I’m back from Christmas vacation and hope everyone had a great holiday and is ready for the new year! My week leading up to our vacation couldn’t have been more stressful.. and I fear I’ve been feeling the effects in the form of anxiety for the past couple of days. (bear with me.. this post is kinda long!)
Week 25 was my big peak week! 5 days of running, including a 4 day Dopey simulation, my second Dopey trial, culminating in my highest training mileage yet! 44 miles done in 4 days. Just another 4.6 and we’re completely Dopey!
Monday, I decided to stay home and did a 53 minute HIIT workout. It was killer to go that long, but I did burn almost 440 calories (based on my heart rate monitor) so I would say it was a pretty successful workout. Tuesday I went to Yoga and ran my scheduled 45 minutes on the treadmill. I noticed my heart rate monitor was acting up while I was running. During the first interval, it was telling me my heart rate was 160. (A little high for just starting the workout!) By the end of the workout, it was telling me I was around 110-120 bpm while I was still running. This has happened a few times before.. but only recently. I even tried to change the battery in my HR band, but it’s still acting up. After 45 minutes (and over 4 miles) my watch told me I only burned 280ish calories.. a very low number for this workout. I’m not sure what is going on, but it might have something to do with the treadmill. I know my kindle will re-boot spontaneously on the treadmill.. a lot. I think it has something to do with the electromagnetic field and static charge the treadmill puts off. I’m wondering if it has something to do with my HR monitor acting up. It does seem to be wonky only on the treadmill.
Anyways, sorry for the tangent. Wednesday I made an appointment at the vet for Zeus.. he has some kind of skin condition that has discolored the skin on his belly. I think it’s just allergies, but since we were going away the next week, I wanted to make sure he would be ok. I had the intention of heading to the gym after the appointment, but that was before my car broke down. Ugh. So I made it home and that was that. I had to cancel the vet, and we had my car towed to a shop for diagnosis.
Thursday we learned that the repair for my car would be more serious than we’d hoped. We had to make the decision to have it repaired (which, we weren’t even sure what repairs it still might need at this point) or look for a new car. We decided that we didn’t want to sink money into my 10 year old Pontiac.. so we started looking for a new one. Meanwhile, I’m now without car. I was able to get a ride home from work on Thursday, but obviously wasn’t able to go to the gym. so I wore the brightest colored shirt I owned and ran a 3 miler outside. I’m not a fan of running in the dark, but the cool thing about running in the dark in mid December is you get to tour the neighborhood and see everyone’s Christmas lights. It was pretty and peaceful, so it worked out well.
Friday I hitched a ride from a coworker to work, and had her drop me off at the local Enterprise car rental on the way home. My husband and I decided it was best for me to rent a car for the weekend because I needed to get around in order to do all the running I needed to. Plus, we were leaving on Monday morning for NY, and if anything happened to our remaining car, we would have problems. So I reserved a car for rental. When I got there though, I was told there were no compacts left, so they gave me a 2015 Chrysler 200, a twice-over upgrade. I wasn’t a fan of how it drove, but it was a pretty smooth car. It had all the bells and whistles.. and gave me a taste of some features I was going to have in my new car- back up camera, touchscreen interface, key-less entry, and remote start. Ah remote start.. I’m in love.
I got home from the rental office and my husband and I did a quick run. My husband only had to run for 30 minutes, but I had to do 6 miles as part of my Dopey trial. By the end of 6 I was having a little bit of knee pain and my legs were pretty tired. I thought that strange considering 6 is a short run compared to the longer ones I’ve been doing.. but I had no time to dwell on it. I showered quickly and my husband and I headed out to a dealership to check out the car I wanted.
We spent a while at the dealership looking at the car, test driving it, going over numbers and details. We ended the night deciding to talk about it some more, but with a 1:30 pm appointment at the dealer for the next day. It was 9:30 by the time we got to eat dinner, and tired was an understatement.
Saturday morning I met up with Dawn to run a 12 miler. My legs were still kinda tired from the day before, but I had to hurry and finish the run so I could make the 1:30 appointment. As soon as we finished, I jumped in the car, placed a pick up order from Panera Bread (coolest thing, the Panera App) and raced to the store to pick up some supplies I needed to make cookies (yep, because I wasn’t in enough of a time crunch, I still had to make cookies.) Now, “raced” is a loose term, because there was beyond belief traffic everywhere. The last weekend before Christmas is not the time to be trying to get anywhere in a hurry. I was amazed when I finally DID get home, that there were any cars in neighborhood at all, considering everyone and their brother was out on the roads. I scarfed down my food in 15 minutes, took a rushed shower, and was back out the door again to head to the dealership.
We spent a lot more time at the dealership, going over numbers, choosing colors and features, and trying to get the price down (but unsuccessful! Apparently, no one negotiates anymore! Least not for a new car.) Finally, we determined the only way to possibly get the price lower, was to have them appraise my old car and hopefully get more than the promised trade-in. (Haha.. good luck!) The problem was, my car was still sitting at the shop we had it towed to, and the shop had my key.. and they were not open on the weekend. Also, we knew there was not enough time to transfer our down-payment from the account it was in to the checking account, nor could we get a cashier’s check because the banks were closed late on a Saturday anyway. So, the buying of a new car had to wait until we got back from vacation. We headed home to finish wrapping gifts, do the laundry, and make some cookies.
Sunday was my big 23 miler, and I had to do it all by myself because Dawn had to work. (She finished her’s the day before after our 12 miles.) I don’t like to run around town by myself for safety reasons, so I dove out to the NCR trail. This trail is out in northern Baltimore County.. and it takes about 40 minutes for me to get out there. It’s a scenic drive, so it’s not that bad. Plus I was driving the fancy car, so I didn’t mind the commute.
When I started out, I was a little depressed. I guess as much as anyone would be knowing how far I had to go.. but a little more so because my legs and knees were already tired and sore from the three days before. I really wasn’t sure how far I could make it.. and knew if I ran out too far one way, I still had to make it back. I decided to play it by ear and take it a little at a time. After the first mile or so, I loosened up a bit and it wasn’t so bad. The weather was cool, but not too cold and the sun was coming out. The trail runs along a river and has large cliffs on one side, so it’s very pretty. There were people here and there, but most of the time I was alone. It was peaceful being out there and enjoying the nature around me. The trail itself is pretty flat.. and I think that helped me out a bit. Not sure how I would have made it on the hills near my home.
To get my mind off how far I had to go, I started playing a game in my head. I would get to a mile and immediately think about the next mile. At mile two, I was singing..”Three! Gotta get to three! Mile three, mile three, mile three!” As soon as I hit the next mile, I would move up. It helped me focus on the mile I was on, and not worry about how many more I had to go. There were some fast miles and there were some hard miles, but I just kept focusing on the next one and it kept me going. Between miles 7 and 8 there was a real bathroom. The water fountains along the way had been shut off, but the water was still on in the bathroom. I used the toilet and filled my water bottles in the sink, then I used a bench outside to stretch. The little rest stop definitely rejuvenated me a bit, and I felt better moving on.
I ran to 11.5 miles, feeling tired, but ok. Actually, I felt pretty accomplished considering I was not sure if I’d even make it this far. I sat on a bench to stretch and ate a cliff bar before heading back. I continued my mile-by-mile chant, but I needed to stop to stretch more frequently. I made it back to the bathroom stop and again, used the facilities and stretch. I was tired and sore, but I knew I only had 7 miles and change left, so I was excited to be almost done. I was also making pretty good time and was set to finish around 4.5 hours. Somewhere during mile 17, I noticed my knee twinging in pain a little. At mile 18, it was starting to really hurt. I scaled back my intervals from 90:90 to 30:30, but it was hurting before the 30 seconds were up. So I decided to walk a while. After I finished out the mile, I tried to run again. It still hurt. Mile 20, I tried again, it still hurt. I resigned to just walk the last three miles. I was kinda bummed, but I didn’t want to push either. I knew it would mean another hour out there, and that kinda sucked. It’s a lot colder when you’re walking. Plus, my legs were REALLY tired at this point, and even walking was hard. I had no choice though, as I had to get back to my car.
The pain as best I can describe it, feels like the sort of pain I had the last time I ran a marathon. Only this time, it was my left and not my right. It kinda starts on the lower outside and radiates under the knee. It feels almost like a cramping pain.. as it comes on gradually and gets worse over time. Could be my IT, but I thought that I would feel it further up on the knee. I can’t say I’m surprised.. I mean look how much I ran in 4 days.. but I also know I had very little time and effort in trying to recover my legs in between runs due to everything that was going on. I wasn’t particularly worried about it affecting my ability to race.. because I had some things I could do to combat the problem, but I will say it was in the back of my mind.
After I was done (and scarfed down an entire foot-long Subway sub!) I drove home, showered, and took Zeus to my mom’s.. his home away from home while we were away. I did all my packing and got everything ready to go for our trip. Monday morning we returned the rental car and headed north.
Total mileage in Week 25: 48.53 miles! (10 hrs, 58 minutes of running!)
Total Dopey training miles: 408.46
Week 25 Activity Report: