I have certainly felt progress the entire month. Stronger, though not necessarily faster. Sprints have really been good for increasing my cardio, and I've noticed that I can run further without stopping or walking.
Tuesday's sprints were the most difficult yet. Starting at 3/4 mile then working my way down was definitely a challenge, but I tried to go into it with a different mental attitude. I let myself go under 6mph instead of thinking it was total failure, and that helped. Plus, going down in distance each sprint also helped mentally. By the time I got to 600m it felt like the home stretch, and the final 200m sprint I pushed at a 6.3 because it was simply a dash to the finish line.
Thursday was another good run at a straight 5 miles. My mid-tempo is around an 11:45 to 12 min. mile, so though it was definitely work, I felt good. It was so good in fact I decided with this good morning weather we've been having to do the long run this week outside. I would like to start incorporating more of the long runs outdoors, especially since well, that's how I'm running the marathon. Might as well start getting used to it sooner rather than later.
And wow, it is a BIG difference. Since it was the long run I knew I could take it really slow, because it's all about distance and not time. My body was like "whaaaaa???" First mile and a half was really good. I was really enjoying the change in scenery as well, and had the tunes loud enough to hear but soft enough to hear the world around me. I might have been along the canal, but still wanted to hear what's happening.
At about 2 miles was when my knee started to hurt. So I walked. That was pretty much the rest of the run for me, walking and jogging. The path is not concrete, but whenever I could I ran in the dirt or gravel just to take as much pressure off as possible. I also noticed I take shorter strides vs. on the treadmill, thought that was interesting. My back also became really stiff which added to the pain down my right leg, and then even my toes started to cramp up. I didn't enjoy the second half of my run because of all the pain. Oh, and by then it was hot, so that added to my frustration. Didn't have enough water.
However, what it also told me is I should run outside more, so that's what I'm going to try and do on the long run days. That way I can at least walk and feel fairly guilt free, since I'm supposed to keep it slow anyway. I also think that after the marathon in January I might give those Vibrams a try. I'll get the marathon out of the way, and then I might have some Christmas money to spend too. ;-)
OK, the plan for this week (Week 5 holy cow!) is:
Key Run #1: 5- 1k sprints with 400m rest intervals
Key Run #2: 1 mile easy, 3 miles short tempo (11:15-11:30 mile), 1 mile easy
Key Run #3: 6 miles HMP + 20seconds. Or whatever it ends up being. No rush!
Last thought- I really miss Kimber. She's off cruising and vacationing and my motivation is shot. Last week was ok, but this week without her plus MY kids on fall break, will be more difficult. I all ready skipped my workout today because it was way too easy to shrug it off.
Send me motivation!!!!!