This week I had a couple really tough workouts, including what I can call my worst run of this whole training cycle. I attribute this to the fact that I've had a lot of personal life stress happen and it seeped into my running. I am a mom, first and foremost, and when things are not right for my kids, they aren't right for me. That's just the way it is. My middle kid had some terrible things happen to him at school last week. The kids that did it were foolish enough to record themselves doing it on an iPhone and then pass it around. That video is now in the hands of the police. It's just been a whirlwind of awful. And that's all I'm really going to get into since this will become a legal matter and may end up on the news.
So, let's get to the running and other workouts of the week, ok?
Monday: Strength & Core workouts. I love these. This was my only scheduled day of strength this week since I had a long week of running. It may be the start of cutting down to 1 strength day per week from here out as well. We will see.
Tuesday: I got to run on the North Shore Trail, clear and ice free and gorgeous for the first time in ages! I was so happy just to be out there this run sailed by. 7 mile recovery run with the last .75 mi being a progression of 30 sec strides. Amazing!
Wednesday: The tempo run. I've read several accounts of people using this training plan who claim that this particular run is the hardest in the whole plan. Harder than the long runs, harder than the intervals. And you know, I will agree with that. BUT... I don't think I needed to psych myself out as much as I did about it. I got it done. This was an 11 mile run made up of 2 miles of easy warmup, 7 miles tempo and 2 miles of cooldown. Was it hard? Absolutely. Am I glad this is the last tempo run of the training cycle? You better believe it. But, I completely crushed this run, all tempo miles were paced well, I got to enjoy the North Shore Trail again, and the weather was perfect. Aside from almost stepping on a huge dead rat, this was a great run. Very hard... but successful.
I did some yoga later in the day.
Thursday: REST DAY! I really needed it too after Wednesday's hard effort.
Friday: On the schedule was a 12 mile medium-long run. My schedule was crazy, and included meetings with school officials, etc, so I wasn't able to get this run going until afternoon. I was concerned about being under-fueled at this point, but you do what you have to do, right? I have to work the running around "real life".. So I made myself feel better by putting on my favorite running skirt and heading to the trail in nearly 60 degree temps. The run went well, for the most part, but I did feel the effects of running later than usual even though my pace/heart rate didn't reflect it.
Saturday: 5 mile recovery run. Usually I enjoy these nice and easy runs. Not this time. After a decent start I just seemed to fall apart in every way. I couldn't keep a decent cadence, everything felt "off", I started having random aches and pains - especially bad in one knee, I started breathing heavily and the last mile my heart rate just spiked and I had to slow way down to recover... during a recovery run. It was frustrating, demoralizing, and totally threw me. I questioned everything from my sanity and wellbeing to my ability to run the next day, ability to run the marathon, I wondered if I was injured, I reflected on all the crap laid on me this week... It wasn't good. I came home, tried to relax, iced all the places I felt bad. I really contemplated ditching my Sunday run. I did some yoga and it felt ok. I carb loaded as usual.
Sunday: I rolled out of bed and felt pretty good. I didn't seem to have any issues as I walked around the house, did some drills in the kitchen (yes, I'm a weirdo), and tested things out. So, I slowly got myself together physically and mentally and figured I'd give the run an honest effort. I knew I'd kick myself in the ass if I didn't even try. I wanted to do this run on my old MCM long run route (figuring I'd get 3 varied 20 milers this training cycle - 1 North Park, 1 personal favorite, and 1 city streets/marathon course run). I started on the North Shore Trail in Millvale, and went from there. I took it easy on myself the first couple of miles - kept the heart rate at the low end. There were tons of other runners out, which was nice to see. Right by PNC park, the river was flowing over the trail, so I had to turn around, go up the steps and then run up General Robinson. That was actually cool to see. Anyway, I made it up to Western Ave and then onto the West End bridge and then carried on as usual.. I love this route and was feeling great! A couple of times I glanced at my average pace in disbelief but I kept my eye on my heart rate and ran accordingly. I've detailed the route many times (including most recently on DailyMile), so I won't bore you with it, but it truly is my favorite. I really only started getting a little tired during that last mile and I think that's because during mile 19 I started bawling like a baby because one of my favorite songs came on (Hole - Letter To God), coupled with the fact I was blowing off all the stress.. So there I was running and crying and laughing. I can get delirious when I run long... haha. But when all was said and done I felt like I could have kept going, and at the end of a 20 - that's a GREAT thing. The best part was not having a single pain or nag the whole time. I didn't even have to stop and stretch (although I did a bit at a short stoplight by Hot Metal).
Total Running Workouts: 5 - 1 recovery + strides, 1 recovery, 1 tempo, 1 medium-long, 1 long
Total Strength Workouts: 1, as planned.
Nutrition this week: I did much better this week. I did "celebrate" Pi day in a major way with both pecan and very berry pies, but I did a lot of shopping and prep work at the beginning of the week to always have healthy meals on hand (or at least made quickly).