Since the Ragnar Trail Relay was sixty days away and I recently stumbled upon the knowledge that all of my teammates were training a little more diligently than I, I decided to do something drastic—I made a schedule. I researched traditional half-marathon programs, trail relay programs and sixty day accelerated programs and came up with a hybrid schedule that I could live with. I won’t be breaking any land speed records, but hopefully I’ll outrun the ticks.
Six days a week, we wake our teenagers up at 5:00 for a family workout. It’s as charming and lovely as you can imagine <sarcasm>. And since the family runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I shifted a traditional Tuesday/Thursday long run Saturday schedule to the left so that I can at least START my runs with Kev and the boys (they’re pretty wretched by the end of the workout, anyway, so I am not missing anything by finishing alone) and I can get my long trail runs done on Friday when the trails are less packed—because I’m blissfully underemployed, this works for me.
Monday morning this week dawned the first day of my Nine Week Ragnar Push (yes, I named it) with 3.5 miles of 1 minute intervals. I had never used the intervals function of my Garmin before, but I felt that it was time to learn. I prepared the evening before, hunched over the ridiculous device programming the intervals. This was kind of a big run for me, being a drastic change from the “run when you want, as far as you feel like” regimen that I had been rocking for a few weeks. The boys were set to run 30 second intervals at the high school track, so using an online mapping program, I mapped the distance from the school to my house (2.5 miles) and planned to run intervals with the pack for a mile at the school then run intervals home while they drive. In a warm car. To a waiting pot of coffee.
I had a new playlist of quirky run tunes. I was KILLING it on my intervals. I looked HOT in my LuLuLemon long sleeved shirt that covers my muffin top. My thighs were burning, and Greta (this is my Garmin’s first name. I name all electronic devices. It feels better to lecture them like misbehaving dogs when they act up than acknowledging that it could be MY problem) was working like a CHAMP. She was chirping to let me know when I had three seconds to go, vibrating a little to let me know when to transition. All in all, I couldn’t have been having a better first day of training. Then it happened. I could see my street up ahead and I looked down at Greta to see whether I could start my cool down. And she said 2.93 miles. TWO POINT NINE THREE MILES?!?!?!?! Are you shitting me?!?!?! I had been running my ASS off. How could I not be done? In my head, I revisited the evening before when I had mapped the distance between the school and my house. Could I have put in a weird route? Could I have made some circuitous mistake that <shit, interval-SPRINT you lazy ass> made the distance further than it actually is? Then I started lecturing myself for not driving the route. I should have Googled whether MapMyRun was accurate. I should have used YahooMaps <aaaah. You can jog now. You’re almost there. Don’t walk. Walking is for losers. > I should have walked the dogs to the school with Greta on so that I had a more accurate measurement. Did I take a short cut? <just go around the block. Maybe the distance between houses is further than you think> Have a just discovered a new, faster way to drive the kids to school? <Fuck. Sprint AGAIN? Greta, you bitch> What about that HILL in mile two? If I quit now, can I say that it was a very hilly run so I had to compromise? <PUSH you jackass. PUSH. You gave birth, you can do a one minute interval!> In the end, I went around the block FOUR TIMES and didn’t quit until Greta grudgingly gave me the 3.5 that I was so desperately seeking. BUT THIS IS NOT THE FUNNY STORY.
This morning, I was scheduled to run three miles with 10 minutes of tempo running. This was perfect. I had newly discovered (thank you Monday) that the house was more like two miles from the school than 2.5 and their run was a mile—perfect. The run started pretty much the same way as Monday’s had. And, yes, I washed and wore the same shirt. It covers my love handles. I might wear it every day. I drove to the school with the family, we all ran the first mile together and when they peeled off to the car, I ran home. Oddly, though, when I was about .6 miles from the house, I had already reached the 3 mile point. . . . what???? How could this be? Where could I have miscalculated? Did I miscount track loops on Monday? Did I miscount track loops today? What had I. . . . . oooooooooh crap. NOW I get it. Greta doesn’t track the distance you travel between your intervals. Only your sprinted distances count. The bitch turned my 3.5 mile first day of training into almost a 4.5 mile day of 1 minute sprint intervals. If I could afford a new watch, we would be going to Reno to get a quickie divorce.