Week 1 of training was okay. I was excited to start training. It gives me a goal to work towards. The week started out with hot yoga on Monday followed by intervals on Tuesday. It was my first Treadmill run since April. Yuck! I hate the treadmill. I didn’t think I’d every say this, but I’d rather run outside in the cold than run on a treadmill. Wow, has my outlook changed in a year. My workout consisted of a w/u and then 5 X 1000m @ 5K pace w/ two minute recovery jogs in between. I did a short c/d so I could get home and take our new dog Kona for a mile run to release some energy. I was scared to run in the dark by myself. But I put on my headlamp and had Kona by my side. We only ran a mile. It wasn’t so bad. Wednesday was a rest day. I had such a crazy day at work and didn’t get home until 6:30 so the last thing I wanted to do was go run. Thursday I took Kona on a 4.26M run. It was supposed to be 6M at easy pace but I was struggling to control her and there wasn’t anything easy about this run. Friday I went straight to hot yoga after work and then took Kona out for a 1.74M run to finish out my 6 miles. I went from being in a hot yoga room to running in the rain and dark. I actually was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I love rain runs, have I mentioned that before? 😉 Saturday was supposed to be a 7M tempo, since I took a rest day earlier in the week, but I just couldn’t make myself do it. It was cold, gray, and windy outside. I kept putting if off by doing laundry and addressing my Christmas cards. So finally, I gave up on the idea. Sunday was my first long pace-plus run of 10M. I needed to stay between 9:00 and 9:30 pace and I ended up averaging a 9:07 pace. The first five miles were rusty to say the least. I mentally wasn’t into it. It’s amazing how much the weather affects my mind. I felt like I was struggling to stay under 9:30 miles. Naturally, I had overdressed. By mile two I was so hot in my running jacket that I thought about turning around to drop it off at home. But I knew if I turned around it would be that much more difficult to continue my run, so I pushed it to the back of my mind and charged forward. Then something happened, after the first 5 miles something clicked. My body remembered. I started running faster at a 9:00min pace and I felt good. I got into a good rhythm and finished strong at an 8:56 pace. I thought about getting on my bike trainer for an hour to make up my missed tempo run. But as soon as I sat down on the couch after my run, I almost fell asleep. Ooops, oh well. My body is getting used to the work load again so it’s naturally going to feel exhausted the first few weeks until it gets adjusted to the mileage again. Week 1 Total Mileage: 23 miles + 2 hot yoga sessions.
Week 2 started out with hot yoga on Monday. I had the day off, so I went to an earlier class at a yoga studio downtown. It was more meditation and breathing versus flowing so I really didn’t feel like I got a good workout. Tuesday was intervals – on the treadmill, 6 X 800m. I have a love hate relationship with intervals. I hate them while I’m doing them, but it’s such a rush when I finish. Wednesday was a 6M easy recovery run and Thursday was hot power yoga. Friday was a 7M tempo run with 4M at 8:15-8:20 pace and I broke out the Nike Free’s for their first run. They definitely had a different feel to them. Very light weight, but flat. Comfortable but not a lot of cushion. Not sure how I feel about them yet. Saturday was a much needed rest day. And Sunday just didn’t happen. It was supposed to be a 12M run, but we had Bryan’s family Christmas at his parents’ house and I really needed to run before the party that was at noon. I could not wake up. Bryan woke up early and took Kona on a ten mile run. He attempted to wake me but knew I needed to sleep in. Work had been so crazy for me since Thanksgiving. December is the busiest month of the year for work because everyone wants to get in to use their vision insurance and flex spending before the new year. So it was a lot of going into work early, working through lunch, and staying late. So by the time Sunday came, I was spent. I almost fell asleep during the Christmas party and by the time we left it was already dark outside and I knew 12M would not be happening. Week 2 Total Mileage: 20 miles + 2 hot yoga sessions.
Week 3 wasn’t much better than week 2. Really feeling the stress at work and working at both our Castleton and Greenwood offices, I was exhausted. Monday was my usual hot yoga session and it was all I could do to peel myself off my mat to get into the flow. Tuesday was a rest day. Wednesday was intervals: 1200m w/ a 1 minute recovery jog followed by a 400m w/ a 3 minute recovery jog and repeat 2 more times. This is my favorite interval workout. The one good thing about running on the treadmill is the sauna afterwards at the gym which I utilize every time. Thursday was a 7M tempo run w/ 4M at 8:10 pace and I broke out my new New Balance 890v3’s. I just love the NB 890 series. They are the perfect shoes. Lightweight w/ some cushion. Not a big fan of the color scheme of the v3 compared to the v2 but oh well I’ll deal. Instead of running my 6M recovery run or going to hot yoga, I took a rest day both Friday and Saturday due to exhaustion. A glass of wine at home in my sweatpants sounded much for appealing than running in the cold or rushing to yoga after work. Sunday I ran the Santa Hustle Half Marathon and PR’ed by nearly two minutes! It was originally supposed to be a training run but once I got into that race atmosphere the adrenaline kicked in and I wanted to race. Week 3 Total Mileage: 27.1 miles + 1 hot yoga session.
Week 4 of training was still somewhat slacking. Monday was hot yoga again. Tuesday was a rest day because I had to finish my Christmas shopping after a crazy day at work. I didn’t get home from the mall until almost 10pm. Wednesday was Christmas Eve, I really wanted to run outside after work since we had a half day at work but I had to finish errands and get our house ready for Christmas since we were hosting the next day. By the time I finished it was dark outside and the gym was already closed. Thursday was Christmas morning and Bryan and I took Kona for a 6M easy run out on the Monon. We saw a few other people getting outside for some holiday exercise as well. Friday was supposed to be a big workout day for me, intervals and yoga and maybe a swim session. Instead I slept allll day. Work and the holidays had finally caught up to me. Both Bryan and I slept in, me until almost 10:00am. I had slept for 12 hours. After a snack and some tv we both fell asleep in the living room procrastinating on our workouts for the day. We finally got our butts off the couch in time to have a date night at the movies. Saturday morning I had brunch with my family before my parents drove back to Houston and then my high school friend Brooke came over for a run. We had not seen each other in years but have kept in touch via text messages and Facebook. She is also a marathon runner and is training for a half marathon trail series out in Cali where she lives. We went on a 7M easy run. It was my longest run ever without music and the only run that I’ve talked the entire time. It’s amazing how much harder it is to run while talking. But we did catch up on life and it was so good to see her and have a running buddy for a change. Sunday after a tasty brunch with the hubs (my favorite thing to do over the weekend) I made up my 12M run from two weeks prior. It was only supposed to be a 10M run but I thought it more important to run 12 instead of 10, especially since I’ve been slacking recently. Again it was dark, cold, and dreary and the thought of running by my lonesome didn’t sound fun. So I brought Kona with me. It would be her longest run thus far. Bryan has ran 11M with her at a 7:00min/mile pace so I knew she could handle my turtle pace. I wanted to stay at my pace-plus pace for my long runs (9:00-9:30) but it was impossible. She doesn’t like to settle in at that pace. She either likes to run fast with Bryan or trot at a 10:00min pace. Every time I attempted to speed up to a 9:00min pace, Kona would get too excited and try to sprint. So I would have to yank on her leash to keep her by my side. She is only 40lbs but she is very strong. She also would get very excited every time she spotted a squirrel. She would shoot off catching me off guard almost pulling me to the ground when she saw a squirrel or bird. My 12M tug-o-war run with her was harder than my half marathon PR from the week prior. Week 4 Total Mileage: 25.30 total miles + 1 hot yoga session.
For each of the first four weeks of training, I’ve only ran three out of 4 runs each week. I’m totally slacking. The craziness of work and the holidays this month has really taken a toll on me both physically and mentally. I didn’t miss a workout until vacation when training for the Monumental Marathon and that was well into my training. But this is too early in training for me to be missing workouts. It’s making me anxious like how I was when training for the Carmel Marathon last year and I bombed that race, so I hope this isn’t a repeat. At least I’m getting outside for my runs whenever I can. I have conquered running in the cold, now I just have to conquer running in the dark. Bryan got me a running LED light for Christmas and I got him one too (great minds think alike). So I’m hoping going into the New Year that I can get back on track with my 4 runs a week and 2 days of cross training.