January 1st was a planned day off and the 2nd turned into an unplanned day off after a combination of forgetting my headlamp and YakTrax, spending 7+ hours on a Greyhound bus, and arriving home to an icy, dark city and a warm dinner on the stove convinced me to cancel my planned 4 miler. Consequently, yesterday (Jan 3) was my first actual run of the new year. Let’s hope this doesn’t set a trend of laziness for the year! Instead, I’m hoping to base my new year’s theme off of yesterday’s workout – getting out there even I don’t feel my best, and pushing through with as much focus and calm as I can muster under the circumstances. Hopefully I can apply this to everything from running to job applications to socializing!
I accidentally slept in way too late, spent the morning lazing about, and forgot to eat lunch/hydrate, so when I finally pulled my running tights and long sleeve on at 3pm my stomach was already growling and my brain was in ‘sit on the couch and drink tea’ mode. The only thing that got me out the door on time was the unhappy prospect of having a 3rd zero-mileage day to mark in my running log.
I got to the park to find approximately a thousand small children sledding down the one good park hill, and just as many giddy parents milling about all over the parking lot and running path while trying to photograph/encourage/yell at their squealing, bundled up offspring. It was lively and joyful and I felt like a grumbling, lead legged scrooge as I wove around toddling youngsters, double-parked cars, families with little yappy dogs on retractable leashes, and a group of oblivious snowball-fighting teenagers.
I somehow managed to not trample anyone and convinced myself to just-start-the-dang-workout-already. I ran my scheduled 2 mile tempo at “this pace doesn’t make me want to lie down and die so I guess I’ll keep it up and try not to think about it too much” pace, busted out some very painful 2×3 minute reps at “ugh, can I be freaking done already?!?” pace, and then joyfully flew through a couple 45 second reps at “wheeeee, I love short stuff!” pace. 1 minute recovery on everything, which was much nicer for the 45 second reps than for the tempo-to-3-minutes-to-a-freaking-2nd-3-minutes transition. The cool down was a rather pitiful slog – 7.5 miles after no lunch was really not a clever idea and my legs were starting to feel wobbly.
In spite of not running in my most ideal conditions I managed to 1) hit a tempo pace that was a little quicker than my 1.5 mile tempo a couple weeks ago, 2) focus enough to complete the entire workout without modification or extra recovery, 3) complete my longest workout since who knows when, and 4) managed to turn my mindset around enough to actually enjoy the glorious winter landscape on my cool down.