His team meets at a local park for an hour, so rather than drop him off and pick him up after, I just stay and get in a run myself. I've kind of gotten away from heart rate training lately--not intentionally, but it's just been inconvenient. Renee asked me if I wanted to do a long run with her last Sunday, but she doesn't like to go slower than a 9:45 pace... I wasn't even sure if I could do that pace for six miles right now, in this humidity, so I did a little "trial" run a couple of days before.
I ran a 9:20 pace for just three miles, and it was rough! I told Renee I'd work on my speed a little, and then we could do some long runs together in the fall.
So, this week, I've been running in the "gray zone"--too fast for aerobic work, too slow for speed work--and I know better! But, I have to say, it feels kind of nice not worrying about my heart rate and just running. My pace has been roughly 9:15-9:45, and my heart rate has been about 155-160 bpm. (For aerobic work, it would ideally stay under 146 bpm; and for speed work, it would be over 164 bpm.)
In a few weeks, I'll return to a more formal running schedule, and get back to my heart rate training. Right now, though, I'm just running however I feel like when I'm out there. I've been talking to one of the other moms from Noah's cross country team, and she's super speedy. She does her easy runs at about an 8:00/mile pace! She ran with me for a little while yesterday, but I was gasping for air while she seemed like she was just going for a stroll in the park ;)
Today was incredibly humid, and I was just drenched when I finished. I only did three miles, but I looked like I just ran a marathon.
I had hoped I would continue to improve my cardio by doing the low heart rate training, but the improvement seemed to taper off a bit once I was at about a 10:00/mi pace (at a 146 bpm heart rate) in the spring. I'm sure the heat and humidity have played a big factor in that, so once it cools off, I'll be able to see if there was any improvement. I didn't put in too many miles this summer, though... typically 3-4 days a week, and just 3-4 miles at a time. I got in 61 miles in June, 68 miles in July, and 47 miles so far in August.
Someone asked me about how I was doing on the Summer Running Checklist... and I have been terrible about actually checking them off! I just went through my runs for the past month or so, and filled in the checklist where I could--I've checked off 21 of the 49 items. (My own "rule" was that each run could only count as ONE item on the list, so I can't check off several items on a single run). I'm going to try and finish at least 35 of the items before summer officially ends on September 22nd.
Coaching cross country is going really well. We have a great team, and now that this is Renee's and my second year coaching, we've gotten into a good routine. We practice three times a week: an easy/fun day, a distance day, and a speed work/hill work day. We spend the first 40 minutes or so on the focus of our practice, and then the last 20 minutes we spend playing a game (that involves running). I never imagined how much I would love coaching!
Yesterday, I was interviewed by Sarah and Dimity from the Another Mother Runner podcast. I was super nervous! It's a very popular podcast, and I've been listening to it a lot lately when I do my easy runs. They interviewed Jen and I about the documentary, and just running/weight loss in general. I'm not sure yet when it will air, but I will let you know when it does. Surprisingly, once I started chatting with them, all of my nerves went away and I felt very comfortable.
One more week until we leave for Virginia Beach!