Welcome to this week’s installment of the Weekend Wrap-Up, in which I will regale you with tales of my plethora of rest days, and then talk (write?) your ear off about my longest long run to date, run with a slight feeling of panic at the quickly approaching half marathon for which I am nowhere near prepared.
Monday (scheduled): rest day
Monday (actual): rest day
After my bummer of a trail race on Sunday, I needed a day off Monday to mentally recover, if not physically recover too. I continued to have a weird heartbeat and an uncomfortable feeling in my chest, so resting seemed like a good idea anyway. Not really sure what I did… probably read and/or watched some Gogglebox. (I love that show!)
Tuesday (scheduled): speed workout
Tuesday (actual): additional rest day
I sacrificed both my morning coffee (nooooo!) and the Vitamin Water I had made a habit of during the previous week, and my chest discomfort disappeared. Maybe it was epic heartburn/indigestion? (I had consumed more – and stronger – coffee while in Seattle… maybe I overdid it?) I was planning on skipping the speed workout if I still felt weird, and the T had other plans for me anyway (seriously, I’d love to get home on time one of these evenings), but I figured missing a speed workout was for the best just in case I hadn’t totally recovered from bizarre chest things. Weird heartbeat + running fast = not good. At least that’s what I told myself.
Wednesday (scheduled): soccer double-header
Wednesday (actual): yet another rest day
Wednesday was rainy and cold, and I really was NOT looking forward to playing 2 soccer games in a row on a pitch that was likely to be a giant mud pit. Thankfully our league saw sense and postponed, and I celebrated by having a cozy night in with Drew. Colin invited me out for a run, and I probably should have taken him up on it, but I was still worrying about my heart/chest stuff and running in cold rain didn’t seem like it would cure anything. (One good thing about the day – I risked coffee, still leaving out Vitamin Water (lots of citric acid) and felt okay! Yay, I can have my coffee back!)
Thursday (scheduled): kickball
Thursday (actual): kickball
Thursday was still rainy, but the rain stopped in time for the fields to be “dry enough” to play kickball on. Our infield was speckled with giant quicksand-like patches of muddy sand, and the outfield was very slippery, but it was technically playable and I was so glad the game went on as scheduled because my team got its first win! Huzzah! It helped that we played the one other winless team in the division, and I felt a little bad that we beat them, but it was so exciting to actually score more than 1 run! Yay!
Friday (scheduled): rest day
Friday (actual): rest day
Drew was a trooper and sat through my cold kickball game, so I promised I’d repay the favor and cheer him on at his chilly soccer game. Right now his games take place on a set of fields perched atop one of the windiest hills I’ve ever been on, so I knew to bundle up. I didn’t mess around – knockoff Under Armour base layer, flannel shirt over that, hoodie over that, wind-breaking jacket over that; base layer leggings under jeans; thermal socks and fleece-lined shoes; and gloves and a wool hat. It was in the low 50s so it seemed like overkill, but that hill is brutal! I was still shivering a little despite my get-up. I’m finding that one bonus of being a runner is that I have a decent supply of warm layers to use for a multitude of situations!
Saturday (scheduled): long run
Saturday (actual): long run
My original plan for the weekend was to do my long run Sunday morning, before the race I was supposed to volunteer at, but I wasn’t sure how early they’d want me at the registration table, plus the Spurs game was on early, so I opted for a Saturday run to play it safe. I went after lunch, after a big bowl of pasta and a glass of Nuun, and I don’t know if it was the fuel (I tend to eat minimal food before my morning long runs because I can’t be arsed to get out of bed early enough to eat breakfast) or the cooler weather (low 60s) or a combination of the two, but the run felt amazing! (At least part of it.) It was about 99% humidity, which left me nasty with sweat for the whole run, but I’ll take cool and humid over hot and dry. I think. I inadvertently timed the run perfectly too; it was rainy off and on all day, and I was out during the driest window and got inside mere minutes before a downpour!
My goal was to try for 8 miles, and I figured I’d do 4 laps of the pond instead of picking a creative route through neighborhoods. Like Colin keeps saying, it’s easier when you know the route well, so you know when the hills are coming and how much farther you have to go at any certain point. Plus now that it’s fall, it’s especially pretty by the pond with the leaves changing color:
I ended up going 8.5 miles… at least I think I went 8.5 miles. Simon and I had some issues during this run. It took longer than usual for him to get his bearings (it was very overcast, I’m assuming that doesn’t help) and he beeped for Lap 1 way earlier than I was expecting (after checking with a map, it looks like he thought I had completed a mile when I had only gone .66 of a mile). When I glanced down it said 8:01 and, even though I knew deep down that I hadn’t completed a mile yet, I still got really freaking excited and may or may not have dropped a very audible f-bomb. I also may or may not have spent longer than I should have playing with what wording I wanted for my inevitable “Just ran my fastest mile ever during what was supposed to be a slow long run… oops” facebook status update.
My excitement faded when Simon beeped again for Lap 2 at a point where I knew I hadn’t gone 2 miles, since one complete lap of the pond is 2 miles and I still had a good ways to go to finish one actual lap. I started wondering if maybe Simon had decided to clock kilometers instead of miles, and I opted to go analog for the rest of my run. Knowing that one lap is 2 miles (roughly 2.2 if I factored in the Hill of Doom), I figured I’d just do my 4 laps, then run back to my starting point at the top of Doom Hill, and that should cover 8 miles plus some change. Since it was a long run and pace wasn’t supposed to matter, I decided to just use the overall time to dictate when I should eat chews and take walk breaks – 2 chews, some water, and a bit of walking at 30 mins, 60 mins, and 90 mins.
That fueling/walking regimen seemed to work a treat as the run went really well! The first mile was a little rough (when isn’t it?) but then I felt spectacular until I hit Mile 7. I wasn’t the only one doing laps of the pond, and I got little boosts each time I passed people before the halfway mark, knowing I was going fast enough to beat walkers at least. Around Mile 5 it started misting a bit, which felt amazing, and I was really loving the cooler weather and feeling like I could run forever. Then Mile 7 happened. 7 miles was the longest long run I had done yet, and I think my body knew that. My knees started hurting, along with my right ankle, and I started getting a painful, tight feeling around my rib cage. I slowed my pace way down and took an extra walk break or two, but it was rough. It was all I could do to make it to the top of Doom Hill, and I was rewarded by hitting a nice even 8.50* miles on Simon, as well as a slew of Garmin milestones that I doubt the credibility of. Apparently I ran my fastest mile during that run (and my fastest 5K and 10K, and longest distance), and it wasn’t even my errant 8:01:
There is no way in hell, heaven, or on earth that I ran a 5:19 mile. Clearly Simon was having just a bit of an off-day! When I scroll back through my splits, they look like this (notice no 5:19 to be seen):
Mile 1: 8:01
Mile 2: 9:02
Mile 3: 11:37
Mile 4: 13:37
Mile 5: 11:42
Mile 6: 12:51
Mile 7: 13:09
Mile 8: 13:08
Mile 8.5: 5:58
Apart from the first two miles, which are clearly too fast and which clocked in way before I had traveled that far, the rest of the splits seem like they could be correct. I was definitely running faster than any of my other long runs, even though I tried really hard to slow down (my body loved the cooler weather, what can I say?) and I walked less, so the splits feel about right. Also, given my calculations of distance (4x 2-mile laps, plus 2x .2 distance to the Hill of Doom and ~.1 mini-detour I took on one lap to change it up) 8.5 should have been the correct total distance, which is what Simon gave me. So while I’m not sure I actually broke a 30-minute 5K, like Simon said (due to the quick first 2 miles), my fastest 10K actually seems plausible (01:09:19) considering that I felt like I was running faster than I did during my other 10Ks and my previous 10K PR is 01:14:52. Seems possible, right?
Anyway, I accepted the 8.5 mile distance and walked home, feeling very tired and sore but also victorious and proud that I had pounded out more miles. The fact that I have my half marathon at the end of the month is making me worried that I haven’t upped my mileage enough, but that worry is certainly lighting a fire under my lazy bum to get me out and going for it!
Sunday (scheduled): recovery walk/race volunteering
Sunday (actual): recovery walk/race volunteering
Man, my body was sore after that long run… especially my right hip flexor (which I think I pulled doing that stupid stretch right before the Old Wethersfield 10K starting gun) and my knees. Rather than sit on the couch and whine up until I had to get across town to help out at the race the Shammies were sponsoring, I decided to walk there and back as a recovery walk. It was about 2.5 miles round trip and seems to have done me good, since my aching body parts seem a bit less angry now.
As for the race, I was on race-day registration duty, and also became the runner between our table and the timing people since we never got a runner. (At the last race I volunteered at, I was the runner… at least I knew what to do this time around!) It was a fun race to volunteer at, as it had a very festival-like atmosphere with popcorn and a live band and a tombola raffle thing. It was great to see my Shammie buddies again too, after having not gone to any workouts in far too long! After registration closed down, I made my way over to the finish line to cheer on the runners, and like I was last time, I was blown away by people’s speed. It was a 5-mile race, and the winner crossed the finish line in about 28 minutes. Crazy! (I calculated that if I had run it, I would have finished in probably 55:00 at the fastest.)
How was your week? Did you run, or help out at, any races?
Any other Gogglebox fans out there?
Has your GPS watch ever given you totally wonky times? Does cloud cover typically affect GPS readings that crazily? (And if you have a Garmin Forerunner 15, do you know if my 5:19 mile can be erased at all??)
Anyone else ever use their multitude of running layers to keep them warm at non-running events?