Sunday, March 29, 2015

Training Week 4: Reintroducing My Abs

Hello runners! Training Week 4 is in the books here and I've lived to tell you about it. This week I had (mostly) superb weather to greet me on my runs. Has spring sprung where you are? It's a lovely thing.
Trees in bloom and snow capped mountains. Love this place.

Here's the weekly run-down:

Monday: 6 miles EZ. Ever feel like Eeyore on a run? If ever I had that day, this was it.

  • I felt sluggish as hell the entire time
  • It rained on and off the entire time
  • And just for kicks, the streetlights in an entire quadrant of the park weren't working. Holy darkness, Batman! I mean, it felt like running in the forest at night, it was so dark. It had been a really long time since I'd run in the dark like that, and had kind of forgotten what it feels like. Mostly if just feels less safe!

Tuesday: This class that was easy two weeks ago turns out to be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Damn! Hard class! We focused a lot on ab strength, with V-sits, planks, and moving between planks and down dogs, and hopping onto our hands from planks. In case you've missed it, I've had two children and have pathetic ab muscles. I also learned in this class how people move their foot from the back of the mat to the front from down dog without kind of hurling it up there or, let's be honest, just standing up and stepping forward. Turns out the trick is to inch your feet forward first, giving yourself the vertical space to move your knee & leg. Who knew?! I still don't really do it right, but at least I know how now and can keep working on this.

After this class, I was much more aware of my abs during my Wednesday and Friday runs. After really just a few yoga classes, I can feel some strength starting to return to neglected portions of my body, and that feels good. 

Wednesday: Speed work. Yassos. So, here's the thing. It's hard to tell that I'm making progress from week to week if you just read my stats, but I can feel progress from week to week. For one thing, the workouts are getting longer in distance, and I'm hanging with that. This week I finished a distance I absolutely could not have handled at that pace in Week 1. For another, I feel better each week when I finish. This is big. In Week 1, I had a headache so bad for the rest of the day that I was nauseous. This week, my head only felt a little tense, and I never really worried that a huge headache was about to set in. And finally, I am getting slightly closer to goal paces. These workouts are tough, and I love them for that.

Workout: 2 miles EZ
1x400 @ 1:45, 200 recovery (actual: 1:50--I was trying to find the right gear, so to speak--just feeling out my pace)
5x800 @ 3:30 with 400 recoveries (actual: 3:26, 3:39, 3:31, 3:49, 3:35. The 2nd and 4th went over the slight elevation gain in the park, and into a headwind. That 4th one though, that was brutal. I just couldn't get my legs to turn over any faster)
1x400 @1:45, 200 recovery (actual: 1:45)
1 mile EZ

Thursday: I slept in until 7. It felt preposterously luxurious.

Friday: 5 miles EZ. When I got up at 6 to throw on clothes and meet Meridith by 6:20, I checked my phone, natch. How surprised was I to find a text message from 5:35am from a dear friend asking if it was a good time to call for a business matter we'd been trying to connect on.! What?!? I later learned that she'd only received a text I'd sent the night before when she got up Friday morning. Living one time zone east of me, she got it when it was really f-ing early here. Have you ever lived in a different time zone from 80% of the people you know? How long did it take you to get used to it?

Alas, the run was lovely--with my neighbor at the park. She reminded me how to love the simplicity of the run. How not to over-think it.

On Saturday's long run, I saw not one, but two things sincerely worthy of comment:

  1. On my run, I did an out & back to the south with my friend Tessa, then an out & back to the north on my own. At the northern turn around point, I saw a woman running toward me. She was every minute of 70, running, dressed in what appeared to be everyday clothing consisting of pants, a tunic-style shirt, and a hijab. I was so impressed I sort of wanted to hug her. Reasons I love this: a) she was old! I want to be running when I'm old!, b) she persisted in running despite not wearing athletic clothing--I lover that she refused to be stopped by something many people would consider a significant barrier, c) running isn't the most diverse sport in the world, and this woman brought diversity in nearly every sense of the word. Beautiful. 
  2. I twice passed the same woman pushing a stroller....for her poodle. 
Distance: 14.0 miles
Pace: 9:35/mile. I felt like I was dragging my legs through this for long stretches, but completed the run without incident. 

Total distance for the week: 32.97 miles

Finally, how am I doing on those goals? Making progress, I'm happy to report. 

Goal #1: Continue to journal my nutrition. I think this week was about like last week, ultimately, but I did recognize that a big part of the reason I'm falling down at this is that I'm eating things that are difficult to estimate nutritional information for. But I've done it before, and will do it again. I did recalibrate my plan to reflect my higher mileage, and I did track everything for parts of the week. 

Goal #2: Fix the long run nutrition situation. Success! This weekend I ate a bagel with jam pre-run, then did both an electrolyte tab in my water during the run and a Gu mid-run. I felt much better post-run, and feel like I'm getting the hang of this. 

Having made progress on Goal #2, I want to introduce a new one: do core work on non-yoga days. It's become clear to me that this is an area I need to strengthen, so, let's do it. How often do you do core work? I need to know. I'm starting to suspect that I'm the weirdo who never does core work. 

1 comment:

Christy @ My Dirt Road Anthem: A Runner's Blog said...

I do core work at least once a week. I don't make a big deal out of it, just throw in some moves with my HIIT workouts.

My little sister lives 2 time zones away and it was hard to get used to at first :(