I am not having a great running week. I am including Sunday in that assessment, although on my running calendar Sunday is the last day of the previous week. I am still having a running week, it's just not great, so far at least.
Prior to the weekend, I spent a lot of time last week cleaning and fixing up my house to host an afternoon tea party on Saturday (a Mother's Day gift from a friend to her mother). Happily, most of the chore work was done by midweek and Friday evening was available for planning and food prep.
I must say the event was a great success. I used my Rose Chintz china and silver from England and served traditional tea sandwiches (four kinds--cucumber, salmon/lox, chicken and almond salad, and ham with cheese), homemade scones with jam plus clotted cream that I had in the freezer from my last trip to England, and an assortment of cakes and pastries (that I purchased). Also pink champagne (to match the china) and two kinds of tea, Brown's afternoon blend and Twinings Earl Grey.
What does this have to do with running? Well, I somewhat suspect that the cleaning and prep efforts throughout the week, plus my generous sampling of sandwiches and goodies, may have contributed to the malaise which seems to have afflicted me this week. At least that's a better reason than "I am just a crap runner" which also has occurred to me a few times!
On Sunday (the day after the party) I lolled in bed for quite a long time, then finally got up and dressed to go for a run. Still, I was in and out of the house a couple times before I finally hit the road. First I forgot my water bottle and had to go back in. Then I went to look on the computer for the beginning of a waterfront path I had read about (but I didn't manage to figure out how to access it after all, so the delay was a big waste of time).
I planned to do fourteen miles, so I figured I would just go seven miles toward Mukilteo and then retrace my route back. This is an extremely hilly road that I figure is good training, even if not always a lot of fun! Actually, most of my prior runs on this up and down route have been pretty quick (this Sunday was an exception).
My only concern about this route is that the bathroom opportunities are almost non-existent after the first few miles. I stopped at every location--mile 1 (Starbucks), mile 2 (McDonald's) and mile 3.5 (gas station). Then I went into what I call the barren area. My original intention was to go another 3.5 miles (to the outskirts of Mukilteo) then turn around. That would mean, of course, a seven-mile stretch without an available bathroom. Usually not a problem, but...I wasn't feeling so hot. Maybe it was all the rich food from the tea....
Around mile 5 or 6 I took the unprecedented step of taking a couple of Immodium I carry for emergencies. I have never done this before! But it seemed to hold things off. However, when I reached my turning point, I really did not feel up to another 3.5 miles before a bathroom stop. So I continued on into Mukilteo to the ferry terminal, an extra .75 miles along the way.
That stop was, however, very necessary and very helpful. and I made my 4.25 mile trip back to the gas station without concern. The road was more uphill on the return trip, though, including an interminable one-mile hill from Harborview Park to View Ridge! Not to mention that my detour through town to the ferry terminal was all downhill (thus uphill on the way out). My time splits definitely reflect all this.
This was not an easy run for me. In addition to the gastro distress, I just felt sort of achy and tired throughout. Last fall I was averaging 9:20-9:30 for this route; on Sunday I barely managed to squeak under a ten-minute average, thanks to 9:19, 8:39, and 9:19 average paces in the last 2.5 miles. I even had two sad, slow 10:37 miles, which I am sure included the departure from the ferry-terminal and the one-mile hill! My total distance was 15.15 miles and the total time was exactly 2 hours 30 minutes.
I got a mocha at Starbucks for the walk home, but after that I didn't really feel like eating (though I know I should have had some lunch). By the time I was making a batch of scones and some sandwiches to send to my sister and her husband, I started feeling woozy. I ate a handful of raisins (although I forgot to put the dried fruit in the scones!) and some ham from the sandwiches and felt a little better. Later on my appetite did return with a vengeance, and I had to make myself a toasted ham and cheese sandwich (on a sandwich thin) to eat while my dinner cooked!
Monday morning was supposed to be a running day, but once again it was pouring rain and I just felt achy, presumably from the run on Sunday. For once I decided just to stay in bed! (I went to the Y after work, though.) I wish I had been more successful at getting to sleep early, though. I fell asleep watching TV in that patchy way where you wake up at 12:30 or 1 and the TV is still blaring.
Which brought me to today, Tuesday. Another rainy day, of course, but I was determined not to wimp out again. I was, however, a little slow about getting out of bed. I didn't actually get out the front door until 6:30 (which is at least 15-30 minutes later than I should be). Plus I discovered, just before I left, that my ipod was in the red zone--meaning almost discharged. I decided just to put it on and let it play as long as possible, until it stopped (and it continued working for quite a while, really).
My extra day of rest on Monday didn't seem to have helped much, though. I was still achy, and really never got in the groove. At one point I wondered whether the achiness could be caused by something else, like the flu... but I don't think that's the case. I think I was just having a rough day.
Despite my glacial pace (10:05 average today), I manage to squeeze in 6.5 miles by running home instead of stopping at Starbucks, and I even got to work on time. That's good, anyway.
Tomorrow's another running day. Rain still in the forecast. I would like to get out early enough to do 8+ miles...but we shall see. Let's hope for a better day tomorrow, shall we?