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Runner’s High

Posted Aug 20 2013 10:27pm

It’s really incredible how quickly your mood can change after a good workout. I’ve sort of been in a bad mood for the past couple weeks, and unfortunately it’s been carrying over into every aspect of my life. And even though a couple great workouts won’t totally change your whole outlook, the glow you feel afterward can really lift your spirits, if only for a few hours. Luckily, I’ve had three awesome sweat sessions over the past week.

As evidenced by our post-Ragnar smiles. Over 24 hours of running, little sleep, and living in a small vehicle. Still happy.

As evidenced by our post-Ragnar smiles. Over 24 hours of running, little sleep, and living in a small vehicle. Still happy.

On Friday morning, I tested out the legs/recovery progress with a 10 mile run. Since I just did Ironman and still want to run another marathon in a couple months, I wanted to get a longer run in…but not overdo it. So, I went for 10. And it was AWESOME. Background info: I created my own training plan and am basing my workouts off of paces that are pretty conservative. Who knows if my body will suddenly decide it needs more recovery after it realizes I’m not going to just eat and drink beer forever? (I know, bummer.)

What? Is this over?

What? Is the excessive beer drinking over?

I know that I’ve been training heavily since January and am now jumping back into it post-IMLP pretty quickly. Therefore, when creating my plan, I basically just underestimated how fast I think I can run the marathon. I think I can run faster, but I used 4:40 as my estimated time to calculate paces.

This means that my long, easy run pace for Friday was supposed to be 11:25 per mile.

I did it at 10:34/mile.

Oops! But honestly, it did feel easy. Did I need to take it even easier? Maybe. That’s hard for me to figure out sometimes. Although after seeing the splits, maybe I need to worry more about consistency.


Holy inconsistency.

And now, obviously, I have to give you reasons to justify my out-of-place miles. I can’t help it; I feel like I have to explain myself. Maybe I should just learn to stop my watch? #blonde

So, mile 3 was when a friend was driving by and pulled over to say hi. At mile 5, I FOUND A NEW WATER FOUNTAIN! It was so exciting. There aren’t many water fountains on my normal running routes, so I was super excited to discover one. I hate carrying water, so I stopped for a minute and took a million sips. I then dropped my phone and my case flew off. Miles 6 and 7 were hilly and I was just slow. Miles 8 and 9 are courtesy of Katy Perry’s new song, Roar. I was feeling awesome and strong. And then Mile 10 decided to give me a stomach ache. And there you have it.

The rest of Friday was spent on a runner’s high.

I love you, running.

I love you, running.

The sweaty-high-on-life feeling continued on Saturday. Instead of putting on my Brooks, I threw on my Saucony Kinvaras (can’t run in them but they’re great for cross training!) and headed to Ashley’s house. I picked her up and we headed to meet Danielle at….wait for it…


Alright, so here’s the deal. I was very skeptical. I “wanted to hate it”, as Ashley said .

I mean, I can appreciate a tough workout, but I’m not totally on board with heavy lifting more than two or three times a week. I think muscle needs more time to repair. That’s just my non-professional opinion. With that being said, I’ve only done a little research on CrossFit and I’m assuming that almost every time you go it’s a heavy, high intensity workout. (Which is great in moderation!) but I could be wrong. From what I read it’s very controversial between certain groups of people. I wasn’t sure what kind of attitude the staff and other participants might have…would they be welcoming?

Turns out I was the judgmental jerk, because I loved the workout. The staff was super nice and it was a solid workout in a short amount of time. I know the workouts they do (each called the Workout of the Day or WOD) are probably very different (we didn’t use any actual weights…just medicine balls) but I loved it.

There were about 10 people in our introductory class – most of the CrossFit “boxes” offer a free class to first-timers, which is so helpful. I was afraid it would just consist of them showing us around and talking, but thankfully it was an actual workout. We started off learning a little about the different movements they use consistently, and did a couple sets of air squats and pushups to warmup.

For the main workout, here’s what we did:

7 wall balls

7 burpees

Run 50ish meters

We had 12 minutes to do as many reps as possible (also known as AMRAP).

I have no idea how many I did, but it was definitely an awesome workout! I left feeling stronger and enthusiastic about this new way of working out. I’ve always been a fan of at-home interval workouts , but something about being there with a bunch of other people was extra motivating.  And I now know first hand about burpee knees, as Corrie Anne calls them! Not only were my knees dirty, but they were bruised! (And I rarely ever get bruises!) They didn’t hurt while I was doing them, just afterward. Anyway, I can absolutely see how people can become addicted to CrossFit. I’ve been reading about Corrie Anne’s and Ritsa’s adventures for so long and I’m really glad I was able to try a free class. It seems like it’s a very supportive, motivating community! Sadly, it’s way too expensive for me to do regularly.

My last high-on-life workout was last night. My schedule called for the following:

1 mile warmup

2×1200 in 6:38 (8:53 pace)

4×800 in 4:22 (8:47 pace) 

(2 minute recovery)

1 mile cooldown

Can you tell I’ve lost all my speed? I’ve run full races at these paces before. And now I’m using them for speedwork. BIG SIGH.

I couldn’t figure out how to use the lap function on my Garmin (not that I’ve had it for 4 years or anything) and the interval workout function wouldn’t let me program different distances, so I ended up using the stopwatch on my phone to track the timing of my laps, and watching the pace on my Garmin. So much effort. (Someone tell me how the lap function works please – I pushed the lap button and nothing!)

Basically, these splits below tell me pretty much nothing except mileage, since the intervals were different and not “on the miles” if you know what I mean. Looking at them now, I feel like these are pretty slow for what was supposed to be a fast workout, but let’s not forget, these include a 2 minute rest period for each interval.

speedwork splits on the track

All in all, I still laid down 7 miles on the track! HAPPY!

Here are the actual interval splits according to my phone:

1st 1200: no idea. Hadn’t started my actual timer yet. Speedwork FAIL. I started the 1200 on the 2nd mile exactly, then recovered for 2 minutes. The 9:01 pace might include the start of the second 1200m as well but that’s too much thinking to figure out.

2nd 1200:  6:50. Way off 6:38. Oops.

1st 800: 4:22. BOOM. Cant believe I hit it perfectly. I promise I’m not lying!

2nd 800: 4:24. A little slower but I’ll take it. Only 2 seconds off.

3rd 800: 4:18. Even better!

4th 800: 4:14. I dug deep in the last 100 meters or so. Proud of a strong finish and basically negative splits for the 800s.

The last mile and a half were a sloooww cooldown through a nearby neighborhood with hills. (WHO PUT THOSE THERE.) With this being my first track workout since before I got my stress fracture/PTT/whatever it was, I felt amazing. Nothing like some speedwork at sunset to make you feel strong. I finished having temporarily forgotten about any worries I had when I arrived.



Love speedwork? Hate it? Hate people who say they love it? (Sorry, but I do!) 

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