So I went for a swim at the track last night.
For real. I hate to bitch and moan about the weather when it’s cooled off a bit, but…holy hairballs, it was at least 372% humidity yesterday. I was half-drenched just from the walk from the car to the track. By the time I finished the workout, I looked like something dragged up from the bottom of a pond.
It didn’t help that the workout – although fairly short – was kind of a doozy.
6 X 600M. 200M recovery. Pace? Who knows. Let’s go with: futhermucking hard.
We finished the first three and took a quick water break. I shook off like a wet puppy, trying to rid myself of the mixture of precipitation and perspiration that soaked my body. I felt slimy. And exhausted. And pretty sure I was going to have to slow down.
And then? Bam, bam, bam. 6:00 pace, that’s my mile race pace from Sunday! Where did that come from?
No doubt, I was tired at the end of the workout. I was hauling ass down the backstretch on that last one. But it felt wonderful. (Well, except for the whole drenched part.)
Workouts like these are clearly valuable for my body. As a former coach of mine was fond of saying, the only way to become a faster runner is to run faster.
But, for me, they’re just as valuable for my mind. To give me confidence when I’m in a race and I don’t think I can hang. I can, because I have.
Looking down the barrel of a tough effort can be intimidating, even for those of us who have been running for decades. It really helps me to have some recent workout anecdote to replay in my mind at that point in a race where, inevitably, I tell myself that today’s not my day or this is good enough or I can’t do this or – my favorite – this really hurts let’s slow down okay?
Running is hard. I like hard workouts because they remind me of that. And that I’m fully equipped to handle a little pain if I just get over it.
Anyway. Back to last night.
As I started to cool down, big bolts of lightning flashed across the sky and the rain drops starting falling. I didn’t care about the rain as I was already as wet as I could possibly be, but I wasn’t about to be electrocuted for the sake of a proper warm down so I cut it short. (A decision that I regretted a bit on my recovery run this morning. I was stiffer than a cheapskate at a diner!)
By the time I got home, it was pouring. Absolutely torrential. Which did not mesh well with my plans for cooking dinner on the grill.
Thank you, $15 Ikea grill pan, for putting little stripes on my turkey brats and tricking me in to thinking I was eating something cooked over a flame.
A couple of weeks ago, I got this huge bag of adorable mini sweet peppers from Costco. I don’t know what Costco does to their produce, but it always seems to stay fresh forever. 18 days and going strong!
(I’ve also noticed that their fresh cut flowers seem to last for ages. Magic Costco juice? What’s their secret?)
These baby peppers are SO GOOD when roasted whole on the grill. They’re small enough that you can eat the tender skin too. Cursing the weather, I sliced them up and put them under the broiler. They came out pretty well….
…but not as good as when they’re grilled.
Dinner was served:
And then I promptly fell asleep on the couch. I actually conked out during the season premiere of Modern Family – which I’d been excited about all week! Pathetic. I blame it on the track workout.
[Also: thanks for all of your input (and nice comments) on my little blogging question yesterday! I am definitely NOT giving up the blog or MSPAINT or any of those things. Even when the words don’t come easily, I love sitting down (almost) every day and writing here. I just feel like things get a little stale sometimes and it’s good to re-evaluate. There are some days when I sit down to write and I’m just like…I have done nothing interesting today. Pass, please.
And I want y’all to feel like you can tell me if it starts to get all sucky up in here. Because you totally can! But I’m glad you don’t seem to think so! At least not right now!]