Yeah, I know I shouldn't stay away so long...sorry about that. Got busy with life, running, and deciding to sell the house and I totally forgot that I hadn't posted to my blog until I got a friendly reminder at FitCamp (thanks Blake!)
Since I last posted, I have finished recovery, breezed through Phase I, and am now muddling through Phase II for my new goal: the Macon Labor Day Road Race - 5k. And the ridiculous goal of busting 22 minutes. Crazy, ain't it?
I last posted about being in recovery phase. I think I also may have bragged about how E-A-S-Y all of this has been. It is at this point that I would like to retract any and everything that I have ever said about this junk being easy....because Goal 2...well, it hasn't been so easy anymore...and secretly, I think that was RC's plan all along.
I was glad that recovery was over with a few weeks ago. While it was nice to get the "you can do whatever you want" pass, I'm really not that type of girl. I need the discipline and structure of a good challenging schedule. In other words, I think I ran like 12 miles during recovery. Recovery = lazy for me, and maybe next time I'm in recovery phase I'll remember that and plan better. At any rate, I was ecstatic when RC texted me and said "It's on for Goal 2...Wax on/Wax off". I was ready ready ready to be back in the game again.
Phase I for Goal 2 was fairly simple. Run my new easy pace (9:30) with a couple of marathon pace runs (8:47) thrown in for fun. The most daunting part about it all was that I had to run 5 miles at the 8:47 pace and I hadn't ever done that before. It turns out that running 5 miles at an 8:47 pace isn't so hard to do after all!
Things were going smoothly. I felt confident, empowered, and darnit I knew I could nail a sub-22 minute 5k!
...and then RC decided to get all snazzy and go to running school. In other words he got USATF certified and lost his mind on what he thinks I can and cannot do.
Upon his return from running school, he immediately moved me into Phase II. I tried to kindly remind him that I still had one more week of Phase I left and I think I faintly heard him say "suck it up buttercup".
Off to Phase II I go!
It started with a track workout of 200-200-800 x 4. My goal for the 200's was :53 and I pretty much nailed that, actually running most of them around :49. The 800's were a different story. My goal was 3:32 and 3:32 was all I could muster up. Each one was equally as hard as the one before it. I tried to rationalize with RC (yeah...I should have known better) by explaining that actually I'm running .50 mile splits at 3:18 but because I'm running on the 2nd or 3rd lane out on the track, but I'm starting and stopping in the same place, then actually I'm exceeding my goal of 3:32.
He just looked at me like I had a 3rd eye and said that he guessed I needed to run faster to pass the other runners and get in that 1st lane quicker.
Sometimes I think I should keep my mouth shut....
After the grueling workout at the track, I sortof took the next day, Wednesday, off. I did a few miles in Trained by Cain's FitCamp class and called it a day. My quads were killing me....Thursday Turbo Tim texted me and asked if I'd like to join him on his marathon pace run. I needed motivation, and his marathon pace is my new easy pace, so the stars were aligned for a run. But....we probably shouldn't have started our run at 4:00 in the afternoon GA heat. Not so smart, and we paid for it in the form of lousy paces. Oh well, at least we ran, right?
This is the part where RC begins to totally lose his mind.
He called last night to tell me that instead of running 5 miles at marathon pace (8:47) he wanted me to run 2 x 2 miles at TEMPO pace. TEMPO PACE? 2 MILES? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Tempo pace is 8:07...for 2 solid miles after a warm-up when I haven't sufficiently spent the week psyching myself up for it??? That Tempo pace? I also felt I needed to remind him that that is really close to my previous RACE PACE. And I prepared for that. Tempo pace? Not so prepared for.
But, I didn't want him to laugh and tell me to "suck it up buttercup" so I planned on meeting him at 6:45 for this dreaded run.
I dreaded it for the rest of the evening.
I dreaded it when I woke up this morning.
I dreaded it as I choked down my oatmeal.
I dreaded it all the way to our meeting place.
I was just scared. I hadn't run at this pace for almost a month. How in the world was I going to pull this off????
So we meet and run out a mile for a warm-up. I'm still dreading it all and secretly hoping that a stick or a rock would jump out in front of me and trip me and cause me to bleed so much that we'd have to cancel the run.
Yeah, I know...after having that REALLY happen before, you would think that I wouldn't wish such bad luck on myself.
At any rate, we get to the 1 mile mark and he says we are going to go back to the start and then run another mile out for the first 2 mile repeat. It's at this point that I wonder if he remembers that we just ran a slight downhill...and so theoretically, we will have to run back uphill? I didn't dare say anything, as am getting tired of that "you've got a third eye" look.
So, I just ran.
Goal was to run the first 1/2 mile at an 8:20 and then cut the pace so that I averaged an 8:07 for the entire 2 miles.
I met the first goal head on. Hit that first half mile split at 8:12...and one side of my brain was thinking "this isn't so bad", while the other side was kindly reminding me that I had 1.5 miles to go, plus another entire repeat. I figured I would just try to meet the overall goal of 8:07 and if I was totally beat I'd just wuss out on the second repeat.
It's funny the things your mind can convince you of.
2nd half mile split - 8:00
3rd half mile split - 7:46
I was sortof concerned that I may have pushed it too much with that 7:46 split, but being the good RC that he really is, he just kept encouraging me to go faster and faster.
So I did.
4th half mile split - 7:30
For an overall average pace of 7:52...way off from 8:07...and even more off from what I thought I was capable of.
We (I) recovered for a few minutes and then said "let's go for #2".
And then I got that crazy third eye look again as RC explained that I was only doing one 2 mile tempo run.
What? How and when did I miss that part?
But, being the good RC (that he really is) he said I could keep going if I was feeling froggy. So, I agreed to do one more mile at an 8:07 which actually turned into an 8:03. Not bad for a girl who didn't think she was prepared for it all.
Which leads me back to all of this EASY running business. I think RC is getting tired of hearing me spout off about how easy all of this is. I think he doesn't want his other grasshoppers-in-training to think that he's a softy and that it will all be easy. And I've tried to explain to everyone that will listen that the runs themselves typically aren't "easy", but it's that moment when I get back in my car and I realize that I actually did it...it's at that moment that I think about how easy it was.
But, I'm changing my terminology. Because none of it is "easy." Instead of saying 'this' or 'that' is easy, I should have been saying that it wasn't so scary. Because, really, that's the worst part. That dreading and anticipation and wondering if I'm going to make a fool of myself....that's a whole lot harder than actually starting the run and finishing it. You see it's not how easy or hard the run is, but it's at what level did I psych myself out at? Did I convince myself that it was impossible, that I couldn't do it, that there was a great possibility that I would fail? The answer is usually a resounding "YES"! We all do that. If we didn't get psyched out about our potential to bonk, we wouldn't keep doing this. If we knew that we were going to nail each and every run, then we wouldn't continue to run. I guess getting scared about all of this is our bodies mechanism to push us to keep going.
Being scared is okay. It pushes me to the next level. It reminds me that I've always got more work to do. It's that part when I get back in the car and I realize that I didn't die during the run, and didn't even come close to passing out, that I recognize the fact that that run wasn't so scary.
So, you won't hear Grasshopper saying that any of this is easy anymore...instead, I'll constantly remind myself that I have yet to run a run that was really as scary as I imagined it to be....
Now, have this talk with me again next week when RC pulls some more crazy runs out of his hat!
Have a great weekend!