Weekly Wrap-Up: August 7-13

The weather sucked this week. I survived.

I bought a new pair of shoes, my 3rd pair of Brooks Adrenaline 17s. This time, I was able to buy the default style, dark gray with blue and black trim, so they had them in stock in 10.5 wide. I’ll have to special order my next pair, though, since I try to alternate the colors to keep them straight. If my math is right, there’s a small chance this pair will be my shoes for New York City, but I think it’s more likely that my next pair will be the ones to make the trip. We’ll see.

I didn’t retire my oldest shoes (my first Adrenaline 17s) just yet. They’re at 397.4 miles, and that was after Monday’s run. So I wore my 2nd pair on Tuesday, broke in my new pair on Wednesday, and then really broke them in on Friday with my “long” run. I brought my 2nd pair to my parents’ house and ran in them Saturday morning. I didn’t want the last run for my oldest shoes to be in Greensboro, because I still don’t enjoy running there. I’ll retire them on one of my runs this week.

Also, I have seen the light. I’m a convert to foam rolling. It helped after last week’s long run, which I normally would have felt the effects from on Monday (but didn’t), it helped after my Tuesday run, and it helped after this week’s “long” run. My legs are in much better shape, and I don’t think it’s due to the reduced mileage this week.

Weight Check: OK, I had to do my weigh-in on Friday morning, before my long run. It was 169.1, up 3.1 pounds from last week. That’s pretty terrible. I drank way too much Mountain Dew. Now, I was missing my long run (and my Saturday run), but still. I really need to buckle down. Having more days (and more miles) this week will help, but I’d really like to see some progress in my eating and drinking, and not just see the numbers go down because my mileage went up.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 6 miles easy 6.01
Tuesday 7 mile progression run (5 miles easy, 2 miles comfortably hard) 7.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 11 mile long run 11.01
Saturday 4 miles easy 4.01

Total: 34.05 miles

I was greeted on Monday with rain. Yes, for the first time in months, it rained during one of my runs. But it was pretty light, and it stopped somewhere in mile 2. The humidity stuck around, though, so it was rather unpleasant. My legs felt pretty good considering I just did 15 miles on Saturday. Like I said earlier, foam rolling. I kept the effort “easy” with my usual push on the last quarter of a mile.

On Tuesday, the weather was miserable again, but this time it only rained on the last two miles. My legs felt OK, with just a little bit of fatigue at the end, but I expected that. It’s difficult to imagine anything being easy or comfortable in these conditions, but I kept the effort “easy” for 5 miles, then “comfortably” hard for the last two. Not a great run, but I survived.

Wednesday, the weather wasn’t quite as bad, and there was no rain, but it was still uncomfortable. Legs felt OK even after yesterday’s progression run. Foam rolling. It works. (Feel free to add another word after “works” if you’d like. I try to keep things clean here, but I’d probably add a word in other contexts.) A pretty uneventful run, but I won’t complain.

So, my “long” run was Friday. Since I didn’t want to sit in rush hour traffic to get to Freedom Park, I stuck with the Four Mile Creek Greenway. I’ve been staying away from there because of the relative lack of water fountains. I measured it, 1.88 miles between fountains, and that’s a little farther than I’d like during a summer long run. I managed to survive, though. The weather was brutal. My legs held up OK, though.

My coach gave me the option of adding in hills, and I did, during mile 4 and mile 5. I actually felt like I had trouble finding my easy pace, and my running was a little more inconsistent than I’d like. I was able to get away with it on an 11 miler, but when I’m up to 15 or 16 miles, I need to do a better job. I did managed to speed up on the last mile, so I didn’t completely screw it up.

One other note about this run is that I tried a Vanilla PowerBar Gel Vanilla on this run for the first and last time. PowerBar is the official sponsor of the New York City Marathon, and they give out gels at one of the aid stations (around Mile 19 or so, give or take a mile). I brought my Strawberry Banana Gus last year, and plan to bring them again this year, but after talking to my coach about it, I wanted to try out the gel that they’re giving out (and, presumably, will have for sale during the expo). So I bought a PowerBar Gel last week, and figured Vanilla would probably be easily available, and wouldn’t cause any stomach issues. Well, Vanilla PowerBar Gel is like drinking watered down vanilla syrup. I’ve had Vanilla Bean Gu before, and while I still prefer Strawberry Banana, in a pinch, Vanilla Bean is perfectly acceptable. The PowerBar version of vanilla is really strong, and if it wasn’t so watery, I probably would have had trouble choking it down. I’m very thankful I had a working water fountain right afterward to wash away the taste. So, I just need to make absolutely positively sure I bring my Strawberry Banana Gu this year. (It’s possible they sell them at the expo, but I don’t know if PowerBar has some kind of exclusive agreement.)

Finally, on Saturday, I ran in my parents’ neighborhood in Greensboro. The weather was still terrible, but my legs were fine. I love my parents, but I still don’t love running in their neighborhood. I think it’s mostly a mental thing, but I still don’t like it. It was only 4 miles, so I got it over with relatively quickly.

Next week, I’ve got a Lactate Threshold workout, a 16(!) mile long run, and it looks like I’ll break the 40 mile mark. The weather looks pretty miserable, though. I guess I’ll just have to push through it.