Posted by: Ingrid | November 18, 2012

Dropping the baby, training, and the reluctant runner

Please note, no babies were dropped in the writing of this post.

Also, let it be noted that I am not reluctant when it comes to running right now, just reluctant to follow the plan that my trainer for the next six weeks gave me. ;-P

So I met my new trainer at the university a few weeks ago so that she could get baseline information and do a bike test for Vo2 max and a 1.5 mile timed run.  The bike test was fine and she determined that I have the vo2 max of a college athlete, which felt great.  The timed run we did indoors, which meant 15 times around the indoor track.  There is a reason I don’t run that track!  The pros of being indoors on a flat and windless surface are negated by the fact that it takes 10 laps to make a mile!  I hadn’t thought, until we went down to run, about the fact that I am not very good at internal pacing.  I very much depend on my Garmin which doesn’t work indoors.  Despite the fact that I have not done speedwork since sometime in September (unless you count my 10K and 5K) I finished in 9:47 and my first mile was a 6:28.  Not as bad as I was expecting!  And it felt good to have a college student tell me, an almost 33 year old mother of two kids that I was fast enough to run on their cross country team.

My trainer spent her first year on the team injured and she has since come back, scaled back her mileage, upped her strength by doing crossfit workouts, and has brought her 5K time down.  Her assessment, since I want to train for an April marathon, was to pull back on the running, work on strength, and then bring the mileage back up at the end of December.  I totally agreed with her, but when I saw 23 miles for the first week, a day off a week, and less than an hour of cross training on non-running days I completely (internally) freaked out.

I will probably try to run her recommended mileage (except for this week when the gym isn’t open and running will work the best, therefore adding extra miles) but I just don’t know about the off days.  I really feel like cycling for an hour on Sundays with a good book gives me the rest I need.  Inevitably, I know I will take off a day or two in the next six weeks because of tiredness or sleep deprivation or because it just doesn’t fit in the schedule, but putting in an off day every week just seems decadent.  I am really good at following rules except when I don’t want too.

But back to dropping babies.

At our first meeting we did a modified version of a Crossfit type workout: burpees and a basic press with 10 pound weights, 15, 11, and 8 reps, 3 sets.  It took me 5 minutes and 30 seconds.  By the last set of push ups my arms were full on wobbling.  My arms might as well have been spaghetti for all the control I had over them!  And I was sore from Friday until Monday.  Crazy sore.  Like it hurt to pick up my puffy jacket sore.  Like I went to lay Jonathan down for a nap that afternoon and nearly dropped him sore.  I have no idea what name that routine has been given officially, but to me it will always be “Drop the Baby”.

I am officially impressed with Crossfit.  I have not been that sore, maybe ever.  And in barely over five minutes too!  It is crazy to know that I could probably run up to 15 miles right now (maybe more if time wasn’t an issue) but a five minute routine that works totally different muscle groups has me crying for mercy.  Yes, I am a fan.

I fared slightly better yesterday, with three sets (21, 15, 9) of squats with a 20 pound dumbbell, push ups, and then whatever it’s called when you dangle from a bar and pull both knees into your chest.  I am pleasantly sore today, quads, arms, and abs, but not as bad as last week!  I was still able to get out for a easy 9 miler in 1:15 in shorts.  Whoever thought I would be thrilled to still be wearing shorts in November?  Fortunately I got out late enough in the morning that it was already a sunny and balmy 37 degrees.

It feels a little weird to be running less even though I think working on strength is a good goal before really hitting marathon training.  I am just black and white enough to be afraid of silly things, like if I run less now I will never run over forty miles again or if I only run 4 or 5 times a week I will gain 50 pounds overnight.  Yes, ridiculous fears, particularly when I should perhaps be more worried that I will be so sore I will drop my baby on workout days!

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