Thursday, February 11, 2016

Coldest interval session ever

Michigan's gloriously warm winter has definitely turned this week. This morning, when I was deciding what to wear on my run, I checked out the temp:


It looks nice with that picture of the sun and clouds, and even 13 degrees didn't sound THAT bad. But then I saw the "RealFeel" temp of 4 degrees, and the wind, and promptly changed my mind.

I had intervals on the schedule this morning, and I wanted to do them outside if possible. The roads are clear of any ice and snow, so I just dressed as warmly as I could and hoped it was enough! I wore two pairs of Cold Gear tights, a Cold Gear top with a fleece jacket and then a windbreaker over that. Ear warmer headband, thick gloves, socks, and shoes. Aquaphor on my cheeks to help with the wind. I was a sweaty mess before I even stepped outside, because I was so hot with all those layers!

Today's workout:
10 minute warm-up
4 x 4:00 (note that that is 4:00 minutes, not 400 meters) at "faster than race pace" (the suggested pace is 7:30/mile, so I wanted to aim for that); recovery jog/walk between intervals until heart rate reaches 136 bpm.

The warm-up was not fun. I had a headwind, and it was freezing! It's difficult not to run faster when it's that cold during the warm-up. I'm supposed to keep my heart rate low, but it's hard to get warm when jogging along. I was actually grateful when I heard the beep to start my first interval.

My legs were feeling kind of sore, and I felt kind of clumsy for the first interval. (When I was sitting down in shorts on my couch a couple of days ago, I noticed that when I flexed my quads, my muscles were insanely prominent. So I showed Jerry, and then the kids, constantly flexing and relaxing. Turns out that I got really sore from that little flex/relax session! haha).

Anyway, four minutes goes by so slowly when running hard! The pace wasn't that much faster than my 5K pace last weekend, but it felt much harder. After the interval, I slowed to a jog, and waited for my heart rate to go down. It was taking much longer than usual. Eventually, I slowed to a walk to decrease my heart rate a little faster. I ended up with a half-mile recovery, which is the same as the interval itself.

My lungs were burning by the third interval, but I just keep pushing myself with one more to go. I walked for all the recoveries after that first one. I really don't think I could have managed a fifth--it was a very challenging interval run! But I was very happy with my 4:00 splits:

0.53 miles at 7:33/mi pace
0.53 miles at 7:30/mi pace
0.54 miles at 7:27/mi pace
0.53 miles at 7:35/mi pace



Pretty consistent, and very close to my target! You can see after that first interval where I was jogging, going slower and slower until I was walking just to get my heart rate down. For the next three, I just walked after each one. I didn't want to be outside any longer than I had to in that cold. For the rest of the day, I was feeling that "runner's lung" (not a real thing, I just call it that) where I coughed a little each time I took a deep breath. That's when I know I've had a really tough workout!

14 comments:

  1. I know you've given up on the formal 80/20 plan because you felt like you were overtraining and that you're sticking with the 80/20 concept. How have you formulated this training plan? I've had a break from running after a stress fracture and have gained a bunch of weight (boohoo). You've really inspired me to dump the extra weight and I think training for a 10k would be perfect too. Thank you so much for your honest and inspiring blog ��

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    1. I'm actually following a sub-50 10K plan by RunBritain (if you Google that, it'll come up). I had to go through the plan and make sure that the moderate or hard training didn't exceed 20% each week. You could really do that with any plan! If the week exceeds that 20%, you can add more easy running and/or reduce moderate-hard running to get the 80/20 ratio. Hope that makes sense!

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    2. Thanks! It's so sweet of you to reply so diligently ��

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  2. I get the "runners lung" thing too! Drives me crazy but now, thanks to you I have something to call it :)

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    1. I actually kind of like the feeling! It reminds me that I really did work hard. And I imagine my lungs getting stronger for next time ;)

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  3. I've been a reader of your blog for several years and have watched your weight highs and lows, and I'm so happy for you that you're back at a healthy weight and happy. However, I gotta point out that you might be alienating some of your readership with some of your recent posts. Your comment in the blog post about Jerry's doughnuts saying that you're eight pounds below goal without even trying, and now your comment today about your insanely prominent leg muscles reads as braggy, and I don't think that's what you mean to do!

    I love your blog Katie but maybe something to think about.

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    1. Thank you for reading! I appreciate and understand what you are saying, but I have to say that I disagree. By that logic, pretty much everything on my blog would be bragging--having a great run; getting a new PR; dropping a clothing size; seeing my collarbones; ALL of the things I can do now that I couldn't do when I was obese. I was truly shocked when I saw that I have muscle definition in my thighs, because the skin there is so loose when I'm standing up that you can't see it. If I have muscle definition, it's because I worked really hard for it--I've run over 5,000 miles in the last 6 years!
      So, maybe the wording I used sounded like I was bragging, but I am discovering things that I'm excited about, and excited to share with my readers. :)

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    2. None of it sounds braggy to me. It sounds like your real life experiences that you're sharing. One thing I've noticed is that how we perceive things is often more of a reflection of our own headspace. When I find myself being annoyed at an experience someone is sharing, when I think deeply about why I'm feeling that way, it has more to do with my own feelings about how I'm feeling about myself. I can read the same passage on two different days and when I'm feeling great, I perceive it through those happy eyes. When I'm feeling down, I perceive it through those depressed eyes. Definitely something that has made me more self aware. Something to think about.

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  4. I'm totally excited for your accomplishments, Katie! Yay for the frosty intervals. :) (BTW, I love flexing my quads too -- and my calves -- I'd be thrilled to have the rest of my body look as good as my legs do!)
    -Martine

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  5. its been so great to read about your progress, and I'm going to keep your real feel temp in mind when I think Biut my temps tomorrow. Definitely motivational! I've been reading about your weigh-ins (I'm also a calorie counter), and I have to ask, do you think going on an anti-depressant last year has contributed to your weight loss -- either mental,lay or as a physical side effect? It's something my doc and I have talked about, and I just wanted to hear your thoughts.

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    1. Well, I've been on the same antidepressant since I was 20 years old, so I wouldn't say that it has had any effect on my weight. I got to my heaviest weight while I was taking it, but also got to my lowest weight while taking it. Last year, I went off of it for a couple of months, which caused me to get very depressed (surprise surprise! ha). When I started taking it again, I felt better. But I don't think the drug had anything to do with my weight itself--just my emotions.

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  6. I really need to start the 80/20 think. I always think that I'm going to take my run easy, but when i get out there I feel pressured (by myself) to run a more moderate/hard pace.

    Also I love the way you decribe your accomplishments! I do silly things like flex my quads for my husband (sexy right?). I am still 25 pounds from my goal, but you are great motivation to keep on going!

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  7. Yikes, that "feels like" -15 degrees celsisus, I can't believe you ran in that! The coldest temp I've ever experienced is -2 C, and I wouldn't run in that haha You're awesome!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)