Slowly but surely, I’ve been building my mileage up and starting to get back into the groove. In fact, this past week was the first time I (barely) cracked 40 miles– including 2 workouts and a ‘long’ run. My sore legs and tired body are slowly recalling the routine I’ve been out of for a while. Welcome back to training.
Let’s be honest, I don’t anticipate finding the time to blog about every week of training leading up to Chicago, but I’ll do my best to try! But I’ll definitely be updating my training log online, so get your fill over there if I become MIA again.
Here’s a quick snapshot of this past week, with some details on the workouts:
- Monday: 5 miles easy on Randall’s Island
- Tuesday: Workout in a.m. around bridle– 3 x 600/400/300 with 200 recovery between
- Wednesday: Off
- Thursday: Morning workout at Exceed Fitness; Night workout– repeats of 2 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile
- Friday: 7 miles easy in morning
- Saturday: 12 miles easy
- Sunday: Off
This training cycle, I’m trying to get in two main workouts a week when I can: shorter intervals on Tuesdays, and longer tempos on Thursdays. This is the schedule Central Park Track Club sets out, and in the past I’ve only been good about incorporating Thursday workouts into my schedule– even for NYC ’11 and Boston ’12.
Last summer, my friends and I started a new routine of doing the Tuesday workout most mornings when we meet. Doing it in the morning in the park is much more convenient than heading to the track after work and allows another free weeknight to work or have a life. The shorter intervals are usually a bit easier to digest at 6:40 in the morning than a longer tempo, and we focus more on effort and getting our legs moving than time and splits as the terrain often varies and can’t be compared to a track.
That said, Tuesday’s workout was 3 x 600, 400, and 300 meter repeats with 200 meter jog between intervals and 400 meter between sets. We did the workout on the bridle path around the reservoir, generally estimating on our watches how long each interval was. Approximately, my splits were:
- 2:31, 1:41, 1:15
- 2:38, 1:37, 1:18
- 2:25, 1:35, 1:07
Those times mean nothing to me, especially since they were on the annoying little ‘hills’ (that are nice on a normal run, but brutal during a speed workout) and uneven dirt. But at least my last set was ‘fastest’. Counts for something, right?
I’m usually not one for double workouts, but I am trying to get a bit better about incorporating lifting into my routine, even if it’s for 5 minutes at the end of a run. So, when my coworker invited me to a complimentary workout class at Exceed Physical Culture on Thursday morning as part of something Chobani is sponsoring, I was intrigued. I was planning to run Thursday night’s workout and didn’t want to be tired for that, but I also didn’t want to turn down a free class that’d be awesome strength training.
O.M.G. The squats, TRX exercises, burpees, kettlebell moves, and more left my legs toast. Seriously. I consider my legs pretty strong from running but I was walking like a penguin by Friday morning– turns out, there are a lot of other leg muscles I suppose I don’t use on a regular basis.
So I headed to Thursday night’s workout a bit sore and tired, but got through the workout not-so-gracefully. The workout on tap was 2 miles through the 72 transverse and up Cat Hill to the 102nd st transverse, another 2 miles through the 102nd st transverse and back south down (up?) the rolling west side hills to the 72nd st statue, and then 1 hard mile up Cat Hill to Engineer’s Gate. Holy hills, my quads were not happy.
- 2 miles: 6:58, 6:45
- 2 miles: 7:01, 6:48
- 1 mile: 6:55
I definitely had to work hard to keep those paces and had a solid group around me to try to keep up with which was awesome. And, it was my first Thursday night workout back which was exciting! But honestly, I’m still having a hard time (mentally, and physically of course) not being able to run at my ‘normal’ workout paces with my ‘normal’ group. I’m respecting my level and doing what I can right now, but it’s a bit discouraging to compare these times to previous workouts.
I’m incredibly competitive with myself, and know the issue of comparison is going to be an ongoing struggle for quite some time. I’ll just keep having to remind myself to enjoy the journey, and hopefully I’ll get back to my ‘normal’ self at some point in the future– run by run.