Tuesday, November 1, 2011

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon

Spartan Shape-Up, Day 104:

As the morning dawned over Barre, my alarm clock rang (loudly!), and I rolled over and stopped it. Then the eternal debate began... You know how it goes, BlogLand... You start saying to yourself, I could just roll over for a minute or two... I could probably work out after work instead... I could sleep in a bit, and then run a shorter distance... it's cold out, I'm sore, etc. You know the drill. My brain is SO convincing at the crack of dawn. I managed to keep myself awake, and roll over to do my morning FB/email/Twitter/text check (whatever, you know you do it.)  - plus, I'm not going to lie, for a non-morning person, it helps me wake up a little more gradually.
So, as I'm doing my morning FB'ing, I come across this post from Spartan Race:

"Spartans-its Dark out. Its cold in the North East, your not feeling like working out. Most people will roll over and go to bed. Your not like most people. You are part of the Spartan family. You have committed to change your life and everyone around you. Lets do this. Get your workout done-whatever you have time to do- do it."

Spartan Race, are you reading my mind?

So, yes, BlogLand, I STFU rolled over and got my feet on the floor and moving around. It was early. But, I ate a bit of breakfast (T-minus 48 hours until "No-Bread" goes live...), and got my running gear on. I must say, I do need to investigate the specifics of more running gear for cold weather... I live in the Northeast, and when I was getting ready to run this morning, it was approximately 30 degrees. Yeah. BRR.
Anyway, got the infamous GT on text (he agreed to be my virtual running buddy this morning!), and made a plan for the run. Today, it was Push It. Hard. My foot seems to be relatively recovered from it's random issue, and it was time to get back to raising the bar. Fast and Hard, and out the door I went.

In the first mile, I came to the conclusion that I needed light gloves, as my fingers were popsicles. I would also like to add that by mile two, I had decided that gloves were NOT necessary, as now I was pretty damn warm. Seriously, I really need to figure out the outfit for running in winter in Vermont.
So, pushing it hard, here's how my run averaged out:

Time: 36:19 min
Distance: 3.28 mi
Average Pace: 11:03 min/mi.

UHM. YES. I said, 11:03 min/mi. THAT is a new PR - better than my previous PR (set at my 5K race) by 10 seconds. WOOT.
Now, to be honest, I'm not going to lie, I was initially annoyed. I am a perfectionist, constantly wanting to do better, be better, etc. I have yet to crack that 11 min/mi, and seeing that I was SO CLOSE, I immediately went to  - damn, I should've run a little faster, maybe I could've pushed a little harder, etc. However, I had to focus and stop my mental crazy in it's tracks and remind myself - WOO. NEW PR. That may be one of the most important lessons that I've learned. STOP the negativity in it's tracks, before it evolves into a cloud of bad. This is also the point where I must give a shout out to the infamous GT, who virtually coached me the whole way, to this new PR, today. Every time my speed would dip, I'd get a text and some encouragement. Invaluable. I don't even know what to say about that. If you don't have a friend, buddy, trainer, someone to be with you along your journey, keep your mind in the right place and push you just a little harder - GET ONE. FIND one.

So today's assignment, "Fast and Hard", I think was a success. It's my fastest time yet, and it was hard.

What was more difficult however, was the 'recovery'. Now, I learned a lesson today, BlogLand. After WOD's that are going to be "fast and hard" you *must* pre-think that and schedule in enough time to ice bath. Or at least cold water bath. Why? Well, here's what I did today. Ran, hard (for me, anyway). For 3.29 miles. Came home, logged my run real quick, jumped in a (hot) shower, got dressed for work, hopped in my car and commuted 30 minutes, then ran to my desk to hurry up and sit down for 2.5 hours before my first break. Is anyone else sensing the problem here? Yes, well, if you haven't, let me tell you what happened when I went to stand up for my break.... Not a lot of movement, but there was much groaning, and I felt like my 90 year old grandmother was probably more spry, at that moment, than I. My hip flexors and quads had pretty much seized, I think, and my hamstrings were stiffening, too. It was not a pretty thing.
I alternated between loving that feeling of "oh yeaahhhh, I did something that made me sore" and "ohhhh my god, uuuughhhh..."
By the end of the day, I was totally standing up, sometimes with my leg on my chair stretching, while still talking on the phone to members (I work in a call center, talking ALL DAY. Yep, I'm that person.).

Anyway, off to bed, to rise early for tomorrow's WOD. More swinging and lifting, I believe, and perhaps some burpees or body weight stuff for good measure? The morning will tell.

... That is, if my legs will allow me to get out of bed... where's the Tiger Balm.......

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