The countdown is on: four weeks to go until the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, hellz yes! I just completed another mileage PB for the week of 138 miles. My body has morphed into some kind of super-human running machine, I don't get it. I never thought I'd be able to run this much, but I'm starting to appreciate what the body can adapt to with slow and consistent increases in training. All I hope is that I keep 'er going for another two weeks, until the blissful taper begins!
Last week was one of my best weeks of training - not just because of the numbers, but because I got in two of my highest volume interval workouts as well as a solid overdistance run. On Monday I was advised to take it easy during the workout since I had just done a 50k run two days earlier. Being the obedient little athlete that I am, I went up to Churchill early and decided to do my own 'tempo pace' workout and end it in time to say hello to the girls. I'm sure this is hard to believe, but I ended up doing a little more volume than anticipated. I swapped the planned 400s for a few 3k repeats, which in my backwards way seemed less daunting. In keeping with the backwards theme, my legs only began to feel good AFTER 2x3k, so I tacked on another for 3x3k in 11:20/11:05/10:59. The ladies had already started on their 400s, and I guess I felt left out (or I am just nuts), since I decided to hop in for five of them. I got down to about 76s - perhaps a *little* out of range from tempo pace - then went on to join them for hills (‘hills don't count, right?’ I told myself). Such was the progression to me doing their full workout on top of 3x3k and not taking it easy at all! I ended up running almost 14k of intervals, more than I ever have before. Nice. I am SO good at following directions!
I took it easy for a few days knowing I had a 12x1k w/90s rest workout coming on Thursday morning. My legs felt pretty horrible on Wednesday night, meaning I shuffled pathetically home from the Ninja workout and took rest breaks at every stop light. When I am not dodging traffic, you KNOW I am tired. I am pretty sure I was running 6min/km but refused to look at my watch for confirmation of this depressing fact. On Thursday morning, I was convinced I’d feel the same way, but miraculously the legs came around. Again, I am at a loss for explanations here. I pulled off a solid effort: 3:52/3:40/3:39/3:36/3:35/3:29/3:31/3:27/3:30/3:29/3:30/3:25.
I felt pretty fresh on Saturday for the long run too and got in another over-distance run of 46k, which included 5k tempo (4:07/km) in the last 12k.
Ninjas Jeff and Rachael spreadin' the Energy and the Energizer Night Race!
Speaking of keepin' 'er going, Saturday night was the inaugoral Toronto Energizer Bunny Night Race, an awesome event put on by the Women's Only Series race director Cory Freedman, who is ironically nicknamed the Energizer Bunny for her permanently bouncy stride and contagious enthusiasm. The event was held in Sunnybrook Park at sunset, meaning we raced through darkness wearing headlamps powered by Energizer. I volunteered as a race route guide and had a great time out on the course - the entertainment was unbelievable and included glow-in-the-dark jugglers, hula-hoopers and clowns on stilts. It was so impressive!
Mama K and G.I. J chillin' with the bunny pre-sunset
A shout out to Cory is definitely deserved, who did an absolutely FANTASTIC job organizing this run. I think one of the highlights was the pre-race dance warm-up to Rihanna and Usher and various other awesome pop songs. The pelvic thrusts and hip rotations were a new and exciting addition to my pre-existing warm-up routine (of course it already included leg kicks and booty shakes) and one I think the Angels should definitely adopt. To hell with drills! I apologize for exposing you to more of my god-awful cinematography, but here is a little taste of this epic warm-up. ENJOY.
Note the awesome booty-shake.
SHAKE YOUR BOOTY