February 17, 2022

Glass City Relay Training (Return to Running Recap: Week 38)

(Yes, those are photos of myself taped over the treadmill display, hahaha. I hate seeing the display because it makes the time feel like it's crawling, so I taped photos that motivate me over it.)

I used to write my running recaps on Thursdays and then when everything got so stressful in December, I basically quit running. I only ran a handful of times since then. However, Jerry and I signed up for the Glass City Marathon Relay (in Toledo) which is April 24th. That's nine weeks away, so we need to train.

I wrote a beginner's 10K running plan recently and we are going to follow that for our training. The longest leg of the relay is 6.6 miles, so we should be ready to run any of the leg distances. The other people on our team are my sister Jeanie, our friend Audrey, and my younger brother, Nathan. There are five legs of the relay; these are the distances: 3.4, 4.9, 6.6, 5.3, and 6.1 miles.

My sister had a fun idea about choosing who runs which leg. We are not going to pick our legs until the morning of the race. We are all going to train enough to be able to do any leg, and then we'll draw names just before the race to decide who is running each leg. I'm hoping I don't get the 3.4 one, only because I'll be training enough to do any distance; but even if I do, I'll at least get it done first and my leg will be over for the duration of the race. (In relays, like the Ragnar, I liked being the first runner for some reason.)

The plan that I wrote is an eight-week plan, but there are actually nine weeks until the race. Jerry and I decided to start our training a week early, just in case we should get sick or something (let's hope we don't get COVID!) and have to take some time off. The training plan is four days per week, with one day being very mild speed work and one day being a "long run" (which only goes up to six miles, so in this case, the word long is simply relative). I wanted to do a fairly low-key plan for this and not stress about it at all.


The plan started Monday (although Mondays are rest days) so our first run was on Tuesday. It was speed work:

10 minutes at an easy pace
4 intervals of 1 minute hard, 2 minutes walking
5 minutes at an easy pace

I hadn't run since early January(!) so I was a little nervous about whether I could even do it. Thankfully, I didn't lose ALL of my fitness I'd picked up last year. I was able to finish the workout, although I had problems with it right away.

First, I forgot to turn the GPS off on my Garmin (I was running on the treadmill, so there is no need for GPS). What happens when you do that on the treadmill is that the watch thinks you're just barely moving, if at all, while the timer is going. There is no way to change it mid-run, so I just had to deal with that. I did the first 10 minutes at 5.0 mph.

When it came time for my first 1-minute hard interval, I decided to go for 7.0 mph. I knew it would be tough, but definitely not as tough as a few months ago when I accidentally did 8.0 mph (thinking I'd hit 7.0). Holy cow, the 7.0 this time was SO HARD. I felt like I was going to fly off the back of the treadmill! And the interval felt like it was never going to end.

I was waiting to hear the beep from my Garmin so I could slow to a walk; finally, I took a quick glance at it and saw that I'd been running for over a minute. So I must have set up the workout incorrectly.

I stepped off the treadmill for a couple of seconds to pull myself together, then I hopped back on and did my walking portions at 3.0 mph.

After that, I had to just watch the timer on the treadmill so I would know when to run and when to walk, since my Garmin played that nasty trick on me. (After the run, I saw that I'd accidentally put in four intervals of 1-MILE hard instead of 1-minute. Haha!)

The 7.0 mph felt too hard for my intervals, so I changed it to 6.5 for the last three and I think that was a good speed. I might bump it up to 6.8 mph for the next interval workout.


My second run this week was today--just an easy two-miler (two miles at an easy pace). We've had freezing rain all day and there was no way I was going to do this one outside. They actually already canceled Eli's school for tomorrow because the roads are solid ice right now.

I managed to have the motivation and energy (and only mild pain) to run in the morning, too! I have no idea if it's the vegan diet I've been eating for a few weeks or if I just had a good day, but I haven't run in the morning in a long time. Usually, it hurts really badly to get out of bed and then I walk like a hunched-over old lady for about 90 minutes each day--mornings are the most painful time of day for my fibromyalgia/arthritis/whatever it is. I can't even bend over to put my pants or socks on!

I set up my book on the treadmill (I'm still trying to make my way through a book that I really should just quit reading because I can't get into it; but I'm more than halfway through, so I feel like I should finish.) Then I just set the treadmill at 5.0 mph and ran two miles until it was over. It felt so much longer! I'm going to try to finish reading this book as soon as possible (maybe I'll stay up late tonight) so that I can start a new one. When I'm into a good book, the treadmill runs go by much faster.

I'm not going to write much (if at all) about my heart rate during this training cycle. Since I'll be doing a lot of training on the treadmill, changing the speed up and down to target my heart rate is distracting and not much fun. I'm just going to run by feel--whatever pace feels good to me that day.

So, my Thursday recaps may be super short (not today, since I had issues with my first run) or they could be longer like today's. But I'll try not to get too crazy with the data ;)  This is the gist of my first two runs (Tuesday's pace included my walking--so even though it was speed work, the pace is slower). 

Jerry did his first two training runs, too. Interestingly, he actually ran the same exact speeds that I did for the speed work and for the easy run, even though I didn't tell him what my speed was. Hopefully next month the weather will be nice enough for us to run outside together. We had fun training for the Martian half marathon together in 2018. I think this relay will be a fun thing to train for; not stressful at all (nobody on the team is going to care what our pace is).

Hopefully training will go well, and I'll just do a fairly brief recap on Thursdays. It actually feels kind of nice to be training for something, even though it's super low-key. I think the relay was the perfect choice!

1 comment:

  1. Good work! Amazing how a race (or any deadline) will pull some of us along. Works for me anyway.


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