Usually when I'm training, the idea of what will happen when the race arrives and the plan ends terrifies me. In the past year, I've dealt with this by signing up for another race immediately, so I could just roll right into another training plan. I swore that the Stone Mill 50 Miler would be the end of this long string, and I would actually give myself some time off after the race. Knowing I have the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February and I'll be training for that by Christmas gives me "permission" to fool around until then, because I know I have something on the horizon.
I'm a weirdo, so when I'm operating with no training plan, I plan out my workouts for the week and usually even write them down or put them in my google calendar. I'm imagining my non-running friends and family reading this and wondering what the hell is wrong with me, but I know my fellow runners understand.
Now that the race is behind me, it's time to get back to my roots and have running be a workout I do, not THE workout I do. Monday I had big plans to go to Body Pump and start the week off strong with a scary weight training workout, the total opposite of running.
Total fail. I ran 7.2 miles at a 9:10 pace. Or in other words, did the exact same thing I've been doing all along. In my defense, it was over 60 degrees out, and I didn't expect to get in many post - Thanksgiving runs in shorts and a t-shirt. Once again, probably something that sounds crazy to non - runners but has runners nodding their heads in agreement, that, well, obviously, its 60 degrees in November, so running outside was the only choice.
The rest of the week I fulfilled my previous set out goals and even had to do two Daily Mile entries each day because I did two different types of workouts.
Tuesday I went to a class called "Cardio Blast". At the YMCA, you really never know what you're going to get going in to a class that they invented, so I wasn't sure if it would be a joke or nearly destroy me. It was the latter. I've never been to a boot camp, but from what I understand, this was similar. The class alternated one minute of strength with one minute of cardio, and after 2.5 minutes I thought I was going to have to either leave or be hospitalized. First of all, my arms were massively confused about why they were being asked to take part in the workout, as opposed to their usual plan of gently pumping by my sides while my legs did all the work. Second of all, when you consistently run at a similar pace, your heart rate is generally the same, and I think mine is probably in the low 150s on most of my runs. It was over 170 for almost the entire class, so that was a shock to my system. I was super ambitious and tried to go to Spin after, but it was full, so I just read a magazine for 30 minutes on the elliptical.
Wednesday I really shocked myself and got out of bed at 5:30 to go swimming.This is nearly impossible for me because I hate swimming at the YMCA, and it's hard enough to wake up at that time to run, which I love. Counting the laps in the super chlorinated pool is boring. Also I'm bad at it. I did 1000 meters in 31 minutes, which I'm pretty sure is the equivalent of a 47 minute mile. But if I really want to do a Half Ironman in the spring, I better get on board with it, because I'm sure as hell not doing any open water swims while training in March. After swimming I continued with my magazine for 20 minutes on the elliptical.
This morning I did a super easy 4 miles, except they weren't super easy because just washing my calves in the shower hurts them, and I'm walking only slightly better than after the 50 miler. Then I further tortured myself with Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones, which is a strength training DVD that you do all sorts of crazy moves with weights.
So, essentially, someone is going to have to carry me during this Saturday's Hot Chocolate 15K, or I'll have to crawl. Just get me to the chocolate.