Day 4 was a rest day, whether I wanted it to be or not. My kids didn't want to go to summer recreation very much, so I promised them I would come get them before lunch, since the thought of dealing with them while I got the oil changed in my car was not pleasant. I needed not worry, I arrived to fetch them and they were playing with friends, and barely remembered why I was coming early to get them. Oh well. You live and learn! So besides not having very much free time to myself, it was so HOT again! I went with a friend and our kids to pick blueberries, and it was fun, but ridiculously hot. Between all that and the fact that I spent the good part of Day 3 recovering from my crazy-friend run, I was in no shape or mood to hit the road.
Today though...today was a different story. I have said that I need to start working in "on purpose" speed work outs if I'm going to have any hope of finishing this half marathon in under 3 hours. Honestly, it would be really really awesome if I could finish it in under 2 and a half but I don't want to push my luck too much! Anyway, before today, the only speed work I ever incorporated was if a dog chased after me, or if I suddenly looked at my watch while running after work and realized that unless I high-tailed it, there was no way I was going to get to the baby sitter's on time. In high school, I thought strides and hill repeats were something designed by my track coach to torture us, and also because she couldn't think of anything else to keep us occupied during a 2 1/2 hour practice. Now, since then, I've read a number of running books, blogs, magazines and websites, and I now know that they're important, but I never thought of them as something I should do. I always say my goal is to 'just finish the race.' Secretly, this is not true. I usually have a kick at the end, I try to pass someone on the way to the finish line...I try to stay ahead of the guy that looks like he should definitely NOT be finishing ahead of me, that sort of thing. And when I was disappointed by my repeat performance on last weekend's 15K (not because I did terribly, but because I didn't improve since last year) I have started to admit to myself that I don't just want to finish the race. I want to have a good time. A significantly good time...and not in the "party" sense...I want to start setting goals for specific races and meeting them. Who knew that was in me? Actually, I suspect it's always been there...I mean who doesn't like to win? But as I've had a hard time "feeling like a runner" I think I hold out on voicing my goals so that when I don't meet them, I can use the "I'm just out there to finish" or "I'm not fast, but I have fun" or even "I lap everyone on the couch!" Not that there's anything wrong with these sayings, but if it's not REALLY how I feel, why am I saying them? I have nothing to prove to anyone. I'm not trying to impress anyone, but I FEEL LIKE I DO. Who then? It's me. I want to impress myself. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. So I'm saying it now. On this blog that no one but me reads (yet. I'm going to share it one day...) but it's out there for someone to stumble into.
So back to today's work out: I'm not really sure what I was doing, and I don't know if it was right, because the abbreviations on my combined calendars don't help me remember what I'm supposed to do once I'm out the door. Anyway, I ran 10 minutes out (about a mile) then set my watch to beep at 30 seconds. I ran as fast as I thought I could (I'm sure I could go faster...but it's tough to force myself to leave it all out there) until the watch beeped, walked to recover, and did it again for a total of 6 times. Then I ran slowly the 10 minutes home. I estimate that I covered around 3 miles, give or take. I set a mark on the road the first time I ran the stride, then tried to make it further each 30 seconds. I didn't. But the 6th time, I did it! I felt great! Next time instead of using sticks and my water bottle, I'm going to stick a piece of chalk in my spibelt and mark the road. I had intended to go to the track, but in the morning it's being used by various summer sports teams and I just am too embarrassed to try to haul ass in front of my students.
All in all, it wasn't as awful as I remember it being in high school (probably because it wasn't followed by push ups or hill repeats or whatever else) and I think I can manage to work in a work out like this once a week. Next type to conquer will be hill repeats. :P One thing at a time I guess.
Week total: 21.4