All Roads Lead to RussVegas!

Running Track Tuesday Training


As I mentioned in my recent race recap, I’m currently training for the 2016 RussVegas Half; after my December marathon (Jacob Wells 3 Bridges Marathon recap), I told my coach that I’d like to work toward a sub-2 half marathon this year with this race in mind as my goal race. 


The Little Rock Half is challenging, to say the least, and, though I didn’t know it when I registered, I created an additional challenge for myself by orchestrating a major professional change right around the time of the race; I figured that waiting for RussVegas to make a push for my goal would be a better decision and I hope it works out. I’ve got less than four weeks to go until race day on Saturday, April 23; here’s a training recap from last week:

Monday – Six easy-paced miles in my hilly neighborhood; I can’t be accused of avoiding the hills, but I sure prefer races without them. After several warm days the week before, having to pull out my hat and gloves was kind of strange; that’s spring, though, right?

Russvegas Half

Tuesday – Ahh, how I love Track Tuesday! I like changing up the surfaces I run on, so it’s nice to have an excuse to go to the track once a week. I had a 4 mile lactate threshold tempo run on my training schedule, sandwiched between a two mile warm up and a one mile cool down; my goal pace was 8:35-8:45 and the cooler temps must have been a boost. 


Well, that and the great playlist I’d crafted the night before on Spotify! I tried to settle in at around an 8:30 pace during the first mile and felt pretty good; I decided I would try to stay right there and see how it all ended up. I was pleased with the result and always try to remember that these days are possible only if I continue to stay consistent in my training and recovery.


Wednesday – I decided to avoid the hills and the 20 mph winds (I’m a wimp some days, I know), put on my snazzy new running shorts and begin the television series The West Wing; it was recommended by my friend Kelly and I can not believe that I’ve never watched any of this. I told her that I may never again feel motivated to run outside. Five easy-paced miles, followed by some core work and hip exercises.


Thursday – I’d intended to do some recovery yoga on Thursday morning but, instead, I did this…my favorite kind of rest day.


Friday – Back to the gym because, like I said, The West Wing; in addition, my allergies are not super happy about the current pollen levels and wind. I knew I’d want to get outside on Saturday, so I had a little pre-dawn dance party in the gym and then got my miles in on the treadmill; five miles at an average 10:15 pace, followed by core work and stretching.


Saturday – The weather was just amazing this weekend; I couldn’t believe it. It was one of those rare spring days when there’s not much wind, no rain, plenty of sunshine and low humidity; I wish I could replicate this one and experience it again. There were plenty of people out enjoying the trails and I loved seeing some familiar faces.


I got in fourteen miles at an average pace of 9:57 (target range is 9:50-10:20) and it felt great; afterward, I noticed that I’d received a Facebook message from a fellow Oiselle teammate and we ended up talking on the phone for nearly an hour. She and her family are moving to Little Rock this summer and I’m so excited!

Sunday – A running rest day; I’d planned to fit in some yoga, but after Easter festivities I decided to be lazy and enjoy another beautiful day. I’m pretty sure Scooter enjoyed it, too; it was tough to get inside on a day that was so lovely. I did some work on the foam roller and light stretching throughout the day, which seems to help.


During my long run on Saturday, I chatted with a fellow Hot Legs teammate who has previously participated in RussVegas and will be volunteering as a pacer this year; she described the course for me and helped me feel a little more confident about the event (thank you, Jayme!). I’m getting excited!

Keeping track: 37 miles this week; 124.35 for March; 396.75 for 2016 and Team Will Run for Beer (Jonathan, Cecilia and I) is still going strong in our quest to run 2,016 miles in 2016! 

Hope you are all having a great week, so far!

  • Great week my friend and don’t you just LOVE that purple Oiselle vest? It’s so perfect for all these ridiculous windy days we’re having here!! I do not blame you at all for staying on the tread and The West Wing is one of the greatest shows ever – glad someone turned you on to it!! Good luck with the rest of your training cycle but I’m sure you will reach your goal for RussVegas 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement, Allie! Yes, that vest was DEFINITELY a fantastic investment; I had no idea how much I would wear it!! I’ll be thinking about your big race last year (the one you ran with Tina) as I head toward my goal; you CRUSHED IT!

  • That’s an impressive tempo run!! No way I could hold an 8:30-8:45 pace for 4 straight miles!

    • Oh, you underestimate yourself, Sarah! When are you going to sign up for another race?!! Once you get back into training, you can definitely do it! Thanks so much!!

  • I’m so excited for you! I know you’re going to crush your goal! Sometimes I get really excited about watching certain shows (that I save for treadmill time) so i look forward to running on the treadmill. You know I don’t hate it anyway, but it makes it extra exciting. Also, I have never seen The West Wing either. 🙂

    • WHOA! You’ve never seen The West Wing?!! If you’re ever in need, Sarah, I highly recommend it; it definitely holds my attention and I’ve even (GASP!) stayed on the treadmill longer than necessary to finish an episode. That should be a pretty solid endorsement – hahaha! Thanks so much for the encouragement; hope you’re doing well!

  • Angie @ Pace with Grace Blog

    Great work put in last week, Tara and I know you’re capable of running a sub 2 hour half! Jealous of your beautiful, sunny Easter. It rained ALL day here, boo. Good luck in the rest of your training cycle!

  • Your training is going great! You’ll love RussVegas too! Fun race atmosphere and good course too. : )

  • Awesome week of training! I have tempo intervals scheduled this week and plan on running them on the track as it is hilly where I live (glad to see I’m not the only one running tempos on the track).

    • Wendy, I do it for the same reason! It’s tough to find a spot, anywhere, in my area that’s flat enough to build a route that includes a warm up and then a good stretch for a tempo run; I try to look at it as a time when I can run safely and listen to my music without having to worry about traffic, etc. I hope your intervals go well!! Thanks so much!

  • Such a great week of running Tara!! Oh my gosh – the West Wing!! I never saw it either and heard it is SO good. That sounds like a great show to binge watch at the gym! So exciting about your half marathon!! Yes, enjoy the process, have fun and you are going to rock it!! 🙂