I’m back to full-time training after my holiday break (i.e., calendar period characterized by over-consumption of gooey, sugary, yummy carb-laden items, Chardonnay, and things often described as “party food”). What this means is that I am once again running a lot, spending too much time on Ultrarunning.com’s calendar looking for races that meet my criteria (close, runnable terrain, minimal chance I will end up being dinner for something furry), and lamenting the fact that Top Chef is not on television EVERY DAY so that I can watch it while I’m on the treadmill.
But this training cycle I’m doing things a little different. Every training cycle I switch it up – not because I am super focused and try to “train like I race”, or anything, but rather, because I get bored. But I like a routine. But I get bored. But I like a routine. Make sense?
In other words, I have to set up a routine, follow it for the months leading up to a race, and then scrap it and start all over again before the next one. There is really no rhyme or reason to which routine I pick (yeah, I’m scientific like that). I just pick some routes, see which ones I like and that fit best into my schedule, and then go with it for a few months. It’s a strange combination of obsessive compulsiveness mixed with laziness. Hubz says I’m an Obsessive Compulsive Free Spirit. Whatever.
So, this cycle, I’m doing half trails and half treadmill. Sounds like a nice balanced plan, right? The problem is that I did 90% percent of my running on the TM last cycle. Flat. Very flat. And while I threw in a few outdoor runs here and there, none were very long, or hard. But somehow, in my new training zeal (I am always loaded with zeal at the beginning of a cycle), I forgot that my muscles are “flat” muscles right now, and that maybe I should start building my “up and down” muscles slowly and steadily.
But why, oh why, would I exercise good judgment at this stage of the game? That would just be silly (and way out of character).
So, on Saturday, I went to the mountains and did mountain repeats. Twenty miles of them. In 87 degree weather. And I ran out of water at mile 15. But I kept going because there is something wrong with my brain that doesn’t seem to understand the meaning of the phrase “dumb idea” (as further evidence, remember, I like “Honey Boo Boo”).
I will spare you the rest of the details, because y’all are smart people. Just know that the run about killed me. It is now three days, and one massage, later and I still have to fight the urge to go down the stairs on my butt. Only pride, and my lack of housewifery skills (God only knows when those stairs were swept last), keep me from actually doing it.
The lesson here, my friends, is simple: Run flat on the treadmill while watching Top Chef.