Sunday, January 31, 2016

Road to Redemption: Week 4

Monday: The snow was over, but a snow plow had still not graced my street with its presence and based on Sunday's sometimes-harrowing run, it was obviously that my regularly scheduled program of speed work was not going to happen. Around noon, the snow plow came through and Husband and I celebrated by making tracks to have Mexican for lunch with friends, complete with margaritas.

His and hers
After all that Mexican and another day of sitting around doing nothing, I decided to try a some You Tube yoga at home. My training buddy Lauren had recommended this yoga routine so I decided to give it a try even though any past attempts to do exercise at home by watching videos have generally been epic fails. As it turns out, the 45 minute was not bad at all; not as challenging as Penny's class, but still a good workout. In a day of sloth, it was a welcome spurt of activity.

Tuesday: Despite the fact that we should have known better (and a 2 hour delay for work due to continued bad road conditions), I met up with Greg, Lauren, and Kit in the near West end to attempt the week's speed work session. Our plan was to run up and down Grove Avenue, a main thoroughfare that was pretty well cleared and we assumed would be pretty deserted at 6:30 am. On the way there, I put myself on autopilot and took a wrong exit, so I was running late. As soon as I arrived at the meet up point and got out of the car, I knew it wasn't going to happen - the parking lot was an ice skating rink, black ice was everywhere on the street, and everything that looked like snow was really ice topped slush. The four of us stood there looking like we'd just been told the world was going to end, repeating out loud over and over that it was smarter to forgo the workout than end up falling on ice and having a serious injury. After doing this for about 10 minutes, we left. Frankly, I'd rather get fat and slow than run on a treadmill, a device that definitely figures into my personal hell, so I didn't work out at all that day.

Wednesday: Thanks to warm(ish) temperatures on Tuesday afternoon, there was some good melting action and we decided to tempt fate again with a morning run on Wednesday. We abandoned any idea of speed work or tempo paces and ran a careful 7 miles, still managing a decent average pace of 8:15.

Thursday: Things were finally cleared up enough for a post-work tempo run. Both Kit and I had itchy legs, so we added an extra mile on to the planned 7 miles (1 warm up, 5 @ 7:49, 1 cool down). Those itchy legs meant that we failed spectacularly with pace discipline. Observe:


The 8:18 at the end was more because of a ton of snow obstacles than anything else.

Friday: Rest day. 

Saturday: 18 miles planned with the training team. Our route was one of the toughest of the season , as it included running all the way down to the river, back up to the downtown area, and then up one of the steepest hills to one of the highest points in the city (Church Hill, which was probably the most scenic and infamous spot on the course at this past September's UCI Bike Championships), back down to the river AGAIN, then back up to downtown AGAIN. Here is the elevation chart.Church Hill was mile 7.5. The dips on either side are down to the river and back up again.



The goal for this run was an 8:00 average with a mildly negative split second half. It was pretty cold this morning and again, we failed rather miserably at pace discipline during the first 7 miles. We were supposed to be running 8:06 averages until mile 9 and well... we were sub 8:00 except for the climb up Franklin to Church Hill. Somehow we did manage to really push it through the back half of the 18 and did run a negative split. Mile 18 was the fastest mile at 7:53. 

Both Kit's and my Garmin went slightly insane when we were downtown (tall building interference?) so the splits were a little off, but when I checked out our average at the end of the run, I was thrilled and surprised to see this:



There's a wonky mile in there, but I don't care. The perfection is too awesome.

Sunday: Rest day. My quads are reminding me that yesterday included some intense down hills as well as those up hill climbs.

Total Weekly Running Mileage: 33.12
Total Overall: 113.32

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After dealing with snow and ice all week, the forecast says that Monday's high will be 70 degrees (!?!?!).

Please Jesus don't let it be 70 degrees on race day.

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