Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Day in the Life of Me

Today I'm linking up with Jill and Angela with their fun idea to share a peek into our daily lives - not just the running part!  This is my day last Wednesday:

My alarm (aka my Nike SportWatch) goes off at 6am, and I'm lucky enough to live with a coffee addict who willingly springs out of bed and brings me a coffee in bed each morning!  I usually have a quick flick through some blogs before getting up and getting ready for work.  I'd like to say I have a super organised morning routine, but to be honest it is a mad rush having showers, finding clothes, and making lunches, to get all of us out the door in time!

I work as a patternmaker in the fashion industry, and it is a job I love for both its creativity and technical aspects. For every new design that is created a new pattern has to be made, and that is where I come in. Working closely with the designer and production team I spend my days creating and perfecting patterns - cutting shapes out of paper and cloth, overseeing the making of prototypes, fitting, and readying the final pattern for production.  All good fun!

I'm home by early evening and if it is a run night I head straight out the door for a run.  Currently Wednesday is a rest day for running, but it also happens to be the day I take an evening sewing class at the local school. After some speed housekeeping and an equally rapid pasta/tomato/tuna/olive dinner (with hopefully not too much garlic!) I arrive at class and spend the next couple of hours helping everyone with their sewing projects. Teaching is really satisfying as everyone discovers new things, and it is interesting how each person learns so differently.

When I get home it is my bedtime but I've found I need to wind down a bit after the night class. This often means a Milo or glass of wine and some running blog reading and writing, before lights out at 9:30pm - I need tons of sleep!

Apart from the sewing class that is a typical day for me!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Getting Faster

This week I had a 1 mile time trial on my schedule - the aim of this is to gauge progress/race/speedwork times while not exhausting yourself with a full on race.  I really didn't feel up to it, but jogged along to the Domain anyway, to run the Sri Chinmoy Peace Mile.

After a few stretches I took off around the course, aiming to stay under 4:45 pace for the whole way so I would beat my previous time.  I glanced at my watch and it was around 4:20, and I didn't think I could keep that up, but then I got to a nice bit of road and wow - I felt like superwoman!

Over halfway now... just keep moving...concentrate on breathing...

And then it hit me.  The wind.  The real reason I felt like superwoman in the second quarter was because the wind had been at my back, and as I circled the course it was now at my front - and it was strong!  I tried not to let it slow me down, but it wasn't long until I was struggling along at a snail's pace.

I felt like I recovered a bit towards the end, but that must have been all in my head because my pace doesn't look like it picked up at all!

So - a disappointing finish, but I guess the wind assisted me in the beginning and it all balances out.  I still managed to run my fastest mile!

That's an improvement of 9 seconds from my time trial back in April.  Not a huge gain, but I have been injured in that time and I think I could have run faster without that wind!  I also managed to run my fastest kilometre at 4:31.

The first thing I did when I got home was check out the McMillan Calculator for my updated training paces and target race times:

The half marathon prediction is tantalisingly close to sub 2.  I don't know how realistic that goal is - the thought of running at 5:47 pace for 21.1km seems far fetched to me, even with a couple more months of training!

Do you ever use the McMillan Calculator?  Are the race prediction times accurate for you?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Half Marathon Training Begins

Half marathon training officially started last week!  My ITB is not yet 100% but it appears to s-l-o-w-l-y be getting better rather than worse.  I'm disappointed that my endurance hasn't progressed during this time but I'm persevering onwards regardless!

My weekly schedule looks sort of like this:

Monday - Rest, Exercises
Tuesday - Speedwork, Runner's Pilates
Wednesday - Rest (or easy 40 mins)
Thursday - 6-10k steady
Friday - Rest, Exercises
Saturday - Easy or fartlek 40mins
Sunday - Long run, Yoga sometimes if I am organised enough to get up and along to Lululemon by 8:30

Tuesday's speedwork is generally a few repeats of either 400m, 800m or 1000-1200m.  I did 1200m for the first time this week and it was fun to go a bit longer.  I wasn't sure how fast to go so I ran them around 5:15 pace which is slightly faster than my 5-10k pace.

At the moment I think my body prefers training 4 days a week rather than 5, so I have been resting on Wednesdays instead of doing an easy run.  That extra recovery day seems to keep the niggles at bay. Of course this change to the plan has been helped by the fact that it was pouring with rain when I got home the last couple of Wednesdays...

This Thursday's steady 8km was run with my husband.  I intended to run around 6:15 pace, but with him out front and me trying desperately to keep up we ran more like 6:00 - and it felt pretty good.  My leg was a bit tetchy after the last hill, but it felt good after I lay down on the floor with my legs up the wall, some ice and sleeping in my compression socks!

For Saturday's fartlek session I decided to run hills, and I tackled a new route I invented called Western Springs Trails.  It serpentines up and down all the steep streets and trails around Western Springs out and back - a total of 5 climbs!  I'm going to be honest and admit I walked most of the uphills - I look forward to the day when I can run this challenging course with gusto!

I always enjoy Sunday's long run - it's a chance to extend the boundaries, explore new parts of town, and I try to stay off-road as much as possible.  Today I ran once again with hubby - over to Pt Chevalier Beach:

When the tide is out you can run right around the coast - one day I will do this!

I've been wearing my heart rate monitor on long runs to make sure I stay in the right training zone and I'm pleased to announce that 86% of yesterday's workout was under my target of 165bpm.  I can assure you that is a lot lower than it was watching the first America's Cup races!

And according to Nike+ I ran my fastest 10k while trying to run that slow.  Err - really?  I've never done an actual 10k road race (trails, yes) - so maybe I should!

What is your weekly running schedule like?
Do you give your regular running routes names?
What paces do you use for your speedwork training?

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