Some days, I feel like everything is going wrong at work and I can’t get anything done. But other days, I feel like I’m on fire and just knocking things out one after the other! Today was the latter, and I can’t help but wonder if it happens to be the fact that I got back to working out in earnest this morning, and went to a 6am Orangetheory class? (Or maybe the guys at Dunkin Donuts spiked my coffee with caffeinated rather than the decaf I normally drink.)
My happy news today is that my foot has been mostly better since last week – I went off crutches, I skied on it a few times, and I did the elliptical a few days. But Tuesday was the first day I started to try running on it. My Tuesday cardio was 20 minutes on the elliptical, one mile on the treadmill, and then another 20 minutes on the treadmill – so nothing too crazy, but it felt amazing to get back to running. I didn’t push too hard on the treadmill – I set it to 9.0mph (6:40 pace), and just stuck with that the whole time (you know, all seven minutes of it). It felt great to breathe hard and sweat, and I was thrilled that I didn’t have any pain while running! Test #1: pass.
On Wednesday, I ventured back to Orangetheory for test #2, but I promised myself I’d take it easy on the sprint speeds. I can definitely pound hard when I’m sprinting, so I told myself I would ease back into Orangetheory with a 9.0mph base, 9.5mph push, and 10.0mph all-out pace – no faster. (I normally go 9.5 / 10.5 / 11.5 when I’m in good shape.) Wednesday turned out to be a power day, where we did ten all-outs over the course of the class, and after checking that on the Reddit on my to class, I was a little worried about how it would go…
…but with my reduced speeds, it was great! There were three blocks in the class; pushes were always the same length throughout the block, but each block had shorter pushes than the block before. Meanwhile, all-outs got longer as you progressed through each block, but were the same from block to block. I ended up cutting the walk breaks a lot shorter than they were supposed to be, and going back up to base pace when I was supposed to be walking – this made it feel like a solid workout even though I wasn’t going at true all-out speeds. I liked this one so much that I wrote it down, with the walk breaks a little bit shorter to make the whole thing fit in just 20 minutes.
And after my success yesterday, for today’s OTF class, I decided to try to push the speeds closer to my usual. The bulk of the class today was a rotating partner workout, and I really wasn’t a fan, because we were switching so often that it felt like we were switching more than we were working. However, the treadmill portion was simple – all-out for 0.1 mile, then walk for 30 seconds, and increase the incline by 1% each round. My pacer was on the rower, and it was always time to switch before I got through with the walk, so no repeating. But, I did manage to do my sprints at 11.0, which I was pretty happy with – and still pain free! To finish up the class, we did a quick three minute block of 1 min push, 1 min base, 1 min all-out, where I comfortably ran speeds of 9, 10, and 11. Not overly impressive, but my success there made me feel like I am truly recovered! I’m hoping to get back to normal classes and normal speeds next week.
Which brings me to: goals. I’m so psyched to get back to running, just in time to put in some solid training for spring races! I’ve already got a few races on the calendar, and I’m really excited to see how I can perform.
First up: the Broncos 7K in Fort Collins. I loved this race when I ran it last year – it’s a really flat course with just a few turns, so it’s a great opportunity for me to try to PR. (And now that I’ve done two Broncos 7Ks in 2017, it would be a legit PR rather than just my first attempt at the distance! Ha.) Last year I ran a 30:35, and I’d love to come just under that this time around. My goal will be sub-30, but given that my average pace was 7:02/mile last year, my secondary goal will be to shave just 13 seconds off so I can come in at a 6:59/mile pace or faster 🙂
The Fort Collins Broncos 7K starts and ends at the Anheuser Busch Biergarten in Fort Collins, and I’m hoping to get a few friends to join. If any of you lovely readers want to come join the fun, you can get a few bucks off by entering discount code 50B25 at checkout – and then drop me a line to let me know you’re going to make it!
And six weeks later, it’s time for another Colorado classic: the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day. This 10K is one of my favorite traditions, and last year, I surprised myself with a PR by finishing in 48:00 – one second faster than my previous 48:01, but that was on a flat course and Bolder Boulder is hilly. I’d really like to go under 45 minutes in a 10K this year, but I also realize that the course isn’t really PR-worthy, and that’s quite a bit of time to shave off. So realistically, I’d be happy just to PR once again. Doable, I think? I need to start training for longer distance though.
Getting into the summer, I always love doing my neighborhood’s Superior Mile. It’s a downhill course, but after a lot of crazy calculations in years past, I deduced that the ease of the downhill is almost exactly offset by the altitude, so it’s a pretty good proxy for a flat race at sea level. I shocked myself by running 5:26 last year, so this year my goal is just to beat that time – even by one second.
And finally, the ever-elusive goal to run sub-20 in a 5K. Last year, I only made one sea level PR attempt, and I picked an absolutely terrible course to try to PR – as I learned at the start line of Grafton’s Run for the Roses, it was one of the toughest 5Ks in upstate New York. Whoops! I didn’t come too far off my old PR of 21:00 there, though, and I’ve also come close to 21:00 running the inaugural Superior 5K at altitude in Colorado. I think I’ve gotten a lot faster and stronger since last summer (and I’ve also lost weight – woo hoo!) so I’m hoping that this year I may be able to go sub-20 in a 5K in Colorado without having to travel anywhere. We’ll see!
All in all, I am just thrilled that my clumsy fall last week seemed to be a mild sprain that healed quickly, rather than a metatarsal fracture that took me out for the season. I’m really excited to get back to training hard and hopefully seeing some time fall off my PRs across the board!
And you – spring racing plans? Spring training tips? I’m all ears!