Friday pm workout: 65 minute spinning class + 1 mile run immediately after and lots of stretching
Saturday am: 1 hour 45 minute run
So, you know how I said a few weeks ago before my boards that I couldn’t handle the thought of training hard or following any specific training plan for awhile? And then you remember how I said I would probably change my mind a couple of weeks after my boards were over? Well, yeah….I predicted accurately. I am fired up to run a marathon again, although I’m not yet ready to race a marathon yet.
I’m experiencing a complete deja vu of last year. Both this year and last year, I was’t able to train hard because of injuries/health and/or work until October and then had to make a decision as to whether to run CIM (California International Marathon) in December or not. Last year I waited until the last day to sign up (~October 14th/15th), and I am waiting until the last minute again this year. It’s almost identical situations: last year it was plantar fasciitis and sinus surgery, this year it’s my achilles/peroneal and boards studying. Last year my decision depended on my ability to pull off a medium/long run this exact weekend last year, and this year, yesterday, it came down to the same thing: how my body would feel after a 1 hr 45 minute run (13-14 miles). If it felt ok, i.e. no worsening of my achilles/peroneal tendon, then I figured I would probably be able to pull off CIM with this basic plan: each week, add 15 minutes to my long run. That sounds easy enough, right? That would take me to a 3 hour run 3 weeks before the marathon, and then some time to taper down. I would not allow myself to use my Garmin, other than to keep track of total time, at all during this base building period or during the marathon itself, should I choose to do it…. I want to do all my runs on “feel”, concentrating on form and how my body feels rather than on how fast Mr. Garmin tells me I’m running. I want to do what’s best for my body, not for my pride.
So with this new ambition in mind, I went into “training mode” on Friday. My philosophy on training is that (at least some) of your runs should be done under less than ideal circumstances. You can’t control what the circumstances are going to be like on race day, so you might as well be as well prepared as possible for whatever may come your way! Also, if you can run with no fuel, little sleep and tired, worked legs, then you KNOW you can handle anything. That’s why I’ll run post-call, in the crappiest of weather, after a hard workout the night before, with little sleep, or with no/minimal fuel. Some may call it masochistic, but I call it a mental workout and the ultimate psychological booster.
I wanted to run my long run on Saturday morning with tired legs, so since I don’t have to study in the evenings any more, I signed up for a spin class Friday night. I haven’t done a spin class in almost a year, so I was a little nervous about it, since spin classes are intense. Although I have been pretty consistent about workout out throughout boards studying, I have done very few workouts that were difficult/intense over the past several months. Well, I ended up LOVING It. It felt so good to workout HARD….to build up a mega sweat and to feel my legs burning. Even my arms started to burn as my body whole body screamed for oxygen during certain portions (sprints) of the spin class.
When I do spin classes as part of cross training for running, I never stick around for the cool down. I instead hop off my bike and head straight over to the treadmill to force myself to power through 1-2 miles to mimic finishing up the end of a hard run. This way, I can get the experience of fitting one extra hard “run” in a week without all the excess pounding, which I think is especially important if you’re recovering from or trying to prevent an injury.
When I awoke the next morning at 6:15, I didn’t know what to expect for my run since a) my legs were sore from the night before, b) I hadn’t ran 1 hr 45 minutes or longer since April/May, and c) I was up from 2:30-5:00 am dealing with an asthma and allergy attack.
I was feeling a little sorry for myself about the asthma attack and lack of sleep (first time I have ever been woken up because I was wheezing and couldn’t breathe well…time for new meds!), but then I thought, why are you complaining? This is EXACTLY how you like to train, so I threw on my running clothes, put on my headband, which was still wet from sweat from the night before, had some coffee, ate half a granola bar (just enough to take my vitamins), and headed out the door.
Surprisingly, for the majority of the run, I felt GREAT. That’s the funny thing about running. You can do everything right and have a crappy run, and you can do everything “wrong” and have a great run.
I took my Garmin with me so that I could use the stopwatch function on it to time my run. Even with the Garmin on “inside mode”, I was still able to find a way to figure out my pace: The lakefront path has mile markers along it, and I caved into temptation to time one of my miles during the second quarter of my run to see what my pace was: 7:45/mile. I didn’t believe it, so I timed myself again: 7:48, and then once more during the last quarter of my run: 7:44. I was pleasantly surprised, as I thought I was running 8-8:20/mile.
Today, Sunday, my thighs are little sore in a good way, but nothing hurts in a bad way, and I overall feel great. I think I may even do a light workout today to loosen up the legs and stretch. If Dean can get the three days off after CIM so that we can go to wine country afterwards (this may be my primary motivation for running this marathon ; ), then I will sign up for CIM tomorrow.