Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tough Grrrrllll!: Home & Foreign Soil Edition

I got home early this evening from a trip to upstate New York visiting my parents, attending a family reunion, and hanging out with my sister Heather's family. Elliott and I had SO much fun. He was a total trooper (read: adorable) with all the time in the car and new things to see & do. We're both glad to be home, though, as these things always go.

I have two horns to toot today regarding runs I did while I was away.... where it always seems like there are 1,000 reasons to blow off a run! But I'll start with an un-tootable run that I attempted. I wanted to get in 40 or 45 minutes of easy running on Friday morning since I missed an easy day last week. Elliott, my mom and I went down to Candor's school where he could play on the playground and I could run on the track (and other flat surfaces that town-folk enjoy!) I did 1 loop around the school grounds and as I approached the playground, poor Elliott was bawling his eyes out in Mom's arms. He had been running across a playground bridge and got his foot caught in a hole and really banged up his shin. It was a very impressive bruise and it was obvious that once in his sights, I was not going to be finishing my run. Oh, well! Ten minutes out of 40 does not a workout make, but that's life as The Mama.

On Saturday morning I had 18 "easy" miles on the docket. I used Map My Run to find a route and discovered if I ran from the bottom of my parent's hill to the next town north of them (Spencer) and back, it was almost exactly 18 miles. Most of this is along back roads and very "old school" (meaning places I ran in high school) which I looked forward to. I was supposed to do that at 80% of goal pace (goal pace being 8:23). After consulting with my brother and my dad, I figured out the math to be about 10:30 miles. (I changed the minutes to seconds and divided by .8... does that sound right? If you are good at this stuff and I've got it wrong, please correct my method!) That pace seemed slow when I calculated it and felt VERY slow once I got going on the mostly flat 9 out, 9 back trip... so I ignored it and went with my "does it feel like I could do this forever?" pacing. By and large it DID feel like I could do it forever and I ran a lovely, slightly rainy, 9:05 pace. I felt great all day after that, even after a two hour-ish (we got lost) trip to my sister's place near Syracuse. This is contrasted to last week when I did 16 with 5 "hard" in the middle... whereupon I was a wreck by late afternoon and begging my boys to just let me take a little nap! In much the same way "it's not the heat, it's the humidity" I guess "it's not the distance, it's the intensity."

Last night as I was getting my head wrapped around driving back to NH today and my sister said, "I assume you want to go running in the morning...?" Well, I sort of thought I would bag the track workout and try to make it up another day, but since she asked and offered to keep an eye on Elliott, how could I pass that up? I got directions from her to the local high school. She didn't know the distance but she guessed that "about 2 miles" sounded right. So, I warmed up jogging over there and did my first 1200 workout. I was VERY happy to see that the schedule only called for 4 x 1200 (if it was 6 I woulda DIED!) at 5:30 pace. The distance to the track was probably a bit more than 2 miles because I got to 20:00 on my watch a little before I got there and I was pretty sure I was doing slightly faster than 10:00 pace. So, with half of my head thinking "I gotta get on the road", I began to "run fast" just before the parking lot. I didn't know exactly where the track was or where the gate opened up but I found it pretty easily. Since I started out an unknown distance from the track, I banked on just running fast for 5:30 and assuming it would be close to running the 1200. I did a slow lap after that and then did 2 "real" sets of 1200s on the track (5:27 and 5:24... AMEN!) and started back to Heather's house on my 4th set, running a "pretty fast" 5:30. It was a pretty intense workout but not so bad that my legs seized up in the car on the 7.5 hour drive home.... which is what happened on Thursday after a fairly intense 8 mile morning session followed by the drive to Mom & Dad's.

So, I've been quiet on the blog but I think Tough Grrrllll lives! Hope you are finding ways to be Tough, too!!

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