Sunday, March 14, 2010

Will run for pizza

So I had finally done it. The weather had cooperated long enough to let me have a fantastic 8 mile long run along Kelly Drive. I was ecstatic. All the training I had done at the gym all winter had truly paid off and it was looking like I would finish half marathon after all. I was all too excited to plan my next weeks worth of workouts until I saw it. Rain. Rain. and oh yea, a little bit of RAIN. for four days!?

Dear Mother Nature,
I don't understand why you hate me. I like to think I am very good to you. I reuse, I reduce, I recycle (AND I Re-Lilly to some of my favorite younger cousins!). I enjoy nature. I like being outside. Why can't you provide me just a few hours of nice weather every weekend so that I may go on a long run?!
Love and kisses

Something tells me that letter wasn't exactly going to change the forecast for my weekend so I guess I was going to have to plan around the rain. The week before I had done 17 total miles. Even though my long run was on Sunday, I count it as part of the previous week. So this week I was going to have to run 20. Yikes! 2-0! Well I shortly decided that was not going to work out. Four days of 4+ mile runs was sure to not only burn me out but get me hurt. So I opted instead for another week of 17 total.

Quick pep talk with self.
"Ok Sara you can totally do this. Sure it's four days of running, three with out a rest in between. But the mileage is short and then you have ALL weekend off to relax! Come on, you totally want this race, prove to yourself you can do it."
"Ok Self, you're right, I'll suck it up and do it." So I grabbed my training calendar and planned our four days of running that would bring me up to 17 miles.

Monday: I was a litter nervous of how much I could handle but I did a nice four miles on the treadmill thanks to Ashley there to chat with. I also made time to do some crunches and other ab exercises before my run. I felt great afterwards, although a little bit tired.
Tuesday: was a rest day, and those always feel too short.
Wednesday: Minor setback when I got on the treadmill and found my small IPod was dead. ALMOST a tragedy until I remember his bigger brother was upstairs on my desk so I grabbed that one instead. Was supposed to be a three mile HARD run, but then it occurred to me, why would I run two five milers back to back Thursday and Friday? The three miler should go in the MIDDLE! So I quickly turned it into a five mile tempo run. One mile of warm up and then turned up the speed a little and ran 3 3/4 miles at the faster pace with a 1/2 mile jog to cool down.
Thursday: Quick weight workout with DesignerD, we did a few moves with the resistance band which is probably one of my favorite pieces of equipment. Then a three mile run. Whenever I do a short run I feel compelled to make it really hard. Because of course I know I can't make it longer but I can push myself more. Knowing I can push myself for a short distance makes it easier to push for a longer distance. The best part about pushing through a short run is my fast pace makes it even shorter.
Friday: Let me just say that I love running as much as the next crazy, but after three days of running in four days even super athletes are bound to get tired. It's cold, grey, and raining and all I want to do is go home, put on sweats and lay on the couch with Boyfriend watching out favorite Friday shows and eat Pizza. Because of course Boyfriend promised me a pizza after work today. Hey who knows maybe if I tell him how tired I am he'll go for that plan.
"Don't want to go to the gym. Help" I text him.
"No pizza until you run" He texts back. WHAT? Did Boyfriend really just try to withhold food from me? Does he want to get hurt? Ok well he has a point. I NEED to run, and I really want pizza.
"Jerk" I write back. Although we both know I don't mean it, proven by the fact that his next response is a huge smiley face.
I actually couldn't be happier with his threat. He'll be the first to tell you I am one tough chick. I do things that aren't fun, that sometimes are really hard, but I know they need to get done so I do them. Oh yea, and he says with such pride "She runs marathons"
So at 5pm sharp (I am not wasting any of my weekend time) I grab my bag and head down to the gym. It's empty because of course I am the only weirdo who wants to workout on a Friday night.
So I hop on the treadmill and start at about a 5.5 Speed. As I listen to the music blast into my ears I plan my workout. I know I want to do mile repeats, and I decide that 3 sounds like a good number. One mile warm up, mile fast, 1/2 mile cool down and so on. With that math I will finish my last repeat at 5 miles and be done with my run. The warm up is always good, and the first repeat always feels good, but it's that second repeat that always challenges you. You're nice and relaxed, you have caught your breath, you almost feel good and then before you know it it's time to switch gears. You give a little push and at first your body is in such shock from going slow to fast that the first quarter is nothing. But then you settle into the pace and realize man, this is going to be tough.
But Friday, something weird happened. I have always noticed, especially on the treadmill that I tend to run with my feet and legs.
"But Sara" you're thinking "aren't you supposed to run with your feet and legs??"
"NO!" I woud tell you "You run with your abs, your chest, your arms, you run with your WHOLE body!" It just takes so strength to have good form I don't do it as much as i should. But something about Friday, maybe it was the music I was listening to, or the promise of pizza when I got home, I was on fire!
I ran those repeats with every muscle in my body. I have never felt so amazing after a run. Talk about ending the week on a high note!
The hardest thing about running is you often don't feel great until after the run is over. Or maybe halfway through when you hit a really good stride or rhythm and for a few miles everything just falls into place and you are lost in the motion. But before the run starts, when your lacing your sneakers and your muscle are still cold and tight, it can be really tough to motivate yourself to get going. I am so thankful that I have Boyfriend to push me when I am not able to push myself

And of course, when I got home there was a medium pizza with green peppers and tomatoes with my name all over it!

xx Sara

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