Today was the end of another peak week....yeah I survived! Next week will be recovery and that will end 2 solid 4 week cycles so 8 weeks of training. I definitely feel progress and the paces are getting faster. I was/am still wondering how long it will take for me to reach the fitness level I left in June but my leg speed is ramping faster than before.....I guess that muscle memory stuff has some merit. :) I started this training at a VDOT of 43 seven weeks ago and am now my paces are lining up with more like a 45 VDOT. I am still throttling back to the 43-44 VDOT paces for all M-Pace, T-Pace and track workouts but the speeds are much more comfortable and attainable so I know Scott will be moving me soon. Generally he says it takes about 6-8 weeks to see a change and bingo!.....it's been 2 weeks.
This last week was full of a lot of good runs. After Tuesday's awesome track workout I was excited to do the tempo run on Thursday and see if I felt stronger and more in control than the prior week. I did 10.5 miles on Thursday with some M-Pace miles and finished with 5.5 miles at T-Pace. The M-Pace at 8:05 was relatively easy and the T-Pace at 7:33 was hard but I was still showing up at the marker too fast and pacing myself within the mile was key. I do all my Tempo runs on Lief so it's not flat and not road but certainly easier than trail. Prior to Thursday's tempo I ran my recovery run at the gym on the treadmill and boy what a difference that is. If I ever use the treadmill I run the hill program for variety but Wednesday I wanted to keep it easy and only put the incline at 1%. I was easily able to run 8:25 min. mile with my HR below 140 and that's the top of Z1 for me! Maybe I should run my tempo runs on the road. :). Naaaaaa......Forest Park is so much better for my mental state and I can take Ultra (dog).
Saturday I had a "Pace Progression Run" which is a new workout for me. The plan was to start out at a 9 min. mile and ramp it up to 8:30 in 3 miles so essentially a warm-up. After the 3 miles I had to hold an 8:30 pace for 8 miles then hold 6 miles at 8:05. A big group of us met at 53rd Ave., Susan, Kris, Tom, Steve, Micheal and Darin all headed down the Wildwood Trail then took a side trail down to Lief where we did the quality portion of the run. We all had our own speeds so we spread out quickly. With Darin long gone and Micheal and Kris in front of me, Steve , Tom and Susan just behind we worked the trail and it's terrain to pull our individual goal paces. I felt good running the 8:30's but when we would approach a small climb I had to work hard to be sure I arrived at the marker on pace. Fortunately what goes up goes down so I would use all the gravity I needed to get 8:30's. When it was time to put on the gas and run 8:05's I wasn't sure my body was going to make the grade but with my headphones on I was darn determine to give it my best effort. With Micheal and Darin in my sights and Steve on my butt I was motivated and we all cranked it out. Kris and Tom hung together for awhile until Tom broke off Lief and headed up a fire lane. During the 6 miles at 8:05's there are some good hills and I off pace by about 10 seconds. After we cleared all major hills the remainder of my 8:05 miles came easily and 4 out of 6 were around the 7:48 range. I actually shocked myself because my body felt all the hard workouts from the week. We covered close to 18 miles in under 2.5 hours and did climb about 1000 feet for the total workout. For me, that's a good day! Unfortunately no photos of today's group, my new camera is broken! :(. I have no idea what happened to it and I hope they will take it back or I will have to send it in for repair, bummer.......)
Today's workout called for a 2:45 hour run all in Z3. Nice steady pace but no hard stuff, whewwwwww. Another big group met up for the run in 27 degree weather! It was so darn cold, we are just not used to temperatures that low. Right now it's snowing at my house.....really cool.
Nutrition update: Friday I met with Mark for more pinching and weighing. It has been 6 weeks on the nutrition plan and so far I have made some amazing changes, FOR ME. I started with a NBW of 112 and now I have NBW of 108.5. That's 3.5 pounds lost. I started the process with Mark measuring my body fat at 18.56% and Marlin measuring it 16.5% on the same day. Yesterday Mark has me at 15.1% and Marlin at 12.6%. I figured since their numbers were so different I would have them both measure me since it's free....why not? I did gain 1.3 pounds of muscle in the process so that's really cool because I never grow muscle since historically I consume it. :). The nutritional plan I had for the last 6 weeks is now modified. I only get 3 days at 1965 calories, 2 days at 2645 calories and 2 days at 2965 and none of those days include calories consumed while exercising. The breakdown on easy days which include 70 minutes of easy running and upper body workouts I eat 1965 which is M,W,F. On T and TH when I do track and tempo runs with legs on both days I eat 2645. Of course Sat. and Sun. are long days with no weights so I eat the 2965. The macro nutrient breakdown is 59% carbs, 24% fat and the rest protein for M-F but on the Sat. and Sun. the macro nutrient breakdown changes. I actually lower the carbs to 51% and fats increase to 30% and 19% proteins. This is due to the large amount of carbs I consume while running but I will have to test this out for a couple of months so see if it's enough carbs. This new nutrition is a huge breakthrough for me and I am learning a ton about how to fuel my body like an athlete. First I never lose weight. I have weighed in at WS100M for 4 years the same! My NBW for WS100M this year was 114.5 so I am now 6 pounds lighter......hard to believe I could do this by eating so much more. I had so many mental blocks when it came to consuming more food. I have definitely changed my metabolism and it's cookin! Even when I had resting metabolic tests showing I burn 33% protein at rest I couldn't make my mind get around it. At 40 years old my metabolism is probably better than in my 20's and 30's. I don't want to burn protein as fuel any more even though I was really good at it and I don't want to feel sluggish for workouts and fatigued for lifting. I am looking forward to seeing the results in my training and racing. I won't have any good data on this until Spring when to tough training is in full swing. Bring on the fork!