Weekly Wrap-Up: September 17-23

My heart is apparently OK. I started running again after a week off, and things have not gotten better. Back to my physician’s office tomorrow.

I did manage one good run last week, so there’s that.

Weight Check: 162.1 pounds, down 2.9 from last week. OK, one good run and some weight loss. So the week wasn’t completely crappy.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Thursday 3 miles easy 3.11
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 13 miles easy 12.01

Total: 19.13 miles

Sigh.

Since I hadn’t run all week, and I got the green light to resume running on Wednesday, I did a rare Thursday run. The weather wasn’t quite as hot as a few weeks ago but still humid. My legs felt surprisingly good. I expected a little bit of rust, but they held up pretty well, and they were definitely well rested. I was just really happy to be back out there running again. I ran with a smile on my face for the first time since I was in Portland. (Spoiler alert: It didn’t last long.)

Friday was still OK, I guess. The weather was pretty uncomfortable. My legs felt a little off at first. Maybe there was a delay in the rust showing up. After a mile or so, they felt better. I kept the effort easy, but did manage to improve my pace on each mile.

Saturday was a long run. I’ve been struggling on my long runs. The trend continued.

I went to a different greenway due to an event at my usual spot. I also brought a hand held water bottle to make up for there being a lot fewer water fountains. The weather wasn’t great to start with, and then with no clouds it warmed up really fast.

I had Gu at 4.3 and 8.5 miles. I drank some of my water at every mile.

My legs felt OK for a while, then after 9 miles I really started feeling fatigue. I walked the second half of mile 10, slowly jogged mile 11, and mile 12 was mostly walking, and I realized I wouldn’t be able to go any further. I did go out a little too fast. There’s a downhill path from the parking lot to the actual greenway that I ran down at the very beginning, plus I had to speed up a little to get around some other people. Still, I hit a wall a lot earlier than I’d like, and clearly something is still wrong.

Once again, wait and see.

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 10-16

My physician doesn’t know what’s wrong with me. His best guess, though, is my heart. So, yeah. I’ve got an appointment with a heart specialist on Wednesday to do a stress test. Also, no running until then. Running-wise, it was a pretty short week.

On the plus side, I’m pretty sure that, even if I was perfectly healthy, I wouldn’t have been able to run 18 miles (that’s what was originally on the schedule) with Hurricane Florence around. So far, lots of rain, lots of wind, but *knock on wood* nothing too terrible.

Weight Check: 165.0, down exactly one pound from last week. Considering how little I was able to run, I’ll gladly take it.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 5.01
Tuesday 3-5 miles easy 3.11

Total: 8.12 miles

Monday, the weather felt like a sauna, and my legs felt really tired. I decided to cut it short, and made it through 5 miserable miles without any walk breaks.

I talked to my coach late Monday, and she modified my schedule to just easy 3-5 mile runs for the rest of the week. I figured a treadmill run would at least give my legs a break, so that’s what I did Tuesday. (Of course, after seeing my physician Tuesday afternoon, I had to cancel the rest of my runs for the week.) My legs felt fine. I kept it at 12:00/mile the whole time. It was mentally excruciating, and my legs probably could have gone a little further, but my mind couldn’t, so I just did 5K.

And that’s it for the week.

Now, I wait to see what the heart specialist says. I’ll be honest, I’ve been focused on Florence, and maybe it’s better, because, well, when you start talking about my heart…as I told one of my co-workers, if you blow out your knee and can’t run any more, absolute worst case scenario is that you need to start using a cane. Heart problems can have much more serious consequences.

Not running sucks. Not knowing when (if?) I’ll be able to run again is even worse. We’ll see.

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 3-9

Things didn’t get better last week. In fact, they got worse. I’ve got an appointment with my physician tomorrow to figure out what the hell is going on. I expect some level of fatigue, but I’m just hitting a wall during my long runs, and it’s happening way earlier than I’ve ever experienced before. Sure, during my marathons it got really freaking hard after about the 20 mile mark, but right now it’s hitting me way before then, and it seems to be getting worse instead of better.

This sucks. If I could drop down to the half, I would, but the NYC Half is a totally separate event in the spring. Good thing the full doesn’t have a time limit.

Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, we might get hit by a hurricane later this week.

So, how has your week been?

Weight Check: 166.0, up exactly 2 pounds from last week. I was a day late on my weigh in. It was just a brain fart. I can’t remember the last time I just completely forgot about a weigh in, but yesterday, I did. Gaining 2 pounds isn’t ideal, but considering everything else, this is pretty low on my list of worries.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 6 miles easy 6.01
Tuesday 20 minutes easy, 8 x 1 minute uphill hard with 75-90 seconds jog in between, 20 minutes easy 6.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 14 miles easy 12.01

Total: 35.05 miles

Cutback week? More like setback week.

Monday, the weather was pretty bad. My legs were still a little tired from my previous long run (even if it hadn’t been as long as I had planned). My paces seemed to be a bit random, even considering the hills, but I got through it with a semi-respectable average pace, so I’ll take it.

On Tuesday, the weather still felt like August. My legs felt OK until the last couple of intervals. My paces on the intervals seemed a little inconsistent, but I think it’s mostly because one minute isn’t very long. I walked for about 30 seconds, then jogged for a minute in between. I did push a little harder on the last interval, and it did end up being the fastest one. I walked for about 30 seconds at the beginning of the cool down, then jogged the rest of the time. I extended the cool down a bit to get to 6 miles. Tough workout, but I got through it.

Wednesday, the weather was pretty brutal again. With the hill repeats Tuesday, my legs were tired and my glutes were sore. My pace may have been slow, but it was fairly consistent. It’s a bit disappointing for the last mile to be the slowest, but I got through it.

On Friday, the weather was still pretty terrible. My legs weren’t quite 100%, but they weren’t too bad. I was a little slow, but I didn’t want to push it, since I was really hoping for a good long run on Saturday. I survived.

Saturday was…not good.

Well, I ran slowly for 10 miles, and I still got too tired to go more than 12 miles. Like I said earlier, I feel like it’s getting worse instead of better, and that’s the main reason why I decided I need to see my physician.

I really hope he can figure out what’s going on.

This is the part where I normally talk about the upcoming week, but between my appointment and the hurricane, I have no clue what will happen. Wait and see, I guess.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 27-September 1

I’m still not 100% ready to talk about Saturday’s run, but I figure I need to post something anyway. I will say that I’m glad I got my August wrap-up done on Friday.

Weight Check: 164.0 pounds, up 1.6 from last week. Meh. It was a fairly stressful week, which isn’t good for my eating. I guess it could have been worse.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 1 mile easy, 6 miles at marathon pace, 1 mile easy 8.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 17 miles easy 14.01

Total: 40.05 miles

No, that’s not a typo under total miles for Saturday. I’ll eventually get to that.

Monday, the weather didn’t feel quite as bad as early in the previous week, but still wasn’t great. My legs were a little tired from my long run, but it wasn’t too terrible. My paces seemed fairly consistent outside of the one mile that was almost all downhill, and I kept the effort easy. I was over a minute faster than the previous Monday’s 7 miler, and it’s nice to see a little bit of improvement.

On Tuesday, the weather wasn’t great, but I’ve seen worse. My legs felt OK for most of the run, with a little bit of (understandable) fatigue near the end. I did stop for water at 4.6 miles, and I took a brief walk break at the beginning of the easy mile at the end. I managed to gradually speed up through the middle section. I’m happy with how it went.

Wednesday’s weather was still pretty miserable. My legs felt OK, though. My pace seemed to fluctuate a lot, even when accounting for hills. I tried to keep the effort easy, although I may have subconsciously pushed a little bit after starting a few minutes later than I’d planned. Overall, a fairly decent run, and none of my paces were too out of the ordinary.

On Friday, the weather was basically the same as Wednesday, which isn’t good. My legs felt fine. I kept a pretty steady pace once I got through the first mile. I didn’t push too hard, though, since I had 17 miles on the schedule for Saturday.

Yeah, about those 17 miles on Saturday…

I still don’t know exactly what to say about this run. I don’t know whether it’s too many miles, lingering effects from my surgery in January, the heat and humidity, the fact that I’m 45 now, or all of the above, but my long runs are not going well. It’s beyond frustrating. My fastest mile was 12:51, and only 2 other miles were sub-13, so it’s not like I was going too fast.

At the beginning of mile 12, after I stopped for water, I just couldn’t run. I walked for the rest of the mile, got some water, and very slowly jogged the last mile.

I stopped for water every mile, and had Gu at 5 and 9 miles (I had originally planned on having one at 13, but by that point, I knew I could only handle one more mile at best and figured I’d just save the 3rd Gu for another day.)

The weather was pretty terrible, and maybe that’s the main reason I bonked. My legs were OK at first, and they just gradually got more and more tired.

The other frustrating thing is that, going back through my runs earlier in the week, things actually went fairly well. I can do my shorter mid-week runs reasonably well, then Saturday rolls around and it’s like I forget how to do a long run. I just don’t know.

I’ve got a cutback week this week. I really hope it helps.

Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2018

August was rough. This has been the worst summer, weather-wise, since I started running in 2011, and it’s not close. I survived.

August 2018
Total Mileage:
164.22 miles (A quarter of a freaking mile less than last year?!? Excuse me while I drop $1000 into my swear jar.)
Average Pace: 12:45/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (July 2018): 146.32 miles
Last Year (August 2017): 164.47 miles (*more grumbling*)
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of August 31) 727.73 miles

Best Run: August 14, 7.01 miles, 11:37/mile

It was a tempo run, with one easy warm up mile and 6 moderate miles. Considering the conditions (71 and humid), I did pretty well.

Shout out to my August 18 run, a 16 miler which is one of the few long runs I’ve had recently where I didn’t want to go home and burn all of my running gear afterwards.

Worst Run: August 4, 10.01 miles, 14:04/mile

Yeah, the infamous flat tire run, where I couldn’t drive to the greenway because I had a flat tire, so I had to attempt a long run in my neighborhood, and it went…poorly. Also, it was supposed to be a 12 miler, and that would have put me ahead of last August’s mileage, dammit.

There’s not much else to say about August. I got in a bunch of miles (although not as many as last August *grumble again*) in spite of miserable weather. I hope September will have slightly less terrible weather, because the mileage is going to increase.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 20-26

That was a week. Lots of stuff going on, some of it actually related to running. I survived.

Weight Check: 162.4, down 2.3 pounds from last week. I outran my diet. Sometimes things go sideways and I respond by eating crap. I’m not always going to be able to make up for it with 40+ miles of running. It’s something I need to work on. (And this is my response after losing over 2 pounds…)

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Fartlek: 2 miles easy, 4 x 5 minutes at 10K effort with 2 minutes in between, 2 mile cool down (or until 7 miles) 7.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 13 miles easy, 3 miles at moderate pace 16.01

Total: 41.05 miles

Monday, the weather was just brutal. My legs were a little tired from my long run on the previous Saturday, but other than a few of the uphills, they weren’t too bad. I struggled a bit on mile 6, but didn’t take any walk breaks, and recovered a little on mile 7. I was a minute faster than last Monday’s 7 miler, which was a pleasant surprise. I’ll take it.

On Tuesday, the weather felt like a sauna. My legs felt OK, or maybe I just didn’t notice them because of the insane heat and humidity.

My intervals went fairly well, and I was able to finish strong. I walked for a little bit in between intervals before switching to a slow jog. After the last interval, I walked for a bit, jogged, took another walk break, then decided to run (slowly) the rest of the way. I went a little over two miles on the “cool down” (there was nothing cool about the weather) to finish with a total of 7 miles.

I do think my walk breaks (especially the second one) after the last interval were more mental than physical fatigue, but at some point, I convinced myself that walking wouldn’t make me feel better, and running would get me out of the heat and humidity sooner, and it worked.

Wednesday, the weather was slightly less miserable. My legs felt surprisingly OK considering Tuesday’s workout. I kept the effort easy. I struggled a little bit on the last mile (maybe that’s where the workout finally hit me), but otherwise, I think it went fairly well.

On Friday morning, it was 57 degrees. That’s not a typo, it really was 57 degrees, and it felt amazing. My legs felt fine. I guess I didn’t know what to do with this cooler weather, because my pace was all over the place. Still, I managed to keep the effort fairly easy.

Saturday was…interesting.

It started out cooler than my recent long runs, although it warmed up pretty quickly with all the sun. My legs felt OK until around mile 12 or so, then I started feeling some fatigue.

I had Gu at around 4, 8, and 12 miles. I stopped for water roughly every mile, although I had one water (and Gu) stop at the beginning of mile 13, and one water stop at the end to get ready for the last 3 miles.

I didn’t stop for water on the last 3 miles, but I took a very brief walk break during the next to last mile, then a couple of walk breaks during the last mile.

When I got done, I was really disappointed. All summer long, I’ve been thinking that I just need to wait until it cools off. Well, it cooled off, and I still felt like I ran out of gas on the last mile.

It took a few hours, but I finally managed to get some perspective late yesterday afternoon. I still ran 15 good miles. Also, it may have been 64 degrees at the start, but with the sun, it warmed up pretty quickly. I didn’t go out way too fast. I still had two really good miles at the end, and the last mile was still decent, even with the two walk breaks. So it wasn’t as bad as I initially thought.

I was hoping for a better run with the cooler weather, but I think up until the last mile, I did OK, and I did end up over 10 minutes faster than last week’s 16 miler, so I guess it turned out all right.

Next week, the break in the weather is over, and I’ve got a 17 miler on the schedule. Also, August will end, but on Friday, so I don’t know if I’ll have my monthly wrap-up done before next Sunday.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 13-19

Didn’t I just write one of these?

Anyway, this week went OK.

Jury Duty Update: I was called for jury duty on Thursday. I spent most of the day sitting in the courtroom while other people got interviewed, but they reached their limit before they got to me, so I got to go home. Mecklenburg County just has you serve for one day or one trial. Having been called for jury duty twice, put on a jury twice, and ended up with a hung jury twice, I was relieved to not end up on a jury again. And with that, we won’t need a Jury Duty Update for at least two years.

Weight Check: 164.7, down 4.2 pounds from last week. OK, that’s better. I did make an effort to eat better, and other than last night where I did a lot of grazing at a party, I think I was successful. The number of miles I ran probably helped, though.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 1 mile easy, 6 miles at moderate effort 7.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 16 miles easy 16.01

Total: 40.05 miles

I finally made it to 40 miles in a week.

Monday has the typical bad weather. My legs were still really tired from my Saturday long run. The fatigue really showed up in mile 6, but I did manage to recover on the last mile. I finished just over 30 seconds faster than last Monday’s 7 miler, so I’ve got that going for me.

On Tuesday, the weather was still pretty uncomfortable, but not quite as bad as some other days. My legs felt OK for most of the run, with a little bit of fatigue near the end, but I expected that, and it didn’t seem to slow me down. I felt like my paces were pretty good, and while they weren’t that steady, I can see where the hills made them faster or slower, but my effort seemed to stay pretty consistent.

I had a Gu before I started, and I stopped for some water at around 3.9 miles (I stopped my watch for that). Overall, I think it went pretty well.

Wednesday, I saw a temperature below 70! It was a nice surprise, although it was still pretty humid. My legs felt OK. I still kept the effort easy. The run was uneventful but just a little bit less miserable. I’ll take it.

On Friday, the weather was back to normal, which is bad. My legs seemed to be OK, though. I kept the effort easy with a 16 miler on the schedule for Saturday. I did manage to speed up a little bit on each mile, which is nice. It was uncomfortable, but uneventful.

Saturday was my 16 miler. I wanted it to go well. No pressure.

The weather was fairly miserable, but the cloud cover kept the sun away, and there was an occasional breeze, so it could have been worse. My legs held up OK. I had Gu at 4, 8, and 12. I stopped for water just about every mile.

I did take a walk break in the middle of mile 15, but otherwise I only walked around my water/Gu stops. My pace was slow, but mostly consistent, and I was able to rally a little bit on the last mile.

It was definitely my best long run in a while. I’d still like to be a little bit faster, but mostly, I’m pretty relieved.

Next week, more miles. I’ve been looking at the forecast, and I’m afraid to say anything or else I’ll jinx it, but let’s just say I wouldn’t be afraid of jinxing it if it showed lows of 75 degrees the whole time.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 6-12

Yeah, I’m late this week. Sunday I got home late from being out of town. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, I was busy. Thursday evening I just forgot. So I’m writing a weekly wrap-up for last week when I’ve already completed 4 runs for this week.

I don’t remember much about last week. Good thing I’ve got notes from each run.

Weight Check: OK, so, I had to do my weigh in on Saturday morning before my long run, because I’d be headed out of town after my run, and wouldn’t be back until late Sunday. And, well, it wasn’t good. 169.8, up 7.6 pounds. That’s really not good. Now, I’m sure that, had I done a weigh in on Sunday which included my 15 mile long run, it would have been less bad. Still, “Run 15 miles in 70+ degree heat” just doesn’t seem like a sustainable way to maintain a healthy weight. I tried to make better choices this week, and I’ll find out in a few days if it paid off.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Tempo Run: 2 mile warm up, 3 miles hard, 1 mile cool down 6.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 15 miles easy 15.01

Total: 38.05 miles

My coach decided to move my workout run to Tuesday, just to space out my workout run and long run as much as possible. OK, I’ll try (almost) anything.

Monday had more miserable weather. My legs were a little tired. I somehow managed to not walk or stop at any point. I had to resort to sheer stubbornness to get through this run. It wasn’t pretty, but I survived.

On Tuesday, it was better.

The weather was a couple of degrees cooler, although still humid and pretty uncomfortable. My legs felt OK for the most part but understandably got tired near the end. I took it pretty slow on the warm up miles. I kept the effort fairly steady with a small increase in pace for each mile of the tempo section. I did walk for about a tenth of a mile on the cool down, but I slowly jogged the rest of the way. I was pleased with the way it turned out.

Wednesday, the weather was miserable, as usual. My legs felt OK, though, especially considering it was the day after a workout run. I did speed up very gradually over the course of 5 miles, so I guess it went pretty well.

Friday had more miserable weather. My legs felt OK, I guess. I was a little slower, and while I didn’t pull off the reverse split, after the first mile my pacing was fairly consistent. Still, I tried not to push too hard the day before a 15 miler.

And on Saturday, it was time for that 15 miler.

It was extremely humid, but at least the sun didn’t come out to warm things up. My legs felt fine until the last 3 or so miles, then they got really tired. I had Gu at 4, 8, and 11 miles, and stopped for water pretty much every mile except the last one. I worked in a few hills, although it’s sometimes tough to see them in the elevation chart. (Some of them would be longer if it wasn’t for construction.) I walked a little bit on mile 13 and a lot on 14, but I did manage to rally for the last mile.

I can’t say it was a great run, but it wasn’t a disaster, and for now, I’ll take it.

The week may not have felt great, but I feel like, for the most part, I was able to at least hang in there.

This week, well, it’s almost over, with just a 16(!) miler left. We’ll see.

Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2018

July started in Portland, which was great. After that, though…

July 2018
Total Mileage:
146.32 miles
Average Pace: 12:16/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (June 2018): 116.34 miles
Last Year (July 2017): 142.52 miles (Wait…I *beat* last year?!?)
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2018: (as of July 31) 532.55 miles

If there’s any consolation, shortly after I left, Portland got kind of hot, too. It probably wasn’t quite as humid, though.

Best Run: July 1, 4.01 miles, 11:21/mile

I’m glad I started the month with a run in Portland, so this was a no-brainer. I suppose I could have found a workout run that wasn’t too terrible, but any run that ends with this view is tough to beat.

The clouds look slightly more ominous in that picture than they actually were. It didn’t rain at all that day.

Worst Run: July 14, 13.11 miles, 13:07/mile

Oof. I hit a wall right around 10 miles, and the last 3 miles were absolutely brutal. I survived, but it wasn’t pretty.

August isn’t exactly off to a stellar start, and I don’t see any breaks in the weather. All I can do is find a way to keep going.

Weekly Wrap-Up: July 30-August 5

Good riddance to July (recap still coming), and good riddance to this week as well.

Weight Check: 162.3 pounds, down 1.7 from last week. I don’t understand it either. I’ll take it, I guess.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 1 mile warm up, 5 miles at marathon pace, 1 mile cool down 7.01
Tuesday 4 miles easy 4.01
Wednesday Fartlek: 20 minutes easy, 5 x 3 minutes hard with 2 minutes easy in between, 15 minute cool down (or until 6 miles) 5.01
Friday 4 miles easy 4.01
Saturday 12 miles easy 10.01

Total: 30.05 miles

So there’s two shorter than planned runs in there. One wasn’t so bad. The other…well…

Monday, the weather felt like a sauna. My legs didn’t feel that bad until around mile 5 or so, but it was just fatigue, no pain. I got through the moderate miles OK, but I had nothing left for the “cool down” mile. I did stop at around the 3.5 mile mark to go inside and get some water. The last mile was pretty ugly, but other than that, I did all right, especially considering the weather.

On Tuesday, the weather was, “You’ve got to be kidding me.” (With an extra word before kidding that I won’t repeat.) My legs felt OK, though, or maybe I just didn’t notice because the weather was so bad. I kept the effort fairly easy, and even changed the order of my route so the end would be a little different, just to keep from speeding up too much late in the run, and while the last mile was a little faster than the previous ones, I don’t think there’s a huge jump in pace in the last quarter mile. Still a pretty miserable run, but I survived.

Wednesday, the weather was still miserable, but not quite as terrible as Tuesday. My legs felt OK for the most part, but were pretty tired during the cool down, which I kind of expected. I took it slow on the warm up, then kept things pretty steady on the hard intervals. I did manage to make my last interval the fastest, but I still felt like it was never all out. I ended up cutting the cool down short because I needed to get to work early, so I ended up with 5 miles. Still, I thought it was a pretty solid workout. (This would be the not-so-bad run that was cut short.)

On Friday, the weather was still miserable, with a few drops of rain near the start to tease me, but never enough to actually make it feel better. My legs were OK, I guess. I kept it easy, but still managed to gradually increase my pace over the course of the run.

Saturday…oh dear.

I had a flat tire and couldn’t drive to the greenway like I normally would, so I ended up doing this run in my neighborhood. It…did not go well. Yes, the weather was miserable, and because it’s my neighborhood, I had more hills than usual for a long run. Ultimately, though, I think my problem was more mental than physical. I had a really terrible week away from running, and to wake up Saturday morning to a flat tire was just completely demoralizing. I could have kept going and hit 12 miles, but during the last mile that I “ran” (it was mostly walking by then), I just couldn’t see the point.

So that was a pretty crappy ending to the week. Like I said, good riddance.

I’ll see if I can get my July wrap-up posted this week. And I’ll see if I can somehow get my running back on track.