Weekly Wrap-Up: August 14-20

Where do I start?

I bonked, I recovered, I retired a pair of shoes, and I slogged through 16 miles to get over 40 for the week.

Weight Check: 168.0 pounds, down 1.1 from last week. It’s a step in the right direction, but it’s higher than I’d like. I’m still drinking too much Mountain Dew. This week, in theory, should be slightly less stressful at work, and so maybe I’ll be able to cut back a bit.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Lactate Threshold, 2 mile warm up, 4 x 1 mile at Threshold pace (9:05/mile) with 1 minute in between, 1 mile cool down* 6.26
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 16 mile long run 16.01

Total: 40.30 miles

There’s a reason for the asterisk next to Tuesday’s workout. (Hint: Add up the miles in the workout description and you’ll get more than 6.26.)

First, Monday. I barely remember it. More brutal weather. My legs still felt OK, though. I survived, and gradually sped up over the course of the run. I kept the effort “easy” until around the last quarter mile.

I found it amusing that this was my first 7 mile easy run (unless I count the one in Portland, but I requested that one, and it was scheduled to be a “speed up on the last mile” run). It’s weird how that used to be a staple in my training plan for the last two years.

Then there was Tuesday.

I bonked.

The weather was bad, but not really any worse than I’ve seen lately. My warm up was fine. I knew with the conditions a 9:05 pace would be pretty difficult, but I was hoping to stay below 9:30. I did that for the first two intervals, but on the 3rd, my legs got really tired. I tried adding 30 seconds to my recovery after the 3rd interval, but during the 4th, I had very little energy, and my pace seemed to get slower as the mile went on. At the end of the 4th interval, I was right near my house, I really had to use the bathroom, and my legs were dead, so I stopped there, skipping the cool down. (Although the 4th interval looked a lot like a cool down.)

The good news is that it was only fatigue, there was no pain. Still, it sucked. It really affected me mentally. As bad as it felt, both physically and mentally, it still ended up being my fastest average pace for a run since June. Go figure.

So, on Wednesday, I needed a comeback run. So of course I forgot to set my alarm and woke up about 45 minutes later than I planned. This was not an ideal way to start.

I made it through the first and second mile with no issues. Then I turned on to this one street. It’s straight, it’s flat, it’s about .12 miles, and it ends in a cul-de-sac. About halfway down this street, I saw a large dog without a leash standing in a driveway at the end of the street. I immediately turned around, hoping the dog hadn’t seen me. No such luck. I soon heard the dog running behind me. I know I can’t outrun a dog over short distances. I had no choice. I turned around, stood as tall as I could, pointed away from me, and yelled,”Go home!” The dog stopped and looked at me. I said it again. Then the dog turned around and started walking away. I took a few steps backward to keep an eye on the dog, and when I felt like I was safe, I turned around and ran away. It was around this time that I finally heard the dog’s owner calling for the dog to come home. (It took him long enough.) But I had stood face-to-face with a dog, and I won.

After that, my run was easy. I managed to improve my pace on each mile.

Also, this was my last run in my first pair of Brooks Adrenaline 17s. My first run in them, on February 14, was in 33(!) degree weather. They got me through the 2017 Tobacco Road Half. And they got me through a showdown with a dog. What a way to go out.

Friday’s run seemed pretty anti-climactic. The weather was still terrible. My legs felt fine, though. I kept the effort “easy” until the last quarter mile or so. Other than on the last mile when someone asked me for directions (I stopped my watch for that), it was uneventful, which, after Tuesday’s run, I’ll gladly take.

Saturday was 16 miles. Side note: it was the day of the 2017 OrthoCarolina 10K. I ran the 2014 version, and the weather this year was only slightly less horrific than 3 years ago. Still, there’s a big difference between 6.2 miles and 16. It was either 73 or 75 degrees depending on whether you believe my phone or my Garmin. (Officially, I split the difference and recorded it as 74.) Either way, there was about 90% humidity.

My legs actually felt OK until after mile 12, then they got really tired. I did manage to speed up for the last mile, but it wasn’t because I had a bunch of energy left over. Really, I think it was that I just stopped caring about the fact that I had no energy left, wanted to get my run over with, and just ran as fast as I could.

Next week, we might actually see some slightly less terrible weather by the end of the week. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve also got a hill workout, but my long run is only 15 miles. Yes, only 15. We’ll see how it goes.