There’s something seriously satisfying with watching that red bar creep up every day. I’m thinking when I cross the finish line at TCM, I’ll have a Citizen Kane moment where I just mutter “red bar” before I collapse.
Programming Note: This update is a bit late, so it encompasses my training from the week of June 5. #badatblogging
|Monday:||5 + plyos|
|Tuesday:||1-2 up/down + 4×800|
This was another completely successful week and I was really surprised and happy with how my legs carried me through. The first 1/4mi of every run these days feels like my feet are cement blocks and I’m clomping around town, but my body loosens up reasonably quickly and by the second mile I’m usually feeling fine, and then increasingly better as I move. Is this what “old” running feels like?! Can I go back in time to my prime?
Week’s Theme: Mind Over Matter (slash “Didn’t this used to be easier?”)
Easily half of my run notes this week started with, “My brain was not into this run but it turned out fine once I started going.” Part of this is probably my new route, which has me running about 1.5mi of stoplights and sidewalks before getting to the lake path. For whatever reason, my brain just really hates that concept. I’ve been spoiled; in the ten years that I’ve been a runner in Chicago, I’ve never lived more than a few blocks from the lake path. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it’s taking my brain a little longer to adjust than I ever anticipated. Again, IS THIS WHAT “OLD” RUNNING FEELS LIKE?!
New This Week: Plyometrics.
These are great for your leg strength/economy, and is something I incorporated into my last marathon training cycle back in 2013. I forgot how hard these are when you haven’t done them in like four (!!) years. My Mondays moving forward will now incorporate these exercises following my run. Each week will feature three sets of a three plyo routine (20 reps each). This week’s routine was 3 x 20 reps of box, lateral, and squat jumps. These felt really hard after my run (five easy) and my legs felt like Jell-o towards the end of each of the three sets, but I was so excited to finish. I was a nanosecond away from throwing a fist in the air after my last box jump, but there were a handful of people walking past me on the sidewalk and my brain was like, “Easy tiger. That’s embarrassing. Don’t do that.” But next time I want to do that, I will. It feels good to celebrate your successes in a public manner. Years ago, I was finishing up a super hard interval workout on the treadmill and a guy in the basketball court (glass walls) in front of me gave me a fist bump when he saw me finish up my last interval. It was such a genuine and fun thing and something that obviously stayed with me.
Track Workout: 4×800 @ 3:35 [1.25 up + 3:50, 3:55, 3:46, 3:45 + 1 down]
These paces are based on when I was younger and fitter and better dressed, so the 800m paces feel hard right now. Because this is only my second track workout, and because the paces are a bit aggressive, I’m letting myself continue to reach and I’m not putting too much stake in where I land. These 800s were pretty consistent with last week’s results, which means I’m consistently just a little slower than goal. My leg turnover feels/is sluggish, which is to be expected in the first few weeks of track work, and will a) improve over time; and b) is also somewhat the result of the previous night’s plyos.
Long Run: 12 miles easy [12mi @ 10:00 avg]
Half of the challenge of this training cycle might be becoming disciplined enough to wake up early enough to be out the door by like 8, which is still probably later than I should be aiming for. This was another super sunny and hot run (this time through Lincoln Park, as the lake path is currently under construction), but my body has been pretty good at adjusting to the heat this year. I feel like I never quite got there last year. I took two gels – each at 45min (trying to be more mindful about fueling mid-run) – and that had me feeling pretty sturdy, although I think my body doesn’t love the caffeinated gels I’m used to using. I may need to play around with non-caffeinated options or other fueling types to keep my stomach from feeling funky. Around the 9mi mark I ran into a friend running a giant dog for PAWS, so if you want a goofy horse, go find Bear at the Lincoln Park adoption center. He’s enormous and definitely not leash trained yet, but he’s super sweet.
Final Thoughts: Still Adjusting
I was really excited to have another successful week of training, and really pleased that my body has responded pretty well to my mileage so far. I’ve definitely been feeling more tired and hungry, so I need to get better about giving my body the rest and good food it need/wants.