And, I think it has.
The thing that I didn't bank on is that I would come to hate it. Loathe it. Want to punch it in the throat. There are times when I want to kick it and crumble it up and throw it away. Alas, I am far too stubborn to do that.
But I still don't like it.
Running with friends can take a back seat when following an intense training plan.
10. The workouts are very pace driven, which isn't a huge surprise. However, I find it challenging to hit a specific pace, and I often go too fast because I am so worried about not hitting the right numbers.
9. The plan keeps the endurance level up by having nine of 12 long runs at 10 miles or more. Plans that I've previously followed often incorporate cutback weeks where one can rejoice in an 8-mile long run. Not me. It's 10 or ... 10 on those weeks.
8. The high mileage doesn't stop at the long runs. Now in week 6, my shortest weekday run is 6 miles with 4 strides, which comes closer to 6.5 miles. My other two, which are pace workouts, come in at 9 miles. I don't mind it so much but it's challenging to find the time to fit in that kind of run before work.
7. Having a very specific plan with very specific paces can make it more challenging to run with others. My BRF Tami has been more than willing to accommodate my workouts, adding strides and completing a steady state run with me, but I feel guilty asking others to do what I need to do rather than what they want to do.
6. To make the plan fit my life better, I have been tweaking it - mostly by trimming the warm-up from two miles to one. I think it's fine but I do feel some pangs of guilt since I am not running all.the.miles.
5. Even still, the 8-mile days are a lot, and it can be a challenge to figure out how much to eat and when. I am running enough to eat more but not enough to eat all the things all the time.
4. The longer runs increases my need for good hydration. My Nuun stash has been hit particularly hard, and I am now down to Cherry Limeade and Kona Cola. I love these flavors, don't get me wrong, but I like having some non-caffeinated options in the drawer.
3. Running lots of intervals and different paces throughout the week and during a single workout requires a lot of math. And I don't like math.
2. The treadmill. I've been on it. In the summer. The treadmill just makes some of the math so much easier, and it definitely helps with the pacing. For example, I have 16 x 400 at 10K pace this week. I know that if I try that workout outdoors that my intervals for the first round will be sub-8 rather than 8:20, and I'll die a slow death by the 12th.
1. It makes me work. Hard. And while that's the whole point, it's not a lot of fun while you are doing it.