I think that’s the best way to describe how I’ve felt this week– solid. After Saturday’s race effort I took it out to the trail for a nice, slow 13 miler that while hard, wasn’t really that tough. Yesterday and Monday I ran easy (but on hills) and today I went to the track to see what would happen if I ran some 400s. Well… it was awesome. I did 8×400 with 400 jogs and was able to hit all of them at 1:43 or 1:42. The best part is that it didn’t feel hard or unnatural or too taxing. I mean, I was working out there and I needed a moment after the last repeat, but on the whole, I felt good. I was doubly surprised because a) I felt junky on my warm up and b) I figured I had some fatigue in my legs from racing on Saturday and long-running on Sunday. But if I did, I couldn’t tell! I think this may even be a PR workout for me which makes me feel really confident.
As I’ve mentioned I’ve been doing the Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones workout… now, this makes me feel really cheesy and kinda old school that I’m doing an exercise video with hand weights but the fact is that I won’t actually do strength training unless I have a routine set for me and/or someone else telling me what to do. And, while I was training for my last half-marathon I felt thin and fit but toward the end I started feeling scrawny, not strong. In fact, one of my clients informed me that I was starting to “look like an AIDs patient.” Anyway, I think part of the reason that I’ve been feeling so solid are all of the squats and lunges I’ve been doing (that and no wine during the week… painful but it’s working) and the subsequent loss of body fat. I feel stronger and leaner and more efficient.
Another thing that I like about these particular workouts is that they don’t seem to be bulking me up. As I’ve probably mentioned, I’m someone that is blessed (maybe cursed since I’m a girl) with a body that builds muscle really quickly. I’m not kidding– after a month of swimming I had to buy new jackets because my shoulders got so big and when I lift weights I tend to look mannish. I don’t want to look like a man. I want to look like Kara Goucher. These workouts seem to be achieving that– I haven’t gained weight like I usually do with strength training and I can definitely see some muscles that weren’t there before. So, in short, if you want to tone up a litle bit I would highly recommend listening to Jillian. And, if you have Comcast, it’s free OnDemand right now!
Finally, I’ll leave you with a photo from Saturday’s race. Kinda fun– both feet are off of the ground!