This was not a normal week of training, but I did what was best for me. I knew going into this week that I wouldn’t be able to attend Body Fusion, and most likely won’t be able to go all month. But the rest of the week was a little unexpected.
Tuesday I went out for my run and was a little tight, but the further along I got, the worse I started to feel. I hoped in the second mile I would start to loosen up, but I was still just as tight and felt like I was running for the first time in months. So I cut it short and tried to stretch everything out.
I woke up Wednesday with a bit of pain in my arch and hoped it was just my imagination. The pain was random throughout the day and I decided to take the night off from running and roll it out. Knowing I had the course run on Saturday, I decided to take the rest of the week off and monitor my arch to make sure I kept injury at bay.
Saturday was a humbling experience. We had one final course run before the race. There were at least 20 runners and plenty of paces to choose from. I didn’t really have a set pace or time I wanted to complete the course in, I just wanted to get the whole course completed, and hopefully without pain.
We started off together and quickly we separated into little groups. I ended up running with Denise. The first two miles felt relatively easy, and we kept it to a 9:30 pace. Somewhere between mile two and three, humidity smacked me in the face.
Once we made it to the Lake, the breeze helped to cool things down, but I was sweating up a storm, I was also started to struggle with the humidity. Not how you want to feel this early into the course. Everything else felt fine, so Denise spoke most of the time to get my mind off the run and so I could focus on my breathing. I took a sport bean around this time, and continued to drink some water after each mile.
Once we left the lake, we headed up on Rt. 18 and conquered the big hill. From there on it was a gradual incline until mile 7.25. Since I lived in this area last year, I was used to the incline, but now that I’m on the other side of town, I forgot just how much it can wear down your legs. Once we reached the turn on Guilford, I was looking forward to the short downhill and welcomed a quick break to stretch out my legs.
From here we ran through a bunch of neighborhoods, some I’m familiar with and some I’m not. Thankfully I wasn’t alone or else I probably would have been stuck in the developments for hours. We were still working with a gradual incline that lasted until about mile 10. My legs were started to get sore, especially in the hips and I was losing some energy. I took some more sport beans, tried to drink more water and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
Once we got to mile 10, I switched my brain to thinking just a 5k left. Our pace was slower than what we started with, but we were still chugging along. There were a few moments that we got stuck by traffic or stopped to check the directions, but we kept going.
We made our way through the last three miles and picked up two more runners along the way. You could tell that everyone was tired, and ready to be done. I kept chugging along, taking advantage of any downhill I could find. And as we approached the square I could feel my legs getting lighter, so I quickened my pace to finish at the gazebo.
Tuesday: 2 Miles
Saturday: 13.1 Miles
Total Miles: 15 Miles
The course run was tough. With the humidity, slight pain in my knees and a feeling of never ended inclines, I forgot that it isn’t an easy course. If anything, the course run reminded me of how few hill repeats I’ve done this year. So clearly, that’s what I need to work on in these next few weeks.
Three weeks out, and I’m not quite sure what to expect from the Medina Half. With a few changes on the course, it has a lot of gradual inclines that I’m not sure I’m ready for. During the rest of the training cycle, I plan on running parts of the course and running hill repeats to get me mentally prepared. I don’t know if I’ll be able to run sub 2, but I do know that I want to leave that course knowing I gave it all I had.
This week brings Cleveland Half on Sunday and I’m excited to run the new course. I’m crossing my fingers for perfect weather and can’t wait to see what my legs are capable of!
Do you prefer gradual inclines or short steep ones? Who else is running Cleveland this weekend?