I met Zoe (Run, Zoe, Run) at the track Monday in the middle of the day because it was President’s Day. And wouldn’t you know it, the gates were locked. It was all fenced up.
But we jumped that mofo.
Okay, I probably wouldn’t have done this if I was alone. I am a chicken. I may have been inspired by a certain brave running buddy who explores burned down abandoned houses and other random creepy things.
But we all have fences — things that keep us from acheiving our goals. Monday’s goals just happened to be 4 1200-meter repeats. Friday it was a torrential downpour during my first brick. Saturday it was the thought of 7 miles in cold, cold rain.
A friend and former coworker, K, I haven’t seen since the last time we ran way back in, I think, early 2011 posted on Facebook that she had four miles and was looking for a buddy to run with her. I had 7, so we planned to meet up and run together. It was the day after my brick. The Run Less Run Faster training plan prescribes faster times than most other plans do for long runs, and mine is an 8:43.
I knew I could do it, but I wasn’t sure how hard it would be the day after the bike-run combo. And when I came downstairs to sideways rain, I was not excited. Especially since I’d just done my workout in a downpour on Friday! I ran back upstairs, changed my jacket and got my behind in the car before I could change my mind. And, I didn’t want to leave my friend hanging, either!
We got to running and it was so, so cold. Colder than Friday and the wind was blowing the rain in our faces, and it was just miserable weather. The cold air hurt our lungs and our quick pace made it hard to chat, at first. BUT to my GREAT surprise, we were often going faster than an 8:43. I repeatedly slowed us down. And my friend, K, who does not normally run with the knowledge of her pace, did beautifully. After 4, I dropped her off, and headed back out on the Cedar River Trail.
We’d met on the pretty part, and I realized I’d forgotten to take our picture. But as I passed waterfall after waterfall, I had to stop and take a self-portrait in front of one. Everything was so green, and the rain had calmed down. And the water sounded so amazing — the river to my left and the falls to my right.
Notice the Nuun hat! So excited to be a Nuun Ambassador. Nuun truly is a great product and the people who work there also are amazing. Happy to be part of the collective Nuun Team!
7 miles in 60:25 (8:37 pace): Not too shabby!
Then there was Sunday. Mr. T was in the kitchen cookin’ up a Mardi Gras Feast! I needed to burn some calories! So I hopped on my bike for my second brick! This time, I left from my house, so the first 3 miles (and the last 3) were on dirt and rock trail. The other part was on the same out-and-back I did on my first brick on Friday. I also learned it takes the same amount of time to bike to that location as it does to DRIVE there. Dude!
This was a longer ride than I’m used. I don’t know if I’ve done this long of a ride. Ever. And the ride’s elevation was brutal — a gradual 400-foot decline, which meant…you guessed it:
It took me a long time to go 12.96 miles: 1:08:35. Well, the first half was a breeze. When I turned around I discovered I’d be riding the second half IN the breeze. Ugh. The second half was ROUGH. And my feet, again, were frozen inside well-vented running shoes. Yet, somehow, I made it home. And I COULD HAVE decided to skip the planned 10-minute run afterward. After all, I couldn’t feel my feet.
But, “NO!” I said inside my head again. I was determined. I automatically ran back down on the trail and instantly regretted it. The trail has a lot of loose rock and my legs were already jelly from over an hour on the bike, I turned and headed back out to the asphalt where I knew my chances of rolling an ankle were much lower. The run went by pretty quick and my feet thawed by the time I turned back on my street. 1.2 miles in 10:51 (a 9-minute pace).
And then there was today. Cold, cold drizzle. Ew. But up and over the fence I went (after Zoe, of course).
This was after the workout…with jelly legs.
The track workout, itself, was very, very hard, and I was so grateful to have this lady there, who is always encouraging and pushing me (over fences!):
RLRF called for 10 minute warm up, 4 x 1,200-meter (.75 of a mile) repeats in 5:39 (roughly a 7:32 pace) followed by 400 meter Rest Intervals (walk/jog), then a cooldown. Like I said, these were HARD. Results:
- Repeat 1: 5:39 (Booyah! It didn’t hurt too bad once I got into a rhythm.)
- Repeat 2: 5:40 (I wished my lungs were stronger. Felt like they couldn’t keep up with my legs.)
- Repeat 3: 5:38 (I saw what looked like a baseball coach and I thought he would try to kick us off of the track. This caused me to push it on the last quarter mile.)
- Repeat 4: 5:39 (Jelly legs! Felt super slow.)
Post-workout Zoe and I were on FIRE! Not really, but the steam WAS rolling off of us as we stretched under the eaves of the snack bar. She tried to take a picture, but yeah, it didn’t show up.
A note on that Brooks jacket above. I love it. It kept me warm, but not too warm in the cold rain at the track. Mel of Tall Mom on the Run (another of my awesome running buddies!) gave it to me. It’s an awesome jacket. However, I have a long torso. I wish there were some longer jackets and shirts for long-torso girls, so if anyone out there who makes running clothes is listening, don’t forget about us! Also, just as a woman, running tights can get a little “showy,” so longer shirts and jackets could help us be a little more modest, too. M’kay? Thanks for listening!
Real quick, the plan for the week:
Monday: 4×1200-repeats at a 7:32 pace
Tuesday: Swim, 3-miles with Mel, strength
Wednesday: 1 mile warmup, 3 miles at Short Tempo (8:16) pace, 1 mile cooldown
Thursday: Swim and strength
Friday: Swim (with Chelsea) and strength
Saturday: 7-mile long run at an 8:43 pace
Sunday: Bike and run (because I love bricks!)
Have you tried a brick yet? What are you waiting for? Do you have a long torso? What brand makes your favorite running jackets/shirts?