Apparently, I’m going to spend the entire summer—well, what’s left of it—re-arranging the training schedule. Week 4’s long run had to go on Thursday, not Saturday, which pushed Thursday’s NS: 5 miles (3,2) to Saturday, which, given how I’d re-arranged the rest of the week, made Friday a rest day. Confused? Yeah. Me, too. But I’ve been drawing circles and arrows all over my copy of the training plan so that I can keep track.
The long run was the first ten miler of this cycle. The middle two miles were to be at race pace. There were hurdles, not literal ones, mind, because I know I don’t have enough gazelle in me to run hurdles without breaking something.
Hurdle #1: What the heck is my race pace? My goal for this 13.1 is to come in under 2:30, because shaving 18 minutes of off my first half is within the realm of possibility, especially given that I spent a good 8-9 minutes of that race waiting for or occupying the porta-potty and another minute after than trying to get my dang skirt pulled back up.
I plugged my time goal into an online pace calculator—this one, but I reckon any will do — and it spat out that I should run 11:26 miles. So mote it be.
During the long run, I managed one mile under 11:30 and five under 12. Not exactly what the plan called for but as close as I could get under the circumstances.
Generally, the circumstances were good. The weather was perfect because a cold front had blown away an especially cloying wave of hot and humid. I was as rested as I get and had eaten decently the day before. Plus, I had new shoes—and who doesn’t love a run in new shoes?
Which leads to Hurdle #2: Despite the fact that I’ve been through four pairs of Brooks Ghost 6s and have loved every single one right out of the box, something about this new pair was just a little bit different. By the end of the run, I had a blister on my right big toe and between two of my left less big toes. After three plus years of running, I finally have my first blisters! Hooray?
(Also – it seems that Brooks will be phasing out the Ghost 6 because the price has dropped and I’ve seen Ghost 7s on the shelf. First they came for my favorite socks and I said, well, a lot. Now they’ve come for my favorite shoes. Oh, the humanity.)
Hurdle #3 has been the summer of 2014. I’ve finally figured out what I don’t like about summer runs: I end up feeling like an overburdened sherpa because I don’t have enough pockets on my hot weather gear. By the time I strap on Herr Garmin, a pouch for my phone and house key, and a small handheld water bottle that also has a pocket for Gu, I barely have the mobility to hit the start button. Plus, my handheld water bottle just isn’t cutting it anymore because I was dreaming about a pool-sized cherry slushie by mile seven—and I really don’t even like slushies, cherry or otherwise. I’m going to have to add a waist belt with H2O, which means I’ll have even more crap on my person.
When did I start requiring so. much. stuff to run? And where is my support staff who travels ahead of me to set up water tables and nutrition stops?
But gear hasn’t been the biggest hurdle, really. It’s the other life stuff—the non-running stuff, if you can believe such a thing exists—that has been getting in the way this summer. The biggest of which is my uterus. And if you are at all squeamish about TMI, look away, because it’s about to get extra TMI-y.
I had my annual appointment of womanly fun a couple of months ago. I mentioned to my GP that my periods had moved from “annoying but not dreadful” to “unpredictable tsunami.” An ultrasound was ordered and a smallish fibroid was discovered. I’ve named it Jerkface, because it is one.
Last week, Jerkface and I went to a new GYN to discuss options. She mentioned endometrial ablation (NovaSure is the brand name she does, fyi), which is sounding more and more like it’s in my future, because the present situation is growing untenable and gross. Swear on a stack of Runner’s World, my first question was about how the procedure would affect my training for the Syracuse Half. The new GYN is not a runner, by the way, and I had to explain how far a half marathon is and what the training is like. She anticipates that I might have to take a week off from the hard workouts but easier runs might be OK a couple of days after. Or I could wait to have everything done after the race, which, eh. I don’t know. I’d prefer to do it sooner, like tomorrow.
Which is why I’m again throwing myself on the mother runners, some of whom have faced similar questions, I’m certain. What has your experience been? How have you handled your own Jerkfaces? And how long did it take for you to get back on your feet?