all’s well that ends well
isn’t it true? it’s so true. what a saying. that’s what my run was like today…
before I begin, i must say: I haven’t ever really thought of myself as a ritualistic person, someone who has major set patterns or habits or rituals. (those of you who know me may say otherwise, but I’m talking from my perspective here.)
… that is, until now… I like to make sure I am well fed, hydrated, and clean before I write on this blog. There’s something about sitting down with a clear head and full belly getting ready to just brain dump everything here. Got a little music playing, sitting at the kitchen table, the house is warm enough, I’m comfortable enough, not hungry and ready to write. Amazing!
Today’s run was a ‘speed play’ workout. Last week I did 15 minutes warm up with the 4 sets of intervals, followed by 10 mins in gear 3. Today was:
12 minutes warm up (I got bored), 5.5 sets of intervals and 9 minutes in gear 3. Not bad.
The weather was lovely again and so I just wore shorts and a tshirt and a hat. Didn’t overdo clothing and wasn’t hot, thank goodness, at the end of the run. Whew.
[note: went to a yoga class last night at the Y, and all I can say is that it kicked some soreness into my body: hamstrings, butt, quads, shins, shoulders, traps, back, core… not a bad soreness, but I definitely feel sore.]
I went up to WT Weaver, which is a road on the south side of the UNCA campus, and ran back and forth along the stretch of road there. It’s paved, scenic and easy to get to. Plus, it’s pretty darn flat. It’s only about a 3/4 mile stretch of road, so I was like a hamster. I think the guys waiting for the bus thought I was nuts.
Warm up: Like I said, I was sort of bored. I was trying to take it easy and just body sense, listen to my body, go slow, nice n easy… I didn’t feel so good. I can’t remember exactly, but I started with REALLY small stride, and was just trying to keep my chin down/neck long. I felt heavy. I think I ate too close to the time I went running, so I had a bit of a heavy stomach. No cramps (woohoo!) but just heavy. My calves felt tight and tensed, so I really tried to let them loose. Danny and I looked at some pictures yesterday, and I STILL do this funny jut-my-chin out thing. Annoying to say the least. I look at my pictures and I cringe, even though I know I am still in much better form than the beginning… but still!
I got into the warm up and at about 12 minutes I just figured I’d start on the intervals: (2 mins gear 2, 1 min gear 3, 1 min gear 1, start over do 6). While I was warming up I was back to the “we-wax” mantra and preparing to do the intervals totally relaxed.
I am SO thrilled to report that even in gear 3 at the end of the run, I had maintained a heart rate of around 179. Normally, when I am gear 3, I get up to 185. The AHA says my heart rate at my age at 100% usage should be 195, so I am pushing it a little bit, to maintain at 90% /185 …
Anyway, I know it’s not a huge jump, but it’s pretty darn substantial for a one-week adjustment. Guess what I did to accomplish that?! (relaxed)
The intervals were good, but because I was just going like a CrazyPerson back and forth, I forgot how many intervals I did. I know the timing was a little off, and I went long on a couple of the intervals sections, hence the 5.5 for the # of intervals. Did the math when I got done, and I am pretty sure I did 5 intervals. The first 2 were harder than the rest of the three. I really just let go…
And I discovered something about feeling that fallfallfallfallfall over and over again: I moved my arms with a little more vigor today to keep my energy consistent, and I think it helped a little bit! I tried to body sense what 50% upper body and 50% lower body usage and determine what that felt like. I think my arms have been lazy lately. So I focused on keeping them moving, quickquickquick, and let my body fallfallfall from my forehead (keeping core engaged) and it felt so darn good.
Honestly, a few times when I went into gear 1, I felt like I had to work more to keep myself upright than just letting myself fall.
I was thinking of my gear 3 like this: imagine a sprint race at a track at the Olympics. Fast forward to the last moments of the race after the winner crosses the finish line: not only TOTALLY leaning forward (“I won I won I won!”) but think about the relief that comes over their body and face when they’re done ‘efforting’. You can see their arms start to swing with gravity and not muscle and even sometimes their legs kick up higher and their shoulders drop and their faces relax…
So that’s what I tried to envision today when I was in gear 3: I just won the race! I just one the race! and now I can just fall! I can be so grateful and excited and happy and I just finished.
Really, it makes sense: even though I was in the middle of my run, every moment I was in the run, I was still present: immediately finishing one fall and beginning another. I was just focused on every time I fell, I was successful at it. I was the winner of that fall, and thank god my leg caught me and the other leg is so smart and is coming to catch me again!
I also imagined what it feels like to run down a hill, when you can feel the road almost coming up the back side of your body as you go along. So when there were minor uphills or even flats today, I imagined that I was running downhill just to help convince my body that I was running with ease. This assisted in that whole fallfallfall thing, and really it was a great run.
I took a long time to walk at the end, just to get that lactic acid pumping through and not turning to concrete in my body. I felt great by the time I got to the car and stretched a little there and a little more when I got back to the office.
Scale: 9. (didn’t start that way, but it sure ended that way!)