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Starting My Day With Speed
Greetings from the west coast!
I’m in sunny-but-not-super-warm Los Angeles until Friday for some work things, and even though the weather here is comparable to the crap you’re dealing with back in New York, I refuse to complain, because these next few days are going to be killer/awesome.
Why yes, that was a run-on sentence. Sorry that I seemed to have flunked third grade, Mrs. Helm. At least I always got an A+ in “handwriting” and “cursive” and “recess.” Other things I failed in third grade? “Sharing” and “not fouling out in basketball games” and “letting others contribute to group projects.”
So I’m in California. That is exciting.
I go to L.A. once a year for photo shoots. Last year I got to go for a long run on the beach in Santa Monica after my work was done.
The shoots require tons of planning and careful execution — plus far too many publicists, agents, managers and, this time, a film crew — but it’s always a fun, rewarding trip, and it makes me be like “my job is sweet.”
But you know I didn’t just wake up today and stroll on board my JetBlue plane with a handful of snacks. I ran first, of course.
Now that my hip is feeling thank-God-so-much-better, I’m back on a regimented training plan from Coach Cane. He sends me my weekly plan in a fancy little online log, and then after I do the workout I’m supposed to write about it for him so he knows how well I did or how poorly I read his instructions.
Just like in the olden days of Hamptons training, Tuesdays are now speed/tempo days. I’m not sure which one of those today would classify as, but you can go ahead and let me know in the comments. Share your knowledge. Share your gift.
I should preface this by saying that I perhaps shouldn’t have gone to that Chisel class at the gym last night. But before Lauren yells at me (again), let me defend myself by saying that I wanted to go for the arm stuff, and the butt moves. I did not ask for all those squats and lunges.
Ever since Coach Cane told me that my “injury” could be a result of “weak glutes,” I can’t help but picture my rear as this flabby, lazy thing I have to drag around with me. So I went to one Chisel class — my first in a few weeks — in hopes that the instructor, Angel, would whip my booty right back into shape.
Sadly, I don’t think my butt is any perkier today, but we’ll get there. And we’ll do Chisel on days that don’t immediately precede speedwork. Do you approve, Coach LB?
Now let me tell you about today’s workout:
- 1+ mile warm-up including a few brisk pickups
- Beginning at Engineers’ Gate (I love Coach Cane because he always puts apostrophes in the correct places) on the Reservoir, do 1 mile at ambitious (but not crazy) half marathon pace
- Recovery back to Engineers’ Gate at marathon goal pace
- Finish with a full lap of the Reservoir at half marathon pace
- 1+ mile cool-down
So I read this workout incorrectly at 5 am and now I’m a little pissed. I didn’t read that the recovery between the two pickups was supposed to be at marathon goal pace. Fail, Ali, fail! I ran the in-between part at a much slower recovery pace.
Sorry, Coach. Please don’t abandon me because I have no idea how to read very clear, specific instructions.
OK so aside from that little error I just realized, the workout was good. I hadn’t done anything involving speed or requiring diligence in about three weeks, so today was a nice kick in the short-shorts.
I ended up doing a 2-mile warm-up because after just one mile my legs weren’t feeling as loosened-up as I had hoped they would.
I based the pickups on a “realistically ambitious” half marathon goal pace of 7:45–7:50.
I started the first pickup way too fast, because when I looked at my watch about a quarter-mile in, it flashed a happy little 7:07 pace at me. Too fast, crazy girl, slow it down. As excited as I was to be throwing down a 7:07, I knew I’d fail miserably on the second pickup if I maintained it and also, Coach Cane said ambitious but not crazy. I listened.
I felt awesome as I finished the first mile of the workout, which was encouraging. I didn’t think I had speed left in me, and I’m looking forward to really pushing it and getting stronger in the weeks leading up to the Eugene Marathon. I want to go fast!
So then I recovered at a slower-than-Coach-Cane-wanted pace, because I’m an idiot (I ran that portion at a 9:09 pace when it should have been an 8:45 pace — not too far off, but more of a discrepancy than I would have liked) and readied myself for the second, slightly longer, pickup.
This one came easily as well. My stomach started to seriously ache toward the end, forcing me to slow from my 7:35-ish average to a 7:50, but my splits still look decent, especially since I’ve learned how to toy with that little pace button on my ever-frustrating, signal-losing watch.
I did a few cool-down miles and wrapped up the workout clocking 8 glorious pre-flight miles.
And then I threw crap in a suitcase, neglected to blow-dry, or even brush, my hair and sped off to JFK, coworker in tow, for a painfully long (6+ hours), screaming-child-filled flight.
My takeaway from today’s workout? It felt challenging, and I’m obviously peeved that I misread part of the instructions, but I don’t think that’s too big of a deal. Could I have done the in-between recovery at marathon goal pace? Yes, I could have. Next time I’ll just actually have to do it.
The speed is still in me — I know it is — and I’m so excited and motivated to work hard over the next few weeks. Kick my ass, Coach Cane. I dare you.
Tomorrow’s run plan is five slow miles, and Thursday I’ve got some mile repeaty type things that I may be forced to attempt on a treadmill, since I’m pretty sure I’m staying at a totally-swanky airport at the LAX airport, and I’m not sure if mission control center is cool with me doing speedwork/tempo running on the tarmac. I’ll attempt it and report back.
In final news, the photo shoot I’m working tomorrow is being filmed by the Oxygen Network for a docuseries premiering in the spring. It’s not about me. That would be ridiculous. There are already plenty of shows in existence about wannabe-runner girls with Crohn’s disease who write blogs about skipping through Central Park every morning. Super over-saturated market right there. But yeah, the series is about the dancers we’re shooting. Coordinating everything with a big ol’ film crew hasn’t been stressful at all, in case you were up at night losing sleep and wondering about that.
I haven’t decided if my plan is to try to be on camera as little as possible, or if I should find and bedazzle a microphone and proceed to wow the crew with my karaoke abilities and diva-like prowess. Again, I’ll report back.
Have a wonderful, speedy-running day!