I've had some killer workouts lately - and they were killer in two ways. First, they were hard. Second, they made me feel great and strong!
Last Saturday, I ran 7.3 miles with a friend. I planned a route for us that was as hill-less as possible (it's very hard to run around my area without tackling some hills). All in all, we only had 3 major hills to climb, which was nice, and we kept our pace steady and slow, doing between 10 and 11 minute miles. Around the 45 minute mark I ate a chocolate Gu which was pretty tasty and it gave me an extra burst of energy.
On Sunday I hit the pool and swam a mile, which is 35 laps or 70 lengths, stopping about every 15 lengths to take a short break. My entire workout (including breaks) was 40 minutes which I think is pretty darn good!
On Monday I hit the gym after work for 25-30 minutes of strength training and then headed home so I could run in the park. Note to self: do NOT do a tempo run after weights. Trying to run up the park hills at a swift clip after doing leg presses and other exercises was torturous! I ended up walking about a mile and ran a little over two.
Wednesday was an early morning workout day, and I had extra motivation because Steph got a 3 day pass to my gym! We did a 5 minute warm up on a cardio machine, 25-30 minutes of strength and abs, and then jumped on the treadmill to run a few miles. It was SO nice to have a workout buddy in the morning to give me an extra burst of motivation. I did something new on Wednesday morning pre-workout that seems to work well for me: I had a Gu. Gu is an energy gel that a lot of athletes use to get quick fuel to their bodies. I'd rather workout with a little something in my stomach than nothing at all, and I have a lot of Gu packets that I ordered from Amazon, so I decided to eat one during my drive to the gym. I had the Chocolate Outrage flavor which tasted pretty good - and the Gu sat well with me too. It was probably a combination of the Gu and having Steph at the gym with me, but I felt energized and strong during our early morning workout!
Tomorrow is the final leg of Louisville's Triple Crown of Running: The Papa John's 10 miler. This race takes us down a mostly flat stretch of road called Southern Parkway, through 3 miles of hills in Iroquois Park, back down Southern Parkway, over a big bridge, and into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (University of Louisville) for the finish. Unlike the other legs of the Triple Crown, I've only done this race one time before (2010). My time was 1:36 flat which is a 9:36/mi pace. I remember feeling SO strong during this race and it helped that I was running it with a friend. Tomorrow I will not have a running buddy, so I'm going to do something I never do during races - run with music. I really like to be aware of my surroundings during races and I find that music distracts me. However, based on my level of shape and the fact that this will be the longest distance I've run in almost a YEAR, I want to run with music to merely help me get through the race. If I have to walk some, that is ok, and I probably will. So far I've exceeded my expectations during these races this year, so maybe that trend will continue tomorrow. We will see...