Last week was not the best running week ever for me. We all have those weeks where nothing seems to come easy with our running. For the first time in months, the temps in the Bay Area climbed into the 70's and all of a sudden my running had a new element added that required me to overcome. Heat and wind are two of the worst weather elements for a runner. I could run in rain and cold all day, but as soon as you have the sun beating down your neck or a headwind you must run into, your running mojo can take a dive if you're not prepared. I wasn't prepared last week. Between my job and everything else going on, I just wanted an easy week to run and get it all out. But the heat really threw me for a loop and I just wasn't ready. As a result, I had one of the most difficult weeks of running for the year to date. I couldn't figure it out: the week before I battled dreadful cold and still nailed all of my runs, but last week I struggled with even the low mileage.
So I decided to leave it all in last week and embrace this week with the thoughts that yes, spring/summer is upon us and I better be prepared. Being able to not focus on one bad week gives you the ability to move on and embrace why we run in the first place and not make it the chore that it was last week. My mileage was not great - I struggled to hit 42 miles. It was probably a good thing though, with less than a month left until Boston, I was probably due a cut back week before I have two more intense weeks before taper. I am going to embrace that low mileage and relish in the fact that I made it and I learned a lot.
Sunday I got to meet up with my cousin Sarah and her sister Katie for Sarah's first 12 mile run - her longest run ever to date by 2 miles! We both had busy Sunday mornings so we weren't able to hit the trail until well after 1 pm when the temps had already climbed into the low 70's. Probably not the smartest time of day to go out, but it was all we had. The conversation was great, the trail was beautiful, but the heat just drained us. For the first time ever, I completely finished my handheld water bottle. I never do that - I'm not a drinker or a sipper (something I need to work on). Each mile after the 6 mark was harder. But we held strong and actually kept a pretty even pace for the whole run. I am so proud of Sarah for pushing through. It was a lot of miles to tackle in the first place for someone who has just taken up running less than 6 months ago, and then to add the heat to the picture, well, she did just great. Even a veteran runner like me was plagued by the heat and it just goes to show you, sometimes no matter how many miles you have ran, one run can change a lot. We finished strong and we got the miles in! I am so proud of you Sarah! And thanks Katie for being our biking sherpa - that was sooooo appreciated!
12 miles 2:01:44 10:09/mi pace.
So with the mindset of my former golfer self, I decided to leave last week at the last hole. Er, I mean leave it in last week and embrace the next two weeks head on. After
my prison sentance work yesterday, I headed home to some more warm temps and wind! But I was stoked to get out there and run fast. My hubbs had wanted to go to the gym, but he was torn about me being out on the road by myself. On Saturday on my way home from work, I witness an older man get hit by a car on his bike on the very road I run on everyday. It really shook me up. He was going against traffic and was side swipped pretty bad. But you can't let fear hold you back and I wanted to run. So Ari decided to hit the road with me for a run of his own for my first two miles then jump on the bike with me for the last five. He did great! He kept an 8:35/mi pace with me in the heat and wind! I am so proud of him. He always says he is not a runner, but he always runs a few miles on the dreadmill and now yesterday, he actually hit the road. It was a good warm up for me, but running so slow the last two days really was mentally hard for me. It changes your gate and everything and I could feel it. So when he jumped on the bike with me to finish my legs were wicked speedy! And the second half of the five miles was all straight into the wind. But my legs felt light and free and I ran great. The miles ticked by quick and I remembered why I love to run. It was a run that felt effortless and I embraced it, forgetting what the hell of last week was.
2 miles 17:10 8:35/mi pace
5 miles 37:28 7:29/mi pace
total 7 miles 54:38 7:48/mi pace
These were times I would have killed for this time last year, and for the first time they felt effortless. I have to remember this run. I am really proud of this run and know I couldn't have done it with out my best running sherpa next to me. He is chatty cathy on the bike next to me and I loved hearing him yesterday just talk while I ran. I am really trying hard not to think too much about Boston and Big Sur because if I do all the negative thoughts come straight to the surface and self doubt sets in. I am scared beyond belief about Boston and even more terrified about Big Sur. But all I can do is keep plugging away and hope that I will have a day like yesterday come April 19th. It's funny, most of my running dreams before a big race are filled with fear and failure. And I don't usually have them this far out from race day. But the other night I had a dream that I was running a half marathon and I won the women's division. I was shocked myself. I just need to stay positive and that is going to be difficult in the next few weeks.
7 hot sweaty miles together - thanks Ari :)
I have a step up in mileage this week and I am going to tackle every run head on. Less than 4 weeks to Boston and I am getting ready. It's amazing what a week will do :)
Happy Running and Happy Tuesday peeps!