Welcome to today’s blog post, brought to you by a delicious bowl of macaroni and cheese, which I will not be sharing with you. Lethargy is the name of the game today since I was up til 3:00 in the morning last night like some kind of hoodlum.
This will probably be my last training recap before the big race day! I’m really looking forward to another race, which is amazing because I was a little worried about running two races so close together. The first week or so after Volition I was dragging myself through runs, but the love did finally come back! I hit some faster paces this week which is encouraging! Tomorrow I have my 12 miler and then I’ll be taking things really easy until the race on Sunday.
Sunday – 10 miles
I wrote about that run in my last post. It was a really nice and relaxing run, despite smashing my iPhone, and I held an average of 10:31 per minute in the last 5 miles! That was a happy little surprise as most of my long runs average an 11 or 11:30 pace!
Tuesday – 4 miles + bum and hip strength
I found a group of runners on Meetup.com called Central Florida Women Runners and they happened to have a run planned on one of my favorite routes. Meetup.com is an awesome website to find groups of people doing things you like to do – I follow updates from a stand up paddle boarding group, and I follow a few different running groups. I have been sifting through e-mails waiting for my schedule to match up with one of the runs, and finally this one popped up. This particular group is women only, which was nice because I’m hoping to make some good running friends!
The way this running group worked is everyone meets up at a specified location and the group coordinator tells you what course to run, and then everyone can just choose their own pace and distance. At the end, everyone posts on the Meetup page to say they arrived back safely. There were 5 of us at this run. We could run alone or with a buddy, as long as we kept someone from the group in sight so no one was truly ever alone.
I walked alone for a little while as my Garmin was trying to connect to a satellite (which took forever, and then it told me I was running an 8 minute mile, so it must have been having a bad day) and then a girl named Marla was walking beside me. I asked her what she wanted to run today and she said “slow and easy, 45 minutes-ish.” Turns out our “slow and easy” pace is about the same, so we ran four miles together. I got to hear a little about her life as an archaeologist (COOL), we talked about races we’ve run or want to run, we talked about how the trees in Florida try to change colors but it’s nothing compared to Canada (where she’s from) or Kentucky (my only experience with actual seasons). The miles flew by and I felt strong the whole time, though I could tell I was pushing a lot harder than I would have if I ran those 4 miles alone. Being with another person takes away all your walk-break excuses!
For strength training I did lots of lunges with Matt’s 10 lb dumbbell, clamshells, and a variation of donkey kickbacks. I should probably do a post explaining these because bodyweight exercises have such non-helpful names.
Thursday – 5.78 miles
Thursday I had a bad day at work so I was really craving a run to get all the crap out of my head and emotions. That turned in to nearly six miles at a 10:41 average pace! Is this my new normal? I was a little worried 3 miles in because I made my usual mistake of starting out at what felt easy to my fresh legs (which is alway a lie), around 10:30 per mile, but I was able to sustain a 10:45ish pace the whole time. I need to practice running my first mile slooow, as that always gives me the strongest and happiest runs. I make a point to do so for my long runs, but it’s harder to remember for the mid-week longer run.
I had another 4 miler planned for Friday, but Friday morning I got dressed and stepped out the door to run and I just didn’t feel right about it. There were creepy Halloween decorations in the neighbor’s yard, and I heard a dog barking and then running to the end of his chain, which was odd because there are no chained dogs near our house. I just had a bad feeling, so I went back inside.
Tomorrow morning, dark and early, I’ll be doing my second-ever 12 mile run. Long runs are my favorite run of the week, because they’re slow and relaxed and they make you feel really hardcore. And the nerd in me loves setting out all my running supplies and calculating how many chews to eat and when to drink my Nuun. 🙂 Now to figure out my route!