Tag Archives: speed intervals

Speed: 1. Cold: 0.

To blog or not to, that’s a question I have been struggling with a lot lately. I have plenty of things to share, but not time it seems to put thought to screen. (See: I blame chemistry.) But yesterday’s question was a different one, one that took priority over the latter:

To run, or not to.

I have had, well, actually I don’t really know what I have had. Shortly after finishing the First Half back in mid February I was struck by my first cold in probably a year, a full on head cold right in the thick of midterms. It lasted over a week, but thankfully did not invade my chest. Two weeks later, my throat was closing up on me and my voice began to sound like that of a wearied 30-year heavy, pub-patroning smoker. What the frick? I couldn’t possibly be getting another cold. No way. I chalked it up to allergies, popped a few antihistamines, and within two, maybe three, days I was cured. Fast forward another two weeks to yesterday when I again started to feel my throat closing up on me, and again, my voice got ugly squeaky. What the freaking hell? A third cold, how the frick is that possible? Nope, it’s not a cold, it can’t be a cold, I rarely get colds and I do not get back-to-back-to-back subsequent colds. This has to be allergies… or does it. The nose is dripping. The grody greens are showing. And the cough. There’s a cough. Are you freaking kidding me? Not cool immune system, not cool at all.

So again, the question of the yesterday: do I run or don’t I?

I’m not sure what the rule of thumb is (and frankly, I don’t want to know) but I think it has something to do with if it’s in your chest don’t. Well, it’s not technically in my chest, just in the whole expanse of my throat stopping at the upper tip of my trachea. So no, no excuses.

My feet owned those speed intervals!

And really, I couldn't leave my new group of UBC chicks (and our token fellow) hanging now could I :)

And really, I couldn’t leave my new group of UBC chicks (and our token fellow) hanging now could I 🙂

THURSDAY SPEEDS:
5:50 p.m. BG before: 5.7
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
Carbs: banana, no bolus
Distance: 8.17 km
Time: 54:29
Average interval pace: 4:13 min/km
7:30 p.m. BG after: 2.7 😦

Good decision? Well, my voice is kaput today, my nose is a faucet, the grodies are aplenty, and the cough, oh that nasty cough… buuuuut, I felt great doing it, my speed did not suffer, and still, today, I am feeling mentally solid. No regrets.

Glutes on fire

I’m not sure doing hill repeats 34 hours before speed intervals was the smartest idea I’ve ever had; in fact, my glutes, who I’m thinking are probably still very much annoyed with me, were screaming and cursing at me for hours after. But my mind felt as though it was freed from the negativity of the last few days, and that, my friends, was well worth the gluteus maximus scolding I endured.

Happiness is my sneakers.  (Don't mind the crazy eyes; we were all a little possessed last night :) )

Happiness is my sneakers.
(Don’t mind the crazy eyes; we were all a little possessed last night 🙂 )

Oh. And my stats, they have me feeling like a bit of a rockstar!

Here’s the breakdown of the intervals: :30; 1:00; 1:30; 2:00; 2:30; 2:30; 2:00; 1:30; 1:00; :30 at 3 km goal pace with a 1:30 walk break in between each. For me, my 3 km goal pace is approximately 4:50 min/km. You will see below just how intensely I annihilated that projected pace. Yes, I am totally gloating!

I screwed up the timing for the first 30 second interval, but check out

I screwed up the timing for the first 30 second interval, but check out intervals 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 19. Not too shabby!

YESTERDAY’S SPEED INTERVALS:
5:50 p.m. BG before: 9.1
Temp. basal: -30 per cent
Carbs: none
Time: 49 minutes
Distance: 7.3 km
Average interval pace: 4.34 min/km
7:30 p.m. BG after: 12.1

Thank you all for your warm wishes and kind thoughts during this tough time for my family and I. It meant an incredible amount. Thank you.

Chasing the carrot

I’d forgotten what it was like to have a carrot.

Two years of training solo. Two years of doing speed intervals on my own. It was good for getting my mind in the right frame of competitive running, pushing myself to the limit and not prematurely kacking out. But, there is something to be said for the carrot.

Tonight was proof.

My study gals and I did our first set of speed intervals along a straight dirt track, pretty much out and back. All out over the course of 30s; 45s; 1:00; 1:15; 1:30; 1:45; 2:00; 2:00; 1:45; 1:30; 1:15; 1:00; 45s: 30s with a 1:15 ‘ish’ walk break between each.

There’s a few speedy girls in this group, like, super speedy. And I was perfectly fine, or so I kept telling myself, to let them go their pace. I knew what my pace should be and I was going to keep to my pace. Note the operative word “was.” As is usually my style, those competitive juices had me surging after those girls, trying to keep up. When I felt myself slowing, I heard the Kiwi voice of Coach NZ speaking to my feet: “quick fast turnover.” When I felt like I wanted to puke, I sucked in my diaphragm and squared my shoulders. When I heard my breathing get loud and asthma-esque, I tried to channel my inner yogi, but then remembered I have no inner yogi, so I got louder instead.

141120carrot

Chasing the carrot.

In the end, my legs were not as speedy as some, but they weren’t that far behind. And looking at Dear Garmin, wow, I blew some of those times out of the water… for me that is 😉 My normal speed interval pace is 4:30 min/km, tonight, based on the program, I was to be aiming for 4:50 min/km with the 30s sprints up to 20 seconds faster and the 2 minute sprints up to 20 seconds slower. Look at these results:

45s: 3:49 min/km
1:00: 3:52 min/km
1:15: 4:03 min/km
1:30: 4:21 min/km
1:45: 4:43 min/km
2:00: 4:38 min/km
2:00: 4:51 min/km
1:45: 4:40 min/km
1:30: 4:41 min/km
1:15: 4:38 min/km
1:00: 4:17 min/km
45s: 4:10 min/km
30s: 3:55 min/km

(Note: the first 30s is missing because I, erm, kinda stopped my watch instead of lapped it. Oops.)

Carrot, indeed 🙂

TONIGHT’S SPEED INTERVALS:
5:45 p.m. BG before: 5.2
Temp. basal: -50% 1 hour
Carbs: 1/2 banana, no bolus
Time: 1:09:19
Distance: 8.3 km
Average interval pace: 4:12 min/km
7:30 p.m. BG after: 7.4
Temp. basal: +50% 1 hour
Carbs: 1/4c almonds

141120speedies

Speedies!!!

Ps. I think it’s high time I brought out the ol’ proper camera so I can ACTUALLY get in-focus photos!

Radler in. Water out.

Ok. I know I’m a diabetic, and I know I’m a runner, and I know that lemonade to a Type-1 is like creepy friendly guy in a van with candy to a five-year-old, and I know that beer is not the recommended post-run bevvie of choice, but come on!!!

Put yourself in my shoes:

I was up for speed intervals today and had every intention of doing them first thing prior to Big Ring heading out for a ride with his riding group, but good ol’ Dear Diabetes got in the way… and maybe a little poor judgement on my part too.

Earlier in the week, after a co-worker had bragged endlessly about her homemade pizza, I suddenly had a craving for Big Ring’s homemade on the BBQ pizza, which, wow!, is amazing! We hadn’t had his pizza in awhile as I’ve really cut back on pretty much all white flour product (grilled cheese included – shocking, I know!), but I put a bug in Big Ring’s ear, and, when it comes to his Neapolitan-style pizza, there’s no asking twice. Not even two days later and the pizza was on the BBQ, and, well, I couldn’t not eat it. Yum.

But ohhh that melt-in-my-mouth mozzarella and that perfectly crisped farina-flour crust wreaked havoc on the blood sugars from pretty much first bite. Up, up, up they went. No amount of rage bolusing was bringing them down – I even increased my basal by 75 per cent for an hour! (Note: I’ve never been able to figure out my blood sugars with pizza, but I don’t recall it ever getting this bad.) And then, just before I was to put my head to pillow for the night, they dropped. Fast.

The BG appears to be fine, but the double down arrows, bad, combined with the IOB (insulin on board), super freaking not cool!

The BG appears to be fine, but the double down arrows, bad, combined with the IOB (insulin on board), super freaking not cool!

I spent a good two hours battling the lows. It was almost an exact reciprocal of the earlier highs in the opposite direction. When the alarm bellowed at 5:30, my blood sugars were still borderline and my head space completely trashed. So, I rolled over and succumbed to the fact I’d be doing my speed intervals after Big Ring’s ride.

Noon. 4×500 metre sprints. 10 minute warmup. 5 minute cool down. Right through the fiery flames of New West hell! (Also known as the incessant heat wave we’re currently enduring!)

It was hot. My body, so slick with sweat, I looked as though I’d just jumped out of the shower. I had water. I drank that water. I found more water. I dumped it over my head. I was still hot.

And so, there was only one other thing left to do:

Run to Steel and Oak brewery, which was conveniently super close to where I was running today, and order a glass of their new Radler – a mix of beer and lemonade. So refreshing. So perfect when water just don’t cut it! So a big FU to Dear Diabetes!

Worth every last rebel rousting drop!

Worth every last rebel rousting drop!

TODAY’S INTERVALS:
(They were supposed to only be 3, but I accidentally turned the timer off for one when I meant to lap it, so I figured I’d add a fourth.)
• 11:45 p.m. BG before: 7.1
• Temp. basal: none
• Carbs: 1/2c applesauce (12g) and 1/4c almonds
• Intervals: 4×500 with 10′ warmup and 5′ cool down.
• Average interval pace: 4:42
• 12:45 p.m. BG after: 7.0

Bananas and blood gushers

THIS: Ah bananas, they’re like the runners’ go-to fruit. So many benefits: instant energy boost, spiked full of natural electrolytes, and easy to digest… maybe a little TOO easy.

For me, bananas have never really been a first choice. I’m quite picky on the type of banana I eat. It cannot have any indication of brown spots forming, but it also can’t be too green. Really, it’s a small window for bananas and me. And following a hard-run race, I can’t even look at a banana, not even at a fully skinned banana; they induce an instant urge to hurl.

But on Sunday, just before heading out for a quick-paced tempo run, I noticed my BG plummeting. I needed something quick, and I needed something easy on the belly. The only thing that came to mind was banana. Half of it in my mouth and out the door I went.

I kid you not, not even five minutes later and my belly was pissed off grumbling, not quite writhing, but enough for me to know an angry war was building within. It didn’t bother me too much on the run as I was pretty focused on trying to keep up my pace. But man, the second I stopped, BAM! it attacked. I could NOT get to a washroom fast enough.

Now, you might ask me what else I ate prior to going out, maybe there was another culprit, but no, there was nothing, other than banana, out of the ordinary… and this isn’t the first time. In the last month, I’ve had a couple bananas and they’ve attacked every time. Coincidence? Nah.

No more bananas for me!

no-bananas-fishing

THAT: I didn’t realize I could bleed so much.

The other night, while watching the first episode of Game of Thrones, I was lying on the couch when I felt an uncomfortable sensation in my arm, right at the area of my infusion. I didn’t think much of it, just shifted my body so as not to continue irritating it. A few hours later, I glanced down at said arm, and HOLY FREAKING BLOODY HELL! My infusion site was on the verge of exploding!!!

When I removed it the bloody volcano erupted – blood gushing, shooting straight up into the air, splattering all over my bathroom counter, sink, floor, even my pants and slippers, and streaming down my arm. I practically went through an entire roll of toilet paper trying to sop up and cauterize the bloody mess gushing out.

Guess that’s what I can expect if I ever get stabbed in an artery 😉

140408bruise
The bruised remnants of a gusher.

THE OTHER: I went for a hard interval run after work today, the same day as doing a hard noon-hour yoga session. I’m not sure it was the wisest decision, but I chose to do it because yesterday was mucky wet and today was sunshiny beautiful. And you know what, despite my legs feeling like jelly right now, I actually really enjoyed it… that is, once I was done 🙂

TODAY’S RUN:

  • 5:30 p.m. BG before: 7.7
  • Temp. basal -30 per cent
  • Carbs: 1/2 Larabar
  • Distance: 5.82 km
  • Time: 34 minutes
  • Sets: 5′ warmup, 3×3′ hard, 1′ easy, 2×5′ hard, 1 easy, 5′ cool down
  • Average interval pace: 3′: 4:43 min/km 5′: 5:01 min/km
  • 6:15 p.m. BG after: 8.2
  • Temp. basal +30 per cent

Hope you’re having a super fantastic day!

Singing Lamb Chops

“This is the cold that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend, some people started sneezing, and I caught their ugly germs, and they’ll continue infecting me because…”

THEY’RE NASTY EVIL JERK FACES!!!

I kid you not, I have had a cold for over a month. But not a continuous cold, no, not a typical cold, no, a sadistic freaking evil cold. This cold is toying with me, making me believe I’ve kicked it the curb, giving me a few days reprieve, only to full on attack again, and again, and again.

140318sick
Jerk face germs!

I was first infected at the end of February. I clearly remember, it was a Monday afternoon, I was driving home, when suddenly I felt that telltale sign of my throat swelling and a lump every time I swallowed. I hoped it was dry air, but by the evening, I knew it was a cold.

I didn’t overly complain. I was lucky. I mean, I hadn’t had a proper cold in almost a year (I came down with a case of sniffles that lasted all of three days in September, but nothing major) despite the fact that our lofthold has hosted the cold and flu germs on average every three to four weeks since Little Ring started daycare. So, I figured, I could handle this cold.

I suffered the cold through work. I suffered it through an exam. I suffered it through the weekend. And by Monday, I was feeling better, good to go. But then BAM, Friday comes – I’m on holidays – and suddenly I’ve got a cough, then I’ve got a sore throat, then I’m losing my voice – what the???

I started to complain.

I suffered through a race with that cold. I suffered through the Oscars with that cold. I suffered through my holidays with that cold. It wasn’t until the following Friday that I finally started feeling decent again, my voice had stopped cracking, I could once again give the characters in Little Ring’s books super awesome voices, I could get through more than one sentence without requiring a cough drop.

Thank goodness, I thought. After that, surely I was due a solid run of health. But nope, that bloody cold was NOT done with me. Last Thursday, I again started to feel the swelling of my lungs, the dryness of my mouth, the filling of green mucousy phlegm in my throat. I thought maybe it was allergies; surely it couldn’t be another cold, not even a week after getting over the last one, I mean, that would just be freaking evil.

Welcome to evil. Full fledged cold. Phlegm. Cough. Crackly voice. Runny nose. Cold.

Either my immune system has suddenly gone completely down the pooper, or this cold is freaking relentless. It’s bloody well starting to piss me off!

TODAY’S INTERVALS (with cold)

  • 4 p.m. BG before: 7.9
  • Carbs: none
  • Temp. basal: -50 per cent (1 hour)
  • Distance:
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Intervals: 10′ warmup with 4 x 30s sprints; 400m (4:32 min/km) 800m (4:39 min/km) 1000m (5:04 min/km) 800m (5:03 min/km) 400m (4:31 min/km)
  • 5 p.m. BG after: 7.2
  • Temp. basal: +30 per cent (0.5 hour)

My phone battery died which means no pictures from today’s intervals, but last week’s pic (which I did not post on the blog) depicts my continued thoughts on interval training:

140311intervals
I know they’re good for me, but seriously, they’re almost as evil as the cold!

Ps. I did not keep proper pace of between 4:00-4:15 min/km. Stupid cold 😦

Living in speed hell

In the midst of Monday’s speed intervals, these were the thoughts formulating in my head:

800 metres? At this pace? Are you freaking kidding me?
Holy freaking crud monkey, I can’t breathe!
I think I’m having a heart attack!
Ohmygawd, alert the authorities, I think Coach NZ is trying to kill me!
Why did I not pack along water???

And this is exactly how I felt:

exhausted runner

This week’s speed training had me running 4 sets of 400 metres fast/90 seconds easy/800 metres fast/90 seconds easy and repeat at a 4:30 min/km pace. For those of you who’ve been following me for awhile, you know that while I very much want to be faster in my running, I absolutely loathe speed training. And so, when I saw 800 metres on the schedule, I had serious thoughts of skipping it. But then, that stupid little smug angel on my shoulder reminded me of just how guilty I’d feel if I didn’t put the effort in. Damn her!

And so, I ran, I ran hard, and all those aforementioned thoughts, I believed. At the time, whilst desperately gasping for oxygen, I thought for sure a few of those intervals were going to break me… probably didn’t help that somehow I started my first interval with a double 800 INSTEAD of a 400/800!!! What the???

MONDAY’S SPEED TRAINING

  • 5 a.m. BG before: 6.9
  • Temp. basal: none
  • Carbs: granola bar (14g) with bolus
  • Distance: 9.12 km
  • Time: 55:22
  • Average interval pace: 4:45 min/km
  • 6:30 a.m. BG after: 8.4

And following that run, I did something I NEVER do. I looked ahead in my program to see what next week’s plan was. BIG MISTAKE!!! (I like to live in a world of blissful ignorance!) If I thought this week’s intervals were bad, they ain’t nothing compared to next week’s hell – ALL 800s!!!

And so, dear readers, if you notice my blog has all of sudden fallen off the map, you can safely assume I’m 8 feet under 😉