Sorry I haven’t been around to visit many blogs in the last couple of days. I feel so out of the loop! But I got to go somewhere really fun on Tuesday night thanks to a friend. I won’t tell you where, but there are little hints sprinkled throughout this entire post.
See if you can figure out where we went and leave your guesses in the comments. I’ll reveal the answer on Friday! (And I’m thinking there may be a little prize for the first person to get it. Just ‘cause.)
Okay, so I’m not going BQ pace or anything, but I have been hitting my fastest times since I began running again — faster than I’ve been in about 16 or 17 years. I think there are several recent factors contributing to my increased speed:
Sunday night I set my alarm clock for 6 a.m. Originally, I made plans to run with Kris, but later remembered I’d promised Mr. T we’d have lunch together. Plus, we were unable to get T Junior in for a haircut over the weekend, so it had to be Monday. This meant a) I wouldn’t have time to meet Kris for a run, and b) I wouldn’t have energy to push T Junior in the BOB at the end of the day.
I also needed to run hill repeats. So I got up early.
Monday was my second week doing hill repeats and I feel like they are helping. Hill repeats = Factor 1.
Exhibit B: Monday’s hill repeats. Mile 3 was almost completely hills and it was at a 10:39 pace. Say what?
Exhibit C: I’m faster on flat surfaces recently, when before it didn’t seem to matter much. See Day 228 (Tuesday).
Before I hit the hills, though, I did the town loop and then circled through the neighborhood, skipping the monotonous cul-de-sacs. The morning was warmer than it’s been in a long time (not freezing = Factor 2) and windy (surprisingly, not a factor in slowing my pace). The sun was just breaking through some whispy clouds and the sky was candy colored with oranges, pinks and blues. A beautiful backdrop for the stark white Mount Rainier.
I kept stopping every few feet to try to get a better picture than the last one I took. I snapped several, but they don’t translate well with my phone camera. Trust me, though, it was gorgeous. With one earbud delivering tunes and that pretty picture in front of me, running felt easy.
I sped through two miles and I fought my way up the first hill before the earliest group of school bus-riders showed up. But they began arriving during my second hill. Before my third, I had to wait for a sleepy pre-teen boy with a shaggy-cool hair cut to trudge up, up, up the sidewalk in his unlaced sneakers.
C’mon! Only need to rest for 30 seconds here, dude.
Then, on the fourth hill, a pair of boys came out of a back yard fence just as I was passing them — and nearing the top — driving my knees upward, leaning forward, and stabbing the air in front of me with tightly clenched fists. At the top, I pivoted, then jogged by them again on the downhill. Their snickering chased me.
No matter. Just one more hill till I was done! At the bottom, I waited for the kids to load onto the bus and drive away. I stared at the hill and remembered Zoë’s advice: “Get mad at it.”
I got pissed, then I floated home.
And, I was very surprised when I downloaded my stats from AJ II. And happy. ‘Cause, you know. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.
3/1/10 – 3.03 Miles – 30:14
Average pace: 9:59
Mile 1: 9:37
Mile 2: 9:42
Mile 3: 10:39
I did my new-ish strength training routine at home in front of How I Met Your Mother: 90 crunches, 3 sets of 15 lifts continuously (bicep curls, rowing lifts, overhead extensions and press-ups), 3 sets of 10 each lunges and curtsies, and 3 sets of 15 each leg lifts, fire hydrants and kick-backs.
Strength training = Factor 3. Wow! I feel so much better than before.
I mentioned a few days ago that I rearranged my training plan a little. I’d like to run at least a couple of days in a row. In the past, I’ve been doing my mid-week long runs (at race pace) on Monday and that’s not going to work. As my really long runs increase on Saturdays, I’m going to need Monday’s run to be shorter and more of a recovery slog.
Since it’s light out longer in the evenings, I’m just going to have to run after work with T Junior in the BOB or after he goes to bed. I’m not excited about running at 7:30 at night, especially during the week. But I’m just going to have to adjust.
Here’s what I’m hoping my new plan will look like — I already started the adjustments this week. Monday: short run of about 3 miles + strength, Tuesday: mid-week long run starting at 5 miles and slowly increasing to 9, Wednesday: cross training + strength, Thursday: short run + strength, Friday: rest, Saturday: long run, Sunday: rest (with the option of cross training or a very short run of 1-2 miles). It’s a completely brilliant plan!
Tuesday, was the first mid-week long run. But on Monday night, a friend called with exciting news. Her husband bought her two tickets to a show and she was instructed to take a friend.
That meant I had to run during my lunch hour Tuesday. I thought if I was organized and changed faster that Superman that I would be able to get in 5 miles. I took my jewelry off and sucked down a chocolate mint GU at 11:20, 10 minutes before my lunch hour began.
I think I am the slowest changer in the world. It took me 10 minutes to get my running clothes on in the bathroom at work, plus rub a little BodyGlide between my toes. I’ve been doing that even for short distances. All those opposed to chafing, please say, “Aye.”
And then, I still had to get my Zune Velcro’ed to my arm and get out the door. Outside, I waited for AJ II to connect! Ack! Sometimes he takes forever. It’s like waiting for AJ (the original) the find just the right place to pee. Just pick a bush already!
Finally, we found our satellite and I was off. I had on my capris and my teal long-sleeved lightweight Seattle Marathon shirt. I felt good with the warmer weather (Factor 2) and a flat route.
I strode across the plank bridge toward Mel’s office, then continued on the sidewalk. When I got to 2.5 miles, I turned around…into the wind! I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was gusty out there!
I pushed through it and ran harder on the way back. When I reached the end of the plank bridge, I checked the time: 12:15. Crap! I ran faster, my lungs worked harder and my stomach did a couple of flip-turns. But I didn’t want to be late.
Back at my desk, I hoisted my gym bag over my shoulder as a coworker was dropped off stacks of proofs for me to read. “There you are!”
Red-faced, sweaty, puffing and now panicking, I blurted, “What time is it?” The clock on my office phone showed 12:19. “Shoot! I could’ve gone another half-mile.” (Although, probably not if I wanted to have time to change back into my street clothes.)
My coworker asked me how far I ran, and when I told him, he said, “Only 3-1/2 miles? Only 3-1/2?”
What, like it’s hard? “That’s all I had time for,” I shrugged.
But then I realized he was being sarcastic. Isn’t funny how you forget that a few miles seems like a really long distance to people who don’t run? Remember last July, when I couldn’t run a mile?
3/2/10 – 3.54 Miles – 34:42
Average pace: 9:48
Mile 1: 9:55
Mile 2: 9:53
Mile 3: 9:53
.54 miles: 9:18 pace
I was happy to get my run out of the way, despite falling short in mileage, because I had a busy night ahead of me. After work, it took forever to get home — of course, since I had somewhere to go. I still had to let out the dogs, pick up T Junior, get gas and I needed to put on some “going out” clothes. What are those?
I wanted to slip on my pink plaid Running Skirt since it would’ve been the perfect color for where we were going. But I didn’t. Instead, I put on a boring black shirt and my super-fun red flats, then headed out to pick up my friend, Kallie, for our big night out.
Omigod. Omigod, you guys.
It was so fun!
So, where did Kallie and I go? Leave me your guesses! Who will get it?!