Sunday, July 13, 2014

When Your Legs Give Out, Run with Your Glutes

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Yep, I said it. It's one of the crazy thoughts I had during my run today. But before I get to that, since it's now Sunday and I haven't blogged since Tuesday, maybe a small update is in order.

You might recall that this past week was a "recovery" week, in which I toned everything down. Mostly. Wednesday was a planned day off from the gym. Thursday I had just an awful day at work. A lot of stress. I did not want to go to the gym after. What I wanted to do was go to the store, buy a quart of ice cream, and sit my ass on the couch until it was time to pick the kids up from pre-school. But no, I knew that would turn one problem into two.

So I did what I do and went to the gym. But I took it way easy, 15 minutes on the upright bike, level 5 and then chest/triceps/core. I really scaled things back, doing light weights and only one or two sets of everything. It wasn't one of those days where the exercise cured all that ailed me but I know I felt better than I would have after a quart of ice cream.

I had the "what's for dinner" thing to do deal with too. And I decided that making a fun dinner with the kids might help my mood. So I stopped at the store and picked up all the ingredients for personal pizzas to make with the younglings.

Once at home I focused on them and making the pizza and just tried to put the workday behind me. For myself I did a chicken breast on the Foreman grill and had that with some marinara sauce on it (sort of made me feel like I was having pizza too). I ate the chicken with a half-of avocado. And a slice of the kids' pizza, and all of the crusts they rejected. BTW, the topping on their pizzas is cut up canadian bacon. A healthier option than pepperoni.

Friday came and I could have, if I really wanted to force it, made it to the gym. But I reasoned that since it was a recovery week, it's ok if I do one less day than normal. Plus I was ready to get the hell out of dodge and the gym would only have slowed my roll. So I had a lovely weekend, complete with a dinner out on Friday night (during which I had two cocktails but skipped dessert) and sleeping in on Saturday morning.

I lounged all day on Saturday, barely doing more than moving myself from one cozy spot to another. And I had a couple beers even. It was just what the doctor ordered. And I took a break from counting my calories. I needed a mental break from all things taxing so I took it. Today, Sunday, was a bit more normal in that I went for a run. But before that I met a couple of dear friends for brunch (which we ate at lunchtime). I had a sausage and mushroom omelet, with country potatoes and a small salad. And two pieces of bread. With butter on them. It was good but I could have eaten a bit more mindfully. I was so busy catching up with my friends I didn't notice my meal as much as I would have liked. And darnit, I forgot to take a picture of it.

A few hours after lunch I went out for a run. And dear me, was it hot out there! I convinced myself to go on said run with my old, "just run easy" line. But this time I did. I started out slow and got slower (by my baseline, of course). Check out these splits.

And notice the 90 degrees. It felt like everything conspired to make a "hard" run - the alcohol and probable dehydration, the heat, not having water with me (don't usually think I'll need it for a 6 miler but in 90 degree heat, yes, I needed it). So that last mile was touch-and-go. And my legs felt like they were done so I decided to mentally engage my glutes a bit more to help out. And that's when I had the brilliant thought, "my legs are giving out, I'll run with my ass."

I dragged myself to the 6-mile mark and then stopped. I was so shaky, hot and just all around done that it took a few moments of rest in the shade before I could muster the energy to open my car to look for water. Thank God I had some or I might have fainted outright. A nice guy was out walking and he happened by on the way to his car. He said he could tell I was dragging and wanted to make sure I had water. We chatted for a bit and I heard about his annual birthday run, which is now a run/walk given that he's getting up there in age, "beats the alternative". Yep, I'm grateful I can run, even on days like this.

For comparison, check out when I did this same run last week. In the morning when it was NOT 90 degrees.

The other lesson is I started out slower last week, running the first mile in 11:40. Even though I felt like I was running "easy" today, given the temp and my condition, I obviously should have started out slower. It feels so much better to pick up the pace as the run moves along. Anyway, the point is, I did it. I pulled out my, "when I can't run anymore, I'll stop, but that moment is not now" mantra and it really helped me close out the mileage. Another reminder...I'm not ready for that half-marathon I signed up for. Gotta think about when I'll start training.

Last thing, I didn't count calories all weekend. I'll start again tomorrow. It's been really helpful and I'm not ready to give it up. I'm super curious to see my weight tomorrow. It's been unreliable given I've been on my period but I think that's pretty much gone now so we'll see.

Ok, it's late, night all!

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