I made it halfway through training and have hit every mile so far!!! Only some of them have hit me back! Anywho, this was another up and down week, but it ended really well so I am SUPER excited and hope that I have hit a breaking point and that I can continue to improve. Hoping for a PR in SLO (should be easy, my last PR is pretty slow and it is from my first half still). With this being the second race I actually trained for, I am hoping it won’t be so bad. Just don’t think about the fact that my fastest time so far was a REALLY flat course and this one is not. I also feel a little like a cheater because some of my best runs (but also my worst) were inside on the treadmill. Which also means I don’t have many exciting pictures for this week so I will have to rustle something up.
Monday: 4 miles fairly easy, I went out to the golf course and just tried to keep it even. I actually did a pretty good job, 3 out of the four miles were all within about 20 seconds of each other which is great for me because I usually fluctuate like 2 minutes different per mile. The first mile was of course the fastest by like a minute and a half, but I blame being pulled by a coonhound for that discrepancy. He loves getting out and running so much, I want to get out and take him every day and I will be sad when winter comes back around because there is no way in hell I am going and running when it is -20 with a -30 wind chill and ice everywhere (why did I move out here again?!?!).
Tuesday: 7 miles of speed work. It was ok, the actual intervals themselves were good because I pushed myself, but that meant I walked a bit on the recovery’s which made the normal pace about even with my usual. The warm up mile and cool down final mile were still the slowest which is how it is supposed to be. The middle 5 miles were my favorite speed work: fartleks!!! I did 3 minutes faster and two slower, with the first several intervals being a recovery jog that is a little quicker than my slow and easy pace and the final few with a minute walk and then the minute of recovery run. It felt good just to get a good speed workout in, even if it wasn’t spectacular.
Wednesday: 3 miserable, distracted miles. I don’t remember why but I decided to do this one on the treadmill. I had a feedlot meeting for work to get to for dinner so I had to get it done, shower and get ready all in a couple short hours. I almost walked the whole thing because I kept checking my phone, being distracted and then slogging along for half a mile until my legs started burning with exhaustion. But I had to get showered and get moving for a meeting the Co Op I work for was putting on for Feedlot Customers, so I forced myself to run whatever I could and just got it done. Then I went to a work meeting with a lovely open bar, steak dinner was paid for at probably the best restaurant in town. Not that you would know it by looking at it because it’s a weird place that is straight out of the 60’s with those light up houses on every horizontal surface minus the tables but they have aged steaks and a vegetable garden where they grow most of their own veggies right there across the parking lot. Very good food.
Thursday: Cross training day!! I honestly don’t remember exactly what I did. I think it was about 80 Push ups, 75 Squats, 1:30 Plank (in 3 x:30 sections) and 50 ab bikes? I was a little sore from the last few days of running so I got out with the dog we walked to downtown to drop off a check. It was a little windy and brisk and snowed a little bit after =(. Sad that the warm days of spring were just a teaser and got yanked away super fast.
Friday: 4 miles. 4 Amazing, spectacular miles. I felt good, so I decided to keep the pace nice and steady at a pace I knew I could keep and I managed to do 4 miles steady, with the last a bit faster without stopping or slowing down. I felt like I could go forever!! For the first time ever, every single mile was a negative split. It was so great to finally reach the point where everyone talks about being consistent and having negative splits. The pace still isn’t close to my previous records but I am getting back there if it is the last thing I do!! This also made me super nervous for tomorrow’s long run. No pressure following the best run yet!!
Saturday: 9 glorious miles. Never thought I would say that did you?? I think my previous record for going without stopping was 8 miles and I think I cut back the pace on that run to maintain. It started off as a semi normal morning. I went to breakfast with A and his BIL to the place I get my usual pre-long run fuel from. I got my usual coffee and chocolate chip scone that I am addicted to and just let myself digest for an hour or so. Then we got home and they went off to work on a project and I got ready to run. It was chilly and sort of snowing outside so I opted for the comfortable route and headed downstairs to the treadmill.
I set the pace at close to goal pace and just went and didn’t look at my watch for a while. The first 3 miles flew by and before I knew it I hit 6 miles ,which was the point I had decided to start pushing myself a little. At miles 6,7 and 8 I bumped up the speed one beep and then again at mile 8.5 to the finish. I was starting to get tired by the time I finished and my foot hurt a lot but after cool down I almost felt like I could have run more.
Afterwards I showered and lounged around before getting ready for steak dinner number two of the night. The cattlemen’s association for the county that both of the Co Ops I work for was having their annual banquet that i was invited to attend on their behalf. I am a cattlemen’s member, but technically the one I belong to is for another county because it is based off of where you live. I got there and everyone that I haven’t met affectionately knew me as “the Craig girl” for one of the Co Ops. Others are customers that I have met before and actually knew my name. Dinner was amazing, the comedian was really funny and we had a good time with good company so I am glad I forced myself to go.
As an introverted extrovert I was really excited and wanted to go up until the point where it was the day of and then I wanted to bail. But I already had tickets and I knew there would be a lot of customers there so I made myself and I am glad I did. My friend Robyn and husband Adam (both also forced to go) came along and we all enjoyed it. Robyn and myself even won Beef certificates, which are an amazing thing sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen’s. They are like gift certificates but you can spend them anywhere on beef. So you can go to a grocery store, or a butcher or even a restaurant. They were new when I moved out here and I thought they were a great way to promote beef sales and are a good go-to for prizes or gifts for related parties.
Sunday: Rest and foam roll day. I also had a lot of time to think about upcoming races and events, this blog and the future in general but I might make those a mid week post because this one is getting really long. I am really excited about where I am in running right now and want to do everything I can to stay motivated and continue moving forward with this passion.