Saturday, November 27, 2010

Recovery Week Here I Come!

Well, I made it through three weeks of running specific training and am still vertical. I only have to run three days a week, but they are hard runs, especially the track workout. I'm seeing huge gains right now, which will unfortunately start getting smaller and smaller as I get faster. I'm in the low 19's for 5k, but really would like to be around 18:30. I seem to be retarded when it comes to running really fast, so I'm not sure I could ever consistently run BELOW a 6 minute mile pace for any great distance. I guess time will tell...

Chris and I were lucky enough to get a spot in the already sold out Red Top Rumble, so at least I have a running race to look forward to in February. My goal is 1:25 or better for the 11.5 mile course. That equates to a 7:23 pace, which over a short distance is easy, but add in some large hills and the extra distance and it becomes quite a challenge. I do my long tempo runs at Red Top Mtn anyways, so I may start doing them on the race course to see what average pace I can maintain.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Running in Progress

So I bit the bullet and bought my first pair of racing flats the other day. I figured they would be better on the track than my knobby Inov-8 X-Talon shoes. I'm following an actual running training plan (gasp!) and it is awesome because it tells me how far, what pace, etc. So I really feel like I'm training with a purpose. The paces are pretty high, as it is the "Run Less, Run Faster" plan, but I can already see a huge improvement. I started a couple of weeks ago with enough running fitness to do a 20 minute 5K. After just 3 weeks, at that same perceived exertion level, I can take about 30 seconds off of that, maybe more. The best part is that I can COMFORTABLY run 6:30 pace, which before was pushing me pretty hard. It is amazing how much easier running is becoming, so I'm anxious to see where I'm at at the end of the 16 week training plan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Marietta Cyclocross

Whew, fun day at Jim Miller Park. If last week wasn't bad enough with a three way battle for 2nd place, this week was a four way battle between Kim S., Amanda, Rebecca G. and I.

I got a good start and tried to mount an early attack through the chicane of ditches, but I took it too agressively and clipped my pedal in the grass - ok, yes I had it leaned a bit too much. I recovered, but was off my line and had to slow down so that attack failed. For the next 2.5 laps, I led my 3 chasers around the course which was both good and bad. I could ease up when I wanted, speed up when I wanted, but they were also drafting off me. I tried to keep the pace steady and hoped at least one of them would pop. I didn't want to mount an attack against a group that large as I figured there were too many of them to launch counter attacks while I was tired. Plus I just didn't have much more horsepower than what my legs were producing. I tried to push it up the run up, but never seemed to be able to shake my chasers for very long. The flattish nature of the course made it hard to get away and I'm not very good at launching attacks anywhere that isn't uphill or technical...and there wasn't a whole lot of that today. I need some lessons in being a roadie!

On the final lap, I sat up on the flat paved section, hoping someone would take the lead so I could draft. Rebecca and Kim went and I hopped on their wheel. I think this was a mistake because Rebecca led through the ditch chicane, which really slowed Kim and I down, but we couldn't pass. I passed Kim after the barriers, then passed Rebecca before the hill climb. I kept the pace high enough so that it would have been really tough for the others to pass up the climb. I figured the run up was my best bet to gain a small gap.

When I hit the run up, I ran as hard as I could, which worked well to put a bit of distance between myself and two of the chasing pack, but I could not shake Rebecca. She was right on me down into the field. I tried to hold her off but she was able to power by on the final finishing straight and cross the line first by a couple of seconds. Argh! So close! So I had to settle for 3rd for the day, but could have easily been 5th considering how strong everyone was riding.

I'm now taking a little break from cross until the season finale and State Championship in January. It has been so hard to train while racing every weekend, and I'd like to ride my bike more than 3 hours a week. I've also been doing some running specific training which I've been slowly easing into. The nice part about the running training is that the total running time is 3 hours or less a week, but the runs are hard enough to make you get faster...and fast. I've already seen an improvement from doing just a couple of runs on the track.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How to increase male attendance at CX races...

This photo was taken by Todd Kaminski at the Life College Halloween CX Race. Thankfully I did not have any wardrobe malfunctions while wearing this outfit, and the skirt did not get caught on my saddle on the dismounts...

I CAN say that I've seen more photos taken of me in this race than any other...perhaps we need to rethink the OutSpokin' team kits for next year! I know us ladies could rock the school girl skirt!