Rock N Roll Chicago Training – Week 4

Hello!! It’s been a killer week in my training.  I had a big week focusing on nutrition and also starting speed work.  If I had to pick two words to sum up this week it’d be this: NAILED IT.  In fact, I wrote those two words in my training journal every day this week.

I am feeling so confident after Saturday’s run.  I’ve really focused on eating well this week, hydrating, and running at the right effort in my runs.  As an added bonus, the weather has been AMAZING here, around 50-60 degrees for my runs.  It’s made for a very enjoyable week.

For nutrition, I started out the week logging everything I was eating.  The act of logging it makes me very aware of what I’m eating and how much.  I am very happy with the food I ate this week and definitely feel that it positively impacted both my energy and my workouts.

Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday: Planned – Cross Training.  Actual – 45 minutes elliptical.  I actually was supposed to take my final swim lesson this week and accidentally left my gym bag at the house.  So I came home after work and went to the fitness center in our complex and jumped on the elliptical.  I was dreading it a bit but there’s wifi in the center, so I brought my tablet and caught up on my blog reading.  It went by pretty quickly!  My legs were tired from my long run the day before, but they felt much better afterwards.

IMG_20150427_185404312Did you know that trying to take an elliptical selfie and post it on Instagram will kill a good 10 minutes of the elliptical?

Tuesday: Planned – 4 miles easy.  Actual – 4 miles @ 10:39 pace.  For this run, I really wanted to focus on effort, so I tried to keep my heart rate around 160.  It was nice to focus on something besides pace and to hold myself back a bit.  The sunrise was beautiful this morning, and I ran into my running friend Christy!  We ran about a mile together.  While waiting at a stoplight we ran into another running friend, Susan, in her car on her way to run at the park.  Even though Christy and I run often together, it was really nice to have a “surprise” run with her.  It made my morning!

Wednesday: Planned – 1 mile warmup, 3 miles speedwork, 1 mile cooldown & 45 minutes of strength.  Actual – 1 mile warmup, 4 x 400m repeats (200m rest), 3 x 600m repeats (300m rest), 1 mile cooldown & 35 minutes of strength.  This morning didn’t start out as expected.  I was originally going to meet up with a new group at a track, but it was kind of raining that morning and everyone bailed.  So, I parked at the boutique gym I go to and found a stretch of sidewalk for my speedwork.  I discovered the custom workout feature on my Garmin 610 and love it!! I programmed in the whole workout, complete with targets for each segment – for the warmup/cooldown I focused on heartrate zones, and for the repeats I targeted a 5k pace.  I love that my watch told me when I was moving on to the next part of the workout and changed the display based on my targets.  It made it super easy to do speedwork without a track!  I really enjoyed the intervals, it reminded me of when I first started running.  Pushing myself past my comfort zone was easier when I knew it was for a very short period of time.  I walked during the recovery breaks, but I think next week I’ll try to jog part of them.  I was surprised that this wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. I’m excited to do another speed workout next week!

After the run, I went to my small group strength training session.  I was ten minutes late but that’s okay.  We focused on glutes as well as back and obliques.  My legs were definitely tired afterwards but two hard workouts in one day meant that I could have a good recovery day on Thursday and a good rest day on Friday. I capped off the day with an epsom salt bath and foam rolling/stretching in the evening.

Thursday: Planned – 5 mile recovery run.  Actual – 5 miles @ 10:59 pace.  I set my watch to only show me hear trate, heart rate zone, and total mileage for this run.  It was incredibly freeing to not have pace showing on my watch! I tried to keep my heart rate around the low end of zone 4.  It was an amazing morning – the weather was once again great and I caught the sunrise.  It was a really relaxing run, which is something I haven’t had in awhile.IMG_20150430_065832238_HDR

Sunrise over Dunwoody, Georgia.

Friday: Planned – rest day.  Actual – rest day.  I briefly considered swimming but decided to sleep in, and I’m glad I did.  My body definitely needed the rest.  I started the day with some light stretching and foam rolling and tried to relax.  We had dinner at Park Tavern in Midtown Atlanta, which is this great patio in Piedmont Park.  It was a wonderful evening to be outside, enjoy a beer and burger, and hangout with our friends.

Saturday: Planned – 8 miles.  Actual – 8 miles @ 10:04 pace.  I met up with some ladies and we ran along the Chattahoochee River.  This spot has quickly become my favorite place to run.  The weather was once again great, 50 around the start and about 65 at our finish.  I was initially thinking I’d be running around 10:30, but I think the combination of the weather and the flat course helped me here.  I was able to keep a conversation going while running so I know I wasn’t pushing it too hard.  This run surprised me, but also, got me really excited.  We still have 10 weeks until Chicago and after this run, I feel like my goal of a sub-2 hour half is attainable!



Saturday evening Brian and I took our date night to Turner Field to watch the Braves take on the Reds.  It was a perfect baseball night, and we really enjoyed the weather and ballpark food…and of course, beer!  Too bad the Braves sucked it up and lost…



Sunday: Planned – Rest & Yoga.  I’m going to my favorite Yoga for Runners class this afternoon.  I also have some food prep on deck.  Tonight, Brian and I are going to a little dinner party, so it should be a pretty relaxing day!

I’m looking forward to another great week coming up, and am excited to see progress in the coming month.  I ended April with 67 miles and an average pace much closer to what I was running before the marathon.  April was all about bouncing back from my IT band injury and getting back to pre-marathon fitness, and I’m happy to say I achieved that.  May will be about continuing to get stronger and faster.  Just 10 weeks to go until half marathon #5!!

How was your week?  What’s your favorite speed work workout?

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  1. Get it girl! I’m now even more scared to run with you in a couple of weeks 😉 But can’t wait!

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