Training – It’s Hot!!

Hi friends!  Sorry for my absence last week.  Last time we spoke I was in the midst of the great debate – to defer or not to defer.  I’d love to tell you that the debate has been settled, but that would be a lie.  For now I’m just going to keep on trucking and see how things feel come mid-August.  In the meantime – let’s talk about the weather!!

It is warm out.  Really warm and really muggy.  Last Tuesday I was out with the Metro Run & Walk training group, who happen to be some of my favorite people in the world.  If you are getting ready to train for a distance event and tend to like company, I cannot recommend highly enough that you check out this group.  I have been running with them off and on for the last 4.5 years, and while people come and go with each new race season, there is a strong core group of folks who are very quick to welcome you and swap stories.  They have gotten me through lots of runs and races that would have been nearly impossible on my own.

It was warm on the track last Tuesday and we were working on pyramids – going out at a 5k pace and running a 200 meter, followed by a 400 meter, followed by an 800 meter, then back to 400, and finally 200.  If you are someone that hasn’t ever used a track for speed work – one lap around a track is 400 meters.  Between each of these distances we had a 200 meter recovery (walk/light jog).  Given the last time I did any kind of speed work was, well, I don’t even know when, this was a tough work out for me!  It was hot, I was sticky, and my kids were wandering around the track demanding hugs every time we passed them by (sweet, yes.  conducive to speed work, no.).

I spent the next two days feeling those speedy miles.  And hiding from the heat, while preparing to host a birthday party for my now eight year old son.

On Saturday night my husband and I headed up to Rockville for the Rockville Twilighter 8k.  We had run this race last year and had a really nice time, so we decided to give it another try.  It was incredibly muggy, and as I had forgotten, the race was deceptively hilly.  I would love to say I had a great time at the race, but that would be quite the lie.  Everything felt a little wrong.  I knew we weren’t going very fast, but it felt too fast.  Last year I had set an 8k PR at this race (42:05 – fast enough to have me in the top 15% of all women), and this year I was trying to talk my brain into not walking.  It felt crappy enough to encourage the conversation mid-race with my husband about whether or not Marine Corps this Fall is a good idea.  I finished the race exactly seven minutes slower than I had last year.  I felt awful – I had goosebumps and was pretty sure I might throw up at any moment.  We walked over to a restaurant and had some dinner before heading home, and I was left to my thoughts, trying to sort out how to get my speed back, and if I currently want to focus more on speed or distance.

My life is frequently a no rest for the weary life, and Sunday morning I was up bright and early to go lend a hand with our very own 5k/5 Mile race – Sweatfest.  I love our Metro Run & Walk races.  We tend to get a great variety of runners and walkers who attend, and there are always tons of smiling faces.  I will admit, after getting home near midnight on Saturday night, my dog Wake and I were both feeling a bit like this…

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Best race helper ever.

but we were excited to see all the folks out for a very hot race!  I adopted Wake back in April and one day I hope to make him my running partner – but the vet has asked me to wait until he is a year old.  In the meantime, he comes with me to most of the race events where I am working to get him used to the sites and sounds of lots of running.  For Sunday’s race we were course monitors and we got to help cheer folks on along the 5k route, before spending some time at the water stop saying hello to the 5 milers.  I have lots of respect to all our Sunday participants, as it sure wasn’t ideal racing conditions!

This week I am hoping to be the week I really get back on the ball.  The week I finally actually accomplish the long run I am supposed to and don’t miss out on any of my midweek training runs.  I have yet to have a week of this training season where I was on top of my game, so stay tuned for next week to find out if I managed to actually get it together and commit!

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