Case in point, yesterday's "power surge" run (that's my technical name for it). I was assigned an easy warm-up mile, then 50 minutes (approximately 5 miles for this gal) of power surges. I would compare these to short little bursts of mojo, as if you're just needing to pass someone in a race...not necessarily sprinting ahead of them, but merely just needing to get around them on a crowded course. Similar to a Fartlek drill, but with not as much "sprinting" (also, the surges are not done in an equal 1:1 pattern as with Fartleks).
Let me set the scene...
I have been doing the majority of my training runs in the wee (dark) early hours (the past couple months or so). When I woke up yesterday (15 minutes before the alarm, none the less), I had a revelation. I knew the weather was going to be nice, and I was anticipating a slow day at the office...why not wait to do this run in the daylight hours? After all, I've been getting a little bored with all of my "light and bright high-viz" clothing (and craving some darker colors...as well as the feel of my sunglasses back on my face).
I ask you, "why not?"
So, there you have it. A perfect plan (on paper). My work day didn't go quite as expected,but it still was manageable. I finished up by 4:30, and had arranged to meet my friend, Barb, around 5:00.
|A recent pic with Barb|
We met up at our usual spot (about a mile from each of our houses). She's not following the training plan I'm using (we're both training for the Route 66 Marathon, in November), she but was interested in running with me anyways. One of the routes in my repertoire is a 2-mile loop, and my initial plan was to run that loop twice (after the warm-up), then run back home. We started out, and a short while later did our first "surge." Mind you, I could tell almost immediately we were going too fast (for our pace and for the surges).
I should also mention, that the temps were warm (high 70's), and we had a decent breeze coming out of the southeast. So, in other words, we felt this breeze every time we were headed south and east (yes, we fought the breeze for at least half of our running time).
We continued on this loop, and decided to run two extra blocks before turning to make our way around the back side (and back to where we'd started). I didn't think about the additional two blocks we'd tacked on (which actually netted us four blocks of extra distance, since we also had to run them on the return trip). We finished the first loop, and I was already feeling pretty beat up and weary.
As we began the second loop, I admitted that I was running the surges too fast, and also that I would need to slow down my overall pace as well. The second loop went better, but still was a tough challenge, both physically and mentally. Thankfully, I never felt my energy depleting...but I could tell my legs were getting fatigued. The surges did get easier, though, probably because we had scaled back on the "speed" of them.
By the time we were finishing the second loop (putting my total distance somewhere near 5 or 5-1/2 miles), I suggested we cut the third loop short (forgetting that we'd pretty much done the "required" distance already #oops). We ran about half of the third loop, then headed back to our meet-up spot. We both agreed this run had been both tough, but also fulfilling. My legs were tired, and I could tell my hip flexors were not happy. I did some easy run/walk intervals for the final leg back to my house.
|Do I look as exhausted (or sweaty) as I felt?|
Needless to say, I spent the better part of my evening foam rolling and stretching. My body felt like it had been through a major workout. My total "running" time (from when I left my house and then returned) was about 75 minutes....and that included the run/walk intervals in the last 3/4 mile or so. But, I also felt like a #badazz extraordinaire for having done such a crazy thing in the heat and wind.
So, although I accidentally ventured off my training plan, I did gain a little more confidence in my abilities. I have said it before... "I can do tough things." This training run certainly proved that to me. I am also realizing, more and more, that I'm much more disciplined about doing tough runs when I have a coach telling me to do them (thanks, Coach Suz).
Have you ever underestimated a route for distance? Have you done tough workouts that left you wiped out.... and still felt like a #badazz when you finished? How do you feel about speed work?
I'm linking up with Deb for the Wednesday Word link-up...today's word is Fulfill. I'm also linking with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches Corner link-up. Head over and check all these blogs, as well as the many other linked blogs!