Although we’re only three days into May, today is the first check-in for the May Your Way challenge. My goals are simply to execute all workouts of my running program and P90X for the month of May.
This week’s Sisterhood Says goal to incorporate into your routine is…. drum roll… drink 64 oz of water. Now, I’m a work drink sipper, so I decided to tally what I’m already drinking in a day, counting coffee and tea as water for these purposes. Turns out I’m good – I drank 80 oz of hydrating liquids! (I drank 40 oz of actual water, 16 oz of coffee, and 24 oz tea.)
So how am I doing so far with my goals? Pretty good! I just wrapped up Shoulders & Arms on schedule, I got yesterday’s run in, got my Monday lunch run in, and I did Chest, Back & Balls Sunday. (Monday was birthday dinner day, so Sunday’s strength workout had to count for Monday.) But “I’m on schedule” underestimates just how good I’m feeling about my fitness regime.
I’m very proud of executing yesterday’s run just as intended, at the speed specified and for the time specified. It was the hardest training run I’ve ever done! I know, I know, when you’re ramping up to take your performance to a new level you get a whole series of those and eventually it’s all unremarkable to you, as it is to others already performing at that level. But when you’re going through it, I think you’re allowed to be excited about seeing progress!
After a 10-minute easy warmup, I was supposed to run TWO miles at tempo pace (which at my current VDOT, V-dot O2max, is 10:03 min/mile), rest for two minutes, run another mile at tempo pace, and then immediately cool down with a last ten minutes of easy running. The longest I’d run before yesterday at tempo pace was one mile. And that was at a VDOT of 30, so 20 seconds/mile slower than my current goal. AND I DID IT! I had to convince myself to keep going twice, but I got over it pretty quickly and I kept right on running – right past a beaver at one point!
It was also a beautiful run. Not only did I realize I was running past a beaver that had just climbed out of a pond, there were several herons and three swans swimming around in the ponds I was running around in the sunset. Absolutely beautiful! The birds sailed over the water, the sun was setting behind Long’s Peak, the scent of blooming trees was in the air, the gnats flew into my nose and mouth… ok, so there was an irritant. But my pride in making it through the workout, and doing so without undue strain, combined with the beauty of the scenery, made the gnats tolerable. And after all, I was running past them – hard for them to bite me!
And – as small a thing as this may seem – I had forgotten that there was no rest between the last tempo mile and the easy cooldown. But I had it in me to keep going anyway, despite that I’d been looking forward to the rest, and I had to consciously slow down. I could have kept going faster. This program is working, and it’s working well. Silent excitement is building!
Today my hip flexors and hamstrings are sore. That’s on top of my lower abs and my shoulder muscles and my pecs being sore. But it’s been a while since I was this sore, and it’s proof that I’m back on an exercise roll like I want to be. Less skipped workouts, more logged workouts. And that’s why I joined the May Your Way challenge – to re-focus on workouts. After yesterday’s run, I was spent. It felt great, and I was still smiling when I drove in to work. That’s what it’s all about!