Weekend Running Recap & Elite Runners Shopping Report

What a great weekend for running!

Yesterday (Saturday) I went running late in the afternoon because I was busy in the morning. Early in the morning I took Django to the dog park at Hartwood Acres to play with one of his greyhound friends, Truman. Greyhounds are sprinters and not distance runners, so they actually need very little exercise and sleep a lot. Django sleeps more than my cats. But they do like to run every so often, and it's been a few months since we've been to the dog park because of the weather. He had a lot of fun.
Django
Truman's big nose!
After the dog park I spent the rest of the morning in Shadyside at Athleta and Lululemon. Watch for my upcoming shopping report!

By the time I got out to run, it was 45 but very windy. I went on the river trail from Heinz Lofts, across the Fort Duquesne Bridge and through Point State Park and back to the trail, out to just past the casino and back (my usual route). Per my training plan, it was supposed to be a 30-minute easy run, but I wanted to get in a speed workout since I skipped it on Thursday. I started with an easy 10-minute jog then did five two-minute speed intervals. I set my Garmin to "pace" instead of "average pace," so I saw that my speed intervals were between 8:26-9:15 and my recovery periods were 10:30-11:15.

Now that I'm reading more running blogs, I know that I'm one of the few back-of-the-packer bloggers. I try not to let it get to me that most runners' marathon pace is about my fastest speed interval pace. Like yoga, running is an individual journey, so I really try not to compare myself to others. What I'm doing is an accomplish for me personally, so I need to remember that! My final stats were 44:41 minutes and 4.18 miles.

After the run my husband and I went out to Robinson. In December, I took advantage of a deal Elite Runners & Walkers had where I bought $125 in gift certificates for $100. I needed a new pair of running shoes and wanted the same ones--Asics GT 2000--since they worked so well for me last time. I like black running shoes, so I was happy they had a new black color option.

Here's a shot of my old Asics on the left and new ones on the right.

I also got a foam roller. I don't have any problem areas right now (I believe this is a combo of Chi Running and recently adopting Budd Coates' breathing technique; I'll be doing a separate post on that soon.) However, I keep reading that you should use a foam roller after you run, so I thought maybe it would be good to prevent injuries. I'm still not sure whether I should keep it or return it. Does anyone have experience with preventing injuries with a foam roller?

After shopping, we had dinner at Burgatory. Yes, I'm vegan and I love Burgatory! Read my review here.

This morning (Sunday), I took Django for a walk on the trail early in the morning, just when it was starting to snow. There were a number of runners out, and it was probably a good time to run because the trail wasn't yet covered with snow. By the time I went out about an hour later, the trail had an inch of snow, and by the time I was done had about two inches.

Today's run was supposed to be a 60-minute easy run. Because I did a hard instead of easy run yesterday, and because I recently read a Runner's World article that cites research that most runners run at medium speed instead of running easy on easy runs and hard on hard runs, I was determined to make this a truly easy run.

I started my Garmin and then put it in my pocket. I looked at it only once during the run to check my time against how long I thought I'd been running. Every time I felt myself putting effort into running, I backed off. I focused on my form and breathing, but most of all I enjoyed the winter wonderland.

The snow covering the trees along the trail was gorgeous, and the snow under my feet was so soft I imagined I was running on clouds. At some points the snow stung my face and got in my eyes, but during those times I reminded myself how much I prefer to run in cooler weather than hot and humid weather. On the walk home after the run, I glanced at my reflection in a window and laughed to see icicles through my eyebrows and eyelashes. Final stats were 1:03; 5.00 miles (exactly five miles without checking my Garmin!); 12:47 pace (wow! more than a minute slower than my easy runs which means I'm not running my easy runs easy enough, or the snow slowed me down, or a combo.)

Weekly Recap
Monday: Rest and 60 minutes yin yoga
Tuesday: 23 minutes yoga | easy run: Time: 45:40; 4.06 miles; 11:15 pace
Wednesday: 30 minutes yoga |  45 minutes strength training
Thursday: 25 minutes yoga | (skipped run because of frigid temps)
Friday: 45 minutes strength training
Saturday: Speed workout run: 44:41 minutes and 4.18 miles
Sunday: Easy run:  Time: 1:03; 5.00 miles; 12:47 pace

Total weekly mileage: 13.24

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