A mini breakthrough

First, I want to thank you guys so much for the support and words of encouragement from my last post when I lamented on my recent struggles with running. I forget sometimes that there’s a lot of newness going on my life and with that there’s going to be adjusting and getting used to new routines. And my runs may suffer as a result.

A lot of you said that “bad” runs are usually followed by a good one and that’s exactly what happened yesterday.

I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to do my usual Wednesday speed work session as my husband had been out of town the days prior and I wasn’t sure he’d be up to kid duty after a very long stressful couple of days of work and travel. But when he got home from work, he saw me still in myown work clothes and asked, “Aren’t you going to the track tonight?”

I love him.

I did a sprint upstairs to change and as I headed out the door he said, “Run fast!”

And I did! I have no idea how or what gave me the energy but I did. Maybe it was taking a couple of days off, maybe it was being so excited to get back out, I don’t know, but what happened was truly amazing.

PhotoGrid_1407982111753Your eyes are not deceiving you–that is a 6!

The workout consisted of 1×1600, 2×800, and 4×400. During the first set, I was running with a run club buddy and trying to keep up. When we finished the first mile and moved to our quick recover, we high-fived and I decided I’d try and stay with him the rest of the workout.

It was tough but with his encouragement I was able to stay with him til the end.

I was pretty euphoric on the drive home and when I walked in and saw my husband I said, “You told me to run fast,” and showed him my time. 🙂

Happy Friday Eve friends!!

–Do you like speed work?

Advertisements

Week Roundup and Shwings Giveaway Winner!

Last week was getting-back-to-routines week. I was exhausted from our trip to Ohio–traveling with two under two is no joke.

We got back on Monday night and Tuesday was my usual 10k Tuesday run.

Wednesday I was back on the track and shocked myself with a few things.

wowzers!

wowzers!

It wasn’t a continuous run so I have to put that disclaimer. The drill consisted of a 1600, followed by 2×800, followed by a 1600. I threw in the extra .1 for good measure 🙂 Between each set was a 30 second rest. Regardless, I was verrrry pleased with how I did. I truly think incorporating speed work has helped me improve immensely as a runner. That was my fastest 5k and my fastest mile to date.

Wednesday was also a special day because my daughter turned 2!! I no longer can say I have two under 2 lol! Dad was out of town on a work trip so we just hung out and had lunch. We had her birthday party while we were with family in Ohio–Sesame Street themed since she’s currently obsessed with Elmo 🙂

10169276_10103538363283511_1640954374_n

Thursday, I was back at the gym on the bike for 10 miles.

Friday was a much needed rest day and Saturday I planned for a long run of 8 miles.

I started of the run aiming for negative splits. The first mile was in the mid 9s and each mile was falling under and under. When I reached mile 6, I decided to push it a little to finish strong. I was motivated by a cool guy in my running group who was slowly increasing his speed as well. I figured I’d try and stay as close with him as I could to the end.

We were going strong and I could feel myself work. I looked down at my watch and it read 6.66. Nice, almost at mile 7.

I’ve said this before that I run mostly the same routes all the time so I know where pretty much each mile is. We reached mile 7 but no beep from my watch. Yep, it froze again.

I was SO bummed. I had pushing it hard and really wanted to see what that mile split was. I tried moving screens and nothing. The time was ticking but the distance wasn’t moving. I finally stopped the watch and restarted and then it was back to “normal”.

By that time we were almost done and we sped up to really finish strong. My running buddy wasn’t wearing a watch so I didn’t know what my final time was but I know that it was good. I felt it.

I tried really really hard to not let it get to me. I know we shouldn’t get hung up on times but it really helps motivate me to see the numbers. Two friends finished behind me and I tried to gauge my time by theirs. I guesstimated the last two miles of the total 8 to be around the 8:15ish pace. Awesome for me at the end of a long run.

On Sunday I was back on the trails. My running group had a 14+ mile trail run on the agenda. It was a super tough run but it was an absolute gorgeous day and we had a large group. That always helps. 🙂 My watch froze again–I didn’t even let it phase me.; I wasn’t concerned with time on this run. I stayed with a group the entire way and our total at the end was 14.76 miles.

20140406_083037

View of Phoenix, AZ

View of Phoenix, AZ

So, overall total mileage for the week (Mon-Sun): 32.07 miles

And now….for the Shwings winner 🙂

Congratulations–

Congrats!!

Congrats!!

Yay Yesenia!! Check your e-mail inbox for important info.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

–How was your running week last week?

–Any big (or small) races coming up?

Speed Work Fun!

As you may have noticed by now, Wednesdays are my speed work days. My run club meets at a local high school track and we typically do a speed workout of 3-4 miles. Since having incorporated these workouts into my training, I’ve definitely seen improvements in my overall time/pace. For the longest, I was hanging out in the 10:00/mile range but now I’ve consistently been in the mid to low 9s and even high 8s. When I do speed work, I occasionally even see a seven.

On Tuesday I did a 6.2 mile run wanting to challenge myself with my pace. I’ve been doing speed work for awhile and wanted to see if I could go longer a little faster. I ended at 6.21 miles at an 8:46 pace. My fastest 10K to date. I definitely feel myself getting faster and I do think it’s partly due to speed work Wednesdays.

I want to share with you two workouts I love that we’ve done (Please note: I am not a personal trainer nor do I have any certifications. Please do these at your own risk):

The first one is called 200m Surges–

PhotoGrid_1391093851559
You want to make sure your sprint is fast and considerably at a faster pace than your jog. After four continuous laps, take a breather–you can decide how long you want this to be–and then go for another set. I recommend starting with a warmup lap and ending with a  cool down lap. This workout leaves you at 3 miles.

The next workout is another favorite–

PhotoGrid_1391094143687

You want to do this in a pace that challenges but one that you’ll be able to maintain (albeit with difficulty) throughout the entire workout. The length of the “short rest” is up to you but you don’t want to lose the momentum of the workout by taking a too long rest. I also recommend a warm up lap and a cool down lap. This workout leaves you at at 4 miles.

If you don’t have a track near you, try doing these on the treadmill. My gym has ‘mills that have a visual track you can see yourself running around on lol! If yours doesn’t have this nifty feature, I recommend doing the 200m surges using time instead. For example, jog two minutes, surge two minutes.

Let me know if you try these and what you think!

–Do you incorporate speed work in your training?