Training Diary – 8/6/18 to 8/12/18

Monday, August 6th, 2018 – 5:00 am – 3.14 mi @ 8:51/mi

Why in the world did I plan white short Wednesday after Taco Tuesday?

The consequences of a gluttonous weekend caught up to me during my morning run. If I was in doubt if I should shift back into a consistent low carb diet, this run helped confirm that I need to keep my diet in check. Gone are the halcyon days where I could eat like a dumb truck and run like a moderately okay, semi-committed runner. Stepping out into the early morning, I could easily see that this was going to be a slow, slog of a run. There is nothing more disgusting that feeling full when you wake up – as if you spent the night feasting on all the spoils of the kitchen. I had a sincere moment of fear where I wondered if I had developed a sleep disorder that led to intense, focusing sleep eating. My first mile felt okay and was intentionally slow – 8:44. Mile two I was able to pick it up with an 8:28 pace. I had the image of garbage going into an incinerator and tried to push my legs to gradually pick up the pace. Rolling into the third mile, my brain said to focus on negative slips (trying to beat the 8:28 mile) and my stomach focused on punishment and purge. I quickly had to stop, grabbing my stomach in cramping pain. I went from an easy coast of a run to a staccato, sprint-walk process that was dictated by the pain in my stomach. By the time I reached home I made the promise to myself that my diet will go back to normal immediately.

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 – 7:00 pm – 800m warm up, 11 X 400m, 800m cool down

Today was my first speed workout on a track. Earlier in the day I looked up where the closest public track was to my house and found one 2 miles away. My initial plan was to run there, do sprints and then run back (way too ambitious). After finding a track, I started looking up food recipes to motivate myself back into a balanced, steady low-carb diet. I found some recipes (one for brownies and a few for popsicles) and spent my lunch break at Publix. Once home, I started to make food and lost all track of time. As the clock rolled closer and closer to 7:00pm, dark clouds started to form overhead and summertime storm was on the horizon. Instead of calling off the run, I decided to drive to the track – encouraging myself to at least get speed work in and, should a storm roll in, give me a quick escape.

Long, lonely track of loneliness

It’s a good thing I drove because the first track I drove to was heavily fortified – tall fences and heavy, locked chains surrounding the area. Clearly, they did not want me ruining their pristine, weed-wrecked and cinder track. I drove to another school and found it much more welcoming. As I pulled up, I saw a group of four women having a post-workout pow-wow in the parking lot and a fifth woman walking laps while talking on the phone. I made my way onto the track and jogged two laps.

Once I was fully warmed up, I decided to attempt 11 hard laps – starting in lane one and going up a lane each lap and then back down. I also pre-planned a 100m walk recovery after each lap. My target pace was “5-k” and, after some math I decided to try to hit each lap at, or faster, than 1:40.

  • Lap 1 – Lane 1 – 1:21
  • Lap 2 – Lane 2 – 1:23
  • Lap 3 – Lane 3 – 1:27
  • Lap 4 – Lane 4 – 1:31
  • Lap 5 – Lane 5 – 1:33
  • Lap 6 – Lane 6 – 1:38
  • Lap 7 – Lane 5 – 1:36
  • Lap 8 – Lane 4 – 1:38
  • Lap 9 – Lane 3 – 1:40
  • Lap 10 – Lane 2 – 1:32
  • Lap 11 – Lane 1 – 1:29

This workout was actually fun. Much like with last week’s hill workout, this was a radical departure from the long, grinding miles. I was also surprised by how completely exhausting this was. After lap 6 I had to take a full 400m walking break. Following the 9th lap, my pace kissed the cut-off pace and I decided to do an extended walk break again (this time 200m). After the final lap, I took my time during the two lap cool down. Leaving the track, I was legitimately excited for my next track workout.

Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 3 mi treadmill, Lifting Day A

By Wednesday, I felt that my training week was rolling at full force. My legs felt surprisingly good after the previous days sprint workout. Wednesday was also day three of my return to a low carb diet and I was starting to feel better. During my 3 mile treadmill run, I finished the last episode of season 6 of Orange is the New Black (good season). With some time left over, I decided to try something radical and put on the most uplifting, heart warming show I could think of – Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Say what you will, I absolutely love this show. It is cheesy and predictable and completely refuels my faith in humanity.

Lifting after a week without it was hard. I made my way through each pre-set lift and lunge. By the time I was walking out of the gym my legs were noticeably sore and my gait was comically stiff.

Thursday, August 9th, 2018 – 7:00 pm – 5 mi “tempo” @ 8:48/mi

The August heat in Tampa is starting to get ridiculous. Meeting up with the usual Thursday night group – I set out to do a 5 mile tempo run. The first two miles felt good (mid – 7:00 pace). Once I hit mile three, the cumulative pain of yesterdays lift coupled with the humidity and likely my body running low on carb-based glycogen, everything in my body started to hurt. I could feel my heart beat frantically, beating an panicked rhythm in my ears. I stopped to walk and quickly everything came back to earth. Once I pushed off to run again the chaos in my heart took off too. I had to dramatically slow my pace, plan in walks and just get through the distance. I tried to use this as an opportunity to practice reading my body – am I slowing because my brain is telling me to or because my body is telling me? Is this a real emergency or an imagined? I noted that there were thoughts (my heart rate is too high, I feel dizzy) that I needed to act on and thoughts (What is wrong with me? This is too slow) that I didn’t. It was a good practice.

Meeting up with Diana after the run, I learned that she also had felt the impact of the summer heat. She described her run as “angry.” We decided to go to Armature Works (a near by food hall) to comfort ourselves and quickly refuel. The breakfast bowl (spinach, 3 eggs, chorizo, cheddar, broccoli and guacamole) did wonders to  ease the soreness of a disappointing, struggle-filled run.

Friday, August 10th, 2018 –

Runners rarely have the opportunity to be aggressive.

Rest day! Despite having few firm plans, I came home from work feeling excited for the weekend. My training plan gave me the day off from running but I felt the need to act on this excitement and do something physical. A week prior, a good friend of mine gave me a pair of 18 oz boxing gloves and I had not used them yet. After feeding the dogs and cleaning up the house a bit – I went into the back yard for 10 rounds of punching on the heavy bag (2:00 rounds with 30 sec rest). I brought my laptop out to play music while I ran the Precision Striking app on my phone. With the added weight of the gloves, I felt powerful and like I could legitimately fuck somebody up if it weren’t for my chronic agreeableness and fear of punishment.

Saturday, August 11th, 2018 – 4 mi @ 8:50/mi

I woke up feeling awful. I’m not sure if I was on the cusp of illness, if I was over training or if it was a fluke. I opted to not run in the morning and slowly wake up with a cup of coffee in front of the TV instead. Later in the morning I had long meeting about a class I will be teaching in the fall. Halfway through the meeting the sky opened up and it started to storm. In that moment it felt like I had not slept in months – my brain began to swim in my head and I felt like if I blinked for too long I would slip into sleep. Once I got home I took a long, heavy nap. I woke up and ran a slow 4 miles. Once I got home I showered quick and Diana and I picked up a couple friends and went to St. Pete where we met with even more friends (how popular, we are) for dinner and then a Tampa Bay Rowdies game.

Sunday, August 12th, 2018 – 800m swim

Bald men save money on swim caps

I’m definitely getting sick. I woke up again feeling like I had spent the night fighting a group of people much larger and strong than I am. I slept past my first alarm and woke up around 8:30 am. I still felt off and the idea of running 9 miles in the already growing heat seemed ridiculous. I decided to read the tea leaves of my body and call off the long run in favor of a swim. I managed 800m (I always overestimate how much I can swim and was lucky to get this much) and then laid by the pool while Diana toiled away running in the gym.


10 weeks to go!

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