Seems like (years ago!) people used to blog a lot about their training... And then maybe that got old and boring and nobody wanted to read that shit anymore so everyone stopped blogging about their training... And while ya, reading all the details about somebody's 100 mile ride gets pretty old, I do still find it quite interesting to read about how other athletes are training... Maybe it's the coach in me? And it's not really about the details of every session but more about the over-arching themes and where the focus is that I find interesting. So with that in mind, here's a bit about what I've been up to... and just because I think it makes it more interesting, I'll include some quotes from my Training Peaks post-workout notes. I log a lot of details but most importantly I log what I was thinking and feeling because I think it helps give me clarity on where the stars need to be aligned in order for me to feel good and therefore make improvements.
"ok so this was awesome! LOVED being inside in air-conditioning. did this at ~3PM and felt good right from the start. hope it was ok that I did these faster than 7' pace but part of me was thinking that I just *knew* I could (and not hurt myself in the process)..."
So I'm sort of training for the Honolulu Marathon (Dec) but the type of run training I'm doing right now would not be considered traditional 'marathon training'... So maybe it's more appropriate to say that my focus right now is improving my run... and I will also be running the marathon... but the focus remains simply improving my run. With that in mind we are working A LOT on trying to get my brain to talk to my legs and figure out how to make them turn over faster. Short fast intervals on the treadmill have worked very well for me in this regard. When I'm inside on the TM first of all it's not a boiling inferno so I can actually focus on RUNNING with out worrying about overheating. It's a great way for me to really track improvements b/c I'm choosing the speeds and then I just have to do whatever it takes to not fall off the back of the machine. I've also found it's easier for me to focus on form and I get immediate feedback about how much harder or easier it is to hold pace based on what I am thinking about.
"felt good and focused on stable hips quick feet. running is a whole hell of a lot easier when your hips stay stable! This has been my giant A HA over the last month..."
I get these glimpses where I see real improvement...
"got home in 16:46 which shocked the absolute hell out of me (previous best was ~18:10 and that felt strong!). it's been a while since I've surprised myself on a run so was nice to do so today! I should note- just as I was running home the sky opened up and it started pissing rain which was simply glorious. I LOVE running in the rain. :)"
But then there are those runs where I just want to curl up and die.
"damn the first ~50' through neightborhoods before I got to the track just didn't feel easy even though I would guess I was running fairly slow- was hillier than I remembered and the sun was out and every time the road went even slightly uphill I just felt like I wanted to STOP. I did walk some of the neighborhood uphills... We broke records for heat again today (heard on the news that every day for the last 8 days we've tied or broken heat records) so I'm going to blame that even though in my heart I know my legs were just not there for this one. I feel like I have really suffered A LOT lately while running. Had there been some shade during this today I probably would have happily laid down in it."
I've complained about it enough already so I won't blather on and on again about how hot and humid it's been here this summer/fall... but suffice to say I'm sitting at my computer right now in a sports bra and run shorts and sweat is dripping off me. I really should put a mat under my chair to protect the carpet. It's that bad.
Anyway, I'm still running quite frequently (like 6-8x/week) but I'm not doing many 'long' runs. Most of my runs are 60' or less. I am doing those Marathon Readiness Series runs which pretty much take the place of long run training. The 25K is tomorrow. I won't lie, I'm a bit nervous because that will be my longest run (by several miles!) since IM Cozumel last fall. So while I'll go out on a limb and guess that while I could probably PR a 5K right now, I'm not confident in my ability to run long... Tomorrow might be another ugly one. We'll see.
I'm riding a little... Just a few times/week, mostly on my road bike, and focus is on spinning my brains out. I've never done so much high cadence work ever before in my life, but damn if I'm not getting pretty good at it! I sort of like these bike sessions now because they don't take a lot out of me but still kinda fun to go out and focus on a improving something that has previously been outside of my skill set. For the most part during these high cadence sessions I just go out and do loops around a neighborhood. The people who live there must think I'm crazy... there goes that nutso girl again riding around in circles with one leg or spinning her brains out... Lol.
"this went much better than last time I attempted it, but still can't hold 125rpm for that long... 115 is pretty comfortable at this point though and can do 120 with focus... can get to 125 just can't quite hold it. on the 15" spin ups though I counted 35 pedal strokes which is 140 which was a giant jump over last time."
Moving on... Swimming is what it is... I've been swimming at a relatively solid level all year and that continues. Most weeks I have at least one 'long' swim which is 5-7K. If a session is only 3K it feels super short! Most of the time I enjoy swimming quite a bit. The water is cooler now because the pump broke earlier this week and half the water somehow got emptied out, which meant they needed to close the pool for a day while they refilled it. Swimming in water that is 80 degrees is completely different than swimming in water that is 90 degrees! While our pool was closed, Lectie and I went up to a different pool (short course but still meters) that was really nice! It felt luxurious with flags and lanes lines and pace clocks...
"did first 2 sets swim and last set pull. descended these well too from 1:27 on the easy ones to 1:22 on the fast ones off 1:30. 3rd round pull so we did them off send-offs 5" faster 1:35 down to 1:25 to make sure it was a good challenge. :) Last 6 of those I held 1:20's for all and felt happy with that. Solid effort for sure."
In fun swimming news, next weekend I get to swim the 10K UltraMan course in Kona with Hillary and I'm stoked about that! It was the highlight of my year last year so I'm seriously looking forward to it! And while I'm on the Big island I'll watch and live tweet about a little race going on there as well... Stay tuned. :)