Tonight found me on the track for my first-ever speed workout. We did 8 x 500s for time with a cool down lap between each. The first two were ridiculously hard but my body seemed to adjust after that. I'll be doing these speed sessions every Wednesday from here on out and am excited to see how my running improves.
Speaking of running improvements, a friend said something tonight that completely resonated with me. For so long, she has been focused on distance. Being able to run a certain distance, regardless of the time. I am in the same boat. For so long, I just completed shorter runs here and there, ran a few long runs and did my best to comfortably (and safely) finish my races. I am getting to a point now where I can run longer distances without concern and need to focus on making myself faster. My other friend (and coach, whom you should not feel bad for as she just returned from a three-week training trip in Maui) was able to look at my technique (classic heel striker here) and show me how to run more effectively (and quickly) using the forefront of my foot. This was completely uncomfortable for my body tonight but I can see how it will allow my body to run faster. I'll be focusing on this a lot in the future and will report back but I am anxious to know if anyone has gone through a similar technique adjustment?
I'm managing to get three weight training sessions in each week. I am a firm believer in weight training to avoid injury and strengthen the body (specifically the core) overall. Plus, I just feel better lifting. It's been something I've enjoyed since I started doing it while swimming at age 12 and is the perfect intense, zone-out time for me. If that makes any sense. And I have big arms, so the least I can do is try to make them look muscular. Miss Bubbly Banter knows all about that.
For Lent, I decided to give up gluten. Like for real. I know, I know. I should have done this years ago. (Oh, beer. Sigh.) But with my gluten intolerance and heavy training, it is a smart decision to avoid it. I feel amazingly better when I am not eating it. My stomach does not have me looking like I am eight months pregnant, I am not cramping, I am not as tired and I feel stronger. Turns out a lot of athletes feel this way. I know gluten is a sticking point for a lot of folks (plus a trendy one that people seem to just latch onto) but if you're curious, cut it out and see how you feel. I promise, it's really not that hard to avoid it. Even restaurants seem overly accommodating (at least in Canada) these days.