Weeks Five to Seven: I hate/love/hate/love running

Week Five:

Monday: 10 min. erg warmup; arms and core workout

Tuesday: 5.73 mi (random, I know), including 5 short, steep hill repeats; evening pilates class

Wednesday: 30 min. bike (hard); legs workout

Thursday: 4 miles easy

Friday: 4 miles easy

Saturday: rest (though did a lot of swing dancing at a wedding!)

Sunday: rest (…up late for a wedding = no Sunday run)

This week was a recovery week, and thank goodness. Wedding numero dos for the summer through my weekend schedule out of whack. My Tuesday run actually was great. I brought along cold water with electrolytes mixed in (Nuun tablet) and while my first two miles out to where I wanted to do some hill repeats were pretty slow, I actually managed nailing some good paces on the way back, and kicked ass at the repeats. For Thursday’s run, I had a pre-run popsicle, and it actually helped a TON. Sunday’s run… just didn’t happen. I actually did an extra five miler the following week but that in itself felt a little pointless. NB and I tried to get used to the idea of getting up at 7 a.m. after getting to bed at 1, and just couldn’t stomach it. So we skipped it. It’s a recovery week after all, right?


Week Six:

Monday: 2 miles easy (was meant to be make up 5 miler, but fell at mile 1)

Tuesday: 5 miles easy (awful. Had terrible GI issues starting mile 2, but got through it with some walk breaks)

Wednesday: 10 min. erg warmup; arms and core workout

Thursday: 6 miles – 3×1600 with 800 jogs, 1 mile warm and cool

Friday: 3 miles easy (middle mile at tempo-ish pace on hills) – treadmill run; legs workout

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 11.29 mile long run

Thursday’s speedwork was an epic fail. I nailed the first repeat too fast… and then just, gave up. Problem was I gave up mid-repeat, and then Shannon and I lost track of what lap we were on. I knew my garmin sometimes would get off, especially for track work. Turns out I was right and we accidentally did a 2000 instead of a 1600. I also had a mini-meltdown for the third repeat. I don’t know what my problem was, but the short of it is: it’s all in my head.

Friday I tried to make up for it a bit, doing my three miler on the treadmill (so I could then do a leg workout) and threw in a fast-ish second mile on hills. Funny how running fast on the treadmill actually feels better than slogging along at easy pace.

Sunday’s long run was actually kind of great. It was a pretty rough course, including a loop of Frick Park, but I listened to some Wait wait Don’t tell me podcast and saw a family of deer on Forbes munching on a buffet of local garden plots. I stopped my Garmin and music so I could watch a bit and Momma Deer stared at me, big ears swiveling, while her spotted little baby ate at the vegetables. Another runner coming the opposite way saw me stopped and looked over and smiled. We chatted a bit before she went on her way, but it was a nice moment between runners.

Week Seven:

Monday: rest (decided to sleep in)

Tuesday: 4 miles “easy”

Wednesday: 10 min. erg; arms and core workout

Thursday: 6 miles – 4 @ tempo

Friday: 3 miles (including 2x400m Shady repeats)

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 12 mile long run

Tuesday’s run I did with NB, and we took our normal tempo route, which is nice and flat (well, for Pittsburgh anyway). It was nice to take it easy on our usual fast route, but we were both hurting at the start, feeling heavy-legged and burned out. Our first mile was right on easy pace. The second mile things started clicking… and we did it at sub half-marathon race pace (I’d like to do a 2 hour half, so that’s 9:09; we did mile 2 at 9 minute pace, rather than 9:30ish). The third mile was 8:44, and the fourth was the same. We then realized why we never do easy runs together. Oops.

Thursday was another epic fail for a quality run. The only highlight was seeing the set up for the new Batman movie outside Mellon Institute. But I was mentally freaking out. I had one good mile on pace, one that was a little slow, and two that were… awful. Pathetic.

Friday I tried to make up for it… again: I ran a mile from my gym to Shady and did a couple VERY painful hill repeats, and ran back to the gym to kick my legs’ ass some more.

Sunday was where the magic happened. It had been weeks since I’d had a really awesome run (other than that ‘easy” for miler) especially for a quality run. I was ready for a break. I plotted out a new route that I knew would be pretty flat, and I knew the change of scenery would be a big help. I hydrated like crazy the day before, and it was a good thing: Sunday dawned 75* and 95 percent humidity. We went out really strong. We had a one slow mile at the start (around mile 2 by my Garmin stats) but the rest were dead on long run pace. We crossed over to South Side and did an out and back along the Three Rivers Heritage Trail. Around mile 8, though, NB started having some trouble. He drained the 12 ounce handheld I gave him to take (with a Nuun tablet in it) and I gave him one of my 8 ounce bottles from my fuel belt. I stopped my watch as he sat down to try to let a dizzy spell pass. He was suffering. The humidity was horrible, and his sweat rate is much faster than mine. we took a little time to try to evaluate what we needed to do, and decided to keep on. We did take a walk break after we crossed back over, which gave us one pretty slow mile, but we stopped near a guy’s house who was doing some yard work and he let us use his hose to fill NB’s bottle (thank you, good Samaritan!). Once we climbed a long set of steps near the entrance of Schenley, we were able to run it in. A mile out NB asked how much we had left, and wehn I told him, he cursed, but we kept going. I kept encouraging him telling him how much we had left and we hammered it home at race pace.

It was a ridiculous run, but really kind of great, as far as overcoming adversity. Strangely enough, I felt great the entire time. I was totally okay with stopping my watch for that one dizzy spell break considering I knew I would have been able to keep going without stopping and it didn’t feel like a cheat, I was just sticking around for NB, who ALWAYS sticks with me.

We got home and stretched, elevated our feet, hydrated and had a little food before we showered up and got a full breakfast.This week

This week starts five weekly runs. I have a 13 miler to do on Saturday (I’m in a wedding on Sunday… yes, another wedding) so it should be an interesting week. Gonna try to be good about sleep,, hydration and nutrition as best I can. I have another shot at a tempo run this week, and I’m hoping to kick its ass. Weather looks like it’ll be less painful, but I’m thinking adjusting my paces wouldn’t be out of the question in the heat/humidity lately. But we shall see.

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I'm a 35-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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