BCHM Training with Hansons: Week 11

First, I want to apologize for being a bit absent this week. Things are crazy with trying to get ready for vacation, but I hope to get caught up on everyone's blog posts soon, though in general I won't be online much while I'm away.

What a week! I'm always stressed before I go on vacation, and this week was no exception. There are always a million things to do at home and at work! Plus, it was like the universe conspired to make everything as hard as possible for me. One day this week I tried a new route to get home to bypass construction on my regular route, got lost in a part of the city I've never been to before, and ended up driving in the HOV lane (by myself) with a huge knot in my stomach and tears in my eyes and then getting dumped way out of my way and having to backtrack home. The next day I was still so stressed that I went to Panera at lunch, bought a sea salt focaccia, and ate the entire loaf at lunch. Ouch. There's been a medical emergency in my husband's side of the family that we've (mostly him) have had to deal with the whole past week. It's Oktoberfest time, and since I live right around the corner from a popular brewery, my neighborhood has been chaotic (thank God we'll be away for the bulk of Oktoberfest). I haven't gone to the grocery store so that food won't go to waste while I'm gone, so I've been living on banana chips and cashews and generally eating like crap this whole week. And on and on.

Another big thing I'm stressed about is where I'll run on vacation. We are staying in a very small town in Idaho right outside Yellowstone National Park. The only things I know about it are that its population is 286 and the nearest grocery store is 1.5 hours away. I was originally planning on driving in the early mornings to a nearby state park to run to have the rest of the day free for hiking. But when I went to print out maps, I saw a bunch of alerts and warnings about bears. Apparently I'll be in a major bear activity area...and of course I remember the hikers who got killed by a bear in Yellowstone this summer. So...maybe running through a forest by myself in the early morning isn't the best idea. I'm guessing the town I'm staying in isn't big enough to do any sort of longish run, and I don't really just want to run on the major roads (assuming that there are major roads in Idaho? I have no idea). I think my best option might be to run in Yellowstone National Park on the major roads and not trails. The speed limit will be 25, and I think that will be safer than running on roads outside the park or on remote trails. I won't know for sure where to run until I get there, which bothers me. Wish me luck that it works out.

The bad news of the week: I didn't get in to the 2016 SeaWheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver next August. I logged on to registration as soon as it opened on two different browsers and immediately got put into a waiting room, where I sat until the 10, 017 spots sold out in less than 12 minutes....or so I thought. Later, I found out that some people registered and then went back and registered other people. I kept trying to register, but when it wasn't letting me in, I assumed it was sold out. It actually didn't sell out for about 25 minutes. Ugh. I have been guilty of not trying hard enough during a race, but it never occurred to me I didn't try hard enough to get in to a race! Gretchen from Gretch Runs and I had made plans to go. She got in, and I'm happy for her, but it's sad that we both won't be there. I'm not as heartbroken as you might think, though. While I would have been very happy to go and experience it, I was already feeling apprehension about a.) running a race in warm weather, which I've pretty much sworn off and. b.) taking our vacation in Vancouver after the race...we much prefer taking our vacation in September for many reasons, and I was a little bummed to have to take in August if I got in to the race. Plus, I just don't really have the bandwidth this week to be too upset about it. So...oh well!

As for training, well, it started out awesome and then really fizzled. I was dreading this week because it was a peak week and I couldn't take my usual Wednesday rest day so that I could save it for Saturday's travel. The first two SOS workouts were awesome! This was the first week where the paces actually felt not super hard, and everything just clicked. The runs have been so hard since I started this last, very difficult phase that not having them be so hard felt really amazing. Also, I should note that this was the first week I started wearing my headlamp. It's so dark now, and the last thing I need is to get hurt tripping over something in the dark.

But my mistake was not taking a rest day. When it was time for my long run this morning, on my 9th consecutive day of running, it just wasn't happening. In retrospect, I should have replaced an easy run with a rest day so that I could have done my long run today. Oh well!

I ran 28.5 miles this week (crazy low for me!). Tomorrow will be a rest day while I travel, and then I'll do an easy run Sunday, but I'll tack that onto next week's update. Here's how the week went.

Strength workout: 8.5 miles in 1:37:52
On the schedule was the workout I'd been dreading with the longest repeats--2 x 3-mile repeats at 10 seconds faster than goal race pace (10:40) with one half-mile recovery between them. Every single one of these workouts has been very tough for me, and I honestly didn't know whether I'd be able to do this workout. It was just 50 degrees, which I hoped would help, and to help even more I brought music. I never listen to music on early morning runs because if I'm running by myself in the dark, I need to be very aware of my surroundings and to hear if anyone approaches me. I was so nervous about this run that I threw safety out the window and wore headphones, but with the music pretty low. I don't know whether it was the cool weather, the music, running on the fifth consecutive day instead of the sixth, or a combination, but this run was my best run in the whole training cycle. The pace felt comfortable, and I actually had to hold myself back instead of pushing myself. I felt amazing. I can only hope to feel this good on race day. Splits were Repeat 1: 10:37, 10:37, 10:36; Repeat 2: 10:29, 10:23, 10:28.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:04:13; 12:51 pace
I have read that one of the biggest mistakes people make when following this plan is running their workouts too fast. Well, I think my faster paces on Monday caught up to me, because for the first time I had some soreness in my hip and...my knee! I have never had knee pain in my life, so this was a first for me. It was mainly a little sore when I would step down from a curb or something like that. So I took my easy run really easy. Even though it was still really cool at 55 degrees, my legs were pretty tired so it wasn't hard to go really easy. In the evening I made sure to do a second stretching session and spent more time with the foam roller.

Tempo run:  8 miles in 1:31:14
It was warmer, at 60 degrees, and again I worried how well I'd be able to run 6 miles at goal race pace (10:50). And would my knee be a problem? Again I brought music and, again, it was a great run and was more about holding myself back than struggling to push. I ran strong and felt awesome. I started to get a little tired in the last mile but had no problem pushing. Splits were 10:47, 10:44, 10:55 (gel and salt stick mile...I have just accepted I'll slow down in the race during these miles), 10:47, 10:39, 10:42. My knee wasn't sore, but I felt it a bit in my cool-down mile. More stretching and foam rolling in the evening, and everything then felt back to normal. No problems for the rest of the week.

Easy run: 5 miles, 1:03:09, 12:38 pace
60 degrees, 100% humidity, and I was SO TIRED. I should have taken this day as a rest day.

"Long run": 2 miles, 23:29, 11:45 pace
I had the day off work but set my alarm for 5 a.m. to start running at 6 to get my 12 miles in on what would be my 9th consecutive day of running. While it's been a bit cooler in the mornings, it's been heating up into the 80s this week and I wanted to beat the heat. When my alarm when off, my body was just NOT having it. I reset the alarm about 5 times, but my body just refused to move. I felt dead. Getting my dog situated was my top priority for today, so I decided to take him for a walk before my run to give myself a chance to wake up. Django is staying with my friend and her two greyhounds (his buddies) when I'm away. He loves staying there and has a blast, but it's like a three-ring circus when all the dogs get together, with Django being the main instigator. I wanted to try to wear him out a little before I dropped him off, so I took him on a longer walk. During the walk, I realized that there was no way I was running 12 miles. I decided to do 10 instead. Then I thought 8 would be a good target. Okay, maybe 5. Finally, I just said, "something is better than nothing" and decided to just go out and see what I had in me. By the time we were done with the walk and I was ready to run, it was 8:45 a.m.--very late for me--67 degrees, and really sunny. I got about five minutes in and decided to quit. I was exhausted, I was hot, I despise running in the sun, and I had about a million things to do during the day and just did not want to run. I told myself to go out for 1 mile, and if I still felt that way, I could come back. Well, I still felt that way after 1 mile. If it were just a matter of being miserable, I know I could have toughed it out because I've done that before. But I knew I needed to go to the post office, the store, drive my dog an hour away to my friend's house and back, clean the house since our cat sitter is coming, print out all my paperwork, and pack all my stuff. I just got too late of a start, and there was too much to do. So, yes, I skipped a workout. Ugh!!! I skipped a workout! I don't think I've ever skipped a workout before! But today I learned that I am not superwoman. I can't keep on running 9 days without a rest day and then expect to do my long run, and I can't do it all on top of all the stresses of the week. Oh well!!! I will live.
Yes, I'm flipping off the sun.

So that's that. I did a lot of what I needed to do today and need to finish up early since we have a very early flight tomorrow. I had hoped to schedule some fun posts while I'm gone but won't have time. I hope everyone has a great week! Yellowstone, here I come!

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