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. 

image1
Monday’s workout consisted of 8 miles followed by an intense strength training session! Dog not included.
image2
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.

image7
I did NOT feel great when I face planted on the ice at mile 4.
image6
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.

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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.

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