I just might have turned a corner in the last three weeks.
First, let me summarize February. I ran a total of 82.0 miles (132.0 km) during the month of February. This is a fairly low number for me but actually it was composed of three fairly solid weeks of 25+27+30 miles and then one week totally off while I was on vacation in Whistler (at the Olympics!).
I had intended to jump right into Half Marathon training with the Ryan Hall program during the first week of March but it just didn’t happen. The combination of jet lag and poor weather conditions meant I couldn’t get the speed work and tempo run sessions in during the work week. Frankly, the program just seemed overwhelming. I’d been feeling a bit lethargic and I was having some pain and tightness on my right side. Not really the best place to be starting into a hard core training program.
So moved on to Plan B. I’m now doing a more conservative Smart Coach training program for the Waterloo Half Marathon at the end of April. I’m not making any big goals for this race but three weeks in to the program I can say that while I’m far from PB shape I’m feeling a lot better than I did in February.
Wednesday’s tempo run was the first hard run I’d done in months. In the past I’ve done tempo runs at around 8:30 pace. Given I was coming off months of slow running I was just happy that all the tempo miles came in under 9:00. Over the next few months I’d like to see my tempo pace drop but I’m going to be patient and trust it will happen eventually.
During January and February I did most of my runs on the same stretch of bike path and sidewalks that were cleared of snow. By Saturday warm temperatures had gotten rid of most of the snow around here I decided to revisit some local paths/trails that I hadn’t run on since the fall. There were some very muddy sections and also some icy sections so I walked when I needed to. I didn’t look at my watch once during the run because I wanted to run by feel. I felt really good until about the last 1.5 miles at which point I started to tire. I probably should have taken a gel or something to keep my energy up.
|09/03||4.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:22 min/mile|
|10/03||5.0 mi||Tempo run: 3mi @ 8:54/8:56/8:37 min/mile|
|11/03||4.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:16 min/mile|
|13/03||9.0 mi||Long run: avg 10:47 min/mile|
|14/03||4.0 mi||Recovery run: avg 10:47 min/mile|
|Total||26.0 mi||YTD: 218.3 miles|
We had glorious spring like weather during this week. We also went onto Daylight Savings Time which meant I moved my runs from early morning to late afternoon to avoid running in the dark. On Tuesday it was 15C and sunny so I ran in shorts for the first time this year! I might have been a bit overexcited for my speedwork on Wednesday because I went out way too hard during the first mile. I have no business running sub 8:00 quite yet! I was in Ottawa for the weekend so I did my long run on one of my favorite all time running routes along the Rideau Canal. Once again I avoided looking at my watch and took a few walk breaks. This time I consumed about 100 calories during the run which I think helped me finish much stronger than the previous week’s nine miler.
|16/03||5.0 mi||Easy run: avg 9:55 min/mile|
|17/03||5.0 mi||Speedwork: 2x1mi in 7:46/8:10 min|
|18/03||5.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:06 min/mile|
|20/03||4.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:17 min/mile (treadmill)|
|21/03||9.0 mi||Long run: avg 10:28 min/mile|
|Total||28.0 mi||YTD: 246.3 miles|
By this week I was starting to feel like I was definitely back in a groove. Wednesday’s tempo run was a good challenge. I managed to average an 8:33 min/mile pace over the four miles which is faster than I expected to be able to pull off. There was a fair bit of variation in my splits because I ran two laps of a two mile course which meant some miles had a headwind and some had a tailwind. Saturday’s long run was tough. I just didn’t feel like myself for the first half of the run. I think it was a combination of and indulgent dinner on friday night and a lack of sleep. Things improved eventually and I got the 10 miles done. My hip flexors were tight on Sunday so I took things easy for my recovery run.
|23/03||5.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:11 min/mile|
|24/03||6.0 mi||Tempo run: 4mi @ 8:28/8:42/8:24/8:38 min/mile|
|25/03||5.0 mi||Easy run: avg 10:01 min/mile|
|27/03||10.0 mi||Long run: avg 10:24 min/mile|
|28/03||4.0 mi||Recovery run: avg 10:44 min/mile|
|Total||30.0 mi||YTD: 276.3 miles|
I’m feeling much more positive about the Waterloo half now that I’m through these first three weeks of training. Next week will be a recovery week and after that there will only be three more weeks of training before the taper week and the race!