Well friends, it’s back to reality after my little staycation. I don’t know if it was the busy week I had last week or just pure staycation induced laziness, but it seems I have quite a bit of catch-up to do here…so here we go!
Wednesday was my first time back to speed work with the club after a few weeks off and oh boy did it kick my butt! I arrived a bit late and decided to skip drills, fearing that any lateral drills would bring back the leg pain I struggled with a few weeks ago. Instead, I ran a few warm up laps and then joined everyone for stretching and stiders. This week we did 4 stiders and moved on to a modified fartlek workout. The goal was to run a consecutive 30 minutes – alternating 3 minutes fast, 1 minute slow until the workout was complete. Well, all I can say is…epic fail. I went out way too fast for the first two sets (sub 9 minute pace even with the slow jogs) and by the third set I was walking the 1 minute slow. It kept going downhill from there resulting in a complete stop to use my inhaler (like a dummy, I didn’t puff up before the workout) and another complete stop to fix the bandaid on my giant blister (it was coming off and causing more damage). After that, I finished the workout. I can’t say I finished strong, but at least I didn’t give up. By the end of the warm-up (2 laps) and workout I had logged 3.25 miles…not too shabby, I guess. Because I took a “rest” day on Monday, my marathon training runs were pushed back a day so that meant I had to get 4 miles in for the day on Wednesday. To finish up my mileage for the day, I jogged another .75 mile barefoot on the turf and went home with my tail between my legs.
After Wednesday’s speed work I was looking forward to resting my legs with an easy two miler with my CARA Beginning Running program participant. Unfortunately, the weather got the best of all of us and the program was canceled for the day. What a crazy storm! It didn’t seem too bad to me as I was driving. Sure, it was a torrential downpour and it was a bit windy, but not a storm I would consider to be “severe” by any stretch…until I drove North of Lake Street. Somewhere between Chicago Ave. and Augusta I came across my first huge tree branch laying across the road and as I continued North to my house I came across flooded streets, huge tree limbs and even whole trees down. I wove my way home, admiring the beautiful double rainbow that had formed, to find a lot of tree damage and the power out. All of my neighbors were in the street surveying the damage and helping to clean up the street. Since the sun was out and the radar looked clear, I visited with my neighbors for a minute, took the dog out and went for a run. Why not, right? I had to get my marathon training run in for the day and the power was out so there wasn’t much else to do. The devastation was unreal. I was dodging huge tree limbs and whole trees just about every other block. I was shocked at the extent of the damage and that it seemed to be in such a concentrated area. After my run I returned home, cleaned up and sat in my car trying to cool off and charge my phone since we were still sans power. After a restless (and hot) sleep, I was awakened at 4am by the sound of loud voices, diesel trucks and chainsaws directly outside my bedroom window, as the ComEd guys worked to restore our power by removing the tree limb that had fallen on our power lines. Generally speaking, I would be complaining about all of the noise, but if the noise meant that air conditioning was in my near future, I was all for it! 🙂
After an air conditioned morning nap (I went back to sleep after the power was restored), I dragged myself out of bed and spent the morning being lazy. My Mother-In-Law picked me up close to Noon and we took the “L” downtown for a fun girls day filled with lunch at Berghoff’s and a visit to the Art Institute to see the new Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity exhibition (very cool by the way!). It was a great day and I had a ton of fun. It’s always nice to spend time with my Mother-In-Law. I know I’ve said it before, but I really lucked out in the in-law department! It was also fun to feel the excitement in the air, since the Blackhawks rally was also being held downtown on Friday. When we got off the “L” there was a sea of red as people made their way from the rally that had just ended in Grant Park. It seemed like we were surrounded by Blackhawks fans all day…it was really neat. After our fun outing I returned home and squeezed in a quick one miler. I felt really good, but was glad I only had to log one mile since my feet were killing me from being on them and wearing flip flops all day.
I felt like I lost my Saturday in a black hole. Looking back, it seems like I got a whole lot of nothing accomplished and it took me all day to do it. I woke up relatively early and managed to get sucked into a movie while I ate breakfast. I knew I had a few errands that I had to run so after the movie I peeled myself off the couch and geared up for my long run. This week was a step back week so I only had to get in 5 miles, but I was feeling really lazy and not into it at all. The first 2 miles were easy and I felt really good, but I started to fade in mile 3. I suspect the energy bonk was due to the fact that I didn’t eat lunch before heading out and I wasn’t really hydrated enough. I seem to have trouble with keeping myself hydrated at home. I think I’m going to set an alarm on my phone to remind myself to drink water during the day when I am at home. How do you remind yourself to stay hydrated on the weekends or when you are at home?
After my run I got ready for the day and set out to get all of my errands done. First, I had to stop at The Runner’s Soul in Elmhurst to pick up packet’s for Thursday’s Elmhurst 4 on the 4th race, then I had to stop and return a suit I bought that was too big and finally I had to get a pair of black shorts to complete my club uniform for the race. The weather was gorgeous so I took my time driving with the sunroof open and I didn’t even mind that I had to park at the opposite end of the strip mall (the lot was PACKED) and walk to the store to make my return. In fact, I was even happy to walk down to DSW in search of a new pair of colorful and fun shoes to wear with the white eyelet dress I found buried in the back of my closet a few weeks ago. I then had the bright idea to try and find a new pair of running shoes since my current pair has about 300 miles on them, so over to Sports Authority Elite I went. I found an awesome pair of black running shorts and spent some time talking to a clerk about which shoes would be right for me. After checking my arch and watching me run, he recommended the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 since it provided support for my “normal” arch and my slight pronation. I was starving by the time I left the store with my shorts and brand new kicks in a fun dark purple/lime green combo. In high school I only wore Nike, but since I started running again two years ago, I have been a loyal Saucony fan. I felt guilty buying this pair of Brooks and honestly, haven’t even taken them out of the box since I brought them home. I’ve even been debating returning them and am finding myself making up excuses to return them (i.e. they feel heavier, the toe box feels really big, they are kinda dark for my taste, etc.). Do you have a favorite brand of running shoes?
Since I was on a mini staycation, I decided Sunday would be a good day to do a deep clean of my house. Working full time, going to school and running has really limited the amount of “free” time I have to do things like cook, clean and finish household and/or craft projects. Taking the summer off has allowed for a bit more free time, but after months of spot cleaning, the house was in need of a serious clean. After eating a bit of breakfast, I rolled up my sleeves and dug in. After scrubbing, dusting, mopping, and vacuuming the majority of the day, I finally gave up when the first and second floor of the house were sparkling. After a quick shower, I geared up and headed out for a quick one mile streak run. Despite feeling tired from working all day, I felt pretty good and was happy to see a faster pace for this run. It must have been the beautiful weather!
Monday was the last day of my mini staycation and I still had a ton of “to dos” left on my list. I was excited that my husband would be returning from his Canadian fly-in fishing trip after a week and a half of zero communication (in the 5 years we have been together, we have not gone a single day without at least talking on the phone), but I promised I would work on making a set of roman shades for our kitchen while he was gone and I hadn’t even thought about starting them! So I got up early, ate some breakfast and decided to get my run in early so I could get to work on my to do list. I wasn’t really feeling into running when I left the house, but after a mile and a half I got into the zone and felt good. My legs have been feeling a little tired lately so it’s been hard to maintain a faster pace on runs longer than 2 miles. I find myself slowing down and am disappointed with my slower average paces, but I have to remind myself to listen to my body. If my body is telling me to slow down, it must be for a reason. Also, I keep telling myself that the slower pace is OK, since it is well within the suggested easy run training pace for my goal 5K time (10:30-11:22).
After my run I mowed the lawn, showered and ventured out to JoAnn Fabrics and Home Depot for supplies so I could finally get started on the roman shades. I returned home with supplies in hand (and flowers for the front of the house too) and got to work cutting the fabric. I did a good job cutting the length but was too busy singing and dancing (if you can even call it that…lol) to my recently rediscovered Ray LaMontagne Pandora station and cut the width to size instead of adding the required 4 inches for the hem. Ooops…good thing we got the fabric on super clearance and ended up buying the rest of the roll so there is plenty left over even after my silly mistake! Anyway, after I regained my focus, I successfully cut both panels and even got the hems sewed on one. I’m looking forward to finishing them this weekend…I think they are going to look awesome!
After a busy first day back to work after my mini staycation, I rushed home to get my training run in so I could spend some quality time with the hubs. The weather was awesome and I felt great the entire run. My legs still felt a little tired so I took it easy, focusing on continual movement instead of a faster pace. I knew I could have pushed it and run faster, but I also wanted to take it easy in the hopes my legs would “wake up” for tomorrow’s (Thursday) race. After my run, I settled in with my husband to catch-up on some shows we missed while he was playing in the Canadian wilderness.
My office closed a little early today so we could get a head start on our holiday weekend, so I was able to get home about an hour earlier than usual which was nice since I had a bit of preparation to do for tomorrow’s race and run club gathering. After taking the dog for a short walk I geared up and went out for an easy one mile streak run. Because of tomorrow’s race, I didn’t want to push too hard and basically used the run only to keep the streak alive. I felt good and wasn’t winded at all so I guess I was successful in meeting my goal for the day. After my run I started on making the cinnamon coffee cake muffins for tomorrow’s run club gathering after the race and ate my usual pre-race Noodles & Co. Wisconsin Mac and Cheese. Now the challenge will be to keep my hands off the muffins until after the race tomorrow…they smell so GOOD!
Stay tuned for a race recap tomorrow! 🙂
Miles to Date: 100.34
Consecutive Days: 38
Miles to Goal: 29.66 (this is so not going to happen :()
Days Remaining: 1