Well Fort2Base is on the books, for better or worse! On Sunday 8/23/15 I ran the 10 Nautical Mile Fort2Base race (about 11.5 regular miles). I'm calling it my 10 mile PR. Because I've only run 2 10 milers, and my nautical mile 10m is faster than my regular 10m. Hah!
Going into the race I had no expectations except to use it as a recovery run from the marathon last week. I thought it was a reasonable distance considering looking at marathon recover plans runs of about 2 hours are about on par. I didn't count on a whiny calf stopping me from running during the week, but I didn't think that was going to affect it much. I was a little nervous my calf may have actually been hurt, but my backup plan was if it hurt I was walking - the race has a generous time limit so I knew I'd be okay. And packet pickup was 10 minutes from my house the day before the race - easy easy, and the shirt is nice. A brighter pink than I usually wear but I like it.
Left: Front / Right: Back. Cute, right?
So since Fort2Base is a point to point we actually parked at Rosalind Franklin University and hopped shuttles to the respective start lines (in addition to the 10 nautical mile race I ran there was a 3 nautical mile one). While I heard some drivers got confused and attempted to take runners to the wrong start line (3milers were NOT interested in ending up in the 10, imagine that!), my shuttle was easy to hop and after texting Marcia (since for the first time we know *ahead* of time that we were going to be at the same race!) to tell her I was hopping the shuttle to the start I was off!
On the shuttle! Sun barely up so it was dark.
Waiting at the start line was strange - I was there for about 45 minues and for a good deal of that I was legitly shivery. I met up with my Moms Run This Town chapter and kept my eyes peeled for Marcia, but the breeze and overcast morning had us all hoping the chill would carry into the race - it was expected to be high 60s but only 70% humidity, which didn't sound bad. (Spoiler alert..the nice breeze stopped shortly after the race started! Bummer!) I did manage to catch Marcia right before she and Emily hit the portopotty lines (I wished them luck - the lines had gotten long at that point!). I am happy to report she was even nicer than she seemed from her blog, and it was great to finally connect after being at so many races together and not realizing it until after we put up our recaps!
But the opening ceremony was there before we knew it and while I was worried it would end up long, it was actually really short after a very high pitched version of the star-spangled banner. (Not a bad rendition, but it was strange to contrast - last week at Moose's Tooth the anthem was sung low and deep by a man with a very lovely voice at the low end of the musical range...today it was exactly the opposite!) And then we were off - ready to run towards Great Lakes Naval Base! We ran a loop around the start line, finally passing it again, before we hit the official course. (I'm not sure what this loop was for, it wasn't on the course map, and there is some talk it was unplanned and added distance to the race - most people came up 11.75+, leading to speculation the course was more like 11.7 than the 11.5 it was supposed to be.)
Start line, shortly before I embarrassingly forgot to take off my hat during the national anthem. GJ me.
I was super paranoid and trying to be very conservative the first mile, nervous about my calf; I could tell it wasn't totally normal but it wasn't hurting unless I wasn't careful when I went to pivot in a turn. (Which really means, if I used poor form I could tell it was still a bit sore.) Mostly though my leg was fine, although I was 100% prepared to stop and walk if I needed to. I was fine the first mile though, even with it being slightly uphill for a good chunk, and I mostly relaxed. The first mile hit my watch (and most people's, apparently) at around 1.15...I assumed that meant it was a nautical mile and not a regular mile, but apparently it was meant to be a regular mile. As a bonus, I watched Marcia run by me in her super cute purple skirt!
Once I relaxed though I realized something - I was tired. My legs did not want to move. At all. And the breeze hadn't followed us onto the course. I was already feeling hot. At least it wasn't sunny, but it felt way more humid than the 70% predicted - in trying to find data on it, it looks like the humidity never fell below 80% yesterday, which means it was probably much higher that early in the morning. Whatever it was, yuck. By mile 4 I could wring sweat of out my hair. Eww.
Mile two honestly didn't feel any better than mile 1, and I gratefully walked the water stop that came shortly after the 2 mile mark. My legs weren't loosening up and I honestly just felt awful. I took in a cup of water and a cup of gatorade.
Mile three I started contemplating walk breaks. I could already feel sweat just dripping down me. The path we were running was beautiful - a lovely tree lined bike path - but I barely felt able to appreciate it. I took more gatorade at the aid station, wondering if my electrolytes were off and it was kicking my butt.
Mile four I was dragging. When we crossed a concrete bridge that swayed with foot traffic (seriously freaky - it looks solid, but it moved like a rickety wooden bridge...scared the crud out of everyone near me who was crossing it) it took me a moment to realize what was freaking me out. I thought my balance was off.
Mile 5 I knew that whatever I needed to run a long run, I didn't have it today. My hair was soaked and I gave up on my hat - it was overcast anyway - and clipped it onto my belt. I didn't know - and still don't - if not being able to run during the week had knocked me off my game or if it was just a bad day or if I just wasn't recovered enough from the marathon, but whatever it was, I didn't have it. I wasn't ready to walk/run yet but I knew that I couldn't do this today. I wasn't even half way and picking up my legs felt impossible. I promised myself once I hit the halfway mark, I'd add regular walk intervals. I wasn't ready to walk the race - but I knew I couldn't run the whole time. I was struggling more than I did at the end of the marathon. This aid station only had two volunteers, so I skipped it and sipped from my handheld instead.
And mile 6 was pretty much when I gave up the race. It wasn't mental - physically, my body just couldn't do it. I started with walking a minute every half mile. By mile 9 I was playing tag with the 11:30 pacer, and walking every quarter mile other than a short interval where it rained a little and the cooling drizzle helped me regulate my temp a little better.
But on the plus side, we were running into the base at this point and there were only 2.5ish miles to go - some very strict service members sternly reminded a runner in front of me not to take pictures of the base when she stopped for a photo op, which I was tired enough to only find mildly interesting. My legs felt so fatigued. There was an enormous downhill in this mile, but I was so physically tired that instead of enjoying it I focused on not face planting. I am happy to report, no falls, even with the slippery ground from the earlier drizzle. At the base of the hill I watched a man wet his hands in a puddle (I'm not sure why - heat?) and a volunteer tell him there was an aid station right ahead of us, that they'd throw water on us if we needed and we didn't need to use the puddles. I found the energy to laugh as I walked into the aid station, which was filled with military personnel. I gratefully took some water, thanked them for their service (I mean - I always say thank you to volunteers - always - but I thanked them for their military service too) and walked on. I knew we had a big hill coming so my plan was to run until I hit the bottom of it.
The stretch to Hero Hill was filled with inspirational quotes about what it was to be a hero, and how to do the impossible. Exhausted and depleted as I felt, the quotes were perfect. At this stretch there was less than a mile to go in the race, and it was the perfect place to read them.
And then...Hero Hill. Wow. That sucker was enormous. I started walking up it, when a member of my running group, Angel, challenged me to race her up. She was with a guy, who ran with us too. "This is BS!" he said, and I tried to laugh, but that hill sucked. And I tried running it...but about 1/3 of the way up I gave up. "Are you sure? We're almost there!" "I'm sure. I can't. I'm sorry." I was just dead.
They went on, and I walked...until a service member (a chief, I heard them called? a navy serviceman? a soldier? Here I must profess my ignorance, but definitely active military personnel) told me to run with him up the hill. They had personnel at the top of the hill, picking runners to run them up. I find myself sitting here now with a loss for words. I can't describe the feeling of him running me up the hill. I was panting, I was sweating, but he got me up there. "You did it, you beat Hero Hill!" I thanked him, but I can't even begin to describe the moment any better than that. It was amazing. I hate hills but that moment was worth the entire race. For that moment, for that hill, I will try to run this race every year going forward. It was that amazing, even on dead legs. If you haven't done this race, I highly recommend it for this moment alone.
And then it was the final stretch. The course was long and there was the last aid station in here - an amazing one again staffed by military personnel, handing out water and gatorade and chanting - but most of it's a blur. I cajoled the man who had also been running with the kind MRTT lady to finish strong with me - I could see the finish shoot, no walking now, even on dead legs - and he laughed and told me he had no shame, he'd walked the last .2m in the Chicago marathon every year. So I told him about dragging my husband across the finish line because I was so ready to be done in those .2m. "The hill?" he asked, and I was honest and told him I hadn't even noticed it because I was so ready to be done.
And then I finished. I was medalled by a man in uniform, and given a towel. I tried to thank them, but I am afraid I wasn't terribly coherent. I collected my race food (popcorn, pita chips, water, sobe lifewater (diet?? or are they all calorie free?), granola bars, and cracker jack. And then caught the shuttle back.
One of the biggest medals I've ever gotten. And heavy, too.
In the end - I don't know why, but my body was not digging the run. My guess is it was a combination of factors, but I was not recovered from the marathon and that didn't help. This was a strugglefest, but it was also a great experience that I highly recommend.
This week, I'm taking a forced break. I dunno what this will do to training for Milwaukee, but my body is tapped out. I'm not sore, but my muscles are just tired. Deeply fatigued in a way that's concerning. I'm not injured, but I don't think logging miles this week will do me any favours...I'm going to walk with the kids, push fluids, make sure I get enough to eat, and hope that next week I can jump back in. And that missing a big long run (it's supposed to be 19) doesn't hurt me. It is what it is.
Anne would call this a brain dump and that sounds about right. My brain hasn't seemed to want to shut off since I crossed the finish line. So in no particular order, here are some post marathon thoughts -
1) I do regret I can't call it a PR. I mean, I would have PR'ed! For sure. No doubt. Even if I had walked the whole last mile. And I would have surpassed my B goal and my A goal and possibly even hit my pie-in-the-sky secret goal. But the course was short. By a lot. My husband doesn't get it, he says if it counts as a marathon - which I am fine with and I do think 50 staters should get credit for racing in Alaska - it should count as a PR.
If the course had been long I'd have no issues at all calling it a PR. But in my mind to PR it has to meet a minimum threshhold. Good enough for government work, but not for time goals! I'm okay with it, but I do kinda regret. Apparently they will be "adjusting times" which kinda sucks too, because I know when I figured out the course was short I stopped pushing so hard, and my husband paced based on actual mile markers. According to their fb page, apparently a lot of racers did too, allowing walk breaks they otherwise wouldn't. I don't envy the race because I'm not sure there is a good solution and people are gonna end up mad.
EDIT TO ADD: Yes, they provided adjust times. Link here. Apparently I end up with a 4:55. Not that I don't think I would have ended up there or better, but I still wish I felt like I had walked away with a legit pr. Ah well!
2) I'm really glad I ran the first two miles with my husband. That feels bucket-list-y, somehow. I knew I needed to race this one for myself but I love being able to reflect on running two absolutely beautiful miles with him. Pointing to mountains and having him be just as excited as I am. Asking, "Is that the OCEAN?!" and him getting it. (I hadn't seen the ocean since I was a little girl.) Being able to laugh and go "WE'RE RUNNING IN ALASKA!"
3) I hurt my calf a bit in the last few miles. It doesn't hurt to walk or if pushed, but it does hurt to run on. After 1.5 miles I called it quits in my first attempt at a recovery run. Guess we will see how it goes going forward.
4) I really, really want to hit 4:51 or better in Milwaukee. I want it -bad-. I think this showed that I am capable of it - with two months more training I should be able to get it and I WANT it.
5) That said, the idea of long runs sounds not so fun at the moment. Haha. I am leery of a week off smack in the middle of marathon training but especially with my calf being a jerk, I am right now planning on not running again til Sunday at Fort2Base. Hopefully that goes well. I dunno what mileage to jump into next week!
6) I did something new that worked great - I've always been a bodyglide fan, but this time I put a thin layer of vaseline over my entire foot and between my toes. Despite the rain I didn't have a single blister or hot spot. I'm sold!
Alaska was amazing. And Milwaukee is right around the corner. I suddenly feel like summer is almost over. Eek! Here's how my week went down -
Monday 8/10 - 3m @ 10:37p in 80*. Treadmill. Garage with no airflow. Felt awful. Yuck.
Tuesday 8/11 - 2.5m @ 11:03p in 68*. 95% humidity. 95% humidity - I wanted 3 miles and my legs were like, you're stupid, go home. I listened to my legs and cut it early.
Wednesday 8/12 - 2m @ 9:38p in 70*. 70% humidity. Why can't all runs be like this? I felt like I could run an additional mile even faster, but I have a race this weekend and I am tapering, legs. TAPERING. Besides, yesterday you hated running. Today you want to speed off into the sunset?!
Thursday 8/13 - rest!
Friday 8/14 - Taper rest day! Felt weird not to run! I stepped on the scale and my carb loading has me up the right number of lbs. Guess I'm doing it right?! Or something.
Saturday 8/15 - Traveling to ALASKA! I was supposed to do a shakeout run today but airsickness triggered a huge migraine, so I opted to skip it. Hopefully it isn't like, the keystone run before a marathon.
Sunday 8/16 - 25.24 @ 11:14p.Moose's Tooth Marathon! Yes, the course was a mile short. I was on track for a major mega hard-earned PR though! It was AMAZING!
32.74 miles run and lots of uncounted miles walking around! I can't believe I ran a marathon. IN ALASKA.
So, I am finally back from Alaska. (Getting home was a trip and those of you who have me on Facebook personally know all about it, but long story short - we were flying standby and all the flights were oversold to Chicago, EVERYWHERE, so getting home took days and we slept on the airport floor Monday night ...yeah, we were supposed to go home Sunday night and didn't get home until Tuesday morning, and then only because we bought tickets on a new airline!)
I have so many thoughts and feelings about this weekend. Most incredibly positive.
This is going to be long, so here's the TL;dr for those who want it: I finished in 4:44:53, but take that with a grain of salt because the course was .96 short. (Certified course, but they had an error in set up.) At the time of writing this I no longer have any pain, stiffness, or soreness. I had an amazing time and felt strong for almost all of it. Looking back I am completely thrilled and so glad I did this.
Now, for the longer version.
We flew in early Saturday; the flight was 6 1/2 hours on the way there. I found out I get air sick, which was a joy, and that being so sick triggered an enormous migraine. We (husband and I) picked up bibs at the expo (it was a really decent expo too, and bib pickup was a total breeze!)
But instead of spending the rest of the day enjoying the beauty and coolness (60* overcast and drizzly - LOVED it) I spent it vomiting in the hotel room from the migraine. I was worried that being so ill would sabotage me for the marathon - and who knows, it might have! - but after it passed late that evening I ate and hydrated. When race morning came timezones were weird so I ended up awake at 4 in the Alaskan morning, which was 7:30 for us. It felt SO late but the race wasn't until 9am, which is a noon start as far as my body was concerned. So we ordered room service, watched a movie, and relaxed!
Left: Alaska from the plane // Right: Alaska through the airport windows
When it was finally race time we wandered over to the start line race village...roughly 5 minutes from our hotel. I wasn't sure what to expect since it was a race smaller than the Chicago ones I'm used to, but they had staggered start times for the ultra, marathon, half, and 5k - so there were tons of portopotties but it never felt crowded. It was mid 50s and overcast at the start, so though I'd brought a light jacket (I wasn't sure how it'd feel to someone who'd been running regularly in temps approaching 80 lately) I gear checked it (which took all of 30 seconds). The start of the race was neat; there was an Alaskan blessing followed by the singing of the national anthem and then the Alaska song.
Opening ceremony...thought I got a pic of the blessing too..oops.
And then - we were off! My husband and I weren't running together, but we did run the first two miles together. I mean, when would we get the chance to run together in Alaska ever again?! And I run my first couple miles slower anyway. After mile 2 he kicked me out and told me to leave him - I have to admit that despite knowing that running with him wasn't a good idea, I was reluctant. He intentionally stopped to mess with his shoe so I'd have no choice. Punk!
Running in Alaska was absolutely beautiful. I am not sure what I expected, but the coastal trail we were on had views of the ocean and mountains and just...wow. So wow. And the forest we were running in was wet and green and lush; a few miles in it started raining (not heavily, but definitely noticeable) and didn't stop while I was running. It was overcast and never got warmer than low 60s, with humidity in the 60s.
Left: Coastal Trail // Right: Coast!
And I felt strong. Whether it was the taper (such as it was, lol - hard to taper with a last minute race) or the better conditions, I felt really strong. I hit 13.1 miles at 2:22 (but knew I'd positive split the race, even if I didn't get tired, just because two of the three really big hills hit in the second half of the course) and felt great - on par with or better than I felt at the halfway point in Chicago when I was going slower and was better trained. Most of my miles clicked in around 10:30 or so, absent the slow warm up miles with my husband and the ginormous hill at mile 10. I even got to see my husband around 8.5 miles in - he was heading to the turnaround point and I was leaving it. Seeing him was such a boost!
Left: 13.1m at Moose's Tooth 2015 // Right: 13.5 miles at Chicago 2014
It was around this point that I became convinced the course was either mismarked with its mile markers or short - the mile markers were really wonky on course - 1, 2, and 3 were right on par with my garmin, but 4 didn't hit until my watch said 4.6, 5 was 5.5 on my watch, and 6 was again on track on my garmin. (And not just on my watch - someone else commented on it when we hit the 6 mile mark and we chatted for a bit. Her guy was running with her and looked back at me, and totally called me out for now running without my husband. Haha! "Where's your guy? He leave you behind or you take off on him?" "Umm, I took off, but he made me - it was planned!" "Uh huh." LOL! I was guilty as it was but thought it was hilarious that someone else noticed!) 7 and 8 were normal, and 8 was where we hit our first turnaround point (spoiler alert...this was apparently supposed to happen a half mile later, but I didn't know that at the time). 9 and 10 were also pretty on point...except that the next mile marker was 12. And all the remaining mile markers were a mile apart. At mile "15" I asked the court marshal if it was really mile 15 and she said a lot of people said it was actually 14, but she wasn't sure. Eep.
At 20 miles (21 according to the course...all further miles are actual mileage rather than what the course said) I still felt really strong - unlike in Chicago, when at 20 I felt like complete crap and was ready to be done, I still felt great and looked like I wasn't going to die. (Hey, progress!)
I kept looking at the trees, or the waterline when we could see it, and laughing at how incredible and beautiful it was. "I'm running in ALASKA!" I said it out loud by accident and a woman near me laughed. But it was ALASKA! I ran in Alaska!
I did have to start adding some short walk intervals - at mile 19 I started walking 30 seconds every few minutes - but I felt good and it was paranoia over the number of inclines because I could tell I was putting more wear/tear on my quads than I was used to. (This bike trail had a lot of inclines relative to what I usually run - I ran all of them except the big hills.) I was hungry though, which I knew wasn't a great sign. I ate two packs of honey stingers on the course and took gatorade at every other water stop, but I was hungry. I'm not sure why, I actually had more food pre-race than I usually do. Intensity of effort? Maybe I need more cals on me in Milwaukee? Most of my miles here were still around the 10:40 mark minus enormous hill the second at mile 16.
Left: 20m at Moose's Tooth 2015 // Right: 20 miles at Chicago 2014
Funny story...I got a snippy lady going the other direction commenting on me taking a walk break to grab a pic at mile 20. We were going opposite ways on the course, her heading towards the turnaround, and she said "Nice to have time to take a selfie." LOL! My race lady...if I want to mark the miles with a cartwheel I could do that too. If I could do a cartwheel. Which I can't. So maybe that's a bad example. At least I got to see my husband about 1/2 a mile later?
At mile 22 my garmin flashed low battery. My F10 is not a good marathon watch unless I get faster. Bummer! :( At least in Milwaukee I think there will be clocks on course; there weren't here. I'm going to have decide how many marathons are in my future while I decide whether I upgrade to a new watch with better battery or not. At mile 23 and 24 I was starting to struggle a little - my stomach was yelling, gatorade and water weren't cutting it. I was continuing a 30 second walk break every couple minutes, but I needed it now - I think this was mostly the under-trained part because I had trouble running at a pace that kept my heartrate in the right range. (I don't run by hr exactly - it's not like I have bpm range, since I don't wear an hr monitor, but I used to and got used to what the different zones feel like...up until mile 23 all of my miles were definitely in the "I can talk and my heart isn't going too fast" area, but starting there I couldn't talk while I ran and my hr had trouble coming back down even when walking. End of race fatigue? Not enough fuel? Not sure.) I know I had figured out I was on pace for a 4:51 finish if the course wasn't short, and I was thrilled. All I had wanted going into this was a 4:59:59 and knew that being undertrained that might not have been doable, so I was over the freaking moon.
And then as usual I had a mental breakdown during the race. Hahah. I realized the course was actually truly short and got mad and mopey. Seriously, what is my deal? I WAS RUNNING IN ALASKA. For 98% of the race I didn't care about anything except looking at the amazingly gorgeous scenery. But I knew the course was short and it irritated me. "Does this even count?" "Can I even hang this medal?" "Do I get to say I ran a marathon?" "What if I re-run the last mile?" "But I wanted a sub-5!" Wah wah wah, whine whine. Whatever, Heather! Some of this was the final enormous hill (and it was huge, the biggest of the course and lonnnng, it felt like it would never end) but I ended up walking 1/2 a mile here. And not super briskly either. I should have finished in a 4:39 or 4:40 accounting for the missing mile, but I ended up finishing in 4:44:53. I did perk back up the last .2 and hauled some butt to cross the finish line - the announcer announced me coming in, said where I was from, and commented on my matching outfit (I was in pink head to toe...headband, shirt, skirt, shoes...none of which was actually planned, because I had made some outfit subs based on missing my shakeout run the day before, but might be a comment on how much pink I own!). And I was DONE!
Looking back, I'm not upset the course was short. I feel bad for the Race Director, who was otherwise amazing (seriously, I saw her on course in multiple places, always running along the course and cheering runners on - she was so invested and while I didn't realize who she was until later, I knew even then she was awesome). The official word is that when the course was set up the first turnaround point for the marathon was set about 1/2 mile too early and it wasn't caught. None of the other courses - 49k, half, or 5k - were affected, it was just that one isolated turnaround point. I was mad at the moment because I got sternly told after the race that my watch was wrong and the course was certified, but crap happens. I have a goal marathon I'm already registered for and I was winging this one for the experience. I feel sincerely bad for the people who were trying to BQ, but I'm okay. I still earned that medal. I'm still bad-ass. I still outperformed my wildest goal. (My backup goal was 5:15 - I hit the marathon point in my 50k last year at 5:25 and my chicago time was 5:57.) Even with my breakdown if the course hadn't been short I would have made 4:56 (and who knows - I might have even hit 4:51 if I didn't have a breakdown about the course being short!).
I checked in with my husband, who was about 4 1/2 miles behind me. I grabbed some post race food (chips, grilled cheese, pretzels, fig bar, gatorade, and water) and headed back to the hotel room to shower and check out while he finished. I mistimed a little bit though, I got to the finish line after he'd already crossed. Bummer! :( And bigger bummer: The only food left for him was pretzels and a fig bar. Oh, and beer. I gave him mine. But I was mad there was no food for him. I felt like that's terrible - his registration fee cost just as much as the 3 hour finishers. Why didn't he deserve food when he finished well within the course limit with a 5:50?
But at least they had a medal for him! And aren't we cute together?!
In the end - I really did have an AMAZING experience. Running in Alaska was absolutely beautiful. I was so nervous to jump into it since I was so early in the training cycle, but I had an amazing race where I felt strong and surpassed my A goal - and came darn close to my super secret goal of 4:50. What else could I ask for? And I am now confident I am going to ROCK Milwaukee.
Obviously there's Alaska this weekend (?! still crazy!), but on September 19 my best friend is race-walking her very first half. And of course, I have to be there, right?! I can't walk fast enough to race walk but I will be there to support her, cheer her on, and I have to run 13 that day anyway...so hey, what the heck!
But in even more exciting news, I found out I am the lucky recipient of a free bib into Fort2Base from my MRTT chapter (Lake and McHenry county shout-out!). I am super thrilled about this because this has been a race I've been eyeing for a few years and schedules just never worked out. They didn't this year either, but obviously Alaska changed my schedule - which I forgot about until the free bib came up for grabs! I don't plan to race it since it's the week after Alaska, but it sounds like a great recovery run...10 nautical miles works out to about 11.5miles, which sounds great to me!
I feel like time is going so quickly. 10 weeks down, 8 to go before Milwaukee, and Alaska is next week....my daughter has two weeks before school starts, cooler temps are just around the corner..zoom zoom! Here's how my week went down -
Monday 8/3 - 4m @ 11:20p in 66*. 90% humidity. My legs felt really heavy after the weekend's long run, but I felt okayish by the end.
Tuesday 8/4 - 8m @ 11:18p in 64*. 85% humidity. The cold is still wearing me out with random coughing fits but it's getting better and they're not as frequent. Maybe by the weekend I'll be healthy?!
Wednesday 8/5 - 4m @ 11:05p in 62*. 93% humidity. My runs have gotten faster every day this week though. Didn't Hal Higdon say you'd probably be slower by day 3 of this plan? Not that I'm clipping along or anything but in the humidity I'm feeling okay and by the end of the runs I'm usually in the low 10s.
Thursday 8/6 - rest!
Friday 8/7 - 3m @ 10:47p in 63*. 97% humidity. I realized halfway through this run I probably needed to cut my mileage a little this week, so decided to call this 3 and felt pretty good about it. Finished feeling pretty strong despite the crappy humidity.
Saturday 8/8 - 9m @ 10:36p in 70*. 85% humidity - very sunny. I ran while my best friend biked. Going into this I wasn't sure whether I should do 8 or 12 - it depended which plan I looked at - so I went by feel. By the end it was super sunny - I decided to lay a little speed on in the end and threw some sub 10s in (9:50s in 70! Whoo!) and call it good; then we walked another mile together after putting her bike away. I felt really strong and was shocked to see my overall pace for the long run - especially because I definitely had a lot left in the tank at the end and I think I could have easily gone much further. A large part of that is I had my first run in weeks without having to stop for coughing fits! Finally kicked this cold to the curb.
Sunday 8/9 - Walked about 4 miles with the family.
28 miles run, 5 miles walked, and ...still no planks. Oops. Meant to restart those! I'm relieved to have finally kicked this cold out with less than a week to go before Alaska...it's been taking a toll and I could definitely feel the difference on Saturday. Hopefully upcoming runs will be stronger!
I guess I will call this marathon training recap until Alaska is on the books. Which, as of the time I am publishing this post, is next weekend. EEK. I am not an impulsive person. Why am I impulsing a marathon?!!?! Here's how my week went down -
Monday 7/27 - 4m @ 11:48p in 70*. 99% humidity. How is 99% humidity a thing? Combined with a summer cold I crawled through this run. Uggggggh.
Tuesday 7/28 - 7m @ 11:01p in 70*. 92% humidity. Still have a cold. Still hot out. Still muggy. Guess it went better than yesterday...it's a shame it took 4 miles of a 7 mile run to find my groove though. Can it be fall now?
Wednesday 7/29 - 4m @ 11:42p in 76*. 83% humidity isn't as awful as it's been but it was hot, at least there was cloud cover. Apparently I am going to crawl through my runs this week though. I don't know if the virus or the heat/humidity is more to blame but I'm a good minute per mile slower this week.
Thursday 7/30 - rest!
Friday 7/31 - 4m @ 10:39p in 79*. Due to scheduling issues I had to do this run at night in ... wait for it ... 50% humidity! Oh my gosh, for the first time all week I felt STRONG, even with it being "feels like 83" at the start. I did this at twilight and the only con was that it was right before I usually go to bed...and there were a lot of bugs. I ate a few, I think. Protein, right? :( At least I didn't feel like I was crawling, this was an easy pace to keep!
Saturday 8/1 - 18m @ 11:24p in 81 dropping to 75 by the end. Started at 60% humidity, climbed to 70% by the end. After how well last night's run went I decided to try an evening run, and it had its pros and cons. I'm not sure it was really any easier. I had been hoping to keep this in the low 11s and I ended up more like mid 11s; most of this run was in the dark so I had to be careful where I was putting my feet and that definitely slowed me down. I'm okay with that though because this run didn't feel grueling even with the fun leftover cough you get after a cold (gunky throat, fun). The lower humidity and lack of sun was much more comfortable...but it was still really hot, and it was hard to run so late at night...I finished with only a few minutes to spare until midnight. I really wanted to rock this so I felt super confident for Alaska. I think it was a solid run, so I think I will be okay in Alaska - if it wasn't so late I could have gone farther tonight, my later miles were faster than my earlier ones.
Sunday 8/2 - I mostly rested. I figured out the major con to running so late at night for your long run is that it skews your next day, I am usually tired after my long runs so I thought going to bed right after would make that okay...except the baby got me up at 5am so I spent the day wiped. We got a 30 minute walk in and I went to bed early. As of Monday morning though I actually am really happy with how I recovered - my legs felt a little heavy on this morning's run but I don't have any residual soreness/stiffness. I think I did good!
37 miles run, 1.5 miles walked, and ...still no planks. Eh. Again. I am going to restart them on 8/3. If I plan it I think it'll go better than saying "eventually" and I think I'm not going to streak - I'll take weekends off. Streaking doesn't seem to be my style. I had a solid 18 miler this week and it had me thinking of last year's 18 miler. Actually, that run has been on my mind since last week when I linked to it in my training log...last year that run went terrible; so hot and so humid I wanted to quit running and not run a marathon at all. I realized all of my run's have been humid this summer, but I haven't wanted to quit, and this run proved the 18 miles isn't magical...I did fine! So, I think I'm okay. Yeah. I'm okay. That's a good note to end a week on, right?
Do I still call this Milwaukee training? I mean, that's still the goal race but Alaska is sooner...decisions, decisions! Either way, I decided to step it up a little this week to get ready for Alaska. My training plan said 15 for the long run, I wanted 16 with the Alaska marathon breathing down my neck...especially after the fail almost-14 last week!
Here's how my week went down -
Monday 7/20 - 4m @ 10:25p in 67*. Only 80% humidity (only!) so this felt amazing after the horrible fail of Saturday's long run.
Tuesday 7/21 - 7m @ 10:14p in 64*. 80% humidity and overcast. Felt amazing!
Wednesday 7/22 - 4m @ 10:25p in ???. I was sleep deprived and forgot to write...well...anything about this run. Writing on Sunday, I have no idea what I did or where I ran or how I felt. Oops!
Thursday 7/23 - rest!
Friday 7/24 - 4m @ 10:53p in 66*. 90% humidity. I am so ready for fall. Humidity sucks!
Saturday 7/25 - 16m @ 11:27p in 71-81. Started at 95% humidity but fell to 80% by the end - I went slow, but I rocked this. Going into this 16 felt intimidating, so I decided it was really just four consecutive four-milers, and four-milers are easy. Runner math!
Sunday 7/26 - Date day and at the end we ended up walking around for about two hours. I'm good calling that cross!
35 miles run, 5 miles walked, and ...still no planks. Eh. I'm so glad my long run went so much better this week; it makes me think Alaska in a few weeks isn't quiiiiite so crazy. It's been weird to me my long runs are so much slower than they were last year - generally about 45s/m slower - but I went back and compared, my worst long runs last year (hello, horrible 18 miler that made me want to never run again) were the ones where the humidity was 90+ - which, has been almost all of my long runs this year and many of my week day runs too. I wonder why it's so much more humid this year - apparently, it kicks my butt...badly!