Another training week completed! It’s only Week 2, so very early in the training cycle but I’m feeling REALLY good! I know not every day or week will be perfect, so I will definitely take it while I can! We have been dealing with the cold temps off and on all winter, but this is the first time since real training started that I had to deal with the other side of winter – SNOW! After realizing last week that I’m losing some of my hill fitness, I made it a point to make sure all of my runs were outside this week, and…Mission Accomplished! Running in the snow/slush/ice is definitely an adventure. I finished with 23 miles for the week…still on the lower side, but I’m steadily increasing and feeling stronger every week!
Monday – Rest. After Monday being my rest day every day for almost the last 2 years, the Tall One has finally stopped asking me “Are you running today?”. I think he gets it. Maybe. I worked on this week’s training schedule and on my blog post…Peanut supervised:
Tuesday – It has almost become habit to run my easy/recovery days first thing Tuesday morning on the treadmill. I decided to break that and run after work, outside, in the elements. It was beautiful outside – not too cold, with snow lightly falling…it just really made me happy to be out in the fresh air, doing something I love! The snow definitely makes you adjust your stride a bit, and I could feel my legs burning in spots that they usually don’t. This would have been the perfect opportunity to try out Shaun’s trick of winterizing your running shoes. Except I don’t have an old pair that has enough miles left on them – I try to get my money’s worth and run those bad boys into the ground (literally) before getting new ones. 3 miles 33:26 (11:08 pace).
Wednesday – Strength. I switched up my routine a little and wasn’t really happy with a lot of the moves I selected. It would have been really easy for me to say “eff it. I don’t like this, I’ll rework the plan and try again on Friday”, but…I didn’t. That is a major win in my book.
Thursday – Speed Day!! Unless there is some kind of major weather event, I will always do my speed work (and long runs) outside – I just perform better out there. The plan was a 4 mile progression run. As I made my way home, I took a peak outside and it looked like most of the slush and ice had melted. What that really meant is that it was all black ice. Yee-haw.
This was definitely not my best work, and if I’m going just by my perceived effort, I could/should have done much more. BUT. I stayed upright the whole time (there were a few close calls) and finished with my body/face intact so I consider that a win. I vented a bit on Daily Mile and Nichole gave some great perspective.
Friday – Strength. I went with the same routine as Wednesday, and instead of whining about it I tried to keep a positive attitude, focus on my form, etc and ended up (almost) enjoying it. My arms were jello by the end and I had a hard time even picking up my hairbrush after so you know it was a good one!
Saturday – Long Run. 10 miles 1:55 (11:28 pace) I usually spend Saturdays hiking up and down the
mountains hills in my neighborhood, but the threat of snow on Sunday prompted to me email Jennifer Friday afternoon to see if we could switch days around. I don’t mind cutting a 6 miler short (or attempting it on the treadmill), but I will not sacrifice the long run. I think that’s a Marathon Training Commandment, or something. Luckily, Jennifer was fine with the switch and we met out at North Park for 6.5 miles for her and 10 for me. It snowed a little overnight, so there were some slush puddles and snowy spots to deal with so we slowed down a bit to accommodate those. Overall, this was great – the first 6.5 flew right by and I set off for 4 (technically 3.5) on my own. I managed a good negative split over the last bit and that is exactly what I was looking for. In a perfect world, the Race Day Plan is to run with Jennifer for the first 10 miles of the race until the Half/Full split at around 11:00 min miles, and after the split (and climb into Oakland) try to start chipping away at that pace to get into the 10:50’s. I don’t know how well this will work, but that’s the plan and the more comfortable I get with running progressions I think the better off I will be. Theoretically, at least.
Sunday – Man, I totally botched this! When I looked on Friday, the forecast said 1-3 inches of snow Sunday morning and another 1-3 that afternoon/evening. Well…throughout the day Saturday those times kept getting pushed back. First it was supposed to start early, then around 11, then 1, then 4….etc. Total Fail Whale on my part, but it can be tough to predict that kind of stuff so far in advance.
It was a perfect winter morning for a run – not too cold and windy just a nice brisk day. I tackled 6 miles worth of hills in 1:08 (11:15 pace) and was pretty pleased with this. I wasn’t sure what to expect since my legs were a little tired from the day before, but I figured this would simulate the later miles of the marathon really well so I tried to keep my form, and breathing even and controlled on the uphill and use the flat and downhill to recover and that’s exactly what I did. Winning! There were still a few icy/slushy spots to deal with, and I had to stop a few times for cars to pass, but nothing to complain about!
How’s your training going?
What’s your favorite ride at Kennywood? I LOVE all of the roller coasters, and really miss The Pitt Fall! I loved those few seconds at the top, depending on what side you sat on, you got some spectacular views!