Costume Party Run: Week 5 Training Recap

This week was not one of my high marks of my training, so I promise the report will be short and sweet. Two strength workouts, three runs, including an attempt at a tempo run. I’m not really thrilled with my performance, but it is only one week, so I’ll report on it, then move on with the goal to do better this week. Here’s my training recap.

Strength Workouts

I taught two ball classes.

Ha! It’s just not like me to be so sparse with words. The classes were moderately challenging. We did the complementary workouts that I wrote about here, the Vanity Workout and the Compound Workout.

Vanity WorkoutCompound Workout



As you may have gathered above, my running was not all it was planned to be this week. I missed my short Tuesday workout. I can’t even remember why now, but I’m sure it was for a stupid good reason.

Wednesday is speed work and I was scheduled to run a three mile tempo. The last time I did that workout, it was pretty good, except I had to stop once or twice and walk for a minute or so in the middle of the tempo. I planned to work on that and be able to complete a proper three mile tempo run before I upped the distance.

Um, didn’t work out that day. Whether it was the heat, or just not my day, I was dragging from the start. I did run three miles with Penny, then dropped her off to go do my tempo. Right from the get-go I just couldn’t get it going. In fact, I almost settled into my slowpoke pace, then I swore at motivated myself to at least try.

Well, that worked for a mile. Then I slowed back down. Not my finest running moment.

On Friday Alan and I drove to San Dimas where he was announcing a triathlon at Bonelli Park. After a dog rescuer moment on Friday evening, which caused a later dinner, and therefore bedtime, we were up really early to be out to the venue by 5:00 am. I originally was planning to run my long run while Alan was working, but I was asked to help with registration, so using any excuse to postpone a long run being a good citizen volunteer, I changed my schedule.

I did race day check in, so by the time the race started at 8:00 my job was done. Now to get the motivation, sadly lacking all week, to run. Right before the point that I talked myself completely out of it, I told myself I only needed to run three miles and finally got myself going.

I decided to follow the run course in reverse. It was early so I wasn’t going to disturb any of the athletes. Bonelli Park is very pretty, and the weather was much nicer that the desert. I even talked myself into running an extra mile.

Weekly Training Recap

Weekly Training Recap

Bonelli Park is right next to Raging Waters water park.

After I finished my run, I hung around and watched my husband work. He was at the finish line calling in the athletes as they finished their race.

Weekly Training Recap

I also wandered over to the award ceremony because I heard that they were giving away a bike. Apparently the winner had to earn it by not only competing in all three events of the LA Championship Triathlon Series, but writing why they should win it. Or something like that. Anyway, the woman who won was very new to triathlon, having competed in her first event at the beginning of the series last October.

Week 5_3

After Alan was done working, we headed to Huntington Beach, where we were going to stay with our grandsons (and their parents). That was the main reason I wanted to get the long run done on Saturday, but now I had no choice. I did decide to cut my run to 10 miles. I was scheduled for 13, but I thought that would be too much if I wanted to be fun grandma.

The boys are now eight years old, and we have a tradition when we visit. They always want to go on the run with us!

weekly training recap

We all took off, heading north along the coast. The boys were doing great, keeping up (or ahead) for the most part. They have improved so much since the last time we all ran together and they needed to walk after a mile.

weekly training recap

They ran four and a half miles! With just a couple of breaks. We were so proud of them! They love going for a run with grandpa and grandma!

weekly training recap

Alan and the boys headed toward home after more than four miles, and I headed south, with about six more miles to run. I did appreciate being in cool weather (I was actually 63 degrees, Huntington Beach was about 20 degrees cooler than the desert). It was kind of early and there weren’t too many people around until I got about a half mile south of the Huntington Beach Pier. All of a sudden, there were thousands of people around! Apparently there was some kind of a soccer tournament going on (my stepson told me there were 500 teams!), and I had to dodge through a lot of pedestrian traffic as I continued south.

weekly training recap

Looking north

weekly training recap

Looking south

weekly training recap

I finished my 10 miles just under 1:40, not bad considering “grandson stops.” It is totally worth it for the experience of running with the boys.

I have a couple more posts coming up about the weekend, including a review of all the vegan food and a peek at my costume-in-progress for the Costume Party Run,, which is coming up on July 7. There is still time to register! Use the code LAQUINTA to save $10 off registration.

So, how did your training go last week? Did you participate in any races, events, or challenges?

Want to Get Faster? My 3 Favorite Speed Workouts

You might not know it now, but I used to be kind of fast. No, not like elite level, blow your mind fast. More like pretty fast for a normal person. A sub-20 5k. A 42 minute 10k. Times good enough to get me a few age awards, and an occasional overall win (in a small town). A 1:33 half marathon and a 3:16 marathon. I once got 5th in my age group in the Honolulu Marathon (30,000 runners!). Ah, memories.

running faster

On my way to 3:16:38. I was 41.

Well, that was then. I was in my early 40s, by the way, having started running at 37. Now, as you know, my goal is to break 2:00 in the Costume Party Run in July. A knee injury and a few years have happened, and goals change.

The Process is the Same

The thing is, now matter what your fitness level, your age, your abilities, the process is the same. If you want to get faster you have to, well, run faster. Science may come up with new ways to track your training, coaches may design new killer workouts, you can add strength training, plyometrics, stretching, foam rolling, whatever. The truth is the same.

You must run faster.

My 3 Favorite Speed Workouts

Favorite is a funny word. Running faster is hard. When I do these workouts, I hate them. They make me push to my limits. But, when I’m done, I feel amazing. And when they work (and they do!), I love them.

1. My Favorite Interval (VO2 Max) Workout: These type of workouts are generally short to moderate distance (think 400-1600 meters), frequently run on a track, designed to improve how your body uses oxygen.

My favorite workout of this type is the Ladder Workout. After warming up for a mile, do these intervals in order, at about 95-100% of your effort level (this can be measured by heart rate or perceived exertion): 200m, 400m, 800m, 1000m, 1600m, 1000m, 800m, 400m, 200m. Take a 30-45 second break between each interval.

Why I love it: First of all, I like that each interval is different. While I appreciate knocking out 16 400m repeats (and they do have great value), I like the variety of the Ladder Workout. Plus, on the way back down, there is something wonderful about knowing that your next interval is going to be shorter. Any light toward the end of the tunnel.

2. My Favorite Tempo (Lactate Threshold) Workout: Your lactate threshold is the point at which your body cannot keep up with processing the lactic acid it produces during hard exercise and responds by needing to slow down. This type of workout usually involves slightly longer intervals that the VO2 Max workouts, run at a slightly slower pace, your lactate threshold pace. This is a little slower than your 10k pace, or about 85-90% of your effort level. You’ll find a more detailed description in this post.

My favorite workout of this type is a Steady Pace Tempo run. After warming up by running moderately for about a mile, pick it up to your Lactate Threshold pace. Sustain it for two-six miles. Finish with a moderate to slow mile.

Why I love it: I sounds kind of boring, doesn’t it? No fancy pick ups, run this at one pace that at another. Which is exactly why this is my favorite tempo run. To me in simulates race conditions. You don’t stop (hopefully) in a race, you try to keep a fairly steady pace throughout the distance of the run.

3. My Favorite Long Run Workout: You can get a lot of opinions about at which pace to run your long run. Some will say it should be done slowly, or it takes too much of a toll on your body. Others will say that if you run too slow, your body gets used to running slow. The most frequent recommendation is to run about a minute slower that your goal pace. But every now and then, it is fun to shake things up.

My favorite workout of this type is what I call a Negative Split run. I usually doing it during a cut back week, so that if you are training for a half, a good distance would be about nine miles. For a marathon, up to about 16 miles works well. Basically I cut the run into thirds, the first third run about 30 seconds slower that your goal race pace, the second third at pace, and the final third 30 seconds faster than race pace.

Why I love it: This workout is great for teaching you to run fast when you’re tired. Making yourself “up the ante” and run faster challenges your body, sure, but it also teaches your mind that you can push through.

I promise, if you incorporate one or two of these workouts once or twice a week, you will get faster.

These are my favorite workouts, but I still mix in a variety of workouts of each type during training. It keeps training interesting and challenging. I am sure that you have some favorite workouts and I hope that you will share in the comments.

Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Coach and Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Coach or Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.