My program is broken up into 4 phases– I, II, III and IV. Very creative names. Phase I is base building (which I essentially skipped but no worries, I have a base), Phase II is strength/VO2 max training, Phase III is a bitch/the most important/contains all I need to do well/I’m afraid of it, and Phase IV is the taper. This morning I finished Phase II and figured that it would be a good time to evaluate where I’m at.
So where am I? You know, maybe it’s because it’s a cut down week but I’m feeling pretty good. I could be faster and I’m still really nervous for the race, but with the exception of last Thursday I’ve been able to complete all my workouts and mileage without any major issues. Of course the really hard stuff is still to come, but so far, so good. I actually think that I’m light years ahead of where I was in January when I did this program. I recall feeling extremely stiff, tired and sore while training and although I’ve had some of that, for the most part I feel pretty good. It’s probably due to the fact that I’ve added some strength training in (and oh boy I can feel that when I get tired– my form doesn’t collapse nearly as quickly) and I just have a stronger base overall. Plus, I’m taking recovery seriously this time. Easy days are easy. That’s key!
While I feel good about how I’ve been doing, there are always things to improve on! Some things I need to do: RUN MORE HILLS. CIM is not flat. It rolls. I need to get myself out on the hills at least once a week if not more. This requires some extra planning and some extra energy, but I need to do it. I also need to do a better job hydrating while I’m running– I hate stopping for water, hate carrying it with me… but this isn’t good. I need to get tough mentally, too. When things hurt I need to learn to just suck it up and run. I’m hoping the race this Sunday tells me a little more about my mental toughness because I know it’s going to be hard, but I really need to get my head in the game.
I had an interval workout scheduled this morning (my last hard, super fast VO2 max workout! woo hoo!) which was 5×1000 with 4 minute jogs. It was fine. It wasn’t my fastest interval workout ever, but I was within the range I’m supposed to be in and although I felt tired when I was done, I’ve certainly felt worse in my life. Again, a confidence booster for Sunday. I looked back at my first M pace run in January and I was able to run an 8:10 average. So I guess that’s the pace I’m aiming for on Sunday. My coach JackAlberto told me to start at marathon pace for 5 miles, see where I’m at and then try to descend by 5 secs/mile the last 5 miles. That would certainly be difficult, but I think I can do it.
Also… a little random, BUT! I made these last night: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/14/health/nutrition/14recipehealth.html but I added avocado, tomato, onion and cilantro to my toppings and they were just the healthiest, yummiest dinner ever. Oh and I used these awesome 50 calorie, whole wheat tortillas I found. So if you’ve got some black beans laying around, I’d HIGHLY recommend it. Cheap and quick, too.