Today’s schedule called for "4 miles fast". I always struggle with how fast is fast? On the treadmill I don’t have a huge range of speed that works for me; there’s about a 1-1.5mph difference between "this is the slowest I can run" and "hoo boy I can only do this for a couple minutes". But today I settled on starting slowish and increasing the speed every mile. The pace overall wound up being the same as I ran my 3 miler on Wednesday; I finished the 4 miles in 48:30. So that works.
My foot is still blistery so I’m going to have to use some moleskin or something for tomorrow’s 6 miler. Well, that is, if I make it. By the way I was cramping up in that last mile I suspect my uterus is going to have some way to persuade me to stay in… We’ll see how I’m feeling.
I’m doing a happy dance today because I’m not running! I mean, I do love running, but it’s nice to have a day off too. I decided to lift and do some yoga. For the lifting, I stuck with strictly upper body stuff– no deadlifts, no squats, nothing to stress my hips or legs. So 2 sets of overhead press, bent-over rows, skull crushers, bench press, front/side delt raises, and pec flys. For the yoga part, I stuck to sun salutations/warrior series, and finished up with some nice twists for my back and my now-favorite thread the needle (ahhh, hips!)
So many moons ago I mentioned being excited to read Honey, Do You Need A Ride? Confessions of a Fat Runner by Jennifer Graham and promised you all a review. I finally got around to reading it– in fact I devoured it! It was a quick and enjoyable read, for the most part. Her internal conversations with her "ghost coaches" cracked me up, too (I might have to read some runners’ memoirs and steal this idea!) And it was exciting to read about her persistence and her running accomplishments.
However, it quickly became clear to me that Ms Graham and I do not necessarily share life philosophies. Her fat body wasn’t neutral, but the product of moral failings, something that needed to be controlled and changed. The constant self-deprecation really wore on me after a while, and at one point I actually had to set the book down and walk away for a couple days because it was making me feel awful about myself too. (Not to mention the fact that all this self-hate was coming from a woman who was significantly smaller than me. I mean, I’m not going to define at what weight "fat" begins, but that stung.) While it celebrated the slow but persistent "chunky runner", it definitely was not size-positive. I’ll call it a "qualified recommend"; you might enjoy it, but be cautious if this sort of thing triggers you.
Yet another 3 miles on the treadmill today. It was a good, solid run, and I finished in 38 minutes. I get tomorrow for rest, and then Friday is 4 miles fast and Saturday is 6 miles. (The weather’s supposed to be nice too!)
My new shoes are still working out okay, though I have a hot spot/blister on my right foot and big toe, at the edge of the sole. I tried lacing them more snugly but it didn’t do much to help. I might have to swap over to wool socks from my normal light wicking socks and see if that makes a difference. It probably just needs to callus over.
I’ve reached the very last mission of Zombies, Run! I’m looking forward to hearing how the story ends. I really liked it– it made an interesting, exciting diversion on what would otherwise be monotonous runs– and I might play through again. I haven’t run all the sidequests or race missions, though– maybe I should do those first. (I’d need to buy the sidequests pack.)
Yesterday’s snowstorm stranded me indoors, although it gave me time to make some progress in my dancey game. Today I’m back at work and going to the gym felt like a wonderful luxury.
I decided to give my Local Running Store another chance (not that I had a whole lot of options, other than experimentation) and on Sunday I went to ask them for help finding a new pair of shoes. This visit was nothing like my last! They were fantastic and totally restored my faith in the store.
I explained the problem with my foot going numb, and the salesperson measured my feet again, watched me run on the treadmill, and brought me all their wide neutral shoes, but none of them worked– they were all too narrow. He called over another salesperson for a second opinion, who had me stand in my old shoes. She took one look and exclaimed, "Your feet are hanging off the sides of the platform! Let’s try some men’s shoes, since we don’t have any women’s 2Es in." And that turned out to be the best solution. I wound up with a pair of Mizuno Waverider 16s (in this GORGEOUS dark blue, I am in love with them). While I was there I picked up a new sports bra too. So I am good to go on new kit.
I tested the shoes with 7x400m intervals on the treadmill this morning. They felt really good, and my feet stayed fully awake and happy. I finished up 4 miles of intervals with warmup and cooldown in 47 minutes.
After Saturday’s 5k my nose ran until Monday evening– it just ran and ran; I was miserable. I went through a whole box of tissues and made a significant dent in my Sudafed stash. It had finally eased up, but this morning’s run has me sniffly and sneezy again. Frustrating!
I’m at the halfway point in my 5k training regimen, so today was a “test race” day. I didn’t have a proper race to use for this purpose, so I went out today with the intention to run just as hard as I would in the actual race.
My route choices were ‘boring and lots of road crossings’, ‘steep hills’, and ‘very long hills’. I chose ‘very long hills’, which I suppose was good because the first half of the run was 90% uphill– which meant the first part sucked but the way back was a cruise!
I finished 5k in 39:40, which was just about my race time from last year so I have a month to improve on that. The very last bit was a steep uphill that always gives me grief; by that point I was anaerobic and gasping but I managed to finish strong. I think I overdressed, though; my bottom half was fine in tights and shorts but my long-sleeved base layer and heavy fleece jacket was too much for 41°F and sunny. I felt soggy. (Someday I will figure out what to wear.)
I pass a speed camera along the way and I always joke to myself, “Uh oh, better slow down or I’m gonna get my picture taken!” Never mind that the speed limit there is 30mph…
Today I went to the gym and did a little bit of everything! I started out just walking on the treadmill– I had planned for 10 minutes but a good song came on so I finished that and it wound up being more like 12. :)
After that, I lifted a little. I’m shooting for something like upper body ‘maintenance’ lifting. 2 sets each of deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, delt raises (side and front) and back extensions. (Yeah, some of those aren’t upper body, oh well.) I expect my shoulders to be sore tomorrow, so maybe it wasn’t exactly ‘maintenance’?
I finished up with some yoga, which was very nice. Nothing fancy, just some sun salutes building off into warrior series, but it was just what I needed. Especially nice was ending with eye of the needle and reclined big toe pose. My hips have been so tight!
Yesterday I played some dancey game. I’m pretty focused on actually finishing the game now, so it’s less of a workout and more work as I try to learn routines and make it through the songs without mistakes. The last song I learned had maybe 30 different moves to figure out? I hear Dance Central 2 is better, so I want to complete the first one so I can get it.
After the horrible fiasco that was yesterday’s tempo run, I nearly skipped today’s 3 miler. I brought 2 sets of gym clothes– one for running, one for not.
I was feeling okay though, not as tired as yesterday, so I decided to go run, gently, and see where it got me. I took a couple walking breaks and finished up the 3 miles just fine. That surprised me; I’d expected it to be really awful.
The chafing is doing okay– I liberally applied Body Glide and it didn’t get any worse. And I put my Superfeet into my shoes and somehow that seemed to help with my foot falling asleep. I don’t even know…
Anyway, I’m very much looking forward to not running until Saturday, and I’m taking my 52 miles this month and framing it. :)