Well friends…much to everyone’s dismay as a new Team Challenge kicked in for the MRTT/SRTT group…I had a down week this week. And it might have been just what I needed considering I raced on Thursday and was out of town over the weekend. Training when a race is on a weird day works for me…but going out of town never makes training easy. Especially when you are somewhere that isn’t easy to run without venturing out for a ways to a place with sidewalks and safe paths or trails. It was what it had to be this week. And, honestly, I never know where I stand on those challenges because I just do what my coach tells me to do. I never want to overtrain and/or bring about injury because of these fun challenges. So…I just stay my course and do my thing. As training hadn’t officially started, my coach let me split the total accumulated mileage between Saturday and Sunday into two mid-distance runs as opposed to a short run followed by a long run…as I was limited only to a treadmill. You tweak things as you need and just do the best you can with what life is offering at the time.
Let’s dive into this week, shall we?
Monday: This was my typical Monday morning run. 6 miles. Easy pace. SLOW!! He assigns me Mondays as a recovery run from any weekend runs that he puts me through. And with the past week’s Sunday run being rough…it was a good morning to just take it easy, move the legs, and not put much effort into anything. I survived another humid morning. I drank a lot of water, trying to stay ahead on hydration this week. I also met with my personal trainer. And then…I returned to my Monday evening spin class with Deana. It was her sing-along class and it was a lot of fun. Since it was a down week, I did throw in a few extra things as I figured it wouldn’t mess with my training. Today I also did one of the two days a week I throw in my hip strengthening exercises to my morning PT stretching routine.
Tuesday: No speed work this week. My Tuesday run kept it simple. 6 more miles, this time at base pace. Another humid morning, and this time I had to deal with some stomach issues. UGH. It happens sometimes when you have Celiac. But, I got through it and managed to keep a slightly faster pace than Monday. I followed that up with a round of 10 strides, which I actually managed to do quickly while focusing on form.
Wednesday: Short and easy run this morning. 3 recovery miles. He told me to run them SLOW…and I did…for the first one. And somehow that turned into negative splits without me focusing on it. So…yeah…this one was probably too fast and should have been done slower. I wasn’t looking at my watch for each mile…I just ran by feel and it DID feel easy. No personal training because I was racing the following day, but I did do my second day of additional hip strengthening exercises to my morning PT stretching routine.
Thursday: Early morning. I needed to stretch, drink some coffee, lather up in my sunscreen, get dressed, and head down to Lexington, Kentucky, for my July 4th race. I have made it a tradition to go to the Bluegrass 10,000 race there. My former coach is in charge of the pacers. Just a bonus fact. She was kind enough to pick up my packet for me on Wednesday because there was NO way I could make it down there to get it…and there is no race day packet pickup. Let’s hear it for amazing friends in our lives. The race starts at 7:30. It was warm, clammy, and humid. BUT…honestly, it is the best weather this race has had for the 3 years I have run it. I dressed appropriately for the weather, wearing my very patriotic Wonder Woman outfit. Because…I am Wonder Woman. I raced as hard as I could that day. I did take short walk breaks through three of the water stops. And I had a guy at Mile 5 spray me with his hose. It was a good way to keep my body from overdoing it on a hot day. No shame in that. I felt strong at the end thanks to that and put in a time that beat out last year’s time. Even without a course PR or a distance PR…I was proud of my effort that day. July 4th 10K in the books…and then a pasta lunch and a 6 hour Stranger Things marathon for Season 3. I had wanted to finish it…but I had to work the following morning, so I needed sleep more than to get an entire season into one day.
Friday: REST DAY! That being said, because this was a down week and my long runs weren’t really going to be out in the heat, or far for that matter…I decided to drop into my old Friday spin class. It was a class of 2, but Brittney (the instructor), had taken a training class on the bikes our gym has and gave us a new, challenging, and fun way to use the screens on the bike and really get into a good training mode on it. I was impressed with how my numbers improved.
Saturday: Welcome to the wonderful world of traveling. I was up in Indianapolis for a convention. This hotel isn’t near the Monon Trail. It’s not even in a good area with plenty of sidewalks and areas to go for a run outside. I knew going into this weekend that I would be on a treadmill and told my coach. He had me down for 18-20 miles over the entire weekend, with Sunday being a 15 miler. He was a bit concerned that would be a bit far to run on a treadmill and we discussed, since training wasn’t really starting yet with my change of venue for my fall marathon…we decided that I could break up the distance over the 2 days I was out of town. I split the difference…starting with 10 miles on Saturday at an easy pace. I stopped the treadmill at 6 and restarted it because they only would run for an hour at a time. The fitness center was crowded (very unusual), and I re-fueled and hit go again…this time messing with some speeds, though still keeping the run easy. Afterwards…a shower, breakfast, and off to some panels at the convention. Gluten-free pizza that night for supper. YUM! I also stayed up WAY too late on Saturday night, so I knew Sunday might be rough.
Sunday: I had an alarm set for 6 am…but I woke up at 5:30 am so I got up and got dressed and hauled down to the fitness center to fit in the second half of my distance for the weekend. Same run as yesterday, another 10 miles…which this time I started doing varying, but easy, speeds on the treadmill just so I didn’t sleepwalk through the first 6 miles, which felt like what I did on Saturday. I was very conscious of the extra fatigue due to the late night and not getting my ideal amount of rest, foam rolling, or stretching while out of town. I try to make time for it, but I literally just didn’t have the time this trip. I feel like I normally would, but there was a lot going on. Got it done before anyone else came into the fitness center. After my shower and a protein bar for breakfast, I came down and saw the fitness center packed. Just packed. So I was good to get it done when I did. Left the convention just after 11:30 and went up to Carmel, Indiana for lunch at Woody’s Library Restaurant. And then, the long drive home. My roommate when to buy all the groceries while I meal prepped, unpacked. I was supposed to stretch and do my PT exercises…but just didn’t have the time with trying to multitask everything else. I did fit it in ahead of finishing up the final two episodes of Stranger Things Season 3. I foam rolled for the first 20 minutes and then it was on the couch and not moving until it was done.
So, this week was lower on mileage and definitely a much needed reprieve from the endless (it seems) marathon training I have been pushing through for almost 2 years now. My roommate and I calculated it, and I have been training for and running marathons mostly exclusively, for 20 months now. Thankfully, they have been continuous and have also had PROPER recovery (okay…maybe not the Chicago to Monumental 2018 stretch…but I felt like I was still in good shape and really wanted some form of redemption from the hot mess that was my Chicago Marathon). So, I am really ready to get the job done this time, and I’m working very hard in my training to do what I need to to reach those goals, while also listening to any cues my body gives me and helps. If I need extra recovery…I take it. And it’s fine. It’s okay to reset. Never forget that. Marathon training, or any sort of training, really asks a lot of you. So nourish your body, get enough sleep, recover like a champ…and you might be amazed with how far you can go and what you can accomplish.
Back to the norm starting this coming week…and now I feel ready for it.
One more thing…running on a treadmill is NOT my favorite thing in the world. Treadmills hurt my hips and my body so if I can avoid them, I will. I’m hurting after 2 days of it…but it had to be done. But, trust me, I will keep that in mind on my recovery run. Don’t ever get uncomfortable to the point where it can cause you to sustain an injury. It’s not worth it, friends.
It was nice to not have to die in the humidity for a weekend though. Bright side!