I don’t really have a countdown yet in my head for Colorado Half-Marathon prep, so we’ll just call this officially week 2. This week started slow and picked up a lot of steam at the end; I had nearly chalked it up to a dud, but then two awesome runs made all the difference. Isn’t that how it always goes, though?
The best part of this week, aside from those two key runs, was that I finally, finally, felt like myself again. I feel like over the past two months I’ve been running in a “walking-on-eggshells” fashion. I’ve been hyper-aware of aches and pains, I’ve been fearful of doing too much or going too fast, and generally I’ve just been a little overly-cautious most of the time. Not that having caution is a bad thing at all, but it’s not a very enjoyable way to constantly be feeling with running. But this week, I felt strong, controlled, and like I was actually in a groove again. A great feeling, especially on the onset of spring.
My goal for this week was to run 45 miles, which I managed to do in only 5 days of running – meaning 2 rest/non-running days. While I would love to comfortably run every day, my body responds well to two days off from running, especially when I’m in the midst of coming back after a break (which I still feel like I am right now). Not to mention, I freaking love rest days.
Here’s how the week shook out:
Monday: Easy (7 mi)
I ran 4 miles around Wash Park nice and easy. I was a little creaky from the cross-country race the day before, but it felt nice to get some blood flowing. After that first loop, I swung by home to pick up Mona for a few miles with her. Two birds with one stone; I love running with her!
Also, I decided to go rogue and do squats and abs after my run. I felt super smug about it, but then I was so sore from the squats all week. Note to self: even air squats will bite you if you don’t do them regularly.
Wednesday: NP + to/from (7.5 mi)
It was pretty cold on Wednesday, and after a few weeks of moderate weather and nicer mornings, I resolutely decided that I am DONE with the cold. My muscles really don’t love sub 25 degree weather either, and running in the cold is just all around achey. Hugs were still had, kumbaya.
Thursday: Dino Ridge hill repeats! (8 mi)
Real talk: Doing hills with the PlayGldn crew is a humbling experience for me. Hills have never been a strong suit of mine, and these Golden kids are a bunch of fasties – especially when it comes to moving up and down anything. The first time I met them all for the 0.7 mile repeats at Dinosaur Ridge, I sorta got my butt handed to me. All that to say, I wanted a little redemption on Thursday! We had a big group of runners, and somehow the combination of the lighter morning, the beautiful weather, and the larger crew netted out to a super kickass workout for everyone! I haven’t had that much fun running in a long time; everyone was working hard and encouraging one another – it truly felt like running with a team. I finished with 8 miles total and 900 feet of climbing all in a 7:46 average pace. Not to mention, I felt super strong! I had a runner’s high the entire day after.
Friday: Easy (8.6 mi)
I am really trying to use recovery runs for just that…recovery. Still getting in miles while soothing my tired muscles from the day before. Luckily, I actually felt pretty good after our fast workout from the day before, and a run around both Cheesman Park and Wash Park seemingly flew by.
Saturday: Long run (15 mi)
I’ve been piggy backing off of Julia’s half-marathon training, which has worked out well for me for a number of reasons. Not only do I not really have to think about what to do, I always get in a good run, AND I get to run with friends. Win, win, win!
On Saturday, Julia, Meaghan, and I teamed up again for a 5-5-5 mile workout on Cherry Creek trail. Jules wanted to run 5 easy, 5 at her goal half-marathon pace, and 5 more easy for 15 miles total. Meaghan ran 5 ahead of time to get 20 total for the day, so we all had our heads down for the task at hand. And it went so well! The 5 fast miles went by so quickly, and the sub 7:10 pace felt much more do-able than expected. Probably the easiest that pace has ever felt in a workout, which was super encouraging. Good miles, strong women, and coffee in the sun with our men afterwards. Great morning!
I also took an Epsom salt bath afterward and walked Mona in the afternoon – both of which encouraged some good recovery for my legs.
Sunday: (Active) rest day!
Sunday was going to technically a rest day, but I’m not really counting it as one since I did yoga and hiked! I went to a 75-minute flow class which was good, not great, but a nice way to start the day after sleeping for over 9 hours. Then in the afternoon, Adam and I took Mona on a hike up Lookout Mountain trail. It was 5 miles total, and while I love hanging out with the two of them, it was admittedly a little frustrating just how many people and off-leash dogs there were on the trail. PSA: unless you are at an off-leash designated dog park, keep your leash on your pooch!
Total: 46.4 miles (running only)
Highs: The literal runner’s high from Dino Ridge and feeling super strong on Saturday’s long run
Lows: Realizing that winter isn’t gone, and we’ll still have darkness and cold for another month (at least)