Thursday, April 26, 2012

Good Enough

"Most bloggers are emotionally unstable and are often awkward in social situations, which is why so many of us turned to blogging in the first place. "
     --Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir), by Jenny Lawson; otherwise known as The Bloggess.

Guilty as charged.
I had planned to get up "early" this morning (early being like 6-7am, which is still sleeping in by 2 hours compared to the last 3 days) and get my run in.  I had planned on doing mile repeats, which I missed doing with the 501 group on Tuesday.  I hate doing speedwork.  Almost as much as I hate hills, but not quite.  I ended up somehow sleeping until 10am and then catching up blog-reading and DVR all day and didn't head out to run until like 2:30pm.  And I was definitely *not* feeling it.  I actually like running on the track with the group and I usually do really well (fast, consistently paced repeats), but doing it by myself is soooo much harder.  I also didn't bring any music, and the terrain wasn't as flat as I thought it was going to be so that didn't help either.  (I opted to go to the park and use the interval feature on my Garmin rather than go to the track and be bored silly).  I ran out for 1 mile + 0.25 mile recovery, then back for 1 mile + 0.25 recovery and repeated that out & back for a total of 4 miles fast, plus warmup and cooldown and recovery bits for a total of 6 and change.  I had planned on trying to stay under 8:00 for each repeat but by the second repeat I had already blown that goal.  I almost quit and just did a regular easy run for the rest of the mileage, but decided to keep going and just not care about the pace, as long as I was pushing myself.  I figured it didn't have to be perfect, I would still improve my fitness just by completing the workout at the harder effort, even if I didn't do it "right".  (Fast enough pace, consistent times).  I kind of cheated and walked a lot on the recovery parts, but I didn't really care about that either.  

The four 1-mile intervals were 7:52, 8:14, 8:13, and 8:30.  
I know that is not how interval workouts are supposed to look, but I'm just glad I didn't throw in the towel after mile 2.  I'm amazed that I can struggle so much with a workout like this and then somehow run an 8:03 average for 3.1 miles at a 5K race (at least I could in February, maybe I can't even do that anymore? We'll find out next weekend).  I can never hit race pace alone.  I'll just keep trying I guess.  I think I'm going to request Tuesdays off so I can go to the group hill & speed workouts.  It's just so much more effective when I do it with the group.  I push myself way harder.

I gave it some thought and decided the reason I was faster in 2005, despite not having very much running experience, is because I raced *all* the time (mostly 5Ks).  Like every weekend.  Sometimes twice in one weekend.  I'm afraid to do that now.  A) because I don't want to get injured, and B) because I'm overly concerned with resting before the small races and that messes up my weekly mileage and training for the goal races (ie the martian half, DxAa half, etc).  I'm thinking I may start doing more 5 and 10Ks on Sundays, and just not resting at all before them (still doing my normal long run on Saturday).  Treat them more like (expensive) training/tempo runs (I'm even worse at tempo runs than I am at intervals!), rather than chances to PR or win an age group award.   That way I can get the benefits of the frequent fast pace (hopefully).  That doesn't solve the injury part, but I'll just be careful and keep an eye out for aches and pains and ease up as needed.  I think I'll go for 2 races per month instead of the usual one.

 I had put 3 easy + a strength workout on the calendar for tomorrow (probably thinking of it as rest before running 10 on Saturday), but I think I'll do at least 5 or 6 instead (still plus strength, because I am really neglecting that).  I don't want to waste a perfectly good running day with a 3 miler.  (I have to work three 12s in a row again next week: Sun, Mon, Tues, so I'll only be able to 3 miles on the middle day again).   That's a lot of running-rest, and leaves me to do a lot mileage, including harder workouts on the remaining 4 days in a row off.  This schedule sucks.  

On a happier front, my weight seems to be trending down.  It's only a total of 8 lbs lost, but I'll take it.  Except it was probably all muscle and I actually got fatter.  Haha.  Oh well, it looks good on the graph!  One of these days I'll write a whole blog post about my weight history.  That would be an interesting plot.  I think it will be like a damped wave, centered around 150 or so, with an initial oscillation of 50 lbs in both directions with the subsequent oscillations decreasing in amplitude (ie 30lbs, 15 lbs, 10 lbs).  

This is two days in a row where I got to talk about damped waves, haha.  Yesterday at work my preceptor was talking out overdampened and underdampened waveforms from arterial line pressure transducers.  I think I'm going to like this ICU thing.  Maybe those years in engineering school won't have all been wasted.  Although, I don't get to do any of the math anymore.  Apparently solving differential equations isn't in a nurse's job description. :(


  1. Why not add a second day of speedwork instead of paying to do the same? Doing two days of speedwork should be perfectly fine (given that they're not back to back) on any week that you're not racing as well.

    They don't even have to be the same workout. You could do one day of Mile repeats and one or 400m intervals or something. I think you're on the right track (haha!) with wanting more speed days in general. On the other hand I just looked at your recent training and it seems like you've been dropping down in milage so maybe work on getting that back up before increasing intensity? (don't do both at the same time!) These are all just thoughts so I'm throwing them out there.

    On an unrelated note, the Burns Park 5k was something I wanted to do last summer and missed out - and AGAIN this year I'm gonna miss it!

    1. I used to aim for 2 speed per week when my mileage was higher (one interval, one tempo). It didn't always happen, but that was the plan. I just can't do two days of speedwork, OR increase my mileage with my work schedule right now. Those 12 hr days (on my feet the whole time) kick my butt and basically force me to run either not at all or super easy 3 days in a row, which leaves me only 4 days to do the bulk of my mileage, including a long run and two speed days. I usually don't like to do two "difficult" workouts back to back, and I wouldn't have a choice. Only one of those 4 days could be "easy", and it still has to be relatively high mileage for me to get a decent total in for the week. So I'm just going to have to roll with it until I'm off orientation and can make my own schedule. Then I agree with you, and will work on increasing my mileage and doing 2 speed days per week.

  2. i'm interested to see if your idea is right. I had most of my PRs when I was racing every weekend too, but I got injured shortly after fears are the same as yours. David raises some interesting points too though. Either way, nice job with the speedwork!


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