img_0805-2The most important thing to note about this week is that I ran outside in shorts EVERY DAY. If the weather just wants to hang out here until say May, that’s fine by me. After a couple of weeks of feeling flat, I think I’m over the hump! I was reminded of the section in “Once a Runner” where Quenton talks about Bruce’s concept of “breaking down.”

Monday: 10.5 miles, 80 minutes, AHR 146. Tried to keep this under control but was surprised how good I felt coming off Saturday’s race. But, I had run pretty quick last Monday and then my Tuesday wasn’t great. Also took a new pair of shoes out for a spin and they were excellent. Good day all around.

Tuesday: 12.5 miles, 91 minutes, AHR 148. 4 mile warm up, 4 miles at 85% max HR with surges at 5k effort every half mile, 4 mile cool down, die. I did this workout about a year ago and it was hard then, too, but slower and less total mileage. Did Jasyoga’s “How to Kickstart Recovery” after. Valentine’s Day with my boo, who always cooks me dinner for the occasion. (Check my Instagram for our 3 course meal!)

Wednesday: 8 miles, 61 minutes, AHR 144. I met Officer Lamont Washington of the Louisville Metro Police Department to shoot this PSA about protecting your belongings when you go for a run, so I got to run a little early myself. I did not expect this to feel so good or to be so quick. Taught Pilates after — the much-loved foam roller class.

Thursday: 8 miles, 60 minutes, AHR 148. Aerobic interval mix of short repeats with double-time recovery to get some turnover going. Day 2 in the new shoes. Taught Pilates Strength after.

The outtakes are even better.

Friday: 6.5 miles, 50 minutes, AHR 150. 70* AND A SPORTS BRA. Wasn’t expecting to have so much pasty skin exposed so soon. Caught a nice tailwind on the way out and paid for it on the way back.

Saturday: 18 miles, 2:16 (or 136 minutes), AHR 145. Let it be known that I will never again ask coach if he thinks my Saturday should be a little harder. It was scheduled for 12 miles with speedwork, which is the normal every-other weekend plan. But, with last week’s race I had basically done two Saturdays in a row that were 12 + speed, and hadn’t done anything longer since the week before. So when I asked about it, I thought he would just switch it to an easy longer run of 16-18. I did not anticipate getting 18 miles PLUS speedwork. Fail. I knew this one would be a doozy, because it had multiple pace changes which isn’t my strong suit.

But it was low 50s and cloudy, so that was a good start, although I quickly realized it was really humid and not much of a breeze. I tried to get a friend to jump in for part of the warm up but no dice. Since the run had several components, it was easy to break it into chunks. I have done a few 16 milers this year, but 16 is close to 14 whereas 18 is close to 20, you know what I mean?

Started with 8 miles easy, and I kept them relaxed. Self-preservation! I grabbed water twice between miles 6 and 8, which I definitely needed.

Miles 9 and 10 were the first speed section, alternating 1 minute hard with 2 minutes easy.

Then 4 miles easy, with water at 12.4. Mile 13 was a come to Jesus session. I probably could’ve used more water, but I’d also guess the speed work had me burning through glycogen faster than usual.

But, I rallied for the last two miles of speed. The goal was marathon pace and I didn’t quite get there on the first one but I did on the second. The first one I just felt like I couldn’t find that next gear up — my body just couldn’t be convinced!

img_0787Then, finally, 2 miles easy cool down.

If you’re curious about this sort of thing … I didn’t start this run until 9 a.m. so I had a Hammer Bar around 8 a.m. and about 16 oz of water, plus Hammer Fully Charged about 15 minutes before I started the run. I stopped for water 3 times, I’d guess maybe 8 oz total. No nutrition/calories during the run. Hammer Recoverite after. And more water. And an iced green tea. I do most of my long runs as glycogen-depletion runs; you can read about that in this Runner’s World article written by Jackie Dikos, a nutritionist and Olympic Trials qualifier who also trains with my coach.

I reminded myself during this run that not every run is going to be easy, but it is the hard runs that make me faster and stronger. In some ways I see it like a game of survivor between me and coach: he tries to kill me, and every workout that I survive brings me closer to my goals. A little hyperbolic, perhaps.

Did some Jasyoga before the run, Zensah recovery tights after. Also day 3 in the new shoes, 36 miles on them for the week — no wonder I go through so many.

Sunday: 4.5 miles, 36 minutes, AHR 136. I could definitely tell I did some work on Saturday. Started off like Tin Man! That got me to a nice round number for the week so I called it good. Still warm and humid. Moist. It is moist outside. (Gross.)

Totals: 68 miles run, 125 minutes Pilates and Yoga.

P.S. I mentioned my new shoes a couple of times in here, so here’s my current lineup.

New Balance Zante 3s — the “new shoes,” (pictured above) probably a tad light for my easy day trainer but perfect for uptempo work. They were great for a 10 miler, 8 miler, and 18 miler, but I’d like something with a little more cushion for my easy days.

New Balance 1400s — my second pair of this model; the first pair carried me through fall speed work and through my marathon. Just opened the new pair for last week’s race. I save these for Tuesday workouts, races, and short Saturday speed days.

New Balance 1080s — currently the easy day shoe, although they have been the “most days” shoe since early January. I gave them a try while waiting for the Boracay 3 and 880v7 to come out. It’s too much shoe for me, and I find I supinate in them and there is also an overlay on the upper that blisters my feet every time. A good shoe but I’m probably a little on the petite side to get the full benefit from them.