I started strong this week but didn’t end quite as great. But my legs are still feeling good, which is crazy.
Monday was a planned off day from running, so I went to spin early in the morning followed by stretch & abs. That was good for 61 minutes of exercise before 7 a.m.
Tuesday I met my friend Chelsea at the gym — we were going to run outside but hit the trifecta of bad conditions: dark, cold and rainy. So we hopped on treadmills instead. Amazing how much faster 6 miles goes when you have someone to talk to! That afternoon I came back to the gym for yoga, after an emergency Target stop for capris. Whoops. But I got capris for $12, sorry New Balance, I love you, but I needed pants. I had a great yoga session, too, but I was sore after!
Wednesday I took as an off day because everyone needs one now and then.
Thursday I was back on the wagon with 8 miles super early, then a 2 mile walk in the afternoon and Pilates strength in the evening. Solid day.
Friday is where things got interesting. I am trying to get in at least one trail day in preparation for Otter Creek, so I headed to Seneca after work. This is a trail I run all the time; it wraps around part of the golf course and then drops you on the road where you can go in either direction to catch another trailhead. So I’m running along a stretch of houses that back up to the golf course and I see an older guy out for a walk. Jeans, sweatshirt, looks like Richard Gere, which I notice when I give him a heads-up. He seemed startled, and I apologized for scaring him and kept going. About 100 meters later, the trail goes back into the woods and switch-backs for maybe a quarter mile. Just 20 feet or so into that stretch, I realize Richard Gere is running. In blue jeans. Quickly. Behind me.
(I know my grandma reads this blog. Momma, you should skip ahead a few paragraphs. Come back at “Saturday.”)
I am not a timid runner. (My husband says he hasn’t bought me a bicycle because I am too “cavalier” with my road crossing decisions and he’s convinced I’ll get hit by a car.) I don’t carry a phone or other protective devices because, quite frankly, I figure my chances of flat running away are just as good as stopping to call 911. And, I don’t run at night and I figure there aren’t many bad guys out at 5:30 a.m.
But this guy made the hair stand up on my neck a little, as it were. So I sped up. Which was working great until I tripped on a root hidden by dead leaves and rolled one solid time. I didn’t pause, I just rolled to my feet and hauled ass. The guy — and considering the switchback — had to have seen me fall and didn’t call out, which made me even more nervous. But by then I was on a busy road, in daylight, and about a half mile from my car.
I chop-chopped down the road, figuring I would reassess my plan at the next trailhead. I’ve got another out at the top of this trail, which is another quarter mile. I figure if he’s still behind me, there’s no way he can make it through this overgrown trail without me knowing it. And then I’ll just haul ass back to my car and call it a day. I didn’t see him again, and it was probably just me being paranoid — but better safe than sorry, for sure.
At the top of the trail I did a quick assessment and everything seemed to be fine. My toe hurt initially where I stubbed it but subsided quickly. Scrape on my knee and my leg.
Then a lady’s unleashed dog jumped on me and we had to have a talk about that. Lady, listen. I just escaped Richard Gere. My adrenaline is high. You are lucky I didn’t punt your dog Anchorman-style off the hill.
The rest of the run was fine, I averaged considerably faster than I ususally do on those trails and I think it was the cool weather combined with a strong fight-or-flight response.
When I got back to the car — 5 miles after falling — I realized I had landed in some sort of thistle. Even better, there were still thistles in my leg. And when I got home I discovered they were also in my hand. Terrific.
Saturday was much less eventful, thankfully. I skipped Pilates because I was sore both from Thursday’s class and from falling. I slept in, made breakfast, ran 7 miles. With a mile left, I stopped to cross the street and paused to stretch. I saw a guy out for a walk and moved out of his way. As he got close, he said, “You don’t get to stop and rest until you’re 60.” I laughed and told him that was a good tip. He said, “And when you’re 70, you walk.” And he just kept on walking. Cracked me up.
I went to the NCAA division I cross-country championships after that, held right here in Louisville for the second time. So exciting. The atmosphere is so exciting. I saw a ton of people I know and left with my heart feeling very full. Thankful, conveniently for the time of year, for the strong and supportive running community here in Louisville. I also saw a local kid, who qualified as an individual for the University of Kentucky, fight for 44th place. That type of grit and fight inspires me.
Sunday was going to be a 10 mile day … but it wasn’t. My glute hurts, and I’m not sure if it is from falling or from the million squats and lunges we did in Pilates. Plus, I probably put in almost 10 Saturday, once you add in running around NCAAs.
Also, it was cold. I have been very spoiled this month with warm temperatures and hardly any bad days. Saturday I ran in shorts and a t-shirt. Sunday I woke up and the wind chill was 22*. Ouch. And that was because there were winds over 10 mph. No thanks. So I procrastinated for a while — went to the grocery for pot roast ingredients, got coffee … and finally settled on a plan that involved running 3 miles on the treadmill and hopping on the spin bike for 30 minutes. Then on the way to the gym, I realized it wasn’t windy any more and it had warmed up to 31*. I looked around my car and, not surprisingly considering my proclivity to have all options available, I concluded I had the right stuff to run outside. Minus the fact I was wearing shorts. But, 31* is tolerable in shorts — normally I’d probably wear capris, but it’s okay in shorts. I had on a tank and a long sleeve, and had gloves and a headband in the car from NCAAs.
Okay, I told myself, we’re running outside. Because sometime this winter 31* is going to seem balmy and I should take advantage of it now.
I did agree with myself — there’s a lot of this internal discussion that goes on, but usually it’s just in my head so I don’t sound too crazy — that I could still just run 3 then hop on the bike. That would get me 30 miles for the week but then some extra cardio on the bike.
So… then I started running and I felt good, so I bargained (again) with myself to just run the 2 mile loop I start with and then decide from there where to go. Straight back would be 3, or I could go out and add on. Also, I negotiated that 6 miles of running and I could skip spinning, but any less and I was getting on the bike.
Honestly, I don’t remember deciding to keep going when I hit that 2 mile mark. Probably because I dusted it in 7:24. My hands were cold but everything else felt good. Glute seems to be from the fall and not from exercising. It’s sore but consistently so, and doesn’t seem to change when running.
It ended up being a really solid run and I am sure I could’ve put in 10, especially if I hadn’t been so squirrely. I wrapped it up with 8×100 across the last mile.
In total, 33 for the week plus 3 strength/core sessions. Not bad!
I did realize the Pfitz plan for two marathons six weeks apart must be based on the 70 mpw plan because it peaks at a higher mileage than I did in this training cycle. So I’ve made some adjustments, with a goal of 42 miles this week with a 14 mile long run. I’m also racing Thursday — that’ll be interesting.
Stay tuned for a race report on Thursday! Happy Thanksgiving!
Also, I included all my workouts from this week along with average HR data since I used my HRM a lot this week.
That Richard Gere situation sounds terrifying!! I’m glad that the worst that happened were some scrapes and soreness…
If love to see the NCAA championships sometime! Sounds like a blast and a great way to turn the week around.
In hindsight, it makes for a good story. But I am definitely glad that was the worst outcome. The thistle is the worst part!
Schedule for future XC champs – http://boe.spps.org/uploads/ppt_communications_present.pdf
Wrong link! http://www.ustfccca.org/ustfccca-calendar/future-collegiate-championships
Oh my days that sounds so scary! i always count on being able to run away quickly too, but on the streets of London it would be easy to run straight in front of a car. That would have spooked me, good job for handling it well!