Chilly run-mute

Yet another run-mute this morning. I got out the door a little earlier this time, so I didn’t have to hustle quite so much. 3.07 miles, 38:49, made it to the station with a couple minutes to spare. It was 37F this morning, so I bundled up– warm leggings, tshirt/pullover/hoodie, and headband and gloves. Didn’t need the gloves, but all the other layers were definitely useful. After last weekend’s 85F it feels like we’ve been dropped directly into winter.

My friends have invited me to 2 full days of stuff this weekend. On the one hand, I’m always excited to do stuff with these friends. On the other, though, I am so dang tired. But I’m leaning towards just doing the stuff– the next few weekends will be light on stuff so it might be nice to bank some extra fun.

I also have 4 miles scheduled for Friday and 6 for Saturday. Gotta fit those in somehow…

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Intervals on a tight schedule

I was pretty sure today was going to be not full of meetings for a change, but then they popped up like mushrooms after rain.

Anyway, before the first one I fit in today’s workout of 6x400m intervals, which I did 1:1 to keep it short. Since the lesson learned from last time was that my recovery intervals could be faster, I did the recovery intervals at 12’00" and the work intervals from 10’00"-9’00" (first slower, then progressively faster). Vroom. It’s slightly gratifying to see my new recovery speed be my old work speed.

Yesterday I also went out for a 3-miler that I forgot to write about. It was cold and windy in the morning so I put on long pants– then the sun came out and I got hot. This is the most confusing time of the year temperature-wise– if I’m not warmed up I’m cold, but once I start running it’s warm. Plus the 20mph wind made for quite a chill.

I’m starting to feel some accumulated fatigue, not really what I want 3 weeks into a 8 week training plan. Need to eat better and sleep more.

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Sticking to the plan

Well, I guess I took the path of cramming all 5 workouts for the week into M-F. Because why not. I have some small satisfaction about not skipping anything, at least, and I don’t have to worry about it this weekend.

Therefore, 5 boring treadmill miles this morning. I had Discovery channel on instead of HGTV and I’m going back to HGTV next time; Gold Rush is a profoundly unentertaining show. It’s good mental game practice though; doing something mildly unpleasant and completely unstimulating for a solid hour builds grit.

I’m still having a hard time with everything, especially work; my morale these days is in the toilet. I can’t tell if it’s because work is stupid or if it’s my mood. It might be both! It’s the time of the year where we’re supposed to set goals and it’s making me so angry because I feel like I don’t have any control over the things that I’m supposed to be driving. Just this week I heard about another big change, they’re shutting down a functionality that we need for a project. No one asked me about it– or even bothered to tell me it was happening (I found out about it because someone came into my cube and asked, "What’s the deal with X?" like I should’ve known).

Uncertainty gives me hives and everything is uncertain around here. And it doesn’t matter how hard I work and how much planning I do, the rug keeps getting pulled out from under me. It is intensely frustrating.

And because it’s a bad time of year for me (thanks, anniversary grief) I can’t tell if all these feelings are rational or not. How upset should I be? I don’t know.

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Almost through hell week

TGIT? This week started crappy and it’s continued to get crappier. The thing I predicted would be a dumpster fire is in fact a dumpster fire and it’s joining another thing which is also a dumpster fire, and upper management keeps intermittently squirting lighter fluid on them both. Tortured metaphor but accurate.

Anyway, at least I can run. I decided not to rest today (I might as well burn off all this excess grumpy energy) and did the 3 miles fast workout, finishing in 33:44. Curiously, this was a fair bit faster than Tuesday’s tempo workout. Maybe the moral of the story is that I don’t need such a slow warmup?

When I’m working right at the limit of how fast I can go, it’s a weird feeling: my legs aren’t tired, no lactic acid buildup, but I just can’t fit enough air into my lungs to make it happen. If I push past that threshold, I just run out of air and have to stop until I can catch my breath. This might have something to do with how I cam currently fueling…

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don’t know when I am sleeping, don’t know when I’m awake

Another run-mute today. I was out the door at 7 and just made it in time– I was still catching my breath when the train pulled up. 3.08mi in 38:41– I was feeling a bit sluggish and sore this morning, but having to get there on time made for decent motivation to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Tomorrow’s supposed to be a rest day. I need a rest day. However, Friday calls for 3 miles fast and Saturday for 5 miles, and I’m going to be busy sunup to sundown all weekend. I could move the schedule so I do the 3 miler tomorrow and the 5 on Friday and call the weekend "rest" (despite it not even being remotely restful).

I’ve been fighting with sleep lately (again). On Monday night I swore I was tossing and turning until 1am, at which point I decided to stop waking my husband up and moved to the spare room where I slept soundly. However, my sleep trackers show that I was asleep for a good chunk of that time. Apparently there’s a thing called Sleep State Misperception where you’re certain that you’re awake but you’re not. Probable cause? Anxiety about sleep. Great. I’d probably be sleeping much better if I stop tracking it…

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Not easy.

Today’s run was the polar opposite of yesterday’s.

This morning was the first tempo run of the training cycle, 30 minutes. Each one gets longer. I usually love tempo runs– it’s so gratifying to run right at the edge of my comfort zone, for just a little longer than I think I can. Today might have been a little bit over that edge…

I settled on 7.5 minutes warmup (~12’30"), 15 minutes work (~10’30"), 7.5 minutes cruise (~12’00"). That middle section was ambitious! I held on for the work interval but barely made it through the cruise interval, trying desperately to fit as much air into my lungs as I could.

It’s weird trying to settle on a training pace when I don’t have a good sense of where I’m at. I probably took today a bit too fast, but on the other hand I’d be annoyed if I ran it too easy. Anyway, I’m tired now.

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Heart rate training; or, how to run slow

Don’t be misled by the title, I run slowly all the time :)

But I’ve always been curious about training using a heart rate threshold. Now that I have this silly Fitbit I can keep track of my HR throughout a run; an average 3 mile run usually has me at about 170bpm near the end, well into my peak range, and in a race I might top out near 180. I’m comfy running for a good while in the 160s.

I started reading and there wasn’t a solid number for how to set the threshold. Some places said 220-age, some said 180-age. I’m 38; I picked the lower one for testing purposes, meaning my HR threshold should be in the low 140s.

Once I got started I realized that this was going to be a weird run. 3 miles of big hills (for some reason I chose the big hills route) and I’m trying not to raise my heart rate? Basically I needed to run incredibly slowly. I took advantage of the downhills to get my heart rate down, and focused on not breaking cadence going uphill despite taking the world’s tiniest steps. The 3 miles took me 43 minutes at slower than a 14’00” pace– but my average heart rate was 151bpm (the hills got me up to nearly 160).

But it was about the easiest 3 miles I’ve ever run? (It should be!) I’m back at home and I feel like I could go out again and run 3 more. I don’t feel tired or sapped, I feel refreshed. And it was a very mindful run; I had to focus on breathing maximally and keeping my short little stride, and be aware of when I started working harder.

The weather today is about 75F; it’s been raining for 2 days and it’s very sticky. I was glad today’s run was easy since the humidity’s so high. Thankfully the rain was just a light mist now. And it’s the time of year when trees drop their stuff all over the sidewalk; the wind knocked apples and walnuts and pine needles and pinecones and leaves down so everything is slippery and treacherous…

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