Hello y’all. I’m back. While I’m feeling much, much better than I did yesterday, I have to say that I’m nearly prostrate from this heat.
Dear Mother Nature, please stop messing around with us. Thank you.
Anyway, the heat has curtailed my activities quite a bit. While the cold weather doesn’t make me want to hibernate, heat does. I’d much rather run when it’s 20 degrees outside than when it’s 90 or, worse, around 100.
Consequently, I haven’t exercised very much this week, which is making me unhappy. Yes, I could go to the gym and hit the treadmill, but treadmills are so Village of Yawn.
Honestly, I think it’s been too hot to go to the pool this week, but my kids disagree and I guess I’ll be schlepping them over there this afternoon. And contrary to my usual custom of reading and relaxing pool-side, I’ll probably be wrestling myself into my new swim suit and getting into the water in an attempt to keep my brain from melting.
So even though it’s too hot to think about running, much less getting out there to do it, let’s talk about it anyway, shall we?
I am now officially signed up for the women’s 4-miler in September — the same one that was my first official race last year. Unlike last year, when I barely was able to run four miles, this year, I am ready. No, I am more than ready. In fact, this past Sunday, I ran six miles. Oh yes I did.
And, I felt good, although I had some heel pain after the run that led me to look at my running log, whereupon I discovered that I was way overdue to replace my sneakers, which I did on Monday. (I ran again on Tuesday — only 2.25 miles — my new kicks were fine.)
The run itself was a mix of hills and flat stretches. Here, let me show you the route profile:
(Local peeps, that’s Locust Avenue to Market Street, Market to the river, the trail along the river, and back again.)
As you can see, the first part of the run is mostly downhill. I was able to run three miles without any walking. At the halfway mark, I stopped for a short water break and to stretch. Then I ran back about another mile, before stopping for a short break to make a phone call. (No, I wasn’t calling Pete to beg him to bring the car and come get me.) Then I ran again until the 4.5 mile mark, which is, as you can see above, where the uphills started to get painful. I walked for about 30 seconds, then ran again. At 5.25 miles, I again encountered a really painful hill, so I walked up that. (This is one of those hills that I hate. It’s short, but so steep that even when I walk it, I wish I was clipped in with another climber.)
The final stretch home was tiring, but I got a burst of energy and was able to run all the way. Like I said before, I was limping a little the rest of the day, but that appears to be because my sneakers were shot.
Six miles. Y’all, I can’t believe I did that. That’s the longest I’ve run since I’ve been injured. And, last fall, when I ran the 10K (6.2 miles), I had only attempted that distance twice before and every time I’d done it, I’d walked parts of it. After the 10K, I had two longer runs of 6.75 miles and 8.54 miles, then went onto the injured reserve list and have not attempted those distances since then.
Knowing that I can run six miles, I am definitely planning to run that 10K again in late October. Provided that I stay healthy and injury-free, I know I can do it, because I have already. My short-term running plan is stick with three runs a week — one short run (2-3 miles), one medium run (3.5-4.5 miles), and one long run (6 miles, no more) until September. After the 4-miler in September, if I’m feeling good, I’ll bump up the distances by no more than a mile and stay there for at least a month.
After that, who knows? My sister-in-law mentioned a 15K (9.3 miles) in December that has piqued my interest. And there’s always the elusive half marathon, although I’m no longer foolish enough to contemplate the mountainous half and am instead considering a flat ocean-side half next March.
But, I’m not going to plan too far out. While it’s fun to fantasize about longer races when I’m running, I learned last fall that it’s possible to push too hard, so I’m going to just run and not look too far into the future. If I can run the 10K in October, then I’ll think about the 15K in December. If I can run the15K, then I’ll look ahead to next spring.
Okay, on that note, I need to end this. It’s almost noon and if I’m going to take the kidlets to the pool at 2:00, I’ll need to start wrestling myself into my bathing suit soon.