Last week was intense. This week was admittedly a bit of a derailment.
Work was intense, I was busy with my family, I was busy with Girls on the Run (GOTR), and family health issues caused stress levels to explode all around (cancer sucks!). While I am accustomed to juggling many things, the proverbial straw smashed the camel’s back this week.
The good news is that as far as my training is concerned, I truly believe that I ultimately ended up in a better place than I have been in weeks. So maybe there is a silver lining after all?
Let me explain. Last week I cut back volume a little (5ish miles), but this week I started a relatively substantial taper. I’ll admit I’ve never trained for a half before, so I really didn’t think I’d taper until the week of the race. But I listened to my coach and followed his schedule.
Monday was my scheduled rest day. I did arm weights and core work and ran a bit with my fabulous GOTR girls.
Tuesday I was scheduled for a speed workout. But I was tired and stressed out, so I decided Monday night I’d swap out Tuesday’s hard workout with Wednesday’s easy 30 minute run. Moment of full disclosure: alright, I’ll admit it, I am TERRIBLE when it comes to scheduled 30 minute runs. 30 minutes? How much benefit can you get from 30 minutes? Wouldn’t 30 minutes of sleep be even better? Result: I ignored my schedule and slept in. I could always make it up in the evening, right? Wrong. With life obligations blowing up a bit on Tuesday night (and that same 30 minute mentality), I never got my run in.
Wednesday I did get up early to do my scheduled tempo workout. It was storming (lightning and thunder) so again I hit the treadmill. 10 minute easy warm up; 30 minutes at my easier tempo (7:35); 10 minute cool down. The workout went fine, but I was tired. 51:33 / 6.5 miles / 7:56 pace. Wednesday night, I ran easy with my GOTR girls again and loosened up my legs a bit.
Thursday I set my alarm to get up but was completely exhausted. I had movie theater dreams as I call them, where they are so vivid and intense it feels like you didn’t sleep at all. Intense. The light rain made me hit the alarm again. I was only scheduled for 30 minutes – I can do it later, right? Wrong.
Friday I was sore. And tired. And had a bit of a stomach bug. What is going on? Finally it dawned on me that the muscle soreness was due to normal taper stuff. Duh. Even though I wasn’t marathon training, my mileage was actually the equivalent of what many marathon runners do. Aha moment is appreciated. It is cold and rainy, but I got a decent run in. Decided not to push the speed work with my touchy tummy and tired legs. 45 minutes / 5 miles / 8:59 pace.
Saturday I was still sore. I didn’t even bother putting on my HRM because I knew it would be ugly. My *long* run for the week was 60 minutes with 4 striders, so I headed out and got it done. My feet, calves and hamstrings were sore, but otherwise I felt fine. 60 minutes / 6.85 miles / 8:49 pace.
*** I bit the bullet and e-mailed my coach about my race next Saturday. I don’t feel on mentally, the trail it is being run on is a disaster due to the rain/freeze pattern, and the race organizers are allowing WAY too many runners for an out and back on a rails-to-trails course. I asked him whether it was advisable to stretch on one more week so I can run the Illinois Half Marathon the week later.
Sunday my coach agreed with me. Plans are changing. I ran 3 miles on the trail with my boy. In some places it was fine, but in others, it was awful. Pitted, tire tracks, foot prints made for a mess. If my feet and ankles are sore after 3 miles slow, how am I supposed to race 13.1? I felt I was making the right decision. 64 minutes / 7.3 miles with 4 strides / 8:49 pace.
Total: 3 hours and 41 minutes / 25.7 miles.
Yes, it was a weak sauce week, but much needed turn around.
On another note:
GO BOSTON MARATHONERS! Every time I had a swift tail wind this week, I kept hoping you’d have the same if there was any wind on Marathon Monday. Fleet feet and full hearts. Go get ’em!