Sunday, August 7, 2011

Breakdown: Week 9 & not feeling fine...

My first week back after vacation... & it was challenging.

Monday: Waking up for work was rough. All I could think about was taking a nap under the Maltese sun & snorkeling. I had to drag myself together. But there was a bonus to the day, being the first day of the week and the first of the month. I liked the symmetry this provided me, so I set a goal for this month. It'll keep me focused & motivated.

When I got home from work, I jumped on the treadmill for a nice 50 minute run. My treadmill is 100% UNreliable for time/distance calculations, so I got in the habit of using my Garmin & footpod for my stats... which is great until I realized I hadn't charged my Garmin & the reported pace was completely wrong. I decided to guess-timate my distance & used the standard from previous t-mill runs. It was a bit of an icky run at the end of it, but I got thru it & started Week 9 off the right way.

Tuesday: The second day back to work & the post-vacation glow was completely gone. It drives me crazy that it's next-to-impossible to hold onto the laid-back vacation brain for very long. When I got home, I decided to make a protein shake before heading off to the gym for my routine weights session w/my trainer. Miraculously, I remembered to put the protein powder in last, so I ended up with a great shake that wasn't clumpy (which is what I usually end up with). I enjoyed my 8 ounces, went to the gym for an hour, had dinner, then crashed. Total exhaustion.

Wednesday: My first post-vacation road run. Firstly, I was a bit unnerved by the fact it was still a bit dark outside. I completely forgot the sun is rising later & later, so it made me wish (once again) I had a doggy running partner (I loooooong for a doggy running partner).

Secondly, I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I wouldn't have predicted it would hurt so much. Not my legs... my legs were ready to move. My lungs, however, entirely rebelled against me. My legs were moving way faster than my lungs could pump oxygen, so my pacing was waaay off at 12:21/average over 56 minutes (4.6 miles). It didn't help that I started off faster than I wanted, but I always seem to have a problem with that. The silver lining is that I got it done & didn't quit when it got tough. The rest of the day was a challenge for me, though. I needed a post-run recovery nap, but I was at work all day! :(

Thursday: Not too much exciting happening here. I went to the gym in the evening & did arms/back/shoulder session with my trainer. Pretty typical stuff for me. The blender wasn't clean, so I didn't have a protein shake pre-workout. I had a larger lunch than expected, so I guess that's why I felt okay.

Friday: Getting up at 5 AM for a run is tough. It's even tougher when you're doing it alone. Normally, Mr. X gets up at 0450-0500, so I've got someone there saying, "Come on, get up, you know you'll be upset with yourself if you don't." To add insult to injury, I was working with a horrible night of sleep... which included waking up after an extensive night sweat, so my hydration was all messed up. All things considered, it should've been a rough morning.

But it wasn't! About 5 minutes into the run, everything just fell into place & I was flying down the road. I ran 5 miles (15 minutes running, 1 minute walking) in under an hour at an overall pace of 11:20. That's not bad considering I could barely keep it together Wednesday. I was super-pleased!

Saturday: A total day of rest... well, except for all those little errands. It was Mr. X's last day in town for the month (away for work, you know how that goes), so I ended up eating an incredibly bad-for-me lunch. I was determined not to hate myself for it, though, & spent a lot of time reflecting on the next morning. I also made sure to lay out all my gear in advance; it's always easier when there are no excuses.

Sunday: My 12 mile run. Officially the longest distance I've ever run. In my life. For me, it was one hell of a milestone to finally surpass everything I'd done previously. I woke up late, so it was off to a bad start. I ate nothing but crap yesterday, so I wasn't properly fueled. And it was my first run with my Camelbak. All of those things equaled out to an overall pace of 13:32 over 12 miles. 

As soon as I started running, I knew something was off. I overestimated how fast I could/should go on my Virtual Partner on the Garmin. Then all I could mentally focus on was the ice & water sloshing around on my back. And holy crap, a filled Camelbak is heavy! I had no idea. I was a mess on my first loop.

My second loop felt stronger, but I'm not sure if it was or not. I fueled up with Honey Stingers Organic Chews Lemon Lime flavor. Maybe that helped, but I got into the groove on the second loop. Towards the end of the 2nd loop, I realized my Running Skirt was sticking to my legs; it was literally dripping with sweat. Ugly stuff... my legs were soaked & it was getting into my shoes.

The third loop. The final loop. I was walking just as much as I was running by this point. Just needed to get through the final few miles. What started to amaze me was how annoying everything can be when you're soaked with sweat & your knees feel like they're grinding together. Every little thing annoyed me... from the movement of my now-empty Camelbak to the sloshing of my skirt. I could even hear the squish of my feet inside my socks because my feet were soaked through. I was not feeling very good, inside or out.

When I hit 12 miles, I didn't even care. It made no difference to me at all. I timed the whole thing out wrong & ended up about a mile from my house. Which I had to walk back. Which made me want to cry. I ended up sitting down at a bus stop just to give my legs a break. I bent over at one point, convinced I was going to vomit. I had no water left.

I'm not entirely sure how I actually made it home, but I did. And I still didn't care about having just finished 12 miles. I went straight to the refrigerator, grabbed my Gatorade G2, & started a cold bath. It was another first for me. I didn't put any ice in; I could barely move, so I had to work within my means. I also realized I had a blister (another first) & had to deal with that. I soaked in the cold water for about 10 minutes, then took a hot shower to warm back up. It was so refreshing! Got dressed, had some breakfast, then took my post-run nap. For two hours. I was a straight up mess. 

I'm awake now & having some lunch. I can't seem to stomach a big meal, so I'm doing a munchy kind of thing just to get some calories in. I'm also trying to focus on eating good calories instead of running to get Burger Kind or something... though I'm not sure I would be able to drive at this point.

So, what did I learn this week?

1. Make sure to properly fuel the day before the long run. If you screw that up, the long run will be a complete nightmare.

2. Don't try out new gear on the long run. I didn't think about how the Camelbak was going to affect my run. It completely screwed with me. It would've been smarter to run my base runs with it to get used to the weight. I'll probably do that from now on.

3. Cold baths are awesome. Seriously. My legs felt immediate relief when I got into the water. I will be doing that again.

On to Week 10!

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, sorry the 12-miler was so tough. You got through it, though!! Awesome!!

    BTW, if you ever get over to New Hampshire, I have two Border collies, either of which would love to go run with you. (Heck, I'll take the other, and they'll get to run together - as long as you can bring yourself to run SLOW and SHORT with me! :D )