Ever feel like a week was out to get you? I felt that way the moment my coach sent through this week’s plan. It was stacked. It was asking a lot on my speed work days. It was challenging me. I knew it would require earlier bedtimes and early wakeup alarms. And I was prepared for it. But…it seemed the universe had other plans for me…
Let’s dive in…
Monday: INSTRUCTIONS: BASE RUN – 6-8 MILES – GOAL 7 MILES – EASY EFFORT – TRY NO WATCH AGAIN
After spending so much time last weekend in the heat and humidity, the last thing I wanted to do on Monday morning was get up and head out into the heat and humidity. I was happy to have the easy, recovery run. I got up and got dressed to head out on my run and…thunder and lightning started. I was NOT happy with that. I was prepared to head to the gym if needed, but it seemed to pass as I started my stretches. Without the sound of thunder or lightning flashes, I headed back out and just took it easy. My watch was covered…and I started to concern myself a little more with a strange white truck that would just pull around and park and sit…and it kept doing this. I ended up looping my mace over my hand just in case, but it ended up driving off and didn’t return as I finished up. Despite the late start, I got in an easy 7 miles. I was soaked because it was SUPER humid outside, so I went inside to shower and finish up my stretches with the additional hip strengtheners. I also met with Corey that afternoon for my personal training session. He had some fresh hell in store for me. Plyometrics. Box jumps. Push ups. LOTS. My knees and, strangely, my ribs felt those box jumps the rest of the week.
Tuesday: INSTRUCTIONS: MARATHON PACE – 1-2 MILES WU; 6-8 MILES MP; 1-2 MILES CD
What can I say? I really, really wanted to push myself on this and test my endurance. It was HUMID and close to 80 degrees at the start of this run…which happened to start prior to 3 am. No joke. I did go inside to get extra water and electrolytes and stopped just a few times to utilize them. But this run went better than I anticipated. Considering my legs were really feeling my personal training session, I was a bit nervous about how this would go. That being said, the longer warmup did help and once I got loosened up, I started to feel better and better. I did use my Aftershokz headphones again…and loved that when it started to get hard, John Parr’s “Man in Motion (St. Elmo’s Fire)” came on, followed immediately by this year’s theme song, Panic At The Disco’s “High Hopes.” It was enough to keep me going and pushing a little more. My iPod keeps dying though on some of these hotter runs, and at first I thought it was the headphones, but now I’m pretty certain it’s the iPod. Probably from the amount of sweat my body is producing. Can’t help that. But I got in just over 12 miles on a Tuesday morning. Went inside to shower and stretch.
Wednesday: INSTRUCTIONS: NO WATCH ALLOWED! FOCUS ON THE GOAL OF THE RUN = RECOVERY! GO AS FAR OR SHORT AS YOU NEED, AS FAST OR SLOW AS YOU NEED, WALK OR RUN AS YOU NEED.
Same run as last week. Same instructions. One month of it now. This time, however, I didn’t opt to go to spin class. I really wanted to go, but I needed to fit in a second round of my hip strengtheners AND…I had a major speed workout on Thursday, so I needed refreshed legs. My personal training session was cancelled because Corey comes over from Kentucky and…Trump was in town and shutting down roads. This is also why I didn’t get a soft pretzel. MEH! So, I put in 4 miles, just like the weeks before, and then showered, did my PT exercises and stretches with the additional hip strengthening stuff and called it a day. I was still sore in my knees (weird for me…my knees never bother me). I hope to get back to spin this coming week.
Thursday: TEMPO RUN – 1 MILE WU; 3X2 MILES AT TEMPO (7:20-7:50); 0.5 MILES RECOVERY; 1 MILE CD
If there was any doubt that this wasn’t my week…try waking up for the second time to thunder, lightning, strong winds, and heavy rain. It was insane. It was loud and violent enough that my friend, Melissa, texted me to make sure I wasn’t outside in the storm and if I was if she needed to come get me and take me home. Do I have amazing friends, or what? I kept hoping that the storms would pass, but they hung around all morning. So, I did my morning stretches and then got my stuff together and…drove through light rain, but the lightning and thunder, to the gym. Where I did my speed work…on the treadmill. This was a huge step for me. Running fast on a treadmill gives me A LOT of anxiety. But, my friend, Jim wasn’t able to swim due to the storms, so he came up and ran on the treadmill next to me and kept me company. I started off with an easy run and when that first mile was done, I pushed the speed up to 7:47. It was all I dared to do on the treadmill. In hindsight, I could have pushed it more, because I did get comfortable with this pace in the 2 mile pushes. When I started the first one, I really, really wanted to stop…but Jim was there…and that would be really stupid to stop so soon into the push. So, thanks to Jim…I actually did the workout as I should have. YAY! I was happy to have it done, and started to get some confidence back about working some speed and distance on the treadmill.
Friday: Per the usual…complete rest day. Sleep in. Shower. Stretch. Read. Drink coffee. Head into work. Get magical sushi. Prepare for Saturday long run. This is how I rest day. I take it super seriously. I used to think I could ignore actual rest. Do that “active recovery.” Let’s face it, friends…active recovery is basically not resting. IT. IS. OKAY. TO. TAKE. A. DAY. OR. TWO. OFF. I promise, you’ll actually be fitter for it. So, I kept it lowkey. I got my sushi. I stretched. I did it all…and I went to bed early so that I could get up early and head out for my long run. Alone. Again.
Saturday: INSTRUCTIONS: 17-20 MILE LONG RUN – EASY PACE – DON’T PUSH IT! AND PRACTIVE RACE-DAY FUELING STRATEGY.
Okay, first of all…this run was pretty much done at or under my marathon pace for MOST of the miles. But I honestly wasn’t pushing the pace at all. Not one bit. I wanted to be super careful because my left hip flexor is acting up after pushing some speed work for 9.5 miles on a treadmill during Thursday’s thunderstorms. The important takeaway from today was that I felt good. The temperature was perfect. The sun was out and the sky was clear, and yet it didn’t really wear me out or kill me on the run. I hit hills, because they make you stronger, right…with the hardest hills coming in the final three miles of this particular route. I felt good. I did practice my fueling and really think I have it nailed down. I am really thankful for finding Maurten and having something work SO WELL for me. I seriously have endless energy…even at the end of a run. I never crash. I never feel like I’m dragging. I can’t say enough good things about it. So, my pace might not look like I didn’t push it, but I honestly didn’t. I feel good about this. I am starting to have a phenomenal feeling about Monumental. Then I went and sat out in the sun to watch Louisville City FC win against North Carolina at Slugger Field. WOOT!
Sunday: INSTRUCTIONS: 3-4 MILES EASY, RECOVERY RUN. SLOW!!
I, surprisingly, felt pretty good on Sunday morning. I woke up, did my stretches and got ready to head out to chase my Sunday morning sunrise. I didn’t push any pace. I just took in the beautiful sky and headed up to the park to watch the sun come up over the lake. It’s my favorite Sunday summer tradition. It keeps happening later and later as the summer draws to a close. It makes me sad, because I used to be able to get it in before there was much traffic or people milling about. But not these days. I did get to wave and say good morning to three very attractive firefighters on my way into the park, so I count that as a win! I focused on the purpose of this run: recovery. The hip flexor was still slightly sore…but it felt way better today than yesterday. Will definitely do a couple rounds of rolling again today.
And with that…this week of training draws to a close. I’m proud of the effort I put in this week, and the miles that I managed to log. This was a stacked and really tough week. Again, I think that my coach is getting this out of the way now…so that when I’m on vacation, on a cruise, at Disney World…I can be a bit more relaxed with the training. Crossing my fingers anyway. Because a long run around a cruise ship is doable…but not my idea of a relaxing vacation.
Now I sit here and wait for what fresh hell this week brings. I hope you all are having a good training cycle this time around!