This week marked week 1 of focused training for me as I am training for the Chicagoland Half Marathon on 5/20 and the Soldier Field 10 Mile on 5/26. At this point in time for me I feel 100% confident and extremely excited about my spring races. There is little to no pressure that exists within about the coming months where my only expectation is to have fun and cut loose. Seems as though my spirit has been calling for me to train intuitively for some time and I just haven't been listening to it.
The most beneficial thing that I have ever done for myself was to take a time out from life and the expectations which it hosts to figure out where I want the road ahead to lead me. While I would love to set some new PR's this year and gain speed, I have found that it is more important for me to enjoy everything that I do in life, especially running. Hobbies should bring joy and fulfillment to our lives without stress or aggravation, and 2012 will be just this for me in every aspect of my life including running.
Week 1 Goals and Expectations:
Mileage in the high 50's
1 benchmark workout to assess fitness level
Monday: Easy 8.25 miles, strength training circuit
am: 9 miles total. 2 warm up followed by 2x2 miles @ current HMP (6:40) with a 2 mile cool down.
This was my first speed session in ages, and it felt damn good to push some quick miles out of my rusty legs. The past several months have hosted only easy miles for me, yet I still managed to keep my mileage up and closed out January with 237 miles. I felt confident going into this benchmark workout, but I just wasn't sure if the base mileage I had been building for 7 weeks would help retain some of my speed.
Good news for me is that those 7 weeks did wonders for my soul as well as for my legs.
Feeling pretty confident at this point and will be putting myself through some challenging fartleks for the next few weeks.
A Chicago Tribune photographer managed to snap a photo of me on Tuesday as well while I was tempoing away on the lakefront. Rarely do I ever see what I look like while running, so this picture has been rather helpful for me this week. I've spent a lot of time post Chicago Marathon 2011 working on my form; cadence, foot strike, arm swing, learning to relax those tight shoulders. Looks like the shoulders still need some attention.
pm: 3 miles easy with Fleet Feet running at the Chicago Marathon 2012 launch party
Wednesday: Recovery run, 8.25 miles
Thursday: Easy 10 miles, strength training circuit
Friday: 14.52 miles at 7:45 pace.
Lately I've been doing some of my runs with a new running buddy that is several years younger and was a collegiate athlete making her quite a bit quicker then I am. She is very humble and great company while running and I think that I could learn quite a bit from her. Since I've never really had a training partner it has been really nice having company on some of my miles, especially the longer runs, and seems to make time go by a bit quicker.
Saturday: 6 mile recovery run and at home strength circuit.
I planned on waking up early to hit the gym for another great strength session and yoga class, but lacked to motivation to roll myself out of bed and begin my day. Instead I begun my weekend at a leisurely pace that hosted a low-intensity body weight circuit in my living room which I followed up with my recovery run.
Closing out week 1 with a total of 59 miles and a smile on my face. Ready to take on the rest of this cycle pressure free having the time of my life.
Have you entered my accessory giveaway yet?
Today is the last day to enter before a winner is drawn tomorrow!