If you’d asked me a month ago if I thought I would still be keeping up with these training recaps, I would have laughed at you so hard. But here we are. Four weeks in and I’m still staying on top of it. My biggest concern is that nobody actually cares how I’m training, but Tim insists that posts like this are interesting—and I really enjoy reading other people’s training recaps, so there must be at least a little bit of truth to that. Besides, if I didn’t keep up with it, what would my grandmother read on Mondays?
Plan: Rest or cross-train | Actual: Barre
My barre buddy was going to be out of town on Wednesday, so we decided to crash the Monday night class instead. The one thing I’ve learned since adding barre to my schedule a couple of months ago is this: barre class always seems like a good idea beforehand, then makes you hate your life for about an hour (seriously, why/how are such seemingly small and simple movements SO HARD?!), then seems awesome again once you’re properly hydrated (with beer or wine) after class. To be fair, this “good idea—why am I doing this to myself?—that was great, let’s do it again!” nonsense holds true for most athletic pursuits, but I feel like barre takes it to a new level.
Plan: 3mi easy (10:29ish pace) | Actual: 3.1mi (10:27 avg pace)
In theory, running first thing in the morning should be easy right? I mean, you haven’t done anything else to expend energy yet, so you’re as well-rested as you’ll be all day. ALSO, I always thought that running with someone else supposed to make you go faster. So why is it that whenever I convince Tim to wake up early and run with me, running feels like it’s literally the most difficult thing ever and I throw down some of my slowest paces? Life is so hard.
Plan: 5mi tempo (1mi w/u, 3mi @ 8:56, 1mi c/d) | Actual: 4mi “tempo” (9:28 avg pace)
Waking up to watch an episode of Stranger Things with breakfast seemed like way more fun than waking up to run 5 miles, so I put Wednesday’s tempo run off until lunchtime. But until I’m actually back in some semblance of “running shape,” 5 miles feels juuust a bit out of reach for a lunch break run (both time-wise and settling-back-into-work- afterward-wise). I decided 4 miles would be fine, especially if I actually hit my prescribed tempo pace. The warm-up mile was nice and easy, and I was sad when it was over but I picked some speed and tried to find what felt like an 8:56 pace. When I checked my watch after mile 2 and saw that I’d done it in 8:58, I was pretty excited and thought “sweet, I only have to go 2sec/mi faster for mile 3!” However, somewhere deep in my subconscious, I must have also thought “ooh, but what if you went, like, 20 or more seconds faster this time?” When I checked my watch again after mile 3 and saw that I had run that mile 25 seconds faster than the one before it, I was again pretty excited, but also kind of pissed that I’m not at all capable of judging my pace anymore (I’ve never been very good at it, but it’s been a long time since I was this bad at it).
Plan: Boot Camp | Actual: Rest
As I sat in traffic on the way to work Thursday morning, I realized I had left my gym bag by the door at home. I sent Tim a whiny text to complain about driving and my forgetfulness and, like the chivalrous champ he is, he offered to deliver my gym clothes to me at work. I declined (it’s the only way I’ll learn!), and embraced the unplanned rest day. And later that night, we took a quick walk to scope out a new house for sale in town, so at least there was that.
Plan: 4mi easy (10:29ish pace) | Actual: 4.2mi (9:41 avg pace)
Wanna know the best way to crush the pace your training plan suggests for you? Run somewhere different. Despite only being in Week 4 of this training cycle, I was already starting to feel a little burned out (or least just not super into it anymore). So for Friday’s run, I gave myself a nice change of scenery and, most importantly, got back to the form of running I like best: trail! Granted, the trails I ran on Friday weren’t technical or difficult or steep—they’re mostly just really well-maintained paths through the woods—but getting off the road was a huge morale, and apparently pace, booster for me.
Plan: Hike or Bike or Climb | Actual: Climb!
Tim had gone up north with his friend Doug on Friday for some multi-pitch adventuring, and they were planning on climbing at Rumney on Saturday. Tim suggested that I meet them early Saturday morning, and while my first thought was “ughh, but that’s so much driving by myself,” my second thought was “GO, you fool!” (Tim had also posted this a few days earlier, so I sort of felt like I had no excuse to not go.) The only climbing I had done in recent memory was Lost in the Sun—an easy multi-pitch slab climb—so I wasn’t sure how well I’d do (which, unfortunately, would also determine how much fun I’d have…it’s a character flaw I promise I’m working on), but I ended up climbing really well all things considered, and it was the most fun day I’ve had in a while. Yay!
Plan: Long run (10mi @ 10:29ish pace) | Actual: 3.3mi (10:38 avg pace)
Three miles is a far cry from 10 miles, I know. My pace was also not great, and certainly not what I anticipated when I laced up Sunday morning. But with feet still sore from being stuffed into slightly-too-small climbing shoes (I’m too stubborn to get new ones) the day before, a strange ache in my back (getting old is the worst) that I didn’t know existed until I started to run, and a bit of a time crunch (I had to teach at 10 and then Tim and I were off to Boston for a work event with the law firm he writes for), those 3 hilly miles were definitely better than no miles and I don’t feel bad about it at all. Besides, next week is supposed to be a cut-back week, and Sunday’s run is scheduled to be 4 miles. So I figure as long as I do a long run next Sunday, all will be right in my little training world again…right?