Monday morning I had an 8 mile run at MP on the plan. Grateful that I had had a long bike ride as opposed to a long run the day before, I set my alarm for 4:30. When I woke up, not only was it dark, but it was also very foggy. I put on my Petzl Tikka headlamp and headed out. The LED light was so bright that all I could see is the foggy mist coming at me. It was hard to see the road. About a block from my home, I smelled a skunk and when I looked over, there was one right next to me, rearing up on its front legs. That could only mean one thing. That was the charge I needed to move it, and move it I did. When I got to the path, I saw that there were other runners there, wearing headlamps too. I started to relax, but a creepy cyclist who stared at me every time he passed me kept me on alert. I aimed my headlamp at his face, hoping to blind him. I'm not sure if it worked. I was pleased and surprised when I saw my pace on the Garmin: 8:35 miles in 1:11 for an average pace of 8:33 min/mile.
Tuesday: I headed to CrossFit for a MetCon session with Becky. When I woke up, I was really dizzy, and I considered cancelling with her. Turns out, she wasn't feeling well either. I pushed through intervals of rowing with 4 different activities: waiters lunges, box jumps, sumo deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. I drank a ton of water and Nuun. But when I got home and stepped out of the shower, the room kept spinning and I felt really nauseous. I hated to do it, but I called off work and spent the day on the couch. I felt like crap all day. Was it a virus that I picked up in the clinic? A migraine? Or those intervals? Hey, at least I got my workout in, right?
|Made my heart pound!|
Thursday I had speed work on the plan, 2 mile repeats x3. I wanted to get out early, but my youngest son was struggling with his asthma and allergies, and I needed to get him settled before I headed out. When I got to the path, it was already 77 degrees. Add in the humidity, and it was really uncomfortable. The first 2 miles went pretty well, and I thought to myself that maybe, I got this heat thing! Miles 3 and 4 were tough. Before I started on my last interval, I gave myself a little more walking time, and stopped at the drinking fountain for lots of water. I considered stopping after 4, because I knew I couldn't maintain the split times I had for the first 2. I felt pretty sick. I finally talked myself into just running the last 2, and I did, this split one minute slower than the previous one. Because of that slow last interval, I didn't feel really victorious until I recovered and thought about staying mentally tough and not giving up. I still hit my goal pace, for an average of 8:17min/mile. And when I got in the car to go home, guess what song was playing on the radio? Yep, Don't Stop Belivin'. Coincidence? I think not...
|Speedwork done. Splits: 15:59, 16:21, 17:22. Don't even stop believin'.|
After I had breakfast, I headed to see Becky at CrossFit. She had me do back squats, with progressively heavier weights and CHAINS, yes chains, dangling from the barbell. The purpose of the chains was for me to keep control of the bar. When I squatted, the bar wanted to pull me back. This is great for hip stability, and also for the glutes. In between sets, she had me push the prowler. Outside.
Saturday, I had a 5 miler on the plan. No pace, no plan for this run. Just a run. My legs still felt heavy from Thursday's workout, and I had to stop after mile 1 to stretch my calves. But as I watched the sunrise, I started to loosen up. Inspired by the beautiful morning sky, I stopped to strike a pose in the park. And another. I finished this run with a smile on my face. And somehow, managed to eake out an MP run: 8:47 min/mile.
|Warrior one. Feeling stronger as the run went on.|
|Greeting the sun.|
Sunday: I woke up early to beat the heat for my 12 miler, and was out the door by 6:45. The temp was already 75, with 70% humidity, and I took it slow. I had to do a lot of tough self talk to push through those first 3 miles.
My brain: "It's too hot. Go home. Give up.".
Me: "I need this run. If I can do this run, I can do this marathon. I can't quit. It's only 12 miles. "
About mile 4, my brain gave up, and the run became much easier. I chugged up the big-for-me hill without stopping. And made it to the gas station at mile 5.5 for a pit stop. When I came out, there was a sweaty but very attractive male runner buying gatorade. We made small talk, and I headed back out the door, a little peppier for that interaction. Hey, I may be old, but I'm not dead yet! I turned around at mile 6, and headed back the way I came. Luckily, the path is pretty shady. There was also a nice breeze. I started to struggle again, about mile 9, and those final 3 miles were a battle between my brain, which was again doing its best to make me quit, and my will to finish this thing on my terms. Which I did, 12. 09 miles in 1:51:10. In the interest of full disclosure, I did stop a few times, and my Garmin stops when I do. Hey, it's a training run...
|I was so happy to be done with this run.|
Even though we were back in the blast furnace, I'm really happy with this week of training. Yes, the heat and humidity made it really hard to push through all my workouts, but I got them all done without quitting. And that tenacity will pay off on the marathon course when I want to quit. Training is not always about paces and mile splits. The so-called experts say that running is 90% mental, and these tough runs in the heat and humidity were all about mental toughness. I'll need to dig deep in the last 10k of the marathon, and I'll have these runs to draw on. This upcoming week, I'm looking forward to cooler temps and a half marathon next weekend.
So what song captured this week of training? There were so many good ones, but I picked Social Distortion's Ring of Fire. Considering the conditions so many of us have been subjected to this summer, I found it fitting. "Cause it burns, burns, burns...." I sang along with it on my long run today. By the way, I do love the original by Johnny Cash, but the version by Social Distortion is a little more uptempo.
Tell me about your week! How did your training go? Anything along the road put a little pep in your step? Any songs that made your run go faster?