Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Finally following orders

I remember a conversation I had with Ian ~2 weeks ago. He mentioned the training of a world class runner and the 'easy' run pace and how much slower it was than the race pace. It got me thinking about what I do when I run easy/tempo/intervals etc. I am sure I'm not the only guilty party here, but I don't run my easy efforts slow enough. I was always afraid of slipping back into being slow so I would make sure I would hit a certain average for my easy runs. I am sure it was too fast, too much intensity for 'easy'.

I was sick all last week so I have not run in a week. I had a run scheduled for this morning, an 'easy 4 miler'. Wingman came along with me. I told him this was going to be an easy effort and that I was not going to run faster than a certain pace. There was a goal to this workout (as with all workouts) and by golly I was going to nail it. So out we went. With the wind. Big mistake. Basically the route was an out and back route. Of course this meant I would be running two miles back into the wind to get home. And it was windy.

Wingman ran alongside me and when a car was approaching, he would tuck in behind me and run single file until it was clear again. I kept the pace easy, staying true to the goal of the workout. Despite the headwinds, I kept the effort easy by dropping my pace. The feeling I had was I could run that pace all day long so I knew I nailed it.

When we turned back into our development, Wingman did some pickups. I opted to stay back and run my workout. In the past I would have been tempted to chase him down, but that would defeat my workout. Craig Alexander discussed this in a podcast I've listened to a few times already. Working out with a group is good, but don't lose sight of your workout goals. This is going to be crucial for me heading into the new year. My off days will be few and far between so I need to make sure my easy efforts really are easy. If not, my season will come to a screeching halt very quickly.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Where do I begin...........

So for the 2nd time in a month, I came down with a cold. I am sure a patient came in sick and I got it from them. I wish people would stay home when they are sick. Now they come in, get me sick, and in turn I am sure I made a few other patients sick. And the winter cycle begins. I think I need to look into working part-time ;-) (May-October). I missed all my workouts this week. I felt too crappy to even try to workout. All I could muster was walking on the treadmill. I had two vacation days I had to use-or-lose so I took off Friday and Monday. I spent Friday running around, getting a haircut, shopping, etc. Monday we were going to play golf, but now it looks too windy to play.

Yesterday was the HoHoHo Holiday run in Bethpage. I've run this race every year for the last few years but I had to bail this year. I am getting over the cold and I knew the air temperature would not help me. Cold air into my lungs would have set off a coughing fit, just like the Turkey Trot. Lesson learned. So instead I went down as the 'official' photographer for the Wingman and my all-things-Australian coach Ian. Joan was spectating as well. I dressed in layers and stood ready at the start. It's a two loop course so I knew I'd see the guys a few times. The guy that actually won the race was pretty fast. Wingman and Ian did a great job themselves. I snapped a few photos of them in action:

 Wingman in action

The Flying Aussie - making it look easy as usual

After the race we went in for the awards and clapped wildly for Ian as he collected his 2nd place award. Afterwards we went out for breakfast. We had a great time catching up with Ian and Joan before the hectic holiday season sets in.

Later that day, Wynn and Teresa stopped by to pick up some extra cycling helmets for their crew coming out next weekend. I just picked up a new helmet for myself and the Wingman in the last month so we had plenty of spares lying around. After catching up with them, we planned a New Year's Day ride with the usual suspects. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and the 6 of us can get out. And no ride is complete without breakfast afterwards!!

Today I went downstairs on the trainer to ride. I would have gone outside to ride with the Wingman, but my Jewish mother Wynn advised against it. I tried a new workout called "Suffer-fest" and they do not lie. I suffered every minute of it. This particular workout was designed to be a climbing session. They mix in video from real cycling races and you have to match the efforts. It was a pretty cool workout and you do get wrapped up in it. When it was over I did a little strength work. Not for my legs though as I could not feel them, just the upper body stuff.

Tomorrow I may sneak out early for a short run or back on the bike trainer to shake the legs out. All I know is I don't have to go to work tomorrow!! I have more time to sleep in and recover. Wingman is off tomorrow too so we have some time to spend together. I think we'll head out and get my pool membership started. It's time to get back into the pool.  I have a few things on tap to help get me into the pool more this year. Some of them require me to beg a little at work with the boss for a longer lunch break in exchange for working later, joining a new masters swim club, and/or joining a local pool. We'll see what shakes out. I am switching over to part-time in the winter months (4 days work instead of 5) so that will help me in the winter get into the pool and get a long workout in as well. Early January the boss and I will sit down and figure out what days I am taking off.

For now, I am rested and ready to tackle the last workouts of 2011 that will usher me into 2012 ready to race!! I am focused and ready to take on the new challenges and goals that lie ahead.