Sunday, July 28, 2013

Back At It

This week marked my return to formal training for a road race, which meant a lot more running and a lot less swimming and biking.  I have 9 weeks to whip myself into half marathon shape, which seems like quite the project since I royally slacked on running long distances while I was tri training.  There will still be some swimming and biking mixed in because a) I don't want to lose the gains I've made in those sports over the last few months. b) I've finally found forms of cross training that I actually like. and c) I still have 2 more multi-sport races on my calendar this season.

I got out of work much later than planned on Monday night, so making it to open water practice just wasn't in the cards.  I was pretty bummed since A and I had planned to meet up and swim together.  As it turns out, she got buried at work as well, so maybe we just weren't meant to be there tonight!.  Mr. R&R asked me to run with him tonight - or at least make an attempt at it since on my best day I can barely keep up with him on his worst day. He slowed down to my snail pace and we did 6 miles together.  The first 4 miles were good. The last 2 sucked.  My run endurance is a disaster and my speed is pretty abysmal, but I made it.  The next few weeks are definitely going to be a challenge.

My Tuesday plan was 3 miles, but I realized that I needed to go out to my favorite running store to pick up a pair of shoes that they'd ordered for me.  When I arrived, I discovered that Adidas did something awful to my shoe model (Adizero Tempo) this year!
They look like a freakin' flamingo exploded all over them!
I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but I. Do. Not. Like. Pink. - especially when it comes to sportswear. I go out of my way to not buy anything pink, but it's getting harder and harder since most sportswear companies have decided that 'all girls love pink and only want to buy pink things'. I had resigned myself to sucking it up and wearing these things if I had to, but in a last ditch effort to avoid the flamingo shoes, I agreed to try on shoes from a different brand that had a similar weight and stability profile.  Meet the Saucony Mirage 3.

Love the colors!
They felt really good when I tried them on - and really good when I took them for a tiny "test run", so I decided to give them a try.  There's definite learning curve involved since the drop (heel height) in the Adizero's is 12mm and it's only 4mm in the Mirage.  Essentially, I need to re-train my leg muscles to compensate for the 8mm difference. This is fine with me since I've been wanting to move to a more minimalist shoe for a while now. While we were there, Mr. R&R came across a pair of Saucony Hattori's on clearance and picked them up. Talk about crazy shoes - they have a 0mm drop. They're basically the next best thing to running barefoot.
They look like slippers!  Those really have a learning curve - as in don't wear them more than a mile at a time until you're used to them and then work up slowly from there.  Of course, this meant that we needed to take our new shoes out for a run!  1 mile was just fine by both of us.  I noticed that the toe box on the Mirage is a bit more narrow than I'm used to and my legs definitely felt every bit of that 8mm, but I think with a little time, I'll get used to them.  If it doesn't work out, I'll be ordering last year's Adizero online.  Mr. R&R, on the other hand, will be using his Hattori's very sparingly since his calves still hurt two days later!

Another crazy day saw me still sitting at my desk at 6pm - and track practice starts at 6pm.  This whole "stuck at work" thing is really getting old.  By the time I finally made it home, a nice, soothing swim sounded like the best idea I'd had all day.  I threw my suit, goggles, cap, and towel in my bag and hightailed it to the pool.  I hit the water and swam 1200 yards. I contemplated sticking around and swimming another 400 to make it another even mile, but I was getting pretty hungry, so I called it a night and headed home.

Thursday and Friday were spent on the couch. I've felt a little run down lately, and I decided that getting a few solid nights of sleep sounded better than ending up sick and sidelined.  That made the photo below seem like a good idea late on Friday afternoon.
I'm pretty sure it's acceptable to drink at your desk when your boss hands you the beer.
On Saturday morning, I woke up and thought it was early September based on the weather!
There went my plans to take my bike out to the rail trail for a nice easy ride!  I ended up back out at my favorite running store this afternoon in search of shorts that actually look decent with my tri top since I plan to wear it to a couple of road races later this summer. All of my running shorts are pretty loose-fitting and they look absolutely ridiculous with the tri top - which is pretty much a second skin.  It looks fine with my tri shorts, but I don't particularly relish the thought of wearing anything with a chamois (the padding in bike/tri shorts) unless I'm going to be on my bike at some point in the race.  I ended up coming home with Moving Comfort 7.5" compression shorts.  The fit is nearly identical to my tri shorts and they have a small zipper pocket on the back of the waistband. So far, it seems like this company realizes that women might like to have some place secure to stash a key, and id, and a couple of dollars when they're out for a run!  I look nothing like the model below in them, but I'm kind of over caring if someone wants to judge the way I look in spandex. I look forward to trying them out soon - probably tonight!

While we were there, Mr. R&R noticed that there was a pair of women's Hattori's in my size sitting on a clearance table.  I tried them on and considering how cheap they were, I had to buy them.

Of course I had to try them out.  I knew going in that trying to run a mile in 0mm drop shoes with absolutely no cushioning whatsoever was a recipe for injury, so Mr. R&R and I did a nice little half mile loop around our neighborhood.  Running in these shoes was a very different experience. They forced me to land on my forefoot every single time and the impact of each stride was absorbed by my feet rather than being dispersed through the cushioning of a traditional shoe.  It wasn't painful per se, but I can definitely see why the kind of shoe you ease your way into wearing. My right ankle (the one that tends to collapse at the end of my stride) was a little sore about an hour later, so I did a little preemptive icing and it felt much better.

The unseasonably cool weather stuck around for Sunday and helped me have the most perfect run I've had in a very long time.  I ran 7 miles, never felt out of breath, never felt tired, never wanted to stop and walk. By the time I was done, I felt like I could probably run another 3 miles with no problem.  If all runs were like this one, I would never have to convince/bribe/bully myself out the door.  It was exactly the kind of run I needed to remind me why I run - I even managed a negative split!

That average is only 1 second per mile over my half marathon PR pace!

Weekly Totals:
Swim: 1200 yards
Bike: 0
Run: 15 miles
Total Time: 3 hours, 8 minutes


April said...

I hate all the pink crap too. No, I don't want only male cut clothes, but dang I hate pink.

Megan said...

I really need to get back into running. Ive been slackin-a-lackin. Glad you had a good run today!