This workout journal brings several good news. So it will be full of spoilers on my good, proactive behaviour in taking my healthy habits seriously. Also, in the end, I will genuinely ask you to applaud my performances so that I can add a drop of self-esteem to my fat ego.
The first major news is that I’ve almost run a 17k race in a day (beat drums, please!). That happened at the end of May during my last long run of the month. I actually run 16.67 km in 2 hours.
My workout plan was to run for 60 minutes, take a 10 minutes break and then run again for 60 minutes. At the start, I could feel that I had a great fitness level. My heart was chill, my body responded right, good posture and I knew that I could stay in the race longer than those initially 60 minutes. But I decided to follow the plan and see if I was able to get back on track after 1 hour which turned out to be not that bad. Sure, in the end, I was counting the seconds before I could stop running but now, looking back, my body was my best friend that day, encouraged me to go forward as I was in super good shape.
This is my longest run so far. You know from my previous workout journals that my goal is to run 21k so I am close to doing that. I think the first 90 minutes are ok, I can cope with that, but then it is getting really hard to stay motivated and is not just that sometimes I feel really tired, is that inevitably I am analysing everything, including the fact that I am on a run on a Saturday morning doing something that maybe doesn’t have such a meaningful purpose.
The following week, I was super confident that I could take down 17k and made a different plan. Stay in the race up to 10k and then to do the rest 7k after my 10 minutes break. Plans didn’t go that wonderful as I put it in my head. Actually, I went through 9k in the first race and hardly achieved 5k in the backup run. My time was better though. I increased my speed from 7:11 min/km to 7:04 min/km. This was intentional, of course. Now, on my runs, I am trying to vary my intensity throughout the workout mostly because I get bored easily and because basically now I RUN.
I started to alternate speed after my first two kilometres. I don’t really know if that exhausted my somehow, but I quitted mostly because something wasn’t right inside my body. To exaggerate, I’ve felt that something will definitely break if I continue to run. Couldn’t take that out of my head so I had to stop.
Overall I am trying my best to do my workouts right. Even the intervals that I hate the most. On my last interval, my pace was skyrocketing – 6:29 min/km. This time I had to run 6 minutes fast and alternate with 2 minutes of recovery run and repeat four times.
During April and for a big part of May, I was doing terrible though. I’ve felt tired all the time, and my pace was super low as my heart rate increased rapidly. I even run on a Sunday afternoon thinking that I have to recover my fitness level. But that was a bad idea and I had to stop after half an hour. So it was time to rethink this workout plan a little and make some new rules.
- Do not run if you didn’t sleep long enough so that you feel capable of doing at least 5k without your heart rate going up to the sky.
- Do not run on Sunday, except if you go out on Friday and you cannot run the following morning. Sunday should be a rest day.
- Do not run after 11 am on weekends ‘cause the heat is not doing you any favours.
- Do stretching between runs: for my back, legs, and lately, I am introducing abs workout. It takes 40 minutes to do this on days when I do not run and on Saturday morning.
If I learned something in these two months, is that it’s ok to take a break whenever it doesn’t feel right to run. It’s ok to back up a little and not pushing my body to a limit that it can be not only unbearable but no fun at all. What I didn’t master is going to bed before 22:30 so that I can sleep long enough for my productivity time: run, write and focus on my readings.
This time last year I began running two to three times a week. Now I am starting to see the benefits of this healthy habit. First, I kept my weight in balance. Combining with cooked food and three meals a day I’ve lost 7 kilos. Secondly, I feel my body, I am not just a soul trapped in a body, I can feel it and be more aware of my muscles, my organs ‘cause – this will sound weird – but I feel like I know them now. There, in those running days, we had plenty of time to talk about our feelings and hopes and sometimes I begged to keep me longer in the race. And because I know my body more, I started to notice what kind of food makes me feel good and what can I do to improve my general well-being like sleeping long enough so my body can rest. The third benefit is that running created a time for me to really focus. That breath exercise I had to do for several months just to keep the pace helped me deal with stressful times. I think in general if you can truly concentrate on one thing contributes to realising additional thoughts that can make you no use and reduce anxiety.
After one year of constant work, I know that wonderful races will come up and look forward to the next challenge.