Since last weekend, I've been a little off schedule with my Katy Fit red schedule. It began with my running the RTW 5K last Saturday (Aug. 12). That meant I did not do my scheduled long run (7 miles). Well I didn't want to do my long run the day after a 5K so I didn't do in on Sunday. I did my long run on Monday, before work, the day I was supposed to do a 35-minute easy run. I didn't want to do the 35-minute run the day after my 7-miler so I ran on Wednesday, a scheduled rest day. The hill workout scheduled for Tuesday, the day I took off because it was after my long run, changed to a Thursday night tempo run because it was late and I did not want to run on the Hwy. 6 levee at night. Now that I have the opportunity to get back on schedule with a rest day today (Friday) and my long run tomorrow, instead, I'm going deep see fishing with some friends from work. It's a free trip and I couldn't pass it up. So, now I need to decide am I going to run before or after fishing (it won't be my long run) or take an extra rest day and do my long run early Sunday. I could wait and do my long run on Monday again. I don't know.
I know that was all soooooo confusing but I'm actually in control of this situation (I think) and am trying to follow a few basic guidelines. One, I am following the hard/easy rule. My hards are tempo runs, hill workouts, and long runs. My easy's are rest days and easy runs. Two, I'm running basically 4 times per week. Three, I'm trying to follow the runs and keep total mileage/time to what is prescribed on the Katy Fit red schedule, staying as close to the reservation as my schedule will allow. In these regards, I feel I am right on track. The only significan deviation from my training plan is that I have not included hill workouts into my schedule for the past two weeks. I'm not going to concern myself with that right now. I'll do some hills this week and next and am going to start incorporating some resistance training and lunges into my routine in the coming weeks.
On to last night's run! I was unable to get out early yesterday for a run because I got paged and had to get into work. After I got home, I waited for things to cool off a bit...and waited...and waited...and waited. About 7:15, I set out for Memorial park. I made a stop at Academy for some fishing supplies which put me at the park around 8:15. I don't often bring it up as I'd just rather ignore it but it was still pretty hot. When I got home at 10:15, the heat index was 95. Still, I felt good trotting from the car to the benches and stretching. By the time I put my shoes on, trot over, stretch, and stroll over to the start, my HR is usually up around 95-97. Last night, right before I started, it was 111. Another thing worried me going into this run. I was all out of fresh running shirts at home so I had just grabbed an old cotton t-shirt that I work in the yard with. I've run in this shirt many times but in the back of my mind, I had concerns about tonight.
The plan was to do a 40 minute tempo run. That's a 10 minute warmup, 20 minutes at tempo pace, and a 10 minute cool down. I felt great during the warmup, running my 10 minutes at about 14:50 pace. That's a little quicker than my usual warmup but it really felt like a very easy effort. After the 10 minutes, I eased into my tempo effort and maintained it for 20 minutes. I'm really starting to feel like I'm running lately. I'm not sure how to explain it. My knees are flexed a bit more. I feel more like I'm pushing off with my hamstrings and feet and calves, instead of just sort of leaning forward and just trying to get under my body to keep from falling forward on my face, like a survival shuffle. It really feels good. I say it feels good but at ~14:30 on my watch, I seriously entertained the idea of cutting my tempo portion back to 15:00 minutes. But I didn't!! I did the 20 minutes. All the way!!! And averaged about a 13:20 pace. My HR got up a little higher than previous runs of this nature but I really did not feel like I pressed my effort too far beyond not "sucking wind but if I went any faster I would be." That's how I try to feel for my tempo runs.
I walked most of my cooldown. I felt a little nauseous and slightly light-headed. I was hot and the cotton shirt along with the heat and humidity was not facilitating evaporation of my sweat. I think I was cooking. Mmmmm! Stewed Vic! I took my shirt off for a while and it felt better. Apologies to the Houston running community for that sight but it was a medical emergency. :) Guess after 9 pm, there's no telling what you'll see at the park. Anyway, I made it to the water fountain and the shower and soaked my head for a minute or so. The water coming out of that outdoor shower was soooooo cool! It brought me back to life. I'm glad I experienced this minor heat incident. I think I learned from it and it wasn't severe enough that I was in danger at any time. Were I the Rambo type and tried to run the rest of the way in (cooldown), it may have been worse. I listened to what my body was telling me and got through it. And more importantly, I didn't try to chase some calculated pace or some target heart rate. I just ran by feel and got a great workout despite the heat. It's really important to me right now to just get the workouts done, not worry about pace or how I ran last week, to learn how my body is reacting, and to run how I feel. That's what this noobee is working on right now.