Last week was one of those weeks where the consistent work over the past few months just clicked. My runs all felt really good and I feel like finally, I may be getting close to my pre-baby fitness. I still have a ways to go before I could get close to some of my PRs, but I also feel like the hard work is leading to sustainable growth.
After spending weeks focused on increasing my mileage and improving economy, I advanced beyond easy miles and leg speed work. I did a fartlek run and all felt good during and after – which is huge progress over how I felt when I tried speedwork in the winter.
Monday: Rest day
I walked a few miles, split between two walks. In the morning, I took Isla and the dogs on a short walk (~1.25 miles) through the nearby park. She is getting big and wearing her in the front-facing carrier while walking up hills requires a bit of effort! In the evening, Ryan and I enjoyed a longer walk through the park.
Tuesday: 7.1 mile easy run
I am enjoying these 5:45 AM runs; the weather is cooler and I see other runners out. I wake up extra early to do Isla’s dreamfeed before I head out, but that also allows me time to drink coffee and wake up a bit. I maintained a comfortable easy effort and averaged a 8:38/mile – I finally feel as if I have adapted to the warmer temperatures.
Wednesday: 6 mile easy run & strength training
The winds still strongly raged from the tropical storm, so I opted for the treadmill. I set the pace to an easy effort (~9:05-9:15). The miles comfortably ticked away as I listened to the Nail Your Nutrition podcast. It was a highly relatable episode, as the two hosts discussed their experiences in returning to running after C-sections.
After a quick break to hydrate and wake and feed Isla, I completed my strength workout. I complied some exercises from the Running Rewired stability ball and TRX workouts into one ~20 minute strength session.
Thursday: 10 x 1 min fartlek (7.1 miles total)
The weather was blissfully cooler (in the high 50s) with just a mild wind.
I focused on controlling my pace in the intervals, aiming for an effort that felt like something I could run for a 20-30 minute race. I wanted this run to be primarily aerobic, not a full VO2max workout. My splits were both pleasing and surprising: after starting out the first two around a 6:50-6:55/mile, I settled into a 6:39-6:49/mile – and then comfortably picked up to a 6:30/mile pace for the final interval. I finished feeling as if I could keep going, which was my goal for this workout. All those strides are paying off!
I ordered the Saucony MH2 shoes last week and wore them for this run. They are a racing shoe, but I was eager to test them out. They were super responsive and snappy. I’m excited to hopefully race in them in late summer!
Friday: 5.1 mile stroller run
Isla sleeps relatively late (9 pm-8 am most mornings, although we are working on shifting to 8:30-7:30), so by the time we got out, it was decently warm. I kept an easy pace and comfortably cruised through five miles. Our running loop has sculptures around it, and we saw them install some new ones during our run.
Saturday: 11 mile long run
I felt surprisingly good, considering I had gone to bed later and had a couple of beers the night before. Beautifully mild weather (temperatures in the 50s!) certainly contributed to how snappy my legs felt. In the final two miles, I stopped controlling my pace and let myself pick up progressively to a more moderate effort. I was careful to keep my breathing comfortable and not get too close to a tempo effort. My final two miles were a 7:55 and 7:32 (along a slight downhill), which felt great!
Sunday: 3.4 mile trail run + strides & strength training
Since we had family visiting, Ryan and I were able to run together without the stroller – which meant we could run in the park! We started out too late, which meant golfers were already out (it’s a municipal park with a golf course), so we kept the run short. I quickly completed strides when we got home. Our street has several potholes, which never leads to the smoothest or fastest set of strides (and the tree cover messes with GPS signal), but I got them done!
Once family left, I did a total body strength workout in our basement gym. This workout had a single leg focus, with split squats, single leg deadlifts, kettlebell swings, TRX rows, waiter carries, and several hip and core-focused exercises.
How was your week in running?