Portland Half Marathon Training #6: When Bad Runs Strike!

Life / Monday, June 4th, 2018

Hi Friends!

I’m gonna jump right in to my training recap from last week, then tell you a little bit about an ill-fated long run I just barely managed to complete.

  • Monday: 5.07 miles (1 mile w/u, 3 miles @ 9:20 pace, 1 mile c/d)
  • Tuesday: 5.01 miles easy
  • Wednesday: 30 minutes swimming + PT
  • Thursday: 4.01 miles easy
  • Friday: 10 miles (in 80 degree weather with 79% humidity…very, very slow)
  • Saturday:  Rest
  • Sunday: 5k race! (8:20 min/mile)
    • Total Weekly Milage: 27.19 miles

So, this was a HARD week for me, running wise.

I’ve been battling a little bit of a cold, which has left me feeling achy and tired a whole lot of the time. Dragging myself out of bed day after day to log miles has been a chore, at best. I know myself well enough that I can tell this isn’t a bad enough virus for me to skip workouts completely, though, so I made sure to hit all my distance goals, even if my paces were a little off.

But what made this week really rough was the heat and humidity that totally overtook the Boston area throughout most of last week. High humidity (I’m talking 70%+) makes it really hard for your body to release heat, so I found myself feeling totally beat up after EVERY. SINGLE. RUN. last week. I considered hitting the gym to run on a treadmill, but the extra step of driving to the gym (and trying to find parking in the INSANELY TINY AND COMPLICATED YMCA lot) just seemed like too much for me.

So I stuck it out and ran outside over and over again; it wasn’t until Friday that it alllllll caught up to me.

My neighborhood’s yearly 5k race was this Sunday, so I planned out my week around doing my long run on Friday. How hard could 10 miles on an 80 degree, 84% humidity afternoon POSSIBLY be?!?

A scene from my terrible 10 miler… I actually considered jumping into this leechy section of the Charles for a sec…

I was feeling prettttty rough after work that day. My throat has been super sore, and the glands in my neck were super inflamed from fighting off this cold. I took some advil to help with that inflammation, had a glass of gatorade to get some electrolytes into my system, and hit the road with just a had bottle of gatorade.

Boy oh boy, had I underestimated my own needs.

By mile 5 I was bargaining with myself; does anyone else do this? I told myself to get to 8 miles, then stop at my brother’s house (at the 8 mile mark) and make him drive me home. I used this cop-out fantasy, plus several well-timed walk breaks, to push through to the 8-mile point. Also, a note on walk breaks: I literally never take walk breaks. I have not taken walk breaks since like 2012. THIS WAS A BAD RUN, GUYS. My legs felt heavy, by brain felt sluggish, and I’d guzzled all of my hand bottle by 6 miles in and my mouth was DRY by the time I got near my brother’s house. And then…

HE WASN’T HOME!!!! I texted him, and he was on the other side of the city like, being social and young and cool on a Friday night (WHAT, CRAZY) and was unavailable to pick up his sweaty, downtrodden little sister and drive her the 2 miles to her own house.

I knew then that I needed to do two things. 1) I needed more water and 2) I needed to run the next 2 miles home and finish out this horrible long run. I remembered then that the field where I played soccer (very poorly) when I was 7 was nearby, and there was a water fountain there. I got hit with a stray ball as I walked up to the fountain but HOLY MOLY that water was MAGICAL.

I managed to trudge the last 2 miles home where I immediately got into a cold shower with the goal of washing the bad run away.

That run seriously took a toll on my body and mind. I woke up way more sore than I should have been on Saturday, and didn’t run my fastest at my 5k on Sunday (Although I did pretty well w/ a time of 26:10) I’m STILL feeling worn out as I write this on Monday morning.

Starting line of the Corrib Road Race 5k on Sunday!!

BUT I am trying to stay positive!!

So here are a few things that went well this week…

  1. I hit my weekly milage goal! Transitioning from low-milage to moderate milage training was something I was kind of nervous about going in. I’ve had to keep a close eye on my calendar and wake up a little earlier to get all my miles in, but I’m figuring out how to get it done!
  2. I ran my FAVORITE race on Sunday! When I was a kid, I’d watch the 5k runners near my house every year and I really wanted to be strong and determined like them. So even though I’m not exactly a speedy 5k runner, I love to do this race each year and high-5 EVERY LITTLE GIRL out there on the sidelines.
  3. My friends ran their first 10 miler on Sunday (And I had the chance to help them train)!!! A few weeks ago, I had drinks with a few friends and they mentioned that they’d really like to run an upcoming 10-mile race in Rhode Island, but weren’t sure where to start training-wise. So I gave them a few tips, which turned into a full-on training plan, and both my friends managed to finish all 10 miles with smiles on their faces! Now I need to recruit them for a half marathon…

So there were a lot of great moments from this week, and I’m trying to focus on those moving forward!

Now You Tell Me…

  • TIPS for running in humid weather? Any products or gear you swear by? 
  • How do you keep your spirits up when you don’t PR? 

One Reply to “Portland Half Marathon Training #6: When Bad Runs Strike!”

  1. The humidity in New Jersey was terrible last week. I was drenched in sweat after each run regardless of how easy or hard the pace was. My biggest tip is to have a glass of cold water waiting for you when you get home. I also like to stretch outside when it’s hot so my body doesn’t go from AC to heat right away.

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