Before I get to me me me, let's talk about a real badass: Scott Jurek. Oh my goodness... Unless you've been living in a hole you know by now that he broke the record for the fastest supported thru hike of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. He is already a renowned ultra runner, has won Western States, held the 24 hour record (over 165 miles in a day at like 8:42 average pace? I can't even fathom this - I haven't even been able to run a marathon at that pace), and is well known for Eat and Run because he is a vegan. But this latest feat? WOW. Just freaking WOW. I've been following him on Facebook and via a tracker he carried with him on the trail and have been simply inspired by it all. He tweaked his knee just 50 miles in and could have called it quits then. He kept going. Due to overcompensating for the knee injury he tore a quad. He kept going. He battled illness. He kept going. All that shitty rain and winds - he still kept moving forward. Those last few days he trudged on with very little sleep to crush the record. He did it! He just never stopped. What an inspiration. What an outlook on life, too - so many things can stop you and prevent you from your goals. You can let them or you can do what Scott did and just keep on going. It's amazing. Makes me want to go vegan and run an ultra-marathon to get in on some of them feels.
That probably won't happen, though. lol
Ok, now that my hero worship is over, I'll give you a brief rundown of my week.
Monday: 4 mile recovery run on the treadmill at the gym. I'll be doing my recoveries on the treadmill these first few weeks, but as they get longer (and I decrease the weight training accordingly) I will move them outside like the other runs. Overall - good run. Afterward I did my shoulders, arms and core training. I really like this workout.
Tuesday: the plan called for 2 miles of warmup followed by 1 mile at tempo pace and a 2 mile easy cooldown. This ROCKED. I really had fun with this - being able to "go fast" again and have it feel that natural was like the greatest gift ever.
Wednesday: Legs and back day. I changed this workout from before - I dropped some sets and some weight on a few exercises because I didn't feel like I was recovering well enough to run (or do much else) the day after in past weeks. I still got in a great workout but I don't feel like I overdid it... too much. This week I'm going to try another switcharoo in there and then I think I may have my winning recipe. :)
Thursday: 2 mile warmup, then 2x800m repeats with equal time recoveries, then cooldown. Another awesome run. Even after leg day. Even with the humidity. I was so happy. The hardest part of this run was holding back and not going all out because trust me, my legs wanted it bad!
Friday: Just because I'm crazy and wanted to test the waters, I used a little trot on the treadmill as my gym warmup. I ended up going just under half a mile in those 5 minutes, but hey... little steps. Maybe in a few weeks this will be another "real" run. I don't know. I didn't feel any worse off, though. The lift today focused on chest, shoulders (yes I work the shoulders a lot - most people don't recognize how many separate parts there are to the shoulders and each needs specific movements), and core. After that I rode the bike for half an hour. All good.
I did a lot of reflecting on my first week of training and I am pretty happy with it. My biggest struggle is controlling myself. The heart rate monitor helps with that but the temptations are great. This week gave me a lot of confidence. I am definitely not as bad off as I feared. In fact, I dare say that I'm 95+% where I was before. I'm not going to let myself push that extra 5% just yet though. I'm happy easing into it with a few quickie miles in the training plan here and there and building on that. This week's mileage was 23.7. Last year this week was 23.5 (it was a cutback week between a 26 and a 29 mile week), so I'm really not that far off at all. Hooray! Other than just a brief look at numbers to see where I stand at the start, I really don't want to keep comparing this year to last. It's a different year, different situation, different training plan, etc.
15 weeks to go!