Weekly Wrap-Up: October 2-8

Saturday was the 6th anniversary of my worst run ever, the one where I lost my car key in Ohio. I marked the occasion with arguably my 2nd worst run ever. I didn’t lose my car key, but that’s about the only good thing I can say about it. (Also, I didn’t realize it was exactly 6 years after the car key run until sometime in the afternoon, well after I finished.)

The rest of the week was fairly decent, but it really sucks to end a week like that.

Weight Check: 167.2, down 2.0 pounds from last week. Better. Still too high, though. My diet still isn’t good.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Tempo Run, 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at marathon pace, 5 minutes easy, 2 miles at half marathon pace, 5 minutes easy, 1 mile at 10K pace, 1 mile cool down (until I reach 8 miles) 8.03
Wednesday 7 miles easy 7.01
Friday 6 miles easy 6.01
Saturday 18 mile long run 10.01

Total: 38.07 miles

Yeah, 10.01 is a lot less than 18. But let’s start with the runs that weren’t complete disasters.

Monday had excellent weather. 54 degrees! My legs were pretty tired, but that was understandable with my 20 miler last weekend. It wasn’t easy, but I got through it.

On Tuesday, I had a relatively complicated workout. It reminded me of some of the crazy workouts I did with my training plan from the last two years. Good weather. My legs felt mostly OK, just a little tired towards the end, which is understandable. I hit my goal paces on each interval, but went a hair faster than I needed to on the marathon and 10K. Overall, a tough workout that went pretty well.

Wednesday, the weather felt great, cool enough that I didn’t notice the humidity. My legs were still pretty tired from my Tuesday workout run. I couldn’t really find a good, consistent pace, but I still kept the effort easy except for a push at the end.

On Friday, it was cool enough that I didn’t realize it was 100% humidity. My legs felt fine. I slowed down a bit on a mostly uphill mile, and sped up a bit on a mostly downhill mile, but otherwise I kept a pretty steady pace, and I kept the effort easy. Just a nice, solid, easy run.

Saturday, I had pretty much the polar opposite of “a nice, solid, easy run.”

65 degrees and 100% humidity on October 7. Really?

My stomach had problems again. It was still just a lot of discomfort, no vomiting or anything else, but it made running very difficult. I ate the same thing before this run as I did before last week’s 20 miler, but for some reason, this week my stomach couldn’t handle it.

Between that and miserable weather, I just couldn’t finish. I almost stopped after 8 miles, but I wanted to at least get to double digits.

I’m confused and frustrated and disappointed. I’ve been searching for a silver lining, and the only thing I can come up with is that my legs won’t be as tired on Monday.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I had to write some comments about yesterday’s “run” for my coach, I probably would have just posted the numbers for last week, then I would have written that I didn’t want to talk about it, and I’ll see you next week.

Well, I have a marathon pace workout next week, and a 20 miler. If my stomach cooperates, I might be OK.

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2017

I could say a lot of things about September if didn’t try to avoid using profanity here, so I’ll just say good riddance to September.

One of the things that really bugged me about September is that it started out with reasonable weather, and then, around the halfway point, it got warm again. It never reached August levels of misery, but for late September, it was pretty uncomfortable.

September 2017
Total Mileage:
 191.23 miles
Average Pace: 11:45/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (August2017): 164.47 miles
Last Year (September 2016): 168.52 miles
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2017 (through September 30): 1,304.06 miles

So, 191.23 miles is a new record for most miles in a month. I was definitely slower overall, but that’s mainly due to 2 really bad long runs and one that wasn’t really bad, but I still took it a lot slower than normal.

Once again, I’ll check in on my 3 goals, and only the first one has changes.

Goal 1: 1500 miles

Rather than do the math to figure out how many miles I’m on pace to run this year, I’ll just say that I’m less than 200 miles from my goal. It looks like I’ll hit my goal either during the week before the race, or possibly during the New York City Marathon, which would be awesome.

Goal 2: 6 races, with 2 that are 13.1 or greater
Goal 3: A PR in 3 different races

Once again, no races this month, so no change here. It looks like I may be doing a race on Thanksgiving, which would be race #6. If I can’t PR in New York City, I’ll have to get my third PR there.

The non-specific goals are unchanged. I’m getting a little bit of exercise, although my mileage has reached a point where my Sundays are supposed to be complete rest days with no exercise, so I really only have one day a week with exercise. I’m not sure if it should really count towards my goal, but I am foam rolling twice a week, and it helps. I’m still running slowly on my easy runs, although given the general fatigue in my legs at this point in my training, sometimes it’s not exactly a choice. But cooking, better eating, and more blogging just aren’t happening.

Best Run: September 11, 7.01 miles, 10:23/mile

Yes, it turned out to be my fastest run of the month, but I was really pleased with my performance. This is the workout that I moved up to Monday so I could get it in before the worst of Irma arrived. It went really well.

Shout out to my 20 mile run on September 30. It was slow, but it was successful, and I really needed that.

Worst Run: September 16, 18.01 miles, 12:28/mile

Just 5 days after my best run. I had a few runs in September that I’d like to forget, but this one had a misplaced Gu packet that made things worse, so it gets the (dis)honor.

September was a really tough month for me, both for my running and for everything else. I’m hoping that, after I finish New York City, if it goes well, I’ll look back and say, “September is where I earned it.” (And if it doesn’t go well, of course I’m going to blame September.)

Anyway, now we’re in October, when my training peaks, then the taper begins. My coach sends me my training plan one month at a time, so when I saw October last week, that’s when it finally started feeling real. We’ll see how it goes.

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 25-October 1

You know the Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”? This past week was interesting times. The running was pretty good. Everything else was…well, the running was pretty good.

Weight Check: I ended up going to visit my parents Saturday afternoon and didn’t get home until late Sunday afternoon. That meant I had to do my official weigh-in on Saturday, before my long run. So, uh 169.2, up 4.2 pounds from last week. It was a rough week, and I didn’t have a long run to cancel out at least some of the damage. Next week will be better.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Fartlek, 15 minute warm up, 3 x 8 minutes comfortably hard with 3 minutes easy in between, 15 minute cool down (until I reach 7 miles) 7.01
Wednesday 7 miles easy 7.01
Friday 6 miles easy 6.01
Saturday 20 mile long run 20.01

Total: 47.05 miles

Monday, the weather was slightly cooler but still humid. My legs felt surprisingly OK, considering how poorly my long run had gone two days earlier. Once I got through the first mile, I ran pretty well. I kept the effort easy except for the last quarter mile.

On Tuesday, the weather was kind of warm and still pretty humid. My legs felt OK until around the 3rd interval, then they got really tired. I didn’t quite hit the goal pace (8:50/mile), but I think the weather slowed me down just a little bit. Still, I think it went fairly well.

Wednesday, the weather wasn’t great. My legs recovered surprisingly well from yesterday’s workout, though. My pace was a little slower than usual due to the temperature, but I got through it, and was able to speed up a little bit at the end.

Also, it was a minor miracle that I even got out there, let alone that I ended up with a fairly respectable pace for the weather conditions, but that’s a story for another day. (See my comments about the week in general.)

Friday had slightly improved weather. My legs felt fine. I tried to relax a bit. My coach had posted a webinar about the mental aspects of running, and that was one of my takeaways. It seemed to help a little, especially with the first mile. I still kept the effort easy until the last quarter mile or so.

And on Saturday, I really needed a good long run. With 20 miles on the schedule, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off.

I lucked out on the weather. It was better, especially the lower humidity. My legs were tired for most of the run.

I had Gu at around 4, 8, 12, and 16, and water roughly every mile. I completely spaced out and missed a planned water stop around 11, but I don’t think it hurt too much. Also, I had planned on making the stop before 18 my last stop.

It was really slow, and like I said, my legs were tired most of the time. But other than before and after my water stops, I didn’t take any walk breaks. I was even able to speed up a little bit at the end.

In the end, I ran 20 miles, and I didn’t blow up. It wasn’t pretty, but it was the long run that I needed.

Next week, I’ve got a tempo run and an 18 miler. Also, I need to post the September wrap-up. I did reach a couple of milestones, but man, it was a rough month.

Weekly Wrap-Up: September 18-24

Old habits die hard. I used to use “Weekly Running Report” as the title my weekly recap posts on my old defunct blog, but decided to switch to Weekly Wrap-Up here. Every once in a while, I slip back into Weekly Running Report, and apparently I did it two weeks in a row.

Running this week was…challenging.

Weight Check: 165.0 pounds, down 0.6 from last week. Slow progress, but I’ll take it. It’s mostly the miles, though. I’m not really eating any differently, and I’m still drinking Mountain Dew.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 3 mile warm up, 8 x 90 seconds uphill hard with a job back down in between, 2 mile cool down 7.01
Wednesday 8 miles easy 8.01
Friday 6 miles easy 6.01
Saturday 16 mile long run 16.01

Total: 44.05 miles

On Monday, the weather was OK, humid but only 65. My legs were still pretty tired from my long run. My pace was a little slower than I’d like, but it stayed fairly consistent. Not a great run, but considering how poorly my long run went two days earlier, I’ll take it.

Tuesday was a hill workout. The weather wasn’t too terrible, but like I’ve said before, hill repeats are tough at any temperature. My legs definitely felt it on the last two repeats. The 1st 3 intervals were kind of all over the place, but starting with #4, I got faster with each one, and finished #8 with my fastest average pace. I took a walk break of about a tenth of a mile at the start of the cool down, then switched to a jog, and my legs didn’t feel quite as bad as I expected. Still, I didn’t do a full 2 miles for the cool down, stopping right around 7 miles total, partially due to my legs and partially due to the time.

Wednesday was a mid-week 8 miler, which is unusual for me. The weather was tolerable. However, my legs did not recover at all from my hill workout. It was a struggle, and the extra mile didn’t help, but I got through it somehow.

Friday’s run was better. I’m still waiting for fall weather, but it wasn’t too terrible. My legs felt fine. My effort stayed pretty easy (except for the very end). There was a noticeable difference in my pace between the first 3 miles and the last 3, but the increase in pace was probably because of the terrain more than anything else.

Saturday…well, I’m running out of ways to introduce a long run that doesn’t go as planned.

So, every September, there’s an event called Festival in the Park. I’ve never actually gone, but I hear it’s a lot of fun. The problem is that it means that Freedom Park is not an option for running. I had to move my long run to the Four Mile Creek and McMullen Creek Greenways. That means I’d have access to a grand total of 3 water fountains. (My route that starts in Freedom Park gives me access to at least 9 water fountains.)

Also, this wasn’t just a 16 mile long run. It was actually supposed to be 4 miles easy, then 2 x 4 miles at marathon pace with a half mile easy in between, then 3.5 miles easy.

For pretty much the first time ever, I had stomach issues during a run. I have no idea why. The only thing I can come up with is that since I was closer to home, I don’t think my pre-run snack had as much time to settle, so that may have caused an issue.

(I should add that in this case, “stomach issues” just meant a lot of discomfort, there was no vomiting or any other expulsion.)

I stopped at around 10.5 miles (after 2 miles of the second 4 mile interval) to get my stomach to settle down. After that, my stomach felt better, and I got one good mile in, but after that, I had no energy left, and the rest of the way (the last mile of the 2nd interval plus the 3.5 miles at the end) was a slog.

The weather wasn’t too bad to start with, but because I started a little later than I wanted to, it warmed up quickly, and that didn’t help.

I had Gu right before the 1st 4 mile interval, during the 1/2 mile in between, and after the 2nd 4 mile interval. I wasn’t sure about the last one, but I figured I’d take it and hope that maybe it would make the last 3.5 miles a little more tolerable. (If it did, I didn’t notice.)

I’m disappointed, but there is one good thing I can take away. After the 2nd interval, I ended up in the parking lot (which I planned, because that’s where one of the water fountains is). I considered stopping there, skipping the last 3.5 miles, and driving home, since the last mile of the 2nd interval was so bad, and I didn’t really expect things to get any better. Somehow, I managed to keep going, and while the last part was brutal, I finished it. I even…well, “sped up” probably isn’t the right phrase, let’s go with “got less slow”…on the last half mile.

I have to say, though, that I don’t feel quite as bad about this week’s run. Last week seems like it really messed with my head, more than I admitted in last week’s post. This week, I’m still worried about how my training is going (and really starting to wonder if I need to adjust my goal), but I haven’t let my long run get to me. I’ll go back out there tomorrow and give it another shot.

This week, I’ve got a Fartlek workout, and, uh, a 20 mile long run. No pressure.

Weekly Running Report: September 11-17

I’ve had better weeks.

Weight Check: 165.6, down 2.1 pounds from last week. Wait, what? OK, this was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think I ate differently this week, and as far as I remember, I drank the same amount of Mountain Dew. I guess the miles were the difference.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday Lactate Threshold, 2 mile warm up, 2 x 2 miles at Threshold pace (9:05/mile) with 3 minutes in between, 1 mile cool down 7.01
Tuesday 7 miles easy (Due to treadmill time limit, I split it into 4 miles, then 3 miles) 4.01/3.01 (total 7.02)
Wednesday 7 miles easy 7.01
Friday 6 miles easy 6.01
Saturday 18 mile long run 18.01

Total: 45.06 miles

Like I said last week, I planned on doing my workout on Monday. The cutback week before this one helped. I don’t think I’d be able to handle any kind of workout on Monday of next week after running 18 miles yesterday, but in the 3 days leading up to this run, I ran 10 miles, 5 miles, and 0 miles.

Irma was approaching, and we were starting to feel the effects. It was windy with a little bit of light rain. My legs felt OK until near the end. It was tough, especially the 2nd mile of the 2nd interval. I didn’t quite hit the target pace, but for the most part, I kept my pace pretty steady, except for the 2nd mile of the 2nd interval, where I slowed down a little bit early due to fatigue, but I rallied near the end, and it ended up being my fastest mile. My legs were completely drained, and I walked a good tenth of a mile before going back to a slow jog. I didn’t do a full mile for the cool down, I just stopped when I hit 7 miles total, mostly due to how my legs felt.

The worst effects of Irma came through Monday night. By Tuesday morning, there was still a little bit of wind and rain, but I wasn’t sure how much damage there was in my neighborhood, and I didn’t really want to try to find out in the dark, so, after getting a large branch out of my driveway, I drove over to the Y and got on the treadmill. The treadmill has a 60 minute time limit, and my 10K PR is 57:04. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to get to 7 miles in under 60 minutes. (And even if I could, there’s no way it would possibly be considered an easy run for me.) So I split it up into two runs, 4.01 miles in 43:45 (10:55/mile pace) and 3.01 miles in 32:05 (10:40/mile average pace). On the second part, I started at a 10:43/mile pace, then sped up on last mile, ending at 10:00/mile pace. My legs felt fine the whole time, because the treadmill is generally easier on my legs. However, it’s still mentally excruciating, and that’s the main reason I sped up on the 2nd part.

Wednesday was just one of those days. Weather wasn’t an issue, and it was cool enough that I didn’t realize it was 100% humidity until I checked Garmin Connect afterwards. It didn’t help that, even after I used the bathroom before my run, I had to stop at around 1.25 miles and go again. I just couldn’t get into a good rhythm. My legs didn’t feel terrible, but there was a little bit of fatigue. All I could do was take a day off and get back out there Friday.

I did indeed get back out there on Friday. Again, it was cool enough that I didn’t notice the 100% humidity. My legs felt fine. It was a much better run overall. I may have gone a little faster than I should have on miles 3-5, which is why, even though I did speed up at the end, mile 6 still was a few seconds slower than those miles. But after Wednesday’s run, I’ll gladly take a run like this.

And then there was Saturday.

I figured that I’d need 3 Gu packets for an 18 mile run. I put all 3 of them in my pockets and drove to the greenway. But somewhere along the way, one of them fell out of my pocket and ended up between my car seat and the center console. I didn’t realize I had only two of them until after I had taken the other two at 5 and 9 miles. So I ended up having to run the last 9 miles with no fuel. Also, initially, I had assumed that the 3rd Gu fell out of my pocket somewhere on the run, and didn’t find out it was still in my car until after I finished. Add in to that the fact that it warmed up to 68 degrees at the start, the warmest it’s been in almost 3 weeks, and I had a really rough finish with several walk breaks. Also, I stopped to use the bathroom around 12.20 miles (that’s when I realized I didn’t have any Gu left).

My legs felt OK for the first half, but they got really tired after around 12 or so. Also, knowing I had no more Gu messed with me mentally, so that didn’t help.

I did manage to get a few hills in (mile 5, mile 7, and mile 9) before things went south.

Fun fact: My training plan from the last 2 years didn’t include an 18 mile run. There was a 17 miler, and a workout run that ended up at 18.75 miles (it was a 3 mile warm up, 4 x 3 miles at marathon pace with 3 minutes in between, and a 3 mile cool down), but nothing that was 18 miles even. So yesterday’s run, as bad as it was, is still my fastest 18 miler.

So, yeah, the run really sucked. Between that and Wednesday’s run (which now doesn’t look so bad), I’m not feeling really good about my training right now. All I can do is keep going and hope I can work things out.

Next week, I’ll have plenty of chances to work it out. I’ve got a hill workout scheduled. (Crap.) My long run is only 16 miles, but 8(!) of those miles are supposed to be at marathon pace. We’ll see how it goes.

Weekly Running Report: September 4-10

Mileage-wise, it was a step back week. Outside of running, things were kind of chaotic.

On Wednesday, my parents had to put down their cat, Willie. He was 17 years old, so he had a pretty long life. He had arthritis, and he reached the point where he really couldn’t walk on his own, so it was time. It’s still pretty tough, though. I’ll miss him.

The forecast for Irma started out looking pretty bad for Charlotte, but as the track shifted west, the potential damage here went down significantly. Still, watching the forecast was stressful, and it’s going to cause a slight change to my schedule, but more on that later.

And to top it all off, I was on call this weekend. It’s over now, and I guess it wasn’t terrible. I was able to sleep through the night both nights, so there’s that.

Weight Check: 167.7 pounds, up 1.3 from last week. Lower mileage plus stress-fueled eating equals weight gain. I don’t know if next week will be less stressful, but hopefully I can buckle down a bit. I know my runs would be slightly easier if I could just drop a couple of pounds. We’ll see.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 6 mile rolling hills run. 6.01
Wednesday 5 miles easy 5.01
Friday 10 mile run (2 miles easy, 6 miles at 11:00-11:15/mile pace, 2 miles easy) 10.01
Saturday 5 miles easy 5.01

Total: 33.05 miles

Monday was Labor Day, so I had time to go over to the McAlpine Creek/Four Mile Creek Greenways. The weather was pretty nice. My legs were tired early on, most likely due to my long run on Saturday, but they got better as I went along. I stopped at a water fountain just after the 3 mile mark. I kept the effort easy except for the last quarter mile or so. Overall, it was a pretty good run.

So Tuesday’s run was a little different. Instead of hill repeats, my coach described it like this: “Have fun with the route and do not be too precise, just get in some changing terrain.” The weather was humid but not too warm. My legs felt pretty tired going up the hills, but I expected that. I don’t know that I had fun with the route, but I hit at least 7 different hills (maybe 8, there’s one that you could argue is part of another hill, or you could argue that it’s separate). It may have been tougher than the usual hill repeats, since the hills were more spread out, but I survived.

Wednesday was warmer and humid. My legs felt OK for the most part, but it was one of those runs where it seemed like they just didn’t want to move very fast. I did a little better on the last two miles, though. Not a great run, but I got through it.

I knew I’d be on call for the weekend, but I figured I could get 10 miles in before work on Friday, so that’s what I did. I really lucked out weather-wise, it was the best weather I’ve seen since May. My legs felt fine.

I managed to hit my pace goal on each of the first 5 miles of the middle section. I sped up a little bit at the end of the last mile, but still was only about 10 seconds faster than the goal, which isn’t too bad. For miles 3-6, I felt like I had to speed up and slow down more than I’d like in order to get to the right average pace on each mile. On mile 7, I finally felt like I found the right pace, and even early on mile 8 (before I sped up) my pace was just about right. I probably ran a little faster than I needed to on the last 2 miles, but it was still fairly comfortable.

I did not get paged during my Saturday run, so there’s that. However, I did have to deal with yard sales. See, twice a year my neighborhood has a community yard sale, and while not everybody participates (I didn’t), there are a bunch of people who do, and so there are cars parked near each yard sale, and a bunch of cars coming and going. Normally on Saturdays, I go run somewhere else and only have to deal with yard sales and their related traffic on my way out of my neighborhood and on my way back in, but because I was on call, I had to stay close to home. It was fairly annoying, but I survived.

As for the run itself, there was lower humidity, which was nice. My legs felt OK. I was pleasantly surprised by how consistent my pace was on miles 2, 3, and 4. I kept the effort easy except for right at the end.

There’s one mildly amusing note about my on call. Normally, I’m worried about getting a run in without getting paged. Well, Friday evening I got paged, and when I was done, I went to bed. The next morning, I remembered that I was supposed to do some foam rolling Friday night. D’oh! I did it Saturday evening instead.

Next week, I’m going to do my workout run on Monday before the rain gets here. It’ll still be a little bit breezy, but the worst wind won’t get here until late Monday. We won’t have to deal with anything close to what Florida or even Georgia will be dealing with, but it looks like Tuesday morning won’t be great for running, and I may just do my run on the treadmill instead. We’ll see. Also, next Saturday, I have an 18 miler.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 28-September 3

This week was better, and not just because I actually remembered to post the August Monthly Wrap-Up on time.

I forgot to mention my non-specific goals in my Monthly Wrap-Up, but really, there’s not much to report. The slow easy runs/fast hard runs thing is still working well, and almost everything else (cooking, better diet, more blogging) isn’t. The one exception is non-running exercise. Late in the month I got better about doing some strength training. And while I did start foam rolling, I’m not 100% sure that should count towards my goal. It’s great that I’m doing it, and it really seems to help, but I need to make sure I get the strength training done more consistently over the next couple of months. I feel like foam rolling will help with recovery, but strength training will help me be a better runner.

Looking at the forecast, I think we’ve made it past the worst of the heat. Temperatures in the 60s are still about 10 degrees warmer than I’d like, and it’s still pretty humid in the mornings, but it’s much better than the low 70s. We might still see a couple of bad days here and there, but I think overall, it’s going to be a lot more tolerable.

Weight Check: 166.4 pounds, up 0.2 from last week. Well, that’s disappointing. I actually did reduce my Mountain Dew consumption by a very small amount. On Thursday, instead of a 20 ounce bottle, I only had a 12 ounce can. That’s still 12 ounces too many, of course.

The other thing, and I don’t think I’ve mentioned this previously, is Gatorade. Now, I’m always going to have Gatorade after my long runs, and that’s fine. I also generally have Gatorade after my workout runs, and I think that’s acceptable. What’s not good is having a Gatorade after a 5 mile easy run in anything other than 75 degrees with 100% humidity. I’ll try to cut back on the Gatorade and stick with water on my easy runs. With the slightly cooler weather, that will be a little bit easier.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday Fartlek, 15 minute warm up, 5 x 3 minutes hard (8:35-8:45/mile), with 2 minutes easy in between, 5 x 1 minute hard with 1 minute easy in between, 15 minute cool down (until I reach 6 miles) 6.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 17 mile long run 17.01

Total: 41.05 miles

Monday, the weather was much nicer, 64 degrees. My legs were still a little tired from my long run, but they felt better as I went along. It was the first day of school, so I had to run around the kids at the bus stops. Overall, a pretty good run, and a good recovery from Saturday.

On Tuesday, the weather was humid and it was breezy, but the temperature wasn’t terrible. I kept my pace fairly consistent for the first set of 5. I screwed up one of the recovery intervals, I had a brain fart and thought it was 3 minutes of recovery instead of 2. For the second set, I was a little faster, not quite as consistent, but it’s tough to find the right pace in just 1 minute. I did manage to get my fastest pace on the last interval, though. I didn’t really notice my legs until the cool down, then the fatigue kind of hit me all at once. I did manage to recover a bit, though, and I did unconsciously speed up on the last quarter mile, which isn’t necessarily good for a cool down. Overall, I was happy enough with the workout to give it a shout out in my monthly wrap up, so there’s that.

Wednesday, the weather was nice, and I didn’t notice the humidity. My legs felt a little tired when I was going uphill, but otherwise, they were OK, especially considering Tuesday’s workout. (I think foam rolling helped.) I kept the effort easy, except for the last quarter mile, but somehow managed to get faster on every mile.

On Friday, the bad weather returned, 70 degrees and 100% humidity. My legs felt fine, though. I kept the effort “easy” except for the last quarter mile. I was a bit faster on mile 2 than I expected, and I’m not sure why, but otherwise, a fairly unremarkable but solid run.

So, Saturday. (I think I’ve used that intro for my long run before.)

There was fog at the beginning of the run, but the sun came out eventually and while the temperature went up a few degrees, it also dried out, so it wasn’t too bad, and much more comfortable than any of my recent long runs. My legs were OK pretty much the whole time. There was a little bit of fatigue on the last mile, but I also picked up the pace, so that may have caused some of the fatigue.

I did have to stop at 7.25 miles to get my sunglasses, and I stopped around 12.2 miles to use the bathroom. I had Gu at 4.15, 8.3, and 12.2 (after my bathroom break, but before I re-started my watch). I stopped at some water fountains, usually once per mile, but didn’t take any walk breaks other than right before/right after getting water.

I added a few hills, but the last decent one was around mile 10. I probably need to try to add one in later during my next long run like this. Central Park has hills, so a few late climbs will help prepare me for New York City.

Overall, I think I did pretty well. Mile 4 and mile 10 were a little faster than I wanted, but otherwise, I felt like my pace was pretty consistent, and I still had enough left to push it on the last mile, which I ran in 10:31. A 10:31 on any other mile would have led to problems, but on the last mile, it’s pretty good.

Next week, it’s a cutback week. My “long” run is 10 miles on Friday, before I start my on call for work. My “workout” is just a 6 mile run where I should try to include some hills. (In my neighborhood, it’s harder to not include hills.) Also, Tuesday marks exactly two months until the New York City Marathon. Not that I’m counting.

Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2017

Well, that was a month. I survived.

August 2017
Total Mileage:
164.47 miles
Average Pace: 11:37/mile
Number of Runs: 22
Last Month (July 2017): 142.52 miles
Last Year (August 2016): 150.46 miles
Races: None

Total Mileage for 2017 (through August 31): 1,112.83 miles

Yes, I broke 1,000 miles for the year this month. I ran farther than last month and last August, so that’s good. I was a little slower this month, but I had to deal with some pretty heinous weather conditions.

I’ll say this about the weather, it feels like we got some breaks, but when it was bad, it was really bad. Last year, the worst days weren’t quite as bad, but there was something about it that seemed unrelenting. I think I prefer this year, with the occasional breaks.

This is the part where I say I’m going to check in on my goals, but really, it’s only the first goal that has any changes.

Goal 1: 1500 miles

Average miles per day is 1112.83 miles divided by 243 days, that’s about 4.58 miles per day, times 365 days for the year, comes out to over 1,671 miles for the year. Last month’s projection was 1,632 miles, so, uh, wow. I’m pretty sure the projection will go up again next month. (At some point I probably need to switch to a countdown instead of a projection.)

Goal 2: 6 races, with 2 that are 13.1 or greater
Goal 3: A PR in 3 different races

No races. At this point, I’m not sure if I’ll even have a warm-up race, so I may be scrambling for another race after New York City. Just to review, I’ve run 4 races so far, one that’s 13.1 miles, and have 2 races with PRs.

Run That Broke the Best/Worst Scale: August 15, 6.26 miles, 10:39/mile.

I wasn’t sure what to do with this run, but I felt like it needed to be mentioned. Best? Worst? Both? Neither? It kind of broke the scale.

It was my fastest average pace for a run all month. It featured my fastest mile since the Teal Diva 5K. But I also bonked and couldn’t finish. So, yeah, scale broken. But I had to mention it here, so that my Best Run makes more sense.

Best Run: August 16, 6.01 miles, 11:13/mile.

The day after a blow-up, this was the run that I needed. It wasn’t my fastest run (or my fastest non-blow-up run), but I was really happy with it.

I’ll give a shout-out to my most recent workout run, a fartlek on August 29, with an average pace of 10:44/mile (making it my actual fastest non-blow-up run). It may have been assisted by some slightly cooler temperatures, but it was still a tough workout, and I think I ran it well.

Worst Run: August 26, 15.01 miles, 11:50/mile.

The other run this month where I blew up. Except this time I didn’t have an insanely fast mile, just a couple of miles where I went a little faster than I should have. Also, I forgot my Body Glide. It was a learning experience. (I mean the pacing part, not the Body Glide part, I already knew about that, I’ve had chafing before.)

Next month, the miles are going to keep piling up, but the weather shouldn’t be quite as bad. Since September has 5 Saturdays, I’ve got an outside chance at setting a new record for mileage in one month. The old record is 181.3 miles in October 2016. We’ll see how it goes.

Weekly Wrap-Up: August 21-27

This week, 4 of my runs were uneventful, then Saturday had enough stuff for several runs.

The weather got slightly less terrible at the end of the week, but it’s still unpleasant.

Weight Check: 166.2 pounds, down 1.8 from last week. OK, I’ll take it. From watching my weight over the course of the week, I know that pretty much all of that happened as a result of my long run. I still drank too much Mountain Dew, but I guess I did OK otherwise.

This Week’s Runs
Day Scheduled Total Miles
Monday 7 miles easy 7.01
Tuesday 3 mile warm up, 8 x 90 seconds uphill hard (jog back down in between), 2 mile cool down (or until I reach 7 miles) 7.01
Wednesday 6 miles easy 6.01
Friday 5 miles easy 5.01
Saturday 15 mile long run 15.01

Total: 40.05 miles

That’s two weeks in a row with over 40 miles. I expect that streak to continue for a while.

For Monday’s run, I don’t have any new ways to say how bad the weather was. My legs felt a little bit tired, presumably from my long run, but it wasn’t too terrible. My pace seemed to be a bit inconsistent, and I’m not quite sure why. I kept the effort “easy” until the last quarter mile or so.

Tuesday, the weather still sucked, but I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: hill workouts suck at any temperature. My legs were OK at first, and got more tired on each interval, but I kind of expected that. My pace generally improved as I went along, although it wasn’t exactly a straight line. I did manage to get my fastest pace on the last interval, though.

On Wednesday, the weather was brutal again. My legs felt OK, I guess, but they just didn’t seem to want to move very fast. I did manage to gradually increase my pace each mile. I kept the effort easy until the last quarter of a mile. Not a great run, but I survived.

Friday, we finally got a little bit of a break in the weather. It still wasn’t great, but it was much better than it’s been. My legs felt OK. I tried to keep the effort easy. I think I may have gone a little faster than I should have on mile 2, but I pulled back on mile 3. I did push the pace a little on the last quarter mile or so.

And then there was Saturday. I’m not sure what to think about this one.

So, I was supposed to run 7 miles easy, then 6 miles around marathon pace, then 2 miles easy. OK. The weather was slightly better than it’s been, and there was an occasional breeze which helped.

I was pleasantly surprised with how consistent my pace was for the first 7 miles. My legs felt OK through this stretch.

Miles 8 and 9 were good. I sped up, and went up a hill (and back down) on 9. Mile 10 felt like a struggle, so I slowed down a little bit.

Mile 11 felt like a disaster. I had to stop to use the bathroom during this mile. (I stopped my watch, though.) I guess my pace wasn’t as bad as I felt, although the break probably helped a little.

I rebounded a little bit for mile 12 and 13. My legs still felt pretty tired, but I was able to push through.

And that concluded the marathon pace portion of the run. Which is good, because at that point, I had nothing left.

I walked most of mile 14. I still had nothing on mile 15, but I did manage to slowly run almost all of it, with just a short walk break in the middle.

I had Gu at 5 miles and 10 miles. My second Gu was before the bathroom break, so that may have made it a little less effective than usual.

I’m still not entirely sure why mile 11 and mile 14 were so bad (for 11, it was more that it felt bad), but both times I did manage to recover a little bit.

Also, just to make things a little bit worse, I forgot to use my Body Glide. Ouch!

I’ve had a day to think about it, and I think where I screwed up was miles 8 and 9. I think I went a little too fast. I ran those miles in 10:35 and 10:38. If I’m shooting for a 5 hour marathon, my pace needs to be 11:26/mile. For a training run like this, somewhere around 11:00/mile would probably be OK (and that’s roughly where I ended up on miles 10, 12, and 13), but 10:38 (or faster) will lead to trouble.

That’s really all I can do, figure out what went wrong, then fix it next time.

Next week, I’ve got a fartlek workout and a 17 miler. The weather looks like it will be more like Friday and Saturday than earlier last week, so that’s a plus. Also, September 1 is Friday, so I guess I need to do a monthly wrap-up as well.

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.