A Great Start

I mentioned previously that I joined another blogger in a 1000km running challenge. We are going to try to run 1000km in 2015. Breaking that down means that I would have to average about 80km per month.  That seemed a lot to me, especially with the on and off injuries I had in 2013.

Well let me say that January has been a fantastic month for running.  I have incorporated weighted quad sets (20 lbs) on the off days and have noticed a huge difference in the strength of my legs.  The knee doesn’t ache anymore and the shin splints are gone.  My speed has improved as well.

The first half of January saw me running a series of 5km runs (from work to home).  One of my goals this year was to run 5km in 30 minutes. I haven’t quite gotten there yet but the last few 5km runs I have broken my own personal best record twice, in the same week!

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I’ve only done two long slow distance runs this month.  The first was the 11.1 km a few weeks ago.  Yesterday was the second.  My online running group suggested that I try to incorporate one LSD per week to help me reach my goal of the sub-30 minute 5km. I didn’t tell them this but one of my other goals for the year is to run a half-marathon distance.  Again, I’m not signing up for any races so there isn’t really a time constraint, other than I have 11 months to reach this distance.

So while the kids and I were visiting my in-laws, I took advantage of the extra childcare and set out on a long run in a city that isn’t all that familiar to me.  I mapped out a 10km route but got a bit distracted by the scenery (million dollar homes along the waterfront).  It was really cold and my cheeks were frozen by the half-way point.  I wanted to quit several times.  I needed a few extra walk breaks, not for my legs, but for my breathing and thank goodness for traffic lights.  The ability to catch my breath made it easier to keep going.  It was a very mentally challenging experience and one I am proud of accomplishing.

photo(32)That final run of January took me very close to 80 km.  Didn’t quite make it but that’s okay.  I’m just happy I can run pain-free again.

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PB!

November was a pretty crappy month for running. I was sick a lot and just didn’t have the energy to run.  I only logged about 30km which is low for me.

Illness-wise December isn’t shaping up too well, the cough has returned thanks to all three of my kids having it too and I’ve only been out twice for a run so far. But to my surprise, my pace seems to have quickened.  I don’t know if it’s the several days break in between runs or what, but I am getting closer and closer to breaking the 7 min/km pace and it’s very exciting!

My first run in December was last weekend and I managed a steady 4km run (partly because I was under-dressed and cold and just wanted to get home) and my pace was pretty good.  My left knee did start to ache a little bit by the end but it was okay after a day or two (I’m pretty sure it’s the patello-femoral pain syndrome coming back so I must start doing my quad sets again!).  At the end of the run, I was thrilled to see a sub-7 min pace (just barely though!)

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I mentioned in my Gingerbread post that daughter has been sick and now all the kids have the same fever and cough, so I didn’t get a chance to run at all on the weekend.  I managed a run home from the office last night and though I did need a few walk breaks because of some mild shortness of breath due to this stupid cough I’ve got, I felt like I was running faster overall.  My knee ached a bit but not nearly as much as the last run.  I checked my time and pace around 4km and realized I might be able to get a sub-35 min 5km, so I pushed and pushed and ran my ass home!

To say I was thrilled with my overall pace is an understatement — 5 km at an average pace of 6:54 min/km.

Yeah baby!  A new PB!

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