Week 7: Ups and Downs

Side note: The wizards of WordPress let me know that last week’s training recap was the 300th post on this blog! Kind of exciting. I may neglect this site more often than not nowadays, but I did feel a little pride in just how much content and work I’ve put into it when I realized this milestone. Here’s an lol-moment with my first post here!

Onto training. Quick refresher: I’m currently training for the Colorado Half-Marathon on May 7th. It’s in Ft. Collins, it’s moderately downhill, and with any luck it will be a fast race to kick off the summer. I’ve retired from spring marathons for the time being, so training for a half felt like a happy compromise.

Monday: Easy run (8 miles)

Woof, this did not feel easy. Technically I had a rest day the day beforehand so I expected this to feel okay, but it was one of those runs that started off bad and just went south from there. Thinking about it afterwards, I realized my “rest day” the day before was hardly one at all. I did 75 minutes of yoga and over 5 miles of walking, which wasn’t very conducive to true recovery from my harder-effort long run on Saturday.

The rest of the day didn’t go much better. I had a bad sinus headache and both my lymph nodes were super swollen. Allergies! I had originally planned on doing a track workout on Tuesday, but considering the aforementioned ailments, the pending forecast of snow, and my obvious lack of recovery, I bagged that idea without any hesitation.

I spent the whole evening doing lots of foam rolling and legs up the wall.

Tuesday: Rest!

As stated, a morning run – specifically a track workout – was not happening on Tuesday, which I could not have been happier about. We woke up to snow everywhere, and after weeks of sun and blooming, it was kind of rough to see such a site out the window in the morning. I patted myself on the back for proactively being non-weatherproof.

I thought I’d do an easy run when I got home since the weather improved a bit, but it was still a little touch and go with snow showers. I got home, wavered back and forth about running while chowing down on goldfish, wavered some more, and instead decided to put on sweatpants and call it a day. I baked banana bread and a batch of these pb&j bites that Adam and I can’t get enough of.

Wednesday: Three-peat?? (13.1 miles)

There was zero “plan” to run exactly 13.1 miles on Wednesday. In fact, the only plan was to go to November Project and not feel as terrible as I had on Monday. It was really cold on Wednesday morning (~26 degrees) so I was a little worried about slick roads from the precipitation the day before, but it turned out okay. The NP workout was “climb the mountain” which is a pyramid circuit of stairs and body weight things, and I felt pretty good throughout.

During the day, the sun and blue sky came out, melted all the lingering snow, and all of a sudden it was spring again! I got home and had to get on the phone with Century Link (which I never, ever recommend), and since I knew I would mainly be on hold for a while…I plugged my headphones into my phone and headed out on a little jog. Wednesdays have kind of turned into my optional “double day,” I suppose. Anyway, I ran for 4 easy miles and was literally on hold the entire time.

I decided to be a good runner and take an epsom salt bath a little later on. Adam was about to get home from work later than normal so I decided to wait and say hi to him before getting in the tub. He walked in, saw me still in my running clothes, and immediately recruited me to come run his one mile for the day with him to keep up his run streak. I couldn’t say no to helping my dude out. So, the hot water waited for approximately 9 minutes, and I managed to log exactly 13.1 miles for the day. How d’you like them apples?

Thursday: PlayGldn (8 miles)

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We stayed up late on Wednesday, so the early morning call to head to Golden came a bit rudely. But, remembering my FOMO from the week before, I headed west with the promise of a good sunrise and good people. I decided to make the hill repeats my workout for the week, so I decided to try and work hard-ish despite my desire to instead perform DGAF-frontz (Mike Bell – TM). Overall, I felt decent. I worked about 75% effort, specifically on the ups, and while it certainly could’ve been better, I called it a win.

Friday: Easy run (3 miles)

I was a bit confounded with what to do on Friday. I kind of wanted to take another rest day, but I wanted to go to NP, but I didn’t want to do body weight exercises. So when Julia suggested running a few miles during the NP workout instead (after the bounce and before the finish/photo) I was all game. It was a nice little shake out with my buddy on a lovely morning. We finished it up with some suicide relays and lots of hugs with the tribe. Happy Friday indeed.

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I claimed temporary ownership over this sweet little girl. Charlie!

Saturday: Green Mountain (10 miles)

I wanted to save my legs a little for pacing duties at Sunday’s half-marathon, so a 10-miler on Green Mountain sounded just right for a sunny Saturday morning. I also wanted to test out my new trail shoes, the La Sportiva Bushidos, which I’m hoping will be the perfect hybrid trail-runner/14er-hiker shoe I’ve been pining after.

*Edited to add: two runs in the Bushidos, I love them! Lightweight but sturdy.

Meaghan is tapering for Boston and was looking for a similar medium-long run, so she joined me on the loop. After my last unicorn jaunt on Green, I was hoping for a similar floaty experience; alas, it was a bit of a death march. My whole body felt achey (specifically my back, hips and hamstrings), my energy was super low and I just didn’t feel like I could make my legs move at all. Luckily it was a gorgeous morning, albeit a little hot, but it was great to be on the trails and hear all about Meaghan’s plan for Boston.

Afterward, I felt super thirsty and drank two Nalgenes of water before I had to pee. Might explain my lackluster feeling a bit, huh? I spent the rest of the day drinking many beverages, stretching and generally relaxing.

Sunday: Platte River Half Marathon spectating and pacing (11 miles)

Race day! Even though I wasn’t racing, I felt like I had skin in the game with so many friends going for it at the Platte River Half. I ran this race two years ago and had far less-than-favorable memories from it, so I was exceedingly thrilled to be on the other side this time. I arrived at the NP5280 cheer station location right at 8 am (race start time) and looked like a child who’d lost their parents. Multiple volunteers asked me if I had either a) misunderstood where the start line was, or b) needed to know where the relay hand-off was. No! I’m just here for my friends!

I decided my best course of action would be to just jog over to mile 8 where I intended to pick up Julia for some shared pacing through the back half of her race. I found a great spot just before the mile 8 marker where I could see people coming from a couple hundred yards away. It was really fun cheering for the front of the pack, although several of them had their super-serious faces on and didn’t exactly love my emphatic chants. But then I saw a happy, familiar face. Dan! He was in the top five and looked relaxed as could be. You should go and read his own race recap. I also saw Jim, Tyler, Danny, and then…Julia! She looked strong and under control, and I was ready to help out however necessary. She wrote a race recap that far exceeds any description I could give, so I recommend reading that here. In a few words, her legs and brain were in it, her stomach was not. The worst! She fought hard and I, as always, was proud to run alongside her. I was reminded that the last few miles of this race aren’t the best for running fast; rolling cement, one steep hill right at the end, and a stretch where you run right next to the interstate. Bleh.

Anyway, I ran into the finish area with Julia and cheered with the whole gang as we watched more NP runners finish their races. It was so much fun and I was reminded how inspiring it is to witness the grit of runners, specifically of friends, as they fight hard for their goals. I was pumped up! Afterwards, I did a 180 and retraced the course back to where I’d parked my car (about 3.5 miles backward).

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Totals: 53.3 miles, 2,317 feet of climbing

Highs: After Tuesday, I thought this was going to be a wash week of training. I’m happy I managed to pull off another 50+ mile week without a lot of wear and tear and having some fun along the way.

Lows: My hamstrings and glutes both continue to be super susceptible to getting uber tight and rickety. Maintenance of the little things is proving to be crucial!

 

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