When last I posted I was just coming off of my new PR at the Salt Lake Half. Since then I've been shifting gears & moving forward. Here's what's been going on.
Gear Shift #1: Changing up injury prevention strategies
After the half, I took off basically a week (I ran twice). I hadn't intended to take off so many days, but my Achilles were bothering me more, and my legs remained sore and tired for longer than usual after the race. After a while, I started to suspect that part of the trouble with my Achilles was tightness in my calves. I busted out the foam roller, "wished I'd never been born" (in the words of my group's coach), and got to work. OUCH! However, there has been improvement in the Achilles, so I'll take it. Foam roller FTW!
Gear Shift #2: More intense training
I used the Runner's World sub-2 half training schedule for Salt Lake. By my count, this was the 4th time I'd used that training plan (and the 4th time I've gone sub-2!), and as such, it felt way less intimidating than it used to. This time around I knew I could do the runs even even a bit faster than the schedule suggested.
With my new PR at 1:53 and wanting to take a few more minutes off that, it's time to switch to a new training schedule. The RW sub-1:45, with training paces adjusted to be slightly slower (aimed at a 1:50), is the next step up in training plans. It is much more intense. The schedule adds a run on Tuesdays (which I've never done), includes longer easy runs (6-7 miles), and keeps more long runs at double digit mileage. It's exciting and just a little bit intimidating, which is exactly the buzz I wanted. Just a little over 6 weeks until race day!
Gear shift #3: Switching from a Forerunner 405 to a 220
As I chronicled on Daily Mile, my beloved Forerunner 405 finally went to the great charging clip in the sky shortly before the Salt Lake Half. Just in time for the race, I got a Forerunner 220 and have been learning its ins & outs since. Mostly this has been just fine, but a few days ago I was messing with it to get it synced to various accounts and must have screwed something up. Yesterday when I went running, the screen was alternating between "screen 1", "screen 2", and the clock. Fixing that required 2 pit stops. Then, my run was a 2 mile warm-up, 4 miles @ 8:00/mile, and a cool down. In the first mile of the 8:00 pace, I was running what felt like land speed records and the numbers on my Garmin weren't budging. Only after the mile did I realize that the auto lap had turned off, so my time was still averaging with the warm-up miles. I didn't stop to turn auto lap back on, opting instead to just press the lap button at each mile.
Overall, I really like the 220 a lot. I love the back lighting option for early morning runs. I love its slender profile (much easier with jackets/long sleeves), and I especially love that I can turn it off to save the battery. I've also become a fan of the Bluetooth sync option with my phone. Once we've gotten to know each other a bit, I see a long and happy relationship here.