I feel like I need a little redemption from November 2016. It was a pretty tough year battling constant infections in my kidney that landed me in the hospital just six weeks before my race. I stubbornly refused to just throw in the towel and not make the trip. I finished because I wasn’t going to let anyone see me quit, but man it was a bad race. It started off good, I blacked out at mile 12, convinced people to NOT make me finish (I have a really good talent at that apparently) and then proceeded to WALK 14 miles to finish the race in 6:35. Yeah, that took forever. I cried a lot.
I wasn’t certain I would run another marathon in 2017. I mean, I did kind of promise my kidney doctor I would take a break. But then I got on this new medication and it’s been really dangerous because it makes me feel like I am normal again. In a moment of weakness, I pulled the trigger for a small marathon in Little Rock, Arkansas. The course is pretty and all run along the river there. And yeah, over three bridges of that river. LOL
I will keep my training log on this page to keep it together.
Week 1: The week included an OCR run, a short base run, a 26 mile bike ride, a masters swim, and an 8.5 mile long run in this ungodly Dallas heat and humidity. So far everything feels good.
Week 2: I decided to double-up and do a Sunday 5 miler on tired legs to kick off my training. I got in a recovery swim, two masters swims, Tuesday and Thursday easy runs and my 10 mile long run. I’m definitely tired and need to get my legs back under me. But I’m ready to go!
Week 3: This weeks was amazing! I bit back the anxiety of not really knowing anyone and went to a Triple Threat Tough open water swim on Sunday. I swam about a mile and felt so so good! I did another mile pool swim on my own Monday and two masters swims this week. My Tuesday easy run was with my group and I ran with one of my athletes that needed a progression run. I pushed the pace and shouldn’t have because Garmin decided to tell me that I needed four recovery days and I was unproductive. Hahaha!!! But yeah, Thursday, I was so beat still, I couldn’t run. I just went straight to bed. I took Friday as a rest day and got my 12 mile long run in. It was super tough because of the ridiculous humidity. Please tell me the temperatures will drop soon?
Week 4: What a crazy week! Linda and I went to Waxahachie to check out the lake that next week’s triathlon will be at. We got about 1,000 yards in before the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey came in, so we called it a day. Two more really awesome masters swims this week too! My pace is really starting to drop. Woo hoo! Another easy Tuesday night run and a Thursday walk with my princess at the DRC Social Run and almost 13 miles for the long run. It was such a disaster because the map we were all using was wrong and missed a turn. We got more than a mile off course and had to do a lot of creative running. By the time I finished the run, I was ready to strangle people. The humidity is really starting to mess with me. The weather man promised it would be cooler next week.
Week 5: Wow, this has been a disaster. That long run last Saturday about destroyed me. I missed my swim with Andy at SMU on Sunday and missed the triathlon in Waxahachie on Labor Day because I was stuck in bed with a bad fever and another infection. I’m trying to stay positive. Tuesday’s masters swim was lower in volume and I felt like I couldn’t get it together. I elected to just coach my runners at the track Tuesday night, but I did get a mile in around the track after the sun went down. I got 200 yards in on Thursday at swimming before I threw in the towel as well. This week is a complete step back for me…
Week 6: This week has been a bunch of highs and lows. The long run was 14 miles and it felt really good because the weather finally relented and gave us lower humidity. Crushed it with some really solid fast miles while we were at it. Sunday I raced a sprint tri and it was so amazing. I was racing it for fun and just reminded myself to smile, despite some looming stuff going on in the background. I took Monday off as a gift to my body after two hard days. No apologies at all. I am so glad I took it. I had a solid swim on Tuesday followed up by a phenomenal fast run. My swim Thursday was the longest ever and I am still on a high from that. I’ve got my eyes on some great stuff in 2018, so I spent a lot of time really planning that out this week.
Week 7: Hooray for cutback weeks! We knocked it back to a ten mile long run this week. Funny, we all spent the week saying “meh, it’s ONLY ten miles, that’s just cake.” In reality, not so much. Mother Nature decided it might be fun to kick our hineys another week. Thanks, hon. Oh, and I *might* have bought a new tri bike. More later on that. HAHAHA. But on the running front, I totally killed my hill workout despite the fact that it was a million degrees with the sun beating down on me. NEVER. AGAIN.
Week 8: Holy Toledo! Is the heat EVER going to relent down here? Fourteen ugly, nasty, sticky, disgusting miles. Seriously, I should have chosen a goal race in February so I could start my training later in the fall. Slay the summer, rule the fall, right? Track night, some easy running, a little swimming, a little biking and maybe even a little yoga will round out this week.
Week 9: This is apparently going to be a lesson in how little training I can get before this race. I’ve dialed back any expectations and will enjoy the heck out of it. My long run was 16 miles, but when I woke up, my tummy was laughing quite a bit. I had water stop duty as a coach, so rather than set out the water and then run with the group, I took the morning off. I mean, seriously, it would have just been an exercise in running from porto to porto for sixteen grueling miles until I dehydrated myself and died. LOL I felt a bit better the next morning, but totally overslept, so I went out to see how far I could go. I managed to get a long lake loop in, about 11 miles and so I kept going. Emma called looking for breakfast, and it was really lunch time, so I cut it to an additional 30 minutes and ran just under 13 miles. It’s not ideal, not what was on the plan, and kind of messy, but I did what I was able to and gave myself some grace to be alright with it. The swims were way harder this week than I would like to admit. I figured if I was going to suck it up and be really slow, I would give the whole bilateral breathing a go again. Ironically, it started to finally come together. It was less of a lesson in waterboarding, so yay! The highlight of the training week, though, was heading up to McKinney (it’s SOOOO far away!) and riding bikes on the computrainer with Linda. We were riding the Austin course, but it was so so hard. It was comical by the time we finished. I ended up only riding for like an hour, while she rode for four. I seriously just spun and laughed and Instagrammed. Is that a word? It is now. We topped it off with some amazing smoothies from a bubble tea place up there. Oh! Tuesday night’s run totally got cancelled ten minutes in. We made it past the warm-up just in time for a big bolt of lightning to give a great show. We high tailed it right back to the cars and called it a night. My run training load was completely pathetic this week because I ALSO skipped my Thursday night run, but my calf was killing me, so maybe it all happens for a reason.
Week 10: Hooray! The long run is actually replaced by a 15K race for a time trial this weekend. Of course, I got pressed into duty to volunteer because the club was short handed. Lemons= lemoncello. I ended up doing my long run again Sunday and I got a little redemption from last Sunday’s debacle. It was as if the heavens chose to give me a darn break. When I began the run, it was in the 60s!!! Hallelujah! I used my time wisely and started playing around with intervals. Some miles were the usual 30:30’s. Some I went a little longer on the run, a little shorter on the walk. Then other miles I chose to extend out and do 60:30 or 90:30. What I finally finished the run with was a 30:30:60:30:30:30 sort of arrangement. I purposely didn’t watch my pace and just ran according to how I was feeling. I wanted to push just a little, but I wanted to still be able to speak. Only a few hours later when I had time to sit and see my splits did I find that I had hit some paces I hadn’t hit in more than 18 months. That could be super dangerous. I mean, I may think that I could actually not suck at my race this year. Yikes!