I’ve come full circle this week. After a rocky start on Monday, I’ve regained my confidence in running! I also set a weekly mileage record – 33 miles in 7 days! This is due to running not one, but TWO long runs this week since last weekend’s long run got pushed to the holiday Monday.
Week in Review:
Monday: Long – split into two 6 milers ( Part 1 10:39, Part 2 10:30)
Tuesday: Track – 4x800m repeats, 3.75 miles total
Thursday: Unplanned rest
Friday: Tempo – 5 miles (9:37)
Saturday: Weights & Stretching (40 minutes)
Sunday: Long - 12.22 miles (10:39)
On Monday, I was not in the right frame of mind to run. I was underhydrated. I felt slow, overwhelmed, and may have had a panic attack while running. The intended 12 miles just weren’t happening.
Time for Plan B! If I can’t run 12 miles in one shot, I’ll call segment it into two 6 miles runs! This audible was the best decision ever (Many thanks to Mr. Huzzah for the idea, and insisting that I do it!). Although I felt horrible, and was hating running, I did appreciate the mental victory of getting the 12 miles done for the day. I didn’t quit!
When I’m feeling doubtful about my abilities and progress, I find the track is a great place to check in and see how things are going. Tuesday‘s track workout was just the success I needed. I ran four 800 meter repeats, which each one faster than the last, and the final one completed in 3:55. 3:55! That’s super fast for me! This was the confirmation that I needed to verify that my training is on target, and more importantly, that my mind can handle the challenges running presents. I call this workout, How Brigid Got Her Run Back !
Friday‘s tempo run was pretty standard. 5 miles with miles 3 and 4 pretty consistently uphill. It was another mental battle to keep on moving, and I did. Given the elevation, I was satisfied with our overall pace. Not our fastest ever, but certainly faster than I would have run it if I were not concerned about pace and time.
Saturday was an opportunity to try out some new gear Harbinger’s women’s pro weight lifting gloves. Look at that, they’re pretty with baby blue! (OK, maybe the photo is a little lacking. I swear that the accent color is baby blue!)
Now my hands have a little cushion and are able to get a better grip. For someone who is prone to sweaty hands this is a game changer. It certainly made my lifting more tolerable. I’m hopeful that this is the beginning of a better relationship between me and lifting.
Sunday brought the longest run of our RnR training season 12.22 miles. In honor of the occassion, we drove down to the national mall. Not only is this more scenic and interesting (which is key when you’re running for over two hours), but it overlapped with part of the RnR course!
Miles 1-5 were absolutely gorgeous! I love running on the mall and along the waterfront. It was a sunny and warm (40s) day and there were tons of runners (and tourists) out and about! I enjoyed the feeling of being a runner on such a wonderful day. I was just cruising at a pace that felt comfortable. Miles 1-5 averaged around a 10:15.
The most challenging part came around mile 6. Climbing up several flights of stairs from the Georgetown Waterfront up to Key Bridge. Then from Key Bridge, it’s another solid mile of elevation gain up to Courthouse. My sole goal here was to keep running. I would not give in to the hills today! This monster hill presented us with the slowest mile of the day 12:20. No worries, we brought the pace back down afterwards. Let me tell you, that mile back down the hill was oh so sweet.
I was still feeling solid until about mile 10. Then we hit a series of stoplights that totally ruined my mojo. There is nothing worse than being forced to stop and restart when your legs are tired. At this point, it was getting warm (near 50), and I was thirsty. The three sport beans (that I later learned only had approximately 25 calories) ingested in mile 5 were not sufficient energy. Although I felt totally spent, I kept glancing at my watch and was pleased to see that I was maintaining an 11 minute mile pace. I lasted into mile 12 before I knew that it was time to stop. No need to push through to 13. I’m sure if there had been cheering fans, I would have been able to push less than a mile to the finish line
So there you have it, on the last long run of training, I ran 12.22 miles in 2:10:20. My current PR for 13.1 is 2:10:48.
On the 30 minute drive home, we stopped for water and a quick snack. While likely not the recovery fuel of choice, those mini eggs were delicious and took the edge off my hunger until I could have a more wholesome lunch.
With only 20 days until the Rock ‘n Roll USA Half Marathon, I’m at peace. I know I’ve been working hard these past few months, and I just have to trust in my training. I have no doubts that I can run 13.1 miles. The only question is how fast. I’m optimistic that with a taper, well rested legs and solid hydration/fueling tactics (not to mention an absence of flights of stairs!), I can score that PR.
I think I have to go back to Shot Bloks. The bean-to-calorie ratio of Sport Beans just didn’t work for me.