When I looked back at my training log in order to write this post, the first thing I thought of was the title – “Grinding It Out“, because that’s what it felt like this week, at least at the beginning.
All runners go through rough patches, times when running seems like a struggle and that elusive “runner’s high” feels like a far-off fable or an urban legend. I am training for an August marathon. Taking some time off in order to regroup is not an option, not unless I am prepared to complete the marathon with a lot of walking and a lot of pain, so I am “grinding it out“.
My week began with a 4-mile run before Body Pump class on Monday. Class begins at 9:15, so I try to time my run to end around 9:00. By this time, the heat and humidity had already started to build, and I was soaked by the end of my run. Or glowing. Maybe I was glowing so much that the glow was dripping off me.
Tuesday is the day I usually babysit two of my grandsons, one of my favorite activities. This Tuesday was no different. We went to the park,
drew monsters and played hide and seek with them (the monsters),
and, finally, after it began to rain, visited a museum.
By the time running club rolled around that evening Mimi (my grandma name) was pooped! Hubby and I did a five-mile out-and-back run. The first mile was all downhill to a rail trail. The middle three miles on the rail trail were mostly flat. That leaves the final mile, which was…yep, a lot of walking. Luckily there was a delicious dinner and a cold beer waiting for me when we got back to our host’s house.
Wednesday is my trail running day. I run in the woods with a buddy of mine. He was training for a 15k trail race this weekend, so he asked if I minded doing a shorter run than we usually do. We ran for about 45 minutes, and it was perfect. We began our run on a gravel road and finished on the Horse-Shoe Trail, a well-maintained trail about three miles from my house. The entire run was shaded, and we took it easy on the hills.
I like to do two or three Body Pump classes each week – usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This week, I knew that I would only be able to do two, so I decided to go on Monday and Thursday. I walked into class at the normal time on Thursday morning – 9:15 – to an empty classroom. Then I remembered. Classes begin at 8:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I had missed the class! Senior moment. I smacked my head with my hand, went home, put on a yoga class, and did some gentle stretches. Thursday turned into an unplanned, but very much needed rest day.
Friday was my long run day, and it was a great one. Heidi, one of my running friends, is running her first marathon in eight years this November. The marathon she is training for is in Marathon, Greece. She is beginning her long runs and asked if I would run with her. I readily agreed, so thankful to have company on my long runs, since hubby is not marathon training with me.
My friend wanted to run 12 miles on Friday, which surprised me since I knew she had just run 11 miles at running club on Tuesday night. She also had a tough race coming up on Saturday on a course we used to do as a club run. The course goes up, up, up for a very steep two-and-a-half mile climb in the Welsh Mountains of Eastern Lancaster County, then down, down, down to the finish line at the five-mile mark. I should mention that when Heidi runs her marathon, she will be 80 years old!
I ran 12 very enjoyable miles with Heidi, then completed another five by myself. Heidi, not content with a mere 12 miles, walked another two while eating a sandwich, so we both finished at about the same time. I think that run and the conversation with Heidi may have hit the reset button for my training.
Hubby wanted to go to the rec center to use the elliptical (he is nursing a sore hamstring) and do some leg presses on Sunday morning, so I decided to go with him. I finished the week with a five-mile run on some rolling hills in beautiful farm country. I only saw five cars during those five miles and felt great the whole run. We rewarded ourselves with some blueberry pancakes when we got home. I totaled up my miles for the week while he cooked – 35.3. Not too bad!