Monday, April 3, 2017

Second half of March - Training Recap

I had a really awesome March and much of it was centered around that Publix weekend for this year. I continued to have strong workouts the end of March and keep pushing myself in new ways, but also working to remain healthy as the month ended with my hip pain flaring up again. Time to focus more on the little things and set goals for myself throughout April to stay focused and healthy in my last full month before my race!

Monday, March 20 - 3300 M Swim at Windy Hill

The weekend after my exciting and fun time doing a 65 mile ride followed by a half marathon PR, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. to return to the pool to swim and keep on my training. I was tired and it was tough to pull myself out of bed, but man did I feel badass.

Tuesday, March 21 - ITL Track Tuesday (6.5 miles)

Thank goodness there was a recovery workout because I needed it. I love that even though it is a large group that shows up for the track workouts, the coaches make sure to know and understand the different goal races that everyone is working towards - or has accomplished - and builds a number of different workouts for the various target races out there. By coaching with this group, ITL, I have my own coach who is there for me personally and builds my plans - but I have access to the wider group of coaches who also really strive to make personal connections and relationships with the athletes, which is awesome.

Wednesday, March 22 - AM 2750 M Swim + PM 1:25 trainer ride

The workouts on this Wednesday were tough for me. I think maybe I was coming down from my high from the weekend and just starting to feel a bit tired and drained and back to the grind. Looking back a week and a half later, I can see that it definitely was a lot to go right from a big weekend into this, but at the time I just was thinking "Why do I feel so off??" I had such a high from a training weekend, that I started to expect every workout to feel like some sort of breakthrough or super exciting thing. But in reality, sometimes a workout is just a workout and you just have to get it done.

Thursday, March 23 - 6 mile morning run with ITL

I enjoyed this run, doing the majority of it with one of the girls I've been getting to know through training. I love running and chatting with friends. It is one of my favorite things and I don't get to do it all that often anymore. So whenever I have a workout that has a good pace partner to talk to, it always makes me happy.

Friday, March 24 - 1 hour spin + 30 minute run

My schedule for the weekend was looking a little different than my other weekends since I had a friend that would be in town.  So instead of a long weekend bike, I did a trainer ride on Friday morning and then went outside for a 30 minute run following the trainer. I had to start this earlier than I would have liked since I had a chiropractor appointment in the morning early, but it was awesome to have it be 7:30 a.m. and already done a brick workout.

I felt good running after being on the bike and felt strong and accomplished after this workout. I had been wondering when I would start getting some post-bike runs in and this was the first of them! I started off strong.

Saturday, March 25 - 1 mile warm up + 5K race (Atlanta Women's 5K)

My coach had originally given me Saturday off from training but then my friend Kristen who was in town said she would like to do a 5K race. Since there was a pretty big one going on, we both decided to do the 5K and my coach added a 2 mile warm up. My day off was suddenly a 5 mile run but I was a little excited for it because I have been running fast and thought it would be fun to try for a new 5K PR.

Well, I then got a lecture from my chiropractor about trying to run a 5K hard the weekend after a half marathon PR with a recovering hip injury, and I also realized that the course was FULL OF HILLS. Then, come the morning of the race, I had drank a little too much the night before and didn't feel great, we were late to the race and I only had time for a 1 mile warm up, and then the start of the 5K was so crowded with people I could barely move around them. So I quickly into the start of the race tossed aside the idea of a PR and instead hoped for a strong run.

I did the 5K in 26:26 and had negative splits throughout the miles, so I was happy with that! Plus, I wore the top I had worn from Publix and realized that it is size small. And it fits me. This is a non-scale/non-training victory that I will take.

Sunday, March 26 - 8 mile run at Kennesaw Mountain

Sunday morning while my friend was sleeping, I snuck out of bed to head to Kennesaw Mountain for the trail run with ITL. I was really nervous because it was downpouring rain the night before and I had these visions in my head of the mountain being a complete mud pit circa Tough Mudder 2014 in Vermont. Fortunately, it wasn't bad and I finished with just some muddy legs but running wasn't a challenge (any more than it already is to run there!)

My pace continues to slip every time I run at Kennesaw, which isn't exactly what I want. However, it was the first time that I ran there and ran continuously so I was happy about that. I'm hoping all these little tougher, not my normal things that I am doing will help me in the end. I did strides at the end of my long run and then returned home to meet up with Kristen.

Monday, March 27 - PM 3200 M swim

I did something I rarely do and didn't get up in the morning for my workout. I was tired and I knew that I had the evening free so I skipped getting out of bed to get to the gym for the group swim and instead, did it in the evening by myself.

Once I got there and saw the workout I was happy that I didn't go in the morning. It was a long slow workout, which was good, but it wasn't one that necessarily had any benefit by doing with a group. I happily got my swim in and then head home for the evening.  Oh yeah, and because I swam in the evening as opposed to the morning, I totally forgot I had makeup on...

Tuesday, March 28 - Track Tuesday with ITL (5.45 miles)

This Tuesday morning's workout was tough! I was really hoping for another recovery week but there was a specific workout for people training for Chattanooga 70.3 so I had no excuse but to do that workout.  It consisted of a 1600, 1200, 1000, 800, and 400. You stared with the mile being at 5K pace and got faster for each one, with an easy 200 recovery in between.  I started out way too fast for my first mile and had a hard time trying to get any faster during them - but I was proud that I stayed semi-consistent throughout and then pushed out a harder 400.

My pace times were:

1600: 7:18 pace
1200: 7:21 pace
1000: 7:13 pace
800: 7:23 pace
400: 6:37 pace

Wednesday, March 29 - AM 3350 Swim + PM 1 hour trainer ride

Wednesday after track started a 5 day stretch of really hard workouts. Well, really, it started on Tuesday with the tough track workout. But Wednesday started the doubles.  I did swim practice on Wednesday morning with the group and did 3350 M and in the evening I had a 1 hour trainer ride that really was a tough one.

Thursday, March 30 - AM 6 mile run + PM Atlanta Cycling 21 mile ride

I had a 7:00 a.m. presentation to give so Thursday's set of doubles started with a morning 6 mile run through my neighborhood solo.  I was disappointed I couldn't go to the group run with ITL and that I had to start too early for my friends, because I always prefer a friend run to a solo run (for the most part.) But I got it done and was on the call just in time. It was warm enough for a short sleeved morning run, which was the first of the year for me!

In the evening, I made my way to Atlanta Cycling in Vinings for the group ride I did a lot last year. I have been waiting for the time change so that they would be back as an option for me and last week was my first one. It was just as fun as I remembered and I enjoyed being back out there trying to chase the fast people! I felt strong and fast during this ride and I finished with an average pace of 16.4 mph. This is just almost my fastest ride that I have done ever for this route, which was at the end of the year last year. I think it would be cool to have a ride average in 17 mph on this route. It might be a goal of mine for the summer!

Side note, not training related:

When we finished this bike ride, a number of people were talking incredulously and I pulled out my phone to a number of text messages... all alerting of a collapse on the 85 highway. On Thursday, March 30, a fire started underneath a highway overpass which melted the concrete and a portion of the highway collapsed. Cars were stuck for hours and hours and the highway is going to be out of commission for months. It's totally crazy and going to impact things in Atlanta for quite a bit but at the time - everyone was just passing around information that they knew, which wasn't too much. Weird times in Atlanta!!

Friday, March 31 - AM 2750 M swim practice + PM strength workout

Friday was my last day of double workouts before going into a heavy weekend. I was nervous about going to swim in the morning with the traffic situation from the highway being out but it turned out to not be bad and I was really happy I went! Despite feeling a bit sluggish in the water, I was glad to get in 3 swims this week and finish out on the workout as planned.

In the evening, I went to the gym in my apartment complex to complete a super sweaty and tough body weight strength exercise from my coach. It was tough and I was so tired, but I just imagined myself getting stronger and stronger to push through.

Saturday, April 1 - 3:30 bike ride + 2 mile run

I am including the weekend workout in my March recap because the Saturday and Sunday workouts finished off a week long build so it makes sense to me to keep them all together in my recaps.

I woke up on Saturday morning super tired and feeling nervous about the workout. I knew it was going to be a long day and for whatever reason felt anxious about it. I had a tough time on the ride, felt weak and slow and lacking energy.  It had been a tough 3 days prior and I felt like my legs had nothing more to give even though I mentally was trying to get them to. I've been distracted lately on the bike wishing that I was in a place where others are. And I mean that in the terms of the shape that I want to be in. I want to be faster. I want to be a stronger rider. I want to work hard to get there and I am ready to put in the time and the effort to do that... but sometimes my body just doesn't allow me to. And my legs just didn't have much in them on this day and my hip was bothering me for a good portion of the ride as well.

I told myself that my coach, Jerome, would be telling me that the ride is really just about the time in the saddle, not about the speed, so I focused on that and completed my 3:30 ride. Unfortunately, I think I was a little cranky along the way and probably not the best teammate to my other riders, but hopefully will try to make up for that in the future.

My first real brick workout went well and I felt good running. I was happy to have finished my workouts on this day and I enjoyed the sunshine throughout the rest of my Saturday.

Sunday, April 2 - 10 mile run at Kennesaw Mountain

By the end of Saturday, my hip was feeling better. I actually thought to myself, "Huh? Biking today seemed to help it!" so I wasn't too worried about the run being painful on my hip, but was more just concerned about the motivation to do it because I was tired.  I wanted to sleep in, but sleeping in turns out to be at a 7:00 a.m. wakeup, so I ended up rushing out the door to make the trail run with ITL in Kennesaw.

I started out feeling good, and then slowed my pace a bit to be able to run with some friends. But a few miles in, I was starting to hurt. At around 4 miles, I wondered if I should turn back and call it quits on the 10 miles but I thought I could just go easier and take some walk breaks and I would be okay. However, when I got 5 miles out, I wasn't sure if the aggravation in my hip was ok anymore or not.

Coming back, I took it very easy and had a walk/run mixture where the running was a lot of very tender running to the point of almost tiptoeing, not wanting to stress it. Whenever it hurt, I backed off and walked a bit, knowing that this run was not worth it to do any longer term damage. However, I also just wanted to be done with this run for the day and make it back to my car.

It was a tough day and I spent the rest of my Sunday feeling a bit down about the pain returning. It is not how I wanted to start off the month! However, I had a really strong March and feel like I am still in a good place - so mainly want to just let this recover as best as possible. I feel like I've been on and off the months this year. January was strong, February was a little weaker, March was strong, maybe April will be a weaker month for then a strong May? We'll see.

That's my training recap for you for this month!  Happy April everyone!

P.S. This post features ALL THE SELFIES and I basically look the same in all of them. The end.

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