Week 10: Run Focus Week Plus a Wedding!

I was looking forward to a run-heavy week of training, and I was not disappointed. I had a couple of great workouts, AND my older sister got married on Friday! Let’s back up to the beginning of the week.

Monday: 1350 yards swimming a.m., 17 miles biking p.m.

The swim parts of this training plan have introduced me to some new swim training elements. I don’t have a swimming background, so I don’t know what’s typical for swim workouts, so you can take my observations with a grain of salt…

The main set of this workout was 8 x 100 EBEH (which means for each 100, do 25 easy, 25 build, 25 easy, 25 hard). This EBEH style of workout has popped up a couple of times, and I like it! I’m not totally sure how the plan writer defines “build,” but I just gradually increase my speed for that section. It kind of forces the second “easy” section to be an active recovery, which I’m used to for cycling and running, but not as much with swimming. I’m enjoying mixing up my swim workouts.

Tuesday: 60 minute tempo run p.m.

This workout was a big deal for me because it was my first real speed workout since the fall of 2011 when I was training for the Philadelphia Marathon that resulted in my tendonitis and year-long string of injuries. That was a long time ago! The workout was 10 minute warm-up, 5 x 6 minutes tempo, 2 minutes recovery, 10 minutes cool-down. I ran around a hilly trail nearby, which added to the challenge of the tempo sections, but it was a lot of fun to run that hard after nearly 2 years of not running or running with trepidation.

Also, as much as I am a morning exerciser, when it comes to speed work, I do prefer to run at night. I feel like my body is a bit more loose and ready to push the pace when I’ve been awake, eating, and moving around all day (as much as a person with a desk job moves, that is).

Wednesday: 2400 yards swimming a.m.

This was a long workout of 2 x 1200 yards. With each of these longer swims, my confidence grows. Just the fact that I have figured out how to count that many laps is progress. Next up: I REALLY want to learn how to do flip turns. If nothing else, I’d be a little closer to a “real” swimmer. I really regret refusing my mom’s suggestions that I join the swim team in high school. Though I’m not sure I would’ve taken kindly to 5am practices at that time in my life…

I was supposed to do an easy 30 minute run this evening, but a late night in the office before taking Thursday and Friday off pretty much eliminated that plan. Honestly, it was probably a good thing to have a forced day off from running considering my concerns about any IT band drama that could arise this week.

Thursday: 60 minute run in Central Park!

I flew up to NYC to meet my family and watch my sister get married on Friday. (Yay!) We had some downtime in the afternoon, so I ran around Central Park for an hour. I got caught in a downpour, which was fun of course, and had the added benefit of clearing out a lot of the pedestrians/tourists. I have only run around Central Park once or twice before, so I tried to follow the Bridle Path but it dead-ended, and then I tried to run on some other paths, and man, it just got confusing! Eventually I made my way back onto the main road that people run and bike around and managed to finish my run near the right exit from the park.

Friday: Rest Day (Sister’s wedding day!)

I’m thinking I’ll do a post on what was excellent about the way my sister and her now-husband got married. The experience of waiting for their turn at the New York City City Hall was so much fun – everyone there is so happy. There is an episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon also gets married at City Hall. I need to go back and compare that to my real experience…

Sort of relevant to this blog: I’ve been curious about juicing since watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, but for a number of reasons, I haven’t tried any real fresh vegetable juices myself (not sure where to buy juice here; not willing to invest in an expensive juicer when I’m not sure how much I’ll love it; not willing to invest in a juicer when I don’t think I’d continue to buy enough fresh produce to ever do it consistently). So I figured when in the Upper West Side, I ought to do as I assume the Upper West Siders do. My brother and I went to Juice Generation (sadly I was not taking pictures) and I got a kale-based juice and he got a fruit juice. He was bored by the fruit juice (he used to work at a smoothie place and has very specific standards). And I was pretty grossed out with the kale-based juice. Consider me cured of wanting to hop on that bandwagon!

Saturday: 90 minute run in Central Park

My sister specifically requested a Saturday morning family run in Central Park, so we all  ran together for an hour, and then my mom and I added on an extra 30 minutes. Thankfully my sister knows the paths and trails in the park, so our run included much less meandering than my solo run on Thursday. Honestly my favorite part of running in Central Park is all the dogs playing with each other and with their humans. Also, in the city general, I had never seen so many small dogs in my life.

DSC00435

Not from my run, but my other sister got a little distracted during the wedding photos and started photographing the dogs…

Sunday: 30 minute easy run, yoga, 19.8 miles cycling

I went for a really easy run and hurried to yoga at Lululemon. I was pretty unfocused at yoga – sometimes it’s hard to slow down from running and focus on my breathe. Especially since I was late to class. Whoops.

My second workout for the day was a cycling tempo workout – a new thing for me. I was tired from the wedding stuff and had trouble all day getting out the door for my ride. Finally it got to the point where I had to either go now or put it off until tomorrow because the sun would set on me (or ride on the trainer, but I generally don’t consider that a viable option). The workout was 10 minute warm-up, 4 x 12 minute tempo, 3 minute recover, and 5 minute cool-down. Of course 2 minutes into my first tempo interval, the rain started falling. I enjoy running in the rain, but cycling in the rain adds a whole extra level of danger. Trying to go fast plus wet roads is a scary equation for me. I briefly considered turning back and putting the workout off until Monday, but the whole time I could see blue sky ahead of or beside me, like if I could just get to that area, I’d be clear of the rain. Instead I was extra cautious around turns, when cars were around, and any time I had to cross white paint on the pavement. At one point, I was getting rained on, and the field on the other side of the road was not. How rude. Anyway, I was not the only cyclist caught in the downpour, and eventually the rain cleared. My bike definitely got a bath that evening after riding through so much wet dirt from local construction projects.

So that was my week! I’ve started tracking my workouts on RunPartner, which I had started doing the first time I was training for Boston, but it was all swimming or pool running, and eventually I was too depressed about the lack of running and I stopped using it. Unfortunately RunPartner tracks the weeks as Sunday-Saturday (I mean, who does that, right?) whereas my training is generally Monday-Sunday, so the weekly totals aren’t as user-friendly for me. I’m trying to get over my refusal to use any kind of data because I think it’ll be helpful to look back at my training volume for this race when I train for others in the future. Now I just need to go back and enter all the stuff from when I started recapping my weeks on this blog. Not sure that will ever happen though.

The next week is a recovery week with a lot of short, easy workouts (with a few challenging ones thrown in for good measure). Just as exciting, this is the last week before Eric comes back from Hawaii! I’m using this as my last chance to watch as much trashy reality tv as I want (though it’s safe to say I OD-ed on it this summer) and… I can’t come up with another exciting thing I’ll do this week while he’s away. As soon as he gets back, it’s a short countdown until his Ironman in Madison, and then we both have a lot of travel (both together and separate) for weddings, work, and other random things through the end of the year. It’s going to be a busy fall, but I’m looking forward to it.

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