Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Mill Race Training Weeks 9 to 14 - August... the Lost Month

Hello. I'm back. I didn't know if I'd be back or not...

August was a horrible month. Between the end of July and the beginning of September I lost 6 weeks of training. I really debated whether to run Mill Race at all... but here I am, seeing what I can salvage.

I had all kinds of problems. First, it was the weather. Hot. Humid. Days and days and DAYS of 90 degree weather. Normally when I can't stand the heat I'd retreat to the hamster track. Well... my fitness center decided to upgrade the whole facility... and was closed for the last 3 weeks of August. At first I figured it would be good for me to get out and heat train out on the roads. Running around my house is tough. It's all rolling hills. I used to run them all the time cause that was all I knew, until I discovered the indoor track and the flat shady Monon...

Second, I got scheduled a boatload of shifts at work. Most days I got home late at night so if I was going to get a run in, I'd have to do it in the morning. It makes sense you know - hot weather, morning runs - except...  I'm so so SO not a morning person. I just could NOT get up early enough to run while it was cool and then go to work. After a late night at work I was dead tired in the morning. I came to the conclusion that I didn't want a BQ bad enough. I remembered getting up at 4:30 am all those days to get to kettlebell class in January the last time I was trying to BQ. I've done it. But not this time. I just didn't want it that bad.

Other family stuff too. My mom got sick. My older daughter went to college. My younger daughter is busy as ever pursuing a professional dance career. I was dead tired and getting pulling in a hundred different directions. Looking at my training schedule and seeing all the runs I was missing just added to the stress.

I decided to practice Subtraction Happiness. Subtraction Happiness is a minimalist principle I came across a while back. The basic tenet is that most people think they will be happy if they obtain stuff - material or not, if they get that one more thing, they will be happy... but you can accumulate all the stuff in the world and still not be happy. With Subtraction Happiness, instead of trying to gain stuff, you get RID of the things that make you unhappy. I love the simplicity.

Well... all the runs hanging over my head everyday was making me unhappy... so I decided not to run for awhile. Come what may.

September 1st brought a cool cloudy day. Mid to high 60's all day long. It was the perfect day for a run. I ran 20 miles and decided to run Mill Race. Getting a BQ will be a stretch at this point but I'm going for it. If I fall short I have Monumental on November 4th.

Here's what the last 6 weeks looked like...

Week 9
After a 50 mile week in Week 8, this was supposed to be a "down" week for me so I allowed myself to take it easy.

Sunday 7/23 - 5 miles
Monday 7/24 - 6 miles
Tuesday 7/25 - 8 miles. Run Club workout. 2+ mile warm up then 3 laps of a hill circuit that was approximately 1.25 miles. Lap 1 pace 8:29/mile; lap 2 pace 8:33/mile; lap 3 pace 8:41/mile. 2+ mile cool down.

The workout felt good but I was DEAD afterwards. By the time I had showered at the Y and picked up G from dance I was starving. I messed up by not having any food with me. By the time I got home 2.5 hours after my run I felt so bad I couldn't eat.

Wednesday 7/26 - Zero miles. I basically "broke" myself Tuesday night. I felt horrible all day.
Thursday 7/27 - Zero miles. Drove all day to Philadelphia.
Friday 7/28 - Zero miles. Spent the whole day sight seeing in Philadelphia and watched G perform in the evening for the end of her summer dance intensive at The Rock School for Dance Education.
Saturday 7/29 - Zero miles. Checked G out of her dorm in the morning then drove to New York City. Went out to a nice dinner at Lattanzi, then saw Cats on Broadway.

19 miles for Week 9

Week 10
This was supposed to be another 50 mile week but here is where it all started falling apart.

Sunday 7/30 - Zero miles. Spent the day walking all over New York City so LOTS of walking miles but no running miles.
Monday 7/31 - Zero miles. Spent the whole day driving home.

Tuesday 8/1 - 9 miles. Run Club. We were suppose to run mile repeats. I decided I wanted to run a steady state run instead. Ran the "warm up" with the fast kids - 8:32, 8:40. Everyone else stopped after that to get ready to do the repeats but I kept going to try and keep this pace - 8:50. It was HOT. I couldn't keep the pace so I decided I'd alternate jogging and running the miles - 11:01, 8:37, 9:00, 12:22, 8:41, 11:18. Pretty much felt horrible by the time I got done. Both this week and last week it was so hot and humid that all my clothes were soaking wet - like I had jumped in a pool wet - by the time I got done running. I did remember food this week.

Wednesday 8/2 - Zero miles. Worked all day.
Thursday 8/3 - 6 miles.
Friday 8/4 - Zero miles. Worked all day. Up at 4:30 am for the morning shift but still got home too late to run.
Saturday 8/5 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

15 miles for Week 10.

Week 11
Obviously I didn't get any big miles in during Week 10 but I told myself not to panic. I felt like I needed the extra down week. I was tired from traveling and working, plus my younger daughter went back to school that week and she had an orthodontist appointment and I had had a doctor's appointment to squeeze in. This was going to be my big mileage week.

Sunday 8/6 - Zero miles. Worked all day.
Monday 8/7 - 6 miles.

Tuesday 8/8 - 10 miles. It was still hot but not quite as humid. The whole family was going to be home this evening which is a rarity so I decided to skip Run Club in the evening and ran on my own mid-morning. Went down to Morgan Monroe State Forest and ran the Low Gap Trail.

I hadn't been trail running in over a year. I love the trails but I hate mud. It had been too rainy in the Spring to even think about hitting a trail. Plus, the highway has been under construction FOREVER! I have to drive it every time I go to work in Bloomington but I've been avoiding it as much as I can. Today was a beautiful day though and I felt like a trail run would be good for me.

So... about 1.3 miles into the run I got my right foot caught on a tree root and fell. Landed hard and skinned up my left knee. Nothing cut up enough to bleed though so I gathered myself and kept going. My right foot is still bothering me. I must be dragging it just a bit because I caught my right foot on something three more times and stumbled, but didn't fall. The foot was throbbing by the time I got done. Plus, there were huge trees down everywhere along the trail. They had been down long enough that I could make out paths around them but when I got down to the creek bottom I ended running in the dry (thankfully!) creek bed looking for landmarks until the trail left the creek because of all the trees that were down. Took me 2 hours and 20 minutes to run it; so about 20 minutes slower than usual.

Wednesday 8/9 - 5 miles. Quads were pretty sore from running the downhills on the trail but managed to run.
Thursday 8/10 - 5 miles. Ran after work. Huge accomplishment.
Friday 8/11 - Zero miles. Thought about doing my long run in the morning before work but couldn't get out of bed. Worked til midnight.
Saturday 8/12 - 12 miles. I had 20 on the schedule but I just couldn't do it. I got too hot. Ran a 7 mile loop back to my house and felt pretty good but when I went out again I had to stop after 5. I had all day to run but, quite honestly, I just didn't want to keep running.

32 miles for Week 11. Way short of the 50 I had planned.

Week 12
Sunday 8/13 - Zero miles. I was still wiped out from the 12 on Saturday.

Monday 8/14 - 12 miles. I was going to miss Run Club on Tuesday due to work so I thought I'd get some tempo work in. Hit the Monon just before 5 pm and decided to see how far I could get with "marathon pace," except I wasn't quite sure what my marathon pace might be. 9:00? 8:50? 9:00 would get me 3:55:58, pretty solid BQ (I need 4:00). 8:50 would get me 3:51:36, a PR by 11 seconds. Definitely not in PR shape but lets see what happens...

It was freakin' HOT. Started at the Y on 86th Street. 8:43, passed on water at 96th Street because it had only been a mile. 9:04. Got passed by the Carmel girls' cross country team and passed on water at the Monon Center because it had only been 2 miles. 8:49, 8:49... this was getting HARD and I was SO cooked. 8:48. I was done. Completely overheated. Pretty much crawled another mile to the next available water stop which was just before 146th Street and doused myself with water before shuffling back another 6 miles to the Y. So... 5 miles, averaged 8:51 pace, then 7 miles of crawling back.

Tuesday 8/15 - 6 miles. Mid-morning run by my house before going to work in the evening. Hot hot hot.

I was done after that. Pretty much what had been happening for the last couple weeks was I'd overheat on my runs. I'd be down about 5 pounds after my run. It would take me about 2 days for me to regain that weight and I'd feel like hell. I felt horrid on Wednesday. I didn't have to work for the rest of the week but I didn't run either. Subtraction Happiness kicked in and I decided running made me feel too bad, physically and emotionally.

Moved my older daughter down to Indiana University on Wednesday then spent some time working on a blanket she wanted for her dorm room the rest of the week. It was $600 on Etsy so I made her one instead for about $50.

18 miles for Week 12.

Week 13
Worked Monday and Tuesday and didn't feel the urge to run again til Wednesday.

Wednesday 8/23 - 6 easy miles on the Monon.
Thursday 8/24 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

Friday 8/25 - 9 miles. Actually started feeling better and the weather finally cooled down a bit into the 70's so I tried another tempo run on the Monon. 9:07, 8:48, 8:43, 8:43, 8:53, 8:40. I was running a 3 mile loop. Averaged 8:49 pace for 6 miles, didn't feel like death, then did a 3 mile cool down. Hmmm. Maybe a week off did some good.

Saturday 8/26 - Zero miles. Spent the day celebrating my dad's 80th birthday. I made most of the food for the party so it sucked up my whole day.

15 miles for Week 13.

Week 14
Sunday 8/27 - 5 miles.

Monday 8/28 - Zero miles. A frustrating day. I actually wanted to run but a plumbing issue at home sent me on a wild goose chase for a replacement bathtub faucet that we ended up not needing anyway and I lost my time window to get a run in.

Tuesday 8/29 - 9 miles. Went back to Run Club after 3 weeks off. Workout was 800 meter repeats. 2 mile warm up, then 6-10 800 meter repeats with a 200 meter recovery jog in between, then a cool down. Goal was to run all the repeats at the same sustainable pace. Once again I had the dilemma of what my pace should be. If I did all 10, they would be sorta like Yassos, but maybe a little harder since Yassos allow you the same amount of recovery time as what you ran the 800 in and these have less recovery time. If I did 10 and ran 4:00 each that would be a pretty good indication that I could run a 4:00 marathon. But... I didn't think I could maintain that pace. I settled on trying to hit 4:15.

So... 4:08.7, 4:07.8, 4:08.1, 4:06.4, 3:55.2, 4:00.0. The first 5 felt good. Six was hard and I sped up at the end to get it over with. Then I hit a wall and felt like throwing up. 4:29.9. Maybe I'd stop at 8. 4:19.0. One more. I didn't look at my watch and ran by feel. 4:11.4. What the heck, might as well do one more and get all 10 in. Again, I didn't look at my watch but ran as hard as I could. 4:05.5. Averaged 4:09.2 for ten 800's. Well, at least I might be able to run a 4:10 marathon. I wanted to lay down on the track after that. I was the last one done. Crawled another mile back to my car.

Wednesday 8/30 - Zero miles. Got home from work at 1 am.
Thursday 8/31 - Zero miles. Got home from work at 2 am. It was horrid.

Friday 9/1 - 20 miles. Today was decision day. If I was running a marathon in 22 days I needed a 20 miler this week. Today was my day off. I was scheduled to work for the next three days as Labor Day Weekend is my holiday to work this year. I had to run 20 today if I was running a marathon.

It turned out to be the perfect day for a long run. I slept in in the morning on account of getting home so late from work. I woke to gray skies, gusty winds, and temperatures in the 60's. Hallelujah! It wasn't hot. I ran 20 miles on the roads by my house. It wasn't fast. Took me 3:34:08, so 10:42 pace, but I FINALLY got a long run in.

Saturday 9/2 - Zero miles. Worked all day.

34 miles for Week 14. Not bad for 3 days of running.

Now it's 20 days to race day. Not sure how much ground I can make up but I'm back to trying.

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