Wednesday, January 7, 2015

NVM WEEK 8: happy new year; house; germs; winds of biblical proportions

Week 8 was my last abnormal holiday/vacation week of training (er...for now...), and I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, mileage-wise. In its favor was the fact that we were done traveling & back at home, and I took the entire week off from work (since we were flying on 12/29 & my office had 12/31 & 1/1 off anyway); going against it was the fact that it contained New Year's Eve (always treacherous from a running perspective) and the closing date on our new house (exciting!!! But super busy).

And, of course, wouldn't you know that after two plane trips and spending the week around approximately 17,392 children, Don & I both woke up Tuesday morning with sore throats, stuffy heads, and in my case, intermittent asthma.

No, this week was far from a perfect, but it could have been a lot worse, all things considered, and some parts of it were pretty awesome. The crown jewel was definitely my eighteen mile long run on Sunday, wherein I felt horrendously guilty about ditching Don & house stuff for 3.5 hours, even with his blessing.

Things did not get off to an auspicious start. I left about an hour and a half later than planned due to said house stuff and also was kind of horrified to feel myself getting hungry less than a mile in. Between that, the uncomfortably cold weather, and still feeling kind of sick, part of me was not at all convinced I wasn't just going to crash & burn. I figured if it got really bad, though, I could just call him to come scoop me off whatever patch of sidewalk I happened to collapse on.

Because of the late hour I decided to just run down to the park & then do laps of the east side (~3.7 miles each), rather than risk being on the west side in the dark. (Not that it's objectively more dangerous or anything; there's just more foliage and fewer people and the street lamps there seem to be out more often, so I never feel super comfortable running down there in the dark.) As with my 17 miler three weeks ago, I kept waiting for that achey, sloggy, ugh-just-let-it-end long-run feeling to set in, but lap after lap went by & it never did.

By mile 13 I still felt pretty normal, so I decided to try 3 miles at goal marathon pace & see how that felt. It felt hard but doable (8:15 uphill, 7:55 downhill, 7:59 flattish), and after that the last two easy miles were nothing. (I mean don't get me wrong, it was dark & cold & I was hungry & had to pee so I was glad I didn't need to run even one more mile, but physically I finished strong rather than achey & sore & dragging myself through the last miles.)

Sure, I finished around 7:00 pm in the dark rather than at 5:30 pm as planned, but afterward I felt pretty normal & as if I could have kept going with no problem. I'm particularly stunned by this given that I started the run hungry & only ever used two gels; I was legitimately worried that being hungry from the start might either force me back early for solid food or cause me to bonk. (This is where I think not carb loading for my long runs & using only minimal gels may have helped me.)

~*~*~NVM WEEK 8 OF 16~*~*~

Grand Total: 39 miles

    * 15 easy
    * 9 goal marathon pace
    * 18 long (including 3 at marathon pace)
    * No strength work or AT exercises. I suck.

Monday: Fly home.

Tuesday: 2 wu, 6 GMP, 2cd = 10 total 5 easy

    This was the worst run I've had in months. MONTHS! We've had a cold front roll in, and though it wasn't actually all that cold (40s?), the wind was a BITCH, a constant maybe 15-20mph, with faster gusts. Apparently large trees were downed all over the city & even caused power outages in a number of areas.

    And the wind, let me tell you something, was *freezing*. I could not put on enough layers to make any difference. It was just completely, utterly, totally miserable. In addition to this, I'd woken up feeling sick & been having some asthma problems all day, and they persisted into my run even after using my inhaler several times Usually that takes care of it but when it just got worse and worse, I ended up running back home to get it again rather than chance running without it. (I learned that lesson a while back.) My miles were slow and my heart rate was through the roof (which I blame on the wind, asthma, & the albuterol); also, I had a headache.

    Originally I'd intended to run 10 miles with 6 at goal marathon pace, then downgraded to 10 easy, then 8 easy, then 6 easy, then at a certain point just said "F#@$ it" & turned around to head home for the second time. I ran a few extra blocks to finish the current mile once I got back to my house, but that was it. I mean yes, physically I could have pushed myself through 3-5 more miles, but honestly, I didn't feel like I was actually accomplishing much & decided I'd rather save the gas for more productive miles later in the week.

Wednesday (New Year's Eve): 2 wu, 6 GMP, 2cd = 10 total 6 easy

    I would have liked to have done the 10 miles with 6 at goal marathon pace that day, but there just wasn't time. I mean, there could have been time if I'd gotten up early, but I was on vacation, dammit, & figured I'd just push it to Thursday.

Thursday (New Year's Day): 2 wu, 6 GMP, 2cd = 10 total Lie on couch with zombie-like countenance, drinking tea while binge watching Family Guy.

    So much for the GMP run. I spent most of Thursday feeling tired & like crap & still kind of sick. (Partly because of being a little sick; partly because the restaurant pre fixe we'd gone to the night before had tried to poison me with amazing wine & cocktails.) I could have forced myself out the door but it would have sucked a lot & I would have resented it the whole time. This counts as maybe half a wuss out, but all things considered, I don't really regret it.

Friday: 2 wu, 6 GMP, 2cd = 10 total

    I still felt a tad sick on Friday, but better enough that I figured I'd take a crack at the GMP run I'd failed to do for the last three days. The GMP miles are still hard, but getting slightly less hard, maybe? I nailed my pace exactly (7:57/mile) with my heart rate right where I wanted it (175 bpm), which I was not expecting given that I was having mild asthma the whole time (part of that whole still-a-little-sick thing).

Saturday: Rest

    Saturdays have kind of become my optional running day, where if I feel good & have time, I can run 4-5 miles, but no pressure if I can't or don't. I kind of wanted to in order to make up for some of the shenanigans earlier in the week, but on top of still feeling kind of sick, my legs & feet felt pretty beat up after Friday's run. Sure, I could have run 4-5 miles just fine, but I was paranoid about screwing up my long run Sunday & decided it was more important to rest & heal up for that than to worry about my mileage total for the week.

Sunday: 18 long, with 3 at goal marathon pace

I am sooooooo ready for a normal week!!


  1. You always do a good job of fitting in what you can, circumstances be darned. I think you have to get good at that if you have any sort of job or social life, or you'll just end up canceling all over the place. Been there, done that, and then your races suck!

  2. I'm glad someone else had a semi-shitty week for training. I thought with the travel being done I'd have a great week! That Tuesday night wind was frigid down in SoCal, so I can only imagine how bad it was up in SF. Here's to no more holidays and normal training...

    Congrats on closing!

  3. Kind of a crazy week, but you made the most of it. I'm impressed by how well your long runs have been going - definitely a very positive sign! I'm also a tiny bit envious, to be honest -- I had my first real "long run" last week of 12 miles and it was a slog from the start.