How can I describe this week? What word can I use that will basically sum everything up? Oh…I know…
From mornings in the 80s to real feel temps in the triple digits…this week did everything it could to destroy me. I persevered, but I was wrecked at the end of it. But, let’s hear it for getting it done. Even if it wasn’t pretty. And even if it wasn’t perfect.
(And we all know that I’m a perfectionist because…Virgo…so that’s not easy for me to deal with).
So…how about we dive into the week that wrapped up my first month of training with today (Sunday, July 21, 2019), marking 16 weeks out from the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. So, let’s all settle into ice baths (HA…just kidding…I don’t do ice baths), stay cool, and review the events of this crazy week.
Monday: Every Monday, I pretty much have the same run. 5-7 miles (aiming for 6) and an easy recovery pace. It was 80 degrees at 3:30 am, so I knew that this wasn’t going to be a day where pace was even pushed. Once my legs warmed up and woke up, I fell into a natural stride and the easy pace started to finally feel good. I extended it to the full 7 miles for that reason. I went ahead and did my additional hip strengtheners during my stretches because I had just enough time to fit it in. And later that afternoon, I had my personal training session with Corey. And we had it outside. Which was super fun because it wasn’t overly humid out. Basically…a little bit of everything.
Tuesday: Hello, speed work. One of these days I hope to get to the track and see how I do on a flat track. But this week…it wasn’t going to work. Nope. Not one bit. The speed work this week was my favorite of the workouts that Daniel assigns: Mona Fartleks. These are fun and challenging and definitely keep it interesting. Mona Fartleks work like this: 2 mile warm up; 2×90 seconds, 4×60 seconds, 4×30 seconds, 4×15 seconds (with equal recovery time in between each rep); 2 mile cool down. I felt like I was moving faster than I apparently was. I blame the humidity.
Wednesday: It was a recovery day. A short, easy, deliberate pace for me. I got up at usual time though because I always try to fit in two days of my additional hip strengtheners, and they take some times. The shorter run did allow for this. And I took it easy on the run (somehow did negative splits…I can never do this when I try), and then got in the stretches and additional exercises. This morning, I also had my 6 year check-up with my dermatologist. He cleared me for another year, but did say that he wanted me to start running with a hat or do rag covering the top of my head. MEH. I hate how I look in hats, and my head gets really hot when I cover it with anything. But, my skin is more important, so I got on Amazon and placed an order from Buff, for both a hat and buff to use on my head. I had my second day of personal training with Corey this afternoon too. He had some serious fresh hell exercises ready for me.
Thursday: Welcome to Day #1 of the Extreme Heat Warning that was going to span the entire rest of the week. So, believe me when I say that I was looking forward to taking Friday off. It was HOT that morning. Around 80 degrees before the sun was up. MEH. I had 9 miles on tap. Nothing fast. Nothing hard. Just a base pace run. It wasn’t easy in air you can wear. Not at all. I was so soaked in sweat that morning that my running shorts wanted to fall off my hips. This sort of heat is serious business and people who downplay it are not smart people. Whether you react to it or not…it’s hot. Be safe. I survived, even though I looked like I had gone swimming.
Friday: Day off. Rest. Slept in. Showered. Stretched. Read some more of “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered,” by the My Favorite Murder ladies – Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. If you don’t listen to that podcast…YOU NEED TO! If you haven’t read the book…YOU NEED TO! Trust me. Went to work that day. Then went out for some sushi at Dragon King’s Daughter…because it was too hot too cook and…we made it through a busy week…why not treat yourself a little? I love vegan sushi. It made me happy. Plus…it was not just good carb loading for my weekend ahead, but also had some additional sodium to prep for the heat.
Saturday: Long run day. One of them. Because we were back to some back-to-back workout runs that I did a couple of weeks ago. I met up with my friend Ron, on an extremely hot morning. It was real feel 90 degrees and we started at 6:30 am. Cathy got up early on a weekend to actually drop me off at the starting point, because she had a cooler full of cold water bottles and she was going to meet us at the turn-around point so we could cool off with cold water to drink and pour over us as needed. This was also my first time running in the ultra-light Buff hat. I still think it makes my head hot. I will fight you. Ron and I kept the pace easy, but challenging. And he’s really good about telling me to ease back on pace because sometimes I feel good and that helps me to keep out of the “now I feel like crap” zone that likely will come sooner rather than later. We did 10 miles together. His training ended there. I still had 2 more “fast finish” miles to go. MEH. I took another cold water break before I left to go and get those done. I knew in the heat that it would not be super fast, but the effort was there. Both miles were in the low 8s which is in my marathon pace zone…but definitely not the fast finish I can usual produce. Iced coffee, a shower, and some air conditioned shopping later…I started to feel recovered. With heat indexes in the triple digits, and me needing to not be dehydrated going into Sunday, we skipped the Louisville City FC match (we would have baked). I went to bed after watching Chernobyl on HBO (we started it on Wednesday night) and hoped to rest up because I was setting yet another early alarm.
Sunday: I had texted Daniel on Saturday afternoon regarding my Sunday workout. I knew it was going to be impossible. He told me to go off of effort and not pace. But even with effort, this run was pretty much impossible to do without multiple, numerous, sometimes air-conditioned stops. I loaded up a cooler when I headed out to put on the back of my car. It had one bottle of water to drink and one bottle to use to pour over my head. I had frozen two small (5 oz) bottles the night before to allow to melt while I was running so I could snag them from the pockets of my Nathan hydration vest and pour over my head if needed before I could get to a good point near my car. I looped this entire run. I wore the Buff as a do rag, despite being out before the sun was up. I just wanted to see if it made my head overheat. The jury is still out on that. But I died. I died so hard on this run. No mile came without a stop or two. My effort was not as hard as I would normally push. It makes me feel like I just can’t string together hard pushes in runs, even when racing, and it’s bothering me so much. I know that it was 90 degrees at 4 am this day…but it still bothers me on a fundamental level. Want me to feel out of shape…let me fail at a workout. And this one was the one that nearly killed me a couple of weeks ago. 1 mile warm up; 3×4 miles @ marathon pace (with 4 minutes recovery); 1 mile cool down. It was bad. It went completely off the rails for the second time. And I just need to prove to MYSELF that I can do these more challenging workouts. I’m tired of feeling like I failed or having people make me feel like I’m a failure for wilting in this heat. I drank water, finished off Chernobyl, and have been meal prepping ever since.
It was a rough week, friends. I just need things to start clicking. I need to start feeling excited, confident, and prepared. I’m not there right now. I’m not even excited. And that’s definitely not where I want to mentally be with 4 months to go. So, we’ll see what happens in this coming week.
Fingers crossed that the heat never gets this hot again. But it’s only July. So I won’t hold my breath.