Race, Running Rut, Redemption

Since my last post, I’ve run a whopping three times. I forget why I skipped my runs on that first Sunday and Tuesday. It was probably stress and exhaustion. I don’t feel 100% yet from my bronchitis that started a few days before the marathon. I still have a cough and feel extra tired all the time, but I’m starting to think that’s stress rather than illness or allergies. Work is…not great. I won’t elaborate but I’m not really that happy and I don’t feel like I (or others) am being treated well or compensated correctly. So, that’s really making me pretty miserable for 45+ hours a week.

When I get home, I’m exhausted. Mentally and physically. So I’ve been slacking on running. I know, I know – I should get up early and run before work. I just wanted Chip to settle in before I started doing that. It sounds easy but it means walking him like an hour earlier than normal, then leaving him alone right afterward. If my brother is still home sleeping, Chip’s 5am barking is going to be pretty obnoxious. So, I haven’t quite figured that out yet. It will work on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays, but I like to run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

So anyway, that Wednesday run. It was hot. So hot. 84 degrees and humid hot. I brought water with me but all that did was give me stomach cramps. I was less than half a mile into my run and saw a bad accident. A bicyclist was hit by a car. I didn’t see the accident but saw the cyclist on a stretcher and it looked bad. I made it about another 3/4 of a mile until I had to stop and walk. I was pooped. Hot. Sweaty. Miserable. I walked probably 5 more times in my 3.2 miles, averaging a miserable (for me, lately) 10:44 pace but stopping my watch when I walked so it was probably more like a 15:00 pace. I got home and took a cold bath but felt sick for the rest of the night. Continue reading

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A Week Filled with Runs and Chip

Well it finally happened – I had a very bad run on Wednesday. I have been feeling so great in general and especially on my runs that I knew a lousy run was bound to happen eventually, but this one is 100% my own dang fault.

I was so busy at work on Wednesday that I only ate snacks and not my lunch. I basically had fruit and carbs, no protein whatsoever. I had plenty of water throughout the day but too much coffee. I debated having a GU before my run but didn’t want the added caffeine (and I’m out of the caffeine-free ones). I was also out of clean socks – I have done laundry exactly ONCE since the marathon on April 17 – so I wore my knee-high compression socks that I haven’t worn since the fall along with shorts since it felt somewhat warm out.

Bad ideas, all around. Continue reading

Essential Rules for the Track

I stumbled across this article about 2 weeks too late. I wish I had known the inside lane rule!

The lanes of the track are somewhat like a highway. The inside lane is for the fastest runner, and each subsequent lane indicates a slower pace. For example, a five-minute miler would take the inside lane, a walker would take the outside lane, and a 10-minute miler would be in a middle lane.

Also…

On the track, passing is usually done on your left, just like the highway. You may need to step into another lane to let them go by, so it’s necessary to be aware of who is around you so you don’t cut someone off.

Now I know for next week. Apologies to everyone at the Harvard track last Wednesday and this past Tuesday.

 

Tuesday Track

I got done with work a little early today because I started my day so early, and instead of pulling my shades and getting under the covers with Chip snuggling beside me, I decided to go for a run. I took yesterday as a rest day, even though it really should have been a cross training day. I wanted to be around Chip as much as possible and let’s be honest – I counted our 3.5 walks as cross training.

trackI got to McCurdy Track at Harvard and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t open to the public. There was a high school practice going on and several legit-looking runners wearing Harvard gear, both men and women. One woman was finishing up a walk in casual clothes, and left as soon as I arrived. No one said anything the whole time but I felt like I got some funny looks and was being stared at. I ignored it, kept my head down, tried to stay out of everyone’s way, and did my 1-mile warmup at a 9:33 pace, then did 5×400 with 200m recovery walks in between. My 400s were:

  • Lap 1 – 2:06
  • Lap 2 – 1:53
  • Lap 3 – 1:53
  • Lap 4 – 1:58
  • Lap 5 – 1:53

Continue reading

Doing Speed…I Mean Speedwork

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The McCurdy Track at Harvard

On Wednesday night, I did my first track workout of my life. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I changed into running gear at the office, took the T in the opposite direction that I normally do, switched to a bus, and got off in Allston (where Harvard’s athletic facilities are). I could see the track but wasn’t sure where there was an opening in the fence, so I walked for probably 7 minutes until I found my way in. I dropped my handbag and gym bag on the grass right next to the track, and started off with a 1-mile warmup jog – 4 laps around the track. Then, following advice I read somewhere online, I did 1 lap running all out, 1 lap walking, and repeated that 4 times. The walking laps felt very long and unnecessary, but I’m pretty sure those ~5 minutes of recovery allowed me to ZOOM on the running laps.

According to Garmin, my 1600m time was exactly 8:00, which means I ran a total of 1 mile in 8 minutes. Each 400 meters was roughly as follows:

  • Lap 1 – 2:07
  • Lap 2 – 2:18
  • Lap 3 – 2:12
  • Lap 4 – 1:57

Continue reading

How to Stand the Heat

I recently came across an article titled, “Summer Running: How to Stand the Heat.” It states that at 70-79 degrees, “elite marathoners slowed down by 3 minutes, with the sub-elites losing 20 minutes.” So my Boston Marathon time of 5:20:02 wasn’t all that bad considering how hot it was. My secret goal was 5 hours, so I can blame the heat for those extra 20 minutes and 2 seconds.

Source: http://www.runnersworld.com/advanced-training/summer-running-how-to-stand-the-heat

 

She’s Baaaaaack!

It’s safe to say I’m finally over the worst of this virus. Sunday’s two “runs” made me no worse for the wear, and if anything, improved my mental state by leaps and bounds. I don’t know if it was that or the Robitussin with codeine, but I slept like a log on Sunday night and struggled to get out of bed Monday morning. When my alarm went off at 6am, I reset it for 6:30am and then scrambled to get out the door in time, but that extra sleep was so worth it.

I got to the office feeling great. As much as I love working from home (even in the post-Rags era), it was nice to be back in a routine and see other humans. But by lunchtime, I was regretting my decision. My head was throbbing and I was so exhausted I thought about taking a 10-minute power nap in our wellness room, but I had back-to-back meetings for the rest of the day. I tried drinking lots of water and taking ibuprofen, but that didn’t seem to help. I had a good, healthy lunch (salad with artichoke, feta, homemade dressing, and tuna) and good, healthy snacks (plain Greek yogurt with organic blueberries, Boom Chicka Pop, and a handful of Omega 3-loaded mixed nuts), but that didn’t seem to help either. Neither did an afternoon cup of coffee. By the time I left work, I was MISERABLE. I dozed off a few times on the T with my head in my hands, constantly worrying the guy next to me in the window seat would need to get off and have to awkwardly wake me up. Turns out, he was going all but the last 2 of my 19 stops (19 stops sounds awful, doesn’t it?) so I was needlessly waking myself up for the first 17.

I got home and got straight into bed. I watched a few episodes of Catastrophe – actually finished the series – and fell asleep by 8-something. I woke up at what I thought was dawn needing to pee and take Tylenol for my still-raging headache, but it was only midnight. I fell back asleep for another 6+ hours and felt just as tired as when I went to bed, but forced myself to get up and shower. Continue reading