Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Treadmill fun, OR, why I'm a 5K Underachiever, OR, am I crazy?

So I had a long run this weekend. And it didn't go very well. Which is the first time in a long time I've had a bad run, so I guess this is to be expected from time to time, no? I can already tell you some factors leading up to this:

1. I was stressed to the max with interims due and getting ready for Bean's birthday party
2. This means NOT sleeping well (again--shocker, right?)
3. I had some good, but very challenging runs last week, including quite a bit of mileage under 8 minute pace (which for me is fast)
4. I only had time for 100 calories of food before my run

All of that + super crazy wind + 20 minutes at marathon pace = BONK BONK BONK CITY the last 2 miles or so.

Despite that, managed to finish almost 12 miles with an average pace of 9:01. I'm trying to remember that this is still quite an accomplishment for me. The wheels came off of my legs, but my average HR on these runs is starting to drop a bit. That's a good thing. And if it wasn't for my dumb mistakes and lack of sleep, I think I would have nailed it.

I do, however, kinda miss feeling like a triathlete. I haven't been able to swim since January. Sad face. Matt played soccer last night in an open league against some kids that are in high school and play every day, and lamented upon how much better they are than him since he plays maybe once a week. (Despite this, the dude has serious game. I've seen him play--don't let him fool you.) But he was bummed because he knows what he COULD be if he could play 5 days a week.

Boy do I know that feeling. I remember what it was like to swim 5 days a week, and what I used to be able to do. But I know that I should still be glad I can swim 2 times a week or so during tri season and manage to pull off what I do in races. I know, I know. It's just...what if, right?

So I miss feeling like a triathlete. I killed my trainer workout yesterday and it made me really want to ride outside. I know at heart I am definitely a triathlete, but right now I am still enjoying this marathon training and the focus it's giving me in my limited time to train. The fact of the matter is, you can't do everything. And right now I can't get to the pool. And that's okay. It'll be there for me when I'm ready and able to jump back in again. I'm coming to terms with this. The swimmer in me is frustrated, but trying to accept this reality.

Today's treadmill fun from Coach Emily included some ARE YOU KIDDING ME moments, but I am happy to say I nailed it, too. And felt FABULOUS. This was a good mental boost after Saturday's bonk.

Here's the lowdown: those of you covered under a sheet of ice, give it a try! Just adjust the paces to fit your goals!

20 minute Warm Up to Zone 2 (I hold this around 9:13 or so)
6 X (:45 at 9 mph, 1 minute easy)
5 minutes easy
20 minutes as (5 minutes marathon pace, 5 minutes half marathon pace--2 X)
Cooldown -- 5 minutes or so

Total run: 1 hour
(I went 1:00.24 to make it an even 7 miles, because I'm anal like that.)

So first of all: 9mph is 6:40/mile! Say WHAAAAAAAAAAAA? I didn't realize that until I was actually doing it and almost falling off the tready. Because I'm no ESpeed, kids. That ain't my easy pace! I thought my treadmill was going to laugh at me. But I held on for dear life. I made the 1 minutes easy VERY easy so I could recover. Like 10:00/mile easy. Whew.

Then I did 5 minutes back at Zone 2. No big whoop.

Now the interesting part. I had to ask Coach E what a realistic half marathon pace was for me. I mean, obviously I know my full pace goal is 8:24. But what can I do for a half? I dunno. I want to go low 1:40s but wasn't sure if that was realistic. She assured me that both a "1:42 at 7:47 and 1:44 at 7:56 are totally doable." Well, if they are both doable, then I want the faster one. So that's what I held for those two 5-minute pushes.

Then I got to thinking a little--and this is what makes me go GULP--that I am pretty sure I've never held anything better than 7:42 or so for a 5K. But I never race 5Ks. I hate 5Ks, actually. Does this mean I'm just a 5K underachiever and my 5K PR should be much better than it is?

I sure hope so.

Because I'm going to go for that 1:42 or blow up spectacularly trying. It feels hard, but good. Of course, we'll see how that goes after an hour or so, right?

Regardless, it was another solid run this morning and some good money in the bank.

And now, off to my regularly scheduled life and responsibilities. :)


E-Speed said...

Hey great job on that treadmill workout! 6:40 on the mill is no joke. I have no doubt that with the run focus you will nail both your half and full goals this year!

IronMin said...

I thought I was going to die (or get thrown off the back of the treadmill) when I finally hit 8, and that was only because I was having an exceptionally bad day and I was getting my anger out.

9 on the treadmill? YOU ROCK SISTER! That is super fast!

Your goals are totally achievable - you are working the plan. Great job.