I think it's starting to gel, this whole marathon training thing. Not that I'm there or anything, I'm just finally falling into the rhythm of the process.
I was tired when I got up from my "nap" after work on Wednesday, but jazzed about getting out there to walk with the team. I'll admit, I was a little disappointed all the snow from the flurries that morning (we got about half an inch) was gone by the time I got up...oh well (from the sounds of it, we're likely to get 1-2 inches on Friday, and considering it's going to struggle to even HIT 30 degrees on Saturday, I suspect we'll have snow to walk in that morning). I picked my daughter up at just the right time to get us to the warehouse with a few minutes to spare. Good thing, as once we got there she realized she'd forgotten her gloves, and the temperature was dropping. She was able to borrow a pair from Melissa, one of the other trainers (who mentioned along the walk when we saw a camera man from Channel 12 that she doesn't like her picture taken - good thing for the blogger over here to be aware of).
My daughter among the blinky lights. :)
So we got our "marching orders" for the night - another "out and back", but this time we were going to do "tempo training."
As Rich explained it in his e-mail on Monday:
"There are 4 types of speed training, intervals, hills, fartlek and tempo. For those who prefer speed training, it is important that all 4 are included in your training program as they complement each other.
Tempo walks are the simplest of the speed workouts. Just warm-up, walk at a challenging steady pace and cool down. For marathoners, the challenging pace is race pace.
Tempo runs were first introduced to runners due to a desire to simulate race conditions without exposing the runners to the full physical and mental stress of races. You will walk briskly but not too intensely for a sustained period. Tempo walks improve concentration."
Since we were walking for 60 minutes, the plan was 20 - 20 - 20: 20 minutes warm up, 20 minutes race pace, and 20 minutes cool down.
Here's Rich and Karen (the primary trainers) giving us directions for the evening. :)
So we headed out - the plan being to head down Brotherton Rd. to Madison Rd., take Madison southwest and then left on Edwards and left on Erie...when we hit the 30 minute mark, turn around and come back.
I SO love that area of town. Next week I've got plans for where I want to take a few pictures, so I can share with you my favorite toy store on the planet, and the best ice cream shop in Cincinnati. But last night, I was focused on the training.
We ended up spending most of our time walking with Brenda again, and Melissa. Melissa is apparently recovering from a leg injury, and Brenda is still having some foot issues, so I suspect they are the designated "bringing up the rear" coaches at the moment. And yeah, we were at the back of the pack again, but it REALLY doesn't bother me. For one thing, I really adore Brenda and it was fun getting to know Melissa better. For another thing, I'm not focusing on making any specific time in the marathon, and expect we'll make up any pace deficits running anyway. All I care about is finishing. But the faster we walk, the less we'll HAVE to run and the less time we'll be out there in general, so I'm glad we're doing speed training.
I did take one tumble (durn old broken sidewalks), but I rolled through it and didn't get hurt at all. Point for me (sticks tongue out at silly sidewalk). We got MUCH farther than we did the first time out, which made me extremely happy. And it felt GOOD - seriously good. I was pushing but was still able to chat as we walked, which meant I wasn't pushing TOO hard. And my breathing in this cold is holding up REALLY well - I think I may have finally turned the corner there I was hoping for. Seriously, the entire walk just felt fabulous - I felt SO ALIVE! I am LOVING THIS!
All in all (having tracked it so I have the numbers now) we did 3.85 miles in 61 minutes, which translates to an average pace of 16 minutes per mile. Which is what my sister and I were AIMING for when we were training for Disney (and weren't sure we could manage, leading to our version of "run walking" where we'd pick someone WAY ahead of us and run until we were past them every other mile or so). THE FIRST TIME SPEED TRAINING! Yeah, I'm getting my confidence back (good thing, as those first few sessions with the runners had shaken me up a bit). We are SO gonna RAWK this!
Saturday we'll be walking along the same route to start out, just going farther (MUCH farther...11.73 miles worth of out and back). We'll also be talking about fueling (yay - something I definitely need to learn more about) and there will be samples of gu and other common types of fuel for us to experiment with.
Can you believe the fact that we'll probably be walking in about 20 degrees doesn't even FAZE me? I'm EXCITED about Saturday! Even with the weather reports!
Yeah, I definitely think I'm getting in the groove!
*image courtesy of Adidas ad