Holy guacamole, Week 8 is over and I am officially halfway to the marathon!  I began Week 8 with 4 goals: (1) Run outside as much as possible; (2) Run at least 50 miles; (3) Feel strong and steady during my 18 mile long run and finish fast; and (4) Eat more vegetables.  Who am I kidding, I heart vegetables.  I nailed the first 2 goals.  I ran 50 miles, 37 of which were run outside.  As for goal #3, I felt mostly strong and steady during my 18 miler, but I did not finish fast (on purpose).  Obviously I nailed goal #4 by I eating as many vegetables and cookies as cookie monster eats cookies.

Overall, Week 8 was a success.  I will discuss the details in just a moment.  You may be wondering why this posted is titled, “Rejection.”  Over the course of the last few weeks, I was rejected by not one, but TWO marathons.  I entered both the NYC marathon and Marine Corp marathon lotteries.  While I did not expect to get into NYC, I had high hopes that I would be accepted into the MCM.  FALSE.  I was rejected from both and I am having middle school dance flashbacks.  Right now, I am leaning toward running the Maine Marathon in the Fall, but I have a lot of time to make my decision.  Onto Week 8…

Week 8

Monday – Spontaneous Rest Day

Tuesday –  12 hilly miles

Wednesday – 7 miles easy

Thursday  – 5 miles easy (treadmill)

Friday – 8 miles easy/moderate (treadmill)

Saturday – 18 mile long run

Sunday – Rest

Total: 50 miles

Despite taking the previous Sunday off (as planned), I needed a second day of rest on Monday.  Some days my body just says, “Nuh-uh, I will be spending the evening on the couch eating bon-bons thankyouverymuch.”  To be honest, I am still experiencing the lingering effects of the worst. head. cold. of. all. time.  The only reason I got any sleep this week was due to my new BFF Mr. Nasal Spray, who has since been banished to a dark corner of my house due to his highly addictive properties.  Needless to say, I was raring to go by Tuesday.

Luckily, the weather on Tuesday was uncharacteristically nice, so I decided to head to the Berlin Pond area for some sunny outdoor miles.  I did not intend on running 12 miles, but I felt good and could not stop listening to Serial.  Plus, after taking 2 days off in a row, I needed to get in some solid mileage.  Surprisingly, because normally I feel like mushy peas after a longish/hilly run, I also felt good on Wednesday during my 7 miler.  I did not feel good on Thursday, however.  I know this because my planned 8-9 mile run turned into a 5 mile run with 2 bathroom stops.  TMI?  I think I have reached the beautiful point where I have transitioned to running outside and the treadmill is no longer my friend.  Unfortunately, this meant that in order to reach my weekly mileage goal, I had to run at least 8 miles on Friday, the day before my long run.  So the whole “take it super easy the day before my long run” plan went out the window.  Ah well, not a huge deal.

Muddy calves after Tuesday's jaunt.  Yes, I took this picture myself.  #acrobat
Muddy calves after Tuesday’s jaunt. Yes, I took this picture myself. #acrobat

Now for the long run.  The good news is that I finished 18 miles.  My pace was a bit slower than I would have liked, but only by about 15-30 seconds per mile.  The first few miles were rough, but this is usually the case with long runs.  Generally, my legs feel like crap for the first 2-3 miles of every run.  [Side note: You know you are a crazy marathoner when you do not feel warmed-up until 2-3 miles into a run.  I remember when 2-3 miles was a run.]  It can be really tough to think about the fact that I have 18, 17, 16 etc. miles to go.  For this reason, I try very hard to “stay in the mile I’m in.”  Some days, this is easier said than done.  On Saturday, I struggled mentally for all but a few miles of my run.  It was cold and the wind seemed to be in my face no matter which direction I turned.  Physically, my legs felt strong until the very end.  My stomach cooperated, and the fact that I ran with water was HUGE.

Speaking of water, during my long run this week, I lost my mind had a thought.  My thoughts on running with water have evolved in a very similar way to my thoughts on hanging out with my parents.  When I first started running long distances, I quickly realized that some sort of water carrying device was a necessity, especially during the warmer months.  My first water carrying device purchase was a Nathan handheld water bottle.  I quickly realized that I do not enjoy the feeling of carrying around a sloshing water bottle IN MY HAND when running.  Furthermore, I suspected that my right arm was becoming stronger than my left arm due to the extra weight and I am all about arm strength equality.  Lies.  I really just hated the way it felt.  My second water carrying device was a Fuel Belt.  It looked something like this:

Fun fact: Before I purchased a Garmin, I used to write directions for my runs on little pieces of paper and stick them in the front pouch of my fuel belt!
Fun fact: Before I purchased a Garmin, I used to write directions for my runs on little pieces of paper and stick them in the front pouch of my fuel belt!  Nerd alert.

At this point in my fledgling running career, running with a water belt was COOL because it indicated that I was a serious runner.  I ran so far that I required WATER.  This period was akin to elementary school, a time when I was the envy of my friends if my mom showed up to help out in my classroom.  However, just as prepubescence came to a grinding halt sometime around 6th grade, so did my fondness for my fuel belt.  Suddenly, wearing my fuel belt was sooooo uncool.  I think the uncoolness factor was exacerbated by the fact that in order to prevent bouncing, I had to wear my fuel belt like Steve Urkel at my natural waist.  In summary, I determined for unknown reasons that running with water was about as uncool as hanging out with your parents at age 13.  Enter, the Rev 6:

This thing is actually way cooler than it looks.
I purchased the Rev 6 in “flash green,” which is cooler than regular green.

At some point, I grew up realized that running without water for long distances is not smart, so I began to gradually let my parents be in the same room as me experiment with “cool” hydration packs.  I eventually settled on the Osprey Rev 6, which carries 1.5 liters of liquid in a bladder and contains many pockets for all sorts of running related goodies.  I am not kidding when I say that the Rev 6 weighs practically nothing.  Nonetheless, I only run with “Flash” (yes, I named my hydration pack) during long runs or when it’s especially hot outside.  Because let’s face it, while I may enjoy my parents more at age 29 than I did at age 13, I can’t run the risk of being completely uncool.

In other news, I finally bit the bullet and purchased the Brooks PureCadence 4s.

The PureCadence 4s, expected to arrive tomorrow.
To be or not to be brought into my harem?  That is the question.

Goals for next week*:

*Technically this week because I am posting this bad boy on a Monday.  I am also writing this post under the influence of cold medicine, which may explain why I just compared running with water to puberty-related embarrassment.

  • Run at least 52 miles
  • Feel strong and steady on my 20 miler
  • Eat less candy/chocolate starting Tuesday because *whoops* I had brownies for lunch
  • Develop a realistic plan for the Unplugged 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks
  • Get my blood drawn and iron levels tested

That’s all folks!

4/1/2015 9

Remain Calm

Remain Calm: VCM is 9 weeks from today.  Before I get into recapping Week 7, I need to get real with you all.  The last 2 weeks have been terrific in terms of mileage.  I even felt “speedier” during at least 2 runs this week.  But the truth is, I am nowhere as speedy as I would like to be at this point.  I think my lack of speediness is due to a combination of the following:

  • False Expectations.  Back in November, when I set my PR in the 1/2 marathon, I felt on top of the world.  Although I continued to run until VCM training “officially” began at the end of January, I obviously did not train at the same level of intensity as I had been training at prior to the GMAA marathon and Race Vermont 1/2 marathon.  But when I began training for VCM, I falsely assumed that I would pick up where I left off in November.  As they say in Spanish, my assumption was incorrecto.  That 1/2 marathon PR was the result of many months of hard training, MOST OF WHICH TOOK PLACE IN THE SUMMER AND FALL.  Which brings me to my next point…
  • Training for a marathon during the winter in Vermont sucks.  Plain and simple, training during the cold/snowy/icy/dark months is just not the same as training during the warm/sunny/bright summer and fall months.  Running on the treadmill is not the same as running outside.  Running on snowy/icy roads is not the same as running on clear roads.  I do not have access to trails (my preferred place to run hills).  I do not have access to a track (my preferred place to do speed-work).  Although I have trained for a spring marathon twice before, attempting to BQ (and consequently set a massive PR) at a spring marathon is much different than training to finish.
  • Not racing.  Last summer and fall, I raced as much as I could.  Not only do I love racing, but I firmly believe that the torturous devilries that are 5ks are the best form of speed-work.  Even longer races, such as 10ks or half marathons, are a great way to get in some speedy miles.  Although I can do speed-work and tempo runs on my own, there is nothing quite like a little friendly competition to get my juices flowing.  Unfortunately, winter in Vermont is hardly conducive to racing.  Luckily, I will have a few opportunities to race before VCM.  First up is the Unplugged 1/2 marathon in 3 weeks.  I’ll talk about my goals for that race in a later post.
  • Anemia and the plague.  I think this bullet point speaks for itself.  I will say that I no longer remember what it’s like to not have a stuffy nose.

That being said, I am not yet willing to throw in the towel.  Do I think I can PR in the marathon in 9 weeks?  Hell yes.  Do I think I can BQ in 9 weeks?  Not without a miracle.  I don’t know.  On one hand, 9 weeks is a long time.  Assuming I stay healthy, I can accomplish a lot in 9 weeks.  Especially because April is a little over a week away and April showers bring May flowers, RIGHT!?!?  On the other hand, 9 weeks is not a lot of time at all.  In fact, if one wants time to pass really quickly, he/she should sign up for a marathon.  There is no better way to make the weeks fly by!  Conversely, if anyone has any suggestions as to how to slow down time, I would love to hear them! For now, I will focus on positive thinking, healthy living, and training, training, training.  

Onto Week 7!  Here is my weekly summary:

Week 7

Monday – 9 miles easy/moderate outside

Tuesday –  6 miles easy (treadmill)

Wednesday – 1.5 mile warm-up, 5.5 miles progression tempo w/ super fast finish = 7 miles (treadmill)

Thursday  – 3 miles easy (treadmill)

Friday – ~ 8 miles easy/moderate outside (Garmin stopped working)

Saturday – 12 mile hilly long run in the great outdoors (I am reluctant to refer to this as a “long run” because 12 miles does not feel particularly long these days)

Sunday – Rest

Total: 45 miles

Now for the rundown.  Pun intended, I so funny.  My favorite run of the week occurred on Monday.  The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and my “speedy” pace felt easy!  I could have continued for many more miles, but dinner was calling me home and Basil turns into a grumpasaurus if she is not fed by 5 PM.

Literally could not stop smiling!  Also, I need to stop posting such flattering selfies on the blog.
Literally could not stop smiling! Note to self: I need to stop posting such flattering selfies on the blog.  Makes the other running blogs jelly.

Tuesday’s run felt the opposite of easy, but I blame this on the 99 pounds of Irish-themed food I ate for lunch during a St. Patty’s Day work potluck.  After 6 miles of burping up corned beef and cabbage, I called it quits and did some strength training.  On my way out of the gym, I found a 10 dollar bill in the parking lot!  Some little leprechaun was looking out for me.

Totally should have worn this hat on the treadmill!  Next year.
My dollar store hat that I wore all day at work.  Should have also worn it on my run!  Next year.

Wednesday’s run is self-explanatory.  I felt good.  On Thursday, my legs were dead, but I managed to get in a solid strength session.  On Friday, I ran about 8 miles at a rather brisk pace.  After noticing that I was really struggling to make it beyond 5.12 miles, I determined that my Garmin had lost satellite connection or my pace had decreased to 0.0 min/mile.  So I can only guesstimate that I ran about 8 miles.  Commence the taking of deep breaths. Must run precise number of miles.

Saturday’s long run was a little shorter than I would have liked, but it was super hilly and a step-back week to boot.  (Side note: I did not step back my mileage because I am still trying to make up for 3 weeks of illness.)  Next weekend I will run 18 miles, and then the following weekend I will run my first 20 miler of this training cycle!  Yikes, stripes!  I did an out and back on Rt. 100b, which I have driven on but never run.  Holy hills!  There was nothing too crazy or steep, but if I wasn’t going up, I was going down.  I will definitely be running this route again.  The shoulder is super wide, and the views are astounding.

Ran by the cutest/creepiest graveyard.
Ran by the cutest/creepiest graveyard.  Not sure who (or what) is buried there.  I also just figured out how to make pictures bigger.  The internet is hard.

I actually planned to run farther than 12 miles, but when I returned to my car for a water break, my legs announced that they were done.  This leads me to 2 things that I will do differently next week.  First, I will suck it up and look like a nerd run with water.  By the time I returned to my car after completing 12 miles, I was so dehydrated that any motivation I had to continue running was completely zapped.  I need to drink early and often.  Additionally, I need to run with water because it’s way too tempting to cut a long run short when I adhere to the “stop by my car for water” method.  Next week, I will make it physically impossible to cut my 18-miler short unless of course I hitchhike or call an ambulance, neither of which is out of the question.

The second thing I will do differently next week is either not run, or do a very easy run, the day before my long run.  So far, I have adhered to the “running on tired legs” long run philosophy.  While I think this philosophy is not without merit, my last 2 long runs have definitely felt a bit rough, and I’d like to get some solid non-rough long runs under my belt.  I’d also like to add a fast finish to the end of my long run, which is sort of impossible when my legs are so tired by the end that I’m hanging on for dear life.  Next week, I will likely take Friday off (or do a shake-out run) and run the last 6-8 miles of my long run at an increasingly faster clip.  I shall report back on how it goes!

A few random notes:

1) According to Map My Run, this is the elevation profile for my 12 miler on Saturday:

The definition of rolling hills!
The definition of rolling hills!

This is the elevation profile for VCM:

See that little spiky thing around mile 15?
See that little spiky thing around mile 15.81?  I eat bigger hills for breakfast.  (The hill coming up the beltway, around mile 8, is actually just as big, but at mile 8 in a marathon I am still like “Yay I am running a marathon! Life is grand. Rainbows, butterflies, and puppies!”)

So if Map My Run is telling the truth, I ran almost double the elevation in 12 miles that I will run over the course of 26 miles at VCM.  Does anyone know if Map My Run is remotely accurate?  The squiggly lines generally seem pretty on point, but I’m not sure about the total “gain.”  I wish my Garmin tracked elevation, but alas it only tracks the basics – time, pace, and distance. 

2) During my run on Saturday, I listened to the first 3.5 episodes of Serial.  I know I am late to the party, by OMG so good.  Twelve hilly miles flew by.

3) I tried some new goodies this week!  I ate the Honey Stinger waffle immediately prior to my run on Saturday.  Not only did it taste delicious, but it sat well in my stomach.  Honey Stinger waffles and I will definitely be seeing more of each other on future runs.  As for the Gu chomps, I am not a huge fan.  I started popping these around mile 6.  They taste delicious, but I felt like I was playing a game of chubby bunny.  By the time I finished chewing, I literally felt out of breath probably because I had not consumed any oxygen for 30 seconds.  The chomps also made me feel slightly sick to my stomach.  Lame sauce.

If the waffles weren’t so darn expensive, I would eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

4) Goals for next week:

  • Run outside as much as possible.
  • Run at least 50 miles.
  • Feel strong and steady during my 18 mile long run.  Finish fast.
  • Eat more vegetables.  Who am I kidding, I heart vegetables.
My bffs.

Week 6 Recap

Week 6 is done!  Week 6 was hardly perfect, but it was a welcome relief after the suffer-fest that was Weeks 3-5.  With 10 weeks to go until VCM, I am feeling (at least with respect to my mileage) that I am right where I should be.  The speed will come.  Crossing fingers, toes, legs, arms, bellybutton.

After 3 weeks of too-low mileage, I ran 46 miles this week.  This puts me on track to peak somewhere in the high 50s to low 60s, which is all the mileage my body can handle.  I have no idea how people run 100+ miles per week.  I would love to be able to run that much without getting injured!  I would also love Shalane Flanagan’s arms and a pony.

My running hero!  I can't wait to watch her at Boston this year.  Obviously next year I will be too busy running.  ;)
My running hero! I can’t wait to watch her at Boston this year. Obviously next year I will be too busy running. 😉

Unfortunately, I am not yet 100% healthy.  My cold the plague made a second appearance late this week in the form of a stuffy nose and a sore throat.  Luckily, my symptoms are not nearly as bad as they were the first time around.  As of this morning, I am feeling much better.  KNOCK ON WOOD.  However, I would by lying if I said that this cold has not affected my running this week.  I’m actually pretty sure I set the world record for most number of snot rockets during my long run yesterday.  Running is a sexy sport, my friends.  (It is especially sexy when a snot rocket fails to launch properly and lands on my cheek.)  Okay, now that I’ve lost all 8 of my readers…

As for the anemia, I will not know for sure whether I’ve kicked it until I go back for another round of blood testing, which I plan to do this week.  Given that I am still struggling to maintain paces that should be fairly easier for me, I wouldn’t be surprised if my iron levels are still too low.  Aside from taking iron supplements twice a day, I am eating tons of spinach and single handedly altering the supply and demand of cheeseburgers.  Insert nerdy econ joke here.  I briefly considered taking liquid iron, but nixed that idea when I read that liquid iron can turn your teeth black.  No thank you.

PSA: Do not do a Google images search for "black teeth!"  Here is a picture of a unicorn instead.  You're welcome.
PSA: Do not do a Google images search for “black teeth!” Here is a picture of a unicorn instead. You’re welcome.

So now for the official Week 6 recap!

Week 6

Monday – 8 miles easy w/ fast finish (treadmill)

Tuesday –  7 miles easy/moderate in the great outdoors

Wednesday – 5 miles total w/ 2 miles at 10K pace (treadmill)

Thursday  – Rest

Friday – 9.5 miles easy (treadmill)

Saturday – 16.5 mile long run in the great outdoors

Sunday – Rest

Total: 46 miles

Although it was great to run outside on Tuesday after work, this run definitely kicked my butt a little bit.  Some days are just rough, ya know?  My legs felt like cement logs and it didn’t help that I had to hop all over the place to avoid puddles.  [Side note: If you are one of those people who purposely splashes runners, you are dead to me.]  Wednesday’s run was also a bit rough, but I think I overestimated my ability to do speed-work at this point.  I originally planned on 4 mile repeats, but could only manage 2 before calling it quits.  My rule of thumb is that I will not quit midway through a run unless I am legitimately hurt or sick.  I guess I should probably add “not remotely capable of completing planned work-out” to that list.  Live and learn.

Saturday’s long run was uneventful except for the part when I almost got arrested.  I felt terrific for the first half of the run.

Beautiful interstate 89!
Beautiful interstate 89!  Endorphins!

About 8 miles in, I began to feel a little bit thirsty.  Not desperately thirsty like the time I contemplated drinking polluted river water, but thirsty enough that I wasn’t sure I could make it another 8.5 miles without water.  So I decided to bop in a small general store!  I would name said small general store, but Vermont is a small state and perhaps small general store is owned by one of my 8 reader’s grumpy father/uncle/deranged cousin.  I grabbed a small coffee cup and filled it with tap water.  As I was leaving, the man at the counter informed me that if I DARED to walk out of the store with the cup he would call the police.  He then proceeded to go on a tirade about how people like me are the ones responsible for small stores going out of business.  Uh ok, crazy person.  Here is your already-dirty cup back.

After I recovered from that ordeal, I decided to take the shortest route back to my car where my beautiful water bottle was waiting to quench my oh-so-parched lips.  (Water fantasies can get pretty PG-13 during long runs.)  I wasn’t sure that my favorite dirt road was passable, but the temperatures had dropped low enough that the dirt had solidified!  Joy!

Remember that evil snowy road from a few weeks ago?  Not so evil now!  Muahahahaha.
Remember that evil snowy road from a few weeks ago? Not so evil now! Muahahahaha.

After chugging water like a frat boy chugs beer, I ran around Montpelier until my Garmin reached 16.5 miles.  In case you are wondering why I ran 16.5 miles, and not 16 or 17 miles, I have psychological issues a weird need to end my week with an even number of miles.

In other running news, I am desperately sad that Brooks has released a new model of my beloved Purecadences.  I currently own 4 pairs of the 3s and I am clinging to them for dear life because I can no longer find the 3s in my size anywhere on the interwebs.  I’m sure the 4s are satisfactory, but whhhhhhyyyyyy GOD WHY why did Brooks have to discontinue the 3s altogether?  Why couldn’t they have phased them out gradually to give me time to cope and adapt to the change?  If anyone has a recommendation for a similarly lightweight yet supportive shoe that will fit my narrow feet, please advise!  During my long run on Saturday, I finally bit the bullet and ran outdoors with my fourth and final pair of Purecadence 3s.  I had reserved them for treadmill use only to preserve their effortless beauty.  Yes, I realize I sound crazy.  Acknowledgment is the first step.

So beautiful, even with mud between the toes.
So beautiful, even with mud between the toes.

Lastly, I stocked up on enough running fuel to last me for through the marathon and possibly a nuclear holocaust.  So far, I’ve determined that my stomach likes gummy fuel the best, which isn’t surprising given that gummy candy is my favorite candy ever except for you, Cadbury creme eggs, I will never cheat on you.  I also purchased some honey stinger waffles, which I look forward to trying for the first time.

I'm embarrassed to admit that this cost about $46.
I’m embarrassed to admit that this cost about $46.

Seven is my lucky number, so I have no doubt that this will be a really good week!  🙂

Overdue Update on Weeks 3-5

I know, I know, I know…it’s been 3 weeks since I’ve updated this thing!  The truth is, the last 3 weeks have been less than stellar and I’m trying to pretend they didn’t happen.  However, one of the main purposes of this blogeroothingamabob is to hold me accountable to my training or lack of thereof.  So here we go…

When we left off, I had just finished Week 3’s long run on a Wednesday.  After a 2 mile death march recovery run on Thursday, I decided to give myself the rest of the week off due to anemia fatigue and birthday festivity plans that I knew would pretty much consume my weekend.  After two solid weeks of relatively high mileage, I figured it was time for a step-back week anyway.  The entire week looked like this:

Week 3

Monday – Rest

Tuesday –  9 miles easy (treadmill)

Wednesday – 14 miles long run in the great outdoors

Thursday  – 2 miles easy (treadmill)

Friday/Saturday/Sunday – Rest

Total: 25 miles

By the following Monday (Feb. 23, first day of Week 4), I was raring to lose the 5 pounds worth of delicious food I ate over the weekend go!  Three days off of running is never desirable, but my body needed the break.  I also learned on Monday that my anemia is due to a run of the mill iron deficiency, and not something scarier like Ebola.  [Side note: I have now been taking iron supplements for 2 weeks and I am sensing improvements in my turtleyness.]  Week 4 started off strong, but ended lamely due to a combination of calf pain, laziness, and impending sickness. 

Monday’s workout consisted of 8 miles followed by an intense strength training session! Dog not included.
Proof that I foam rolled. And that I have a tongue.

Week 4 also included a “speed” workout consisting of 6 x 800.  I put “speed” in quotes because my paces were nowhere near as fast as I would have liked them to be.  Still, it felt good to pump. it. up.  (Said in my best Arnold voice.)

Shannon or a tomato?  You be the judge!
Shannon or a tomato? You be the judge!

Week 4’s long run was cut short from 14-15 miles to 9.25 miles.  Let’s first discuss the positive aspects of this run.  First, the sun was out!  Second, I ran up Battery Street, which is VCM’s *scariest* hill.  It comes around mile 15 of the marathon, which is always a pleasant time to run up a big hill.  So while running up a big hill may seem more like a negative aspect than a positive aspect to some people, the positive part is that after cresting the hill, I realized that Battery Street is much bigger in my head, and that I eat bigger hills for breakfast.  [Side note: My mantra during the Race Vermont 1/2 Marathon, where I PRed big time on a hilly course, was “I eat hills for breakfast.”  It worked wonders.]

The not-so-great aspects?  My silly right calf was bothering me throughout the run.  Not in a major way, but in a if-I-keep-running-this-might-get-worse-way.  I probably could have run through it without problem.  However, at mile 9.25 I made the decision to refuel at South End Kitchen on Pine Street.  This was a rookie mistake.  It was cold out and they had a fire, people!  For the first time in less than 2 weeks (cue foreshadowing), I made the boyfriend come “rescue” me.

Salted caramel gu by the fireside?  A runner's paradise!
Salted caramel gu and water by the fireside? Men, take note: This is my idea of a dream date.

Here is the entire Week 4 rundown:

Week 4

Monday – 8 miles easy (treadmill)

Tuesday –  8 miles easy progression (treadmill)

Wednesday – 6 x 800 = 6 miles total w/ warmup and cool-downs (treadmill)

Thursday – 4 miles easy (treadmill)

Friday – Unplanned rest day for some reason (I don’t remember why.  I probably felt like crap.)

Saturday – 9.25 miles in the great outdoors

Sunday – Rest/Onset of the plague

Total: 35.25 miles

How did I spend the first, second, and third days of Week 5?  Sick and dying on the couch.  While I luckily did not have the flu, I did have some sort of Ebola-like cold that managed to hack away at every aspect of my soul except my ability to eat copious amounts of food, resulting in me being the only person in the world who actually gains weight while sick.  I seriously could not even fit into my sweatpants by Thursday.  I managed to get in some slow pathetic miles on Thursday and Friday.  By Saturday, I was ready to kill someone if I did not get in a solid run.  I smeared Vaseline under my nose, stuffed my pockets with tissues, and headed out the door.  For the first 3.99 miles, I felt GREAT given the circumstances.

I did NOT feel great when I face planted on the ice at mile 4.
This was taken before the goose egg fully took form. Good thing knees aren’t important when it comes to running or anything.

For the second time in 2 weeks, I required rescuing.  Although I knew right away that I wasn’t seriously injured, I was soaking wet and covered in mud.  Also, my face was bleeding, which isn’t exactly a huge deal but I AM A WIMP, OKAY?  Not exactly how I wanted to spend the next 10 miles.  So I went home, rinsed the mud and blood and tears off of my face, changed into shorts, and hit up the treadmill for the remaining 10 miles.  Not the most ideal long run, but sometimes you just gotta git-r-done.

Week 5

Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday – Sick

Thursday – 3 miles easy (treadmill)

Friday – 4 miles easy (treadmill)

Saturday – 4 miles in the great outdoors  + 10 miles (treadmill) = 14 miles total

Sunday – Rest

Total: 21 miles

Except for the fact that my nose has been replaced by a leaky faucet, I am pretty much back to normal.  Between the anemia and the plague, the last couple of weeks have been somewhat discouraging.  I’m trying to remain optimistic that I will continue to see improvements in my performance very soon.  However, I still have 10.5 weeks to whip my butt gluteus maximus into shape.  That is a long time in the world of marathoning.

In other news, I no longer have to run with a headlamp now that the time has changed!  (Well, unless I want to run in the middle of the night, which would be weird.)  Yesterday, I headed out for a glorious run after work in 50 degree weather.  I was actually too hot, which is a nice change from trying not to lose any extremities to frostbite.  The only downside is that my favorite dirt roads are now impassable to non-crazy runners.

This is actually a picture of pavement. The dirt starts midway up the road. Okay, so this is a bad example.

I’ll try to be better about updating this thing, especially since my readership has increased to practically 8 readers!  Hello!  Here’s to hoping for some excellent confidence-boosting training runs!

I will leave you with a picture of Basil, who turned 7 this week.  This has nothing to do with running.  Oh wait, Basil runs!  This is totally related to running.
I will leave you with a picture of Basil, who turned 7 this week. This has nothing to do with running. Oh wait, Basil runs! This is totally related to running.