Week 5 Training Recap

Hello darlings! Before we get started on this week’s workouts, a quick fundraising update. We just hit $3,000 which means we are 25% of the way to goal! I’ll continue filling up your feeds with Prince posts but don’t worry – if that’s not enough of an incentive to donate, you’ve got other options!

Saturday, February 4th, we’ll be having the 4th Annual High Kicks for Hope Dance-a-Thon at the Green Briar. For those who have attended this Sara Collins Special in the past, you know you watching Eric and Courtney Zawada perform is itself worth the price of admission ($20, in case you were curious), but we’ll also have raffle prizes and judges wearing bedazzled hats. Hope to see you and your dancing shoes there!

Monday (Track) – 5 x 1000 @ 4:10, 400 recovery between laps

Actual: 4:10, 4:10, 4:10, 4;10, 4:07 (7.8 miles total)

Why, look at that remarkable consistency! Did I finally crack the code on pacing? No. I looked at the Weather Channel app and decided a “feels like 3 degree” was a “feels like time for my first treadmill run of the season.”  The 1.4 mile jog to the gym was more than enough to confirm that I’d made the right decision.

Our coaches always tell us to put the incline at 1.0 to mimic wind resistance, even though I think the mental torture of running on a treadmill mimics wind resistance just fine, so I propped myself up to a 10 degree angle and started huffing through it. For someone who spent 4 years as an analyst, it took me an embarrassingly long time to do the long division required to figure out my desired mph (that last repeat was a panicked bet-hedge in case I’d done my math wrong).

It definitely feels hard to run this pace, so I’m a little nervous about holding it for a full mile in a couple weeks, but I guess that’s the point?

Tuesday (Easy) – 6 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 6.3 miles @ I don’t know but it felt fast. Let’s say 8?

Saturday’s long run with the team (and Monday’s treadmill run in isolation) made me so hungry for company that I was willing to get up PRIOR TO FIVE ANTE MERIDIUM to join my former teammate and running buddy Keith for a turn around the Charles. Totally worth it.

Sorry about the creepy red murder text Keith, the people need a visual aid.

I try to avoid women’s magazines to whatever extent possible, but I will say that the tip I’ve seen in many to sleep in your workout clothes really DOES make it easier to get out of bed and out the door. (Next up, seeing if sleeping in a dress and tights means I get to work on time).

Wednesday (Tempo): 9 miles, 6 @ 7:40

Actual: 9.2 miles, 6 @ 7:35

My friend Rohit told me a couple months ago that Boston is one of the windiest cities in the US, and after this run yeah, I’d concur (looks like peerless weather source currentresults DOT COM backs me up). You hear that, Chicago? You can have our Marios, but you can’t have EVERYTHING.

Thursday (Easy) – 7 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 7 miles @ 9:00 

Another jaunt through the Newton hills, another hour spent wondering how on earth I’ll be able to maintain a 7:40 pace up Heartbreak (current strategies under consideration include having Bree stand at the top with a giant milkshake).

Friday (Long): 12 miles @ 8:15

Actual: 12 miles @ 9:30(ish) 

Just over a 50k away from living in a country led by a panda-hugging feminist. Tempting, but it’s a little outside my training plan/contractual friendship agreement with Chris Mario.

I grew up skiing but I’m not willing to risk joint integrity with so much training on the line, so I spent this weekend’s group ski trip to Sugarloaf going up mountains instead of down them. Besides, I actually ran the Sugarloaf Marathon a few years back so it seemed like a good opportunity to revisit my old wheezing grounds.

The Schmanson Plan only has a “long” run every other week, meaning this was my week to run a little bit longer a little bit faster. I’m trying to hit my paces no matter what kind of terrain I’m running on, but leaving a house with a fireplace, hot tub, and 3 pounds of bacon cooking to run up a mountain in the cold was effort enough. I’m not going to concern myself  with speed on top of that. Besides, I had a couple watch false starts so that estimate of a 9:30 pace is based on the statistically insignificant sample of 3.25 miles on the way out and 1.37 on the way back.

Saturday (Rest)

Actual: 5 mile hike + one VERY vigorous fall out of a hot tub and some ice cream making (active rest)

It turns out 36 hours straight of playing drinking Jenga and eating bacon is enough to give even the most satisfied cabin-dwellers cabin fever, so we rolled out to explore the landscape. And boy am I glad we did!

We were tromping our way through the woods towards what the map told us was Stratton Brook Hut, when a lady snowshoeing in the other direction stopped us to let us know that if we were heading to the hut the lentil soup was really outstanding that day. Quaaaaaa??? I was picturing a ramshackle assemblage of sticks, not the kind of place you’d expect to find a friendly staff slinging soup. We picked up the pace.

Expectations vs. reality

The soup, and the hut, were even better than we’d hoped. In addition to lentil soup, they also had beer, free coffee, gender-neutral composting bathrooms, and a VERY instructive library of children’s books.

A question I ask myself every day

I could gladly have relocated there permanently, but the hot tub was calling so we slid our way back down the most direct route of descent. Which turned out to be useful practice for my own slide down the most direct route of descending the iced-over hot tub stairs later that afternoon. I rebounded quickly (LIT’RALLY) with no evidence of traumatic brain injury, and rounded out my day of active rest with some ice cream ball crossfit.


Sunday (Easy): 5 miles @ 8:45-9:15

Actual: 5 miles @ 10:00

In preparation for the 4.5 hour drive back home, I skidded down the mountain one more time to stretch my legs out and see what hidden treasures my iTunes library holds. I don’t normally listen to music while I run, but I had discovered on Friday that while dodging logging trucks wasn’t enough to distract me from the 20mph winds, exploring a playlist I haven’t updated since Obama’s first term did the trick. This run yielded such back-to-back hits as: Paul Simon live in Central Park, vintage Kanye, and Foxborough’s own JoJo.



HOW’RE WE DOING: My legs are sore as the dickens, but I’d attribute that mostly to doing 17 of this week’s miles on a sheet of ice.


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