I don’t remember what I did the week following the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon last year, maybe cross training, but I don’t think it was any running. This time around I took two days off but by Wednesday I was completely energized and anxious to start running again. It was almost an invincible feeling. My knee didn’t hurt going down stairs anymore and my groin wasn’t sore, in fact that only thing that bothered me was my feet because I was wearing heels and apparently that’s not helping me with anything.
Despite a hard cardio session at the gym the day before, my boyfriend offered to come run with me at Chestnut Ridge for the first time. It was muggy and sunny, but the kind of weather I absolutely love. We started about .5 miles further along than I usually run because I didn’t feel like dealing with the uphill finish on my first run back after the race. The run wasn’t awful or fabulous during, it was just average. We took it semi-slow, enjoying the scenery and scents (who doesn’t love the smell of a forest after a warm summer rain?) but because we started further along than normal, our turn around point was at the top of Mother Hill. Of course. Finishing the run was humbling. I felt invincible at the start, but was quickly reminded that I am still recovering and Chestnut Ridge is never an easy run. When will I learn this?
Thursday I thought a decent track workout would be a grand idea in the 85 degrees and humidity. After all, this is summer in Buffalo and I need to get used to running in this weather. I pulled some random VO2 max workout geared towards a 5k off the internet and just went with it. The goal was 10 x 300m at 800m pace with 100m jog. Given I’m at my high school 5k pace now, I based my 800m pace off of my average time from high school. I shouldn’t have set that kind of standard for myself this soon after a half marathon like I just had, but I tend to forget that races are basically super awesome speed/tempo sessions. Each 300m was between 68 and 69 seconds — definitely not the greatest, but I’ll take it.
Today I planned a 4-5 mile easy run, but I didn’t hydrate enough and it was 89 degrees with humidity again. It was so warm, I was sweating through my sports bra and I wasn’t even wearing a shirt. I ended up with 2.4 miles and a terrible cramp that didn’t even go away after the 10 minute drive home. I decided to test out this 99 workout that everyone posts on instagram. I’ll admit I’m a little judgmental and cranky when I see people post those ridiculous challenges as though they are the hardest workouts you could ever do.
I rotated crunches throughout the sets. First time was regular, second time was Russian twists with legs raised and 3lb weights (it’s all I have!), third time was regular crunches with 3lb weights and arms straight for half, then double crunch the other half, and fourth was double crunches. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I didn’t do a 2 minute bridge either. I opted for a 2 minute tricep plank instead. I also didn’t take a break during the last three sets.
All in all, the first three sets were the hardest due to the wall squats. I ended up singing Macklemore and dancing with my upper body to make it. I might do it again starting with the smallest set first in order to get my body moving while its tired and everything hurts. Who knows though I could wake up tomorrow and be unable to move, but for now my abs are just tired.
Now it’s all about relaxing. I have an early morning long run tomorrow, followed by a day of laying in the sun to get rid of my runner’s tan while drinking cherry whiskey and water. I’ll spend the rest of my night creating my training “skeleton” that takes me through the Labor Day Fleet Feet 15k. Speaking of 15k’s, why aren’t there more in the world? It’s a great distance!