I’m bubbling with energy today. I woke up at 4:20 and bounded out of bed to go to the gym. Seriously that never happens. I always have the best of intentions to get my workout done early before my husband goes to work so I don’t have to do it later in the day especially since I have to work tonight. I did a speed training workout, some upper body strength training and then back at home I did an hour of Plyometrics. As tough as it is to wake up that early I am always much more energetic when I do.
Before I even got to Florida for the marathon I had my mind set on my next goal…improve my speed. The last two years I have competed in the Bridge of Flowers 10K in Shelburne Falls, MA. It is one of my favorite races. In 2010 I ran it in 1:07:36 and last year I finished in 1:04:16. I was floored that I had managed to shave 3 minutes off my time especially given that mile 3 is a seriously steep ascent up what is known as Crittendon Hill. Hill my ass. It is a small mountain. Yet despite the “hill” I know I can do better. I am determined to get my 10K time at this race under 1:00 and 59:59 would be acceptable!
I have until August to get ready for the Bridge of Flowers so in the meantime I’ve got my sights set on the Holyoke, MA St. Patrick’s Day 10K Road Race. I’ve never run this race before despite the fact that it is a very popular race in my area and the hospital I work for is usually a sponsor of the race. This is a big weekend in Holyoke which at one time boasted a large Irish immigrant population. An interesting fact, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade which is held the day after the race is the 2nd largest in the country. Second only to New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
I’m not Irish and I’m not a huge fan of parade’s, but running I can do. I’m excited to run this race. I know lots of people running it and I’ve run much of the course without even realizing it when I was training for the marathon. It’s not an easy course either. There are multiple good size hills to contend with.
The St. Patrick’s Day Race will serve as a test run, if you will, for Shelburne Falls. I will be able to gauge my time, my strengths and weaknesses. Once again I am following a Hal Higdon training plan. I preplanned my 10K training schedule prior to the marathon. After the marathon I gave myself a full week off save for a couple of very slow, short runs just to stretch my legs out and a few walks. The next week I began my new training schedule but it started out with some easy running and strength training.
It’s hard to believe that I just started week 4 of the training. I am loving it so far. It is a mix of tempo runs, pace runs, speed intervals training, strength training and I’ve also thrown in some Plyometrics for good measure. A coworker who has worked as a track coach recommended the plyometrics to improve speed, balance and agility. I just so happened to have a burned copy of the P90X Plyometrics DVD. It’s lots of squats with bursts of jumps amongst other exercises. I couldn’t walk the day after I did it for the first and second time. Today was my third attempt. We’ll see how I’m doing tomorrow!
I am working on putting my race schedule together for the year. That sounds really weird to write. Seriously who am I that I have a race schedule? It’s really fun to check out races all over the place and figure out what new and interesting locales I can check out this year. Anyway it’s looking really exciting but not written in stone just yet so more on the schedule once I am able to actually register for some of the races. I can say that there may be another marathon, a possible international race and as I mentioned above a return to an old favorite with a big PR goal.