At the end of week 5, I was putting off my long run because I felt like I was coming down with something. Between fighting back a cold and issues with my SI joint, I had a few inconsistent weeks of training. Unfortunately, this trend continued with week 6.
Week 6: 32 miles
Although the week’s total mileage was sort of impressive for me this year, it was more of a function of cut-off trickery (I’ve been counting the weeks as beginning on Monday and ending on Sunday). If I measured the week from Sunday to Saturday, the total would be 26 miles (still pretty good by my recent standards).
- Plan: Rest
- Actual: 10 miles @ 10:17/mile
I had missed Week 4’s long run due to SI joint pain, AND I pushed back Week 5’s long run a couple of days because I felt like I was coming down with something. So when I woke up Monday morning without that scratchy throat I’d had in the days prior, I decided to get the 10 miles done.
The run was really not great. I didn’t feel like doing a long run, but I tried to stay close to 10:00/mile pace. I was close for most of the run, but the hills in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood kicked my butt – I ran a couple miles at 10:40-10:50 pace. I finished up at a good pace, and I was just glad to have the run done.
A few hours later, I was in a state of regret. I felt lethargic, warm, cold, sniffly, coughy – I hadn’t bucked the cold bug after all, and I’m sure I made it worse by running 10 miles. This rough streak is getting on my nerves.
Still, I managed to roast a chicken for the first time. I followed the linked instructions and it turned out really well. It has very little hands-on time, so it’s not a bad cooking project for feeling ill.I’ve been trying to learn how to do more with cooking meat. I listened to a podcast recently describing the inhumane treatment of animals at commercial pork farms, so I’d like to transition to only eating meat that is raised humanely. The easiest way to do that, I think, is to cook humanely-raised meat at home and to eat a mostly vegetarian diet away from home. (Tips? Please let me know in the comments!)
- Plan: 7 miles w/ 3-6 @ tempo pace, core, strength training
- Actual: Rest
I felt awful all day, but I managed to throw together a bone broth from the bones of the chicken I roasted the previous day. That evening, I received news of a death in the family.Wednesday, 8/26
- Plan: 3 recovery miles
- Actual: Rest and travel
Still sick. My brother and I road tripped to Memphis for the funeral. I drank my body weight in juices and green smoothies.
- Plan: 6 miles; strides; strength training
- Actual: 2.25 miles @ 10:09/mile
I was feeling like a slug, so I decided to go out for a short run and see how good or bad it felt. It wasn’t that bad at all.
- Plan: Rest
- Actual: 7 miles w/ 3-5.25 @ tempo pace (9:20/mile overall)
I set out on my run secretly hoping to get in as much of the week’s tempo run as I could.
I figured I’d give it a couple of miles and cut it short and easy if I felt bad, and try the tempo if I felt good.
Once I made the decision to attempt the tempo run, I ran those miles by feel. The actual paces I ran were around the slower end of the tempo range (8:30-8:45) 8:45, 8:49, 8:44, and the last quarter mile at an 8:49/mile pace. That last quarter mile started getting out of “comfortably hard” territory, so I decided to back off and take the rest of the run easy. I figured that putting my body under a lot of stress while trying to recover from an unusually bad cold was a bad idea.
It was a long day with the visitation, funeral, and time spent with friends and family. It’s exhausting to be around all these people because I’m an introvert. It’s also comforting because people come to these things NOT because they are fun, but because they care.
I spent the evening with old friends from Memphis, and we went to Overton Square. There are so many new spots in that area since the last time I visited, and I’d definitely recommend checking it out to anyone visiting the city.
- Plan: 10 miles; core
- Actual: 3 recovery miles @ 10:46/mile; core
I waited until noon to run, and it was HOT!
- Plan: 3 recovery miles
- Actual: 10 miles @ 10:23/mile
I ran at sunrise to get the run in before a 10:30 am flight. My legs felt like they were stuck in molasses the whole time, but I focused on keeping a moderate-easy effort and getting it done. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go back home to Atlanta because I had work in New York. There are worse destinations for a work trip, so I can’t complain!
Takeaways from the week:
Of course, I’m frustrated with the continued irritating obstacles to my training, but I’m not making any more of it than it is.
Running is a hobby that I enjoy, and it’s important to me because it’s made me a better person in many ways. So my aim is for running to occupy that good-important place in my life, where it adds to my happiness and well-being; and for it not to occupy the bad-important place, where setbacks to my running can take away more happiness than running gives me.
Being around friends and family while experiencing the loss of a loved one probably helped me keep this in perspective.
That said, I am really hoping this rut is almost over.
Have you ever had setback after setback while training for a race? Any advice to break the cycle, or just be patient until it ends?