6 weeks down, 22 more to go! For real though, 6 weeks is a significant chunk of time. This past week, I finally started delving into longer miles- capping my week with a 7 mile long run. 7 miles is nothing in a marathon.. but it’s the longest I’ve run in a while, and I feel like I’m finally getting back to where I was before. I’m starting to feel like a distance runner again!
Even though over the last 6 weeks, it’s been hard to determine my long runs from my mid-week runs, I’m surprised how much all that adds up. As I said in my July wrap up post, I’ve logged 68+ miles training for Dopey so far. It’s hard to see the effects of your training when you are only running 3 miles here, 4 miles there. But they do add up, and it’s nice to see them slowly accumulating.
As for week 6, I can’t say it was my best week. I developed a headache on Tuesday, which never seemed to go away. In fact, it lasted all day Wednesday too. I also had a lot of pressure in my head, pushing behind my eyes, my forehead, and behind my ears. I took some acetaminophen on Tuesday, but the pressure was bad. I felt tired too.. my brain was really foggy, and I felt a little lightheaded. I did not have a cold though- no runny nose, no unusual discharge, no fever.. so I couldn’t even say it was a sinus infection. To make matters worse, I tend to have bouts of anxiety.. and getting sick is one of the triggers for it. I have a fear (beyond what is rational) of getting sick/catching something/being poisoned and dying an untimely death. I don’t like to take a lot of medicine (though I will if I know it’s going to cure me/make me feel better with minimal side effects) and the slightest thing has me fearing the worst. So when I got this persistent headache that was inconsistent with known symptoms/causes.. my body freaked out on me. (What if I have meningitis? What if I have an aneurism!?) All it takes is one stupid fleeting thought too.. and my body goes into hyper-drive. It’s not so good either working where I do, where I’m hands on with some pretty dangerous stuff all the time. I’m learning calming techniques and how to recognize my thoughts before they set me off.. but it’s still hard sometimes. So the lightheadedness may have had more to do with my anxiety than an actual symptom.
Tuesday I elected to stay home and rest. On Wednesday I felt better, but the headache still lingered and the pressure was still there. I switched from acetaminophen to ibuprofen and I felt like that worked on the headache a lot better. When I got home from work, I took some extra strength Sudafed and the pressure magically disappeared. FINALLY. I decided to make up my run scheduled for Tuesday and went to the gym. I did 4.3 miles on the treadmill doing 10:2 intervals. This was a little more effort than I had done previously with the 4:1’s, but I felt it was time to step things up a bit. I finished my run and contemplated going home.. but decided that I had missed out on a pretty decent evening to run outside, so I might as well make the best of being at the gym. I was pretty tired, but I managed two sets of the weight machine circuit. (I usually do 3 sets, so it was a nice change of pace.)
Thursday I felt great. Took no medication, had no headache and minimal pressure. Good. But after dinner, I noticed my face felt flushed and my energy had drained a bit. I took my temperature and It read 99.1. Hmm… not sure what brought that on, but I decided not to go to the gym. I don’t mess with fevers. My anxiety started creeping back in too, so I stayed home and relaxed.
Friday I woke up physically fine… though I still had lingering anxiety. My husband decided to go to the golf store over in Towson, a town about 40 minutes away. While he was away, I struggled with the idea of making up my run from Thursday. In the end, I decided that it was my anxiety that was holding me back, not any kind of illness. I figured running might help ease the anxiety, so I decided to get out there.
I got a late start and didn’t set out until 11 am. Unfortunately, the coolness of the morning was wearing off, and once I got going, it got a little hot, and I could feel the heat radiating off the pavement. The heat made the hills pretty tough too, and I was still a little light headed, so that didn’t help that much either. After 4.24 miles, I staggered in the house and sat down in front of a fan for about 20 minutes. I was really glad I did it, but my anxiety was still there. I took a bath/shower and relaxed the rest of the day.
I had planned to run Saturday, but my friends decided to run Sunday due to Dawn needing to work a double evening/overnight shift Friday night. However, she ended up working a double on Saturday night too, so she had to cancel. Randi decided she wasn’t up for intervals, so it was me on my own. I left the house about 7:30 and kept to my 4:1 intervals. It was humid, but the temperature wasn’t too bad at that hour. There were a lot of runners and walkers out and about the community. Seeing other people always makes me feel stronger. Not because I’m racing them, but because I see them and know how they feel.. like me at that moment in time. The hard, yet rewarding effort, it’s inspiring! I finished my run with a little over 7.3 miles. I cooled down in front of the fan, made myself some coffee, ate a cliff bar, and relaxed a little bit. 7 miles strong and on my way to 26.2.
Total miles in week 6: 15.93
Total Dopey miles: 68.44