After a weak finish at the end of week 9, I was determined to step it up a notch for the upcoming weeks. It’s crunch time, no more messing around. No more skipping my runs. Week 10 started out with a 5 mile progression run on the treadmill followed by a 55 minute cycle on my bike trainer. Tuesday was a rest day due to an optometry dinner after work. I’ve given up on waking up early before work to get in my workouts. It’s so dark and cold, I’d rather sleep in. Wednesday I woke up with sinus congestion. I couldn’t breath out my nose, my head was pounding, and I was sneezing and blowing my nose every few minutes. Thought it would be best for another rest day. Still not feeling 100%, I ran my 9 mile progression run anyways and it actually was better than expected. Friday was my sister’s birthday and Valentine’s Day and I was going to run after work before celebrating however we got another round of snow and ice and it took me an hour to get home. Just enough time for me to change and head to dinner. Saturday after work was a 5 mile tempo run. After 6 days of work, I finally had a day off…kind of. Sunday was my long easy 17 miles. Still freezing outside I went to the gym to hold hostage a treadmill for a few hours. I broke it up into 10M and 7M. I wanted to get it done and taking a water break every 4 or 5 miles wouldn’t cut it for me that day. So I took my first water and gel break at mile 10 only because the treadmill stops counting at 10 miles. I would have kept going. I was in the zone. I scored my favorite treadmill – it’s on the first floor of LA Fitness just outside of the locker rooms. I can watch my form in the mirror and there’s great people watching. After a few minute break I proceeded with my last 7 miles. My average pace for 17 miles was 9:45 exactly where I needed to be. I felt really good about it. Afterwards the hubs picked me up at the gym with a protein shake and we went to Costco and Whole Foods for our grocery shopping. Week 10 Total Mileage: 35 miles + 55 minute bike trainer session.
Continuing with my momentum to Week 11, I started off Monday with a rest day and Tuesday with an easy 5 mile recovery run. Wednesday was a 9 mile run just shy of race pace. Thursday was a speed day for me. I’ve been slacking on my intervals. Yes, I’ve done the miles but ran them as progression runs instead of repeats. I ran an 800m w/u, 5 X 1 mile repeats, and an 800m c/d. My mile repeats were as follows: 8:43, 8:27, 8:14, 8:02, 7:46 min/mile pace. The first three were easy for me. The only one that really seemed difficult was the 7:46. The good news – I’m getting faster. The bad news – I should have started my intervals at a quicker pace. Now I know for next time. Friday was a rest day. I had planned on going to hot yoga since it’s been a few weeks but I had a chemical peel that afternoon and they told me no working out for 24hrs because the heat will reactivate the peel. At least I would be fresh for my long run on Saturday. Saturday was my 18 mile run day. I would be breaking it up a little. I signed up for The Polar Bear Doubler which is a 5K race followed by a 5 mile race. I knew this was the only way to actually get me outside despite the cold. So I ran the mile from my apartment to the start line, ran the 5K, and ran the 5M. So 9 miles down, halfway there. My intention was to finish the remainder outside. But after fueling up with a banana and half a bagel at the finish, I was freezing and couldn’t stop shivering. It would have been better for me to have kept running. So my friend drove me home to my apartment and I finished the last 9 miles on the treadmill. Of course when I finished it was 55 degrees and sunny. My first 9 miles was an average pace of 8:50. Definitely quicker than my long easy pace but something about being in a race, you just have to run fast. I dialed back my second 9 miles on the treadmill to my long easy pace. So my average pace for the 18 miles was 9:19 min/mile. Sunday I felt great, hardly sore. Again my goal was to go to hot yoga and get in a swim session, but it was just one of those afternoons where Bryan and I stayed in bed all day after brunch and relaxed. We did watch the Tokyo Marathon however, that counts right? Week 11 Total Mileage: 38 miles (my highest amount of miles ever!)
Week 12 started out a little slow. Monday was supposed to be my hot yoga day (finally!) but I was super busy at work and didn’t leave work until almost 6pm missing my class. So instead I biked for 55 minutes on the bike trainer at home. Tuesday is a rest day due to an optometry dinner after work. Wednesday was a 5 mile easy run on the treadmill. Thursday after work I just didn’t feel like running unless it was outside. I was tired of running on the treadmill and tired of the cold. My solution – 55 min bike trainer session. This time I really put forth effort and Bryan had me watch videos on my gears and shifting so for when I finally get outside to ride I’m not as clueless. Friday I ran 6 miles at easy pace instead of doing my tempo run. Saturday evening I ran 9 miles after antique shopping and an early dinner with my family. Sunday was supposed to be my long easy 13 miles. I should have gone to the gym with Bryan when he left at 10:30am but I just couldn’t get out of bed. I’ll do it at noon I said. Well noon came and went and Bryan brought home Steak N Shake….my favorite. I’ll run at 3:00pm. Well 3pm came and went. Ok I’ll run at 5pm. By that time, I was doomed. I mentally wasn’t into it. It was snowing…again. It was gloomy outside…again. It was polar vortex cold…again. I just wanted to watch the Oscar red carpet arrivals in my sweatpants. But instead I put on my running gear and armed with my iPad to watch a documentary I ran on the treadmill in my building. My body felt okay. My foot wasn’t bothering me at all. This time it was all mental. Every mile seemed to drag on. I took a water break at mile 5 to snap myself out of it. But it just wasn’t happening. I ran another two miles and gave up. I was kicking myself in the face for giving up. But I just didn’t want to run another 6 miles. I could not make myself do it. I waited way too long in the day to start my run. Week 12 Total Mileage: 27 miles + 2 – 55 minute bike trainer sessions.
I’ve been getting all my runs in the past 3 weeks (minus the 13 – well half of it) however I’ve been skimping on the hot yoga and swimming. Hot yoga is my absolute favorite thing in the winter. But since I’ve been taking more rest days due to craziness at work and the craziness of Mother Nature, I have to skip hot yoga and swimming over running. My running takes priority right now due to the marathon. Once the weather gets warmer and it starts getting lighter outside I’ll be more motivated to get in those workouts as well. The few times I’ve attempted to go to hot yoga, the studio was closed due to inclement weather. So come on spring – hurry up, it’s March already!