Achy Shaky Legs

I’ve completed week 9 of a 12 week program. This week, I ran 24 miles. The heat and humidity returned with a vengeance and ensured mostly miserable running conditions despite preparation.

Monday was the usual fun run and I ran with one of the mentors from the program. I tried to keep a good pace and she helped me run the entire 3 miles. It was nice to have someone there even on a non group workout day. The run had me worn out, though. We’d had a stretch of time where the heat and humidity had been greatly reduced, so the temperatures in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s made for a tougher run.

Tuesday was a hill workout. We ran a little over a mile to the hill. I ran a faster pace than I intended to on the approach to the hill. Our assignment was straight up and down the hill 8 times. I used some unsavory words, wished for rain, and found myself stopping for a drink more often than usual for any short run (3-5 miles, I call short runs). The humidity made the hill seem endless. The coach was running them with ease while I dragged myself up and down. I was less impressed and more envious. The good thing about it all was that I still ran the mile assigned after the hill even though I considered just going back to my car. I also had 2 people in the group ask me if I’d lost weight. That made me feel good about what I’ve done and gave me a nudge of confidence.

Thursday, I had a plan to run in the morning while all 3 kids were at school and before the heat of the day set in. My son had coughed and hacked the night before, which made me think I needed to clean the house. I disinfected surfaces, vacuumed furniture and floors, dusted fans and intakes, mopped the floors, laundered all the bedding, and cleaned every surface I could think of all before eating my first meal of the day. Not much time was left for a run and a shower before the little ones were soon getting out of school. My anxiety still sets off compulsive cleaning, apparently. At least it was a productive compulsion. I waited until evening and took my husband with me on a miserable 5 mile run. I actually made a sobbing sound without the benefit of tears while running. It was humid and I was miserable. I just wanted him to see how well I was doing with running, but instead I was stopping to catch my breath every once in a while and my mile times were over a minute slower than usual. I was miserable and embarrassed. Had he not been there, I wouldn’t have gone 5 miles. He complimented how proud of me he is that I’m even trying to run 13.1 miles. At the time, it didn’t help how I felt about him seeing me want to quit and lay in the grass instead of running. Later, I realized how sweet it was of him.

Saturday’s run was 11 miles. No relief from the heat or humidity. I was miserable sometime during the first mile. When we got to the turn around point, I tried my hardest to cool down. I had taken an electrolyte pill, drank an electrolyte drink, and taken a nutrition gel by the time we were at 5 miles. Nearing 7 miles, my head was pounding and I couldn’t make it go away with electrolytes or water. I took a nutrition gel with caffeine in it to no avail. By the time I hit 8 miles, my head was pounding and I had chills. My legs started to feel wobbly and unsure. It was time to walk. I partnered up with someone in the group I’d been running with and we walked a little, jogged a little, and repeated a few times until we made it to 11 miles. It was rough, but we both kept each other upright and moving forward. I was honest with myself that while I didn’t want to walk during my half marathon race, I also didn’t want to hurt myself practicing for it. I made it 11 miles. I didn’t run all of them. I still propelled myself forward and still averaged inside of 12 minute miles.

Sunday, I skipped my recovery run. I slept in, went to the pool with the kids, then decided I’d rather get some things done around the house before attending my first fantasy football draft. When I left the draft, it had cooled a little outside, but I decided I wasn’t going to run. According to some algorithm in a computer, I did pretty badly drafting my team. I guess the football season will tell.

I’ve met so many great people and learned so much through this training program. I’m running distances that break my own previous records each week. My knees, legs, and arms get sore. During a run, I think a few times that I can’t go any further. I might think that I’m not capable of covering the ground ahead of me. Each time, I still do it. I push ahead. A few weeks ago, I thought 7 miles was out of reach. Now, I can do 7 with much less struggle. I’m about to take on 13.1 miles on a practice run this weekend. I’m nervous each time I set out for the group runs. I’m tired, but proud when they’re finished.

So, I’ve lost around 30lbs. this year. I have a few weeks left of this training. I’ve already signed up for a 5k in October and a 15k in December. I’m sure I’ll find more races to sign up for. The goal is to keep me motivated to stay in running shape so that I don’t take any long breaks.

How has training changed you? Are you challenging yourself each time you set out to become fit? Do you have any questions about my training?

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