Making Do

I have been hoping to have great weeks of training for the final four leading up to my race. It’s possible, of course, as long as I stay healthy and use my time wisely.

Tuesday the weather caught up with me a bit. I didn’t start running til after 6PM, and I ran 6 miles in just shorts and a tank top. My arms and hands were cold by the end of the run, and it took a bit before I got full range of motion back in my hands.

Wednesday I had planned a hill workout and it rained all day, plus I had a crap day at work, so I decided to swap my Thursday rest day for Wednesday. Fine, fine. I like having Thursday as a rest day because I usually have an early day that’s both physically and mentally taxing, but I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal.

It rained/misted Thursday, too. Most of the day. Which, for me, started at 7:30 (normal for a full-time working person, but I’m a student, so that’s weird) and ended at… also 7:30. Well, I got home at 7:25. I was tired, hungry but also not feeling well thanks to eating a well done burger for lunch, and not pleased that I wasn’t going to be able to get a run in. I do have space in the week for two rest days, if I want to take them, but I am cutting back my long run while still hoping to hit around 36 miles for the week, so two rest days would mean another longish run in the mix.

Instead I hopped on the treadmill and did 8×400 at 10:31 pace, with 0.1 mi slow jog recovery between. Improvisation! I genuinely dislike running on the treadmill, especially when it’s not 50 below zero, but I didn’t want to run around after dark in the fog, and I would have had to skip the speed workout for the week, so it was treadmill or nothing. Many times, I’d have chosen nothing… and then chosen nothing again for days or weeks at a time following. Sometimes it’s perfectly fine to choose to do nothing. I did on Wednesday and I feel no guilt about it. However, I am going to pat myself on the back for the very minimal achievement of finding a way to work out despite being tired, cranky, mildly nauseated, and mentally taxed. It’s not something I’ve always been able to do.

Back At It

I ran yesterday, so that was nice. I stopped the streak of days off at 4.

I ran pickups. On the treadmill. That was less nice, although in some ways it was good. I ran on the treadmill because it was drizzly and cooler, but so humid I could see my own breath, and since I have my first and most difficult final tomorrow, I didn’t want to wear myself out or get so chilled I couldn’t function.

In order to keep from dying of boredom, I had the Montreal-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup playoff game on, but muted, and then I had a “butt rock” (aka 80s hair metal) station playing on Pandora. I did similar intervals to last week, except I did the correct 8×0.25 instead of miscounting and doing 9. I did the first 4 at a 5.5 mph pace and the last 4 and a 5 mph pace, and then I slowly jogged/walked (3.5 mph pace) in between to recover.

Running the pickups on the treadmill was beneficial for a few reasons. First, it kept my speed under control. When I did the pickups last week on the road, my pace was all over the place and it always died off at the end because I went out too fast (or because I hit a hill AND went out too fast.) My paces were more conservative (10:55 and 12:00) and I was more in control. Second, I was able to keep the pace consistent, not just because I was running a more achievable pace, but because the treadmill was making me. I am not very good at keeping a consistent pace, and I need to train my legs to do it.

I did core exercises too, and I need to be more consistent about doing them. I need a strong core and strong arms to keep me going, but for some reason I’m either too lazy to do them when I’m done running, or I’ve got a zillion other things to do once I’m done running and don’t take the time. Now that I’m not running all these crazy long runs, I have no excuse to skip the push-ups and sit-ups. Washboard abs, here I come. Or at least reduced batwings.