Last-minute benchmark

Today we’re running around like headless chickens trying to get ready for our backpacking trip. I have a good checklist and feel reasonably prepared, but my husband is a newbie and I think he’s pretty overwhelmed…

But I also had a benchmark run on the schedule for today, so I had to get that done before we left. Just like the last ones, it was 7 minutes warmup, 3 minutes all out, and 5 minutes cooldown (thankfully it’s short!) I was feeling low on gas today, especially with this being my 6th day in a row of running, but looking at the pace it looks all right.


So it looks like my peak was a little faster today, though I didn’t hold it for as long. The peak speed was 2 minutes into the 3 minute fast interval, but I pooped out after that!

Anyway, I’ll have to give a report on the backpacking trip after we get back. Hopefully my newbie ┬áhusband and friend want to go again after this trip :)

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need to be a know-it-all

Hey, that’s better! After an early bedtime, a good night of sleep, and getting up 1.5 hours early (boo) I hit the gym first thing in the morning and did that 2.5 miles that I’d been thinking about skipping. It wasn’t so bad, a 30 minute plod. I’m pleased to have gotten it done and out of the way so I can do my 15 minute benchmark tomorrow and say NO MORE until Monday.

I’m in early today because of a perfect storm of early meetings, off-site lunch, and a hair appointment that I need to drive to after work. (Gotta get my hair did before the conference so I don’t look like an overgrown schlub!) I hate driving in. If I leave before 6:15am, it’ll take me 30 minutes; if I leave after that it’ll take me at least an hour.

Since I have tomorrow off (prepping for backpacking trip, yay) I have to make sure I get all the logistical stuff for my trip and the week away done today– lots of things to print and make sure I take with me, and lots of documentation to scour to make sure I can explain it to folks who want to know the fine points of difference between the product I work on and someone else’s similar product. Unfortunately this requires being an expert on not only our product (not a problem) but also allll the other products someone might want to compare it to…

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Rough day

Today’s run was a rough one. My tired legs did not want to go for 3 miles, but I got them there with a couple walk breaks. I’m considering not doing tomorrow’s scheduled 2.5 miles and resting up for the benchmark run instead. On the one hand, it’s just a little run. On the other hand, I’m beat. Maybe I’ll just run the 2.5 after the benchmark. (Sounds fun eh? Ugh.)

With all the workout crazy and work crazy I’ve been focusing on the one thing I can tweak: sleep. I’m sleeping in the spare room and going to bed an hour early, figuring that the one thing I can do to help myself out is get good rest. My husband is not a big fan of this, but he’s not the one with tired legs and brains now is he?

Work crazy has improved slightly; thanks to all the long days I’ve managed to finish up a bunch of dangling tasks, particularly ones relating to my conference travel next week. But new things keep popping up, particularly outreach-y ones where I’m meeting with folks and representing my office, which is kind of uncomfortable and it’s always a lot of anxiety for me going into them. My boss keeps simultaneously pushing me into these situations while insisting on double-checking everything I do (as slowly as possible, of course, creating this schedule disconnect when I’m trying to work with outside folks). If he can’t trust me to do outreach in an autonomous way, he needs to be the one doing it.

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Long runs and problematic scents

Wednesday is going to be extra hectic, so I moved my 4 mile long run to today. Sigh… I forgot how tedious long runs on the treadmill are; it was ~52 minutes of staring at HGTV and zoning out listening to a Zombies, Run! episode. But it was a good solid run, definitely un-fun on my tired legs but I hung in there. I really want to take a nap now… hopefully lunch will perk me up.

I was talking with one of the locker room ladies, who was just then recovering from an asthma attack triggered by the new air fresheners that they installed in the gym (she’s all right, just shaken up). The staff were very understanding and immediately removed the automatic sprayers.

My husband and I, we are scent people. Between the two of us, we have many hundreds of dollars worth of fragrances, and wearing our favorites and finding new ones to enjoy is something we love doing. But I rarely wear them anymore; especially at work I worry about people being trapped with a smell that irritates them and often I would have no way of knowing. I do miss them, though.

What’s that saying about my rights ending at the tip of someone else’s nose…

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Beat up but faster

I arranged my runs this week so I had the weekend off, which means 2 miles today, 3 miles tomorrow, 4 miles on Thursday, and a 15-minute benchmark on Friday. I don’t like this one bit! I’m feeling beat up already and I don’t get a rest day for a while. This would be an excellent time to focus on getting extra sleep, I think.

This weekend is the backpacking trip I’ve been looking forward to for a while; I definitely won’t be able to fit any running in while I’m out in the field. But still, having to pack my week with training so I can do more activity on the weekend is really annoying! (The week after this one is work travel; I’m probably going to miss a bunch of workouts, so maybe I can rest up then.)

Anyway, today’s easy 2 miles went fine; I busted it out in 23:42 without much thought. My hips are still sore, but that doesn’t seem to have much impact on the runs so far. Fingers crossed that my legs hold up through the rest of the week.

Monday is laundry day and that’s a good thing because I have worn all the workout clothes I own– I pulled my oldest sports bra from the back of the drawer for my run today, put on an old pair of pants with holes in the thighs, and recycled a pullover from yesterday (ugh damp).

(tw weight crap) My body is so confusing lately. In the 2 months since the wedding, I’ve gained somewhere in the neighborhood of 7lb. I whined about this to my husband, who suggested that it might just be my body normalizing after the couple months of pre-wedding keto diet experiment. Mind you, I didn’t lose any weight on that diet, so that seems pretty ridiculous! Fucked up my set point and all I got was this lousy nothing at all. In the meantime, though, I am running faster than I ever have; paces I used to struggle to keep up are the new normal. So the extra weight doesn’t seem to be any kind of detriment to performance. So confusing…

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A good long run

My plan today called for a long run that was actually a bit of a longer run this time: 3.5 miles at a slow 13’35” pace. I set out without being sure if I was going to be able to have a solid run through the whole thing– it’s been a while since I did an outdoor run this long on the big hills without taking walk breaks.

But it turned out I didn’t need to worry: I ran straight through the whole thing, 12’49” pace and no problems. Well, aside from tripping and falling on my face at the end of my run. But still! Big confidence gain for the 5k coming up.

Yesterday I was supposed to do some random Nike club workout, which was basically 15 minutes of active stretching focused on the hips, glutes and quads. One exercise in particular was an especially good stretch for me, this thing called a “hip cradle“. But it left my hips super sore! I’ve been whining about it all day. Obviously I need to do it more.

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Vanity muscles

Short recovery run today, just 1.25 miles. I finished that in 16 minutes, and then took advantage of the leftover time to get in a couple sets of arms/back/core lifting work. Bench, biceps, lateral raises, OHP and crunches went fine. But the sets on the assisted pull-up machine for pull-ups and dips were unexpectedly brutal, even with a 50% BW assist. I haven’t done those for a while! And I’m not any closer to an unassisted pull-up than I ever was…

So my Nike running app thing likes to have Kevin Hart congratulate me after I finish a run? I didn’t know he was one of those celebrity fitness people but I guess he is. Yesterday I watched an interview where he was asked what the body part he was most proud of his work on was. Kevin Hart, being just that kind of guy, said he was most proud of his mental game.

So today after Kevin Hart cheered me on, I was thinking about my own most proud body part. Despite being strong as an ox I don’t have a lot of definition so it’s hard for me to pin down a vanity muscle that I like. But I think I would pick my back– despite the layer of padding, the muscles stand out impressively, and it does a great job of supporting me every day. I think I owe it a massage.

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