Friday, August 7, 2009

Week # 9 & 10 recap!

Yeah, you thought I had fallen off the running wagon, didn't you? It's okay, you can admit it. Because I almost did. But now, I didn't and here are two weeks of running to prove it. As you will be able to tell, week 9 was less than stellar, but I am back on track now--Grand Rapids Marathon, Here I Come!

Week #9
Tuesday--3 miles
Friday--7.50 miles

(Couldn't give you an accurate time for either of these runs because I had misplaced my trusty timer watch--so let's just say that I ran as fast as the wind. Whoosh!)

Friday's run was great fun because it was all trails at our church camp out. The first loop was a file mile trail that was highly wooded, had some nice boardwalk, and finished by following the road back to camp. I felt good enough after the 5 that I decided to run the last 2. I was told it was a great trail and short--so I went. And discovered that for my last two miles I choose a seriously hilly trail with some really big hills. It was tough, tougher than I thought because mentally I was at the end of my run and had chosen to do something that was so difficult. I think that in the end my time was somewhere around 80/85 minutes. I really enjoyed that run. I think however, I would have enjoyed it a bit more had I either been more prepared for the hills or done them at the beginning of my run when I was fresh. Regardless, I did it. Chalk up one more run for me.

Week #10 Recap!

Back in the saddle again.
This week I managed all four runs, even though two distances were a bit, um, lacking.

Tuesday--1.8 miles (18 minutes)
Wednesday--3 miles (30.45 minutes)
Friday--2 miles (20.31 minutes)
These three runs were shorties. Obviously. Wednesday I tried to run fast and found that my knee didn't like it too much, so what started out as a 9:28 mile (1st) ended with an 11:10 mile (3rd). And my gait was very strained by the end of the three miles, it was obvious to me that I was changing my step in order to put less pressure on my knee. The limp was quite evident. After that run, I tried some weights and figured out that it was an upper body strength day, not lower body as first anticipated.
A couple observations from Friday's run:
It was too short. That's how I felt when I was done. Even though I ran tempo and I was glad to be done, I felt as though I hadn't done enough, that it didn't actually count as a run. But it did. And I did it.

Saturday--12.3 miles (at this distance, does time really matter?)
Singing in the rain a la Fred Astaire=romantic
Hiking through a light drizzle=refreshing
Playing or dancing in the rain like my kids=fun
Running through an hour of serious downpour=interesting, to say the least!

So yesterday I had the privilege of doing a great deal of my run in some serious rain--heavy, thick drops and couple inches of water running all over the road and sidewalks and even some thunder and lightening a little too nearby! I don't mind running in the rain as long as I stay warm--and I managed to stay warm yesterday, and even smile through all of it. The only downside: I got water in my earphones and one side isn't working well.
I was wet unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I am so extremely grateful for my running gear that kept me comfortable. My hat kept water off my head and out of my face; all my wicking gear kept wet clothes from rubbing uncomfortably (and despite it I got no blisters). Even though I ran through inches of rain, my feet didn't feel wet. And when it started drying out, my tank dried off enough to keep me from staying too wet for the duration of my run.
But it was slow. I think it just is what is. I have a goal of finishing the marathon in under 5 hours (like I said, slow) but am beginning to wonder if that is at all a reality. I need too many bathroom breaks, my knee needs regular breaks. I know that I shouldn't go into this with a time goal, because in the end I will want to think that I have succeeded despite whatever time I come in with.
One thing that I have noticed is that I am more able to run greater distances or with more speed and possibly even fewer breaks. I think this is progress. My body is (finally) adjusting to all this. The pain in my knee is usually just a little ache. I do take two days to recover from my long run however, and this has thrown my schedule off a little, but I adjust and I find ways to run and I keep running.

Oh and on an ending note: my running partner has been upgraded to my encourager! Eric has realized that his schedule and desire to pursue other interests is keeping him from running with me, so he is changing his official position to that of cheerleader, making sure that I am able to get out on my runs and bringing the kids to see me run the marathon. Yesterday in his first day in this role, he came out on his bike in the pouring rain, found me and biked alongside me for a couple miles--then went home and had a warm towel and hot coffee ready for me after I walked in the door! What a great guy I have!

So I am open for some miles--this Saturday I'm upping it to 14! We're heading into the home stretch! It's exciting but scary. (And I still need to commit and actually sign up for the marathon!)

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