Sprints and Training Changes!

Today I did my new abs and weight training routine and then I was supposed to cross train – usually an hour of intervals on the elliptical for me. But I decided to do a series of sprints on the treadmill and see if they’ve gotten any faster recently with all the change ups in how I’ve been training and working out my body. WOW.

Huge difference. I could not only sprint for a full 2 minutes at a 7:30 without feeling control but even after 3 reps of that I still managed to sprint a 7:04 for my 4th rep and a 6:40 down to a 6:19 on my extended 5th rep. Awhile back, even during the peak of my marathon training, even 30 seconds at one of those speeds would have been way too much from me. I would’ve felt out of control and incredibly winded, but this time my legs and core felt stable and while I was breathing heavy I felt like I hadn’t even reached my max yet! I think the hills and strength that I have incorporated into my training has helped sooo much. They will definitely be continued. I also want to incorporate more agility and upper body strengthening exercises aside from the weights that I lift to help prepare for the Tough Mudder.

Also I tried vegan southwest “beef” on my spinach salad today. It actually tasted alright. I was shocked.

Mileage – WT and 2.25 miles

QOD – Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.

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Trail Running!!! First trail run today!

So after running my first half race I took some time to do some cross training and let my legs heal before I went on a hard run again. I didn’t wait very long to run though – I went on Thursday around the lake! It felt so amazing to run a race and NOT  be in crutches afterwards!! I could celebrate my run as a fit and healthy athlete!!

I had really been considering the Tough Mudder for awhile now and I think having something other than bass to distract me in Texas will be a good thing. I think you make great friends through gyms and fitness – at least I always have. On Friday while doing some interval training on the elliptical I was reading the Runner’s World special on Trail Running. Three pictures and one article in, I was hooked, the issue even talked about obstacle races such as the Spartan, Tough Mudder, and Warrior Dash. I’ve read about trail running and these obstacle races before, but I was so concerned then about just becoming a “good” regular road runner that adding extra challenges was the last thing I had on my mind. After working so hard and doing so well on this most recent race I really have the confidence I need to take that leap now. So I am signing up for the Tough Mudder in Austin in October and starting to research trail running as much as I have distance running.

Today after a moderate hike this morning, I decided it would be a smart idea to go for my first trail run. I’m lucky that there is a group of trails in the environmental area that has an entrance in my neighborhood. It was 85 degrees, humid, and hazy, but I was on a major adrenaline high of trying it out. It whooped my butt. I feel muscles and things that I didn’t know existed in my legs and my pace was cautious after tripping over a few roots. I never fell though!! I think it’s going to be really fun, yes I ran through a few gross spider webs and had my legs crusted with mud, but I enjoyed seeing the creek/river flowing beside me and the trees provided a lot of shade. Can’t wait to see how I feel tomorrow.

Mileage – 3 miles

QOD – If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.

Marine Corps Historic Half!!

On Sunday I ran my first half marathon race. It was the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA. The downtown area was absolutely beautiful and had some gorgeous houses. There was also a decent bit of shade. The course itself was hilly, making me very grateful for training in Harrisonburg. The last 2 miles of the race were almost entirely uphill in the sun. I just kept telling myself “This is why you run Port Republic!!” But other than those 2 miles, the course hills were short little bursts, flat road, or going downhill a good portion. I CRUISED through this race. I ran a 2:09 – my goal was a 2:30!!!  I’ve never run a long run that fast before. While I did use my iPod, which I definitely think helped, I also just felt great. I was well prepared, mentally focused, and I had gotten a lot of sleep the night 2 nights before the race (which is the most important night).  ALSO,  these ladies giving out jello shots at mile 5 were awesome!!! Seeing my mama at mile 7 and mile 12 was also a big motivation booster 🙂 I used my Honey Stingers chews, only drank water at the stations, and stopped to use the bathroom once (which I lucked out and there was NO line so it hardly affected my time) – and all of this was pretty similar to my marathon. NO INJURIES!!

I’m still not sure how I feel about using my iPod. I think it helped me so much during the last 2 miles, I danced around with my arms and sang along and tried to ignore the grueling incline. However, some people still think it’s cheating. I don’t anymore, it helps me focus and block out the pain or my surroundings. I was much less claustrophobic during the smaller portions of the road. I think I’m going to have to stick with it. But that means making sure I run to music with a good tempo to help set my pace and also switching up my playlist a lot so I don’t get bored. On shorter runs I’ll probably still run solo because it’s a good time to be with my thoughts.

Yesterday I did strength training and cardio. Today I did more training but I took a killer yoga II class with my old personal trainer. I loved it and need to try to get to classes more consistently here. My balance is great and certain parts of my body are flexible, but other parts are not and I think improving on that would really help my running.

New Race/Goal!!  I’m thinking the Tough Mudder in Austin in October…

Mileage – Strength Training, Yoga

QOD – In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.