I’m more than a third of the way through my CIM training. Woohoo! This week it was all about perseverance.
Tues: Warm-up for 0.5 miles + 6 x 800m intervals (with 400m jog/rest) + cool down for 1 mile. Trying to work my way up to Yasso 800s, even though I’m not sure I believe in them. Plus, it was an excuse to run slower 800s. Hehe. 😛
My 800m splits (target: 4:30): 4:46, 4:31, 4:34, 4:31, 4:32, 4:33
Stats: 6.1 miles @ 9:51/mile
Wed: Met up with LF to go to my first morning spin class at the YMCA. It was great! I was hesitant about trying out this instructor because I overheard him playing classical music once. Don’t know about you, but classical music doesn’t exactly make me want to move my legs faster…or at all. BUT, then I heard him blast better music at another class, so I decided to give him a chance. The song list on Wednesday was half Motown and half Kanye = WIN. The instructor was super peppy and motivating. Plus, it was the sweatiest spin class to date. Double WIN. It was also very fun to go to the class with LF, just like old times (except minus the part where we got yelled at by the instructor for talking and giggling through class). Triple WIN.
Stats: 50 min spin class
Thurs: The intervals on Tuesday and crazy spin class on Wednesday meant dead legs for Thursday. I really wanted to stop at one lap around the lake, but forced myself to continue, however slowly. Perseverance!
Stats: 6 miles @ 10:46/mile
Sat: We had a busy day planned, so I only had time for a beginner yoga class at the YMCA.
Stats: 45 min yoga
Sun: On the calendar: 14 miles. My longest run to-date, and the first of 5 distance PRs for this training cycle. I woke up with a sharp pain in my lower back/upper sacrum. It was fine when I stood up straight, but felt worse as I bent over. I first noticed this the other day when I was scooping cat litter. (Don’t worry, I’ll sue Sasha as soon as he cashes in his Cat Fancy modeling checks. haha)
The Gypsy Runner reminded me that I should listen to my body and not force the run. Better to rest now than to push too hard and injure myself further. I did a little bit of stretching and heating on my back, and decided to go and see how I felt. If my back felt bad, then I would stop (though begrudgingly). I really wanted to have these 14 miles on the books, even though I knew that the Gypsy Runner was right.
We set out for the Lafayette-Moraga Trail, a paved, multi-use trail between Lafayette and Moraga (duh). We parked at the Lafayette end of things because it was closer to Highway 24. The length of the trail is 7.75 miles, and I figured that I’d do an out and back at the 7 mile mark. The Gypsy Runner came out with me to run 10 miles.
One thing we were both pleasantly surprised about was how nice the trail was. It winds through residential sections and is shaded about half of the time, which is key since it’s always about 10 degrees hotter beyond the hills, compared to Oakland. There was pretty scenery too: rolling hills dotted by the occasional tree and lots of thistle/tumbleweeds. It seemed mostly flat with a random hill and there, but my Garmin registered 784 feet of elevation gain (see below).
The first few miles seemed tough. I had a hard time engaging my legs, but it helped to have the Gypsy Runner pacing me and to have Andre Agassi’s Open on audiobook playing through my earbuds. I felt OK by the time we finished 5 miles, when the Gypsy Runner turned around. There’s not that much to report for miles 6-11, except that I got lost at Moraga Commons and ended up running on Moraga Rd (and its accompanying traffic) for 2+ miles instead of the nice paved trail. Boo.
Everything seemed to be going just fine until I hit mile 11. I got a side-stitch that forced me to take several walk breaks. I blame it on drinking too much fluid with my salt capsule at around mile 9 or 10. Then I told myself to stop being such a wimp — I wasn’t about to be sidelined by some silly side-stitch! My last 3 miles were slow slogs, but I’m happy that I persevered. I feel like a major component of these long runs is learning how to make yourself go the distance — i.e., figuring out what kind of motivation works best when your mind and body just want to stop. For me, I think it helps to do 3 things:
1. Tell myself: only 5K to go! or whatever distance (as long as it’s less than 10K, this will usually work).
2. Think about times when I really was suffering A LOT (while running or otherwise) and put the current suffering in perspective.
3. When all else fails, make VERY short-term goals. I tell myself to run to that tree or that marker, and when I get there, then I make a new goal.
So I finished the 14 miles (hooray!) and stretched a little. I was tired, but thankfully my back was feeling OK. We hit up a nearby gas station for some Gatorades. We were foolish for not bringing extra water, since there were very few water fountains. (Also, FYI, most of the bathrooms and fountains are on the Moraga end of the trail.) At least I had my handheld bottle — the Gypsy Runner had been waiting for me to finish my run so that he could get rehydrated. Poor guy! We then hit up a nearby burrito place — Casa Gourmet Burrito. The Gypsy Runner got a Thai chili burrito, which was far superior to my spicy curry chicken burrito.
Miscellaneous details: I experimented with cutting back on the Clif bloks. I had 2 (one at 5 miles and one at 9). I had Cytomax in my 12 oz handheld and refilled with water once. I took a salt tablet at mile 10 because I realized that I was hot and sweaty, and also because I wanted to try it out. I can’t tell if it helped or not. My Zoot socks are still doing great. No calf soreness, though the rest of my legs are aching, and no blisters or hotspots.
Stats: 14 miles @ 11:01/mile (784 feet elevation gain)
WEEKLY TOTAL: Target 23-26 miles/ Actual 26.1 miles + 95 min cross training
How I feel about it: Runs were good/okay. Spin class was good, but yoga was lackluster. B+
Question: What gets you through the hard times, when you just want to quit?