Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Interval training

Another snowy day. I risked the roads to go to my usual running spot, lucky they were dry. It wasn't too cold but snow was still on the ground.
My training has 1 interval run every second week. All are meant to be carried out at 5k pace. I usually run anywhere between 7-8 minute miles, a bit faster than my 5k pace. The other weeks usually have a tempo run on Wednesdays. I feel like these have made a huge contribution to my running in a short space of time.
I ran a 1 mile warmup, then 8 x .25 mile intervals with a minutes walk/jog in between, followed by a 1 mile cool down.
Altogether that was 5 miles.

The Big Freeze

Well winter storm Leon hit. Not until late last night, then we got 3 inches of snow and freezing rain. Glad I got my four and a half mile run in before it hit. 

Intervals today but I'm not sure how that'll work out with the road looking like a sheet of ice. In good news the pup is a wild man in the snow!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Current Favorites

Winter Running never felt so good. Of all of the things I've added to my winter gear for running these Nike Thermal Tech Run Gloves are my favorite. They cost $25 at Dicks Sporting Goods...although I got mine much cheaper as they were either clearance or just rung up wrong at the register. I got my housemate a pair (with purple accents) at a different store as a present, to say good job on placing in her age group in the 5k Red Shoe Run, and I was most disappointed to pay full price. However they will be used for a long time to come. Good but not great when you are standing around in below freezing temps but bring these bad boys on a run and they are perfect. They even have the silver thumb additions to allow you to use a touch screen phone.....since I'd rather use my phone to track my run this is a major plus in my book!
Speaking of winter it was nice and balmy today, probably the warmest day in the last two months in SC. Tomorrow might be a different story as we are under  a Winter storm watch...and if it hits we'll get anywhere up to eight inches of snow..madness! Roll on snow day.

I'm loving the addition of a last few touches to my living room, this print I bought from aSteadyPaceStudio on Esty. The mat and frame I got to match some bigger ones I have from Micheal's. I'm contemplating getting a medal holder to go underneath it but I can't decide on one.

Surprise chocolate from home. Someone my housemate works with took a trip to Ireland and came back with the biggest slab of chocolate I've ever seen. Thank goodness we share everything otherwise I might have died of jealousy.

Last but not least my forever favorite........

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Red Shoe Run, Columbia SC


Another race, another PR this time at a 10k race. I smashed my previous 10k PR (59:11)  by 7 minutes 19 seconds for a new record of 51:52.
This was again a small local race with both a 5 and 10k, I opted for the 10k as that's what my current training called for (Hal Hidgon's intermediate half marathon program). It was a flat course around some nice neighborhoods in Columbia. Even better pre-race registration and post-race events were held in a middle school, thank goodness since it was well below freezing the entire time. Best of all, the proceeds go to the local Ronald McDonald house.
Post-race Earth Fare provided bagels and bananas and coffee was also on supply. Much needed afterwards. 
I wore full length tights, a long sleeve thermal top, a technical tee, a running jacket, two pairs of gloves, a headband and hat. I was very grateful for it all especially at the start but by the end it was all soaked thru and in some spots refrozen.
At first I thought I was running too fast and I wouldn't be able to hold the pace but obviously I underestimate my speed. I do like to run at a comfortable pace...maybe too comfortable. A nice confidence boost for my planned half time tho. Either the sheer number of miles I've ran in the last 12 months or the speed work I've been doing for the last two months are really paying off. 
51:52 12th Female, 2nd in age group (30-34).

Now for some much needed RnR. Anyone else racing in the cold?

Thursday, 23 January 2014

I'm back bitches!!

After a rea-eheh-eally long hiatus I'm back to blogging. 

Apologies but I didn't want to spend two-three months telling you the hundred different ways marathon recovery with an IT band injury thrown into the mix sucks. 
It was a long break from running and blogging. It definitely made me evaluate both and appreciate them in their own ways. 
As often as I say "eugh I have to run tonight" when I'm training, two months of no running really brought home the fact that running has turned into an addiction. I hated seeing runners out and about!!! 
The appreciation for blogging took a bit longer to come home to stay. I honestly thought about scrapping my blog but planning for the coming year made me realize that I wanted to share my experiences. I just have to remember I'm not a full time blogger not every post has to be epic or on a daily basis. 

So what happened or has been happening.....well post marathon I tried running too soon and ended up with IT band issues not only in my right leg ( thank you marathon) but on both legs, with knee and hip pain. Very persistent pain. Weeks slid into a couple of months later and nothing was getting better....two steps forward, ten backwards. I tried RICE at every opportunity. I seriously thought I'd have to bite the bullet and hit up some doctors with my crappy insurance.
Then I did something I should have done eons ago and headed back to my massage lady (aka angel in disguise). I got a two package massage: 30 minutes of myofasial release for my IT band/ upper leg and 30 minutes of general massage (why not). I found out that yeah my legs in general weren't in great shape but what was much worst was pretty much EVERY GD muscle around my hips. One 30 min massage, another week of abstinence with stretching and foam rolling and I was as good as new!!
It's official you can call me a stubborn idiot. 

Like seeing the joys of the world after an awful hangover my body became a whole different animal. That was early December. I've had no knee pain since and only occasional awareness of my outer hip area. I can now tell when things are beginning to tighten up and correct it before it becomes a problem. I keep thinking there is no way one massage can fix me but I'm now halfway (well after a 10k race on Saturday) thru a half-marathon training program without any injuries.

I'm loving training right now. Half marathon training is nothing to sneeze at but it feels like a breeze compared to marathon training amid a South Carolina summer. I know everyone says progress from a half to a full marathon but I skipped that and I'm enjoying it the other way around. I'm pushing hard to improve rather than just wanting to finish runs without dying by the side of the road. I'm still slow as a snail but my pace is getting faster. I even came first in my age group at a local 5k. It was a really small race, I'd be near the back if it wasn't, but that didn't stop me being chuffed when I crossed the line for a new 5k PR of 25:11.

So what's in store for this year......

I want to run a ridiculous number of half marathons....some to set a PR since the half I planned to run during marathon training was cancelled, some for fun...sightseeing, race bling and to keep me running consistently.

Hesitantly, toe in the water...maaaybe another marathon next winter. I'd like to run one without hills (ahem mountains) without an injury because I know I could with some serious training take at least 35 minutes of my last time (4:45).

So, I'm sorry I haven't been around. Stick with or join me for a fun year.