This week I ran my furthest distance ever. This includes races, training, whatever. I did a 15 mile race yesterday in North Park (north of Pittsburgh). The weather could not be more perfect. Temperatures in the high 30s, low 40s with lots of sunshine and little wind. The race was a loop course that was 5 miles around a lake in the park. For a February run the even had about 1500 competitors. It was wonderful to see. The race was 10, 15, 20 miles and you decided which one you wanted to complete. The race was called The Spring Thaw. I did three loops for 15 miles. I am excited to say I completed the race. It was definitely hard.
The first lap was not too bad with a lot of people around. The beginning of the race was like most with a lot of people and everyone trying to get into position. The good thing was that it did not too long to start to thin out. The loop course was a tough with some rolling hills. Also, in the second half of the loop (mile 2.5 to start/finish line) you have to battle traffic. The race did go against traffic but in the first loop it still was a little tight. I also found a tough spot from mile 1 to about mile 3. There is only one water stop. I just like looking forward to water stops. Also, between mile 3 and 4 is tough because you are at the furthest point of the course and not too many people are around. It felt very lonely and I had to battle mentally. In both my second and third loops that is where I found it most difficult. I battled with myself because I would not let myself walk. I needed to run this whole race. I never stopped running. Good sign.
I did a very good job hydrating. I am not a fan of sports drinks but I decided to go every other station water and the others Gatorade. When I got half way through the race, I did water and Gatorade at every station. I had a little of the carb gels. I can't do a whole pack of gels so I just get a little squeeze.
One my good friends also did the race. She is training for the Pittsburgh Marathon as well. It was great seeing her and getting to race together. Both of us agreed this was a tough race but excited to finish. My father also came to watch. He was mine and my friend's caddy while we raced. Not a bad day to be a spectator.
The weather is warm today and the sun is out so I am going for a leisurely walk. This week is a microcyle with a eight mile long run. Definitely looking forward to this week. Onward to the marathon.
I finished my first double digit run of my marathon training. 10 miles. The distances are getting longer and the marathon is getting closer. Exciting.
The weather was interesting this week. We had a warm week for February. On Thursday and Friday, 60 degrees temperatures were reached. It was amazing. I was able to run outside Tuesday through Saturday. So much fun. It is going to be hard this week when I know I have to run on the treadmill a couple of times because of my schedule and weather. Despite some nice conditions, running was tough. I did well early in the week but my run on Friday evening was so tough. I ran 5 miles on Friday but I felt like it took three hours. I just could not believe how long it felt like it took. I kept checking my clock. I could also tell I was not running at my usually pace. Just a little sluggish. It was funny, during my run on Friday I could feel the cold front coming in for the weekend. During my run it started to get cold and windy. I check after I finished running and it dropped about 10 degrees during my run. That is crazy.
Saturday was windy. I thought I might see Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West go by. I however did not but it was difficult running in about 20-30 mph winds with wind gust over 40 mph. The temperature was not too warm but not unbearable. The run was tough. It is hard getting in the double digits. I felt a little slow during the run. Nothing too exciting happened during the run. Tripped near the end coming down the hill when I tripped over uneven pavement. A little tweak on my knee but nothing serious. I did stop running about 10 yards before my actual finish line. That was disappointing. I was very upset with myself. I stopped because there were two cars in my way, and I got frustrated. I think I just wanted to stop running.
I am very excited to have a rest day tomorrow. I am ready to recharge my batteries for another week of training.
One final note, I am less than three months away from the Pittsburgh Marathon. On Monday, I drove up Forbes Avenue into Oakland. This is the largest hill we will encounter during the race. It was hard hitting because it is steep. I knew it was steep but looks twice as steep knowing that I have to run up that hill in May. I do run hills during my training but that feels like the toughest battle of the race. This is why we train, though.
I am at the ending stage of a cold. Colds are such bummers. There is nothing good about them. I even had to take a day of a work because I was not doing well. On Thursday I was teaching a group fitness class and I had to stop in the middle of it. I thought I was going to pass out. My body did not want to move anymore. I went home for a quick nap and came back to work for a big meeting. The meeting never happened because the speaker canceled during the meeting. It was very frustrating. I worked all week for the meeting and the gentleman ended up not coming, and it was so last minute.
Friday was the day I ended up taking off. My body was not cooperating. I slept from Thursday afternoon till about Saturday morning. I had the chills, cough, sore throat, headache, and cold sweats. On Saturday when I finally woke up, I felt a lot better. I still have a cold but I am more able to function.
On Saturday I went to work to get a quick run in. It was a tough run but I got in. I knew I was still sick but I had the "cold sweats" while running. Not a great feeling but I did it. I ran this morning for my long. It was nice to have a micro-cycle this week. My chest was definitely tight during the run. Since I really did not get my usually workouts in during the week, it felt like I had not run in a year. My legs felt heavy. In retrospect I probably started back too soon after not feeling well. I am the worst on taking time off. I had surgery on my foot during college and did everything I could to get out on the golf course. I was practicing my putting on one foot because I was not to but any weight on my left foot.
I am feeling a lot better. I am glad it was nothing worse than a cold. I hate missing work for illness but sometimes you just have to take off for the good of your health. I just think it makes me feel lazy when I take off for sickness. So weird.
I think to explain the rough week I need to go back to last Sunday.
Last Sunday I hit golf balls for the first time since November. I loved getting to hit golf balls but it was a tough day on my body. I hit a large bucket of golf balls. My hands hurt plus my abs and legs. When you don't use or don't do it the pain comes quickly. I know enough that it was going hurt on Monday. I was so right. I was sore Monday.
Monday was a sore day but I did have the day off. I had to use my last PTO day from 2010. I did get run outside on Monday. It was actually a pretty nice day.
Tuesday, I decided that I was going to lift like a maniac. I went through a crazy lift with some cross-training.
Wednesday, I could definitely feel my lift from Tuesday. I had a 45 minute run and I think my pace as 10 minutes. I ran the whole time but I was so slow. Plus, I had to do it on a treadmill because we had some winter weather on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Thursday, I was still sore. The lift and golf just added up. Plus, I had to teach two group fitness classes that day due to a teacher being out ill. I did do my own workout but not a tough workout. I did a lift but only on the strength machines. I did a little cross-training as well.
Friday, I was still sore. My body was not excited to be working, and I had a hard time getting up in the morning. At work it was nice because we had a tailgate party to celebrate the Super Bowl. Work all week had an interesting fun atmosphere with everyone excited for the Steeler's playing in the Super Bowl. I was glad Friday's run was only four miles. I felt good during the run but knew I need to rest after the run to get ready for Saturday's long run.
Saturday the rough run day. I let myself sleep until I woke up. I knew my body was tired from having a hard time getting up during the week. My run then started later than usual. I ran outside and when I started my run it was just overcast and about 32 degrees. I had nine miles scheduled. At about four miles into the run it started to rain. It actually started to rain pretty hard. I checked the weather and it said the rain would not come until later in the afternoon. Since I was already in the run I just kept going. At about mile 6 I had to run over a brick road. I slipped a little and then I completely fell. I was on the ground. Scared me so much. I got up and checked and I was okay. I was lucky that I did not put my hands out to catch my fall. I walked a little bit. I switched to a paved road but I had already stiffened up. I was nervous about running now. I was up on a hill so I came down and finished up my run around my place. I did a lot of small circles. My pace was slow but I got the run done. I was so stiff and sore at the end of the run. The week just added up. I stretch and then took a cold shower.
I am very lucky that my fall was nothing serious. I am ready to get some nice weather. It is suppose to get very cold again this week. I would like some warm weather. I have not been very lucky with the weather on my long runs.
I bet tomorrow I feel the some of the fall in my muscles. I think some Ibuprofen is in my future.