Another pic from the photo shoot.

This was a little bit of a “down” week since my really long runs are every other weekend. But my down week was 60 miles … which is higher than what I maxed out at last fall!

I’ve said this before, but props to my coach who keeps sneaking miles in so that I get to the end of the week and I’ve hit 60 miles without it seeming overwhelming.

Mondays moved up to 8 miles about six weeks ago, and now he’s dialing it up again — starting this week it’s “8-10,” meaning I get to pick my poison. There are always two caveats when I have the option for more mileage: first, eventually there will not be an option; second, if I take the longer option often, it will stop being optional sooner.

So an easy 8 Monday morning, although I have to go earlier on Mondays because we have an 8 a.m. standing meeting. The weather was slightly improved and my legs felt good. Generally not much to note — probably the most interesting part of this run is that I got home at 7:20 and was back out the door and ready for work by 7:45.

After work, I hopped on the indoor row machine for 2k before teaching Pilates. Rowing is a nice full-body warmup, and I can burn 100 calories in about 15 minutes. It’s a nice way to kill some time at the gym.

Sweaty and soggy but hella coordinated and hey abs!

Tuesday morning I decided to save my speed session for the evening, so I did about a half hour of yoga before work. The workout was 1×1600, 2×800, 4×400, short recoveries. The heat index was about 93* and this was pretty tough. I was happy with my splits considering the weather!

I met my friend Rebekah at Pope Lick on Wednesday for our usual 6 a.m. run. She’s been building back up post-baby, and this was her longest run in about a year. Unfortunately, I managed to screw my watch up when we stopped for water. Luckily it was an out-and-back so we were able to figure out the part that we had not recorded! I had time to row 1k that evening before teaching Pilates, too.

Second speed session was Thursday — 10 with 4 miles “light” progression, meaning not faster than 85% max HR. It was really muggy — 77*, dew point at 70*, humidity at 80% — and just felt like a struggle the whole run. This was day 1 of my HRM showing totally screwed up numbers. I hit the paces I wanted but I didn’t have the HR feedback to help gauge the effort/pace ratio so I was going more off feel. Also, I did this workout wearing my 880s, which are not my favorite go-fast shoes. After work, I taught Pilates Strength.

After quite a bit of mileage already for the week, only have 6 on Friday was a treat. It was hot and humid but I was relaxed and comfortable. I ran pretty late, too, because I had to pick up a package (a new Pilates magic circle!) from the post office and they didn’t open until 9.

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My loop. 

If you follow me on Strava, you know I have a loop near my house that I run a lot. It’s really one loop plus an out-and-back that totals 3 miles. I love this loop. Literally I ran 36 miles on it this week alone. There’s hardly any traffic, no street crossings, mostly flat, easy to drop water, and nobody weird. Until today.

There are several walkers in this neighborhood, and we all have our own variations on how we loop through the neighborhood. It’s a wave-on-first-sighting relationship, except for the one lady who never says good morning back to me. (I call her the “mean lady” in my head for that reason.)

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a new guy on the scene. Middle-aged, overweight — like most of the other walkers I see over there. In fact, the first time I saw him I recall he had a bag and I assumed he was walking back from the nearby grocery store. I said good morning as I went by, nothing particularly notable.

I’ve been trying to recall and I don’t think I’ve seen him since then — and I’m over there usually 5 days a week or so.

So Friday, I see him out walking. I say good morning, and he asked if I was coming back through that part of the loop. I assumed he was just being friendly, basically a spin on “how far is the crazy girl going today?” commentary. I said yes, I was coming back through — and this whole exchange happened while I was still running. Eventually I’m back on that part of the loop, and I see this guy again. I say something as I run by like, “See, I made it back!” This is on the “out” section, so a couple of minutes later I’m passing him again. This time he asks which way I’m running and where I’m going to “cool down” (hell, this is a 6 mile recovery run, the whole thing is practically a cool down) — and this street loops around, so either way I go, I’m coming back by the same cross street (I’m just going the longer way around). I’m like, yeah, I’m looping around that way. Guy says he’ll meet me over there.

As one might imagine, this whole thing is getting a little creepy. It’s not full-out creepy yet, but we’re getting there. And I’m stuck on this damn loop with no convenient way to avoid him at this point.

So I loop back around and sure enough, there he is. Clearly this guy wants to chat so I’m just going to bite the bullet. It’s one of those situations where there’s no reason not to be friendly. But, I also picked a spot to stop close to where I knew another guy was out in his driveway.

Guy introduces himself. Okay, great. Then he says, “I’ve been out walking an hour and a half waiting for you to show up.”

Um. Weird. A little stalker-y.

Then he goes back to being normal, talking about how he walking again to try to lose some weight.

Awesome. Great. Good for you.

He wants to know if I’m a personal trainer.

I am not. I run competitively and teach Pilates.

He seems to want me to be a trainer.

Still not a trainer. Definitely not one who is going to like come to your house, weird dude.

I say I have to finish my run and get to work.

He introduces himself again. Okay. I hadn’t forgotten your name in the past two minutes, although he introduced himself as Michael the first time and Mike the second, so apparently we’ve moved to nicknames already. (Exactly two people have had a pet name for me and only one of them still gets to use theirs.)

But I digress. We’re talking about Mike, who is definitely not on my BFF list.

As I’m trying to extricate myself from this awkward situation, he’s kind of fumbling his words and seems unsure what he’s trying to say.

“Well, I hope … Well, I’d like to see you again.”

Mike. This is not a date. We’re not making plans to see each other again. I’m not giving you my contact info. I’m not telling you where I live.

Basically at this point I’m like, “Okay, have a nice day,” and I run away.

Dude just ruined my loop.

Okay. So we get to Saturday. Saturday I need to do my long run super early because I have to be on the road by 8 a.m. I’ve only got 12 (with steady-state) so I can get that in from home. Do I risk another Mike run-in by running on my loop? Or do I go a different direction where I am less comfortable with my surroundings especially that early and in the dark?

The loop wins. There’s no way I’m going to run into anyone at 5:30 a.m. and I can always do a couple loops and then head a different direction when there’s a little more daylight. Headlamp, blinky light, water bottle, off we go.

Coach didn’t block out much warmup/cool down mileage, which is tough that early in the day and in the dark. I put in 2 really easy miles then started to pick it up, but my HRM decided to go berserk again after the first faster mile. (The last mile of steady state was about 7 min flat and it said my HR was in the 90s. I wish!)

For the 9 miles of steady state I mostly went off pace and perceived effort, so I think I was in the ballpark. Coach had said it should be between 15k and marathon pace, so I was a little slow in terms of pace but we’ve been accepting that with the weather.

This was also the longest steady-state run I’ve done since we started working together — I’ve done 6 but that’s it. His notes said that the challenge would come more from accumulated fatigue than pace … and I discovered he was absolutely right (as usual) around mile 4 of the steady state.

I had put my handheld water bottle on top of a post and snagged it halfway through the run for a quick drink — grab, squeeze, drop. Pro style! Unfortunately I dropped it on the ground so when I wanted it again 3 miles later, I had to pause and grab it. Just a mile cool down, then it was a fast shower and on the road.

I drove two hours to Whitseville, a small town outside Owensboro, to do a mini-cross country camp with the middle school team my mom helps coach. More on that later — I’ll do a separate post on it once I have photos! A big shout-out to Hammer Nutrition for sponsoring and sending goodies.

I did manage to get 8.5 hours of sleep before Sunday’s pretty early run at Pope Lick Park with Rebekah. The temperature was IN THE 60s!!! High 60s, but man, it was great.

Totals: 60.7 miles run, 3 miles walked, 3k rowed, 3.25 hours Pilates/Yoga.

Too many activities this week to load on one Garmin Connect page! Excel made a bit of a mess so the times look a little weird.