Brr! The week that arctic weather returned to Calgary just happened to be a rest week in my training cycle for the Goofy Challenge. I was very thankful for that! My coach is giving me a bunch of workouts that involve a little bit running long, then trying to find some speed in my legs later in the workout when my legs are tired. My first run like that was on Tuesday, where I had a 90 min run with 5 x 3:00 hard/1:00 recovery starting 50 minutes into the run.
The cold and snow were scheduled to arrive sometime on Wednesday, so I took advantage of Tuesday’s reasonably nice weather (hovering around zero and minimal wind) for the run. I opted to run commute home again and I was amazed at how much darker it was at 4:30 compared to five days before.
I ran up to McHugh Bluff and the views of downtown in the twilight were just stunning. I had one of those “wow, I really love living in Calgary” moments that I knew I’d need to remember when the snow and cold would arrive later.
That was also when I spotted the beautifully lit up home. The general consensus from the comments on Thursday’s Thinking Out Loud was that the lights were very pretty and not over the top!
Fifty minutes in I started my 5 x 3:00 hard/1:00 recovery. By this point in time it was fully dark, but luckily I had my headlamp on and I could tell that the pathway was relatively free of icy patches. It felt very strange trying to run hard with the Camelbak and it felt like it was bouncing around a bunch. Because it was dark I couldn’t really see my watch to check pace so I just ran hard! I may have started too hard because my paces on intervals 3 – 5 were a tad slower, but I definitely pushed myself.
My other run with speed on fatigued legs was on Sunday. I was to run 15K at my long slow distance pace, then run 10K at my marathon race pace (with permission to pick it up a bit faster). Ideally I’d run 25K (or 15.5 miles) outside but the weather on Sunday was just not cooperating. It was brutally cold out, and well beyond my comfort zone for about 2:45 of running outdoors. It also sounded mind numbingly boring to run for that long on a treadmill. Luckily my coach suggested an indoor run at the Olympic Oval.
My hands were frozen between my walk from the car to the oval so I knew I was making the right decision. The running track at the oval is just outside the speed skating oval, has two lanes, and is about 450 m around.
I scoured through iTunes to come up with a fresh playlist, set up a workout on my Garmin for 55 laps around the track and got to work.
The running surface was nice and felt a little bouncy. I was worried that running around in circles would be a bit boring but I found it interesting to watch the skaters. Once I got into a groove I also started to note my lap time at a couple of different points so I’d be able to gauge how consistent my pacing was. At one point the zamboni came out to clean the ice.
After 33 laps it was time to pick up the pace. At first the speedier pace felt aggressive but then I settled in and it felt just comfortably hard. In my final few laps I was ready to get things done so I pushed the pace even more. My legs were tired but I was focused and I kept giving myself a pep talk as I rounded the corners. When I crossed the finish line after 55 laps I wanted to throw my hands up in the air and give a cheer. I had nailed it!
Other scenes from the week include my indoor spin on Thursday, where I was successful in finally executing the perfect messy bun!
Decorating the Christmas tree on Saturday while enjoying some eggnog. This is also my post haircut selfie because I cut three inches off my hair that day.
One of my favourite things about decorating the Christmas tree is rediscovering all of the ornaments. I picked up this adorable yeti ornament from Saks Fifth Avenue when we were in New York for Christmas last year.
The yeti was featured in the beautiful window displays at Saks.
Our living room!
Did you decorate for the holidays this weekend?