Thursday, January 23, 2014

winter blues

If you've followed along with me at all, you probably know very well that I do not like the cold, and am not a fan of the winters in NH.  This winter we've already had our fair share of deep freezes and single digit temperatures.  While I am not a fan of running in the cold, I'm even less of a fan of running on the treadmill.  If the conditions are too icy, cold, or not safe, I will move my run to the dreaded treadmill.   Otherwise, I'm usually the crazy lady running around town bundled from head to toe.  Each winter season that comes and goes, I grow increasingly annoyed with the cold temps and feet of snow.  This year has been no different.  I think the words "get me out of NH" have left my mouth more times than anyone cares to hear.  I've been feeling funky lately, and I think the winter weather has given me a solid case of the winter blues.

snow, snow, go away…
don't come again another day

I like to torture myself by looking at pictures like this one below and wishing I was on the other (warmer) coast.

If anyone wants to scoop me up and take me here, I won't resist.

Surprisingly, with the cold temps, snowy streets and winter blues-y attitude, I have had some pretty stellar weeks of training.  I decided at the end of last year to take the month of January off from racing.  I raced a lot last year, and felt like I needed to take the month off to rest my body and my mind.  This has allowed me to focus more on my training and working towards getting stronger and (hopefully) faster.  I've unfortunately had to take a couple extra days off due to my work schedule + frigid temps + icy roads but I've managed to complete all of my long runs as well as the speed work.

This is what the past week of training looked like:

Thursday: 15 min warmup, 4 mile tempo between marathon and half marathon pace, 10 min cool down.  I ran the tempo miles @ 8:23, 8:19, 8:15, 8:11.  For this run I got in my car and drove to the town I used to live in.  I've been pretty bored running the same routes around my house lately, so I thought running in a new area would help.  It did.

Friday: OFF

Saturday: I met up with Stephanie to do 16-17 miles with the last 20 min at marathon pace.  Stephanie was running 6 miles, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to run some miles with a friend.  I drove down to Mass to meet her at the paved trail we like to run on.  It was a great 6 miles of running and run therapy that was very much needed by both of us.  I finished the last 10.5 miles on my own, explored a new part of the trail, got soaked by a nice rainy/slushy mix, ran the last 20 min at marathon pace, and then drove home in a snow storm.  

Sunday: 40 min easy on snow covered roads.  I was supposed to do strides at the end, but the snow made it difficult to pick up the pace.  I decided it wasn't worth the risk of injury and didn't do the strides.

One of the few times I think the snow looks pretty.

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: 15 min warm up, 10 x 200m on, 200 off @ 10k pace, 10 min cool down.  I averaged around 7:30 pace and felt really strong throughout. 

Wednesday: Should have been 40-50 min easy.  When I woke up at 5, the temperature was 4 degrees, and it was too early to use the treadmill, I was unable to do the run.  Instead I did Dr. Lesko's dirty dozen  and worked my core.  I didn't have time to run after work because of dinner plans.  Weather permitting, I'm hoping to get this run in on Friday.

Thursday: 15 min warm up, 1 mile (3 min rec), 2 x 800 (3 min rec), 4 x 400 (90 sec rec) all done at 5k pace, 10 min cool down.  I'm not going to lie, I was nervous for this workout.  I was nervous about the paces.  My 5k PR was a 7:11 pace.  I want to be faster than that.  So, my goal was to do this workout at 7:05 pace, which scared me.  We're in the middle of another very cold span of weather, so I did this workout (reluctantly) on the treadmill.  I nailed it.  All were done at 7:04 pace, and the last 400 I did at 6:40 pace.  My legs were feeling it towards the end, but I did it.  From this workout I learned one very important thing: I need to be able to believe in myself more.  I'm getting there, but I still have some work to do.

Reason number 672 why I love running: it's one of the few things helping to keep my winter blues at bay.    

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Goals

I know I'm a little late to the 2014 goals/resolutions party.  But better late than never, right?!  I've never really been that big on setting resolutions.  Well, except to get in better shape, or lose x amount of pounds, or some other silly unattainable goal.  This year however, I think it's important to set some goals that revolve around running, and finally treating my body right.  So, without further adieu, here are some goals I've got for 2014.

1.  To be good to me body, so my body will be good to me.  For a long time, I was not good to my body.  I didn't treat it well at all.  I basically abused it and expected it to function properly.  Well, it doesn't work like that obviously, so this year will be a lot about learning how to fuel my body correctly, and respecting it for what it is.

better fueling = faster running 

2.  Strength train!  I despise going to the gym, but that doesn't mean I can't strength train.  I have a living room with plenty of floor space to get the job done.  Besides doing a plank a few times a week, I really don't do any kind of strength training.  I know it would help my running, as well as my overall fitness.  Time to get my butt in gear.

3.  To PR in every race distance I run this year.  I realize this is a pretty lofty goal, but I say it only because I really believe I can do it.  I have been putting in the hard work and saw many great improvements last year, as well as earned myself a new PR in every distance I ran.  I really feel like I still have a lot of room for improvement.  It's exciting, and scary at the same time.  But with the help of my coaches Stephanie and Ben Bruce, I am ready to see what my body is capable of.

4.  To run a sub-4 marathon.  Yes, this could also be included in the goal above because it would be a PR.  But I think it deserves it's own number.  I ran my second marathon in October and was hoping to finish under 4 hrs.  It didn't happen.  I've thought a lot about that race and what went wrong.  I absolutely believe I am capable of running 26.2 miles in less than 4 hours.  Especially if I stick to numbers 1 and 2 above.  

So that's that.  Reasonable, completely attainable goals for 2014.  I have a feeling this is going be a good year. 

Tell me, what are some goals you have for 2014?