What is it that makes the week between Christmas and New Year's so absolutely blah? Is it the let down that the holiday season is over? A post-Christmas, I've-put-on-10-pounds-since-Thanksgiving-and-now-I-regret-it thing? Cabin fever with the kids on break? The sudden realization of..."how the hell am I going to pay for this?
A combination of all of the above?
Whatever it is, people just seem to get knocked completely out of their routine as the year comes to a close. Add in a lack of motivation -- picture me raising my hand -- and it's just a lost week for lots of us.
The result? Success! I made it out for five runs this week for 24 miles, and better yet, lost six pounds in the process! So a great start to the year!
Monday, 3.97 miles in 42:30 -- The challenge this week was making up some new routes as some of the sidewalks I use were still covered in snow and ice. So it's been a lot of taking new streets and going down a street to the end and making a U-turn and coming back. Surprisingly, it's kind of broken the monotony s bit. The run started out slowly as I tackled some uphills, but my last mile was the fastest, which is always the goal.
Tuesday, 3.42 miles in 37:30 -- I didn't want to go as far as Monday so I ran a little bit of a modified version of one of my shorter routes. I ran the last 1.5 miles at about a 10:20 pace, which made me happy.
It was a bit warmer on Friday -- 41 degrees -- but it was getting foggy and a little mist was in the air when i started my run at about 4:45.
I just felt "faster" from the jump, and was really getting into an early groove. Then it started actually raining, and it inspired me to pick up the pace. At about 3 miles or so, it was dark, the rain was coming down, I was hammering it up this huge hill and a Paul Oakenfold mix was blasting through my earphones. it was that moment I remembered how much I loved running in the rain and that I was breathing deeply in the zone.
Like Blake Griffin dunking over a couple guys!
Anyway, it had been so long since I'd run in the rain (or dunked over two guys) that I forgot how much I loved running in the rain! It just felt so good to be out there, working hard, with the rain coming down.
Saturday, 8.15 miles in 1:30:31 -- With some really cold weather moving in Sunday, I decided Saturday was going to be my long run day. I was also meeting my coach, Vince, for part of the run. It was our last run together before he headed to Iowa State to start grad school.
It was about 36 degrees when we got started, but the rain from Friday night had iced over in a few places, so we went slow and easy. Plus, we talk the entire time. Not always about my running or training, just stuff in general. One of our big topics of conversation was Mark Zuckerberg's Year of Running campaign, which you can read -- and listen to -- my thoughts in my post from Friday.
We also outlined the next two weeks of training, which I'm really excited about. He wants me to go 9 and 10 miles over the next two weekends, and we are also entering a little "pre-speedwork" phase as he wants me to do one fartlek run each week, adding 20-30 second bursts throughout the run.
Nice! I like speedwork and like training fast, so I'm all in for that. In the past I've improved pretty quickly when I've started doing that stuff, and I'm hoping that's the case this time.
After I ran 5.4 miles with Vince, I went home, got some water, changed into some dry clothes and headed out again for 2.75 miles. I had debated whether or not I should've had a banana but I skipped it, which came back to haunt me!
I was hoping to stretch the run out to 9.5 or even 10 miles but I just started to get really hungry. The only thing I'd had to eat was a banana before I left to meet Vince, so I was feeling pretty weak. I tried a couple of walk breaks and tried to hang in there, but I ended up just stopping and walking home.
Oh well, the positive was that miles 6 and 7 were both run at about a 10:15 pace, which I was happy with. Usually because of the hills my routes around home are 4-5 minutes slower than on a flat course (on a 9-10 mile run), so thinking ahead to my races coming up I'm really optimistic.
It probably took about as long to get dressed for the run as the run itself. All things considered, I was actually pretty warm, although my face stung a little bit when I ran into the wind.
No doubt, it was the coldest run I had done in quite some time, but it was good to get out there in those kinds of conditions again so I could remind myself that I could do it if need be. It's supposed to get colder over the next couple of days so I might head inside, but I don't have a "fear" (f you want to call it that) of the conditions any longer.
So how was your week? Did you run a race or achieve any goals?