1-2 mile WU; H: 8 x 1 min in Z4; 1-2 mile CD.
Yes, that’s right. We’ve completed week #2 in our training plan, a slightly less exhausting 7 days than the previous week, emphasis on slightly. Tuesday was our one challenging workout, partly because it required some studying of different sections in TLAM to figure out what, exactly, we were supposed to be doing.
Hill repeats. That’s what it basically boiled down to. We ran about a mile and a half to warm up, arriving at one of our ‘favorite’ hills so we could run up/walk down it 8 times. This, to me, seemed only slightly more bearable than the sprinting workout from the week before, although Amy W strongly disagreed. We ran full bore up that hill, in Zone 4, the first time. (Zone 4, according to TLAM, should feel “slightly less uncomfortable than a root canal”). We walked back down. Again. Maybe in Zone 3.75. Walked back down. Again. By Repeat #6, we were struggling. Repeat #8 was Zone get-this-the-f**k-over-with.
Oh. And then we got to run 1.5 miles back to our cars. THAT wasn’t pretty.
Amy had to give me a serious pep talk as we hobbled back to the library, where we had parked. My legs were aching and I was hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. My mind seemed to be the only over-active organ in my body, and NOT in a positive way. It’s a mile and half! THIS should be easy! You run this all the time, why are you dragging?!
As Amy reminded me, I was dragging because our bodies weren’t used to this level of intensity in our workouts. I was dragging because it was 85 degrees in May in Washington. I was dragging because I had been on my feet all day and, instead of opting for an easy 4 or 5 miles like I usually do on a Tuesday evening, I had chosen to run up and down a stupid hill over and over and over again.
Hill repeats left my body and mind feeling spent. I fell in to bed that night and slept like a log. (So, you see, better than interval training. I may not have felt that fabulous runner’s high, but I also didn’t lie in my bed for hours, trying to find a comfy spot for my achy knees and hips. Not a bad trade-off.)
So, after feeling pretty awful following our Tuesday billy-goat work out, you can see why I wasn’t super excited to arrive at Amy’s house Wednesday morning after our kids went to school. On tap for the day was a ‘fun workout’. We translated this to ‘easy run’, and set out for one of the local neighborhoods with long stretches of flat sidewalk.
It was the polar opposite of Tuesday’s run. First of all, we were starting out early in the day, with overcast skies and cool temperatures. We climbed exactly zero hills. We ran at our normal, easy pace, very conducive to gossip and chitchat. My legs felt light and five miles passed by quickly. We happily ended our run with a trip to Starbucks and a sense of relief because, finally, we had gone for a run and enjoyed ourselves.