Thursday, December 2, 2010

A New PR in 13K, But It Wasn't Fun! :(

Day #3, Week #4 Road Work training
13K @ 1:34:54
Avg. Pace 7:17 min / km
-1 degrees C (wind chill -8)

Did it look like I was MIA for the last few days? In a sense, I have been. :(

Yesterday (Wednesday) was one of those days when, as soon as I got out of bed, I knew it was going to be a day off from running. I have written about this before. There are times when I feel a little tired, but I still go for a run and usually feel good that I did. Then there are the days when I get up and I can feel the bone tiredness, a heaviness from a lack of sleep or from doing too much, and this is when I know that it's best to take the day off, go to bed earlier if possible, and then start fresh again the next day. Well, Wednesday was one of "these" days. Even though I hoped that, over the course of the day, I might snap out of it, I never did. The weather was not really conducive for running, which further cemented my decision to cancel my run. On top of all this, I have changed my schedule for this week so that I can participate in the Santa Shuffle 5K this Saturday, which entailed changing my Wed. 10K into my Saturday LR 13K. I have never run a 13K without stopping to walk and I was determined to run this 13K "well"; therefore, when I woke up feeling bone-tired and cranky, I knew it was not a good running day. :(

I am really glad I listened to my body because, after going to bed at an earlier time and getting a very solid night's rest, I felt much better prepared for my 13K today (the fact that I slept so solidly proved to me that I needed the extra rest!)

It was cold and lightly snowing, and given my paranoia about ice, I decided the safest place to run would be in Springbank Park, and that I would take one dog, the smallest dog with me so that if I encountered ice, I didn't have one of the 70 lb.+ boys pulling me into a dangerous situation (Note: I would rather be safe than sorry; therefore, until I gain more confidence and experience with running the winter, Angus and Kim will likely experience more walk-only days than running. Although I love running with my bigger dogs, and they are well-trained runners, they still have the ability to stop me on a dime when they have a sudden need to stop and pee, to expel, etc. This is what has me concerned).

This run ended up being tough mentally. It started out very well and although I was running with greater care, I was running strong. My first 6K of this run were very good, and I really enjoyed them. I did not look at my Garmin at all during this time. I just enjoyed my run for what it was.

However, when I was running a hillier section of the park behind Storybook Gardens, I decided to check my watch for mileage. For some reason, mentally, I was expecting it to say that I had run between 8-9K. Instead, I learned that I had just run barely 6K. This really shouldn't be a big deal, but for some reason, today, it made me feel very cranky and this funk came over me. How about that choice words, eh? Funk. Various online dictionaries give various meanings for this word, mainly "a state of depression" or a "deep state of depression" so maybe funk is too strong of a word, or perhaps I need to clarify this more by calling it, a cranky funk. I was not happy to see that I had only run 6K by that point, and knowing that I had not even reached the hump mark of this run did not bode well with me.

So for the next 7K, it was probably a good thing that I was running with just a dog because I likely would have been bitching up a storm if someone had been with me!! This turned into such a looooong run, one that seemed without end, but I just kept plugging along, doing my best to ignore the mileage on my watch and setting landmarks as short-term goals for when to check my watch since I knew I would be bitter regardless! I even started advising myself that 10K was good enough for today (the original mileage scheduled), and that I could wait until next week to run 13K.

Thankfully, by 10K, the funk-fueled snipers in my head were somewhat trampled by my dormant type-A voices, when I decided that darn it, I am running 13K today and getting this LR bloody well over with! After running past my previous PR of 11.5 km, I noticed that my pace did pick up slightly. In a very rare instance, I enjoyed the last 1.5K of this long run the most because it was similar to seeing a finish line ... I see a light at the end of a super long, dark tunnel so let's go faster so we can get there quicker!!!!!

Unfortunately, the time period after my run miserable, too! :( Wow, I can't win for trying today, can I? :( I always give myself time to walk after my runs as a cool-down. Within a short period of time, the top of my head became very cold, which was not covered because I was wearing a headband. I wore my headband during my warm-up walk and for the first few K for warmth, but once my run was well underway, I pocketed it, and was fine running without it. I always put the headband back on after my run for my cool-down walk to keep my ears warm, and usually this works well for me. However, today, the top of my head was wet from both sweat and falling snow. Within minutes of ending my running, the top of my head felt cold, and soon I was experiencing an "ice cream headache" on that part of my head. A few times I had to put my hand on top of my head just to protect it from the wind and to pass on some warmth. A good lesson for me: clearly I need to carry a hat with me to put on immediately after a run in this type of weather. I also started to cough very hard as the temperature of the air into my lungs changed once I was back inside. Truthfully, I just felt miserable until my hot shower when my body finally settled back into normalcy.

So here is my cranky funk post for the day! Not all runs can be great runs, and in the greater scheme of things, I tend to have many more good runs than cranky funk runs so I really have little to complain about. I am very proud of my new PR of 13K without walking and I am very very pleased with this training program so far. This is is what I am focusing on rather than the lack of enjoyment I derived from today! I also felt much better after Benny took me out for dinner, and I enjoyed an excellent spinach salad with grilled shrimp. :) A much-needed distraction with my sweetie to celebrate another milestone for me. :)

On a last side note, I wore my running pants and yellow jacket with running undershirt & underpants underneath. It was just a little too warm of a combination today. Instead, I could have worn spandex shorts and a l/s tech shirt underneath and felt more comfortable. I'm learning! :)

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