Week’s Theme: Comin’ Around the Mountain
This week actually felt pretty awesome despite the anxiety/craziness of the last few weeks. I think travel took more out of me mentally than I realized, and my attempts to crash land into some lower-drop shoes definitely made my calves/Achilles cranky. Putting my anxiety and frustration out there kind of deflated a lot of its power over my mental state, and things shifted and clicked into a more comfortable gear this week. I’m still trying not to lose sleep over a missed workout here and there (as long as its legit, what can I do, right?), and focusing on what I can do and where I can accommodate adjustments when necessary. This week’s derailment? Lady pains. If there is a single woman out there who has ever “alleviated cramps with light exercise,” speak now or forever embargo publications that continue to insist on its truth.
|Saturday:||12 (2 up + 2x (3 @ MP + 2 easy)|
New This Week: Integrated Long Run.
[2mi @ 10ish + MP splits of (9:00,8:45, 8:43) and (9:21, 8:56, 8:40) + 2mi @ 9:30ish cool down]
This week was the first time I’ve incorporated some workout miles into my long runs (at least since 2013, if not ever?), and it felt pretty cool. I’ll be doing this 1-2x month, I think, and on weeks where I incorporate those faster miles, I turn my normal Thursday MP workouts into straight, easy mileage to ensure that I’m not destroying my legs in an attempt to be a superhero. This week’s workout was a 12-mile run, with two waves built into the mix. After a warm up, I twice alternated between three miles at MP and two miles of easy pace (the last two miles acted as a cool down). I’ve set my goal MP between 8:40-8:50, which would net me a course record, but not a personal best.
This workout felt really good, despite the fact that I woke up earlier than I typically do, and my stomach wasn’t quite awake enough to get enough food down (just two small pieces of toast with cheese – typically I’ll try to have twice that amount before a long run). I was glad to have gotten out of the door earlier than normal (8:15ish) because it was already warm, sunny and a little humid. I ran the first 2 miles with T, and then peeled off for my first wave. These miles clicked off pretty easily, which was exciting. I found that it was hard to shift back into an “easy” pace after that first set, and my first recovery mile (9:36) was a little faster than it should have been (2nd was 10:15 – way better). My second wave definitely felt a bit harder to dial into. I felt like my legs were flying but my body wasn’t really going anywhere, which could have been a fueling thing, a bit of a headwind thing, a tired thing — or all of the above? The pacing finally clicked over once I pushed past what my brain thought should be fast enough and was able to dial the pace down and feel comfortable in it, so I think it was likely more mental than anything else. A nice reminder that – despite what your brain may be telling you – there’s always another gear. Another thing I made sure to try is fueling at pace. I’ve been leisurely opening my gels and taking them at normal water breaks thus far, but in order to mimic race day circumstances, I took both during faster miles, without water, and a few bites at a time. All systems go!
Track Workout: Noped it right up.
One of these days I’ll get back to a track workout. Next week I have a Monday night 5k, so that may replace my Tuesday workout or it may be on top of it. Only my legs know for sure! These used to be my favorite workouts of the week, but now maybe long runs have replaced them? That feels weird to admit out loud.
Final Thoughts: Make like a chocolate bar and melt into it.
There’s a military motto that tells soldiers to “embrace the suck,” but that doesn’t feel quite right here. I want (and do!) enjoy the process of training, so in this case, there is no suck to embrace. Rather, this feels more like a massage or foam roller; the best rewards come from relaxing into the pain and process, at which point (when the muscles relax a bit and the knot starts to break up) it becomes enjoyable and beneficial. When I’m foam rolling (or getting a tough massage), I remind myself to “melt into it.” It’s a verbal cue that reminds me to relax my muscles (no matter how much they hurt) and let the process to its magic.
When I run on the treadmill, I usually find that I have to REALLY ease myself into faster paces. For some reason, seeing the actual pace numbers go up gives me a bit of anxiety, and it always feels faster than sustainable in the first 30 seconds… like I may fly off the back if I’m not careful. BUT, then I tell myself to chill out, relax, take a deep breath, stop worrying about how this is too fast and start melting into the workout. I think the same thing happened last week. I looked down at the numbers and got a little panicky. This week, I practiced melting into the training and I feel 100% more relaxed about it. For now, melting into things means taking things day by day, not getting out in front of myself, sticking with my training as is, and adjusting as needed. I’ll be keeping a close eye on my burnout symptoms — anxiety/stiffness that doesn’t subside with a rest day or cut back, disproportionately emotional responses to every day things (this is hard – I’m a cryer, yo!), or a dearth of enjoyment that lasts more than a few workouts. In the meantime, I’ll be the one melting over here.
Do you have a self-massage mantra? (No? Am I weird?)
Do you have an irrational fear of flying off of the treadmill?
How do you get out of your head in training?
What’s your favorite type of run? Track? Long Run? Rest Day?