Today I had a 1:40 long run and a 2850 yard swim on tap. Today is also the last day of my base training phase and I start my recovery week tomorrow before I repeat the entire cycle again! I have tomorrow off completely AND I have an hour long massage with the best massage therapist in town! Can you tell I’m super excited?
I slept in till about 8:30 and had a smoothie instead of my normal oatmeal with peanut butter and banana for breakfast. The temperature was a brisk 25 degrees when I first woke up and the American flag in our backyard was right out straight (we live on a hill so it’s always windy). I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this long run. My original goal was to be on the road by 10am, but I decided to wait a little longer in hopes that the temperature might rise a few degrees. Sure enough, as I headed out the door the thermometer read 32 degrees. It was definitely windy as I was standing in my driveway waiting for my Garmin to find the satellite. Once the satellite was found it was off for an easy 40 minute warm up followed by a steady zone 2 run for 45 minutes and finish up with 15 minutes of easy running. I chose to run a ~12 miles loop from my house. I knew I would get close to 10ish and then just walked the rest of the way home. I haven’t done that loop in close to a year so I was looking forward to a change in scenery and also hoping that it would be flatter than some of my other long run loops. Nope, the first 3 miles contain some decent size hills and then follow up with a slight 1-2% grade for close to 4.5-5 miles and then downhill-ish for the rest of the way. The first three miles also consist of really crappy roads with no shoulder. I almost got nailed around a curve by some stupid high school age driver who was talking on her cell phone and drinking a Red Bull at the same time. HELLO, someone please take her license away from her!
Once I got moving I warmed up quickly. The wind actually wasn’t that bad! It picked up a bit when I got closer to Sebago Lake, but I was pretty sheltered by trees on either side of the road. It was also quite warm in the sunshine, but there was a definite drop in temperature in the shade. I took my gel (I got a whole new supply on gels this week so no more consuming expired gels that have been through the wash machine that make me puke! Yay!) and some water around the 45 minute mark. I don’t know what it is, but after I take my gels I always seem to find my groove afterwards and manage to nail my workouts. And that makes me very happy! I settled into a good pace for the next 45 minutes of running. I’m not a very fast runner, but I have improved over the past couple of years running on a regular basis. I have also noticed a huge difference in just working with my coach for the past two months. I am training differently and it has made a difference! Also, all the strength training I have done all fall and winter has paid off in better hip and core stability and my right hip is back where it should be thanks to my awesome chiropractor! These things also make me very happy!
I’ve never been a huge fan of running. I’m not a natural runner. It’s work for me and sometimes (ok, most of the time) I don’t like it. I haven’t quite figured out how to push myself during a run like I can during a bike or swim workout. It’s not that I am not capable of putting one foot in front of the other, but running is more of a mental game for me. When it hurts, I want to stop. I need to learn to shut off the hurt and push through the pain for the gain. I was discussing this with my coach back in January when we videotaped my running so she can check my gait. Apparently my gait isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I have the marathon shuffle, which isn’t a bad thing, but I can definitely tweak my gait to be more efficient. It’s easier said than done, but I plan on working on it. I also don’t have much of a kick in my gait, which according to my chiropractor is the reason why my lateral gastrocnemius (outer calf muscle) is super tight. Imagine that! Anyway, I told my coach that I think running is hard for me because mentally I always think negatively about it. She told me that I have an inner running goddess that I just need to find. I think I found her today! I had an amazing run today and I felt like I could run all day. I was actually bummed when 1:40 popped up on my watch and it was time to stop. I finished the day with 9.65 miles. It was a breakthrough run day and ranks in my top two best long runs ever! 🙂
Now for the bad. It wasn’t really a bad workout. I had a good solid swim, but I was extremely annoyed by the people at the pool. Apparently I didn’t get the memo that it was wear your string bikini and tramp stamps while “swimming” laps with your pool noodle day at St. Joe’s. I love swimming at St. Joe’s because the pool is super nice and clean and generally not busy. Today was absolute chaos! There is lap/open swim on Sundays from 3-6pm. Three lanes are open for lap swimmers and the reason of the pool is open for open swim. There had to be at least 50 people there! When I got there, one lane had about 4-5 women all wearing string bikinis and “swimming” back and forth with pool noodles and kick boards. Half the time they were just floating on their backs just talking. HELLO! This lap is for lap swimming not drinking umbrella drinks! I’m pretty sure you should be at home watching NASCAR anyway! One lane had about 4 swimmers in it and the other had two so I hopped into that one. One woman was a real swimmer (she had a Peaks to Portland water bottle. She’s legit!) and the other was okay. She left shortly so it was just me and the swimmer for a little while. Then she left and two middle school age girls got into my lane and decided they would swim super slow and practice their flip turns (aka stand in the middle of the shallow end and get in my way). I was not pleased and managed to kick water in their faces every chance I got (Yes, I’m a meanie, but seriously get out of my way because I will swim over you if you get in my way). Finally, with about three quarters of my workout done the girls left and a REAL swimmer jumped into my lane and totally lapped me. He was fast! And it was nice to swim with an actual swimmer who knew proper pool etiquette (even if he lapped me a couple times)! I got in my workout, but I super annoyed and distracted by the stupid people at the pool. So here is my lap swimming pool etiquette:
1. Don’t wear string bikinis! Or any two piece bathing suits! You are here to swim not drink umbrella drinks. Go to Florida if you want to do that! (Besides no one wants to see your fat rolls or tramp stamps!)
2. Pool noodles are not swimmer toys. They DO NOT belong in a lane (and neither do you)!
3. Do not practice flip turns while someone is swimming in the lane. Take a swim lesson or practice when your not distracting the real swimmer.
4. Wear a swim cap! I don’t care how short your hair is, but hair in the pool is gross!
5. If you get in my way, I may or may not swim over you.
6. If I am in the middle of a swim workout, don’t try and have a conversation with me. I will not answer you because I am busy!
7. Boys over the age of 3 do not belong in the women’s locker room. I am naked when I am changing and I really don’t want you to yell at me because your son is offended or stares at me. I’m sorry, but the sign on the door says “WOMEN!”
8. Please adhere to the little orange cones that say “slow”, “medium”, and “fast” lanes. If you are slow, do not get into the fast lane. See rule #5 if you have any questions.
Those are my rules. If you are offended by them, then don’t swim in a lane with me. I don’t tolerate stupidity well.