Monday, April 30, 2007

Being injured vs being hurt

There is a line in a football movie called "The Program" where the coach asks one of his players who is on the ground if he is hurt or injured. The player looks confused and asks for an explanation from the coach. The coach says that if you are hurt you can still play, if you are injured then you can't.
As a runner, there are parts of me that hurt on a daily basis. It's hard to not pound the pavement day after day and not feel some discomfort. Mostly, though, I've worked through these issues and have been able to stay injury free.
As my marathon approaches, I need to make sure not to do anything that may compromise this. As my running mileage decreases, it becomes more of a mental battle that I will be fighting.
Even though I've trained as hard as I ever have, there will be times when I will question myself. Have I trained hard enough? Can I complete the race in the time that I want to finish in?
I'm VERY lucky to have amazing friends who I can call upon for support during this time as they have experienced much of what I'm talking about.
I love the training that I've done for my marathon, but there are times when I wish I could just run for "fun." I know that once my marathon is over, I will be able to run with many of my friends again.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Getting my running "mojo" back!

After suffering through a bad run on Friday and taking Saturday off, I decided to test out my new running shoes by going on a light run this morning.
I didn't want to tempt the "running Gods" by going either too far or too fast as I'm sure there was a reason for the poor run on Friday. I decided to just do a nice 8K run. The route I picked was flat and fast as I needed to build some confidence back.
Armed with a few new songs on my mp3 player and a little self doubt, I went out this morning at 8:00 AM.
The weather was amazing and this was the first time in a LONG time that I was able to run in just running shorts and a technical t-shirt.
Running in new shoes is something that I'm not crazy about but I want to be able to wear these for my marathon so I need to break them in slowly. With exactly 2 weeks to go, there won't be many runs left between now and the marathon (probably 6-7) so I was happy to go out today.
The run started out a little rough as it felt like I was trying too hard to fight the memory of my last run. Eventually, though, I was able to find my stride and the rest of the run was great.
Looking back on that last poor run, I really feel that I was mentally fatigued more than anything else. The training that I've been doing has been grueling and I can't wait for the race to start. The main thing I need to do between now and then is not to think about it too much. I know that I've trained as hard as I could and now it's out of my hands.
I will have to see how I feel both mentally and physically on that day as that will determine how well I do. There are factors that I have no control over and I just have to accept that. The one thing that I am looking forward to is resting during my taper week.
Over the next 10 days my training will start to slow down and I'll use the down time to rest up and get ready mentally for the marathon. Unlike other races that I've done, the marathon is something that will inflict pain on my body. It's not a matter of "if" it's more a matter of "when."

Friday, April 27, 2007

"It" finally happened today!

After a series of great runs I finally had a "clunker" today. I'm not sure if it was the weather, the time of day, my body just being worn down or a combination of all of these, but my run today was terrible.

Because I'm watching my two boys this weekend, I had to do my LSD (long slow distance) run this afternoon. My goal was to do 25K and I wanted to time it so I could pick up my son from his school at 2:30. Initially, I thought I was going to have to leave my house around 12:00 which would have given me plenty of time to do my 25K and then pick up my son.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to start my run until just after 12:30, so finishing 25K in 2 hours (which I could do if it was a race) was not going to happen.
I decided to just run for 2 hours at a comfortable pace and see how many K's I could bang out.
For most of the run things were going well although I think I was going a little too fast at times. I also decided not to do too many stops along the way so instead of 20 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking I simple paused for a few seconds here and there with no set schedule to follow. Usually I would walk through intersections, drink my water or e-load for a few seconds and then keep on going.
This turned out to be a big mistake as I paid for this later on in the run.
I also decided midway through my run, to change my running route. I wanted to do 2, 12K loops but knowing that I wouldn't be able to time this right, I decided to just stretch out my route a little longer.
I don't think the fatigue set in until the last 5K of my run when all I could think about was getting home. I had to stop about 3 times during this process to collect myself but managed to keep going. I found this to be more mentally draining than anything else and I found it very tough to keep focused.
When my run was over and I looked to see how far I went (22.5K) I thought to myself that this was the hardest 2HR run I've had in a long time.
I think it's important to listen to your body and mine was obviously saying that I need to take a few days off. When I looked to see my mileage for the week (over 100) it was clear to me that time off is what I need right now.
With my marathon only a few weeks away, now is not the time to become mentally drained.
As poor as this run was, I'm glad that I finished it and will use this as an example of how to work through tough runs when I run my marathon in May!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Staying motivated while running.

I'm often asked how I stay or keep myself motivated while running. This is something that I'm lucky to say I have little trouble with. I'm not exactly sure why that is, but I can honestly say that I've never woken up and said that I don't feel like going for a run today (unless it's a scheduled day off of course).
I've run in all kinds of weather, from snow, rain, hail, heavy winds and even lightning storms and nothing seems to keep me from running.
I think part of why that is is that when I'm running I don't usually "think" about running. If I did I'd probably ask myself what the heck I'm doing out there in the first place. When I run, especially when I run alone, I have to have music with me. I get so into my music that many times I've gotten lost on my runs as I just want to run and not worry sometimes where I'm even going (until it's too late). The songs that I pick all have special meaning to me for different reasons. Some songs remind me of different people I've known. Some songs are motivating as they have a running theme to them and some I just like because they are fun. I spend hours setting up particular songs on my MP3 player and I think that's what helps me get through my runs.
Some of my friends even asked me if I'm singing along to the songs or talking to myself as they know that once I have my headphones on, it's very hard, if not impossible, for them to talk to me.
The one thing that I tell people who want to get into running is not to think to much about the running while they are running. I see many new runners worry to much about their running "form" or breathing that it becomes to mechanical and they forget to just enjoy the run.
If you are new to running I think the best thing to do is just go slow and eventually you will find your own running form. Running has without a doubt changed my life and I know that it has done the same for many of my friends. I hope that you get the same enjoyment from running that I've gotten from it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Back to work

After taking a day off to rest, I went back to work today with a great track workout.
The original plan was to do between 6-7 800M repeats but after doing the first 800M, Ken told me to do 2 sets of 1600M with the goal of doing the 1600M in 7 minutes.
I actually didn't mind this as mentally I could focus on just doing 2 "sets" of this instead of 6-7 sets.
I managed to do the first 1600M in about 6:45 and then the next 1600M in just over 7 minutes. I finished the workout by doing one more 800M in 3:10.
I can't believe how much energy I had today and I'm sure taking the day off yesterday had plenty to do with that. It's also nice not having to wear a ton of clothes as the weather starts to warm up.
Tomorrow I will be doing between 12-15K.
I feel that I'm ready for the Marathon and now it's all about staying healthy between now and the 13th of May.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's almost taper time now.....

Today was my last "long" run as a group of us die-hards left the Pickering area to run 36K in Mississauga. We covered the majority of the route that we will be running in 3 weeks. After running from Monday to Friday on my own, it was nice to have some company today. Running is so much more than just a pysical activity as I've become very close with several runners and during our 3+ hour run it's great to get caught up on each others lives. I call it "therapy on the roads." I've been dubbed, and righfully so, as being the one most likely to get lost on a run and it almost happened again today....

What truly makes our runs special, however, is the moment that the run is finished. We all congratulated each other and joked around like a bunch of school kids. What's even better is when we can get together over lunch which is what happened today. As tired and sore as we all are it's amazing how much energy we can call upon to sit outside and share a cocktail or two.....
I still have a few more tough runs left but I feel now that the marathon distance is something that mentally every runner needs to get past.

There WILL come a time in the race when pain, fatigue and mental exhaustion will come into play and it's how much we let it bother us which truly is the difference on race day.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

At "home" in the trails.

I volunteered my time as a course marshall yesterday at the Seaton Trail race and it turned out to be one of the better days I've had in a LONG time.

For those who don't know, it is trails that I first fell in love with as a runner when I first started running 1.5 years ago. My first running race was a 25K trail race called "Run for the Toad" and I followed this up with another 25K trail race two weeks later called "Vuluture Bait." After these two trail races I realized that I had indeed found my passion and that was trail running.

I found that trail running was an amazing "zen like" experience where you are surrounded by nature. This type of running forced me to not worrying so much about time and allowed me to relax as the terrain ranged from rugged rocks, mud and hills not to mention low branches and the occasional water crossing just for fun.

Beyond even the course itself, I also noticed that the people running these trail races seemed to be at peace with their running and were quick to offer a positive word of encouragement and overall just seemed to have fun out on the course. This is something that, to be honest, is missing at most of the road races that I've done. I'm sure that this has plenty to do with the fact that road races, are more about speed and wanting to finish the race as fast as possible.
I have to admit that I've been caught up in this as well as I try to qualify for Boston.

Yesterday, while volunteering, I was able to talk to so many experienced runners who were training for some upcoming Ultra Marathons (100 mile races). Just listening to them talk about their training energized me and they offered so many words of encouragement for what I'm trying to do. I've been "adopted" by many of them and I know that they could tell how much I love trail running and that I would be back running on them after my marathon in May.

Throughout the day, as I saw runner after runner pass my station one thought kept going through my mind and that was that I wish I could have been out there. Each and ever runner who came by took the time to say thanks for being there and all left the station with a very happy look on their face. I can't wait to join them on the trails in a few weeks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

What a difference the sun can make!

Finally! After running in snow, wind, rain, thunderstorms and everything in between, I finally had back to back good running weather.

On Thursday morning I did my 16K time trial. I was supposed to do this run on Saturday but I will be volunteering at the Seaton Trail Race on that day. Today I did my floating fartlek run and once again the weather was fantastic.

I can't believe what a difference not having to wear heavy clothes can make as I felt so much faster these last few days. I just hope that the weather is like this on the day of my Marathon in May as I look forward to running in shorts and a short sleeve shirt.

On Sunday many of my friends and I will be running 36K in Mississauga. After running the last 5 dayson my own, it will be nice to run with my friends.

For those of you who have promised yourself that once the weather got nice you would take up running I urge you to get outside and go for a run/walk this weekend as the weather will be great.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Are we there yet?

As a parent, this is a question I get asked by my kids quite often.
However, in my case I'm referring to my Marathon.

I've been training hard since January and now the race can't get here soon enough. When people talk about the Marathon you hear plenty about how it's mostly mental and I would agree. I also think that this applies to the training as well. Even though I enjoy the training, at times it is overwhelming.

With less than 1 month to go, I know that this is the time that I will be tested emotionally and mentally. Physically, for the most part, I feel that I am ready to run the race today. Waiting until May 13th, will provide the biggest test for me though.

In addition, this weekend I will not be running in one of my favorite races, the Seaton Trail, because it conflicts with my training. I will be volunteering there, and it will be nice to see many of my friends again. There are a few trail runners who I've become close with and who always inspire me so I'm hoping that just being around them will give me the final push that I need before my race in May. If anyone can understand what I'm going through it is these trail runners. Most of them have already run the Boston Marathon years ago and now they have switched their focus to running longer distances. Many have competed in races as long as 100 miles.
I hope to someday follow in their footsteps.

Today my run was very good (14K) and I even ran past one of my best friends who is recovering from an injury. It was great to see her out running today. As the weather improves, hopefully that is, I'm sure I will see more runners out and about.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Congratulations "Bostonites"

Several of my friends ran the Boston Marathon yesterday and I was tracking their progress for most of the morning. It's amazing to see some the times that were run given the weather conditions. I can't wait to celebrate with you all when I see you this weekend!
Way to go!
Nancy, Theresa, Ken, Jen, Gale, you all did a phenomenal job in Boston.

Friday, April 13, 2007

120K in 7 days = BREAK!

Today was the last of my 7 consecutive days of running and with the total at 120K I'm taking the next few days off to rest. I'll probably do some light biking just to keep the blood flowing but nothing too strenuous.

Today's run of 32K was tougher than I thought as I think the cumulative effect of the consecutive days of running caught up to me. Thankfully the rain held up although it was pretty windy at times. I tried a new supplement called "Sharkies" for the first time during my run. These fruit chews contain electrolytes as well as some sugar and I used them in between my gels and e-load breaks. I didn't find them to be much better than e-load so I probably won't use them again. On long runs like these, it's a good time to experiment with different supplements and find the right combination before race day.

I needed to do quite a bit of stretching today after the run as my oblique muscles, hip flexors and quads were all pretty stiff. The pain that I felt reminded me of how sore I was after my marathon in December.

Next weekend I will be doing my last long run (36K) and a group of us will be running most of the route of the Mississauga Marathon. That will be a good test to see how mentaly sharp we all are.

Until Monday, though, I don't want to see my running shoes....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Why Boston?

This weekend some of my closest friends will be leaving for Boston. They will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday (Patriots Day in the U.S.)
Most people are satisfied with just being able to complete any marathon as that alone is a daunting task. The training required to complete a marathon is intense, long and at anytime you could be hit with a roadblock that sets your training backwards. The one thing that you can guarantee with any marathon is that it will challenge you physically and mentally.

When I first started running I fell in love with running trails and I never gave the Boston Marathon much of a thought. I think partly for me it was because at that time I had no desire to even run a marathon. I was happy running trail races as this required more endurance than speed. I didn't think I was a fast runner so why attempt to do something that I knew I couldn't do? Why set myself up for a big disappointment right?

Well, as I began to run more and more I was encouraged by the fact the my speed was increasing. However, I still had no idea what I was doing with regards to a training program. I would go out for 10-15K runs with no idea about how I should run them. I would often run 6 days a week with no plan in sight.

In 2005 I did my first 1/2 Marathon, the Angus Glen in a time of 1:50. I had NO idea what I was doing but I'll never forget the feeling I had of trying to run as fast as I could. Even after that race, though, I went back to doing more trails and didn't do another road race for months after that. I got into running towards the end of the 2005 racing season but I was still able to do 2 Duathlons (run, bike, run), 2 Trail races (25K each with just two weeks rest in between) as well as a few 10K races and one 10 Mile race.

In 2006 I decided to enter the Ontario Ultra Trail Racing series which was a series of 10 trail races, 25 to 26K in length. Points were awarded based on the order of finish. At the end of the season, as long as I completed 7 of these racews, the points were added up and the top 3 were given prizes. I wanted to focus my attention on trying to get into the top 3 for my age category (35 to 39). This required more training on trails than on roads. The series was grueling and forced me to run sometimes two races a month. This barely gave me time to rest.

During this series I also decided, since many of my friends were running the Mississauga marathon, that I should try and run this one as well. My goal was just to finish ONE to say that I did it and could call myself a marathon runner. I didn't do any speed work or tempo runs throughout this process as I was still running trail races at the same time. I'll never forget running and winning a 30K trail race 7 days before before my first marathon. Usually the last 7 days before a marathon is a time to rest but I guess I forgot to read about that part (LOL).

The Mississauga Marathon wasn't a great experience for me other than the fact that I got to run it with some truly amazing friends. The weather was bad, I had no idea if I could even do the race and I didn't really have a plan ahead of time. I finished the race in 4:03 and vowed never to do another one.

In June there was a 50K trail race that I wanted to do as part of the my trail series and I convinced one of my friends to do it with me. To date, this was the one race where self-doubt came into play. After the 35K mark I had nothing left and told Theresa to go on without me. I completed the last 15K on my own and it was a huge struggle. I actually contemplated never running again after that race.

Thankfully I didn't let this setback bother me too much and I ended up finishing not only that race but several others and finished in 3rd place in my age category.

In November one of my closest friends was running the Toronto Marathon and she was hoping to qualify for Boston. I'll never forget the amount of time and effort she put into her training and I wanted to be there to cheer her on. I completed my last trail race on the Saturday in London and then headed back home to Toronto so I could watch her race.

Another friend of mine and I were watching together as she finished the race and the excitement of that day will never be forgotten. It was amazing to see her achieve something that she had worked so hard for. I was both inspired and motivated at the same time.

She encouraged me to try and run a "fast" race as I had never ran a road race with any kind of plan. I decided to run a marathon in Florida and my goal was just to try and beat my last marathon time.

As part of my training, I entered a 10 Mile race in Whitby. My goal was to run at least a 1:20. I was only training for about 6 weeks for the Marathon but again this person encouraged me to run and run fast. Even though I had run over 25+ races at this point, I was more nervous about this run than any of those.
I was so happy that she was one of the first people I saw on race day as she was volunteering there. I started out with a mindset of going as fast as I could for as long as I could and seeing where that got me. I ended up passing her along the route as she cheered others on. When I finished the race and looked at my time (1:13) I surprised myself but not this person. She kept saying that I was a fast runner and that I could do even better with more time and proper training.

I've never forgotten those words and that helped me when I ran the Jacksonville Marathon in 3:39 and then my last two races which both were about 6-7 mintues faster than my previous best times.

As she leaves for Boston this weekend I can only hope that she soaks up all of the atmosphere that Boston has to offer. This race is for those who have worked hard and trained properly and this is their reward.

Nancy, I hope you have an amazing experience because you truly deserve it!

So why Boston? Boston is a more than a marathon it's an event and a celebration of a huge achievement. You cannot just enter the Boston Marathon, you need to qualify for it. In order to qualify you must run a marathon in a certain time based on your age. For me, that translates into running a 3:20 marathon. Some people train for years trying to qualify. It may take me a few years myself to get there but get there I will!
Boston, to me, has become my quest for the Holy Grail of running. It is a target that at one time I thought was unattainable and now I at least can talk about. I have many friends who feel that I will get there someday and that to me is all the motivation I need.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Running with a purpose

It seems that most of my runs have so much to do with my training for my marathon that I forget sometimes how much I truly enjoy just running. Today when I went out for my 15K run I repeated to myself how happy I was to be running so early in the morning.

As I passed the 5K mark the Sun was just beginning to rise and it was an amazing site to see. I instantly became more energized and the rest of my run was a breeze.

I tried out a new fuel belt that Ken had leant me and it was amazing. I'll definately have to get one of these.

Tonight at the Pickering Running Room there will be a mini sendoff party for those who are going to run the Boston Marathon on Monday. I'll be bringing my kids by as I wouldn't miss this for anything.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

My energy and spirit have returned!

I'm not sure what got me down this past weekend but whatever it is has passed and I just finished an amazing track workout with my coach.

I did 4 sets of 800M repeats in 2:20 with 2 minutes of rest in between. I seemed to get stronger towards the end, probably, as Ken said because I wanted it to be over.

On Friday he leaves for Boston with the Marathon on Monday. He and some of my friends will be going there as well. Just the thought of some day running in that Marathon brought my energy up.
In addition, on our way from the track, Ken said to me as he looked at the Sun rising, "That is why I run!"

We talked about how some people are just now hitting the snooze button or reaching for their 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee. It's amazing how great you feel after completing a run first thing in the morning and what a great start to the day it is.

I need to remember, sometimes, that first and foremost the running has got to be FUN or nothing else will matter. In my quest for qualifying for Boston, it is something that I need to keep reminding myself about.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The key ingredient to doing Long Slow Runs

I just completed my 30K long slow run today. That is now three consecutive weeks of doing at least 30K (one of which was at race pace). I feel that I have built a very good base and that is so important as my Marathon is now 5 weeks from today.

The thought of doing a training run of 3hours can be somewhat intimidating but having a great group of friends to run with can make all the difference in the world. It's amazing how much we talked about during this 3 hour run. When one of us is feeling sore all it takes is a sarcastic joke or two to get that person to stop "thinking" about the pain or the run.

Today's run started at 7:30 with some of us doing 30K and others doing 20+. It was a little cold and windy for the first 17K but as soon as we made the turn back home the wind was at our backs and the sun started to slowly come out.

I ran mostly without my music until the last 8-9K when I was feeling a little sore and just had to hear some music to get me through. For me, that was all it took as I ended up leaving the pack and doing the final 8K in about 42 minutes.

As I made my way back home along Concession 3 a large Deer ran across the road about 20M in front of me. It was amazing to see this huge animal and how graceful it was. I kept watching it and at one point the animal just turned and watched me. I'm sure he was wondering why I was running on such a cold day (LOL).

We all met up at the local coffee shop but I forgot to tell my friends about the Deer that crossed my path. Maybe that will be my good luck charm during my next Marathon.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Making sacrifices to achieve a goal

Yes, I enjoy running more than anything.
Yes, I've seen some great improvements in my race times as a result.
NO, this has not been easy.

With just over 1 month before my biggest race (Mississauga Marathon) I can almost see the finish line. This has been a grueling 4 months of training since my last Marathon in December. Even though I would not trade any of the training I've done since then, it hasn't been easy at times. I think that's why I'm looking forward to this race more than any other race that I can remember. I know that once this race is finished I'll be able to look back on these last four months with pride.

I took up running in the fall of 2005 I can honestly say that I've never trained this hard at anything in my life. Part of what makes running so difficult is that there are so many factors that will come into play on race day that I have no control over such as my health and the weather.

As I completed my 16K time trial today I thought long and hard about what some of the sacrifices I've made. I don't go out too often because I want to get enough rest for the next days' run, I'm trying to lose a few more pounds between now and my race in May but the training I'm doing has caused my appetite to swell (luckily my wasteline hasn't followed suit). I feel that I have set up my days to put my training at or near the top of my priority list each day. I'm not unique to this as many of my friends do this as well but until now I've never experienced this type of dedication myself.

Tomorrow I will be running 30K with most of my friends and that will be a great way to celebrate Easter.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A runner for all seasons!

What a change in weather we have seen these past two days.

It started on Wednesday morning when I did a 15K run in the rain and finished today with an 8K interval workout in the snow/cold. Just when I thought I'd be looking at running in warmer temperatures we get hit by this bizarre weather.

I've yet to stop running because of the weather outside but that doesn't mean that it's fun either. However, just knowing that I CAN run in any type of weather gives me the confidence to keep going. There are days when I ask myself "why am I doing this again?" However, as soon as I take my first few steps I realize that it's because I love it and need it to make my day complete. A part of me enjoys battling the elements and knowing that there aren't too many runners who would brave the elements like I and most of my running friends do.

Tomorrow will be a day of rest followed by a 16K time trial (1:20 minutes) and then a 25K slow run on Easter Sunday.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Track work......I think I love it!

After taking a day off from running on Monday, I got up early this morning to meet Ken for our usual Tuesday morning run. Normally we do tempo work but we are starting a new program for me on the track.
It's hard to believe but I've never done any kind of track work to increase my speed. We warmed up by doing a 2.5K run to Pineridge HS and then did 5 sets of 400M repeats (1 lap around the track) with about 1.5 minutes of recovery in between.
I was very nervous because I wanted to do my best today but was worried that I might go out too fast for the early sets and have nothing left by the end. What I found very encouraging though was that I seemed to get stronger as the sets increased. I actually was able to focus more on my running technique as I raced around the track. After our run I checked out my garmin to see what pace I was doing and I was very pleased to see that my time kept pretty much the same from the first set to the fifth (all under 4:00M/K).
Since this was my first attempt at doing track work Ken didn't want to push me too hard but next week I will be doing 800M repeats (or 2 times around the track).
I can't believe how great I felt afterwards and this will be yet another piece to my training puzzle that I can upon when I run my next race.
Thanks Ken!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

From 18 to 31?

What an interesting day of running today turned out to be.

I met up with some friends at the Pickering Running Room at 8:30. I had thought about doing 29K today but was talked out of it by runners who had also done the Around the Bay race the week before and who were also training for the Mississauga Marathon in May. We decided to do between 16 and 18K which I was kind of happy about.

As we started off I ran with a friend who I normally don't run with and we had a great conversation (Thanks Neil). On the way back I had to take a "bathroom break" so I told my friend to go on ahead and I would catch up to him. He asked me if I knew the route back to the Running Room and I confidently said "oh yeah I'll find it."
That was the probably the worst mistake I've made this season (LOL).

For whatever reason, I kept making one wrong turn after the other and before I knew it I was nowhere close to the Running Room and had clocked over 24K.
When I finally found my way back towards Hwy 2, it was at Whites Road. By this time the rain had started to really come down hard and I was still about 6 to 7K away.

Luckily I decided to bring along my MP3 player so the running wasn't the problem today just my sense of direction. By the time I made it back to the Running Room I had run just under 31K.

I met up with my running coach and other friends and we had a good laugh about the whole thing. They know how bad my sense of direction is so I don't think too many were overly surprised to hear about my adventure.

I will be taking a running day off tomorrow but will do about 1 hour of bike work and then rest up for Tuesday.
I will be doing my first ever tack work track on Tuesday morning to increase my speed.