I'm feeling pretty stellar right now, basking in my post-run endorphins and satisfied refuled belly. In order to meet my 1/2 marathon training schedule, I need to complete a tempo run and a longish run (3-4 miles now, gradually increasing to 8-11 over the next 3 months) each week both of these are in addition to my all out runs to and from the gym 3 days a week (I run as fast as I possibly can for as long as I can 0.5 mi each way, but stoplights and such break it up). December is my "base building" month, so I'm just trying to get some miles on the pavement before I really begin a more structured training program. Anyway, now that I've bored you to death with the minutiae of my week, I'll get to what I really want to say.
Today, in the spirit of checking things off my weekly list, I decided to forgo a trip to my gym (this is really painful to do, I love it there) and hit up the nice exercise room we have here in the back of our office building that I've held a key to for nearly 2 years, but never used. I wanted to be efficient and get my tempo run out of the way on the dreadmill, and then I could use either Saturday or Sunday to complete my longish run. Afterall, Wednesday is typically my rest day from the gym anyway, and I know I'll be there Thursday and Friday.
Oddly, today is a beautiful clear day here, I haven't seen this much blue sky in weeks. I contemplated performing my run outside. I work in a pretty industrial area south of the city, my options for safe running felt limited. While going back and forth in my head to run outside or run inside, I remembered the book I'm currently reading, and how much I can not wait for the bus ride home to read more. I could read on the treadmill! The decision was made. I changed into my clothes, grabbed my Nook and my water bottle and headed to the back of our building. I didn't need the key, it was already open, and for a split second I hoped that no one else was in there. It's very similar in look and feel to a standard hotel gym- TV's mounted on the walls, 2 treadmills, rack of dumbells, few benches, an all inclusive weight machine thingy, and not much room. I remembered that the workout at my gym today involved 35# dumbell snatches, and I was sad to be missing those, so I started on those as my warm up, switching arms each time. I did 5 on each arm 2 times. That got the heart rate going. Then I noticed an Olympic bar, and got excited for the possibilites for me using this gym more frequently! With just the naked bar, I busted out some military presses, then moved to a few push presses to get my shoulders nice and warm. Again with the naked bar, I did a bunch of rapid deadlifts to warm up my posterior chain. Finally, I noticed behind the all inclusive weight machine, was ANOTHER rack of dumbells, the other half of the set, going up to 100#. I grabbed the 65#'s, placed them on my sides, and did Farmer deadlifts- these are a new thing to me, and wow, I LIKE them.
All warmed up, I jumped on a treadmill, set my Nook font to ridiculously large so when I'm bouncing up and down I don't lose my place, and got to running at a slow clip. The idea behind a tempo run is that you start with a slow run to warm up, 5-10 minutes, then move into a pace that is pushing the limits, but not an all out effort for 20 minutes or so, then cool back down to a slower pace. I was unsure if I would be able to gauge what that up tempo pace was, but just decided to see how things felt. My 5 minute slow run was effortless and passed quickly as I read. When I bumped up the speed to find a pace that was pushing it, I was surprised to find myself not hating it. Don't get me wrong, it was no walk in the park, I guess I was just more surprised how easy it was for me to find a pace that I knew was faster then I would run at my own leisure, but not so fast that it was killing me. I was running on the treadmill for the first time in months, and I wasn't hating it. At all. I don't think that has ever happened to me before, ever. I remained on the treadmill for 25 minutes, felt sufficiently sweaty, and decided that for my first tempo run of my base building month, that was good.
I think I'm going to do all my tempo runs on the treadmill so I can see that pace I'm going. That way, I can ensure I stay at an even pace, and bump up the tempo part every week. If I'm running outside, I only have my brain as a gauge, and sometimes its not the best! Running bug is back?
In other news, my daily and weekly checklists are going great. I really like the satisfaction of seeing all the things I need to do, and then checking them off one by one.