Its time for a training week fortnight wrap.

Since the last training update I have managed to get some longer runs under my belt and I am starting to feel ready for this half marathon!

Thanks to the September Miles Madness I have been motivated to tack a few extra Ks on all my sessions and not just my long runs and this has seen me achieve my highest mileage week EVER!

With the exception of some specific ‘post baby’ soreness (apparently all the kegels in the world don’t strengthen you for DISTANCE running) my body has adapted well to the higher mileage.

The Hill sessions on the other hand completely shocked my body and left my hamstrings screaming. I chose very gentle hills, did extra long warm ups and kept the reps low. Even though I felt like I didn’t push very hard IN my hill sessions my legs talked about divorcing me for days after. Given how much of a shock the hills have been I am only going to squeeze two more hill workouts in between now and the race. I certainly don’t want sore tired legs like that close to the race. Its been a long time since I have experienced DOMS and in some sick and twisted way it sure felt good to know that I pushed my legs in running.

When Sunday rolled around I was planning on heading out for 90 minutes on my own while Big A took care of Little A. But cuddling up with Little A on the bed (in the morning when he is just ALL smiles) was just too much fun… how could I leave this little guy behind???? So I suggested to Big A that I take the stroller and he come along on his bike. We decided to run/ride in to the City and have breakie along the River Torrens and run/ride home. Running home on a “big breakkie” and a belly full of coffee was a bit rough but it certainly was a nice way to mix my running up and squeeze some more time in with my two favourite people!

Tempo and Intervals are going well. I had a great Interval session last week in which I attempted 3 minute 30 second Ks. I failed. My fastest was 3 minutes 35 seconds. How amazing are these Olympic female athletes… they run 42.2km at a pace that I can’t even maintain for 1km!!!

This morning my Tempo Run included 30 minutes at 15kmp/h which is another personal best for me… Suddenly a sub 20 minute 5km seems possible and dare I dream of a 40 minute 10km!?!?!

All in all I am mentally and physically in a great place for this half marathon. Now the only problem is making sure I am geographically in the right place for this half marathon… an unexpected trip away might mean I wont be able to race the McLaren Vale Half. Fingers crossed though! Anyone know of any Virtual Half Marathons on the weekend of October 14th? I need a back up plan!

Running East

Time for a training week wrap up…

My long run this week was 90 minutes and I am pleased to say has left me feeling quite confident about building up distance again. After 2 rough nights with Little A I was itching to let loose on the track. I decided to run East for a change (toward the hills, not away from them). But I was hoping to hit my turn around point (halfway) before I hit any big hills. No such luck! Instead about 4 Ks of my Long Run resembled more of a hill session. And as if the hills weren’t enough at about 60 minutes it started to spit… despite the weather man assuring me that there was NO chance of rain (I even double checked again as I left home). So the final 30 minutes felt more like a tempo run as I powered home in a race against the weather.

On the positive side the unexpected hills proved that running hills with the stroller was possible… Two new challenges for me that I hadn’t planned on mixing (hills & stroller running). So the next day when I was due for my first hill session in 2 years I decided to head out with Little A in the morning rather than wait for Big A to get home so I could run ‘sans stroller.

I ran for 3Ks to warm up before I found a suitable hill for my repeats. Depending who you ask my hill may have looked more like a mound but it was enough for this novice hill runner. I certainly feel that I have mixed up my training… my calves will tell you all about it.

For speed work this week I did 800s. I managed all of them around the 3 minute mark but I am looking forward to coming back to these again in a couple of weeks as I held back a smidge due to a hammie niggle (which has thankfully buggered off now!)

The training week ended with a rest day for fathers day… Big A’s first. It was an awesome day filled with lots and lots of yummy food (a Polish FEAST). Thanks to leftovers it is a never ending feast! Let’s just say I am well fuelled for my runs this week!

Little A has his 6 month immunisations today. I will probably take a rest day to be on hand for extra cuddles and to work on his 6 month update… Coming soon!

One week to go. . .

Anthother training week down and only 1 week till my next race. . .

Did I mention my running was all over the place last week? Here’s the training week wrap:

Monday I woke up with tired & angry legs. I was tossing up between taking a rest day or a “recovery” jog. In the end I headed out for a reovery jog (a smidge slower than my easy runs). As it turned out this run got cut short at 19 minutes. Given the state of my legs I wasn’t too fussed about not getting the full run out. I was just glad to have gotten out and turned the legs over. The rest of the recovery could happen in my sleep!

Recovered my legs did. The next day I enjoyed an awesome Tempo Run which included 20 minutes at 13.5kmp/h. Each week I look forward to my Tempo Run and each week I seem to lift the bar more and more.

After the awesome Tempo Run I had two rest days. I always like to save one of my rest days for the weekend (the day before my long run if possible) but with a super busy week I had to make use of them during the week.

After a good rest I was itching to get back into it and did so with my Long run on Friday. It was an awesome session on the treadmill outside listening to the rain pelt down. It was so cool (literally!) to be out in the wild weather but protected from the harshness of the wind and the rain. Talk about having your cake and eating it too!

Saturday I did my Intervals. 5 x 800s @ 16kmp/h and enjoyed a nice recovery jog at the end.

Finally I ended the week with a 5km time trial for next week’s race. Most of my running lately has been on the treadmill and I was keen to head out on the pavement and have a crack at pacing myself for the 5km. I came in at 23 minutes 58. So assuming I can “bring it” on the day I am all set for my first sub 25min 5km race.

Race Wrap Up coming soon. . .Wish me luck!!!

Down to Business

In my last training week wrap I was left pondering how to fill my race schedule. After much deliberation I finally have a plan for the next 3 months…

So here it is:

5km – 2 weeks away
Goal = Sub 25 minutes

5km – 4 weeks away
Goal = PB by at least 1 second!
I am not expecting to do any major improvements in two weeks but as it is a “virtual race” and I can pick my course and conditions I will aim to improve my previous 5km time if even by only a second.

10km – 8 weeks away
Sub 50 minutes

Half Marathon – 14 weeks away
Sub 1 hour 50 minutes

First up is the 5km and I have to admit I am completely lost as how to run a 5km race. The only 5km race I have ever done was with a client (who still hasn’t forgiven me to this day for it… I may have promised we would “run/walk” but on the day she was ROCKIN it so we ran it all). So how do you pace for 5km?!!?! This is what I am thinking:

1-2km warm up (pre-race)

1st km = Just below race pace
2nd -4th km = race pace
5th km = Flog it home. . .give everything and anything that is left in the tank!

Any advice? I don’t want to get to the end of the race and feel like I could have given more earlier on but I also don’t want to go out too hard and not be able to maintain race pace as a result.

Even though I am loving the speed work and shorter distance training at the moment I am completely duanted by this distance for racing. I am either going to love it or hate it and I am expecting it may take me a couple of races to feel confident at pacing it like I do in a 10km – 21km distances.

So its down to business now. I have 4 races planned and I am hoping to PB in all of them. . . Game on!

Back in the groove

Well another training week is done and I’m happy to say it was much more inspiring than last week!

Yesterdays tempo run included 20mins at 13kmp/h which felt great. This week also saw some 1km intervals at 4min pace!!!!

I can definitely say now I am hitting my pre-baby speeds if not better.

There was also a good mix of treadmill and pavement runs this week. As we get closer to pram runs I am looking forward to a lot more pavement runs. However I have come to really enjoy the treadmill runs and will probably still do my tempos and intervals on the treadie.

Soon we will be turning this. . .

Into this

I can’t tell you how excited I am about having the little guy facing the world. As much as I love being able to gaze into him now in the bassinet set up, he is so inquisitve HE will just love the forward facing configuration. I’m also pretty sure the poor child is probably sick of staring up at my face… No wonder he goes to sleep when I put him in the pram!!!!

The wonderful world of pram running is awaiting us. How exciting it will be to share my love of running with my son.

Here are some great tips from Moms Little Running Buddy on running with a pram. . . Click here

A whole lot of good that REST did me!

I was expecting some great runs this week after an “easier” week last week but what I got was just the opposite. Even though I hit all my target speeds I really didn’t feel strong in any of my runs this week. I think I must have caught a mild version of Big A’s cold as I had the sniffles and was just NOT feeling inspired.

Suprisingly I still managed to do all my 5 planned sessions but today, after a week of feeling less than peak I decided to listen to my body and traded my 90 minute Long Run for a 30 minute Easy Run. I am so pleased I did because as the day has gone on I have started to feel much more myself. Hopefully I have kicked the “lurgy” to the kerb and wont be needing 10+ hours sleep every night anymore.

On top of all the extra sleep I have also needed extra food. Between breast feeding and running I was already an energy burning machine but add in the sudden cool weather and my poor body fighting a bug and I have had to eat like a monster for the last couple of weeks to keep up with what it is demanding. To keep my energy up I have introduced a new meal to the day and it fits in nicely between breakfast and morning tea! Its kind of “breakfast round #2”. I’ve got to stop writing about eating, I am working up an appetite just thinking about it.

After Little A was born I set my sights on a half marathon. I chose the half because getting out the long runs required for a marathon was just not going to fit into my schedule with a newborn. I also decided that as I had such limited training time I would focus on speed and not distance and just have one token long run each week to build up to the half marathon distance. This week aside, I am LOVING the speed work. A 5 minute warm up, 20-30 minutes of flogging myself and a 5 minute cool down fits in perfectly with Little A’s routine and these high intensity runs are just firing me up.

And now that I am reaping the benefits of all this speed work I am wondering if all my efforts are a little bit wasted on a half marathon when I am only doing one token long run per week. Should I be focusing on shorter distances in which I will be able to maximise my speed work training and focus on the longer distances when I am focusing my training more on distance?

Do I shoot for the longer distance or do I focus on achieving 5km and 10km PBs? There are pros and cons of both for me at the moment. For example the shorter speed sessions are easier to fit in but the longer slower sessions will be easier to do when I start running with the pram soon. Realistically I could achieve both this year but even then which should I do first? Should I peak my fitness and then build up distance or build up distance and then work on speed? Decisions, decisions!

Well at least I have something to think about on my training runs this week. Hopefully I can make a decision by the end of the week and adjust my program accordingly.

All in all it wasn’t my best week of running but its not always going to be sunshine and roses. On that note here’s my favourite quote for the week:

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”

I Survived

Here’s another training week wrap and let me start by saying. . . I survived! And it wasn’t the running this week that challenged me. Actually the running kept me sane. Hence why I was on the treadmill on Saturday night (sad, I know but we have a little baby not a wild social life).

It was scheduled to be an easy running week and to ensure that I did just that the powers that be threw a few obstacles my way:

On Tuesday Big A came home early from work. Before Little A and I could jump on him and bombard him with stories of our day he announced he was feeling crap and going straight to bed. Now in case you aren’t familiar with the man flu its important to know that it is WAY worse than the normal flu! So I braced myself for a “hellish” week. But looking after a baby and a sick husband wasn’t what duanted me the most. I was absolutely petrified of getting sick or worse Little A getting sick. I am the first to admit that I don’t cope well being sick. I am a big SOOK. . . Maybe I get the man flu too???? We took Big A to the doctor where I was told to keep my distance from him as I was breast feeding it was more likely that I would get sick (yay!) and ironically because Little A was being breast fed it was less likely he would get it. Talk about putting ourselves on the line!!! Honestly though I was relieved to hear that most likely Little A would avoid this. I couldn’t cope watching him suffer getting his immunisations how would I watch him suffer being SICK for days?!??!

Anyway the doctor obviously has no idea how small our house is and the only way to avoid Big A and his germs were if he was to sleep on the verandah! Which given the freezing temperatures was probably not going to help his recovery. All I could do was up my food, skip all High Intensity Training, get heaps of rest and pray that I was spared. I certainly didn’t mind eating more and after 6 weeks of training I really enjoyed the lower intensity. But by saturday night I was ready to open my lungs up again and did a Tempo run with 25 minutes at 5 minute pace. (I was pretty happy with that!!)

Yesterday I returned to normal training with an interval session and I am looking forward to some more good speed sessions this week.

As for the home front Big A is feeling much better and Little A is being an absolute delight. With a bit of assistance from me he has also started to have longer (and less) naps during the day. I don’t want to get too excited but at nearly 3 months we almost have a predictable routine. . .

Tempo run tonight. . . can’t wait to see what these legs have got in them. I know my speed gains will slow and eventually plateau but one good thing about having a break from running is seeing those rapid gains when you return. Honestly I have completely blown my own expectations and my sights are set higher than ever (in regards to times not distances!) . . . Do you run faster after a baby????