Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Quads are Burning

My quads are burning. It started on Monday night with my weekly tempo run. Only thing was, I hadn't done my weekly tempo run in three weeks. Because of my short run on Saturday, I was interested in making this tempo run longer than the traditional five. As I ran my warm-up mile I decided that I'd try and cover six miles at the following tempo paces:

1. Warm-up
2. 8:15
3. 7:45
4. 8:15
5. 8:45
6. Cool down

Of course the warm-up mile ended up being about 8:45. I can't force myself to slow down from that when it feels perfectly comfortable, especially when I'm running slightly downhill and I'm anxious about having to pick up the pace so much in the coming miles. When mile 2 clocked in at 8:10 I was happy but also frustrated with myself for not being able to maintain a steady, solid pace. Not only the speed, but the understanding of how to pace myself, is what will make me a better runner.

Mile 3 was right on par but, at the end of it, I knew that it was going to be a real struggle to get two more tempo miles out of me. I thought it would be hard to get even one more 8:15 minute mile from those legs. So I gambled with myself. I decided that, as punishment for running mile 2 too fast, I'd run mile 4 in 8:10 but, if I did so, then I'd ditch the mile 5 pace and begin my cool-down immediately.

My legs did not feel abnormally worked after this run but there is always a little recovery period for them after a solid tempo run. That's why I was excited to go to Hot Yoga the next day to cross train and get my body all stretched out. But, it turned out, my instructor had another thing in mind. Legs!

We seemed to focus most of our energy on our legs yesterday. We did runner's lunge after runner's lunge and warrior pose after warrior pose until my legs were so shaky I wasn't sure that they could finish the class. Next time I'm hoping for more planks, cobras, and whatever all those other poses are called that made my back feel so good and sore after the first hot yoga class. But I survived and I got spaces next to my friends this time which was lovely.

It was Hadley's first yoga class and I have yet to get her full verdict. I don't think it was her favorite experience of all time but hopefully when we're both members of Gold's Gym, and I make her take yoga all the time, she'll learn to love it.

We did sweat like maniacs and I decided that I absolutely need to buy myself a yoga towel mat thing. I literally had globs of sweat dripping off every crevice of my body and my hands and feet were sliding around on my mat so much that, during all of the lunges, I worried I'd slip and tear something in my knees. I am truly happy to sweat that much and I feel so cleansed afterward but I need a way to wipe it up.

I am a jerk and made Sarah and Hadley take this picture with me after I'd changed into my clean, dry shirt, while they were still sopping in their sweaty ones. You wouldn't catch me dead in that class in a long-sleeve shirt. But I think we all still look hardcore and accomplished, them more so than me.

I am glad that I went to yoga and want to continue it as a weekly thing but my legs are really hoping for some more planks next week. I was sitting on the couch watching FL v. KY basketball last night (don't want to talk about it) and my legs felt like jello. Even though it wasn't the best cross-training in the moment, I know that it will only make me stronger for running in March and biking next summer.

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