Seven weeks into training and I still haven’t ran a 30+ mile week. Whoops!
And I had my first crappy long run of the cycle.
But before I dive into that experience, I’ll recap everything leading up to yesterday’s run. Week 6 went off without a hitch. I changed my strength work time to 6AM on Thursdays, which left me sore but feeling strong surrounded by other teammates. I ran every run that was prescribed in my weekly log on the days suggested: two easy recovery days with friends, speed work, and a long run of 15 miles at super surprising speed that left me feeling like I was on top of the world. I ran that run with two gals also from the team until mile 10, and then finished off strong on my own. I shared on Instagram the stats for that run and the fact that if it had been a half marathon race, I would have PR’d by almost 4 minutes. Holy crap?! It’s amazing what a few months of training can do!
I experienced my first ice bath, which wasn’t horrible, especially when wearing a thick sweatshirt and wool socks. Also note that the time goes by much faster when watching an episode of Chopped on the iPad (it also times your soak perfectly). I think a combination of this new routine and electrolyte supplements that I’ve started taking when running for more than an hour has helped tremendously recovery-wise. My joints are no longer achy when starting off for the day, which is a huge sense of relief because I was starting to get worried that I’d have to run for almost three more months sore, every day.
And then Week 7 rolled around. It was hot at the beginning of the week and I intended on running per usual but slept through my alarm… I was up before it went off but dozed back off and never heard it chiming because of the air conditioner that was installed for the first time of the season. Wednesday’s speed work was done right on target, in the height of the day’s humidity but Thursday I forgot to set my alarm and woke up too late for strength; a first in eight months! I never sleep in past 5:30AM! Friday I ran solo in the streets of downtown Troy wearing my headphones, loving every step in the crisp air. I felt like I could run for days.
Friday slipped by me and I didn’t order my usual Chinese takeout (hey, a ritual is a ritual) and I met my best friend out for a drink and seitan wings for dinner at The Ruck. We had a relaxing evening catching up walking the streets and enjoying the breeze down by the river, but this unfortunately meant I was in bed much later than normal. I thought I’d be okay, but Saturday proved otherwise.
A small group of us met at our regular spot at our regular time and I was prepared to rock another run, but I just couldn’t settle in. For miles I struggled to find my groove and then realized that it just wasn’t my day. I had only one goal after that: to keep moving. We all stopped around mile 8 to fill our water bottles (it was humid!) and continued on. I didn’t want to continue on but kept those thoughts in my head until mile 10 when we refueled. I wanted to turn around so badly but wanted to hit my miles for the day even more. At mile 12.5 I stopped to use the restroom at McDonald’s and gave myself a pep talk in the mirror: you have only 1.5 miles to go and only one way to get home. I could walk or run, but either way, you have to be to work for 9AM. When I rejoined the group, I told them I’d run/walk if needed to get home and not to wait for me. I ended up running the whole way with Bowden and mile 14 was one of my fastest for the day.
I felt defeated, barely said anything to the beau as we crossed paths and sat on the floor of my living room crying for a short while. I was bummed that I didn’t feel good, but cried because I felt exhausted; both mentally and physically. If I were alone, I would have slowed down significantly to make the miles feel “easier”, but then again, if I were alone, I probably wouldn’t have reached fourteen. I made sure to thank my teammates more than once for listening to me complain and doubt myself.
Oh, also important to note: again, if yesterday were a race, I would have PR’d. Blows. My. Mind.
Sunday morning I skipped my recovery run in order to hit the road for vacation; no regrets.
“Push yourself because no one else is going to do it for you.”