Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week 4

Another hot week. Ugh.

Monday: 4.8 mi, pavement (Mississippi River Trail)
Tuesday: 5.4 mi, pavement (Battle Creek, 35 min tempo)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 8 mi, treadmill
Friday: 4.2 mi, pavement (Battle Creek)
Saturday: 13.4 mi, trail + pavement (Lebanon Hills + Mississippi River Trail/Night Nation Run)
Sunday: 7.8 mi, pavement (Mississippi River Trail)
Total: 43.6 mi

I enjoy the long days, because I can get a run in while it’s still light out but not blazing hot. However, I miss being able to run at 5:30 or 6 in the evening (or on the weekends, at noon or 1) without suffering the beginnings of heat exhaustion.

Monday was a boring run and I don’t even remember it. I guess it was probably hot, though!

Tuesday I ran later in the evening – my partner was going out of town for a few days for work, so I had dinner and then went running after he left. I was able to have a much better tempo run since it was cooler – even though I was kind of miserable because the first mile of the run was uphill and my calves were super tight. I had a couple minor stops for road crossings but otherwise was able to plow through 35 minutes of tempo running and actually kind of enjoy it.

Wednesday I volunteered at the Lebanon Hills 7 mile race, part of the Endless Summer Trail Run Series. It was so freaking hot, and the air was stagnant. I was so thankful to be volunteering instead of running. Thursday we finally got a big thunderstorm, scary enough that I decided to run inside on the treadmill instead of seeing when the storm would pass. I thought that would cool things down but no. I mean, Friday wasn’t so bad, and I managed to do a loop at Battle Creek without melting, but it was still humid and warm.

I liked the surroundings of Lebanon Hills so much that for my “long” run (I didn’t do a true long run since I knew I’d be doing the Night Nation Run that evening) I drove out there again on Saturday. I’d planned on doing my run at around 1:30, but when I went to start getting ready, I realized it was 91 F. No thank you. So I waited to leave until around 3, which ended up being okay but not ideal. It didn’t seem that much cooler, and a lot of the path was shaded, so I could have left earlier. I felt pretty crummy directly after the run, and had only an hour and a half until I’d be walking a bit over a mile to Harriet Island, “running” 5K (in starts and fits, as detailed here), and then walking back home. I recovered quickly thanks to the magic of an iced latte with whole milk.

Sunday the same thing happened: I went to go running around 3 PM and discovered it was 92 F and “felt like” 101 F. I waited until 6 to head out for Minnehaha Falls Park, which I didn’t realize had pay lots. So I paid $3 to do a little recon of the TCM course – obviously on the running path, not the road, but it gave me a hint of what the section along West River Parkway would be like. Nothing I can’t handle.

Supposedly a cool front is coming through, so I expect to see lightning fast times coming across my watch! I did notice Sunday as I was slogging through the heat that from a musculoskeletal perspective, running is feeling a lot easier. As long as I’m in the shade or managing the heat well, my legs are responding well to the increase in mileage. I’m hoping to get up into the 50+ miles per week range soon, time and health permitting.

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