Pittsburgh Marathon Training Week 8

Week 8 is over and we are officially halfway there (wooo-ah! Livin’ on a praaaaayer….no? Ok, then)!!!  Holy crap! I try not to remind myself of that and to just focus on the week at hand but, I definitely started to get some butterflies and nerves when I realized it was week 8. I’m the type of person that does better when I break things down into smaller time frames, so I really try not to look to far ahead (unless it’s for scheduling/logistics purposes) otherwise I will start a major freak-out.  This was another strong week, and required a little bit of tinkering to get the miles in but I am happy to report that they are all done! I had a Sunday day trip to my brother’s house planned, which meant I had to shift all of my runs/weights around to fit it all in. This resulted in me doing my NROLFW two days in a row (total no-no), but it was that or nothing AND doing my first running double. Since I don’t go “totes hard at the gym, yo” I figured this would be ok. We are  also getting close to peak week(s) here, and I have an 18 miler coming up this weekend. Can’t. Wait.

Monday – Rest Day. Nothing hugely exciting….

Tuesday – Outside run!! 5 miles 58:00 (11:41 pace) . It was raining,  but that was OK by me!! For one, it wasn’t snow!!! And two, I honestly love running in the rain. There is something so calming and peaceful about it. It was still a little chilly out, but IT WASN’T SNOW! My legs were still a little tired and heavy from the beating they took over the weekend (10 mile race/16 mile long run…Rocky Balboa style) so I was in no hurry to go fast.

Wednesday – Strength! I’m pretty sure I say this every week, but, I’m still not seeing the progress in the mirror and I know that’s all on me. Which is fine. The good stuff though, is that I’m seeing the progress in other ways. Each week I’m able to increase the weights I’m using, and even if it’s only 5 pounds it’s something; AND I was able to do 10 REAL pushups. That was a first for me. I’m not sure that my form on those was 100% perfect, but my trainer said it was so they count.

Last one didn't count, fool

Last one didn’t count, fool

 

Thursday – Double up with my “speed” in the morning and weights in the afternoon. This was supposed to be a 5 mile progression run, but turned into a 4 mile regression run.  This is one of those ones that felt tough from the get go. I was on the treadmill and had to stop about a mile in because my stomach just decided to wake up and join the party. I got started again and the pace just felt hard and I was only at a 5.3 speed. I had to slow it down and then finally walk which I haven’t done in forever. My basement is always nice and cool, but it felt HOT and that started to irritate me. I told myself just to forget about the pace, and just get the run done. I kept the speed at about 5.2 for a while then put it back up to 5.3 and just kept alternating those speeds until I was done. Between the bathroom break and walk break, I wasted a good bit of time and I had to stop at 4 miles or risk being late for work.  4.25 miles 49:00 (11:29 pace) Weights in the PM!

Friday – This was a true “double” and a major first for me. Because I would be away Sunday, I needed to do my long run on Saturday; which meant that my Saturday run was moved to Friday. The only problem was that Saturday’s run called for 10 miles. Ruh-Roh. That is certainly NOT the type of mileage I am capable of before work, and it’s definitely not happening after work so the only other option was to split the miles up and do some in the morning and some at night. I started out on the treadmill Friday morning, and was a little apprehensive since yesterday’s run had gone oh-so-well, but told myself just focus on getting something in. Do a minimum of 3 miles, but, do more if you can. 4 is good…5 would be AWESOME! I turned Law and Order on and got to work. 3 went by quickly enough, so I told myself that 1 more mile was totally doable. I passed 4 miles and told myself that I went this far…might as well just go for 5. Of course, the last mile is the longest but I finished it strong. Imagine my surprise/delight  when I went to record the run in my planner that I was only scheduled for NINE miles! WAHOO! I know it’s only 1 lousy mile, but mentally, that was huge. Knowing that I only needed 4 more instead of 5 left me feeling very confident!  I came home, and the sun was shining so I got dressed and headed out to finish 4 more miles. I wanted to keep these easy so I wore my heart rate monitor, and thanks to the article that Jen posted I figured out where I should try to keep my heart rate for this run. *For a really awesome & thorough post about training by heart rate, read Nichole’s post. I’ve read it once and am re-reading it to make sure I get all of the info. I am almost positive I’m going to give this type of training a shot after this marathon. Go read it now. Well, finish reading this, THEN go read that post.*  Until I was running, and then I forgot the numbers, but I decided that keeping things in the 140s-150s would be acceptable. I was able to do that, and again, it helped me mentally – it was easier/more fun to try to keep my heart rate down that it was to watch my pace get slower 🙂
I think I did it right.

I think I did it right.

I knocked out the 4 miles and was surprised when I saw that my pace was still in the 11:30s. To be honest, I was just worried about surviving this so to see that I was still holding a somewhat decent pace was icing on the cake! AM 5 miles 56:55 (11:09 pace)/PM 4 miles 46:24 (11:35 pace).

Saturday – I moved my long run up and Jennifer was awesome enough to meet me out at North Park for the second half of my 14 miler. The plan was that I would run 7, then meet Jen and we would do 5 miles at race pace with a mile warm up and cool down. I took the first 7 nice and easy, and again used my HRM to make sure that I was truly keeping it easy.

Nailed it. I think.

Nailed it. I think.

I knew that if I went out too fast, that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Jen and she might have to leave my body in a snow pile somewhere.  I parked at the JC Stone Field and ran to the boathouse, cut through the parking lot and back to the field. I suck at math so I seriously misjudged my turnaround point and had to run a little extra to get that 7. I refueled with a Gu and Jen and I got to work on the last 7. My Garmin also decided to have  some type of seizure and kept beeping and flashing so we had to stop so I could reset it. Thanks to that, my times are mileage are a little wonky but luckily I was able to get the data from Jen. We finished the warm up and starting cranking out the miles. Splits were 10:39, 10:39, 10:55, 11:02 & 10:48… I don’t want to say they were easy but I felt very strong the whole time. We climbed the hill behind the boathouse, ran to Ingomar, turned around and climbed the hill again all at race pace miles, and really cranked it up for the last two tenths of a mile to simulate a fast finish. Yeah. We’re kind of a big deal. Kidding….sort of. We ran a mile cool down to our cars and passed Nichole along the way! I know I say this all the time, too, but it so nice to actually know some of the other runners out there and cheer each other on when we pass. Love it. I also have to say, that without a running partner, I NEVER would have attempted this kind of run; putting race pace miles into a long run sounds terrifying but was actually a lot of fun. Hopefully we are able to sneak a few more of these into our weekend runs because they are awesome!!  We also tried to take a picture after, and there was a guy stretching by his car, so we tried to discreetly take our selfie and we were soooo busted. You kind of had to be there, but it was hysterical. 1st 7 miles 1:21 (11:23 pace). 2nd 7 miles 1:18 (11:09 pace).

So, I tried two new-to-me things this week and really enjoyed them both. I really see the value in adding doubles to a training schedule, but if I were to add those to a training plan in the future I would probably start out on a smaller scale like 2/2, 3/2, etc. 5/4 (or 5/5 like I planned) was a little extreme, but necessary. 

I can tell that we are elbows deep in training because my hunger levels are off the chart. I am trying to make sure that I eat lots of good, healthy foods but…Girl Scout Cookies. I also really need to start nailing down my fueling strategy for race day, but I HATE feeling like a pack mule on my runs carrying all kinds of crap. I know that on race day, I’m going to leave the water bottle at home and rely on the water stations since there are so many on the course, but I still need to carry my gels. And that means using my runner’s fanny pack. Oh goody. I can’t wait.

This should accentuate my muffin top nicely. Wonderful.

This should accentuate my muffin top nicely. Wonderful.

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Pittsburgh Marathon Training – Week 5

Hello, Friends!!  Another week down, and that means another (late) weekly recap! I have to first thank everyone for the positive pep talks last week! I was really feeling crummy about my training, but you guys really helped me snap out of my funk!  You’re the best!!!

The bitter temps that we’ve been experiencing here are nothing to mess around with, and made the later part of last week a bit tricky. I hate to be a whiner and complainer but ohmygooooooooooooood am I sick of winter. Then again, we could be in Boston so I shouldn’t cry too much!

Monday – Rest Day, and dentist day. Booooo. I finally got the permanent crown put on my tooth from root canal back in October. There were some insurance things to juggle and it ended up that if I waited until 2015 to get the permanent crown put on it would cost me less in the long run. We all know how cheap I am, so this was a no brainer!  Now that you all know the state of my teeth, we can talk about running!

Tuesday4 miles. I really had 0 hope for this run. I had been in a serious slump, but the weather was decent and I decided to forget about pace, heart rate and whatever else just go. Maybe it was the lack of pressure; maybe all I needed was to type out that I was having some training trouble (I wrote me recap that afternoon, but hadn’t published it yet). I don’t really know, but HOT DAMN was this run amazing! I would peek at my watch every now and then and would see a 10 in front of my pace and a couple of times I though “maybe my Garmin is dying. No way am I running these paces right now”. I try to never be that negative, but with the way things had been going, it’s kind of hard to blame me, right?! I finished 4 miles with a 10:34 (!) pace, and I still felt like I could have done a little more! I was so thrilled to finally have a decent run under my belt! As I was doing my cool down walk, I kicked myself for not wearing the stupid HRM. I would have LOVED to see my numbers compared to last week, especially because these miles felt effortless compared to what I was doing before.

Wednesday – Should be strength, but it was a nice day and Thursday’s high was supposed to be 9. Eff that. I am not running in that shit if I don’t have to. So I didn’t!  Even before I started, I told myself to not expect too much. I ran fast (for me) the day before and it was OK if Tuesday ended up being my speed day and Wednesday was a little (or a lot) slower. I started out and decided that it’s been a while since I attempted a Tempo Run, so I went for it. I clocked the first mile a tad faster than I expected, but not wicked fast, so I told myself to try another mile and see what I could get out of it. Still faster! And still feeling really good – strong, in control, even breathing, steady heart rate (I think)! I cranked out another mile and was shocked when I saw a 9:44 mile. I used the last as a cool down, even though it was a little fast for that.

Boom.

Boom.

Overall I was really happy when I saw my average pace for this run. Again, I didn’t wear the HRM and wished I had because it just felt SO good! It was nice to see some of the speed that I KNOW is in these legs, but just can’t seem to consistently find. 4 miles 41:16 (10:19 pace).

Thursday – I was a little torn. Because I switched my run to Wednesday that meant I would have strength two days in a row – something that should normally be avoided. In a perfect world, I should have done my work out on Wednesday as soon as I finished running but that didn’t happen!  I thought about it, and decided that I either do it 2 days in a row or I have to bump it down to 1. I have been sooo consistent with strength, and I didn’t want to mess with that so I hit the weights. I made sure to do it first thing in the morning so I would have a full 24 hours of recovery time before Friday.

Friday – Strength.  I love that I’m starting to see progress with this program ( it really deserves a whole post that I’m going to work on!). Not necessarily in my physical appearance, but I have been steadily increasing the weights that I use and definitely feel that I’m getting stronger! If I could clean my diet up a bit, I’m sure I would see some physical results as well!

Saturday – Jennifer and I did what all of the other cool kid runners did and moved our long run to Saturday. (I had gone back and forth over registering for the Valentine’s Day 10k or 15k and ultimately decided against it. ) The snow was supposed to hold off until later in the day, but it started flying before we even made it to North Park! It was cold, but not unbearable.

I wore ALL of the pink in order to be festive!

I wore ALL of the pink under a shell in order to be festive!

We decided to run the JASR course for some practice, and because it fit perfectly into our schedules – Jennifer needed 8, and I needed 13. The first 4 or 5 miles were a little treacherous with all of the snow – the salt crews were out, but we were slightly ahead of them! They caught up to us on McKinney which made half of the climb bearable, but they didn’t get to the downhill portion and it was so slick we had to walk down a section of it! Luckily, our PW buddy drove past again and threw some more salt down for us so we didn’t slide down on our butts! Other than that, it was a good run! After we parted ways at mile 8, I set off for 5 more miles. I was starting to fatigue a little bit, but was beginning to pass some of the 15 and 10K runners (I was running the opposite direction…not going that fast, hah!) so I tried to look fresh and strong. It must’ve worked because someone that I passed asked me if I was running the 15K – I WISH! If that was the case, I would’ve been in first place 😉 ! The last two miles were really tough, but I shuffled along and tacked on an extra .1 to make it a half marathon. 13.1 miles 2:45 (12:38 pace) . I was drained after this run, and I decided that it’s definitely time to start adding my gels into training. This is a whole ‘nother post as well, but I try to do some of my shorter long runs (12 miles or less) without gels. It’s not very conventional but it works for me! 

Sunday – All of the LOLs!! It was COLD – 5 below 0 with a ‘feels like’ of -23WHO DOES THAT?!?! I had 8 miles on the schedule, and I wasn’t too keen on doing all of that on the treadmill. I stuck my head outside, and to be perfectly honest, it wasn’t sooo terrible. Still effing cold, but possibly do-able. I knew there was a good bit of snow/slush on the shoulders of the roads so I figured my best bet was to stick to the cemetery. I layered up to the point where I was unrecognizable and looked like Randy from A Christmas Story.

I CAN'T PUT MY ARMS DOWN!!!!!!

I CAN’T PUT MY ARMS DOWN!!!!!!

Two pairs of pants, a baselayer, my blue jacket, and a hoodie. I added my headband, and one of those 6 in1 balaclavas that cover your mouth. I tried to take a picture, but honestly couldn’t get my arms up that high, hah. One of the great things about having a husband over a foot taller than me, aside from being able to reach ANYTHING in the house, is being able to steal his hoodies when I need to. I grabbed a heavy one and set outside; I was definitely dressed well. Almost too well – that hoodie was HEAVY and I was very warm. The problem turned out not to be the cold, but the wind. We all know that they don’t maintain the roads in the cemetery (I may have mentioned it a time or…..12), and in some places there was no snow in the road and in others there was 7 or 8 inches that I was trying to trudge through. My little rubber snow spikes that my Dad sent to me broke so I wasn’t even able to use those! It was incredibly slow going, and I was getting frustrated. I wrapped things up at 2.78 miles (12:23 pace) with every intention of finishing things off on the treadmill. My shoes needed to dry out first, and I wanted to run drive out to my Mom’s for a visit so I figured I would do it when I got home and it would all be A-OK. Until Tall One reminded me about dinner at his parent’s house. Shit. Sooooo needless to say, the other 5 didn’t get done. I’m irritated, but not going to lose much sleep over it. It’s the first time I’ve cut a run short this training cycle, it wasn’t a long run, and as long as I don’t make this a habit I’ll be fine!

Another way I figured out it was cold as @#$* outside? Wilbur finally figured out how to hide:

I still see you

I still see you

All in all, this was a good week! My attitude was much better, and my runs were much better and stronger. I also think one of the reasons for that is that I’m starting to eat MORE. In an effort to lose the stubborn 5 8 post holiday/off season pounds I was slashing the calories a little too much. My strength program advocates eating more to weight less so I cautiously added more, and almost instantly my energy levels went way up. Who woulda thunk it?! Scale still hasn’t moved, but I’m working on it…  It doesn’t look like the weather is going to ANY better this week, so I’m going to make the best of it and do whatever I need to to get those miles in!

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday

This was supposed to publish last night and didn’t. No idea what happened. #failwhale

Let me start by saying, I realize now that I didn’t eat even close to enough food yesterday.   I’m still going to post it – what I did eat was delicious, there just wasn’t enough – especially carbs.  This was mostly poor planning on my part – and hopefully a mistake I won’t be making again anytime soon.

Breakfast:

First things first – coffee for me, and breakfast for the kids.

breakfast

  A little later I also had a hard cooked egg on a whole wheat English muffin and some black forest ham, plus a banana that was once again too ripe for my liking. Yum to the breakfast sandwich, EW to the banana.

Lunch:

This tortilla soup with some multigrain tortilla chips crumbled on top. I usually add some shredded cheese to this, but forgot to pack it. This soup is great, but was lacking some flavor, so I added chopped cilantro, some lime zest and half a juiced lime and that made it perfect!

032

I also had a sliced bell pepper dipped in some ranch.

033

Snack:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar.

034

And that’s all I had before I tried to run 5 miles in the 88+ degree heat. Dumbass.  I know I said I wasn’t going to do anymore PM runs until I saw the doctor, but yesterday was really my only day to get this one in. When I said that, I also didn’t realize that the schedule was already calling for those kinds of miles. Oops.  Reading the calendar helps.

So, I ran.  It hurt.  Not as bad as usual, but I did still need to walk a few times. I also stopped for several water breaks, and after 4 miles I was done.  I’m disappointed that I didn’t get all 5 in, but I’m also happy that I didn’t just give up as soon as I had to start walking. It’s hard to watch your already slow paces creep up and up and up…and then you start to wonder “is running this marathon a good idea? Should I stick to half marathons? I’m sure it will all be fine in the end, but it’s tough.  Not only were my legs hurting, I just felt tired and sluggish (no shit, Sherlock….you ate less than 1,000 calories over the course of the day)

I also just bought a new pair of shoes over the weekend, and while I still have about 100 miles before I’m ready to retire my current pair of Adrenalines, I figured I’d give the new ones a shot to see if that helps at all *spoiler alert. It didn’t*.  But, aren’t they snazzy?? 🙂

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14.

After I ran, I iced my legs and sat with my Gatorade and some of this delicious Pub Mix (all I wanted was something salty).

036

Apparently I overdid it on the mix, because I felt sick the rest of the night. I was planning on a delicious dinner with chicken, a baked sweet ‘tater and some roasted asparagus, but all I could manage was a cup of green tea. I should also mention that even WITH that delicious dinner, I still would have eaten less than 1500 calories – I need to start adding better snacks into my day!

 

In other exciting news – I’m running a 5K tomorrow! Which is now today since this didn’t post on time 🙂  Even though a 5K was the first race I ever ran (4 years ago!!), I really don’t care for them;  I always say that it takes me at least 3 miles to warm up, so the race is done before I’m even ready. I’ve had a pretty negative attitude towards them, so I decided to give them another try. My time from my last race was 36 minutes and some change. I’m hoping to beat that time – I know it won’t be by anything crazy but 30-31 minutes would be nice.  I haven’t been training specifically for this, but it fit perfectly into my training schedule for the week so I couldn’t pass it up!   Stay tuned for my first ever race recap!!

Air Force Marathon Training…So Far

I can’t believe I have already completed 4 weeks of marathon training! There have been some ups and downs, but overall things have been pretty good! The miles are low-volume (no more than 25 per week), but by adding one day of speed I still feel that they have been quality runs.

Since I’m breaking down my 16 week plan into four 4-week cycles, I thought it might be fun to evaluate these last 4 weeks – kind of grade myself and see where I can improve (everywhere!!), and what I did well. 

Running : A. Even if I couldn’t run on the planned day, I still managed to fit in all but 4 of the planned miles. I may have been kind of stupid about it *cough* running 5 days in a row *cough*, but they all got done. I was also really diligent about hitting the hills and even tried to work in some fartlek’s and a tempo.  The schedule is only going to get harder, and it may be difficult to get the runs in but I think these 4 weeks have set a good precedence.

Strength: D- . If my sticking to my running plan was a good example of my training, then strength training was the worst example I could have set. I only managed 1-2 times per week (2 is being generous), and that makes me mad. I know how important it is, and how much I’ll have to rely on my physical strength in the last miles of the race but I just don’t do it. I’ve been saying that life has been getting in the way, and things are just really stressful and crazy, blah, blah, blah; but, the reality is – if it’s important to me (which it is) I will make it a priority.  It’s not even that I don’t want to do it – I do; but I’m not making it a priority. I’m letting everything else come before this. If I can make running a top priority, I can make strength training a priority too.

Nutrition: B. I haven’t been tracking my DQS score like I planned, but I am making a conscious effort to make sure that my meals and snacks are real foods – lotsa veggies and fruits and good, lean, protein. I’ve been trying to keep my cheat meals to once per week and eating out to a minimum with decent results; we’re still going out to eat more often than I’d like, but I’m at least making smart choices when I’m out.  I’ve done a decent job avoiding the “candy drawer” at work, and monitoring my junk food at home, and all of that is paying off because I’ve almost shed my “injury pounds” (the 6-ish pounds I gained when my legs were being jagoffs)! I also mentioned in last weeks recap that now the heat and humidity is rising it’s time to start carrying some hydration and fuel with me, at least on my long runs.

Injury Prevention: C.   I’m doing…ok here.  I’ve made sure to ice after every long run, but icing during my mid-week runs has not been the best.  I try to get it done, but in the morning after a run,  I’m already rushed and 20 minutes is kind of a lot to set aside. BUT, just like the strength training it’s something that needs done; so I’ll make the time to do it.  There are also ways to give myself more time in the morning – I can pack most, if not all, of my lunch the night before, eat a make ahead breakfast or eat at my desk when I get to work, etc.  I have been doing a really good job stretching! I’m also really happy that last week, I made the smart choice to skip a run to give my legs a chance to rest. It doesn’t sound like much, but I normally have a “must run all of the planned miles OR ELSE” mentality that can be hard to break. 

I’d say that so far I’m doing well…obviously there is a lot of room for improvement, so for the next 4 weeks I’m going to:

Maintain my running “grade”. Stay away from junk miles, make every run count and if something hurts…back off. Missing a day here and there is always better than missing weeks or months.

Maintain or improve my nutrition grade:  As the miles increase, so does the temptation to eat the junk, or sweets because “I just ran 16 miles – I can have Chinese takeout, Dairy Queen,  AND a Twix Bar”. Not so much. I think having treats here and there, and designating a cheat meal during the week will keep those temptations to a minimum.

Improve my strength training. This is a no brainer. I need to make it happen.  I’m thinking that the answer here may be as simple as doing it in the morning before work, so I don’t have a b.s. excuse when I get home from work. 

 Am I missing anything? Are there any glaring holes that I’m overlooking?

What I Ate Wednesday

That has a much nicer ring to it than, “What I Shoved Down my Gullet, Wednesday”. Don’t you think? Anyway, I’ve never done one of these and: are you really a blogger if you don’t do this at least once? That’s what I thought.  Never mind that it’s Thursday – I promise all of these items were consumed yesterday.

Moving right along.

First things first. Coffee. Don’t even look at me until I’ve had some of this sweet, delicious nectar from the gods. Yes, I use fake creamer. No, I’m never, ever giving it up. You’ll have to pry it out of my cold dead hands first. ( I love my coffee to have cream and sugar in it, but I try really hard to limit my dairy, of the cow variety, consumption to just a little bit of cheese, so I stick with the non-dairy version)

coffee

Don’t you judge me!

For the first part of my breakfast I had an un-pictured, too yellow banana. It was gross. I’m not big on bananas to begin with, but they are good for you so I choke them down. My one requirement is that they be green. Once they start getting too yellow they start tasting too….banana-y. Nasty.

I took the rest of my breakfast to work, along with my snacks and lunch.

Sandwich, Soup, Instant Oatmeal, Fruit, Veggies & Hummus

Sandwich, Soup, Instant Oatmeal, Fruit, Veggies & Hummus

I normally have a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter, a smidge of preserves, and chia seeds but I neglected to take a new package of muffins out of the freezer the night before. Derp. So I made do with instant oatmeal – not the best option. Not the worst, either.

I wasn’t really hungry after the banana, and didn’t have my oatmeal until almost 11. It had absolutely nothing to do with this.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

mmmmmm, sprinkles!!

Swear.

I also drink green tea and water during the day – I try for at least 2 servings from the pink water bottle while I’m at work (64 oz). It doesn’t always happen, but I try!

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Lunchtime was homemade veggie barley soup, and a turkey and one-slice-of-swiss-cheese sandwich with Dijon. Oh so good. And filling! I had a few bites of my veggies (mini cucumbers and bell pepper) with hummus, but was so full I put those back in the fridge for the rest of the week.

Snack time took me to the sliced pineapple and strawberries. YUM.YUM.YUM.

Dinner was the best – an egg scramble with sautéed mushroom, zucchini, bell pepper and turkey served on top of goat cheese, so it melts and gets all creamy (that’s what she said). Oh Mylanta, is that the best. I’ll spare you a picture of the finished product because, honestly, it looks like something that the cat hacked up. But trust me – the goat cheese makes this amazing.

 

Mushrooms, Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese. YUM!!!

Mushrooms, Zucchini, Bell Pepper and Goat Cheese. YUM!!!

 

I also needed to get in 4 miles yesterday – I had good intentions of doing that first thing in the morning, but rumbling thunder and flashes of lighting kept me in bed. I don’t mind running in the rain, but getting zapped by lightning isn’t very high up on my bucket list. So, I ran when I got home. And it was bad. Temps were high, and since I usually run in the AM I wasn’t exactly prepared for it, but I did stash a water bottle along my route so that part wasn’t awful. But, oh, my legs and feet! After about a mile, they felt like concrete. Every step felt heavy and tired and my Achilles and calves started to tighten up again! I was so frustrated. I thought I had finally beaten that problem, and it popped right up again. I had to stop so many times to try to stretch them out, and walk, and finally, a little shy of 3 miles I just bagged it. I walked another mile with The Tall One and his mom (no pain while I was walking…even more frustrating!!!!), and was just irritated.  It’s hard to figure out when to suck it up buttercup, and when to be smart and say “there’s always tomorrow”.

I was able to run once last week in the PM, without much of a problem so it gives me some hope that I can do this. I also ran 3 “redemption miles” tonight, without any problem, so I am lost.   It’s obviously something I’m doing wrong since I never feel this way when I run in the morning -only when I run after work. I sit for most of the day, and wear flat, practical shoes so I can’t see it being any kind of fatigue. I still need to look into salt sticks to see if that helps. Normally, I wouldn’t see this as a big deal – just run in the morning; unfortunately though, once I get to a certain point in my training plan I’ll have to run after work. The sad fact is that I’m just too slow to get more than 4 miles in before I have to get ready for work (I would love to start running at 5AM, but, I have no street lights in my neighborhood, and the park that I run in has a large coyote population, so I have to wait until it’s light out to get started. Getting mauled by coyotes? Also not high on the bucket list). If anyone has suggestions, I’m all ears.

 

What’s your favorite meal that look gnarly, but is freaking delicious?