Monday, March 27, 2017

Marathon Training Week 11: 50 Miles

For, I believe, the third time in my life, I hit 50 miles in a week. Welcome to week 11!

My weather app did that thing again where it couldn't decide if I was in the clear or would be running in rain and snow. Gun shy after Saturday's hypothermic debacle, I went back to bed, packed a gym bag, and hit up the treadmill later for this easy run.

When I stepped outside, it felt like spring. The fog held a chill: damp, quiet, calm. The air smelled of wet leaves. It was dark. My feet crunched on pavement, its occasional gravel under my weight.

Rest day. Brought clothes to do office yoga but ran out of time, so I did it at home in the evening. I used a new workout from doyogawithme. The workout wasn't as fulfilling as others I've used, but I enjoyed trying a new one and getting the benefit of a workout. It's amazing how much even a little yoga can heal things that hurt from running.

18 degrees when I stepped outside. I was cold at first, but knew I'd warm up after a mile or two. And oh, these are the mornings I live for. I was most of the way finished before the sun really rose. Before that, I could see hints of light on the horizon, all in shades of blue, leading up to the inky, dark sky and a sliver of a moon over the lake.

The run felt easier than I expected, all but a small uphill part. I was home before anyone was awake, which let me get breakfast started and clean dishes put away.
Shannon and I met for this easy 5 miler. Well, easy for me. She was pushing a jogging stroller containing 3 and 5 year old girls. Not so easy. But a beautiful cool morning.
There wasn't a memo. We just showed up like this.
I must have checked the weather 40 times between Friday afternoon and Saturday. Rain or no rain? Rain or no rain? I finally decided that while it might rain, it looked unlikely to rain until at least 10am. If I started early enough, I could get this 22 miler finished before the rain came.

But just to be sure, because, lake effect, I told Shannon I'd text her before 6am if plans changed.

The plan only changed because I was a few minutes late getting out of my house. I ran the same 2.7 miles as last week to meet her. We ran 6 miles together. Without incident. I so appreciated having the company for part of this very, very long run.

Shortly after parting ways I saw a skunk. I stopped where I was, about 30 feet from it, and let it waddle itself across the road and well into the other side of the street before I proceeded. Without question, and with more thanks than I know how to express here, this was the most disruptive, concerning part of this run.

I finished out 11.5 miles to end up back at my house. I left a note for my still-sleeping husband, listened to the kids playing quietly, refilled my water, grabbed more Gu, and was back out the door. Down to the lake, a lap around, a lap through Cleveland Heights, another lap of the lake, and back toward the house. I got tired toward the end. Mile 21 was a 9:55 pace. I know enough to harness this as an opportunity to train my brain to deal with fatigue, and that's exactly what I did.

Total miles: 50. FIFTY!
Favorite run: I loved them all. Ok, not Monday, but all the others. Gorgeous sunrise one day. The smell of spring another. Running with Shannon. A successful 22 miles. It's too hard to pick this week.

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