Back in the swing of things! (49.5M)

I'm so thankful to be running again! Taking a week off was one of the hardest things I've done in a while, but I know that if I hadn't rested I would have lost much more time later. My ankle no longer hurts while running, so I'm excited and ready to attack these last 8 weeks with a vengeance! Carefully, though, of course! :)

This week I'll be racing the Tour de Fleurs 10k on Saturday morning, so we're keeping the front half of the week normal and then backing off a tad for the last couple days going into the race. I'm not at a place in training where I'll be set up for a PR or a fancy time, but this one does have pretty sweet prizes so I'd like to be fifth or so if I'm able. I'm going to aim for sub-6:00 pace and see where that puts me.

As I said earlier, I'm now eight weeks away from my goal race, which means it's time to start looking at switching to race pace (race specific) workouts. Kicking that off with 6 by a mile of HMP down to HMP-15" on Tuesday and then a hard 6 miler (10k race) on Saturday. Over the course the following 7 weeks, Jake has my workouts designed to include lots of HMP or just below HMP work and I'm really looking forward to it. I remember that this is the phase of training last year where I saw the most significant jumps in my fitness, and I believe I'm already more fit going into it than I was last year.

Sunday, September 9th
7M 10M at White Rock Lake w/ light surges for the last 5 miles
Strength super-sets in PM
COMMENTS: This was only supposed to be a 7 mile run, but I adjusted the workout halfway through for a couple reasons. 1. I know I'll be doing short runs for the second half of this week, so there won't be any long or medium long days. 2. The weather was 100% perfect. Light breeze, cool temps.. You just have to take advantage of those days when you train in Texas. 3. I started so incredibly slow that I know the extra miles would not wear me down. When I got to 3.5 miles I was about 8:50 pace so you know it was very pleasant and comfortable. :) After turning around I spent the run back doing light pick ups between the 911 signs on the lake. They're about 150 to 300 meters apart (not equidistant) so it gave me a variation in pace to wake up my legs without me looking at the watch. Miles for the full run were 9:14, 8:54, 8:49, 8:27, 8:09, 7:28, 7:22, 7:10, 7:09, 6:50 (7:58 AP).

Monday, September 10th
40' easy on the grass track + 6 uphill strides
COMMENTS: My ankle was feeling much better today!! I kept things nice and easy on the grass track and then used a small hill on DBU's campus to get in my strides. Nothing exciting about this morning's run, but I got it in. :) My calves and glutes are definitely sore today, though. I assumed it was from yesterday afternoon's strength work since it was a new circuit and left me pretty shakey, but Jake mentioned it could also be delayed soreness from Saturday. Who knows! Sore muscles means stronger muscles one day, so I'm not going to complain! :)

Tuesday, September 11th
20' warm up, 6x1M (HMP to 10k)/300 jog recovery, 1M cool down
COMMENTS: Got it it in and no complaints! I ran in the middle of the DBU ladies for the first four and then was solo on the last two. We used the grass "track" around the soccer field so the miles didn't quite match up with my watch. I felt fine on the first four, crummy and heavy on the fifth one, and then back up to par on the last one, haha. I timed two of the recovery jogs from the finish back to the start and they were about 2:30. Times for the "mile" loops are listed with the mile pace from my Garmin in parenthesis- 6:08 (5:54), 6:06 (5:50), 6:02 (5:46), 6:00 (5:46), 5:57 (5:42), 5:55 (5:38). So I'm happy any way you look at it! Even if the Garmin is off, that's what I measured with last year when I did this workout in flats on the road with Jake setting pace, and yet my Garmin paces are still faster this time. If I go by the grass track measurements, I still ran the paces I needed to and cut down consistently with each rep. Success!

Wednesday, September 12th
Light weights in the AM
Very stressful morning/day and lots of ankle pain. Same extreme fatigue (sleepiness) during the day yesterday.

Thursday, September 13th
7M with 2M uptempo
COMMENTS: Almost went back to bed and pushed the run off to lunch, and probably should have. Ankle still hurt (though no worse to run on) and totally and completely wiped out (exhausted). I though I was moving pretty well on my run but the first two miles were 9:30 and 8:40... yikes! Dropped to 6:41 and 6:21 for the fourth and fifth miles, but quickly bumped back to slower than 8:00 pace after they were over. Rough morning, for sure. Time to eat and SLEEP so I'm ready to roll on Saturday!

Friday, September 14th
16' easy run + 4 strides in the AM
15' easy run in the PM
COMMENTS: Didn't feel good on either run, but that doesn't concern me much. I will say, however, that I REALLY enjoyed going for a 15' shakeout (literally a shuffle) around my neighborhood after work. One of the best ways to shake off the day and get ready for evening. Hope I can start doing that a little more often. I considered skipping one of the runs today because my ankle is really hurting still, but every time I start running I stop noticing the pain. It's like it's magnified when I am walking around or sitting still, but just completely slips my mind while running.

Saturday, September 15th
2 miles easy + .75M of 1' easy, 1' hard
TDF 10k race. Goal - 37:00, Actual- complete failure.
4.5 miles easy
COMMENTS: Started the race with plans to run just behind the leader going out and then see what I could do on the run home. I was warned before the race about the second half, so I wanted to be in a good position going into it, but I also did not want to waste myself in the first three miles by trying to fight the wind too much (yes, the wind was strong going out, but at least it wasn't on the run back!). Becky took off from the gun and I stayed within 3-10m of her for the first half. At about 2.8 or so, we turned to go up the first hill which is just past the Big Thicket. By the time we got to 3.5 miles, Becky was at least 200m ahead... I had completely fallen apart. At about 3.6 miles hit the second long steep hill (up from the Bath House) and I fell back even more. After that I tried to regather myself and use the downhills when I got them, but only downhills and the finishing stretch were run at a noteworthy pace... everything else was pitiful. I'm embarrassed and frustrated and wish my ankle wasn't such a nuisance right now so I could start attacking these next seven weeks immediately. I have A LOT of work to do. Thankfully I have 7 weeks left which is enough time for some serious fitness changes to occur. No time to waste though. Time to start making things burn a few days a week. Paces for today 5:48, 5:54, 6:03, 6:18, 5:59, 6:10, 5:43 (last .31M) (6:01 AP) for a 38' 6.31M race. I was told to run this as a blow-out race (start with the leader, not at your own pace), after today I think I'll go back to my usual method instead. Not proud of the way these splits look.
*Also, threw in a longer easy run after the race to get at least 13.1 in today. I'd like most Saturdays from here on to be race distance or longer to start preparing for that amount of time on my feet.

Total Weekly Mileage: 49.35M

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