Shall I join in the chorus of, "I can't believe it's already August"? And commiserate that summer is almost over? It has seemed a little fall-like for the last couple days, as it's been cloudy all day and never burned off in the afternoon. In fact, yesterday afternoon we had freak thundershowers. But despite the cloudiness, I haven't felt the bite in the air that says fall to me. It's been warmish and a little humid instead.
Actually, you know we're not even halfway through the summer. Summer ends around September 20. But most of us feel like summer ends informally around Labor Day, probably because the whole "school" thing.
For me, this year Labor Day weekend brings the Kaua'i Marathon! It's on Sunday, September 1, exactly one month from today.
Am I ready? I think so. I've run one 20-miler and have one planned for Saturday. Then I'll do an 18-miler in two weeks (which is two weeks prior to the marathon). I decided not to squeeze in a full 20-miler on that last long run, since two weeks is just a little close to race date. I feel comfortable with 18 miles, as that is the long distance that I seem most able to easily recover from.
I have had a few little glitches--not quite setbacks--that have affected my training and state of mind in the last couple weeks. I have had a persistent discomfort in my left Achilles that is not quite painful, but just enough to concern me. Actually on Saturday, after the Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon, my Achilles was really sore and painful to the touch. I ended up putting on a compression ankle brace/sock that I had bought for my other leg, and it really helped a lot. I have been pretty proactive with both legs, wearing compression socks and sleeves for the last few days, icing (with cold packs, not actual ice), and applying anti-inflammatory cream pretty regularly. Both legs are a lot better now, and of course, I am starting to slack on the icing and ointment.
On the technical side of things, my brand new (two months old) Garmin Forerunner 610 has gone CRAZY. Crazy in the sense that it won't charge, and has done some other bizarre things that make it unusable. I have called Garmin once and they gave me some things to do to try to resolve it. Up until this morning nothing has worked. I've had it plugged in to charge for two days and the screen remains blank. But this morning, when I was planning to call Garmin again, it suddenly showed 93% charged! WTF??? I left it plugged in to "finish" charging, and we'll see if I have a working watch when I get home today.
Obviously I can't run without my Garmin. Kidding! But just barely...it's hard to feel like I'm really running without constantly monitoring the pace and distance. I have been using the MapMyRun app, which does measure distance and pace based on the total time. But you can't easily pause MapMyRun like a Garmin, so I just keep it running except for major lights where's there's time to stop and start. So my timed pace has been in the 11-minute plus range for the last two days, and I have no idea what it would be if I could pause at all stops. (Or if I could just run steadily without stopping...what a concept!)
Between my sensitive legs and my insensitive pacing, I have not even tried to do any speedwork or tempo runs this week. I've also continued to ditch the weekday long runs that I wanted to do. It just doesn't seem wise (either speedwork or too much distance) when I'm trying to coddle my Achilles tendons. On Monday I ran about 6.25 miles at a 10:30 pace (Garmin worked up to 5.6 miles, then died--I assume my pace was about the same for the remaining distance.) On Wednesday I did 7 miles with MapMyRun, and today 6.75. My next run is a long run on Saturday, and who knows whether I'll be using Garmin or MapMyRun? Actually, I am planning to run MapMyRun even if I have a Garmin, just in case the watch dies mid-run. Also, I would like to compare the distance measured my MapMyRun with the Garmin distance.
Even though I said I'm pretty much ready for Kaua'i (although I wouldn't want to run it this weekend), the leg issues and watch issues have made me a little leery about running. It's hard enough to get myself out of bed in the morning, without wondering if I am going to hurt myself running! I've sort of gotten past the edginess that comes from running without my Garmin, but I don't like being unable to monitor my pace. I don't know if it's good or bad that it might be working again. It would be nice to have it on Saturday (and for a half marathon coming the following Saturday), but there's always the fear that it will die again, leaving me watchless at a crucial time! I guess with MapMyRun I have some backup. It would be fine in a race, as I wouldn't pause for stops anyway. I have also been thinking of buying a cheap Timex GPS watch as an additional backup. (The model is called Marathon, so why wouldn't I want it? Haha.)