Thanksgiving — First Cut-down Run in Long Time — November 25, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone in the U.S. 
What a gorgeous day outside! They don’t get much better than this. Mid-30’s, a slight breeze and bright sun.
I joined the Runners Connect (RC) the other day and today was the first scheduled workout. So much, for that rest week that I had planned. Oh well, we will see how it goes. Needless to say, I was not really expecting my first workout to be a real kick-arse event on Thanksgiving Day. 

Planned Workout that I did.

However, I signed up for this, so I figured that I might as well get it done. There must have been some kind of glitch in my brain this morning because when I first saw the workout assigned I thought it was a 2-mile warm-up, 3-mile cutdown (8:15, 8:05, 7:55 No rest), 1-mile cool down.
Which is a kind of workout that I haven’t done in a long time, but wasn’t really expecting a tough workout this morning, so my brain was kind of “do I really have to do this today?” However, it was probably pretty good since I was supposed to have raced this morning and decided that due to the COVID-19 numbers to stay home and do something here.
At the last minute I decided to wear the 361 Degree Flame, since I was going to be running faster than I expected and know that I can run faster in them than other shoes that I have. I was running faster this morning. Although I am pretty sure that the Endorphin Speed 2s would have done just fine. 
361 Degree Flame

Cut-down Workout

The 2.0 mile warm-up was a little faster than a warm-up should be, but not too bad, and I was feeling strong. 
My cut-down miles were:
8.08 — I had a difficult time to find the pace and had to keep slowing myself down. So, this is a good thing for me to practice on. Something that forces me to find the correct pace and help me learn I don’t have to start fast to bank time.
8:00 — This was a lot smoother, but still a little faster than the prescribed pace.
7:59 — About 10 steps into this last split, I noticed that my left shoelace had untied. I stopped my watch, tied the shoe, started the watch, and got going again. This little delay, definitely took some of my focus away from the workout. It took a bit to get back, and I never completely found the right pace again. I was all over the place and did struggle from Bartlett to the finish. I had to work to maintain a sub 8:00 pace, especially when the split didn’t finish where I planned, and I had to run uphill at the end.
Cool down was slow and easy. Then I did a video of me running just to have a baseline of what I look like today. That way, I compare it to how I look down the road and see if there are any positive changes.
Overall, it was an excellent run. Where I was able to go a little faster each mile.
When I got back to the house and went back into RC, my planned workout wasn’t the same as I had thought?
Planned Workout in Runners Connect
2-mile warm up, 5-mile cutdown (8:30, 8:20, 8:10, 8:00, 7:50 No rest), 2-mile cool down
Which is a workout that I probably wouldn’t have done regardless, due to time constraints on Thanksgiving. Nine miles on Thanksgiving would put me so far into the doghouse, that I wouldn’t be out before Christmas. So, the six miles that I ended up doing was more in line with what I would have done anyway.
I am not sure what happened, but I royally screwed up that workout that was in my plan for today. Either I had a complete meltdown and didn’t read it correctly, or the plan changed after I had already added it to Garmin. 
Who knows, and while I didn’t do exactly what the planned workout was, I still had a quality workout that I would never have done if I hadn’t joined RC.
Although I am finding a few things between RC and Garmin a bit clunkier than I have experienced elsewhere. Yes, that is a technical term for not quite what I was expecting.

Looking Forward

In the future, I will have to really look closely at the planned workout and ensure that is what I actually attempt to do. I can already see, some workouts will be right on the edge of my current fitness, and I will have to work harder than I am used to, to achieve them. 
Which is why I joined, Runners Connect, I need an independent eye on the plan so that I don’t skate away too easily. There is also a level of accountability that I have already noticed just with me attempting to do the plan that is given to me by someone else. That same accountability isn’t there when I put a workout or training plan together myself.
Joining Runners Connect is going to challenge me to become a better runner, and that is something that I want to do. So, I might as well hang on and get ready to work harder than I have in a long time.
I have to figure out how to export the RC workouts to Garmin, so I don’t have to recreate the wheel manually each day on my watch. I figured it out. For a while, I will be learning what certain paces feel like and require the feedback from my watch during the run until I internalize what those efforts. 
The training this morning did feel different from me doing my thing. Even though I don’t really have a coach who oversees most aspects of my training, I do have someone else setting up my run schedule. Which is nice because all I have to do is focus on doing the work and whining about how hard it is. hehehehe.
However, I know that this training block will be challenging, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is precisely what I need.

Come with me now — the best is yet to be.

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