J’étais a cour d’espace sur ma montre et du coup les données ne se sont pas enregistrée. Le truc vraiment bête.

1.48 mile @allure de 10:29 en 15mn32
1 mile @ allure de 7:59 en 7’59
2 miles: environ 16 mn.
800m: entre 3’30 et 3’37
1.07 facile, environ 10mn.

Tempo du Mercredi en Groupe
Objectif: 5 miles @allure de 9:34

La course même c’est bien passée. On avait le choix entre 4, 5 et 6 miles.
Il faisait chaud, 33°C, donc je l’ai joué raisonnable et j’ai choisi celle de 5 miles. En fait ce n’était pas si ma;, il faisait chaud au soleil mais il y avait une bonne petite brise. De plus une partie du parcours était à l’ombre, dans le quartier de Montford. Du coup j’ai couru à une bonne allure. Une autre coureuse a d’ailleurs eu un peu de mal à tenir le rythme avec moi, du coup elle a marché et raccourci la course sur la fin.
Donc courir ca allait. Ce qui etait moins bien c’est qu’une des coureuses c’est retrouvee deshydratée à la fin et qu’il a fallut appeller l’ambulance.

5.26 miles à une allure de 9:17

Longue course
Objectif: 13 miles.

Devait etre remplacee par deux randonnees de 10-12 miles chacune.
Sauf qu’on a sous-estime le fait que meme si ils s’entrainentn pour Mt. Rainier, sa famille n’a pas l’habitude de nos pentes.
Du coup nous n’avons fait qu’une rando de 8 miles seulement… Bon, au moins nous avons passé de bon moments avec eux.

Half Marathon Training: Week 10

Courthouse Falls

Week 10 of the training was a hot week. The kind of week when you wish you could jump in the above waterfall at the end of a run. No such luck but thankfully it cooled down by the week-end. In retrospect it wasn’t so bad compared to heat the entire country is dealing with this week.

Monday Speedwork
10-20 minute warm-up, 2 x (6 x 400m) @8:19 pace, 10 minutes cool off

I ran from home to the park, did the speedwork and ran back home.
I did not do what was expected. Knowing that I was running back and how hot I was I cut short the speedwork and skipped the last two repeats.
It was officially 88°F outside but it sure felt like more. I was covered in little sweat drops by the time I got home, it was quite fascinating to watch.

On the plus side I officially turned 28 while running (based on my birthtime at home). What a good way to start the year.

1.73 miles in 15’45” @09:06 pace
400m repeats @ 07:14, 07:06, 07:02, 07:06, 07:10, 07:06, 07:18, 07:22, 07:14, 07:18 (time: 1’45”->1’50”)
1.52 miles in 15’488 @10:30 pace

Maybe I should have ran slower and done all 12 repeats…

Wednesday Tempo Run
Goal:1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 9:34 pace, 1 mile easy, 2 miles @ 9:34 pace, 1 mile easy
I ran with the Diamond Brand group on the MST. It felt hot and humid again. It was just a blah run. I did better than the last time I ran on that same course, but still not as good as I had hoped. The rain threatened but never came, it would have been a welcomed relief. The coconut water after the run was however totally awesome.

6.4 miles at 10:00 pace average in 1h04’02”

Long Run
Goal 8 miles @9:54 pace (PHMP +15s)

This lovely cool wave came over the week-end. It just felt awesome and I as a result I couldn’t help myself from running more and making the best of this weather. Looking back I probably should have tried to do my 13 miles run that week. I just had a blast running out on the trail, enjoying the coolness of the air and getting complimented on my stride.

9.2 miles @ 9:06 pace in 1h23’37”

I also had a good yoga class on Thursday and a 30mn bike ride on Sunday. Overall a great week for me. Now if only the coolness would have lasted.

Il faisait chaud durant la 10e semaine d’entrainement. Le genre de semaine ou j’aurais bien sauté dans la cascade ci-dessus aprés avoir couru. Ce n’étais pas le cas mais les températures sont descendues en fin de semaine. Retrospectivement ce n’était pas si terrible comparé aux températures de cette semaine dans le pays.

Exercice de Vitesse du Lundi
Objectif: 10-20mn d’échauffement, 2x (6x400m) @ allure de 8:19, 10 minutes tranquile.

J’ai couru depuis la maison jusqu’au parc, fait les exercices de vitesse et couru pour rentrer à la maison.
Je n’ai pas fait autant que prévu. Sachant qu’il me fallait rentrer et vu la chaleur j’ai raccourci l’exercice en sautant les deux derniers 400m.
Il faisait officiellement 31°C mais on aurait dit bien plus. J’étais couverte de gouttelettes d’eau en rentrant à la maison, c’était assez fascinant à regarder.

Pour le coté positif j’ai officiellement changé d’age pendant que je courrais (vu mon heure de naissance en France). Une bonne facon de commencer mes 28ans.

1.73 miles en 15’45” allure de 09:06
séries de 400m @ 07:14, 07:06, 07:02, 07:06, 07:10, 07:06, 07:18, 07:22, 07:14, 07:18 (time: 1’45”->1’50”)
1.52 miles in 15’488 @ allure de 10:30

J’aurais peut etre du courir moins vite mais faire 12 séries…

Course Tempo du Mercredi.
Objectif: 1 mile facile, 2 miles @ allure 9:34, 1 mile facile, 2 miles @ allure 9:34, 1 mile facile

J’ai couru avec le groupe de Diamond Brand sur le sentier du MST. Il faisait chaud et humide. Ma course était bof bof. J’ai quand même fait mieux que la dernière fois sur le même parcours, mais pas aussi bien que ce que je souhaitais. La pluie menacais mais n’est jamais tombée, s’eut été agréable. Par contre l’eau de noix de coco aprés c’était génial.

6.4 miles a une allure de 10:00 en 1h04’02”

Longue Course
Objectif: 8 miles a une allure de 9:54 (Allure du Semi Marathon Prevue +15s)

Une fort agréable vague de fraicheur est arrivée avec le week-end. C’était vraiment agréable et du coup je n’ai pas pu m’empecher de rajouter quelques iles pour profiter des températures. A y réfléchir aujourd’hui j’aurais aussi bien fait de faire ma course de 13 miles cette semaine la. Enfin, ce qui est fait est fait. Je me suis vraiment fait plaisir sur les sentier, a profiter de la fraicheur et a me faire complimenter sur ma foulée.

9.2 miles à une allure de 9:06 en 1h23’37”

J’ai aussi fait un cours de yoga jeudi et 30mn de vélo samedi. Donc une bonne semaine. Si seulement la fraicheur avait pu durer…

Half Marathon Training: Week 11

River Arts District Buildings
Monday Speedwork at the Park
Goal: 6x800m @8:29-8:34 pace

As I got to the park I was not feeling it. One of those days where my body felt a little worn out. But then as I warmed up it started to rain. While the air was super humid it did cool down the atmosphere and made it a lot more bareable and easier. Yeah for rain!

I did 1.45 miles at a 9:45 pace to warmup.
The 800m repeats were at 7:28, 7:24, 7:26, 7:24, 7:24 and 7:28 pace so between 3’34 and 3’43”. Pretty Good!
Cooloff was 1.12 miles @9:10 pace.
I find it hard to really slow down after speedwork it seems.

Tempo run in West Asheville
Goal 5 miles @9:35 pace
It was road running with a nice good hill in the middle. It took us from a brewery down to the river art district where we crossed the French Broad River twice.
The nice treat was to have a good local wheat beer after the run.
I did much better with it than the week before, maybe it wasn’t as hot, or maybe it wasn’t as strong.
I ran 6.23 miles at 8:58 pace.

Long Run in Bent Creek
Goal: 12 miles @10:09 pace.
I learned my lesson last week and did my long run in the morning. What a difference in energy not to have the blasting heat!
I actually started in the fog, when up once of my favorite and tough run called Hickory Top Loop, I added a little loop in the beginning by going via the Ledford Trail. Overall it’s a total of about 850feet of elevation change. I like a good challenge.

12.28 miles @9:55 pace.

Total 23.98.
All my workouts were faster than planned and it made me feel very empowered.

Half Marathon Training: Week 13

This is the first week that I fully followed the half marathon training. While I’ve been pretty good at keeping up with tempo and long runs I had not yet done speedwork.

On Monday the goal was 3 times 1600m with a warmup and cooloff. The goal was an 8:39 to 8:44 pace.
I ran 13 minutes as a warmup, then did my 1600 meters repeats in:
Which means my first two were close to a 8:09 pace at a and the last one almost 8:19 pace. Oops, someone went a little too fast. I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad things though.
I then took it really chill and ran just under a mile in 9’31.

Tempo Run
My tempo run was with the Diamond Brand Running Group. I almost missed it because I started at the wrong meeting place. I realized my mistake with barely enough time to listen to the instructions. I did not have much time to warm up however. I decided to take it easy on the first mile to avoid injury.
We were on the Mountain to Sea Trail from Bent Creek Park going toward Biltmore Forest. It was beautiful in the forest.
There was one killer hill we went down on, on the way back I passed a lot of people on the uphill because they all walked it. I went slowly but surely and it paid off.
We ran about 6 miles with a 10:00 pace.

Long Run
I was going to run Friday evening but the weather threatened of thunderstorm so I did it in the cool murning instead.
My goal was 11 miles so I mixed up two loops to get to that, including one I wasn’t familiar with. The first loop was great, beautiful white (Carolina) rhododendron were blooming along the trail. It really brought a smile on my face and gave me great motivation.
The second loop was pretty too but the directions were confusing. Well not so much confusing as there was a trail that I did not find on the map. Since I was supposed to take the 2nd trail I came across I took it. But it was the wrong one. So I had to retrace my steps, adding extra mileage. I ended up running about 11.53 miles in 1h54m02s for a 9:53 pace.

I also did some yoga and walking but no biking this week.

Total miles: 22.96

C’est la premiere semaine où je suis vraiment le programme d’entrainement. Même si jusque là je faisais bien mes courses tempo et les longues je n’avais pas encore fait d’exercice de vitesse.

Exercice de Vitesse
Lundi m’on objectif etait de faire 3 fois 1600m avec un temps de course d’echauffement et de recuperation. Le but etant d’avoir une allure entre 8:39 et 8:44 par miles.
J’ai couru 13 minutes pour m’echauffer puis j’ai fait les 1600m en:
Ce qui veut dire que les deux premiers étaient à un allure proche de 8:09 et le dernier de 8:19. Oh, oh, quelqu’un est allé trop vite. Je ne sais pas si c’est bien ou pas.
J’ai fini tranquillement avec un peu moins d’un miles en 9mn31.

Course Tempo
Ma course tempo était avec le groupe de Diamond Brand. J’ai presque raté le départ car j’étais au mauvais point de rendez-vous. J’ai réalisé mon erreur juste à temps pour pouvoir avoir les instructions. Par contre je n’ai pas eu le temps de m’échauffer. Du coup j’y suis allé tranquille pour le premier mile pour éviter les risques de blessures.
Nous sommes partis du parc de Bent Creek en direction de Biltmore Forest sur le Mountain to Sea Trail. C’etait magnifique dans la forêt.
Il y a eu une descente bien raide et au retour j’ai dépassé du monde en la remontant car la plupart l’ont marché. J’y suis allé doucement mais surement et ça a fait la différence.
On a couru environ 6 miles à une allure de 10:00.

Course Longue
J’ai failli courir Vendredi mais l’orage menacait du coup j’ai couru à la fraiche le lendemain.
Mon objectif était de courir 11 miles du coup j’avais mélangé deux boucles pour ça, inclus une que je ne connaissais pas. La première boucle était super, de magnifique Rhododendrons blanc (de Caroline) fleurissaient le long du sentier. Ca m’a vraiment donné le sourire et de la motivation.
La deuxième boucle était plus difficile à suivre. Enfin c’est surtout qu’il y a un sentier qui n’était pas sur ma carte. Et vu que je devais prendre le 2eme sentier que je rencontrais je l’ai pris. Mais ce n’étais pas le bon. J’ai du revenir en arrière, ajoutant du kilométrage en plus. Au total j’ai couru 11,53 miles en 1h54mn02s pour une allure de 9:53 par miles.

J’ai aussi fait du yoga et de la marche mais pas de vélo cette semaine.

Miles total: 22,96.

Running Fast

Monday I attempted a little bit of speedwork by doing what I think was fartlek on a trail run.
I ran 2.6 miles with a 6 minute warmup then did 1 minute at faster pace, 2 minutes recovery (walking and jogging), 1.5 minutes of fast pace, 3 minutes of recovery, 2 minutes of fast running and then I finished my run in 23:37.
The last fast section was hard, my legs felt like lead but I just pushed through.
I need to learn more about speedwork and maybe find a track to practice.

I also ended up running fast on Wednesday. I joining a running group and for some reason I always end up being late. This time because I went to the wrong pizzaria to meet them. So I drove all across town hoping to make it on time. As I went down the street I saw a few runnners. I rushed to a parking space, ran out of the car locking it as I went and just ran after them. I caught up but it sure made me enjoy the slower pace for the rest of it. I did enjoy that part of it followed Broadway which is the last strech of the half-marathon.
Total 4.25 miles in 38:36. The only thing is that I was expecting a longer run. So now I need to fit in a short 1.5 mile run somewhere since I’m trying to increase my weekly mileage by 10%/week.

Lundi j’ai essayé un peu d’entrainement de vitesse en faisant ce que je pense etre du fartlek sur sentier.
J’ai couru 2.6 miles avec 6 minutes d’echauffement, une minute rapide suivie de 2 minutes de récupération (marche/jogging), 1mn30 rapide-3 minute de récupération, 2 minutes rapides et puis j’ai fini ma course pour un total de 23mn37.
La dernière section rapide était dure dans les jambes, j’avais l’impression d’avoir du plomb dedans, mais j’ai poussé pour finir.
Il faut que j’en apprenne plus sur l’entrainement de vitesse et peut etre aller sur un stade pour m’entrainer.

J’ai aussi du courir vite mercredi. J’ai rejoint un groupe de coureur et j’arrive toujours a arriver en retard. Ce coup ci car j’etais allee a la mauvaise adresse pour le rdv. Il m’a donc fallu conduire vite pour retraverser la ville. Alors que je descendais la rue, j’ai appercu des coureurs. Je me suis depéchée de me garer, fermer la voiture et puis j’ai couru après eux. Je les ai ratrapés, mais autant vous dire que j’ai apprécié la rythme plus lent du groupe. Ce qui était chouette c’est qu’on a en parti suivit Broadway qui fait parti de la dernière section du semi-marathon.
Total 4.25 miles en 38:36. Le seul problème c’est que je m’attendais à une course plus longue. Du coup il va me falloir caler 1,5 miles quelque part dans la semaine vu que j’essaye d’augmenter mon kilométrage semaine par 10%.