Thursday, August 06, 2015


Well, relatively speaking, anyway.

One thing about going back to full-time teaching is that I'm going to have to re-adjust to working out later in the day. I used to do this, so it shouldn't be too difficult, but I'm such an annoying morning person that it almost grieves me to have to leave behind that early workout time. But a paycheck trumps the early workout routine, so I'm gamely switching back to my pre-unemployment ways.

This week, I had a three-day training to attend for my district, so I've had to practice working out later in the day (except for Wednesday, which had me doing 250 kettlebell swings in the garage at 5:30 in the morning because decication: I haz it).

On Tuesday, I had to run at about 3:30 in the afternon. Keep in mind, it's August in California, but fortunately, we've had a break from the triple-digit heat and it was only in the upper 80s or low 90s that afternoon. Not wanting to overdo it, I set out to run a fast mile, using my timer to run intervals of one minute regular running and thirty seconds of sprinting, all-out. I brought that mile home in 10:07, which was my best time in over a year. Half marathon training slowed me down as I traded speed for endurance.

Today, the training let out at about 1:00, so I was able to set off on my run even earlier. According to the weather app on my phone, it was about 88 degrees out, so I strapped on my hydration belt and took water along, even though I only intended to do that same mile sprint routine again.

It wasn't easy. Three days of getting up before 6:00 and driving all the way to Sacramento (not to mention yesterday's Early Bird madness in the garage), meant I was one tired little runner...but I pushed myself and hoped, all the while, for a respectable time.

Imagine my surprise when I clocked today's mile--same route as Tuesday, with a nice little uphill at one part--at 9:58. It is my first sub-ten-minute mile in I don't know how long.

It wasn't pretty. For the first half mile, I was okay, but that second half was brutal. I was gasping--with considerable volume--for air and grunting. I must have sounded like a wounded rhinoceros, but the streets were quiet (most normal people were indoors, after all, or at least in cars) and no one came out to stare at me in horrified fascination. As I finished, I briefly wondered if my stomach would hold its contents; it did. Thank goodness.

The new job starts on Monday, so it's back to late afternoon/early evening workouts again. Working with Matt two days a week will help with this--just having an appointment, and a friend to chat with, will be motivation to work out. When Sac Choral starts back, I'll be going to a gym near work on Mondays to avoid driving allll the way home to Lincoln--turns out my new school is not too far from Sac State. And on those evenings I don't do the gym thing, I'll make an effort to run, even if just for a mile or two. I suppose I'll be investing in reflective gear and a head lamp, so that as we head into Fall and Winter I'm ready for running in darker conditions.

What's great is that I know I'm capable of making this leap back to working out later in the day because I've built great habits over the last six years, and it doesn't really matter what time I work out, only that I get that workout in. Either way, I feel better.

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