Only one week to go until my first race of 2011, and also my first race in 5 months! It's going to be tough starting things off with a 1/2 marathon but i'm excited for this distance as it has been at least 2 years since I last ran a stand-alone half. The training prep has been far from ideal, but i think i've done a pretty good job in dealing with the crap Mother Nature has thrown our way so far this winter. But really, what can we expect living in Alberta - the winter can be so unpredictable here. Last year training for this race would have been not bad at all but the amount of snow we've had this year has been insane! If the weather turns out to be miserable next weekend with snow, I won't mind at all, as us Albertans will be prepared for that!
As far as training for this race goes, i have done all that Geoff has scheduled for me. This has included weekly interval sets, ranging from short to long (1 minute to 1 mile), long runs, and easy runs. Generally I ran 4-5 times a week. Consistency is everything, and i have definitely been consistent with my running. I have done a LOT of my running in the past few months on the treadmill. In the past few weeks alone, I have actually not even run outdoors once, because of the ice and tricky footing. I'm just not interested in risking a fall or injury at this point in the season! I'm sure that running the race next week all on pavement will be quite a shock to the body. However, it was either very poor quality runs outside, or good quality runs indoors in a controlled environment and I chose the latter as it made more sense. So we'll see how it turns out!
My other training has also been going well - I've been doing 2 strength sessions a week, biking 1-3 times a week, and have swam 3 times a week the past couple weeks. Last week I did about 11.5 hours of training, this week was definitely less than that as I only ran 3 times. After the race next weekend, I will start biking a lot more and the focus will likely move from running to biking for a bit. I am finally back on track in the pool as well! What it takes for me is a couple weeks of 3 sessions a week with some hard focused sets, and I start to get my groove back in the water. I've typically been doing 2000m-2300m for my workouts, and had a few key sets this past week with an 800m time trial during Thursday's workout. I swam a 10:35 which is not too bad for me at this point of the year. I'll plan to do a 1500m TT in 4 weeks or so and aim to beat my PB from last year. TT's are not super fun but they are key and definitely have a place in training if you want to improve! It's a hard, focused effort, good practice to get used to swimming hard for a sustained period of time, and good for boosting the fitness as well as giving you a benchmark of where you are at certain points in the season. I do them with my group starting in about november, through to April (no TT's necessary when race season starts!).
I'm leaving Wednesday evening for Victoria to visit BFF Jadeen and her beautiful family for a few days. So excited! I'll be there till Saturday, then I'll catch the ferry over to Vancouver where Geoff will meet me. The race is Sunday, then I will be working in Vancouver Monday-Wednesday and flying home Wed. evening. Geoff is flying home Monday morning so the crazy terriers Hugo & Wylie will have to be in a kennel for 2 nights. Hopefully they behave themselves!