I’ve been travelling for work this week, so I have been lucky (!) enough to trade out the humidity of New York for the humidity of Phoenix. All those people who promised me a dry heat were sorely mistaken. Apparently it is monsoon season, which meant 85% humidity and rain! I am probably one of the only consultants who loathes business travel, so thankfully this will only be for a couple of weeks.
Last week I had high hopes of getting access to a hotel gym and getting caught up on House of Cards while pounding miles out on the treadmill, and finally doing some of the exercises on the Nike Training Club app. Well, my hopes were dashed on Sunday night when I found my hotel gym.
Two treadmills and some machine does not make a fitness room or gym. Gutted. There weren’t even any free weights This meant I had to do some reworking of my workout plans for the week. Thankfully, I had jetlag in my favor, and I became an early morning runner, and I ran on Monday and Wednesday mornings. It was hot out (well, obviously), so I wussed out of my planned tempo run, and just focused on getting some easy miles in.
This sort of led me to wonder about the value of junky miles. I mean, are they making me any fitter? For some reason this week, I was seriously doubting what good they are doing me. Every time I run right now my legs feel dead, my body feels winded, and my heart seems to be thumping out of my chest. I just do not feel strong. I feel like a sweating elephant.
Aside from the prison feeling, this run was pretty! Plus, cactus!
After all my excitement over strength work last week, I was pretty committed to doing something to actually strengthen my wasted endurance muscles. I have had the Nike Training Club app on my phone for months after Page mentioned it. The Nike Training Club app has tons of workouts on it ranging from 15 to 45 minutes in length, and focusing on either cardio, toning, strengthening, and focus areas. As I didn’t have any equipment, I was a little limited in which workouts I could do. And actually, even though a workout says no equipment is required, there were at least two moves which were demonstrated with equipment, so that was a teeny bit annoying. However, the sheer number and variety of workouts is amazing. The video demonstrations, countdowns, and music synchronization all work really well, and I had an awesome if sweaty time lunging all over the hotel parking lot. Yes, I weirdly decided to workout outside in the Arizona sun. Oh, and that beginner workout left me with sore legs for two days. Pretty awesome. I’ll keep using the app and provide updates on whether I actually get stronger and more toned using it.
I also had the sort of run that takes the complete wind out of your sails. Tempo runs have always been my nemesis, so seeing 3x2m at HMP made me want to cry. For a start, 6 miles is a long time to run at tempo, even if you do get recovery minutes in between. My target half marathon pace is 8:00 min/mile. I made it through two repeats on Friday evening at that pace (although I came to a halt TWICE during the 2 miles!!), and then when it came to starting up on my third repeats, I JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT. I would start running and then come to a halt again in 30 seconds. Nothing was wrong with me, aside from being hot, grumpy, and out of breath. Total run failure. One of those runs that has you doubting any ability to keep going, or hit goals, or whether you should just give up on it all and eat donuts on the couch. All in all, this was a week of doubting my run ability, and I need something to perk me up fast.