I’m six weeks out from Half Marathon #6, and I had a 10-mile run on my calendar for Saturday (but bumped it up to Friday). I ran part of the Clear Lake Marathon Trail, and it was brutal. But first, a quick recap of the past few weeks of training, from the diary of a low mileage runner.
Half Marathon Training Recap
Week 2 (16.6 miles)
This was right during Christmas week and toward the end of my box’s December challenge, so I logged three back-to-back CrossFit days (Monday – Wednesday). I did a 30 minute tempo run on Tuesday, some bridge repeats on Thursday, rested and opened presents on Friday, and had to cut my long run short on Saturday (and I was so happy on that run, too, because I was running with Speedy D) when my husband texted me mid-run to alert me to a sick kid.
Week 3 (17.3 miles)
And we’re heading into New Year’s Week, so four days of CrossFit (one of those was Benchmark Day, and I did Fran, Grace, and Helen, all scaled), plus an interval run, a long run of 7 miles, and an easy run with The Veterinarian.
Week 4 (15 miles)
And that brings us to this week! So did I mention I’ve had a cold? Usually, when I get colds, I sniffle for a few days, feel kind of icky, but can power through almost anything. Not this one. Monday, I went to CrossFit. Tuesday, I was so sick that I thought I was running a fever. (I wasn’t.) I felt miserable, so I took an actual sick day, didn’t run, and slept until 1 p.m. Wednesday, I felt a lot better, so I was back at the box. Thursday I slogged through five miles; I felt okay still, and I even pushed myself over a bunny hill bridge near my neighborhood several times at something close to race pace. I went to barbell and yoga. This brings us to…
The Clear Lake Marathon Trail
I had to move up my long run (eight miles) to Friday, which wasn’t ideal because I had just run the day before. I decided to run part of the Clear Lake Marathon Trail, a 10-mile loop that I had done with my running group. The trail itself is not brutal. It’s not an official trail, but a segment of streets that local running groups use to train. And it ends with a pretty view.
Of course, I’m still struggling with this pesky cold. I woke up, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekiel bread, helped with the morning routine, and was out the door in my running shorts and an Athleta Fastest Track tee (unstinkable!).
Let’s just say I was glad I had an extra GU stuffed in the pocket of my water bottle. The LAST thing I needed was to bonk 2.5 miles in, but yes, I did. I started feeling lightheaded, like my feet were detaching from my body, and my head was floating upward – not good. I stopped my watch. I ate that GU, plus a mini Larabar hiding in the pocket. I drank some of my water, and I walked for a few minutes. Once I felt human again, I started running slowly. Mile 6 of the Clear Lake Marathon Trail loop, I sloshed right through a mosquito breeding ground, i.e., standing water. That felt excellent. (And by “excellent,” I mean, really unpleasant.)
So here I am, four miles to go before I’m done, and at an agonizingly slow pace. I couldn’t even enjoy some of the nicer views of the Bayou. I started bargaining with myself, that if I could finish eight miles, I could walk the rest of the way. (I lied to myself.) By then, I could see JSC, so I kept going, promising I could walk after I hit nine miles. I lied to myself again. I was so close that I was going to finish those ten miles. And I did.
Later, my husband would tell me that he was surprised that I was going so slowly (I had sent him an e-crumb to track my progress, so he was able to follow me in real-time. As an aside, the RoadID App for iPhone and Android is how I do this, and it has brought us a great deal of peace of mind.) I had to admit that I had bonked early, that my cold was sucking the life out of me, and that I wanted to drink buckets of water.
After the run, I stretched, drank a protein shake, drank more water, and drove home. If I learned anything from running this Clear Lake Marathon Trail route, it was:
- I need to work on pacing. My pace was all over the place.
- Long runs should not happen the day after any kind of run.
- It’s okay to run a shorter route, as long as you get in your mileage.
And finally, the most important lesson?