Monday, November 3, 2014

Run Less Run Faster: Week One

I have to admit, I wasn't too sure how this week was going to go. So many people online had negative things to say about the Run Less Run Faster program, but it seemed everyone who had actually, you know, done it, said the workouts could be killer. I was a bit worried this week was going to land at one of those extremes, but it fell perfectly in the middle.

Can't stop, won't stop.
Taking a week before training to get my sleep schedule in order was a great decision - I had no issue getting up early the two days I needed to, and it should be even easier this week now that DST is over.

It was also good practice to start using my lunches to workout. This month is going to be crazy busy at work, and I have a bad habit of working through lunch, even if it fries my brain. However, I put my swims and my gym workouts on my work calendar, complete with reminder, and that encouraged me to treat it like any other meeting and get up from my desk on time. I think having this mid-day release is going to be super beneficial over the next few weeks.

And overall, I really really like how RLRF is structured. The workouts are just as tough as people said, but knowing I have a day of cross-training afterwards to recover helps me push through. This was helpful too when I was doing my long run Saturday - I knew I had to two days off from running after, so I didn't waste any mental energy worrying about being tired afterwards. I knew I was going to be tired - and it didn't matter!

Monday, October 27
500 yd swim

I was a bit nervous about getting back into the pool after so long away. The workout called for nothing but kicking, so I'm sure today I'm in for a rude awakening when I actually have to do things with my arms. I also discovered that the pool at lunch time is very odd - tons of people come between 11 and 12, and suddenly everyone is gone at 12:15. (Seriously, I went from circle-swimming to have my own lane in a five minute span.) This was good because now I know if I need an extra 15 minutes, I should still leave at 12 to avoid people.

Tuesday, October 28
AM - 5.75 mi easy (11:16 min/mile)
lunch - lift

The morning was a catastrophic failure. For some reason I thought running mile repeats without eating or drinking beforehand was a great idea. Spoiler alert - it was awful. I was ready to give up and go home after the first repeat (which I didn't hit my required pace at and nearly puked from at the end), but I knew I should at least get the mileage in. Even those easy miles were painful from the lack of fuel.

Wednesday, October 29
500 yd swim

Same workout as Monday. I could definitely feel the fatigue from Tuesday's run in my legs, but they got nice and loosened up from all the kicking.

Thursday, October 30
AM - 6 mi tempo (10:27 min/mile)
PM - lift

I learned my lesson from Tuesday, and I drank a full glass of water and ate some Saltines before heading out the door. I felt a little tired, but I think it was only some sleepyness. I felt very strong during the tempo miles, so I'm glad I got the problem solved so easily. It is very disorienting running in the dark, since I have no point in the distance to focus on when running hard. It's a new kind of mental exercise.

Friday, October 31

Saturday, November 1
13 mi long (10:42 min/mile)

I had to go into work for a bit Saturday, but I wanted to get my run out of the way earlier. I was awake early enough I could've gone in the dark, but I decided I'd much rather run in the sunshine instead. This was clever stalling technique, as I was pretty worried about hitting the prescribed pace (MP+30).

All this worrying was for naught - I ended up averaging exactly 10:42 minute/miles, right down to the second. I loved my new Garmin: I told it my desired pace range and it beeped whenever I went out of it, taking out the work of mental math to figure out my pace. Instead I was just able to settle in and enjoy my podcast. The weather was absolutely perfect, and I only needed to call on my mental strength for the last two miles.

Sunday, November 2
Slow Flow Yoga

In college I tried to go to yoga once or twice a week and got fairly good at it. Since then I've occasionally done a few videos at home, but I really missed having a live instructor, so I decided to cash in some of my credit card rewards to pay for yoga class once a week (it is expensive, yo).

I was easily the worst student there, but I surprisingly didn't feel bad about it. I know with some work I will improve, and the instructor and other students were very welcoming and non-judgmental.

The only bad part was when the instructor asked if I should get a student discount, since I was in high school. I wish people would be a little more PC when asking about my age, but I'm learning to roll with it.

Run Miles: 24.8
Swim Miles: .6
Lifting Time: 45 mins
Yoga Time: 60 mins
Total Time: 7:02

My biggest challenge this coming week will be balancing a crazy work schedule while staying energized for my workouts. I'm framing my lunch workouts as a great mental break for my days, and my runs as a way to pound out the stress. But let's just say I already can't wait to relax during my long run next weekend!

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