I’ve been waiting for this training week for a while – the week where I move from hill training to speed training!!! On Wednesday, I did 4 x 400m sprints of 8:26 miles/min (or 5:15 km/min).  It was so much fun! Plus, it was all over in 20 minutes (not including warm up or cool down).

On this lovely Sunday, I got up bright and early (8:15 a.m.) and went for a 16k run.  Yep, 16k…or 10 miles if you prefer.  Before I headed out, I was trying to decide whether I really wanted to try for 16k.  The doubt was mostly out of fear, since I could only complete 4.47 km of my last outdoor 8k run.  I mapped a new route last night, which was 8k, so it would have been relatively easy just to do an 8k steady run instead of a 16k long slow distance.

I decided on the 16k.  I had done 13k last Sunday on the treadmill and was feeling fairly confident that as long as I kept it slow, I could manage.

I also decided to try taking coconut water with me on my run.  Apparently it’s full of electrolytes!  Off I went, on my brand new route… it was a beautiful morning! The sun was shining and there was a cool breeze in the air.  Immediately, I decided I picked an awesome route.  There were lots of long stretches without having to worry about watching for cars.  Along the way, I also discovered that a new Second Cup was opening in Grande Prairie.  That bit of information was worth the change in route!  We already have one in Eastlink Centre, but it’s not very convenient or a cozy place to sit/read/work.

Anyway, I digress… many of the people out driving this morning were super courteous and gave me the right of way every time.  I completed the first loop without any difficulty, however, as I neared my house, I got thoughts in my head about stopping there.  I had already done much better than the last time I was out.  I went in the house and  everyone was still in bed (9:30 a.m.), so I decided to keep on truckin’.  I blew my nose, topped off my water and also tried an energy gel for the first time (leftover swag from the DHT Press Run in May). I also took the sleeves off my jacket since I was getting pretty sweaty.

Off I went on loop #2.  A car drove by and a guy in the passenger’s seat cheered me on! That was particularly awesome.  Around kilometer 12 is where things got tough.  My legs were feeling heavy, even my hips were starting to feel stiff, which was a new feeling for me.  I got through it, in any case.  I was greeted at my front door (the 16th kilometer) by my #1 cheerleader (Derek), telling me how proud he was… that was also particularly awesome.  Also the support on facebook and twitter is much appreciated too!

And the coconut water?   Not very tasty when it’s warm, but I do think it helped!

Here is the map of my route (no idea what the colour coding is!):

Before I go, I should also write about my new bit of running gear.  I decided I needed new headphones if I was going to be running outside again (by the way, it was Derek who really pushed me to get running outside).  I did a lot of research, as I do, and was nearly set on a set by Sennheiser.  They have a few different styles, and I was having a hard time deciding.  In the end, I picked the MX-680i, since the reviews were pretty ok on some of the running forums, etc. I had been reading.  I went to the Apple Store online to check on some price comparisons, and discovered the reviews were not great.  A lot of the reviews complained about fit, so I decided to keep looking.  I ended up finally picking the Medis Plus from Urbanears.  They are built for sport/fitness, cute looking (mine are in Tomato!), have a controller for the iPhone (volume, track skipping, phone answering), tangle-free, cheap and had great reviews!  I absolutely love them!  They sound great and fit great!