Training Week in Review – 11 weeks out from Harrisburg (8/18/14 - 8/24/14)

My Dad ran Patrick Henry too!  Still smiling after my disaster of a race!  Whew. This week threw me for a loop. It was a return to high(er) mileage and I definitely underestimated how much a week at the beach with the kiddos would take it out of me. This whole week I felt a little off – tired and low on my usual energy in both running and normal day-to-day life. The legs felt heavy and I was frustrated that I felt like I’d dug myself into a hole (energy-wise) before the official start of training! But I persevered and focused on remembering that I just needed to put my head down and do the work and hope the results would follow. Here’s how the week shook out:

Monday: 10 miles easy (7:52 pace)

Tuesday: 9 miles w/10 hill repeats + Body Pump

Wednesday: 8.75 miles easy (8:22 pace) + Core

Thursday: 8 miles recovery (8:31 pace) + Body Pump

Friday: 8.12 miles recovery (8:38 pace) + Core

Saturday: 16 miles (included the Patrick Henry Half Marathon)

Sunday: 11 miles recovery

Total miles: 71

Monday’s 10-miler - I was expecting to feel better than I actually felt on this run. Not sure if it was due to running long on Sunday or if the time spent on my feet on vacation/traveling/lack of sleep had caught up to me. In any case, this was a run where I was counting down the miles and wishing I was done. It was very humid (69 degrees with a dew point of 63) and that may have contributed to my sluggishness as well.

Tuesday’s Hills – First week of hill repeats and I had 10 of them to do. For some reason I was dreading this workout - I think because I haven't done hill repeats in several years! It was a rainy, misty morning and (obviously) very humid and the first couple repeats definitely felt challenging. It got a bit easier for a while and then the last few were tough. Pushed hard on the last one and then continued the run in the rain for the cool down. Legs were a little sore (left calf/shin) and feet are still so torn up from the sand at the beach - I had a pretty big blister when I got home from this run. I'm sad that it's getting lighter later in the morning - most of these repeats were in the dark and in the rain, so I'm sure I looked like a crazy person to those who drove by in their nice (dry) cars! But I got it done and it wasn't as bad as I thought!

Repeat splits (hill is 0.19mi): 1:14, 1:11, 1:13, 1:11, 1:12, 1:09, 1:09, 1:10, 1:10, 1:07

Thursday & Friday’s runs were kept super easy. I was still a bit tired and my leg was still bothering me a bit. Thankfully (and knock on wood) it was feeling a bit better by the end of the run on Friday and it seems to be improving. I've been wearing my compression socks around the house and that seems to be helping as well. Foam rolled quite a bit in hopes that would also aid the recovery. Not sure what I’ve done to it!

Saturday – Patrick Henry Half Marathon disaster. I run the Patrick Henry Half Marathon every year. I've done every one since the inaugural in 2007 (and have done 2 while pregnant!) and I wasn't going to miss this one even though it was during the first week of my training and I knew I wasn't in racing shape. I had sent a message to my coach to ask him what I should aim to do (time-wise) for the race. I had been thinking for weeks that I'd use this race as a training run and maybe throw in a few miles at goal pace (6:50ish?). However, he sent me a text back saying that he thought I should take it easy for the first two miles (7-7:10) and then pick it up to 6:50s through mile 7, then 6:40s on in for around a 1:28 total time. When I got that note, I pretty much FREAKED OUT a little bit. I wrote back - "That's FAST" and he said that's where he thought I was at this point. On one hand, it was great that he had the confidence, but on the other hand, I'd been feeling tired and run down all week, the beach vacation in the previous week had really left me with dead legs, and I'd done two body pump classes, two core classes, and would hit 70 miles for the week. In any case, I spent the rest of the day (after getting his text) frantically trying to carb load and convince my mind that my tired body could handle that pace in the morning. I slept ok, but my right quad was still sore and I was still feeling "blah". I ate my usual bagel, but then instead of a serving of Hammer Perpetum, I tried some Generation UCAN. I also had some Gatorade. Got to the start early, then used the restroom and warmed up for 2 miles. I did 2 strides and the quad didn't seem to be too bad, so that was encouraging. I took a gel about 15 minutes before the start. I changed into my lighter shoes (the New Balance 980s) and went to use the restroom one more time. Unfortunately, the lines were CRAZY long and I ended up having to run way over in another area and use the park bathroom - I barely made it to the start! I lined up and didn't have anyone to run with but didn't stress - I figured I'd hook up with some folks on the run. The conditions were pretty spectacularly awful. It was 71 degrees at the start, and the dew point was 70. 96% humidity. After the gun went off, I tried to settle into a nice rhythm. There were quite a few ladies in front of me which was both encouraging, and intimidating. I ran a 6:55 first mile - not quite the 7-7:10 I had planned, but it felt okay, if a bit on the tougher side. Second mile was 6:53. After this one I quickly figured out that I was JUST NOT FEELING IT. I was already tired and wanting this to end and I hadn't even gotten to mile 3. I figured I'd slow down a tiny bit since I had started a bit fast, and then get my legs under me and pick it back up. Mile 3 was 7:04. When I hit mile 3 and began struggling to hold a 7 minute pace, I knew it was just not going to be my day. I struggled in my head between pushing hard despite feeling like death so as not to let my coach down, and knowing that I kind of had the deck stacked against me for this race (too ambitious/too last-minute of a goal, tired legs and body, terribly humid conditions, hilly course). Ended up convincing myself that I would just slow down to long run pace and run it in that way - the new game became keeping it under 7:30 pace - but that was challenging too. I ended up keeping it under 7:30s the whole time (avg. 7:15) but I felt pretty miserable the entire race. My stomach was a mess and I couldn’t take my gel as I’d planned. (Not sure if the Generation UCAN was the issue or if it was just related to female monthly issues. Fun times.) I kept beating myself up for not pushing harder, but just was so tired and couldn't summon the energy to pick up the pace any further. I had NO ONE around me - I was all alone for almost the entire race unless I was passing someone or being passed. I did pick up the pace a tiny bit in the last mile (after the giant hill) and kicked it in for the finish. I was bummed to be so far off my goal, but thought that others from my group might have had the same fate. I found out, they were only a minute or so off the times they wanted. Lots of lessons learned for me, and I know that this is not my "A" race - it's actually not even a tune-up race for me. Plus a tired body, the worst portion of the lovely female hormonal shifts and massive humidity made for a tougher race. But it's done and I'm going to keep plugging away and hope that as the season goes on, my hard work will pay off. 
Splits: 6:55, 6:53, 7:04, 7:12, 7:12, 7:25, 7:18, 7:21, 7:15, 7:29, 7:09, 7:24, 7:06, 6:xx (Forgot to stop garmin)

Sunday: Got up super early as I was staying in D.C. with family to cheer on my relatives as they completed a neighborhood triathlon this morning! I had a hard time shoving my poor blistered feet (two massive blood blisters) into my shoes. My quad was still a bit sore, but more concerning was my left leg that hurt near my posterior tib with every step. Even though I was keeping it at a super-easy pace, my leg still bothered me. At times it almost felt like I had to limp a bit. I stopped and stretched and it improved, so I kept going but very, very easy. Stopped at 6 since I didn't want to push it. (had 8 on the schedule) An hour or so after my early morning recovery run, it was time to cheer on the triathletes! I ended up pacing my sister (and then later my aunt) during their run portions of the tri! It was a 5k run portion so I picked them up after transition and ran part of the course with them. They were so grateful for the company and I was so happy to be able to run with my family! Thankfully my leg felt a lot better (I'd stretched/massaged it while we were watching the swim/bike portions) and it didn't hurt as much on these runs. Fingers crossed it feels better on tomorrow's 10 miler. If it doesn't improve, I'll be taking Tuesday off.

Up Next: Higher mileage (?) and what the heck is going on with my leg?

Unfortunately, the week ended on a bit of a rough note with a less-than-spectacular race-turned-long-run and then a possible injury.   Ugh! Here’s hoping the following week will be better.

That was my training week in review – how was your week?