Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week 11

I rebounded!

Monday: 7.3 mi, treadmill
Tuesday: 6.3 mi, road (7xWabasha St Bridge)
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5.8 mi, paved trail (Lake Nokomis, 42 @ tempo)
Friday: 6.2 mi, road
Saturday: 7.5 mi, road (split into 2 runs)
Sunday: 8.6 mi, trail (Fort Snelling)
Total: 41.6 mi

I was determined to get in a decent week of running this past week, and I succeeded, I think. Obviously I didn’t do any long runs, but that’s fine. Monday I stuck to the treadmill because I was still not totally over my illness (I think I am now, or at least I hope so — the alternative is I have a silent infection slowly taking over my body — shudder). Tuesday I’d had enough and headed out on the roads for bridge repeats, which sucked as they always do. But I always feel so self-satisfied afterward, like I’ve really accomplished something. Which I have.

Wednesday I was planning on running and didn’t. I had a long day at work and didn’t get home til almost 6, so I decided to pack it in. It was worthwhile, my brain was pretty fried and I had a big meeting Thursday morning I wanted to be prepared for. I brought stuff to work on Thursday so I could go directly after work to Lake Nokomis. Well, actually I parked at my cousin’s house, ran from her place to Lake Nokomis, did 2 laps around, and then ran back. I did a tempo run, my first on the road in awhile, and it felt really really really freaking miserable and difficult. Possibly because there was a STRONG wind around the lake, and I was running right into it at times. And also because I hadn’t done one on the road in awhile. I ended the tempo segment at 42 minutes, right when I got to the spot where I turned off the path and onto the street again. I thought my training plan had called for a 50 minute tempo run and I was SO DONE, but it turned out it only called for 45 minutes, and I think I had 3 more minutes in me, had I known.

I thought I needed to rush back to my cousin’s house to meet my mom and my aunt, who were walking her dogs, but it turned out they were late arriving and so I ended up hanging out at the house for awhile, chatting with my mom, my aunt (visiting from Colorado on her way to Norway), my cousin, and her mom (who is my mom’s cousin, but I didn’t feel like writing out “second cousin” and “first cousin once removed” because who cares?) while holding my cousin’s squishy new baby. (I waited until I’d dried off a bit and washed my hands first, because I didn’t want to snuggle with a newborn while drenched in sweat and caked in salt.) So I guess I had time to get those last minutes of tempo in, but whatever.

Friday I ran starting at Indian Mounds Regional Park. I need to remember not to do that, because it starts off as a lot of downhill. That means it ends with a lot of uphill. It was pretty miserable. There’s a great view of the city at sunset from the park, which I was treated to as I cruised in for the last half mile or so. There were some gentlemen enjoying adult beverages when I started my run, and they were still there when I returned, and one of them complimented me for running for so long. I was in a good mood and generally I don’t mind exchanging a few words with a drunk stranger if they are nice and not aggressive, so I thanked him and said it was tough, then wished him a good evening.

Saturday I split my run into 2 runs, because I had a bunch of stuff to do. I ran about 4 miles around lunchtime and got absolutely scorched. It made me feel fairly miserable and faintly nauseated for several hours afterward, even after taking a shower (far too quick) and rehydrating. My husband and I drove over to my mom’s, had a mid-day meal with my family before my aunt left for her trip, and then we drove home to start our project for the weekend: painting the kitchen cupboards. Ugh. What a dumb idea. We took all the cabinets down, removed the hardware, and then I went for another run in the evening (about 3 miles) which was a lot less miserable.

Sunday I got up, went to Fort Snelling, and had an actual enjoyable run around Pike Island and then up the Minnesota River Valley Trail toward Minnehaha Falls (I’ll have to run there another time). It was significantly more enjoyable to run that area without feeling like I had to pee the whole time. It was warm but most of the trail was shaded. I felt pretty strong but also caught myself spacing out and running at a mindless pace. I’d look down and see like 15:45 pace on my watch. I do not understand how I can let myself get so much slower just by zoning out. It’s really annoying, because zoning out helps the miles go by. I need to figure out a better way to run by feel, because I thought I was cruising along at least 2 min/mi faster. Then I went home and finished prepping my kitchen and started painting, which about killed my poor legs.

Superior is this week, I can’t even believe it. Time for my mini-taper (and time to get more done around the house)!

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Twin Cities Marathon Training: Week 10

I guess when I said I wasn’t tapering much for Superior, I was tempting fate.

Monday: 6.6 mi, treadmill (45 @ tempo)
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 7.4 mi, road
Thursday: 7 mi, road
Friday: 2.9 mi, road
Saturday: 7.7 mi, trail (2.5 @ Fort Snelling) + treadmill (5.2)
Sunday: 5.7 mi, trail (Fort Snelling)
Total: 37.3 mi

Okay, let’s talk about Saturday first. Clearly I did not run the Women Rock Half Marathon I was so excited about. Instead, on Friday evening, I discovered I had a mild UTI (oversharing? Maybe. But it’s just an illness!) and I decided the next morning not to run. I felt really stupid about it, because I had very few symptoms. I’m used to having a cold, or an upset stomach, and having symptoms that wear me out. I felt like a quitter, like I should have gutted it out and run the race, but I was worried about putting my excretory system through a half marathon when it has an infection. Well, I felt guilty about it and packed up in the afternoon for a long run at Fort Snelling. Nope. I made it 2.5 miles before I called it quits and went home, because while I mostly felt fine, I spent the entire time I was running (one loop of FANS, basically) feeling like I had to pee, and then I went to the bathroom and still felt like I had to pee. What an annoying symptom. So I went home and managed to get a run in on the treadmill (with like 3 bathroom breaks) so the day wasn’t a total loss.

I’m disappointed I didn’t get to run the half marathon, and annoyed that I wasted $65 on a race I signed up for on a whim, but I don’t feel like I made a bad decision.

Back to Monday —  I can’t remember why I ran on the treadmill. Laziness? Weather? It was so long ago. 8 whole days. A lot is going on at work right now so my brain can’t remember more than a few days prior. I did a tempo run, which I can do more effectively on the treadmill – I can keep my pace under control and slowly ramp it up and down. It just sucks because I hate running on the treadmill, although I use it as a crutch a lot.

Tuesday I planned to run and came home to find every sports bra I had was dirty. And I already wear them more than once because I’m gross and just don’t care if I smell bad, so when I say dirty I really mean it. I had recently thrown two away because the hook and eye closures were coming apart, so I had a shortened rotation. Fortunately REI’s Labor Day Sale started Friday, so I picked up 2 more on sale (along with some gels). I was annoyed because I was all ready to run and wanted to take a rest day before the half marathon, but I dealt with it.

Wednesday and Thursday were both road runs that were nothing special. I did pick up my race bib on Thursday, but that was about as exciting as it got. Friday I ran a short shakeout run around my neighborhood and then discovered the bad news.

Sunday I wanted to give Fort Snelling another try. It’s the closest state park to my house, and I don’t know why I never considered running there before. I only go there for FANS. I guess I assumed there weren’t great trails there, but that was incorrect! Instead of doing the FANS loop, I ran to Pike Island, ran around that, and then ran back to the swimming beach. I was planning to do 8.5 miles but cut it short at 5.6 miles because again, I felt like I had to pee the whole darn time. I tried to ignore it but failed, and it slowed me down quite a bit and made my run a grind. I’m running a difficult trail marathon in less than 2 weeks. I don’t need to be grinding out runs.

I was pretty proud of myself for sticking to the training plan I’d worked out – the first 6 weeks went really well, other than not being able to really do marathon pace workouts due to heat. Then life started to get in the way, and while I am bummed to not be nailing every planned workout, I also don’t mind life getting in the way. My family and my job are always going to come before running, and if that means I run lower mileage than most runners, that’s fine. It still takes me a heckofa long time to get the runs in while maintaining lower mileage, so I make do with my abilities and the amount of time I want to devote to running. It works for me for now, and if it doesn’t, I’ll figure that out when it happens.