Effort

I don’t run well when it’s warm. I do it because I live in a warm climate, but most of my best races have come in weather below 45 degrees. I haven’t worried much that my overall pace has dropped a minute (sometimes two, depending on the time of day) per mile as it’s warmed up–this time of year I focus more on effort than pace. But because I felt so slow and miserable on Saturday’s run, and because I don’t want to be a weak link who brings down my group all the time, I resolved to turn things around, starting now.

So Sunday after a 30-minute Fitness Blender workout, I ran the two-mile loop around my house. It was 86 degrees and the sun was out for the first time in about a week, but knowing I was only going two miles helped me push myself a little. I didn’t approach any kind of PR pace, but I did drop it back into a more respectable range.

Monday evening I went to core class. It felt good to be back (no class on Memorial Day) despite the 40596868 tricep pushups and planks we had to do. And afterward, S and I ran my usual post-core-class route. It’s uphill the first mile, flat the second, and downhill on the return, so my goal is always to run negative splits. On the way out I wonder why the hell I subject myself to this torture. Then it plateaus a bit, and on the way back I feel strong. I won’t say that I’ve acclimated to summer yet, but we ran slightly faster than I did on Sunday. So even though I’m not focusing on pace, I felt some measure of atonement for Saturday’s shitshow.

Another thing I’m addressing is my lower back. Recently I’ve found that when I sleep on my stomach, I wake up in pain. Which is weird because I’ve always preferred sleeping on my stomach. The cat-cow yoga thing sorta-kinda relieves it, but it can be achey for a while after I get up. I don’t wake up like this every day, but when it happens on a Saturday it starts my long run on the wrong foot (no pun intended) and I struggle the whole way. And when the heat/humidity rises, I don’t need additional physical discomfort. So I’ve been doing some lower back-strengthening exercises, focusing on posture, and trying to sleep on my back. It’s hard to retrain myself, especially when it comes to sleep, but not hurting when I wake up is pretty decent incentive.

Tomorrow begins our 5:30am Fit to Run class–AKA Core Class on Steroids. We did this last summer (some posts about it are here and here) and I know it’s going to be good for me, but I’m in denial about how painful it will probably be, especially this first week. Like last summer, after class S and I plan to run a couple of miles, then reward ourselves with coffee on the patio. Seems reasonable, right?

coffee-surprised

 

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