Monday, December 20, 2010

'Tis the Season

The holiday season is upon us. For most, the holidays mean holiday parties, lots of over indulging and gaining an extra 5 lbs. For those of us training for a January race, it means excusing ourselves early from the holiday parties and not over indulging...after all, we have a long run the next day and we want to avoid putting on that 5 lbs!

Last year, I had a lofty weight loss goal for the months of November and December. Lighter = Faster, I thought. I actually did lose weight during the holidays! This year, my goal isn't quite as ambitious - I just want to maintain during the holidays. No weight gain! Of course, the ever increasing mileage is certainly helping with that.

This past week was a tough one. The hubby was out of town, which meant no 4 am morning runs. And since the treadmill is officially dead, that meant no runs after the kiddos were in bed. I did manage to get in 4 miles on Monday morning before the hubby left town. But the lunchtime runs I was hoping for never happened. Well, except for a mediocre 2-miler I squeezed in between meetings one day. I also did one day of P90X and one day with Ab Ripper X.

Fortunately, the hubby was back in time for me to run my long run on Saturday. 12-miles. My last 12-miler was a few weeks ago...the day after one of those holiday parties. For that run, I was really proud of myself - I managed a 10:23 pace for the distance, which is faster than my January 1/2 marathon "race" pace of 10:34. And, that pace felt fan-freaking-tastic. So maybe that speed work is actually working? Hmmmm, imagine that! This week, my pace hovered around10:20. I wanted a negative split, so at mile 7 I picked up the pace a tiny bit. My final pace was 10:16....however, I will say that the last two miles were rough. I felt great until I hit mile 10 - that's when my legs were done. Bonk. Toast. I even took a short walk break at mile 10. Miles 11 and 12 were done at 9:59 and 10:22 respectively...not terrible, but I can usually really pick up the pace in my final few miles. That was just not the case on this run.

I'm not sure what might have happened. Maybe a 10:20-something pace is all my legs can take right now. I hope not. Maybe I should have planned my nutrition better - I only had gel one at mile 6 and about 16 oz of Gatorade. The temps were perfect (high 30s), so that wasn't it. My nutrition all week had been right on target, so that wasn't it either. I didn't eat a real dinner the night before, but that's not unusual.

What I do know is that my quads were super sore for the rest of the day. What I know is that the 1st 9 miles of that run felt great. What I also know is that if the temps are nice and cool, the planets align, and the running gods are smiling down on me on race day....I might just have a nice little PR in January. What I do know is that I would love that! Maybe eventually I won't feel like such a slow runner...heck middle of the pack is better than back of the pack, so I'll take it.


Meg said...

Welcome back! I haven't seen your posts in forever. It's perfect timing because I have memories of your first tri workouts at the pool and your fun experiences to rely on now!
I'm on the five pound wagon as well, I can't wait for this time to pass so I can get back to some harder workouts!
Middle of the pack is WONDERFUL, you're getting out there and that is what counts. Sometimes when my legs are super tired, a gu or Ultra Fuel helps. I'm not too good about eating a big dinner nor a big lunch but I'm working on it!
Merry Christmas!

Vic said...

HEY! A blog post. Yipee!!! Keep up the good work.

That Pink Girl said...

You are so right. Marathon training over the holdidays is the perfect excuse not to overinduldge. It makes it easy, and everyone seems to understand, why you can't take that cookie or that fudge. Even though you are ravenous and could inhale ALL of those cookies!
Keep up the committment!