When last we tuned in, Week 4 had not gone well. After finally (mostly) solving my leg and foot cramp issues, I was disappointed that I managed only two of my four scheduled runs for the following week. By that Sunday, I did about seven of the slowest miles ever, feeling like I was coming down with the flu as I shivered despite high temps and sunny skies. I started having severe dizzy spells and ended up home from work on Monday and Tuesday. Which meant that I didn't run in Week 5 until Thursday, where I started out really strong for the first two miles and then abruptly bonked. Luckily I had packed a Gu with an idea that this might happen, it took a while for it to kick it but when it did I was able to finish strong.
Although McKayla Moroney was not impressed.
Though she was impressed with my performance at Saturday's Crawfish Crawl 5K. And so was I! After limping my way through the CATnip 5K just the week before last at a dismal 0:54:10, I sprinted (for me) to a 0:38:58 finish at Crawfish. So fast that my friends weren't expecting me for at least another five minutes and nobody saw me finish. I'll take it! Plus, this race was mostly on what I have dubbed my nemesis course -- Cook Park. I've raced in this park close to ten times now I think, and this is the first time I've ever been happy with a race there. On top of that, this was pretty close to my 5K PR (I tried to chase it down), it's the fastest 5K I've run since my PR back in 2010 (I think), and I didn't walk a single step. Garmin Connect was down yesterday so I haven't seen my splits but I am almost positive they were all negative. Overall a fun race, not only were the Fruit Fly and her Man Friend there racing with me but Kim and her family were there as well.
Stolen from Kim -- Fruit Fly, Me, Kim, and Man Friend
I had to borrow this from Fruit Fly. That's an elephant hat I'm wearing.
Not a schlong hat.
Sunday I made them get up at o'dark thirty for a ten mile run on the Banks-Vernonia trail. I had warned them (or at least RR) that the first five miles would be uphill. The trail has a slight grade to it; you don't really see it, but you'll be going along thinking about how much you suck at running. It's just always there. But this makes the return trip worth it, you feel like you can fly.
Since MF did not get the memo about the uphill grade -- and I'd made them get up before six a.m. -- it seems there was much cursing of my name at mile 1.84. Or so I was informed when I caught up to them just after mile three. (My reply of "But isn't it beautiful out here?" was not appreciated.)
Also borrowed from Fruit Fly. But isn't it beautiful?
The light was absolutely amazing.
As promised, the five miles back was all downhill. And I flew through miles seven and eight. Again, Garmin Connect was down but I can't wait to see my splits for this run. And it turns out there was a racewalk race going on that morning. Which explained the card table with bottles of water and cups we ran past. We didn't see anybody with the race until the run back. And it was kind of creepy, because first there's one racewalker and he's booking. A few seconds later around another curve, there's a second. Alright, I figure they're together, out racewalking. Another curve and then there's a third. That's where it started to get creepy, because nobody had on bibs or shirts or anything to indicate they were in a race. It was kind of like coming across a herd of zombies. The last guy in the pack was very chatty, he confirmed that they were racing. Then I ended up talking to a race official as I finished out my run, she told me all about it. It was a 10K in case you were wondering.
After brekkie and showers, we settled in to watch the men's Olympic marathon that I had recorded as it started at 3:00 a.m. It was fun, but probably only for runners. I started rooting for the Ugandan, or the little man in a dress as I called him, because the Kenyans were clearly blocking him. And then he just took off at what, mile 23? 24? A great finish. Plus Meb battled his way back to fourth and we were so proud.
So. While I only got three out of my four runs in for Week 5, it ended on a really positive note. While I was in the middle of my long run, around mile six or so just kind of mostly walking along, I thought about how I'd run faster on my next long run. And then a little voice in my head said:
If not now, when?
And the little voice is right. I started running. I ran all of mile seven, nearly all of mile eight, and was running a good chunk of mile nine when I did stop to talk to that nice race official. I had that feeling every time I stopped to walk like you do when you first get off a treadmill, when walking feels weird. So I started to run again. For a while I was under an eleven minute mile. Holy crap!
Tomorrow I need to get up extra early so that I can get my run in before a 7:30 a.m. appointment. Which means I need to be out the door at 5:30 a.m. to run. My goal will be to run as much as possible of the short runs. My goal for long runs is to average under a 14 minute mile. That's the sweeping point for MCM, the pace I need to maintain until at least mile 16 of the marathon. It means getting serious about this training thing. Because if not now, when?