From Queens, NY to Pittsburgh, PA to Deerfield, MA and back to Connecticut between each trip – I swear I’ve spent more time in the car this past week than I have in the past several months! And I just know all that sitting is bad for my bones.
After last week’s half marathon effort and this week’s need for insane travel, my only goal was to just get through the week up right. My husband needed to make yet another work trip to Pittsburgh and since he’s been home maybe seven days out of the last two months, he asked us to come with him this time. This meant we could force some family time while driving, find something educational for the kids around the city while he worked, then hang out for dinner and at the hotel pool in the evening. We also took our time on the last day to walk around and check out the main drag, eat some awesome pancakes, & do a little shopping before leaving. On the way home we stopped at Penn’s Cave and drove through Amish country. I also got in a wee bit of running tourism by visiting Canton Avenue, the steepest street in the US (and according to some sources, the world). I ran up it (twice!), but because I had to wait until Martin was done with work, and then dinner, it ended up being late and got very dark very fast. I probably would have attempted it a few more times, and certainly gotten better pictures, had it been day light. Something for next time.
The kids and husband had a Revolutionary War Reenactment on Saturday in Deerfield, MA. Because my husband had plans for throwing early on Sunday morning with his trainer, I figured I’d push my long run up a day and run in a new place. I wasn’t sure quite how well I could pull this off, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.
I never do well with hard workouts on the road, plus I was flat out exhausted from not sleeping well. So, I kept all the runs on the lighter side. I even skipped out on my social running group because I was either on the road or too beat after dinner to even find my running shoes. Adding up easy miles was really all I was going for, so I was actually a bit surprised to see that I had tallied up a full 50 miles! In Pittsburgh I ran mostly on the North Shore and Chateau Trails along the Ohio River and the Canal Side Trail in Deerfield. This was a lot of pavement and concrete, but at a slow pace it didn’t kill me. When I was home, I did try to stick to the softer trails to give my body a break from the pounding. My hip and knee gave me a little bit of trouble at the beginning of the week, but did get better with each day and seemed to resolve itself by the weekend. I did gain quite a bit of weight with all the restaurant food, so I will have to clean up my diet in the coming weeks. But, I’m not too concerned since I am sure that my body will be right where it needs to be come race day.
All in all, it was a solid week of training, despite the lack of speed.
Monday: My body was still feeling trashed after the half marathon over the weekend, and I had an 8+ hour drive to Pittsburgh ahead of me. Thankfully I was able to get to my massage therapy session before traveling and man, oh man, was it wonderful! She spent pretty much the full 90 minutes on my left glutes. She also paid some attention to my knee, but felt that the knee was probably a bi-product of the glutes & hamstrings acting up. Thanks to driving, this was a Rest Day.
Tuesday: M had a very important meeting in the morning, so I had to be up early if I wanted to get a run in. I was out the door by 6:45, which for me is crazy early. The goal was easy & just get in an hour (or close-ish) of running. Unfortunately the bike bath near our hotel was all concrete, which really didn’t feel great. My jaw was still very sore & the Advil I picked up at a rest stop was not helping. My hip was feeling much better thanks to my massage, but now I was dealing with knee pain. Also, at 55 degrees and humid, it felt a lot hotter than what I’ve been used to. I covered 6.5 miles and was happy to get back to the hotel.
Wednesday: I decided to go in the opposite direction on the bike path and do a little exploring and was happy to find that most of the run was on pavement instead of concrete. Still hard, but somewhat better. The knee wasn’t perfect, but better. Also, I was much more comfortable at 37 degrees. Covered another easy 6.5 miles. We also traveled home later in the day.
Thursday: Finally home, I decided to try to tack on a few more miles. I was exhausted, but managed 8 miles on the bridal trail. This really hurt my knee for some reason. I wasn’t sure if it was mental (getting nervous about race day closing in) or due to the conditions of the trail (very soft, unstable).
Friday: I knew I should try for mileage and the idea of attempting a speed session on the track sounded absolutely miserable. But it was cool (almost 40 degrees) and slightly drizzling (my favorite) & I didn’t want to waste the perfect running weather. I decided to run my favorite mildly hilly (676ft of elevation gain with a couple of really good hills) route with the middle 5 miles at a good clip – almost a tempo at 7:45 pace, 7:32 when adjusted for hills. 8 miles total.
Saturday: Had to switch my long run to today and due to a lot of miscommunication and child wrangling, I wasn’t able to get around to it until almost noon. This ended up being awful because it was a brilliantly sunny and 75 degree day and, since the trees haven’t filled in yet, I was fully exposed to the sun the whole way. I set out to do 18 miles, and was going along at a great clip (right around 7:40 pace), sipping water every mile and taking in my bee pollen and electrolyte tablets every three miles. But I started to really feel the heat when I turned around and started heading back. Mile 9 was tough, but I could hold the pace. Mile 10 I began to feel queasy. It was becoming more and more of a struggle to hold the pace, so rather than end up being sick on the side of the road, I decided to cruise in at a slower cool down pace and cut it short at 15 miles. It may have been a shorter run, but it still held the effort and spirit of an 18 miler. Also, surprisingly, it didn’t hurt my hip or knee!
Sunday: Woke up amazingly okay. I was expecting soreness or at least tiredness. But I felt fine. I did have to wait until later in the afternoon to get my run in, but thankfully it cooled down by then (still a warm 73 degrees though) and it even began to rain a bit. I covered 6 easy (but under 8:00/mile pace!) feel good miles.
Totals Week 11: 50 miles