Thursday, June 10, 2010

It Went Swimmingly

Saturday’s Aqua-Jog (6/5/10)

I seem to be able to get my work-outs done faster than I can update this little blog about my work-outs.  I suppose if I had to choose one, I’d pick getting my work-outs done easily, but it’s nice to have a record of how things are going. 

On Saturday evening, I hit the pool again, this time for 20 minutes of aqua-jogging.  Aqua-jogging is a deceptively challenging work-out.  I say deceptively because I use it as an easy, fun, gentle work-out, but it ends up working my legs quite nicely.  I could definitely feel my muscles pushing against the water.  It was a warm evening, and the water was quite warm.  There was no one else at the pool, which surprised me, but it was nice to have the place to myself.  A lovely work-out, and a lovely work-out to precede Sunday’s “long” run.  Yes, 30 minutes counts as long if you’ve only been doing 20-minute runs!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Unexpectedly Good

Tuesday’s Run (6/1/10)

Today I wanted to aqua-jog in the pool after dinner, but there was a sign posted that told us not to enter the pool area.  Sadness!  It looked so inviting and blue out there.  The pool practically begged me to sneak out and join it.  But alas, rule-follower that I am (usually), I did not aqua-jog in the pool.

Instead I hopped on the treadmill—again!

Because I was not planning to do a treadmill work-out, I decided that I needed to do something different to make this change of plans more exciting.  I decided to do a little more speedwork today, gambling that a little bit of faster running would not derail my long-term plans.  I’m very aware of the possibility of injuring myself by trying to do too much, too fast, so I try to weigh my work-outs against each other and other factors, like how tired I am or how much time I’m spending on my feet at work.

The work-out:

* Walk for 5 min. to warm up. 

* Run 16 min. at 9:30 (easy) pace. 

* Now the fun part: speed!  2 min. at 7:30 (nice!), 2 min. at 9:30, 2 min. at 7:30

* Cool down by walking for a few minutes, slowing the pace down every minute or two.

Wow, this was a great work-out!  The speed was challenging, which kept me mentally engaged in the work-out.  I need to find ways to combat treadmill boredom because that’s the main thing I dislike about the treadmill.  But I can see that if we have unbearable heat now, in June, it’s only going to get hotter and uglier as the summer continues.  I have a feeling I’ll be spending a lot of quality time on the treadmill!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just Riding Along

Monday’s Bike Ride (5/31/10)

Wow, I was very tired on Monday and this easy work-out felt hard to me.  I’m not sure why I felt so tired other than perhaps not getting enough sleep on Sunday night.  Hmm.  I’m still working on that.  I have a coffee habit that sometimes gets in the way of my snoozing.

I rode the bike to and from work today, about 45-50 min. total, I’d estimate.  I got ridiculously sweaty on the way to work—I had to mop myself off thoroughly after I arrived.  (That part’s always fun.)  What was odd, though, is that it seemed pretty damn hot outside when I left work and yet I didn’t get nearly as sweaty.  Perhaps it was a circadian rhythm effect of morning versus evening? 

At any rate, it was nice to get my work-out finished before dinner.  My evening was much more relaxed.  In my home, there is often a conflict between working out and cooking a good dinner; I tend to alternate between the two options after work.  But it always feels good to get the work-out done before dinnertime.

Keeping the Pace

Saturday’s Run (5/29/10)

At some point, I really must lay it all out for you: the nitty-gritty details of what’s going on behind the scenes here.  And I will, sooner or later.  I promise.  I suppose that bit of writing is the final moment of hesitation before I fully, wholeheartedly, two-leggedly commit to the biggest fitness goal I’ve set my eyes on yet.  A challenge is all in the eyes of the beholder, and this one is big to me.  Soon, soon I’ll spill the beans.

But for now, we reach all the way back to last Saturday, when I hopped on the treadmill again to do a tempo run.  To me, “tempo” means a speed that is faster than your normal long-run pace.  It’s fast enough to challenge, but it shouldn’t leave you gasping for breath.  It’s stepping things up to make your lungs and legs work a little harder in the hopes of building some endurance at a faster pace.

I like tempo runs a lot.  They make me feel strong and confident.  Saturday’s run was a great example of this: 20 minutes, no breaks, 9-minute-mile pace. I felt great!  I definitely had to work to keep up the pace, but it wasn’t so hard that I felt like I wanted to quit the whole time.  I hate to say this, but I might be starting to like this treadmill thing.  It is a really great piece of equipment for working on speed and escaping the blazing inferno outside that bakes me alive.  I anticipate more treadmill work-outs in my future.