Tuesday, March 3, 2015

good runs

It's been too long!

My running has been going really well.  I am consistently running, which is great.  I still struggle every morning - it takes me a while to get out of bed.  Sometimes I don't get out of bed at all - like this morning!  More often than not, I can will myself out of bed.

The count down is on, just a touch over 4 weeks until my half marathon.  I think my training is going well.  I am getting in some speedwork, tempo runs and, of course, long runs.  This weekend I will bump up my runs to 2 hours.  Hopefully that will get me close to 13 miles - though probably closer to 12.

Some highlights of my week:

My hill run!
I decided instead of a tempo that I would run up a hill close by to my house.  I started with a mile warm up, then start to climb.  I'm lucky that I have this hill, and it pretty much goes for as long as I like.  I think I got to about 1.5 miles, then turned and raced back down.  I tried to keep my legs turning as I went down.  I have heard this helps improve cadence.
My splits:
Avg Pace
19:23.1 1.00 9:23 
29:24.6 1.00 9:25 
39:12.3 1.00 9:12 
47:24.6 1.00 7:25 
58:40.7 1.00 8:41 
You can tell where I was running downhill for the full mile!  7:25min/mile!!  I climbed almost 400ft too!

4 x 800m
Now, I missed my spadework on the Tuesday, so I decided to perform it on Friday, the day after my hill run.  I ran in the afternoon, after a lot of coffee during the day - I really believe this helped me out!  I was in shock with this run.  First, my watch wasn't working - it just wasn't saying the correct pace or distance.  I stopped, and reset my watch and started my run again.  I kept looking at it, thinking it was off, as my pace was too fast.  However, the distances were spot on (as I was running a normal route, where I know what mile I should be hitting and when).  

I wanted to go comfortably hard, and was aiming for around an 8:20min/mile pace.  I was shocked with the end results:
Avg Pace
18:39.8 1.00 8:40 
23:55.3 0.50 7:51 
32:32.0 0.25 10:08 
43:50.9 0.50 7:42 
52:27.6 0.25 9:50 
63:44.4 0.50 7:29 
72:28.5 0.25 9:54 
83:43.4 0.50 7:27 
92:22.3 0.25 9:29 
108:44.1 1.00 8:42
The 800m splits: 7:51, 7:42, 7:29 and 7:27.  The last one hurt a little more than the others.  I did try to push myself for the last two splits.
What I am amazed with was how easy this felt.  It felt comfortable.  My recovery was done at a jog, and my warm up and cool downs were below 9 minute miles.  This is a first!   I really believe this could have something to do with the previous days hill run - maybe my legs were thinking of the downhill part!  I'm definitely adding more of those hill workouts!

Long Run
This run I did not want to do.  I was planning on going for 2 hours, then I slept in.  I then decided an hour and a half.  While I was running I thought I wanted to hit 10 miles, so I ran 5 miles to my turn around point, which made me run the other 5 miles back home!  I thought that I should do this run as a 3/1 - three quarters slow and then the final quarter at, or close to, race pace.  At the 7 mile mark I did not think I could pick up the pace.  However, my last long run I told myself that different muscles are in use.  I need to find my fast muscles and use them.
It worked - I managed to get a faster pace and hold it!  I did stop just before the final mile to stretch, as I was going to use it to cool down.  Then as I started running again I thought, 'No, I want to keep it up!'
Avg Pace
19:37.7 1.00 9:38 
29:25.6 1.00 9:26 
39:34.0 1.00 9:34 
49:25.6 1.00 9:26 
59:21.2 1.00 9:21 
69:40.3 1.00 9:40 
79:35.6 1.00 9:36 
88:40.1 1.00 8:40 
98:16.5 1.00 8:17 
108:22.9 1.00 8:22

I'm really happy with this run.  For not wanting to go, then being able to pull out 10 miles - with the last three fast, it shows what you can do if you put your mind to it!

Now for this week.  I have done 3 easy pace miles - which I ran too fast (again!) and then didn't run today - Tuesday.  It was my 4x800m day, according to my training plan, but I am thinking I will do that tomorrow morning.  Let's see if I can get out of bed!

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