Monday, July 31, 2017

Validation

I enjoyed 5 days back home in Abingdon, getting back to my normal fitness routine.  I did my Monday yoga, my Tuesday speedwork, my Wednesday workout, and a Thursday pace run.  Then I got up at 3:45 AM on Saturday to drive to Roanoke for a short hill challenge race.  After the race I headed to Lewisburg to spend a few days with some very good friends before they move away.  It's hard to be on the road again so soon after returning home from a long trip, but I'm grateful for the time to spend with some of my favorite people!

This week : 
 M : yoga/stretching 20 minutes
run 4.1 / 8:18 / 220 ft
T : run hill sprints 5.5 / 8:39 / 551 ft
W : TRX 3x10 @45/15
R : yoga/stretching 40 minutes 
run w/Corey 8 / 7:27 / 377 ft
(6 hard, avg 7:12)
F : rest day
Sa : warm up + strides 2.6 / 8:13 / 430 ft
race 1.8 / 6:40 / 449 ft
cool down 1.1 / 9:51 / 236 ft
Su : group jog 10 / 12:00 / 584 ft
horseback ride 2 hours
total miles run : 33.2

On Monday, I kept the run easy.  I wore my watch, but I did not allow myself to look at it during the run.  I made myself keep the effort easy the whole way.  

On Tuesday, I decided that my speedwork needed to be hill sprints in order to prepare myself for Saturday's race after not having any hills to run for a few weeks.  None of my group showed up to run club so I ran the workout alone.  5 times up a 0.2 mile hill with 112ft of gain.  The last time I did this exact workout was in April.  I hit each sprint a few seconds faster this time. I used my HR as a guide for each recovery, when I couldn't get my HR back below 130 on the jog back to the bottom, I decided to only do one more.  

On Wednesday, I designed a TRX workout to mainly target my arms, but with some exercises for my legs and abs as well. It was hard, as I just took a couple weeks off from TRX after hurting my back.  I was definitely sore the next day!

On Thursday, I did a nice long yoga stretching video to help with the soreness.  I was feeling overdue for a pace run workout, and Corey was up for whatever I needed as he had done his tempo run the day before.  I knew I definitely wanted 6 miles under 7:30, but wasn't sure what pace was realistic for how slack my training had been + my sore legs.  I ended up just pushing the pace to whatever felt hard but not injury-inducing.  All 6 of the pace miles ended up under 7:30, and the last mile was a 6:49.  It was really helpful to have Corey there keeping me to my pace but staying next to or behind me so that I was the one choosing the pace, rather than getting tired out trying to chase his pace.  He did lead me for the last mile to help me push that one faster.  We talked on and off throughout the whole run, and it was really nice for me to discover that my lungs were able to handle the occasional talking even while running at half marathon race effort.  

I wasn't sure what to expect from Saturday's race with my sore legs.  I didn't want to skip the race, but I didn't want to get injured either.  I did a longer warmup than usual, to make sure my legs were ready and as loose as possible.  When the horn went off, I just took off.  I didn't start at full speed, but gave my legs about a minute to settle into the fast pace up a hill, and then I started really pushing.  I moved into 2nd place overall within a few minutes, and held that position for the rest of the race.  I didn't bother looking at my watch, but just pushed hard.  I found that I was able to keep pushing hard the whole way, and that I just felt strong!  My legs and lungs were working together and carrying me up each hill much easier than I was expecting.  After the race, I decided to look up my time from the previous year, and was astounded to see that I had PRd by 34 seconds over last year.  I wouldn't have thought it was possible to take that much time off of a 1.8 mile distance!  It gave me a great feeling of validation for all the speedwork I have been doing!  It's always nice to know that hard work is paying off with results!  

More uphill than down in this race, but here I am coming off of one of the few downs before heading up the final hill. 

King and Queen of the Hill each got a plaque and a stuffed horse. 
(the race benefits a program called Unbridled Change which uses horses for therapy)



On Sunday, I enjoyed a social jog on the Greenbrier River Trail with some people in Lewisburg.  My legs and feet were staring to bother me towards the end from being held to a slow shuffle pace, but other than that it was fine.  I know it's good for me to do the long slow runs occasionally because it gets me miles without much strain.  

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