Hello and thanks for joining me again for Marathon Monday! I’m happy to say that week six of preparing for April was fruitful, definitely not because it was easy but because it served up a handful of challenges and good lessons. Also, finishing week six means we have already made it through the first third of this training cycle, very cool! I’m feeling great in so many ways, you guys. Happy to be here doing this. Grateful for this little experiment, even when I have a wonky week. Okay.
Before I tell you about my week, please help me give major congratulations to my friend Jeff who ran TWO back to back (and seriously fast) marathons last weekend to celebrate his birthday. On Saturday he ran a 3:30:11, and the very next day he finished in 3:39:29. How amazing!! He also raised money for Parkinson’s disease research for his birthday.
I have lots to learn from Jeff and am grateful that he’s an open book. He’s clearly talented but also honest when he doesn’t feel great or the conditions aren’t ideal, and he always pushes himself, which inspires me. His results week to week and month to month certainly prove that the effort pays off. Congratulations and happy birthday, Jeff!!
Okay. Week six:
Monday: The plan called for “6 easy” and that is exactly what I ran. 6.11 miles at a 10:27 pace, and I felt physically great the whole time, barring an annoying wardrobe malfunction. I wore thin, stretchy yoga pants instead of running tights, and the waist kept slipping so far down my hips I had to stop and tug and pull and adjust about every .75 miles, ha! Home to do yoga. My body felt good all day if a little underworked. But I had plenty to do around the house. And the point of easy days is to be easy. Let the nutrients of your practice soak into your body, as Adriene would say.
Tuesday: Speed day! I woke up so excited for this, based on how much fun it’s been lately, and how successful I felt last Tuesday. The morning was sub-zero frigid cold again, so I did my basic chores and tidied up the house and got my yoga session out of the way first, hoping to burn enough time to get to the mile loop once the temps were slightly better. But then I got hungry and ate a little more than I usually do this early before a workout, and I would regret that. On one hand, the time delay worked, but by then the wind had picked up a lot and it was cold for a whole other reason, ha! Oklahoma. Anyway.
I started my warm-up and my feet went numb. It just took forever for my body overall to feel warmish and loose and comfortable, then I felt annoyed and overstuffed by too many jackets so I took one off, then I got cold etc etc etc. Just not finding a groove, and my thoughts were scattered and kind of in a downward spiral, emotionally. ahhhhhh
Then I noticed a grave with fake poinsettias on the side of the track?? Is that legal? It really bothered me.
Long story short, those intervals were sloppy and awful. Not even good enough to call a fartlek. I only hit the prescribed 10k pace twice out of five times, and even then my running was all over the place. Too fast, then too slow, then too fast again, then winded. These workouts are supposed to be disciplined, and I was not. Total miles: 8.05 at a 9:34 pace, including the weird warm up. Boo.
But I am happy to have stayed at the park and tough it out even when I knew I had screwed up the workout. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s the learning experience: Warm up for longer if needed, eat more wisely before running hard, and do not listen to music that makes you sad, especially when you’re already battling negative thoughts. And stick it out. Finish even if it’s terrible.
Wednesday: Got my morning stuff done and laced up a bit earlier on Wednesday, and once I started running I really felt great. Thanks to my husband, I ran with fresh new music too, yay! I was aiming for 10 miles but stopped early with a sharp pain in my right foot, something much worse than just a sore arch. It became more painful throughout the day. That evening I stretched and iced and rolled it as much as possible, hoping to not be sidelined at all. 8.86 miles (10:19 fairly smooth steady pace)
Let’s agree that two disappointing days in a row were close to messing with my positive attitude. Have I told you how much I rely on running to keep me feeling cleansed, not funky, especially when my personal life is in turmoil?
Oh. Wednesday night I made a new recipe that was pretty great for me but something about it upset my husband’s stomach, so I doubt we will be repeating it except for a crowd.
Spicy shrimp peanut lo mein. Click here for the basic noodle sauce, and then add some lime-garlic marinated shrimp, roasted broccoli, plain peanuts, and siracha!
Thursday: This should have been my tempo day, but I woke up to excruciating pain in my right foot. So I took the day off and reminded myself how some smart prevention and a short break can prevent a much longer timeout and worse pain. After chores, grocery shopping, and yoga I spent the day walking, icing, rolling, stretching, and more walking, icing, rolling, and stretching. I resisted that old impulse to freak out. Zero miles.
Friday: I woke up feeling good enough to run and made it to the park for 10.01 miles at an easy pace (9:54 pace is about a minute slower than my MGP), celebrating gobs of crisp, bright sunshine. Friday renewed my hope, and I was so glad to have stuck with it day by day. I almost cried with relief.
Emotional rollercoaster much?
Saturday: I woke up hurting again but not in a stabby, pathetic, limping way. I could probably have rested, but with a small pep talk and green light from my husband I laced up and managed 6.54 quick miles. These got chalked up as more or less as my tempo for the week (9:14 average pace, which is about 15 seconds per mile too slow, but considering the sharp wind and my foot pain, this is where I say “effort is effort.”) By the end of this run I was in lots and lots of pain. Not just from tight tendons but also from that wicked blister that had magically invented its own blister on top and callous beneath. Very sexy.
On Saturday I did get weirdly happy about an alert on my Garmin saying my V02Max was climbing. So I had that going for me, ha!
Also, we spent the afternoon running errands in the Moore-Norman area, and a window-shopping expedition at OK Runner turned into purchasing some brand new shoes! On sale, too. I love them and am announcing publicly that they are a drop-dead awesome early Valentine gift.
Sunday, last day of week six: We slept so late that Klaus was freaking out, ha! Then we took our coffee outside and luxuriated in the hot tub foooorrreeevvver. It was pure magic, just watching the sky, giving thanks for some shifting energy in our family, and making good plans for the farm. I stretched and scraped my arch and heel against underwater hard surfaces as we chatted, gradually realizing it felt pretty good. The blister monster had healed overnight (thank you Neosporin!) and I was eager to close out the week’s 47 miles. Once we wrapped up Hot Tub Summit I found running clothes as quickly as I could and drove to the lake. 8.44 miles, very comfortable and deeply unwinding, at a 9:55 pace. I am loving that those easy paces are becoming difficult to keep easy, if that makes sense. That’s good, right? It wasn’t very long ago that I was celebrating an hour at 11 minutes per mile. But I re-read the “easy running” chapter before each time to internalize the physiological benefits, and I listen to calming podcasts on these runs to keep myself from sprinting all sloppy.
Total weekly miles: 48.01. I hardly “nailed” either of my SOS workouts, and this step-back week did not call for a long run, so I guess overall I’m just happy to have completed the miles and worked through the beginning of an injury that could have become much worse. And I am still so happy to be doing this!
10 Takeaways from Week 6:
- Eat smart. Absolutely no milk before running.
- Wear clothes that fit right. Duh.
- Keep doing yoga but incorporate some strength work too (are weak hips contributing to chronic plantar fasciitis?)
- Replace shoes more often to prevent wear and tear blisters, etc.
- Take one day at a time, one workout at a time, and rest when needed.
- And do not allow one funky day to snowball into a bad week. Most trouble can be salvaged.
- Ice, roll and stretch regularly and as prevention, not just when you’re in pain.
- Be thankful for every single mile…xoxo
- Surround yourself with inspiring people!
- Keep your thoughts positive to support good running. It matters.
How was your week of running? I really would love to hear. When my local running friends post updates I read them voraciously and look at everything I can on Garmin Connect, but I want the stuff that statistics don’t tell us, too. The motivation, the physical changes, emotional rollercoasters, new music. The weather! Tell me everything.
“Success isn’t owned. It’s leased.
And rent is due every day.”