The Rosy Wanderer

Wandering with a Purpose

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 17

The last training week before marathon day! I look back on where I started on Week 1 and can’t believe I’m actually here.

Monday

Something I really need to focus on is finding a strength routine that I will actually do. Why do I hate doing it so much?! Sigh…no workout again.

Tuesday

I finished my 4 scheduled miles at 11:07/mile pace, and I felt really good.

Wednesday

Today was rough. I was supposed to do 6 miles, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I went out and got in 3 at a 12:15/mile pace. While I’m happy I did something, I was really frustrated with myself for not being able to commit to doing all 6. What if I “wasn’t feeling it” on race day? That night I read about running mindset because I have been feeling really nervous. This was helpful and tried to get me to think more positively.

Thursday

Since I had 3 on the schedule today, I did the 6 that I should have completed yesterday. This went well and I averaged an 11:07/mile pace. I was pleased with this and happy to see trying to change my mindset was helping.

Friday

Today I did get in some bodyweight exercises and stretching, but nothing serious.

Schatzi checking out my results

Saturday

This was my last long run before race day. It’s hard to believe 8 miles seemed daunting at the beginning of my training, and now it was a lower mileage day. I averaged 8 miles at a 12:00/mile pace. Not sure why this was the first time, but I tried a 60/30 run/walk style which worked out well. I felt strong and somewhat consistent, so I think this is what I am going to do for marathon day. I felt like I could probably sustain that for a good period of time.

Sunday

I rode my bike but otherwise took the day easy. Trying to make sure I don’t get hurt before the big day which is in ONE WEEK!

Summary

I can’t believe next week is race week. I’ve been stressing a lot about the race and worrying, but bottom line is, I have worked hard for this. Even though I am nervous, I am excited and that is what I need to focus on. This is such an opportunity. An opportunity that was taken away last year, and I don’t want to waste the opportunity again. It’s such a unique experience to run a World Major Marathon and the Chicago Marathon.

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 16

We’re down to the tail end of training. It’s the first week of tapering and quite a disappointing week for me. Trying to stay focused on being healthy, staying strong, and prepping for the big weekend.

Monday

Another strength day that I was determined to do. I did a short yoga stretch workout on Apple Fitness, but that was about it. I didn’t even close my rings. This continues to be a struggle that I need to figure out.

Tuesday

This is where the week really went south. I had 5 miles on the schedule and laid out my clothes the night before; I was ready to tackle all of my runs this week. Unfortunately, I got about two miles in, and I couldn’t ignore the pain. More than a goal of getting my runs in is making sure I’m healthy when I get to the start line. I’ve struggled with back pain and spasms for years. The Sunday or Monday I was supposed to leave for Florida for Dopey 2020, I had a spasm start which caused me to walk most of the 48.6-mile challenge – not what I wanted at all!

For this reason, I shortened my distance to 3 miles and walked the remainder. My new goal was to reduce the spasms to make sure it didn’t get any worse. This is a combination of stretching, icing, Biofreeze, and moving slowly.

Wednesday

Needless to say, my 8 miles was a no-go. My back still had sharp pains. I spent the morning trying to stretch and do light core workouts. This pain could be avoided if I would do yoga and strengthen my core. It all comes back to this – why do I avoid it! I was really nervous and mad at myself since it was a beautiful fall morning.

Thursday

Still trying to be gentle, I didn’t go out for my 4-mile run but did a light walk on my 1.5-mile path. It went okay, and it was a nice morning. I iced my back and continued to stretch and do my core exercises. Even though I did an Epsom salt path after my 20-mile run on Sunday, I’m sure this flare-up was from that and not stretching enough. I vowed to myself that I would take strength training and core work more seriously. If I want to keep running and get better this MUST be part of my routine.

Friday

The sharp pain was gone when I woke up on Friday, so I decided to try to get my 4 miles in from yesterday. I told myself I must walk and call it short if the pain came back. Luckily, it didn’t, but I knew I needed to move slowly. Because of the beautiful weather, I averaged an 11:33/mile pace and kept my heart rate to 156 BPM. I did some core exercises and stretching when I got home. I wanted to make sure I was feeling good for Sunday’s 15K + 3 miles.

Saturday

It was such a beautiful day, and I didn’t have any plans for the day! The pups and I had a lazy morning. I read an article in Runner’s World about Ryan and Sara Hall. Sara will be racing the 2020 Chicago Marathon, so I will be at the same race as her! She was interviewed on a podcast I listened to a few weekends ago and I instantly liked her. This article made me like them even more – they are a Christian couple who are complete rockstars in the running community. What wonderful role models! Who knows, maybe I will even pass them in person on race weekend!

Sunday

As part of my training, I researched races I could do to make my long runs more entertaining. One I found is an annual race the Lake Norman 15K and 5K. It takes place in Cornelius, NC, and is one I have tried to do in the past. Today, I had twelve miles on the training schedule, so it worked out perfectly. I did 1.6 miles before the race, about 9.3 miles for the race, and finished with a final mile. Read my race recap to hear how it went!

Other Updates

Bib and beanie for the Abbott Chicago 5K

The race keeps seeming more real! On Thursday I got my bib and fun beanie in the mail for the Abbot Chicago 5K, which I plan on doing the Saturday before the marathon. I love this hat and absolutely cannot wait to get there for race weekend! During my research, I decided to book an architecture river tour for after the 5K. Time is getting close, so I need to finalize my itinerary!

Race Recap: 2021 Novant Lake Norman 15K & 5K

The Novant Health Lake Norman 15K and 5K was held on September 26 and is an annual race as part of the Charlotte 6 Pack Race Series. This was my first time running this race, and it was my first 15K. Automatic PR! I signed up for this as part of my Week 16 long run of 12 miles. I thought this would be a great way to make my last double-digit run of the Chicago Marathon training season more exciting.

The Course

The race takes place in Cornelius where you run through the Peninsula, an upscale community on Lake Norman. In addition to running through the neighborhood, you run through Jetton Park. The views are nice and peaceful, but the course is incredibly hilly! There are very few flat stretches.

Run Flat for NH 15K

The Race

There weren’t a ton of people signed up for the race, but it was still a good crowd. This makes me nervous because I don’t want to come in last place and have the event crew wait for me. My goal going into this was to be slow and steady. I needed to get the miles in and feel good about it.

The first three miles were great. I felt fantastic. It was a beautiful, almost chilly morning. We ran on the road and through the park. I opted to just run and see how I felt instead of doing a formalized run/walk pattern. (Spoiler alert: this was a mistake!) The next three miles involved walking, but I hung around an 11:22/mile pace. Then I got to a huge hill around mile 6.5. It was so big that I couldn’t run. It was a walk…and walk…and walk. I really felt tired around mile 7 and wondered if the race would ever end. Mile 8 was along the main road, so it was pretty boring. I just did a run-walk until I face another HUGE hill. Finally, I got to mile 9, rounded the corner and saw the finish line. I was done!

Other Details

When this race was originally planned, it was going to be virtual. I signed up in September when I noticed it was in person. Even though it was in person, they gave you your medal when you picked up your shirt. There was something really anti-climatic about already having your medal and then crossing the finish line and not getting one. I brought it with me and snapped a shot.

Instead of a race shirt, they had these GREAT zip-ups. This may be one of my new favorite shirts. It’s so comfortable. I’m going to wear it when I go to Chicago next month.

Me with my medal

In Conclusion

This is definitely a race I would do again to see if I could improve my time. I finished it in 1:46:20 with an average mile of 11:23. 15K is a challenging but attainable distance.

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 15

The race is getting closer, and I feel it getting more and more real. This week was “peak week” where I would complete my first 40-mile week and finish a 20 mile run. While I had slacked the last few weeks, I was determined to complete all 40 miles this week. I’m excited about the race, but I’m definitely nervous. This was like the last night to study before a big exam…YIKES!

Monday

Even though I had good intentions for the week, I went on a bike ride but didn’t do an actual strength workout. I had a lot of fun on my bike, so I need to keep doing that going forward – it’s hard!

Tuesday

I ran 5 miles with my neighbor doing a little bit of a speed workout. I still only averaged a 12:05/mile pace, but I was running at a 9 minute or below pace for my 0.25 mile sprints (then walking for recovery).

  • 1.5 mile warm up
  • 0.25 mile sprint / 0.25 recovery walk (repeat this until mile 4)
  • 1 mile steady to finish

Wednesday

Of all the runs on the training plan, this was one of the top three that made me nervous; the other two were the 18 mile and 20 mile runs. For many of these Wednesday semi-long runs, I think the mental hurdle may have been the hardest. This one, 10 miles, was quite daunting. I laid out my clothes the night before, had a plan, and made sure to get out the door on time. I just had a Honey Stinger waffle beforehand then took two Huma gels at miles 4 and 7.

In the end, I did my 5-mile run twice. My average pace was 12:08/mile, which is pretty good. Doing loops of my common paths has been really helpful for me. I think it helps to take the mental hurdle away.

Churchill and me before his haircut

Thursday

When I went downstairs on Thursday, I was dressed and ready to go. I opened up the door to take out the dogs and…it was raining! Such a bummer. I just couldn’t bring myself to run 5 miles, so I snuggled with the pups instead before they haircut.

Friday

As I mentioned, I was determined to complete all 40 miles this week. I got out early on Friday morning and did a 5-mile hill workout. I hadn’t done a hill workout in a long time, but I felt great! Even with a hill workout, I beat all of my other paces this week. This run was done at an average of 11:49/mile, which made me really happy.

Saturday

This ended up being a hangout day. I paddle boarded for a while, which was great exercise, but otherwise, was pretty lazy.

Sunday

Planning

20 Miles. The most scary run on the training schedule. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew I had to finish it. The furthest I had trained in my two previous marathons was 18 miles for the 2018 Disney Marathon and 16 for Dopey 2020. I never completed my training plan, and I was never confident at the start of the race. Even if it took me all day and I had to walk the entire way, I was going to finish 20 mile milestone.

I think one of the best things I learned during this training cycle is planning out my running path. It’s daunting to say “I’m going to run 20 miles” and not know how far that is. I’ve enjoyed doing loops of my common routes, and I feel like this has mentally made longer distances easier. So, all week I toyed with doing 4 loops of my 5 mile path or doing 3 of my 6 mile route with an extra two. In the end, I opted for the latter.

The Run

This proved to be very effective. I went out at 6:20 am knowing it would take me around 4 hours to finish. Having a realistic time in my head also helped with the mental challenge of running. I lined up podcasts from Bigger Pockets, Dave Ramsey, Marathon Training Academy, For the Long Run, and I’ll Have Another. Podcasts are a great source of information and inspiration, and best of all, they are FREE! Listening to Trevor from Marathon Training Academy discuss his grueling marathon in the Italian Alps was very entertaining as I attempted my own grueling workout. I discovered running podcasts a few months ago, and it has challenged me to think differently about my running, much like running blogs did at the beginning of this training cycle.

Each lap was hard, but I kept going. I got really tired in the middle, but was able to stay strong at the end of my final lap. In the end, I averaged a 12:43/mile pace, which I was very pleased with. I was most happy that I finished my 20 mile training run and that I got in the miles!

Looking Ahead

This was the final high-mileage week. Tappering starts now, and I’m only 3 weeks away from the big day. An exciting update from the week was that Chicago Marathon put out the participant’s guide, which was my bedtime reading Thursday night. It’s becoming more and more real! Time to focus and start my visualization exercise from my first marathon to think about how I will feel at each stage of the race.

2021 Chicago Marathon Course Map

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 14

Another training week is done, and this week marked 30 days left in the countdown and less than 1 month to go. I’m getting really nervous, but I am just trying to stay focused. I got in most of my runs but came up 4 miles short because of my Sunday long run.

Monday

This was a pretty lazy day, and I didn’t even close my rings. No strength training again…sigh.

Tuesday

My neighbor came out with me to run 5 miles. It was a really great run! We walked a few times, but I averaged an 11:34/mile pace. The weather was a bit humid but nowhere near where it was.

Wednesday

Today was supposed to be 9 miles. I went out and got in 0.5 miles before I heard thunder. I changed my mind to do another 5 until I saw lightning. I’m trying to push myself to run in the rain, but storms are a no-go. I turned around getting 1 in. Then I looked at the weather and decided to finish the remaining 4 in the evening. My average pace was slow at 12:51/mile.

Even though I finished the miles, I was reminded why I run in the morning and not the evening. It was so hard to fall asleep!

Thursday

I had to get my 9 miles in; I didn’t want to, but I’m too close to race day, and there would be a lot of regret if I didn’t. Things were going okay until I took my gel around mile 4…and it was a major malfunction! Usually, I eat a little then hold it before taking some more. Unfortunately, I must have squeezed it, and Huma apples and cinnamon was all over my hand, and watch! I tried to wash off by dumping water from my water bottle, but I was nervous about ruining my watch. I kept on going until mile 5 or something. When I looked down, I had forgotten to restart my watch from the fiasco! I was deflated. I finished the 5.5 miles but went home to clean my watch and call it a day.

Then I saw my training plan on the fridge. I NEEDED to get my 9 miles in! It was only 3.5 miles. Even though I was frustrated, I knew I would be more upset to not finish it. I would regret it later. So I went. And I finished. I’m proud of myself for sticking it out and doing so many miles on a weekday. Also, my watch seems to be okay.

Friday

It was an early morning for travel to Denver. Needless to say, there was no strength training. I did get some walking in, but nothing strenuous.

Saturday

I walked around Denver for some morning exercise. It was about 5 miles overall, and a nice way to see the city.

Sunday

I was supposed to run 14 miles. This would be my first run at altitude, so I needed to make sure to take it slowly. I wasn’t sure how I would feel, and I didn’t want to get stuck somewhere. My friend told me to make sure to drink a lot of water, which I could do because I remembered my water bottle!

The Airbnb was not far from City Park, which is a large park in the middle of Denver and where the marathon/half marathon starts and finishes. It’s also where the Denver Zoo is; this reminded me a lot of Central Park Zoo, even though I didn’t get to go inside. It’s not a large zoo, but it has smaller animals and was advertising a new penguin exhibit. I wish I could have arranged this in my itinerary.

Anyway, back to the run. Jetlag and me being an early bird had me waiting for the sun to come out so I could go out. This was around 6:30 am, and it was a beautiful morning! The sunrise appeared over the golf course, and there was a slight chill in the air. I kept to a sub-13 pace, which was feeling like a nice, gentle trot. Then I just wandered. Eventually, I came across Ferrell Lake, and wow. Just wow. “Purple mountain majesty above the fruited plain” was shown in the distance. I took a lot of pictures but had to sit with it for a while. It was just too unbelievable. Probably the prettiest sight I have seen on a run.

I felt fine, but eventually, I ran out of water. That I felt and it did not feel good. I cut my run short at 10 miles. It was a bummer and probably not the right thing to do so close to race day, but I couldn’t keep going. I really needed water. I had to walk the last mile.

Always Remember

Yesterday, several people posted a 9.11 mile run in memory of the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I paused and said a prayer when I reached this distance. It’s so important for us to remember the fear that was created that day and the unity and pride that came from it. We are Americans, and we are strong.

Summary

There are only 4 weeks until race day. Next week is my peak week, and I am getting really nervous. I don’t feel like I’m in good shape, but I know I’m better than when I started. Trying to stay the course. Here’s to 4 more weeks!

Race Recap: 2021 Around the Crown 10K

This is my second time running this race. This is such a well-run race and has a cool concept. The highlight for ATC10K is that you get to run on I-277 which is Charlotte’s inner belt. The views are awesome and it is just funny to run on a big highway. 

I achieved a PR when I did this race in 2019. I knew I wanted to do it again, but I was pleased that it fell on my 18-mile training date. When I got down to thinking about logistics, I wasn’t sure how to fit 18 miles in around it. ATC10K had an 8 am start time. Ultimately, I decided to run 12 miles the day before and then do my 10K the next day. I’m not sure if this is okay for marathon training, but I decided to go with it and then just make a good effort at the 10K. 

The Expo

The race is held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend which is a paid because the expo was Saturday and no bin pickup on Sunday. If you want to do something else that weekend, it is difficult to get your bib. I went to the expo at Camp North End towards the end on Saturday. I’m not a fan of Camp North End, so I may be biased when I say it was just annoying. They planned other activities and such, but I must have arrived at a bad time. To support some of the local restaurants there, they have everyone a token for $5, but most of the food stalls were closed. I got my bib and shirt, and after exploring for a little, decided I was just going to leave. You also get a NoDa beer with a custom can. I’m not a big beer drinker, but I love when they do this!

Course map for 2021 ATC10K

Race day was really well organized. Lots of porta-potties. Music was playing. Started at First Ward Park. The weather was lovely. Since I would be done by 9 am, I left my hat at home. This was definitely a mistake. I was really nervous but just aiming to be slow and steady. Ideally, I would run most of it, if not all, but I knew there was a killer hill around mile 4.

The Race

I listened to a Bigger Pockets podcast and just went. We ran through Uptown, past the Knights and Panthers stadiums before making our way down the ramp to 277. I was feeling really good, so I had to really watch my pace to not go too fast. I needed to save my energy to the end. Every time I looked down, I was below an 11-mile pace, which made me nervous. 

Once I was on 277, I laughed. It is so funny to run on a big road like that. Totally different perspective when you’re not in a car. You notice things you wouldn’t normally notice. The views are pretty since Charlotte has such a pretty skyline. When you make your way around the city, you start to feel the hills. I had to walk for a little after the 3-mile marker then kept going steady until the BIG hill. This hill is just awful and it’s long. Once I passed that, I resumed my run and just kept going. About 5.5 miles in, I knew I was going to finish and have a decent time. It was time to stop holding back my speed. I ran the rest well and sprinted once I saw the finish line. I felt so strong! Man, was I proud of myself!

When I looked down to stop my watch it said 1:06 something. If that was true, I thought it could be a PR. I didn’t confirm before but I thought my 10K best was 1:08 something which I earned at the 2019 Around the Crown 10K. I couldn’t wait to get home to check. (Spoiler alert, I did PR!) My official time was 1:06:51.

In Summary

The thing that makes me most excited is how good I felt. I wasn’t too tired. I felt strong. It was night and day from the Emerald City Half (which was also half the distance). I’ll continue to do this race in the future. It was such a good time and a really fun course to run. The race organizers do a wonderful job. It would be cool to see them host another race in Charlotte. 

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 13

Monday

Didn’t do a strength workout…again!

Tuesday

A solid 4.5 mile run today. Average pace of 12:41/mile

Wednesday

I didn’t run today. It was raining, and I just couldn’t think about doing 9.

Thursday

9 miles on a weekday – this run was a major accomplishment! This is as much of a mental hurdle as it is a physical one. I did the run at an 11:51/mile pace.

Friday

1.5 miles. Just wasn’t feeling it…I couldn’t get myself to do the 5 miles the training plan had scheduled.

Saturday

My training plan called for an 18-mile run this weekend. I went back and forth on this a lot. I’m not sure if it was the right thing to do, but ultimately, I decided to run 12 miles today and race my 10K on Sunday. It was tricky to figure out how to get 18 miles in with the race on Sunday starting at 8 am.

I felt good about this run which I did doing a 3/1 run/walk pattern and averaged a 12:09/mile pace. Afterward, I even played 15 holes of golf before having to leave to get to the expo before it closed.

Sunday

Today was the big day! I was really excited about this race. The Around the Crown 10K is a really run event. The weather was great (even though I should have brought a hat because it was sunny!) I felt good and strong during the race which resulted in a new PR for a 10K. Read my race recap for more information.

Summary

Overall, I am proud of my performance this week. I PRed the 10K and completed my first 9-mile run on a weekday. I’d say that’s pretty good!

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Weeks 9-12

While I continued with my training plan, these weeks really got lost for both training and blogging. I’m not going to go into a summary of all of the runs, but a few highlights are:

  • Humidity was a killer
  • I was feeling really discouraged. My runs weren’t feeling good.
  • It ended up becoming a blurr

Weekly Breakdown

  • Week 9 – August 2
    • Tuesday 3 miles
    • Wednesday 7 miles
    • Thursday 4 miles
    • Sunday 10 miles
  • Week 10 – August 9
    • Tuesday 3 miles
    • Wednesday 7 miles (only did tomorrow’s 4 because of scheduling)
    • Thurday 4 miles (only did 6 from Wednesday’s schedule)
    • Sunday 15 miles
  • Week 11 – August 16
    • Tuesday 4 miles
    • Wednesday 8 miles (I didn’t get these in)
    • Thursday 4 miles (did 6 to try to make up from yesterday)
    • Sunday 16 miles (did 3 miles in the morning before the Emerald City Half Marathon)
  • Week 12 – August 23
    • Tuesday 4 miles (I was traveling and didn’t get these in)
    • Wednesday 8 miles (I was traveling and didn’t get these in)
    • Thurdsay 5 miles (felt really good to run again!)
    • Sunday 12 miles

Race Recap: 2021 Emerald City Half Marathon

To make my long runs a little more palpable and fun, I researched and found several races that overlapped. I looked for races in NC, but we don’t have a lot of long ones in the summer because it is so hot. My brother lives in Ohio, so I looked there, and low-and-behold, I found a half marathon that fell on my 16-mile day

The Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon and 5K are hosted in Dublin, Ohio. From what I hear, this usually falls during the Irish festival, but that wasn’t held this year because of Covid. I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than that it should be a flat race. 

Event communication was fair. They sent a few emails that had a ton of information. It was a lot to process but eventually, I took it all in. I wasn’t familiar with the city so I didn’t understand the reference points. 

The course was great. It was flat and very scenic. There were a lot of water stops which were desperately needed with the heat. 

course map of 2021 Emerald City Half Marathon

Miles 1-3

The race started out well. We ran through a cute downtown before going on some rural streets and neighborhoods. I ran with my brother (who was doing the 5K) before he split off after the first mile. Then I was on my own. I was staying at a steady pace and taking in my surroundings. 

Miles 3-7

I didn’t realize it, but we would spend the majority of the course on a trail. I really enjoyed this and thought it made for a pretty run. I was feeling okay at this point, but just trying to stay steady on my 3/1 run/walk pace. 

Miles 7-10

I really started slowing down. My walk breaks got longer here, but I kept trying to get into a run. 

Miles 10-13.1

WALL! The only way to describe the rest of my race. I hit a hard wall and couldn’t recover. It got really hot and humid. I was getting water to drink and pour in my head at every stop. I would try to run for short periods but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I always try to run over the finish line and while I feel like I tried, I’m sure it wasn’t a real run. My official time was 2:40:09, which averaged out to a 12:14/mile pace.

When I finished, I collapsed. I got my medal and a bottle of water. The volunteers handed out an ice-cold towel, which was AMAZING! I looking for a spot to sit and sat on the ground. I needed time to recover and process what happened. I felt miserable. I worked to get my water down and enjoyed the relief from my towel. After a bit, I made my way to find a banana and my brother. 

Conclusion

Even though I crashed hard, I am proud of myself. I ran this after running 3 miles earlier in the morning. If you take my first 13 of the day, I did really well. The heat/humidity has been affecting me a lot and very badly; this race was no exception. The race organizers did a great job making sure there were plenty of water stops and the cold towel at the end was such a treat! I probably would have gone faster if I knew that was waiting! 😀

2021 Chicago Marathon: Training Week 8

Much like last week, this week was a struggle. I felt frustrated and discouraged on many of my runs, but I’m just trying to focus on completing the miles on my marathon training schedule. Supposedly, I am getting stronger with every workout, but I feel like I’m getting worse. Just get in the miles…

Monday

Pure Barre on Monday night was great. Good workout and a big check on the plan to start the week.

cat stop

Tuesday

Three-mile run was the scheduled run on Tuesday. My plan was to do a heart rate run, which got thrown off because of this cat! I kept pausing my watch because it was following me and eventually I messed up and hit stop not pause! I probably did this is a 12:30-ish pace with an average HR in the 140s, which is good. Thankfully, the cat has a home.

beautiful sunrise
One of my favorite things about running in the morning is seeing the sunrise. God’s artwork.
check off the last 6 mile Wednesday run

Wednesday

My last 6-mile Wednesday run! It was a struggle, but I somehow did it an 11:56/mile pace with an average HR of 155, so I was very pleased with this. What I was NOT pleased about is forgetting my Apple Watch on the charger, so I didn’t get my stands for the day! Super bummer.

Thursday

Another 3-miler focusing on HR. Finished at 11:58/mile and an average HR of 141, which is right on target. I feel like I’m getting slower, but I’m hoping it’s just the humidity.

Friday

My standard 6 AM Pure Barre class went well. I’m not sure I’m getting any stronger though. I’m able to do some things better, but I’m just not sure how it’s impacting my running.

Saturday

I went on a short walk and then to Pure Barre. Not quite the cross-training I should do, I just wasn’t in the mood to do much else. I meant to do a workout on my Apple app, but I didn’t quite get there. I did take a non-recorded 30-minute walk with one of my Wag! dogs, which was hot but nice, and made $17 in the process. Sweet!

Sunday

Long-run day was so hard. I’ve had a chance to relax a few hours before writing this since I really needed it. It was so frustrating and gave me a lot of doubts as to whether I am going to be able to pull off this marathon. Long runs are the foundation of marathon training, and while not the singularly most important thing, a very important part of marathon training. Today was 13 miles (I made it 13.1 so I could officially call it halfway) which takes me back down to the river to start the south side of the course. I finished the route with 13.1 miles at a 13:06/mile pace and an average HR of 154 BPM.

It’s frustrating because I am sticking to my training plan. I’ve done almost every run and this week was hard. Just hard and awful. I left the house at 6 am since it was in the low 70s but the humidity was over 90%. My first 8 miles or so went well keeping my run 3 min/walk 1 min cycle. I had an Huma gel around mile 3.5. It was definitely getting warmer around mile 7 and my route wasn’t very shady. It was time for my treat of Clif Blocks around mile 7.5 and wasn’t too long after that when I couldn’t maintain my run/walk pattern.

I walked with a few run spurts before I made it back to my house around mile 9. It was necessary to refill my water bottle but had to tell myself not to sit down. The AC when I entered was glorious! Even though the pups wanted scratches, I couldn’t stay. The next mile was meh, as I did run some, but after mile 10, I was done. I kept saying “just get in the miles. It’s okay if you walk. Try to speed walk like Savannah Half Marathon.” It was miserable!

Reflection

When I got back home, I sat on my yoga mat looking like I had gone swimming. My adorable dogs just wanted some loving and snuggled even though I had to be very smelly. After a shower, protein shake (which I forced since it’s supposed to be good to have protein after a run), and catnap, I started to feel better. Online church was greatly appreciated, as I was in no mood to go anywhere.

One of my friends responded to my Instagram story to tell me good job. I told him how discouraged I felt, and he reminded me to keep going and that it will pay off. Hot, humid runs are hard. He said, “a bad workout is a trillion times better than not doing it.” It was what I needed to hear to start week 9 training.

Week 9 is my halfway point. The mileage is going to increase and things are about to get hard. Part of training s mental. I just need to stick with it and have confidence this training plan will prepare me for marathon day.

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