Saturday, December 17, 2011

Running Down a Dream

Thursday was a planned gym day and while my mind was up for the task, my body wasn't.  My back felt really tight and it was my mid-back, which was a new feeling.  My legs were quite sore too.  I had an internal debate all day long about what to do.  I was driving toward the gym when I realized it was a bad idea.  I need to listen to my body.  And my body was saying it needed rest/recovery.  The good thing is, my schedule allows for either a Thursday or Friday workout without any consequence.

So by the time my workout rolled around on Friday I was feeling up to the task - both mentally and physically.  My half-marathon training plan called for an easy 3 mile run.  Do you see the air quotes around "easy"?  The concept of an easy run made me chuckle.  My how things have changed in the last 6 months.  I did a 3 minute warm-up and then set the treadmill to 1° incline at 5mph.  And off I went.  There was a guy grunting and groaning on a nearby treadmill - he sounded like he was in labor.  At first I was irritated but after a while it became entertaining.  I kept telling myself that I was lucky not to be suffering like he apparently was.  He was hilarious!  I was bummed when he was done before me.  My three miles were done before I knew it.  I maintained a 12-minute-mile without much difficulty.  My heart rate stayed in the high 140's for most of the run, got into the low 150's toward the end.  Still, I wouldn't call it "easy" just yet.  Maybe some day.

Today, Saturday, was a long run.  8 miles.  Only one more mile than last week, right?  I took the kids to playgroup in the morning then we came home for lunch.  I wanted to wait at least an hour after I ate so I played with the kids for a bit and then put them down for naps.  I mapped out a route that took me down a nearby footpath and back home, which was 3 miles out/back.  I did that twice before a final 2 mile loop around the neighborhood.  I planned the two home pit-stops, at mile 3 and mile 6, so I could drink some water.  Both times I ate two Shot Bloks just before getting to my house (Thanks Laurie!).  Then I'd stop long enough to take 3-4 big gulps of water from the bottle I'd left in my driveway before heading off.

Around what I would guess to be mile 7 I started to feel a bit of aching in my legs and hips but nothing too uncomfortable.  I finished the 8 miles in 1 hour, 40 minutes.  Only 6 minutes more than my 7 miles last week!  Worked out to be an average of a 12.5 minute-mile.  I was very pleased with that.  During the first half of the run I was on pace to finish with a 12 minute-mile average but I must have slowed down during the second half.

And something different, I listened to music!  I felt like I needed something to keep me entertained, besides my thoughts, during all that running and I figured I haven't been needing to pay such close attention to my breathing anymore.  And it was great!  The music really makes a big difference, especially when a good song comes on like "Running Down a Dream."  I found myself wondering, more than a few times, "why am I doing this?"  It's not exactly fun to run for 1 hour and 40 minutes (though it does motivate me to work on my speed just so it doesn't take me so darned long to run a farther distance).  I wondered if the friend who asked to train with me and got me thinking to sign up for this race is training too (Hey Erinn, you better be running!).  But I can see, once I lose weight and build up more strength, how it could be more and more fun.  Right now I have short periods of fun but most of it still feels like pretty hard work.

But, there you have it.  Once again, my longest run ever!  And only 5 miles short of the half marathon.  Ha!  Next week the training plan recommends an actual 5k event for race and pacing practice.  I don't see any 5ks being on Christmas Eve so I'll just have to run my own 3.125 miles.  Or I could do my 9 miles next week and a 5k the following Saturday, which is New Years Eve.  There are a few choices for 5k on new years - unfortunately they are at 11pm so that probably won't work. 

So, sadly, I didn't get any questions for the video q&a I was hoping to do.  All for the best I suppose, who knows how much time it would have taken!

Oh!  I almost forgot, I lost a whole .4 pounds this week.  That's twice as much as last week.  I'm not even averaging a half-pound per week these days.  I wish I cared more but the truth is I kind of don't.  I mean I do, sort of, but not enough to make any big changes.  The only reason I'd like to lose faster at this point is to be lighter for the half-marathon.  But that doesn't seem to be translating to less food intake.  It is what it is.  As long as I'm headed in the right direction I'm not complaining.

Running down a dream, that never would come to me, workin' on a mystery, going wherever it leads...


  1. Awesome job on the long run. I remember feeling exactly the same about the long runs when I trained for my first half. Now I'm training for my first marathon. I'm not at my goal weight yet but I feel fantastic. I ran 8 miles yesterday and it's so funny to think back to when it was challenging. Now I actually enjoy it so much so that I ran 8 miles te day before too. Good luck with your training. Your doing great so far it seems.

  2. Thanks Aimee! And a friend emailed me to point out I've reached the 20 pounds lost milestone. That didn't even register!! I think it's because I'm focused on my mini-goal of 178. I'm so close - hopefully this week.

  3. You are doing great! I love to read your blogs. You spur me on. You give me hope. You inspire me.


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