Finally feeling completely recovered from Gansett is a lovely thing. As odd as it may sound, I feel like running the half this past weekend was what really brought me back to feeling like my old self. If I had raced it, or even given an 80% effort, I know I wouldn't feel that way. But since I ran it nice and easy, it ended up being just what my body needed.
And honestly, almost as soon as I crossed that finish line, I felt like I was ready to move on and ready to start tackling some tough workouts again. I was seriously chomping at the bit, anxious to get down to the track this week and get in some speedwork.
My big goal for this year is to break 21 minutes in a 5K. I've got 39 seconds to go, so I have some work ahead of me for sure. To that end, I was at the track bright and early the other morning, facing down a series of 5 x 400, 400, and 200. It seemed like a good workout to start with - not too easy, but not too long and intense, either.
While I was training for Gansett, I did almost all of my track workouts either on the treadmill or in the neighborhood loop just down the road from the gym. I think only one or two of them were actually done on the track. So it was actually kind of nice to be back there again.
That optimism and eagerness carried me right through a fantastic workout - nearly all of my 400s were run at right around a 6:30 pace, and the 200s around a 6:20 pace. The 4th time through was the hardest, but once I got that done, I knew I only had to go through the cycle one more time, and I finished feeling exhausted, but exhilarated.
And I remembered that, although I complain and whine about speedwork, I also secretly love it. I never fail to walk off that track feeling amazingly accomplished, and unstoppable.
That night I headed off to my first Yoga for Runners class. I always say I need to make time for yoga, but I never quite get around to it. I knew the only way I'd stick with it is if I shelled out the cash and signed up for a class that meets regularly, so that's what I did. And judging by how amazing I felt after the first class, I am certain that I made a good decision.
It was exactly what I was looking for - a good workout, but also completely restorative and peaceful and balancing. And my lower back and piriformis, which have been giving me trouble on and off since my last 20-miler during Gansett training, felt better than they have in weeks.
Very happy that I've committed to this, and already looking forward to next week's class. I know I need this, and I'm glad I'm finally taking the steps necessary to make it happen.
And today, to round things out, I was back in the pool for many, many, many laps. I had actually planned on running today, but when I got to the gym, I saw that the lap lane was wide open, so I figured I'd take advantage and jump in (glad I always keep my bathing suit and goggles in my gym bag!).
I did a bunch of different intervals - some 100s, some 200s, a 600, some 400s - and in the end, it all added up to 2,200 meters. My longest swim ever! Took me just under an hour, but I honestly felt great the whole time - I was only starting to feel tired towards the very end.
I'm glad I have the endurance, but I know I need to work on my form. If any swimmers out there (e.g., Wes!!!!) can tell me the top three drills I should do, I'm all ears. I know I need to work those into my training, but I want to do the ones that are most effective.
As if that weren't enough cross-training, I think I'm finally going to get out for my first bike ride of the season this weekend. My bike needed some cleaning and a new set of tires, but now that that's taken care of, there's no excuse not to get out there - and I'm not looking for one, either. I haven't been on my bike since last August, so I can't wait!!!! My triathlon is 11 weeks away, and I will be more than ready!
A few other exciting items to report on the running side of things, but that will have to wait for another post. Stay tuned.....