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Tales of Training: Out for a Spin

OK, I can’t be the only one who felt nearly naked out there this week. After months of piling on the layers, it felt incredibly weird to go out for a run with only one top and one pair of tights. But I’m NOT complaining! Temps in our area hit the 40s and 50s during the day, so my morning runs hovered around the freezing mark (low 30s). This only created one problem: The snow would melt during the day and leave patches of ice on the streets/sidewalks in the morning. (I run around 5 a.m. – well before the sun is up!) 

But Saturday? Oh, Saturday! I ran in the afternoon sunshine, and it was 50-freaking-wonderful degrees! I may have been soooo happy that I ran a half-marathon PR. (Sorry, not sorry!) I'd say this training through the winter stuff may be paying off. 

Monday: 3 miles, easy
Rowdy and I managed to find enough dry spots to get this run done, but I skipped the sprints that I was supposed to tack onto the end of the workout. That’s not the first time I’ve opted out of those … Oh well. 

Tuesday: 6 miles, mid-four at tempo
The ice patches sorta ruined this run. I had to keep slowing down … and then I actually slipped and fell … twice. I can’t believe I made it allll winter without falling, and then I take a few tumbles in March. UGH! Oh well – no injuries to report except a scraped knee. 

Wednesday: Yoga Meltdown
For cross training this week, I suddenly felt compelled to re-connect with my old friend Jillian Michaels. When I first tried her Yoga Meltdown DVD, it was waaay too hard for me. Now that I’ve been focusing on strength with PiYo? I was able to do the whole thing! It was still hard, mind you, but I didn’t feel like I wanted to die by the end of it. Instead, I felt like a yoga badass (which I realize is sorta the opposite of how you’re supposed to feel after yoga). 

Thursday: 5 miles, intervals
After Tuesday’s icy tumbles, I was much more aware of the slick spots on my route, but my legs/lungs weren’t fully cooperating. I did intervals of nearly sprinting for a few minutes (1, 2, 3, 2, 1) with 2 minutes of rest between … then I did it allllll again. I was also supposed to do a 10-minute warm-up and cool down, but I cut those to 5 minutes instead. This workout KICKED.MY.BUTT. I know it’s acceptable to walk for the rest/recovery minutes, but I usually try to stick with a light jog. Yeah … not for this run. I had to walk a couple of times, which was a little discouraging – but it’s also a little encouraging because I know I was pushing my limits. 

Friday: 3 miles, easy
I think I was definitely feeling the effects of Thursday’s intervals still. Took it easy with Rowdy in tow. 

Saturday: 13.1 miles
If I owned a convertible car, I imagine putting the top down for the first time in the spring would be a lot like going for a run for the first time in the spring. Like I said, it was 50 degrees and sunny. Aside from some vicious wind for the last half of my route, the conditions were PERFECT. I KNOW I should take my long runs at a slower pace, but I just felt good dammit! I set my watch so I could only see my overall time/mileage and ran by feel instead of pace. I admit, toward the end when I realized I could hit sub-2:00, I may have picked up my feet a bit more. But again, I imagine it’s like getting that convertible out: I just HAD to rev the engine a little! 

Even though this pace may have been a training no-no, I think I’ll be OK, based on my quick recovery. On Sunday, I was only slightly sore and managed to go grocery shopping, walk to/from my nephew’s birthday party AND catch up on laundry (which is a miracle on a normal Sunday, let alone the day after I ran 13.1 miles.) Today (Monday), I felt slow on my 3-miler this morning, but not sore at all. I didn’t even cringe when I walked up the stairs at work – that never happens after a half-marathon! So I know I still had some gas in the tank, and I can definitely hit a real PR at the Towpath Half Marathon in a few weeks (by how much, I don’t know). I just need to conserve/build whatever gas remains – I promise, I’ll play it smart. 


  1. I felt the same way!! Shorts?!! WHAT?? Sometimes I think it's fun just to push yourself in a training long run to be sure you can do it. It's a confidence builder in my book!


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