This week started off okay but didn’t quite go well towards the end. It happens.
Sunday was my practice race 5K. The plan recommended signing up for an actual race but I didn’t want to look for one last minute. Instead, I set out to try and mimic the way race days usual go for me. I went out quickly, a bit faster than I’m usually comfortable with. I took a flatter 5K route since the route at Ft. Meade is flat. I also lucked out and didn’t have to stop for red lights since it was early Sunday morning (and Easter). I tried hard to push just as hard as I do when I’m at a race. However, I knew this wasn’t 100% the way it normally goes for me on race day. There’s something about race days that light the fire in me and make me super competitive. I tend to push harder than I ever would on my own. I also usually down some sort of espresso beforehand so I have a bit more pep in my step. It’s kind of difficult to re-enact the adrenaline that fuels me during race day. Still, I’m very pleased with my overall pace since each mile was roughly +/- 3 seconds from the average. I think I’ll do okay this upcoming weekend.
Monday was active recovery so after a short run I went to the gym. I worked on my arms, legs, and abs with weight machines and simple core exercises. I really need to be more consistent about doing these kinds of exercises or cross-training in general. Tuesday was an easy 3-miler day and it felt pretty nice. Nothing crazy to report about that run.
Wednesday was speed work day. The plan called for interval training. I was not looking forward to it. I usually love speed work but I was feeling a bit run down this day. Still, I was able to do the required 400m x 7 with the 5 minute warm up/cool down. I kept the warm up at a bit of a slower pace this time around since the additional 400m this week would mean I’d be going up to a MPH I haven’t done yet. The run went 7.5 for warm up, 7 intervals (at 8.0, 8.2, 8.4, 8.6, 8.8, 9.0, 9.2) with 400 m of rest pace at 7.8, then 7.5 for cool down. I felt burned out after I was done. This workout was no joke. Still, I was glad to get through it and be done. (Note: I broke it down to 2 runs when I recorded it because I wanted to see what my pace averaged during the intervals).
Thursday I felt pretty good after we put our daughter down for the night so I went for the scheduled 3 miles. Usually I swap the plan’s Thursday and Friday run because I end up eating dinner way later than anticipated on Thursday. However, this Thursday I felt pretty good after dinner so I went for it. It wasn’t the fastest pace but that’s what I usually expect when I run on a full stomach. I did feel the fatigue in my legs due to the speed work the day before, though, so that probably didn’t help the pace much. Still, this was an easy run so I went by feel more than time and I think it went well.
Friday I did the active recovery run. Not much to note other than this day my legs felt like cement. I’m glad it was just active recovery because my body just did not get into the groove of things. Typically after the first half mile my body begins to warm up and slide into my usual pace. Not this time. Every step was weirdly painful and my hamstrings were a bit tight. I made sure to stretch well afterwards to help ease the tightness I felt.
Saturday I was supposed to go out for a fast 4. However, my husband wanted to go out and get our daughter her Easter “surprise” that we were unable to get her last weekend (a Build-A-Bear My Little Pony). He had drill that day so we didn’t head to Annapolis until around 5 PM. Top the trip to the store with dinner (which was quite dense but delicious!), we didn’t get back until 8 PM. I very well could have done the 4 miles but they definitely would not have been fast. I went out with the intention of 2 miles because of how heavy and full I still felt from dinner, but I kept an open mind to going for 3 if I felt okay after I reached the 2 mile turn around point. I did feel pretty good so I kept going for the full three. The pace wasn’t anything to scream about but considering every time I took a step I felt the food in my stomach or the occasional acid reflex, I’m good with it. Honestly I was expecting a 9-9:30 with how sluggish I felt.
Things sort of feel apart towards the weekend but I’m glad that I got through regardless. Sometimes things just don’t go according to plan and I’m okay with that. I’m planning on taking this week a bit easier since I have the race on Saturday and I don’t want to go into it too fatigued (I want to PR, after all). Yes, it’s no half marathon but considering I want to run with “fresh” legs so I can attempt a PR I don’t want to push too hard. Here’s hoping it goes well!