Spartan Shape-Up, Day 381 - 383:
BlogLand, I'm sorry. I've been completely falling down on the job on updating you appropriately about what I've been up to. HOWEVER, I think at least I've got an acceptable reason - I've been having lots of adventures!!! Between going climbing, keeping up on my sprints, trying to get in some recovery swimming, other runs.... it's been crazy. Although, I have been enjoying one of the best side effects of regular exercise: better sleep. Typically, I'm a raging insomniac, but when I get back on a good exercise schedule, I'm legitimately tired and I've been falling asleep early (...earlier.).
This weekend got a bit busy, and somehow, I found myself at Sunday night, without having done my assigned 5K run. I had gotten in a recovery swim on Saturday... but it was 8pm on Sunday and it was starting to look like my run wasn't going to happen. I have been really diligent about trying to stick to my training plan, so I was talking myself out of making excuses and not going. I pulled a trick that I have learned in the last year - I called in for help. I texted one of my run regulars, Stacey, to see if she'd gone running yet (she's quite often a late-runner, too.), thinking that if she hadn't, I'd have a buddy and it'd be more fun. Luckily, she had not and headed over to my house. No. Excuses.
While lacing up my sneakers and waiting for Stacey, the light rain that was in the air, turned into a full blown down pour. But, HEY. Spartan Up! Who's afraid of a little rain (I'm going to be soaked with sweat, anyway!)? Stacey arrived with a big grin on her face and we joked about running in the rain - but never discussing how we weren't going to do it. Just how we'd become "those people," because we were not phased by the fact that the rain was down complete torrential downpours. We stepped off my porch into the deluge and without blinking, started our run.
I LOVE running in the rain, BlogLand. Not only is it cooler, but it just feels great. There seems to be a lot of energy in the storm and I always feel like I'm running better. True to form, Stacey and I kept having to slow ourselves down, as the faster and harder the rain came, the faster and harder we found ourselves running. We powered up some hills, all around town, and concluded our wet run somewhere around a 4-miler. I rang out my clothes when I got home, and fell in to bed, satisfied that I hadn't let myself off the hook, and had gotten my workout done, regardless of the time of day or the weather. No Excuses Training, people. That's where it's at!
Monday Morning, after our rain run, found me stiff and limping like a granny. Apparently, between last week's sprints and our fast and hard run, my legs were a little less than unimpressed with me. Whining at the GT got me no where.... just two sets of 25 air squats to get the blood moving. D'oh!
I did a lot of stretching and hydrating. I'm learning to pay a little closer attention to my body when it grumbles. I don't want any repeats of my knee injury!
I also had a really tragic moment, BlogLand. Doing my best 90 year old woman impression, I hobbled up to my medicine cabinet, tossed it open and then stood blinking in disbelief. The spot where my relief-giving wonder-rub, Tiger Balm, was supposed to be.... was EMPTY. EMPTY!!!! I suddenly remembered a few weeks prior, finishing off that jar and mentally reminding myself to get a new one.... Hmm. Yeah. Apparently that had not happened. My angry quad quivered in triumph. I groaned and went back to stretching.
Tuesday, Spartan Shape Up Day 383:
Sprint Night. I swear, BlogLand, there is some sort of weird time-warp where it is ALWAYS sprint night. I blink, and we're back to Sprint Night.
Nonetheless, it was time to get it done. My legs were feeling a little stiff from the increased work schedule they've had and I wasn't entirely sure how this was going to go, but my sprinting partners in crime were there and there was no option but to get it done.
The Task: Five, 200m sprints.
That, BlogLand, is at least WAY BETTER than 400m sprints. I took a tiny amount of comfort in that.
We lined up to the start line, each of us concentrating on our individual goals, and we were off. Although my legs felt tight, I felt strong and fast and April and I were neck and neck. Lap One: 39.90. Awesome! We were right on track and doing well. 40 seconds is roughly my average, so anything right around there is what I'm shooting for; if I'm under 40, it's a good run!
Lining up for Lap Two, my legs were not feeling so in tune with this process. Sprinting takes a lot out of them, but I should be able to handle these 200's, as I've been handling 400's! I pushed of the start, and ran as hard as I could manage. As I completed the lap and checked my clock, I shook my head and took another look: 43.23 . What?? Usually I'm not hitting the 43 second mark until I'm done 3-4 sprints. This was only my second lap, I felt like I'd been pushing and going fast..... and I'd gained 3+ seconds. That's a LOT in the terms of these short sprints.
Lap Three brought some similar results at: 45.41. I admit, now I was starting to panic a bit. I was pushing as hard as I could, but I haven't had times that slow with laps left to go, in quite a while. What was going on? Was I overworking my poor legs?? Was this just a learning curve? To forestall any further freaking out, I decided to do the best thing... consult the Oracle. Text messaging from the track brought some reassurance from my GT, acknowledging that my times were slower, but not horrifically bad. Instead of doing five sprints, though, we'd put in a little extra walking time and try the fourth, and see if I could pick up the pace. It may just be that my legs need a little more recovery time at this stage of the game.
Sure enough, with a real determined face, a LOT of grunts of exertion as I struggled to keep pace with my sprint buddy, April (can't let her win all the time!!), I barreled down to the finish line at: 43.49. I was happy with that, and also completely DONE. It looks like my legs aren't quite up to that fifth sprint yet. Lesson learned.... I must just keep pushing, until they get there and I can do a little more. There was a time that sprints under 50 seconds were murderous. One WOD at a time.
With that, I go on an active recovery (AHHH... ice bath and walking!), to prep for this weekend's race. I'm running twice this weekend, with a myriad of Spartans new and old, and I couldn't be happier. YIKES! What a life this is!!!