Week 4

Mondayrest or xtrain

I’ve been struggling to find a way to keep Spinning in my schedule on the new training plan and Monday night seems to be the only time that works (bonus that my favourite instructor teaches Monday nights). That being said, Monday is my only scheduled rest/xtrain day so I will have to decide on a week-to-week basis if I should take the class, opt for something lighter or take the day off completely. Coming off a pretty light Week 3, I knew this would be a good time to squeeze in a class and it felt great to mix things up.

Tuesday20K medium-long (2 runs) with 4×2000 cruise intervals (tempo pace with 40 second “recoveries”)

I started LT/tempo training in Week 1 with 3 x 2000 cruise intervals, followed by a 6K steady tempo (same distance) in Week 2. The cruise intervals are truthfully not much (if at all) easier physically with the super short breaks, but much easier mentally. I find that the intervals are a great stepping stone and confidence-booster for the steady tempo distance, so I decided to follow the same pattern with the increase to 8K. This week I ran 4 x 2000 and next week I will run 8K continuous.

I set out at lunch for the workout and found (to my dismay!) very sloppy sidewalks. After a very frustrating warm-up in the snow, I headed to my usual loop on some quiet streets so I would able to run on the road for the most part, but not the entire time. Each time I was forced onto the sidewalk, I had to work so hard and barely felt like I was moving. I also had to make a quick emergency pit-stop part way through (good times), which became a slightly extended break.

The plan: 2K warm-up, 4 x 2000m at target tempo pace (4:40-4:50/KM)* with 40s recoveries
*adjusted from original target of 4:50

The results:
4:50 – 4:41
40s recovery jog
4:46 (snow) – 4:40
pit stop
4:40 – 4:39
40s recovery jog
4:31 – 4:46 (snow)

Average tempo: 4:42/KM

After work it was time to complete the second portion of my medium-long day and I was glad to have a couple of friends to meet. They were doing their tempo run that evening, but I was able to join them for the warm-up, then do my own thing on the trail while they picked it up, and we re-connected for the cool-down. It was great to have the company and I know I would have had some trouble finding the motivation for a cold, dark run after the hard workout at lunch.

noon: 10.2KM (6.4mi) – 50:02 – 4:54/KM (7:54/mi)

eve:   10.4KM (6.5mi) – 1:01:31 – 5:55/KM (9:31/mi)

Wednesday10K easy

Wednesday night I was excited to meet up with my training group for our usual Wednesday night run club. A couple of girls wanted to run some extra ahead of time, so we met a bit earlier to add on a couple. The nice thing about running with the group is that there are so many people out running all kinds of paces so I can always find someone to run with at whatever pace I’m looking for that day. In this case, it was supposed to be a recovery run a.k.a. S – L – O – W. It was a fail in that department as I got caught up with some of the front runners. I kept trying to reel it in, but I let my legs get away from me. Not so smart when this run is sandwiched between my two workout days. I need to be more careful. That being said, I had a really enjoyable run and felt good.

13.3KM (8.3mi) – 1:15:21 – 5:40/KM (9:07/mi)

Thursday 12K hills

This clinic doesn’t typically include hill repeats as part of the regimen, but coach decided to mix it up a bit this time around so we get a taste of everything. I’m not much of a proponent for hill repeats myself*, but I decided to go along for the ride. We ran a ~3K warm-up over to one hill, finished 3 repeats, then a short run over to a second hill for another 3 repeats, followed by a cool-down jog back to the store. My legs felt pretty tired from the get-go, which was not a surprise since I’m pushing it quite a bit this week after a week of vacation. We tackled one hill at a time and before I knew it, the workout was done.

The distance ended up slightly shorter than planned, but Tuesday and Wednesday had both been longer so I didn’t bother with my usual laps around the parking lot to round it off. 😉

11.5KM (7.1mi) – 1:04:55 – 5:39/KM (9:05/mi)

Friday – 10K recovery

I was running at lunch and I knew I didn’t really have time for 10K at a slower pace, so I shortened it a bit, knowing I still had some distance in the “bank”. My legs felt surprisingly good and I had a really hard time slowing down to a true recovery, but I ended up with a nice consistent run (only 8s difference between my fastest and slowest KM).

8.7KM (5.4mi) – 50:50 – 5:51/KM (9:24/mi)

Saturday8K easy

I met a friend for a jaunt around the neighbourhood, and ran a little longer than planned. The miles ticked by easily as we chatted away, not bothering to look at our Garmins at all. I love these runs sometimes!

10.3KM (6.4mi) – 57:08 – 5:33/KM (8:56/mi)

Sunday28K long run with 13K MRP

Perfect Sunday

30.0KM (18.6mi) – 2:47:08 – 5:34/KM (8:58/mi)

Total Week 4 Mileage: 94.4KM (58.7mi) 
Total time: 8:46:55
Average pace: 5:35/KM (8:59/mi)

Today I will be enjoying a rest day and an appointment with my favourite physio tonight. What could be better?

Perfect Sunday

But first – it was Girls’ Night on Saturday! Dinner out, a big clothing swap and many shenanigans ensued.

We even played dress-up:

And the runners provided a realistic ridiculous demonstration:

As usual, the party continued long after I had to leave. Sometimes having a long run on Sunday morning really cramps my style! Luckily, I have awesome understanding friends who do their best to accommodate my lame schedule and don’t tease me too much for always being the party pooper. 

I managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour, but the Sunday morning alarm still came early (doesn’t it always?).

We were running from a local golf club where we would enjoy a delicious brunch after the run, organized by one of our runners who works there. The change of scenery was a nice as we started along the golf course paths (cleared specifically for us!) and headed toward quiet country roads. I could probably count the number of cars we saw on one hand.

It was another cold morning (though not quite like last Sunday), but the wind was light and the roads were clear – what a treat!

Hubs and I both had marathon race pace (MRP) on the schedule as part of today’s long run, so we planned a route that would start with the others and veer off after a warm-up to run an out-and-back on flatter terrain. I also recruited our good friends P & U to join us us (well, they joined me; hubs is too fast).

We ran the initial 14K at a nice and slow pace before taking off for the 13K (8mi) MRP portion. My goal was 5:20-5:25/KM (~ 4:45 to 4:48 marathon). The results:

avg = 5:15/KM (8:27/mi)

The pace felt completely comfortable and we chatted away the entire time. I had been admittedly nervous about this run, but it turned out to be a great confidence-booster. We kept it on the conservative side for the first few, then gradually picked it up and eventually finished off by pushing it for the last couple.

Hubs, of course, was far ahead (and also had a great MRP run!) and turned around to pick us up once he had finished. After a cool down of a couple miles, we were back to the golf club to freshen up and dig into brunch.

30.0KM (18.6mi) – 2:47:08 – 5:34/KM (8:58/mi) 

Feels great to have my first 30K of this training cycle under my belt!

On the way home, we made a mini detour to the Adidas Outlet store. Don’t you just love the smell of clearance running gear?

I just grabbed a couple of tees – my husband is the shoe whore in this family! (He likes them flashy!)

After some laundry and a trip to the grocery store, this afternoon/evening involves some serious couch time…  and possibly some chocolate covered almonds.

How was your Sunday?

Foto Friday: Antigua!

Arriving in paradise

Greeted with welcome champagne and cool towels

The place was spectacular

Tea by the sea

A glass of wine with my toes in the surf

Reading RW… ON THE BEACH (haha)

Midnight chocolate buffet – I’m in heaven

Awesome restaurant on the water, shoes optional!

BBQ beach buffet – food served over ice in kayaks!

Mmmm daiquiri

Pool-side pizza

How I spent most of my days

After a post-run dip


Sunset on the beach

We rented a private cabana by the pool for a day

Pre-dinner wine on our balcony

Strike a pose


at the teppanyaki restaurant

I’m a little teapot?

Until next time…

Three Things Thursday

1. It’s been pretty chaotic getting back into the swing of things since returning from vacation. I feel like I’m in a constant state of catch-up as I try to claw my way back into the routine of work and laundry and groceries and television. I’ve been trying to get caught up on everything I missed in bloggyville too – thanks for bearing with me!

2. Nutritionally, I have a lot of work to do. We had quite the indulgent week (“moderation” and “all inclusive” do not mix) at a time when I was still trying to make up for the holidays. It’s amazing how easily the weight goes on when you work so hard to get it off. At the moment I’m feeling a bit like a blob and craving junk food like crazy. Isn’t it about time for my first daiquiri? When does the buffet open? No more! The fridge is stocked with healthy goodness and I’m tracking on Sparkpeople.com again, chipping away at the damage. It was a lot easier back on November/December when I wasn’t in heavy training mode because I could get away with a greater calorie deficit. Now that I’m running a lot more and have key workouts to consider, I have to be more careful about eating enough.

Aron has a great post on food today: Foodie for a Day (thanks for satisfying my curiosity, Aron!) I think it would be fun to photograph and share my eats for a day, so you may be seeing something similar around here soon.

3. One thing I have not had an issue with is getting back into training. I was excited to look at my plan to see what’s in store for the week and start tackling workouts. I had a great double on Tuesday (medium-long including tempo) and a nice run with the group last night. We have hills on deck with clinic tonight and lots more to come. Thankfully the extreme cold snap only lasted a couple of days and the temperatures have been a lot more reasonable – although the roads and sidewalks have been a mess! Is it Spring yet?

Happy Thursday (almost Friday)!
Trip pics will be up tomorrow, so you may want to start addressing your hate mail now…

Week 3 (running in Antigua!)

I didn’t do a whole lot of “training” during our week in Antigua, but we did manage to run 6 mornings out of 7. We looked at some maps online and did a bit of exploring off the resort. The heat and humidity were a shock to the system and we quickly found ourselves huffing, puffing and sweating profusely. We didn’t get very far, but it was still nice to see a little more of the island.
After almost every run, I took off my shoes to run a few laps barefoot on the beach. I felt it in my feet and calves by the end of the week, but loved every minute of the wind in my hair, salt on my lips and sand in my toes. After that, we marched straight into the surf for a refreshing swim. No better way to start the day!

Monday – 5.1KM (3.2mi) – 28:54 – 5:40/KM (9:07/mi)

Tuesday – 6.2KM (3.9mi) – 36:05 – 5:52/KM (9:22/mi)

Wednesday – 4.5KM (2.8mi) – 24:54 – 5:32/KM (8:54/mi)

Thursday – 7.6KM (4.7mi) – 43:37 – 5:46/KM (9:14/mi)

Friday – does this count as cross-training?

Saturday – 6.7KM (4.1mi)  – 37:36 – 5:38/KM (9:02/mi)

Sunday – 19KM (11.8mi) – 1:44:36 – 5:30/KM (8:52/mi)
(The freezing cold “welcome home to reality”  run.)

Total Week 3 Mileage: 49.1 KM (30.5mi)
Total time: 4:35:42
Average pace: 5:38/KM (9:03/mi)

It’s not much, but it was a planned recovery week and totally worth it!