Friday, September 7, 2007

Keeping Up With Myself

It dawned on me today that the Akron Women’s Triathlon is a week off and I still haven’t even taken my bike out of the trunk of my car from the GCT. While I had promised myself I would pick up the pace after I finished tri-one, I just seem to forget about that whole cycling segment. Darn it!

But at least I have kicked up my running and swimming since GCT. In fact, I hit the pool on Thursday morning for a 4,500-yard (~2.5 miles) continuous swim—my longest continuous swim since I started training again earlier this year. The best part was that I finished it in 1:14:00, which is one minute faster than the 4,200 yards I swam late last week.

I swam the first 1,000 yards at a pretty relaxed pace. It’s generally during this slow, warm-up period that I’m convinced I won’t/can’t swim more than 2,000 yards today. But after 2,000 yards I picked up the pace a little more. And when I tuned into 3,000, a slightly speedy girl jumped into the lane next to me and cruised right by! Because of my recent pay-attention-to-no-one-but-myself discipline from running, my first instinct was to just let her go. She’s none of my concern. Right?

Well, that lasted about 10 yards and I had to speed up. By the end of the first lap I was on her toes, and then neck-and-neck at the middle of lap two. Then my arms really warmed to the speed and I kicked it into my next gear, passed her and then lapped her a few times before she left. Every time I cam back around, I felt like she was out-swimming me again, so I would have to pick up my pace to take her again. She must have helped cut five minutes off my time!

Unfortunately, I’m not able to run at a faster speed for quite as long. Although I could probably make it 2.5 miles… just not over an hour. Ugh. But I had a good 7-mile track run at lunch on Friday, which included:

  • 1-mile warm-up at 10:00/mile
  • 5 miles at 8:12/mile
  • 8 gentle pick-ups (~1 mile)

I’m a day behind on my training plan and will be running Friday, Saturday and Sunday before I get to rest of Monday. Whew! And then next week I’ll have to move around my running days to make room for some rest before Saturday’s race. It’s great to have a training plan, but when your schedule gets dorked up, it’s difficult playing catch up.

And I thought I wasn’t going to play it very well today. When I started on the 1-mile warm-up, my legs were tight and fatigued, and that stupid inner-left calf muscle was whining at me again. I paused to stretch after one lap and then tried to stretch out my legs with each extended stride.

My body was warmed by the second mile, so I thought I would try to run with pace in mind. Hmm, 9:00/mile, I thought. That’s 1:30/lap at the rec. center track. After the first couple laps I was right on time, but then I started coming in 8, 10, 12 seconds ahead of my pace, so I thought I would increase it a little. So, I ran at a very comfortable (I was singing!) pace, trying to keep each lap under 1:30, and continued to come in under my target.

Still feeling pretty perky, I finished the workout with eight gentle pick-ups—I was that person hoofing it down the straightaways at the track and walking the curves. It was really fun to finish the run with that segment. It was fast, free and flippin’ fantastic. I focused on extending my legs and quickening my turnover… without turning up the intensity level to DANGEROUS. Now I’m just hoping this pep carries me through the weekend runs.

On my way home from work last night, I stopped at the store to pick up Viactiv, but came home with a wealth nutrition bars instead. I was a little put off by Viactiv’s ingredients (corn syrup topped the list), so I opted for a few treats like Luna and Kashi bars that service my sweet tooth… I mean, protein and calcium needs with natural stuff.

And if you’re looking for a good snack, try Kashi Crunchy bar. Tasty! I’m chowing the chocolate-caramel variety as I type, getting 8 grams of protein and 20% of my calcium in 150 tasty calories. Now I just have to eat ten of them to get my protein. Remember that Total commercial? It’s kind of like that.


kelsalynn said...

Wow, great job! I'm so impressed with your running pace- 8:00 miles!?!?! That's crazy-fast! Good luck this coming week, I can't wait to hear how you do. I'm sure you'll beat your last time.

B Bop said...

So, USAT still lets you race even though you obviosly have gills. Just doesn't seem fair....