When last we spoke, I was staring down a 13-14 mile training run with the last two at my race pace, which is 11:22. Given that I’m writing this now, you can deduce that I didn’t die. Unless, of course, I wrote this beforehand and the blog software just went ahead and published it, despite my demise. But let me assure you that isn’t the case.
OR IS IT?
Apologizes. I’ve been super silly this week. I suspect it is because I’ve been running relatively short runs to prep for a 5K on Saturday and have a ton of extra energy to burn. Or it could be the shots of creme de menthe I’ve been doing at lunch. Could go either way.
Back to that long run…
The night before, because my every move is poetry, I slammed my littlest toe into a door jam while trying to not trip over the dog. Let it be known, too, that the dog, rather than express her gratitude at not being tripped over, glared at me because I woke her up.
I applied ice and elevated the piggy who went wee, wee, wee for the rest of the night. When I woke up the next morning, it was still swollen and hurt like heck if I poked it. It felt fine once I got it into my running shoe, however, so I figured I’d stop if it started throbbing and go to Urgent Care. By the end of my run, my toe was one of the few things that didn’t ache. I’m working under the assumption that it’s fine.
The first ten miles of the long run were about what you’d expect on a hot, humid morning, which is that they were slow but fine. During mile two, I passed a middle aged guy who was riding his bike while talking on his phone and smoking a “funny” cigarette. Even in my small town, that’s not something you see every day and I spent the next mile mulling over how he found himself in that particular situation. It was a welcome distraction.
I slogged on and picked up the pace at mile 12, where I managed to bang out an 11:30 mile, despite Voldesun’s influence. I could only manage the next half mile at the same pace before I started to feel I like might hurl. While I am inclined to beat myself up about that last half mile, Coach Christine could not have been more supportive. Mid-August in the northeast is hard.
It has cooled off considerably this week. My most favorite season feels like it is on its way, even though next week will be in the 90s. But never mind that, I’m going to focus on the now. Fall will be here soon.
My morning runs have been delicious and short and deliciously short. I needed to knock out 4 on Tuesday and 3 on Thursday, in preparation for that 5K on Saturday afternoon, which Coach wants me to “race,” rather than simply “saunter.”
It’s been so long since I’ve run a 5K — race or saunter — that I couldn’t remember what my last time had been. Turns out, it was a Turkey Trot two years ago. All I can remember from that race is being pelted in the face by little nuggets of wind-driven ice. My time was just shy of 35 minutes and was among my fastest for 3.1.
I’m feeling confident that I can beat that on Saturday during the Block Party 5K and 10K in nearby Worcester. Coach wants me to shoot for 10:25 miles, for a time in the 32 or 33 minute window. That seems … doable and slightly terrifying. But, mostly, doable. It’s amazing how much of a difference a year or two makes.
Three miles used to feel epic. I’d have to marshall every resource I had just to get through them at all. Now, it’s the pace that feels a epic rather than the distance; now it’s an exciting quest rather than an exhausting one.
I say that now, of course. And I can’t help but worry just a tiny bit about how warm and sticky it will be on Saturday afternoon. Not much I can do about it, though, other than pack some ice cold NUUN and an extra Action Wipe (or 12) for the ride home.
Is anyone else taking on their first, fifth, or fiftieth 5K this weekend? Are you freaking out or finding your chill?