Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring Training: Week 11

Spring Training posts document my training for the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon on March 30 and my "A" race, the Wisconsin Marathon half, on May 4.

The week, in training:

Monday: TurboFire Stretch 40 + 4 miles
Tuesday: 5 miles + BODYPUMP (taught)
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4 miles + BODYPUMP 85 (at home)
Friday: 5.35 miles
Saturday: BODYPUMP (taught)
Sunday: 11.85 miles, long

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Run the Bluegrass is the fifth half-marathon that I trained for and will be my sixth 13.1 (I ran the Indianapolis Women's Half in September as part of marathon training). While those numbers still put me on the novice side, I can tell you I have learned one thing. One thing that will be true from training cycle to training cycle.

That truth? The last "real" long run will suck. And suck hard. 

It is my belief that the running gods feel the need to scoop up any doubt about a particular training cycle, form it into a ball and roll it down a giant hill, allowing it to gain incredible momentum. Enough to knock you right on your ass. The running gods want you to know that even though you've logged hundreds of miles, consumed your weight in carbs and finally feel strong, that you are not invincible.

The memory of my last long run for the 2010 Flying Pig half marathon is crystal clear. Every long then was a personal distance record, and the miles seemed overwhelming. Mark and I were nearing the 10.5-mile marker, and I just wanted to be home. But as we turned the corner to the street that would take us there, my calf seized up. I couldn't walk a step much less run one. I stopped to stretch and as I leaned over, the tears began to roll down my cheeks. I told Mark to go one without me, that I'd never be able to run 13.1. Mark believed otherwise, encouraged me to keep moving forward, and I hobbled the rest of the way. 

While my run on Sunday wasn't as dramatic, it was just as knock-you-on-your-ass. The weather was less than desirable though definitely not the worst I've seen this winter. And, yes, I said winter because those pesky running gods have failed to tell Mother Nature that it is March and time for spring. It was high 20s, or just at 30, and windy - just below my threshold for taking out Miles. But the little bugger was begging to go outside so we put him in snow pants, coat, gloves, hat and extra socks and decided to do a family loop before I finished up.

I wasn't particularly enthusiastic in the early part of that loop. There were lots of stops and starts - Miles kicking off his shoes, traffic on the way to the park, Denali's collar jacked - and I wasn't able to hit my groove once we were on the greenway. Mark and I strode in silence, which is never a good sign, only letting out grunts as we fought the wind. I tried to stay "in it" but as we closed in on home, all I could think was that it would be so nice to be done.

At which point Miles decided that he was no longer enjoying the run and began screaming. I told myself that my 8 remaining miles might suck but they'd be scream free. The inherent mother runner motivation.

Quiet though the miles were, they were unpleasant. I got temporarily mislocated in a confusing subdivision, finding myself on unfamiliar roads without sidewalks and drivers accustomed to seeing runners. I spent a good mile or two freaking out that I was going to be hit by a car or forced into a 14-mile long run that would incite panic in Mark when I didn't return in time. I eventually got my bearings and going in the right direction, a direction that happened to be into the wind. For four miles, the wind whipped around me and I cursed with every gust. 

And then, at mile 10, 10.25, I saw a police car sitting in the park. I knew I had a mile and a half to get home, farther if I wanted to hit 12, but the idea of being in the cold for another 15 minutes seemed like torture. I was sure that I could run up to the cruiser and kindly ask the officer to take me home. Or at least let me call Mark and request a pick-up. Of course, it would have taken 5 minutes to request the use of a phone/make the call, Mark a good 5 minutes to get Miles packed up and another 5 to get to the park. So 15 minutes. 

The time it would take for me to get home.

So that's what I did. I ran home. It was slow. Ugly. And 0.15 mile shy of the 12 I was aiming for. But, it was 8 more than I almost ran and brought me to the elusive 30-mile week, proving that finishing is winning.


  1. I'll be running that race too! It'll be exciting to see a fellow Ft. Wayne-r there! :) You're going to do awesome.

  2. Oh man! That is a rough last run! At least we know you won't get mislocated on course... right?! :)

  3. Way to go! Cold and wind are not my friends. It was warm but windy as hell here this weekend, so I did my 10 on the treadmill. BORING.

    You're going to rock your race, I know it!

  4. The running Gods have been jerks lately. Great job sticking with your run and getting it done. Miles in the bank.

  5. Wow, congrats on pushing through and hitting your 30 miles! You had a great week of workouts!