Weekly Running Recap: June 23-29

It's been a great week!

I continued my running streak. I've been running daily for 35 days and have only five more to go.

I got new running shoes! My old ones aren't worn out yet, but I've been wearing more and more blue and wanted another color. I got the same model that I've been wearing for a year, Asics GT 2000 2. I got them from Kind Runner. They send you a return shipping label to send them an old pair of shoes for free. They give you $10 credit for sending back an old pair and then give your old pair to someone in need. Pretty cool, huh?

This is the family of Asics GT 2000 I've worn.
Unfortunately, holes have formed in the pair I've been wearing since March. I only have 300 miles in them, and my oldest Asics from last year are just fine. If the new pair get the same hole, I won't be buying this shoe again, which is a shame because otherwise I like them so much.

I also got two Runningluvs at Shaun's suggestion. It's a piece of fabric that can go around your wrist, hand, or water bottle. There is an absorbent towel attached to the fabric that you wrap around, so it looks like a sweat band but unfolds to a towel. This will be great for hot, humid runs.

On to the weekly recap! I'm going to start posting workout outfits. In some cases I didn't take pictures of me in the outfits so just took shots of the clothes. My total mileage for the week was 22.11.

Monday was a rest day, so I did one easy mile in the morning and then 50 minutes of yin yoga in the evening.
Buffalo Creek Half Marathon race tee & Athleta Be Free Knicker
Tuesday was an easy run--3.18 miles, but I forgot to stop the watch so am not sure about time. I did 30 minutes of strength training at lunch.
Athleta Extra Long Chi Tank in White and Be Free Knicker (yes, I wore them twice in a row,
but they are a stinkproof!) and Lululemon Energy Bra in Clear Mint/Grey

Wednesday was intervals! I did four .25-mile intervals at an attempted 9:30-9:38 pace (but ended up being  faster and slower). Four miles total in 45:58.
UA Tank & Athleta Relay Skort in Raspberry
Wednesday evening was 10 minutes of abs.
Lululemon Cool Racerback in Surge, Energy Bra in Clear Mint,
and In the Flow Crops in Inkwell
 Thursday was an easy run--3.18 miles in 35:49. I also did 20 minutes of yoga that night.
Lululemon Cool Racerback in Very Light Flare and Energy Bra in
Creamsicle Pop & Athleta Relay Skort in Midnight Blue
Friday was a one-mile easy run followed by 10 minutes of abs.
Pittsburgh Marathon 5K Race Tee, Athleta Relay Skort in Black, new Asics
I did 15 minutes of strength training (just lower body) at lunch. My friend came with me, so it was nice to have a buddy.
Lululemon Blue Tropics Wee Are From Space Cool Racerback,
White Energy Bra & Bruised Berry Roll Down Wunder Under Crops

And then came Saturday! Earlier in the week, I joined Steel City Road Runners Club. They start their Saturday group runs on the Northside river trail where I usually run on, so I planned to join them on Saturday. My original plan was to connect with those running a 9:30 pace so I can practice what that feels like. However my entire perspective on running got turned on its head when I started reading Run Less, Run Faster this week. This deserves an entire post, so look for that this week. To keep the long story short for this post, I decided to try one of the workouts in the book from the half marathon training plan, which was 8 miles at 20 seconds faster than half marathon pace. I accidentally figured my predicted half marathon pace from my last 10K to be 10:53, so I planned to run at an 11:13 pace. When I double-checked later, I realized my half marathon pace should be 10:59.
Athleta skort that they no longer offer--a shame because the short is made
with mesh and great for hot runs--and UPF Tee. White face due to
sunscreen! Not shown: Lululemon Rad Plaid Run Hat

I got to the SCRR tent at 6:45, introduced myself, and signed in. I was slightly nervous. The only other time I've ran with people was the Lululemon running club, which had about six people. But I figured if no one was running my pace, I'd just run alone and at least would have maybe met a few people.

It was a pretty big group--about 30 people. I saw that a couple had signed in with a 11:00-11:30 pace, so I asked if I could join them. They were new also, and the three of started together in the back of the pack (there were actually many more 11:00-12:00 runners than I'd have guessed). The girl, Lori, and I had nearly identical paces and recent race times. Her husband used to run ultramarathons and was just getting into running again after a hiatus so was happy to run at our pace. Well, you know how it is starting with a big group of people--we all started at a 9:30 pace! The book and training plan really stress the importance of either starting slow and speeding up or staying at an even pace, so I knew starting fast wasn't good. I kept trying to get my little group to slow down, and we gradually did, but it took about two miles before we got down to an 11:15 pace. Unfortunately, we just kept slowing. It was very hot and humid, even though it was only 7 a.m. We ran on the trail to the 40th Street Bridge then across the bridge. The couple started to walk on the bridge. I took a quick walk break with them to finish our conversation (I loved talking to them!) then said goodbye and started running again. I ran by myself after that.

After the bridge was the big hill up 40th Street to Liberty Avenue. I knew it was a big hill, but I'd never tried running it. It is steep and long. Even though I slowed down, about two-thirds of the way up I started walking. I'd planned to take a walk break to take a Clif gel, and that hill seemed like as good as a time as any. I started running the rest of the hill (not much) after Penn, then got to the sweet downhill on Liberty. I was able to pick up my pace and saw that for the whole downhill I was at a 9:30 pace. I thought that was probably okay. The book says you can speed up in the middle of your run, and I was at about four miles then. It was super hot, but I was feeling good. I had brought a small towel to mop up my sweat and was glad I did because I needed it.

The route was to run on Liberty toward Downtown and turn onto the 16th Street Bridge to get back to the trail. But since I wasn't running with anyone, I decided to take the 31st Street Bridge and get back on the trail earlier because it would be shady.  The idea of this long run is to run at a faster pace than you would in other training plans. You run moderately hard, not easy. I had my Garmin set to "pace" so I saw that I was keeping the pace I should--about 11:15. It was hard! And I think the heat and humidity definitely made it harder. I found that I had to take several walk breaks to get my heart rate down. On one of the walk breaks, I took a Salt Stick because I was sweating so much. The route was supposed to be six miles, so I had to tack on two more. I got to the SCRR tent at 6.3 miles and kept going. At mile 7, I felt like I barely had any energy left. My heart rate was sky high, and I was slogging along at a very slow pace. At 7.5 miles, my pace was 13:35. I knew slogging along wasn't going to do me much good, so I stopped at 7.75 miles.

I felt really good about this run! I finished in 1:29, and my average pace turned out to be 11:30. That is great considering I ran very slowly and then walked up the 40th Street hill, took several walk breaks, and went very slowly at the end. For the majority of the run, I knew I was hitting the pace I should have been. It was much harder than other long runs I've done, so I felt great about both my pace and endurance.

After the run I stopped at the SCRR tent and talked to people for 45 minutes. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and I loved having people to talk with about running. All in all, it was a great experience.

That afternoon was very hot, so what better way to spend it than indoors at the Steel City Pet Expo!
Headed to the steel expo dressed in my coolest clothes--Lululemon
Pace Rival Skirt and Runner Up Tank in Aquamarine--great for a hot day!
We saw lots of greyhounds (several greyhound adoption groups were there), so Django was pretty excited. He loves seeing other greyhounds! My friend Alicia was there as a vendor. She sells dog collars in really cool fabrics. Check out her online shop, Wetherby's. Django loves Alicia, so he was really excited to see her. Her greyhound Henry, one of Django's buddies, was there too.
They had lure chasing there, which greyhounds go crazy for--at least, most of them. Greyhound racing is, after all, all about chasing a lure, and that's what greyhounds are trained to do. Alicia said Henry and another greyhound were so excited just watching other dogs do it that they started barking and going crazy. We got in line with Django, but he didn't seem very interested. He was pretty over stimulated by everything there and showed no interest in the lure chasing. Here's us waiting line with the course behind me.

When we got to the front, I told the guy working there that I wasn't sure if Django would chase the lure. He said he's never known a greyhound to not chase it. So in we went. Because greyhounds are so fast and the course is astroturf, they tape greyhound's front paws to keep their pads from getting cut up. Well, Django was not down with the tape. When I released him and they started the lure, he would run about 10 feet and then stop and try to bite the tape off. The woman finally had to come over to take the tape off, because he just would not run with it on. After that, he did run, but mostly it was goofy running not even chasing the lure. He did chase it a few times, but nothing like the other greyhounds. Many greyhounds, including Django, are retired before they ever race for various reasons--too slow, not enough prey drive, too competitive a runner and tries to nip other dogs, etc. When we got out, Alicia said, "Well, now we know why Django didn't race!" Still, Django had fun.

I also had the opportunity to talk to the woman from Hope Haven Farm Sanctuary! I love farm animals (especially goats, chickens, and pigs)--hence the reason I do not want to eat them or contribute to their being tortured in factory farms--and have a longtime dream of starting my own farm sanctuary. I was so excited to meet the woman, Karen, who started the sanctuary in Wexford and was living my dream! There were gorgeous chickens there, who were curious about Django when he came up to sniff them.

And a baby pig!!! She was sleeping, but Karen woke her up with a treat. The little pig was so happy that she was wagging her tail like crazy. She was so happy and sweet! I absolutely loved her.
This baby pig's tail is a blur because she was wagging it so much after getting a treat!
After a minute, she laid back down to go to sleep because she was so tired.
I took some info about the sanctuary. They have volunteer days once a month, so I definitely want to volunteer there.

I wanted to take it easy on Sunday after Saturday's long, tough run, so I just did two easy miles on the trail.
Lululemon 105 Singlet in White, Pretty Purple All Sport Bra and Banguster &
Pace Rival Skirt in Black (Note: My face is white because of my zinc oxide sunscreen!)

The Run Less, Run Faster book is big on cross-training. I realized after I read it that I haven't ridden my bike for about two years. So my husband tuned it up and washed it for me, and we went out for about 45 minutes. We biked to Point State Park to see the big sand art they're doing for the July 4th celebration this upcoming weekend then out on the river trail to the old jail and back. I'd forgotten how fun biking is--and how nice the breeze feels on a hot day.
Lorna Jane Dash Excel Tank, Lululemon Inkwell In the Flows & Bangbuster
in Beachscape
 In between all of this, I basically spend the weekend thinking about Run Less, Run Faster, which is why I want to do a separate post on that this week. Until then, happy running this week!

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