Boston Week 15: TAPER

1 week to go (WUT?!)…

I am in completely disbelief that this race is so close. I will talk more about it later this week, but needless to say I have dreamed about this for a long, long time. The fact that it will be a reality in one week is very surreal.

My legs didn’t really catch the memo that they were supposed to be feeling recovered until late in the week. Thursday I finally felt some spring in them and by Saturday I was feeling really good.

Monday:

  • Run: Tempo w/2-3M @ 7:10 – 20: 6.75M, 7:46avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

I got up early-ish to run before the rain came. It was in the low 40′s and cloudy but with almost no wind (!!) so I wore shorts. The warm-up and cool down felt really good. The tempo miles didn’t feel effortless like I would have liked, but not like I was working super hard either. I really tried to focus on keeping the miles in goal range and not going too fast: 7:12, 7:11, 7:11. 

In the afternoon Brad and I went to Chicago Recovery Room to help out our friend Liz who owns it. The Chicago Tribune is doing a story and she needed people to come and “recover” for pictures. It was a good excuse to spend a ton of time using all of CRR’s rollers and tools to work out some knots and I used the compression boots for 20 min. which felt fantastic.

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Tuesday:

  • Run: 1:00 Easy: 7.25M, 8:20 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

Another day where I really just wanted my legs to feel fresh and springy, but my body felt heavy and lethargic. What’s funny is that I kept having to pull back on the pace to keep it “easy”, yet I still didn’t feel good. Walter got to join for most of this run, which always makes every run better.

Wednesday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

Resting like a champ! I laid in bed for an hour after I woke up, just enjoying some peace before my world came to life for the day. Brad and I took the dogs for a walk in the afternoon to enjoy the sunshine and then I went to the Finding Strong movie/dinner that evening! I love the runner girls so much :)

Thursday:

  • Run: Speed w/3x1k @ 4:15 {6:50/10k pace}: 6.3M, 8:00 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

I originally planned to go to the track, but just as I was thinking how ridiculous it was to drive all the way up there for such a short workout, I realized that Brad would need the car for his work-related lunch plans anyway. I went to the Lakefront around noon and it was warm. I was overdressed in my super light long sleeve and shorts. I had strict instructions of “DO NOT KILL THIS WORKOUT” so after the warm-up I just to focus on settling in at a cruise speed: 4:13, 4:11, 4:13. It was a bit windy with a swirly cross wind, but my legs felt AMAZING so it didn’t even bother me much. Finally. I needed this confidence boost after a week of blah running.

Friday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: Yoga None

It’s no secret that I LOVE yoga. I debated back and forth whether I should go one last time before Boston, but after consulting my very-wise runner friends, I made the decision that rest is best! We did go for a walk with the dogs in the morning and another one in the afternoon to run errands and enjoy the lovely spring weather!

Saturday:

  • Run: 1:00 Flat w/1M @ MGP: 7.4M, 8:08 avg.
  • Strength: None

I slept in until 9:30 and didn’t finally get out on the Lakefront with Walter until 10:15ish…along with every other runner, walker, biker, roller blader, etc. in Chicago. I guess it was the nicest Saturday we have had all year and I remembered why I go early in the summer! It made for good people watching though. My legs felt really good and the pace came easily. In the marathon pace mile (7:45), I didn’t feel like I was working hard, but I did feel like I was running really fastIt felt like I was cruising at a pace that I would never attempt to run for SO LONG. We’ll see how that goes?

Sunday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

THREE complete rest days in one week! We had a small group of Brad’s high school friends over Saturday evening and they stayed late. Staying awake past 1:30 a.m. when I am completely sober is not something I do often. It was nice to completely relax all day after that. We took the dogs for a short walk that was interrupted by rain, but that (and cleaning from the night before) was the extent of my “exercise” Sunday.

Miles: 27.7

Treadmill runs: 0

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 12

Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, running, Strength Training, training, Weather, weekly recap, Yoga | 6 Comments

Friday Fun X

Is it just me or did this week feel SUPER long? Maybe it’s my anticipation of a little race that is approaching or the fact that I am on my 2nd rest day in just 3 short days? But goodness I am happy Friday finally arrived! Here are the things making me smile right now:

  1. 10 day Forecast. It isn’t that I am so excited about the forecast itself (I am confident it will change 139 times in the next week) as it is about the fact that starting tomorrow, April 21st will be in the 10 day forecast. At least being able to check the weather will give me something else to put my efforts toward in my constant obsession over the race.
  2. Finding Strong Movie. Manny, Jenny, Chanthana and I went to a viewing of Saucony’s Finding Strong Film Premiere Wednesday evening. Seeing the short stories on running around the world and how people are using running as a way to give confidence and purpose to others is inspiring. It was short, but the evening continued on as we met up with Liz, Jacqueline and Vicky for dinner after. It was a fun evening and, as always, filled with lots of laughter.
  3. Softball. The Illinois State Softball team (my alma mater!) plays at Loyola Chicago tomorrow. I haven’t seen them play in a number of years so I am excited that their schedule is bringing them to Chicago. I am excited to get out and support my former coaches and a few girls I coached when they were in Junior High.
  4. Cubs Games. One of the things that we were most looking forward to when we moved to Chicago was going baseball games. Brad grew up a huge Cubs fan (hence our dog named Ernie Banks) and I fell in love with Wrigley field on my first visit in 1999. Unfortunately we only went to a few games last summer because we spent most evenings and weekends trying finish the work around our house. This year we bought ticket packages for 25 games. We already know we won’t make them all (including next Friday when we are in Boston) but we are hoping to make most of them. Our first game was last Saturday and it was a great day!

    photo 2 (17)

    #notaselfie (I swear!)

  5. Taper. I have never been very good at taper. I just have never quite nailed it like I know I should. But have never been more ready to start to taper than I was this cycle. I didn’t run high mileage (topped out in low 50′s) but the intensity was definitely there and my body was ready for the rest. I am hoping that the fatigue + gentle backing down is the right combo and my legs are springy and ready to go on April 21st.
  6. New Kicks. Last summer I bought my first ever pair of racing flats, the Saucony A5. I absolutely love wearing them for speedwork and tempos. They are light and feel fast and fit my feet like a glove. I have been able to prolong the life by warming up and cooling down in a heavier shoe, but they have enough miles on them now that it was about time to move on. The A5 has now become the A6 and is available in awesome colors. These babies arrived this week and although I won’t be wearing them until after Boston (per Coach’s orders), I can’t wait to give them a spin once I am recovered. {And when ordering from Running Warehouse, how can I pass on a new color in my favorite New Balance tank?!}shoes

That’s what I have for you this week, my friends! I hope you all have a fantastic spring-like weekend!

Posted in Chicago, Ernie, Food, Friday Fun, friends, life, Races, running, the boys, training, Travel, walter, Yoga | 10 Comments

Boston Week 14: Backing Down

2 weeks to go…

This week definitely was not a full-on taper, but toward the end of the week, with a light speed workout and a MUCH shorter long run, I could definitely feel the effects of less work on my body. That didn’t necessarily result in feeling like I could fly or run forever, as per typical taper runs go, but I definitely felt less fatigued.

Monday:

  • Run: Tempo w/3-4M @ 7:10 – 20: 8.5M, 7:55 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

Monday was the warmest day we have had since last October. Unfortunately, along with the warmer temps also came some crazy wind. I knew it was supposed to be worse as the day went on so I got up early to run before it got too bad. I was out by 7 a.m. but I didn’t beat the wind. It felt like a WALL when I was running into it. Tempo miles: 7:22, 7:31, 7:09, 7:06. Of course it felt better when I turned around about 1.75 into the tempo, but I had worked so hard going south that it took my legs a little while to recover and be able to use the wind to run faster at the same effort. My stomach also felt a little nauseous toward the end. I think maybe I should have eaten something small before heading out.

Tuesday:

  • Run: 1:00 Easy: 7.2M, 8:22 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

It was another crazy windy day. This time with temps in the low 40′s and real feel in the low 30′s. I was dreading going out all morning because I could hear the wind rattling the windows so loudly. Walter and I finally ran at lunch time when it was 41* and 23 mph winds. Surprisingly though, it wasn’t bad at all. The wind felt like it was swirling, so I was never really running straight into it and with the sun peeping out, it was comfortable. Of course running at easy pace vs. tempo effort makes a big difference, but my legs felt fresh and springy on the run.

Yoga was focused on power and strength and I was a sweaty mess. I didn’t feel strong and my balance was off, but I have found that those off days happen in yoga just like in running.

Wednesday:

  • Workout: 45 min Easy: 5.55M, 8:19 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

Cool but sunny day (gloves and ear warmers for the 2nd day in a row). Walter came with me and it was a lovely run. I felt like I could have gone forever.

Yoga was a little slower moving than the night before, but not necessarily easier. We held a number of poses for a long time and my obliques, upper back and hips felt it the next day.

Thursday:

  • Run: Speed w/6-7×400 @ 1:40 – 45: 6.5M, 7:55 avg.
  • Strength: None

Flashbacks to last Thursday. It was another rainy and windy track day. Fortunately Jenny and I both had pretty open work schedules and were able to plan the run around the forecast. We finally headed to the track at lunch time, got warmed up in the park and started our respective workouts. 400′s: 1:38, 1:38, 1:42, 1:39, 1:39, 1:39, 1:36. I was a little faster than I intended but tried to keep it smooth and steady. These felt really comfortable, like cruise intervals. Meanwhile, Jenny absolutely smoked her 10×800′s…nothing like nailing your last key workout before taper!

Friday:

It’s kind of nice to go into a dark, empty spin room and pick any bike you want. I blast my music, catch up on Twitter and blog reading and just spin nice and easy. The effort is just enough to break a sweat and warm up my body but not enough to fatigue my legs. After the spin I went upstairs and went through the full strength routine for one last time before Boston!

Saturday:

  • Run: 1:30 Flat: 11M, 8:09 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning and the wind that we experienced all week finally let up somewhat. The first few miles felt fantastic, but the further I got into the run, the more blah I felt. This always happens to me during taper “long” runs and I should expect it (and I do), but it generally allows doubts to creep in my head and take over. In the last mile of the run, all I could think is that if I felt that crappy at mile 10 at Boston, I would be screwed. Thankfully Coach, Jenny and Chanthana reminded me that this is all part of the process and that I will be JUST FINE on race day.

Brad and I spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the sun at the Cubs game. No W for the boys in blue but it was still a really fun day!

photo 1 (15)

Sunday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

Brunch with Jenny, Chanthana and Manny followed by a pedicure with Chanthana, a nap then a nice walk with Brad and the dogs. My favorite way to spend a Sunday!

Miles: 38.8

Treadmill runs: 0

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 12

Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, running, Strength Training, training, Weather, weekly recap, Yoga | 7 Comments

Boston Week 13: Peak Week

3 weeks (& 1 day) to go…

There were several HUGE workouts on the schedule for this week and I was both excited to tackle them and nervous about how they would go. Overall, I think the week went very, very well. I am feeling strong and more importantly, healthy after my biggest week in nearly a year!

Monday:

  • Run: Progressive Tempo: 1 & 2@7:30, 3 & 4@7:10-20, 5@sub-7:10: 9.5M, 7:45 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

It was cold again (upper 20′s), but the sun and low wind made it feel much warmer than that. I was dressed just right and the sun felt like it was giving me a nice warm hug. I felt fantastic on this run. I love progressive tempos and this is the third time I have done this particular workout. I am super happy that it has gotten better and better each time. I love, love, love how 2 miles at 7:30 feels like I am floating when it’s part of a tempo run. The rest of the miles felt nearly effortless, until about 400 m left and I felt like I was working on that last little bit: 7:29, 7:26, 7:14, 7:09, 7:04. 

Tuesday:

  • Run: 1:00 Easy: 7.15M, 8:24 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

I woke up to a little under 1″ of snow, which is completely tolerable since any sun melts it away pretty quick. But along with the front came a ton of wind + cold. Mid-20′s and 20 mph winds meant fleece tights and wool base layer. I thought I was done with that. Although there were some annoying gusts, the wind in general turned out to not be as bad as I was expecting and my legs felt 10x better in the last few miles than they did at the beginning. Success! Because of the snow/salt Walter had to wear his boots, but he was able to do this whole run with me! He was getting a little tired in the last mile, so I will probably keep him to 6ish from now on.

Wednesday:

  • Workout: 45 min Easy or Cross: 5.5M, 8:23 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

Easy run with Walter in the sun. The legs felt good and happy to be running easy for the second day in a row.

Thursday:

  • Run: Speed w/9-10×800 @ 3:20-25: 9M, 8:46 avg.
  • Strength: None

I was intimated by this workout going into it. It didn’t help that the day before I was super tired (like could fall asleep standing up) and the weather was supposed to be rainy and really windy. Everything just seemed like it was working against me (dramatic much?). I picked up Jenny at an L stop on the way around 7:30 and we headed to the track. We were super lucky to miss the rain completely and although the wind felt like it could hold you in place at times, it was manageable since I was running in circles. I didn’t quite pull out of my somewhat negative state of mind until around the 4th repeat, when I realized that I was just fine. 800′s: 3:19, 3:19, 3:20, 3:20, 3:22, 3:19, 3:20, 3:21, 3:19, 3:18. I felt strong, steady and controlled the whole time and walked away with a runner’s high like no other.

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Photo credit to Jenny for this shot!

Friday:

I spun my legs really easy with no resistance, just enough to warm up before going through the strength routine. Not ideal to do strength before a long run again, but I only had one more week after this one until I cut it out for taper so I didn’t want to miss it.

Saturday:

  • Run: 2:30 – 2:45 Hilly + 45 min Cross: 20M, 8:20 avg.
  • Strength: None

Chanthana, Jenny and I went out to Morton Arb for the last time this training cycle to do our final 20 on hills. It was cold and windy, but finally there was no snow or ice to deal with! I felt pretty strong for the whole run until the last couple of miles. And even then, I wasn’t hurting bad, just ready to be done. I was happy to get the last mile in around 7:48ish. If that ends up being marathon pace…I will be MORE than okay with it. My legs were pretty shot after I was finished. Sometimes the hills out there don’t feel tough at all and sometimes they feel like they take a toll on my legs. At the end of peak week, this was definitely one of those times.

By the time we got back into the city, the family was waiting on me to eat and start the day so I had to skip cardio. I felt a little guilty at first, but Coach assured me that it was just gravy at this point. Plus I felt like I got an additional non-impact workout since we spent the next 2ish hours walking around downtown.

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Group selfie at the Bean.

Needless to say, when the day was over I was thrilled to be able to chill on the couch and watch Frozen with Zach and the pups.

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Sunday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: None

Got some much needed sleep in the morning. We walked around the zoo for a couple of hours which felt good to shake the legs out, but then it was unfortunately time to take Jason and Zach to the airport :(. Brad and I capped off the afternoon with a beer with Jenny and Manny followed by naps on the couch. By the time 9:00 came around, I was ready to get back in bed again!

Miles: 51

Treadmill runs: 0

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 12

Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, running, Strength Training, training, Weather, weekly recap, Yoga | 5 Comments

Friday Fun IX

Happy Friday Everyone!! This list is a bit short and sweet this time…mostly because I am a little preoccupied by #1 on the list :)

  1. Visitors.  My brother and nephew are in town visiting from Texas. They flew in Wednesday and will be here all weekend. My nephew is 8, which means there is an infinite amount of fun to be had in the city via museums, Shedd Aquarium, parks, etc. My brother lived about a mile north of where I live now when he was in a medical school rotation so it is fun for him to hang in his old stomping grounds for a few days. I love having family in town and getting to spend a few precious days with the little guy.
  2. Strength workI went through this hip and glute routine this morning and I swear that I am even starting to like it, rather than just doing it out of necessity.
  3. Avocados. I love them, but typically only buy them if I am making guacamole or something that calls for them in a recipe. But lately, I have been buying a few avocados at the grocery store every week and putting them in smoothies, on eggs or even on crackers as a snack. I am obsessed.
  4. 10×800. I will talk about this a more in my weekly recap, but I HAD to include it here because it is currently the reason I have been riding a runner’s high for 30+ hours. Yesterday I headed to the track to tackle the biggest speedwork I have attempted in nearly a year. Without getting into too much detail, I will just say that it went REALLY well. I felt strong and smooth the whole time and it was just the confidence boost I needed during this peak week for Boston.
  5. Group Texts. I have a few ongoing group text conversations with runner friends that make me smile every single day. I can share that I had a good tempo and get sincere “woohoo’s” or that I had a shitty speed session and get thoughtful support. I also get to hear about the ups and downs of my friends’ training and return the encouragement. I sometimes feel that I am just as invested in their training as my own. These conversations range from anything to venting about our jobs to expressing frustration with social media but the one common theme is generally the laughter that results. I really, really appreciate having a genuinely supportive network of friends both close and far away to share this training journey (and other life things). {I suppose an alternate title to that one could have simply been “Runner Friends”.}
  6. Latest Fix! Yep. It’s that time again. When I opened the box, I was sure that I was going to LOVE everything. In reality, not pictured below is a pair of white ankle skinnies because they were just…no. The dress is a level of soft that I can’t even explain, but it is well over $100 and I have something very similar to it already (pictured). Also, because the material is so soft, it isn’t very “forgiving”. Thoughts?
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    Grey Striped Top. LOVE.

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    Asymmetric Cardigan (with pockets!). Obviously love because I wore it yesterday!

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    Sheer Dressy Top. Paired with work slacks. Keep!

    stitch dress

    Dress on left is new. Dress on right already own. So similar. Undecided?

    I hope everyone has a great weekend! I look forward to hearing about races, training runs and general fun in your blogs on Twitter this weekend!

Posted in Chicago, Ernie, Food, Friday Fun, friends, life, Races, running, the boys, training, Travel, walter, Yoga | 8 Comments

Committing to Strength Training

I have known for a long time that I have weak hips and glutes. When I lived in Greenville, my riding and running buddies were mostly physical therapists. Having PT friends is a huge perk for an endurance athlete (read: free injury screening), but they also provided regular (gentle) criticism of my form and solutions to fix it. The catch? Solutions = hard work. At the time, this wasn’t work that I was ready to commit to doing. Why? Because I felt like I didn’t need it. I had never been injured and ran relatively low mileage, therefore my weaknesses weren’t causing problems.

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PT Runner Buddies. And a cow.

But two summers ago, in the midst of 70.3 training, I started to have some discomfort in my right hip. My PT friend Jenni is a hip specialist so she took a look at it. She said it was just a knot in my glute that I could work through with self massage, tennis ball sitting and {to treat the underlying cause} strength training. I halfheartedly did some strength training with Jenni a few times after Master’s swimming. It made me so sore that I stopped. The hip discomfort was intermittent and I found that a few sessions with a tennis ball would loosen the knot and I was good to go.

When I started training for Eugene and increased my mileage, that innocent knot started to become more troublesome. I started having chronic glute and hamstring tightness and discomfort. It was never anything that kept me from running and monthly massages kept it under control, but it got to the point where I didn’t really know what it was like to run without some nagging discomfort.

Once I moved to Chicago, I started doing ART, dry needling and Graston regularly and also dabbled a little bit more into the strength training exercises given to me by my new PT. By this point, I had mild chronic high hamstring tendinitis, but I was still more interested in treating symptoms rather than the underlying cause. Then at some point last fall, I started paying more attention to pictures like this:

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Terrible face. Worse form.

And this…

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Side view of the collapsed hip.

And FINALLY everything my PT friends and current PT had been saying resonated.

After NYC, I had one thing on my mind…Boston. And I wanted to do everything possible to prepare to have an amazing training cycle and race on April 21st. That included improving my lower body weakness. Between my PT suggestions, internet research and talking to others who had similar issues, I came up with a routine that works for me. (If you are interested, you can check out any of my weekly recaps where I include links to everything I am doing.)

Last weekend in NYC was the first chance I got to see how the strength work was progressing (in pictures at least).

Hip comparisonIt is a little bit hard to see with the watermarks and in tights, but there is definitely some improvement. The picture on the far right was at mile 17-19 and my form was completely deteriorating. My knee is collapsed but it still looks like my hips are more level than from the shots in 2013.

I have definitely learned a lot through this whole process and have made adjustments as I go. I am 100% still a work in progress, but in case anyone else is still in that “I know I need to change, but am not ready to commit” phase, I thought I would share some of what I have learned:

  • There is no instant gratification. In my mind, as soon as I started strength training, my form was going to miraculously improve (um, no). According to my PT, it takes 6-8 weeks for any changes to truly manifest. I have now been doing regular exercises for a solid 16 weeks and I still have a long way to go (see above picture).
  • Once I committed to “pre-hab”, it became part of my routine. I am now finally to the point where a 15 min round of strength exercises before any tempo or speed work is “normal”. Bonus is that my legs feel much better during workouts if I warm up with these first.
  • I added my strength training plan to my training calendar along with my runs. On Sundays when I get my workouts from Coach, I plan my strength work for the week around it. It took a little while to find a good balance, but I have a routine that works now. If I miss a workout, I color the box red on my spreadsheet. My Type-A perfectionist brain doesn’t like to see red, so it is a good motivator.
  • I have to make time. When I was traveling for 3 weeks straight, my strength training suffered. I would be in a hurry to get out the door for a run and skip it in favor of miles. I still need to commit to waking up 15 min earlier in those situations and just get it done.
  • Power Yoga is strength training. I go to hot vinyasa classes at a studio that I love and I 100% consider this strength training. When I hold a warrior II or chair pose for 8 breaths, you can bet that I am building my lower body strength.
  • Yoga has also helped my core strength. I despise doing ab work and as a result my core was just as week as my glutes and hips. I have found that consistently doing power yoga classes 2-3 times a week where there is not only dedicated core work, but constant attention to the core, has helped immensely. I can now complete core sessions that I could only do half of when I first started. And all of a sudden (really…that’s how it felt) I started to be able to get into poses that I couldn’t before, especially arm balances that require a ton of core stabilization.
  • I still get sore! It is bizarre to me that no matter how many weeks in a row that I do this workout, I am still sore. Every.Damn.Time. I suppose it is similar to running in that it doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger. I definitely can tell that I am able to control the movement and run through the exercises more steadily than when I first started. But darnit, I can’t wait until the day that I can do it without being sore the next day!
  • It’s working. Besides the little bit of feedback that I get from pictures, my body is also telling me that it is working. During NYC training, I would really only get relief from the nagging discomfort after a day off of running. It was just one of those things that I got used to. Now, despite being 13 weeks deep into marathon training, my hip and glute feels better than it has a long time. I still have to do my share of rolling and lacrosse ball sitting and if I sit in a car immediately after a workout, it will scream at me, but I don’t feel that annoying sensation constantly anymore. Also when I wear the Fastwitch, which are lighter shoes than I was in last fall and spring, it feels the best (better form?!).

Like I said, I am definitely still a work in process and I know that when I start triathlon training this summer, it will be tough to stay committed. But being able to run injury free and move from one training cycle to the next is 100% worth it.

 

Posted in Chicago, friends, Goals, Greenville, injuries, Races, running, Strength Training, training, work travel, Yoga | 7 Comments

Boston Week 12: Cutback

4 weeks (& 1 day) to go…

I was definitely feeling the cumulative build up of training toward the end of the previous week. This cutback week was exactly what I needed to get some pep back in my legs for one final peak week before taper. I had some good workouts and my legs were feeling much more fresh by the end of the week.

Monday:

  • Run: OFF
  • Strength: None

Last day in NYC. We slept in, got coffee at Rock Center with Chanthana and Jocelyn then spent the morning hanging out there and chatting about the weekend. Jenny and I flew home in the afternoon. I was exhausted and my body was happy for the rest.

Tuesday:

  • Run: Tempo w/3M @ 7:10 – 7:20: 8M, 7:51 avg.
  • Strength:  Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

It was SUPER windy, but sunny and (kinda) warm. I wore shorts and felt underdressed when I was running against the wind, but perfect when it was behind me. The splits (at even effort) show the affect of a straight headwind in the first 1.5 miles vs. tailwind in the second half: 7:17, 7:09, 6:56. I felt like I could have run forever at a 7:00 pace with the wind at my back. It was a nice little confidence boost after a tough last couple of runs.

Wednesday:

  • Workout: 1:00 Easy: 7.17M, 8:26 avg.
  • Strength: Yoga

It was raining, but high 40′s so I threw on a hat and headed out. The rain didn’t bother me much and I was feeling better by the end of the run than at the beginning (mission accomplished). Lately, I find that more and more on these easy runs, I spend the majority of the time thinking about how grateful I am to be healthy and able to run.

Yoga was a nice gentle flow with some intense, but short core work. Exactly what I needed.

Thursday:

  • Run: Speed w/7-10×400 @ 1:40-45: 7M, 8:04
  • Strength: None

I REALLY wanted to go to the track AND run in shorts. I stalked the hour-by-hour forecast all morning waiting for it to warm-up and finally went to the track around 1:30.  I ran a couple of miles in the park nearby then did drills and strides on the track. It was super sunny, the birds were chirping and the track looked like it was begging for some attention after being covered in snow all winter. I ditched the Garmin and wore just my lap watch and was able to lock into a good pace (well, after the first repeat): 1:34, 1:41, 1:40, 1:39, 1:39, 1:40, 1:39, 1:38, 1:39, 1:37.  The goal pace is just a little slower than 5k pace, which isn’t super challenging for 400′s but it is a great “light turnover” workout to get the legs going and the confidence boosted.

track

Reunited.

Friday:

I might have taken this as a complete rest day, but I didn’t want to skip a week of my hip and glute strength. I figured if I was going to be at the gym anyway, I may as well spin easy.

Saturday:

  • Run: 1:50 – 2:00 flat: 15M, 8:09 avg.
  • Strength: Runner’s World Workout x 1 + 1×15 Single Leg Squat + 1×25 Leg Raises Against the Wall (as warm-up)

It was back to cold and windy after some nice days earlier in the week. After I warmed up with strength stuff, Walter ran the first 6 with me and we got a side five from Jenny on the path. I went north (against the wind) after I dropped Walter off and was feeling pretty strong. My pace was faster during this segment and most of the way back, but toward the end I started to feel the effects of no water or fuel for the 15 miles. My legs still felt strong, but I started to get hungry (which never happens) and feel a little blech, which is a good sign for me that my body needed water and/or fuel.

Sunday:

  • Workout: OFF
  • Strength: Yoga

Slept in, went to brunch with friends, took a nap, then FINALLY hit an afternoon yoga class. The class was more crowded than usual which made the room really warm. I was dripping sweat for almost the whole class and it felt really, really good. Perfect way to end the week.

Miles: 37.2

Treadmill runs: 0

Total Runs on the ‘mill this winter: 12

Posted in bike, Chicago, friends, running, Strength Training, training, Weather, weekly recap, Yoga | 4 Comments