Week of April 22, 2012:
Wednesday: Speed work-out! Details below
Thursday: Bike ride commute (so sweaty…)
Friday: Off (Wait. Does a slow and leisurely walk to the wine bar count as exercise?)
Please tell me I’m not the only one who talks to herself during her runs.
(I’m not the only one. Am I? Do you do this too?)
Maybe I am crazy, holding entire conversations with myself, but when I run, I tend to either zone out completely or I start trying to unravel something that’s been bothering me. I might work on a work issue, or think about my relationships, or just plan my grocery list. I don’t run with music or any form of entertainment, so it’s just me, my moving feet, and the road ahead of us. I like that simplicity.
This week, I decided to mix things up a bit, and I did some speedwork on Wednesday. Instead of doing my normal 25-minute short run, I warmed up with 5 min. of walking, 10 min. of easy running, and then I alternated 1 min. hard running with 1 min. easy jogging, repeating that 1-1 series 4 times. I certainly have not been doing speedwork lately, but the idea of doing something different really appealed to me.
I found, as I was doing my hard minutes, that it was so tempting to just zone out, to try to distance my mind from the pain of running hard. I think we can all agree that running hard is hard. It is painful, not in an injury sense, but in a discomfort sense. As I felt myself trying to zone out, something inside me would catch it and say, Stay with me. Stay focused. And I would do just that: I would think about keeping good form on top (arms moving, shoulders back, eyes forward) and keeping my legs going. I would focus on trying to breathe as evenly as possible, which was really hard, because my lungs were definitely not able to keep up with my legs. My legs actually felt really great, flying along the sidewalk, but my breathing was pretty hard, so I had to pace myself to make sure my lungs could keep up their end of the bargain.
And then, eight challenging minutes later, it was over. I felt good. I felt eager for more speedwork. There’s nothing like speedwork to make you really appreciate your easy runs, and I think I’m up for the challenge of doing something other than my normal slow-and-steady runs. Next week: perhaps intervals of 2 min. hard, 2 min. easy? 2 or 3 repeats? I’m already looking forward to it.