TRAINING WEEK 4: Strength in Numbers
Completed 5/5 workouts for a total of 20 miles for the week + 2 strength workouts. I added this basic strength routine to my training, which is simple and straightforward (exactly what I need when I’m not used to strength work), and my body was feeling it. Between the number of workouts, miles, and added strength work, it was Crankytown – Population: Me. I slept like a pro this week… and I wanted to sleep more. Can I go to bed now? All of my runs were on a treadmill this week, and for whatever reason, I was having a hard time finding a good groove on that damn machine. Paces felt hard, concentration felt scattered, and fitness felt…non-existent. No rainbow runs this week, but that’s ok.
- Workout #1: 35 min tempo (7:45-8:00)
[Actual: ~15min warm up; 5min progression down to goal pace; 1mi @ 8; ~5min @ 9min]
I struggled SO MUCH on this run. The gym is under construction, and everything is really close together right now. I felt claustrophobic, hot, and sluggish. Holding the lower end of my goal pace felt way harder than it should have, and negative self-talk and defeatism only exacerbated an already bad run. I cut this a few minutes short, feeling frustrated and confused. Some of this is adjusting to the heat in the gym (this treadmill didn’t have a fan), but I think of lot of it is just that my fitness is still building, and longer workouts are going to feel hard for a bit.
- Workout #2: 3 @ goal race pace (currently 8:15 – 8:30)
[Actual – 4.5miles: 1mi WU; 2 @ 8:45; 1mi started at 8:30 and squeezed to 6:30; 0.5mi walk CD]I watched the Olympic Marathon Trials during this run. Knowing that my body tends to need a good 10 minutes of warm-up on the treadmill (and that my legs were super sore from the strength workout a few days prior), this workout was a little longer than prescribed. For the first 1.5mi of the actual workout, it was hard to find my race pace, and I settled into a bit slower 8:45. My legs finally woke up a bit, and I was able to pick up the last mile to an 8:30, squeezing the final 0.25mi down to a 6:30 pace.I walked another 1/2 mile, trying to catch the last dramatic miles of the women’s race (how inspiring was the Amy/Shalane finish?!). I chased this with a more abbreviated strength workout (1 set of legs and core).
- Long Run: 7 miles on the treadmill.
[Actual: 6 miles] My legs continued to be incredibly sore for this run, and I knew that 7 miles on the treadmill would challenge every bit of mental fortitude I possessed. I made myself a deal: 60 minutes at whatever pace I could handle on the treadmill, and any time/mileage after that would be a bonus. I felt surprisingly good, albeit slow. The first mile was a creaky, slow warm-up, after which I settled into a 10min pace. My legs loosened up, but never sped up, so I maintained that pace for the duration. I had every intention of continuing to the full 70 minutes, but my left knee started feeling a bit cranky, and I felt comfortable saying “better safe than sorry,” as I hopped off and stretched.
- Workout #1: 35 min tempo (7:45-8:00)
THE BIG PICTURE
This week was hard. I completed two strength sessions, which trashed my legs far more than I expected, and I definitely felt the added mileage in my legs. I forgot how hard the treadmill grind can be – finding a groove is a finicky process for me – but I’m being kind to myself and remembering that things aren’t going to happen overnight. I completed all of my workouts, and adding the strength routine (something I’ve been wanting to do for … always) are big wins that I’m not taking lightly. I’m still trying to figure out how to configure my strength work (my schedule has me doing two days; I’d like to add a third somewhere). This week’s forecast includes some seriously mild temps (hello, almost 60* on Friday!), and I plan on taking full advantage where I can.