Sunday, April 8, 2012

Week 8 1/2 marathon training: Am I Better yet?

Closer & closer to 1/2 marathon D-Day!

Monday: Scheduled rest day. After a rough week of a lot of leg pain, I was glad for it. I used more heat & Icy Hot on my ankle tendons. I was desperate to get rid of the pain & discomfort.

Tuesday: First day running in approx. 4 days. I was nervous, but I met up with a friend to power thru. I've fondly nicknamed her StephBot. Not for any particular reason, but just because it popped into my head & I like it. We did a quick 5k, in which I attained an actual 5k PR.

Wicked Proud!
Wednesday: 5 mile pace run. I don't want to rehash this one too much. If you want to read about it, click HERE.  I even posted a particularly artsy-fartsy picture of my Garmin reading. And since I use a foot pod to measure my speed, I can trust this result. And here are the splits:
Goal was to keep pace under 10. Woot!
Thursday: My legs felt really heavy, but I had a full evening planned. First, I met up with StephBot after work for another 3 miles around post. I'd planned for a nice, easy run after my pace run. It didn't work out that way. She was running & I was struggling to keep up. But that's okay: 3 miles, 32 minutes, 10:33 pace. Nothing to be ashamed of there! Then I headed over to the gym for an hour weight session with my trainer. We started working on Pull Ups. I came home exhausted. Mr. X made breakfast-for-dinner. It was awesome.

Friday: Rest Day! And according to the new non-wishy-washy schedule, the one night dining out experience of the week. Mr. X & I had reservations for Julien, a restaurant in the center of Vicenza. I started with a glass of Valpolicella, a beautiful type of red wine from the Valpolicella region, about 45 minutes from where I live. Then I had the Filleto di Manzo All'Americana. It looked like this:
Filet Mignon in a Dijon Mustard sauce, topped with Proscuitto & served with Roasted Potato
Holy crapballs, it was good. And of course, you can't go to this type of dinner without having dessert. And since it was "treat night," I felt no guilt in indulging in a Tortino Fondente Ciccolato. In other words, Chocolate Molten Lava cake served with a scoop of Vanilla Gelato. Check out this food porn:
There are no words. It was delicious.

Saturday: I don't normally do my long runs on Saturdays, but this week needed to be different. I scheduled a bike ride with Mr. X for Sunday, so I set out on my long run at about 8:30 AM. After a full week of running, my legs still felt tired. I could tell the difference between a Saturday long run & Sunday long run. I targeted a 2 hr finish time, but wasn't feeling that ambitious about 3 miles into it. I figured I'd slog thru, log the miles, & call it a day. During the run, I decided to try a new route... & by mile 6, I had to call Mr. X to confirm which direction I should go at a fork in the road. Turns out I really wasn't lost at all, but I definitely felt lost. I also ended up singing to myself while not realizing there were Italian folks in their gardens who could hear everything.

It was a painful 2.5 miles at the end. My lungs held together, but my right leg wanted to give out. I was really struggling & choking down tears of ...I don't know what, but I was choking down sobs. I don't know why.  I shuffled the iPod to some power songs, went "into my head" & chugged it out. And when I was done, this is what my Garmin said:
Under 2 hours!
I was super excited! That was faster than I'd anticipated finishing. And it was the 2nd time this week I felt like I could actually finish my half marathon in the time I'd like to finish (2:15:00, or thereabouts). Mr. X came to pick me up & I quickly changed clothes before my post run treat. As I peeled away my socks, we saw this!
My first bloody toe.
Gross? Yes. But it's my first bloody running toe, so I was kind of proud, too. I put on fresh socks. Which felt much better. I donned some fresh clothing & realized fresh clothes don't feel as nice when you forget to bring a fresh, non-sweaty sports bra. So I had soggy boobs. But that's okay; the next stop was for gelato!
1 scoop Chocolate, 1 scoop cafe

Sunday: Happy Easter! Or as we say in Italy, "Buona Pasqua!" To start with, I slept in. We'd visited friends the night before, which meant going to bed way past my normal bedtime (I almost fell asleep on their couch). So when I woke up, I took it easy. Before lunch, I conned Mr. X into going for a bike ride, the first on my new Cannondale.
Running tights, running jacket, Harley Davidson gloves. It worked.
Sadly, the weather was not cooperating, so we couldn't stray too far from the house. We ended up riding my normal running route thru the country. That was okay; it gave me a chance to get the saddle height correct & figure out which gears are most comfortable for me to use. I'm not planning to race or anything... I'm all about the casual ride. It was also a good length to judge how long it would take to commute to work if I want to. And when I logged into the Garmin site, I was surprised to see how efficient cycling is at burning calories. At the end of the ride, we stopped at a local bar (i.e. cafe in Italian) for a cappuccino & a bottle of water. I'm not fond of cross training; I usually use those days as extra rest days. But this was a nice way to stretch the legs & get the blood moving. I'm looking forward to longer rides in the future.

Week 8: TF did not get me. I conquered it, stuck to my schedule, ate responsibly, & had a successful week. I feel great! And there's no food-guilt, either. We handled food a whole lot better than we usually. I'm feeling awesome right now. Onto Week 9!

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