After ending last week on a high of nostalgia and recovery from my half marathon I was anxious to continue improving.
I started Sunday with a routine from a personal trainer I have been working with, it was a body weight circuit and nothing too difficult following long run Saturdays. It consisted of squats, single leg RDL, pushups, planks, assisted pull-ups and mountain climbers. I did the circuit 3x through. Nothing of these moves are new to me, but I want them to get back into the routine of working out on Sundays vs having it be my second rest day of the week.
Monday was a big day for me. Since I’m not officially training for anything, I planned to go on a tempo run just to loosen up my legs. I planned to do between 3 and 4 miles. After a .25 mile warmup, plus I added 5 minutes of some dynamic moves; high knees, skipping, grapevines, butt kicks, and high kicks, I felt good and warmed up. When I started I had no goal in mind, just wanted to see how I was feeling. When my first mile was 8:09 I decided I would try to see if I could break a personal best in a 5K, a 6 weeks ago I ran one in 25:16, and 6 years ago (5/10/10) I wrote a goal that I wanted to break 25 minutes. So with a strong base from my half marathon training, I wondered how I would do. With each mile I got faster (mile 2 7:59, 3 was 7:48) and I knew as long as my legs didn’t give out and the wind wasn’t too strong I would make it, the last .10 I ran at a 7:11 pace and finished in 24:39!!! Although it wasn’t race official, now I know I can do it. One of my cousins reminded me that it was even more impressive to have done it outside of a race atmosphere. After 6 years, almost exactly to the date, I achieved a goal I once thought was completely out of my reach. I can’t even put into words what it meant for me to finally achieve this. Though it was a little odd to not be able to share with anyone right in that moment. It was a silent victory, just for me, without spectators, alone on a track on a slightly windy day in May. What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. Without a doubt I am a much different person than I was 6 years ago and a lot of it comes down to commitment, hard work and consistency. As you can imagine, I was on a runner’s high for the rest of the night. I got to thinking about my next goals; a sub 80 15K and finishing my first marathon this fall. I also need to find a 5K to register for to get a race official time.
Tuesday I started day 2 of my new cross training plan. This was completed in a wellness clinic with access to weight and other equipment. I used the TRX bands for rows, did bench presses with dumbbells, goblet squats and hamstring curls with an exercise ball- I did this circuit 2×12. Then I did marching glute bridges with ankle weights (2×15) and band walks (lateral and front and back). I finished up with some core work. It took about 45 minutes, and the band walks were the hardest! Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with those?!
Wednesday was back to running and it was a much different day than Monday. I had some vacation time to use up so I left my office at 2pm and enjoyed my lunch outside by a small pond on campus in the beautiful sunshine. When I finished my lunch I just laid in the sun for about 20 minutes relaxing since I had no rush to be anywhere. Unfortunately I got so relaxed that I didn’t have the energy to push myself on a hard work out on a run. But I went for a run anyway with the mindset that it was ok if I didn’t do intervals today. The run was slow and my legs felt like lead thanks to the previous 2 days of working out. I ran around campus, and then ran on a nearby recreation trail for a little change in scenery, plus it was flat. I ran 3.75 miles in a 35.18 (9:24 pace), not my best, but a slow run is better than no run.
Thursday was Day 3 of my new cross training plan. It was a shorter workout -30 minutes- which worked out perfectly because I was able to squeeze it in during my lunch hour. Moves included squat with a dumbbell press, weighted single leg RDL, lunges with weights and assisted pull-ups, twice through. Marching glute bridges with weight and band walks again, then some core work. It was nice that by the end of my workday I didn’t have to worry about getting a workout in, so getting this workout done during my lunch hour is something I will sometimes need to do in order to keep on schedule in the coming months.
Friday, my hamstrings and glutes were sooo sore I could barely walk. A combination of all of the above just really did a number on my legs, so I had to get a good foam rolling session in before going to bed along with a heating pad so that I could get through my long run. I may have to tweak the cross training plans so my legs don’t get so sore that I won’t be able to properly complete my speed running workouts when needed. So the next few weeks will be some trial and error before it really starts to count.
Saturday, was my long run day. Since I am in ‘maintenance mood’, I planned to run for 1 hour (I ran 50 minutes last week). The run was ok, overall my legs still felt heavy, and the last 10 minutes were a little rough so I tried to find some downhill streets to get a break J I pushed through to an hour and the distance was 6.48, so I stuck it out for 20 more seconds to reach 6.5 miles (9:17 pace). Afterward I did a lot of stretching and foam rolling.
Overall this week started on a high with my 5K time, but ended with heavy legs. I don’t have any frustration, I just know I have to be aware of how hard to push my body so I don’t end up with an injury, but at the same time challenge it to continue to improve and reach my desired goals.
What was the best part of your week? What goals are you working toward? What’s the longest you have ever worked to achieve something?