Monday, February 11, 2008

Workout WrapUp (and Preview!): Run and Relax

Run, run, run, run.
Run, run, run, run.
Run, run, run, run.
Run, run, run, run.
Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul.
You've got to run like an antelope: out of control. - "Run Like An Antelope," Phish

Last week was the first of a three week run / speed-focused block leading up to my first race of the year: the Coach Bubba 4- miler in my hometown of Durham, NC. Following the previous week of rest, it was a spectacular nine hours of workouts - the best yet of the year. Here's a recap:

Monday- A morning swim with breath pattern work followed by evening yoga. This week's yoga class focused on aparigraha, or non-grasping / non-covetousness. That combined with the prior week's class, which focused on using appropriate amounts of energy for appropriate tasks, and my current reading of Chi Running built the foundation for my week: How relaxed can I be and still go hard?

Tuesday - Zone 5 ++ fartlek!! ...oh, and strength work in the weight room immediately following the run. There was spit and grunting and lots of sweat and perhaps some quiet cursing - but there was also the warm inner knowing that this, THIS, is what will take me to the other side. By the time I got home and showered, I had a bit of a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I now needed to go to work for 9 hours. Incredibly satisfying and exhausting day.

Wednesday - A fun, short morning swim (written by my coach's husband - thanks Wes!) and easy evening cadence-focused spin on Sunny D while my own hubby cooked dinner.

Thursday - All intervals all day long: Morning run with cruise intervals and evening bike with aeobic intervals. I felt fast and happy throughout the day and focused on my form in both workouts: Where are my hips? Shoulders back and down. No grasping. Relax your jaw.

Friday - Time to slay some swim dragons. I revisted the mentally tough swim workout that got the best of me two weeks ago and conquered the demons - not quite hitting my t-pace on every set, but coming really, really close -- while staying mentally present. The lesson: Stay relaxed...and try to not swim in the evening while hungry and tired!

The best part of Friday? Treating myself to a massage in preparation for Saturday's tough run!

Saturday - A 60 minute run with zone 4 intervals on the Coach Bubba course, followed by weights and lots of physical therapist-recommended stretching to complement my yoga practice and build strength in the hip that has bothered me in previous weeks. Compared with the trails and other soft surfaces I've been running on for the last few months, the asphalt 4 mile course felt super fast. Can't wait for the race!

Sunday - Rest, walk around the neighborhood, host a dinner party for 9 and cheer on the Tar Heels.

This week will bring more of the same -- speed work, intervals, and race day visualization. If this morning's swim and this evening's yoga class are any indication, I'm in for another great week.