September 16, 2021

Return to Running Recap : Week 16


This week was kind of a big deal for me--I did all three of my runs outside! Ever since I started running again, I just haven't been comfortable doing it outside. I'm not sure why that is; staying at home on the treadmill just feels "safe".

However, running outside is almost always a little tougher for me. It's not as consistent (harder to control my pace) and I obviously can't control the weather. There was a time when I despised the treadmill and I would avoid it at all costs. Now, though, I rather like it--when I read my book on the treadmill, the time goes by quickly.

Week 16, Day 1 : Run 3 miles (at lowest heart rate possible)

I'm not sure what made me decide to run outside, because it wasn't exactly ideal running weather--80 degrees and sunny. I prefer temps in the 40s! Within a few minutes, my heart rate was already kind of high. I decided that instead of trying to run my typical "treadmill effort", I would just try to get my heart rate as low as possible but still technically be running.

I slowed way down. I couldn't see my pace, but I felt like I was just crawling along. The first couple of miles weren't bad at all and felt almost effortless; the third mile was full sun and I was running on asphalt, so I started pouring sweat. I ran as slowly as I possibly could, but I still couldn't get my heart rate to my MAF zone.


I think it's interesting to note that my steps per minute (on the left, underneath each lap number) is the same for all three miles. Whether I was running at 12:26/mile or 13:17/mile, I had the same number of steps. That just means that to go slower, I shortened my stride rather than taking fewer steps.

I was SO hot when I was done. (The picture above where I'm covered in sweat is from after this particular run.) I took an ice cold shower after that.

Week 16, Day 2 : Run 3 miles (with 1 mile at tempo pace)

Again, I decided to run outside. Since the previous run actually didn't feel bad (running so slowly and with my heart rate that low, it reminded me of my old easy, effortless runs) I thought I'd try to do the same thing again: run at a super slow pace to keep my heart rate low.

It was immediately apparent that I was not going to have the same heart rate result as before. Still, I decided to just run at the easiest effort I could manage. It felt like it was taking forever, and as I approached the two-mile mark, I decided on a whim to run a tempo mile.

Since I ran a 10:29 mile last week, I figured I'd aim for something faster than that--even 10:28 would be good. So I picked up speed, trying not to pick up *too* much speed (so I wouldn't crash halfway through the mile). About half a mile in, my average pace for that mile was 10:15. That made me start thinking, "I wonder if I could run a sub-10:00 mile?"

I just maintained that pace, not sure if I should go for it or not. With a quarter-mile left to go, my average pace was 10:09. I knew that if I pushed myself, I could run a sub-10:00. However, I did something that was even harder than that: I ran slower, even when I knew that I could run a sub-10:00.

How is that harder? Because I naturally wanted to feel that high of reaching a super hard milestone. The reason I chose not to is because I want to have a goal to continue to work toward. If I ran sub-10:00, then each time I run I would feel like I have to constantly push as hard as I can. I like the idea of aiming to run just slightly faster each time I try, rather than aiming for big jumps. I should have aimed for 10:25.

Since I was on pace for 10:09 already, and I was almost on my street, I just tried to slow down. I ended up finishing that mile in 10:10. That's a big improvement from last week! And it still gives me that sub-10:00 to look forward to at some point. I was really happy with this run!



Week 16, Day 3 : Run 3 miles easy

This was a terrible run. I was dehydrated and my stomach was bothering me so badly the entire time (I don't know why). I felt super hot and I just wanted to get it over with. I tried to run slowly to keep my heart rate down and the first mile was pretty good (142 bpm). After that, though, was when I really just wanted to be done with it. My heart rate went up to 152-154 bpm and held steady for the remainder of the run. I was trying to run at a slow pace, but not TOO slow because I was desperate to get back home.


I've been thinking about changing up my training a bit. I may write out a training plan so that I have a real purpose for each run rather than just winging it. And now that it should be getting cooler outside, I'll likely be running outside more--so that will change things up as well.

I feel like it's probably time to add another day of running into the week--the more I run, the easier it will get. I know this from experience! Or possibly just increasing the distance of one run per week. I'll try and figure it out this week!

3 comments:

  1. If you haven't tried Apple Fitness yet, I highly recommend it! There are lots of different trainers who have runs with various music. The runs are (obviously) completely customizable by you, as you control the pace and incline, but they tell you how to run the whole time. I find that I push myself harder when I'm trying to follow their lead. The time also goes by quickly because it's like you're running with someone. They're not necessarily training runs, but you're getting the benefit of running and exercise. Since you're not training for a specific mileage right now, it might be worth checking out!

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    1. I’m LOVING the treadmill sesh on apple fitness!! That alone makes me want to pay the monthly sub.

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  2. Your happy smile and all of that sweat is so inspiring for all of us and we do appreciate your hard work. I did 10 vertical workouts in a row, skipped 4, then another this morning. I want to be consistent, but it's still hot and humid in this 100 year old brick building. Wish I had the balls to run outside like I used to. It was my all-time favorite. And Katie, I'm working on a Transformation for an up coming Tuesday. I have high hopes for it, and it's a sewing project.

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