My highest mileage week ever, with a 23 mile trail run on Sunday–which was also my longest training run ever. Daunting. Thankfully, the midweek temps were unseasonably cool for August, and reminded us what a difference cooler weather makes in our speed and overall enjoyment of running. Ended the week with the return of hot, humid weather.
MON: Running rest day – I must have done something right last week because my left calf, which was sore all week, feels 95% better today–even after an easy 3 mile run last night. Of course I’m very tempted to get out and run a few miles, knowing last week’s mileage was a little low, but I won’t. I will trust the training plan. And as my friend Hari said, don’t look back, it’s in the past. I’m thrilled that it turned out to be nothing serious. Did 20:00 of yoga (standing poses), and am actually looking forward (???) to tomorrow’s core/strength workout with the group. Sick, I know.
TUE: Run – 4 mi, core/strength,Yoga (standing poses) – 20:00 – Got up at the ungodly hour of 4:30 to meet Mike F for a 4 mile run before our core/strength workout. The temp was in the mid 70’s and it even drizzled slightly during the workout. My leg felt 100% better and I was surprised to see we had run about 30 seconds faster than I’ve been running–and it felt comfortable. Came home and did an upper body workout with weights, some squats, and yoga. It’s good to be back on track with my training.
WED: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (twists) – 20:00 – GREAT run this morning. The temperature was 67 degrees, which is the coolest morning we’ve had since spring. There was a little fog at the lake, the wind was still, and the stars were out when we started. It’s runs like this that make me appreciate the gift of running–especially with good friends.
White Rock Lake
THU: Run – 4 mi – A little warmer than yesterday’s early morning run, but still very pleasant. Ran with Mike and Hari, and kept up a faster pace than I wanted/expected–which is good. Looking forward to a day off tomorrow in preparation for the weekend long runs.
FRI: Running rest day – Yoga (back bends) – 20:00 – Noticed my back was stiff yesterday while cleaning the bathroom (yuck) so I decided to focus on back bends in yoga in the evening. Warm temperatures are back, as is the humidity.
SAT: Run – 10 mi, Yoga (forward bends) – 20:00 – Ran with the group on a very warm, very humid morning. The weather is certainly back to normal for this time of year. The run itself was uneventful, just a regular 10 mile run. I worked on keeping the pace slower than two weeks ago to try and save my legs for tomorrow’s extra long run. Did some forward bends yoga afterwards to stretch out the legs.
SUN: Run – 23 mi – My longest trail run ever–and my longest training run ever. Kept the run slow and easy, walking a lot of the uphills and taking breaks for food and water refills. It was incredibly warm (77 deg at 6am) and humid (87%), but we were lucky to have overcast skies most of the day. It even sprinkled the last two miles of the run. Ran two 8.25 mile loops to Rockledge Park and back, then did the loop to the MADD shelter and back–which was actually one mile shorter than we expected. Hari and I were both more than satisfied with running 23 miles instead of the planned 24, and called it a day, bone tired and happy the running week was done. Even better, I didn’t fall once!
Almost half way done
STATS for WEEK 12: Run – 51.2 miles, 1 strength/core workout, Yoga – 1 :20:00
Before training for Palo Duro, my highest mileage week was 42 miles–and that was in 2010. Last week I made it to 48 miles for the first time ever, and one of my legs let me know it wasn’t happy about it. I took an extra rest day, foam rolled like crazy, and enjoyed the easy week. Best thing about this week, other than stepping back on the mileage: we got lots of rain!
MON: Running rest day – Though my left leg feels better today, the calf muscle is still very sore and stiff. Bought a foam roller at Target and am continuing RICE. Hopefully it will be okay enough to get in a few miles tomorrow, but it’s looking doubtful. I’m pretty sure it’s not a full-blown injury, but I certainly stressed a tendon or muscle in that lower leg.
TUE: Rest – My leg is still sore and stiff, though it does feel better than yesterday. After a lot of thought (and sighing and groaning), I decided I needed to rest it another day. I really, really hate not being able to stick to the training plan. I also haven’t been doing yoga because of a freak thing that happened. I may have possibly cracked a rib or some cartilage in my breastplate the other day after twisting around to hug Michael on the couch. We both heard a “pop!” and I felt a sharp pain, and it’s been sore ever since. It feels just like when I cracked a few ribs on a trail run a few summers ago. I’m definitely feeling a little beat up at the moment . . .
WED: Run – 4 mi – Went to the gym and ran 4 very slow miles on the treadmill, interspersed with walk breaks. Leg does feel better, but still tight and sore. There’s no pain, just a lot of stiffness. Kept the pace between 11:00 and 12:00, except for a quarter mile at 10:00 pace. The run didn’t seem to make my leg calf muscles any more sore, and I made sure to wear my compression sleeves and foam rolled the leg really well before I went to bed.
THU: Run – 9 mi – Met Hari and Liz for a 9 mile loop around the lake at 5:45am. My leg felt much better this morning, though still tight. It’s strange to run with one strong leg and one that hurts with each step. Kept the pace a little slower than usual, but all in all a good run. Foam rolled the calf, which helped tremendously, and Michael massaged the knots out before I went to bed later in the evening, which made a huge difference.
FRI: Running rest day – Yoga – 20:00 – My leg felt much, much better this morning. Decided to do some yoga, even though some poses were a little uncomfortable (because of the freak rib pop the other night). Going to take a complete running rest day and hopefully be good to go for Saturday’s 10 miler. Very excited about the cooler temps this weekend!
SAT: Run – 10 mi – My leg felt about 90% better this morning, with just a small twinge of stiffness. The run itself was great, with those much cooler temps, as promised. My leg definitely started to stiffen up again after mile 4, but I worked hard not to change my gait in any way, hoping this would keep me from developing some type of overuse injury. Because of the long trail runs, it felt good to find myself thinking: it’s “only” 10 miles. I’m going to foam roll and massage the leg to be ready for tomorrow’s trail run (only 6 miles!!!!). We’re going to run a new trail, Cedar Ridge, which should be a steep, challenging trail run. Biggest bonus: tomorrow is supposed to be even cooler than today.
SUN: Run – 3 mi – Trails rained out – After yesterday afternoon’s deluge of rain (3.5 inches in less than an hour) we knew the trails would be a muddy mess. I decided to take an extra day off to help my calf muscles get an extra day of recovery, but of course I felt antsy all day and went for an easy 3 mile run with Michael and the dogs in the evening. It was the first evening run I’ve done in months, and it was pleasantly cool and not humid. My leg felt great, with just a slight twinge around the ankle. It was one of those runs where you feel happy to be alive, and know how fortunate you are to be strong and healthy.
STATS for WEEK 11: Run – 26 miles, Yoga – 20:00
Last week was one of those weeks where I inexplicably had zero motivation to run and the forces of nature and life conspired to make it easy for me not to. Monday was a rest day, Tuesday and Wednesday were incredibly windy (and I hate, hate, hate running in 30 mph wind gusts, aka my first and second marathons), Thursday a huge cold front blew in and I went to visit a friend in the hospital, Friday it was cold and rainy, and Saturday I drove to Oklahoma (and back, seven hours in the car total) for a second cousin’s wedding shower.
All excuses, I admit.
So Sunday’s long run was a shock to the system.
Getting up at 6:30 was really getting up at 5:30 because of the daylight savings time change. All I have to say is I am not a morning person. Let me say it a little louder: I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON! On top of that, when I was leaving it started to rain. At 52 degrees, that’s not the end of the world, but remember I’m from Texas. Anything below 70 degrees and we start to go hypothermic.
I texted Bill to see if he was still running. He said he could go either way. Things were looking up. I texted Hari, who was going to run a few extra miles before we all met up at 7:30. He texted “en run” and said he had only one mile left and would see me in the parking lot. Grrrrrr.
I was a little grumpy making that drive to the lake, windshield wipers happily swishing back and forth. At the very least, I would go ahead and drive over to the lake, if only to tell them I didn’t want to run in the rain.
But, I try not to be one of THOSE runners who bails on their friends at the last minute, and I knew full well I would do my long run, no matter the weather.
And, of course, it turned out to be a great run. A few more people showed up than I expected and we had a nice little group. We practically had the lake all to ourselves. It rained the first few miles, but not heavy, which was very refreshing.
Here’s my guilty confession: I actually love running in the rain.
I’m such a fraud. I complained about the rain but I actually always love running in it.
The lake loop is 9 miles, which meant we needed to do 3 miles off the lake to get in the 12 I wanted. Bill wasn’t feeling the love and decided to stay on the lake and run the loop by himself.
I must have been half asleep because I let Hari decide what our off-lake route would be. My dear friend Hari is notorious for a) getting lost, b) finding hills, c) inexplicably extending our routes miles longer than they should be, and d) turning every run into a tempo run.
He will deny it all but it’s true.
True to form, Hari found two hills, one steep and one long. The 12 mile route morphed into a 14 mile route. And we kept a fast pace.
My month off from running has meant my stamina is still not where it should be, so I turned off early by myself and took the 10.5 route back to the car. My IT band was feeling strangely tight, and my calves were hurting a little, too. I wanted to somehow tack on a few more miles to make it the planned 12, but I was alone and I was weak. I settled for 10.5.
Those last three miles alone were ridiculously difficult. It was a good reminder of how much it helps to do your long runs with a group.
All in all, it was a great run. We won’t have too many more cool mornings like this in the future, with summer right around the corner, so I need to count my blessings.
And running in the rain: a stellar bonus!
8/13/11 – 13 MILES
Woke up at 5AM for my group run and let the dogs out. What a surprise–it was raining! Not a downpour or anything, but a nice, steady rain. In fact, the rain continued for the entire run.
It was lovely.
The run was tougher than it should’ve been. I remember when 13 miles used to be easy. I wish those days would return.
Stats: 13 miles @ 9:45 pace
8/9/11 – 6 MILES
It never ceases to amaze me how I can mismanage something as simple as an alarm clock. I set the alarm to go off at 4AM this morning, and of course it didn’t. I still woke up on my own, but I do this all the time. Maybe that’s why my body has been trained not to trust the alarm.
After Sunday’s 4 miles on the treadmill at the gym I made the decision to boycott the treadmill. The gym is depressing. No one talks to each other, everyone’s plugged in to their music (myself included), and the whole thing seems counter to what I love most about running, which is being outdoors. I resolved to either run outside or not at all, which essentially means I have to get up at ungodly hours to run until this heat wave passes.
Met Bryan, Bill, Stephanie, Heather W, and Shannon at the White Rock dog park. We were the only cars there. The temp was 86 degrees with humidity at 50%. On the bright side, there was a nice breeze. I wondered aloud why that wind wasn’t bringing in some rain, and everyone talked about the impenetrable high pressure ridge that is stationed over Texas.
Eventually Steph and Bryan darted ahead, and pretty much stayed there the rest of the run. We saw a few other groups pass us in the dark, and I was surprised that there were even bikers out that early. We discussed running 5 or 6 miles and decided on 6. My thinking was, if I’m up this early anyway might as well go whole hog and run 6.
On the way back to the car I kept feeling small drops of water on my hands. At first I thought it might be from Shannon’s water bottle, but eventually I noticed it had turned overcast. When I brought up the possibility that it might be–dare I even say the word–RAIN, my Doubting Thomas friends scoffed at the ridiculousness of the idea. I think we have all forgotten what the substance is. Sure enough, when I got in my car to leave, there were raindrops on the windshield.
There were maybe 10 total raindrops, but it was nice to know it hasn’t forgotten us here in Texas.
Stats: 6.3 miles @ 9:30 pace