If you want to feel productive, move your long runs to Mondays. I originally did it because I wanted my weekends open, but a wonderful side effect is that I start my week knowing I’ve already done my long run. (Note: if you do move your long run to Mondays, make sure it’s the Monday before – not the Monday after the weekend you normally run – and you have to move up all your other training days, too.)
Monday – 14 miles
Some days I wake up and I’m psyched to go running. Other days, I’d rather do literally anything than run by myself for 2+ hours. This was the second type of day, and I procrastinated my 14-mile run until I reached Decision Time: the point at which I either need to really, seriously, actually get this thing done or admit that I'm not actually doing it today. Begrudgingly, I laced up my shoes and headed outside. Marathon training and my fear of running 26.2 miles is doing at lot to help silence the little whisper that says it’s okay to just forget about a run.
Continuing my long-run exploration party around the Piedmont, my goal this time was to connect a bunch of different trail systems. It ended up working out great, thanks to a random map someone had uploaded to MapMyRun. I didn't get lost once!
My pace felt comfortable, but I was tired. The humidity level was 98%, and my clothes became soaked with humidity and sweat. I tried to wring out my shirt and shorts a little bit as I was running, but it was useless, and disgusting. Meanwhile, my knees, feet, quads, and ankles took turns complaining beginning at mile 11, then joined together in a loud chorus of protest. I had slightly miscalculated the distance and found myself back at my house at mile 13, and it was a real mental effort to run past my house to get in the full 14 miles. It probably didn't matter that much, physically, but I wanted to finish the full distance to prove I could be a little tough at the end of a damp, uncomfortable slog.
Also? There was about 850' of climbing, and this was what I now consider, from my new North Carolinan perspective, a "non-hilly" route. Basically, if it has less than 100' of elevation change per mile it now counts as "flat." Eventually I'll adjust and start powering up hills feeling strong and awesome.
Tuesday - Rest
I say this every rest day, but I was so tired.
Wednesday - 5.23 "easy" run
The good news about running with a group is that I'll definitely finish the entire run, no matter how bad I feel. The bad news is that if the group isn't running at my easy pace, I'll just speed up instead of falling farther and farther behind. I felt so achy and tired at the beginning and wanted to take it easy, but ended up with a few low 8-minute miles in there because I was trying to keep up with traffic. Last week I noticed lots of people brought their dogs, so I brought Tilly with me this time, and it was funny to see other people's reactions to her. "Can she really finish 4 miles?" "Yeah. Actually, she does my long runs with me, too." "What!!!" While we were running, a few people came up to me and said they were so amazed/impressed/surprised by my dog. I couldn't help it, I was so proud of her.
Thursday - 4.8 miles easy
I've run on this trail a few times now, but I guess I never noticed the HUGE DINOSAUR before.
I felt a little under the weather and cut my run a little bit short.
Friday - 18 mile bike ride
Again, I was not feeling great and the thought of running sounded awful. Instead I took James on a bike tour of the routes and trails I've discovered while running around here. We rode until just before the sunset; it was great.
Saturday – Rest
I woke up with a scratchy throat and felt triumphant! My lethargy wasn't due to over-training or impending injury; it was just an ordinary cold. I drank a bunch of juice went to the beach to relax.
Sunday – 6.28 easy
I woke up still feeling sick but I had plans to meet a friend in Carrboro for some trail miles. I was worried I’d feel weak, but realized I felt fresh and strong -- a nice surprise and also a good sign of progress, since the last time we ran together it was all I could do to keep up. Getting to run in the forest, over creeks, and through big patches of mud probably helped.
Total: 30.3 miles (running only)