I think the hardest run I did this last week was the tempo run on Thursday. Physically it was of course challenging but mentally it was a shock to be so much slower than where I left off after last seasons training. I wasn't as much discouraged as I was curious. Wondering what it will be like to go through the process and see if I can achieve the same results or better. With one solid year of data there will be no question if I am as fit as I was. This is more exciting because I know the road I will be traveling and am familiar with the territory but I will be viewing it with more confidence and understanding. Sometimes that's all you need; with more confidence and a better understanding you can get where your going a lot faster. Generally the unknown is a big road block for a control freak like me but since this process is not new I can leave the confusion and fear behind. Sort of freeing when I think about it!:)
The KPR run is one of my favorite workouts. Scott calls these Kenyan-Style Progression Runs and Stacey and I shortened it to KPR. The idea is to start off very slow and slowly build your speed throughout the run with the final miles being at M-Pace. The goal is to not go out too fast and not push beyond M-Pace even if you feel like a machine. The ultimate purpose of the run is to take yourself through all your running gears, feel the paces and work all the zones appropriately. I find this type of run extremely rewarding because it unveils all my weak areas. As the run progresses I can feel the areas that I am efficient and comfortable running and the ones I am not....some of my weak areas are in my slower zones and some are in the faster zones and this means I have not built those zones well. This also means I leaving a perfectly good gear unattended to and therefore not available in training or racing. The KPR forces me to work in the uncomfortable inefficient zones as I build to M-Pace. These runs are hard physically too because they are done on a road or Lief Erickson type of terrain where you can measure your miles and paces in addition to fact your getting faster and faster. I love how I feel during and after these runs so the more I get to do the merrier. They are really fun with a crowd. Everyone going their own pace but all trying to do the same type of run whatever level. Saturday Tom, Stacey, Susan, Darin and I all went after it. Darin missed us as we parked at a different trail head but he was out there tearing it up just one week after his win at the Autumn Leaves 50K.
Sunday was another solid 2 hour Z3 run and we covered and additional .5 miles in the same time as last week so progress already! My glute medias was a little angry after the run so I am icing and stretching but not pushing the stretch too much. My physical therapist said I was cured but after today I know I still need to keep working on it's strength. Tomorrow is an OFF day so I will make sure I keep icing and do some mild strength exercises just so it knows I am not slacking off and that I have expectations. :)
A little over 3 weeks on Marks food plan and I feel like he could be my new best friend! The results are clearly evident so it's been easy and fun. I have successfully eaten all the food every day since I saw him last. There have been a couple of days where it was difficult but I just forced myself to eat it all and payoff has been good. I don't know if I have lost anymore weight but I have lost inches so if I am maintaining or gaining muscle and losing fat then my goals are being met. The "Pinch In" will be Friday. :). On another note I have a goal to master the one armed push-up! Why???? Because I saw Jillian do it on the Biggest Loser and got inspired then to top it off there was a "how to" article in my favorite magazine. Believe it or not there is a process to mastering it. I started doing the work this last week so I think by Christmas I might be able to whip one out. :). Here are the steps to mastering the one armed push-up:
Step 1 - Be able to do 8-10 real push-ups (I can do this no problem)
Step 2 - Incline push-up with one arm using the bar on the Smith Machine, as you get stronger you position the bar lower and lower. (this is the step I am on and I have to have the bar set just above my waist and no lower!). Eventually you move the bar to it's lowest position.
Step 3 - Uneven push-ups. Using a step do the push-ups with one arm on the step and one on the floor, as you get stronger build upon the step making it bigger and bigger then using only your fingertips to help. As you master this you won't need your fingertips
Step 4 - Plank exercised for a strong midsection. (I have achieved this part)
Step 5 - Alternating plank where you hold in plank, stretch out one arm off the floor while the opposite toe lifts off the floor (I can do these but not well)
There is actually a routine which takes you through a series of these exercises 3 times a week until you can master the one arm push-up. This will be a good Christmas present!