Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Carmel Marathon Training {Week 7}

"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sniffle, nor fever shall keep me from my training schedule." 

I couldn't have written that line from a Runner's World article better myself (which is why I didn't).

Halfway into a "race it" training plan for the Carmel half marathon, I was facing what might have been my toughest week yet. It wasn't the workouts on tap nor challenging weather conditions. Oh, no. Snow and wind – I laugh in your face ... and then run on the treadmill.

Rather, it was lack of sleep due to a sick baby and my own bout of illness. It started with some pressure in my sinuses. And then my nose started to drip. Congestion began to set in and then came the cough. Oh, the cough. It was persistent and dry, reminiscent of a long-time heavy smoker who moonlights as a adult phone operator.

I could have, understandably, phoned it in last week but the whole sick baby thing left me yearning to run more than ever.

So I consulted Dr. Google and Runner's World, finding solace in the "neck" rule – if symptoms are north, you are clear to go. South of the neck? Well, dose up and stay in bed.

This view is supported by research done at Ball State University by Tom Weidner, Ph.D., director of athletic training research. In one study, Weidner took two groups of 30 runners each and inoculated them with the common cold. One group ran 30 to 40 minutes every day for a week. The other group was sedentary. According to Weidner, "the two groups didn't differ in the length or severity of their colds." In another study, he found that running with a cold didn't compromise performance. He concluded that running with a head cold--as long as you don't push beyond accustomed workouts--is beneficial in maintaining fitness and psychological well-being. {Source}

As my symptoms were all in my head, literally, I kept up with my training – if only for my psychological well-being.

Highlight: A surprisingly speedy run on Friday with my BRF. It was a great run for so many reasons but a sub-9 pace after a night of coughing was a great boost.

Lowlight: My long run was a challenge from start to finish. I was heading out solo on a long run for the first time in ages; Mark and I were not on good terms when I left; and I had some mighty headwinds. My plan called for 14 miles with 5 at goal pace, and I was ready to quit after the first 6. (I ran three loops – 6 miles, 5 miles and 3 miles.) I managed to keep going but I had a really hard time hitting the faster pace. The goal miles were between 8:43 and 9:01, and I thought I'd be closer to 8:40 for all. But oh well. It's crossed off the schedule, and I can take pride in that.

The week, in running:

Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles, with 3 at tempo
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 14 miles, with 5 at goal pace
Sunday: 6 miles, negative split

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