Well, January, it was nice knowing you. Can’t say I’m sad to see you go — especially since I saw the first daffodils peaking through the mulch today!
I had a great week. Really great. I hit all three speed components of the week and even tacked on some of the optional miles coach puts in my schedule. Plus two cross training/strength sessions and some at-home Pilates that I didn’t track.
Monday was an early run outside, keeping the HR low. I had a late work meeting that day but we squeezed in 45 minutes of walking around the school, which was more enjoyable than sitting on a bleacher for another hour.
Tuesday was a hard but fun day. I met a friend for my warmup miles (4.5) then had 4 miles at threshold pace (85% max HR) with 30-second surges on each half-mile marker. It was a fun workout. I ended with 10 for the day, actually more than what coach had scheduled. Unfortunately, I forgot to split my watch when I started so the first half-mile hard is actually in with an easy mile. Oops. But the other 3.5 averaged about 6:40 pace and 169 HR — threshold is probably more like 162, but with the surges thrown in, that makes sense. I went straight to Power Yoga after that — which was harder than the speed work!
It was back to the treadmill Wednesday for 6 miles. It was a 4-6 mile “pick your distance” day and I felt good. I forgot gloves and it was cold/windy and with Reynaud’s, outside just wasn’t going to happen. So inside it was. Look at that average HR! 132! I went to Pilates after that — another good class.
Thursday was my second speed day of the week. Another fun workout although I was dreading it all day. This week the weather was so nice in the afternoon that I waited to run — sun and shorts, yes please. But that means I have all day at my desk to 1) stress about the workout and 2) feel blah about everything. I listed to some motivational music in the car (right now it’s WalkTheDuck’s “Stretch 2-3-4” and Sigala’s “Easy Love”) and reminded myself that I have a goal to accomplish and it was time to suck it up. I had talked to coach because the workout said 2-3 reps of the series, and he told me if I couldn’t maintain pace with equal effort to quit after 2 reps. So I guess I had a bit of an out ready if I felt as junky as I thought I might. I did a 3 mile warmup and then started the workout. Good news, no junk. The workout was 3 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy, 2 hard, 2 easy, 1 hard, 2 easy — then repeat the series 2 or 3 times. Because this was the second speed session for the week, it was a more “moderate” effort — coach said the intervals should be as “strong as the day allows.” I think I might’ve felt a little stronger than I was supposed to. I was really pleased with all the times/splits. I did all three sets, with the third set actually the fastest. The 3 minute segments were all 6:12-6:13 pace, the 2 minutes segments 6:25, 6:10, 6:02, and the 1 minute segments 5:47, 6:04, 5:44. Oh, and there were 15 mph winds pretty much the whole time. Terrific.
Our rash of beautiful crazy January weather continued, so Friday I hit the trails in the afternoon. It was perfectly muddy. I kept this run short knowing I had run hard two days already and had speed in my long run Saturday. At one point, I had to interrupt some guys (stoners) practicing their juggling on the trail — that was a first. Then about 15 seconds later almost ran smack into a doe. Weird series of events. But a nice easy run — my trail pace is usually about a minute per mile slower than my road pace with the same effort, so considering the mud, that looks about right. Then it took an hour to get home when it should only take 15 minutes. Traffic. Hate it.
Chelsea got roped in to running with me on Saturday, which I was excited about. Last training cycle I did all but 2 or 3 long runs by myself (out of 12, and including both 20 milers). Having company for a long run again was a novelty. Coach called for 4 progression miles in the second half of the run, and told me maybe as fast as half marathon pace but that the focus was more on just being able to speed up in later long run miles “without sandbagging the first half.” Chelsea is just really get back into things having done Ironman in October, so 12 miles was on her docket, too. If I had stuck closer to the paces I had originally thought I’d run, she would’ve been right there with me. We had literally perfect weather — about 35 at the start and 45 when we finished. I felt fantastic. We averaged around 7:40 for the first 7, including some hilly bits, then 7:09 (uphill), 6:59, 6:49 and 6:26. I would’ve liked for there to be no breaks during those miles but you can’t eliminate street crossings. That probably made the last one faster than it would’ve been otherwise, though. It was a fantastic day. Chelsea did a great job sticking to her own plan and still running 4 strong faster miles. I did about 15 minutes of Pilates at home (focused on the ab series), which is good practice as I begin teaching!
Sunday I slept in and headed out around 8:30 a.m. It was 50 degrees! T-shirt and shorts! It was another 4-6 mile day and I originally was leaning towards 4-5 but then I started running and everything was magical. You don’t get too many of those days. I figured it was warm enough that I could take a long sleeve and finish at Starbucks and walk the half-mile back home. I decided I’d run 5. And then 6. And then by the time I got that far, Starbucks was a half-mile away so I figured I might as well do 7 … and 7 got me to 55 miles for the week! That’s my peak from last training cycle. Super exciting to be there already and to feel this good.
Hammer Nutrition‘s Recoverite is definitely helping me recovery right so I can hammer again the next day! I’ve also been using their EndurOmega supplement to bolster my Omega 3 intake. This weekend I also started using their DigestCaps, a probiotic supplement. This week I also added an apple-cinnamon Hammer Gel to my oatmeal!
And yes, I got my doppio macchiato and enjoyed the walk home! Stay tuned, I’m going to do a separate January monthly recap post and one comparing this 55-mile week to the one from last training cycle. (Previously I’ve said I had two 55 mile weeks last training cycle, but I just figured out that wasn’t true. There was a 55 and a 52.)