TRAINING WEEK 10: Social Awareness
Completed 4/5 workouts for a total of 28 miles for the week + 1 spin class+ 0 strength workouts.
This week marked the most miles my legs have seen in years (years. YEARS!), and I didn’t
need my Garmin to tell me that. They were cranky. It was also a week of unprecedented social activity: double date, date night, housewarming, birthday(s), and a big ol’ Easter ham. All of that socializing meant a lot of good food and drinks, including some inventive cocktails at a new place called The Sixth in Lincoln Square. The guy and I had a free workout at SoulCycle thanks to an overbooked pop-up studio a few weeks back, so I took Good Friday off and we hoped our cocktail sweat wouldn’t be too obvious. (Review pending!) Other highlights include purchasing an 8lb ham for 3 people (my brother joined us for the annual ham holiday), and a ridiculously good, smooth, and thoroughly enjoyable large group meal (when does that ever happen??). It was incredibly fun to celebrate and catch up with so many people this week, but it reminded me of how absolutely tiring full-on training can be (and I’m only training for a half!). I was practically falling asleep in my wine Sunday night at 9pm, which could paint two pictures: one where I’m an alcoholic, and one where I’m an endurance athlete. As far as training, working, and socializing, I pretty much nailed it this week.
- Workout #1: 45min tempo @ 7:45-8:00 pace
[Actual – 5.25mi // 1.5 @ 9:00-:05 + 8:05; 7:57; 7:42 (1/2mi) + 1.25 @ 9:10]
It’s no secret that tempos are the workout that I’ve really struggled with this training cycle. Part of that was because I’ve never really done them, and wasn’t super comfortable with how they’re supposed to work (still not sure that I’m doing them right, but #onelife), and part of that was because they’re hard! My brain wasn’t there yet (I’m not sure my body was, either). This was perhaps the second (maybe third?) tempo I’ve actually been able to do outside, and it makes such a difference. Sometimes, when I’m doing speedwork on a treadmill, I feel like it’s too much, too fast, and my brain short circuits a bit. I was incredibly excited that I was able to reel in the pace so consistently, and even more excited that I felt so GOOD doing so. I ran a different route for this workout, and found myself stretching things a bit just so that I could run down one of the few tiny hills along the flat, flat lake path. Sometimes, it’s fun to feel the wind in my hair.
- Workout #2: 7 race pace miles (8:15-8:30)
[Actual 7mi — 1mi WU @ 9:43 + 5x race pace intervals w/ 0.10mi recovery intervals (8:52 // 8:37 // 8:33 // 8:17 // 8:17 // 7:46 (1/2mi))]
I modified this workout a bit to accommodate some cranky legs and tired brain, ultimately deciding that I wanted to focus on the speed aspect versus the specific endurance. I typically run my race pace workouts on the Saturday preceeding my Sunday long runs (so that I get used to running long on tired legs), but I switched them this week to take advantage of better long run weather (turns out it was great both days). This workout was after a spin class and a long run, so my legs were… unhappy with me, but they loosened up a bit by the halfway point. I’m currently testing a pair of New Balance racing shoes (first time!), and used them on this run. I can’t say which style they are, but they’re a lightweight performance shoe that felt pretty good on my tired feet.
- Long Run: 12 easy
[Actual: 12 sunny lakefront miles @ ~9:45]
Once again, I found myself initially intimidated by the distance, but my brain immediately forgot about it the moment we actually stepped outside. I wanted to test drive some fueling options for this run, but it turns out that no one sells Powergels anymore (because no one buys them, apparently), so I grabbed a known entity (Gu) and an unknown (Honey Stinger gel). The salted watermelon Gu tasted like bubblegum and was just as thick as I remembered it – blech. I popped that before the run, and saved the Kiwi Strawberry Honey Stinger for the run itself (still a little thick for my liking, but less residue than Gu). I did not bring any water with me, which was a mistake, as it was warmer than I anticipated. Fortunately, it didn’t impact my perceived effort until the last few miles. I was one salty lady, but I was proud of myself for the time on my feet, and happy that I got to see some of the city normally reserved for full-on marathon training. It reminded me of how much I still want to explore, and how easy it is to fall into a rut when it comes to route selection. The guy and I were so salty and hungry after this run that we literally finished our run at the nearest Five Guys and devoured cheeseburgers and Sprite. Long run, yer doin’ it right.
THE BIG PICTURE
Mental/Physical Update: Wow, I’m tired. I felt like things were a little nonstop this week, but I was also proud of myself for how much I was able to fit in. I didn’t do any strength work this week (I don’t think – I honestly forget if I did it on Monday or not), and I cut one easy run 2 miles short due to nasty weather. I reasoned that my planned spin class would tire my legs out far more than 2 easy miles ever could, but the reality is that I could have easily pressed through and gotten myself to 30. Log that under “Things I won’t beat myself up over…” My legs held up to the mileage pretty well — the spin class gave me some new aches and pains, but I was pleased with how much of that was mental versus physical limitations. Once I pushed myself through the groans, I typically came out of all of my runs feeling way better and looser than expected. I’m particularly proud of my final workout: 7 faster miles rounded out a 19 mile weekend (+ spin!), and although I modified the workout slightly, the spirit was definitely there. It was empowering to find that third and fourth gear this week, and I’m hoping to carry that feeling with me on race day. I tried to be good to myself this week and put in a little more time with the foam and foot roller than I normally would – there aren’t swear words for how that felt at times, so I set about inventing some.
Moving Forward: I’m going to put together some thoughts on SoulCycle (as well as a few other spin class options here in Chicago), as I’ve been looking to expand my cross-training in a more meaningful and sustainable way. I thoroughly enjoyed the Flywheel class I took a few weeks ago, and test-driving different methods and philosophies feels like a fun way to keep that momentum going. Maybe by the end of this series, I won’t have weird bruises in my secret places.