This wasn’t a great week for me in terms of extra exercise or stress levels. My days have been extra busy at work, to the point where I’ve felt like coming home and having a glass of wine to decompress/relax. I know in my rational mind that an extra run, a boot camp class at #360fit or a yoga session at #TAYS Yoga would be a much healthier and more effective form of stress-relief, but I just didn’t have it in me this week, so I just stuck with hills training and the long run.
Hill Training # 6
Tuesday we were back at Citadel Hill for another hills session. After how great I felt the week before, I wasn’t dreading it so much this week. At the beginning, coach Devin Sherrington told us that if we are feeling like this is getting easy, we are not working hard enough, so really push it during our sprints. Although I wasn’t finding it easy by any means, I tried my best to really sprint during the sprints, to run right to the top of Citadel Hill instead of turning back downhill a bit shy of the top, and to really push myself throughout the full session. I definitely noticed a difference.
By around the 20-minute mark, I started looking at my phone during the walks thinking we must be done soon. Oddly, I hadn’t looked at my phone to see the actual time that we started so this was kind of pointless for me to do, but for some reason seeing the time usually helps soothe my anxiety whenever I start feeling like I am hitting my exhaustion point, so I kept doing it any way. I’m happy to say that even though my sprinting speed may have slowed down a bit towards the end, I kept going and before I knew it 26 minutes was up and we were done another week of hill training.
Lesson learned: If it’s feeling easier, bask in the glory of your increased speed/endurance for a minute, and then speed it up, go longer, and/or go farther. Progress only takes place when you are outside your comfort zone, so keep pushing hard.Long Run # 7 For our 7th long run, we were running through Point Pleasant Park again, this time running 8 minutes / walking 1 minute for 55 minutes. It was a beautiful day. Sunshine and warmth.
I was a little worried about this run since I didn’t get any extra exercise in this week, my eating had also been a bit off this week, and I had been out late the night before at the 12th annual Progress Club Girl’s Night Out event.
For the first stretch of 10-15 minutes or so, I didn’t feel awesome – I was dreading the hill I knew was coming up shortly and hoping that we would hit the walk portion just at the hill. In actuality, we had about a minute of running left when we got to the hill, so running up it we went. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel nearly AS bad as it had before. I wasn’t gasping for air and I didn’t have that awful stitch in my side. Instead, I pictured in my mind that I was on the Stairmaster and I just needed to keep stepping. It may sound weird and maybe even awful to anyone who hates gym machinery – maybe it is because of my short legs vs the steepness of the hill, but it worked for me. Before I knew it, I was at the top and I didn’t feel like falling over this time. It may be a small victory, but I will gladly take it!
After the hill, we continued on our way. On the way back, we ran straight through for awhile, skipping the walk breaks. This brought us back a bit early so we ended up doing a couple laps of the parking lot to get in the full 55 minutes. I felt light on my feet, energetic, and already looking forward to the next run.
** Although I felt energetic when we finished, when I got home my late night and the run caught up with me fast. I usually am not a napper, but as soon as I got home I fell asleep and slept until almost lunchtime.
Hurry Up and Slow Down
I’ve been a bit worried about my speed – I keep thinking the slower I run, the longer total length of time it will take me to run the 10K. I still hope to do it without stopping, so running upwards of an hour and a half feels a bit daunting. I don’t find the apps on my phone are completely accurate (they each tell me different distances, etc.) so I thought I’d go on the treadmill to get a more accurate measure of speed. I quickly realized that I have definitely become an outdoor runner (strange for a previously sworn indoor runner/walker). I got on the treadmill and right away it felt awful. I did about 2.5 km, uninspired, and then gave up. I ended up going for a 2 km walk outside later on so even though I didn’t have success with my speed monitoring, I am okay with my extra activity for the day.
It’s hard to believe, but we are already less than a month away from race weekend. I feel like the time has gone by way too fast and know the next 4ish weeks are going to fly by. I want to be in the best place possible come race day, so am going to try and get in as much activity and healthy eating as possible in the meantime. My goal for this week is to give our team run and training session my everything and to get in lots of extra activity, including another boot camp class and another yoga class. Wish me luck!