This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This Week's Runs in Review

Monday was a four mile recovery run. This was the only day of the week that my legs felt "not tired". I ran a clockwise route to end at a track to do some strides. I usually forget to do the strides, usually concentrating on the run but I was very proud of myself for remembering. The one thing that did strike me about Monday's run was that each mile felt like forever. It reminded me of my Coach Bubba race in February, where I couldn't believe how each mile felt so long. Monday's run I truly felt like I had missed most of the morning with this run...

Tuesday was my fartlek day. The workout included:
4:00, 3:00, 2:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 up-tempo; 1/2 rest after each interval.
It looked decent on paper.

Brennan said I could run this on the track but the road would be more fun. She said not to worry about distance, just up the tempo during the times. Well, I decided running on the track _would_ be fun vs. the hilly paths around the area.

The problem with that? I did exactly what she said not to do and figured out what I can do on the track in 4 minutes so I was constantly estimating where I should be running my time. And "should be" is not necessarily equivalent to this workout because "should be" is where I would be doing speed training and running at a top speed. Brennan did say that I didn't need to go all out but about 10K pace. Well, I didn't even estimate that and just ran.

This tired me out. Running 4 minutes at a fast pace is not easy (for me). I managed to jog the rests after each interval, except for one of the 1 mn rests and 1:30 mn rests. And those minutes just flew while the fartlek times were slow. This. Wore. Me. Out. One of the three other folks on the track did say, from his own rest on the sideline, "Keep it up! Keep it strong!" He must have seen the pain on my face but those few words actually worked and I remained steady-eddie the rest of the workout.

But it was this day that I thought to myself "I am really tired of running." And even though I do a lot of self-deprecation about my runs, I generally don't dislike it. I love running -- that's why I do it! But there's a difference in getting physically tired of running and then just being mentally tired of it. Tuesday was when I felt mentally (and physically) tired of running.

Wednesday was a much needed day off from running (I still did a workout: P90X, which is not easy). Very needed as I had a five mile run scheduled for Thursday that I was just blocking out of my head. Brennan 'gave' me the day off (Thursday) because of my complaining, I'm sure :-). But I didn't truly want to take it off. I had decided that perhaps I would run three vs. the five, but when I noticed Tim had seven miles on his schedule, I thought I'd run with him.

So we planned an afternoon run and did the 10K Umstead Loop. It has been awhile since Tim has run this route but it's a common one for me, $Bill and Frank. It's the better route going counter-clockwise vs. clockwise. But boy, my tired legs were still tired Thursday and I had come to terms with trying to keep pace with Tim (which is NOW faster than me).

This reminds me of when Tim and I first started running together and how pissed I would get at him (internally) because his legs were longer, or he was faster, or whatever. If it got too hard for me, it was his fault. But I didn't get that way during our Thursday run. I figured if all else, he could just leave my slow ass behind. :-)

I told him about the half mile hill challenge that $Bill made me aware of last year, which is breaking five minutes running up the 0.53 hill. Bill and I did it in November last year. And man, it wasn't easy. I remember that day (and noticed I didn't include it in my greatest 2008 running moments, but it is one of them) - starting up the hill, and getting about 60% into it, thinking, if Bill tells me we are not even close to breaking it now, I was throwing in the towel and walking. I saw him peek at his watch and I was trying to read into his body language. He was on thin ice: if he sped up too much, then we would be way off and trying too hard to make it; if he slowed down, then we have no chance and I'm walking.

But he kept on, without any slight movements to indicate either way and just kept going, so I did the same. When we made it to the top and I looked at my own watch, 4:56, I was ecstatic! Four minutes to spare is A LOT so we rocked.

All of that background to state this: Tim had no intention of breaking our long quested goal of last Spring, Summer, Fall. He wasn't even aware of it until I mentioned it as a 'story' during the run. And then when we reached the hill? I took it steady, to set a baseline for the year. I didn't try hard but it wasn't easy. I ended up with 5:43. I asked Tim what he did it in: 4:59. ARRRGGHHHHH!

In the end, we both struggled to get that last mile in and we ended up with six miles each: I had one more than I needed; he had one less. I like to think I *took* his mile.

Saturday was my long run. Tim and Bill stayed indoors to do spinervals. I was on my own. And I got my eight miles in, and then some. The run was to be at a comfortable pace, which I did. My legs are still tired and I briefly thought: how the heck will I get these eight miles in when I am so tired? But I did it. And it helped to listen to Keith and the Girl and Chemda's lesbian encounter described in great detail.

So, I managed a tough week for me and my tired, old ass. Tomorrow is a new week, so I'll see how it all plays out, all over again.

But I would like to end this with the fact that I enjoyed every minute of it and will continue to bitch and whine about my runs. I don't know why people think that every run should be described as the greatest moment ever. It's the challenge of endurance (again, for me) and overcoming the battles of a tired body, a tired mind, or a hectic day, to accomplish a goal. That is the GREATEST feeling after these workouts. I did it and I can do it again.

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