Well, not as many runs as my first week. But perhaps more QUALITY than quantity...
That's good right?
1) I realize now that going from NOT training at all really to jumping in to the "advanced" training plan for the 25K may have been a bit of stretch. Not because of the length of the individual runs, but because of the total weekly mileage. Simply put, my legs are NOT used to running weeks of 20+ miles. And I felt the effects of that. Shins, knees, hips - They were all sore. So I chose to do other activites instead of running.
2) Ok, I just plain gave up on Sunday. I normally run Sundays but it rained ALL FREAKING DAY. I can do warm, rainy day runs. I can do cold runs. I can run in the snow and have done it on numerous occassions. But if it's 34 and rainy? HELLZ TO THE NO.
The Oatmeal, as always sums it up nicely.
4.0 miles at 9:52
Group run with Tin Roof 2! This was a chilly run, but nothing too unusual. We had a decent pace going out and managed to have negative splits the last two miles. Was feeling sore though afterwards and was happy to head home to snuggle under a blanket and ice my shins... A horrible combination, I know... But got to talk to some new people and enjoyed the run. Plus, starting off the week with four makes me happy. :)
Between the shins and some other personal stuff, I opted for an alternative form of cardio for Tuesday. Met up with my workout buddy, intending to do stairs... Until we saw that some dudes were currently using them to stand majestically at the top and survey their kingdom.
"Hey, dude! Can I use that, for, you know... Actually climbing stairs?!?"
Nevermind. Arc Trainer for us it is then. I've never quite gotten the hang of these things and felt like the most awkward gazelle at the zoo. But we busted out 30 minutes and then threw some heavy things around the gym, so alls well that ends well.
4.0 miles at 9:21
Finally made it down to run with Nolensville Running Club! Of course it was freezing. And of course it was their hilly route. But thats ok because I LOVE HILLS! (If I keep telling myself, it will become truth!) Jennifer and I managed to put out some good times with splits of 9:47, 9:35, 9:28 and 8:34! Look at that last mile! Yes, it was all downhill. Yes, it still counts.
5.0 miles at 9:13 pace
WHOO-HOO! Ok, so I had been talking to my fastest running buddy and saying how my training plan always had speed work scheduled for Thursday and that was just not going to work for me because, well... Run Club, obviously. But she also enjoys some speed work occasionally and offered to run it with me. The training plan called for a two mile warm up, followed by three intervals of Race Pace (RP) for 2 minutes with a 5 minute slower tempo run inbetween, then a one mile cool down. I had kind of done some rough math and figured that was about 5 miles, which was our planned route. So we set out with that plan in mind. Rory had to make a pit stop about a half mile in and so we got behind the rest of the lead pack, but managed to catch up once we reached the two mile mark. And we were off! Since my GPS watch is not a fan of both tracking my run AND acting as a stop watch, we decided to do our sprints for distance and started alternating between quarter mile sprints and jogs. BRUTAL, especially since we managed to time it perfectly that one of our last sprints was up one of the bigger hills on our route. And even though we occassionally had to stop after a sprint to catch our breath and walk, we came in ahead of everyone else and laid down an impressive average. I don't entirely trust some of the "instantaneous" speed marks my watch captured, but let me assure you - WE FLEW. Look at those speed peaks below!
I WAS SO NOT FEELING IT. I went home and crashed at like, 8:30, because that's the kind of wild party animal I am. Don't hate.
4.95 miles at 12:30
Went back out to Percy Warner, home of where Taylor Swift runs. (True story!) Since TSwift has been my emotional songstress lately, it seemed fairly appropriate. Rory and I were doing fairly well on the trails, and while I felt slower out there than the week before, my overall pace reflected that I was actually a little bit faster. But I'm going to need to do some serious work to improve my times on the trails.
I had made plans to meet up with a running buddy out on the trails again, but we woke up to brutal (for Tennessee) cold and rain - lots and lots of rain. We were both trying to be strong and courageous enough, but eventually she called me from her car while I was driving to meet her and we decided we didn't want to risk dying in the rain. I ended up at the gym and got in an hour of hill work on the bike while jamming out to Kelly Clarkson. I may or may not have sung along outloud. Followed it up with an hour of lifting and leg work and called it a good day. And since I woke up and it hurt to lift my arms above me head, I'll take it!
I still need to work on my running and the run clubs are definitely helping me keep on track. Now if the weather would just cooperate. Locals keep telling me it's the coldest November they've ever seen in Tennessee. I'm not sure if this is scientific fact or anecdotal, but I can understand why they would think that. Apparently, we're gonna do Polar Vortex here in the South, too. AWESOME.
Anyways, it just proves that I need to take advantage of opportunities to run when the weather is nice. I bought a new pair of long leggings that are a little thicker to help keep me warm. I've never been so determined to run outside in the cold, so my supplies of cold weather running gear are sorely lacking. But more on that laters.
Keep at it! Winter is the time to gain ground on your training and make improvements - whether their in running, strength, flexibility, or mentally! STAY STRONG! Don't let winter win!