The week leading up to Gasparilla was not filled with a lot of running. On Tuesday I ran in the morning with Mera and the Striders. Tuesday is their intervals day and I was going to try this out. My alarm went off at 4:30am and out of bed I was. Mera came by, picked me up, and we headed out in the cold. We were a little early and there weren't many runners there when we arrived. Little by little people started showing up and then a little after 5:30 we were off.
I was going to try doing some interval training for the first time. I haven't really done anything to make myself faster, so I wanted to try it out. David, the wonderful organizer of these group runs, helped me out. We ran the first mile together at around a 9:45 pace, probably a little too fast for my warm up, and then I slowed down a little. After a little bit longer of my normal running, I was to try kicking it up a notch. Running for about a quarter mile at a pace that made me a bit uncomfortable. I tried it out. It was hard. I didn't quite get to a quarter mile. I didn't go far at all, but I was told it takes time. And there's always my pesky rapid heart rate issue. I tried it again for as long as I could pick up the pace.
Usually they do 3 intervals during this run, but I did two. I also was practicing breathing habits that should keep my heart rate steady and allow me to keep my pace for longer. And I worked on form. 5 miles later and I was ready for some coffee. The intervals were tough on me, but I liked them. I need to focus more on getting faster and stronger, instead of just racing every weekend. It will be hard to stay away from the halves all the time, but I need to shift focus.
After my 5 mile early morning run, I cleaned up and headed to work. I had already forewarned everyone that I needed to stop what I was doing at 1pm and register for the Chicago marathon. One o'clock rolled around and I used my phone to register. I went through the entire registration process, up until the point of payment, and then the website wouldn't let me go further. I tried over and over again to register with no luck. Others I spoke to were having the same issue. I was at work, and I couldn't stay there on my phone trying to get this site to work. Luckily my friend was also trying to register so I asked him to register me as well if he ever got through. Surprisingly I was registered not too long after that. And shortly after I got confirmation of my registration the site was closed to any more registrants. 15,000 spots remained open, but no one else could register at the moment. My cousin, Adele, who I planned the whole Chicago trip with, still wasn't registered. Hopefully when this mess clears up she will get in.
After work I decided I was going to run again. I headed over to World Of Beer to meet Sara as we normally do on Tuesdays. We started running and I tried to keep a steady pace. I tried out the breathing tricks David had shown me earlier and I think they really helped. I was able to maintain a faster, steadier pace for longer than usual. Another 3 miles done for the day. Eight miles total. I went home and passed out for the night.
The next day I was getting a pain in my foot. The ball of my foot, right where the big toe meets the foot, was feeling almost like it was bruised. It would hurt even when I wasn't putting pressure on it. I did a little research online to see what could be up, and asked a few people for advice. I followed the advice of a few running friends and also decided it was time to get new running shoes. I realized I had them for longer than I should have, and they might be contributing to this pain. I would wear them for this weekends races, and then on to the next pair.
Thursday morning I woke up to run with the striders again, but my body was just telling me no. I was tired, my foot hurt, and I decided to rest up for the upcoming Beck's challenge I was doing that weekend. I took that day and Friday off from running.
And then it was on to run for the booty!