Track Work Success!

Unplanned track workout today. Earlier in the day I tweeted I was going out for my first tempo run in a couple of months. A friend replied asking if I wanted to join her for 400m repeats instead.

Not going to pass up the chance to do speed work with a buddy!

We arranged to meet at the Running Room than did a warm-up jog to the track. We were following a workout that called for 200m sprint followed by 10 squats and 10 sit-ups, then another 200m sprint. Well alright! After that the real fun began.

In total I did 8 400m repeats with ’90 second’ rest that was a weee bit longer for a few of them. My friend was having IT band issues and needed to pause to stretch between a couple of them, also water was needed also. It was hot, not awful recent rain had cut down the humidity but still, we were running fast and needed the water!

My friend’s IT band got the better of her and I finished the final 3 400’s solo which she took pictures.

My 400m averaged 10 seconds faster than they did from just 2 weeks ago! I’m so thrilled and proud of myself and I really put in the work on this session and still felt like I could have done more. But race Saturday I means I’m in a semi taper and don’t want to exhaust myself.

Hitting the pool again tomorrow (did last night) and then easy run and some yoga Thursday, rest then race day! It will be my first time racing a 15k so I’m excited for the guaranteed PR! I want to race it but hold back a little bit so I can finish strong and ready to conquer my 10k 10 days after! MY goal is just to finish under 1:30 which I should be good to do. I think I did or was just shy of that during my long run on the weekend! So good sign! It will be a hilly course but I’ve run those hills countless times so I should be able to manage even with a faster pace than usual.

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Progression Run & Other Training

This week I’m aiming for a bit of a transition between recovery and maintenance for my running. Keeping milage low but running more days. Although I think I maybe miscalculated a bit and I’ll end up with milage around where I want my maintenance to be. But it’s kind of because the long weekend and no Sunday run is allowing me to throw an extra run in. The runs themselves will still be shorter.

Rest Day

Sunday I intended to go for a bike ride with my friend, but she had a problem with her bike so we couldn’t. So then I ended up doing nothing. Woops. Well I did do a bit of hip strengthening exercises at least.

Easy (Hot) Group Run

Monday was a holiday, I was going to go for a bike ride during the day but I was kind of lazy, it was hot, and I used the excuse that I needed to save my energy for my group run that evening. Turned out I didn’t really need to worry, since it was so hot even though the 3 other people I was with are faster than me, they kept the pace slow and I was doing just fine running along with them. One of the girls was feeling pretty sore and decided to turn back early so I turned with her and we let the guys continue on. In the end we did 6.5km in about 41 minutes – I’d somehow paused my watch at some point so not sure on our exact timing. What I did see when I uploaded it though was the parts when we were running – ie not stuck at lights. We were hovering around the high 5’s low 6’s which is fabulous for me, especially in the heat. Didn’t feel like I was pushing it at all. Sign I really am getting faster! So exciting! I’m really hoping over the next few months I can get my easy pace into the 5’s.

Also first run I used my hydration vest for! Everything felt good, I will run with it a few more times before reviewing it

I also did a little bit more more hip strengthening work.

Progression Run

Tuesday I knew I needed to keep my run short, this was my first time doing back-to-back running days since my half, and I want to keep my milage a bit low still, but higher than the 24k I did the past 2 weeks. With only 5k to work with and having done an easy run Monday I wanted to make this 5k worth it. I considered doing some hill repeats but my calf has been a bit tight lately so decided not to push it. Instead I decided I’d try to do my first progression run – each km faster than the last. I didn’t know what to expect of myself going into this. I actually thought it would end up being a disaster, I’d go too hard one km and then not be able to hold it the next etc, etc.

I did end up succeeding though! it wasn’t as smooth as it should have been, I still have a lot of work to do in controlling my pace, but I ended up doing each km faster than the last!

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I didn’t take any photos during my run, but this is a photo I took a few weeks ago of one of the paths I ran tonight

The first km I held back a lot. I don’t really know my easy pace right now so I wasn’t sure how things were going to go. I also had a bit of a hill climb in there and a pause for traffic, so in the end I finished the first k in 6:32.

Second km, I did this a lot faster than I intended to, I was running in the high 5’s and couldn’t get myself to slow down and was even starting to feel it in my calves so I ended up pausing my watch to cool down and and reset. I did that km in 6:08

Knowing I’d kind of messed up that km and gone too fast, my intention was actually to run in the 6:20-6:25 area I decided km 3 I was fine going for 6:15. And apparently not. I ended up doing that in 6:03. I actually missed my watch beep for that so I wasn’t sure at the time what I did it in.

Km 4, time to pick it up a bit. Did it in 5:52, saw the 5 ( was aiming for 6:05 ish) and thought, oh no, I don’t know how I’ll beat that now.

Apparently I didn’t need to worry, I ended up going almost as hard as I could near the end, the last 2-300 m were quite the struggle (I was running in the 4’s in the last half, the downhill back helped here though) but did it in 5:16! Quite the surprise there, I really thought I was pushing to hold on to maybe 5:30’s if I was lucky.

Gotta love surprising yourself!

I felt so proud and accomplished after this run, especially when I checked my splits and saw I’d run km 3 faster then 2. I love maintenance period for these short runs when you really get to test yourself.

Current Pace on Garmin

Running this way, constantly checking your pace was hard, especially with the pace delay on the garmin. Does anyone else’s act like this or is there something wrong with my watch? This is something I’ve always noticed but I never really pay much attention to my watch really so it never bothered me. But it’s like, you see a pace and think oh, better speed up! And you do, you know you do, but it takes a little bit for the watch to register and show your quicker pace. Kind of really annoying when you need to rely so much on your current pace for a workout.

Yoga

After my run I went home, had dinner quickly and then headed to hot yoga for a core strengthening flow. Wooo going to feel that tomorrow. It was actually great, you knew you were working your core but you didn’t feel that burn you get when you do ab work. Which is fabulous for me, I’m pretty okay with that burn everywhere (unless it’s burn from holding a pose, am a baby with that, mostly cause I hate holding poses and am baby in general for those), but when it comes to feeling it in the abs I’m a baby and give up. But this was great and exactly what I need!

Coming Up

I’ll be swimming tomorrow, haven’t been to the pool in a couple weeks. Thursday and Saturday will be the group trail runs and Sunday I’ll be doing my first long run since my half! I’ll probably do 14k or so, keep it around an hour and a half so I won’t need any gels, also haven’t been over 10.5 since so want to ease back into it, plus keep this week’s total low. We’ll see if I get any more yoga in, also possibly doing some rock climbing Sunday. Excited for that! It’s been over a year since I last went. Really looking for the complete body soreness your first time back climbing brings haha!

Intervals, Yoga & Biking

Monday I met up with the MEC Burlington meet-up group again. Mondays are different though, they start off with a half hour clinic, topic changes every week. This week was the second part of a talk on threshold running. This is the area I struggle with the most so it was great to get some more intel on the matter. The group is led by one of the staff members who is completing or possibly just finished getting a diploma in health and fitness focusing on running. He himself is some crazy fast runner and he knows a lot, super nice and a great run leader. Really amazing thing MEC does all for free! You normally gotta pay big bucks for this kind of thing. After the talk we head out for a 5-6km run. Since it was a talk all about speed runs, we put that to the test and headed to a park down the street from the store to do intervals. What I was not expecting with this run was the surface. We were running on grass. Some areas the grass was pretty long so you had to pick your knees up, good thing in the end, but certainly made the workout a lot more difficult. I once again proved I’m horrible at pacing myself. For this workout we did 2 laps hard, 1 lap rest, 1 lap hard, half lap rest, half lap hard then took a breather and did it all again. My first lap was fabulous, then it was all downhill from there as I ran out of steam. The grass didn’t help and probably still some residual stiff and soreness hanging around from my half. The next day I was definitely feeling the effects of the run in my hamstrings – or possibly Sunday’s yoga. Either way, kind of now understand why they say it’s not a good idea to do speed work first couple weeks after a race. OH WELL. I twas under 6k anyways.

Tuesday I went to a flow class, wasn’t the most challenging class I’ve done but there was some things we did that targeted the hip muscles so I was happy about that. After yoga I did some of my usual hip strengthening moves – side leg raises and such, but added some ankle weights! Man it was so much harder than you think it would be with the little baby weights I had. HUGE difference.

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Ankle weights for side leg raises to strengthen hips

Today I hit the trails! Well more like paths. I have some convenient paths by my work I like to walk at lunch, haven’t done much running on them yet as this is a new job haven’t had much of a chance yet. But today I brought my bike to work with me so I could go for my first proper ride of the year. This is a new bike I just bought a few weeks ago, I took it out for a very short little test ride after I first got it but have really gone for a proper ride since I hadn’t been on a bike since September and didn’t want to get on it so soon before my half.

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Such beautiful day for some easy riding

Rode for about an hour, took me longer as I had to stop a couple times to figure out where the heck I was. I don’t know the area and these paths run through residential neighbourhoods so they like to spit you out in different places and sometimes its not easy to find where the entrance is on the other side of the road, if there even is one. Just checked my run keeper app… looks like my route didn’t actually save so that’s pretty annoying, so not sure how far I actually got and I was hoping to use that map to better memorise the paths for runs. Stupid app. Anyways felt great being out on my bike and the weather was great! Perfectly cool, lovely for a bike ride. After that I headed to yoga for some Yin Yang. Yin Yang is my favourite style yoga even though some of the yin stretched are crazy difficult for me. I’m fairly flexible, more so than the average person, but when it comes to seated folds I’m going no where and Yin has a lot of that. It’s an issue I need to work on big time. Anyways fabulous class more rigorous flow portion. My shoulders and back are going to be VERY tight tomorrow after all this yoga, they already were to going into this class. Should be fun!

Tomorrow I’ll be joining the MEC Burlington meet-up group for another trail run. Friday I’ll be resting and then 10k race Saturday! Hopefully won’t be too sore by then! haha I’ll try to take it easy tomorrow so my hammies and glutes can heal a bit. No promises though!