WEEK FIFTEEN: Peak Weak
Petit à petit, l'oiseau fait son nid. (Little by little, the bird builds its nest.) #oiselleteam—
Hillary (@HillarySpeaks) September 26, 2013
The Guy’s mom said this at brunch the other day, and despite the fact that my French skills end with Lady Marmalade, it really struck me. On Monday, I couldn’t help but repeat that to myself (in English, not French. That’s hard.) during my run. I wanted to run. I wanted to race. I was picking up the pieces – slowly – and I was carefully trying to reconstruct my marathon “nest” using whatever items were left after the metaphorical storm.
Monday: Easy Miles + Plyos
On Tap: 8 easy miles + plyos
Reality: 5mi @ ~8:30 avg
I still wasn’t sure I was ready to jump back into things, but I also knew that I didn’t necessarily want to NOT run. I told myself that I could do 4-6, and if I felt like doing more, I could. The first few miles felt really good, and the weather was nice and cool (perfect, really), but I got a nasty side stitch around mile 3 that never really went away. Took it as a sign and cut it short. Didn’t get the rainbows I was hoping for, but I also didn’t get rain clouds… so there’s that?
On Tap: Rest!
Reality: Lots of baba ghanoush
I GOT MY OISELLE RACING KIT!
The Guy and I celebrated Tuesday by eating our weight in kabob at Reza’s. As you do.
Wednesday: Progression Run
On Tap: 12mi progression run (or 90 min run)
Reality: 11mi @ 8:30 avg
Splits — Super impressive, I promise… but still on my watch. No clue.
I was surprisingly excited to knock this out of the park, but I realized as I walked to the path that I hadn’t really thought about HOW one does such a long progression run (normally I’m a “chop 10s off of every mile” kind of girl… because that’s easy to remember). With 12 miles during which to “progress,” and starting at 9min pace, that strategy would have had me breaking personal records of all kinds (including probably number of barfs in one run). I ended up deciding that I would hang in the mid-to-low 8s for the majority of the run, and start dipping into the 7s at a more aggressive rate in the last few miles. Mission PrettyMuch Accomplished?
The first mile was a bit slower, as my ankle felt weirdly tight and creaky. It loosened up about a mile in, though, and everything felt pretty damn good. I ended up cutting the run a bit short, as I got a later start, and the path had grown quite dark and quite empty. Around mile 10, a dude on a bike lingered a bit too long at a water fountain, and I decided it was time to go home. The last mile was around 7:10… mostly because I was eager to get home, but also to “make up” for the shortened run.
Thursday: Speed Work
On Tap: 8mi — 2 up + 4 @ 8:30 + 2 @ 8:15 or less (Or a 70 min run)
Reality: Dancing + Wine
I had a gala to attend, so this workout got pushed to Friday morning. Not ideal, but I figured if my legs could handle the speed work AND the long run’s speedy miles, I was pretty much good to go for Grand Rapids. I took a risk. Hahaha by this point in the training cycle, we all know how that works.
Friday: Strength Work
On Tap: Arms + Legs (or OFF)
As much as I wanted to fit my workout in, I had one of those mornings. You know. Where you lock yourself out of your apartment for four hours and spend the rest of the day playing catch-up! I was really, REALLY bummed to miss my speed work for the week. It’s really the one workout I look forward to each week, and this one in particular felt like one I really needed, mentally. Win some, lose some.
Saturday: Long Run
On Tap: 22mi — 10 easy + 2 MP + 10 @ 8:30-9:00 (Or 3 hour run)
Reality: 20mi — 10 @ 8:45ish + 8:15 + 8:20 + 8 @ 9-9:15ish?
The splits aren’t entirely accurate because I haven’t looked back at my data, but you get the general idea. I started this run with the intention of logging 22 (which would have been my longest training run ever. EVAH.) The first 10 felt pretty great. The weather was just about perfect, and I settled in pretty quickly and easily into a comfortable pace. (I also saw Britt — first lake path sighting!) The first GMP mile was a little slow, but I was doing some dodging. The second was also a little slow, because I (pretty much literally) ran SMACK into a wall of AIDS run/walk walkers. Seriously. There was a sea of them. I had nowhere to go. It was an awesome sight, but a less-than-awesome speedy mile. Oh, well.
Fearing that the path wasn’t going to be just as congested for the next few miles, I turned around early and planned on tagging on a lollipop at the end to complete the total mileage. Usually, the turnaround is a good psychological boost. I can tell myself “All you have do is run home!” Upon turning around to head home, I met with a pretty stiff headwind, my shorts were starting to rub uncomfortably, and I just couldn’t really get into a rhythm. There were a few 1/4mi walking portions where my mind just kind of didn’t want to run anymore. It was a beautiful day, and I kind of just let those happen (2-3x?) until I realized that they weren’t getting my home any faster, nor saving my shorts from rubbing. There was a lot of bribing on this run, but looking back, I’m pretty happy with the effort, even if it wasn’t my most stellar run of all time in the history of the world.
Around the 2-hour mark, I thought to myself, “You know, you just have to run like an hour more to hit 3 hours, and that’s probably just fine.” So that’s what I did.
I was pretty beat, and spent the better part of the day in a half-comatose state, followed by a shopping trip to Target, which led me to discover this window display:
Sunday: Sweatpants Run
On Tap: 5 easy
I woke up expecting to get this run in. It was a beautiful day, and my legs definitely needed it. But then the Guy and I lost ourselves sitting and chatting on the balcony, eating pancakes, and four hours later had to rush to fit in some last minute errands before our San Fran trip! After a few hours of shopping, my blood sugar levels were low and I made the poor decision to direct us towards the nearest Lou Malnati’s. I ate one piece of deep dish and felt sick as a dog. Lou’s on an empty runner stomach = nausea-city.
It may seem like I’ve kind of given up on training. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong… but I’d argue it’s more of a recently adopted acceptance that this training cycle has gone off of the rails. We leave tomorrow for San Francisco (I’m writing this on Monday — weird time-continuum jumping!!!), and I’m excited to get some miles logged in a new city. This week, I may not have hit the numbers I wanted to, but I’m taking solace in the fact that I WANTED to. In the past few weeks, the last thing I wanted to do was lace up my shoes. This week, I found myself disappointed, not relieved, when I couldn’t make it work. At minimum…