Thursday, February 21, 2013

going FAST and compression socks

Happy Thursday everyone!  Hope the week has been going well for you all.  Things are pretty darn rosy in my neck of the woods, let me tell you why! ( as if you had a choice...)

Monday - 4x(200m w/ equal rest, 400m(1:32-1:36pace) w/ equal rest, 800m(3:12-3:22 pace) w/400m rest)
                 9 miles total (WU & CD included)
1st set: 200=:46, 400= 1:34, 800= 3:20
2nd set: 200- :44. 400= 1:33, 800= 3:21
3rd set: 200= :40, 400= 1:31, 800= 3:15
4th set: 200= :38, 400= 1:31, 800= 3:20

This was awesome for SO many reasons.  I was coming off a recovery week and was more than ready to get to work.  Nichole gave me faster paces to shoot for, and also a tip to change my mentality going into it.  For the 200's she didn't give me a new pace, but said to basically run FAST, and have the thought process of that this is crazy, but to just have fun and see how fast I can get my legs to move.  Let me tell you, that small change in mindset really made all the difference.  Instead of thinking "oh my gosh this is going to be so hard" and psyching myself out, I went into each repeat trying to go hard and push myself, all the while thinking I must look completely crazy, with a smile on my face :)  I left that workout flying high and happy!  My legs were spent, but I was so proud I hit my new paces.

Tuesday - 6 miles easy
                 ran on TM, incline 1%

My legs were still feeling yesterdays speed work, so they took a good mile to warm up.  I did add in two .25 mile "hills", which seemed to help loosen them up a little bit.  Also, this afternoon I stopped out to see our company chiropractor Jim so he could help with my knee.  I had some trouble with it bothering me last week so I wanted to get adjusted before it got any worse.  I was cracked and twisted and feel much better!  Its such a relief having Jim to help me.  I have found that since I've been going to him, I haven't been worrying about my knee as much.  Its nice not to have that distraction of wondering when my knee will start to hurt.  I can focus on just running and pay attention to that. 

Wednesday - 2 mi. WU&CD
                     3x2mile @ Tempo (7:10-7:25), 2 min. recovery in between
                     10 miles total

This time I was a little more nervous for my workout.  Last time my tempo was at 7:45 pace, so the thought of going 20+ seconds faster was a little scary.  I strapped on my big girl pants socks and got to work.
1st @ 7:20
2nd @ 7:22
3rd @ 7:24 - barely!

I had some stomach issues and had to stop and use the restroom after my warm up and after the 2nd set.  I definitely am not one of those people with an iron stomach.  Please, seasoned runners, tell me it gets better!  I have to say, this was tough.  I really really didn't want to have to slow down, so I thought it best to start at the slow end of the paces and if I could, speed up.  I would much rather have to speed up then go out to fast and completely lose it.  Um, duh, wouldn't we all?!  After my second one I really didn't know how I could do the third, and about a quarter of the way through the last one I had to pull out every trick ("only 1.5 miles left - that's what your tempos were last week!", "only 2 800's!", "one lap-on-a-track left!")and motivational quote to keep myself from stopping.  It worked and I finished without having to slow down, but my legs were toast.  My quads were hurting and my calves were getting tight, but I deem this workout a success!

One thing I have added to my running regime is wearing compression socks.  I know I know, this is kind of a HUGE fad and super trendy right now, but turns out, its actually doing me some good.  I know athletes have been using compression gear for years, but it's become super popular lately - at least in ol' blogland.  The one good thing about it being so popular, is that the socks come in some pretty sweet colors!  No longer are the days of only finding beige, white, or black compression socks at you local Walgreen's in the aisle between foot powder and bunion removers.  There are so many companies out there now, and I have have three different ones that I've tried.  My first pair was from Smartwool.  I have the PHD Run Graduated Compression Ultra Light.  I really really like these.  I got a size sm/md and they fit really well.  They do seem to be a little thick, so most of the time I wear them after a run.

I'm wearing them here....Jake is practicing his ballerina moves

I also have a pair of socks from Procompression.  I have the Marathon Sock.  I actually just wore them for the first time for my tempo run yesterday and am in love!  They are thinner than the Smarts and seem to go up a little higher.  I ordered the same size of sm/md for these and they fit really well.  The socks should be tight, but nothing that cuts off circulation, since the point of them is to increase and help with circulation and blood flow and aide in recovery.  I actually liked them so much, that I ordered another pair, this time in a less offensive black :)
trust me, these are brighter in real life!
The third pair I have are calf sleeves from Zensah.  I like the idea of calf sleeves for the fact that I can still wear my normal running socks, but unfortunately these leave something to be desired.  I actually ordered a black pair and pink pair, but gave the black to J because they felt really loose - I ordered the same size of sm/md.  The pink seem to fit better, but if I were to get that brand again, I would order a size down.  Anyone else try this brand and have the same problem??

shockingly, not my legs, but my calves are about the same size as his, yikes

So there is my little plug for compression.  I know some people think it doesn't do a darn thing, and others swear by it.  So far it has helped me with healing shin splints (they went away about a week after wearing the socks/sleeves), and helping with tight calves.  I figured, as long as it's not hurting me, it cant be a bad thing, and now I can fit in with all the cool kids, cause that's what its all about right?!  Who am I kidding, I'll never be that cool...

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