Well, vacation time was over and it was back to the real world and work! Instead of falling back into the usual routine I mixed it up a bit. I finished my first trail run and took a new route for my long run. Adam even joined me in the gym for one of my lifting routines.
On Monday morning I went to the gym for my lifting routine, but I did something different this time: I ran to the gym as a warm up. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but it’s hard to stick with it when I’m sore from a long run the day before. This time I took a longer route than necessary and ran a mile in 8:48. I felt pretty fast and I could feel my leg muscles were working, too. After the run, I took the opportunity to stretch my calves and hip flexors which always seem to be tight. I then did 4 sets of 12 reps for my back, chest, shoulders, triceps, and biceps with an ab workout in the middle. I also made sure to stretch my upper body afterwards – something I’m usually pretty lazy about. I felt really good about this workout and my arms were shaky that morning (tired but okay). It was a great way to start the week.
Monday night I arrived home around 8pm and wasn’t at all hungry for dinner. I forced myself to eat and went straight to bed, but I still felt sick when I woke up Tuesday morning. It felt like a light chest cold. Even though I felt dizzy and weak, I still wanted to go to the track to see how it would go. By the time we arrived I was feeling better, but the 3/4 mile warm up was hard. I did drills with Adam then opted to run at a steady pace rather than attempt intervals. I managed another mile before I started to get really hungry and feel heartburn so I stopped and stretched without pushing it any further. The workout was good for me mentally even though I didn’t get to push through it – that fresh morning air is often the best part of day and I would have missed it if I had just opted to stay home.
On Wednesday, though, I slept in. Adam is taking a break from hard-core training and we decided together to skip the cycling workout we had planned. It was a lazy morning.
Thursday morning Adam and I drove to a nearby park for some trail running. I was really excited about the change from our usual limited routes around home. What I didn’t expect was how hilly the route would be compared to what I was used to. It was also muggy enough that my glasses fogged up a couple times during the run. I had to work a little harder than usual, but the new scenery was enough distraction that I didn’t mind so much. Adam and I ran together for the first kilometer or so before he took off at his pace. After 2.5k I turned around to head back to the car and luckily didn’t get lost. Adam caught up to me before the end and we finished the run with a brutal set of stairs (why??!). In the end I ran the 5k in about 33:30. Considering the mud, railroad ties, and hills I’m very happy with that time.
On Friday I went to the gym for my lifting routine and this time Adam tagged along, too! I ran my mile warm up in about 9:30 and did some dynamic stretching before hitting the weights. I use dumbbells for the most part but Adam wanted to stick with bodyweight exercises so we opted for different routines. I like the idea of bodyweight exercises since they’re easy to do when traveling and might be good if I find myself without a gym membership in the future. That said, there’s something I really like about using the dumbbells in the gym. I did 4 sets of 20 reps with abs in between and a quick stretch afterwards.
On Saturday I took the day off and kept myself busy running errands.
Sunday morning was by far the hardest workout of the week. Due to the heat and humidity we decided to run from home so Adam would have a chance to properly shower before going to work that day. The Jones Falls trail sounded appealing after trail running on Thursday so we set off through Druid Hill Park up to Clipper Mill. We didn’t know exactly how long it would be, but we’d biked the course before so I knew roughly what to expect. Well, as it turns out, hills are much less memorable when you’re tackling them on a bike. The route was hillier than I had remembered, but I did learn how to take advantage of the downhill sections by leaning into it and letting gravity do the work. At one point I was flying and I felt like my leg muscles weren’t working at all – it just felt automatic. My heart rate did go up, though, during the downhill stretches. In retrospect I realize this was hard on my knees so I’ll take it easy when doing this in the future. On the way back we hit a huge hill (Union Ave) that seemed to last forever. I had to pause halfway to catch my breath even though I was barely moving. With the humidity and the hills, this 7.33 mile run in 1:20:28 was much harder than the slightly longer run I’ve done in the past around the inner harbor. For the rest of the day I felt like a zombie, but that was partially a result of the heat. It was a hard run, but I’m glad I did it.