Progress! End of week two.
Sadly, I did not make it to Bikram on Saturday as planned. Instead I lay around with J. for the majority of the day, ate a ginormous brunch, and then when J. left for his flight, I went home to nap some more.
I kind of made up for it with Sunday, though. Mainly because EE is my roommate, and she is hardcore. After work in the morning, I was planning another evening of work/lounging, but EE suggested we go for a run together. Now, in the past, I have been very hesitant to run with anyone, but particularly with EE. She is a dynamo and runs fast, far, and often. I didn't want to slow her down, or kill myself trying to keep up. But EE is all about me pushing my limits, so she ran (slowly) with me and became my short-term, very encouraging coach.
And we ran...4.4 miles!!! I shattered my previous longest distance of 3.7 miles. It was a really nice night, and we went up to Prospect Park and back. Though I struggled, it wasn't TOO bad. I have to learn to spit. Phlegm just builds and builds, and when I attempt a hearty runner's loogie, I end up with a shower of spittle all over my face. Sorry. That's gross, but true. Anyway...We started out slow and steady (maybe even a little slower than I usually go), and most of the way there was uphill. EE tried to coach me on breathing, but I'm not very good at following directions and ended up patheticly hyperventilating. When we reached Grand Army Plaza, we ran in place for a little bit to catch our breath (or for me to catch my breath--I don't think EE was really struggling) and watch the Christmas tree lights change colors. It was beautiful, and really felt like a reward for all of that uphill action. Then we headed back, and the half mile downhill helped me get my confidence back.
By the time we were on level ground, EE decided it was time for a little heart work out, and thought we should do some fartlek training. Fartlek means "speed play" in Swedish, and involves running hardcore (though my idea of "sprint" may differ from other people's) for a little while (in my case, a block), and then slowing it down for a block to let the heart recover. It was HARD, and because I am a wuss, we only did it for six blocks (three sprints), but I did find that I was able to keep up a slightly faster pace even after we stopped the fartlek. And EE is very encouraging and lavish with her praise for my minor successes, so she had me feeling pretty proud of myself for each small accomplishment. In fact, she celebrated my first 4.4 mile run before I'd actually completed it, at about 6 blocks from home. But it was just what I needed to really push through, and together we sprinted the last 4 blocks (the liquor store sign next to my apartment glowed like a beacon of hope on the horizon)...and then I felt like death upon arrival at 53 minutes (somewhere between 11 and 12 minute miles). Still, I felt great about finishing, and breaking the 4 mile barrier. I want to get to 6 by the end of Christmas break.
EE says she's super energized after a run, and I do have that initial adrenaline rush right after, but about 20 minutes later, all I can think about is sleep (but this isn't much different from how I am the majority of the time, so who knows?). Ani came over and EE made us a delicious meal and then we tried to work, but I was crashing from the start.
Week 2 totals: 14.1 miles, 3 rest days
This week is going to be a lot tougher to schedule, running-wise. I leave for Michigan Thursday evening, and nearly every second of time before then will be devoted to work. I brought gym clothes today in case I can squeeze in a short run before getting back to work on my edit, but other than tonight, I don't think I'll be able to exercise again until Friday. I guess I'll just have to make up for it in the latter half of the week. I don't want to dip under my 14 mile total...