Monday, January 25, 2016

Road to Redemption: Week 3

Monday: 6.5 miles of speed work. It was just a little bit cold on Monday {sarcasm}. Air temp wasn't that bad but there was a bitter wind blowing, which not only took your breath away with its chill but also added resistance to what was already a challenging workout. A one mile warm up was followed by 6 x 800 with rest intervals at 400. Goal was 3:13 for the 800s. Here's how it went:

1st - 3:09
2nd - 3:09
3rd - 3:15
4th - 3:10
5th - 3:14
6th - 3:17

Not perfect, but not bad. I'm happy with it, especially considering the conditions. Once we were finished, we walked around the track gawking at the pretty ice puddles and then smashing them with glee until we all suddenly got really cold and booked it back to our cars.


Tuesday: Vinyasa. It was freezing outside again and I think that kept a lot of the fair-weather gym goers away because class was not nearly as crowded. Penny had a ton of balance poses in store for us including two of my favorites: King Dancer and the Lotus series. There was also my least favorite (FOR THE THIRD WEEK IN A ROW): Warrior 3. Hate that pose.

Wednesday: 7 miles of tempo work. I was dreading going out on Wednesday morning. Air temp was 15 and felt like 9. About 3 miles in, I realized that the thing about running is that if you're doing it right, it's never cold when you're running. 15 degrees feels like 60 when you're busting your butt. Thankfully the strong wind that had been blowing Tuesday evening had died down so at least we didn't have that to deal with. Our route was a new one for tempo and included a few "inclines" that were a touch challenging, but I am very satisfied with the results for the three tempo miles - a 7:08, 7:03, and 7:02 (goal pace was 7:04). That first mile started on the steepest incline of the route (excuses, excuses).



Thursday: Spin class! In my new shoes! I initially had some trouble getting clipped in and had to ask the guy next to me for some help. Embarrassing, right? I managed to get clipped in and enjoyed the class immensely.

Friday: Rest day/impending blizzard prep day. In hindsight, I should have accepted Kit's invitation to get in our 16 on Friday before the storm hit. I declined because when I got off work on Thursday I was so excited about the office being closed on Friday that I celebrated with some very non-long-run-friendly food and didn't even think about the possibility of running the next day.

Saturday: Blizzard. I sat on the couch and watched a lot of Netflix.

Sunday: The snow finally stopped, but we haven't seen a plow come through yet and most of Richmond remains a disaster area. 16" of snow may as well be 30" in Richmond; we are very ill-equipped to deal with this amount of snow. Even though I know full well missing one run isn't going to completely sabotage training, I was feeling very anxious after having done nothing but sit around, eat junk food, and watch Netflix for three days. So I got in Stella (Subaru for the win) and slowly navigated my way out of the untouched neighborhood and hopped onto the blessedly clear Powhite Parkway to meet Kit in Carytown to see how many miles we could run in 1.5 hours.

I was an interesting and exhausting run, to be sure. We got quite a few "wow, more power to you!" calls from pedestrians (the joke is on them - they were shivering and we were sweating; if you run you're never cold); more "What the HELL are you doing?" looks from drivers and other pedestrians than I can even count; and a few unfriendly horns. A few of the main roads of the Fan and Museum district had 1.5 lanes cleared. We ran against traffic in the .5 lane, which made some drivers rather unhappy. The sidewalks were impassable and the traffic had more than enough room. There were plenty of people walking in that .5 lane too.

The side streets were an absolute disaster. They looked like deserted snowy wonderlands compared to the main streets with the irritable drivers, but thanks to melting, refreezing, and the fact that they hadn't been plowed and cars had been packing down the snow, they were more like ice skating rinks and definitely not for running.

In the end we ended up with 10 miles and were thoroughly exhausted by the end. It wasn't 16 miles at an 8:00 pace like we needed, but we also didn't fare too badly, average 8:40 despite the snow, ice, etc. Something is better than nothing, I suppose.

I didn't take any pictures because I'm sure you've all seen snow before. If you're like us and dealing with the blizzard and subsequent fall out, you probably don't WANT to see it anymore.


Total Weekly Running Mileage: 23.5
Total Overall: 80.2
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The weather is probably going to continue to impact training this week. The track where we usually do speed work is no doubt still snowed under and likely the only thing that will clear it is the sunshine we'll get over the next few days. Judging by photos on Facebook and news reports, any hope of side streets being clear any time soon is pretty slim, which will make finding safe alternate routes for fast running a challenge.

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