Sometimes you need to sleep

I got up! I was going to run. I truly was. But I ended up deciding that running three this morning and four tomorrow and then 10+ on Sunday might not be the best use of training time. I hemmed and hawed. Fighting with myself for almost ten minutes while standing at the end of the bed.

I checked the weather. I sought every reason I could think of not to run this morning. I tried to come up with a reason that was more than the fact that I was merely tired. Not just kind of tired, I felt exhausted. I had genuine concerns about my level of fatigue and striking out to run, so I made the decision to crawl back into bed.

A decision I realized when I woke up an hour later after a hard, sound sleep was the best decision that I could have made. I woke up feeling rested and refreshed. Something I hadn’t felt when I initially woke up at 4:30, granted who in the world feels refreshed at 4:30 am?

As frustrated as I am that I have missed my training the last couple mornings, I do recognize that sometimes you just need sleep. And I am one that needs a little more sleep and rest than the average runner. My years of battling various auto immune disorders has left my body a bit more prone to exhaustion than most. My need for sleep and rest sometimes appears out of proportion to the cause.

I realized this morning that I am now at the half way point in training. Typically by this time I am feeling utterly tired and run down. Though in comparison to past years I am less tired, for that I am grateful. I believe it is a factor in why I am enjoying this year so much compared to previous years.

Before I fell back to sleep I made a plan-I am going to run the seven miles that I missed Saturday and complete my Saturday long run of 10 miles on Sunday with Regina. I am excited that we are going to tackle the course for the trail run I signed up for plus do some additional miles.

While I am frustrated to miss miles, I have missed fewer miles this year than last. I have found that unlike in previous years where I would just beat myself up for missing the miles, I make a conscious plan to either make up or adjust for miles missed.

In addition to my plan for this weekend, I also make plans for the remaining half of training. This weekend I am going to sit down with a calendar and spend some time focusing on how exactly I am going to spend the last half of training. I am going to focus on dialing in my nutrition (I have put on the typical marathon training weight). Also, I want to work on making a better more precise plan for training so that I will be dialed in these last few weeks. To some it may not seem like a lot of fun to be so regimented, but a mantra I have tried to focus on during training is that by getting to hardwork and unfun stuff out of the way, race day will be much more enjoyable.

How is your training going?

Happy Running!

 

Not quite the day I had planned

Today wasn’t quite the training day that I had planned. Mostly because I didn’t get up to train. Jesi surprised me last night with tickets to the local theater production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, so we were out later than usual.  I hadn’t slept particularly well so when the alarm went off, I literally hit the off button instead of snooze. Thankfully I have several alarms set for the work week so I didn’t miss out on getting up for work.

I had planned to do three miles this morning, to make up for my missed miles yesterday. My usual Thursday evening run had been cancelled so I was going to run solo after work. As much as I didn’t want to split my mid-week miles in half I didn’t want to miss my miles.

But as they say the best laid plans of mice and men. Whatever the hell that means.

I had planned to run after work, maybe not the full seven but I would run something. Instead, Jesi and I ended up taking  a walk together. Our fitness journeys have been interesting. Typically during the off season, our journeys are intertwined. We go to the gym together, we do Zumba together, we walk together.

Since our car accident in February (we were rear ended at a stop light) combined with some personnel issues at her job, Jesi hasn’t been able to maintain a fitness and gym routine. After some discussion last night after the play, we decided to restart our joint fitness journeys. It is definitely more fun to do things together. Jesi will embark on some things solo, but together we’ll resume Zumba and maybe try a spin class.

I enjoyed the walk with Jesi, especially given that so much of my training is solo. It was nice to chat while I put in some steps. If I were to combine my lunch walk and my evening walk mileage, I racked up almost all my scheduled miles for the day. Even though the day didn’t go quite as planned it wasn’t as if I was sedentary.

I think one of the conscious decisions I have made this training season is to avoid the use of the time on my feet philosophy of years past. While I find it to be a viable training solution/strategy I think that it has been part of the issue in training. I found it easier to not push as hard because “I had x number of minutes on feet” rather than making a solid effort to work on speed and endurance and push through the hard things.

The last couple of days haven’t quite been my best in terms of training, I think that I will look towards the weekend and my long run and use that as a restart for my mental brain. I will use that time and mileage to refocus my priorities and think about my next goals over the last remaining weeks of training.

Happy Running!

 

 

 

Falling asleep while stretching

7 miles! I was set to do seven miles. I had my alarm set. My clothes laid out. I had my route planned. When the alarm went off, I hit snooze once and then realized I needed to get moving if I wanted to get my seven miles completed. I realized that my left Achilles was a little sore, nothing terrible just a little tender.

I decided to stretch it a little bit. I had seen some foot exercises on a Run Experience video and decided to do those in hopes of loosing in my tight tendon. At some point during the process I fell asleep. It’s what I get for trying to stretch in bed, in the dark while in my pajamas.

I headed out at 4:45 am and managed to get a respectable 3.1 miles. It was a cool morning, which I was grateful for however it was incredibly foggy. Or as I like to call it, IMG_3071_resized“Bacony” (see the icon at left that the Weather Channel app uses) It was kind of eerie, I was a little more mindful of my surroundings. I didn’t want to have another encounter with a skunk or a person that might be minding their own business-though I usually am leery of non runners out and about that early in the morning.

I wore my head lamp, and stayed close to the curb. Though despite my headlamp I still had to jump on the curb to avoid traffic that was not willing to give me space, despite no traffic coming the other direction. I wondered what in the world they thought the short, bobbing light was-an alien, a street lamp on Adderall, a bicycle on hydraulics. Whatever they thought it was, there were a few drivers that didn’t even make an effort to give me a little leeway. Not much but just enough that didn’t leave me running in the grass.

It wasn’t my fastest run, but I got something done. I plan on adding the extra miles on Thursday and Saturday. I’m not a fan of doing that, especially as I get to the half way point but I need to get the miles in.

I guess more than anything I need to not stretch while still comfortably placed in bed. Istravaimage need to work on perhaps considering splitting my mid-week long run into two runs, with my morning run being maybe the longer of the two sections. I need to perhaps not run when it’s Bacony out, especially first thing in the morning. I guess this is another lesson in flexibility.

Happy Running!

 

Drizzly morning and a new audio book

It was kind of drizzly this morning, it was that kind of rain that you wish would either start fully or stop. It was just enough to be annoying and to make it humid. I started out way too fast. I wanted to try and cut down my mile one time (typically my slowest) just a little bit. Now that I have negative splits, I would like to make the first half a little faster while still maintaining a negative split. In other words, I just generally want to go faster.

Unfortunately in this ill thought out “I want to go faster” goal, I ended up being gassed by the half way point. I did end up walking about three times, no more than 30 seconds each time but my streak of not walking has ended.

On the upside, I still managed to obtain negative splits. But even that has become redundant. I have the hang of it now, now I want to achieve the next goal of just being overall a little faster. I have a goal time that I would like to achieve, I need to chip away at it slowly but aggressively.

I did start a new audio book today, having finished the Ellen DeGeneres book over the weekend during my long run. I have started Yes Please by Amy Poehler I will admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Amy, I found her to be a bit crude. But after discovering that I can borrow audio books from the library via my phone I figured hey, if I don’t like it I can always delete it and get something different. Her cadence is similar to Lauren Grahams, it’s bright and cheerful and keeps me moving. Unlike Ellen’s book, which I often found myself thinking too hard to follow, Amy’s book is a great memoir with the right mix of humor and personal candor. It definitely helped move me along on my run this morning.

I am definitely grateful for audio books, I think they have played a large role in my more consistent pacing and focus.

Happy Running!

Weekend long run during the week

Tomorrow is the family party, since there’s still quite a bit of prep to do I didn’t want to leave my training run until then. Also, I didn’t want to be wiped from training and then not enjoy the evening. Instead, I decided to put my miles in today. A week day.

I was scheduled to do 13.1, a half, but I ended up finishing up with 10.8 miles. The reason was two fold, I misjudged the total number of miles home so arrived sooner than I thought. There were really no safe places to tack extra miles on when I arrived back at the house too early. The second reason was that I felt some slight pain in my legs and just felt tired. I’m frustrated that I didn’t get the full mileage count but I’m pleased that I tried something new and different-running in an unfamiliar place.

I did learn that there is value in planning out your run ahead of time and knowing your course. I spent quite a bit of time running in circles in neighborhoods. Weaving in and out of culs-de-sac to add mileage. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought of this person running loops in their neighborhood. By the end of the long run, I am typically so tired that thinking of where I need to go and trying to calculate distance is a bit challenging. And makes the long run less training focused and more thinking focused.

I did giggle at a few of the views that I took in. Signs are something I am always drawn too, and two really caught my eye. I am curious to know how many people attempt to get onto 495 on a horse. Also, the street sign was perfect timing. I was mid-run and really struggling. The subtle reminder to suck it up wasn’t lost on me, even in my exhaustion.

I also managed to be in two places at once! A very interesting experience, though not nearly as strange as one might expect if one has ever viewed Star Trek or any Harry Potter film. Basically I found a spot where I was standing in two towns at the same time. IMG_3003Sort of a cheesy nod to Nicholas Sparks A Walk To Remember. 

I tried to make the day an adventure. I tried to enjoy the sights that I don’t typically see. I viewed the day as a win, even though I didn’t hit my exact miles. I made the time to get up and run. Making sure that I put in the work and effort that needed to be done. My average per mile pace wasn’t fantastical-13:15 average but I stayed consistent in my pace. Fluctuating no more than a minute from my slowest to fastest mile.

I finished the Ellen audio book. It was my favorite listen. It had it’s moments of humor and insight, but it also had moments where it just rambled unending and nonsensically.IMG_3008 They were comedic monologues that didn’t really flow with the rest of the book. Her guided meditation was really NOT helpful. However, I am enjoying the concept of audio books while running. I am grateful that I discovered the app Hoopla.

Hoopla is a free app that allows you to borrow audio books, e-books and other types of literary media from your local library. You are permitted eight books a month. Which is perfect since I’m usually done an audio book within a couple weeks of long runs. The use of Audible.com was going to be too cost prohibitive given the $15 monthly subscription PLUS the cost of the book itself. Hoopla was definitely a great alternative.

IMG_3009

Beautiful flowers I passed a few times. 

It wasn’t until I got in the shower that I realized that my waistband of my underwear had rubbed a raw spot on my back. It’s unusual given that I have had these drawers for a few years and have worn them a few times for long runs. It was pretty warm and I was sweating pretty profusely, I’m thinking that the combination of the sweat and movement yielded a sort spot on my back. I must admit that chafing results in colorful language when its met with warm water.

Overall, I was pleased with the day. I took away quite a few lessons. But mostly I got some miles in without too much interruption to the rest of the family.

What has been your experience when running while on vacation/away from home base? Do you find it fun or stressful?

Happy Running!

 

Travel Day

Today we traveled to Massachusetts for the family celebration of my sister-in-law’s wedding. From our house to MA, it’s roughly an eight hour drive. Sometimes more when the state of Connecticut decides it wants to be jerk-face and cause a bunch of travel issues.

The drive today wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t our best time but it wasn’t our worst time either. initially I had planned to do a few miles when we arrived. However between getting set up for the party and just being exhausted from travel I ended up forgoing running.

Instead I made a conscious effort to do a lot of stretching. While I didn’t feel any specific stiffness, I know that after 8 hours of sitting that my hips would be stiff. While the rest of the family set up the tents, I played soccer with the dog and did some hip stretches and some skipping.

Before leaving for the trip, I had mapped out a route of Map My Run. However when we drove the route so I would have a better sense of where I was going we realized a new plan was in order. The route I picked was on roads that lacked sidewalks or shoulders and had numerous blind curves.  Not really the ideal route. Jesi and I spent about a half hour driving around to some alternative routes, finding some areas that while lacking sidewalks had much rider road ways with better visibility.

On a non-running related note I tried clams (steamers in local talk) for the first time. They were ok-they were well cooked and I had excellent teachers. But they were a bit bothersome to clean and they did have a unique taste to them. BUT I tried something new! I was adventurous.

Tomorrow I strike out on my long run in a unknown area. Figures crossed it will go well!

Have you ever trained in an unfamiliar location? How did you plan your route?

Happy Running!

Didn’t do half…or did half. It’s all about perspective I suppose

I was supposed to do six miles this morning. I was supposed to get up at 4:30 so that I would have more than enough time to do the full six miles. However a late bedtime and three snooze buttons later, I realized that I wouldn’t have enough time. Rather than not run at all, something I would have liked to have done in favor of sleep, I decided to work with what I had.

I ran my usual morning route of three miles, but I did go a little extra…I went to the next block. I felt a small degree of victory that while I didn’t run the scheduled amount, I at least ran more than half.

It definitely showed the importance of a good nights sleep. According to my FitBit I only got 5 hours and 18 minutes of sleep, with 11 minutes of restlessness. This is a couple hours less than I typically get. I definitely could feel it when my alarm went off. The first mile and a half really was a struggle to keep going. I honestly wanted to quit before I got to the end of the street. My eyes were just heavy and my bed was so warm, I swear it was calling my name.

However, I started listening to Ellen DeGeneres’ Seriously…I’m Kidding. After the drudgery that is the introduction/forward and listened to her chapter on advice from a super model (herself) I found myself a little lighter on my feet. On the way back I actually found myself laughing out loud. (To the neighbors on Market Street, I apologize if I woke you or freaked you out laughing).

On the upside, I had negative splits. They weren’t as fast as yesterday BUT they were negative. Also, if I had stayed in bed I would have missed the amazing full moon and the stars. It is rare in the  city to see the stars so vibrantly, but this morning for some reason I managed to see the stars shining brightly.

The struggle to get up and push through really is, in some ways, more important than the mileage. Training myself mentally to get through that which I don’t really want to do will pay dividends come race day. While I’m frustrated that I didn’t get my full six, I will try and focus on the aspects of the training today that will get me where I want to be. Tomorrow I will improve on those areas that may have been overlooked today. All I can do is keep moving forward….and get a little more sleep.

Happy Running!