Happy Sunday, my friends!
This week was a huge move forward in the plan, and made me appreciate the step back from the week before! Big week for PRs for me, too: my longest ever run (15 miles), my most mileage in a week (36 miles) and my most mileage in a month (135). Here is how the week went:
- Sunday: It was my son’s birthday and he was “the boss of what we do”, so he picked his favorite activity: to play video games. I joined him in playing for a bit (until he got frustrated because I wasn’t able to help him pass a level), but had a bunch of laundry to do and to get stuff packed and sorted for their first day of school, then we met my dad, sister and her family out for yet more pizza (I had pizza every day that weekend… good thing I like it…) to celebrate the joint birthdays of my son and my dad. Overall a good day, but not as “lazy” as I had planned.
- Monday: First day of school and I was worried that I’d screw something up so I set my alarm for (ahem) 4 am. Yes. I did that. And… I got up around 4:30 – I told myself I only had to do this two days a week so that shouldn’t be too bad and might be easier for setting up a regular habit – I hope. It put me out of sorts the remainder of the day, but I got my run in, dang it. This one was on a treadmill so I don’t have my splits. It was a 6×800 interval at 7:45-7:55 pace, with 2 mi warm up slow(er-ish) and 45 sec rests between followed by a 1 mile slow. I did all six of the intervals, the 2 miles and the 1 cool down, but the “rests” between were more than 45 sec and in some cases a stop. It was downright ugly… I ended up with 6.68 miles overall at 57:03 or 8:31 average pace. Not what I had hoped for, but I wasn’t feeling it so I was happy to get this.
- Tuesday: did four sets of my leg work (there are 4 exercises) and some crunches (about 120 of them) on the balance ball in the workout room of my office building.
- Wednesday: 9 mile tempo – Like Monday, I got up at 4:30 am to get this run completed on my home treadmill before work/school. It was supposed to be 2 mi at slow(er-ish) pace, 6 at the target of 8:00-8:20 pace and then 1 mile slow. Instead of just launching into the sub-8:20 range, though, after I finished my 2 mile slow, I gradually (1 minute at a time) increased my pace until I got to 8:20 and then spent 6 minutes per “speed” there until I got to the 8:00 mile and then I went back down to finish out the rest of the 6 mile portion. It was tough, but I was able to do it and didn’t drain me as much as Monday. I did have to stop at the 4.5 point because I was dripping and my movie stopped and I was trying to restart it (never could) so I ended up running the toughest part of this run without any music or entertainment. on a treadmill. gah!
- Thursday: total rest day. The tough runs so far of the week and the extra crunches in the workout I did on Tuesday had taken it’s toll on me and I really wanted to make the 15 miler I had planned for Saturday, so I decided to rest and stretch, but not do any workouts. My abs were screaming and I literally yelped once from having to sit up from a prone position when I got out of bed that morning. I figured a rest day was a good thing.
- Friday: supposed to be an easy 5 but because I didn’t want to drain myself the day before my longest run ever, I decided to do it on a treadmill because it was really hot and humid outside. However… apparently, I have trained my brain that treadmills are for speed (that, and I kept hitting the front of the treadmill at the slower speeds) so I ended up with a run that was much faster than it should have been (around 8:21). I felt great after, though, and I wasn’t sore any more.
- Saturday: the plan called for a steady 15-mile run, which up to that point, was my longest run. Ever. Previously, my longest had been around 14.7 on a treadmill that stopped half way through (at the gym) so I am not even sure about that mileage because I don’t trust my math in those situations. The boys were with their dad, so I decided that I was going to do this one outside, even if it was hot and/or humid (it was). I set my alarm for 5 am, though, I did not get out of bed until close to 6. Once I got up, I ate my breakfast, drank some water, stretched, and got dressed. I was both excited and nervous, so I mapped (and triple checked) my route so I had a good idea of how far 15 miles would be and how much of a climb it was going to be – I intentionally selected a hilly route because I had not run hills much and I assume this route *might* be similar to the City of Oaks Marathon route, which is hilly. I finally left my house a bit before 8. It was 72 degrees, but it was sunny (gah) and HUMID – 90%. The first five went well, but once I got to mile 5, I could tell the elements were in more control of the situation than I was and told myself I had plenty of opportunities to do this same route with the target pace and just don’t worry about my pace today (I was over target pace by 0:21 per mile). Miles 6-8 were really rough – I stopped many times because I was getting drained from the humidity and the sun, but I brought two 16.9 ounce water bottles (yes, hand held) – one with Gatorade and the other with plain water – at this point, I had finished most of one (the Gatorade) and part of another (I was saving the plain water for the gel, but I really wanted plain water at one point) so I was still sweating quite a bit and not feeling the effects of heat sickness or dehydration, so I knew I was ok. Once I got into the neighborhood that was my turn-around-point, it was shady and much better on me – it was the “rest” I needed to finish this run. I was determined to finish it, even if I had to walk a lot of it (which I did). I took my gel at mile 8.5 and was able to walk a lot less from that point until mile 12.5 when I had to stop to replace my TWO bottles of water I had already finished (and go to the bathroom, which I took it as a good sign that I had to go because dehydration is a big problem for me). In fact, there wasn’t a dry thread on my body and everything – even my hair – was actively dripping sweat (i.e. no dry spots on my face) and still didn’t feel like the onset of dehydration, so I felt OK to keep going. The stop, however, made me realize that my legs were going to HURT when I finished, and I wasn’t really looking forward to that part. As I started back on my run (at this point, around a lake), I encountered quite a few people who were running so “race instinct” set in and I started to pick them off one-by-one, including a guy pushing a double stroller. Guys pushing strollers in races almost always pass me and, having pushed a double stroller with two children in it while running before, I know how difficult it is to keep any pace under a 10 minute mile while pushing almost 100 pounds (about 40 for the stroller and about 60 worth of kid weight)… but I was determined not to let a guy pushing a stroller with about 60 pounds of kid in it go faster than me on a hill, so I sped up. This was my fastest mile of the whole run – haha. After I finished the lake and crossed back over the highway, I had to keep telling myself “only 1.5 miles left, you can finish this. Don’t stop.” “only a mile left – that’s it! don’t stop.” “I know the legs are screaming – only .75 mile left – don’t stop”. Up to the last .10 of a mile I had to do that, but I finished it with 15.01 because when I got to 15, I wasn’t at the end of the street yet – haha. My legs *DID* hurt quite a bit when I finished – it was very uncomfortable so I tried to walk it off. I was actually in a lot of pain and walking it off didn’t seem to help like it usually does – I also really wanted to go home and get out of the heat and take off the soaking clothes (I literally had a puddle where I stopped in my kitchen to find my Gatorade recovery drink – which I never found). I took a very cool shower and was very slow in getting my after-shower activities (brushing hair, getting dressed, etc) done. I ate some lunch, but couldn’t seem to eat or drink anything all day that truly satisfied me and felt hungry about 30 minutes after eating or drinking anything. The soreness in my legs decreased as the day went on, but I had a really hard time walking down stairs and hills all day. In fact, my legs are still a little sore after sitting for a while – it has taken me longer to write this post than usual because I have to keep getting up to walk around. I was also really, really tired by around 5 pm. I should have napped, but I decided not to so I would sleep better over night (which I did – like a friggin’ rock). Here’s the funniest part: I woke up this morning and, rather than coming here to write this post, I mapped out the route I planned to for my 16 next week – ha! I’m actually looking forward to the 16-miler because I want the period after to be more comfortable than it was yesterday and the only way to make it more comfortable is to keep doing it.
This upcoming week is another step up in intensity:
- Monday: 16×400 intervals – 2 mile warm up, and then 16x400m (1/4 mi) intervals at 7:40-7:50 pace and only :30 rest between, followed by a 1 mile warm down – I’ll be doing this on my home treadmill, most likely. I’m expecting around 6.5-7 miles from this workout.
- Tuesday: non-run day – planning to do some weight training in the office workout room.
- Wednesday: 2×3 mi intervals – 2 miles slow, 3 mi intervals are at 8:00-8:10 pace, rest between the intervals is 3:00 slow, followed by 1 mile slow. May try this one outside.
- Thursday: non-run day – planning to do the same weight training I am planning for Tuesday as long as nothing hurts so much that I yelp.
- Friday: easy 6 – this one should be outside.
- Saturday: Long steady 16 miler – goal pace is between 8:35 and 9:10 – I plan to do a similar route to the one I did this past weekend; this will be my longest ever run if I finish the whole thing.
That should do it! Have a great day!