Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Well-Read Runner: Flower City Prep

Hi, running friends!  It's been a bit since my last running update, and I'll admit why: after Winter Warrior, I got lazy.  This is what happens when I don't have a race to train for!  I still ran (and ended up hitting 50 miles for the month of January--significant for me), but my frequency fell way off the rails and the junk food consumption went sky-high.
TRUE STORY.
One thing I did do post-race is start the Yoga Fix 90 program from Fightmaster Yoga on YouTube.  I'm still working through it (I usually only do yoga on days that I don't run, so my 90 days are not consecutive), but this has been SUCH a fun way to keep me pumped about yoga, and I can feel my strength and flexibility increasing!  Lesley Fightmaster (who I am now a total groupie of, LOVE HER) also has a 30 day yoga program for beginners, if you're looking for a lighter intro to the practice.
Scissor leg side crow!  So proud of myself for that one!
Despite my bit of laziness in January, February 1 turned things around as it marked the beginning of training for my next half--the Flower City Half Marathon on April 24.  My original goal was to just have fun with this one, because marathon training will start less than a month after this race and I didn't want to push too hard beforehand.  However, my friend Mandy is also planning to run it (her first half since giving birth to her second daughter last summer), and she said she thinks she can run it at about a 9:00/mile pace, which just HAPPENS to be fast enough to get just under 2 hours, and it might be fun to run with a friend, soooooo...

Yeah, I'm training for a PR again.

I TOLD myself I wouldn't do it this time!  I swore up and down!  Do this race for fun, I said!  Don't push so hard this time, I said!  But do I listen?  No I do not.

I put together a training plan for myself that draws from the lessons I've learned in past races about my limits as far as available time, and mileage.  Mondays are yoga days (though I also usually add yoga in at least 1-2 other days of the week as well).  Tuesday is speed work--I'm using Hal Higdon's intermediate plan for speed work, alternating 400m intervals one week and a tempo run the next.  Speed days are happening on the treadmill because I'm better at regulating my speed on the machine vs. out in the wild.
Post-speed work at the gym with Tater Tot.  It was his first time going to the gym's child care without crying!  Yeah!
Wednesday is hill work.  I've never done dedicated hill days, but Flower City has some nasty ones right around the midway point, and hills have been one of my worst downfalls (see: Mystic Half).  Unfortunately, I live in a super flat area, but the park near my house has one hill in particular that kicks my butt.  It's not super long, but steep enough that it's certainly a challenge for me.  I've been doing a 1 mile warmup (running to the park), followed by a series of hill sprints on that hill (walking down the hill serves as recovery in between), then 1 mile cooldown as I run home.  I started the first week with 4 sprints, thinking 4 sounded like not a lot...HAHA.  Was totally dying by the fourth one.  But at my fastest pace, I got up to 5:23/mile mid-sprint, which I felt pretty darn good about.  Hill sprints suck but I'm hoping they will pay off!
First hill work day was done in SHORTS!  Gotta love El Nino February!
Thursdays are a rest day, then Fridays I do a race pace run.  I'm glad I'm doing these because I am not great at holding a 9:00/mile pace yet during these runs.  The first week my average was 8:42...yup, too fast.  I need to get a better feel for this pace so that it's easier for me to dial in on race day.

Saturday is a rest day, then Sunday long run.  I'm making a conscious effort to throw in hills on the long run (not sprints, just at long run pace).  I often avoided the hills during long runs for Winter Warrior, but I knew the course was flat so I didn't feel bad about it.  Now I know I need to be able to handle a good hill when my legs are already fatigued--so long run hills will help with that.

Honestly, I still have some doubts about my ability to go sub-2 on such a hilly course, but as with Winter Warrior--there ain't no harm in trying.  At the very least, I'm challenging myself by adding in some hill work (new for me), and switching up my training routine is always fun!

I'll keep you posted as training goes on...I'm just happy to be back in a routine again!

What are you training for these days?  Do you have any good recommendations for hill training?

2 comments:

  1. That scissor kick thing! That looks insanely hard - good for you! And hill repeats are tough - not my fave either!

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    1. Thanks! I find with yoga that there are some impossible-looking poses that I do surprisingly easily, and others that look super simple that I can't come close to achieving! It's so interesting to see the places where your body is more/less flexible.

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