Happy Global Running Day! I’m celebrating on the couch with a much deserved rest day (#WednesdayVibes).
I’ll be posting the above chart each week so that you can get as snapshot of how each week went and what it should have looked like. No hiding from the numbers!
This week featured mostly easy mileage, one long run (10mi), and one workout (workout = at a pace harder than easy/recovery). Ultimately, I’ll build to 2-3 workouts/week in the next few weeks, including weekly goal race pace runs, long runs with faster components, and track workouts.
This week’s workout took me back to the track for the first time in ~9mo and is the start of the first consistent track cycle I’m facing in about 4 years. This workout was tough, but reminded me how much I love the special hurt of fast intervals. It also reminded me how badly GPS watches show track workouts. There’s a track right next to my office that I’ll likely be utilizing. It’s not the nicest, and it’s often filled with dogs, strollers, and people inexplicably choosing to get their exercise by walking laps instead of walking along the lake, but it reduces the amount of transportation required to get to a nicer one (and thus reduces the inertia lurking in that multi-step process).
As it stands, my current track paces are probably a little ambitious (they are based on a time when I was fitter), but because I’m being a little lazy about doing a new mile time trial, they’ll do for now (and give me something a little out of reach to shoot for). I’ll likely have to adjust these a bit – maybe I won’t! – but for now, yasso pace is around a 7:10 mile, pro-rated for shorter distances (1:48/400, 3:35/800).
Workout: 1-2mi up, 2×400, 2×800, 2×400 @ yasso pace, 1-2mi down
Actual: 1 up (+ some leg swings, etc), 1:46, 1:47, 3:41, 3:45, 1:48, 1:45 + 1 down.
This workout felt tough, but manageable. My feet and brain both felt sloppy, which is to be expected when moving and challenging myself in a somewhat foreign way. My 800s were consistently a little slow (which isn’t surprising), but I’m pretty pleased with how this workout felt overall, and how I responded to it mentally. I generally enjoy 400s: there’s one lap with a very distinct end point. You can push as hard as you want around a circle, press your lap button, and relish in your recovery period. But 800s always feel a little daunting: two laps, the first of which feels a little hard and the second of which feels annoying on a good day and overwhelming on a bad one. What was heartening about this workout was that my engine (reflected in my HR) was fine, it was just my legs/turnover that was holding me back. I’m hoping some regular strength work and strides built into my weekly routine will help increase my turnover and get me back to the road runner-style legs I remember.
Long Run:10 mi easy
Actual: 9.6 @ 10:11 (easy in that I melted into the pavement and haven’t been seen since)
My long run this weekend was done in 90-degree temps (fun!), and I definitely died a little bit in the process, but I got it done. One gel, 419 water fountains, and some walking in the shade to try and make my body producing sweat again. The route I took ended up being ~0.5mi short, but given the circumstances, I wasn’t trying to run in circles to be a Week 1 mileage hero. This was tough but in a “duh, that was dumb” way and not in a “long runs are too hard” way. Also, maybe next week I won’t accidentally carb load with 4 vodka punches and 1.5 liters of beer at Maifest… #college?
I’m extremely pleased with how my body felt after a ~35mi week. I completed every workout – including a morning run, what?! – and feel really proud for having taken what feels like a really big step forward. I can tell that a big part of this training cycle will be learning how to embrace the suck, and overcome mental blocks along the way. Reminding myself to relax on runs that feel annoying or frustrating or just bleh is surprisingly effective. Maybe it seems obvious (it is, I suppose), but there’s a real mental boost that comes from accepting the fact that you’re just going to be finishing something instead of actively fighting against enjoying it. This time around, I’m focused on enjoying the process (which includes having days I don’t love) and letting my race goal materialize from that. If my current runger is any indication, I’m already Olympic caliber.