Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Sunday Ritual: Flying Solo and an Epic Run

I can't believe Sunday is here already.  Weekends go by far too quickly these days!  At least it's a long weekend next weekend, woohoo!   Another Sunday means another round of the Sunday Ritual.  I have to be honest, I don't have any big plans for today because Gary is away for work all week.  I only bust out the fancy stuff when I'm cooking for both of us.  You know, being a good wife and all that.  Left to my own devices I'd be happy with a plate of scrambled eggs for dinner, which is probably what will happen this week.  There are three nights this week where I won't be home until later so dinner will be eaten post workout (Tuesday & Thursday) or before my appointment (Wednesday).   But fear not, I do have some plans for today as well as this week. 

The big goal for today will be to make my own energy bars.  Especially after yesterdays bonk fest on the bike.  I can't survive on gels alone on the bike, I need solid food.  I've found this great recipe formula from the No Meat Athlete that I'm going to try.  They have beans in them.  Beans!  All I hope is that my rides don't end up becoming gas powered.  But I won't know until I try and I'm always game for trying new things, especially food related things.  I'll also be making my usual breakfast fritatta.  Lunches this week will involve consuming the remainder of my various burgers, some grilled chicken breast and the remaining lettuce from the garden.

Speaking of yesterday's bike bonk, I figured that my run today would suffer big time from the thrashing I put on my legs, along with my less than ideal dinner (Woody's bison burger, sweet potato fries and a pint of Amsterdam Blonde.)  The goal for today's run was to test out my "new" long run pace.   I'm following a program called FIRST.  This program is based on running 3 days a week and it focuses on 3 key runs:  a tempo run, interval workouts and a long run.  I did something like this last year training for my series of half marathons and felt that my body responded well to the lower amount of pavement pounding.   I was hesitant to try it for my marathon because I had a time goal and felt that I had to get the mileage in so I ran 4 days a week.  That fourth day was really just junk mileage.  I didn't need to do it.  So, I'm going back to 3 days and following this program.  I do enough cross training that I'm still maintaining a good level of fitness so 3 days of running is fine.

My current long run pace is based on my lactate threshold test that I did last year.  It ranges between 5:05/km and 5:10/km (for the American folks that translates to 8:11-8:18/min mile pace).  This particular training plan uses your 10 km pace + 60 to 75 seconds per mile as your long run pace.  My 10km pace + the 75 seconds is currently about where I run now so I thought why not try my long run at my 10km + 60 seconds per mile.  That works out to 4:48 min/ km's or 7:43 min/miles.  I didn't think I'd be able to maintain that given yesterday's beat down but I thought I'd try to see if I could maintain sub 5:00 minute km's.

I started off feeling a bit rough but quickly found my stride.  I was booking it.  4:35's, 4:40's.  It felt easy.  I chugged along at this pace and was amazed at how good I felt.  My stride felt fluid and effortless.  I live for runs like this.  I turned around and 9.5km and felt like I could go on for ever.   As I made my way back, I started to feel a little tired and my pace started to slow a bit.  I didn't care, I was still running sub 5:00 minute km's.  I thought for sure the wheels would fall off the wagon at some point.  I kept waiting for it to happen but it never did.  I came running through Marie Curtis Park with Muse's Uprising playing on my shuffle.  I felt invincible.  I covered 19.04km in 1:32:45 for an average pace of 4:52/km's (7:50 min/miles).  Mission accomplished.  This called for a bit of a Sunday Gun Show from my inner super hero.
Seriously ridiculous flex face.
I had planned on celebrating by having a frosty beverage but while harvesting beans and the lettuce pictured above, I somehow tweaked by calf.  So much so that I can't really walk without pain.  So, I've taken an anti inflammatory, I've iced it and now I'm wearing my compression socks with my legs elevated.  So given the anti-inflammatory, a frosty beverage will have to wait till tomorrow.  Hopefully it's nothing serious.

What did you get up to this weekend?
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