The Best Laid Plans – 10 Weeks to MCM

“The best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.” I cannot describe this week in any better words than the poet Robert Burns. It was a very unusual “just fit it in somehow” kind of week for me.

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Monday – Rest Day
There’s something disconcerting about starting a week with a rest day, but I’ll gladly take it with some active recovery stretching and yoga.

Tuesday – Lunchtime Treadmill Run for 1hr
Just the usual treadmill easy run

Wednesday – The 8 x 800s that was not to be
Joy, Laura and I planned to meet up at 5am for our usual run. The plan was for us to run 1hr together and then the rest on my own. Laura was feeling sick the day before, so she let Joy and me do our thing. Then at 5am, there’s an accident on the road that Joy takes and the whole road was blocked! With no other way to get to our meeting place and still be able to get done by 6am, Joy turned around. Since I’m too chicken to run outside in the dark alone, I figured that I’d just sit in the car until 6am or so when the early light would show up. Just as it turns 6am, the skies opened up and it starts pouring! There had been NO sight of rain in the forecast. When the rain didn’t let up by 6:30, I decided to call it in – I had to be at work by 8:30 and I wouldn’t be able to make it in. 

I tried again on the treadmill at lunchtime. And hardly had I started that I was called into a last-minute meeting. 

I was to go to the Atlanta Braves game with colleagues that evening and so tried to squeeze in a treadmill run before. But I was interrupted SO many times (doorbell, kids, phone call, you name it) that after only 6 x 800, I threw in the towel and headed to the game.

Suntrust Park

I kept trying my hardest to get the run in and it kept slipping away from me. I am very disappointed since I knew that it was a key workout. And messing up key workouts is no good.

Thursday – Habitat for Humanity Build
Had a day off from marathon training to work on the Habitat for Humanity house that my company was volunteering to build. It was the day of the dedication and really touching. So many little things that we take for granted that really are some of life’s greatest blessings!

Habitat for Humanity

Friday – Almost Slept in!
Instead of an alarm at 4:15am for a 5:15am run, I set my alarm for 5:15am!! I had never thrown on clothes as fast as that day, skipped the morning restroom and headed out to finally meet Laura to run at 5:45am. We had a very easy run with walk breaks to not aggravate anyone’s early morning GI, which was perfect for me since I was racing a 5k the next day.

Saturday – Vinings “Downhill” 5K
A colleague announced that he was changing his lifestyle on his half century birthday and going to do the 5K as a start. He’d been previously a bit iffy about actually taking the first step, but since he announced his participation in the Vinings Downhill 5k in front of 90+ people in our team meeting, we took him seriously and some of us registered to join the party with him. We all showed up on race day and … he didn’t. Apart from being absolutely mad at the flakiness, there wasn’t much we could do other than run and enjoy the race. 

Vinings Downhill 5k
We showed up to the party, but the birthday boy was missing.

After getting dropped on the first steep uphill, I ran a good chunk of the way with Jill. I ran hard, but not hard enough that I felt like puking every step of the way. With the humidity, I made it to the finish in 33:58. 

I was a little disappointed. I was hoping for sub-33. I’d run 32:18 (PR) on this course 5 years ago and I’d run 32:5x at run the River 5k in April. I just ran by feel without aiming for any particular pace. I suppose there’s always somewhere that I could’ve pushed more, although it never feels like that while running. Atleast I had negative splits and didn’t fade (fishing for good points).

Sunday – When the Universe sends you an unexpected spark

I had a  2hr45min run on plan (about 12-14 miles at my slow pace). Common sense dictated that I prep up everything the night before, figure out my route, get my hydration and nutrition ready, and set the alarm for early AM to beat the heat.

But …

Instead, I felt burnt and rebelled. I did not set the alarm, choosing to wake up whenever I do, picking my course by whatever tickled my fancy in the morning, and just go with the flow.

WHAT WAS I THINKING ????

It was 78F when I started and it looked like it would reach 89F by the time I finished at 11:30am.

I was going to run as slow to marathon simulation as possible. So started with 0.25 miles: 30 seconds run:walk intervals. Ran that for about 3 miles. I was feeling good, but couldn’t help have a foreboding that the heat would come to bite me in the later miles, especially as I knew I’d be lonely without any other runners or cyclists to cross paths.

NOT a good idea to think too far ahead – run the mile you are in!

Betty, training for Ironman Louisville, passed me and slowed down to chat. I picked up ever so slightly and ran 2ish miles with her before we both realized that we had similar mileage to complete and running together might work out. I don’t do too well running with others out of my pace zone and was initially nervous, but decided to go for it – what is the worst that could happen if I increased about :30-:40/mile? I might have a miserable crawlfest at the end but atleast I’d have company for the bulk of my run. 

Great run with Betty
Great run with Betty

Since she was running straight, I changed my run:walk to 0.5 miles: 45 seconds run:walk. Until the last 2 miles, the run:walk was only a formality. I felt smooth and conversational all throughout until the last 20 minutes or so when I was ready to get it over with. I could’ve run more if needed, but probably not at that pace (or you never know!). But by far the BEST pace run I’ve had this season. 

Perhaps, just perhaps, the next 10 weeks will keep me on the path to my goal. 

Bonus:

Miss. FauxRunner also ran the Vinings Downhill 5k and ran it in 30:14

Vinings Downhill 5k
Photo: Jill Barnes

Have you had runs or weeks where nothing seems to go according to plan? Like the universe is sabotaging your good intentions of training?
How do you get right back on track?

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Linking up with HoHo Runs and MissSippi Piddlin’ for the Weekly Wrap, and My No-Guilt Life, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and MCM Mama Runs for Tuesdays on the Run. 

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