Last week ended a big week of training for Big Cottonwood and included a lot of new workouts, which ultimately made my long run quite the challenge. I have started my strength workouts for my quads so that they will be able to handle all of the downhill and this was the first week of me really putting the speedwork in. I also ran a race yesterday (5k) which was interesting the day after the long run, but actually seemed to be helpful for loosening up my muscles. So let's get into it!
Monday - Speed work
This was my first speed workout of my new training cycle and I was honestly hesistant, because I really hadn't gone fast since before the Cleveland Marathon. This training cycle, I am working on slightly slower mile repeats but with less recovery in between. Therefore, the miles themselves should be about 7:10-7:15, with about 1:30-2mins off in between.
1 Mile Warmup - 8:15
3x1 Mile Repeats - 7:15, 7:15, 7:25 (7:17 avg)
.25 mile walk to cool down.
I was planning on 3 repeats, but it was so hot and humid that I thought I might only do two. But after the second, I knew I had enough left in me to try for a third, and I was mostly in the shade at that point so I went for it. I was definitely a little tired on that one, but still pulled out a 7:25 so it wasn't too bad overall. This workout tested my confidence, because I never felt tired in the miles, but I kept doubting myself the whole way. I pushed through and got it done. Followed up immediately with 30 squats and a 6 minute plank.
I intended on Tuesday being a recovery longer run, but it ultimately ended up being 6 miles at 8:24/mile. It was another hot and humid day and that definitely got to me a little as the last half mile I began to dog it out when I was passed by two other runners. The combination of not liking to get passed and feeling that if they could push through, so could I got me through the rest of the run. I drafted off of them for the rest of the way, holding a 7:45. We ended up talking at the end and they told me that I helped them too because having me at their heels pushed them to the finish.
Wednesday - Hill work
I met up with Harness Cycle to run the bridges because you can't ask for a much better combination of up and down hill training than this group run. I got there early and logged 2.5 solo miles before meeting up with the group. When I set out with them, I really tried to keep the pace slow, because I really wanted that recovery paced run and I know I tend to go too fast with them. I did better than usual, because I kept it to an 8:40 for the first mile and a half with them, but once we hit the downhill, the pace picked up. When we got to the second killer uphill bridge, I was impressed at how good the hill felt and let myself push it up the hill at 7:55. I ended up with 6 miles at 8:30/mile.
I really took this run easy because I knew my legs needed it. My goal was to go visit the new Cleveland sign at Edgewater park, because I was dying to see it and I knew it would be a perfect 4 mile run. It came out to be 4 miles a 8:42/mile. Later that evening I did 60 squats and 30 lunges, which became a problem for my long run...
Saturday - 16 mile....well, it became 15 miles, long run
When I woke up on Saturday, I was seriously sore. My hips were locked up and my quads were tight. DOMS. The squats probably didn't cause the problem, but the lunges did. I was a little worried about how the long run was going to feel but I knew I had to get it done. I met my running partner early for 6.5 miles before the club and once we got about a mile and a half in, everything started loosening up and felt fine. However, after we met the club and took off again, all of the soreness was back and I was super tight. By about 9 miles in I was really sore and tight. I could tell my running partner was hurting too because of his injury from earlier this year. We toned back the pace a little. What was really killing me was downhill, which, on the upside, means I am training the right muscles! At 11.5 miles, by quads really cramped up on me, which I recognized as low electrolytes (because it happened to me in Cleveland and Detroit) and so I stopped, and downed all of my Nuun and massaged it out. That seemed to help and we were able to keep going and even kick up the pace. My running partner tried to make me call it at 13, knowing I was running a 5k the next day, but I negotiated him up to 15. Once I had replenished the electrolytes, I was really able to push on, and the last mile ended up being close to 8:24/mile, with the last quarter being under 8 and my final kick was 6:45. 8:58/mile overall.
Sunday - Grand Slam 5k
On Sunday, I ran an awesome 5k which was at one of the minor league ballparks, finished on the field, featured a former Cleveland player (Carlos Baerga) who put our medals on and signed autographs, and let us hang out with burgers and beer in the park! I'm going to write a recap on the race, so I won't say too much now, but I was happy with how my legs handled the race the day after a long run. I was told to go no faster than 7:30s but to go on feel. I ended up running a 7:34 comfortably and it seemed to loosen up all of the soreness!
Another solid week of training, with 38 miles logged. I will definitely be more cautious in throwing in workouts close to the long run, but hopefully, my body will react to them better now that I have a base. Happy Fourth of July!!