On Tuesday evening I met with Andrea, my lovely trainer who is going to help me prepare for my first half marathon in May. I wrote about my initial meeting with Andrea here. For our follow-up meeting, Andrea and I met at the gym so that she could explain my program to me. The first thing we went through was the running program itself, and then we went through some strength and stretching exercises. I had told Andrea that I would love to finish the half-marathon in two hours, which is an aggressive time for me, but not an impossible time (I think!). For the past many years I have finished the 10K in around one hour, so with focus and a proper training plan, I am hoping to be able to meet this goal for the half-marathon. The running program is tough, I can say after finishing week #1.
I did my first two runs on the treadmill this week, and when I arrived at the gym on Thursday evening, I realized I had some math to do before I could get started. My tempo run was written in minutes per kilometer, which I then had to translate into miles per hour, the units that the treadmill uses (so frustrating when treadmills don’t have km on them). I borrowed a calculator from the front desk, and found the calculations tricky to do with the people at the front desk watching me with curiosity. It seems that math anxiety never does go away completely, but I eventually got all of my times figured out, and went to start my workout.
The two treadmill runs that I did this week were really tough for me. I managed to complete them, but it was not pretty. Yesterday was my long run, and I was supposed to complete 13K at a defined pace. I usually like to run at around noon time, but I think I will try going earlier next week, because I found the thought of 13K was hanging over my head for the whole morning. Lucky for me I spent some time in the morning having coffee with a dear friend, which helped to put me in a more relaxed mood.
I haven’t actually run more than 10K since before I had the kids (more than eight years ago – gulp), and I was not feeling very confident. As I headed out, I decided that I was just going to go slowly and not worry too much about my pace. I just wanted to enjoy this run and be able to finish strong.
After the first five minutes or so, I started to feel pretty good. I scheduled a few walk breaks, and I was able to keep to my schedule for the first 9K or so. And then I started to fall apart. My legs felt like lead and my breathing was really rough. I was adding more walking that I was supposed to and I ended up cutting the last bit of my route to get me home in 12.4K, instead of the full 13K. My time was 1 hour 21 minutes, which was quite a lot slower than what I was targeting. I felt out of breath, sore, and quite discouraged because I thought that I was going to be able to do better than that.
I did my stretches, drank water and ate some healthy food, and then went for a long hot shower.
After that, I curled up on the couch with some more water and relaxed for a while, waiting for my family to get home from skiing. Soon, I started to feel sick to my stomach, achy, and beyond tired. Could this be in part to blame for all of my trouble with my run? I really hope so.
My family came home, and we were all supposed to go to my Mom’s for dinner, but I just couldn’t do it. You gotta love Tony, he took the girls without me, and I went up to bed at 4:00 pm for a nap. I woke up briefly at 6:00 pm and tried to eat a little, but absolutely couldn’t. I went right back to bed and woke up again at 10:00 pm, feeling still sick, but hungry too.
Tony toasted me a bagel and I drank a bit of water, and then back to sleep until 7:00 this morning…that’s about 13 hours of sleep that I had. This morning I feel a bit better, but still really tired. Today I’m supposed to do my strength training, and I’m still hoping that I will be feeling OK a bit later to get it done.
As for my training, Andrea told me that I would have to be focused; that these runs would be difficult. They really are. It is a program where every workout is quite intense, and every run counts. Andrea, and others that she has coached, have found this method to be quite effective.
So today, I feel better than yesterday, and now I feel mildly encouraged. I did do all my runs for the week, and yesterday’s slow pace can probably be attributed to my coming down with some sort of bug. I hope. I’ll keep plugging along.