MRB enlightened me today that in four weeks we are running the Amsterdam 10k.
We are halfway through the training plan! Can you believe that?
This fifth week of training went very well for me. I ran some very nice times. Over the weekend, I visited a friend for her birthday party in a city on the other side of the country, and spent a fun night full of bus adventures. I went to a concert of my other friend’s band Frankly no Helix which went really great! I danced a lot, so that counts as cross-training, right?
Monday – dance and yoga
Tuesday – 8k fartlek
The decision to do fartleks in place of fixed intervals was one of the best I could have made. My intervals are still not very long (max 600m), but they are getting longer and faster. With all the slow rest, walking and stopping for taking pictures of flowers, I still finished with a 6:07 mins/km average pace.
Part of the credit goes to the breathing technique where I tried the 2/1 breath method (breath in on 2 steps, breath out on 1) during the faster intervals. I noticed I could keep the fast pace for longer that way. The breathing itself feels quite unnatural and has to be a conscious effort, but that might get better over time (I hope).
Thursday – 8k comfortable/fast run
Being quite exhausted from a lot of work, I needed to take it easy, and decided to run comfortably instead of a fast-paced run. Even though the run was certainly a highlight in my rather poor day, in itself it felt wonderful.
It didn’t start that great, though. I knew I am not going to push for a fast run, but even going at a comfortable pace, the first kilometre felt like a chore. Then, suddenly, I got into the zone I haven’t felt for quite a while, my zen mode, my state of running nirvana, which stayed with me basically till the very end. I didn’t pay attention to anything, not my breath, not my pace, nothing; I just ran in the full automated state when I did not even feel in control of my legs; and, by some kind of magic, I ended up with an identical time as on the Tuesday run.
Saturday – 5k jog
You can imagine that, after a party and night time adventures, I was glad that the plan called for an easy run. Although, I have to tell you, delicious birthday cake for breakfast is simply an amazing thing, and Amsterdam looks absolutely beautiful at this time of the year. As an example, have some tulips.
I did not run in Amsterdam, though, I am saving that for the race!
Sunday – 7k fast
Trying the breathing technique I described earlier (and despite the night filled with dancing), I pulled out a really, really nice pace. I am quite proud of this run and how far I improved over these last weeks. At the beginning of this training, I would consider this to be fast for me for a 5k, and now look at me – I am running further and further and my times are getting better and better. By the end of this 7k, though, I felt really tired. But that just means I tried hard enough, right?
On top of that, my FB feed is filled with all the lucky people excited for running the Boston Marathon tomorrow. All the best of luck to everyone! Godspeed!