Since Coming Back

I’ve been home for a week now and it’s been lovely sleeping in my own bed and going back to my usual routine. I came home last Monday and came down really ill on Wednesday. I had a bit of a sore throat the last few days in St. Petersburg and came home with a slightly swollen lymph node. On Wed it was really swollen and I was quite ill. I slept all day. It took a few more days to fully recover and I’m feeling almost 100% now.

Despite being sick for a few days, I managed to get some training runs in.

Tuesday: I rode my bike to keep Ben company on his long run. We went up to Weehawken where there’s a track and I did a one-mile trial run. My goal while I was away was simply to maintain my level of fitness. I knew that getting in the training runs I needed to improve would be difficult. I did this trial run to test my level of fitness. I ran the mile in 7:11, which is 11 seconds slower than my mile PR. I was pretty content with it. I wasn’t totally dead at the end of the mile, which meant that I could have pushed myself harder. I also went to the gym for the first time in a month. I did some weightlifting (barbell squats and bench press). *sigh* I lost so much strength in a month. I’m only slightly mollified at the thought that I do regain the strength back more quickly than it took me to reach that level.

Friday: I left much better and went back to the gym (more squats and bench press). I lifted more weight than on Tuesday, but the barbell still felt heavy. I did speed work of 1.5 miles at 8.6 mph on the treadmill.

bookerSaturday: Steven Fulop, the mayor of Jersey City, and Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark and potential US Senator, had a campaign fun run. We ran with other supporters for a one mile fun run (it was advertised as a 1.5 mile fun run, but it was definitely a mile). It was fun to have this opportunity to see Booker and Fulop up close. I even got a chance to get my picture taken with Fulop.

fulopSunday: I had an ambitious plan to do a 5-mile tempo run at a 8:00 pace. I crashed at the beginning of the 5th mile quite badly. The first four miles were a bit off pace, but not too bad. Then as I started the 5th mile, I slowed down considerably. Ben suggested that we stop at 4.3 miles, but I wanted to end at 4.5 just so I could have a nicer looking number. I then began slowing down even more. Ben encouraged me to run faster, which only made me break down mentally. There’s an art to running with a partner and Ben and I are still learning what works for us. Although we run together quite well most of the time, when I’m tired or at the end of my breaking point, I don’t respond well to encouragements. I don’t want to hear, “Run faster.” It just demoralizes me and makes me feel that I’m not working hard enough even though at that moment I’m working as hard as I’m capable of. What is helpful is knowing how much distance is left. That’s the only piece of info I care about. When the run finally ended, I sat on a bench with Ben and had my first run break-down where I cried and blubbered. Poor Ben, he was flustered and wondering what on earth happened.

We had a discussion over finishing a run badly and ending it early on a good note. Ben said that it was better to end a run early on a good note (I worked hard for 4 miles), then to break down and finish badly. While I understand his point, I tend to try to finish my runs as planned until I’m really hurt or out of it.

Monday: Did speed work (1.5 miles at 8.6 mph on the treadmill) and Ben and I are about to go join our running group for a group run.

Later this week, I’ll attempt to do the 5-mile tempo run again and Sunday will be a long run.

One thought on “Since Coming Back

  1. I’m totally with you on hard run encouragement. When my husband runs with me, he’s great at encouraging me most of the time, but every now and then he says something that really just annoys me. Like: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” Blech! Don’t want to hear it when I feel like I’m dying. At that point I just repeat the distance left like a mantra. To each his own!

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