“Workouts are like brushing my teeth; I don’t think about them, I just do them. The decision has already been made.”
-PattiSue Plumer, U.S. Olympian
One of the benefits of working under a coach is that each week my workouts, times, and distances are decided for me. In fact, each Saturday or Sunday evening Coach Mark sends me an email detailing my runs for the week. You may or may not have noticed, but my weekly mileage has been getting progressively longer, and my quality runs more challenging.
As you may recall, Tuesday evenings I meet with Coach Mark and other a few other runners for my speed session. Usually, we all run the same workout but at our own pace. However, this week I was instructed to run 2 x 2 mile tempo run in 16 minutes with a 2 minute recovery while everyone else ran 8 x 400m repeats. Not a big deal, right? Wrong! 2 mile tempo repeats are not easy, especially when it’s 88 degrees at 6:00 pm! I’m happy to report that I ran my first repeat in 15:35, and my second in 15:50. Not super fast, I know, but not bad for such a hot night!
Wednesday morning 7:30 I went right back out for an 11 miler. Again, it was hot! But I did it! Although I wasn’t fast, (I maintained an 8:30 pace) I felt satisfied that I put in my miles.
When I woke up this morning I realized that another challenging workout lay before me: 8 x 1/4 mile hill repeats with 1/4 mile downhill recovery after each. Of course, you mustn’t forget the 2 mile warm-up and 2 mile cool down. Honestly, I didn’t want to do this run today. I was tired from not having a day off since Friday, and I just felt like sleeping. Instead, I forced myself to get up and get running. At the start of my run, my legs were stiff and heavy. So, I took it slow and let my body warm-up at it’s own pace. Then, I hit the hill, and for the first time in years, I felt pretty darn good! I couldn’t believe it! Typically, I HATE running hills, but not today. What is that Tom and Bella say? Hills are my friends? Yes, HILLS ARE MY FRIENDS!
When I read PattiSue Plumer’s words I understood them perfectly. Sometimes you just have to set goals and schedules and stick to them, even if you’re tired. Eventually, you don’t stop to think about what you have to do, you just do it. Tonight I’m tired and a bit sore, but I’m ever so satisfied that I completed my challenging weekday workouts.
As a reward and in preparation for Sunday’s 1/2 marathon, I will rest for 2 whole days! That’s right, folks: no running Friday or Saturday. Ahhh, I’m looking forward to rest!