Friday, March 25, 2011

Torture Thursdays ;)

I have been thinking about what term to coin my Thursdays.  Words as epic, insane, intense have all come to mind and describe my Thursdays well but I have decided on torture! LOL!  I like the "TT".  And I mean torture in a good way...really!  Thursdays are my masters workout day, both run and swim! Ha!  So that means I am at the Athletic Centre at UofT for about 4.5-5hrs.  Masters run starts at 6:30pm til about 8:30pm and then this is followed by Masters swim practice from 9-11pm. 

The run workouts are pretty intense.  These are track workouts where we are going pretty much full throttle at the specified distance as determined by our coach.  Thursdays are short distance days so we have had repeats of 50m to 500m so far.  This is followed by some circuits involving core/strength work and running/jumping up stairs.  Mondays are the other masters run workout day but I am usually working on Monday nights and have not been able to attend.  This is the first time I have done track workouts and I have been having quite a blast with the group and getting a good butt kick each time!  These guys are a great group of people full of speed, talent, kindness and motivation.  I am in awe of some of them for their age and speed and feel privileged to be able to train with them.  I hope this helps me become a better runner and I have actually started seeing improvements in my splits lately!

After a 30min break where I have started a trend of drinking a can of coconut water and eating a protein bar I then jump in the pool with the Masters swim group.  I have been swimming with these guys for a little over a year now and I have definitely seen improvements!  Actually, tonight a couple of my swim mates have commented that I have gotten a lot faster in the pool over the last year! Yay!   Thursdays are my favourite night to swim with the group because it's 50m long course and the coach is great!  We also swim Mon, Wed, Sun mornings and Fri nights but I normally only go to about three practices a week.  And a further bonus is that usually no more than ten of us show up Thursday nights so we get a bit more attention.  Swimming after a track workout is quite difficult.  I end up hitting the wall in the second half and my legs start cramping.  However, this hasn't happened the last couple of weeks.  I think my body is starting to get used to this a bit and I have been feeling stronger.  I usually get in about 4-5km of swimming on Thursday nights.

So there you go, Torture Thursdays!!!  And I love it!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's here! It's here!!!!!!

This will be a short post but David just got my bike from Guru!!! Yay!!!!  He sent me a sneak peak of my new ride so here it is:

I'm soooo excited!  Can't wait to see what it looks like in real life!!!  So how does that fancy paint look?!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chilly Half marathon

My 2011 season has officially began.  I ran the Chilly half marathon in Burlington on Sunday and I am quite pleased with the results.  I only had two long runs this year, a 17km and a 20km run, so I wasn't sure how this one was going to go.  My plan was to be aggressive and run hard from the beginning and  basically try to hold that pace until I blow up! Lol!  My goal was to try to match or beat my PB of 1:55 which means running a 5:27 pace. 

The weather gods were not all that kind to us as it snowed quite a bit overnight.  When we got to Burlington, there was a mix of snow, ice, and slush!  Yuck!  And it was cold and windy!  Ah well!  No big deal.  I had my bowl of oatmeal for breakfast and had a coffee to go.  I am going to try to stick with a morning coffee for all my races this year! ;)  We just made it with enough time to go to the portapotty and make it to the start line on time.  The driving conditions were not the greatest getting from TO to Burlington.

The race started and I was running with my friend Marina.  We started pretty quickly which usually happens at the start of a race.  Adrenaline is pumping and everyone around you is running fast so I usually get caught up and start fast as well.  Our first couple of kms were about 5min and it took me about 4-5km before my feet defrosted.  We then settled into our pace and were pretty consistent throughout while pushing each other.  We had to be careful with our footing due to the snow and ice and had to avoid some pools of water which was impossible at times and resulted in soaking wet feet.  I was running hard and it felt good.  I was able to push until I hit about 19km and I almost hit the wall.  No bonking, just couldn't hold the pace we were holding anymore.  Almost!  Crossed the line in 1:55:59.  51 seconds short of my PB.  Not bad!  I'll take it!  It is early in the season and I haven't put in my long runs yet so I'll take this as a positive sign!

trying to keep warm before the race
nearing the finish!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Central Park and another threshold test.

Not much to blog about these days in the training department.  I have been consistently training everyday.  I do not think I ever trained this hard and this consistently before.  At times I think my body wanted to rebel against me too.  After some speed work on the track a couple of weeks ago with the Masters group, my left hamstring had enough and got really tight.  So tight that I was afraid I pulled it.  It had hurt to walk and I proceeded with my training sessions gingerly at times.  I did finally have my first day off from training last Saturday while I was in NYC for my birthday! :):):)  However, I could have still probably logged something for that day as we walked and walked and walked!  All-day-long!  But it was a fun weekend!

While in NYC, I did do a long run in Central Park!  I ran 20km and it was a great run!!!  I really had fun and enjoyed that run.  I have never ran anywhere (except in race situations) where so many other people were running at the same time.  It was fabulous!  I wish we had something like that here in TO!  It took me just under 2hrs to complete the run and I was running at a steady effort.  The plan was actually to run 1.5hrs until I took a wrong turn somewhere and had a little detour and made the run longer.  Oops!  But I was happy I got 20km in!  So I hope this is a good sign that training has been going well.  My first test will come tomorrow when I run the Chilly Half marathon in Burlington.  I just hope the weather does not wreak havoc out there.  It had been raining pretty much nonstop for the last two days and now they are calling for snow and colder temperatures overnight into tomorrow.  This could mean some icy conditions.  Eek!

This past Thursday I did my second threshold test on the bike.  This one hurt a lot more than the last one.  This time around I was using my powertap with the PT computer as oppose to the SRM with the garmin so the readings were a bit lower.  We figured the garmin was reading about 10-15W higher than the PT computer.  So last time my 203W average for my test would translate to about 193W on the PT.  Well, for this 20min test I averaged 197W, with an average cadence of 91rpm and average HR of 172bpm.  My first test my avg HR was 160bpm so I definitely worked harder this time around.  I am pleased that I still managed to keep my cadence over 90rpm.  I have been continuing to work on my cadence and it seems to be working.  My goal was to hit 200W so I was just shy of that but I was done.  I thought I was going to pass out on the bike and my legs were trashed afterwards, lol!