A Wondrous Weekend!

(Caution: This post contains mention of my menstrual cycle. Just a warning for male readers who may not care to read about such.) What a weekend! It’s amazing how just a couple of runs can turn your attitude completely around from one of questionability to one of assurance. And I’m pretty sure that my new Garmin 620 has a lot to do with that. Not to mention my amazing masseuse.

I just haven’t been myself since the holidays. It could be the blues, it could be the weather, it could be that I put on 5 very explainable pounds just by doing way more eating than I’m used to. Somehow, just putting on a few pounds depresses me immensely. It makes me slower and less responsive, and it affects everything from my daily activities to my sleep. So, recovery in early 2014 has been anything but easy. The fact that I pulled off that run at the Polar Dash still amazes me. I guess I’m in better shape than I give myself credit for.

All this and the fact that yes, I am getting older. And the aches and pains of such are beginning to catch up with me just a little bit. I need to be more diligent with my post running stretching, and I need to incorporate some yoga into my routine. Everything feels much better when I roll out that butt, hang in the inversion chair, and leg drain on a regular basis.

I had a crappy weekend last weekend…and again, I could contribute this to many factors, not to mention the cold weather. But another might be the fact that Aunt Flo arrived an entire week early. My peri-menopausal mantra does not include skipping periods, rather getting it more and more often. It’s frustrating, if not annoying. And the crazy thing is, that the onslaught of such infuriates my sciatica. So, my lower back pain really became a pain last weekend. Just when I thought I’d have to seriously consider getting some medical attention, I got my period. And that explains so much. I was also well behind on my deep tissue massages since it was nearly impossible to schedule one during the holiday season. All of this, combined with more and more treadmill time thanks to the cold, really compounded the problem. So, this is how my week began.

But, lo and behold, I had the most amazing massage on Friday, my period came to an end, temperatures started to rise, and everything started to look up.

Saturday's Temperature

Saturday’s Temperature

Saturday, the temperature rose above 20° and I was determined to get a long run in. I overslept, and I had to put it off until noon-ish to work around my daughters’ schedule. But that was OK. I opted for my spiked sneakers, which may have been a reason as to why my run didn’t end the way I may have liked. I probably could have done without them, and they do have a tendency to slow me down a bit. But, I was able to experiment with some metronome training. So, in that respect, it worked out to be a good run. My Garmin gave me some good news with respect to my VO2 max and my predicted race times. And despite the fact that I did a 10 mile run, I felt pretty full of life afterward. I did some stretching, including pigeon poses, leg drain, and the inversion chair, all of which helped immensely. It was still kind of chilly for my liking. And knowing that Sunday’s weather was predicted to be a bit warmer made my regret the long run Saturday. I began thinking I should have put it off until Sunday.

Saturday's VO2 Max.

Saturday’s VO2 Max.

Saturday's predicted race times.

Saturday’s predicted race times.

 

Sunday, I slept even later. I don’t remember the last time I slept until 9am. But I did, and it would seem I needed it. I woke up refreshed and dang excited that the temperature was already above freezing.

Sunday's Temperature

Sunday’s Temperature

I’m going running. Even if it just has to be a mile, dang it…I’m getting OUT THERE!

Brooks Pure Grit 2

Brooks Pure Grit 2

I dressed and experimented with different sneakers. I have this pair of Brooks Pure Grit 2 that I have only run in once. Looking at the trail-like sole made me think this would be the perfect shoe for today. The roads were sure to be clearer than yesterday, but this would be enough to save me if I had to retreat to the deep shoulder to avoid any oncoming traffic.

I started slow and deliberate today, and the weather was delightful! I had two light layers on above and one below, and a hat. The winds were light, but not negligible so I was happy for the hat.

I was running well, and despite yesterday’s 10-miler, I felt great. I mean, not just good…but great! The shoes felt amazing, so much so, I began thinking I need to get another pair. My breathing was amazing. I did not struggle at all. I played with cadence running up the hills (I chose a hilly route today), and I played with speed running down them. I planned to do just the 3.75 mile loop that this route follows, but after one time around, I opted to do a second. Tomorrow is P90X day and temperatures are expected to drop again. This is the day to do this, if any. And I’m running so well.

So, I added the second loop.

Clear roads.

Clear roads.

I didn’t mention that the road conditions were much better than yesterday, and I made the right shoe choice!

My Garmin gave me even better numbers than it did yesterday, and I’m not surprised. I feel amazing today. I’m sure that the sleep has a lot to do with it…and the massage…and the stretching. But I have a whole new outlook on my Boston Marathon training. I feel much better going into this. I feel strong, and I feel capable. I have not felt this recently, in fact I have felt unsure, and undeserving.

Sunday's Run

Sunday’s Run

Sunday's VO2 Max

Sunday’s VO2 Max

Sunday's predicted race times

Sunday’s predicted race times

Hal’s Boston Bound program begins January 27th. I was a little worried about the 12-week training program not being long enough for me, but this #RWRunStreak has helped me to overcome that fear. I now believe that I have what it takes to not only run Boston, but beat my first marathon time. For the first time since running Grandma’s, I feel confident.

Happy Runner!

Happy Runner!

I’m ready! Let’s do this!

How has your running confidence been lately? How do you overcome periods of uncertainty?

 

2 Responses to A Wondrous Weekend!

  1. petitepacer says:

    Barring any catastrophe, I always thought that you WOULD PR at Boston. Never had a second thought about it, really..
    That sky pic is really pretty!

  2. Do you think the weight gain is water weight from Aunt Flo? I always gain about 3 pounds during that time of the month. It’s funny, during my 30s I barely had my period because I was either pregnant or nursing. Now that it’s come back regularly, I am kind of looking forward to menopause (as long as I don’t get crazy side effects). I had forgotten about the weight gain and I am now breaking out like I’m going through puberty or something. Fun times.

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