Sunday, May 31, 2015

Weekly & May Wrap-Up

Hello friends! Another week of training has passed, and with it, May draws to a close. Like I did last month, I'm going to wrap the two into a combined recap. And oh my, what a week and month it has been.

This Week

If you've been watching this training cycle, you already know that it's been full of ups and downs--injury and exhaustion and rebounding with great runs. This past week was no exception.

Monday: I kicked the week off with a 5 mile easy run, to shake out the 16 mile long run I'd done the day before. Nothing super memorable about this run. Average pace, 9:20.

Tuesday: Yoga! Hooray!! We had a substitute for our regular teacher, and she was great! I really enjoyed the class and left feeling awesome about the world.

Wednesday: The day I'd been dreading/yearning for--my shot at redemption at speed work. As I went out the door to run I told my husband that my training schedule had noted that "today's workout should feel well within reach" and I wanted to flip it off. I was not feeling confident.

The workout: 10x400 (1:45 each) with 200m recoveries (plus warm-up and cool-down). How'd it go? It went freaking awesomely. Splits (400s only):
1:44, 1:40, 1:44, 1:52*, 1:42, 1:43, 1:41, 1:47, 1:44, 1:40
* into the higher corner of the park, but that only explains 2-3 seconds of this. It just got away from me.

Needless to say, I was PUMPED about this. Also, I did most of this in the rain. Like, honest-to-goodness rain, which made me feel even more like a bad ass, naturally. Plus, no pain when I rolled my left IT when I got home. WINNING.

Thursday: Should have taken a rest day. Did not. Ran 6 easy miles instead. Stopped to stretch my calves in the middle, as my left calf was cramping up.

Friday: Super slow 5 miles. Average pace 9:31.

Saturday: Ready for this? For the high point of the week that was speed work, this long run had to rank among the 10 worst runs ever. It was supposed to be a tempo long run, with a warm up, 6 miles at tempo (7:49) and cool down. My "tempo" miles came out at 8:16, 8:28, 8:38, and 8:42. Yep--all 4 of them. And that was all I had. My next 3 miles were a 10:01, 10:24, and 14 minutes. Fourteen minutes. I actually stopped and sat on a park bench for a minute--something I've only ever done one other time mid-run, and I was 37 weeks pregnant at the time. So what went wrong? I'm not sure, but I think my body was still recovering from the speed work. And, since I'd done last week's long run on Sunday, I'd had zero rest days between long runs. And, my left calf is now clearly bringing up the rear of this whole "every part of my left leg is going to undergo injury" shit show, with what feels like a small tear/strain. Otherwise, I got nothin'.

This is how I felt about this long run. 
 The silver lining of this run, if there was one, was that I tried a new Gu flavor and really enjoyed it. I would buy this again. Root beer. Hadn't seen it in a store before. Have you tried it yet? Will you?

May Wrap-Up

I am quite pleased to report that May, injury and all, has been my highest mileage month this year (actually, my highest since last August), ringing in at 138.8, and bringing my 2015 miles to 438. Stats from the month:

# Miles: 138.8

# Runs: 20

# Other workouts: 2. I did yoga in my hotel room in Detroit (if you didn't see my post about that, you should do it! I'm going to start doing yoga every time I travel. Amazing. Great antidote to the muscle strain that comes from traveling). And I did yoga this past Tuesday. I also did a metric sh*tload of foam rolling.

Most memorable run: It's hard to pick this month. The short run I did on the Detroit River Walk was memorable, for seeing all the fishermen there in the morning, and enjoying the change of scenery from my everyday routes. My 16-miler (last weekend) was memorable for being such a wildly successful long run. It's hard to run that far and feel that great at the end. And then this week's speed work, because it was such a triumph over a series of failed efforts.

Current want/needs: I do not need anything. In fact, my current need is to set aside some time to go through all my running gear and weed out the ill-fitting or worn-out items, because my dresser drawers are getting hard to close....

Training update: I'm two weeks out from race day!! I'm not sure what to expect of myself time-wise, but I'm excited for the day (and a good friend) to come.

Home renovation update: Some changes big and small have transpired. Big: we had a huge part of our side yard dug up and mulched over. Even though it's still kinda patchy and weird looking, it looks about a million times better than it had. We're working now with a landscaper to get it integrated with the rest of the yard, and looking like a place you'd actually want  to spend time. I can't wait! Small: at long last, we found just the right tray (for drinks and things) for the ottoman in the man cave (I realize how inconsequential this may seem, but we'd been keeping an eye out for months). And I think we finally found just the right chair for that room, too, although we haven't purchased it (yet). And finally, my parents are here, which means I can finally get to work making the drapes for the living room--the last major undertaking for that space. Hooray!!

Other lovely things in life: My older son turned 7 this month, and hosted some friends for a game party here at the house. It was so much fun, even just to watch! To hear their excited voices, and everyone having a nice time. It was really sweet.

On the research front, I am loving that it's summertime and I get to focus on research, research, research, and very little on other aspects of my job that are more prevalent during the academic year. I'm making great progress on a handful of projects. A colleague and I have very nearly completed the revisions on one manuscript, and we received a Revise & Resubmit letter for another article we had under review, which is great news. I am nearing the completion of the first full draft of a new paper (which I'm co-authoring with a student), and research is going well on another project that isn't as far along yet. An unexpected luxury has come in the form of a sprinkler installation in my office building, which means that I'm working from home a lot, and really appreciating that change. I feel like I'm having the opportunity to just breath in my home really for the first time.

Happy June, runners!

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