Saturday, June 9, 2012

Intervals for summer

Initially I planned on keeping up with my long runs during the summer because I really didn't want to lose all the endurance I built during half marathon training.  But as the days get hotter and the humidity gets thicker, I've realized that I'm just not going to be able to do that.  I'm not going to get out of bed at 7am on a weekend to go for a run - I'll save that for when I have children and I have no other choice.

Instead I've decided to devote my summer training to getting faster in 5Ks.  In order to do that I'm going to incorporate intervals into my training.  The plan is to do three interval runs a week, and then hopefully a long(er) run of about 5 miles.

Short intervals: 3 to 6 x 3 minutes at faster than 5K pace
Long intervals: 2 to 4 x half mile at 5K pace
Tempo run: 10 minute warm up, 15 to 25 minutes tempo, 10 minute cool down

I'm just in my first week of this training plan but I'm hoping I'll be able to see a difference in my 5K times by the end of the summer.  I'm determined to break 30:00 - I'm so close I can taste it!

Friday, June 8, 2012

The day running became more than exercise

Tonight I had one of the best runs I've ever had.  I didn't run super fast or super long, or achieve some big goal, but I noticed for the first time how good running makes me feel.

I had a bad week and have just been feeling angry and somewhat depressed for the last several days.  I never felt like doing much but sleeping and I couldn't muster up the desire to go for a run.  Tonight my husband has some friends staying at our house and I sucked it up to go be social, but I knew I wanted to run while the boys went out to dinner.  I planned on it being a 5 mile run and I planned on taking it at a slow, comfortable pace.

As soon as I got out there I felt the weight lift from my shoulders.  My head cleared and I could think straight for the first time in days.  I found perspective for my troubles and also found hope.  I found the courage and the strength to put a smile back on my face and to relax.

I suppose I knew that running could do this for people, but I never imagined it would do this for me.  Running is becoming more than just a means of exercise or losing weight.  Tonight's 5 mile run, done in 57:57, might just be my favorite run ever.

Beach Tri

This past weekend I got to enjoy a nice weekend at the beach with my hubby because he was participating in the Bridge 2 Bridge Triathlon at Oak Island!  So far he's only done and signed up for sprint triathlons, but this one was longer - 600 yard swim, 18 mile bike ride, 4 mile run.  He's been nervous about it but he did outstanding, finishing in 1:51:51!  He had done a practice run the weekend before with the same distances and it took him about 2:15:00, so he was thrilled with his time.  And he actually enjoyed it than all the other shorter triathlons - I think it had to do with the ocean swim!  That boy does love the ocean.

We left after lunch on Friday and arrived Saturday evening.  We stopped by the beach to pick up Pete's race packet and go check out the beach.  Neither of us had ever been to Oak Island before and we were stunned to see that when the tide was in the ocean came right up to the dunes!  It was beautiful though, so quiet and less crowded than the beaches we usually visit.

We had dinner that night with Pete's law partner, Earle, and his family.  Earle is the one who really got Pete started doing all of these triathlons.  He is super fast though, he always wins his age group and usually the Masters category as well at our local races!  He cooked his traditional pre-race meal - whole grain pasta with chicken, mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes.  It was delicious!

Friday was an early night to be up early for the race.  Pete left before me and then Earle's wife, Laura, picked me up so we could go spectate together and not have to leave quite as early...but we still left at 7:15am!  Another lawyer from Salisbury was also participating so we hung out in a big group waiting for the race to start.  I brought my sign, which is going to be a staple at any race Pete and Earle participate in together!

The participants were assigned to waves by age group, so Pete went out first.  I knew as soon as I saw him go into the water that he was going to love it and do awesome!  Swimming is his strong point in any tri but I knew the ocean would be great for him...he will ride waves all day long if you let him.

Since the bike ride was long and I knew I'd only be able to see Pete at start and finish, I went for my own run on the beach during that portion of the race.  It was my first ever beach run and I was nervous about how the sand would feel.  It was certainly a challenge and it took me about a half mile to feel warmed up to it, but after that it was amazing.  The sand was packed hard and the tide was out so I had plenty of space to run.  Oak Island is a pretty non-crowded beach in general, but at that hour there was hardly anyone out and I felt like I had the beach all to myself!  It was beautiful, perfect temperatures with a light breeze, and I wish I'd had time to do more than just 3 miles!

After the race, Pete and I hightailed it back to the hotel to clean up and then we headed straight to the beach for some relaxation.  I brought a book to read but ended up just talking with Pete and enjoying the views.

We had dinner that night with our little group at a delicious restaurant called the Provision Company.  I had grilled tuna and Pete had crabcakes, and it was just a great evening of hanging out with friends and talking about races and training strategy.  The other 2 couples had kids about the same age so they all sat at the end of the table and played card games together.  Afterward we took a walk out along the pier and enjoyed the weather and the sunset.  A wonderful end to a wonderful weekend...just wish we could have stayed longer!