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The Loop





September 2021 in review!  

Total mileage for the month:  360.3
  • August 30-Sep. 5:  97
  • Sep. 6-12:  90.4
  • Sep. 13-19:  90.8
  • Sep. 20-26:  78.1
  • Sep. 27-Oct. 3:  projected at 67 (marathon week)
Deciding between #swoleseptember,
#smallseptember, & #stuckupseptember
  • Sep. 12: Plaza 10k in 38:12 for 2nd overall female, making it both my worst Plaza 10k and best Plaza 10k.
  • Sep. 4:  23 miles via 3.3 easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 8 miles easy, 4 x 5:00 tempos, 2.7 cool down, with 2:00 jogs between tempo portions.  This was one of those workouts where I never felt great, but gritting through and hitting goal paces was possible.  My tempo paces were 5:58, 6:00, 5:54, 5:57, 5:57, 5:55, 5:59, 5:55 (goal 5:55-6:05), which I was very pleased with in 74*/dew point 73* and considering how I felt.  After I finished the first set of tempos, I thought there was no way I could run another set at that pace, and certainly not after running 8 more miles, but turns out I could.  I love workouts like this and think those tempos near the end really pay off!  Casey and Colin ran the same workout, and I got Colin to run on the outside of the loop (farthest path) while I ran on the inside (shortest path) and I was able to stay close enough to him that it helped pull me along.
  • Sep. 7:  3 x 10:00 at tempo at 6:02, 6:00, 5:58 with 2:00 jog recoveries (3.6 warm up, 2.4 cool down). This was another one of those workouts where I never felt great, but I could grit through it.  Must be high mileage marathon training!
  • Sep. 15:  20:00 tempo (6:05, 6:22, 6:22, 6:18), 4:00 jog, 10:00 tempo (6:26, 6:23), 3:00 jog, 5:00 tempo (6:12), in a 15.2 mile run.  Oof.  My body felt trashed on this run, and even though I didn't hit my goal pace on anything except the first mile, I was strangely satisfied that I stayed 6:12-6:26 when I had nothing.  Running the Plaza 10k and 20.2 miles total when not at all rested on Sep. 12 and being away from home longer than planned took its toll on me (I worked in Kansas City the two days after the race then stayed an extra night before going straight to SE Kansas for funerals).  Andrew and Josh ran this with me at the Downtown Kansas City Airport, and I was thankful because I needed all the help I could get!
  • Sep. 19:  18.7 miles with 10 easy, 2 MP (6:20, 6:21), 0.5 easy, 1 MP (6:08), 3.7 easy, 1 MP (6:19). This workout could be titled Indecision!  I was scheduled to run 2 x 6 miles at MP in an 18 miler, but I didn't think I had it in me mentally or physically to hit that workout due to the week I'd had - plus I'd made Sep. 15 into a long run workout since I didn't think I'd have time to do a second run that day and ran all my miles in the morning.  I went back and forth a lot about what to do on Sep. 19, and settled on doing 18 easy, reminding myself that I hadn't missed or modified a single workout the whole training cycle, and cutting this one was better than trying it and digging myself into a hole 2 weeks before my marathon.  I felt okay during the run, and Casey was running 12 with a 2 mile fast finish, so I decided to do those fast finish miles with her.  Then I decided I'd do another MP mile so I'd have 3 at MP, or 25% of the original plan (it seemed sensible at the time!).  Then I ran into Colin towards the end of his 2 x 6 miles and ran one more MP mile with him to finish off my run, which was also why I ran 18.7 instead of 18.  I'm still not sure if I did the right thing, but it's done!  From the 4 miles at MP I did, I can say I wouldn't have hit the 2 x 6.
  • Sep. 22:  2 x 6 miles at MP with 0.5 recovery, or Third Time's a Charm, because after missing this workout on Sep. 19 I was planning to run it on Sep. 21, but a severe thunderstorm delayed my run start by 45 minutes that day and I didn't have time to run a 15 mile workout before work at that point.  I was beginning to wonder if I was just not meant to run this workout, but I am glad I was able to.  After a poor workout on Sep. 15 and a reduced workout on Sep. 19, I really needed a confidence boost before racing, and this workout helped.  I ran the first 6 miles as I plan to run the first 6 miles of my marathon, aiming for 6:25 pace.  I averaged 6:23 via 6:30, 6:23, 6:29, 6:19, 6:28, 6:10 (1, 3, and 5 were into the wind and 2, 4, 6 had a tailwind).  I ran the second 6 miles at what I hope to run the final 6 miles of my marathon at, aiming for 6:10 pace.  I averaged 6:12 via 6:15, 6:11, 6:09, 6:20, 6:13, 6:06 (the 6:20 mile was mostly into the wind, the rest were a mix).  The first 6 miles were gently rolling and the second 6 relatively flat.  My average for the whole shebang was 6:17.5...who knows the significance of that?  Hah.  As much as I wanted my marathon pace to be 6:15 this cycle, this workout made me think that it is probably 6:20.
  • Sep. 25:  4 miles at marathon effort within a 12.3 mile run.  I went by effort and not pace since we were on a hilly route and since that's best for me at this point in training.  My splits were 6:13, 6:21, 6:33, 6:19, with the first mile having more downhill and the third being mostly up. 6:21 average seemed about right, and that was also right were I was on miles 2 and 4 which were more equal with their rolling hills throughout.  I ran this with Colin, who then had 3-2-1 mile progressive tempos after the 4 at marathon pace.  My 12 miles with some pace work the week before a marathon never inspires confidence and this one was no different!
  • Sep. 28:  3 x 1 mile at MP with 1:30 recovery in 6:12, 6:16, 6:12.  I don't think this is my marathon pace and because my sinuses were really stuffed up it sure didn't feel like it.  I've done this enough that a not-confidence inspiring taper week workout is just par for the course.
  • Strides: Sep. 6, 11, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, and at least a couple before workouts/races.
  • Doubles: Sep. 2, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 21, 23, 28.
#sleeveseptember or #sleeverlessseptember
Long Runs:
  • Sep. 4: 23.1 miles (7:27), with a workout described above.  I had 3 friends (Casey, Colin, and Christian) running 20+ this day too!
  • Sep. 5:  12.3 miles (8:03) with Elise, David, Colin, Casey, and Zach.
  • Sep. 8:  12.1 miles (8:06) with a big Wednesday morning crew!
  • Sep. 12:  20.4 miles via 3.2 miles warm up, the Plaza 10k, and 11 miles addendum (too long to call a cool down)!
  • Sep. 15:  15.2 miles, with a workout (described above), in lieu of running 11 miles in the morning and 4 in the afternoon.
  • Sep. 18:  18.7 miles (7:31), with a little work (described above).
  • Sep. 21:  15.1 miles, with a big workout, described above.
  • Sep. 25:  12.3 miles (7:23) with 4 at marathon pace.
  • Note: I defined 12 miles+ in a single run as a long run for the purposes of this section this month.
Running Highlights:
  • My mention in my niece's collegiate athlete bio pretty much made my month!  Read it here.
  • I hit 104.3 miles on my rolling 7 for September 2-8, but didn't realize it until September 9 (e.g., was unable to add 1.8 miles that would have gotten me a new 7-day mileage PR).  I try not to be too obsessed with mileage numbers but I kind of am...
  • This is more a low-light but needs mentioning.  My coach is taking a hiatus from coaching due to a new job and life stuff, so I'm back to self-coaching temporarily.  It went okay when I did it this spring, so I'm optimistic, but I also know I can't be 100% objective about my own training.
  • My running buddy, who I also coach, Casey ran an awesome PR in Berlin with a 2:52:37.  I was so excited about this I felt like I'd PRed!  Seeing it all come together for her was thrilling!
Life Highlights:
  • Jon and I celebrated our anniversary on Sep. 17, and Albani's birthday on Sep. 18!
School picture day for someone who
currently hates photos
Birthday - she did not want photos
Also celebrating
I wouldn't let her eat cake until we
took pictures
  • All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin
  • The Swallows by Lisa Lutz
  • My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing
  • The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
  • Chasing Fireflies by Charles Martin
  • What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
  • True Colors by Kristin Hannah
  • Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
  • The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
Theme for the month:
  • It's just running.  One of my friends lost her 24-year-old son and another lost her 40-year-old husband this month, which made running seem really unimportant.  In the midst of an unplanned trip to Kansas to attend their funerals, I trained as scheduled, but I was not emotionally invested in it then or really for the remainder of the month.  I'm running a marathon on October 3 but I can't seem to care about it like I usually do.
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Recommended Comments

Sorry to hear about your friends losses.   It's good to put things in perspective and to rember to be gratefull for the many wonderfull things in our lives.

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