intervals, and more

So, I totally wimped out on running outside this morning.  I was so bummed because I’d been looking forward to trying out a new pair of winter running tights I just got.  But, alas, it was damp, freezing and very windy and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Instead, I headed to the gym to use the treadmills.  I don’t hate treadmills like some people do; in fact, I don’t even listen to music.  I’m just not really a music person and usually people-watching and checking in on what’s on whatever televisions I can see is enough for me.  Do I get bored?  Definitely.  That’s why, since moving away from my running partner, I’ve barely run on the treadmills if I can help it.  Winter here, however, will inevitably force me inside more than I’d like to be.

Anyway, I did what I normally do if I’m forced to run inside: a speed workout.  Having to actually pay attention to my speed and time is the only thing that gets me through a treadmill run. Tracking my intervals and things seems to make the time go bay faster.  I feel like I’ve done a really good job keeping up my speed despite leaving my running crowd (and therefore, ‘competition’) behind.  However, it’s the LONG runs that I struggle to fit in…

Part of it’s the weather, part of it is lack of motivation (who wants to be out on the road with no one to talk to for more than an hour??) and part of it my actual workout ‘schedule.’ With the beginning of a new semester, I’ve had to re-work my gym routine to try to fit it all in.

Here’s what it looks like:

Sunday – run outside

Monday – elliptical and weights

Tuesday – run outside, then Pilates at the gym

Wednesday – elliptical and weights

Thursday – run outside, then Pilates at the gym

Friday – elliptical and weights

Saturday – swim or maybe a class

I don’t even remember my last true long run (10+miles), and I haven’t done more than 6 since I was visiting Susy before school started earlier this month.  I was supposed to do one this past Sunday, but my body was telling me to take a break.  I don’t have a designated rest day each week, and I usually workout each day for about two weeks before my body overrides my desire to burn calories.  I know it sounds bad to not take a rest day each week, but I change up what I’m doing enough that I think I’m OK.

Anyway, I try to do long runs on Sundays since we don’t have to leave for church until 10 a.m., but they don’t always happen.  I’ve been doing a 3.5 mile loop around the house since we moved in, so it’s probably time to map another route to change it up.  And I don’t have that much time on school mornings; I like to be home with Andrew in the morning, so I can’t leave until about 8, and need to be finished and showered and heading to Pilates by 10.  Do-able, but tight.  Especially when you throw in taking care of the dog, having a snack and all the other little things one does around the house in the mornings.  I digress…

I’ve grown to really love my early-mornings and being an early-bird at the gym.  I might complain about a lack of sleep, but that’s more due to frustration with the dog’s weird hours than anything else.  As I learned the other day, more sleep is not always better!

Anyway, so this morning I was feeling intervals instead of a tempo run.  The treadmills (and ellipticals) are preprogrammed to shut-off after 30 minutes (grrr…), so I my goal each time is to get 4 miles in before I have to start cooling down.  I typically do, but it’s tight; this morning I finished my 4 at 29:45.  Here’s what I did:

0 – .5 mile warmup – 7.0 and 7.30 on the ‘mill

.5 – 4 miles intervals – 9.0 (6:30 mile) hard and 7.7 (7:47 mile) easy for 1 minute on, 2 off

2-minute cooldown

I do gradually work up to those interval times, and if I’m getting close to the end and worried I won’t finish my 4, I start cranking up the speed or extending my interval times.  My last two intervals this morning were 9.3 hard and 7.9 easy.

I’ve also really come to like the elliptical.  I used to hate it when I was nursing a knee injury, but now I see it as killing to birds with one stone (gosh, doesn’t that analogy sound terrible?  I say it all the time, but it wasn’t until just now when I typed it out that I realize what it means…) because I can workout AND study.  I wouldn’t have aced anatomy last semester had I not been in my notes three times a week on the elliptical.

Anyway, not sure where I was going with this…  I had the post all written out in my head while I was running, but somewhere between the drive home and now (fit in the morning rush, an article interview, more rushing to eat lunch, then class…), I lost all my good points.

Oh well!  I love running 🙂  And I really mean that.  And I love that, too.  (Because I didn’t always feel this way.  Not one bit.)


2 thoughts on “intervals, and more

  1. i was thinking about you running this morning and it got my butt out the door. during my home visits this morning, the wind actually blew my work bag (full of books, binders and toys!) out of my car and had me scrambling all over abbott road to pick it up. i had it all worked out that there was no WAY i could run in this weather, it’s not even safe! soooo, by the time i got home the wind had died down and my excuse did as well. i laced up, begrudgingly, and just went! i’m very glad i did too. i used to dread running even a mile, and i do find myself looking forward to it so much. i need to get into an interval routine though, that’s a good use of gym time! i spent so long just trying to be a *runner* that now i want to be a better runner. teach me, sensei!

  2. Haha. I write my posts in my head while I’m running, too. Then I get home to really write and forget what I want to say, or get started but don’t remember the point. I have several half-written posts because I just can’t remember where I wanted to go. Glad I’m not the only one.

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