Shamrock On Weeks 9-12

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Week 9: 13M Easy Snow Run w/ Kona.

Week 9 and I’m finally in the 30’s for weekly mileage. Monday I had to skip hot yoga since I had to take Carson to the vet for an exam and blood work. By the time I arrived home, I had missed the last yoga class. I could have done yoga at home but it’s not the same as the heat and darkness of the yoga studio. Tuesday was computrainer class and it was a killer session per usual. I was definitely struggling at the end of the class. Wednesday was an easy run day and was fairly warm outside, well it was 30 something and still light out so I took Kona for a 6M run. She did her usual tug-o-war for the first mile but then settled down to my pace for the rest of the run. At certain points it felt like she wasn’t even pulling on the leash. It was dark quickly but I really enjoyed it. It’s like I don’t notice the cold as much when I’m running at night because I’m more concerned with seeing what’s around me to make sure no one is lurking in the bushes haha. Thursday I went to hot yoga and it was an amazing class or maybe it was just that I had not been to yoga in over a week so it felt extra good. Friday was ladder interval day. I really wanted to run it outside but it was too dark by the time I relaxed for a couple hours after work, so I had to suffer on the treadmill instead. I could have got it done outside right after work but sometimes, I just need to chill a bit before my workout. Saturday was a 5M progression run. I could have gone to the gym earlier or ran outside to get in my 9 miles, but I just was not feeling it. Sunday was supposed to be 18 miles but with the snow and wintry mix I knew 18 miles wouldn’t happen outside and I just couldn’t fathom another long run on the treadmill after my 17 mile meltdown the week before. So I switched up my week’s 9 and 10 long runs and ran 13 miles outside. I layered up a bunch and took Kona with me. I thought having her with me would keep my mind off the cold. The first mile was her usual pulling on the leash so I really didn’t notice the snow falling too much. After she finally settled down, I was feeling warm and thought maybe I had actually worn too much. The Monon was covered with snow. I wore my new waterproof trail shoes and they were perfect. They had good traction and my feet didn’t get wet once. They are definitely heavier than my normal running shoes, but it’s totally worth it when they are keeping my feet dry. The majority of the run was just Kona and I. There were very few people out and about. But it was beautiful and serene. I quite enjoyed the solitude. I wasn’t going for speed on this run due to the conditions outside so I really just got to have fun with it. Kona and I ran up to 86th St. which put us at 5.18M and then turned around to run back. The entire way back the falling snow had turned to a light rain. We ran past our house south until 38th St. and then went back north to get in the full 13M. It was Kona’s longest run yet. She was definitely tired towards the end and tried to make a beeline towards our house during the last mile. I don’t blame her though because we were wet from the rain. This was one of my favorite runs of training. No pressure. Just running in the snow/rain w/ Kona and actually enjoying the solitude and peacefulness of the winter outside. Week 9 Total Mileage: 31.10 miles + 1 computrainer session + 1 hot yoga session.

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Week 10: Snowy evening run w/ Kona.

Week 10 started out with it’s usual hot yoga session on Monday. It was blistery cold after the winter storm we had over the weekend, so the heat felt extra nice. I was finished with work a little early that day so I was able to attend the earlier class: Ashtanga Yoga. I’ve only been to this class a few times and it was nice to experience a different type of practice. Tuesday was computrainer class, 8X5min at low to mid zone 4 w/ 1 min rest interval in between. It was killer but I was able to do all sets at my prescribed power so I was pumped since I normally struggle on the bike. Wednesday was a 5M easy run with Kona followed by a hot yoga class on Thursday. The Wednesday run was another fun snow run. I am really enjoying these snow runs with Kona. It’s cold, it’s snowing, it’s winter so why not try to at least enjoy some of it? I’m not sure who had more fun, Kona or I. Friday was another easy run w/ Kona. We ran 4.24 miles in the dark. I’ve come to really enjoy my night runs w/ Kona as well. It’s more about really enjoying running versus pressure to run a certain pace or distance. I get to run happy. Saturday when I got out of work, it was a gorgeous 50 something degrees outside! Yes, mid 50’s in February in Indiana when it was just snowing a few days prior! That’s unheard of. So I took full advantage of this beautiful day and ran 4 X 1 mile repeats. My splits were 7:54, 7:58, 7:46, 7:47. My prescribed pace was 7:53 (10K pace), so I was pleased with my performance. Sunday was another beautiful 54 degrees and I had a long run planned. After brunch with the hubs and my sister and her beau, I relaxed for a few before heading out for my run. Our friend Turtle stopped by our house during his run so I thought I would run a few miles with him to get me out the door. We ran three miles together and then he took off to finish his run with some speedy miles. I had planned a down and back route. Just keeping it simple for my 18 miles. My first five miles were nice and easy and I didn’t hit my stride until about mile 7. My turnaround point was just south of the Carmel City Center. When I turned around for the second half of my run, I felt on fire. Maybe it was the warmer temps, maybe it was that I wasn’t running with a million layers on or maybe I was finally back in my zone, but this was exactly what I needed to remind me that I can do this….that I can get a PR in March. My last 4 miles were at race pace and I felt great. My mind, body, and weather fully cooperated. and I didn’t feel tired, but instead felt re-energized. I ran 18.2 miles at a 9:19 ave pace. Mile 10 Total Mileage: 33.67 miles + 1 computrainer class + 2 hot yoga sessions.

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Week 10: 18M Pace-Plus Run….50 degrees outside!!!

Week 11 was a slow down, which I’m very bummed about it since I came off a few solid weeks in a row. Monday started out good with hot yoga after work and Tuesday was computrainer: 4X12min at low zone 4 but they were in a time trial simulation so lots of hills were involved. My legs were thrashed afterwards. Wednesday was supposed to be my easy recovery run with Kona, but the weather had taken a turn for the worse and we were now under a wind chill advisory because the ‘Siberian Express’ had sent down more arctic air to the Midwest. The wind chill was below 0, and Bryan and I both were not feeling a workout so we went to Hopcat for a beer and dinner. Thursday and Friday, I was feeling the full extent of my lack of vitamin D and warm weather. It was like the 50 degree weather over the weekend was a cruel tease to this now never ending winter. At least it allowed me to get in some great runs, but now all I wanted to do was put on sweatpants/sweatshirt and cover up with multiple blankets. And that’s exactly what I did. I just couldn’t pull myself out of this dark coldness. Saturday was Valentine’s Day and before the festivities, I managed to make it to the gym for some intervals. 8X800m repeats. The first 4 were at 7:53 (10K) pace but the last 4 were: 7:47, 7:41, 7:35, 7:30. Apparently my legs were nice and fresh from having three rest days in a row. Afterwards, Bryan and I went to India Garden – my first time eating Indian food and now I’m in love. The best ethnic food ever. After dinner we saw Fifty Shades of Grey….holler! Sunday was supposed to be a 20 mile run but it was in the single digits and colder with the wind chill and the thought of running 20 on the treadmill made me shudder. My last long run on the the treadmill a month ago did not go well. I had a major melt down during my 17 miles. And I ran two 20 milers on the treadmill last year and vowed never to do that again. So I made the executive decision to switch my 20 miler to next week and run 12 today. Wellll, I had the worst migraine, so the thought of even running anything on the treadmill made my head hurt even more. The pool it was. I picked a swim workout out of Triathlete magazine to follow. I jumped right in the pool and started swimming. I had not swam in exactly 6 months, but it felt great. It was like like I didn’t skip a beat. I borrowed Bryan’s underwater iPod and swam 2200 yards. Post swim, I relaxed in the sauna for a few minutes and then ran 1M on the treadmill before doing some squats and core work.  Week 11 Total Mileage: 7 miles + 1 computrainer session + 1 swim session + 1 hot yoga session.

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Week 11: Sauna post intervals.
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Week 11: first swim in 6 months.

Week 12 wasn’t that much better. It started off strong and then gradually slowed down. Still in my winter hangover I suppose. Monday was hot yoga and Tuesday was computrainer. Wednesday was another brutally cold day, too cold for my run with Kona and I didn’t want to go back out after I was home to go to the gym. Thursday I just didn’t feel like running on the treadmill and we were under another wind chill advisory so I set up my bike and trainer in the living room and got caught up on some tv shows while cycling for an hour. Friday I went straight to the gym after work. I desperately didn’t want to run on the treadmill because I always end up injured afterwards, but it had to be done. I ran a 7M interval ladder. It was a great workout and I hit all my paces, but my right hip area was starting to feel tight again. Saturday was a rest day to prepare for my 20 miler on Sunday. Sunday Runday was more like Sunday try not to cry while you get through this run day. It was 28 degrees but with the wind chill it was 19 degrees with 20mph wind gusts. I bundled up with enough layers to keep me warm but allowing myself to feel free enough to move. Something just seemed off right from the beginning. My right hip was already in pain and my legs felt heavy and sluggish. I had hydrated plenty and with the cold I desperately had to use the bathroom at mile 1. How could I already have to go?! I knew the McDonald’s would be approaching just after mile 2 and thought I would take a pit stop. Well apparently, I didn’t get my layers off fast enough because before I knew it I had peed my pants. Yep, I hit an all new low, peed my pants. Wow, good one Melissa. I have not peed myself since I was little. Well, I’ve only ran 2 miles, I’m cold and have pee pants. What does a runner do? She keeps running. So I continued North towards my scheduled 5M stop at the Kroger on 86th St. As I was running north, I already had the defeated feeling that 20 miles would not be happening. When I finally made it to Kroger, I went inside for a pit stop and a gel. I texted Bryan words of defeat. He tried to be encouraging telling me to keep going. I turned around and headed back south. Going south was much better, the wind was now at my back and I didn’t feel as cold. Also my paced picked up quite a bit. I thought to myself, I can do this. I went past our house towards 38th St. for my next turn around point. I was going to run a double out and back. I didn’t want to be too far away from home in these cold temps. As I headed north again, I was running into the wind and with my sweaty shirt and pee pants, I was done. I hit our house at mile 12 and I went inside. I just couldn’t bare running 5ish miles north into a headwind while already freezing. I guess I could have grabbed my running jacket and/or changed my pants, but I knew that once I went inside, I would not be heading back out. I accepted defeat, I put up my white flag, and pouted to Bryan. He was in the kitchen and I shamefully told him about my pee run and that I just couldn’t do it. Matter was greater than mind today. I briefly thought about heading to the gym to swim some laps to erase the memory of this run, but instead relaxed on the couch with sweatpants, blankets, and watched the Oscars red carpet arrivals. Yah, definitely not my best performance. At least I ran 12 I told myself, but I was still disappointed in how quickly I gave up. Week 12 Total Mileage: 19 miles + 1 computrainer class + 1 hot yoga class + 1 bike trainer session at home.

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Week 12: Withering away in the cold.
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Week 12: 1hr Bike Trainer at home.

I now have four weeks left of training and I’m now questioning my marathon pace. My runs have been lackluster the past two weeks and I should be at my peak. The cold weather has really taken a toll on me: lack of motivation, fatigue, injury. I’m going to go for my goal and if I fail at least I went for it. I really need to be on my game the next two weeks and have a smooth taper. I’m hoping this weather will break soon and at least get up to 30 degrees so I can get outside and get in a solid 20 miler this weekend. 20 miles will happen regardless of how I feel or the weather. I can’t put it off any longer. This Sunday = Me + 20 miles.

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