Wow! We are more than halfway through this thing…which means the distances are getting daunting, the time spent pounding the pavement is adding up, and the weeks are flying by.
This week was capped off by a very humbling long run. Here’s a look:
Christopher and I planned to do yoga together, but we skipped it in favor of a cozy night in. I hustled through this quick workout, just to get in a little something.
- Tuesday: 3-mile run – 27:22/9:07 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.
It got pretty chilly again this week, so I hit the gym for this run. I wanted this to be somewhat of a speed workout, so I started at 5.8 mph and increased the speed every 0.15 miles, then brought it back down. I was flyin’, especially for a treadmill run.
- Wednesday: Zumba – 40 min. Two YouTube videos, including this one. Completed after the girls were asleep.
The girls are sick again (runny noses, mostly), so we stayed home instead of going to the gym.
I knew cross-training was in order, so I browsed Zumba videos on YouTube. I got about halfway through a 45-minute class, but I could no longer follow along well enough. I did a 20-minute routine, and I loved it – much more my style and much more similar to the dances from class.
(My poor pinkie toe has developed its permanent marathon-training blister.)
- Thursday: 7-mile run – 7.28 miles, 1:12:56, 10:01 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 12:30 p.m.
It was pretty chilly again and very windy, but I was not about to pound the treadmill for a 7-mile run.
I ran the local trails again, west toward the Dillon Home, across the Sinnissippi Dam to Rock Falls, and south along the Hennepin Canal. I got about 6 minutes into my run before I noticed my RunKeeper app was set to stopwatch mode, rather than GPS mode. I switched modes, and I pressed on.
The first few miles proved to be pretty fast, despite the wind and a somewhat upset stomach (Note to self: Do not eat a snack immediately before heading out the door.) with splits of 9:33, 9:20, and 9:47*.
The next few miles were much slower with splits of 10:47, 10:25, and 10:55*. I stopped to walk to catch my breath and to cough and clear my throat. I also slowed a bit on some hills; downhills on the way there turn into uphills on the way back.
*GPS mode tracks splits, so these do not include the 0.65-mile jaunt in stopwatch mode.
I again skipped class in favor of not completely ripping apart my muscles ahead of a long run.
- Saturday: 15-mile run – 15.07 miles, 2:42:41, 10:48 pace. Completed while the girls took their afternoon nap, about 1 p.m.
It’s getting real, y’all. Fifteen miles. It seems so possible: It’s just three 5-mile runs. It’s just 2 miles more than a half marathon. It’s just [insert Jedi-runner mind trick here]. Yet it is so humbling.
Christopher again tackled the full distance with me; I surely would have melted into a puddle of sweat, tears, frustration, anger, and pain if it were not for him.
It was sunny, but cold and windy. We hit a local (in Wisconsin) trail, built on a former railroad corridor, 7.5 miles out and back.
The first 5 miles went well: 9:33, 9:14, 9:21, 9:42, and 9:54. The middle 5 miles were tough, because the wind picked up: 12:03 (fuel break), 10:11, 10:33, 10:46, and 11:55 (fuel/walk break). The next 4 miles were just plain awful: 11:00, 12:37, 11:56, and 12:59 (walk break). The last mile is a point of pride, however: 10:12.
Through the first 5 miles, I felt pretty good – comfortable, capable. But through the middle 5 miles, I was downright cold and uncomfortable, as chills ran down my spine, as my fingers froze through my gloves, and as my legs stiffened up. Around mile 9.5, I was frustrated, and I about hyperventilated.
Then again, around mile 13 or 13.5, I flat out lost it: I was emotional. I psyched myself out. That little (irrational) voice in my head was telling me that if I couldn’t do 13 miles, or 15 miles, then I definitely couldn’t do 26.2 miles. But that other little (rational) voice in my head was saying that I needed to keep going, that I could do it because I had put in the time and the training. I cried. I hugged Christopher. I walked. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth.
I remembered just how hard it is to train for a marathon. I remembered just how easy it is to let my head out-talk my heart. I remembered how cathartic and emotional it is to just run: Running always has brought out the strongest, opposite-ends-of-the-spectrum emotions for me – anger, frustration, jealousy…happiness, contemplation, pride.
The last mile, I ran with my heart. I knew we had a mile to go, we were close to home, which meant we were almost done, almost to the girls, almost to a hot shower and warm clothes. I just ran. We turned the corner, and we saw the girls in the big bay window, smiling, giggling, and waving. It was the best, most perfect end.
I honestly believe the cold and the wind had everything to do with the reason this run – and my emotions – got away from me. I wouldn’t have – couldn’t have, really – done much differently; we only walked three times over 15 miles, and we averaged sub-11:00 miles.
Next weekend, it is supposed to be near 60 degrees, partly cloudy, and windy. I hate the idea of another windy run, but I love the idea of a feels-like-50-something-degrees run. I plan to run 10 alone, then 6 with Christopher, the girls, and Dexter. I feel, right now, like that is totally manageable – like the thought of that 16 miles doesn’t scare me.
On the docket for this week:
- Today – yoga
- Tuesday – 4-mile run
- Wednesday – Zumba
- Thursday – 8-mile run
- Friday – rest
- Saturday – 16-mile run
- Sunday – rest