Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 12 Recap

Last time I wrote I just finished my awesome 17k run. Just a quick update on my recovery, the compression socks are a miracle. Usually after long runs I have some stiffness, hobbling and soreness. I had none of this the next day! I wore them right after the run and the next day while sitting at my desk for work. My legs felt great! They didn't even feel tired while walking up and down the stairs. This made me very happy : )

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Speed Training, Intervals
So on the agenda was to do a 1-2k warmup, then run 1km at a pace between 5-6 mins, 2 min walk/jog recovery, repeat and then do a 1-2km cool down.
I'm not gonna lie, this was damn hard for me! My lungs were burning. Jeff was doing the pacing and I figured that he would keep us just under 6min/km knowing how hard speed is for me. We finished the first interval at about 5:25. No wonder my lungs were dying! I know it's not fast for a lot of people but anything under 5:30 is VERY taxing on me. The second interval was slower at about 5:35. I had some music issues so I was a bit distracted. Anyways, I did it! I would have been happy with a pace closer to the 6 minute mark but I'm glad Jeff pushed me to go faster than I thought I could.
Jeff had no IT band issues! Yay!

Thursday: Weights and Squats
We couldn't go to Yoga due to a scheduling conflict so we did a strength training session at home.

Friday: 5k, Pace 6:22mins/km
I had a shitty run but Jeff finally had a good run so I included his time above. I was really close to skipping this run as a treat to myself for having done a great long run on Monday but I didn't. Not sure what happened to me but I really hate missing any run at this point. I felt crappy from the beginning. I just couldn't relax into it. I was having major shin cramps and had to stop to stretch and walk it out. Jeff ran with me at the beginning but I told him to just continue ahead because of the issues I was having and I didn't want to slow him down anymore. He finished up strong with no IT Band issues. He was thrilled to finally have a great run and I was very happy for him. Me, I finished a run that I thought about skipping so I guess I can't complain.
What I have learned about myself though is that I would much rather do a long run than a short run! Who knew!? I much prefer longer distances. I feel like it takes me at least 3-4k to really settle into a run and get comfortable. And then by 6k I really find my rhythm. I think this is why I have no interest in doing shorter distance races and I think 1/2 marathons are just the right distance and challenge for me. Maybe one day I'll change my mind....we'll see.

Saturday: Rest Day
We had an awesome road trip to Seattle. We did some shopping, went to the zoo and did lots of eating! Most importantly I finally got my new running shoes which I posted about before. So happy!
Here's a collage of our trip:

Sunday: 18k Long, Slow Run, Pace 7:03 mins/km
I was fully prepared for this run to suck. I didn't think it was possible to have 2 good long runs back to back so I just had the mindset to simply get through it. Plus Jeff was going to try to see if he could last the whole run with the issues he's been having so he wanted to take it really slow.
I really wanted to try my new shoes but I knew it would be completely stupid to break in shoes on an 18k run! I came up with an idea to drive to our long road, park nearby and bring my old shoes to change into after a few kms or when I felt I needed to.
It was pretty windy again but the rain held off for the most part. I wore my new Nike top and found it a bit warm at first but it was great for when it cooled down. It performed well for colder temps.
I had found out that day that a young girl from Richmond had passed away from cancer. Her story broke my heart and I decided I wanted to do my Charity Miles for Stand Up 2 Cancer and dedicate my run to her. 

The first few kms in my new shoes felt good. They are extremely comfortable and they felt good on the road. They are so bright that they make me feel happy as I look down at my feet. I had tight shins only for the first 2k. I was following Jeff's lead for pace but was also doing what came naturally to me. At 6k is usually when I really find my stride but is also when Jeff starts to have issues but so far so good. I kept checking in on him and he was still looking ok. Fingers crossed!
At 10k he started to stop and stretch a bit and it was fairly distracting. I would run ahead but would slow down for him to catch up. I was feeling pretty good but had no idea what our pace was as my running app doesn't seem to work on this road. I thought we were going pretty slow maybe averaging 7:30 but I really was just guessing. At 12k I could tell Jeff was starting to hurt. Damn! At 13k he asked if we could slow the pace which I did but I didn't think we were going very fast. Plus when does that ever happen!?!?! Jeff asking ME to slow the pace? WTF!? 
My shoes were still feeling so good. I felt a slight rubbing on the back of one heel but no other issues at all. I decided not to change my shoes because I didn't want to interrupt my rhythm and they weren't causing any problems.
We got to the end of the road where the car was parked and I told Jeff that he should decide if he wanted to carry on for the final loop. He was in pain so decided he was done at 14k. In my mind I was going to quit with him but I remembered my dedication and decided I still had energy and would finish the full 18k on my own. He left to go to the car and carry on I did! I did 15 and 16k at the fastest pace of the whole run with no walk break (around 6:30, negative splits)! 17 and 18k were pretty good too with a couple of quick walk breaks. Again I had energy to run up the little hill and sprint to the end! I couldn't believe I had another great long run! I did nasal breathing the majority of the time and it was faster than last week without me ever keeping track of the pace. When I looked at the splits, 13 and 14k were very slow because of Jeff asking to bring the pace back. If Jeff wasn't having issues, I have no doubt the average pace would have been under 7mins/km. And I thought we were going really slow because of how comfortable I felt.
For fuelling I haven't felt like I have needed to take a Gu gel. My energy has been surprisingly good so I've just been drinking water on walk breaks and eating Cliff Shot Blocks. 
So my shoes...... Love them! I had a very small blister at the back of one heel and that's it! I mean who wears brand new shoes on an 18k run!? And it seems they made me faster too! Thumbs up so far : )

Poor Jeff is so frustrated. He went to a Physio clinic today (Wednesday) and got some good tips about how to alleviate the pain. Hopefully it works and he will be race ready. I am going to get him to do a guest post about his issues so more details to follow.

Recovery went amazingly well after this run again. Yay for compression socks! I would much rather wear compression socks than have to take an ice bath!

I am so happy with my long runs right now. I am really surprising myself with my focus. I just hope I can keep it going! Stay tuned...

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