Ahoy hoy! (That’s how Simpsons character Mr. Burns says hello.) I’m getting an early start to this post while the rest of my family sleeps. Quiet is hard to come by round these parts. This week’s training was unpleasant to say the least. As old Jimmy Buffett would say, “it’s my own damn fault.” I had a good week 2, but turning the concept of a cheat day into a cheat weekend had its consequences. My trip to Virginia Beach did a number on me. Is it possible to eat/drink/travel yourself out of shape in just one weekend? At the beginning of the week, I certainly felt that I had done just that.
Mission accomplished! I had no trouble doing this. Saturday was action packed with my long run combined with a marathon day of eating and trying beers. There was also the long drive back to Lynchburg from Virginia Beach.
This mission was very much not accomplished. I had planned on working out at lunch and I just didn’t have it in me. The weekend kicked my butt into submission. I chose to watch some Netflix at lunch instead. You gotta listen to your body, right?
Track Tuesday (Planned 6×800 at a 5:40 to 5:45 pace)
I knew this was going to hurt, because 800s. I had no idea that I would STILL be feeling the effects of my trip to the beach. I felt sluggish and my stomach felt awful. I woke up super grumpy. I hated that I was committed to meeting at the track with the #TrackTuesday crew. I wanted to miserably run alone. I got to the track and my running buddies enthusiastically asked me what I was doing. I didn’t want to tell them. We ran those 800s together and I’m glad we did. I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to my goal paces without them. One of the people that ran the 800s was running buddy Alissa. She deserves a shoutout for how much progress she’s made at the track. Alissa ran all of her 800s in under 3:00. I was very impressed. Maybe I can get her to blog about her awesome improvement. It’s probably worth reading about.
The Piper must be paid, so Monday’s slacking turned Wednesday into a workout. I worked out at lunch with some lifting, rowing and VersaClimbing (bleh), but I also tried out Jacob’s Ladder. Just to avoid confusion, that dude in the video isn’t me. I struggled WAY more than that.
Tempo Thursday (7 mile tempo at 7:00 to 7:05 pace)
This one hurt more than I expected. After the paces needed for my previous two tempos, I thought the 7:00 pace would be a break, but 7 miles? Luckily, I was able to convince some suckers to join me (thanks Brenton!). This was good for my confidence and to help me feel back on track. I’ll admit that I was a little worried that this run was too much before the upcoming half marathon on Saturday. Was it? Keep reading hehe.
I was on the fence about whether to rest or not with the half marathon the following day. I compromised and just did 30 minutes at an easy level on the arc trainer. Without much resistance, it kind of helped to loosen my hips and legs up. I have no regrets. For bonus cross-training, I played a couple of games of slow pitch softball. Soooooo much fun!
Saturday (13 miles at 7:30 to 7:45 pace)
My training called for a 13 mile run. The Lynchburg Half Marathon is 13.1 miles. It was meant to be! I decided that I would run the race, but not race the race. My training pace for long runs is in the 7:30-7:45 range, so I decided to run the pace on the fast end of that. My running buddies didn’t believe that I’d stick to the pace. I didn’t believe it either. To help me stay grounded, I wore what I believe to be my heaviest and bulkiest shoes (Hoka Clifton 3s) and I even wore a hydration belt. I do need to say this about the Clifton 3s: I did not mean my comment as a knock on them, they are great shoes and probably my best “trainers”. To me, the way that they sit so high and provide so much cushioning makes them feel less “fast”.
I went out a little faster than I wanted to. You all know how that goes I’m sure. I made the mistake of trusting how I felt at first and what other runners were doing. I ran the first half mile or so at a sub 7:00 pace before I finally started to settle in. I found a couple of runners that seemed to be locking in at the pace I wanted and so a wolfpack formed. Unfortunately, they didn’t last long and I was running as a lone wolf again. That’s normally fine with me, but I expected to run with others this race and didn’t bother to bring music. I tried to keep thinking of songs in my head.
I saw lots of familiar faces as volunteers. They were cheering us on. I can honestly say that it helps. The big climb went remarkably well. That had me feeling pretty confident (that and the RunGum that I had just popped in).
I started to pick up my pace a bit and started running along side a young fella for a few miles. We didn’t say a single word to each other until mile 10. We were both suffering. We suddenly became a team of sorts. I love that about racing. We mutually decided we weren’t going to push each other until later than mile 11 since we both had experience in falling apart. He ended up leaving me around mile 12. I was ok with that 😀
I was able to finish in just under 1:38, which was right in line with my training goal AND still good enough to win my AG. A friend of mine got a great shot of me near the finish. What a great race!
All in all it was a tough week, but all’s well that ends well.