I nailed all my key workouts, managed to eat pretty well, and generally just felt great about the week.
Monday started off with a the usual bowl of cereal at my desk, but was made extra delicious with the addition of fresh strawberries and raspberries. I'm ridiculously happy that good produce is slowly coming into season again. Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against apples and bananas, but after eating them nonstop all winter, I'm ready for berry/peach/melon season.
I also took the chance of offending my coworkers at lunch time by scarfing down this protein-packed tuna sandwich! The whole sandwich was pretty good, but swapping baby arugula in place of plain old romaine took it to a whole other level.
After work it was off to The Cave for 20 minutes of core strength and 40 minutes on the bike, followed by 10 minutes of foam rolling my legs.
On Tuesday evening, Mr. R&R and I ran 4 miles together. No leg cramps. No side stitches. Just pure, running fun...complete with negative splits!
The run was followed by pita pizza and more foam rolling. The foam roller seems to be both my best friend (since it helps loosen up the tight spots in my legs) and my worst enemy (since it hurts like a mofo) these days.
I ran my first Badgerland Striders Fun Run of the season on Wednesday night. Mr. R&R and I met up with the group (including The Iron Cheerleader) at a local park and commiserated about the unseasonably cold weather as we stretched and prepared to run. The Strider Fun Runs are a near-weekly occurrence from May to September that moves around a handful of local parks. There's no chip timing, it's just you vs. the finish clock for 3-ish miles.
Everyone slowly shuffled toward the starting area and as soon as everyone was in place, someone shouted "GO!" and we were off. I've run this particular course before (same course as the Hot Dog Run from last summer), so I knew that the first mile was a slight downhill through one of my favorite places to run, followed by a steep, nasty, long (over a 1/4 mile long) hill around the 1.5 mile mark, and then mostly flat with a fast downhill finish. To give you a better idea, here's the elevation chart from my Garmin that night:
I took advantage of the slight downhill for the first mile and clocked a 8:39. This was also useful in escaping the chatter of some ladies who were behind me for a bit. I tucked myself in behind two guys just past Mile 1 and used them as human windshields as we turned West and into a strong headwind. I lost them on the giant hill since I slowed significantly on it. I hit Mile 2 in 9:02. As I started my lap around the pond, I became aware of a guy running just off my shoulder and it was enough to make me speed up a little in an attempt to shake him. For a while it seemed to work, but as soon as I slowed down a little, there he was, right off my shoulder again. I pushed the pace a little more, since I hadn't been passed since before Mile 1. I made it up the last little hill and kicked it into high gear coming down the hill...sprinting for the finish clock. I made to the finish in 26:27 (avg. 8:56/mile). Afterward, the guy who'd been hot on my heels for the last mile found me and I thanked him since he made me run harder. Funny enough, he said that I'd made him run harder than he'd planned because he was trying to chase me down! I located Mr. R&R and the Iron Cheerleader and we chatted for a bit before making our way through the food line. Oh yeah...Strider Fun Runs come complete with a weekly food theme and beer after the run. As Mr. R&R and I were eating, he mentioned that he was pretty sure that I was the first female to finish that night. I know it was only because most of the real speed demons weren't there, but it still blew my mind. Me? First? Really?
My legs were killing me on Thursday, so I did absolutely nothing other than foam rolling my legs.
Friday was a rough one at the office. I'm trying to get through a massive project and it seems that for every step I take forward, I take 2 steps back. Fortunately I had a fantastic snack to power me through the afternoon:
|Mozzarella, Tomatoes, Baby Arugula w/ Balsamic|
When I got home, I ended up meeting Mr. R&R and some friends at the bar...and having at least one more beer than I should have. Needless to say, that cemented a decision I'd made earlier in the week: I wasn't going to race the Trail Assail 5k on Saturday. That decision was made partly due to the crappy, rainy weather we'd had all week. I don't mind getting a little dirty, but all the rain lead me to believe that the trail would be more like a mud pit, which greatly increased the odds of getting hurt. The other part of that decision came from I needed to run 8 miles at some point in the weekend and I was supposed to meet some of my teammates for a bike ride on Sunday morning. Something had to give, and it was Trail Assail.
I ended up sleeping right up until gun time on Saturday morning! After some discussion, I used Saturday as a Rest/Run Errands/Get Stuff Done day and let my friends know that I wouldn't be able to meet them on Sunday morning.
Sunday was long run day. Mr. R&R and I set out to run 8 relatively easy-paced miles. It was breezy, sunny, and all around perfect running weather. When we got to the 4 Mile mark, Mr. R&R asked me the same question that he asks me at the half way point every week: "Do you feel like you're half way done." Surprisingly, my answer was 'No'. We were both feeling pretty good, so we ended up running an extra mile. There were a couple of steep hills between Miles 6 and 7, which kind of tanked the pace, but we recovered and finished strong. I'm starting to believe that something good might be brewing for the Hartfest Half !
I closed out Week 6 with:
Swim: 1000 yards (32 minutes)
Bike: 11.64 miles (40 minutes)
Run: 16 miles (2 hours, 34 minutes)
Strength: 20 minutes
Total Miles: 28.21
Total Time: 4 hours, 6 minutes