Sunday, July 16, 2017

Mill Race Training Weeks 6 and 7 - It's Been a Roller Coaster Ride

My running life the last two weeks...

I really need to start breaking up my blog posts. There have been so many days these past two weeks where each day's post would have been a story unto itself. My goal over the next few days, or maybe weeks, will be to blog more often with shorter daily blurbs, kinda like I used to do when I first started. For now though, here's the roller coaster ride I've been on...

Sunday 7/2 - Zero miles. Didn't do jack. This is my recovery week. I had entertained the thought of running 10 miles but realized my legs still felt tired so I laid around the house all day.

Monday 7/3 - 4 miles. This was suppose to be 4 easy miles with my friend Margo. Ha! Started off around 9:00 pace and I had to tell her to slow down. We ran at 9 am but it was still starting to get pretty hot and I continued to feel crappy running outdoors. Upside is that I got to cool off in her pool after the run.

Tuesday 7/4 - 5 miles. Title for today would be Sparkler Sprint 5K as well as Christmas in July. The Sparkler Sprint is the annual Fourth of July 5K in Franklin to benefit Franklin HS Cross Country. Race started at 8:30 am. I got to Province Park at 7 am and ran a 2 mile warm up. Temperature was pleasant then and I felt like I could run several more miles but stopped since I was there for the race. However, by 8:30 am it was blazing hot again.

Mile 1 - 7:38. Eh... not bad.

Mile 2 - 8:24. Never mind. This totally sucks. I can't breathe.

Mile 3 - 8:19. Attempting a respectable finish.

Final time - 25:20. Bleeckk!!

It was a horrid race. I felt so bad afterwards that I didn't even do a cool down.

Got home, showered and felt better. I had the day off so I decided to do some shopping. I've had my eye on this Salomon hydration vest for awhile but I wanted to try one on before I dropped $175. I went to Runner's Forum, Bicycle Garage, Gander Mountain, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Blue Mile looking for hydration vests. Nada. Camelbacks yes, hydration vests no. However... Blue Mile was having a 4th of July sale. It was 40% off all their sale stuff that was already 50% off. Wheee!! I ended up getting:

Nike Epic Lux tights, regularly $105, for $31.78. I loved the marbled print!

Saucony Siberius tights, regularly $88, for $26.38. These are super warm with a fizzy fleece lining.

Under Armour No Breaks jacket, regularly $89.99, for $26.98. Another cold weather jacket with a hood that leaves an opening for just your eyes.

It was pretty much Christmas in July for me. Huge mood swing from the morning.

Wednesday 7/5 - 6 miles. Got up at 4 am and spent the day at work. Got home in the evening and pounded out 6 miles on the hamster track. It felt surprisingly good; good enough that I considered doing 10, however I had 10 on the books for the morning and I wanted to do it outdoors.

Thursday 7/6 - 10 miles. Another morning of wasted good intentions. I absolutely could not get out the door early enough to run long outside. It was blazing hot again. I retreated to the hamster track and just barely got my miles in before going to work. Then I had the shift from hell at work and stayed an hour over. Got home after 1 am and, oh, did I mention, I have a 7 am flight in the morning.

Friday 7/7 - Rest. Well, no miles at least. The next few days should be titled Our East Coast Adventure. Got up at 4:30 am so I could pack, then left the house at 5:30 am to go to the airport. Hubs and I flew to Boston. This was a mini-vacation to celebrate, well, for one thing our 21st Wedding Anniversary... which was yesterday... plus we were going to see G dance in Philly on Monday... and, oh by the way, hubs bought a car... in Boston.

So, personally speaking, hubs has a car problem, as in he loves cars. Remember we had to stop in Pittsburg on our way home from Philly to test drive a car? Well, that wasn't the one, but he ended up finding the one in Boston. The guy from the car dealership picked us up from the airport and took us to the Topsfield Motor Company in Topsfield, MA (a suburb of Boston) where hubs saw and drove the car in person and handed over a check.

Once he had possession of the car we drove to Needham, MA where he had booked a hotel. We stopped at Blue on Highland, a local farm to table restaurant, for lunch. It was fabulous. Being in Boston, I had to get the lobster roll which came with the most delicious crispy French fries. We split a cannoli for dessert.

Checked into the Sheraton after that. I swear the hotel looked like it used to be a hospital. It was all hotel inside though and I crawled into bed for a nap. Sleep at last!

After getting caught up on sleep it was dinner time. Dinner was at Gari Japanese Fusion Bistro where we had sushi. Back to bed after that. This is my kind of vacation - eating great food and sleeping! It was also rainy and gray outside so it was sleep weather.

Saturday 7/8 - Zero miles. Another rest my legs day for me. We basically got up and drove to Philadelphia. Checked into our hotel there and went to the Mission BBQ for dinner. Had the smoked ribeye with collard greens and mac'n cheese. It was heavenly. Then, as if that wasn't enough, we went to Davio's Galleria and had gelato for dessert. Davio's is a Northern Italian style restaurant. Their Galleria is the bakery/café across the street. I got espresso gelato and hubs got vanilla coconut. We were stuffed but there's always room for gelato! We rolled ourselves back to the hotel.

25 miles for Week 6.
I needed a down week!

Sunday 7/9 - 9 miles. Title for today would be Boom! After sleeping and eating for two days I got up and ran 9 miles on the hotel treadmill. NINE miles on the freakin' treadmill. Can you believe it?! I was the only one in the little fitness center and I got it done and out of the way in the morning. Boom! It was a great feeling. Picked G up from her dorm in the afternoon and took her out to dinner at Mistral. This is another farm to table type restaurant with small plates to be shared. It was pretty much foodie heaven for G and me. We got grilled sourdough with ricotta, honey and ramp oil,pineapple chili wings with avocado cilantro dip, a market green salad with smoked goat cheese, strawberries and pistachios, and tuna tartare with squid ink rice crackers, miso and yuzu. Dessert was coconut pudding with lime curd, strawberries and thai basil as well as Medjool date cake with lemon, dulce de leche, and vanilla ice cream. Then... we drove back to Davio's Galleria for more gelato and cappuccino. Rolled G back to her dorm and went back to bed!

Monday 7/10 - Zero miles. The whole reason we came to Philadelphia was to watch G dance. The Rock School for Dance Education, where G is spending the summer, was putting on a community outreach show called Rock-ology at the Mann Center. We watched the show in the morning. It was over at 12:30 pm. As soon as it was over we jumped back in the car and drove back to Indiana. It was a loooong drive. Got home at midnight.

Tuesday 7/11 - 8 miles. Title for today is The Struggle Bus. I came back from Philadelphia feeling like I had fresh legs again. There were 9 miles on my training plan today and I wanted to kill it. Problem was, it was pouring rain. Complete and total downpour. Roads by my house were closed due to flooding. First I thought I'd go to the fitness center and run 4 easy miles and do my 9 mile speed workout on Wednesday. That however would push all my running plans back a day, making my long run on Thursday and I was planning on racing on Friday. Not ideal. I piddle farted around long enough though that the rain stopped and I hadn't gone to the fitness center yet so I went to run club. Better to get that speedwork in with the group.

Workout tonight was couple miles warm up, then 1-2 miles at half-marathon pace, 1-2 miles at 10K pace, then a mile at 5 K pace, followed by a cool down. Since I was supposed to do 9 miles, my plan was 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at 8:45 pace, 2 miles at 8:20 pace, 1 mile at 8:00, then 1 mile cool down... at least that was the vision.

The evening was deceptively overcast. It was humid as heck. The 2 mile warm up went well. First mile in 8:42. Not too bad. Next mile in 8:42. Had to work enough that I decided I shouldn't do a third mile at that pace and decided to drop down to the 8:20 miles now if I was going to make it through the workout. Well, then I couldn't hit 8:20 either. Ran 8:26 and decided I needed a recovery mile. Jogged a mile then went for the 8:00 mile - which totally didn't happen. I felt like I was being smothered and I was running at altitude. I couldn't breathe. 8:22 was the best I could manage. I was pretty much done after that. Slogged through a mile cool down and ended in a puddle by our meeting place on the Monon, completely deflated and defeated. So much for killing the speed session today.

Wednesday 7/12 - 5 miles. Title for today is The Most Craptastic Run Ever. I had high hopes for  a great long run. It was supposed to hit 90 degrees today so I got up at 5:30 am, had my oatmeal and coffee, packed my GUs and water bottles and got out the door by 6:30 am to run 19 miles. The air was cool but incredibly humid. Right away I felt like I was swimming. My Garmin was showing that I was running 11 minute miles. Sigh. I slogged along. 11 minute pace climbed to 12 minute pace. I was running an out-and-back course today since was wearing a fuel belt. I almost never carry a cell phone with me but I had one today since I had my fuel belt and I thought I might take pictures of how much the corn had grown...

AVERT YOUR EYES NOW IF POOP STORIES ARE TMI, just before I get to the 5 mile mark, it happens... that feeling like all my insides are going to fall out... that feeling of impending doom. Blame it on having children but I've had this problem since I popped out my kids. I'll get sudden urges to have a BM and it's like I have to find a bathroom NOW because I can't stop it. I think I've pretty much had to dash into a restroom at every store in Indy at one point or another. It's happened on a run or two too and sometimes it gets ugly - like have to throw all your clothes away ugly... and it was happening now... out in the middle of nowhere. There was a soybean field that was too short to squat in. There was a cornfield on the other side of the road that just so happened to be the one cornfield that was fenced in! Flimsy wire fencing that you couldn't climb over or climb thru. Plus, I'm wearing a bright red top so everybody could see me! Right now I just wanted to be invisible. I was trying so hard to control my innards I was breaking out in a cold sweat and standing in the middle of the road. Inevitably, I soiled myself. I immediately felt better but now I had a crapload of shit in my pants. Thankfully I had on long black compression shorts so it wasn't running down my legs...yet. @#%##%!!! If I ran back, it was all going down my legs. If I walked back, it was going to be an effing long walk and I might still have shit running down my legs. This disaster of a run was over. I pulled out my cell phone. Just shy of 8 am. Hopefully hubs won't be too mad when I wake him up...

Luckily hubs was up and after he finally figured out what cornfield I was stranded at, he came and got me. It was bad. I laid on my stomach across the back seat to get home while he drove home with the windows down. Love you dear... Yup, undies went straight into the trash when I got home. Got cleaned up but felt totally wiped out and spent the next 4 hours between the couch and the bathroom just emptying my guts out. I felt Completely. Totally. Defeated.

Thursday 7/13 - 19 miles. Title for today is Redemption. Got back on the horse again and did my long run... indoors this time. People often ask how I can stand to run so many miles around an indoor track. I don't think of 19 miles as 133 laps (it's 7 laps to a mile at my track). I break it down into sevens... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and your done with a mile. I do that 5 times. Then it's a slug of water and a GU. Rinse and repeat til you hit your goal. I got all 19 done with absolutely no problems.

I passed the time listening to podcasts. First I listened to Episode 56 of the Runner's World podcast where (now former) editor David Willey makes his attempt at a BQ at the Bayshore Marathon this past May. He has tried for years to qualify. I can totally empathize with him. This time though he had a whole team of people helping him... from a coach to a nutritionist to pacers that ran with him, carried his water and nutrition for him, and blocked the wind for him. Don't get me wrong... I was really rooting for him to finally achieve his goal... but I have to wonder how fair is that? I suppose that's no different from what the elites do though. He qualified 1:05 under BQ. It will be interesting to see if he actually gets into the 2018 race.

The other podcast of note that I listened to was Outside magazine's interview with Diana Nyad. I got to the part about the Cuban guy at the CVS store that gave her his lucky $2 bill before her 4th attempt at swimming from Cuba to Florida and almost started crying. It's a good interview.

Friday 7/14 - 5 miles. Title for today is Redemption Part 2: Seymour Midnight 5K. There's a 5K at Seymour High School every July that's run at midnight as a benefit for their cross country team. They are the Seymour Owls. This is one of my favorite 5K's. Let's face it, I'm a night owl. It's usually nice a cool at midnight and I enjoy running in the dark.

As luck would have it, today was another get-up-at-4am-and-go-to-work kinda day. Plus, we're short staffed so everyone is working longer shifts. I ended up clocking just over 11 hours at work. Came home and hit the couch and debated whether I really wanted to drive all the way down to Seymour (it's a hour and a half away) for a 5K. I reasoned though that if I ran tonight I could sleep in as long as I wanted in the morning and not worry about trying to get a run in before going back to work on Saturday. Do it now and get it over with! Plus it's more fun racing with a group than running on your own.

And so I ran...
One mile warm up. The weather felt glorious. It had cooled down to 73 degrees and the humidity was gone. Then we were off.

Mile 1 - 7:51. It was too dark to see my watch so I ran by effort. Early on one of the guys I was running with asked what time I was trying to run. I told him I had no idea and left it at that. I really had no idea how I'd run. I had a 19 mile run on my legs from the day before and I'd already been up for 20 hours... but I felt kinda good...

Mile 2 - 8:10. Hold it together. Breathe. You can do this!

Mile 3 - 8:.02. Still felt pretty good so I just worked on maintaining my effort and started picking off people the entire last mile. There are a ton of people in this race. Lots of kids. I concentrated on catching up and blowing by... one by one by one. The stadium lights came into view and I kicked it.

Final time - 24:46.

I'd have to say I was happy with the result. Ecstatic really. It was an ego boosting moment at the awards ceremony when I heard the murmurs that I'd run "pretty fast." I won my age group (F 45-49) by over 9 minutes. I was the 10th overall woman. The nine that finished in front of me were between the ages of 12 and 19. I really did not run any faster than I had in previous years and my time was about what I'd run at Abby Brinkman last month but tonight I was "pretty fast." All things considered the last couple days, I needed this. I was SO glad I decided to run at midnight. I even had some guy come up to me and ask if I'd run a PR tonight. When I said no, he wanted to know what it was, so I got to see his jaw drop when said 22:50.

One mile cool down after the race. It was 1:30 am by the time awards were done; 3 am by the time I got home, showered and fell into bed.

Saturday 7/15 - Rest. Worked the night shift in the evening.

46 miles for Week 7.

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