Weekly Wrap-Up: July 24-30

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as a normal week. It was another hot week, but I had a really good workout run, and while it didn’t cool down for my long run like it was supposed to, I did get some reassurance at the end.

I went back to the podiatrist this week. I don’t know if I’ve ever described my orthotics in detail, but when I got them, they were white plastic with a thin layer of black fabric on top. Well, after 1,894.1 miles of running (and lots of walking), the fabric had started to wear down, so I wasn’t sure if I needed new orthotics or what. The podiatrist said that the fabric wasn’t necessary, that he wore orthotics with no fabric, and then he stripped the rest of the fabric away from the plastic. He said he could put new fabric on there if I wanted, but I figured I’d try them out with no fabric. So far, they’re doing OK. Added bonus: It would take a little while for the fabric to dry out after a run, especially one in the heat, but now with just plastic, worst case scenario I can just use a towel to dry them off.

Weight Check: 165.7 pounds, up 0.2 from last week. I fell off the wagon this week as far as Mountain Dew goes. I had a really mind-numbing task I had to do at work, and the only way I could get through it was with Mountain Dew. However, once that task was done, I didn’t really cut back on the Mountain Dew. Maybe next week. I managed to stay away from junk food, though. I guess my mileage helped limit the damage.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 6 miles easy 6.01
Tuesday Marathon Pace, 1 mile warm up, 6 miles at a moderate effort 7.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Sunday 14 mile long run 14.01

Total: 37.05 miles

That’s a lot of miles. It’s my highest weekly mileage since the week of the New York City Marathon. (That’s also the last time I ran at least 14 miles.)

On Monday, it was a few degrees cooler than it had been, but still warm, and extremely humid. My legs felt really tired on the first mile, but got better after that. Maybe I was still feeling the effects of last Saturday’s long run. I kept the effort “easy” but sped up on the last quarter mile. I did go up a large hill (end of Mile 2/start of Mile 3) because I was looking for a hill that would take at least 90 seconds to run (for future hill workouts), and I found it, but I normally wouldn’t include that hill on an easy run. (Side note, I had totally forgotten about finding the hill until I checked my notes for this run. I guess it was a pretty long week.)

Tuesday’s workout looked pretty scary. 6 straight miles with “moderate effort,” then add in miserable conditions (74 degrees, around 90% humidity.) The first mile was slow, almost 13:00, then I took off. Luckily, my legs felt fine. I did end up stopping at the 4 mile mark to run inside and get some water. With those weather conditions, I didn’t want to take any chances. In the end, I was really happy with how I ran, and I definitely finished strong.

On Wednesday, it was warm, slightly less humid than Tuesday, but still pretty uncomfortable. I was a little worried about my legs after Tuesday’s workout, but they still felt fine throughout this run. I probably ran a little faster than I should have on Mile 4 (although part of that was a downhill stretch), but I don’t remember really increasing my effort that much on that mile. For the most part, I kept the effort “easy” except for the last quarter mile.

Friday’s run was mercifully short, because the weather was just terrible. For 4 miles, I can tolerate it. My legs felt fine, so there’s that. Other than the heat and humidity, it was an uneventful run, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

And then there was Saturday.

First, a little background. I do keep an eye on the weather forecasts so I have some idea of the conditions I’ll be running in. All last week, I kept hearing that it was going to suck during the week, but the weekend was going to be (relatively, for late July) nice, with slightly drier air and lower temperatures.

It’s one thing to go into a run expecting bad weather and then getting it. Last Saturday, the weather was miserable, but it was pretty much what I expected.

Yesterday morning, it was 75 degrees with 90% humidity. Seriously. Either the less warm, drier air was late, or Saturday morning is no longer considered part of the weekend. I briefly considered pushing my run back to Sunday (it was 67 degrees this morning *grumble*) but I didn’t know what that would do to my schedule for next week, so I figured I needed to suck it up.

Just like last week, I stopped at water fountains as often as possible. This week, I didn’t need to include any hills, which was a relief. (My coach even specifically said to give my legs a break and stick to the flat greenways.) I trudged along, and it was bad, but for the most part, it was barely tolerable. There was a very occasional light breeze that helped. This was one of those runs where I was supposed to pick up the pace on the last two miles. I did need to take a couple of walk breaks at the very beginning of those two miles (and an additional water fountain break on the next to last mile), but somehow, I managed to make those two miles my fastest two miles, with the last mile being the fastest.

I was pretty wiped out at the end. The sheer distance, the terrible weather conditions (especially when I thought it would be better), the speed up for the last two miles, the mud. (Did I mention we got a lot of rain on Friday? Yeah, it left mud behind in a few spots.) Then I saw this, on the car parked next to mine.

That’s exactly what I needed to hear at that point. It’s nice to get some reassurance. (And I need to remember it the next time I have a tough run.)

I still can’t say it was a good run, but it wasn’t terrible, I got through it, and I had enough left to finish strong.

Next week, well, I’m waiting for my coach to update my schedule. The good news is that she adjusts my schedule based on how I’m running. The bad news is that she’s only got my schedule set through Friday. I do know I’ve got a hill workout scheduled for Tuesday, but I don’t know yet how far I’ll be running on Saturday.

Oh, and we’re nearing the end of July, so I’ll have a Monthly Wrap-Up posted at some point this week.