Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tennis, Tempo, Tired.


I like my job but I do not like sitting under fluorescent lights in front of a computer all day. So, to blow off some steam, I left the office at lunchtime yesterday to play tennis with Kate. We crossed the street to UDC, whose courts are "open to the community" according to their website. We got there, though, and the giant padlocks on all of their gates said otherwise. I called the number on their rule board and was told by a friendly woman in the athletic department that you must be a student or a paying member of the tennis club in order to use the courts. We were neither and even if we were, we'd have had to make a reservation at least 24 hours in advance.

So we wandered up the street to a park that I vaguely remembered seeing on a walk two years ago and hoped that I hadn't just been dreaming. Sure enough, the park was real and it had tennis courts! Tennis courts with cracks and grass growing from them but tennis courts nonetheless.

We played for 35 minutes and by "played", I mean "hit the ball back and forth wildly, getting a pretty good workout from all the ball-chasing". Neither of us had used a racket in a while but we had fun and agreed to make it a regular thing. Tennis Tuesdays or Tennis Thursdays. Or Tennis Twednesdays or basically tennis on any day that Kate doesn't have afternoon meetings. It will happen and we will get really good.


I broke a good sweat at lunch but I hadn't run in a few days and I was getting antsy for it so I decided to do a quick tempo run after work. Also, the temperature was 51 degrees and that, my friends, is my idea of perfect running weather.

Really December? 60 degrees? And does it have to be 47 and rainy on Sunday, the 25th? Really?
With my Garmin sufficiently charged this time, I planned to do a full five miles as follows: warm-up, 8:30mm, 7:45mm, 8:30mm, cool-down. I came pretty close to goal and it was, as always, a challenge. But it was a good one.

One of the hardest parts for me continues to be running a slow warm-up mile. It feels unnatural to start out a run so slowly and I hate to get in the groove of such a pace when I know I will need to run almost two minutes faster later. But I know the body "needs" the warm-up (I guess it's the healthy thing to do) so I spent the mile telling myself to slow down and take it easy. On the fifth mile, with my feet burning (not sure what that was about- my arches/soles were burning the last 20 minutes of the run), I did not tell myself to take it easy. It was coming naturally and that means I was well-worked.


I have only ever done four hard tempo runs but I'm finding that, at the end of each, my stomach is all wack. I often have to go to the bathroom within a few minutes of finishing and it is upset for hours after. This has happened before, definitely post-Baltimore, but it seems even worse (and more immediate) after any tempo run. TMI? Too bad, that's real life. Does anyone else experience this or have any advice?

I took the quality mirror picture above for your viewing pleasure and then I showered, blew a fuse blow-drying my hair, and made myself a dinner of random stuff in my fridge. I skipped my usual chocolate recovery beverage, assuming the mac and cheese and veggie burger would provide the adequate carb/protein ratio for recovery. They didn't and I got a headache. Lesson: even when it's warm enough for shorts and a tank top, drink hot chocolate after a hard run!

Trader Joe's frozen mac and cheese: SO GOOD.
And that one serving is almost as many calories as I burned on my entire run. YUM!

Josh got home from a work happy hour and wondered why I was "ignoring" him. Sorry that I just say "hi!" and don't jump up and down on the couch cheering in my excitement to see you. I am tired and you are buzzed. For real, though, I was suddenly SO tired. I was like a zombie and my head was more tired than anything. We talked for a while, watched an episode of SNL, and then were asleep by 10:30. Before sleep, my burning feet got a wonderful massage and my head was fed two advil to cure the headache.

Please excuse my nasty feet. They have actually been much worse.

Should this day of double-sweating really have hit me so hard? I know that I've had much harder days and I've survived their aftermath better than I did last night. Maybe my body is still recovering from last week's sleep deprivation. Maybe it's just saying, thank you for pushing me, Carrie, now let me recover fully. So that's what I did. And I can't wait for the next Tuesday or Twednesday Tennis outing and the next Tempo Run.

Please SHARE: Do you play tennis? How often do you work out twice in one day? Do you have stomach issues after a hard run? Is it so unseasonably warm where you are?


  1. I love to play tennis with my husband but I SUCK! Like, hit the ball over the fence suck. Oh well. It's still fun. :)
    I usually don't work out twice in one day though I have in the past. I find that once is enough for me in my old age. ;)
    I have been having stomach problems recently too. It's weird because it never used to bother me. Now, I'm like you, after tempo and long runs, my stomach is whack for hours. I'm blaming sugar, but I don't really know...let me know if you figure anything out.

  2. Here are some good stamina, threshold, strength, and speed workouts. Readers who do not know their specific training paces, this tool will help you. (it will help burn the mac n cheese!)

    Personalized Workout Calculator >>>>

    Courtesy of Running Coach
    Ken at 5 Speed Running