It was a good weekend, workout-wise. Certainly much better than last weekend when I had to cut my long run short and didn't manage to do anything on Sunday.
It started on Friday with my 2011 pool debut. I also FINALLY swam in the "new" W&L pool. Actually, it's probably been around long enough that it can no longer be considered new, but I haven't done much indoor swimming in the last few years. I was impressed - definitely nicer than the old one which I had spent a fair amount of time in. And, fortunately, the swimming part wasn't quite as bad as I was expecting it to be after a five month break. I need to work on fitting swimming back into my workout routine. For some reason once a week seems a bit optimistic, but that should probably be my goal.
Saturday morning I had 14 miles on the schedule and was excited to get out in the warmer weather. One of my goals for this training cycle has been to run my long runs faster. In the past I haven't been too concerned with time and instead have focused on getting in the miles and staying at a consistent pace throughout. This has typically resulted in miles in the upper 10s to low 11s, particularly during marathon training. This time I've been shooting to run about 30 seconds over half-marathon pace. Since I'd like to be somewhere around 9:30 or slightly below in the National Half, I've been trying to stay around 10 minute miles (and really in the 9:50-10 range). I feel like I'm definitely working harder than I have on long runs in the past, but it hasn't been as tough as I thought it might be. I was feeling good yesterday and realized as I got closer to 13 miles that I was going to be awfully close to my half marathon PR (a 9:53 pace). I ended up hitting 13.1 miles 7 seconds slower than my PR! Now granted, I did pause my watch when I had to stop at red lights and I think when I set the PR I actually ran at least 13.2, but I'll take it. It's definitely a big confidence booster with 6 weeks to go until the race.
Of course I had to stop my run in the middle of Memorial Bridge and commemorate the event with pictures. :)
Today it was so nice out that instead of heading to the gym for some cross-training (like I normally do on Sundays), I decided to go outside for a 4 mile recovery run. It was a great day to be out and it gave me another opportunity to work on my running self portraits (which have a lot of room for improvement).
Post run I was able to finally drop off my new bike for a tune-up. Not surprisingly, it turns out that it needs some work. When I pick it up on Wednesday, it will have new tires, brake pads, cables and pedals. I'm definitely not ready to clip-in, so I'm having them swap out those pedals for some toe clips. Hopefully sometime in the future I'll be ready to put them back on. I'm excited (and nervous) to start riding. The bike paths of NoVA and DC are about to get a little more dangerous for everyone else! I'll do my best to only take out myself when I (inevitably) wipe out.
Now I just need to find an early to mid-summer tri. If anyone has any recommendations, please let me know. I'd like to start with a sprint, but might be willing to tackle the Olympic distance by later in the summer.
I hope everyone had a good weekend, especially all of those DC area bloggers running the Love the Run You're With 5k!