The week of 5 milers

My training the past week or so has been weird. We went on a little cruise so most of my runs were moved or changed in some way to accommodate travel weirdness.

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That’s the Miami cruise port behind us…note the huge/tiny ships!

Thursday before we left, I had the day off work so I enjoyed a little sleep-in before starting my run. This was a mistake. It was so hot outside! It was a beautiful 75 in the morning, but by the time I got outside it was in the 80s. Florida has no mercy. I had planned to do 7 miles with some speed-miles worked in, but it turned out to be a 6 mile horrible slog, punctuated by a creepy conversation with an old man who wanted to take me to lunch. Great.

On the cruise ship I got a nice little strength session in while Matt was taking one of his many naps. Cruise ships rock you to sleep so Matt takes like 80 naps when we cruise. I did lots of lunges and balance moves, which were challenging because the ship is constantly trying to tip you over. Fun!

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Our friends who joined us for the cruise! Matt’s best man and his wife. We’re all so sleepy, from sleeping so much.

On Saturday we landed in the Bahamas and we decided to take a driving tour of the island. There were lots of stops where we got to get out and explore, so it was a day full of walking, climbing stairs, and soaking up the sun. I should have worn my Garmin to track how much we walked!

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That’s me! I’m in the middle of the Atlantic!

Sunday was our day at sea, so I decided that would be the day to get in my long run. Thankfully this week’s long run was only 8 miles (cutback week, holla) because I had to do it on the treadmill. We were still docked in the Bahamas port for the first two miles of my run, but then we started pulling out and I could feel the ship moving beneath me! The gym was at the front of the ship with windows opening to the sea, so it almost felt like I was a little hamster on a wheel pulling the ship forward.

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View from my treaddy

The run was going to be 2 miles warm up, 4 miles at 9:40 pace, and 2 miles cool down. Well, after the first 9:40 mile I could tell I wasn’t going to be able to hold it, so I took 800 meter (half mile) breaks of easy-paced running. (I think this training plan I’m following is too advanced for me, so I’ve resigned to continue following it, but adjusting as needed for my current fitness.)

Running on a ship is no joke – the waters were rougher this day than they had been the whole cruise, and I even had to take my headphones out because I needed all my senses to help keep me balanced. I ran on the treaddy for an hour (about 5 of my 8 miles) and just called it quits. I headed up to the top deck to get a good view of the ocean while I stretched,  but once I got up there I realized I could have definitely completed my workout. Still working on my mental game.

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There was a small running track at the top of the ship, but it was only 0.11 miles long! So I would have had to run 88 laps to do my full run. No thanks. After stretching and cooling down a bit, I decided I couldn’t pass up a chance to run a few laps in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, with the sea breeze whipping me around and with such beautiful views, so I ran another half mile on the track.

It was SO FUN!!! On one side of the track I ran towards the front of the boat, so crazy amounts of wind pushed against me and it was a serious effort to move forward. Then the track turned left, and the wind tried to trip me by knocking my legs together. Then the fun part, running with the wind at my back! The wind was so powerful it was lifting me up and each stride carried me the length of 2 or 3! It felt like flying. It was so fun that I was giggling like a crazy person and it gave me the motivation to push through the harder side of the track just so I could get to the flying side again!

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So windy, so funnn

We made it home Monday afternoon after driving back up from Miami and we slept the whole rest of the day. Tuesday I was back at work and I was still so tired. Can someone tell me why vacations make you more tired??

Wednesday I got back out for an early morning run, and it was finally a run I felt proud of. Haven’t had one of those in quite a while so I really needed it. I left the house at 5:45 and I planned to do 5 miles at my easy-moderate pace, 10:45. It was cool and drizzly for the whole run so I never even felt hot, which is unheard of for running in Florida. My pace was nice and steady the whole 5 miles and I finished right on the dot with a 10:44 average. It’s amazing how good you can feel when you set an actually attainable goal. Lol. #benicetoyourself

I was reminded of a run 6 months ago that made me feel proud – a 4 miler at an 11:38 pace. Look how far I’ve come! Now I run 5 miles as my easy run, at a faster pace. Woohoo!

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Repeated cruise pic, don’t judge me. It makes me happy.

Friday morning I had my midweek longer run of 7 miles scheduled, but I took too long eating and getting ready to run, so it got cut short to 5 miles (do you see a theme?). I have again grown to love the well-lit quietness of my neighborhood in those early morning hours, so I spent these 5 miles running up and down every side street in our neighborhood. A little monotonous, but it got the job done in a very relaxing way.

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So this week held three 5-milers, two of which should have been longer, but there isn’t much I can do about it now. Training plans are hard to follow perfectly! I’m just proud that I have been consistent, because even if I’m not following the training plan exactly, I’m still getting out there and working my body as well as I can.

I believe we should all be easier on ourselves. Americans have this “toughness” mentality – we think we have to push-push-push in order to be the best. Well, I think it’s okay to take a rest. Take walk breaks. Take a nap instead of getting so stressed that you can’t be kind to your husband. Being a runner has taught me that it’s the built-up effects of lots of smaller efforts that make the difference, and rest is extremely important to keep you from getting hurt.

Now let the holidays begin! Good thing my mileage is getting higher and higher because that means I can eat ALL THE FOODS, right? 🙂

 

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