Battle plan

I had my podiatrist appointment last week, and it went way better than I expected it to. I had a bunch of x-rays, and nothing is broken or out of place, which is a big relief.

I had to give this guy my life story of the past 8 months: how it happened, what I’ve tried, which doctors I’ve been to, how it used to feel, how it feels now, what I’ve been doing exercise-wise, where I got my orthotics, the whole nine yards. When I described how the piano came flying toward me and crushed my ankle against a concrete step, he was horrified. When I told him I ran a marathon on it, he was incredulous, but pleased in the sense of “well, if you could do that, it can’t be that bad.”

There’s no name for what’s going on with my foot and ankle, with is annoying because it makes it cumbersome to describe. It’s not like “runner’s knee” or “IT band syndrome” or anything like that. Basically, that piano bashed the ever-loving hell out of some ligaments that tried to heal themselves and became knotted up with scar tissue and adhesions, which are stiff and inflamed, which prevents my foot from having a proper range of motion, which my foot adapted to because it’s lazy, which causes more swelling, which irritates some nerve in my foot, which makes it tingly and achy.

Solution: deep tissue “massage” and intense “stretching,” AKA torture. Basically, they are going to squeeze and smash the scar tissue out of me with assorted torture devices. I’m set to go to therapy twice a week for three weeks, then then see where I’m at.

While I was there, I also had him look at the custom shoe inserts I had made over the summer, and he was somewhat baffled. They cast the molds correctly and they fit my feet fine, but apparently they used a much stiffer material for the bottom half than what is common. Typically, they use a softer cork so there’s a bit more give when your foot hits the ground, but mine is really dense and stiff. He made a few adjustments and they’re fitting much better, but he said he’d like to replace the cork on the bottom with something more appropriate, so I’ll probably look into that after I see how therapy is going.

I ran 1 mile on the treadmill after going to the doctor Thursday, then Dan and I walked about 7 miles on Sunday. I don’t think my ankle is quite ready to pound the pavement just yet, and I’m definitely not comfortable dropping any money on race registrations, but I’m feeling much more positive about the situation and closer to running “for real” again.

All work, no play…

Well, you know.

This week has been all about work. I’ve been buried at regular work and with freelance work, so my days have been spent in front a computer or checking emails on my phone. Not the best.

I was so tremendously sore from lifting on Saturday that I took Sunday and Monday off from the gym. I hit it hard again on Tuesday (lifting from the New Rules) and now I’m so sore that I had to take today off. I’m going to force myself to do do some kind of workout tomorrow; I shouldn’t be this sore after a few 40 lb. squats (pathetic, I know)!

For dinner on Sunday, Dan and I combined forces to make some roasted red pepper ravioli stuffed with goat cheese. Dan made the dough and rolled it out;  I assembled everything. We don’t have a handy dandy ravioli tray – yet – so they looked a little wonky but tasted great! We dipped the finished product in store-bought marinara and in an olive oil/balsamic/herb mixture I cooked up. We rounded out the meal with spinach salads topped with feta, proscuitto, tomato, and balsamic vinaigrette. Not bad for a Sunday night.

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Dry ingredients with roasted red pepper mixture.

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Let’s add a few eggs in there.

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Ball O’ dough.

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Pasta maker! Actually, that would be Dan. So, pasta presser? Roller?

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Sheets of delicious pasta!

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Sheets of delicious pasta being stuffed with goat cheese.

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Aerial shot of the pasta battle station.

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My handy work. I used a pizza slicer to cut them into squares.

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The finished product! We were going to try a few drizzled with honey, but we forgot. Maybe next time.

Last week, I ordered some nail polish making supplies that finally arrived on Monday! Unfortunately, I’ll probably be too tied up with work to be able to experiment much this week, but I hope to play around with them some time this weekend. Trust me, there will be (multiple) posts on that!

So…now what?

Tricky thing about training for races, especially longer ones: They happen, you feel awesome, then you have a bunch of free time and no idea what to do with it.

In classic runner fashion, I went from excited about training, to feeling overwhelmed with it, to being irritated with myself for signing up, to being proud of my improvement, to looking forward to tapering, to losing my mind during the taper, to successfully finishing my race, to being so happy it was over, to missing running all the time.

So there’s that.

The same ankle that’s been harassing me this entire training cycle did so well during the race… then that same foot started acting up. Ms. Super Genius over here wasn’t thinking when I packed footwear for Chicago and spent all day Monday walking around the city in Chuck Taylors (I know). The outside of my foot started throbbing toward the end of the day and has a weird nob/bump on it. I went to the doctor, who promptly told me to quit being an idiot, put on real shoes, and stop running for a week or two lest I give myself a stress fracture. So, that’s where I’m at right now.

I’ve been icing, elevating, and calcium-ing it. I have to admit, it is feeling better. My custom orthotics have arrived, but the office can’t get me in to “fit” me for them (aka, let me pick them up and make sure they didn’t mess up my order) until Nov. 4. Until then, no running and minimal walking (as much as I can help it).

For now, I’m going to hit the weights and the bike, hard. I bought “The New Rules of Lifting for Women” some time last year and made it through the first few cycles with pretty significant gains, so that’s what’s on the agenda for now. I’m hoping to improve my strength, which shouldn’t be hard given how little time I spent in the weight room over the summer, and correct some muscle imbalances in doing so.

After that, it’s time to tackle my half marathon and 10k PRs (PR = personal record). They are old, outdated, and not indicative of my ability. Look out, spring racing season, I’m coming for you… as soon as my foot heals.

Chicago marathon!

I know, I know. It happened a week ago, but better late than never, right?

As I was running my race, I realized that 26.2 miles is really far, and that there was no way that I’d be able to remember or register everything that was happening during those miles in order to write about it. Having that thought is essentially the only thing I remember thinking during the entire race. Oh, that and the PAIN.

I’m only sort of kidding.

Actually, everything about the day of the marathon could not have gone better, which I am tremendously thankful for.

Dan and I got into town on Friday night, where our friends Lindsay and Kevin promptly took us out to eat at a great pasta place I can’t remember the name of. I didn’t even take any pictures of my food. Helpful, I know. I was being really lame, so we watched a horribly depressing episode of Taxicab Confessions then went to bed.

Saturday morning, we woke up and Kevin took us to Bang Bang Pie Shop where we enjoyed the most amazing biscuits, homemade jams and butters, and candied bacon ever. Breakfast stuck with me so long that I wasn’t hungry for lunch until almost 3…which is miraculous. After breakfast, I met up with some acquaintances/friends who were nice enough to let me third-wheel it all Saturday.

Katie and I met at the national ACES conference [nerd alert] in Cleveland back in 2006 [ouch]. We kept up over the years though social media and both started to get really into running around the same time. She and her longtime friend Mike try to run a race together every year, and Chicago was 2013’s selection. They found a nice apartment for us to stay at on Airbnb and were kind enough to let me tag along to the expo, go to lunch, chill at the apartment and indulge my crazy nail art hobby, go to dinner with their friends, stay with them Saturday night, and navigate to the race start Sunday morning. As Katie said after, it was nice to be friends in real life for once!

We made our way to the expo with Katie’s fiancé, Lance, leading the way. He worked in Chicago for several years and had a better sense of the city than the rest of us, that’s for sure! The expo was huge…it was so overwhelming that I was too busy navigating the crowds to bother really taking any pictures. It was really well organized, there was just so much…humanity. Not paying attention to where they were going or what they were doing. We got our numbers/shirts, and I made a brief stop by the DetermiNation tent to pick up my Charity Village credentials and make an extra race bib. Then we got out of there!

My DetermiNation bib.

My DetermiNation bib.

After the expo, we grabbed some Chipotle and went back to the apartment to chill out. We had a 7:45 dinner reservation for, you guessed it, more pasta, but we didn’t get our seats until I don’t even know when. By the time we ate and paid, it was well after 10 and we were fading fast. We headed back to the apartment and got our race day stuff together, agreed on a 5 a.m. wakeup time, and went to bed. Actually, I stayed up a bit longer to finish my race day nails, then finally got into bed around midnight. I slept OK; I fell asleep pretty quickly, but woke up a lot throughout the night. The upstairs neighbors were playing their music a bit loudly, then I heard gunshots, then fireworks, then it was time to wake up! Despite my fitful sleep, I hopped out of bed and was ready to roll pretty quickly.

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Obligatory nail art picture (grasping celebratory post-marathon wine).

My favorite part of the morning was probably the 5 minutes of standing in the kitchen with Katie and Mike, silently choking down various combos of peanut butter, bread, and bananas and drinking our coffee. Even though we didn’t say anything, it was really nice to share that moment with other people after months of doing the exact same thing all by myself every Saturday morning.

After breakfast, we walked to the L and made our way to the race start with no problems. Security was stricter than any other race I’ve done; I kind of felt like I was at the airport. Your race number had to be showing constantly, and they went through everyone’s gear check bag before admitting runners into Grant Park. We checked our gear and had just enough time to take a few pictures and wait in line for the bathroom before we went to our respective corrals.

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Me, Katie, and Mike right after entering Grant Park.

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Chicago skyline, right before entering Grant Park.

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Ready to rock and roll!

We lined up in our corrals with approximately 1 billion other people, and before we knew it, we were crossing the starting line.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I really don’t remember a whole lot about running the race. There were so many people everywhere that I was just trying to concentrate on not getting stomped on or elbowed or tripping over anyone. I was mostly successful. The crowd support was overwhelming. There were tons of spectators and they were cheering so loudly, it was like being in a wind tunnel. I just tried to stay calm and relaxed to avoid getting caught up on the moment and going out too fast.

Around 3 miles in, I realized I needed to hit the bathroom again. The lines were crazy long, so I decided to wait until the next stop, at around 5 miles. At that point, the lines were still really long,  but I figured that I would be uncomfortable for a large portion of the race, and I might as well be as comfortable as possible for the earlier, easier miles. I also figured it’d be better to get it over with early in the race so I wouldn’t have to stop and then try to regain momentum later. Unfortunately, my pit stop cost me somewhere between 8 and 10 minutes because the lines were pretty long. Not ideal, but I’m glad that I did it instead of risking feeling sick later in the race. Luckily, that’s the only time I had to stop.

From that point on, I put on the cruise control and kind of zoned out, making it a point to look around and check out my surroundings every few minutes. I didn’t bother checking my watch too often, as my Garmin paces were all over the place and wildly inaccurate. I tried to take a few Honey Stinger chews every 3 miles and mixed Gatorade and water at each of the water stops, which were spaced out about every 1.5 miles or something. I’d walk for 30ish seconds to drink and eat a few chews, then resume running. That was my strategy for the whole race, and it worked really well; I never got a stomach ache or bonked.

Dan, Lindsay, Kevin and the rest of the crew were all waiting for me at mile 16, so my primary goal was to make it to that point looking and feeling strong. I was due for some more chews around then, but I didn’t want them to see me walking, so I held off. I never did see them, though they saw me and yelled. Dan said I was totally ‘in the zone,’ which must have been true for me to miss them. I didn’t want them to see me walk, even just for a fuel break, so that propelled me through mile 17.5. Once I realized I had likely missed them, I just put my head down and powered through. I kept repeating the phrase “controlled fall” in my head and made it a point to check my posture and run as relaxed as possible. We hadn’t discussed it beforehand, but I knew that my mom and our friend Ann would be at the finish; I just had a feeling that I’d see them. I focused on getting to mile 20, then from that point on reveled in the fact that each additional step would be a personal distance record for me.

Around 22 miles in, I definitely started to hurt. I didn’t hit the infamous WALL, but my hips and low back were aching and my calves started feeling a little crampy. I had to step off the course twice for about 20 or 30 seconds each to stretch a little. People always praise the Chicago course for being so flat and fast, but that also means that the exact same muscles are taking a serious pounding for all 26.2 miles of the race. It was a huge relief to shake out a little.

At no point did I ever, ever feel like I wouldn’t be able to finish. My ankle also felt great the entire time. After months of training, and several weeks of fretting over my ability to happily complete the race after missing some significant training runs because of my ankle issues, I felt oddly calm the entire time I was running. Once I crossed the starting line and began running, my brain shut off and I just went on auto pilot.

I took a slightly longer walking break at mile 24, probably about 2 minutes, then made a deal with myself that I would run the remainder of the race, and run I did! I got some kind of second wind and I’m pretty sure my legs were just numb after hours of pounding. It was a little frustrating, because the course got pretty narrow in certain parts and a lot of people were walking. Weaving around them was too much energy at that point, and I didn’t trust myself to not trip or lose my balance. I feel like I could have gained some valuable time had I not gotten stuck, but oh well.

Once I got around 1,000 or 800 meters away from the finish, I heard “GO, SALLIE, GO!!!!!!” Sure enough, it was my mom, screaming at the finish just like I knew she’d be. For context, there are thousands of people at the finish line, cheering, ringing cow bells, blasting music, etc. My mom has a…signature cheering voice that is capable of piercing through pretty much any other noise. Not only did I hear her, but I was able to zero in and find her and Ann in the crowd. After that, it was game over. I was so ready to be done, I tore up the “hill” (I think it was a bridge or on-ramp or something. I was super thankful for my Tower Grove Park hills at that point) and cruised across the finish line. Official finish time: 5:01:26.

I threw my hands up and let out a triumphant yell as I crossed the finish line. I miiiight have shed a few tears of joy as I hobbled through the finish chute and got my medal.

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Wahoo!

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Me with my new hardware and a giant smile.

The walk from the finishing area back to the gear check and park exit was brutal. It was about a mile or something and required descending some stairs. After running all that way, I managed to walk to the beer table, grab a cold one, and hobble off to the side of the fenced in area. I collapsed and enjoyed about half of my beer (after calling mom to tell her not to worry, I just needed to sit for a minute).

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The sweet taste of success.

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Bling bling.

Mom and Ann took me back to their hotel, where I took the hottest, most glorious shower of my life and passed out for a few hours. After I was back among the living, Lindsay and Dan joined forces to make an amazing celebratory dinner of Italian pot roast, horseradish mashed potatoes, fresh green beans, and homemade bread. There might have been a little (a lot) of wine and champagne, too. I fell asleep with a full belly, happy heart, and major sense of accomplishment.

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Pizza and beers at Piece, aka Heaven on Earth.

Getting out of bed the next day was another story…but I managed to fight my way through it and eat all of the pizza and beer!

Overall, I feel great about this experience. Running in memory of Kim and in honor of my grandma was so tremendously rewarding. Thinking of them and of all the people who donated to the American Cancer Society in support of this run was a huge source of comfort and motivation during my training, especially when I was having doubts about my ankle. I wish I hadn’t lost that time in the bathroom, because a time of 4:XX would have felt pretty darn good, but I really can’t complain. I didn’t bonk, my body held up, I didn’t doubt myself, and I was able to raise money for a great cause. I can definitely see myself running another marathon in the future, but for now, I’m just going to bask in the glow of what I’ve accomplished thus far.

I did it!

Taper!

Weeks 14 and 15 are done! Now it’s time to taper.

Going into Saturday’s 20-miler, I was feeling pretty discouraged. I missed two important long runs while my ankle was being sorted out (16 and 18 miles), so my longest run prior to this weekend was only 15 miles. That means I added 33.33333% to the distance of my longest run at that point. Kind of scary.

Let’s start with week 14, shall we?

Week 14

Monday: Walked 2.25 miles. I was pretty sore after the half marathon that Saturday; the hills did a number on my hips.
Tuesday: 5 miles @ 9:29. I varied the pace on the treadmill for this one, doing 0.2-0.3-mile pick-ups (8:49-9:05) every so often. I’ve done so much slogging to get through all of my mileage; it felt good to pick up the pace a little. Forgot what that felt like.
Wednesday: 2.07 elliptical; 4.88 bike. Didn’t want to push my ankle too much, so I threw in some cross training. I hated it.
Thursday: 9 miles @ 10:01. Finally, a decent run. No walking, my ankle felt good, and the weather was pleasant. My right IT band/hip flexor was super tight, which I think is a function of old shoes and my stride being a bit different from the taping for my ankle. Something to keep an eye on.
Friday: Rest.
Saturday: 15 @ 10:43. Got a late start on this one. Had a friend in town, and we stayed up too late. Couple that with the great weather, and I wasn’t in a rush to get out the door. My right IT band started locking up around 10 miles in. I stopped to buy a Gatorade and had a rough time starting back up because of the tightness. Took it to task with the foam roller after my run, and that helped out.
Sunday: Rest.

Total: 38ish miles; 6 hours, 39 minutes.

Overall, I felt pretty good about week 14. Despite missing some big runs in the previous weeks, I was able to hop back into training with minimal consequences. I’m not sure what’s going on with my IT band; it’s been a while since I had an adjustment at the chiropractor, and that usually helps. It’s on the list for next pay day.

Week 15

This was supposed to be my “peak week,” but my mileage was way lower than it should have been. I was mega wiped out on Monday, but I really should have gone running. On Tuesday, we learned that one of Dan’s aunts had passed away after having surgical complications. That obviously put a damper on the day and the rest of the week, which was really emotionally exhausting. The funeral was Friday, and we just came home and collapsed. At any rate, I did get some good running done, just not the ideal amount.

Monday: 2.28 walk. Nothing to report.
Tuesday: Rest.
Wednesday: 3 miles @ 9:39 in the morning; 7 miles @ 9:42 in the evening. Doing a double was the only way I was going to get 10 miles done midweek. Even though I had to break it into 2, it felt good to get double digits on a week day.
Thursday: Rest. Long day at work preparing to be off for the funeral on Friday; I also had to take Dan into the office extra early, then we had a concert to go to that night, so there was zero time for running. I did, however, pack my running stuff and take it to work, hilariously thinking I’d have time to get a few miles in on my lunch break or something. Not.
Friday: Rest. Went to the funeral and burial in the morning and didn’t get home until the afternoon. We were both worn out and just took it easy for the rest of the day. It was super dreary and raining, so whatever.
Saturday: 20.5 miles @ 10:58. Got this one DONE! Took a semi-new route to change things up.

I ran by Big River Running to pick up some Honey Stingers, then did a lap around Francis Park, ran Chippewa to Kingshighway, then down Arsenal and around Tower Grove Park and the Botanical Gardens (a few times), then down Morgan Ford to get home. I only had a doughnut for breakfast, which wasn’t even close to enough food. I was feeling rough around 10/11 miles in, then I crossed paths with a guy who is always at Tower Grove Park selling Gus’ soft pretzels at the Center Cross intersection. This lovely, toothless man not only sold me an amazing soft pretzel for a dollar; he also told me a bizarre story about being propositioned by an elderly woman who wanted to take him home. Yeah,. It was…interesting, but I was too busy inhaling my pretzel to be truly disturbed by what he was saying until later.

Had I not gotten that pretzel, I don’t think I would’ve been able to finish this run. It was touch-and-go for miles 12-14/15, then my food kicked in and I finished the last 5 strong. Again, my right hip flexor was being weird for like the first 10 miles, then I stopped in the park and really, really stretched it out. That seemed to work and it didn’t bother me for the last half of the run. I felt great at the end and could have kept going. Given how shaky the past few weeks of training have been, this was a great confidence booster.

Sunday: Rest. Definitely sore when I woke up this morning, but not too terrible. I took a salt bath and will be spending some quality time with my foam roller tonight.

Total: 33 miles, 6 hours, 24 minutes.

It’s officially taper time! My long runs for this and next week are 12 and 8 miles, respectively, then it’s race time! After so many months of planning for, talking about, and training for this race, it will finally be here!

 

Not a training recap

I won’t bore you guys too much with the stuff I have/haven’t been doing re: my training plan. It’s been a little spotty the past few weeks, as my ankle injury from a moving mishap over Memorial Day weekend (yes, that long ago) has been flaring up.

I missed 2 significant long runs because my ankle was in such bad shape: a 12-miler and 16-miler. After going to a few doctors, it looks like I did actually do some damaged when my ankle was smashed by that piano. It seems as though I tore some smaller ligaments that healed funny, and now my ankle doesn’t have enough stability when I run. Luckily, taping up my foot really helps, and I have a few PT sessions set up to try and sort everything out. Because taping my foot has been so beneficial, my doctor is recommending some custom orthotics, which will hopefully be here in about 2 weeks. Not ideal, but better than a “no run” order!

For weeks 11 and 12 of training, I mostly stuck to the bike and elliptical with a few run/walks in there. Nothing worth writing home about. For week 13, I did a fair amount of walking but didn’t manage much gym time. Honestly, I was defeated and feeling pretty sorry for myself. Not a great thing when you’re trying to accomplish a goal that requires motivation and consistency.

Before all of that nonsense, I had registered for McKendree University’s Harvest Challenge “half” marathon (actual distance: 13.25, not the standard 13.1 miles). It fell on a weekend that my training plan called for 18 miles, and I thought it’d be nice to have some course support for a good chunk of that run. Plus the registration was less than $37, including Active.com service fees. After the issues with my ankle and significantly lighter training the past few weeks, I decided to just try and make it through the race and not tack on my extra miles. Turns out, that was a smart decision.

I had been dreading this “race” all week. Like I said, I was feeling defeated and I really didn’t know how/if I’d be able to make my way through it. It was weighing heavily on my mind and putting me in a terrible mood (sorry, everyone). We drove out to Lebanon, Ill., the night before and crashed at the Drury in O’Fallon (thanks, Dad!). I slept like a baby and woke up at 6 a.m. to get ready and eat breakfast. By the time we got to the university for packet pick-up around 7:15, it was 70ish degrees and 97% humidity. It only got worse from there.

This about sums it up.

This about sums it up.

The entire course was through farmland. Mostly corn fields. At one point, we ran past a place housing a bunch of thoroughbred horses, which was pretty cool.

The scenery for roughly 11 of the 13.25 miles of the race. Fields, fields, more fields, and no shade whatsoever.

The scenery for roughly 11 of the 13.25 miles of the race. Fields, fields, more fields, and no shade whatsoever.

This was a TOUGH race. Even if I’d had better training leading up to it, it would have been really difficult. Everyone I talked to was resigned to just trying to get through the thing. It was relentlessly muggy, and there wasn’t a single patch of shade to be found on the course between miles 1.5 and 12. Really, really tough. Not to mention, the elevation map looked like this:

OUCH. Think this looks bad? Imagine trying to run it at 80 degrees and 70% humidity.

OUCH. Think this looks bad? Imagine trying to run it at 80 degrees and 70% humidity.

I had decided that I wasn’t going to kill myself for this thing. My strategy was to make it through the first 3 miles, then walk for a bit and take some Honey Stingers (my favorite fuel so far). After that, I planned to run to each aid station, then walk for 0.1 to 0.25 of a mile. I mostly stuck to that, though I walked much more in the “hill country” of miles 8.5 to 10. Trying to run up those things was just a wasted effort at that point, they were so steep. It might not look like much to trail or mountain runners, but I don’t run a ton of hills like that on a regular basis! I tried to run halfway on the uphills, walk the rest, then run the downhills and flats. It worked out OK.

I don’t even know my official time, but my Garmin had me at 2:41ish for 13.35 miles. My ankle held up really well; it never hurt during the run. However, I ended up with some pretty good blisters on my feet from tape the doctor used to wrap up my feet. I hardly ever get blisters, but I could feel them developing from mile 9 onward.

Overall, dragging myself out to do this run did me a lot of good. It broke through my “woe is me” mentality and gave me a little confidence. Yeah, it was super slow. Yeah, I had to walk more that I ever have before. At the same time, my ankle was able to withstand the stress, and I don’t feel like I lost too much endurance with my lighter training the past couple of weeks. I also got to talk to some cool people and add another nice race shirt to my collection. Given the weather, I don’t feel too bad about the outcome.

It’s time to tackle week 14 with confidence and gusto!

Recap: 8, 9, 10

Get excited! I’m finally catching you up on my stellar training. Ha. *crickets*

For the past 3 weeks, I’ve only been managing about 3 runs/week, which is far from optimal. Every summer from mid-July to mid-August is always crazy for us, including this one, mostly because there are so many family birthdays during that time period. Add some travel and rough days at work/life, and the running just had to give. However, I’m feeling motivated and back on track for Week 11, which is good; the mileage is starting to ramp up. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here’s what I’ve done the past three weeks:

Week 8

Monday: Rest.
Tuesday: 6.45 @ 9:10. Super fun run! It was misty and overcast. Really reminded me of my old cross country days. Ran out at Westport immediately after work, which is pretty hilly, but I didn’t even feel it. Very satisfying.
Wednesday:
Rest.
Thursday:
3.05 @ 9:10. Made it a point to wake up and get some miles before work on my birthday. Wanted to start another year on this planet right.
Friday:
10.5 @ 11:25 + 1 hour pilates
This sucked. I took the day off to go shopping for my birthday and figured I should do my long run so I could enjoy the rest of the weekend. It was muggy, the trail was super boring, and none of the bathrooms/water fountains were where the map indicated they would be. Not awesome. This was supposed to be 12-14 miles, but I ran out of time before I was supposed to meet up with Lacy for pilates, which was super challenging after such an awful run. Then I shopped all afternoon. I was exhausted.
Saturday: Rest.
Sunday: Rest.

Total: 20 miles; 4 hours, 12 minutes

Week 9

I knew this week would be a stretch because I was traveling to Chicago for a raging bachelorette party. I had hoped to get in my 10-mile long run after we arrived on Friday…fat chance of that. We hit the boardwalk and got beers right away. Anyway, still managed some miles. I also felt mega wiped out, like on the verge of being ill, earlier in the week. Took some rest when I should’ve been trying to front-load my runs…but I was just so run down.

Monday: Rest.
Tuesday: Rest.
Wednesday: 4 @ 9:20. First run after my suckfest of a long run the previous week. Needed to shake off that bad mojo.
Thursday: 3 @ 9:30. Did some easy miles before work on the treadmill at the gym.
Friday: On the bus for the bachelorette party…let’s just say I was lucky I was still standing.
Saturday: 4.25 @ 10:35. Woke up feeling rough, straight up. Drank some water and slept it off for a bit, then grabbed some breakfast and ran a few miles by the lakefront in Chicago. It was a gorgeous day…had I not been hungover, there would’ve been more miles in me.
Sunday: 5-mile(ish) walk. Walked all over Chicago killing time before the bus came. Was running on 5 hours of sleep, which is about twice as much as everyone else got…

Total: 16 miles; 4 hours, 20 minutes

Week 10

Monday: Rest. Still recovering from the bachelorette party. Bouncing back from sleep-deprivation is getting harder and harder with age.
Tuesday: AM: 3.2 @ 9:22; Lunch: 1.3 walk.
Woke up mega groggy and cranky. Didn’t fully wake up until about a mile in. Did this on the treadmill; it seems to be easier on my ankle, which has been feeling tingly and annoyed lately. Walked on my lunch break.
Wednesday: 7.25 @ 9:14. Got this done after work. I ate too many Mike and Ikes, which made my stomach grumpy, but that feeling passed around 3 miles in. Maybe they’d be good long run fuel…
Thursday: Rest. Totally should’ve done my other short run today, but didn’t. No good reason.
Friday: Rest, as planned.
Saturday:  15 miles @ 11:09.
Personal distance record, woooo! I maintained a 10:25ish pace during the running parts, but the last 3-4 miles were pretty rough. I really want to get to the point where I don’t need walking breaks at the end of these longer runs. I don’t know if I need to start slower or begin fueling earlier, but something just doesn’t feel quite “on” for these long runs yet. Hoping to figure that out over the next 8 weeks. Anyway, took an ice bath after, and dozed for about 45 minutes, then lazed around the house all day. Went out for an amazing dinner of filet mignon and lobster. I’m sure that aided recovery.
Sunday: Rest. I foolishly hoped I’d be able to cram my last 4 miles of the week in on Sunday, but my legs were toast…duh. Took a salt bath and stretched really well, which helped a lot!

Total: 27 miles; 4 hours, 49 minutes.