Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You'll Be Done Faster

This morning I tried out a new nutrition plan. I've been trying to figure out what to eat in a hotel room before Westchester that doesn't require a lot of extra stuff and I think I've scratched oatmeal off the list as a possibility. I normally have about a half of a Clif (or similar) bar before heading out for my workouts, but today I thought I'd try having some bread and peanut butter. I didn't make toast, as I won't have a toaster in the hotel room. I really wanted to see how it would go with running, since that seems like the most likely culprit to make my tummy a bit upset.

On my walk through the park to the Terrier group run, I was thinking that this was probably one of the last nice mornings for the run and that I really ought to start thinking about getting some warmer running gear. I noticed that there were a lot of acorns on the ground and that I'd have to remember that during the run so that I didn't slip on one and twist my ankle. That's the last thing I'd need right now.

I actually ended up jogging about the last 1/2 mile to the meeting spot. I didn't time it, but I'd guess that it was probably about 5 minutes as I was going slowly and just trying to warm up my muscles. I got to the meeting spot and there were a few people milling about. One girl came up and introduced herself and said that she was new and was trying it out for the day. She asked some questions about the club and said she felt intimidated by everyone there. I told her not to worry. They were all fast and then there was me who isn't! From what I understand, our group has a bit of a reputation of being hardcore, but I know that it's been really good for me to have a reason to get up in the morning, even if I'm not the fastest one there. And it's definitely helped me improve over the last several months, so I think it was a great investment for me personally.

Anyhow, we did our typical strides workout for about the first 15 minutes or so. We actually did a new one that involved side lunges in order to stretch out your inner thigh. I'm not sure I was so great at those and I noticed a lot of people not getting down as much as they probably should have. In total, the strides workout was about 0.6 miles. I thought after the fact that I should really time this one of these days. I know that we spend about 15 minutes doing the drills, but I'm guessing the time that I actually spend running is more like 5 minutes.

Then Spencer told us that we would be doing a harder workout today. In fact, it was one of the harder workouts of the season. My first thought was that didn't sound so good for the new girl, but they were doing some speed work with people who were racing this weekend, so I don't think she actually did the workout the rest of us did. The workout for the Sprint/Olympic group was a 4.0 mile tempo run, but with some speed work mixed in. Every 4th light post, we would have to pick up the effort until the next light post.

When we first started, I wasn't so happy because the fourth light post at the bottom of Cat Hill, which meant running even faster up the hill. That should have been a sign that from then on, most other sprints would be up hill. At first I thought that I would be likely to give up pretty quickly on the picking up the pace, but I actually found that it wasn't that bad. When someone complained when Spencer told us the workout, he simply replied, "You'll be done faster." Hard to argue with that logic.

Once I really started going, I couldn't figure out if I should count to five light posts and then start over, or if the fifth light post was actually also the first light post. I decided to go the second way, which meant that I'd have to pick up the pace more frequently. I will admit that I did cheat once. On the 102nd Street transverse, there are no light posts on the left side of the street. Since I had been using the posts on the left, it seemed like I shouldn't have to switch over and count the ones on the right, so I just ran regularly across the transverse.

So, even though I did enjoy the run this morning, I did stop twice to get a drink at a drinking fountain in the park. I wonder if the peanut butter made me a little bit thirstier than usual? Also, I went back to using the heart rate monitor today. It's a weird thing. I actually sort-of liked not wearing it for the past week or so because sometimes I get really nervous when I see that my heart is consistently beating at such a high rate. When I just go run on my own without it, I have no concept of how fast my heart is beating and I think I feel a lot better without the knowledge. However, I do really like knowing roughly how many calories I burned during the workout. Somehow that makes me feel better about eating more than one breakfast!

This morning when I looked down, it was consistently in the upper 180s and even a couple times up at 190. Then my right arm started to tingle a little bit and I thought maybe I was having a stroke. Of course, I wasn't. But I did stop and walk for a minute to get my heart rate back down and to make sure my arm was okay. It just makes me wonder if I didn't know that my heart was beating so fast, would I have been so worried?

I finished the 3.9 miles in 37:01 (9:29 pace).

I then kept running (without the pick-ups) as a bit of a cool-down to the bottom of the park. I finished 4.4 miles total in 42:16 (9:36 pace).

I think my total running, including the jog to the meeting spot and the strides was 5.50 miles in ~ 52:16 (9:30 pace).

Calories: 600
Maximum HR: 191
Average HR: 181

As a side note, the bread and peanut butter combo worked out great! Never felt icky in my tummy, but I never felt hungry either. I will be trying this out for the rest of the week with my workouts to make sure that it wasn't just a one-time deal.

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