Spring race season is in full swing. I had eight runners race this weekend and their hard work and accomplishments make me both proud of them and so excited to race myself in just four weeks. There’s something inspiring and almost infectious about the success of others in running. Meanwhile, training continues to be downright fun. I’m finding a lot of joy in the process of pushing myself, both in my runs and in strength training.
Last week’s workouts struck a good balance of training: I had hard days, easy days, flat runs, hilly runs, strength training, and rest. As the race approaches, my hard days emphasize half marathon and 10K pace more and more.
Monday: 5 mile easy run
After a little bit too much food and drink on Sunday, I opted for a shorter easy run. I took Ollie along for company and we cruised along for 5 comfortable miles. Our first two were around a 9:20 and then we naturally sped up as we warmed up and finished at an 8:35. The weather was beautiful – crisp temperatures and clear blue skies!
I originally intended to strength train, but I moved my workout to later in the week. During these peak weeks, I want to at least get to the gym once to lift and do Pilates at least once per week.
Tuesday: 3 x 2 miles (9 miles total)
I thought the Easter food hangover would be over by Tuesday, but not when you enjoy the leftover cinnamon rolls and far too many Cadbury mini eggs on Easter Monday. My laparoscopy in December drastically reduced the frequency of GI issues, but too much sugar and rich food can still upset my stomach.
I could feel a threatening cramp in my lower GI during the warm-up, so I gave myself permission to bail or modify the workout as needed. My intended run was 3 x 2 miles, with the first mile of each repeat at half marathon pace and the second at 10K pace, but I quickly modified it to the first mile at half marathon pace and the second mile slightly faster. My repeats clocked in at 7:16, 7:00; 7:16, 7:03, and 7:14, 7:07. Despite this workout not going as well as hoped, I’m pretty pleased to see those paces!
Wednesday: 7 mile easy run & strength training
I split the run between the dogs: I ran 3.5 miles with Charlie, quickly switched dogs, then ran 3.5 miles with Ollie. I was pleasantly surprised that Charlie held an 8:59/mile average pace – he was cruising for his little puggle legs on this run! Meanwhile, I had to hold Ollie back so we maintained an easy effort. Ollie kept looking up to the sky, seeing a duck or goose fly by, and then try to speed up.
During the peak weeks of race-specific training, I like to keep my strength routine familiar. I get nervous about new exercises making me sore for peak workouts. I completed three sets of the following exercises:
Modified Pull-ups (jump up, hold, slowly lower down)
Kettlebell sumo squats to high pull
Kettlebell single leg deadlifts
Lateral band walks
Side plank twists
Banded single leg bridges
Thursday: Rest day
Does giving a puggle a bath count as a workout?
Friday: 14 mile progression run
This long run went surprisingly well. I started earlier than I’m used to, and it was really nice to finish a long run by 8:45 AM! My route was hilly – approximately 600 feet elevation gain. I focused on effort, keeping it comfortable through mile 10 and then progressing from marathon pace to half marathon pace: 7:50, 7:47, 7:23, and 7:19. The weather was pleasantly warm – 50 degrees on this run!
This entire training cycle I have been using Nuun Performance and Honey Stinger waffles (the gluten-free ones since they are less crumbly) on my long runs. I don’t think I can go back to using gels except maybe at the end of a race. My stomach feels better during the run and I actually have an appetite after my long runs, rather than a sensation of a sugar-bomb in my stomach.
Saturday: 5 mile run and Pilatesology
It was pouring rain when Ryan and I got ready to run, so we opted for the treadmills. We both wanted to strength train after the run and there was no chance of us actually strength training after a rainy run. Naturally, it stopped rainy within a few minutes of starting on the treadmill, but I was already on the treadmill so I just stuck with it. After hilly long run, flat terrain felt appropriate for a recovery effort. After the run, I did a 20 minute Pilatesology workout.
Sunday: Strength training
We are in the odd transition period between ski season and hiking season. Instead of opting outside, Ryan and I hit the gym for strength training. I did a similar workout to the one earlier this week: modified pull-ups, kettlebell exercises, and mini band exercises. Afterward, I whipped up a delicious batch of sourdough waffles for us. I’ve been craving fruit like crazy this training cycle, so I topped mine with mango.
What foods are you craving right now?
How was your week in running? Did you race this weekend?
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