So with the race approaching now in just over seven weeks, I am in the final push. I’m losing a little steam, enthusiasm-wise as far as training. So, to shake things up, I am committing to sharing my workouts in daily blog posts, from today until race day. (Yeah, I think it’s bold-font worthy). I am not sure if I’m more intimidated by having to share all the highs and lows of my training with the internets or by the prospect of daily blogging, though it’s probably the latter.
This morning my 6am alarm went off in the blackness of our bedroom, whereupon I promptly rose and pressed snooze. I do that thing where I keep the alarm on the dresser, which I have to walk a couple steps to, thinking that will prod me into wakefulness, except it never works. Putting it where it belongs, on the night table, though, would be raising my white flag in defeat, which I am not ready to do. Not sure how many more years it will take for me to take that step.
I scarfed down some instant oatmeal while Dan changed Sweet Pea’s diaper, then nursed, got dressed, and was out the door by 6:50. The workout was a 2 mile warm-up with 2 x 2 miles at goal race pace with 2 minutes jog recovery in between the 2 mile segments, then a short cool-down, for a total of 6.75 miles.
I did a similar workout a couple of weeks ago, on the same route, but this time my legs lacked the energetic snap I was hoping for. Perhaps I am still recovering from our trip to Aspen this weekend for the wedding of our dear friends. While it was a lot of fun, it messed up Sweet Pea’s routine, which found her (and me) awake for large chunks of the night, three nights in a row. The only thing that soothed her in the middle of the night was nursing in bed; lest I took advantage of the opportunity to doze off, Sweet Pea made sure to keep me awake for the slumber party, kicking, scratching, and pinching me anytime I got too comfortable. The weekend also brought copious amounts of alcohol, several evenings spent in high heels, a lot of dancing (yeah!) and a fateful long run that will surely go down in history as one of the Very Worst runs of my life; 13.56 miles ran in nearly full sun, with insufficient water, at about 8,000 feet of elevation. The route featured golden aspen trees, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the Roaring Fork Valley, which were nothing short of breathtaking on the way out, where the terrain featured a gentle descent. The way back was breathtaking as well, but in a different way. My mouth was stuffed with cottonballs, my legs were sticks of lead, so the scenery wasn’t doing much for me on the ascent back home. It’s funny how the incline always seems so much more gradual when you are going downhill than when you are coming back up.
So anyway, my legs felt heavy when I began my two mile repeats this morning, and I had to really focus in order to stay on top of the pace I was looking for (8:00/mile). I ran the first 2 mile interval at an average pace of 8:08/mile, and the second at an average pace of 8:01/mile. Not too bad, I just would have liked to do it with legs feeling a bit fresher. I am hopeful that I will feel the effects of altitude training when I race at sea level, because if running that pace feels anywhere near as difficult on race day as it did today, I will not be able to put 13.1 of them together at once!
Later today, I am planning to hit the gym for a little strength/core work, as well as some time in the hot tub. And also to justify the expense of my gym membership. I am curious, do you incorporate strength training into your running program? This is always something I strive to do, yet when life gets in the way and I’m short on time (e.g., always), its the first thing I neglect. Do you have any tips on what are the best, most time-efficient strength exercises?