Running has been going well. Life in general has been a little stressful.
In the last two weeks...my house was broken into and burglarized during the work day (I only lost a stereo, TV, and a bunch of DVD's, but it's traumatic and I had to replace all my locks because they also took a house key)...one of my cats went reclusive and would not come out from under a futon until forcibly removed (this started before the burglary, so it's not that she was traumatized)...I have been plagued by late summer fleas and have been trying to eradicate them (completely unfair as my cats never go outside; I blame the burglars for bringing in fleas)...a dear friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer...and basically I am constantly waiting for the next shoe to drop.
On Saturday I felt inexplicably anxious for a long time; I think it was a mild type of post-traumatic stress disorder. This is quite unlike me, as I am almost always ridiculously optimistic and good natured.
Running does not make things better. It does help relieve anxiety a little bit (though not the underlying causes), and it does create a distraction for a while. Although I would not necessarily insist on running in the midst of a true emergency, it is important to me not to let problems and disruptions in my life be an excuse not to run. I will admit that I have skipped some cross training and yoga classes over the last couple weeks (waiting for police can interfere with your schedule), but I have gotten in all my runs as planned, and pretty much met my goals for them as well.
Last week I did my usual Monday run on Tuesday, only because I had already put in a lot of miles on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and needed to give my legs a rest. I think I did about 6.2 miles on Tuesday (actually it turns out it was 6.5 miles, 9:35 average pace).
Wednesday I cross-trained and moved speed work to Thursday. On Thursday I ended up with nine miles, a couple warm-up then 8x800 intervals at the track with about a quarter mile recovery between each. All the half mile intervals were well under four minutes, mostly around 7:45 pace. After the eight repeats I realized I was close to 10K. If I did a short recovery lap then another fast 400 I could get a 10K. So I did it...total 10K time just over 51 minutes. Including the slow recovery jogs but not including the time I spent staring at the other side of the track. After the 10K I finished off with a recovery jog to Starbucks.
On Thursday I cross-trained in the morning and got a pedicure in the evening (using a gift card I got for my birthday). I figure I can enjoy the results of the pedicure for six weeks--until the Portland Marathon mashes up my toenails again!
Friday was the closest to a "FAIL" workout. It was not a fail, though; I just had to adjust my goals. My plan was 8-10 miles with some at "pace." Originally I thought a few at half marathon pace (8:30) and a few at marathon pace (9:00). But I tried to speed up after my two warm-up miles and realized that 8:30 was just not happening. Sub-9 was, however. So I did nine miles at hybrid pace (somewhere between marathon and half pace.) The splits weren't bad--10:11 and 9:48 warm-up, then 8:42, 8:54, 8:58, .07 mile at 8:37 pace, 8:58, 9:16 (a little bit of an oops there, I have no idea why), 8:52, and 8:55. Average pace for all 11+ miles was 9:07.
Saturday was a rest day. I had no time for any exercise except for a short walk to and from Starbucks. We had two big get-togethers to attend, one a lunch barbecue and baby shower with my office folks, the other a dinner barbecue and steak grilling cook-off. I made vast quantities of caprese salad to bring to these events. (I ate the last of the prepared salad today, but still have some Costco-sized hunks of fresh mozzarella in my fridge.)
Finally Sunday rolled around, and time for my long run. I had done 21 the week before, and have 22 planned this week, so I thought 16 would be a nice interim distance. By the time I got halfway through I thought 17 would be an even better distance, so that's what I ended up doing.
We've actually been having summer weather in this second half of August, and last week was particularly warm (up to the 80s late in the day, that is HOT here!). On Sunday it was not quite so warm, and it was a little foggy in the morning, but as the sun broke out I did regret a little dawdling until after 9 to begin. Luckily though, my sweating and the breeze kept me from ever feeling very overheated.
I broke up my route into sections, and at various points I would backtrack or run a little extra to get to a certain mileage point before moving to the next section. My checkpoints were...around Jennings Park, 3 miles. To 108th, 5 miles. To McDonald's, 8 miles (this required almost a mile of "extra" and it was what made my 17 mile total viable). To the highway leaving Marysville, 11 miles. To the little park off Marine View Drive, 14 miles. And finally, to Starbucks/QFC end point, 17 miles plus a hair. My average pace for the whole distance was 9:46. Most of my miles were just around that time as well, with a few closer to 10:00 and a few (including miles 16 and 17) at 9:30 or so.
Which brings me to the title of this post, Monday's "easy eight." I have to admit that I was lazy Monday morning and didn't get myself out of bed in a reasonable time for a run. The Y is closed this week so I didn't have a quick alternative...I ended up just staying in bed and having a leisurely breakfast. I suppose if I am going to skip a run it would be smart to decide the night before so I can actually sleep in!
But I did decide to run Monday night after work instead. I had some idea that I might go to yoga afterwards but that didn't work out. I wasn't sure how this run was going to go at all. I had a nasty headache in the afternoon which only went away temporarily when I ate spoonfuls of ice cream from the office freezer. When I got home I took some Tylenol and lay down for just a few minutes. The headache did subside and I headed out.
After some effort at completing the first two miles in twenty minutes (I missed it by two or three seconds), I settled into an easy pace which really did feel easy. Other than the first mile and a couple others, all my splits were 9:30-9:40. Mile 7 was 9:44 but then Mile 8 was 9:25. I ended up doing 8.3 miles in 80 minutes (9:39 average).
This is going to be an interesting week. I was back out this morning (Tuesday) for 6.33 miles, and tomorrow I have a tempo run planned (I am hoping my legs will cooperate). Thursday should be off running, Friday I'll do some sort of run, and then Saturday I have 22 miles on the schedule. Woohoo.
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