My 2015 is not off to the most auspicious of starts. I’ve already dealt with both an injury and illness and we are less than a month into the new year! That being said, I’m trying to stay positive by telling myself I’m fortunate that I’m getting all of this bad stuff out of my system before race season starts (maintaining a positive attitude is one of my big goals for 2015!). Here are some updates:
Fairfax Four Miler
I had been planning to run the Fairfax Four Miler on New Year’s Eve, since it is a nearby, affordable race that I had heard a lot of positive things about from members of my local running group, Moms Run This Town (MRTT). I also thought it would be fun to try a New Year’s Eve race for the first time. Unfortunately, the knee issue I had leading up to the marathon flared up as soon as I started building my running mileage up again after some post-marathon down time. Because of that, I didn’t run much at all in the two weeks before the race and, even though four miles isn’t a very long run in the grand scheme of things, it’s long enough to feel the lack of run training. While I’m not planning to do a complete race report, I will sum it up by saying I didn’t have the best of races. I ended up running an average pace of about ten minute miles (39:35 chip time), which I was fine with, considering the circumstances, but obviously not really happy about. The good news is that although the knee hurt, it was much, much better and the pain was never unbearable (thanks, Dr. Grove!). I enjoyed seeing some of my MRTT friends before the race and it seemed appropriate to end the year with a run, since 2014 was such a great year for me running-wise.
Since the knee held up okay during the Fairfax Four Miler, I decided at the last minute to sign-up for the Frozen 5K just a few days later, which had turned into a Team HPB race. Alyssa and Leslie would be battling it out for the win, with Katie not far behind, and I would be just trying to survive until the finish! During our warm-up jog, I told Katie that I would be happy enough if I could pull out 9:00 minute/mile pace because of my lack of running and that is about where I ended up – 27:58 (chip time), 28:11 (gun time). Well off my PR pace, to be sure, but I’ll take it!
The day after the 5K, I woke up with a cold that got progressively worse throughout the week. Almost two weeks later, I’m still dealing with a bit of a cough and congestion, but feeling much better than I was. I tried to keep up with training throughout the cold and I, generally, did well with that. I only took two (non-consecutive) days off and did some pretty big swims despite the cold, so I am happy with that.
In light of the knee issue, we decided it made sense for me to explore some new shoe options (I’ve worn Saucony Kinvaras for the last couple of years). After trying on many, many pairs of shoes, I bought a pair of Altra running shoes for the first time. Specifically, I bought a pair of Intuitions (2.0 version). I wore them for both races. They have a very wide toe box and more cushioning than I am accustomed to in my Kinvaras. So, they feel a bit odd. I’m sure I’ll get used to them, but for now, I’m still feeling a bit awkward in them. In fairness, some of that may also be attributable to the lack of running, generally, and hopefully both of those things will sort themselves out as I get a few more miles under my belt.
I just finished up a block of swim-focused training that went very well. I swam a ton – five to six days a week, including a 60×100 which is my second longest swim ever (I did 75×100 at Charlottesville camp last summer). This is my second year of “swim camp” and I have to say that I really love it. It actually makes me like swimming. I think seeing improvements in my speed helps build my confidence in the pool and confidence is a powerful thing. Hopefully this is a sign of positive things to come with my swimming this year.
And, finally, I am happy to report that I have been cooking lots of delicious, nutritious meals. This is something that I have always wanted to do, but I’ve never been able to stick with. I have some very big running and triathlon goals for 2015 and I know I am going to need to eat right if I want to accomplish them.
(top to bottom: bean and vegetable soup; Asian noodle soup; and simple biryani with chickpeas)
How is your 2015 going so far?