Friday night I had big plans. I was, for real–no sarcasm, super excited about said plans. I sat on the couch (between sessions of stretching and foam rolling), ate a big salad with whole wheat gnocchi on top (because I still don’t like eating a whole plate of just pasta–yuck), and watched Fast Women. Fast Women is a documentary about some local Phoenix runners including my super amazing inspiring coach. It definitely inspired me, and made me excited to get out there and run the next morning! Perhaps my big Friday night plans seem super lame to you? That’s okay. I’m perfectly content with my life as it is right now. I’m feeling good about my training, and I’m starting to take it more seriously, and commit myself in all areas of life, not just the training runs.
I had a really great week of training. I was in the right place mentally. I felt focused, and positive all week long. I really pushed myself this week, and ever since last Saturday’s 14 miler, I have been in almost a constant state of runner’s high. After almost every work out, I felt that sense of pride, accomplishment, and “I can do anything”! It was awesome. I made a lot of personal discoveries this week, and though most of them came through in my training, many of them aren’t running related. That is why I love challenging myself. It’s only when we push ourselves beyond our limits that we truly learn about ourselves and grow as human beings. Too much? Sorry, I’m a REALLY sappy person. I mean ask my friends who is the most emotional person they know. I guarantee you, they will all say me. And you know what? I like it. So here’s how the 11th week of training went down in the land of I Feel Deep Personal Crap 24/7:
Monday–7 mi run. Okay, so about these medium distance runs…Until now, I’ve totally sucked at them. The training plan always reads something like “X miles easy to warm up, then X miles at moderate pace. Moderate pace is slightly harder. You can hear your breathing, but you’re not gasping for air.” Problem #1: I can always hear my breathing. Perhaps that’s not normal? I just usually wear headphones to block it out 😉 Problem #2: It’s 90* out, and no pace feels easy. Problem #3: PLEASE JUST TELL ME A PACE TO HIT OTHERWISE I NEVER KNOW IF I’M DOING IT RIGHT!!!! Please Coach Susan? Can’t you just tell me exactly what to do at every moment of every run? I thought that was how this worked? And while we’re at it, maybe you could just run the miles 4 me. You’d do it in about half the time. Okay, or maybe that’s not the point. Anyway, after the scheduled 3 mile warm up, I told Nicole that I actually wanted to try to push the next 4 miles. I’ve spent a lot of time being scared I can’t run faster when it’s hot out, and that if I actually picked it up, I wouldn’t be able to get through it. Well it turns out, although running in the heat is still tough, running at a moderate pace is actually not that much harder. I ended up running the last 4 in 9:40, 9:34, 9:25, 8:31. Note to self: Stop sucking it up like a baby, and actually push yourself. You can do a lot more than you think.
Tuesday–Linda’s Spin. Love.
Wednesday–Track: 6x800s. We were told to find a partner at about our speed, then one partner did a lap alone, then the second lap with their partner, then the second partner did their second lap alone. Sounds more confusing than it is. I partnered up with Bob and was the first to go, so basically I would run the second half of my 800 with him, then rest while he ran his final lap (around 2 min). After Monday, I was all pumped up and ready to really push myself, and I ran my 800s in 8:07, 8:08, 8:02, 8:00, 7:58, 7:57. I wanted to die on the last one, but it was awesome to really push myself, and work harder than I have been. I was still basically the last one on the track, but such is life.
Thursday–Recovery run. 3 miles of shuffling at a snail’s pace. The first run I’ve done by myself in a while. No music (what??? I’ve actually run a lot without music lately, and it really isn’t so bad!) It was nice to just go at my own pace, shake my body out, and let the recovery run do it’s thing.
Friday–18 mi bike ride. Friday mornings are my happy place. I get to hang out with one of my favorite people, move my body, and not worry about pace/time/mileage/anything. Nicole and I just spend the time chatting, and there is always breakfast and coffee. This time it didn’t rain (YAY!!), and Nicole learned to change a flat tire.
while I sat there and looked totally confused.
For some reason we wore our helmets the entire time. We wondered how many food bloggers it takes to change a tire….Steve ended up coming to save the day, but Nicole was doing pretty awesome I have to say! We also saw this awesome sunrise.
Saturday–15 mi run. If you live in Phoenix, perhaps you’ve had the pleasure of running on San Juan Rd. No? Lucky. In all seriousness though, this run was I would say 90% great. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t 100% hard. It was one of the most challenging training runs I have ever done, and it was the first where I had to take walk breaks, but you know what? I didn’t care. I didn’t care about my super slow pace, and I didn’t really mind the fact that when I arrived at 5am my phone said it was 92*, and I didn’t hate working hard on the hills. I’ve said it 100 times, but I signed up to do this because I wanted to challenge myself. For some sick and twisted reason, I actually enjoy this crap. Not so much while I’m doing it, but nothing compares to the pride I get when I finish a tough work out. In the end, I ran 15 miles with 986 ft of elevation gain at a 10:48 average pace. I had so much support from my coach and so many members of my team it was incredible! At the turn around point, Susan was up at the top of the hill with a bull horn yelling for us! We also had people on bikes (ummm David you are AWESOME) with water and lots of positive energy to keep us going. When my ipod stopped working, David actually sang to me. Nicest guy ever. Having so many supportive people around during the hardest parts of this run made it so.much.better. The end was the hardest. The road is only 6.3 miles long, so I had to run back past my car, run the opposite direction for a little over a mile, and it turns out the way out was all downhill, so at the very end when I wanted to die, I had to run back alone and uphill. I may have had an F this moment, but I finished it, and within an hour I was riding some serious runner’s high.
I spent my Saturday night like this.
Sunday–Super easy recovery ride. I wanted coffee. My legs were stiff and a little angry, and begging to move around, so Steve and I rode to Dutch Bros and back.
Next week is a cut back week (hallelujah!), and then the week after that, shit gets real. I’m going to run further than I ever have, and I cannot freaking wait. All this time I’ve been telling everyone “I can’t wait until we do 16 miles! I’ve never done that before!’ Well as some sort of cruel joke, we skip 16 and go straight to 17. Whatever. I’m freaking stoked.