Hill Sprints

I made it to run happy hour last night for the first time in all of the time that I have been training with Buckeye.  Because of the current state of affairs with how J feels about my running and fitting things in with him, I don't usually escape for a Wednesday evening run.  They used to be on Thursdays, and now that it is summer and J is playing softball, etc, Thursdays would work for me.  However, it is track season, and the track has been in use on Thursdays, so they moved it to Wednesday, so I am out.

But J is travelling this week, at a conference in Destin FL, I didn't feel as obligated to be home and taking care of him!  So I picked myself up and went out to Mason.  I stopped first at Best Buy and made a return for J that he requested.  It was actually the mother's day gift that we purchased for his mom, he had gotten her a case for her ipad that had a bluetooth keyboard.  But it was open box (he was told it was a display model) and it had no power cord, no instruction manual, and even if it had a power cord, there was no where to plug it in.  That place was damaged!

After that I headed over to the Vitamin Shoppe as I have had a MAJOR Quest Bar craving.  I picked up one strawberry cheesecake and one cinnamon roll, both from their "natural" collection and ones that I had not tried yet.  I also got a whole box of vanilla almond.  Those have long been my favorite. 

After that, it was on to Buckeye.  I hung out with Steph before we headed out to the park.  I definitely took it easy on my jog to the park and just chatted with Steph and we talked about a few of the things that we had been emailing about throughout the week (since we hadn't seen each other since last Saturday!) and it was just nice to chat with her.  It always is. 

We ran through the park past some kids playing soccer, past a pond where some families with bicycles and dogs were hanging out, some fishing, and then we arrived at "the hill."  The plan was to do 10 hill repeats.  Down the path to the bottom (that was the recovery) and up as hard as we could!  Holy moly, that was rough stuff.  That hill was steep!  But I was trying to keep in mind the tips that Stephanie was shouting out, and also the things that Jon and Stacey (my Pig pacers) were saying as I ran up to Eden Park.  Lead with your knees, use your arms, relax your shoulders as you come down the hill to shake it out.  I pulled off all 10.  It was hard, but I am really happy I did it!

Today I spent some time with the McMillan Running Calculator.  Have you used this tool yet?  The more reading about "getting fast" and running marathons that I do, the more that I see that I actually need easy runs and recovery runs in order to get faster.  Its tough.  And during Pig training I just ran for the sake of running and the sake of finishing.  But now that I feel like I have a pretty good handle on it, I want to go fast.  Well, fast for me, at least! 

So here is a fancied up excel version of my race pacing abilities all based around a 3:58:33 marathon goal (I figured I could train to give myself a little room to come in under 4!)
Not bad, not bad, it would get me to that under 25 minute 5K based on the equivalent paces. 

So because I do want to get fast (and because of 10 hill sprints yesterday, I figured today was potentially a good day for an easy run.  I used the training paces from this to decide how fast I should be going for my easy run.
As you can see, for an easy run, my pace should be between 9:37 and 10:07.  Today my left quad was feeling a little tight, so I just let my legs do their thing, but I slowed them down if they were going too fast.
This ended up right around a 9:58 mile.  So right in there where it should be!  Running "easy" was tough since I have spent so much time focused on "must.go.faster!"  but I can see how it would be beneficial!
Tomorrow is a XT day, and then I have my first post-marathon double digit run on Saturday morning!  Eep!

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