Monday, December 22, 2014

The Road to 26.2: Week 2

Hard to believe but week two of this journey is in the books!  Last week was filled with Christmas preparations, last-minute school projects, and unsuccessful shopping trips (I'm a site-to-store failure!), but I managed to complete my workouts mostly as planned.  Besides Friday's shortened cross-training, I had a successful workout week, which looked like this:

Monday (12/15):  3 mile run.
Unexpected rainfall added some extra excitement to our usual neighborhood loop, but I'll take rain over ice and snow any day.
Tuesday (12/16):  yoga and strength work.
Some peaceful early morning yoga by the Christmas tree followed by strength work for my core and arms.  A great start to a busy day!
Wednesday (12/17):  5 mile run.
As we did last week, I ran the early miles with Emily and then tacked on a few solo miles.
Thursday (12/18):  3 mile run and strength work.
Easy neighborhood miles with Emily plus legs and core strength work.
Friday (12/19):  strength work.
The workout that almost wasn't: a Thursday night baking fail found me making cookies rather than doing yoga at 5:00am.  It was a jam-packed day, but I managed to fit in some legs and core strength work in the early evening.  Not ideal but good enough.
Saturday (12/20):  9 mile run.
Running solo, I set out to explore some parks I've never run to before.  I didn't map out the route in advance (an oddity for this Type A gal) and just headed out with a loose idea of where I hoped to go.  I ended up tracing a path around 4 nearby parks, which landed me at 9.3 miles.
Sunday (12/21):  REST!
A day off from running and other workouts but not exactly a restful day.  A busy day of Christmas prep and cookie baking left me as tired as if I'd logged a double-digit run!

When I looked back over my first week of training, I noticed that yoga was absent, and I wanted to fix that this week.  Yoga does wonders to keep my body aligned and healthy and to keep me running strong.  I had hoped to do yoga twice this week, and though I had to settle for just once, I know my body is the happier for it.  I'll keep striving to make yoga a priority this training cycle.

My neighbor's tree, week 2: still clinging to the last of its leaves.

Big life lesson from this week's long run: eat even if it feels like a pain in the neck to do so!  Mentally, I know that I should fuel for any run over an hour and that I should take that first fuel after about 45 minutes or so.  I've read it a million times.  I've heard other runners talk about it.  But I get into a zone and don't want to break my stride to do it.  On Saturday, around mile 5.5, I started feeling crabby, a clear indicator that my tank was running low, but I didn't feel like stopping to eat.  By mile 6.5, I knew I wouldn't make it through the final miles without additional fuel, so I took a short walk break to ingest a few calories and then resumed my run.  Wouldn't you know it, a few minutes later, I felt like a million bucks!  I felt stronger for miles 7-9 than I had for 5-7.  Without even trying, my final miles were the fastest of the whole run.  I've done plenty of long runs in the past, so inherently, I KNOW what fueling my body needs; I just need to get better at acting upon the plan.  This week provided such a clear lesson on the benefits of fueling and the immediate improvement it provides.  Now to remember it on my next long run...