RAISING THE BAR // TUESDAY THOUGHTS
It honestly feels super weird to already be at a point with my running and lifting where I need to raise the bar.
Good, but definitely a bit unexpected. You see, after those first few mediocre weeks in the gym post sickness, I had sort of made peace with the idea of never being quite as strong or fast as I had been prior to that full week outside of the gym. Not happy about it, but just thankful to physically able to get in the gym 4 or 5 days a week. Then, the past two workouts happened and my mindset has done a complete 180. I set goals, I went into the gym, and I surpassed what I thought my body was capable of at this point in my fitness journey. And, obviously, that flipped the competitive switch in me. Now, all I can think about is how I can make each run and workout faster and somehow better than the one before it.
It all started with Sunday’s run and leg day. I knew I wanted to run 4 or 5 miles at a decent pace, and up the weight compared to last week on the majority of my leg exercises. However, I wasn’t looking to set any PR’s or see tremendous amounts of progress. Just your normal run of the mill gym goals: shave 15-20 seconds off my run and add 5 or 10 pounds to squats and rdls. Nothing super scary or intimidating. Well, before I knew what was happening I was off and running really fast. Like, way faster than I should have been able to at 4:50 on a Sunday morning. I ran 4 miles at a 9:21 mile pace. I haven’t hit a time anywhere close that for 4 miles since January 15th.
Everything seemed to go downhill from there, in terms of how easy the weight moved and how natural running fast felt.
My first thoughts post run were centered around how awful leg days was going to go after that intense 4 miler. I was just hoping to match the numbers I had put up last week. At that point, I didn’t even think about having my competitive switch flipped or have a strong desire to pile the weight on. But, somewhere along the line, it ended up happening anyway. I went from back squatting 155 lbs for a triple last Sunday, to hitting 170 lbs for a triple this past Sunday. I also added 10 lbs my front squat and 15 to my barbel rdls. All without any pain or real fear of injury.
Needless to say, I knew better than to turn around and try to replicate these results on Monday. Instead, I took yesterday off, iced, and got up this morning hoping for the best. I went in with the goal of running 5 miles and lifting heavy. That’s exactly what I did…while minus accidentally hitting the stop button 2.9 miles into my run. A run that was going SO WELL prior to that little mistake. Still, I just took a deep breath, and fired the treadmill back up for another 2.1 miles. Sure, I thought about just getting super upset and walking away defeated. But, I had felt so good up to that point and I genuinely wanted to see how fast I could run 5 miles…not 2.9.
My best guesstimation, is that I ran 5 miles in around 47 minutes and 30 seconds…a 9:30 pace. A distance and pace combination that I haven’t hit since January 2nd. So, I’ll take that approximate time and be super proud of it and myself for not calling it quits when I definitely could have. The only super impressive numbers I hit lifting wise was 90 lbs for a triple on bench and 70 lbs for a triple on overhead press. Which, I’m completely fine with since I’ve always been someone who struggle to build upper body strength.
The closer we get to spring, the more anxious I get to get back to running outside.
With March right around the corner, I know it won’t be long now. Only 2-4 weeks at the very most. And, putting up the running times I have been lately, will hopefully make the adjustment to running outside just a little bit smoother. Who knows, that first morning I hit the pavement could be the best or longest run of my life. Or, it could be a front row ride on the struggle bus every step of the way. Regardless, I’m in desperate need of some outdoor running time and beyond ready to tackle all the not so great aspects that come along with running outside. Even the hills, the cold, the trains, and random people staring at me like I’ve lost me mind. I’M READY. LET’S GO.