I’m glad this week is over. It just felt messy and chaotic, in part due to work related issues. But that tends to happen at the end of the month (and quarter) in this business. I had two back-to-back 11 hour days of work, which messed with Thursday’s scheduled tempo. I ended up scratching it and running easy. But the biggest lesson learned there was that sometimes that’s going to happen and it’s best to just move on. And move on I did, to a weekend of anti-climatic highs as work responsibilities winded down.
On Saturday, I went to the Akron Marathon to cheer on a couple of friends. I never expected that by the end of the day, I would be signing up for next year’s full. I got chills at the start, reminiscent of my 26.2 adventure in 2004. A fireworks show (10 minutes worth) after the gun went off really got my blood flowing. Then, as I watched runners crossing the finish line of the marathon, I discovered what running is really about. There was a woman who finished in 3:18:xx. She was smiling yards before the mat, a smile that read, “I’m about to PR.” No one else was really watching her as the leaders had already finished and other marathoners and half marathoners were finishing at the same time. As she crossed the line, the smile grew larger and I’m sure there was a tear or two. It looked as if she muttered, “Yes!” Watching that experience did it for me. You don’t have to be the race’s winner to experience victory.
On Sunday, coach found a (very) small 5k for me to enter in an attempt to get the sub-22 monkey off my back. My boyfriend, Salty, and a few training friends showed up to lend their support. I was very grateful for that. Pressure? What’s pressure? I made an effort to focus on calming down, not slowing down during the race, a race that featured roads, lots of turns, a track, and grass! I thought for sure that the grass was going to slow me down. But as I approached the finish line, I realized I was in for a HUGE PR.
Hold the gun though, the course was short. However, I still ran a PR for 3 miles in 20:32 (6:51 pace). Sure it looked nice seeing 6:37 per mile pace in the results but I don’t want to be the next Kip Litton or Paul Ryan. If the race extended another 200 meters or so, I would’ve run between a 21:14-21:48. As far as I’m concerned, the monkey’s gone. Even with the ambiguity, I consider this race a victory in overcoming mental weakness.
And now the real fun begins!
Monday: 4 miles easy
Tuesday: 7.5 miles with a track workout of 6 x 1000 (averaging 4:10). Mentally, this workout became challenging after the second repeat. I realized that the track workouts are not only excellent practice for physical training but mental training as well. Mentally, I’m a bit out of shape.
Wednesday: 4.27 miles in the rain.
Thursday: 5.1 miles with only one at tempo pace (7:40). This was after an 11 hour work day and on a treadmill, which I hadn’t been on since the winter. Moving along…
Friday: Scheduled off day. I was going to run to make up for my missed mileage on Thursday but figured that after another 11 hour work day, my mind needed some rest.
Saturday: 6 miles in the form of a little double. 4 miles in the morning at the marathon and 2 miles in the early evening on trails.
Sunday: 8.5 miles with the “5k” race (aka 3 miles in 20:32).
I was supposed to hit 40-45 miles this week but coach isn’t an advocate for playing catch up when life gets in the way. So, I’ll consider this week a down week.
Total: 35.37 miles