So I was gone for nearly two weeks....and with all the craziness that always leads up to a vacation, I didn't get the chance to make the official blog announcement beforehand. So, here's what's been up....
Running group was going great. We did a good 9 mile run the weekend before I got up outta here, and it felt awesome. It felt like I could've kept going. For the first time since the half, the mental block I have around 10+ miles started to fade. Yay! I did a 3 mile recovery run the next day, where I discovered a new route around my neighborhood that is nice and quiet and peaceful. The next day, I did 7 miles, trying to squeeze as many miles in as possible before vacation.
The next day, we took off. We were gone for 11 days total (10 day cruise, plus stayed in FL the night before.) I made it my goal to do 20 miles while we were on vacation. The good news is that I did 22. The other good news is that they were fast. My slower miles were right around a 10; and I did some speedwork that was faster than that. The bad news is that they were rather artificial. I did get in 3 miles on land, doing a nice little loop in the Bahamas. I tried to run on the deck, but I got in two miles of that before the hot temperature and the myriad of elderly people in my way about drove me nuts. So the rest of what I did was on the treadmill - two more 3 mile runs, an extra mile added onto my 2 deck miles, and a 6 and a 4 at the end (we had two sea days in a row and I was pretty much bored of everything on the ship.) But no hills. That was a big mistake. Although really, it's difficult enough to run on a treadmill that's noticeably rocking from side to side. An incline probably would've caused me to fall off.
I got used to the treadmill by the end, although I had some pretty bad shin splints initially. Maybe due to the 'mill, maybe using muscles I never use to compensate for the rocking, maybe due to the fact that I'm pushing 500 miles on my shoes and I need to bite the bullet and get new ones. Anyway, the treadmill overlooked the ocean, which beats either watching lame tv shows (at the gym) or staring at the pool (at my apartment complex) the whole time. It was especially fun running as we were coming up on Aruba. It was like running to the island....if I could run really fast. And on water.
So today.....first run after coming back! I was super excited. And way nervous about everything. I had no clue how much fitness I'd lost (because ya know, people don't exactly eat or drink super healthy while on vacation), if my cold tolerance would be shot, down to how would my sunburn feel when combined with sweat and cold. (I am seriously pale, and my thighs apparently did not get their fair share of spf 50.) I was so afraid of the cold that I put on 3 top and bottom layers, plus two of gloves, socks, and headwear. I felt almost like the little kid in a Christmas Story who can't move in his snowsuit.
And, honestly....the run sucked. It sucked that my garmin was dead even though I swore I charged it before we left. Then, I don't know if they were frozen or tired or what, but my legs felt like lead from the beginning. I don't think I ate enough breakfast - we haven't been grocery shopping yet so we have slim pickings in the pantry. I had some oatmeal with nuts and honey and v8, but my energy felt shot pretty early on. Luckily I had some shot blox to chew on. Thank God one of the coaches saw me struggling and ran with me for a while. I split off because she was doing the 4 mile run, with the half training group, and I felt ok enough to try for the 6 mile option.
Long story short, I survived, which is about all I can say. I felt a twinge of the shin splints again. The hills pretty much took my breath away, literally, and I had to remind myself that yes, I can breathe normally. I seriously considered stopping and calling my husband to come get me, but he doesn't know his way around that part of town and the GPS was in my car. We were supposed to be working on proper form but beyond putting one foot in front of the other, I found myself not caring about much. I'm disappointed that I only did 5.5 miles (accidentally turned around too early), and I'm disappointed in my performance, really. It's hard to get over a crappy run that just doesn't feel good, physically or mentally. We ran by some beautiful spots, and I think that, a few shot blox, and the coaches' encouragement was just enough to get me to complete the run. I really really wanted to stop and walk, but I kept telling myself that I am NOT a run-walker. I am a runner.
Ah well. Some days you PR, some days you survive. I'm trying not to let it get the best of me that I see other people improving and that it felt like everyone was passing me today. Heck, it felt like half the old people on the cruise could've passed me today. Again, trying not to let it get in my head too much. Key word is TRYING - sigh.
The coach promised me I'd bounce back quickly. Hopefully she's right!