Mission Accountable Day 6: A track workout and play group

Today I planned a track workout with a friend. We met at my house at 6:45am and headed over to the high school track by my house. Before having a baby, I would have rolled out of bed around 6:25. With Sweet Pea in the mix, I promptly got up with my alarm at 6:00. I did not press snooze, not even once. This was an auspicious start to the day. At 6:03 my oatmeal was in the microwave while Sweet Pea was starting to stir. Dan held her off by changing her diaper while I inhaled my breakfast, and then I nursed. It was a relief that she woke with plenty of time before I was supposed to meet my friend, otherwise I would have had to pump and I am so over pumping, but that’s a post for another time. I don’t even pump that much, as I only work part-time. If I worked full-time, I think on my last day of pumping, I would take the pump out to a field and beat the crap out of it with a bat, Office Space fax machine style.

We warmed up for about 20 minutes and then did eight 800’s with 200’s for recovery, which we jogged at a very easy pace. For the first time since the Aspen Run of Doom, which was about 10 days ago, my legs felt fresh and zippy. I attribute this to having had some time to recover from that awful workout, doing a very easy workout the day prior, and the time I took to massage my butt and my calves with a lacrosse ball last night. This is a cheap, easy way to do self-massage, and it’s very uncomfortable, sometimes downright painful, but it’s effective for loosening stuff that’s too tight. Plus it give me a chance to sit down and finish the episode of Mad Men I started earlier that day.

I was really happy with my splits, which were: 3:39, 3:34, 3:31, 3:29, 3:27, 3:31, 3:36, 3:37.  By the time I got to #7, my legs were spent, and I was working much harder than earlier in the workout to maintain a slower pace, but the point is to suffer. If I had consistently run each repeat faster than the one before for the entire workout, I probably would have questioned whether I was putting forth my full effort. There was no doubt about that this morning.  This workout is known as Yasso 800’s and the theory is that if you can put together ten or so 800’s at a fairly consistent pace, you should be able to run a marathon in that time, if you convert minutes to hours, and seconds to minutes. So, for example, in this case, if I were training for a marathon, this workout would predict I could run about a 3 hour 35 minute marathon. I have used this workout for almost every marathon training cycle I have ever done, but this has never been true for me.  Have you done this workout? Have you found it to be an accurate predictor of marathon speed? Just curious. I am training for a half marathon, not a marathon, anyway.

I like this workout because I have repeated it many times over the years, so it gives me a good sense of where my fitness is. Based on today, I would say it’s at a high level.  It’s really hard for me to be objective when planning my own training cycle. Without a coach, it’s easy for me to drive myself nuts, second guessing whether I’m doing too much, not enough, going too fast, too slow, etc.  So this was a good confidence boost in terms of my running and also my ability to plan my own training cycle. Double yay.

In other news, I hosted a play group this morning. Prepping for this was perhaps more taxing than the workout, at least mentally. Don’t get me wrong, I love to have gatherings at my house. I get joy out of bringing people together. But it’s stressful to host an event that will largely take place on the floor, where most of the guests are inclined to lick any available surface/object. The floor is the filthiest, yet hardest to clean area of a house. Think about it. When you mop, what are you doing but moving dirty water over the entire surface of the floor? When you use the Swiffer Wet Jet- despite the cool noise when you press the button and  the lovely fake floral chemical scent- it’s moving dirt around your floor and oftentimes creating streaks in the process. While the vacuum is effective, it’s not going to plug itself in and go over your carpets. Did I mention I hate cleaning? Anyway, play group was fun as always and it lit a fire under my butt to tidy up. I think I did an adequate job, though I wasn’t prepared for one of the little guys to dive under my couch. I mean, like completely. I should have asked him if he saw the earring I lost last year while he was down there, but I was too concerned that he would come back out wheezing and covered in dust bunnies to remember about the earring.

Once Sweet Pea was down for the night I headed out for a quick visit to the gym. I swam for about ten minutes, but my main purpose was to hit the sauna and the hot tub. I can’t say I ever took these amenities for granted, but now that it’s harder for me to get to the gym as often, I love them extra.

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