I didn't really plan on talking about today's workout with my personal trainer. I see her twice a week at my gym. One workout is usually mostly weights with some cardio to keep my heart rate up and the other is usually a little more cardio heavy and boot camp style sets. Also, probably a million lunges. Maybe a million trillion. If it's a special day I even get to hold one of those unstable weighted rods over my head and do walking lunges. Yay!
Anyway, I knew I was in for it when we went to the stairs. The stairs mean a most certain close to death experience (trainer says I exaggerate). Upstairs where I meet up with her is happy weight lifting land. The worst that can happen is that my cardio torture of choice involves the step-mill in 3 minute increments. DOWNstairs is where all the cardio equipment is. It usually means I do a lot of work on the treadmill including my favorite "run as fast as you can at a 15% incline." Do people actually RUN on that setting? My run speed at that incline is too slow for me to run on a flat surface. Last week I realized that when she heads for the stairs, I actually start leaning to the right as if my leaning will have some sort of magical gravitational pull and stop the madness (this never works).
As we walk down she stairs, she starts talking about the training plan I sent her that I was planning on using for the half marathon. She's going to revise it to be more tailored to me and the course. She also started talking about speed/interval training and the fact that I get really anxious about it and tend to get so far into my head I don't/can't/won't push myself. That was when I realized what we were doing today:
INTERVAL TRAINING. 50 minutes. No breaks. No walking. No crying. Throwing up is optional and tolerated. I was already starting to sweat.
In the end it was a fantastic workout and a big part of it was pushing past an emotional point I hadn't even touched before. The workout was:
400 (meters, or a 1/4 mile), 400, 800, 800, 400, 400, 800, 800, 400, 400. I did not get to stop until I was completely through with the set. My rest was, for the first 4 repeats, a slow jog that was half the time of the preceding interval. The rest of the intervals I had the same time the interval took and walked it at a 15% incline. I insisted this wasn't a rest, but I was vetoed. My first 400 (1/4 mile) took 2 minutes so I had a 1 min jog as a rest. The second 400 was much harder, the 800 felt impossible and the second 800 literally almost had me in tears. I had no idea why. It just felt so overwhelming. I think part of it had to do with the fact that I hadn't worked so hard on my own ever and I was finding I really could. Your mentality is sometimes 90% of the game. In some cases it's ALL of it. I started my intervals at 7.5mph and dropped to about 6.8 by the end of the second 800. I ended up around 6.3mph by the end of the last 800, but finished my last two 400s at 7mph and 7.5mph. This is fast for me! My best official 5K pace is a 10:30 mile and I guess thats somewhere around 5.8mph? Beyond the physical workouts, I'm really working on not being such a whiner and having a more positive can-do attitude starting out. Also, my trainer is awesome. Not just in workouts, but the fact that she really gets me mentally and knows how to make things happen.
I left happy but feeling like complete rubber. I was also battling the voice of, "yeah that's great but you were such a baby about it. Why can't you just suck it up? Be a big girl. Stop worrying." I need to send that voice an eviction notice!