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Thursday, July 29, 2010

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore, Toto

After the feeding frenzy I spoke of last time, things were pretty much business as usual. I ran almost 8 miles the following day, which was Wednesday, and taught an hour long spinning class, bringing my estimated daily caloric burn to 1100 kcal. I like counting the calories I EXPEND, not CONSUME. :-)

On Thursday, 4/29, I was supposed to do a track workout. These track workouts are long. Very long. This one in particular was a beauty. Here, I'll share it with you:

Warm up 16 minutes (arbitrary #, but okay, I'll do it).

5 x 400 at 1:55 with 60 sec rest
400 at 1:55 - Go right into a Mile (no stopping)
Mile at 8:20-8:30 ( 2:05-2:07 )
1 lap jog after mile
4 x 400 at 1:52 with 75-90 sec rest after each
400 at 1:52- Go right into 1200 ( no stopping )
1200 ( 3 laps ) at 2:05-2:07 a lap
200 meter jog after the 1200
4 x 400 at 1:50 with 90 sec rest after each
400 at 1:50 - Go right into 800
800 at 4:10-4:15 with cool down

Cool down 15 minutes

Lot of numbers there, eh? Kind of gives you a popsicle headache just looking at it, right? The good thing, for me anyway, is that I've been with Coach at this point for nine months. In that time, I have learned how to decode his "coach speak".

I remember this workout, specifically for two reasons, which I'll explain.

Usually, I like to run in the morning. When I have track workouts to do, it's best to get there between 5 and 6 a.m. Sounds grossly early, I know, but this was the end of April and the kiddos were still in school. If I didn't get done by 7:30 a.m., I ran the risk of getting swarmed by hormone crazed teenagers in the first period phys-ed class.


So, I sacrifice one morning of sleep in order to have the track to myself. Every now and again, there will be some random person running or walking while I do my workout, but most of the time, it's just me. However, this particular week, a morning workout wasn't feasible because I had to be at work at 6 a.m. One could argue that I could have gotten to the track at 3:30 a.m., but seriously folks, who does that??? It's challenging enough to get up at 4:30 a.m. to be at work for 6 a.m. I would have to do it in the afternoon.

Which would have been fine under normal circumstances.

But, as I'm sure you've already guessed, these were not.

It was an abnormally windy day out. We're talking, like 40 mph wind gust abnormal. However, there was hardly a cloud in the sky and the sun shone brightly. I've run in the cold. I've run 21 miles. I've run in the rain. I've run 21 miles IN the rain.

I was a badass. Or so I thought.

After work, I went home to change, grab the GPS and headed to the track. On the highway, my car was getting blown around like crazy, but I didn't think too much of it. That's what happens when you're cruising down Route 495 doing 80 on a windy day (are there any cops reading this???).

I got out of my car and nearly got blown over. And I'm not a tiny person either. It was THAT windy. Then, I put my water bottle on the roof of my car. Frickin' thing blew off and started rolling down the parking lot. I had to chase after my water bottle. Craziness. But, I figured, how bad could it be once I got moving? Maybe it would subside.

Well, I found out. I did my 5-6 laps around the track to warm-up. I started running with the wind at my back. Pretty great.

Then, I got to the opposite side of the track.

Not so great.

At times, I wasn't even sure I was moving forward anymore. It felt as if someone had a huge rubber band around my waist and was pulling me back while I tried to get away. It was THAT windy. Reason number one.

Now, for reason number two.

After 12-13 minutes of this, I came to the conclusion that it was going to be quite a challenge to hit all of my splits with the wind gusting like it was. I did my 15 minute warm-up and decided to get the @%$# out of there.

I was treadmill bound.


Once upon a time, I didn't mind the treadmill. At times, I almost preferred it. I guess you could say I was a fair weather runner in the beginning. In fact, I used to split my time fairly evenly between outside and inside the first few years I ran. Then, gradually, it became less and less appealing to me. I would layer more when it was cold. I would wear a jacket and hat if it rained. I would plan my run on hot days early or late in the day.

Having said all that, you can imagine how windy it had to have been for me to pick the treadmill on a sunny day. But, this wasn't just a easy paced training run around the neighborhood. This was a track workout and, I gotta tell you, I didn't see much of a difference between running around the oval 35-40 times and making like a hamster for 75-80 minutes. No one can tell me, with a straight face, that they run at the track for the endorphins or "zen like" experience of being in the great outdoors.

I chose the latter. Between the iPod, closed captioning on the TV's and the interesting cast of characters that paraded in and out of the gym during my run, I managed to log 9-10 miles without dying of boredom. Okay, so I didn't slug it out in the gusty wind. However, running in place for that long requires a certain level of mental toughness. There is only so much one can be distracted by watching tv or people. I mean, you kind of have to focus on staying on the belt, particularly when it's going between 7.5-8.5 mph.

I've seen people wipe out on a treadmill. It's not pretty, folks.

So, I'm good with the decision I made and don't regret choosing the treadmill. I still got my workout in and sweat like a fiend. It was a win win.

And I was STILL a badass.

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