Expect the Unexpected

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. – Greek philosopher Heraclitus

We do not go searching for the unexpected. In fact it is easier to expect the Spanish Inquisition than to expect the unexpected (with a nod to Monte Python). Nothing bad happened today, I just experienced a few things I did not expect. This morning I had a new speed workout that my trainer designed for me. I started with a 2 mile warm up and then went into 2 x 800 ( half mile) repeats with a 400 recovery. I started out with the treadmill set at 6.7 or 8:57 per mile. After the first quarter mile I could tell I could go faster so I increased it to 6.8 or 8:49 per mile. The second 800 I started at 6.8 and at the halfway point I increased it to 6.9 or 8:41 pace. At the end of each I felt good, my legs were fresh and while my heart rate approached my anaerobic threshold, I recovered quickly. On to the 400’s, I started at 7.1 increasing to 7.3 by the time I finished. That is 8:13 pace. I did not expect to run that fast and feel good. I ended with 8 excel runs for 30 seconds each turning my legs over quickly, this I did with the treadmill set at 8.4-8.5, very close to 7 minute mile pace. Since it was only 30 seconds at I time, I could handle it. By the time I was done I felt good. I ran a hard workout and finished feeling strong, not beat up. An unexpected feeling.

Within a half hour I felt something else I did not expect. Not sore legs, that I expect by morning. My lungs felt fried. I was not coughing and I could breathe fine. I have no other way to explain the feeling other than I was very aware of the inside of my lungs. Breathing is a natural function I normally am not aware of. I have experienced this before when I run hard, but it has been a while. Apparently I was not pushing myself as hard as I am capable. My expectations of what I think I can do were below what I am capable of doing. Imagine that.

This afternoon I lifted weights. Expecting my legs to feel the effort of my run, I reduced my reps for leg sets to 12 from 15. My lungs are feeling better now, but I am still aware that I worked them this morning. Now I am sitting poolside as I write, one of my summer treats. It is much quieter today, the pool is closed and the water is still. We are allowed to sit poolside on this lovely day, but something very unexpected happened earlier this afternoon. Let’s just say a child must have been enjoying himself too much to get out of the pool and had a little accident. For readers who are Caddy Shack fans, it unfortunately was not a Baby Ruth candy bar. An unexpected surprise for the lifeguards I am sure.

Today was a good day to show myself what I am capable of. Having a trainer push me is revealing to myself that some of my limits may be there because I placed them there. As I am experiencing, it is difficult for me to spend time working in my lower heart rare zones, but that is where I need the most help, for as active as I am, I do not have a strong aerobic base. Which could also be a reason my lungs reacted this way today. So I will continue to learn and expect the unexpected. I don’t want to get caught off guard, because “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!”

6 thoughts on “Expect the Unexpected

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  1. I’ve been contemplating letting you in on the secret that you just figured out – or holding my tongue (qwerty touch screen keypad). Elisa, as structured as you are you should be kicking out 2:30-3:10 minute miles on the bike and 8:15 minute miles. You have it in you, you just gotta throw that mental leash in the garbage. It’s choking you. I oughta know, I just pitched mine for cycling on the Fourth… For running it was last fall.

    Also, drop that hoo-haa about aerobic base and kick it a bit… Stretch those lungs out, you’ve been perfecting your base for years. It’s time to roll baby.

    If I overstepped my bounds I apologize – I meant for my comment to be somewhat inspirational in a go-get-’em kind of way.

    I wish you luck.

    1. Oh my gosh, no – I appreciate your input. On the bike I have the 3:05-3:10 pace when I don’t have the hills. I think of you when I climb and how you have been able to keep your pace up. You are my inspiration! The only thing about my aerobic base is that I do not burn fat, I trained my body to burn carbs. That is what I am working on. The test I take has me wearing a mask while I run and measures all o the nitty gritty details. Thank you for believing in me!

      1. Sorry about not replying earlier – it’s been a crazy week… As long as you’re happy, it’s all good. I do appreciate the kind words… And I do believe you can be as fast as you set your heart to be. As faras the masks and tests go, I never took anything that far… I’m impressed that you do – I try to be a clip in, head down and go kind of guy.

      2. I did the mask test on the bike once, very different results than the ones on a treadmill. It is amazing how the body reacts to endurance activities in different positions. My zones riding are all much lower than running.

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