Training Diary – 8/13/18 to 8/19/18

Monday, August 13th, 2018 – 5:00 am – Feeling tired/burnt out/sick

I woke up to my usual 4:45 am alarm and felt completely and utterly worn out. The walk from the bedroom to the kitchen was the longest walk of my life, made worse by my two dogs frantically running to their food bowls, back to me, back to the food bowls – each lap punctuated by them rearing onto their hind legs and pushing me in the back of the knees with their paws. While they ate, I stood in the kitchen in a fog. Once they were done and filed back into the bedroom I stood in the hallway for several minutes staring into the darkness that waited for me outside. Everything inside me wanted to go back to bed.

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A metaphor for how I was feeling.

So I did.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 – 5:00 am – 3.18mi @ 7:56/mi

To make up for my lost Monday run, I made a concerted effort to get to bed on time Monday night and wake up early Tuesday morning. I felt totally better by Tuesday morning. The run was unremarkable  but it felt good to be back outside on the road.

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018 – 6:00 pm – 8 hill repeats (5 mi run total)

While driving home from work I debated whether or not I should play catch-up with my training. The schedule called for hill repeats on Tuesday but there were also rest/XT days built in that I could use as catch up. I caught myself in this debate and decided to capitalize on feeling good by trying to run a double.

After a 1.5 mi run to the long hill, I set out to run 8 repeats. Unlike last time, I decided on this workout to actually time my effort and see how consistent I can push myself.

  • Hill 1 – 1:11
  • Hill 2 – 1:10
  • Hill 3 – 1:08

Up to this point, I was feeling good. I used the down hill return to stretch out my legs and tried to practice active recovery.

  • Hill 4 – 1:07.40
  • Hill 5 – 1:07.20

Going into the fifth hill I failed to show a time improvement and decided to go down to the milisecond. Some call it cheating but I call it being as accurate as possible.

  • Hill 6 – 1:07.06

This is where I started seeing spots and feeling woozy. I wasn’t able to jog the downhill after hill 6 and had to spend the time walking. This was the moment where I also felt that I may throw up. Could I do that? Could I run so hard I vomit? Does that make me more or less of a runner? What would the neighbors think?

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Don’t be a statistic
  • Hill 7 – 1:06.47
  • Hill 8 – 1:09.92

On the final hill I gave it, literally, every ounce of energy I could muster. I felt proud that it was the only repeat that I failed to shave time from. I took it that I must have pushed myself to the limit and held nothing back.

That became even more apparent during the long, painful 1.5 mile jog/walk/crawl back home.

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 – 5:30 pm – Stretching

Now that I was caught up on my workouts, I used Wednesday to actually stretch. On Monday my long struggling computer died. After two days of denial in the form of scouring the internet for a solution, I finally accepted the reality and spent Wednesday’s usual workout time researching a replacement laptop. After 8 years, I feel my laptop had served me well and it was ready to be retired. What upset me more was that being computerless may mean I miss a few blog posts. I have really enjoyed this little project and I worried that missing a few posts would steal all of my momentum.

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R.I.P. – my macbook

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 – 5:00 am – 3 mi @ 8:29/mi

Another early morning, another run. Much to my utter shock, I have actually come to love early morning runs. At 5:00 am, the world is quiet. I feel like my mind follows suit – thoughts slow down and become more tranquil. Spanish moss hanging off old oak trees cast long, looming shadows that give the world a dream-like feel.

Thursday, August 16th, 2018 – 7:00 pm – Run canceled due to weather

I had all intentions to make this the second double of the week. Dressed and ready to go – literally, hand on the door knob, a loud clap of thunder shook the room. Diana and I decided to wait a couple of minutes before trying to make it to the car. Right as we moved towards the door again, another clap rolled out and told us that running wasn’t in the cards for us tonight. I used that time doing a boxing workout in the backyard and then watching Gotham. I missed the run group but I would say this is a doable temporary replacement.

Friday, August 17th, 2018 – Rest

Diana had a department party Friday evening which meant no free time for the gym. The party was okay – with all of the usual pleasantries, small talk and “well, you don’t say”s.

Saturday, August 18th, 2018 – 10.3 mi @ 9:41/mi

Saturday morning Diana proposed working out at the gym and then spending time by the pool (her studying and me reading). I counter offered to meet her at the gym and run there.

I left the house with the goal of 6 miles – almost exactly the distance between our house and the gym. My running schedule called for 3 miles but last week I missed a 10 miler. That math that gave me a 6 mile target made sense. Three miles in I felt that I was doing well and made the mental agreement to up my target by 1 mile. Two miles later I could see the gym. With the heat rising and my energy waning, I started to debate if I should keep going or stick to the plan.

Before I could decide, a sudden, life threatening cramp ripped through my stomach. I doubled over and slowed to a walk. On the corner there was a CVS so I stopped in to use their bathroom. Employees only – damn it. At least the cold air felt rejuvenating.

I jogged across the street and went into a gas station. No bathroom. I started to wonder where homeless people manage to do their business. Maybe this was exactly why I sometimes see human waste on the street while I run. Would I end up being a contributor to the problem? If I were ever to run for mayor, this would be a prime target for my campaign.

A few blocks of discomfort later I found myself in a Dunkin Donuts bathroom, sweat rolling off my me and forming puddles on the ground. Leaving the DD, I felt completely recharged and ready to go.

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The official bathroom of Run Experiment

I pushed on, wanting to see how well I could hold up on a long, hot run. By mile 7 I made it to the bay. I stopped, briefly, to look out over the water and then made my way down to the corner of Bayshore and Howard. I turned onto Howard and pushed on to the gym – totaling 10.3 slow, hot, sweaty miles.

Once I got to the gym, I changed my shirt in the parking lot, wrapped myself in a towel, and then drove to the closest Publix. There, I made some key purchases – a gallon jug of water, the coldest coke zero I could find, beef jerky, salty peanuts, pita chips, guacamole and Parmesan crisps. With the way my body was feeling, I had all intentions of laying by the pool, eating and not moving. Before I left, I made a walk-through of the beer aisle. The gym has a cafe area that sells beer. While I want to support the gym’s cafe, I also want to enjoy a beer or three without their absurd mark up – if only I could remember the type they sell. I couldn’t remember confidently so, going off my post-run high, I chose a case of Michelob Ultra.

I got back to the gym, changed out of running shorts and into swim trunks and then met up with Diana by the pool. I found out the gym sells Stella, so my plan of drinking my own beer and pretending I purchased it from the cafe was flawed. I ended up getting one from the J Cafe and then reusing their cup for all of the subsequent beers that were stored in my bag. I rationalized that anyone of authority outside had a choice – harass a tired, broken man who is quietly drinking or monitor and save the lives of the children struggling to swing in the splash pad. Luckily, they chose the children and I recovered from my run in the most enjoyable way possible.

Sunday, August 19th, 2018 – Rest

The 10 mile run took more out of me than I realized. My hips felt tight, my hamstrings screamed, and my torso suggested that I had been in a fight and done poorly. I opted for an additional rest day – listening to my body and trying to do what was best for myself.

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