Rest. Recover. Reboot.

After a busy year of racing, I'm enjoying a period of rest and recovery.

The week after the Go Commando Half Marathon, I ran/walked/hiked about 12 miles total, and I this week I ran/walked/hiked about 20 miles. I want to maintain a base and not lose a ton of fitness, but I want to also give my body some easy weeks to feel rejuvenated.  My husband and I ran a Halloween-themed 5-miler last weekend (slower than my half marathon the week before--legs just had no juice and breathing was off).  But at least we looked sort of cool.  We went as "early morning trail runners."  This is how I feel every time I clear the trails at Rotary Park!

Now, on to the reboot.  Around Tuesday of last week, I discovered two websites that are going to be influential in my running in 2015:  Strength Running and Coach Jay Johnson.  My friend  Lisa used a Strength Running training plan in the past by Coach Jason Fitzgerald with much success, so I decided to check out his website.  Wow, great information in that site! I spent a few hours reading his views on hill sprints, shoes, body-weight strength training (and more!) and took lots of notes.   In several of his posts, he recommends strength training exercises by Coach Jay Johnson, so I checked him out, too.  There is so much great coaching information available online for free! 

After a year focused on running far (and slow, for the most part), I have been looking to take my training in a new direction for next year.  Both Fitzgerald and Johnson subscribe to the motto: log the miles, protect the body.  They are believers in moderately high mileage plus core work as well as general strength and mobility training.
Honestly, I've been slacking in that area.  I taught a strength-training class at the YMCA every Tuesday for several years until last November.  I thought I would do it on my own, but I didn't make the time.  My IT Band issue started in January.  Coincidence?  I've fought with it for 11 months now.  It gets better, then it gets worse.

Coach Jay Johnson recommends an 8-week strength training program done 2-3 times per week.  I completed week 1 this week.  Fitzgerald has a standard core strength program and an IT Band rehab program of exercises, which I also completed once this week.  Both recommend a lunge matrix pre-run, which I utilized as well. I enjoyed doing these and was a little sore.  Both coaches also promote hill sprints and strides to improve running economy as well as build strength.

Log the miles, protect the body.  I think this is the REBOOT I need to be a well-rounded, healthier, faster, happier runner in 2015. 

Runs this week:
Monday-- Great trail run at Rotary with Andrea.  3 miles.  We pushed the pace more than usual and enjoyed the peak of leaf color.  Does it get any better than this?
Tuesday-- Just 1.5 miles in my neighborhood and then 5 strides in POURING rain.  I had to laugh when it started absolutely pouring. I was soaked in about 10 seconds.  Running fast felt good.
Wednesday--  Track work!  The APSU track finally reopened after a year of closure.  I ran 8 X 200 meters at an average 7:12 pace.  The last one was 7:06 pace.  I was happy with that after a year of slow running.  My happy place:
Thursday-Hiked 2.5 miles at Rotary with Andrea.  We were trying to design a 5K course for an upcoming trail race but ran out of trail!
Friday-5.3 mile run with Michelle in Savannah.  Savannah is one of my favorite running neighborhoods.  Michelle and I conquered the huge hill on Carriage Way, which needs to be a part of my regular routine.   We ended with 5 fast strides.  Very enjoyable run.  And faster than my 5-mile race last weekend!
Saturday--3.6 mile run with my husband at one of my favorite places--the Cumberland Bicentennial Trail.  Legs were tired.  

It was a good running week.

I think I finally know where I'm going and have some idea how to get there.  I'm going to build a foundation, brick by brick.  

Upcoming races tentatively:

Nov. 22---  Farm Bureau Holiday 10K. 
February--  Dry Creek Trail Half Marathon (I did the full last year.  Mostly fire roads.)
March 7-- Tom King Half Marathon  (flat and fast and similar to goal race's course)
April 4--Oak Barrel Half Marathon (training run only---going to support Hubby's PR attempt)
April 18-- Carmel Marathon in Indiana  *** GOAL RACE ***