Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Treadmill - Friend & Foe

Right now I'm in the middle of training for my first half marathon. For me, the fast I'm done the better, which is unfortunate because at the moment I'm not exactly what anyone would call "fast." My average pace is usually somewhere between 9:00 and 9:30. My pace for the longest race I've run to date (Army 10 Miler) was more like 11:00.

It's ambitious, but I want to try to finish the half in 2 hours or less. This means speed work, and for me, the best way to do speed work is on what so many like to refer to as "the dreadmill." Being on the 'mill forces me to stick to the faster pace and then ratchet things back far enough for adequate recovery. I don't like the thing, but it is what works for me when it comes to speed work intervals.

I like to be different, so I don't do my long runs on Saturday mornings. Instead I save Saturday for speed work. This morning's session was supposed to be 4 miles of 1600s. Unfortunately, some pre-workout cardinal sins combined with bad luck at the gym made this morning's workout a tough one.

My husband J and I went to a wedding last night, which included a superb dinner reception at one of the best restaurants in Richmond: LeMaire at The Jefferson Hotel. This was the kind of reception where you have one wine glass and ever-watchful waiters who are only too happy to top off you glass every time you take a sip. As a result, I have no idea how much Pinot Grigio I actually consumed last night (don't worry, J was my DD). The menu was also decadent and full of rich food like beef tenderloin and wedding cake.

Chocolate buttermilk cake with chocolate ganache

While delicious, it wasn't the best pre-run dinner. Making matters worse, this morning I was still feeling so full from Friday's decadence that I didn't eat breakfast and only sipped some water on the way to the Y. Very bad idea.

Conditions at the Y didn't help. It was pouring this morning, so the place was packed. The cardio room was much warmer than usual. My iPod died around mile 2.3. My hamstrings still hurt from Tuesday night's yoga class.

Let's just say it wasn't pretty and not the workout that I had hoped for. But I powered through and finished, sweating buckets in the process. Now I can now look forward to a lazy Sunday before tackling a week that includes an 8-miler on Tuesday.

What are your pre-workout cardinal sins?
Do you love or hate the treadmill? A little of both?
What's your favorite wine?


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