Wednesday, September 17, 2014

This is how I recover from long runs

I ate most of this in two days. Ain't no shame in my game.
Sadly, there hasn't been much happening in my little world. Some co-workers are in town so I've been putting in some extra hours working on projects with them. Add in a bit of personal stress, and I haven't been running as regularly as I would like.

However, one small victory worth celebrating was a decently-paced 20-miler this past Saturday. The heat and humidity has been killing my paces — my past 20-milers this cycle were at a 11:04 and a 10:49 minute per mile average. Ugh! However, I managed this one at a 10:11 minute per mile average pace. It's still slower than I would like, but VAST improvement. In fact, my last LONG long run this training cycle at a better pace was my 14-miler two months ago!

I drove straight from the trailhead to the grocery store where I picked up this beauty — a half-gallon of Michigan-made salted caramel ice cream, which is pretty much the most delicious foodstuff ever invented. The best thing about this is that my husband doesn't really like salted caramel ice cream (I love him despite his flaws) so I got almost all of it to myself. It was all in my belly within about 36 hours.

My legs and feet were actually very tired and sore after this long run. I put my feet up for much of the day Sunday and managed a recovery run Monday morning, during which I felt like a drunken, lumbering elephant. It took until Tuesday to feel normal again. Did I push it a little too hard? Maybe. Do I only have one more 20+ run and then the marathon left, so I will just push through it and try to ignore the pain? Of course.

32 days until marathon day. I won't be setting any records, but now I'm feeling much better about the run itself.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Work, insomnia and weather: The trifecta of run killers

Earlier this week.

What do these three things have in common?
  • Working into the evening
  • Lying in bed wide awake for three hours
  • Severe thunderstorms

If you guessed things that get in the way of going running, you would be correct! An acceptable answer would also be "things that happened this week."

I was really looking forward to the end of triathlon season and "only" having to train long one weekend day for the rest of the year. I typically move my long runs to Saturdays, during college football, so I'm not missed much (if at all) when I'm gone.

But, and there's always a but, that means my scheduled recovery/day off running moves to Sunday, and I pick up again with an easy run on Monday. This Monday I was in meetings alone for four hours. Add in all my actual work, and I got home late and too tired to go for a run.

No problem. I moved things around and ran Tuesday morning. Great! But Tuesday was another late night on the computer, so a Wednesday morning run didn't happen. And Wednesday evening featured the weather system above.

No problem. I'll just get up early Thursday and run. I even got to bed before 10 p.m. Wednesday night. But I just laid there... and laid there... and laid there. I finally fell asleep at about 1 a.m. So I was definitely not getting up at 5:30 a.m.

Seriously, people, what does a girl gotta do to go for a run around here?!?

The good news is I had an excellent 8-miler last night with some decently paced pickups. We're in the midst of a cool spell so it was nice not being drenched in sweat within the first half mile. I wore a long-sleeved shirt and was even a little warm by the end.

The other good news is that I only have two more LONG long runs left on the schedule — only two more runs that take up the whole morning or most of the day.

I'm going to get it done one way or the other — storms, exhaustion, work, and all of life's other distractions be damned.