Sometimes you just don’t feel the urge to blog. Or maybe sometimes you feel like you don’t really have much to write about. Or you really just want to sit on your couch and watch marathons of Law & Order: SVU or Say Yes to the Dress instead of writing about training for a marathon. It’s the same thing, right? Okay, maybe not. (Also, someone please tell me that wedding dresses don’t all cost $2,000+ because TV skews your thoughts on reality…)
Although I haven’t been talking about running, I have been running – just in case you were all concerned that my groin pain flared up and I was staying silent due to injury. (I’ve done that before, multiple times. It’d be a good guess.) This round of marathon training has been a bit of an ego check for me, and that has certainly remained true as the mileage keeps climbing. I’m still focusing on keeping my groin in check while secretly wishing I could just fly. I’ve experienced a variety of runs lately and it makes me have the feels. A wide range of feels. Marathon training is a bit of a roller coaster…
the worst run
Last Thursday, as in two Thursdays ago, I had the worst run I’ve had in years. Years upon years. It was four days after the Sioux Falls Half, which I ran at a solid effort, but nothing overly aggressive. We flew back from South Dakota on Monday, which is an all day adventure, then I worked Tuesday and Wednesday. Since I was also working Friday-Sunday, Thursday was really my only day to run that entire week.
Nurse life can be equal parts training-is-really-easy and how-am-I-supposed-to-train-like-this.
With little to work with, I decided that an easy ten mile run would be a good idea. A little distance without being nuts. Three miles into my out and back, I had no idea how I was going to make it. I made myself run one more mile out, then I struggled the entire way back. As in, I forced myself to run a half mile at a time (at 9:00 pace, oof) then allowed myself to walk for a minute. I honestly would have just walked all the way home, but that would have taken almost an hour and I’ve got things to do. (Non-blogging things, apparently.) I wasn’t so upset about the time on my watch as I was how I felt overall. A 9:00 minute shouldn’t feel so tough, but maybe I just wasn’t recovered from the half a few days before. I mostly wished I could have cut the run super short and had a better run in the following days, but my work schedule just didn’t allow for that.
So slow. So painful. Hopefully different than how the marathon will be…
Thursday, September 17 – 8.01 miles in 1:10:07, avg pace of 8:46
a confidence boosting run
After the three said days of work, I did my long run last Monday. Still building mileage, I planned on 17 miles by doing loops of Central Park because nothing beats spacing out and just running, even if it includes some hills. Loops on loops, let’s go. It was 10:30 before I got myself out the door, so it was a little warmer than I would have liked, but definitely not the 90 degree days of the summer – thankful for that! I told myself to keep it at an easy pace, but I ended up in the low-8’s and feeling good. A total 180 from the above run, so maybe I just needed a little more rest.
I took a full bag of chews (Power Bar Energy Chews), stopping a couple times to eat them and drink some water. I felt good without getting too hot or tired, and the miles clicked off. Sometimes the hills of Central Park can be rough, but sometimes I like them because it mixes it up on my legs and lets me set mini-goals for myself throughout the run. I threw in some miles on the bridle path, and then I remember that I don’t really like running on the bridle path – concrete is more my thing even though maybe my joints would like me better if I liked dirt more. Who knows.
It’s always nice when a long run feels on the easier side, and that it was. The last mile was a little more painful only because I was really ready to be done running and wanted to be at the water fountain that served as my end point! I’m not quite sure I’m ready to take on another nine miles after this run, but it’s a good building block.
Monday, September 21 – 17.03 miles in 2:17:47, avg pace of 8:05
the run with friends
It’s been a long while since I’ve done a long run with friends, and I always forget how much I like them until I’m out running with other people. It’s also been awhile since I’ve been off from work both Saturday and Sunday and stayed in NYC for an entire weekend off, so that was exciting in itself! Eric and I had a wedding to attend (in the city! so nice!), so life is grand. We had dinner and drinks with the bride and groom on Friday night, as well as other friends and family of theirs. Abbe was in attendance, and we set up to run on Saturday morning. My plan was to do a cutback week and run 14-15 miles, and she had 20 on the docket.
Saturday morning, she ran a couple miles before meeting up with me, and we were on our way! We did the lower loop of the park and then headed to the West Side Highway for some out-and-back fun. It was a cool morning (HOORAY!) and the park was packed – definitely a good thing to get out and head to the less crowded west side. We kept the pace easy and life was grand. As we headed south on the WSH, we ran into Bojana and Brian doing their own 20 miler, so we joined in for the few miles they had left heading north. I forgot how much fun it is to run in a group and how mixing it up and talking with different people really moves the miles along. I commented on how much I missed that feeling and how that’s what really makes you love running – it’s definitely an individual sport that’s more fun with friends. (I started running in junior high and high school, so my foundational years were spent in groups!)
We parted ways with Bojana and Brian, continuing our journey north to the Little Red Lighthouse. It was getting a little warmer as the morning warmed up, and you’re in the sun quite a bit on the west side. We took advantage of the water fountains quite a bit and pushed our way through. Abbe cut to head east with about 1.5 miles left for me, and I picked up the pace as I headed home. I realized at this point that I would hit 16 miles for the day, which didn’t seem much like a cutback week, so I added on an out-and-back to get me to 18 miles. I’ll cut back next week! I picked up the pace for the final 3.5 miles and finished feeling pretty good. My legs were tired and I could tell my groin was getting a bit cranky, but all was well for a total of 18 miles.
I’ve missed regular group runs and how much more enjoyable they make running – gotta get on that.
Saturday, September 26 – 18.25 miles in 2:36:47, avg pace of 8:35
Pretty sure it was my 18 miler back in March-ish that ended my spring marathon hopes. I hobbled around for the days after and had a lot of trouble actually walking on my left leg due to groin pain. I’m happy to report that my groin feels the same it’s been for most of training – comfortably uncomfortable. It’s not painful at all, but noticeable at times and I can feel it getting cranky at times. I feel like keeping my runs in check on pace and not pushing much has helped, and fingers crossed it stays that way for another month-ish…
So overall, a wide variety of runs lately, each one getting one step closer to the big marathon day. I guess the bad runs make you appreciate the good runs even more, but they certainly are tough to push through.
And proof that I don’t always wear running clothes (or scrubs…) and that I can dress nicely now and then…a photo from the wedding on Saturday night!