Wednesday, October 5, 2011

3rd Quarter Stats, Lots of training talk (yadda yadda), and a Few Photos

Someone told me once that no one cares as much about your training as you do....It's probably true! So this might just be for me.

I didn't do a semi-annual post, and haven't been doing any monthly postings or numbers. So, this is just some stuff for the record books and a little analysis of the year-to-date. Why not?

My mileage might be down from last year at this date. I should check! Last year I ran this type of mileage from Jan-Oct 1 2010:
Last year was a great running year for me. Every race was a PR in every distance (but i didn't race very often!). Of course, I think I am still learning a lot (this being my third year of being serious about it), and am enjoying the "new runner"  improvement period. I hope to ride it out as long as I can.

This year, the same period:

Currently I am in the process of rebuilding my mileage from 10K training. Most of my runs since the Prefontaine Memorial 10K have been easy runs, except for a second 10k and a threshold run I did last Friday. (10 miles total, 3 miles steady threshold, goal pace 6:42)

The cutback in mileage  was helpful in a sense that I could perform better in the speed work and for the races (at least feel rested for them). Really, if time were no object, I still would have like to run 65-70 MPW, but doing doubles = way less sleep for me. When it comes to sleep V. easy running for recovery, it's kind of a toss-up. I can run 65 MPW in 5 runs a week, but trying to do the three speed sessions and a "long run" with a recovery run between each becomes a challenge.  I am ready to get back into some higher mileage, especially in the long run, and may be going back to 2 days of speed after this building phase.

Another thing that I have noticed is that my easy pace is creeping up. I really felt like I was pushing it hard during the Boston training period (Jan-April).  I was trying to force the easy paces to be in a certain window based on the November half, and my goal pace for Boston. I still hold tight to the idea that this is partly to blame for my February injury. I was pushing the limits in my speed work and not giving my legs the pace they really needed to get full recovery benefit. Since doing the 10k training, most of my easy running was around 8:30-8:50.  The last few runs have felt more comfy at 8:15-8:30. We'll see if this changes when I bring back some intervals and reps :) .

The graph below shows different Vdot levels from my training and racing, the goal being to see the racing Vdot symbol getting higher and higher up on the chart. Please note that the tempo, interval, fartlek and threshold Vdot numbers are all combined with my warm-up and cool-down that day. I might run 4 miles of tempo in 10 miles and it's going to bring down the average Vdot, for instance. I just don't have time to separate it all out!

And, now, if I haven't bored you to death with all this training talk...
Here are a few shots from the BDR 10K - 

Awesome course, even with the few gravel patches we had to deal with.
The question on every runner's mind at mile 5...

This is what October looks like here...Some shots from home:
My kids favorite play place, until the water level comes back up from all the rain.

Last night I went out in the first torrential downpour since last spring. It felt great! There will be a purchase of a new rain shell this year though, since it leaked at all the seams before I was 10 minutes into the run.

Real life is keeping me busy with Nathan's school and now canning Asian Pears. Yesterday I put up 21 quarts with a friend's help and I have way too many more to do. Free fruit is a blessing.....but know...there has to be a limit eventually!

 I have a few new readers here- that's always exciting! I think it has more to do with this post and not this silly one. I hope to check in with those of you who keep sending me encouragement. Thank you for continuing to stop by even when I disappear for awhile. :)

**An answered prayer: My Own Calcutta has posted recently and I was glad to see that things are getting back to normal for her. :)


  1. Well, people might not care as much a YOU do about your training, but they still care A LOT:) I loved seeing this post. I love reading about your training. You know so much and I always learn something:)

    About the easy runs. I am doing them without the Garmin, and often I listen to Podcasts. Sometimes I go slower, other times faster, but it is always by feel. I love not to have the pressure of following a pace, not to look at my Garmin every 3 seconds, and just get the break from "pushing". I think some of my easy runs in the summer were around 9 min pace or slower. But miraculously, my legs would feel so good the next day, when it really matters (key workout).

    I have never done doubles, but I will probably move into that direction for Boston. I worry about getting burned out though (for me!). I do think that frequency of runs is important, so the more double the better (probably!).

    You are doing awesome Raina, and am so excited for your upcoming half where you will be crushing it, no doubt!

  2. Keep posting about your trgg!! You are on the cusp of greatness - IMHO - in more ways than one.

    I cannot successfully do doubles yet.

  3. Wow, awesome pics-I like you new banner too!

    I love hearing about other's training and especially it's neat to see other athletes find what works best for them. 65 MPW is a nice lil load if I say so myself!

    I too have found that doing cutback weeks, not racing as often (people probably think I'm soo boring b/c, but it works for me), and being patient with pacing really does make you faster!

    Cool how when you don't force the pace it almost automatically comes to you?! Less is more, whodathunk it! :)

  4. My mom always canned when we were kids...peaches, pears, applesauce, tomatoes...I miss the yumminess!

  5. I love reading about what other people do for helps me out a lot. I can't, however, even imagine 8:15 feeling "easy". :)

  6. Holy smokes. I read this like 14 times and I'm still deciphering it-ha! I like numbers but I'm a little slow when it comes to understanding them. By golly, I think I've finally got it though! And I truly do find it very interesting to see what you're doing!!

    Doubles. For awhile I was doing them quite often! This winter when I have less option for good windows of training time, I think I will be doing quite a few more of them.

    "Will the finish line have watermelon"? Can't say that goes through my head at mile 5 of a 10K. More like "will there EVER BE A FINISH LINE!!"

    Great pics speedy:)

  7. Thanks for the insight on your training. It helps keep me motivated :)

    Get Up & Go

    PS - You run in the rain? You are a ROCKSTAR. Rain = me not doing anything. haha

  8. Your charts are incredible, I don't even get that detailed, but I really love it (what software do you use?). If nothing else, the colors are so pretty :).

    You look awesome in the race pictures, love how you're so out in front of all those guys!! YAY!

    Not many colors yet in your neck of the woods. I think we get them sooner here because of the altitude, not as much colors here in Denver as in the mountains, but it's quickly coming. So not ready for winter....maybe if I had countless canned Asian Pears?? ;)

    Have a great weekend!!!

  9. Well, if you don't get a chance to buy that rain jacket, I learned this weekend at the Maine Marathon that a trash bag works! I like your new blog header (and I found you in it)!

  10. ha ha! I came here earlier and it looked like you took it down or were editing or something. I'm sure you know exactly what my eyes did when I saw this...woah, where are the FEELINGS, the pictures and vision collages. ha ha. Love it! I actually enjoyed this post. So much to be said about the slower runs and higher mileage...I'm beginning to think. I have been running a lot more without my garmin like AM said. You have had an exceptional training here girl! Hey, what Half marathon are you running soon? I'll PM you. Love your new blog header pic.

  11. I'm a big stats geek and work with graphs and stats daily. I love your training graphs, awesome! You live in a very beautiful place. Have a super weekend!

  12. I too find this kind of stuff fascinating. I'm of course coming back from injury the SECOND STUPID YEAR IN A ROW and so analysis of what might be contributing is always interesting. I do know that my easy pace was getting a lot faster just before the stress fracture, sigh!

    What's the difference between "tempo" and "threshold"?

  13. I wanna visit you! The west side of the PNW is so pretty!! And green!

    My question to you is, when are you going to be a RRCA coach and teach the rest of us!! You're so diligent and I am always inspired by your dedication!

  14. I love all your charts!!! Seriously its so cool too see it all laid out like that!! Beautiful pics!

  15. Beautiful pictures of October!!! How cool that you have charts and graphs of training.. very smart!!

  16. wow! what a great post! I came here when Amanda mentioned it the other day but there was nothing, but now I see it! I think I might need to read this a few more times. I LOVE graphs. I LOVE numbers! great post!
    I have been a bit of an idiot and not running as slow as I need to like JOel taught me. I need to start! I am also going to be adding doubles in about 2mos b/c it is the ONLY way to fit in the mileage I will need to. Doubles are good, ifyou can run slow and be sure to get lots of sleep. that is where I run into trouble....
    Your mileage this last year and in 2010 is incredible!!! I am working on getting there. I LOVE Your header by the way! what a great shot!!! OH and I need to go look up the Best Dam Run pics...forgot about those!! xxxx

  17. Oh..and the half is the one we are doing on Oct 29 right? we need to plan those details soon! can't wait!!!

  18. I think this is fascinating! You've inspired me to do better tracking and journaling.

  19. I agree with Cory, above...your tracking has totally inspired me to do a better job of tracking and journaling. It shows your discipline and dedication to a sport you love...and how it pays off in your times. Oh, and thank you so much for your comment today about the move and praying for my kids school transition. That is the one thing that has me stressed about it all. I will post more about it all soon. Thanks, Raina. Love your heart and dedication to your family. Also, canning is something I've thought about trying someday. I have lots of friends that can...we'll see! :)

  20. I love all your charts and graphs! They are fun to look at! I am terrible at keeping track of how much I run and pacing and things like that. Only way I get some data is via running while my garmin is on.

    And I love your new blog header! I thought the pics taken during that race were phenomenal, so I'm glad you're using it as your blog header.

  21. Love the graphs and charts! You are my kind of girl!! Thanks for the prayers and sweet comments. :)

  22. I remember when my log book was only "pen and paper". Now all this graphs help us to understand better what we can and we have to do to prevent injures and to improve our performances.
    The pictures are wonderful, it seems that you are flying.
    Beautiful header.

  23. Your training is so impressive! I had to do a triple take at the total mileage you have!

    I did 70 miles in one MONTH one time. One time! I would love to be able to do that every month. Maybe I'll start trying that now!

  24. This is absolutely totally awesome! I live this, I'm taking notes. Nice photos also! -M

  25. BTW, I used to squeeze two workouts and a ling hard run into every week....or two workouts and a race. I would be hurt by June every time. Now I find I recover better and I am running a lot faster with one workout and one long hard run. May not work for u but...

  26. THose are some seriously impressive charts and graphs girl!
    I love that you had the breakthrough year of constant PRs and I know there's so much more greatness to come for you.
    So so happy for My Own Calcutta!

  27. I put a comment on Julie's blog about Oregon - I was watching the Oregon vs CAL game last week, and literally cringed when I saw that Lamichael James injury. I hope that he recovers quickly, I don't want to see anyone get injured. I think Oregon will win its next 4 games too (this week against Arizona State is probably the hardest game for you guys until Stanford). I already can't wait for Nov 12! haha


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