Creative Workouts and More Fun Surprises

Things have been very hectic for the past few weeks, and I haven’t been able to keep up my normal running schedule, so I have had to get a little creative.

I am finally back on track with my running plan. I emailed back and forth with a very nice guy at Run the Edge who hooked me up with the Running Start plan. I looked it over and decided I would start myself off about three weeks into the plan, on Level 3.

Over Labor Day weekend, my husband and I drove down to Maryland to stay at my friend’s summer house with a bunch of people. I was planning to bring my running gear and run the first workout of my training plan the next morning, but I wound up not bringing it partly out of a lack of space in the car, but mostly because I forgot to put it in the car and didn’t want to turn around to get it once I realized it wasn’t there. We got to the house around noon, started in on the hard cider and beer, then got to cooking and hanging out. Gary and I had a great time, but we were worn out by 9:00 PM from all the day-drinking and drove 4.5 hours home. We aren’t used to day-drinking, and we’ve had (and continue to have on a daily basis) so many family-related stresses, that being around people takes a lot out of us both. Introverts of the world, unite, and then go home and recharge your social batteries. So, no fun run for me that day (although I almost had running buddies who would have probably left me in their dust!)

Most of our time has been spent at Gary’s mom’s house, cleaning, sorting, and tossing stuff into a dumpster. Creative Workout #1: Super Strength Training. It’s not just nails, bolts, sawdust: We’ve been going through years of collected miscellany. Furniture was sledgehammered into bits. Items were carefully stacked to maximize dumpster space. Mostly, garbage cans full of junk and other heavy items have been carried to and thrown into the dumpster. Hello, killer arms. While wielding the sledgehammer, someone joked, “You swing like a girl.” And I said, “Yes, I do, because I am a girl, and there is nothing wrong with the way I swing this sledgehammer,” and my husband soberly warned the guy, “Watch out, she’ll come after you with that thing,” and I said, “Yes, I will,” and I took a swing.

Creative Workout #2: No time to run because you’re supposed to go to your Mother In Law’s to help clean? Have your husband drop you off on the side of the road a mile and a half from their house and hoof it all the way there. This was the day after our long drive to and from Maryland, and we got very little sleep but I managed to get in a great run. It was incredibly hot, but I made incredible time. Like, really unbelievably incredible. My first mile was 15:19. My first running interval was ten minutes, and I was going to have to climb this really long hill on the way to the in-law’s, and I was hoping to finish my ten minutes at the bottom of the hill so I could walk up it. Nope – hit the ten minute mark at the actual crest of the hill. Well, it was all downhill from there! Knee-slap, cymbal rimshot, something else to indicate that was a corny joke. But still, it’s weird – this is my best mile time not running speed intervals, and I somehow managed it while running up a hill.

Creative Workout #3: Have your husband be your personal trainer. I had to cross-train to fulfill another day of my training plan, and normally I’d do a video or lift weights, but I was so not motivated. I told my husband and he started barking orders. Step-ups, squatty things, sit-ups, planks, dumbell rows… It was a truly great, short, powerful workout. I just sneezed and my abs hurt, so I know it worked.

And finally, not in the realm of creative workouts, but in the realm of awesome news: Today, my husband ran with me! (YAY!) I love when he goes out with me, it doesn’t feel so much like work. He is much faster than me, and I’m sure I would hurt myself trying to keep up, so I just told him to turn where he wants to turn, take whichever path he wants, and I’ll just follow. He did an awesome job – I can’t wait to see how he finishes in the 5K. He’s got speed and I’ve got endurance, but speed kind of wins out when your walking pace is the same as my jogging pace. He can pull ahead by a mile and then just walk the rest of the way and I’ll never catch up with him!

Also in awesome news: I ran something like a 13:18 mile today. OK, now it’s getting weird: how did I go from 16-17 minute miles to a 13 minute mile? I mean, I’ll take it and I’ll appreciate it, but it’s kind of a shock. How on earth did I sit at that 16 minute plateau for so long and then suddenly just shave off two whole minutes? I’m trying to think back to the past few weeks, but I can’t remember being bitten by any radioactive insects or drinking any kind of weird potions.

oh, and we are buying a house.

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