Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
2.5 mile warm-up; 6 x 150 meter strides; 2000 meter cut-down, start at 7:05 pace and cut down a bit each lap. 2 lap jog. 6 x 800 meters. Start at 3:24 and cut down 2-3 seconds each interval. 1 lap jog between intervals. 2.5 mile cool-down. Total: 11 miles
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
"It is when things are the hardest that you must not quit."
Friday marked the last day that our kids were at camp, and so when I made it to bed that night, I was wiped. I knew what was in store for the morning: a tempo run followed by packing up our site. I went to sleep excited about the challenge, but completely exhausted. When I awoke, not much had changed. I felt so tired, and quickly the minutes crept by. I could either gut it out then, or hope to be done closing early enough to fit in the run. Nope, wasn't taking any chances on missing out. And with that, I was out of bed.
So, the warm-up that I have been doing is a 2.5 mile uphill run through this trail by UCSC. Very beautiful, but actually pretty hard for a warmup. It is uphill consistently for the first 1.5 miles, then it levels out to a reasonable level. By the time it evened out, I still felt tired, and unsure about the challenge ahead (6 mile tempo starting at 7:15 pace). Maybe I could just make this a run without concern for time, and then just do the tempo on Sunday. Nope, stop trying to change the game!
So, I started my watch and was off. Thankfully, the weather was misty enough that even though I felt tired, the weather was invigorating. And as I kept going faster and faster, I felt more alive, more alert. Was this possible? I shot out of the trail, back on the road, and felt great. I thought, maybe this won't be a wash after all. I came through 5 miles in 34:xx, and that was when I starting to tire. The flat stretch was almost over, and not only would the final mile of the tempo be uphill, but so would the cooldown (this is part of the 600 ft. climb). I told myself to just hang on as long as possible, and I did take on part of the hill. Then I saw a stop light, and just told myself to get to there, and I put everything I could into hitting that light with some semblance of speed. - I ran 5.75 miles in 40:15 (7 minute pace)! The "Don't Quit" poem kept running through my head, with the resounding line, "It's when things seem worst that you must not quit." I am so glad I did not - it was not a wash or wasted run - it was great. Totally totally worth it, and I went into the day feeling proud of what I did. Do you ever feel like that? Going into work with a successful and complex run already done, but you can't really explain it to any coworkers? Eh, it's okay - they didn't know what it meant, but they did know what it meant to me.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
I had been strutting around with that one, and had had a good track workout too last week. Workout days are often my favorite running days (and days in life, period) - I think it is the challenge posed, and the ability to push through and overcome it. Anyways, this past Saturday, the challenge was an 11 mile hilly run with 10 x 90 second bursts of speed. Perfect weather: misty, 58 degrees - I was in heaven. And my bursts of speed didn't feel like I was dying: my legs were just motoring and I was able to go with it. I had about 2 miles ago, with a 600 foot climb to get to the top of campus. I was waiting for the light to change, and there was a cyclist on the opposite side of the road. I said "I don't know how you do it, biking here."
Cyclist: "Well, I am actually a runner, and this is hard, I am just injured right now. Which way are you going?"
I pointed, and she asked if we wanted to do the climb together.
Inner thoughts: "What?! I can't run alongside a cyclist! This is going to be crazy!"
But..I said "Yes!"
And we climbed our way up, amlbing and gabbing along the way. She has done a dozen marathons, and we had a great chat. I felt like I was dying - it was so steep to begin with, I was trying to chat, and oh yes, I am trying to keep up with someone on wheels.
Cyclist "You're doing so great, this is incredible!"
And you know what? While part of me was so tired, the other part of me was absolutely exhilarated. It was very tough work, but making it through also felt like a major triumph. It was a very unexpected way to finish the run, but completely worth it!
Again, I think tempo runs are one of the hardest parts of training, but definitely can help yield great results!