I left my training schedule at home so I'm not entirely positive what day I am on. I think it's Day 84. I do know it's less than four weeks until Eugene. Yikes!
There hasn't been much exciting to write about lately, just the same old: rehabbing the leg, bemoaning the sinuses, work is busy, trying not to kill coworkers, yadda yadda yadda. Oh, and rain. Neverending, the urge to end it all, rain. But still better than Seattle.
The verdict at the allergist was no sinus infection yet, just some serious inflammation. Which is good, um, maybe? Back on prednisone for about ten days, then in for a CT scan once I'm better to see if there really are brains in this head. And not sinus tumors or polyps or, I don't know, a Hot Wheels car or something. That would actually be kind of amusing, finding out that all these years of sinus infections are due to some little toy my infant self shoved up my nose.
Also amusing is that prednisone is the one with the bizarre side effect of spontaneously exploding your Achilles tendon. I kid you not.
Speaking of tendons, I did a successful long run yesterday, first time running in about ten days. I felt very well rested as a consequence, and the run went very well. My miles were consistently in the low 12s, but since I stopped to stretch a lot (plus there are lots of crossings where you have to wait for the lights to change) overall the run was in the mid-14s. Oh, and I was running into a freaking strong headwind for the first eight miles. It was strong enough that several times I felt like I was doing mime. Although I gladly took the headwind in favor of no rain; I had a few sprinkles right in the last mile and made it back to the car before the skies opened up again.
I had planned to do at least 12 miles, then was toying with 14, maybe 15, and decided once I got there to set my iPod for 16 miles and just evaluate how I felt at each mile. I felt pretty good, although four hours is a long time to be running. It didn't seem quite that long, though; it was only once I got back to the car that I realized how long I'd been out for. The only downer on the run was I ran out of water, with only a few teeny sips left for the last three miles. Being thirsty rapidly becomes your only thought in that case. I know this shouldn't be a problem on a race course, but when I do the 18-mile long run in two weeks I am going to have to carry a third throwaway bottle with me. (Don't worry, I'll throw it away in the trash.) It is even harder to run while thirsty AND you're running next to a nice big creek. Even the thought of lemons (my go-to visualization when I'm thirsty) didn't help. Not only did it not work, I kept thinking of onions instead of lemons.
This morning I feel good, a little soreness in my quads but nothing unusual. Still something going on with that one leg, I can feel it lurking, but I'll just keep watching it. Which reminds me; I had the oddest sore spot during my run -- the inside of my right thigh, up high. Anyone ever had this? I'm guessing that means those muscles are weak, but it felt just like I'd been trying to do the splits. Or Carlos the Hot Pool Boy. It's fine now, but I was running through it thinking "what the heck??"
Back to the fuel/hydration issue, I tweaked a few things that worked out well. My fuel belt carries two 10 oz. bottles, which I had changed to be one water, one powerade. I felt better hydrated, but starting getting nauseous from too much sugar. This time I carried both water, and instead of Gu took Gu Chomps. I liked the Gu Chomps a lot; they were a little less sweet than Gu and Shot Bloks, and less sticky than Shot Bloks. I was burping blueberry pomegranate for a while after I took them, but I think if I'd had more water that wouldn't have been an issue. I'd have to carry a lot of them for the marathon, though, so I think I can stick with Gu as long as I have plenty of water with them.
While I'm not the speediest runner, I'm feeling fairly confident that six hours is doable for Eugene. This Sunday is my first half marathon, and I am aiming to finish in under three hours. I know this is SOOOOO SLOOOOWWW for most of you, but I like to think I inspire the non-runners, those like me for whom this process is not natural. I am not a sprinter. I never have been, even when I was a skinny minnie as a kid. Distance I can do. Just not real fast. I am planning to do a 5K race on Saturday as well (one of the qualifying runs for my running league) and I think I will try to speed up a bit for it. I've been feeling as though I can go faster now, longer, at least on the shorter distances; for the longer ones, I always worry about going out too fast. I still have that ultimate goal of getting under 30 minutes for a 5K.
I hope everyone had a wonderful bunny day!