Saturday, August 13, 2011

63 Days To Go (AKA 9 weeks!)

Lately, my long runs just haven't been very inspired. I've done 10k a few times, 12k a couple weeks ago, but I was starting to feel the pressure to get the distance up on my weekend runs. This week's schedule called for 12k, but since I have a 10k race next weekend, I decided to bump up the distance this week. So, the aim was to run 14k. 

I stayed in last night and tried to get a good night's rest. Didn't happen. I slept little and was tired and slightly dehydrated when I got up this morning. But, the sun was shining, so I decided to head out and see what happened. I set out with my iPod and some Gatorade and headed over the bridge. I ignored the pace and just ran. The goal was to run all the hills. I tackled the first one on the bridge, then even altered my route to get in a few more. Managed to get total ascent of about 537m, according to my garmin data. 

The first 8k felt great, but then at 8k, my legs started to tell me that they were tired. My pace was a little slower than I used to run my long runs (7:12 vs. 6:45ish that I used to run), but I actually enjoyed the run for the second time this week. It's been a while since I've really enjoyed my runs. I hope this is the start of a new trend. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Running? Isn't that supposed to be part of this blog?

I have been running fairly consistently, but I haven't been blogging about it, at all. Partially, that is because I am a part of a running forum and I aim to write about my running there. But, I haven't been writing about it there, either. I'm feeling a little unmotivated about my runs lately, and that needs to change. I have some pretty lofty goals in the next few months, including a 27:xx 5k race in October, a 57:xx 10k race NEXT WEEK (!) and a 2:05ish half marathon in October.

So why am I not more motivated???

I'm struggling to find that drive that I had in the spring when I was training for the Cabot Trail Relay Race. Back then, I was in the half marathon clinic at the Running Room, and while I am not really a true "group runner", I really found the clinic runs helpful. I ran with them on Sundays and Thursdays, and ran with Heart & Sole on Wednesdays for hill repeats. Now, I'm pretty well running on my own, and not sticking to a set schedule. I'm sort of following the same schedule that I did in the spring, but I am also playing ultimate frisbee which I am pretending is a speed/interval workout, which really it isn't.

Now my races are getting close, and I'm worried that I'm not doing enough to hit my goals. Now, I did run a 7:27 mile last weekend at the Bridge Mile, and that shocked the heck out of me. That should give me some confidence that I have more in my legs than I thought I did, but it just worries me that my stamina is not where it needs to be at this point in longer distances.

So here's what I'm hoping with this long winded blog update... Blogging about my runs is going to help me to get out there and get in those longer steady runs and longer weekend runs that I've been avoiding. Reminding myself of the good runs that I get in, and the good habits that I will reinstate will boost the confidence that I need to pull off those new personal bests in all distances. (I hope!)

Here is what I need to keep in mind when thinking of skipping a workout or just changing to an easy run. See that elevation profile? There's a HUGE hill about 6 miles into the race - about a 300 foot rise over a mile, or 100m in 1.6k. I do not want that hill to kick my butt. That's what I need to think of when I think I don't need to run hills.

With that in mind, I ran yesterday on my lunch break, and decided to tackle Citadel Hill. I only ran up once, but I ran it at a tempo pace, as I was running a tempo run. It was a great run (finally). I'm thinking of how I can start working in more hills on every run. I may not do "repeats", but I need to start making sure there are lots of hills in most of my runs. Not a problem, living in HRM.

Australia for August

Yum. This is going to be a yummy month. We're 11 days into August, and I've tried only 2 Australians so far. I'm getting really bad at blogging about the wines I'm tasting. I try to leave the bottles on the counter of the kitchen to remind myself to write about what I'm tasting, but then if I don't blog for a while, it looks like (a) I have a drinking problem as the bottles pile up, and (b) I'm starting a fruit fly farm. The bottles are all out for recycling now, so I have to try to remember.

I know I had shiraz. Two of them, actually. I've been enjoying so many cab sauv blends that I am really trying to get away from them this month and try some different varieties. I actually really enjoyed the shiraz. It was spicy, dry, and really yummy to drink without food. Eventually, I will remember the name of the companies that I tried, and then I will post those. I believe the second was a Peter Lehman. The first, I'll just have to look at the NSLC and I'm sure seeing the bottle will trigger my memory.

So I'll have to pick up something different this weekend. Any recommendations? I'm trying to stay away from cab sauv unless you have a name of a bottle that I need to try! What else is your favorite from Australia?