Week 5: Good, Not Great

Cut-back week! I’m on a mission to do a better job of implementing some lower-mileage weeks in my training this year, and this felt like a good time to execute on that goal. Overall, as the title of this post suggests, I’d say that this week was good…not great. I got in three really solid workouts, but none of them felt especially fantastic, and all of my other running felt super bleh.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 2 x 2 workout with warm-up and cool down (8 miles)

Julia and I met at Sloan’s Lake Park (halfway between our houses) for a workout. The plan: 2 x 2 miles at ~7:00 pace and 4 x 400s, plus a warm-up and cool down. We both got out of our cars less than enthused for the whole thing, and I’m pretty certain that had we been by ourselves, we both would have bagged the workout and run easy instead. But, that’s the thing about accountability: when two people have a plan, it’s a lot harder to back out of it than if it’s just you.

So, after a two mile warm-up that went by too quickly, off we went on the first set. The fast miles felt…fast. They were a little less comfortable than I would have liked, but we still felt under control. I kept a pretty sharp eye on my watch the whole time to make sure we stayed on track. Before we started the second set, I thought it would be a good idea to just stick to the 2 x 2s and not do the 400s; we were both still cooked from the previous weekend and I knew just finishing the main workout would be a win in and of itself. Luckily Julia agreed, and I think we were both rejuvenated at the thought of just getting the second set done. Our third interval felt by far the best to me and the last one felt the hardest (no surprise there). We averaged 6:56 for the miles, and I was super glad we’d muscled through and got them done. Considering we were both desperate for a bathroom on the cool down, not doing the 400s was definitely the right call.

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Sloan’s Lake sunrise: the best in Denver!

Wednesday: November Project + after-work run (5 miles)

Ugh. Nothing went right exercise-wise for me on this day. I drove to NP instead of running as a means of keeping mileage down, and I just felt sluggish and off during the workout. I think I almost tripped three different times just jogging up stairs. We did a “dog bone” workout including push-ups, abs stuff, box jumps and mountain climbers, and while I ordinarily like these circuits, I just couldn’t get into it. Oh well.

Things didn’t improve much after work. I’d planned to do a super easy, podcast jog with Mona in the afternoon. Basically everything went wrong. My podcast app kept freezing (?), my stomach felt awful, Mona wanted to chase every dog/goose/human we saw, and the 9:30 pace we were running might as well have been a 7:30 pace.

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What’s worse? No photos, or lame photos of my legs up the wall before bed?

Thursday: PlayGldn at Dino Ridge (7.5 miles)

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Another Thursday, another trek to Golden for a great run with the crew. I wasn’t totally sure how the hill repeats would feel, and I wasn’t very optimistic after Wednesday’s disaster. Regardless, after I got started, I felt decent enough to push a little. Again,  it was good…not great. I was happy that I felt better than the week before, although I’ll say that those ups and downs at Dino never get much easier.

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Run buddies…the best!

Friday: Rest

I had good intentions of going to yoga on Friday, but it was too pretty after work to not be outside. So, I took Mona on a long walk (while podcasting, always) and did a Jasyoga video while making dinner. Adam was gone for the weekend, so I had all the time to myself to stretch, relax, etc. I took full advantage of that on Friday night, and I was trying to simulate race-prep mode for the hard workout we had planned on Saturday.

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Saturday: Long run with 8 miles @ HMP pace (13.1 miles)

Another lovely example of Julia creating workouts and me saying, “Okay then!” The plan was to do a 3 mile warm-up, 8 miles around 7:10 pace, and a 2.1 mile cool-down. There were a bunch of NP friends doing their own long runs on the Cherry Creek bike path, so there were lots of friendly faces to see. After our short group warm-up, Julia and I took off for our 4″out” fast miles on the moderately uphill portion of the path. Admittedly, I didn’t feel too great on the warm-up, so I already had a sneaking suspicion that this workout would take a lot of work.

Oof, and a lot of work it was! Neither of us felt great right from the start, and factoring in the slight uphill during the first half of our fast miles, we both kept our heads down and focused on one mile at a time. Luckily, we were still hitting the splits without a lot of difficulty, they just didn’t feel great. We took a short break at the halfway turnaround point, and then headed back to the start with a little more gusto than before. The wind was at our backs and we were no longer fighting an incline, which all around made the second half of the workout better than the first. However, within the last mile, I was hurting. Both my hips were aching and my stomach was no longer on board with running fast. All in all, not the greatest run in terms of ease and strength, but it was really good for mental preparation and continuing to grind when things don’t feel optimal. We averaged 7:08s for the half-marathon pace miles and 7:30s for the run overall.

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Kind of hard to believe I ever used to run alone.

Sunday: Recovery run (5 miles)

My goal for the week was to not run over 40 miles, so an easy five miler to round out 39 miles total sounded just perfect. I slept in, lounged around, and finally made it out with very few expectations for this run. Surprisingly,  I felt pretty darn good! I wore my watch but kept it on the time-of-day mode and just focused on running super easy and relaxed. Running slow felt awesome and to my surprise afterward, it didn’t even end up being that slow.

Thinking I’ll do another Jasyoga video today before gearing up for a big week next week!

Total: 39.3 miles

Highs: Hitting splits and getting the work done despite not feeling optimal

Lows: Both my hips ached a bit last week, which they haven’t done since the middle of February. Planning to roll as much as possible this week!

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One thought on “Week 5: Good, Not Great

  1. Pingback: Week 6: Springtime in CO | Run Birdie Run

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