I’ve realized that when I share updates about my 6-month run challenge that I am posting after the actual week has passed (for example, this is week 5, yet I am posting about week 4), so I am going to combine this post, talking about last week and this week. If that makes sense (last post can be read here)
(and I hope these don’t become boring…if they do, feel free to skip them, I just really would like to chronicle what I am learning and areas I want to keep focusing on each week!)
So, what’s working?
Well, honestly, everything is working! I am absolutely loving this little plan I’ve carved out (with some helpful advice from all of you, friends! Thank you all for weighing in on everything from stretching, to intervals, to cross-training) as it is a) keeping me motivated to keep adding mileage each week and keep to 4 runs per week as much as possible and b) pushing me to run outside more.
What I noticed today, when I went to a spin class (I’ve been doing spin on my own, with the help of Cathe Friedrich’s CycleMax on my iPhone, super useful so I don’t have to go to a scheduled class if I don’t want to) is that spinning is most definitely helping to condition my lungs for speed bursts and labor-intensive breathing (very similar to how my lungs feel when I do intervals, since they both have a lot of what I’d call bursts and troughs). I actually do NOT use my inhaler when I spin, and while I noticed more tightness in my chest, it was bearable. It makes me think that eventually, I can start weaning myself from the inhaler altogether. I tried doing that a few times earlier this fall, but it was a total fail. I think I will try doing it on shorter runs here and there and see if it’s feasible or not.
I’m also noticing that I actually really am starting to LIKE running outside in cold temps. And that is yet another thing I never thought I’d say (in addition to liking intervals! My former nemesis!).
Last week, I ran outside two days in a row. First, one of my best runs ever, and then the next day, Jess and I ran AGAIN outside, since it was freakishly warm. It was super duper windy though, and I felt like my legs totally crapped out about halfway. I went balls-out during the first half of the run, against the wind, and that extra resistance totally did me in for the second half of the run back. I really battled with myself to keep going, but I did, and Jess pushed me even when I took a few walking steps. She’s all “you can recover but still run, come on, let’s gooooo!’
(at least she didn’t make me do farklets again!!)
And this week? I ran outside once – with M, no less, and he always shies away from it, since he has worse asthma than me when he runs. But he also admitted to liking it (okay, like is a strong word. He thought it wasn’t AS BAD as he thought it would be. Semantics…). So, we had a nice 5 mile run outside together yesterday, and I loved it! Saturday, Jess and I kick off the first-ever barre n9ne #rundate before the 8:30 Method class…reallyreallyreally excited for this little program to kick off, and hope it takes off, since we’d be running it (no pun intended hehe). So, that will be two outdoor runs again for me this week, if not three…
Because, I am inching my way towards thinking about doing my ‘long’ run at 7 miles outside on Friday. IF it’s not too cold and IF I can possibly find a running partner (ahem).
Either way, I am stoked at the progress and know that with each week, I’ll get stronger and gain more much-needed endurance (the windy run last week was evidence that my legs need to boost up stamina-wise, since that 6.5 miler took a lot out of me!).
I’m still taking it week by week, but let’s just say that the thought of a half marathon at some point in 2012 is becoming less and less scary for me.
Never say never.
**asslap to everyone adding some sweat to their lives, no matter what form it comes in…yoga, running, walking, swimming, kickboxing, barre, you name it, it counts **