I don't know that I have a whole lot of of super-exciting stuff to report about this week of training...no races, no crazy stories, no face plants on the sidewalk...just a lot of running with some cool ladies in the heat of the summer.
Monday I woke up thinking "You know, I don't think I ran enough hills this weekend, so I should totally get up and do hill repeats at 6am!" Okay, yeah...that's totally not what I was thinking...it was more like "Why in the hell am I getting up at 5am to run hills after that race on Saturday!?!?" Well, getting to run with Lisa and Hanna is a strong motivator, so I rolled out of bed and met them at Island Lake Park to tackle four miles of ups and downs. It was already pretty steamy at 6am so we started right in on the ups. The hill we chose was about a 100 foot climb, maybe covering a half mile. The first one felt good, the second one felt great, the third one felt like someone had tied lead weights to my ankles and was actively pushing against me as I was running....in other words...pretty sucky. We took an extended downhill after that and called it a day. I know I need to get many more hill workouts in before Ragnar in August (where we will basically run UP the state of Minnesota), and then for the hills of Summit at the end of the marathon.
Since I did Tuesday's run on Monday, I decided to take Monday's rest day on Tuesday...even though I was supposed to swim. I don't have a good excuse for not swimming, other than I just really wanted to sleep in on Tuesday....sometimes (okay, MOST times) sleeping in > swimming. Wednesday it was time for a meet up with my morning mamas...we did our usual 4 mile loop and said goodbye to Gina and Terri who had to hurry off to work, then Carla, Lisa and I took off for two more miles since we all had six on our training plans. It was a great morning and we kept it conversational, but also tried to push the pace a little. I love how just the addition of a few running friends can make the miles seem so effortless. Since today was Global Running Day, I had also planned a "Running 101" meet up with my MRTT group to do an easy three mile run/walk that evening. So after work I suited up and got Kayley to swim practice...we were meeting at the middle school parking lot so we could hit the trails around Turtle Lake. My friend Megan, who I've known since she was a baby, and who's daughter just started swimming with our club, was in the pool in what looked like her running gear, so I invited her along. Megan started running around the same time I did and we've been at some of the same races, but we've never run together. It was great to finally be hitting the streets with her. We also met up with Jacquie and Faith, who was pushing BOTH her sons in a jogging stroller....I was planning to push Logan in our stroller that night since it would have been frowned upon to just leave him alone at the pool, and I made sure everyone knew how much work that was going to be! Seeing Faith and her double stroller shut me up right fast...she is one strong mama! We had a great run even though it was sweltering hot! Megan and I said goodbye to Jacquie and Faith in the parking lot and headed back into the pool....yeah, not much relief there! I had planned to go over to the lake with Logan after the run and Megan offered to drive Kayley over after practice, so I went in to tell her to leave with Megan. Of course when we got to the lake, Logan was no longer interested in playing...so we just hung out to wait for Megan and Kayley. I'm looking forward to running with her again soon!
|Celebrating Global Running Day with the best ladies around!|
Long run Saturday....9 miles on the plan. I had no worries about the distance, but I really didn't want to run them solo. Hanna had posted in the group about getting together for 9 miles but wanted to hold a 9:30-9:45 pace...which is much faster than I've been taking my long runs lately, but the desire not to be alone won out over the desire not to puke from running too fast and I decided to join her, Faith, Carla and Wendy for a run at the Coon Rapids Dam. Carla and I carpooled since I have an annual pass for the county parks (you should totally get one $25 for the year and it gets you into all Ramsey, Anoka and Washington County parks). We got lost (I was navigating, so...of course we did) and finally found the other ladies about 6:10. I stopped off in the porta potty....which was RANK! Ugh...not what I needed to experience when I was already feeling pukey....blergh. We decided to just head out and back on the trails since I wasn't sure I could hold pace...and I didn't want to get lost if I ended up behind...also, my plan technically called for "8-10" miles today, so I figured if I was totally dying at mile 4 I could just turn back and wait for everyone to catch up with me. We started out quick, right around a 9 minute/mile pace. We were trying to keep each other in check pace-wise, but then we'd get chatty and all of a sudden there we were, running 8:50 again! As the "slowest" runner in the group I should have been more on top of this, but I was there to push myself, so I decided to just go with the flow. We settled into a grove and the next few miles felt great. We took turns at the lead and made easy conversation. Did I mention that Faith had her stroller again?!? I mean, she only had ONE kid this time...so you know, it was way easier ;)...she continued to kick my butt...impressive and inspiring! We decided to keep going after the four mile mark...4.5 would be our turn around. We took a quick water break before heading back....did I also fail to mention that it was H.O.T!!! Holy cow...hot...I had my hydration belt on and was tempted to pour some water over my head, but was afraid of wasting that liquid gold! We got going again and quickly realized we were ahead of pace...my heart was racing and I told everyone I needed to slow down. Wendy and Carla pulled ahead a bit and I hung back with Hanna and Faith. Wendy, who was coming off a 50K and will be doing Grandma's Marathon this weekend decided to fall back with me and we discovered we both have swimmers in the family! It was great to get to know her and she was good with taking a quick walk break with me as I tried to calm my heart rate a bit. She kept telling me "you've got this!" I had to smile as I am usually the one shouting out encouragements....it was great to have that reciprocated! We took one more quick break as Faith tied her shoe laces and much to my delight I noticed we only had a little more than a mile left. I knew we were going to stop for a selfie on the bridge, so I just tried to put my head down and leg it out for a mile. The heat was getting worse, so when we hit the bridge and felt the spray from the dam on our skin it was heaven! We stopped for some pics, but Max, Faith's son decide he was OVER this run and started crying. We picked it back up for the short trip to the parking area. I had to make a loop around to get my GPS to register 9 miles (I ended up with only 8.9...but I'm counting it). Long run #2 was in the books and I had done it....a 9:38 average pace...my fastest long run in a long time! I know I wouldn't have come close to keeping that pace on my own...never underestimate the power of having badass mother runners by your side!
On to week three...and more sweltering heat on the way...joy! I have my last scheduled pacing gig next weekend...after that....my plan is to stick to the plan....but we all know how that can go :)