Monday, July 30th, 2018 – 7:30 am – 2 mi @ 8:19/mi
The morning of my grandmother’s funeral I decided to go for a quick run. Unfortunately, the cumulative impact of my 8 mi hill workout and the pile of carb-heavy Utica food I ate the day before left my legs heavy and my stomach bubbling. It was a cold morning – about 56 degrees and breezy. I managed to get a mile away from my parent’s house before deciding to turn back to the warmth of their home and the comfort of their bathroom.
Tuesday, July 31st, 2018 – 6:00 pm – 5 mi hill workout @ 7:48/mi
I was back to work on Tuesday after calling out sick for the funeral Monday. As a welcome-back gift, the clinic jammed my schedule full of people that were displaced from my day off. After a rough, hectic day at work I came home and got ready for the first “official” hill workout of my training schedule. The clouds started to collected overhead and the sky turned black. My initial instinct said to wait out the storm and possibly skip the workout. After the stress of the trip home and the strain of a busy work day, I knew I needed a hard run to set things in the world right again. I rolled the dice and went for a run. About 1.5 miles away from my house is a long, gradual hill. I ran to it and then proceeded to complete eight climbs in a light rain. On each climb, I tried to push to see how long I could sustain a hard effort. Each time I reached the top, I tried to push how far I could go before I needed to rest. While I ran, I thought about my grandmother and started to compose an essay in my mind about her. I decided to call it, “A list of things I knew about my grandmother – unabridged.”
I actually really loved doing the hill workout. It was a jarring departure from my typical runs. The shift in focus from long, steady distance to short, repeated climbs was refreshing and I found that it was easier to have fun and push myself. I started looking forward to next week’s sprint workout.
When I got home, I realized that I had completed 100 miles for the month of July. This is the farthest I have run across a month since starting to use my Nike run app (so, about 8 years or so). I want to say that I have hit 100+ miles in a month before in my early 20’s when technology wasn’t as advanced and my record keeping was more in my head – but I can’t be certain. What I do know is that I did it now, at 32, and I intend to hit it again in August.
Wednesday, August 1st, 2018 – 5:30 pm – 3.01 mi treadmill @ 7:58/mi + lifting
I got to the gym around 5:30 pm and got ready for a treadmill run. The JCC has been in something of a crisis over towels and, having run out of small hand towels, I had to use a full sized bath towel to cover the treadmill screen while running. Every few steps I had to readjust the towel so it didn’t fall and take my phone with it. I spent the slow, easy 3-miles watching the new season of Orange is the New Black.
Lifting was fine if not unremarkable. I’ve shifted from the typical 5X5 into a 5X3 workout. I have noticed that the day after lifting with fewer sets has felt significant better and I recover more easily. My worry is that if I lift too much I’ll start missing post-lift runs or lose speed as a byproduct of building strength.
Thursday, August 2nd, 2018 – 7:00 pm – 5.01 mi tempo @ 8:47/mi
Typical Thursday tempo run. Rod was out today – likely with a foot injury that he sustained during last week’s run. The atmosphere of the run was extremely deceptive. It felt cool standing still (hence our smiles) but quickly the humidity made itself known. I had a decently quick three mile run followed by an extremely slow 2 miles that I decided to label as a “prolonged cool down.”
Friday, August 3rd, 2018 – Rest Day
The benefit of sticking to a training plan is that the planned rest days can actually be used for rest. Diana and I tried a new Mexican restaurant (fantastic) and then went to a birthday party at a country-western square dancing bar (strange). All-in-all, solid rest day.
Saturday, August 4th, 2018 – Unplanned rest day
I got a message early in the morning from UPS saying that a package I have been expecting was arriving at some point in the day Saturday and that it needed to be signed for. Fearing that I would miss the package (and then have to scramble during the week to find a time to get it), I skipped the gym to wait for the package. I stayed close to home: mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, getting odd jobs done. Sadly, the “end of the day” came and went and the package never arrived and a whole day went down the drain. The unplanned rest day was largely un-enjoyed. On the bright side, the yard looks better.
Sunday, August 5th, 2018 – 7:30 am – 9.15 mi @ 8:48/mi
Sunday is my long run day and my explicit goal was to maintain a slow pace. This was a mental challenge for myself – trying to maintain a steady, slower speed rather than the erratic ups-and-downs of my typical long runs. Diana and I drove down to the Channelside area and ran along the river. Given that I needed to get 9 miles done, my route took me far past the end of the Riverwalk and up into the Tampa Heights area. I listened to a David Sedaris book on audible for the first 7 miles. I found that was helpful to keep a steady speed – focusing on him talking and just moving forward rather than having my paced pushed and pulled by shifts in music. Two miles before the end of the run I switched over to my typical running playlist to give myself that last boost before the end. For the rest of the day, I dramatically fell off my typical diet – eating pizza, sandwiches, chips and cheese, and all sorts of other things. Very likely, I will pay for my gluttonous recovery strategy on Monday.