I almost started this post with the line “Amy and I decided we needed to start a rather intense training plan because our running life has been a little ho-hum lately…” but I knew she would be quick to correct the statement by saying WHATEVER LADY, THIS WAS ALL YOUR IDEA. She would be right. I was re-reading one of my running bibles, Train Like a Mother, and I stumbled across the ’10k: Own It!’ plan and thought hmmm….THIS sounds like a good idea!
That was a few weeks ago. We’ve completed Week One, and it’s been an exhausting (and achy) week. My favorite day so far has been Friday, which was the freaking rest day.
Monday wasn’t bad. An easy three miles. No sweat. We came home from work, grabbed the kiddos and their bikes, and hit the trail. Interval training was on tap for Tuesday but we’ve done that before, right? Yeah. Right. We started with the one mile warm up, chatting as usual while Dash stopped to pee on every twig and branch he saw, slowly making our way toward the local high school track. And that’s when things turned painful. We were supposed to all-out sprint for one minute, followed by a one minute recovery of a slow jog or walk. AND THEN REPEAT THAT TEN TIMES. I’ll let you guess how many recovery minutes were spent jogging and how many were a feeble, stumbling walk as we attempted to catch our breath. Oh, and guess what, you’re supposed to cool down with a one mile slow run, which we couldn’t skip because we had to get back to our cars. Probably best, now that I think of it, because if we had parked at the track we would have surely collapsed in our vehicles as soon as the awful sprinting was over.
HOWEVER. I must say, I felt a runner’s high that I haven’t felt in a long while, the high that comes from pushing yourself farther than you thought you could go. I didn’t even care that I was stinky and sweaty and headed to Winco to go grocery shopping. So that’s saying something.
The real problem came a few hours later, when I tried to go to bed. My body was exhausted but my achy hips and knees wouldn’t let me settle in to sleep. I had the same problem Wednesday night, even though we only did an easy three miles that day. My body seemed to be in a constant state of WTF-are-you-doing-to-me? It couldn’t get comfy enough to rest.
And then we got to Thursday. I can’t remember the last time I so desperately wanted to skip a run. Amy and I worked in the procedure room together that day, which meant we were on our feet from 7 am to 4 pm. Then we were off to the Orting Trail for our first ever tempo run. The term tempo run was a little confusing to me up to that point. I had read about them, understood the general concept. Run a set portion of your workout at 75-85% of your max effort. Run hard enough that you’re barely able to talk, but not so hard that your lungs feel like they might cave in. So…somewhere in between a fun run and a sprint? I had to actually get out and do it in order for it to make sense, but trust me, I wasn’t wanting Thursday to be that day.
But we did it anyway. 4 pm: time to switch the Dansko clogs for the running shoes.
I’m pretty sure I was driving Amy nuts by constantly looking at my phone (I run using the Map My Run app), because normally I strap it to my arm and don’t check it again until we’re all done. But I’m neurotic and for some reason, I had to make sure we were doing this workout ‘right’. Also, I won’t lie, I wanted to be CERTAIN we didn’t go one measly stride over the prescribed four miles. 1-2 mile warm up, 1 mile at tempo pace, 1-2 mile cool down.
It turns out, running at a tempo pace was pretty much what I expected–far less fun than our typical run, where the gift of gab flows freely, but far less painful than sprinting. AND, while checking the Map My Run stats later on, I discovered our tempo pace was 9:15! Very impressive for two 10-11 minute mile girls.
Also, after completing four days in a row of training, I did not feel one bit guilty for my huge dinner and early bedtime on Thursday night. Because by that night, exhaustion won out, and I slept like a rock. And now here we are at Sunday, and after two rest days in a row, I’m definitely ready to tackle our six mile long run.