I guess i have been getting behind on the ol' blog again! There have been numerous times in the past week or so that I have planned to write an update, but unfortunately it just didn't happen. Since the 10 Miler on April 15, I've been focusing on a lot of speed workouts for the run. High intensity = pain = long term gains! Last year I wrote about the importance of going slow which I focused on for a while, and definitely made some improvements and ran some PB's. However, I figure that can only take you so far. Don't get me wrong, I still run super easy and slow on my easy/recovery runs, and begin really easy on my other runs...but I think some speed is now in order.
Each week, I've only been doing 4 run workouts, which is one less than what I used to do, but I have decreased the amount and volume of easy/recovery runs I was doing, and increased the amount of high intensity workouts. During the past 4 weeks, in each week I've done a long run (around 1:45 with the last 30min at tempo pace), a transition run off the bike (30min) at a fast tempo pace, an easy 40 min run on the treadmill, and either a X-country race on Wednesday evening or an interval session. Turns out 3 out of 4 of those speed sessions were the Wed. night X-C races! And holy crap, those are lung burners! The kind where your heart rate is redlining in the 190's for 20-25mins, and where you have that metallic taste in your mouth right at the end and after you finish from pushing so hard. The races I did ranged from around 4.5km to ~6km. And they HURT!
Results and placing-wise, I ended up not doing too shabby (between 7th-9th O/A female)! During the second race that I did, I noticed in the first km or so that there were only a few women (a few meaning i could count on one hand) just up the trail ahead of me. I recall thinking, what the heck, where is everybody! Who do I think I am running up near the front of the women? Regardless, it turned out that I had gone out too fast and I faded, ending up 7th female.
Continuing with the theme of high intensity workouts, I signed up for the 10km Mother's Day race, which was this morning. We couldn't have ordered better weather, as it was beautifully sunny and flawless skies, with not a cloud in sight, and 24C for a high today. My race today could be considered the prime example of 'How NOT to run a 10km'. I reverted back to my old ways of going much too fast right off the bat, in the first kilometer, and then feeling like I was going to die by about kilometer 2. There were a couple of mean, nasty hills to climb as well, and the first one was so super-steep I almost felt like walking might be faster. But I didn't. Later on, I felt like I regained some rhythm and ran well for a short while, but then my legs got really sore and had no power remaining. My other dumb-ass moment (the first was going out too fast) happened in the last kilometer, when a bunch of people, including myself, ended up taking a wrong turn, and then having to backtrack to correct the mistake once it was realized. I only lost about 30-45 sec.
I was pretty surprised to see 50:18 on the clock at the finish, as there was no way I ran that slow, dying and all. The course ended up being nearly 11km - which explains the extra 5 or so minutes as the last kilometer was my slowest! I really don't understand the difficulty with mapping out an accurate 10km course these days, with all the GPS and technology at our disposal in this day and age. It's one thing if the course is 11km and advertised as such, but when it is advertised as 10km and ends up being closer to 11km, that freaking bugs me! Anyway, I'm putting it behind me...
Swimming has been chugging along, I've been really consistent and getting my 3 swims per week in religiously. Last week was our testing week, which meant Time Trial Thursday! That day I ended up eating a crapload of eggs - a hard boiled egg at breakfast, then a 3-egg scramble for dinner:
My egg scramble supper - 3 eggs, tomatoes, and spinach, oh my!
I really surprised myself in my 800m time trial with a PB of 10:27. I felt incredibly strong and smooth during the 800. One of my swimmers was kind enough to take all my splits, and my second 400 was only 5 seconds slower than my first 400 (5:11, 5:16), so this is close to even-splitting. I don't think I've ever been under 10:33 for 800. Consistency definitely pays off in the pool! And maybe all those eggs I ate before it had something to do with it?
My little monsters just prior to attacking the flowers I received at the MD race, and trying to eat the petals...
Now for some exciting news - I leave on May 17 for a 2.5 week trip to Europe! I'm so freaking excited! I will be flying to Belfast first to visit family for a week (Geoff will join me on May 21), and then we fly to Venice for a Mediterranean cruise that sets sail on May 26. The cruise visits several of the Greek islands, including Santorini. One of Geoff's friends invited us on the cruise as they're getting married during it (in Greece, not actually on the cruiseliner).
After the cruise ends, we fly to London on June 1, and then I will stay with my aunt and her family there for 2 nights, and Geoff flies home on June 1. It has been ages since I've been to N. Ireland to see my family there, and I am so looking forward to it. Also, this is the first trip in years that doesn't involve a race or training camp or something. It's essentially the honeymoon that Geoff and I never took! Of course I will still fit in my running and strength training (and hopefully some swimming in Belfast), and apparently the cruise will have yoga and spinning class and a gym, so I plan to not get out of shape on this holiday.
So next time you hear from me, I'll be overseas! I will aim to update regularly with my European adventures. Ciao for now!