The weather was all over the board this week. On Monday, a snow storm closed my local pool. Fortunately, a pool in a neighboring county was open so a teammate and I headed over (which gave me a nice chance to test out my car's winter driving capabilities - it passed with flying colors).
Monday evening into Tuesday morning, an ice storm covered our 4 inches of snow with a glaze of ice. My coach cancelled morning track, encouraging us to go to the evening workout instead. I couldn't make the evening workout, so I headed out later that morning after most of the ice melted to do something that raised my heart rate (and involved running - get your mind out of the gutter).
I ended up returning to Iwo Jima for hill repeats - it was the only real option, since the track was unusable, and my normal fallback of the Whitehurst Freeway underpass had too much traffic at that time of day to be safe. Since I have a hilly half-marathon in a few weeks, it probably wasn't a bad thing to get some hill work in.
During my hill workout, the skies opened up and it poured, while the temperatures rose quickly, resulting in a river flowing down the hill as I ran up it. I've always regretted the fact that you can't replicate hill workouts in the pool. But apparently you can replicate pool-running workouts while doing hill repeats.
The rain eased up during my cool-down jog, and by Tuesday evening, all snow and slush was completely gone. The track was clear and open, for the workout I wasn't attending. The weather gods are cruel.
The rest of the week was better. Friday morning's workout was in the 20s, which felt "normal", and then we had absolutely perfect weather for Sunday's long run. (The weather gods are also fickle). The long run was another set of 4-3-2-1 mile intervals, with one mile recovery between each.
I've always loved this workout - it's just one that comes very easily to me. A large part of that is that my strength as a runner is my strength, and so strength workouts like this one are much easier for me than speedwork. Part also is that this workout is the only time (besides races) that I take a caffeinated gel. Makes me ridiculously jittery and a bit snappy, which I hate, but I love the extra perk in my legs.
But because this workout is always so easy for me, that's also an indication that I don't need to do it very often. I've now done it twice this year, and I'm guessing that's it for a while. My hunch is that it's better for me to keep the legs fresher and focus on speed and turnover - my strength will always be there.
My iron issues are also continuing to improve. I still can't turn my legs over quite the way I want to on the track, but I'm not running out of gas anymore, and I am getting peppier.
One side consequence of the iron issues is that I've gotten a lot more tense when running on the track. When my legs aren't as peppy as I would like, then I get angry and start trying hard and tensing up, and end up just worsening the issue. Track is about practicing running fast while relaxed - which is easier to do when you're not pissed off and straining. So that's what I want to work on for the next two weeks, along with backing off the mileage to freshen up the legs. And continuing to pop the iron supplements twice a day.