Sunday, July 25, 2010

Better late than never.

Friday, July 23rd, 2010. I might have to get this date tattooed on my forehead or something. Why you ask? To remind myself of an amazing amazing, almost pain free, 10 mile run.

Well, maybe a tattoo isnt the smartest idea, but its definitely a feeling I want to (and am going to remember) for a long time. Not that my last few runs have been exceptionally painful (no more than usual) but this run was focused all on "form, not speed". I kept repeating this mantra in times of pain, or times when I was mentally struggling. Its amazing how powerful such a simple statement can be mile 8 into a long run. And it turns out that my improved running form helps me run faster. Here's my stats:

Total distance: 10.00miles
Total time: 1:44:45
Average Pace: 10:29/mile

Mile 0-1: 9:57
Mile 1-2: 10:15
Mile 2-3: 10:56
Mile 3-4: 10:35
Mile 4-5: 10:46
Mile 5-6: 10:08
Mile 6-7: 10:22
Mile 7-8: 10:12
Mile 8-9: 10:06
Mile 9-10: 11:24

Clearly much faster than last week, I think its 8 minutes faster in total? And it felt very consistent. I was only really struggling on the last mile (took a 1 minute walking break) and that was mostly because I was feeling a little hungry and had to use the washroom (ironic? haha). But yes, the big story of this run for me, was that I had very little foot pain. Generally after 6-8 miles I get a stabbing pain in both feet and its slows me down and kills me. But this run I focused on "heel-toe, heel-toe" and I think it worked! No it wasn't completely pain free, but definitely a huge difference.

So a great long run, then had a big celebration afterwards with lots of beer, and food, and Scottish boys haha. And I ended up going out again last night, and worked both these mornings. This much drinking+not sleeping has wrecked my body. Im seriously more sore after drinking, then after running 10 miles. This has motivated me to give up the booze and the restaurant food for one full week. Until Natal day (Monday August 2nd) I will NOT be eating out or drinking. This includes when I work at Starbucks so Ill have to be packing some snacks and healthy lunches. This will not only help me stay on track with my workouts, but also help me save some money.

I love challenging myself, and this is definitely going to be a challenge!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Brick Workout of Death

Holy shit, this whole training in the heat of summer is HARD, even though Im trying to be as smart about it as possible. Yesterday I got a good strength workout in, and even a quick bike ride to and from the grocery store. It is warm as hell here in Dartmouth, at least 30 degrees both today and yesterday. Last night I had a few beers and didnt get to sleep until late late late, so this morning I was not up until late late late. So unfortunately I was not able to get my workout in early in the morning, before the heat started.

I wasnt able to get my workout in before the heat but that wasnt enough of an excuse for me to not workout at all. I know that working out in the dead heat of the day (I went out at 1pm) is not exactly safe. Im very aware of that so I tried to guzzle as much water in before my bike ride, and take a giant (1L) bottle with me for it, along with making sure I was adequately fueled (big breakfast + entire fruit bar before I left).

This being said, these precautions did not make biking and running in 30 degree weather any easier. I was planning on an 8 mile bike and 4 mile first official brick workout. Now, I ended up doing an 8.5 mile bike and a 3.1 mile (5km) run. And although the bike ride was nice, the run was hell. Here are the stats:

An 8.47 mile bike ride. Total time: 41:38 with an average pace of 4:55/mile and an average speed of 12.2mph.
I ended my bike ride at the bottom of the hill I live on, walked up that (nice and slowly), exchanged my bike and helmet for a hat and ipod and set out on my attempted 4 mile run (not before guzzling the end of my 1L water bottle). It felt weird starting out, like my legs were lead and I was going 2 miles an hour, but they eventually loosened up and I was going a decent pace. I knew after about a mile I wasnt going to be able to do 4 full miles, but I wanted to make sure I got at least 5km in, the distance Ill be doing in the real triathalon, and thats about all my body could handle. Here are some stats:
Mile 0-1: 10:06, my only decent mile
Mile 1-2: 11:02
Mile 2-3: 11:40
Mile 3-3.1: 1:21

These are including the minimum of 1 minute walking I did every mile, so I wasnt running that slow, just taking lots of breaks. Walking up my hills after the run was over was painful, I felt weak and pretty terrible, but once I got home, chugged some water and jumped in the pool (also some attempting stretching) I felt a bit better.

I didnt exactly eat the best after my workout so I wasnt feeling so great for the rest of the afternoon, but Im good now and proud of myself for getting a decent workout in.

Sleep is coming very soon, I cant wait!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tri Training: Day 1

Well, I guess I can call every workout after today a "tri training" workout, but there was nothing too special about today's run, except that it was in insane heat, something Im not going to use as an excuse to skip a run (especially when I only have 3 miles planned). Something a little bit special about today's workout though...was that it was "planned". Ive never really followed a "training" schedule before, besides planning each weekends long runs for half marathon training, but now Ive got a legitimate workout schedule for the next two weeks, planned around my work schedule, that Im hoping to stick to. Here's what it looks like, up until August 2nd:

July 19th- Bike to and from SPCA (volunteering) 5 miles each way, run 3 miles
July 20th- Strength
July 21st- Brick workout Bike 8 miles then right after run 4 miles
July 22nd-Strength
July 23rd-Run 10 miles
July 24th- Run 3 miles
July 25th-Strength
July 26th- Bike to and from SPCA, 5 miles both ways
July 27th-Run 5 miles
July 28th-Swim 30 minutes, strength
July 29th-Brick, Bike 10 miles, run 4 miles
July 30th-Strength
July 31st- Run 10 miles
Aug 1st-OFF
Aug 2nd- 2 Mile Natal Day road race

So it is definitely going to be a tough few weeks, but Im looking forward to incorporating more strength into my routine, and Im also really excited to start the brick workouts. These are definitely going to be necessary to learn the transition between swimming/biking and biking/running, and give my legs a feel for how tough thats going to be. Im going to try and include at least one brick workout a week.

Todays workout went as planned. My bike ride to the SPCA was 5.04 miles total and took me 33:47. The ride home was 4.78 miles (forgot to start my GPS after some lights) and took me 28:24. Im not going to bother including splits for any of my bike workouts (because right now I dont really care about my biking speed) but I do plan on blogging each and every workout from now on, because it keeps me focused and motivated.

My run today was done at noon time. Now I KNOW this isn't smart. Running in 30 degree weather at the peak sun time and what not, but I felt like I was keeping the pace pretty slow (although it turned out to be a fairly fast first 2 miles...last one, not so much) and I knew I was adequately hydrated. Anyways, here's my splits, I only ran 2.9 miles total:
Mile 0-1: 9:13
Mile 1-2: 9:15
Mile 2-2.9: 10:44 <--Body pretty much gave up, I definitely could not have gone any further than 3 miles today
Total: 29:12

That's it for today. Im going to see inception with my sister tonight, looking forward to some Leo action :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A month later...

Whoops, haven't posted for a whole month! Well I think thats due in part to my obtaining a job. Nothing too special, just a Starbucks barista :) But its helping make me some money for the time being and get some free coffee. I actually love working there! Its a very relaxed and comfortable environment and the company actually cares about their product, and they care that their employees are knowledgeable about their product. Anyways, its a pretty great job so far.

But the one downside? It definitely has affected my running. I have not been able to get the quantity of runs in per week that I would like to. Now I think I'm slowly starting to get adjusted and will begin to increase my mileage again. And its hard because if I work early in the morning, and am off at a reasonable time, its too hot and my feet hurt too much to run after a shift. What I think I'm going to start doing is make a running/workout schedule based on  my work schedule, take some of the daily planning out of it.

This past week, for example, from Sunday-Saturday, 2 RUNS ONLY. Haha I haven't run only twice in a week since after my 2nd half marathon I think, when I took a week or two off. But even though it was only 2 runs, still almost 15 miles for the week, so Im still happy. I did a 10 miler yesterday and although it was very slow (about 1:53) I took NO walking breaks, and the humidity was through the freaking roof, so I finally understand that speed is not really possible in that kind of heat. And, although I dont want to jinx anything, yesterday was less painful than usual. Now, I took the inserts out of one of my shoes that Ive been wearing (took it out of my left shoe, kept it in my right one) and it seems like my left foot was not in as much pain as usual. I think it is because I really focused on my technique during my run yesterday, making sure my heel strikes the ground first then the balls of my feet, then toes. This seemed to help immensely so Im really going to focus on this for my next few runs.

Okay, so I was reading some triathlon race recaps this weekend, and now I really want to do one! A marathon really wasn't possible for me to consider this summer due to my foot pain, but a triathlon seems like a huge challenge, but also very possible. There is one September 12th, a "Sprint Triathlon" which is 750m swim, 20km bike and a 5km run, and its in Shubie, aka pretty much next door to my house, so no traveling would be involved.

The most difficult part of this would completely be the swim, although Ive always been a comfortable swimmer, Ive never been a fast one, nor would I have any idea on how to train for a 750km open water swim. Can I swim in Banook/Mic Mac or Lake Charles? Is it dangerous to train there without some sort of helper, because of all the paddlers and rowers? Thats something that I might email the race director about, and see if they have any organized, supervised open water swims, which would be amazing.

Ive just been having a great time riding my bike recently, and running has been going well (just a little infrequently) and if I can get some longer distance swims in I think I can do it :)

Off to watch the last km of this crazy Tour de France stage, go Schleck!