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JogBlog: Week 6, Day 1

December 7, 2009

I ask again, what is up with Mondays and poor weather?

This morning there was a light dusting of wet snow on the ground when I woke up. And flakes were coming down. Big flakes, the kind you get when the temperature is only barely freezing or slightly above. I figured I could still run outside today since there was no real accumulation and I really wanted to get out. When I got in the car the temperature was 34º.

Once again the park was empty when I arrived. I parked and did a little stretching while Robert explained the different workouts for each day of Week 6. It sounded to me like Robert would be busy again, giving cues for all the different pace changes for everyone this week. I paused and took care of re-tying my shoes nice and snug so I wouldn’t have to think about it later. Then I was off for the warmup walk.

I watched snowflakes falling as I walked. I brushed flakes off my red fleece pullover. I listened to the slight crunch of the snow under my feet in certain places where the dusting was thick enough to make the path white.

Now, just a few days ago I was facing the end of Week 5 with my first 20-minute run interval. But Week 6 starts out with a return to some shorter intervals, so I figured today should be relatively easy.

My very first (5-minute) interval started smack at the bottom of Big Nasty Hill (BNH). Lovely. I put my head down and trudged forward. You’d think that starting out on a tough part of the track would be good, since I would still have fresh legs and all. But for me, it seems like the beginning of the jogging is harder… it takes me a little time to find my stride and get loosened up. I got to the top of the hill and immediately focused on taking deep breaths and trying to keep my pace slow and steady. The track leveled out for a bit and pretty soon I was feeling better.

As I reached the end of the first run interval, I noticed a few trucks driving around near the maintenance building in the center of the park.  Then I saw one of them coming at me on the track… driving right on the jog path. I was walking just then, and stepped over onto the grass as the vehicle approached. The driver had his window open and said “good morning” as he passed me. I don’t know why, but I thought that was sort of funny… I mean, here I am jogging in the snow on a cold morning, and there are trucks driving along the path where cars are generally not supposed to be, and as we pass each other we exchange pleasantries as if it’s just any other day. Oh, well. I looked back and saw that there were now four different work trucks parked at a spot on the path behind me, apparently to work on some trees and/or power lines.

Hmmm.

Now I was calculating where the rest of my intervals would start and stop. I didn’t want to jog  or walk right past all those trucks later (they were blocking the path anyway). My cue came to run again, this time for 8 minutes. BNH hit me right in the middle of the interval. Heavy sigh. Once again I put my head down and only looked at the pavement in front of my feet as I jogged up. I took note of the fact that there was a set of footprints in the light snow going up the hill… MY footprints from my previous round on the track. And I knew that before the workout was over,  I would be heading up that hill one more time.

I crested the hill, caught my breath again as I kept moving forward, and then thought about how I was going to bypass those work trucks a little further along the trail. I really did not want to (a) be jogging as I passed them by, lest they see my cow-ness, or (b) be walking as I passed them by, lest they see my cow-ness and it last even longer because of the slower pace. Fortunately, there is a convenient alternate route that I can take that allowed me to stay away from the trucks all together… the only downside is, it throws off my mileage calculation for the day since I don’t really know how much of the main path gets bypassed when I take that short cut.

I completed my second walk interval and then came the cue for the last run of the day… another 5 minutes, and another trip up BNH. I huffed and I puffed and I laid down one more set of footprints in the snow going up that hill. It wasn’t too much longer now… at this point, Robert is popping in more frequently as all the different days get closer to wrapping up. The way the timings all work this week, the Day 3 People finish their big run first, then the Day 1 People finish, and finally the Day 2 People. So you see, we all want to be Day 3 People, even though that is theoretically the hardest workout of the week. Because we all want to finish our workout first! Funny how that works. I am telling you, the people at CoolRunnings.com knew what they were doing when they created this plan and set up these intervals. Some of it doesn’t seem to make sense on paper, but it sure does make a lot more sense when you are out doing it.

So I finally got my cue to stop running and do the cool down walk. I once again took the short cut that avoided the work trucks, and headed back toward my car.

The funny thing about today is this: it was a little harder than I thought — and that can be for several different reasons, ranging from the weather to the work trucks to the fact that I spent the weekend being lazy and attending a couple Christmas parties — but at the same time, it was a workout that I fully expected to be able to complete. I knew before today that I could run 5- and 8-minute intervals, so there was no “new” challenge to meet today. But now I am actually looking forward to the Day 2 and Day 3 workouts, almost as though they will be a relief. Strange, huh? Running 25 minutes straight this Friday sounds impossible when I say it out loud, and yet I have managed to complete each challenge thus far, so why should this week be different?

So the end of today’s story is … I did it!

But instead of saying “hooray for me!” I feel more inclined to say “what’s next?”

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3 comments

  1. glad to see it wasn’t only me who found it harder. I thought the same thing, it would be easier because i know I can run 5 and 8 min intervals. Will run tomorrow day 2 10 min intervals,hope i feel better than d1. Thanks for sharing your experience, i love it.


  2. i’m just a little bit ahead of you, W8D2 tomorrow, and i found the intervals started messing w/my head. no more intervals for me is now a relief the increase from 25:00 to 28:00 yesterday wasn’t bothersome and i find my min/mile is improving a little each time out. thanks for taking the time to blog about it; it’s fun to read.


  3. I’ll start week six tomorrow. Hope I survive!

    Should have started Sunday, but I ran Mon-Thurs last week then ran(and walked) my first 5K Saturday. So I rested!

    Can’t wait to be able to run 5K with no walking!



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