I was grumping to Adam a lot about my rest day yesterday – I hate being inactive, and usually prefer to just vary my workout rather than taking actual rest days. But it turned out that my rest day and all my workouts the last few weeks paid off, as today I broke my 5K PR by a whopping 93 seconds!!! Race report coming next week, but for now, here’s the rundown of my last week of workouts:
Sunday 9/25: Inspired by my friend Tim’s amazing fall colors photos, I decided to go for an easy hike. Except I got too lazy to drive far, and so I experienced late summer conditions at Walker Ranch rather than any fall foliage. I opted for a lollipop loop, and ended up covering 9.5 miles in a little over 3 hours. Adam had forbidden me from running, but this seemed like a nice runnable trail (well, 75% of it; there were some steep sections I wouldn’t want to have to power up) and I’d love to try it for an easy long run sometime.
Monday 9/26: I was trying to sneak in a treadmill workout here, but ended up going straight from the office to a goodbye dinner with some coworkers… so this was an inadvertent rest day. Blech.
Tuesday 9/27: Redeemed myself with a really fun treadmill workout with longer intervals than I’m used to. Half mile warm up at 8:30 pace, then four rounds of 0.8 mile run at 6:58 pace alternated with 0.2 mile jogging break at 9:30 pace. This meant that I ended up with 3.2 miles done at goal 5K pace, which was a great confidence builder for my race this weekend! It definitely felt like a bit of a slog, since the longest repeats I’ve done without a rest break before were only half miles, but I never felt terrible.
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that my heart rate did come down during the rest breaks, even though I was jogging them instead of walking them. For previous interval sprints, I’ve walked the breaks because I felt like I wasn’t recovering enough to jog them. But on this workout, I discovered that my heart rate does in fact come down when I jog; it just takes longer than I would like – about 60 seconds to come down, and I would never quite get down to a resting heart rate before it was time to run again. My average heart rate for this was 153, which is about what it is for a steady progression run, and my peak heart rate was 174 (hit in the last interval).
Wednesday 9/28: 10 minutes on the elliptical, two easy miles on the treadmill (9:02 pace), and then a 6am barre class. I really like the light cardio / barre combo! My favorite barre classes are the ones that really burn out the muscles, and I feel like most of the barre classes I’ve taken that mix in some cardio do it at the expense of the muscle burn. Combining some time on the elliptical / treadmill with a barre workout feels like a well-rounded workout, and I’ve started to really enjoy starting my day that way.
Thursday 9/29: Final run before my race! Adam told me I could 3-4 miles easy, no more. I hit the treadmill, but decided to bend the rules a little bit and do 4.5 miles. The first 3.75 were at an 8:57 pace, and then I picked it up at the end so that I could complete 4.5 miles even in 40 minutes. What can I say, I like round numbers! But my legs felt good after – no shin splints. Perhaps I’m finally overcoming that, with the help of my compression socks???
Friday 9/30: The aforementioned sucky rest day. I also ate a ridiculous amount of carbs, not because I was trying to carb load for my 5K (ha!) but because that’s what I feel like eating when I’m a sloth ;) Plus, I was in Ithaca and got to eat breakfast and lunch at my old college haunt, Collegetown Bagels!
Saturday 10/1: Raced the Drawchange 5K in Piedmont Park in Atlanta, and finished in 21:00 even (6:46 average pace)!!! I thought that was a 33 second PR, and then Adam reminded me that my old PR (set just two weeks ago) was actually 22:33, so I had PRed by 93 seconds – or 31 seconds per mile!!! I am walking on air, but also very excited by the fact that I didn’t feel like I was working too hard (average heart rate was only 149, which is lower than most of my training workouts), so perhaps I can even beat this super-speedy time in the future…
Next week: I’m not currently signed up for any more races, but I really want to pick out another 5K so that I can try to improve my time even more.
With regard to actual workouts, my week is a bit up in the air right now. I’m currently slated to be in Atlanta tomorrow, Denver on Monday, Chicago from Tuesday to Wednesday, Denver on Thursday and Friday, and LA (Anaheim) on Saturday and Sunday. But, I got a call yesterday that I may need to add another trip in there for a potential client, so that whole schedule could change at the last minute. My goal for the week is therefore just to make sure I work out every day, even when I don’t have any real routine.