Sunday, July 12, 2009

20 ugly miles

I had a late night at work Friday handling a conservation emergency which forced my run for the day and my power core circuit into late night territory. I noticed as I was running my 9 miles along the trail at 7:30 or so that I was pretty much the only runner out there. Everyone else has a life, I thought. My 9 miler included 8 strides and 3 minutes at 3k effort (5:29 pace).

I got home from the run around dark and set up my home gym to get ready for my power core circuit. I did the circuit while cooking pasta with the hope of eating before 10 p.m. The power core consists of the following:
  • 50-60 push ups (the workout reads "to fatigue" for most of these, so I'm noting how many reps I generally do to get to fatigue)
  • 30-50 each leg, one-legged step ups using at least a 30" step
  • Side pedestal, 30 seconds each side (like a side plank but with arm fully extended)
  • 40-50 dumbbell squats with arm raises (using 5 lb. weights)
  • 8 Prone double arm raises (like a superman, but without lifting the legs)
  • 50-70 squat thrusts
  • 30 seconds sitting bicycle
  • 30-40 Body weight rows (I do bent over rows with 8 lb weights when I don't have a low chin up bar handy)
  • 40-50 each leg, 1-legged squats
  • 8 each leg, sitting push kicks
  • 15 each leg, lateral leg raises
  • 8 each leg, donkey kicks (a retro move from my aerobics classes in the 80s)
  • 10 each leg, lateral leg swings
  • 10 each leg, linear (forward) leg swings
Repeat the above one more time. Then, I do 100 repeats of my abdominal exercises and 30 repeats of a lower back exercise. For my ab workout, I am stuck on bicycles (laying on your back with your feet about 4-6 inches off the ground, rapidly cycling your knees to touch the opposite elbow over and over). For the lower back, I do back extensions on the exercise ball. So, I was doing this routine while dodging cats and dogs, boiling my pasta, cooking the sauce and I still ended up eating dinner at 10 p.m. I had to also practice my music for the concert Saturday which got me to bed around midnight. As I set the alarm for 6 a.m. I wondered if I would be getting up at that time.

Of course, I snoozed right through that alarm and blissfully slept until about 8:30. I definitely needed the sleep, but now I was facing doing my run under warmer conditions. Saturday did not turn out to be a blisteringly hot day, in fact it actually drizzled ever so slightly in the late afternoon, but it was well into the 70s by the time I started my run at around 9:30.

Here's what was on tap for this run:
  • 10 strides
  • Antelope explosion hill drills
  • 30 minutes at 1/2 marathon effort
  • 15 minute recovery jog
  • 12 x 50m at 800m effort/50m jog
  • 1 mile jog
  • 8 x 50m at 800m effort/50m jog
  • moderate run to complete 20 miles total
I debated vociferously with myself about whether or not to postpone the long run to Sunday, when I would be a little more rested and could start earlier to avoid the heat. I could then just do my 8 miler (scheduled for Sunday) that morning. I then reminded myself of the value in doing a long, hard workout while tired because it really helps prepare you both physically and mentally for the end of a marathon race. I decided I would make the call once I got started. So, I packed 3 Roctane gels in my shorts and running bra, threw on some tunes and out the door I went.

After about 3 miles of easy running, my legs were feeling sluggish from the leg exercises the night before and I was heating up. I decided to do the strides thinking my legs might feel a bit more perky after that. Nope. I then launched into the Antelope explosion and almost exploded in William Pond Park. Now, my legs were really tired, and my brain wasn't working very well. I convinced myself that I was committed to this workout now and needed to keep going.

So, I continued east on the river trail and started into the half marathon effort segment. This was a true struggle. I needed, and I mean really needed water at every available water stop. I saw a woman serving water to her canine companion from one of those doggie water bottle trough devices on the side of the trail, and I almost asked if the dog would mind sharing with me. There are couple of stretches that go for 2 miles without water and I really suffered then. I finished the 30 minutes running a surprising 6:14 pace. I was thrilled to carry that pace in my current state. It took every bit of focus and mental energy I had not to quit during that 30-minute hell fest. This is good training, I kept reminding myself.

I was all tapped out at the end of that 30 minutes. I kept thinking to myself as I stumbled over a tree root on my way to get water at the 18-mile marker that, if I had a cell phone, I would raise the Dissin' Genius and ask him to take me home. It took every ounce of energy I had to continue west for another 9 miles. Somewhere between miles 13 and 15 in my run, I started feeling better and decided to tackle the 50/50s. These felt surprisingly easy to me. I finished the run with 4+ miles at 7:30 pace, took off my shoes, iPod, and Garmin, and promptly jumped in the river.

I got home and weighed myself to see just how jacked up my body was, and I was about 4 lbs down at 122. I swear I gulped a half gallon of water at every water fountain on the trail. My percent body water was a very low 56%. My percent water generally runs low on my scale, but I'm typically between 58-62%. I spent the rest of the day in a haze, slogging around wondering just how in the world I was going to muster the energy to play my guitar and sing for an hour at Breena and Justin's concert. I think the three tasty home brews I had while performing really helped with that! It was a great night and a fun event.

I feel great again today and am certainly glad I did no permanent damage yesterday. Plus, I am glad I got that workout over with. I am postponing my run and power core circuit until later this evening to give my body a little more rest. Well, also so I can go see Br√ľno.

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