I have a post all lined up about Ragnar DC this weekend and how fun/awful/memorable/miserable it was (summary: so happy I did it, probably don't want to ever do it again... but ask again in a few months!). Stay on the edge of your seats for it. Here's a preview:
I chose this picture because my legs look great. That's me (there! me! with the legs! I never claimed to be modest.) waiting to grab the slap bracelet from my teammate.
But this post isn't about Ragnar. It's about self-sabotage and freaking out and anemia and frustration.
Monday: ran 10.2 miles on the treadmill just because. Ragnar didn't do a number on my legs (only 13ish miles in 36 hours), so I was feeling fresh after taking Sunday off. I chugged along at 6.3 mph and got some school stuff done and felt good.
Tuesday: little creaky from the run, but still good. Nick and I biked 25 miles @ 17.9 mph. That is a good 20 seconds/mile (average) faster than we normally do. I have changed my Garmin so it shows the average pace for the activity, and I loved watching that average pace hover around 18 mph. It felt good but hard.
Wednesday: wheels fall off. We had 8 miles planned. Last week we did 8 miles at a sub-9:00 mile pace, and this weekend all my (short) runs were in the low 8's. I was feeling speedy and overconfident. When we started out and did 2 miles at around 8:15 I decided that was AWESOME and we can do it and there's NO WAY this will end badly. I was pumped. Mile 3 was around 8:23. Still good. Then my chest tightened, my legs turned to lead, and I started wheezing. I still was somehow convinced that this run could happen! We could still bang out the other 5 miles in the low 8's. Definitely below 9 min miles. Come on Laurel, just push through.
I started beating myself up about slowing down and Nick was wonderful to have alongside me. My legs were failing and I was wheezing and crying (because crying helps you breathe. fact. just kidding, it wastes precious energy feeling and makes you feel dumb.) and Nick kept encouraging me and telling me to just slow down and keep moving. But my average pace was still 7.3! Then 7.2! Then 7... then 6.8... Then we reached the house at mile 6 and stubborn me decided to run/walk the last 2 miles. My chest had loosened but I still couldn't breathe deeply. For the record, I don't think I have asthma issues, I think it's the anemia. Either way, we ended the run with 8 miles at a 9:30 pace which is not bad but I feel bad about it nonetheless.
This is where we go back to last week. When is it too much? When are tired legs enough of an excuse for slowing down? When do you push through and when do you give in and say, this is too much, you cannot breathe, just quit? I am competitive (more on that in the Ragnar post) and that includes competing with myself. If we did 8 last week at 8:XX and I did 13 this weekend at 8:XX then doggone it, you're doing 8 today in the low 8's even if it hurts! Even if you ran 10 miles 2 days ago and biked hard for 90 minutes yesterday. I am my own worst enemy.
As usual, I'm being hard on myself. I know this is not the end of the world (and we still got the mileage in!) but it feels crappy that I pushed myself so hard, was in so much pain, and still didn't reach my pace goal. It was warm out, we didn't have water, there are hills, etc etc etc. I'm feeling icky about training and I know I shouldn't. 44 days till the marathon (that's still 6 weeks!!!). Oh, and 9 days till Ireland ahhhhhh!
-Sleeping enough. Step 1: sleep in until 11am. Step 2: get busy at night. Step 3: have a super upset stomach from who know what (seriously, lentils, salad and a baked potato should not keep me up). Step 4: get up at 4:50am. Step 5: being a horrible human being all day because you're so ridiculously tired
-Getting in long runs when they're scheduled
-Not freaking out about 19 days till Ireland and 54 days until marathon and 0 days until my head explodes.
-Deciding on a wedding dress. Dress shopping blows. I still can't wrap my mind around spending so much on an outfit for 5 hours (and I usually love spending lots of money on clothes).
-We primed and/or painted 2 rooms this weekend. It was a lot of fun and I was super pleased until we went to take off the tape and it took the new paint off with it... ugh. When Nick and I are finally on a normal schedule (this weekend we're headed to Baltimore for a conference) we'll fix it. Until then... sadness.
-I failed at the treadmill long run I was aiming for last week. I got 8.5 miles in and felt super terrible, Gu wasn't helping, water wasn't helping. I quit and lifted for a little bit and beat myself up a fair amount. Then the weekend happened:
2 delightful New Belgium concotions in New Belgium glasses my mom got me. Joy in a glass. I felt better about that run.
-We both ran Friday night (I did 7 miles in 1:05). We took the weekend off. We I, the worst running influence in the world, spent time on Friday and Saturday doing house stuff, watching lectures for class, and walked on the treadmill.Relaxing and productive, but not the greatest training. I got called into work on Saturday morning and that screwed up our biking plans. Lame.
-Run redemption. Rundemption. Last night: 16.03 miles in 2:37. 9:48/mile. In comparison, last year in late August I did 12.35 in 2:17. My body and mind are just working so much better this year. Nick and I were tired and achy when we got home, but overall it was really amazing. I felt strong and really never doubted that we would finish.
I know we're not quite 100% on training. I know this. But that long run last night felt so good I can't believe we're doing anything wrong. This year is much less running and much more cross training, like I mentioned last week, and I think that combo is letting me be in ok shape without stressing out my body. So what if we don't break 4 hours? This is Nick's first marathon and last year I ran a 4:5X! I will be happy with whatever happens. We also still have 8.5 more weeks of training, so that's 5.5 weeks before tapering. So much time. I was worried after the failed treadmill long run last week, but I'm not anymore. We're gonna be ok.
I will continue to spare you a picture of my horrible legs. The poison ivy is still raging. I am still itching myself awkwardly in public and popping a daily Claritin plus cortisone. Nick says that it looks like I'm on the tail end of the itchy part, but I would just like it to be done already. I think it has been 3 weeks. I'm going to need to detox off the claritin at the end of all this.
This week's long run? Has not happened. Saturday was dress shopping while Nick went to the Baltimore Grand Prix. Sunday was errand day (we're painting 2 rooms). Monday was lazy day (I made chili... that's something?). Yesterday was hot/stormy in the afternoon. So today... to the treadmill we go! I'm not really upset that we're pushing our long run to mid-week, because generally my life feels more relaxed during the work week anyways. And weekends... I cannot get over the desire to sleep in. Call me lazy, but this long run is still going to happen, weekend or not.
About dress shopping. I loved all the strapless dresses. Ever. Most of the dresses with straps ended up looking funky and didn't lay right. My favorite dresses were all strapless and I am ashamed of that considering how strongly anti-strapless I was last week. I didn't end up being crazy about lace. Also, even if you give me wine, boring, shapeless dresses are not going to work for me. The only negative about dress shopping is that either the sample size fits me perfectly (awesome) or it is just a wee bit too big. And a wee bit too big means that it looks sloppy and unflattering and I had a hard time getting my head around how those dresses looked. I worry that I wrote some dresses off just because I couldn't envision them fitting me. Oh well.