It’s been seven weeks since the Chicago Marathon (really?) and officially, the final week of doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted has come and gone. Simply put, this week was great. My sanity really needed this three-day work week complete with family and good food, of course, good runs weren’t hard to come by either!
Monday: 2 miles in AM with Dunkin
I had trouble sleeping in and woke up around 5:15am but it was far too early to actually get out of bed and start moving. Instead, I laid in bed waiting for my Sleep Cycle alarm clock to go off between 5:45 and 6:15am. I expected a 5:45am wake-up since I was already awake, but it didn’t go off until 6:10am and with that, I got myself out of bed for a short 2 mile run with Dunks. We took it out at his pace and whoa, it was fast for morning miles.
I had to dress up for a mock interview at work and didn’t want to be rushed or deal with wet hair, so I opted for a little more sleep and no workout. Dunkin didn’t seem to mind, as he snugged up immediately when I got out of bed, taking over my half of the mattress, most of the blankets, and my pillow.
Wednesday: 1.5 miles in AM with Dunkin
My Garmin decided to malfunction on the way out the door, so obviously this run really didn’t happen (kidding!) We cut the run short and kept it slow; I just wasn’t feeling it. My legs were tired and heavy. I was tired. If anything, this made me feel a little bit more motivated for the future because I woke up and tried, even though I clearly didn’t have the legs for it.
Thursday: Turkey Trot 8k
I can’t complain about a race I finished feeling like I gave a good attempt at a progression run. I wanted to finish feeling strong and confident, without any injury issues. I did just that. My fastest mile was in the realm of what I need to run for 13 straight in order to get close to the PR I’m aiming for in Pittsburgh, so I have some work to do, but if anything this gave me the motivation to do it.
Friday: 3 mile “Trail” Fartlek Run with Dunkin
I anticipated an easy recovery run for 30-45 minutes with some stop and go, but Dunkin had other ideas. His nose led us through some trails I didn’t know existed and I let him pick the pace every so often, turning this into a fartlek. Our running pace was anywhere from 8:4x to 9:5x, so I’d hardly call this recovery. I was relieved to feel good on the run despite the previous day’s 8k race; not all fitness has been lost in my post-marathon recovery!
Afterwards, I spent some time researching Black Friday deals and scored 16 tubes of Nuun (two 8 packs) and 32 Honey Stinger Waffles (two 16 packs) for $88. Typically this would easily cost over $150, so I’m feeling pretty good. I saw the Rose Gold Fenix 3 on sale for $500 instead of $600, but I kept myself in check and told myself to wait until Christmas. I don’t know that I can hold off much longer though, I won’t lie. I’ve been staring at the silver version of this watch for over a year, but when I saw the rose gold variation, I knew I had to have it. I’m sure the watch is rather large for my thin wrists, but the idea of having a watch I can wear 24/7 that will also carry me through triathlon training (
should when I venture down that path) is really appealing… and a huge upgrade from my Garmin Forerunner 410.
J and I took the pup for a long walk and picked up a real tree that was already cut. I would have loved to go cut out own again, but $90 vs. $40 was the deal breaker. Afterwards, we dropped him off to J’s Mom’s so we could grab lunch and do some small business Saturday shopping… I only bought things for the dog. My Mom came over later in the evening with my sister and her new boyfriend so they could get their “Dunkin fix” (do you know how much company we get because of the dog?) and while they were over… my mom pushed me over the edge and I bought the Garmin. Whoops.
Football Sundays are good for relaxing and I’m not about to complain over two rest days in a row prior to starting some consistent training again. Accidentally coordinating a long weekend with the last week of plan-less running was probably one of my better decisions in recent memory.
Overall, I ran 11.6 miles this week and it’s not groundbreaking, but it is a small leap in consistency for me. Honestly, since I start following a plan to work towards my 2016 goals next week, I really need to stop focusing on miles and turn it over to minutes.
Here’s a quick look at next week’s training plan:This is the first week (of eight) in the “base building” phase. I purposely planned my morning runs in this format to give Dunks his much needed exercise, then later in training my PM runs are solo and race specific, as are weekend runs. I have also each week split into AM and PM because when the ball starts rolling, boy does it roll! Thankfully, that doesn’t start to happen until I’ve got this consistency down for a couple months.
One thing you’ll notice is that I have a lot of miles falling under the “junk” category, but it’s a necessary evil of my life right now. To me, the most important part of picking or creating a training plan is to make it work for you. You will not be successful at an otherwise great training plan if it does not coordinate — within reason — with your life. So yes, my morning runs with the dog are easily considered “junk” because they are inconsistently paced, somewhat stop and go, and slower than my easy pace but it’s a necessity to living my life with a four-legged furball that I love so much (and is taking over my blog!) But at the same time, these junk miles will be good for my consistency and recovery. I know I feel better with some little running instead of relaxing on the couch; now I have a reason to do it.
I’m just really excited to look at a plan again, despite not feeling at all like I’ve mentally recovered from the height of training yet. I think that’s what’s so great about the way I put together all these training weeks — for 8-12 weeks, I’m doing what I’ve already been doing, it’s just on paper instead of in my head.