1 Week without running…except for that cat

After running everyday and following that up with running back to back marathons it was really odd for me to take an extended amount of time off.  I know my body needed it though.  If you read my Marathon #5 blog you know how bad I was hurting.  The soreness, hobbling and pain lasted most of the week.  I think Tuesday may have actually been the toughest, not sure I was just really sore that day.

Last week's #tbt for Veteran's Day
Last week’s #tbt for Veteran’s Day

The place I normally go to get a massage actually called me on Monday, I had not been in for a while.  I asked to schedule an appointment and the earliest they could get me in was the following Thursday, over a week away, I was hoping it would be sooner.  Most of my soreness had subsided now, although this weekend I had what I am calling ‘phantom’ pains in my feet.  It could have been that I was standing for a while or the shoes I was wearing but it they felt like I had just gone for a long run, but no apparent reason why.

The Phantom is everywhere!
The Phantom is everywhere!

Without running what have I been up to?  Hmmmm, work mostly!  It was a pretty busy week last week, I had several early morning and evening appointments.  I also had an overnight stay on the Eastern Shore, near Ocean City.  I didn’t have time to stop by the beach 😦  I had to work on Saturday morning as well, so it was a long week.

I pack light!
I pack light!

Finally Saturday evening arrived and a little time to relax.  My best friend, John, and his brother, Jordan, came and picked my up, we went to a local bar that was closing down the next day.  They had sold the property to a company next store, that another friend actually happens to work for, and they are going to tear it down.  We had two beers and went to my friend’s house to watch the big MMA fight.  Before going to my friend Tir’s house we stopped and bought some food and drinks to take over with us.  The three of us have been best of buds since high school, so more than half our lives.  I grew up in what most Marylander’s would consider a small town, everyone knows everyone, and their business, haha.

So that didn't run out the way Vegas was hoping!
So that didn’t turn out the way Vegas was hoping!

My John and Jordan had to leave after about an hour to go to some other events but they said they would be back later, before the main event.  Sure enough about an hour later John came back, but Jordan was still out and about with some other friends.  We will all sitting around watching the fights in the basement enjoying the evening and then that is when it happened.  We heard some noise outside and the lights started flickering.  John, said ‘Is that Jordan coming back?’  Then we heard a loud pop, pop, pop, pop, just like gun shots.  My first thought was Jordan had come back but something happened.  He is a police officer and my initial thought was some sort of ambush.  We all took off running upstairs, someone was pounding on the door.  I went for the door and I heard Tir yell the house next door is on fire.  I quickly opened the door, it wasn’t Jordan it was a lady explaining what Tir had just said.  Tir’s cousin Michael was with us to and we all ran upstairs as quickly as we could to get Tir’s wife and the kids out of the house.  Tir’s wife, Amy, had the newborn, Michael grabbed the middle child, I hopped up onto the top bunk to grab the oldest, woke him up, and handed him to John who took him downstairs and outside.  Smoke was already starting to fill the house.  We all made it out safely and Amy turned around and said we have to get the cat.  I was walking down the outside steps and turned around, just at that time I saw the cat run by the door.  I went back in, that same lady held the door open, when I went in.  I kept thinking in my mind over and over, you’re never suppose to go back for the animals.  I was yelling for the cat and saw her dart behind the sofa.  I grabbed the sofa and pulled it out from the wall and grab the cat.  I don’t think I was in the house more than 40 seconds, but I was coughing quite a bit when I came out.

Fortunately, everyone is okay, and the children were not in the smoke that long.  Tir had called the fire department and they started to arrive.  The kids were cold, we all tried to keep them as warm as possible.  Amy called her aunt who lives about two blocks away and we all went over there to warm up and come up with a game plan.  I didn’t even realize I didn’t have shoes on till I was walking over to Amy’s aunts with the oldest child.  Tir actually pointed it out, once the kids were safe inside we walked back over to the house.  The fire department had contained the fire from spreading.  Tir and Michael went back into the house to get some essentials that Amy, Tir and the children would need for the night.  I stayed by the door and kept it open, the house had quite a bit of smoke still in it.  Tir grabbed my shoes for me!  His fence was damaged, the fire melted about six panels of it.

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The important part is everyone got out okay, oh and as for the house next door, it was empty the people had moved out two weeks ago.  So that is the story of the time I went running for a cat.

Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.
Not the actual cat, this is a cat body-double.

How was your weekend?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Outer Banks Race Weekend

Friday:

After work I set out for the Outer Banks, the GPS said it would be about a 5 1/2 hour drive down.  Along the way I decided to stop when I saw a sign for Wawa and get a sandwich.  Much to my disappointment as soon as I exited the highway the sign for Wawa said 3 miles, rather misleading from the highway sign, but I still went refueled and had a sandwich.

Water tower just off the exit!
Water tower just off the exit!

When I finally made it to the Outer Banks it was dark, but much to my surprise my hotel was right on the beach!  (I didn’t notice when I booked the hotel)  After I changed I walked down to the water, it was ice-cold!  I didn’t go in any deeper than my ankles, there were still a few people trying to eek out the last little bit of light as they were surfing.

Cowabunga Dude!
Cowabunga Dude!
Last of the light!
Last of the light!

I came back to the room and text my friend who is also running the Outer Banks Marathon this weekend.  He and his wife are doing their first marathon.  We made plans to meet for dinner at a place nearby called Chili Peppers.  For dinner there were seven of us, he and his wife had brought along four friends who were doing the half marathon.  It was great to meet everyone, the conversation was light as I got to know everyone.  One of Jim’s friends mentioned they were thinking about starting a blog, and I recommended doing it!  Of course we talked about mine and then how I become a vegetarian.  Jim’s wife and a few of her friends said they were going try being vegetarians for 30 days, they were inspired!  Woot Woot!  I told them they have to keep me in the loop.

Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.
Lots of business had signs up welcoming runners! First one I saw when I entered Kitty Hawk.

After dinner, I went back to the hotel to watch some television.  There wasn’t much on, I watched a show on Discovery called Pacific Warriors.  It was about ‘local’ Hawaiian fisherman.  It was hard not to laugh.  I lived in Hawaii for four years, the people on the show were no way locals.  They didn’t talk like the locals and had problems getting the native dialect (pidgin) correct.  I could be wrong but I very much doubt these people actually grew up in Hawaii.  After a good laugh I went to bed.

Saturday:

I slept in, all the way to 0900 hrs.  That is actually pretty late for me.  When I woke up I had a few banana chips and went for a shake out run.  I ran about two miles, trying to keep a slower pace.  I want to start the race really slow around a 9 min pace.  I know I have said that before but I really mean it.  It was already warm and humid outside.  I am hoping the weather forecast is right and the cold front comes through or it is going to be a long race.

Cool wind turbine.
Cool wind turbine.

After the run I walked down to the beach for a little while and there were quite a few people surfing and doing stand up paddleboarding.  I took a shower and made my way over to the running expo.  The parking lots were small and I had to drive around to find parking but the expo itself was pretty nice.  They had lots of vendors and a nice swag bag.  I walked around the expo for a while before deciding it was time for lunch.  A Harris Teeter was only a mile away so I made my way there to get some lunch and sunscreen.  I’m not sure if it is going to be sunny tomorrow, but I figure I should probably get some just to be safe.

Maryland Harris Teeter's need this section!
Maryland Harris Teeter’s need this section!

I had pizza and some desert and then took it easy.  I decided to take a nap, hey you can never have too much rest before a marathon 😉  While I was napping I thought I heard a knock at the door, before I could answer the door was opening.  It was someone trying to check in.  Apparently, the hotel does not have good record keeping.  The people apologized and went to sort out the issue, I did notice it was raining pretty hard.  Hopefully that will cool things off.

Surprisingly I’m not nervous or worried about this race like was for Baltimore.  I don’t know why.  I have a plan for this race and hopefully everything comes together and I can break the 4-hour mark.

Around 1800 hrs. I went over to where Jim and his friends were staying.  Some of his friends had made a runner’s dream dinner, Ziti!  Time to carbo-load.  I had gone to Harris Teeter and bought coconut cake for dessert.  Dinner was excellent, on top of the Ziti in pasta was OBX made with noodles (Forgot to take a photo).  After eating we watched the movie Inside Out, normally I am not one for animated movies, but it was pretty good!  When the movie was over we all wished each other good luck and I headed back to the hotel.  I arrived and my room key did not work, I went to have it rekeyed and told the desk staff about my unexpected visitors earlier.  She said she would let the manager know.  I watched some television, set me alarms and went to sleep.

Sunday:

Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.
Very windy, these waves were between 6-8 ft.

0400 hrs. I woke up to have a small breakfast and went back to sleep for a little while.  0530 hrs. time to get up and prepare for the race before leaving around 0630 hrs.  I drove to where the parking lot was near the start line and took a quick shuttle ride to the start line.  Before getting on the shuttle I ran into Jim and his wife and we rode over together.  The start line had plenty of porta-potties so the line the use the bathroom was not long at all.  The race started right on time 0720 hrs. and we were off!  I will have a full race recap later this week, let’s just say things did not go according to planned and it was a painful race.  After the race I took the shuttle back to the parking lot, hopped in my truck and went back to the hotel to shower.  My body has never hurt so much after a race.  I didn’t feel like eating anything so after showering I hit the road to get home.  I stopped once to refuel and grab a little something to eat.  I still didn’t feel like eating but knew I had to.  I finally made it home around 1930 hrs.  I unpacked, put my laundry in the wash and went over my best friends to watch Sunday Night Football.  After the game, I came home and fell asleep almost immediately.

The race didn’t go as planned and it wasn’t a PR, I will detail that more in my recap, but looking back I don’t think it was a good idea for me to run two marathons within a 3 week period.  Especially after my 365 day running streak.  My race season is officially over, it is time to rest and let my body repair itself.

How was your weekend?  What recovery tips do you have?

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Week 15 (9/21-9/27)

Monday:  5.2 Miles (Pace 7:58)

I don’t want to jinx it but the nice fall weather is continuing here in Baltimore!  Most of the day was overcast and dreary; after getting some work done and coming to the conclusion the light rain wasn’t going to stop I went to the Promenade to run.  The rain picked up a little during my run but not to hard, honestly I barely noticed.  I had another strong run with negative splits and my last mile being my fastest.  I think my legs are a bit refreshed after a lower mileage week last week!

Tuesday:  7 Miles (Pace 8:38)

After two great days of running, my body was starting to get tired.  My plan was to run 10 miles downtown, but I wound up doing 7.  I ran with my friend Kristen, we started a bit faster than I wanted to but quickly fell into a steady pace.  During my longer runs and in general I have been trying to make a habit of starting slow and then picking up the pace.  That is the strategy I plan to use in the marathon.  We ran along the water and it was a bit humid but still a nice evening out.  When ended the run at Tin Roof and talked with our friend Theo for a bit.  Kristen left and Theo and I caught up a bit, I hadn’t seen him in a few weeks.  It was good run and I hope to make up some miles tomorrow.

Wednesday:  2.1 Miles (Pace 8:24)

So much for making up the miles.  Even though I had a relatively light day at work, I was still pretty fatigued.  It seems like it has taken my body longer to recover before I am ready to go 100% again.  After work the day got away from me and I had a night college fair to attend and only had time to get in a few miles.

Thursday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:16)

After a late night from the fair last night, an early morning, and another evening college fair I didn’t feel like running much.  For some reason this week has been a bit more difficult for me to motivate myself to get out and run.  I think I can see the end in sight and I’m getting excited for a break.  I need to keep my eye on the marathon and not slack off these last few weeks.

Friday:  1.5 Miles (Pace 8:16)

Knowing my long run is tomorrow, I decided to take it easy on the run today.  I wanted to make sure I stay hydrated and well fueled for my final long run tomorrow.  I saw my neighbor and friend on the run, he was walking his dogs, when I ran up behind him I actually scared him.  I guess I’m a really quite runner.  After a quick chat I was on my way and finished my run.

Saturday:  20 Miles (Pace 9:12)

Last night I slept close to 9 hours, the long days at work have really been taking it out of me.  I know you can’t catch up on sleep, but it was nice to get in a few more hours than I had been.  For breakfast I tried a new energy bar from Extend Nutrition, I actually won a gift card from Ashley’s blog.  It is suppose to keep your blood sugar balanced for up to 6 hours during the day.  The run today had course support from Falls Road Running Store, they host the run every year before the marathon.  The course starts at Patterson Park and follows the marathon course.  You run most of the hills which is good, it gives you an idea of what to expect.  During the run, I met some new people and chatted with them as we ran I also saw some people I know from running and ran with them for a while.  When I wasn’t running with anyone I reflected over the last few months of training and running the same course 3 years ago in preparation for the marathon.  Things have changed a lot since then, which I hope to write about in a separate blog.  As I thought about the last few months I have never trained with this much intensity or intent before.  I am hoping it will pay off come race day!  I wasn’t trying to run a certain pace and when I finished I was happy with it.  I felt comfortable, very tired but comfortable with how I ran.  I know how I want to refuel during the race and I have a plan, I just need to stick with it.  After the run, I had an event to go to for my best friend, and then I had some people over my house.  We had a bonfire and enjoyed sitting around telling funny stories.  Sarah and FKBT came over and brought some dessert, it was a great way to end the day and begin my taper!

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Sunday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:43)

All through the night, I had a horrible headache and woke up with one as well.  No it wasn’t from to many beers, I think it was a combination of being dehydrated from running, not eating properly afterwards, and the smoke from the fire.  I woke up had some breakfast and started to feel better.  Today was the home opener for the Ravens; I went to the game with a friend.  I didn’t have time to run before the game so when I got home I did a quick loop around the neighborhood.  My body felt fatigued from yesterday, at one point I actually thought about stopping, but I didn’t.  I’m so close to finishing the streak.  Today was day 337 of the running streak.  The end is in sight.  I am looking forward to a day of rest and I’m looking forward to the marathon!  I am so glad that taper time has started!  I didn’t get in all the miles I should have this week, if I can I will make some up this upcoming week, but it is time for my body to regain strength through some easier runs!

Walking through the Inner Harbor After the Ravens game, really high tide!
Walking through the Inner Harbor After the Ravens game, really high tide!

Total Miles:  37.8

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Crazy hair, after finishing 20 miles!
Crazy hair, after finishing 20 miles!

Week 14 (9/14-9/20)

Other than the rough end to Week 13, it was a great week.  I’m looking forward to this week and the lower mileage.  I am also looking forward to the finishing my streak in just over a month!  I never thought I would make it this long, I just need to stay healthy and get through the next 6 weeks!

Monday:  5.2 Miles (Pace 7:58)

What a difference a day and some hydration makes.  I ran the same route along the water tonight as I did last night, the weather was near the same, but I was able to run much better.  Sometimes I forget how important hydration is when it comes to running.  I eased into the first mile and then negative split every mile after.  Today’s run was a confidence booster after last night!

Tuesday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:14)

Time got away from me today.  After work I had a meeting I needed to go to which started 30 minutes late.  By the time I got home I didn’t have 6 miles in my legs, plus I had an early day on Wednesday.  I did a loop around my neighborhood to keep the streak going!

Wednesday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:11)

This morning was an early morning followed by a long drive to a college fair I had to go to.  The first session was 4 hours, then a break, and an evening session of 2 hours.  My plan was to run in between the sessions.  I had packed extra clothes with me so I could shower after running.  At the first session I was talking with some of my colleagues I hadn’t seen in a while and they were planning to run during the break as well, though we were all running different distances.  The first session ended at 1300 hrs, which just happened to be when you could register for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon.  After some tense minutes of waiting, I was able to register!  I was really lucky to get in there were only 10,017 spots and the race sold out in 11 minutes.  I was really pumped and ready to run.  I found a gym where I could shower after running, I had to buy a day pass that was $15.  Pretty expensive for a shower but sometimes that is the cost of running :/  The sun was high and the humidity was just as high, it was a rough run considering how cool it had been in the evenings the last few days.

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Thursday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:56)

Today was a really early morning after not getting home till late, I only had about 5.5 hours of sleep and a long day ahead of me.  My day was pretty much standing in one spot for about 7 hours while I presented to students and another college fair.  My legs were really sore from standing in one spot all day.  I didn’t have the energy to do a tempo run and didn’t really feel like running at all.  I managed to eek out a slow mile but I wasn’t to happy.

Burning the candle at both ends.
Burning the candle at both ends.

Friday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:33)

I don’t say this often but I was happy for Friday to arrive, it had been a long week!  After another early morning and another 4 hours of standing my feet and my legs were pretty sore.  After work I helped a friend move some dance equipment to where she teaches on the other side of town.  When I finally got home I responded to some work emails and then took a nap for 2.5 hours.  I woke up, ran, ate dinner, had a glass of wine, and went back to sleep.  I was exhausted from the week.  My friend invited me out, but I was too tired to go, I felt bad but I knew I would be any fun.

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Single serve, so you don’t have to open a whole bottle…don’t judge me 😉

Saturday:  12 Miles (Pace 8:51)

After a solid nights rest I was feeling pretty good!  The weather was overcast and really foggy when I woke up.  I drove to the BWI Trail to meet FKBT and Sarah to run.  Even though it was overcast it was still humid.  Sarah was doing her long run, 22 miles, and I needed to do 12.  I planned to run one loop with her and then she would continue on.  FKBT was planning on meeting some friends to go on a long bike ride.  At the start of our run, another runner waved me down, we belong to the same running group on FB, and he recognized me.  It was nice to meet him, I’m always surprised by how awesome the run community is and you never know when you will actually meet someone you only know from social media!  As we went around the loop lots of other runners and bikers said ‘hi’ and one walker even shared some words of encouragement as we passed them.  People on the trail are much more friendly than most in Baltimore.  It was a nice loop to run around, differently scenery and some hills but nothing to big.  I think I slowed Sarah down a bit, I like to go a bit slower on my longer runs, we actually talked about that at the beginning and she said it would be good to test out her pacing.  After my 12 we stopped together briefly to take a runselfie and for Sarah to get some water and she was off on the loop again.  It was nice to get the run out early in the day.  My legs still were not fully recovered but I was happy to get the miles in!

Still smiling after 12 miles!
Still smiling after 12 miles!

Sunday:  7.3 Miles (Pace 7:47)

After an hour of trying to get my new printer from work to scan I was ready for a run.  The air was cool and crisp perfect for running.  I decided to run at the Promenade along the water.  I was hoping to run 6 miles but once I got going I figured I would add some extra to make up for what I had missed earlier in the week.  I eased into the run with a slow mile and then what felt pretty easy turned out to be a 7:30 mile.  I was feeling pretty good and decided to try and stay around that pace.  Half way through my run I was surprised at how strong I was feeling.  The miles were just passing by.  I finished strong and really happy with this run considering how the week had gone.  Even though this was a low mileage week it was rough, standing in one place really took its toll on my legs and feet.  I am a bit nervous for the upcoming week and the 50+ miles I will need to do.  Oh today was day 330 of the running streak, 5 weeks to go!  4 weeks until the Baltimore Runinng Festival and 26.2!

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Total Miles:  32.5

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Week 13 (9/7-9/13)

As week 12 ended I was feeling good especially after my PR in the Charles St. 12.  I was ready for the heavier mileage week that was in front of me!

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Monday:  4.1 Miles (Pace 8:16)

My legs were feeling strong today, the lower miles in week 12 really helped out.  The heat and humidity are still lingering in Baltimore, but I would expect nothing different for Baltimore weather.  I decided to run around my neighborhood in the early evening.  As I was finished I saw my neighbors and after I cooled down I talked to them for a few minutes, not an overly exciting run, but I was happy with the pace.

Tuesday:  10 Miles (Pace 8:54)

My friend Kristen texted me in the morning and asked about my plans for running, when I told her, she wanted to run with me.  We waited till early evening when the sun was staring to go down before we ran.  We started at the Korean War Memorial went down Clinton street and made our way towards Patterson Park.  We looped both parts of the park twice and then made our way back to the waterfront.  We stopped once because my shoulder was cramping up, but once I massaged the pain away the last few miles of the run went well.  Just as we were finishing we ran into some of my friends I hadn’t seen in a while.  We stopped a spoke to them briefly and then finished up the last quarter mile.  I dropped Kristen off and decided I was going to get a burrito from Chipotle.  I went into the store and the music was so loud it could have been mistaken for a dance club.  I could barely hear the server when she was asking me what I wanted.  She made my burrito and I thought, what a waste she had put entirely to much rice, beans, veggies, and cheese on it.  If I had to guess I would say the burrito probably weighed close to 3 lbs.  I knew immediately I wasn’t going to eat the whole thing.  When I got home and bit into it, it had way to much cheese on it; it didn’t even taste that good.  I ate some of it just to get some food in my body but threw most of it away.  I don’t like to waste food but I didn’t think a burrito would be good reheated.  I should have taken a picture :/

Wednesday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:45)

After work today I had an appointment with the Red Cross to donate platelets.  I had never done it before and had lots of questions when they called and asked me donate.  My questions included how it would affect my training, how long it would take to recover, did it matter that I’m a vegetarian.  The person who called was very helpful in answering all my questions but out of caution I asked them all again when I went to my appointment.  They assured me it wouldn’t affect my training and recovery was actually faster than giving whole blood.  I asked if I would be able to run tonight, because they said no strenuous activities for 12 hours.  The phlebotomist told me I should be okay to run after 2 hours, but to carry extra fluids with me.  They were very nice, it takes a while to donate, it took me 2.5 hours.  They said it takes longer your first time.  While you are donating you get to watch a movie on your own personal dvd player.  I watched ‘Men of Honor’.  They also cover you with blankets because you get cold when you donate.  I started with one blanket, but during the donation process the machine started beeping the phlebotomist said it was because my veins were constricting because I was cold.  She felt my arm and said I was freezing, I didn’t even realize it and they but more blankets on me.  After I finished donating I had about an hour before I was suppose to go to a new run club, Holabird Sports Run Club.  I drank a lot of fluids and some extra orange juice and figured I would see how I felt.  The run club met at the Korean War Memorial and they had a rep from Under Armour there, it was funny I had actually met the rep at the Charles St. 12, she is friends with one of my running friends.  It was a great group of people, we started really slow, which was fine with me, but it was too slow after a mile, it was more than a 10 min pace.  I started to pull away a bit and another runner came up along side me, her name was Heather and we ran the rest of the way together and chatted a bit.  Afterwards we all met back up and talked for a bit before we called it a day.  Everyone had asked how I felt, I had told them before about my donation in case something happened, plus I had bandaids on my arms.  Surprisingly, donating didn’t effect my run at all.

Rambo Pose after donating!
Rambo Pose after donating!

Thursday:  5 Miles (Pace ?:??) 5 x 800 hill repeats

When I got to Patterson Park to run hills, I realized I had forgot my Garmin.  I know the distances for the hills, but wouldn’t know the time.  I actually arranged to meet Heather who I met yesterday and run hills with her, she had a GPS watch but at the end of our run I forgot to ask our pace.  The training plan calls for 400m hill repeats but I figured 800 are better since Baltimore is hilly and we got in a longer distance.  I was hoping to do 6 repeats but I was tired after 4 and took a quick breather, Heather kept on going, she was pushing the pace.  As I ascended the hill I thought about doing one more but figured that 5 was good and I called it a day.

Friday:  1 Miles (Pace 8:37)

Friday’s are always marked as rest days but on a run streak a rest day doesn’t really exist, so I did the next closest thing.  I ran a slow mile around my neighborhood and then met up with some friends.

Saturday:  20 Miles (Pace 9:25)

The plan was to get up early and run before the rain came, but I decided to sleep in.  I must have been really tired, I slept for 10hrs. I felt refreshed when I woke up but I did not feel like running.  The weather was dreary outside, in the 70s, but humid.  I couldn’t wait till later to run, my best friend was having a birthday party.  I delayed as long as I could and finally hit the road around noon.  I decided to run a different route instead of in the city.  I started from my house and ran towards Edgemere and the North Point Peninsula.  The terrain reminded me of the marathon course with the hills that I would be running.  My plan was to run the peninsula and then go to my parents and have them give me a ride home.  There were lots of straight aways on the run which made the miles seem longer.  Around mile 9 I reached North Point State Park, when I passed the Visitor Center I saw my Dad’s truck.  I wasn’t surprised my parents are always at the Park, my Dad is volunteer and Honorary Ranger and my Mom likes to take pictures along the trails.  I headed towards the fishing pier and noticed an event going on and quickly realized it was a wedding, then I saw my parents were in attendance.  I stopped and saw them, their friend’s daughter was getting married at the park.  The reception was just beginning I waved to my parent’s friend said bye and then continued my run.  At that point I figured I needed a new plan, since my parents were at the wedding and wouldn’t be able to give me a ride home.  I was close to the midway point of 20 so I decided to run back the same way I came.  Around mile 14 the skies opened up and it started pouring down rain.  I remember thinking about Sarah and her post about her 16 mile run earlier in the day and I wished I only had 2 miles to go.  It rained intermittently for the next 6 miles.  At mile 17 I stopped at a 7-11 because I had run out of water and if I didn’t get some I’m not sure I could have finished.  On this run I ate Clif Bloks more frequently, every 4-5 miles, and I think that helped.  I passed my house just before 20 miles and was so happy when my Garmin beeped.  I was pretty surprised at my pace, I was trying to go slow and get the miles in so I wasn’t shooting for any certain pace, but I thought I was going slower so I was pretty happy.

Water logged after the run!
Water logged after the run!

Sunday:  5.1 Miles (Pace 8:48)

I felt surprisingly good when I woke up.  I made sure to stretch after the run yesterday and I think that really helped in my recovery.  I had lunch with some friends and then watched the Ravens game with them.  So close to a victory but we came up short.  It was about 2000 hrs when I started my run, the air was actually a bit chilly compared to what it had been.  It was in the low 70s and a light breeze was blowing.  I was hoping to get in 10 miles and I thought I could since my legs were feeling good.  A little over a half mile in I got sick while I was running.  I figured it wasn’t a big deal it has happened to me before, when I was in the military.  I just figured it was because I had a big lunch.  I kept on going but was feeling really sluggish in one sense but felt like I was running pretty hard in another.  At one point I thought my Garmin was off because it said I was running over a 9 min pace but it felt like it I was going faster with the amount of energy I was putting out.  I chalked it up to just loosening up the first mile.  Somewhere in the middle of mile 2 my pace had picked up but I knew 10 miles was not in the cards.  I wasn’t feeling well; my head was starting to hurt.  I started to think about it and I didn’t have as much fluid today as I normally do, and I should have been taking in extra after the long run.  By mile 3 I knew I was dehydrated and it was time to head back.  I didn’t want to run any further because I didn’t have my phone with me.  Even though my head was hurting I was trying to keep the pace, I figured it was good marathon simulation.  When I got back to my truck I felt totally depleted of energy, I was definitely dehydrated.  I went to Target and bought some Gatorade and chocolate milk.  I drank the chocolate milk on the way home, it did start to make me feel better almost immediately.  After I showered I mixed the Gatorade with water and drank about 40 oz, before bed.  I mixed 6 oz of Gatorade with 20 oz of water.  I think mixing it helps you digest it easier.  I finally started feeling better before bed and finishing up the blog.  Note to self, remember to properly hydrate!  Normally I carry a water bottle with me but forgot to today :/

Total Miles:  50.1

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Week 9 (8/10-8/16)

I am so happy week 8 is over.  I thought running in St. Thomas would be really nice and peaceful, it proved to be the exact opposite.  Seven days of runnings hills really took a toll on my body.  If I ever have to run in St. Thomas again it will be to soon!

Monday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:03)

It wasn’t in the cards, I couldn’t run in St. Thomas again.  Early in the morning I decided I would run once I got back home.  I couldn’t take another run on the mountain.  I knew I would be tired after a day of traveling but would rather do that than run on the island again.  Once we arrived at BWI it was late, our flights had been delayed.  When I got home it was raining out but I didn’t care I was looking forward to running on flat ground, I thought about going further but it had been a long day of travel and as much as I enjoyed running this evening I wanted to get to sleep!  It is good to be back!!!

Tuesday:  9 Miles (Pace 8:11)

Okay, now back to my training plan!  Normally, I’m not a fan of mid-distance runs during the week but today I was looking forward to running on terrain that didn’t have 20% inclines!  My friend Cat and I met at along the waterfront and ran about 4 miles together.  She was doing a tempo run, which I didn’t know before we started and the first four miles were faster than I would have liked to start out, but it was good to push the pace.  She ran home after our four together, it was actually five for her, she had to pack for a trip.  I thought about continuing my run back home but that wouldn’t have gotten me to nine and I would have had to loop the neighborhood.  I didn’t really feel like doing that, it was still early evening so I decided to head towards the harbor and turn around when I felt like it.  I ran along the promenade all the way to Harbor East.  I looped Harbor East and headed back towards Canton.  I had slowed my pace down some, it was pretty humid out.  I hit nine miles along Boston St. near the Safeway, it was a great run.  I walked around a little to cool down and then called an Uber to take me home.  I have really become a fan of Uber I like it because I’m not forced to run in a circle and come back to the same place, I can do an out-and-back run and get a ride home when I’m done.  If you haven’t tried it I would recommend you do!  Use my promo code for a free ride davidj3146ue

Wednesday:  4.1 Miles (Pace 8:12)

I was a bit sore after yesterday’s run, I think my body is still recovering from last week.  I did some stretching through the day and put on some Arnicare cream which really helps!  I recommend it for any type of pain you are having.  I went to an early dinner with a friend and ran afterwards.  I waited for the sun to start to go down, the evening air was cooler than it has been recently.  It took me a little while to get into a rhythm, but when I did the run felt smooth.  I thought about going further but decided to stick to the plan for today.

Thursday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 7:50)

My right foot was bothering me most of the day, it was the side of my foot; not much I could do in the way of stretching.  I waited again till the sun was setting to run, the air was unusually cool for an August evening.  As I started to run, I wanted to focus on my form.  I could tell it was a bit off the past few runs.  I took the first mile easy, focusing on my stride, core, hip rotation, breathing, getting into the groove.  The first mile was 8:30.  Today was suppose to be an interval workout but I’m going to do hills tomorrow, so I thought I would do a mini tempo run.  The second mile I felt like everything was falling into place from my foot strike to my arm swing.  I clocked mile two at 7:50.  I wanted to have negative splits for the run and was feeling strong, I pushed a little bit more in the final leg and put down a 7:21 mile.  I was really happy with the run, not because of the negative splits but with how I was able to focus on my form and make some corrections.

Friday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:27)

The plan was to run with November Project, the plan did not happen.  I didn’t sleep all that well, I was tossing and turning most of the night and when I woke up  I could tell I was really dehydrated.  Opting for a better run later in the day I didn’t go to November Project.  Through the day I was pretty sore and my training plan did call for today to be a rest day so I decided to only run a mile.

Saturday:  1 Mile (Pace 7:50)

I felt much better today and thought about moving my long run to today.  I thought another day of rest which my plan called for would be good.  I did a loop around my neighborhood and pushed the pace a bit.  I think my body is still recovering from Week 8, it was a rough week last week.

Sunday:  10 Miles (Pace 8:46)

Normally I like to do my long runs early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the heat of the day.  My friend Kristen couldn’t run until 1000 hrs, we actually started at 1030 hrs.  It was already heating up for the day.  We planned to do 13 miles, but by 5 miles I knew I didn’t have it in me.  The heat was brutal and there was not a lot of shade where we were running.  We stopped and got some water.  We decided to start to make our way back.  While I was running I looked down and could see the salt just ‘pouring’ off of my legs with the sweat.  I was loosing fluids fast.  We stopped at a ground fountain in the harbor that shoots water into the air.  We walked through it to cool off and it helped.  We were both exhausted when we got back to her house.  We met up with our other friend Ben and after showering then went to the pool for a few hours.  All the sun really zapped my energy.  Though it wasn’t a perfect week, it was much better than last!  Long runs must be done early in the summer!

Total Miles :  29.2

-Veggie Fueled Runner

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Not a run photo, because I forgot to take one this week…oops!

Week 7 (7/27-8/2)

In week 6 I got things back on track and even added a few miles.  After this week I will be traveling again, this time to St. Thomas for vacation!  I’m looking forward to it, but in this week I need to focus on training!

Monday:  3 Miles (Pace 8:09)

This evening the air was still and thick, my legs felt like logs after putting in 10 miles yesterday.  My cadence seemed like it took forever to complete one rotation.  As I started running I thought about cutting the run short, then I realized a marathon is about fighting through being tired and finishing the race.  As I completed the first mile, my Garmin 220 beeped 8:47 a bit slower than I wanted to but I wasn’t sure how the next 2 would go.  I took off my tank top, not because of the heat because yesterday I forgot to put on some ‘protection’ when I ran, so my chest was a little sore (get the point?).  My pace started to pick up a bit.  Then came the gnats, swarms of them.  Since the air wasn’t moving, they seemed to be everywhere.  My Garmin 220 beeped 7:57 for mile 2, much better even though my legs were tired.  As I ran I think I swallowed a gnat, I know one landed on my lips.  I looked down and my chest was covered in gnats, I tried to wipe them off as I ran, but  they kept piling on…I clocked my third mile at 7:40!  Negative splits.  I felt like I was pushing much harder and I hope that feeling will pay off when it comes time to tackle 26.2!

Just a few on the gnats 'left over' after colliding with them during the run.
Just a few on the gnats ‘left over’ after colliding with them during the run.

Tuesday:  3 Miles (Pace 6:31); 1 Mile Pace (9:41)

Conditions this evening were less than ideal for speed work, lets be honest they were down right brutal!  The heat index was 94 with 60% humidity, yeah it sucked!  Yesterday, I agreed to meet two of my running friends to do interval training, we were texting throughout the day and everyone knew it was going to suck tonight!  We did 6 x 800 repeats.  After the first repeat my throat felt like a desert, I didn’t think I had 1 more in me, let alone 5 more.  We took quick breaks in between intervals, but they didn’t seem long enough.  After 3 intervals I looked at my watch, 9:56.  I remarked I could remember 10 years ago I could run that same distance 4 seconds faster without stopping.  Elizabeth quickly reminded me I probably had rested legs as well, very good point!  After the 4th interval I was sure I was done, but Cat talked me into another and then I talked her into one more.  We all got our 6 x 800s in.  I was spent, I thought about running home, we were in Patterson Park, it is about a 4 mile run.  After a mile I decided to stop and get a veggie pita from Samos in Canton and call it a night.  The mile after the intervals was rough.  I have been streching more frequently and noticed a big difference the next day, so when I got home I made sure to strech.  My legs were tired and sore, but I know putting in the work now will pay off come race day, and it is always better to put in the hard work with two great friends!

A beautiful sunset after a tough workout!
A beautiful sunset after a tough workout!

Wednesday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:30)

Anguish, it’s the only way to describe the pain I had when I woke up around 0400 hrs to use the bathroom.  I thought I was going to have to crawl to my bathroom.  I stretched after running, but my heels were still throbbing in pain when they touched the floor.  I hobbled to the bathroom and back to the bed.  When I woke up in the morning I knew I had to stretch more.  I hobbled to my guest bedroom and spent some time stretching which helped.  I find it odd my heels hurt so much, I am more of a toe to mid-foot striker when I run.  The intervals yesterday had really done me in.  I was thinking today was going to be the day the streak ended.  After spending most of the day stretching and hobbling, I decided I would try to run a mile just to keep the streak alive.  I was a painful start and the rest of the run felt less than comfortable but I got the mile in to keep the run streak going!  Day #277 in the books!

Thursday:  1 Mile (Pace 8:06)

Today I did something I haven’t done in a while, ran only a mile back to back.  My legs were still sore from the interval workout.  As I started my quads felt like they were going to fall off my legs, but I got into the groove.  Even though I wanted to run more, I knew to stay healthy I shouldn’t risk it.  I was surprised at my pace when I finished.

Friday:  5 Miles (Pace 8:32)

Finally my legs were starting to feel normal, I wanted to get up early and run before the heat set in but I hit the snooze to many times.  I ran in the middle of the day and while it was hot, it was much less humid.  I thought about running a bit further, but my plan is to run 20 miles tomorrow so I didn’t want to push it to much.  I ran around my neighborhood, and had two dogs run up to me because they weren’t on leashes.  That caused me to stop and pet (hold) the dogs while their owners came to get them.  I didn’t want the dogs to keep running because I run in the street and I was worried they might get hit by a car.  I don’t understand why people don’t use leashes, especially if their yard doesn’t have a fence.  Overall a good run today!

Saturday: 19 Miles (Pace 9:38)

After hitting the snooze once I was up and moving around.  I was dreading the miles I was about to put in.  I met my friend Elizabeth around 0630 hrs.  I took an Uber to her place, my driver told me I look to heavy to be a marathon runner (we were chatting).  I don’t think he meant to be rude.  He quickly said most are really skinny.  I know I’m not really skinny, but when I weighed myself this morning I was 146, I think I’m okay.  Although my plan is to lose 10 more lbs. before the marathon so I am a little lighter.  Anyway, when I got to Elizabeth’s she looked about as enthused as I was to log the miles.  First thing I said, “I don’t wanna be a runner anymore, I wanna be a sleeper!”  We both laughed and off we were.  Around mile 8 or 9 we stopped for water, between mile 12-13 I was feeling really bad.  Things wouldn’t stop shaking and I almost told Elizabeth I think I was going down, but I figured she would notice me missing after a few strides, haha.  Fortunately, I didn’t pass out but I knew I needed some electrolytes.  Around mile 15 we stopped for more water and I got a gatorade.  I told Elizabeth I wasn’t feeling well and to push ahead if she wanted.  The next 4 miles were slow for me.  I wound up doing 19 and she was probably a little over 20. When we finished, we both sat, actually I laid on the ground for a few minutes.  Ugh, another run in the books and I know what I need to work on.  Oh, and I lost 6 lbs. on the run, where’s that Uber driver???

Sunday:  3.1 Miles (Pace 8:30)

Surprisingly I did not feel as bad as I thought I was going to today.  I was sore, but not in pain.  Throughout the day I did have some aches and pains that came and went but nothing intolerable.  I did feel more tired than usual which I attributed to running 19 miles yesterday.  It took me almost a mile to loosen up and feel like I could get into my stride.  After that I felt pretty good and was happy with how I ran today.  Overall, I think I had a good week, but the toughest one yet in the training!

Total Miles:  36.1

-Veggie Fueled Runner

Re-cooping after the long run.
Re-cooping after the long run.