March 14, 2012

Plenty of energy on today's 24K run

As mentioned in my previous post, I monitor closely whether the fatigue I am feeling (on Monday I needed a nap after a 10K recovery run) is persistent to the point where it hurts my ability to do my workouts as I should. To top it off, I bonked on the second run of Monday, a measly 6K at recovery pace, and dragged myself home on the final 1500 metres that seeemed to take f o r e v e r.

Bizarre perhaps but true.

It was a good reminder to take it easy on easy days, and to be more cautious with hydration and nutrition, both during and after the sessions. I always have a good appetite but was simply ravenous on Monday evening and ate accordingly. Tuesday, yesterday, I also made very sure to stick to the pace called for in the 13K run, averaging about 5:20 per K, and felt much better.

Sure enough the weather decided to question my determination, too. After a mild winter I had not anticipated that we'd have snow in mid-March. But Wednesday morning provided a steady stream of big white flakes and it didn't seem it was going to let up any time soon. While the snow didn't stick to the roads, I made sure to dress for the conditions.

I wore a waterproof hat (to also protect my eyes from the snow and avoid inhaling it too, as I clearly remembered struggling with in January runs) with a fleece headband to keep my ears warm. I also donned a fleece neckwarmer. On top, I added three layers over a running bra: a thin dry-fit tanktop, then the awesome 2012 Victoria Marathon finishers' shirt and a windproof sleeveless vest. If this sounds a little OTT, I enjoyed every part of the outfit today.

The ultra-awesome UnderArmour HeatGear capri tights and knee-high compression socks finished off today's look. Of course I wore gloves as well.

As fuel I brought a 500-ml bottle filled with water and topped with a good squirt of Hammer Espresso gel.

My iPod shuffle came along too with the same mix of 32 songs I've been using so far this year; most are from Linkin Park's albums Minutes to Midnight and A Thousand Suns. The others are from Adele, Pink, Hedley and covers by Walk Off the Earth. Depending on my pace, it usually takes about 17K to cycle through the selection.

I find that at the moment I am very much enjoying an almost groundhog day routine in my sessions including for the routes I am taking. Listening to the same music while following the same routes allow me to focus on running or to let my mind wander. There is plenty of variety in my mood, the way my body is feeling, the weather, as well as of course the sessions themselves.  

A superb 24K done
Somewhat to my surprise, I felt fantastic once I was warmed up, getting stronger throughout the run. With a total of 24K, I covered  the first half at an average 5:03 per K and ran the second half, purposely picking up speed while staying in a comfortable rhythm, at a 4:46 per K average.

Feeling strong and light, my body clearly signalled that, despite the fatigue, I am coping well with the training. Overall average for the 24K was 4:55 per K, perfect.

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