Frames From The Weekend 10/25/2013 – 10/27/2013

Hello from Chicago! I’m back back back and staying until Nov. 6th. Good thing that five of those days will be spent in the Dominican Republic! One day down, one more to go…

cooking

{Baking: I was in the mood for some true fall treats and had to use up my recently-opened can of pumpkin before leaving, so I made Gracie’s vegan pumpkin loaf. It was fantastic! I may or may not have eaten half the loaf already…
Cooking: I whipped up these tuna burgers after my long run on Saturday. They turned out pretty good but the recipe still needs some tweaking before being posted.}

Halloween

{Against all better judgement, I threw on a pair of heels (boots actually) and headed to a Halloween party on Saturday night. Despite being one of the few people who weren’t dressed up, I still managed to have so much fun! Many of the costumes were very unique but one of my favorites was Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. He even looked like Sheldon a bit and I obviously had to force him to take a photo with me (not creepy at all). But the night wasn’t all fun and games. Don’t laugh but I think I actually injured my quads and right IT band…from dancing too much for too long. You guys, I’m seriously worried about my legs and the possibility of an injury. Good thing I’m taking a week off from running while on vacation. I spent a good portion of the following morning packing for the Dominican (hate hate hate packing) but only after I managed to drag my pathetically injured self out of bed.}

run

{I had 7 miles on the schedule this weekend and in preparation for the upcoming half I decided to conquer part of the race route. In all honesty, I’m pretty nervous about running a half marathon in Central Park. It’s so damn hilly! Running part of the route definitely helped ease some of my fears though. I defeated the dreaded Harlem Hill and then turned around and ran it again. This was one of the hardest long runs yet thanks to ‘The Hill’ but I ran faster than I ever have! I know long runs are supposed to be slow but I can’t help to push myself a bit – their main purpose is to get your body accustomed to the distance but I’ve run 7 miles plenty of times before and prefer to run by pace instead. Is this bad? Someone please tell me!}

That’s all the nonsense I have for now, have a great week!

Wise runner friends please tell me – is it bad that I run my long runs at the speed I hope to run the actual half marathon?

Have you ever injured yourself in a foolish way?

♥ Irina

14 Comments

  1. October 28, 2013 / 9:18 pm

    Irina, you have gotten so speedy! I love how much progress you have made in such a short time!

    I have never fully understood the concept of doing long training runs at such slower paces than race pace. It seems counterintuitive, right? From what I understand, though, the slower pace it is to preserve your legs for the “all-out” efforts usually inherent at races. But I say if you feel good doing long runs at race pace and you don’t overtrain in general, then more power to you! You may want to experiment, though, and see how you feel either way, just in case! I have only recently begun slowing my long run pace down so I am trying to find out, myself.

    Have a fabulous trip to the Dominican! Safe travels and I can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • November 5, 2013 / 10:39 pm

      Thanks! I’m kind of surprised by the sudden speediness as well but seeing the improvement is lighting a fire under my running obsession! I trained for my first half marathon by following the LSD (long slow distance) method when it came to weekly long runs, and I don’t think it really worked well for me. I ended up running the race at the LSD pace I trained at. Similarly, I trained at a faster pace for half #2 and ended up running it at almost an identical pace. I guess the approach I’m taking for half #3 is to simply enjoy each run and keep a pace that feels good regardless of the distance. We’ll see what happens!

  2. October 29, 2013 / 9:47 am

    Aww man! I hope your legs feel better soon and that you have a great vacay!

    Like Emily said, the running longer slower is counter intuitive, but it’s just so that you don’t “race” each run and feel the tired effect on your body and need to take longer recovery. I think it’s good to do some race pace miles during your longer run, every now and then. 🙂

    • November 5, 2013 / 10:44 pm

      In theory it makes perfect sense and I actually followed this approach while training for my first half marathon. However, I took a more laid-back approach to my training for half #2 (especially with my speed) and it seemed to work significantly better with my body in general. I’m thinking I’ll continue following this approach until I start training for longer distances (PDRs), at which point I’ll likely intentionally slow down.

      Thanks for the feedback!

  3. October 29, 2013 / 11:51 am

    Wow, 8:47 min/mi for 7 miles! Great job :D!
    I think your vacation will be a suitable break from running…perhaps you’ll be able to run faster for your half coming up 🙂

    • November 5, 2013 / 10:44 pm

      Thanks! I have no idea where the speed and energy came from but I’ll take it!

  4. October 29, 2013 / 11:51 am

    I actually think I once injured myself out dancing, too! I was dancing in heels for a few hours earlier this summer, and my right hamstring hurt for days after the fact. No good! Hope you feel better soon!

    • November 5, 2013 / 10:46 pm

      Haha great to know I’m not the only one! Luckily the ocean and a short break from running seemed to do the trick…no more pain 🙂

  5. October 29, 2013 / 9:12 pm

    Even though I clearly don’t have any actual race running experience I’d say go with your intuition in terms of speed. Whatever any plans say: If it feels right/good for you it can’t be all wrong. And teach me how to get that speedy :).
    I hope you’ll have an awesome vacation!

    • November 5, 2013 / 10:49 pm

      Thanks for the wise words of wisdom – simple but oh so true 🙂 Following my intuition when it comes to running lately has been key in numerous successful runs. Not to mention, I’m in love with running again! I think it has everything to do with the fact that I’m trusting my body and not obsessing over training numbers. That’s the best advice I can give you to increase your speed…trust yourself and just go with the flow!

  6. October 30, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    Vegan pumpkin loaf sounds amazing and I def have to make that. Secondly, such a fan of Sheldon and that show and I’d totally have accosted him for a pic too. Thirdly, I say run at whatever pace you want to if it’s a distance with which you’re comfortable and you’re feeling good and strong. Running is supposed to make us happy and if you listen to your body and run how you like, well…you’re doing exactly what you should be. But that’s just me. 🙂

    • November 6, 2013 / 12:18 am

      Thanks for the great advice! I haven’t run 7 miles in a while but I ran at a pace that felt great so I just went with it. I find that the harder I try to stick with a solid training plan (and all it’s number requirements) the more burdensome running starts to feel. I like your approach 🙂

  7. November 3, 2013 / 1:03 pm

    The common advice is to do your long runs at a pace slower than your goal race pace. You can do mid-week tempo runs at race pace, or maybe do the middle 3-4 miles of your long run at race pace (but don’t do that every long run). The goal of the long run is not necessarily to “practice” for the race, but to get time on your feet. You don’t want to wear yourself out, or increase your risk for injury, or prolong the recovery time you need after each long run. You want to finish the long run feeling like you can keep going. And use tempo runs and/or speedwork to get a feel for race pace.

    • November 6, 2013 / 12:21 am

      Hmm I actually didn’t even realize that the long run had so many purposes. Thanks for filling me in! I think that as these longer runs start becoming more common in my running routine, the desire to challenge myself slightly dominates. I don’t overdue it (I hate pain….the end) but I like the feeling of slight exhaustion at the end of my long runs! At this point I’m just going with the flow and very closely monitoring my body’s response to every run. Let’s hope it works!