Well, I am just about done with the semester. This has been a good semester in many ways, although not easy at all. I have really neglected this journal since about Spring Break. I have a few reasons for that, but simple negligence is pretty high on the list.
Once again, it has been a month since I did one of these posts. About the time of my last running journal entry we had started some new things as a class (I think that in a small way it was a result of conversations that I had with the instructor). We started doing some speed work and I was able to run a 6:30 mile without too much trouble. On our distance days, I was running about 3 miles comfortably in about 24 to 25 min. I feel like I sort of plateaued there about a month ago. I don't run outside of class and, honestly, the class workouts have simply not felt as challenging as what I expected from running with a "coach" (with the notable exception of the 200 meters of lunges in the second class). I don't say that as a big complaint because I really do push myself pretty hard and I have still been getting pretty good workouts, but this jogging class was not everything that I expected going into it. I don't really know what expected going into this class.
I have improved my endurance since the class began. I will continue to run a couple of times a week. My New Year's Resolution was to complete the Memphis Runner's Track Club Road Race Series. It is a series of 10 races starting in July that build up to a couple of half marathons in November, so I have a lot of work to do still. If I were to take this class again, or if I were to give any advice to somebody teaching this class again, I would like to see longer distance runs earlier in the semester. I don't know whether it would make any difference to most of the students but in my experience it is just another case of the fact that people tend to live up to the level of expectations set for them. I think that for those students who are/were interested in getting into shape for a 5K (or longer distance) who, nevertheless, may not have ever run that far – well, it can be helpful to know what you are aiming at earlier in the semester. I think that in this 16 week semester, it wasn't until about week 14 or 15 that we were asked as a class to run 3 miles. In a class that meets two times a week, I think that it is reasonable to introduce three mile workouts in the fifth or sixth week of the semester – even for students who are not "runners".
I don't say any of this as criticism; I only offer it as my own insight. People who aren't going to run aren't going to run regardless – I just think that the class should be tailored to those students who are trying and not to the students who are out there still walking on the track in week 16 (and bitching about it).
As far as today's workout is concerned – I felt heavy. I felt sort of slow as well. I felt that way last Thursday a little bit as well. I think that it could be partly because I haven't been in the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a couple of weeks. After the fast trip to Minnesota and the getting sick when I got back, I just haven't been working out for a couple of weeks and I think that I am feeling the results of that on the track. I ran a little over three miles. I did one mile three separate times with pull-ups and pushups in between miles and I ran one extra lap to begin. It was a real workout, that is for sure. I think that I will run the final 5k (next Tuesday) in 24 to 26 min. I will go out and try to run faster, but if I feel as heavy as I did today, I don't really expect to go faster than 24 min. I will try. I know that I can run a 6 to 6:30 mile, but I just don't think that I can stack three of those right now. If I run three 7:30 miles I can finish in under 23 min. I just don't know what to expect without other, faster runners.
I will let you all know how it goes.