Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tri-training: I don't love running yet ...

... but there's hope!

Remember, I said this was the week I decided to learn to love running.  It's Wednesday.  I'm not there yet, but Monday's workout got me a bit closer.  It was a ladder workout.  Actually, it was sort of a half ladder.  I did it at our local park that has a running track around the soccer fields.  2 1/2 laps of that track = a mile.  Here's what my coach told me to do:

-Warm up by walking/jogging easy once around the track at the park (.4 of a mile)
-Run at a faster pace two laps of the park track (.8 of a mile)
-Walk a half lap
-Run 1 1/2 laps (.6)
-Walk a half lap
-Run 1 lap (.4)
-Walk a quarter lap
-Run 1/2 lap (.2)
-Walk a quarter lap
-Run 1/4 lap (.1)
-Walk a quarter lap
-Jog 2 1/2 laps (1 mile) easy

With most ladder workouts, you start at the shorter distance, work your way up, and then work your way back down (like this one).  Coty had mercy on me and just had me do half of that for this first ladder workout.  Each "rung" of the ladder is supposed to be run at a faster than normal pace (race pace), and as each rung gets shorter, the pace is supposed to quicken.

I found that as the rungs got shorter, I was really working hard to increase and maintain pace on these laps, focusing on the finish and trying to push hard all the way to the end.  I was thinking about running form, particularly using my arm swing to help me maintain pace.

My ladder pace was about a minute a mile faster than I usually run.  The pleasantly surprising thing is that when I ran that slower mile at the end, it felt easy, really easy.  I felt like I could comfortably just keep on running.  That has not happened before!

I am still comparatively slow, but seeing that progress, feeling that I am, in fact, able to run a bit faster and not die, makes me want to run more.  This feels big for me and I think bodes well for the possibility that I really just might learn to love running.

On Tuesday, I did a looong bike ride.  I was planning to ride the loop that Coty and I usually do, but I was enjoying a particular stretch of road and wanted to keep going past our usual turnoff.  I knew I could work my way back on some other country roads, but I'd never been on them before. There was a very freeing feeling - just riding out in the country, not knowing exactly where I was, seeing new hills, pastures, farm houses, and woods.  I had looked at the map before I left home and had a rough idea of how the roads would connect and it all worked out just fine.  I was pretty tired at the end and my legs felt a bit rubbery. When I mapped and logged the route online, I had gone 28, instead of the 23, miles I had set out to do.

Today was a long swim day.  The air temperature was cooler and with the rain and cloudy days we've had lately, the water in the pool has cooled down quite a bit, too.  It took a few laps to warm up and I am starting to realize the importance of a swim cap to help retain some body heat in a cold pool.  The swim felt good, but I was chilled at the end.  A hot shower and a cup of tea took care of that.

Tomorrow will be a cycling/running brick workout day.  Ride and run, ride and run.  I'll let you know if I start to feel the love!

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