This past weekend I ran my first 20-miler of Steamtown training. It was planned (unlike last year's), nothing went awry, and I finished it, actually faster than I'd hoped.
I ran four early miles on Bayshore prior to meeting with running buddy Nicole--who was running 16--and about 50 others who were running with the Blue Sharks group on Davis Island. Those first four miles were the worst. The air was humid and heavy, and I felt as though I was just dragging myself through the miles. I got back to DI just before 5:30 a.m., when the group run was scheduled to start. People socialized for a bit, and then Nicole and I decided to start. Shortly thereafter, many of the other runners passed us by, which was a sort of frustrating feeling, like at a race, but we kept steady at just under a 10-minute pace. We had a lot of distance yet to go.
The mileage through the residential section of DI--about four or five miles--still felt difficult, but once we got out of it and the sun began to show, some of the humidity was burned off and there seemed to be a pleasant breeze. This helped us through the first DI loop, which is about 9.5 miles. But we had to go back through the loop and cut it off short for another 6.5 miles. Those miles were pretty unremarkable, in a good way. We chatted a little less (Nicole usually puts on headphones halfway through, and I have less energy to talk, anyway), but we steadily trotted along. We'd brought our average pace down to about 9:46 and stayed there for most of the remaining miles (of course, this factors in my slower initial miles).
|(I can't help but notice how hairy my arms are in these closeups of my watch.)|
All things considered, it was a good run. I couldn't walk very well afterward, but that's to be expected (right?). Nicole did a great job with her 16, and I'm contemplating doing another 20 when she does hers in less than two weeks. We'll see.
I attempted another ice bath when I got home, but the ice melted so darn quickly that the water never got very icy. Next time I need to make sure to only fill the tub enough to cover my legs.
I had a very important engagement to go to not to long after getting back from my run: my twin sister's second baby shower! So I had little time to rest before meeting up with family and friends for a ladies' tea.
|Sisters! I'll let you decide which one is my twin.|
After tea, my mom and aunts came over to see my new place and visit for a while. The company was wonderful, and I was glad they got to see where I live; they all live two to three hours away, so there may not be another opportunity for a while. Soon they left to go to dinner, and Tim left to go to a beer fest where some other friends were already partaking in festivities. I truly enjoyed all of the family time, but I was ready to be alone and rest. And rest I did for hours straight!
I slept in through Crossboot the next morning. And I was okay with that--I needed the rest, and I had a head full of allergies, perhaps from eating dinner outside at Mad Dogs and English Men the night before. It's a wonderful place, but I think I'm allergic to the trees we dined under. And anyway, I ended up having a full day of furniture shopping and--because it was Ikea furniture--assembly. I got a workout just trying to steer the wayward cart full of disassembled dressers through hoards of space-unaware shoppers. And after hours of looking at picture instructions, screw-driving, and hammering, the day was practically over. Here are the results:
|Tim installed this track light all by himself (with moral support from me). Now we have light over the dining table that we never eat at.|
|This piece, which is near the front door, hides our sweaty running gear (water bottles, watch, arm band, headbands, earphones, etc.) and also our shoes.|
|This dresser was necessary, I realized, to store all of my running/workout clothes. Kind of sad.|
I woke up early Monday to run six miles. I did it, but it wasn't pretty. I gave myself some leeway, though, because I was still coming off of that big run. So I let it be slow. But then, when I headed out for 10 miles this morning, I just felt like I had nothing in me. I got as far as 2.5 miles, stopped, turned around, and walked back. Couldn't even jog back. It wasn't a feeling of heavy legs or sore muscles--it was pure fatigue. My body just felt lifeless, like a rag doll. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. It's happened before. So I'm trying not to be too hard on myself. Hopefully after resting today and maybe going easy on my next run, I'll feel a little more energetic. I'm only planning to do about 12-14 miles this weekend, and from past experience, I know those won't be easy miles. But they will get done. I will prevail!