50k training – week 6 recap


So, week 6 of my training is in the books!

It was definitely a tough week and I’m looking forward to scaling back a little next week. I’ve actually got a middle of the week rest day next week!

Anyway, here’s how it all went down.



Monday morning sunrise at the track!

Speed work at the track. I had 2 x 1200m (3/4 mile) in 5:27 and 4 x 800m (1/2 mile) in 3:34 to do. Apparently, the geese had a party at the track this past weekend because there was goose poop EVERYWHERE!! Gross!

I warmed up with a slow mile and got to work. My 1200m times were 5:21 and 5:27. Not too bad. Especially since I was dodging goose poop. Seriously, there were spots on the track that were just covered so I was kinda weaving around them. Ugh. But, at least I wasn’t dodging the actual geese like I was last Monday!

My 800m times were 3:26, 3:31, 3:34, 3:40. I finished 2 and was tired but kept on pushing. The last 2 were definitely tough. It was a little muggy – we’re supposed to get thunderstorms today – and I felt a little like I was running through water. Blech. Also, I’m not sure what it was but I felt a little something in my left hip. You know, the one that was injured before? :/ I didn’t feel a strain or a pull or anything like that – I was just kind of aware of it, if that makes any sense. That’s why my 4th 800m was off the mark. It took almost a full lap before I stopped feeling it. I’m not really sure what’s going on but I’m definitely going to be paying attention to it. I don’t want an injury. Not one little bit.


6pm CrossFit, no running.


I was really looking forward to tonight’s workout. Coach sends out a newsletter each Sunday with the WODs for the week so we can (plan to skip on days that suck) prepare for the week. Tonight was 3×5 deadlifts and then Tabata row. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect for the Tabata workout – I know what Tabata is but there weren’t specified rounds or time listed.

For the deadlifts, I did a staggered warm-up with 65#, 105#, and 125#. Then, I got down to business. My weights were 155#, 165#, and 175#. Whoop! Since they were 5 reps each round, those are all PRs for me. I might have been able to go a little higher (maybe 185#) but I really wanted good, solid form and I definitely got that. I was pleased with that! Of course, one of the other girls in my group is wicked strong and her top was 225#! She made it look so easy that she darn near had me convinced that I could do it!

rosie the riveter

The Tabata row turned out to be a 4 minute activity, rowing for calories. Tabata is 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. That ended up being 8 rounds. Because we were doing such short bursts, we pushed the resistance level up past where we would normally sit for a longer row. I ended up knocking out 47 calories! Some of the guys were up in the 70s – that’s crazy!


Tempo run! I had 5 miles at 8:12 pace on my schedule. Which, honestly, I thought was a little weird. No prescribed warm up and cool down? Guess that was up to me? So, I did some warm up in my driveway (high knees, leg swings, squats, quad stretches, Samson stretch, etc.) and headed down the road.

Okay, is it just me or is everybody a little sad that the sunrise is starting to get later and later? I’m not ready yet! Don’t get me wrong, I love fall temperatures but I was kind of enjoying watching the sunrise on my morning tempo runs. Now, the sun is still technically “in bed” by the time I’m done. Sigh.

So, I didn’t make my pace for the first mile – ran it in 8:42 – but I guess I needed a little more warm up than I thought. The next 4 miles were 8:10, 7:51, 7:57, and 8:12. I finished it off with about a quarter mile cool down just to get back to my house. Phew, those sub-8:00 miles were quick! And unnecessary! I try not to look at my watch all the time because I don’t want to focus on the “how much I have left” part of a run but clearly, I need to pay more attention to my pace. The final mile at 8:12 felt much harder than it really needed to because I had ran too fast on the 2 miles before it. Bah!


Me and my stubby little pigtails. lol

6pm CrossFit – Barbara – holy Hell.

And that’s supposed to be a benchmark workout?!?! Yikes!


Coach said we should only take about 45 minutes to complete the workout and if we thought we were going to need 50 minutes or more, that we should scale down to 4 rounds or wherever we were at that time.

For the pull ups, I kipped the first two rounds. The bar was so sticky! I’m used to sweating so much that I slide right off but not tonight. I grabbed chalk to help prevent me from ripping because I was stuck to the bar but chalk can also dry up excess moisture and make you stick to the bar. Double edged sword! Anyway, in round 3 I went to the purple band for my pull ups because my right hand was threatening to rip and I didn’t want that.

I scaled each and every push up down to my knees. I was really working on form – keeping my elbows in rather than out – and I knew doing 120-150 push ups was going to hurt. The girl next to me used a band to help keep her elbows in. I may have to start doing that!

I had no problems with the sit ups or the air squats. There were just so many of them!

I finished 4 rounds in 42:08 and stopped there. We had mandatory 3 minute rest between rounds which would put me at 45:00 and I knew I wasn’t going to finish the 5th round in 5 minutes to keep it under 50:00 total. Oof.


6pm CrossFit, no running

Let me tell you something. Yesterday’s workout – Barbara? Yeah, she hurts. My pecs and my abs got progressively sore as the day went on. Oh my goodness. By the time I got to CrossFit, changing out of my work clothes was a little bit of a challenge. Haha!


So, we started off with finding our 1RM snatch. There were only 3 (!) of us in class tonight – guess I wasn’t the only one hurting but hey, I didn’t stay home! – and we had 30 minutes so I definitely had plenty of time to work on my form. I started with just the 35# bar and eventually added 10# for 45#. I’m definitely getting better with it but I still need work. I am not fluid going down into the squat with the weight over my head. I have a little bit of a pause but it’s far better than it used to be. Then, I took the weight up to 55# to see if I could do it and I couldn’t really. My OHS form was faltering a fair amount. Coach suggested I go back down in weight and work on my form. So, I did. I did plenty at 45#. 🙂

Then, the WOD was 15 minutes (for quality, not time) of 2 snatch, 5 strict toes to bar, 5 pistols (each leg).

You know what? Strict toes to bar are HARD and throw in the fact that my abs are sore from Barbara and they get even HARDER. Plus, my grip was shot from all the pull ups. Thank goodness it was only 5!!

I wasn’t counting rounds so I don’t know how many I ended up with. I talked with Coach afterward about my form on the snatch and he said I was doing pretty well – hitting below parallel each time and my form with holding the weight overhead was really good. I just need to work on my fluidity and flexibility. These are all good things!


Rest Day. Thank God.

My pecs and abs are still really sore and I’m tired. And it’s raining. And, it’s supposed to rain/thunderstorm all weekend. Especially tomorrow morning. When I have a 20-miler on the schedule. I’ll run in the rain all day long but I don’t play with thunderstorms. At present, I’m honestly considering just bagging the run altogether and resting my body/hip/groin area. I have guilt, though. :/


Well, I rested.

I debated all day and even into the night.

Even in the middle of the night at a 2am potty break (oh. sorry. TMI?), I was still arguing with myself about whether or not I should run.

Of course, it was POURING outside at that time so that helped me reiterate to myself that my decision was a good one.

It’s still early in my training and missing a training run, albeit a long one, isn’t going to kill me.  Running long and not allowing a potential injury to rest and recover might, though. Well, at least it would kill my running – not me literally. 🙂

So, that’s how it all ended up. And honestly, I slept until 7:30 this morning and I NEVER do that. Clearly, I needed the rest.

Now, it’s time to look forward to week 7!

Talk to me: How difficult is it for you to miss a scheduled training run? Do you argue with yourself or is that just me?

– jennifer

50k training – week 5 recap


Finished up week 5 of my 50k training and I’ll be honest – I’m really happy that it’s over.

I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of my weekend and letting my body rest and recharge. It’s been one helluva week.


Track work! I had mile repeats (3×1600) in 7:24 on the schedule. Waking up was definitely a difficult thing to do this morning. I did NOT want to get out of bed at all. I briefly tried to justify skipping the workout but I didn’t have any good reasons so, off to the track I went.


At least I was graced with another beautiful morning!


Did one mile warm-up and got to work on my repeats. My times were 7:19, 7:22, and 7:23. I tried to run more by feel than my watch (although, I did check my watch for pace every 800m or so) and I did pretty well. I was pretty tired by the last one so I was really thankful that I only had to do 3. Finished up with an easy one mile cool-down jog, stretched, and headed into the locker room. 🙂

Monday was a double so, after work, I headed to the 6pm CrossFit class.

I’m really starting to like this group. I still miss my 4pm buddies but I’m making some new friends and having a good time.


We started off the workout with some double unders. Apparently, we were, in 10 minutes, supposed to do 50 unbroken, breathe, 40 unbroken, breathe, 30 unbroken, breathe, 20 unbroken, breathe, 10 unbroken, finish.

Yeah. Mine looked more like – do 1, miss the next one, reset, do 1, miss the next one, reset, do 1, miss the next one, reset, lather, rinse, repeat.

For 10 stinkin’ minutes.

Then, the AMRAP.

I’m still working on Handstand push-ups so I scaled down to handstand holds (getting better at those!), I scaled the bar muscle-ups to chest-to-bar pull-ups with the purple band, and I scaled the power clean weight to 70#.

I got through either 5 or 6 rounds.

Then, I practiced my handstands a little more. 🙂




Tuesday was CrossFit, no running.


We started with front squats, 5 sets of 3 reps.

I got up to 110#! I did 65#, 85#, 95#, 105#, 110#. PR baby!

The WOD was an every minute on the minute WOD and usually I enjoy those. Those toes to bar, though.

I used the 35# kettle bell for the goblet squats. Had a devil of a time holding on to the bar for the toes to bar. Ripped my hands a little but not too badly, thank goodness.

Was graced with more beauty in the sky on my way home. I kinda love it here. 🙂




No running, 6pm CrossFit.


This workout was a beast. A serious butt-kicker. When the WOD is running + burpees and the Coach has you warm up with running and burpees, you know you’re in for some hurt.

We started off working up to our 2-rep max push press. I’m can’t really remember what my 1-rep max was before but I’m pretty sure it was around 75# or so. I’d have to grab some old training logs and pray I actually wrote it down somewhere. *note to self – WRITE IT DOWN!!!* Anyway, we warmed up and got started. I successfully did 95# 2 times and loaded 10# more on the bar. I got the first one up but it came down a little funny and when I went up on the second time, Coach said my left knee dropped in and I just couldn’t stick with it. I pushed the bar up but not enough and had to let it go behind me. So, with that, I discovered my new 1-rep max for push press! Whoop!

Then, the WOD. The brutal, awful WOD. I finished in 12:13. The running was the easy part – the burpees, however….. There are reasons people hate burpees – because they’re difficult and they’re a full body-burner. Ugh. But, that which does not kill us….right?


Tempo run this morning. It was ridiculously muggy. Blech!

But, it WAS beautiful! Mother Nature’s attempt to make up for the humidity. 🙂


I had 6 miles on the schedule – 2 @ 9:32, 3 @ 7:37, 1 @ 9:32.

Yeah, that didn’t happen. My body said NO pretty loudly. My legs felt like they were full of lead (gee, thanks, last night’s burpees!) and my left hip was super tight for some reason. I actually had to pause a couple of times to try and stretch it out! My first mile was 9:41, 2nd mile was 9:18, 3rd was 8:18, 4th was 7:41 (closer, at least), 5th at 9:18, 6th at 9:32. I just didn’t have it at all. I would have pushed the 5th mile a little more but I figured my body was fighting back for a reason. I didn’t want to risk an injury so I slowed it down. I plan on doing as much stretching as I can today to push the lactic acid through my legs and hopefully loosen up my hip. :/


This is my trying to pretend I feel good. Am I convincing?



6pm CrossFit.

I played hooky. It is what it is. I was tired and really needed the break. Plus, I didn’t want to aggravate whatever may have been going on with my hip/groin area and make a long run on Saturday even more difficult. It’s okay. It’s all part of the plan – I have to listen – and PAY ATTENTION – to my body. Injuries are not an option.



Good morning!

Long run today. I had 18 miles at 9:34 on the schedule.

I honestly wasn’t sure how that was going to go given the week that I had but I still wanted to get out the door and cover some miles.


Thankfully, I didn’t see any bears!

I adjusted my route a little because I was nervous but I still ran in the park. I just kept my eyes – and ears  – peeled for any signs of a bear.

I got spooked by a couple of runners who came up behind me just past the spot I first saw the bear but I survived. I only jumped a couple of feet in the air. 😉

I saw more darn dogs off leash and roaming the neighborhoods this morning than I have in a while. I’ve been bitten by a dog before so I tend to steer clear of any dog that’s not on a leash or behind a fence that is barking at me. Of course, that means my route had to be adjusted on the fly a few times today. :/

Seriously people, either put up a fence or be outside with your dogs!!

I had to stop once around mile 12 to massage my foot and my tummy was pretty disagreeable so I didn’t manage the full 18.


I did get 15 miles done and my pace was okay, even for my tummy issues.

I didn’t really do anything different food-wise the past few days so I’m not sure what caused the distress.

I had no issues with my hip so resting on Friday definitely helped whatever that was.


Even my Garmin thought it was muggy!

So, all in all, week 5 wasn’t the success that I wanted it to be but I did have some good moments.

I think I was carried by the adrenaline of seeing the bear and telling my story during the first part of the week and then, I crashed in the 2nd half.

It’s okay, though. It’s only week 5 of a 16 week plan and I still pulled out some good mileage for my long run.

My plan for the rest of the weekend is to rest, replenish, and rejuvenate.

Watch out, week 6 – I’m coming for ya!

Talk to me: How do you handle “off” training weeks? What’s your favorite way to recuperate after a tough long run?

50k training – week 4 recap (or that time I kinda got chased by a bear)


Week 4 of my 50k training is in the books and boy, oh boy, did it end with a BANG!


Monday was track work – 5x1000m at 4:30 with a 400m rest interval.


I did a mile warm-up and enjoyed the beautiful sunrise. 🙂


My times looked like this: 4:30, 4:30, 4:30, 4:34, 4:25.

Not sure what happened on the 4th one but I made up for it on the 5th!

I actually felt really, really good. Physically, I probably could have done a couple more! But, I didn’t.

Did 3/4 mile cool down jog and about 5 minutes of good stretching.

No CrossFit tonight.


I’m officially at the 6pm class at CrossFit. My work schedule has been changed (accommodates my running without me having to bounce back and forth between two different schedules!) and the 4pm class is out of the question. Hard to be in 2 places at once!

So, Tuesday, I didn’t know ANYBODY. Not even the Coach! It was a little awkward but at least next time, the faces will be a little familiar. 🙂

We started off with an EMOM workout of rope climbs.


Every minute on the minute, we had to do 2 rope climbs for 10 minutes. 10!

I tried to get 2 climbs done on the first minute but I only managed 1 1/2 before I realized I wouldn’t have any rest before the next minute.

So, I scaled back and did 1 climb every minute. Which was really, really hard.

I can climb okay but I’m really slow and I need to work on my kip so I make the motion more legs and less arms. The coming back down part is where I struggle. I’m a little afraid of heights so I don’t trust myself to let go of my legs and just go hand over hand using my feet as a guide.

Can you say rope burn?

Then, we followed that up with a 5k row.

Finished mine in 24:38. When I got up, I felt like I’d been riding a horse. Haha!


Tempo run day!

I really wasn’t sure how it was going to work out after having rowed a 5k just last night but I was going to give it my all.

I had 6 miles – 1 mile warm-up @ 9:32, 4 miles @ 8:12, 1 mile cool down @ 9:32.

Um, yeah.

My tempo miles looked like this: 8:01, 8:11, 7:58, 8:08.

I was pretty much all over the place! Whenever I slowed down, I felt like I was going too slow. Clearly, I wasn’t but I was having a really difficult time judging my speed.

And, honestly, I didn’t think I had a 7:58 in me because I was so darned tired!


Wednesday night CrossFit started with overhead squat work. 5 sets of 2 reps.

I started with 35#, moved up to 45#, tried and sucked at 55#, and went back down to 45# to work on form.

You wouldn’t think 10# would make such a big difference but it really does. I couldn’t even get to parallel with 55#.

Then, the WOD was a 10 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 snatches (full squat snatch) and 10 burpees over the bar.

Coach wanted me to work on my squat more than the snatch so he modified my workout to weighted squats – I held a 10# plate out in front of me and squatted. Then, I dropped the plate and did my burpees and jumped onto the plate.

I made it through almost 6 rounds – was 4 burpees shy of finishing the full 6.

Holy. Sweaty. Mess.


I was so blissfully happy that I didn’t have running on the schedule for today! I had just done 3 tough workouts in a 24 hour period and my body was begging for a little break!

Sleeping in (until 5:45!) was blissful. 🙂

Thursday night CrossFit started with deadlifts – 3 sets of 5.

I started with 125#, then moved up to 175#.

That may have been a little aggressive.

I tried 195# but could only manage 2, dropped down to 185# and knocked out 2 more and called it. Oof!

Deadlifts were also a part of the WOD so I didn’t want to do too much more than I already had.

195# is a PR!!!!

Hell, pretty much ALL of that was a PR! 175# five times?!?! Heck yeah!!

So, the WOD was 9, 7, 5 of deadliest (145#), strict ring dips, and pistols (each leg).

After doing the heavy deadlifts to start, you would think 145# would feel light. Yeah. Not so much.

I downsized my band for the strict ring dips from purple to red (YAY!) and modified the pistols.

I added one more modification in that my heel was also elevated on a plate.

I don’t know how holding a weight out in front of you makes them easier rather than harder but it really does! I still struggled a little and learned that my left hip is a lot less flexible than my right hip. My left knee kept wanting to drop in and I really had to work hard to not let it otherwise I would fall over.

But, I made great progression and I’m proud of myself!

I can’t remember my finish time. I was just happy to be done!


Blissful, happy, FULL rest day!!!


I had my first 20-miler on the schedule for today and I was just full of emotions.

Part of me didn’t want to run at all – sleeping just sounded so nice!

But, I got up and went. My prescribed pace was 9:49 and I kept that for a while.

The weather was absolutely perfect! It was about 68 degrees, the humidity wasn’t too high, and there was a breeze. Sweet, blissful, beautiful BREEZE!


I was tooling along, minding my own business, lost in my thoughts as I made my way through the local park. I run to the park, then around the trails in the park, and then away from the park to neighborhoods near my house.

It all sounds so far away but it really isn’t. The park is a mile up the road – I just take the extended way there – and the neighborhoods I run in are right across the street but they go back pretty far and I can get some good mileage out of them.

Anyway, I’m cruising along through the park, enjoying my morning and thinking about our hike a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking about the things we saw and the things we didn’t see (like bears) and I rounded a corner and stopped dead in my tracks.

There was a bear on the path.

He was a young bear and I startled him pretty good. Although, I have to admit, he startled ME pretty good.

He bolted up a hill, running and thrashing through the brush. I just stood there watching, waiting to see if an even larger mama bear appeared at the top of that hill – which, by the way, led to some HOUSES!!!

The park I run in is right in town, has a dog park, walking and mountain bike trails, you can rent kayaks and go out on the river, etc. It’s not a state park or wildlife conservation area or anything. The most I see in there is squirrels and sometimes deer. I saw a raccoon once. Otherwise, I just see people and their dogs.

Anyway, I didn’t see signs of more bears so I decided to keep on going. I stopped a couple of times to warn some dog walkers but I kept tooling on around the park.

I finished my loop and was heading out the way I came in, turned a corner on the road and holy shit, the bear came out of the treeline bordering the park.

(after some thought, my sailor thinks it might have been 2 bears but I think it was just the one)

He crossed the street in front of me, not really seeing me, and tried to get through the shrubbery on the right. Unfortunately, there’s a fence – like barbed wire – that prevents idiot kids from hopping the fence out onto the state road that’s right there. And, that meant bears couldn’t get through it either.


Since he couldn’t get through, he came back out to the road.

Where I was standing.

And he started heading my way!

Then, he started to GALLOP down the road!

I freaked out and started to back up.

I didn’t run because I didn’t want him to chase me. That would have been very very bad.

I seriously couldn’t believe there weren’t ANY cars coming or anything!

I dialed 911 as I was backing up.

Darn bear backed me up probably a good 250-300 feet before he stopped and headed back into the treeline.

I got dispatch on the phone and told them what was going on.

I think some of the words I used were, “I’m just a girl! I’m just a runner!”


We discussed what I should do and she suggested going an alternate route. Except my alternate route was BACK THROUGH THE PARK. Where the bear JUST WENT!!!

She said she would get people out there – guess it’s the Virginia Department of Game & Wildlife that had to be called.

After I got off the phone, I debated for a few minutes on what I should do.

Then, a car drove down the road.

So, I decided I would keep going. Surely the bear wouldn’t come out now because there was a car.

Oh, and where the heck was that car when I needed it?!?!?!?!?!

I started running again, keeping my eyes peeled on the treeline.

I passed the trees and got to the big open field.


I looked out there and that darned bear was galloping through the field!

I kinda ducked (yep, still running) and said, “please don’t see me, please don’t see me, please don’t see me.”

He didn’t see me.


I made it to the next treeline, picked up my pace a little, and got to where the houses were.

People and cars! Safety! No bears!!

Miles 10-16 were a little quicker than my prescribed pace.

I looked down at my watch at one point and saw my pace was 9:15. Pure adrenaline.

Miles 16-20, though? Those pretty much sucked.

But, I finished them.

And I had quite a story to tell when I got home!


Wouldn’t have been such a good story if I got gobbled by that bear though.


Overall, my pace ended up being slower than prescribed but I knocked out the whole 20 miles AND survived a bear scare.

For what it’s worth, if you encounter a black bear, make yourself as BIG as possible and lower your voice and try to sound scary.

Or, you can call 911 and say, “I’m just a girl!”

That’ll work, too.

Talk to me: Have you ever encountered a bear? What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you while you were out on a run?