Monday: Swim—Masters swim team (2700 yds)
I didn’t go to sleep until almost 11:00pm on Sunday night. I was up watching the Broncos and then couldn’t settle down. So I was not ready for my 5:00am alarm clock. Regardless, I felt good in the pool. I’ve been trying to figure out when I feel strong in the pool and when I feel weak, and I think it correlates most with my recent efforts running and cycling. Since I only did an easy 30 minute spin on Sunday, I felt good in the pool on Monday.
4 x 50 @ 1:00 (6-beat kick)
4 x 50 @ 1:00 (closed fist)
4 x 225 (broken set: 150 build, then 75 fast kick)
20 x 25 @ :30 (I did these in 19-22 seconds)
100 sprint (1:17)
I enjoyed this workout. I was putting in a strong effort the whole time, but I was still able to keep up my paces throughout the whole hour. It was hard, but doable which kept me from getting down on myself. And I was still able to bust out a pretty quick 100, even after a tough workout. A few weeks ago, we did a fast 100 at the end of our workout, and I swam it in 1:23. While six seconds could be the difference between a good day and a bad day, I’ll take the improvement.
Tuesday: Run—800m, 10 x 400, 800m
I’m pleased that my nerves on Tuesdays (speed work) and Thursdays (tempo runs) are becoming more manageable. When I thought about this workout throughout the day, I thought of it as a tough but doable session and not a death march. I know, I know. It’s super weird to get nervous for a workout, but that’s the way I am. The forecast for Tuesday was cold but sunny, and fortunately that bore out. I got to the track, but it was closed up. I had to hop a fence to get in, but the fence wasn’t even chest height, so it wasn’t a big deal. I rested 45 seconds between reps and 1:30 after the fifth 400. My times on the 400s were as follows:
1:30.18, 1:33.81, 1:33.45, 1:33.25, 1:33.59
1:33.33, 1:33.87, 1:33.33, 1:34.19, 1:32.74
I felt great up through my sixth 400. Then I started struggling a bit. Last time I did this workout, it was eight 400s, and I felt those extra two this time around. I was very consistent, though. My consistency in speed workouts has been improving since I started adding in speed workouts regularly. This workout was exhausting, but I felt really good about it, especially considering the third 100 on the track is apparently perpetually shaded and was still covered with the snow from this weekend. But hopping the fence to get back to my car was much harder than it was the first time around.
Wednesday: Bike—12.5 miles (46:34); 6-minute abs
Right before lunch, I developed a deep and insatiable hunger. There was free pizza at work, so I went all out and ate four pieces. The last few times I weighed myself, I’ve been down a kilogram or so, and I was perfectly satiated (not stuffed at all!) afterwards. The last couple of days must have just caught up to me. Then I went on a beautiful bike ride. Seriously, I stopped so many times to take pictures. And for each scene I tried to capture, there was one I rode by without stopping. The mountains were stunning, the cloud patterns were a beautiful backdrop, and the browns and golds of the landscape contrasted beautifully with the snow on the mountains and the blue-gray sky. It was a wonderful, invigorating break from my computer screen. When I got home from work, I finally got my act together and did six minutes of various ab exercises, including leg lifts and planks. I forgot how dreadfully painful those were. I plan to hopefully do this 3-4 times a week and eventually graduate to eight or ten minutes of actual exercises.
Thursday: Run—5 miles (38:27)
While I wish this run had been a little faster than the last time I ran this route (38:16), I know that I can’t expect to consistently improve every single time I run. Even though that would be awesome. I did make a discovery. I’m pretty sure the route I’ve been running is a little longer than five miles. I use a large, paved circle around a mini neighborhood park as my turnaround. I knew that there was one section of this lap that was different than shown on MapMyRun. I thought they had just torn one section out, so I just ran across the grass to complete the circle. However, this time I noticed what looked like replanted grass on the other side of the circle, too… and it was inside the path that I was following. This combined with the fact that I lost 15 seconds (off an 8:00/mile pace) on a loop that is supposedly less than half a mile long makes me pretty certain that this loop adds 15-20 seconds to my run. That’s not a lot of time, but I’ll probably avoid running that loop in the future. Despite the fact that this run was probably a little long, my pace calculates out to 7:41/mile.
A rest day and my birthday. Perfect combination! I spent the evening with my boyfriend and his parents. He made his amazing pasta dish (Bachelor Pasta #9), and we all enjoyed it immensely. Plus, there was cake. I got some fun presents, including bright green handlebar tape for my bike.
Saturday: Run—14 miles (1:53:58)
Eek. These long runs are getting… well, long. I decided to try Shot Blocks as fuel instead of Hammer Gel. This was mostly because I had some Shot Blocks and home and didn’t feel like running to the store on Friday. I also placed a couple of water bottles along my route before going for my run. An unforeseen benefit of this was that I was driving along my route to place my second water bottle and realized that a part of my route I hadn’t run before contained a giant hill which allowed me to mentally prepare for said hill. I felt strong from the start of my run. My legs took a little bit to warm up (as usual), but once I crested the first major hill, I found it easy to pick up the tempo a bit. I only checked my pace at four points during the run—4 miles, 6 miles, 9 miles, and 12 miles. Other than that, I was running by feel. I was consistently ahead of my 8:30/mile goal pace at each of the first three checkpoints even though my pace felt relaxed. My Shot Blocks and water both settled well in my stomach. They felt better than Hammer Gel did a few weeks ago, although that might have been partly because I felt better in general. The Shot Blocks were caffeinated which gave me a nice little energy boost. The hill made an appearance around mile 11.5. It was bookended by a less steep ascent, but the steepest part was only about half a mile long. It was tough on fatigued legs, and I was spent by the time I made it to the top at mile 12. The last two miles were tough because of that hill, but once I hit the “all downhill from here” point, I had recovered somewhat and felt okay. Since I started incorporating hills into my runs, I have gotten much better at recovering while running. I finished with an 8:08/mile pace. I did stop my watch when I drank water (probably 10-15 seconds three times during the run) and at stoplights. There were probably two longer stoplight breaks (and some shorter oners) that bummed me out, but I try to keep my routes as stoplight-free as possible. This run was really encouraging to me. I remember a few months ago, I was stoked about a 7 mile run in Idaho on a flat route that I finished in an 8:08 pace. Now, I’m running that same pace for a 14 mile run while 1,500+ feet higher in elevation with some climbing. The last few long runs have felt okay, but not really good. It was a nice confidence-builder to get in another long run where I felt strong.
Sunday: Bike—15.37 miles (1:08:11); 6-minute abs
It was a gorgeous morning, and by the time I got out of church, it was about 50° and sunny. So I was really looking forward to a warm, pleasant ride with Rob. We got out on our bikes, and it was gorgeous. Unfortunately, as we rode, the sun moved further and further behind some clouds and the wind started to pick up. We still got a nice ride in, but we were both pretty cold as we rolled back up to Rob’s place. Still, it’s not every weekend that I get in an hour long ride during the winter, so I’m not complaining (even if I am shivering). I also managed to work on my core today. That’s twice this week, which is a huge improvement. I’ll try for three times next week.