I feel like every month, I look up and am suddenly at the last week of month with no clue how I got here. There are 6 days left in April, including today, and I’m 370 minutes short of my activity goal for the month (1800 minutes), which is totally doable, and the things left on my master list for this month are all attainable but I need to make this last week of good one. Know what else needs to happen the last week of April? My last long run for my training for the Papillion Half Marathon. 🙂 I love getting to the last long run before race day. This training cycle has been so laid back compared to my last two half marathon training cycles and I have REALLY enjoyed it. I’ve enjoyed having a reason to get out and run more miles than I would have if I weren’t “training” but not having the sense of pressure I had with my last couple of training cycles. This has been a nice sort of active rest before I plunge into marathon training for the last half of the year.
Monday – Rest day, unintentionally, but I did at least do some yoga and strength.
Tuesday – I intended to run hills, but the day got away from me. I still ended up with 52 active minutes according to the FitBit, so I was running around a lot!
Wednesday – I crammed in a 3 mile run on the treadmill between work and swim lessons, which meant I was more than a little sweaty when I ran into pre-K to fetch O for lessons. Hopefully no one minded too much. Any time I go more than a day between runs, I’m a little nervous about running again because I apparently forget VERY quickly that I am a runner. Whenever I start a run again after a couple of days off, there’s always this sense of relief that my running legs are still there, which is silly I know.
Thursday – Two tempo miles, with little over half a mile for warm up and then cool down. It was 4 pm and hot and I really didn’t want to run, but I made myself go out and do it anyway. I told myself I could adjust my intervals to 1:40/0:30 instead of my usual 2:00/0:30 in deference to the heat and you know what? My paces were 11:10 / mile, which is faster than last week’s normal 2 minute intervals. I’ve heard of other people having this experience too, with faster times with shorter run intervals. It is certainly interesting. I’ll try it again and see if it was just a fluke. My NSV for the week is allowing myself to sit down and watch TV for a while instead of cleaning out the pantry while I was home waiting for an IKEA delivery. I was taking the day off from work, after all, so a little moment of relaxation was a great gift to myself and one I have a hard time allowing myself.
Friday – I was supposed to run 3-4 miles but stayed too late at work and it never happened. One thing this training cycle has reinforced to me is the importance of early morning runs in my life. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, odds go up HUGELY that it won’t happen at all. I need to keep that in mind when I get to the more serious marathon training this summer/fall. This week’s good deed was bringing in a bunch of food for the food drive at Oliver’s school. He really seems to be grasping the idea of what a food drive is for, which is good, and how fortunate we are in our little lives.
Saturday – I did something new for my long run today: I ran to tee ball practice. Normally, I just run a loop and come back home but I decided a point to point would be more interesting. I woke up early (and got to see the sun rise, which is always nice) and headed out to get in 11 miles before tee ball at 9. The tricky part of this plan was that it required me to run through a neighborhood where I always get turned around. I figured getting myself un-lost would just add to my mileage and I’d have less to make up once I got across to the park. It was a great run, partially because I didn’t get lost but mostly because I felt like I was taking it super easy and still my pace was 13:20/ish, which is more than reasonable for my long run since my race pace target is around 12:30 for this particular half marathon. Even more surprising, I was getting faster and it was feeling easier as I went along. Even low stress training pays off over weeks and weeks I suppose.
Saturday night, I got even more activity in as we headed out to the park to go tent-camping overnight with Oliver for the first time. We had a good time with s’mores and roasted marshmallows and all of that fun stuff. O taught his toy monkey to hula hoop and I taught O to play Bocce. Things went great until we were awakened at 4:30 am by a thunderstorm! I was worried about getting wet but then Darrell pointed out that we couldn’t stay in a tent with that much lightning. Duh. We decided to just load up and head back to town as we had planned on leaving around 8 am anyway. Oliver was such a trooper about it all and treated it as a big adventure to be hauled out of the tent in the dark. We gathered everything up and stopped at Village Inn for a really early breakfast on the way back in, laughing at how our first family campout turned out. Oliver still had a great time and we spent a lot of time napping Sunday as storms continued off and on all day. I’m grateful that we can laugh about our little misadventures.
Sunday – I had 4 miles on the training plan, originally to be run in the park where we were camping. That didn’t work out, obviously. I got dressed to go out Sunday afternoon but Darrell said no since we were again under a severe storm warning (and it did ugly – you were right dear, I should have stayed in). I ended up walking the 4 miles in the house as the storm raged around us. Better than nothing, I suppose. I also did some strength training.
This week, I’m heading to Baltimore for work, which required some reshuffling of my normal running week as Baltimore is one of the few cities where I don’t feel safe running alone in most areas. I’m not going to try to find a place for the last 11-12 miler while I’m there and would rather not run my last long run on a hotel treadmill (although that would be its own kind of mental training). I’m going to try to take tomorrow afternoon off and do it here, if it isn’t raining too badly. If it is storming again (a possibility per the forecast), then I guess I will be doing it on a treadmill in Baltimore when I get there Thursday. Otherwise, this last full week of training will include a hill workout (this is a really hilly course), a tempo run and some easy miles. Here’s hoping I finish feeling strong! My last two long runs have felt great, so I’m feeling confident about my ability to finish with a smile unless the weather gets too hot. Fingers crossed!
Have you ever gotten lost on a long run? While I didn’t get lost, per se, I will confess that I was totally surprised by where I came out when I got through that neighborhood! I was about half a mile further north than I was expecting to be.