Monday, August 17, 2015

Getting back into it...

Well, I’ve been kind of…silent.
Things have been..busy?  But not.
Honestly, I’ve been trying to find my rhythm again—both the rhythm of training etc, as well as things like being able to run.  I was doing pretty well post-IMCDA and recovering, and feeling pretty good, but just not quite all there.  And running—oh, running.  I really wanted to run.  I kept looking forward to my runs and really wanting to get into it, but I found that every time I got laced up and out there door, it just didn’t feel good.  My heart rate was still on the high side, and my chest burned as though I were gasping for air.  And that was at an easy pace.  After a while, I started dreading my runs.  Not because I didn’t want to run, but because I DID want to run, but anticipated it feeling awful.  After being used to feeling so strong and comfortable running, it was getting so disheartening to run slow and have it hurt way too much.  “Is this what people feel like when they tell me they don’t like to run?  No wonder.  I don’t like this either!” Granted we have had unusually high temperatures but STILL!!  The heat really shouldn’t be affecting me soooo much anymore, right!?
I also found I was dreading the bike.  Mostly because my bike ability seemed pretty dismal, and let’s just say my CDA bike time did not exactly inspire confidence.  I mean, the bike is my thing, so why am I so slow?!  Yes, the natural thing to do is bike MORE and therefore get better, but I was letting it stress me out too much (and after a couple less-than-stellar rides, when I wasn’t quite recovered, I let them get to my head).  But then I started to notice—I was actually feeling ok.  And the funny thing was that I wanted to run and ended up feeling miserable, and didn’t want to bike but ended up feeling great.
In any case—in the past week I’ve really noticed my bike is, well, back.  I can climb again!!   I feel comfortable on the bike.  I’m finally enjoying it again.  And THAT is what is most important to me right now.
I had a double run this weekend.  Nothing crazy, but I would be lying if I said I was a bit apprehensive, especially considering how running has been feeling.
Run #1 was an hour, with 20x0:40 intervals (0:40 fast, 0:20 easy).  I started out, and my legs felt flat.  I figured it was from the trainer workout I had the day before, but still…annoying.  I tried to settle into a good pace before hitting the intervals.  I was ok, just not really feeling very into it.  Intervals hit—and I wasn’t exactly explosive with them.  I didn’t run them all-out, I just didn’t really feel I had it in me (and when you have 20 of them, you have to either be smart about effort or else you burn up quick).  But I ran them strong—they were fast and strong, and as I was finishing them, I noticed they were staying pretty solid and consistent—so that was a good sign.  I ran the last 20 minutes back at a faster pace than I went out, which was also a boost.  It was feeling better.
Since I was right next to the gym, I decided the smartest thing to do would be to go and lift, and not worry about it on Sunday.  Yes, “smart.”
Run #2 was about 7 hour later…decided to run from the track and catch some racing afterwards.  Just 0:40 easy.  I think I was supposed to keep a certain heart rate, but as I was driving over I realized I forgot my heart rate strap---oooops?  Oh well, I hate that thing and lately it has been driving me NUTS and not being accurate, so honestly, I didn’t really care.  I was expecting it to be a bit rough, since I haven't done a double-run-day in a loooong time, my run has been hurting lately anyway, AND I had gone to the gym earlier.  Low expectations set.  Just an easy run, right, so no need to get worked up over it...

I got started, and tried to remember to keep it easy.  Yes, I glanced at my watch to make sure I was running an acceptable pace, but I felt good!  First mile hit, and my split wasn’t bad.  For an easy run, that’s fine.  Kept running, feeling good, second mile was a bit faster.  Hm…  turned around at 2.5 miles, and realized I was feeling really good, and I think I was running even faster.  I was a bit hesitant to really admit it, I was hoping it wasn’t a fluke, but… sure enough, when the third mile hit, I was down to sub-8.  Most importantly, I was speeding up without really trying, and I still FELT really good.
Of course, I think the last two miles I may have paid a bit more attention to my pace, but since it felt good I think it’s ok ;)  Progressively got down to 7:15 for the last mile (and 6:40 as I raced around to make up the last minute and a half haha) and finished up feeling amazing.  I was finally feeling GOOD running, again!  Sure I started going a bit harder by the end when I realized I felt good—but it was a “good” hard, not the painful-hard I have been experiencing lately.  I felt light on my feet, and just wanted to keep going.  YES!  Is my run finally back?!   Best.  Feeling.  Ever.
We’ll see how it goes, especially since it was a cooler evening again so I didn’t have the heat to deal with…but still.   So, so good.
Assuming I’m finally feeling better—it’s time to get fast!  Because I did sign up for the Los Cabos 70.3 in October!  I haven’t done a 70.3 so it should be fun.  Definitely looking forward to putting the hardcore endurance on the back-burner, and speeding things up a bit.