Yesterday I decided to do something I haven’t really done since running the Flying Pig a little over one month ago – I went for a weekend long run. This run started out just like any other – with my favorite fuel.
I didn’t really have a mileage or time goal, and really just wanted to see how my body felt after a month of resting, short runs, and lots of yoga and weight lifting. Casey is on a training schedule, so he knew he would be running 13 miles – I figured I would head out to the trail with him and see what my legs felt like doing. We took into consideration the 95+ degree temperature, and tried to dress and hydrate appropriately.
The shady parts of the trail (along the creek) were insanely humid, and the long stretches in full sun between the trees were nearly unbearable. I keep telling myself that I will get used to running in this heat, but so far my inner-Ohio girl isn’t buying it.
One of my main goals for this next training schedule is to work on my SPEED! I used to be faster than I am now, and after a crazy year of moving, school, and a bad lung infection, I’ve lost a little bit of the speed and endurance that I once had. I’ve also been doing a lot of running with friends and with Casey recently, so I haven’t really pushed myself to just strap on an iPod and see what I could do.
So that is exactly what I decided to do yesterday – just me and the iPod, pounding along at a steady rhythm. Right away I could tell that I was naturally running much faster than I do when I am jogging and talking. Since I was focused on my run, and not on my conversation, my natural pace was hanging around the 8:25 mark – MUCH faster than I have been running these past few months! I ran 1.5 miles out, and turned around to head back for my water at the trailhead. I wasn’t going to mess around in those kind of temperatures! I ended up finishing my first 3 miles with an average page of 8:23, and I was totally pumped to be able run fast again, even if it was only for a few short miles.
From that point on, I did a little speed work mixed in with walking breaks – it was just too darn hot to run the whole time. I met up with Casey for one mile, and forced myself to stay by his side and see if I could hang with him for a super fast mile – I almost gave up with .20 left to go, but I pushed it and clocked the mile at 7:58 – not bad.
Total distance covered – 9 hot and sweaty miles. I think I ended up running more like 7, with 2ish miles of walking breaks in between.
I was dead tired and drenched in sweat by the end, but I was thrilled to be back to covering some higher mileage, and knowing that my inner speedster was still hiding in there somewhere.
After the run, I was ravenous, and raced home to make some much needed recovery food. After runs I am always craving a warm and gooey bowl of heavy carbs.
Notice anything strange about this bowl? Look closer – that’s not oatmeal. It’s RICE! I have decided to stop being selfish and let you guys in on my latest secret concoction –rice, bananas, cinnamon, and almond milk. Otherwise known as heaven in a bowl.
It’s kind of like a fun play on rice pudding! I set the rice cooker to be ready when I get home from my run, so that all I have to do is cut up a banana and pour milk into the bowl – easy and delicious.
I’m also trying to pay better attention these days to my fuel and recovery nutrient ratios. It’s important to get a good mix of carbs and protein after a workout, so I paired my banana rice bowl with an ice cold chocolate protein shake.
I sure hope that isn’t water! :)
So why all this talk of running and training? Well I have finally figured out my fall racing plans and gotten my latest training schedule together – hurrah!
I am going to be doing a 20-week training schedule combining running (speed work and tempo runs), weight lifting, and yoga – to see if I can get back into my best running shape. On October 31st (Halloween!) I will be running my 6th full marathon in Washington, DC – the Marine Corps Marathon!
You might remember when Casey ran this marathon last year, and I raced around the city as a spectator. It was an amazing course, and I knew way back then that I wanted to get the chance to run it myself. I missed the registration window back in the spring, but luckily Charlotte running guru Theoden hooked me up with a friend who is looking to transfer his registration – hurrah!
Also on my calendar – the Columbus Half Marathon on October 17th. Casey’s brother is getting married in Columbus on October 16th, and it just so happens that the marathon (and half-marathon) are the next day. We figured we’ll already been in town for it so…why not, right? It also lined up perfectly with my training schedule, which slated me for running 12 miles that day.
I’m just hoping my feet can hold up after being in my beautiful 4’’ bridesmaid heels the day before – eeeeek! :)
Since I’m doing a long training schedule this time (20 weeks) training actually starts…today! If you guys are interested, I can post the schedule itself too – it is a combination of Hal Higdon, Runner’s World, and Casey Malone. :)
Is anyone else training for any fun fall races? Any tips or tricks for training through this hot, hot summer?