I stepped off the treadmill on Thursday, absolutely drenched in sweat and my legs shaking. As I walked to the locker room, I thought to myself, "This is what it feels like."
It? It is training. Training training.
Sure, I've prepared for races. I've put in miles and some faster ones but it hasn't been since my 2010 effort for Fort4Fitness have I logged the quality miles with such consistency and rigor. For five weeks, I've done tempos and repeats, hills and progressions. Save for weather-hindered long runs, I've followed the plan to a "T" - even when I've thought that I could do just otherwise wing it.
The plan is courtesy of the Mother Runners, the "Train Like A Mother" half marathon Own It Plan. I decided to follow the schedule after running joyfully, yet aimlessly, through the early winter. I just had an itch to do something more, to try for something better - especially after the disappointment of Veterans Marathon.
My goal is the Athens (Ohio) half marathon on April 13, though I'm working less toward a time and more toward a strong effort. I am hoping to see what I can do - really do - and whether I can post a strong time in the fall.
The week, in training:
Monday, February 10
CROSS TRAINING | 50 minutes "Bob Harper Total Body Transformation"
This workout was fairly early, and I wasn't quite ready for such intensity as tired as I was. I also felt like this workout had a lot of shoulders in it, prompting me to go down to 3-pound handweights for some of the exercises.
Tuesday, February 11
RUN | 3 miles + 5 minutes of strides (total of 3.6 miles)
I felt pretty good on this run, and I actually enjoyed the strides at the end. I didn't do it completely as prescribed as I didn't remember the intervals, and I pushed harder to compensate.
Wednesday, February 12
RUN | 5 miles, with 3 at tempo pace
Tempo runs are the most feared by me on the training plan. It seems manageable to hold a difficult pace for a short interval but three miles seems overwhelming. Despite my apprehension, this run went very well. I felt strong and committed throughout, and I kept a fairly aggressive pace for the last mile. I'm almost enjoying the treadmill for these runs as it allows me to stay controlled while pushing me.
CROSS TRAINING | Bodypump
I had a class and I was relieved to have participants (5!), including a person making a second trip. Still, I didn't feel like I was on my game after not teaching for a week and I allowed myself to get distracted by a pair who like to catch up in class.
Thursday, February 13
CROSS TRAINING | Ripped
I had every intention of doing some sort of indoor cycling this day but I couldn't make it work for a number of reasons/excuses. I taught my YMCA Ripped class, which is similar to pump, but stayed very light because my legs were SORE from Wednesday.
Friday, February 14
STRETCH | 20 minutes of Joy of Yoga DVD
My hips. Oh, my hips. I was sill fairly sore from Wednesday's class so I tried to get in some stretching before tackling the day's run. Miles was up early so I could only occupy the TV for as long as he'd allow. I was surprise that he let me go 20 minutes. It wasn't enough but it did help.
RUN | 6 miles, with four 4-minute intervals (with 3 minutes recovery)
I thought this workout would be the easier of the speed days this week but I was wrong. So, so wrong. I was unsure of what pace to shoot for as it was a minute-based interval and I have not raced a 5K (with no snow) in quite some time. I tried to shoot for ideal 5K pace or slightly faster. The first three intervals, during which I got progressively faster, were manageable but I struggled greatly in the fourth. I ended up stepping off the treadmill at 3 minutes and then going for another 1:30.
Saturday, February 15
CROSS TRAINING | Bodypump
I almost thought this class would be a wash but one of the regulars made it, even citing that she felt bad the previous week didn't have anyone. We chatted a bit and she thinks it's more the culture of the gym and less me that affects participation. I went fairly moderate with weights as my hips still felt tight.
Sunday, February 16
RUN | 12.1 miles
There was actual pavement! Without snow! And no ice! Oh, how I missed it. I met two from the group, and we were able to maintain a decent pace thanks to improved conditions. Some areas still had snow, ice and slush but it was far better than we've had. After all, my near fall total was less than five. Overall, it was a great time and I felt strong.