Saturday, April 23, 2016

Run Block

            2013 – I had Baya at the end of February and then the season that followed was my fastest running season ever.  Just 7 weeks postpartum, I PR’d a 5K by 30 seconds!  I PR’d a 10K, my half-marathon time during my first half-ironman (dropped my pace from 7:23 to 7:17!), ran a marathon and qualified for Boston with a time of 3:21 (7:41/mile).  In 2014, my times slowed, though not too significantly, but I couldn’t find that top gear again.  2015 was a terrible year for my running, feeling like I was unable to ever fully bounce back after having Myles.  Was it just the lack of sleep?  Will I ever be fast on my feet again?  Doubt creeps in, sits there, and it gnaws on you.
            Track season is underway, and so I am also currently in my run block.  I have it coincide with the season so that I can get my tough sessions in with the distance crew.  This year our team doubled in size and we also got a TON of amazing athletes to work with.  Two years ago, I had zero distance runners.  Last year I had 3, but I had the lead paces.  This year, I have 3-4 boys faster than me (one almost broke 5 minutes in his debut mile this season as a freshman) , and I have an 8th grade girl that I pace and she stays right on my heel.  I’m hoping she breaks 6 minutes in the mile this season.  I anticipate that next year I won’t be able to keep up with her. 
Ending a hard day on the track with chocolate milk
It’s been a lot of fun having a mix of kids and it’s always exciting watching their times drop!  Hopefully this year mine will start dropping again too, though I’d be quite happy if I could just get to where I was in 2013.  Even if my breakthrough comes a while after the my run block ends (as it has with swimming and biking), hopefully things will be clicking before Nationals rolls around in August.  Setbacks always inevitably happen, as I’ve taken a couple days completely off due to illness, but then I need to trust that big-picture consistency will keep things moving in the right direction.   
While I’ve known that hill repeats are great for runners, it’s also easy to avoid when you’re on your own in training because, well, they’re miserable.  This season we’ve hit the hills quite a few times, and been on the track running 300-400 repeats, 800-1,000 intervals, and we’ll soon be doing threshold work.  Due to April snow showers, I’ve only been outside on the bike a couple times this spring and had a couple brick runs after it.  Brick sessions will become a regular staple now and I’m working on teaching my body to run hard off the bike (an absolutely terrible feeling).  At least in Three Lakes Track & Field, we know how to recover right with chocolate milk!

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