Last week was my last week of self-coaching. By the end of the week I was completely worn out. I was just so tired of doing the same old stuff over and over again, so I drew a hard line in the sand and took Sunday as a complete rest day so that I would be starting this week off with a clean slate.
My only physical activity last Sunday was one dog walk and programing this week's runs that my coach posted for me in Final Surge into my Garmin;-)
Monday: 3 mile easy run. I set up the Garmin for 3 miles so that I would do nothing less and nothing more. The pace ended up being much faster than I expected.
Tuesday: 5 mile easy run. I put exactly the same effort as I did the day before and came away with a very predictable 12:30 pace lol. I did some very lukewarm strength work later in the day. In the first place I am bored to tears with my routine and in the second place I didn't sweat it because I knew I'd be meeting with my coach soon to get the strength part straightened out.
Thursday: my first "workout" yay!!! And an April Fool's Snowstorm boo!!! I wasn't sure if the roads were icy and I didn't want to find out the hard way, so I drove to "Speedwork Park" and did the entire workout on the walking path - it's a dirt surface which greatly reduces the odds of a slip n'slide.
The workout was one mile warm up, 2 miles at a brisk-but-not-fast pace (she gave me a 30 second range to hit), and then one mile cool down. I set my 2 miles up as 4 x half mile because for me it's easier to concentrate on 4 small things rather than one big one.
It was still snowing pretty heavily and of course it was windy, so I crawled through my warm up with my Garmin under my sleeve. Once the workout part started, the magic kicked in and I found myself constantly slowing down to stay on pace. I went back into slog mode for the cool down, though in the last tenth of the mile I let loose and a did a sprint for fun.
Booyah! Everything was on pace and it felt good.
Friday: I didn't have to wonder if the roads were icy - I knew that they were. No problem, I just drove to the park and got my 3 mile easy run. Then I headed out to meet my coach in person to get the strength thing nailed down.
My coach had us meet at a gym where she teaches. The two of us were the only people there. FYI, it was my first time doing any kind of physical activity wearing a mask. I don't know how I would feel about running in a mask but for strength it was completely NBD and I kind of forgot that I was wearing it.
She asked me what kinds of strength exercises that I do, what weights I use, and what equipment I have at home. I rambled while she took notes and came up with a list of ten exercises and asked me how I felt about them. She asked me to do a few basic things such as walk up and down the room and crank out a few basic body weight exercises so that she could assess where I am. Then we did the workout to test out what weights to use and see how my form was looking. While we were doing it, we figured out when and how to get these workouts in. She's a fan of doing strength on hard running days so that easy days are easy and rest days are true rest days. That means that Tues and Thursday are the days, so she added them to my Final Surge schedule. We'll meet up sometime next month to check my form and change up the workout.
P.S. yes I am totally taking time away from work from personal training. My company doesn't track PTO and in the WFH era I never take PTO anymore. Some day I will take a "personal day" for real again, but for now it's good enough to take a "personal hour".
Saturday: my upper body was a little sore-in-a-good-way from the strength work and I was a bit tired but my legs felt good. I headed out into the stereotypical spring long run weather of a little chilly plus killer wind. By the end I was ready to be done BUT 11:54 this week is a huge improvement over last week's "I hate my life" 12:44 crawl.
More of the same - literally. Next week I get to run more miles and do more strength work.
The 2nd Best News of the Week
I'm a big fan of UCAN. I drink it before most of my long runs and races. My go-to is the plain with a strawberry lemonade Nuun for flavor.
But since it only comes in liquid form, I've never been able to use it during a run. I just don't have room to carry a fuel bottle in addition to my water bottles. And I'm just a bit too lazy to make my own gels, which is what UCAN recommends for in-run fueling. I don't trust a ziplock bag to stay sealed in my running belt, and thanks but no thanks to reusable bags. I don't feel any better about those seals and I really don't want to spend my free time washing them. I've kind of settled on salted caramel Gu as the official Least Offensive Gel in the marketplace. They're fine for 8-10 mile runs where I'm only having one, but for longer runs I find that I just can't stomach a 2nd one. If I had a dime for every time I've pondered "why the freak doesn't UCAN make gels?" I'd have a nice stash of cash...
Well no more pondering for me because UCAN finally came out with freaking gels that I can throw into the ol' running belt without a second thought. I learned about them from this Instagram post. I commented on the post and later on I thought "no wait a minute I'll bet it's an April Fool's" but phew it's real! And UCAN answered my comment so that made my day.
I still have quite a supply of salted caramel Gu so it will probably be next fall before I try these, but I am very happy that they are finally here.
Question #1: for those of you that use Final Surge, are you able to download workouts straight to your Garmin? I took a shot at it but couldn't figure it out. I can't tell if it's a working feature or just something in beta that's not working yet...if you tell me that it works then I'll take another crack at it.
Question #2: what's your favorite running fuel product?