Sunday, July 17, 2016

Why are you running so slow?!

Alternately titled, what is HRT and why are you doing it?

The marathon distance intimidates me.  But that is all the more reason I signed up to do one.  Once upon a time the idea of lacing up my shoes and leaving the house at all intimidated me.  And here we are!

I have followed quite a few AMR training plans.  I enjoy the books, I enjoy the podcasts and I have been super happy with the intelligent, easy to understand plans they have put together.  So when I listened to the intro podcast with MK, it seemed only natural that I'd at least check it out.

Fun fact: I have a tattoo on my left wrist of a compass.  I got it last summer after a lot of thought about what and where I wanted it.  Ultimately I decided on a compass because it reminds me to keep exploring.  Exploring myself, exploring new things and new places.  One thing I am proud of myself for is that I am willing to try new things.  I enjoy learning something new.  If I hadn't been open to trying new things, I never would have started running.  This is in line with why I've decided to pursue a marathon distance and why I chose HRT to do it.  They are both total unknowns to me.  I trust AMR and was willing to try something brand new.

A brief overview - basically, my runs are primarily time based, not mile based.  I have to keep my heart rate under 140 beats per minute (I have a little cushion, up to 142) and that's that.  It is obviously way more complicated than that and I really recommend the HR 101 podcast that AMR put out if you're curious.  But those are my general focus on a run.  I have a warm up that I do, and some strength training moves afterward.  Some runs have accelerators and pick ups in them and I do those as instructed.  It's not perfect, I don't always do all of the things all of the time but more often than not I am doing what I should be.

I drank the kool-aid, I listened to the podcasts and I settled in.  If I am going to do this, I am going to do it all the way.  I dropped pace from the display on my watch, and now only run with my HR and time displayed.  That helps tremendously.

There are times where I hate the whole thing.  There are times when I want to quit and tell my HR to shove it.  And then I look at my week.  I've run 5 days consistently for the last 8 weeks, I am getting up early in the morning to run. I just keep getting up and doing it.  I am uninjured, I am not flat-out on my back exhausted all the time and more and more I am running instead of shuffling.  My long run yesterday was 2 hours and 48 minutes or 14 miles, whichever comes first (confession: it wasn't 14 miles).  I finished that, and was still able to be engaged and present with my family.  Which means chasing a toddler - in the past, a run that long would have put me down and out for the afternoon.

My wave of training isn't even halfway there yet and I am so curious as to what the next 11 weeks will bring.

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