Fall training update, New Hope Week 2 – Getting better!

The second week of my training “reboot” was just as successful as the first – maybe even more so, as I was able to add some new elements..things that I had planned to introduce later on, but they seem to be fitting in well right now! Maybe my body hasn’t lost as much of that hard-won conditioning from earlier in the year as I had feared, maybe I am just being over-cautious; either way, here is the the way it was:

Monday: Rest – Having my rest day land on the first day of the work week is quite possibly the single most brilliant thing I have ever done! So many things go crazy on Mondays, just knowing it won’t interfere with my workout schedule is so freeing…work is stressful enough without creating more conflicts!

Tuesday:  45 min weight training + track workout  – After a hard-core return to activity last week, I have settled on a regular schedule with my trainer; this week we started with arms, shoulders, chest and back. (I’m starting to wonder if telling him that I am training for a Spartan Race was such a good idea 🙂 ) I think have also got the scheduling down so I can get my gym time in, and still make it to the “new” track workouts I have added on Tuesdays.

The run portion was broken up into 3 segments – a 1.5 mile easy warn up (11:19/mi), a 1.5 mile cool down (10:33/mi) and in between, my first session of speed work with the Runner’s High coaches: a one-mile time trial to place me with the correct group. I kind of sand-bagged the trial, I must admit; but I was encouraged to discover that I was actually running at the pace I thought I was running at – I paced myself for what felt like a sub-8:00 mile, and I came in at 7:50, so I guess my sense of timing has developed pretty well over the last year! Next week I will be doing intervals, and I’m buying a stopwatch…I want to get all I can out of these workouts 🙂

Wednesday: Rest – Still keeping this extra day off in the rotation for now, probably until after the Capt’n Karl’s 30K in September; then I will up my weekly mileage with another “easy” or “recovery” run.

Thursday: 45 min weight training + 4 mi tempo run (2 mi easy, 1 mi GP, 1 mi easy) – Today’s session was all about the legs: squats, bear crawls, box jumps, kettlebell carries, and then a crazy stability exercise, standing on the BOSU ball while my trainer threw a medicine ball at me from all directions – I only fell off twice, so not too bad!

I followed this with my first tempo run of this training cycle, running 2 miles at 11:15/mi, then one hard mile at 9:20/mi, then cooling down with one mile at 10:30. I was pretty well wrecked at the finish, but it felt great while I was going!  (Doing legs at the gym and tempo runs in the same day may not work for everyone, but if I can sustain it, how awesome is that?)

Friday: Rest and sports massage – Back in March, I met a guy who was doing massage demonstrations; he specializes in a mixture of Swedish and Thai massage techniques, particularly aimed at runners (he runs ultras himself, so he has the unique knowledge of runners need). We spent two hours working on my calves, ankles and feet, focusing on the lingering issues I have had with my Achilles tendons…it hurt, I cannot lie, but in that wonderful way that lets you know it was exactly what you needed! By the time I got home, I had such a sense of increased motion and flexibility, and such a relief from the “normal” pain and stiffness, that I wondered how I ever thought that was normal!! We will be seeing more of each other in the future, I guarantee that!

Saturday: Group long run (5.4 mi, 10:28/mi avg) + no weight training – This was my first time running with RHC on the regular Saturday group run. Road running with a group, at a set pace, is something entirely new for me, but I have to say it was really enjoyable! Our coach follows the “long slow run” philosophy, where you should go about 45 seconds per mile slower than goal marathon pace; since I am currently training with the 4:30 marathon group, that works out to 10:30-10:45 per mile, or slow enough to carry on a conversation. I took advantage of that, let me tell you! Many of the people I ran with are casual acquaintances from other races, especially Brazos Bend (where I volunteered at packet pickup in the morning, and also worked the finish line after I ran my 50K) so we had an immediate connection. Getting to know more about others, as well as promote trail running in Houston, is a welcome distraction from the monotony of long runs! I also tested myself just a little…when the 4:00 pace group passed us with about one mile to go, I decided to step up and finish with them,,it was a stretch, but I did it!

The rest of the day got away from me, between running errands for my dad, taking care of stuff around the house, and the unexpected thunderstorm that knocked out our power for several hours in the evening…so the gym workout went by the wayside 😦

Sunday: 5.1 mi easy (55:32, 10:48/mi) – That power outage last night also caused all the cell phones to go dead, so we had no alarms to wake up with this morning, thus I missed the group trail run. But I will do my best to roll with the changes and not get derailed by things going “wrong” (read “according to my plans“) so I got out right as the sun went down and matched yesterday’s miles – score!

Summary: Planned – 5 runs, 20-ish miles, 3 strength training days; actual – 4 runs,  18.4 miles, 2 strength training days

So that makes two record-breaking weeks in a row where I met all my training goals – or at least the spirit of the goals…even the days where I was “off” I did something positive and fitness-related. I am learning that, for me at least, I need to have small one-step-at-a-time goals that give me a continuing sense of accomplishment…something to buoy me up and carry me through the times when it isn’t going quite so well.


Do you set “baby steps” along with the “big picture” goals?

If not, why? If so, how are you doing keeping up with them?

I’d love to hear from you!!



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