Week Two: These are my magic shoes

Monday: Arms and abs workout – 10 min. erg warmup; dumbbell press, bicep curls, tricep extensions, bent-over rows, military press; planks, Russian twists, push-ups, bridges

Tuesday: morning – 3 miles easy @9:36-9:48 (actual splits: 9:07; 8:48; 9:01)

evening – 60 min pilates class

Wednesday: 50 minutes stationary bike (low resistance, high rpm)

Thursday: Total – 4 mi. – 1200 m warm; 2×1600 @ 7:37-7:48 with 800 jog rest; 1200 m cool (actual 1600 splits: 7:27: 7:41)

Friday: 10 min. erg warmup; modified leg workout: single-leg squats; calf raises (parallel, turned in and out); regular squats; walking lunges; leg press (190-240 lb); hamstring curls with pilates ball; stretch/foam roll

Saturday: total rest day

Sunday: “long” run – 5 mi.


This week, I felt like Wonder Woman, and am convinced that my Brooks Ghost 3’s are magical shoes. I had two really solid, speedy-ish to speedy runs and a successful “long” run. Tuesday’s run was meant to be an easy three, but as you can probably tell from my splits, I was feeling really strong. I wasn’t wearing my magic shoes – was wearing my new Asics Gel-Nimbus, which I also love, but was feeling really, really good. I saw the first mile fly by at goal pace (meaning my sub-2 hour half-marathon pace, which is 9:09, actually), and went even faster the second mile, barely reining it in on the third mile. When I saw my splits at the end, I only thought: Oops. Oh well. That felt GREAT.

Thursday I had been kind of psyched for and kind of dreading. I was excited to try out the Ghost. I’d left them in the box so I could take them out as this sort of corny little ceremony for myself – these are my magical, speedy shoes. They will make me magical. And speedy.

And boy, did they. We hit the track and I was feeling apprehensive. We were both a little cranky, too, because it was fucking cold: a whopping 19 degrees. Our coldest speedwork to date (we haven’t done speed work since November, note). It was only two mile-repeats, so I kept reminding myself that it wasn’t that bad. I was also trying out a different gel: I’ve had Gu before, but I was trying the Espresso Love flavor, which also has a double-dose of caffeine, so I could maybe get some placebo boost from the thought of all that caffeine. And actually, it was really tasty. And whether or not it worked physiologically, after such success, I’ll be taking it a lot for hard workouts and races, I think.

After a warm up, which was a  bit fast (9:05ish) probably because were desperately trying to get warm, we kicked it. I felt GOOD. It hurt, a lot, but I just kept reminding myself to relax, that it was only four laps, that it would be over soon. That the pain would pay off. And when I hit the lap button, it really, really had paid off. I was THRILLED. The second repeat was slower, but still well within goal range. It hurt more. Near the end of the third lap I was gasping a bit and slowing up, but still in the 7:40s (according to my Garmin’s instantaneous pace, which isn’t always that accurate if you know anything about GPS devices, but is still somewhat useful) which was very good. We kicked the last half a lap and my legs almost crumpled beneath me as I gasped and heaved. But I was psyched. We had nailed it. I had NEVER nailed a track workout. The confidence boost was amazing.

Granted, my leg workout Friday felt a little week. I felt okay but I could tell my legs were fatigued, and I was grateful for the full day of rest on Saturday. Today we slogged through – surprise! – snow and 31 degrees (which had been forecasted as 40ish and rain. Whoops) but were happy we did when we made ourselves chocolate chip pancakes and sat on the couch all day watching West Wing.

I’m feeling good. I’m actually really excited for my tempo run on Tuesday. Not only because it’ll be 50 degrees when I take my lunch time run, and I get to wear my magic shoes – I swear, they made me feel god(dess)-like. But I’m also looking forward – at least a little – to the pain. To suffering and feeling the reward at the end.

Bring it on.

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I'm a 35-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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