First Miles of the New Year

I decided to begin 5k specific training 4 weeks post-marathon without considering that week 4 was a holiday week. Oops. It’s tricky to start structured training during an unstructured holiday week! I did most of the training as prescribed, but I also had fun and adjusted the plan when I felt like it.

I’m probably overstating the “structure” involved in the 5k training. As much as I’m motivated to keep running more and faster, I’m backing off of what I think I’m capable of doing training-wise this winter and spring. One of my goals this year is balance – both for an overall happy life and to avoid burnout with running.

Monday: 4 miles @ 9:44/mile; strides

My training plan suggested running weekday easy/distance runs at a pace between 9:15 and 10:15/mile. I thought this was nuts when I saw it; during marathon training these runs were typically 10:45/mile or higher (I was running purely by feel and trying to take it very “easy”). It makes sense to me, however, that having improved my PRs over the past year and decreasing my weekly mileage, I can/should be running a bit faster. This run felt harder than a regular weekday distance run, but not uncomfortably so.

Tuesday: 6 mile fartlek // 8 x 1 min @ 7:50-8:00, 2 min recovery

I thought this would be totally easy. Throw a post-recovery marathoner a 6 mile fartlek workout with 5k pace repeats and they might get arrogant.

A couple of repeats in:

And at the end of the workout:

Once I checked with Sir Garmin, I realized I ran the 5k pace repeats too fast, so there’s that. (The repeats were at per-mile paces of  8:20, 7:16, 7:49, 7:42, 7:42, 7:49, 7:42, 7:49. Barf-worthy pacing at the beginning.) Give an actual sort-of speedy workout to someone who hasn’t run faster than 10k pace in months…it burns.

Wednesday: New Year’s Eve! Rest day.

I took the rest day super seriously. We stayed in and Jeff made many delicious foods. I photographed none of them, so just take my word for it.

Thursday: New Year’s Day! Rest day.

I felt like sleeping in, eating a hearty breakfast, and drinking beer/watching football, so I took an extra rest day.

New year's morn

So that’s just what I did.

We went over to our friends’ house and watched football, including Baylor’s Cotton Bowl collapse loss. I’m sad about the outcome, of course, but I do appreciate the tragic coincidence that we got beaten the same way we beat TCU. It’s uncanny, really.

Friday: 4 miles @ 9:51/mile; kickboxing

I think North Avenue might be the best street in Atlanta for a hill workout if you can time the stoplights – it is constantly going up or down. I wasn’t technically supposed to do any sort of workout, just a regular distance run, but I had a lot of pent up energy from not running two days in a row.

hills

I still felt energetic after my run, so I decided to go to my first kickboxing class since marathon training began. Maybe that was a bad choice. Parts of my body hurt for days afterward, but it was so nice to get back to hitting the crap out of the bag. Kicks are a little rusty at this point.

boxing gloves

May we never be parted again.

Saturday: Sorely needed rest day. 

Watched the UFC fights with some friends, which weren’t all that exciting. Drank more beer than was necessary.

Sunday: 9 miles @ 10:44/mile

I meant to run 10 miles around town to reacquaint myself with parts of the Publix half marathon course. I didn’t feel great to begin with, then I had a near brush with death. Here’s what happened.

I was running along the sidewalk by a busy shopping/dining area (by the Vortex on Moreland), and there was a car waiting to turn onto the street. I made eye contact with the driver and didn’t start to cross the driveway until she acknowledged me. As I was crossing, I heard a honk. The lady who had just acknowledged me hit the gas and nearly flattened me. Rage ensued.

In what felt like an out-of-body experience, I did my best Slim Shady impression (put one finger on each hand up) and let loose a string of four-letter words that was passionate if not all that impressive. I’m not creative with profanity.

Later, I realized anyone in the parking lot had plenty of time to photograph me as Sweaty-Slim-Shady and make me an internet meme. I’ve been monitoring Reddit for days. Please notify me if you see me meme’d. (Tag #sweatyslimshady would be appropriate.)

What made me so mad wasn’t just narrowly escaping death-by-car. I don’t normally explode with rage when a car almost hits me; sadly, I’m kind of used to it. I’ve come to expect every car to hit me unless I know they’ve seen me. In this situation, I was (still am) angry because that jerk made eye contact with me. She knew I was there and hit the gas anyway. It’s sickening.

Lessons, in no particular order:

  1. Do not run on Moreland.
  2. Motorists should not be trusted.
  3. Don’t be a shitty driver. Be considerate of pedestrians and cyclists. Saving 15 seconds isn’t worth hitting a defenseless person with your car.

After all that, the rest of the run wasn’t great, and I cut it short to 9 miles.

Total Miles for the Week: 23

I felt like I barely ran at all this week. I plan to do some more cross-training in the weeks to come.

What is your worst experience with a motorist? If you were appointed dictator of the rules of the road, what would you change?

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4 thoughts on “First Miles of the New Year

  1. You had an awesome set of workouts this week!

    And yes, motorists can not be trusted. A large number of drivers are not mindful of what is around them, which is terrifying! Too many people texting as well. But really!? The lady saw you and continued on her way, scary.

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    • Thanks Jessie! It was scary and an experience that is sadly all to familiar to most endurance athletes. You make a great point about mindfulness on the road, and I wish I knew what it would take to change that issue on a large scale. Stay safe out there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a strong start to the year this week! I can’t believe that driver acknowledged you and still continued. Several years ago, I was struck by a lady who I believed had seen me (she had sunglasses on – and I had the right of way), but was essentially turning right but only really looking left. I was very lucky – a torn tendon in my wrist, terrible whiplash, and road rash. But I am much more cautious now when it comes to crossing in front of vehicles.

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    • Wow. I’m so sorry that happened and so glad it wasn’t worse. I wish we didn’t have to worry about these things, but you’re right, all we can do is be super cautious. I’m envious when I visit more pedestrian-oriented cities (Chicago comes to mind), because drivers do seem to be much more on the lookout for pedestrians. I love our city but when it comes to pedestrian and cyclist safety, we need a culture change.

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