Wednesday, December 3, 2008

11/30 Long Run Report and 12/2 Speed training

The short version? Mission: Fail. But considering I've left some loose ends untied, I suppose I should back-track and explain a little more about my shoulder/elbow/arm situation. Well, I never made it back to the doctor . . . I know, I know . . . Bad Irish! But I was just too busy in the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and since then, it's actually been feeling better enough that I think it might just be healing. I'm still in pain, but mostly just after strenuous physical activity (including running--awesome). . . but even that is much more tolerable these days. So, being the genius I am, I've decided to throw myself into half-marathon training mode. Wilson seems dead set on running the Austin Marathon in February despite my "oops, I fell down the stairs" set-back, and while I'm realistic enough to realize I'll never get into good enough shape to do the same, I figured it might just be the perfect opportunity to improve upon my lousy half-marathon PR.

Because we were lazy bums throughout most of the Thanksgiving weekend, Wilson and I didn't get around to tackling our respective long runs until Sunday . . . when, of course, it was raining some sort of freezing rain/wintery mix crap. Awesome. Wilson had 12-miles on the schedule, and I figured I would try to tackle 10 of those miles with him. I started the run as that annoying hyper-active running partner--I was dancing and singing along to my ipod--just generally being obnoxious. I swear, Wilson must have wanted to kill me! We continued on, and all was going well until about mile-6, when all of a sudden, it felt like a) a wave of exhaustion had just overcome me, and b) my lungs were under siege. I ended up capping my run at 7 miles and walking part of that last mile. Boo hiss. But oh well, at least I got a long-ish run in, I suppose . . . I still have ten weeks to go until race day, so I figure I should be fine by then if I keep increasing my long runs.

In related news, yesterday was a speed-training session full of lessons. Lesson 1: Do not stuff your gut with swedish fish (curse you, you delicious little beasts!) shortly before attempting speed training. Lesson 2: Do not try to be lazy when doing speed-work . . . it will likely come back to bite you. Case in point . . . I brought my dorky little McMillan calculator print-out to the gym with me yesterday so I could be sure to time my 400s just right. I attempted to run 8 x 400m at the slower end of my time range as prescribed by McMillan . . . hehe, I felt lazy, whatever! Thinking I was taking it easy, I was shocked to discover that finishing my intervals was a HUGE challenge! I kept thinking to myself as I gasped for air, "Why on earth does this seem so difficult?" I decided to gut it out, figuring that my extended absence from speed work was to blame. As I ran my last 400, I started to think my legs might give out and shoot me off the back of the treadmill for all the ellipticallers behind me to witness. I thought about cutting the interval short, but instead decided to fight through to the end.

When it was finally over, I slowed to a walk, and tried my hardest to a) keep my swedish fish down, b) keep my footing despite my all-but-dead legs and c) settle my breathing and heart-rate down. I finished out a mile long cool-down and then stepped off of the treadmill triumphantly. I picked up my McMillan timetable and, upon taking a quick glance at it, realized that I had just run the "middle-distance runner" time instead of the "long-distance runner" time. Now, I don't expect everyone to have studied that thing as diligently as I have, so what that means is that I actually took each of my intervals 5 seconds faster than I was supposed to! 5 seconds may not seem like much of a difference, but if you do the math, it's actually 20 seconds per mile faster--quite an increase in pace!! Oops! As dumb as I felt, I was excited to know that I had completed an extra difficult work-out . . . 8 x 400 at a 7:18 pace. Hooray! To celebrate, I grabbed an exercise ball and attempted to kill my abs. It was fantastic!

In fact, this work-out was so amazing, I woke up at 5:30 this morning to find Wilson getting ready to head out for some speed training of his own, and I became seriously envious! I was still high on endorphins from the night before, so I asked him if I could run with him to the track and then just run easy laps while he did his speed training. Sadly, he wasn't headed to the track, but was doing a run that had him running timed intervals--I never would have been able to keep up with him. Boo. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I was actually really disappointed! Oh well, I'll get my easy run in tonight after work. It feels so good to be back in training, I can't even tell you . . . my shoulder hurt a bit last night after my work-out, but it was a lot better by this morning. I'll take a little pain if it means I get to train :)

Now, if only I could get someone to take these horrible, awful, sweet, delicious swedish fish away from me! Hope you are all having happy hump days!!


Alissa said...

yay! I'm so happy for you that you can finally start running again! 7 miles seems like a lot after an extended period off. Don't do too much too fast, you don't want to get injured!

The Laminator said...

If you are running 7 miles for a half marathon in late january, i'd think you're way ahead of schedule, no?

Wow...even I got a little jealous reading about your speedwork session and want to do some of my own so I can totally understand why Wilson would get up at 5am to do the same.

Talk about an inspiration. Very cool. Good to have you back to running!

Steve Stenzel said...

Dang. Good luck with the shoulder/elbow/arm situation. Boo.

And WHAT?!?! Swedish fish DON'T help?!? Now I need to re-vamp my training plan...


Meg said...

I'm glad you're starting to heal!!
Sweedish fish are delicious. I've never tried to work out after them! Nice job on the speed training despite it hurting, I probably would have given up :)