I feel like I just easily ate 10% of my body's volume in watermelon without even feeling it. So good after a hot run. It wasn't that hot... 78 degrees, but it was a challenging run. I've been trying to grab every chance at running in cool temps so far this year, to have enjoyable and fast runs. I think it's time to face the summer and start the acclimatization process (and in case you're wondering, http://separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.com/2006/09/acclimate-and-acclimatisze-another.html). It normally takes a couple of weeks of running at at least 50% VO2max (at or above easy pace), but then you're set (Lore of Running by Tim Noakes, pp. 188). It really didn't feel that bad today, due to today's cloud coverage. Shade makes a huge difference.
It's also time for me to build up a base again. I think I've ridden post-marathon fitness as far as I can on 14ish miles per week while juggling work and social and family commitments. If I don't start doing LRs again, I think things will start going downhill, so time to build back up. I'm excited. What's going to go out the window to make room for those 9pm-drag-myself-to-the-fitness-room-before-the-gym-closes-even-though-I'm-super-tired/ workouts? Probably mostly just comfort, maybe a bit of sleep. I don't think I was particularly tired at work when I was doing this a few months ago. It's just a huge mental battle to get out the door, but you feel great once you start moving, and even better right after. It probably improves sleep quality when you work out hard and wear yourself out, too. So I think it'll end up being the same.
I got a big motivational boost from my new running buddy I haven't met but can't wait to, Lindsay from http://www.chasingthekenyans.com/. It's super entertaining, and I've had a lot of fun reading through the posts so far (I've made it through January 2011) - highly recommend it. We have some similar times (20:33 5K in April, vs my 20:44 5K in April, for example) and our respective training plans and goals are leading us to new adventures and higher levels of fitness all the time, so this bit of friendly competition has added a new dimension of fun and will definitely be adding a bit of motivation for my runs on those hard-to-get-out-the-door evenings. She's got me owned so far in most if not all distances from the 5K to the marathon, but now there's extra incentive to lay it all on the line when race day rolls around.
I've learned to play it smart (finally), so I definitely don't plan on overtraining or doing anything crazy because of this. I'll continue to listen to my body, like I've finally learned (I think) to do after years of getting injured once every 9 months or so. I'm now going on a year and a half injury-free, thanks to my PT buddy's guidance and hip strengthening tips to fix my formerly sore knees. That's the longest ever. Consistency definitely plays a big role in developing fitness, so now that I don't need to take 6 weeks to 6 months off to recover from injury, I can build up fitness like I have been doing, allowing me to achieve PRs 4x in the 6 races I've done in 2011 so far! (1 for my first marathon... so that's a given, 1 for the half in 1:36:00, 2x in the 5K). I have so much to be grateful for. Ha - I was moping about a less-than-ideal last race, but at least I get to run and enjoy the sweet satisfaction of pushing myself. Man, I love running. So thanks, Lindsay, for the inspiration from your kind comments and your blog. I am looking forward to the next time our race plans align... not sure when my next one will be, but I look forward to laying it down on that day :) Good luck with your marathon next week!
Okay... now for today's workout... 6.7 in 55:54, 8:24 ave. I had every intention of doing 10 because I haven't done a LR in months, if you don't count the half marathon race. Not enough energy. Gave a good effort, though, and maybe I'll be more used to the heat and mileage next time. 554 Cal (I don't count - just listing it because the Garmin gives it to me). Tried the new super-thick X-trainer Spenco insoles with the Brooks Trance 9s this time... better than having it in the already clunky NB858s. The Trance9s are kind of hard, so I guess it's a better fit with the cushy insoles. Not a great combo either, but it's tolerable, so if I don't find anything better, I can perhaps throw that into the mix every now and then to keep my muscles guessing. Went out to the park again to enjoy the outdoors (hurray rain for clearing out some pollen last night) and improve my ability to handle hills (my weakness).
Splits> 6:19, 6:15, 6:09, 6:12, 6:14, 6:19, 6:13, 6:12, 5:59. Not very consistent, but I had to tone it down a bit after some progressively faster early laps, once I remembered that I planned on going around that 0.72ish mi loop until I hit 10 mi, so I'm not concerned. Good run... worked my heart muscles and my body overall... it was resisting movement towards the end. Lost a lot of salt during the run. Acclimatization, here I come!
>> And lastly, a super sweet giveaway at Hungryrunnergirl.com http://www.hungryrunnergirl.com/2011/05/shoe-giveaway.html