It’s still officially spring, but summer is definitely here. The baby geese are still fuzzy but big enough that the parents don’t hiss or go after you if you get too close. The gnats on the trail are out in full force. The dog pool we go to, part of a private dog park, opened. Our annual arts festival started, boats are always moored by the river trail for Pirates games and concerts, and garbage cans stink. Yep, summer is here!
The weather was marginally cooler this past week, but it was still another week of hot, sweaty runs. However! This week was also marginally better in that I didn’t feel like I was going to die on every run. At the end of the week, I felt a little like, “That wasn’t too awful.” I hope that means I’m starting to acclimate to warm-weather running, because I’ve been a bit worried about how I’ll be able to do marathon training in this heat and humidity. It doesn’t seem possible to run anything faster than my absolute slowest, easiest pace right now. I trained through last summer, though, so I have to believe that I’ll be able to train through this summer. Plus, my training paces will be slower than they were when training for a half marathon last summer. I’m telling myself it will all be good.
Somehow I let my focus on strength training slip. I wanted to focus on strength for the three months until training starts. First month was good, second less so, and going into this third month it’s almost nonexistent. I have three weeks until marathon training starts, so I’m going to start renewing my focus on strength.
Here’s how the week went down.
Week at a Glance
- Training mode: In off-season between training cycles; marathon training starts June 27
- Days running: 5
- Miles this week: 24
- Miles this month: 17 (Total miles for May were 96.63.)
- Miles this year: 799.07 (If I’d known this, I’d have gone an extra .93 for an even 800!)
- Strength training sessions: 2
Easy run: 3 miles (62 degrees)
I started Memorial Day with an easy, relaxed run. 62 degrees felt nice and cool until I started running.
Easy run: 4 miles (62 degrees)
This was a repeat of Monday–a slow, easy run though I still got really hot even though it wasn’t too bad out. I’m not sure why I decided to wear a longsleeve on this run, but it was a horrible mistake.
Easy run: 6 miles (68 degrees)
I ran with Joanna and was again grateful to have company to take my mind off the heat. And I love how quickly the miles go when we’re busy chatting. I was going pretty slow at the end from the heat, though I didn’t feel completely beat afterward like I have from these hot runs. It was supposed to rain, which I hoped would help keep me cool. Of course it didn’t rain! But then it poured right after when I was taking the dog for his walk, and he hates the rain. Figures!
By Friday I realized I hadn’t done any strength training, so instead of running in the morning like I planned, I did 40 minutes of lower body and core strength training.
At lunch I took a Zumba class. I used to do Zumba years ago and loved it. When I went to the class, the instructor told me she wasn’t feeling great and would be pretty low energy. What?! It’s Zumba! Whatever–I kept my own energy level up and had fun with it. I’ll give this class another chance in hopes that the instructor will be in better shape next time.
Long run: 7 miles (68 degrees)
I met Jamie on a wonderfully cloudy morning. It was warm, but the cloud cover really helped me keep cool. We ran on the trail to the West End Bridge, up Carson Street to the Smithfield Street Bridge, through Point State Park, on the city-side river trail, and back on the 16th Street Bridge. This was the first run in the heat that didn’t feel too bad, and I wasn’t wiped out after.
Afterward I did 22 minutes of upper body and core strength training, and then we took Django for a walk to the park. Even though it was still cloudy, it was pretty humid and he was beat. When Django gets hot on walks, he slows down to a crawl, and I have to give him lots of positive reinforcement to keep moving. Of course I bring cold water for him to drink, and I douse him with it too. We also ran through a misty water feature, which he loved.
Easy run: 4 miles (70 degrees)
I headed back to run the trails at Riverview Park. It was cloudy and breezy with a threat of rain in the air (though it didn’t start raining until I was done.) I ran the same loop of mountain bike trails because I’m a little afraid of trying other trails for fear of getting lost. It’s not a huge park, but there are a ton of trails. Being in the woods is definitely my happy place. I loved this run so much, just like last week. Several times I just stopped to take in the scenery, breath the woodsy air, and be grateful for being there to experience it.
In the afternoon we met up with our greyhound friends at the dog pool, our first trip of the year. Django’s a water hound, so he loves the dog pool. It’s nice because there’s a big yard by it, so he can run around like a nut and then run straight into the pool to cool off.
Of course he was beat at the end!
He was lying half-asleep like that so long that another dog came over to check him out and see what was wrong.
This upcoming week I’ll be doing another Zumba and pole dancing class and want to increase strength training.
Three more weeks until marathon training starts!!!