This may have actually been the best week of this training cycle. Don’t get me wrong — I had some really terrible runs. We’re talking the kind of terrible where had it been race day when I ran my long run, I very well may have walked the final 6 miles. But that aside, I’m really happy with how the week went.
Monday: Long run – 7.5 miles
Tuesday: CF Endurance including two 400m intervals
Friday: Easy run – 4.3 miles
Saturday: Easy run – 5 miles
Sunday: Easy run – 3.4 miles
Monday’s run was rough. It took me a few miles to feel “okay” but I had to stop and stretch out my hips in mile four. Afterwards, things felt better for a short time then it all went down hill. The final 2.5 miles before I eventually gave in was me struggling to lift my legs, my feet were clipping the ground, and I was dry heaving narrowly avoiding vomiting all over a rather populated street. Then, I tried to say “hello” to the nice man walking his dog on the same sidewalk, but I had the gross run mouth — you know, with the foamy/dried up saliva that turns your lips white? That’s hot.
I woke up feeling great on Tuesday, however. No residual soreness and nothing was tight, which was good because Chris whooped my butt during our strength class. The entire class from start to finish was Hell. I don’t know how many of each we did, but plenty of single leg squats (with a bench below us to ensure we went low enough), single leg Romanian deadlifts with a kettle bell, kneeling glute stretch with kettle bell press, push presses with kettlebells, ring rows, and some burpees. My legs were shaking after only thirty minutes of exercise and I was sore until Saturday.
I like taking Wednesday as a rest day because the strength training usually requires it. This week was no different. On Thursday, however, I also needed to rest. I was still too sore to sit down comfortably, mostly in my right quad. It was the kind of sore where I thought if I even tried to run to make it feel better, I might strain it.
Friday I had to run before work because I was working at the carnival. Surprisingly, I woke up at 5:30am rather easily. This running before work thing isn’t so bad! It was already hot outside, people were running without shirts and I was sweating after one block. After just over 4 miles averaging 9:45 pace, I felt somewhat okay. It wasn’t great, but it was done.
On Saturday, I was working as well so I had to get the early morning run out of the way. Chris had asked if I wanted to run with somebody who had to get 5 miles in earlier in the day, so I agreed. We’ve never run together and in fact, I hadn’t ever officially met her before, but we clicked pretty quickly. It was a really easy paced run, we chatted the entire time. For the first time in a while, the run didn’t suck and I didn’t even think about the fact that I was running at all. Maybe it was the pace, but more likely it was the company. An easy five miles followed by eight hours on my feet, concluding with a couple glasses of whiskey while I catch up on TV is what I call a great day and night.
Sunday was Mother’s day, which I spent with my Grandma and Mom. I wanted to run a few miles prior to spending the afternoon with them, but I’ll admit, I woke up a little hungover. Oops. I figured a run after all the pizza, wings, and breadsticks would be better anyways. I headed over to the Outer Harbor and enjoyed nature and a leisurely run. It wasn’t a straight run, I stopped to take pictures every half mile or so, but the importance of time on my feet and more miles this week was there.
I finished the week with an all-time post injury high mileage. My legs feel refreshed still, which makes me feel like I’ve spent enough time hovering in 12-18 weekly mile range. I don’t plan to taper for the half marathon, so this will be the first of three consecutive increased weeks, that final week being the race. After that, it’s a recovery cutback before shifting the focus to marathon training!
I don’t know what the difference was between this week and all the others. I think the weather helped (tank top and shorts at 6am!) but for once, I made running the priority. I knew I was going to be busy and instead of feeling overwhelmed by it, I ran with it (literally). I think this consistency will help with getting back the pep in my step and hopefully some additional speedwork after the Buffalo Half.
Finally — a week where I ended up feeling back like my usual self. The self that was nailing track workouts, motivated to run, and setting PRs like it was nobody’s business. I don’t know where you’ve been hiding, but I’m glad you’re back.