This past week I managed to get in a few good workouts, but I let my stress about work get the better of me. My advisor was in town for three days (he’s been on sabbatical since August) and during that time we had several events planned with some new collaborators from universities across the country. The events themselves were not stressful – just seminars and some low-key meetings – but it took time away from my usual workday. I have a deadline at the end of the month and I need every hour I can get between now and then. Instead of waking up and allowing myself the couple hours I needed to go to the gym, I convinced myself that time would be better spent in front of a computer battling writers block. In reality, I probably would have been better served by taking the time to exercise.
On Tuesday, I did make it to the gym for a run. Of course, this is in large part thanks to Adam – it really is easier to stay honest when you have someone there beside you. It’s still cold here in Baltimore and I wasn’t in the mood to tough it out on the track, so we opted for the treadmills in the gym. Instead of joining Adam for intervals I decided to run 5k – it was my first run in the new shoes and I didn’t want to aggravate whatever caused my arch pain last week. I included a half-mile warmup as part of the 5k distance, then kept a steady 6 mph (10:00 min/mile) pace for the rest. My legs felt good and I felt no pain in my foot during or after that run. After stretching I quickly ran home to get ready for an early meeting at work.
On Wednesday, I really should have gone back to the gym but I convinced myself I could use a gym break in the afternoon instead… wishful thinking. One thing led to another and before I knew it the clock said 8pm – time to go home.
I fared better on Thursday (again, thanks to Adam) with some running intervals. I decided to try running without socks and was lucky to get away without any blisters. I’m still not sure how I feel about going sockless, but I’ll give it another shot. Compared to Tuesday, I felt tired and I knew Adam was feeling the same way. We kept each other going and did the following interval set (after warmups, of course): 5:20 fast and 2:20 slow (3.5 mph walking)
- 6.8 mph (8:50 min/mile)
- 7.0 mph (8:35 min/mile)
- 7.2 mph (8:20 min/mile)
- 7.4 mph (8:06 min/mile)
Compared to last week where I felt like I could have pushed harder, this workout was spot on. My breathing felt good and I found my stride. At the end I was proud of what I had done – such an awesome feeling. I even took a photo to remember the occasion! It’s good to keep in mind our little successes.
Friday was another disappointing day, but Saturday morning I did make it to the gym for a date with the recumbent bike. My right calf was painfully sore from the run on Thursday, so I felt it could use time on the bike followed by some good stretching/massaging. It’s still sore when I first start moving around after sitting still, but after a few minutes I don’t feel it anymore.
On a semi-related note, Adam discovered an awesome new running shoe store in Baltimore: Boston Street Running. He dropped by this afternoon and spent some time talking with the owners. When he got home he couldn’t stop talking about them – he wrote about it on his own blog here. They’re enthusiastic about minimalist running without being pretentious and they’re quickly becoming a part of the local community – you’ve got to love the Baltimore pride. And the best part? Check out my cool new shirt!