We’re in the thick of half-marathon training over here on Grace, and my Saturday long runs are finally in the double digits. I started my training with trepidation, and am so thankful that things have gone so well. My friend Sharon and I are doing a lot of our training together. We run together probably 2-3 hours a week, and all I talk about during those runs is how glad I am that my hamstring doesn’t feel like it’s three inches too short.
Sharon and I started running together about seven years ago. We’ve trained tons of races together, including a triathlon.
We trained together for the half where I PRed, too.
Sharon’s the one standing beside me in both photos. That’s Sarah, another longtime running friend, beside Sharon in both photos.
But then we didn’t run together for a while because I hurt my hamstring, she moved to the Philippines for a year, and then I had a baby.
On our first few runs together this fall, we bumped elbows and stepped on each other’s toes like out of practice dance partners.
But we’re in a great rhythm now, too. Just like old times.
Last week we did 10 miles and we both felt better than we did the week before when we ran 8 miles. Funny how that works. I think it means training is going well.
Right around mile 7, right around the time when the run is entering “long” territory, my legs start feeling the distance.
If you’re not a runner you might not understand this, but basically anytime you’re running you feel…bad. You’re out of breath, your heart is beating fast, your muscles are engaged. It’s a good sort of bad, a runner might even just call it “good”. But if you were driving a car and felt the way you feel while you’re running, you’d pull over immediately and call 9-1-1.
What I feel at mile 7 is different than the normal “ugh, I just want to stop this running right now” feeling. I don’t even really want to stop at all, the rest of me feels good, but my tendons feel achy, my joints feel loose.
I’m over explaining because I want non-runners to understand what I’m talking about. But didn’t the non-runners stop reading 17 paragraphs ago?
This feeling, this loose, achy, feeling means one thing: it means I need to be strength training. [And this is why, if you run, you should strength train.]
I thought lugging around a 25-lb. baby would be enough strength training, but apparently I was wrong. [Did you click that link? You should click that link.]
Usually I lift at the gym, but now I have to workout around childcare so my time in the gym is limited (especially if I’m planning to get in some mileage on the treadmill). Instead I’m planning to start doing the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred more often.
I only feel the need to strength train on my long runs, so I sort of…forget…during the week. Or choose to forget.
But Sharon is feeling the same ache, and on our run last Saturday we both committed to start strength training on Sunday. Sharon said that knowing I was doing it would motivate her.
Sunday afternoon she posted this on Facebook.
Jillian really does not mess around. — with Amanda Southall Krieger.
I think that means she did the workout. I was eating a cookie when I read it.
I failed Sharon. I failed myself. I failed Jillian.
But not today. Today I did lunges and squats and military presses and push-ups before 8 a.m. I’m already sore.
With all the running I’m doing, fitting in strength exercises seems impossible. But it probably just seems that way because I’m lazy.
And David thinks it’s funny when I do jumping jacks, so there goes the baby excuse.
Runners, do you strength train? If so, what’s your routine?