So Much to Say

Another lovely but cool evening in Chicago…we are supposed to be getting actual summertime temperatures and sunshine this weekend, not a day too soon!

I was out late last night and didn’t get a chance to write, so I have 3 workouts to write about. Yesterday morning I did my 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym – usually I much prefer to be outside but I wanted control over my speed, so the treadmill came to the rescue! I started running at a 5.5 and increased by .1 every 5 minutes, until the end when I pushed it to 6.5 for the final two minutes. I felt great during the trip and afterwards, and definitely would like to repeat this particular track – next time starting at a 5.6 and moving steadily up. I love pushing myself with “speed” (which must be typed in quotes because my speed is the warm-up for most runners!!), and these mid-week runs are, to me, the perfect time to challenge myself.

The only drawback was that I didn’t get up early enough to run and then go to yoga, which I really do want to focus on. My goal was to go to class twice a month, but lately it’s been more like once. Admittedly part of that in June was travel, but I can make more of an effort. Let’s see how I do in July.

Last night I went with friends to Ravinia, the most beautiful outdoor concert venue in the world. It’s really magical. We saw three acts (Aimee Mann, Pink Martini, and…the Von Trapps…as in THOSE Von Trapps…Kurt the Incorrigible was their grandfather!) and even with leaving before the show ended, I still got home really late (it’s very north of where I live). So consequently I had a morning and afternoon workout today; tried as I did, I couldn’t get out of bed early enough to get them both in this morning.

So instead I went to my strength-training class because I knew I needed it – squats and lunges are so good for runners, and we do a million of both in this class. My neck felt absolutely fine and my back (which had been stiff earlier in the week) also felt great. I still need to put a lot of work into my core – it’s easily my weakest area. And I have no excuse; my gym offers quick 30-minute core-specific classes that I only make on occasion. I should make just as much an effort to go to those as I do yoga.

Anyway, we got out early from work in advance of the holiday weekend (yay!), so my friends and I sat outside for lunch and then went to a bar to meet up with some other friends. I felt kinda lame since I wasn’t drinking – I knew I still had to get my miles in. And of course I know that technically I could have had a drink and I would have been fine (I wasn’t running for several hours), but why bother – running is hard enough for me; why give myself an added challenge, right?! So I didn’t last long at the bar, maybe an hour or so, then headed home and promptly took a nap.

Finally it was time for my last mid-week run, just a quick 3 miles, and it was great! I went outside and used the RunKeeper app again; this time I’m pretty confident it was accurate – all of my mile splits made sense, hovering around 10:30 or so. Which is great, since my goal is to run faster during the week than during my long runs. I also tried to work on my form a bit. And I purposely started running with the wind at my back so that I’d have a head-win for the return trip; I certainly don’t love running into wind but I know it could be like that on the actual race day so I should get accustomed to it. When I was training for my half marathon I had a particularly cold and windy day for my 9-miler, so I ran 4.5 miles against some pretty fierce resistance – okay I hated it, but I got through it and I know it made me stronger as a runner. So it’s good to have those challenges from time to time.

And with that I am done for the evening! Really excited to sleep in tomorrow and luxuriate in my rest day. Happy pre-holiday weekend!

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