RunNerdier

musings on running, life, and everything in between


Leave a comment

Blergh

It’s been a bit, right? There are some things going on in life that are taking a lot of energy out of me. It leaves little room or desire to write about running. Part of this might be combined with the fact that I turned my ankle two weekends ago on the trail.

I was about 4 miles into an 8-11 mile run with some friends at Bull Frog in Palos. Ironically, I had stopped to re-tie a shoe tighter because it felt like it wasn’t support enough. As I got up to start running, I hit a big rock in the path and turned my ankle. I wasn’t in horrible pain, but I felt a momentary flash of panic. Ok, maybe not momentary. Just panic. The worst part was that we were just before the turnaround point. And this is trail. Which means, short of getting back to a road and waiting for someone else to run back and get the car, I’d have to run back. It wasn’t great, but I found I could bear weight on it without screaming in pain. So I ran back 3 miles–Kelly was able to configure a slightly shorter route back. Gorgeous picture of the lake from the BEGINNING of the run. Sigh.

I saw Craig that day and had him work on it. He actually didn’t think it was too bad, and I babied the heck out of it, wrapping it tight and wearing an ankle brace. I think that all helped. I can run on it, but 50k on it is a different thing…The amount of mental self-abuse I’ve been doing is outrageous. I just checked the cutoff time, though, and I’ll have almost 10 hours to finish the 50k. Hopefully I won’t need all that.

It just continues to remind me, on multiple levels, that our weaknesses–physical and otherwise–need constant monitoring and intervention. I had stopped doing my one-legged squats while brushing teeth awhile back, filled with false confidence in my ankles. And this is what happened. It reminds me of the same character defects I have, my willfulness, anger, etc. also need to constantly be worked on as well. They never really go away, just wait for an opportune moment. Seems exhausting thinking about it. But that is how we become stronger.

And one thing I’ve learned over the years is when I get stuck in self-pity, get outside yourself and go do something for someone else. So I did. A slew of my girls were running the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha, including Jenny’s first comeback race after over a year of injury. It didn’t occur to me, until really late in the game, that it would be great to go cheer for them. I found out two other friends–Jen H and Doreen–who also came to Boston were heading up, so I hitched a ride.

Andrea, Emily, Michelle, Jenny, Michelle

I am SO glad I went. The course was windy as HECK. It ran alongside the lakefront, which sounds great, until the wind picks up sand and scours you with it. The temperature was perfect, and it was somewhat cloudy at moments, but the wind was probably upwards of 30mph at times. The course was also really desolate. There were almost no spectators, and even the most “crowded” sections had just over a dozen. And they were QUIET. There was almost no cheering. So this made the 3 of us cheer even louder and act even nuttier. Two women even came up to us after the race to thank us for cheering. It was also weird because there were parts of the course that weren’t really closed off so people were driving ON BOTH SIDES of the road. Someone even pulled a boat down the middle of the course. I think based on the crowd support (or lack thereof) and the weird course stuff, I would not run this marathon. Jenny did say, though, that it was well run and the aid stations were great.

The girls had a really hard time, but the Michelle’s stuck together for most of it. Although Michelle R (left) pulled a Jen and finished about 20 second ahead of Michelle N. Ha.

13131494_10209699288098222_7180530330867097202_o.jpg

Despite all these brutal conditions, most of them finished ahead of my Boston time. Sigh. It was awesome, though, to go root for someone and not just be on the receiving end. I swear my “cheering high” carried me all day through rooting for my oldest’s tball game. Haha.

Andrea, Jenny, Emily

Whitecaps!!

Alright, that’s all for now. I’m gearing up for the 50k. It feels really weird because I’ve essentially been in a 6 week taper now. I’ve been actually weightlifting to try and do some less impact stuff that should help me with the hills and such.


1 Comment

Spending time on self care

Women can be bad at self care (yes, I know it’s an overgeneralization). Moms are even worse. Running moms the worst. One way I know this is even the targeted health advertisements I see for women to get mammograms or other screenings, and the advertisement is spun as a “You take care of everyone else, but you also need to take care of yourself in order to do that.” As a mom, you put your own needs and sometimes health behind others (ask any mom what happens when they are “sick”). As runners, we’re even more prone to ignore aches and pains until it’s too late. I get the extra awesomeness of being Korean and having grown up with self-employed parents–read: having minimal insurance/access to doctors–so I don’t go to the doctor when I’m sick or for much in general. Just to give you an idea, my dad slipped/fractured a disk in his neck and ended up having major surgery, wearing a halo brace, and being out of work for a year. And he didn’t go to the hospital, in fact SLEPT on the injury, until the next day.

So yeah, learning to ignore pain and what my body wants or needs runs pretty deep. Recently, Craig (my myofascial guy) gave me a long lecture about how I really needed to work on self care to keep myself injury-free. I couldn’t just ignore stretching, etc. And he may have muttered a thing or two about aging…

And the fact of the matter is that I’m not 25 and gutting out my first marathon through excruciating pain and thinking it’ll all go back the way it’s supposed to in the morning…or in 3-4 months since I refused to run for awhile after that first marathon.

Whereas before, I used to not understand what people meant by this “warming up” before running they would do, and I had no idea what a foam roller was until my second marathon. Oh, and I started training for my first marathon in cotton. A lot has changed. I still don’t warm up, but I do sometimes stick my legs (meaning I use “the stick” or “tiger tail” to massage my legs a bit) and do some dynamic pre-emptive stretching before a run. I wear compression religiously to ward off “something” much like garlic for vampires. I spend more intimate time with my foam roller than I do with my husband. And I’ve always been good at stretching afterwards, but it was only for at most 5 minutes. Craig was talking about spending some serious time getting into the tightness, maybe backing off the mileage, and doing more yoga and other activities.

The brat in me wants to stomp my foot and go, “REALLY?! You want me to do MORE STUFF to be able to keep doing the stuff I’ve always been doing?” Um, yes. As much as I hate to admit it, my body has changed. And my threshold for discomfort has lowered. Don’t get me wrong, I can take pain like no one’s business (hello, two natural child births), but I’ve begun to realize more and more that I don’t HAVE to. And maybe I SHOULDN’T (yes, this post is all about caps). Maybe that’s wisdom. Or just being an adult.  

14 miles in 2 degrees. i can take pain.


I see this in other areas of my life. The other night, I crashed hard at 7:30. After a brutally cold 14 miles starting at 6:15 am, my body was done for the day early. I demanded a lot from it, and it wanted a lot in return. I actually debated forcing myself to stay up. Watch bad shows. Read. Putz on the interwebs. As if some “cool patrol” was watching me and assessing my dork factor for going to bed on a Saturday night so early. But no one was watching. I was the only one who had to face the consequences of my actions. So I went to bed. I slept a solid 11 hours.

I have begun to realize more and more that if I don’t take care of myself, I will be one miserable runner, mom, wife, and educator. And I will make the lives of those around me miserable. And that doesn’t have to happen.

So I go to bed early. I call people when I’m struggling with my depression. I go to yoga. And… I drop down running plans. Boom.

Yup, I decided to move from the 5 day/week running plan to the 4 day/week. My body isn’t happy with what I’m doing or have been doing. Something needs to change. And for some insane reason, it freaks me out to admit it to myself and change the plan, and admit it to others. Even though no one is judging me for it, and most of my running friends would encourage me to be healthy and do what my body needs. But there’s a sick little devil on my shoulder that tells me that I’m not a REAL runner if I’m not cranking out 50+ miles a week. If I’m not running 5-6 days a week. If I’m not running a sub 8:00/mile on the daily. If I don’t make the top X percent. So you push and “dig deep” until your well is empty and you are spiritually or physically broken.

No thanks.

I’ve been there and done that. And I don’t need to go back.

But that’s taken me a long long time to learn. And it’s definitely progress, not perfection. It’s the long view. Boston was once a bucket list for me. And now that it’s on the horizon, I want to make sure that I can actually run it. I don’t know if I’ll run it more than once, so I want to make sure all my crazy work the last two years actually means something. I take it back, it DOES mean something whether I get to run Boston or not (as of right now, btw, there’s nothing to stop me but myself). That I can work hard, attain my goals, and bust my guts doing it. And regardless of what happens at Boston, I’ll know I did good and I’ll be with friends. *cue soaring, inspirational music* But that only happens if I’m healthy and strong enough to get to the starting line. And that only happens if I listen to my body and take care of myself.

Even the elite runners do this. Deanna Kastor pulled out of the Olympic Trials pretty last minute, and Kara Goucher said she “left it all out there,” but it wasn’t enough to make the Olympic Team (although since she was 4th, she’ll be the official alternate). Even Desi Linden, who pulled an amazing second half of the marathon, said she had to trust her plan and not punch it in the first half to keep up with Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan (and that plan is what got her to pass Shalane just within the last mile or so and nab second). Amazing. So even the elites have to listen to what their bodies and spirits need.

Sorry if this post was all over the place, but I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to figure out what I need and how to keep myself healthy on lots of fronts. I didn’t have a great foundation for those things growing up, so it’s new terrain. Anyhow, hope you all had a great run this weekend, whatever your plan was.

 


Leave a comment

Easing back 

Let’s start with some Monday morning cuteness. The littlest one and I had some special bonding time over hot dogs. And if you’re from Chicago, you know that it’s “criminal” to put ketchup on your dogs. Felony Franks is a local hot dog place that hires formerly incarcerated folks to help them get employment skills, work history, etc. It’s difficult getting employed often when you have a record. Some people find the “theme” of the place somewhat controversial, but it works for me. I don’t see a whole lot of other folks lining up to give jobs to this population so I’m all for it.

I feel like I should clarify a bit, that I don’t (according to my main men, Bill and Craig) have plantar fasciitis, but just an irritated, annoyed part of my plantars. I’m actually going to talk a bit more about my issues and running form next post, but I did want to throw that out there.

I did a bunch of shorter runs last week with little issue, so I decided to make the big plunge (with Craig’s blessing) to do the longer run. I was shooting for 8 at the minimum, 10-12 in my dream world. I ended up just shy of 10. My left ankle was starting to tighten up, so I decided to not press my luck.

We were going to run the Salt Creek Trail, but portions of the trail looked like this (thanks for the photo, Jen!). Big chunks of it were pretty clear, but we didn’t love the idea of doing a start-stop run for a couple of hours, AND it was slow going inching our way around/through the ice.

We ended up running through the neighborhoods around the trail. It wasn’t too bad. And even though some of us don’t even drink, I couldn’t resist making us take a photo with this sign outside a bar. I’m curious if it really IS a thing, or just a random sign.

It was a fun run, albeit a bit crazy trying to stitch together. Folks were running everywhere from 8-16 miles, so it got slapped together at 10 pm the night before, and some of us drove to a meeting point and others ran there. I gotta say, I was jealous getting back in my car and seeing the others run home. Sigh. Sooooooon…

Because I was having a little flare up of tightness in my ankles and my feet, I went crazy with my new rubber ball massager thing. Arguably, a little too crazy as I rubbed off one of the nubs. Oops. Ignore the gross fuzz and dust on the ball. I have small humans, they are messy.


The rest of the weekend was fun and included a trip to the Arboretum and a bowling outing (I WON! I know, I’m overly competitive and beating my husband and 6 y.o. aren’t exactly brag-worthy. Still.). I couldn’t resist this photo, which was slightly staged. The kids were not trying to hold hands. They were trying to touch my feet, which were splayed out in the middle of the aisle and just out of view of the photo. It was so adorable, though, that I took it anyway. Happy Monday!


4 Comments

Are you still a runner if you miss some runs…

Amy sent me this last week, and it’s about spot on.

After my last post, a friend of mine reached out to say that the post really resonated with her own personal experiences. She was a serious runner and good at pushing through, then she went through a series of injuries, one after the other. That, ultimately, is what drove her into personal training. Trying to figure out what was wrong and causing her body to fall apart when she’d not had issues before. THAT scared me. She doesn’t really run long distances (aka marathons) anymore, because her body can’t take it. She wrote to convince me to make sure I was really addressing my issues and not pushing through. So despite vacillating a million times about running the race Saturday or not running the race, I stuck with the decision to not run the race. Or run at all. Another long run missed. ARGH.

Buuuuuuut, I also decided to still go to the gym and do almost 2 hours of cardio. It was ugly, but I got to catch up on a new (to me) podcast (Ten Junk Miles) by some folks in the ultrarunning Facebook group I’m in. I found them both annoying and humorous. Scott Kummer, one of the podcasters and big ultrarunner, is doing the Arrowhead 135. In case you want to get a taste of what insanity looks like, here it is:

A couple of my friends and I are planning to do a mini-movie viewing party soon. Cuz nothing makes more sense from the perspective of an injured runner than watching movies about running…

Oooh, and then there’s this new film coming out about Jesse Owens!

Anyhow, in case you didn’t know, heading to the gym in the dark on a Saturday morning is not the same thing as meeting your friends for a long run.

45 minutes of cycling and my sitz bones were annoyed with me. More various elliptical machines and some stair climbing. Boo. I wore my compression like a big dork to get some more support around my legs. Not sure if it mattered.

I also made noise about going to the pool last post, so I did that this weekend. I forced my friend Stephanie to meet me at the pool and swim for 30 minutes. I use the term swim loosely, and the 30 minutes felt grindingly slow and painful. I forced myself to go the full 30. I also stopped every lap to gasp for breath. EVERY. SINGLE. LAP. Stephanie even said to me, “I mean, I’ve SEEN you run marathons and you’re struggling. This is hard!” What is it about the breathing in a pool that’s so hard for me? I just can’t figure it out. I know how to breathe, even alternating sides, but I always feel like I’m going to simultaneously pee my pants and suffocate at the same time. Anyone?

I also had a flashback to my one attempt at triathlon training and realized that’s where my form obsessions began. Because swimming is so unnatural to me, I was fixated on form. I didn’t know what to do with my arms or my hands or my legs in minutiae, so I asked my instructor lots of questions, read stuff online (this was before videos were so prevalent and pre-YouTube), and fixated on how to make myself better (i.e., feel less like I’m dying). I think I got a little bit better, but I’m starting over at square one…

I feel like this picture shows how delirious and oxygen-deprived the swim made me. It also didn’t help that I was using my 6 y.o.’s swim goggles and didn’t have a swim cap. And my swimsuit was 12 years old, but whatevs, right? I like to keep it real on this blog. That is what I look like after a horrible swim. The swim did make me more aware of my left (the non plantar-irritate one) ankle’s tightness, though. Grr.


Finally, I’m working on rounding out my various workout possibilities. A post from a reader/commenter (Danielle of Naturally Sweet Athlete) brought me to her blog post about different ways to stay active during winter months. Coincidentally, she’s also injured. She posted about a few free apps with workouts, so check it out. I’m a sucker for anything tech-y that might motivate me to do something other than run. Or “crosstrain” as people keep calling it.

Anyhow, I have some updates on the whole ankle/running/thing, but I’ll save that for next post.


4 Comments

Where My Body Falls Apart and I Grow Up

I woke up yesterday with a swollen LEFT ankle and stiffness–almost like it was a few days into recovering from a sprain. This is NOT the ankle/foot/leg I’ve been having issues with. What gives?! After running 8 marathons under 2 years with no injury? This reminds me of a theory that Mr. UnRunner (he’s back to not running, ha) has about massage. He refuses to get one because he believes that the tension is what keeps him together. Knock out one knot or muscle contraction and the whole thing tumbles like a Jenga puzzle. Perhaps all this enforced time off has forced my body to realize it’s time to collapse…

Let me back up, though. I saw Magical Craig twice this week. And he highly suggested I NOT race this weekend the F3 Half Marathon I’d signed up for months ago. He knows I’m prone to not listening to him when it comes to things like backing off on running, but I’m going to be a grown up and DO THE RIGHT THING. Which means, NOT run it–just in case you weren’t sure. Here’s why. Craig suggested I skip the cardio stuff this week, or the cardio stuff that would have impact. I tried a barre class on Wednesday thinking it was going to be low-impact. Wrong. It was an odd cardio version and there was a lot of jumping. My foot started bothering me during the class (more on the class in a bit). If just jumping jacks and dynamic lunges were bothering it, hauling out a half marathon would not be great. Craig did say I could finally try running on it Saturday to test it out, but I had to stop if it hurt. An out and back loop in a race doesn’t really fit well for that. I think I’d rather have a DNS (did not start) than a DNF (did not finish)…at least if it’s for an injury. I also know that I probably won’t accept the idea of not finishing and further set myself back. If I really want all this time off to count for something, I need to make sure I’m not continuing to draw out the injury. Growing up sucks. I’ve already scaled back for two weeks, I can’t take it much longer.

So, what does “recovery” look like when you can’t do cardio with impact or that involves alot of ankle (he also banned the ellipticals this week)? Well, you can swim (barf, but also more on that in a bit) maybe, or I forced Craig to let me at least cycle. Seriously, what else is there?? Here’s what the week looked like.

Monday: Botched 2. 5 miles

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: Cardio barre class

Thursday: 50 minutes of cycling

Friday: Nothing right now…maybe some yoga or strength training.

It hurts me to look at that. I swear I’ve gained weight in the last two weeks. Depressing. I know it’s better to work all this out now, then, rather than potentially not running or finishing Boston. Still.

Here’s the scoop on some things I’ve been trying in the meanwhile.

1) I really like yoga, and doing a partial supported headstand against the wall is safer. I go to the studio when I can, but I also like to do some different yoga apps and YouTube videos.

2) After my second attempt at barre, I’m pretty sure I don’t like it. This class reminded me of a mom’s 80’s aerobics class. Except my mom didn’t do aerobics. So maybe YOUR mom’s aerobics class. I totally spaced and thought the class was almost over when I saw it was 9:55. When it was 10:04 and didn’t seem to be ending, I realized that we were only halfway through (the class started at 9:30). I almost wept in disappointment. You see, the reason I run is because I AM NOT COORDINATED. Following a variety of dynamic movements with garbled-sounding microphone directions, especially when I’m afraid of jumping on my right foot, was a nightmare. I still have one class left on my 3-class Groupon, though…so I’ll be back to torture myself (I’m also cheap about getting my money’s worth).

3) I really hate cycling inside. It feels indeterminately long. Give me a bike ride outside any day. Oh wait, I left the garage door open months ago and someone stole my bike. Sigh.

4) I need to learn how to cross train differently. i.e., swimming. Swimming is like the arch-nemesis of my athletic-ness. Well, after aerobics. So maybe it’s just a nemesis… Anyhow, I had a scary drowning-ish moment in a pool when I was a kid (think of getting fished out by the lifeguard but no resuscitation but lots of spitting out of water and maybe some vomit) so I tend to get panicky if I feel like I am getting too much water in my nose, or I don’t have control. To try and get over that years ago, I took private swim lessons and signed up for a super-sprint triathlon. I knew how to swim, but I wanted to learn how to feel comfortable in the water and work on my stroke, etc. The swimming portion of the triathlon got canceled because of too much bacteria in the water (I know, gross) so I never got to have my moment of triumph. And I’m still uncomfortable in deep water. So I’m considering signing up for a triathlon again to force myself to cross-train in the pool more. “Just” swimming for exercise sounds awful. I need something to hold me accountable and motivate me. Oh, and I’ll still need to buy a bike. And because I am friends with crazy people, someone’s already trying to egg me on to do a half iron distance triathlon in the fall. CRAZY.

It’s Friday. I’ll try and do a run tomorrow. And take stock from there. It’s hard recognizing that you have limits, and you need to take time to recover. I know I write about that alot, but it’s still hard to swallow. I need to listen to my body and take the time to do things right. Good luck to anyone racing this weekend and high fives to all those doing rehab/recovery work–in any sense.

 


Leave a comment

Some Days Are Just Hard, Juggling Life

Yesterday felt really hard. Maybe because I was on day 3 of being alone with the kids–Mr. UnRunner (who, by the way has started running so he will need a new name soon) was out of town for work, an unusual occurrence. It was Wednesday, hump day. I decided to make it a hill workout day. It was windy. Who knows? But I had a bad workout, felt like I was going from zero to rage in 3 seconds all day, and felt completely emotionally and physically exhausted.

Sometimes we have those days, where things feel hard for no major reason. Or maybe it’s for a whole bunch of little reasons, like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt tired from the trail run. Not sore, but tired. But, like masochist I am, I decided I needed to do some hill training. And that made it an ugly, slow, multiple walk break run (my watch also crapped out again, what gives?!).

I also had horrible mom guilt later in the day with the kids. I was short with them. There were endless instantaneous tears for no reason. Fighting with each other. Whining about one thing or another. And I was snapping at them, which didn’t help anybody. At swimming, I met the mom of one of my son’s classmates and she was super kind and patient with her similarly squirmy child and I felt like, “What is wrong with me?” I just felt like I had no reserves to deal with my children acting like children (which is pretty much kissing cousins to wild animals).

But then my friend, Kirstin, who had a weird, semi-vaguely diagnosed ankle injury for 9 months (the ankle is a perpetual mystery) and who clawed her way back to finishing a marathon (her 10th) last weekend, posted that she has a stress fracture! She had pain during the marathon but thought little of it and pushed through it. I mean, the whole point of the marathon is running through discomfort. But it turned out to be a real injury after all. That’s the hard part of distance sports, differentiating between regular discomfort and a real injury.

Seeing her post that reminded me that I need to cut myself a break and stop pushing and stop beating myself. I tend to want to punish myself when I feel like I’m not doing well. To do MORE and go HARDER when I really need to take a break. I think that bizarre impulse is what makes people distance runners. Even the little bit of interaction I’ve had with Ironman triathletes makes me think it’s a runner thing. “Oh, it hurts?” I’ll just “run it out.” Versus, most triathletes I’ve met tend to go seek treatment or diagnoses when something hurts. Runners keep running. Into the ground.

I’m tired. I’ve done 6 marathons in 13 months–2 within the last month, 1 of which was a BQ and the other still a good pace. And yet I’m considering an ultra. And there is a little whisper that says maybe I shouldn’t and I should just rest. There is another part that tells me to seize the moment and the training and go with it, that I can do ANYTHING. And I don’t know which voice is the right one. No, I take that back. I have a pretty good idea which one I should listen to. Kirstin’s situation (and the multiple other running friends with injuries) tells me that I should back off. But this…

//giphy.com/embed/2dcW1Dlu2sZnW?html5=true<p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/dumb-and-dumber-cover-ears-2dcW1Dlu2sZnW">via GIPHY</a></p>” target=”_blank”>http:////giphy.com/embed/2dcW1Dlu2sZnW?html5=true

via GIPHY

So I’m taking today off, doing a yoga class if I can fit it in my schedule, and re-assessing. I know that being a working mom and athlete is a constant juggling act. I don’t even think it’s balance per se (because balance is a lie), but more about juggling and just not trying to drop a ball. And right now I feel like I’m just staring at all the balls on the ground, trying to figure out what I can handle.

So happy Thursday, people. We are one day closer to the weekend. How do you try to maintain balance/juggle in your life? What helps you figure out when to back off or rest?


Leave a comment

Pool running and proof that Jen still runs with me

I’ve had ALOT of friends deal with injuries the last year or so. I honestly think that my semi-regular massage work and my fixation with foam rolling can take a good deal of credit for me being relatively injury-free. That is not to say, though, that I’m not constantly aware of every extra bit of tightness or creakiness. I really like all the “prehab vs. rehab” stuff I’ve been seeing lately. That’s why I found this post about pool running so fascinating. It actually starts with a story about two ultra runners that do a fair bit of pool running as part of their cross-training. Pool running is usually relegated to the domain of those who CAN’T run and are already injured. These folks use it regularly as part of their running/training regimen. I was fascinated. I like the article alot because it provides a variety of ways you can tackle pool running from my version–running back and forth in chest-high water while pushing/pulling my kids (i.e., sneaking in a workout without them knowing) to the more familiar weighted vest/best deeper water to ankle-deep water running. Either way, if you’re in the pool a good amount this summer, there’s some things to try out!

This morning was a 10 mile run with 5×1000’s at 5k pace with recovery in between. Yup, Fun times. In 80-degree weather with alot of humidity. Thankfully Jen had 5×1200’s on her plan with a 2 mile warm up and 1 mile cooldown, so we did most of my 10 miles together. For those uninitiated into the joys of track workouts, most standard tracks are 400 meters and 4 laps are a mile. Usually with intervals, a good recovery is half the distance or half the time of the interval (depending on your goals, etc.). Today’s recovery time for me was supposed to be 50-90% of my interval time. Here’s the splits. My goal 5k time (according to this convertor for my marathon goal time) is 22:22, which translates into a 7:12 time. Based on my over-involved calculations, I think that means I needed to hit a 4:30 for 1000m.

Lap 1   4:29

Lap 2   4:37

Lap 3   4:41

Lap 4   4:41

Lap 5   4:41

Sadly, you can see that I only hit it for the first lap. To my credit, I had a different time in mind based on a different calculator I was looking at before I left the house (ahem, at 5:45 this morning, sigh). But I realized prepping for this post, that I was looking at the wrong thing. I think I could have pushed it a little harder for at least a few more laps if not all of them. I really dislike intervals, but nothing works up a sweat like some nasty fast runs on the track. I’m not a naturally fast (nor inclined towards fast) runner, and I often find them somewhat demoralizing. In some ways, that’s why I like speed/interval workouts based on feel rather than specific times. On Bill’s marathon plan two years ago, his speed workouts were based on just going as hard as you (un)comfortably can. I might go with a combination of time and feel this time around.

Anyhow, here’s a lovely shot of the sun rising behind Jen on the track.

On a side note, we talked about how her form is pretty good. She has a good natural lean forward (something she didn’t know was actually good) and good stride. One thing I’ve noticed is that she tends to shrug her shoulders up a bit, which gives her a cute “little engine that could” look, haha. It doesn’t seem to impact her too much, though. You lose a little bit of energy, but there are worse things (like my swinging arms across my body, ha). 

Anyhow, I forced her to take a selfie with me, so we took turns looking goofy.

It’s going to be a hot one today, so stay cool!

What kind of speed training do you do? How do you mentally work through hitting splits (or not)?

P.S. My husband has been mentioning that he sees a fair amount of “grammer” (sic) mistakes in my writing in these posts. I will need to proof them better! I follow some blogs of former teachers-turned bloggers and when I see typos/grammar stuff/etc it drives me nuts. Feel free to point them out!