Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Half-Marathon Training with B: Week 3

Talk about whacky and completely off schedule? That is exactly how my Week 3 training went. I realize that it is important to be flexible, but, boy, does my commitment waver when I don't stick to a routine.

However, I was able to complete Week 3 in total, well, almost.

Week 3, Day 10: Wednesday, 3 miles
I was still recovering from my disastrous end to Week 2 so didn't make it out for my run Tuesday morning or Tuesday evening for that matter. But, Wednesday morning, I got up and eked out my 3 miles. I still heartily dislike running, but, I must say, I don't find the idea of having to run 3 miles at all daunting anymore. Sure, I dread it. Sure, I struggle at some point during those 3 miles. Sure, I haven't beaten my just under 10 minute mile average. But I am able to run the whole thing without stopping and hardly ever feel like I am dying immediately afterwards. Progress!!

At the beginning of this running journey (back in January) when Cap and I decided to sort of do this thing together, Cap and I discussed the frequency of our weekly runs. I was thinking that if I managed to run three times a week, I was doing damn good. Cap had previously been running five days a week. HOLD UP. That is not what I signed up for. So, we decided that three times a week would be adequate. It was a miracle if I got three runs in a week. I probably averaged 1.5 runs a week at that point. And look at me now! Running four days a week. Outside! On Sundays! And for 3+ miles each time.

My, how times have changed!

I say all of this to hopefully encourage any of you that might be struggling to stick with your "plan," whatever that may be. I did not start running in January in the hopes of running a half-marathon this year. I did not start running in the hopes of running four times a week. But, here I am. And its not killing me. Its actually making my life healthier. And, although the numbers on the scale haven't really changed for me, I like watching the cellulite on my thighs smooth itself out. True story! (Don't you love those gory little details?)

Week 3, Day 11: Thursday, 4 miles
This wast the first week that I had to add a mile to my mid-week 3 mile run. I was a little nervous about how I would do. But, like the other 3 mile runs, I just soldiered on and it wasn't too terrible. Although, after stretching, my hips became very stiff and I spent the rest of the day hobbling and grunting every time I had to bend over.

One thing that I have yet to understand is the myriad of ways in which my body responds to my daily runs. Lately, within the first minute of setting out, my calves (which have previously never given me any trouble) are tight and tingling and throbbing. And it takes a few miles for them to work out the kinks. I also have noticed that the bones in my feet and ankles seem to hurt after long runs. I think I need new shoes. Either way, some new part of my body is always in pain for a few hours/days now after my long runs.

Week 3, Day 12: Saturday, 3 2.5 miles
I wanted to run on Friday but my hips and my right foot were still feeling tender that morning and I ended up working until 7:30 that night. No run for B.

Saturday, Cap and J were in town for him to take his first board exam, so we got to hang out with Cap all day. She and I had talked earlier in the week about running on Saturday. I thought then that I would be on my 6 mile run, but that didn't happen. We had a wonderful morning at the flea market and the farmer's market and lunching downtown. When we got back to our place, it was 3pm and Cap had to pick J up at 4. We decided to run the 3 miles I needed for my training. I was really not feeling it, but having a partner to run with helps in the motivation department. We set off and it was so, so, so hot. I picked the shadiest route on the river (for optimum breezes), but it just didn't help. We got to the 2 mile point and Cap checked her watch and decided she needed to head back to pick up J. I was struggling, but could have kept going for 3. I was secretly glad that we had to stop. We made it 2.5 miles.

Groundhog family at work. Yes, those are FIVE baby groundhogs. They're adorable.

Week 3, Day 13: Sunday, 6 miles
W and I had been putting off cleaning the apartment for a week (or two). And by cleaning, I mean the thorough, move all the furniture and swiffer the walls and mop every nook and cranny, cleaning, so we knew Sunday was the dreaded cleaning day. Plus, Cap and J were returning Monday evening to stay with us while J took another board exam. They are both highly allergic to cats, so I like to scrub everything before they come. I decided around noon that I needed to run right then or it just wasn't going to happen. Thankfully, it was an overcast, cool and drizzly day. I set off and actually felt pretty great for the first half of the run. It wasn't until mile 4 that I started to feel the pangs. My lower abs started to ache in a way that kind of felt like someone was dragging their fingernail across the inside of my ab muscle. My hips were stiff and beginning to throb. My feet were starting to hurt. Aerobically, I was fine. My breathing was even and pretty shallow for being on mile 4. It was my body that was struggling.

Then, my neck muscles started to cramp. This is a bad sign for me. Stiff and knotty neck muscles usually plague the ends of my runs, but I still had two miles to go! Somehow, I talked myself through it and thanks to the beginnings of a downpour at 5.5 miles, I made it the full 6 and actually finished fast. I think it took me about 62 minutes. I don't have a watch and don't time myself. My Pandora mobile stopped and asked me if I was still listening towards the end. I assume it does this after an hour of listening. My phone notifications told me it stopped "2 minutes" before I finished. I'll take it. I never stopped and walked, but I obviously have some pace issues.....

I also think I tend to run just a bit farther than the allotted mileage--maybe only by .2 or .3 miles. But trust me, those .2-.3 miles bolster my confidence and TOTALLY COUNT.

After my run, I was completely wiped out and hurting. My feet were aching. It felt like every bone had been cracked. My ankles were throbbing. My left shoulder was seized up and knotted. I, someone who never, ever, ever, naps (because I can't--honestly, I can't), ate lunch and then promptly passed out for over an hour. I was not sleep-deprived. I was energy-deprived. Those 6 miles took their toll.

W and I did manage to scrub the apartment. I was miserable the whole time, but we did it. Then, I ordered Papa Johns, because there was no way I was standing at a stove. And, I freaking woofed that pizza. Six miles and an hour spent cleaning the house on an egg and grits and sandwich and chips breakfast and lunch was not enough.

I am hoping to keep somewhat of a schedule this week. I will be helping out with a Homes Tour in Lewisburg this weekend, so my long run will be on Sunday, which I kind of prefer. I always have things I want to do on Saturdays. Important things like the flea market and filling the porchony to busting with plants!

Here is my recap of Week 1.

How is your running going? Do you have trouble with your feet and ankles after long distances?


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