Last week marked my first Eminem run of this training cycle. It’s been at least three months since I’ve done 8 miles and, given how lousy my last 6-miler was, my hopes were not high. Perhaps it was simply a result of low expectations, but the Eminem was fine. Kinda good, even.
Which is one of the facts about running that always humbles/gratifies me: things change. A good six miles one day doesn’t mean they’ll be good the next. They might be fabulous. Or they might suck like a Hoover. You can’t predict with complete accuracy how any run might go until you run it.
Deep, eh? These are the sorts of highfalutin’ thoughts I have at mile 6 or so.
Part of the reason this long run was better, I think, is that I moved it to Thursday rather than try to cram it into an already jam-packed weekend. I’m trying to be sort of smart about moving workouts around. I’m not putting intense runs—like a long run and an interval run—on back-to-back days. I might have to do the same with strength training, since I discovered that my form on the 13.FUN strength training routine was off enough on the morning after the Eminemer that I extended too far over my right knee on a lunge, which made it grouse for the rest of the day. It complained even more vehemently with each of the 9000 loads of laundry I carried up and down two flights of steps, but had given up its klaxon calls by the next morning.
Week three’s ladder intervals—I think that’s where they are called—were on tap for Sunday morning. They break down in a 1, 2, 3, 2, 1 pattern, which I interpreted as 1 minute hard as you can, then 1 minute easy; 2 minutes hard, 2 easy; and so on. Ten minute warm up (um, before you start the ladder, silly) and a ten minute cool down. According to the plan, this should be about five miles. For me, it was more like 3.5, for I am not a speedy engine.
Despite that, I kicked that first hard minute’s arse. I pushed out a sub-8 minute mile pace and felt like a goddess. I walked for a minute, then busted out two minutes at 8:30ish. I walked for two minutes, then, well, didn’t go nearly as fast for any of the following intervals. In fact, during the 3-minute haul, I had an 8th grade gym class flashback to the day we were forced to run a half-mile and I nearly barfed from the exertion in front of a boy I liked. On top of that, I failed the exercise because I couldn’t haul my 14-year-old self around the track fast enough to please the P.E. teacher. Related: I may still be a little bitter about this.
Still! Let’s focus on the positive. A 7:36 mile pace! Fear me, Kara Goucher!
Given that a) I’m doing OK with the spicier Race plan so far and b) the Race plan ramps up the intensity and distance pretty quickly in the cycle, I’m now at a place that I haven’t been since halfway through my journey through the run plan last winter: I am starving all of the time.
Unlike Dimity, I actually like to cook and do it frequently. I am a meal planner from way back because I intensely dislike having to go to the grocery and deeply prefer to only force myself to do it once a week. The loathing stems from a summer I spent as a cashier at a Publix near my mom’s in Orlando. Still a little bitter about that, too, it seems.
Anyhoo. Dinner is easy. Breakfast, too, because cold cereal and warm oatmeal exist. But I really can’t get a handle on lunch. That mid-day meal is the one I don’t want to have to think about. To quote a friend: I just want kibble in my bowl.
Lately I’ve been cooking a big batch of brown rice, then heating up lunch-sized portions with whichever frozen veggies I seem to be hoarding. But I am getting bored with that kind of kibble and it’s not keeping me as full as it used to.
So, mother runners, how do you deal with lunch? And does anyone want to come over and make it for me?