Akron Marathon…Final Thoughts

This post has been a long time coming. After ten hard weeks of training, two weeks of time off and three weeks of stress, short runs and feeling of being overwhelmed, I have decided that I will not be running the Akron Marathon this weekend. This was something that was in the back of my mind for a while, but after this past week, I knew I was making the right decision.

Last week, I didn’t get a single run in. I was working a trade show in Canada and was standing on concrete for three days straight. It wasn’t something I could avoid, but by the end of the third day, my foot was cramping up and was still sore until Saturday. Between the lingering pain, and the lack of long runs, I knew I wouldn’t be able to give it my all this coming Saturday. I’ve run races that I shouldn’t have while battling the same pain in high school. I knew how the road would end up if I didn’t back off and I’d rather back out of one race, than have to take months off of running.

This decision didn’t come easy though, and I’m still not 100% sure I’m making the right choice. I had such a strong start to this training cycle, I felt like I could crush my time from last year. But after I injured my foot, I just couldn’t get back to where I needed to be, physically and mentally. I respect the distance enough that if I’m going to run 26.2 miles, I want to know that I can handle it. I don’t want to run it, just to say I did it, and struggle 75% of the way.

Mentally, I’m all over the board with this decision. I’ve got a lot going on outside of running right now, and I can’t give it my all. But I feel like I’m letting myself down by not showing up Saturday morning. Deep inside, I wouldn’t be able to handle another bad race this year and ultimately knowing that I’d have a good chance of dropping out.

There are so many emotions swirling in my head at this time, but I have to remember it’s only a race. There will be others and there will always be next year. I still plan on picking up my packet on Friday, but will keep everything as a reminder that maybe 2013 isn’t my year. Someday I will tow the blue line for 26.2 miles around Akron, and it will be everything I had wanted.

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Akron Marathon Training: Week Fourteen

Well, what was supposed to be a pivotal week in training, turned out to be one giant mess of stress. Between about 4 different things, my mind and body are going in a million different directions. With a bunch of errands to run, and places to be, evenings were pretty full this past week. I definitely didn’t hit the mileage I wanted, but I was able to get some in, and I wasn’t in pain at all.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: Off

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 2 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Off

Sunday: 3 Miles

Total Miles: 8 Miles

There isn’t too much to say about my runs these days. I’m just trying to get miles in. They’re no where near the high mileage weeks that I should be at/used to be at, but it’s too late in the game for it. Surprisingly, my mind still thinks I can run the marathon. My legs have no idea. I’m not nervous, but I’m also not worried. After I took that week + off of running, I hit a wall. I wasn’t sure what I was capable of doing or if I could become healthy again in time for race day. I still plan on lining up at the starting line, but I’m not going to be upset if my time is horrible or if I can’t finish.

With two weeks to go, I’m still excited for the marathon, and hoping in some miracle, I can pull off a PR.

 

 

 

Akron Marathon Training: Week Twelve & Thirteen

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. Between work, a busy evening schedule, the holiday and allergies, I don’t even know what day it is anymore. Taking a week off was not ideal, and may have potentially ruined my training, but it was needed. I knew I couldn’t go on running and still line up to run the marathon in just a few weeks. Luckily, every run has felt better, the pain is gone while running, and I have no doubt that I’ll be running Akron Marathon.

Within the past two weeks I’ve run 14 miles total, not a lot, but a good amount to test the waters and see just how my foot feels. I did a few 2 milers, a 3 miler, and ended my weekend with a 6 miler that couldn’t have gone better. I’ve made sure to stretch, ice and keep off of it when I can. I found a few different shoe inserts that I used in the past, and I’m taking turns with each to find which is the best for me right now.

Over the past two weeks, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had no idea if my foot would ever feel better or if I could even get any endurance back. I know I’m not where I was post 20 miler, but during my run Saturday  I realized that as long as I set my mind to it and keep an easy pace, I can pull it off. It may not be in the time I had originally hoped for, but I’ll cross that finish line.

Saturday morning trails, pure bliss.

Saturday morning trails, pure bliss.

Not only did I realize that I could run a marathon, but I felt like I could keep running for miles. I discovered a new path outside the woods and didn’t want to turn around. But playing it safe I only went out a mile, before I headed back to the car and finished up my 6 miles. I looked up the path once I got home and found that it went to Chippewa Lake. Looks like I’ll be taking that path more often.

Home.

Home.

So now that I know I can run again without pain, what’s the plan? I’m hoping to run as many miles as I can, as often as I can until about 10 days before the race. I’m hoping I can get an actual long run in before then, but only time will tell. The only thing I know for sure is that I’m not giving up. No training plan is perfect, the journey is half the battle and I’m not about to wave the white flag.

Akron Marathon Traning: Week Eleven

Well, one week of no running is complete. I’m hoping that taking some time off will help to keep any more injury away, but not allow me to get too far behind in training. I’ve done a lot of thinking, and researching and I think I may have some idea of what happened to me, how it happened, and how this will change my training. So let’s start at the beginning.

I don’t have any medical degree what so ever, but from previous injuries and a few Google searches, my symptoms line up most with peroneal tendinitis. I’m pretty familiar with tendinitis, as it’s something that creeps up every year. With previous issues in my arch, and tendinitis in my knee last year, it makes sense that my left foot joined in. So how did I go from having strong runs to struggling so quickly? Easy, I *probably* put too many miles on my new shoes too quickly. Oops, but that 20 miler was amazing. I also may have been stepping differently to avoid injuring both my knee and arch, so something else had to take the weight and now the pain. My left leg has also felt a little tight lately, so tight muscles lead to possibly  injuries here. I can for sure cancel out over pronating, because I’m in the weird 10% that actually lands evenly on their shoes. You’d think it would  be the opposite for me.

After I pinpointed the possible problem, I had to figure out how to fix it. I knew I’d have to stretch, ice, foam roll and keep my foot elevated as much as possible. Unfortunately that’s easier said than done. I had a full week and barely had any time to relax. I also had a weekend filled with a close friend’s wedding, so my feet were confined to 4 inch heels and lots of dancing. Luckily, the only time I was in real pain, was the end of Saturday night.

So as of right now, the pain is pretty minimal. It’s usually worst in the mornings right after I get out of bed. It hurts a little bit off and on during the day, depending on which shoes I’m wearing, how often I get up and down, and how long I’ve been on my feet. But for the most part, I’d say I’m on the upswing of things. So where does this lead me with the rest of my training? Taking it day by day. With five weeks left, every run is crucial and if I’m in pain, I won’t risk it to hurt my chances of having a strong race.

I still plan on running three days a week to keep my cardio up. I’ll keep those shorter, and try to get to the track two more times. If I can, I’ll keep these runs a day apart so my body doesn’t get beat up running back to back. I also plan to get back into my yoga classes. Now that summer is winding down, and my schedule is almost clear again, I can take time to do some stretching and relaxing once a week. Hopefully this will help to keep me limber and keep the tight muscles to a minimum.

My long runs will be a bit more challenging. I essentially have two more long runs before I begin to taper. This next week is slated for 17 and it will  be followed by 20. I’m a little nervous for these. How I’m feeling on these runs will most likely be the same come race day. I’m hoping to run them with MCRR so I have some distraction from the miles and some support if I need to drop out. Other than that, I’m going to take each run as it’s own. I’m nervous coming back, hoping I gave myself enough time to do a slight recovery, but also concerned I’ve lost too much and will have to start over. I’ve run at least one 20 miler. I know I can do the distance, it just depends on how much pain I can handle. Most importantly, I still plan on being at the start line come September 28th. I’ve worked too hard to let a little set back take me out.

 

 

Akron Marathon Training: Week Ten

Week 10! This means there are only six more weeks or training, and in the past few days, a lot has changed. I started off the week with easy miles. I knew I’d be running a hilly half marathon so I didn’t want to have tired legs come race day. Tuesday was a quick out and back and I felt recovered from my 20 miler. Wednesday, I joined Elayna for some easy miles in the metro parks. The weather was perfect, my legs felt great and I was excited to catch up before she ties the knot this weekend.

The run felt great until I finished, that’s when my left foot felt a little tight on the outside. I drove home, thinking nothing of it and as soon as I stepped out of the car I knew I was in trouble. The whole outside of my foot was in pain, a pain that I was far too familiar with. I tried to massage it, stretch it and keep off of it. I hoped that if I went to bed, the pain would be gone in the morning. Thursday I woke up, and the pain was still there, not a good sign.

I had planter fasciitis in my left arch in high school, and then I continued to run on it, race on it, and did a 50k relay which ultimately destroyed my arch, leaving me out of running for months. I traded in my running shoes for a boot and cortisone shots that will mentally scar me for life. Once in a while I’ll get minimal pain in my left arch on long runs, and the pain on the left side of my foot was exactly the same, but worse. So I continued to roll, massage, ice and elevate my foot hoping that it was just a small flair up and it would be gone by Saturday.

Friday I woke up and felt great, whew! Injury avoided, and I can go back to my regularly scheduled running. I was still a little nervous about running on Saturday but figured I could play it by ear. I had been looking forward to this half for a long time and I was excited to get back into racing.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 Miles

Wednesday: 3.75 Miles

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: Buehler’s Heart & Sole Half Marathon

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 18.75 Miles

Saturday was race day, I won’t go into too much detail because I want to save it for my race recap, but I’ll give you the high and low points. I started the day with no pain and continued for the first 3 miles with no pain. I started to feel pain at mile 4 and should have dropped there, but I didn’t. Overall it was a great race, but you’ll learn more later this week when I share my recap.

As of right now, I regret running the race. I should have taken time off or dropped from the race when I first felt pain. After icing, massaging, rolling and elevating all weekend, it’s not getting better. I’ve decided to take this next week off completely and let it heal. Luckily it was originally planned to be a light week with no weekend run due to a wedding. I’m definitely going to take a look at the rest of my training plan and shift things around. I knew I had been too lucky not to get injured, and I should have played it safe over the weekend. With six weeks to go, everything from here on out is crucial for race day.

What I learned:

  • No race is worth the risk of possibly injuring yourself for weeks to come. I should have played it smart and not run, now I have no idea how the rest of training will go.

 

*Housekeeping: Be sure to enter my giveaway for a FlipBelt!

Akron Marathon Training: Week Nine

This week couldn’t have gone better if I tried. After last week’s long run was cut short, I was nervous about getting injured, worn down or coming to a wall in my training. Luckily that wasn’t the case. I started off the week by breaking in my new shoes. I had one last pair of the Asics Gel 1160 in the back of my closet and decided it was time to break them in. It felt good to run in a new pair of shoes, but I wasn’t quite satisfied with the support on my arch. Thursday I pulled out my second pair of new shoes, the Asics GT-2000. The moment I put them on, they hugged my feet and was reaffirmed that these are the perfect shoes for me. With less than two months to go, I’ll have just enough time to break in the shoes and get them ready for race day.

Asics Gel 1160 & GT-2000

Asics Gel 1160 & GT-2000

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 20 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 25 Miles

I’m still not quite sure what to say about Saturday’s run,  but let’s start at the beginning. I had 16 miles on the schedule and was looking forward to running. I had decided I would join some of the MCRR members in a group run at Bonnie Park. I’d only been there once before so new scenery would be inviting. I was also looking forward to running with a new group, hoping that conversation would help keep my mind off the miles. The run was split up into three out and backs of 5 miles. The pace was set at 11:00, but I somehow found a way to pick it up on my way back each time.

I felt great the entire time and kept my hydration and fueling system in check.

  • Take a sip of water every mile
  • Refill my water after every 5 miles
  • Take a salt tab every 5 miles
  • Each two Sport Beans every 5 miles

I knew I’d have to do an additional mile after everyone was done, but when another women mentioned she was running 18, I decided I’d join her. I was still feeling pretty good, despite that the temperature was heating up. We came back to the parking lot just at my Garmin beeped for 18 miles. At this point I was at a cross roads. I still felt pretty good, and the thought had crossed my mind to try for 20. I knew it was on schedule for this next week, but running an additional 7 miles after a half marathon seemed a lot harder than finishing 2 miles right here. So I started off and knew I only  had to make it one mile and I could turn around for the home stretch. Those last two miles flew by and I could feel myself speed up the closer I got to my car. I finished the run with a “sprint” and heard the most amazing sound, the Garmin’s beep of a 20 mile run.

So much more than 20 miles

So much more than 20 miles

I was in complete awe of what I had finished. My first 20 mile training run and a milestone in my running. I had only seen 20 miles on my Garmin once, and that was during Columbus. But the last time my watch was sitting at 20 miles, I was in a breakdown in a port a potty in the Columbus marathon. At the 20 mile mark in Columbus, I wanted to give up, I wanted to stop, and I wanted to throw away running forever. This time when my watch clocked 20 miles, I felt so strong, so happy and craving more. This was the run that meant everything, and this was the run that almost nothing can beat.

I came home and took an ice bath like a champ wimp, forgetting how awful they felt, but remembered how good they are. For the record, an ice bath by yourself in a bathtub isn’t nearly as fun as an ice bath with your team in garbage cans outside of coach’s office. I followed up with my ProCompression socks, a 500 calorie cinnamon roll and a 20 minute nap. Still in shock of what I had run that morning, I tried to hold on that runner’s high as long as I could.

What I learned:

  • I missed running with a group. The miles fly by, and you learn so much. I ran with someone training for their first half marathon to a few ultra runners, and everyone in between.
  • The Asics GT-2000 are my go to shoe. Finding the perfect shoe for your feet make all the difference in the world.
  • Proper hydration, fueling and pace can help you go any distance, you just have to want it.
  • Nothing compares to the runner’s high after a perfect run. I’m still holding on to it, hoping I see it again soon.

Akron Marathon Training: Week Eight

We’re halfway there! I can’t even believe that it’s already been 8 weeks of training and that there are only 8 more weeks to go! I started off the week with one of my now favorite out and backs. I enjoy any time that I can run downtown and take in the historic views. Wednesday I headed to one of my favorite hills (can you believe I said that?) and did my best at some repeats. I enjoyed running these because I had a small loop at the top to continue with instead of stopping at the top of the hill. It also helped to add up the miles. I felt really good after this run and feel more confident about hill running and the marathon course.

No flat land here

No flat land here

Not only was the workout a successful one, but those six miles helped to put me at my highest month of mileage yet. Three cheers for running!

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: 6 Miles, 1 Mile w/u, 6x hill repeats, 1 Mile c/d

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 15 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 25 Miles

Remember when I said I had made it this far without an injury? Well, I’m not injured, but my body, specifically my knee was really sore Saturday. As in so sore, it started bothering me within the first 5 steps. The Second Sole Medina store had a group run at 8:00, so I figured I’d run down there and if it still hurt I’d just turn around and figure out plan B. The pain started to go away but I still felt blah, it was a lot more humid than I expected and I probably shouldn’t have had that large glass of wine the night before. By the time I got to the store I had three miles done. There were a few guys outside and I was hoping someone more my pace would show up. Turns out these gentlemen were from MCRR. I hadn’t seen them before but they gave me some good insight on my running. I waited until after 8:00 and no one from Second Sole showed up. At this point, I realized I would be on my own and headed to a path that the MCRR guys mentioned.

A change of scenery was nice and I ran the next  four miles without music, taking in the sounds of nature and all it had to offer.

Quiet little stream in the park

Quiet little stream in the park

I ended up back at the square, refilled my water and headed out for a short out and back. I had to be at home by 11, so I needed to do the rest of my runs closer to home. It was starting to get warm and my legs were starting to hurt, but once I took a few Sport Beans I was feeling better. Around mile 10 I attempted to take a Blueberry Pomegranate gel, and immediately threw it out after one gulp. Lesson learned, that’s not my flavor. So I headed home to grab a granola bar and fill my hand help with colder water.

I was at mile 12, and only had 8 to go. I headed out on a short loop for three miles and my body started to give up on me. Even after stretching my knee and hips were tight. I had the same pain in my knee from last year and this time it wasn’t going away as I kept running. I headed to the tree covered path, hoping this would help to keep me energized. I could feel myself slowing down and I even started to walk the hills. After I hit 13.5 miles I started the dreaded walk-jog. I knew if I headed home, I’d have 15 miles for the day, not an easy task, but certainly not the 20 I needed to get in. I stopped, stretched and asked myself if 5 more miles of pain would be beneficial to my running. I knew in the end it wouldn’t, so I called it.

I came home, iced, and rolled my legs a bit. I went over and over in my head what would make my knee suddenly start hurting, I felt fine when I woke up. And then it hit me, the high mileage. Not only was I putting some high mileage on my legs that I wasn’t used to, but I had pushed it on my shoes. I finished up Saturday with 359 miles on my shoes. They were pretty worn down and I knew the time to retire them was approaching, but it became clear that Saturday would be their last run.

I didn’t hit my first 20 miler, but I’m not going to dwell on it. It didn’t happen, and I need to focus on this next week of training. I still have plenty of long runs to go and some beautiful new shoes to break in!

What I learned:

  • If you’re going to host a group run, show up. Not showing up leaves you less accountable for the next group run.
  • Pay close attention to the miles on your shoes. The long runs have the miles adding up, and I need to pay closer attention to them.
  • Listen to your body. If you know that the pain will get worse as you continue running, head home and recover. A few miles short now is better than a rough injury down the road.

How many miles do you put on your shoes? Would you rather run alone or with a run group?

Thoughts of Marathon Training

Last night I experienced the  moment where everything in the past 8 weeks finally clicked. I’m currently one mile away from matching my second highest month of mileage in the past year, and only five miles from matching my highest month of mileage quite possibly ever. I took a moment to take it all in, and rightfully so, the song “Home” came on my iPod.

My first marathon didn’t follow the best training plan. I made it half way through and I was injured, forcing me to take time off. I had 6 weeks to start from scratch and attempt to run 26.2 miles. I really struggled in Columbus, I didn’t know if I would finish, and I hit the wall awfully bad for quite a few miles. But nothing could take away the joy of crossing that line after those long and challenging 26.2 miles.

Looking back at the first 8 weeks, I’m so surprised at what I’ve done. I’ll be running my first of three 20 milers this weekend, last year I never made it past 16. I’m putting in the miles and doing the hard workouts. I’m pushing my limits and giving it everything I’ve got on the track. Truth be told, I didn’t know I had it in me. I was doing 20 miles a month in the beginning of the year, I had no idea how I’d ever get to 20+ miles a week. I even thought that I was a one and done marathon runner. But so much has changed.

The more I ran, the better I got, and the more miles I could handle without breaking down. I thought back many times to this quote from Born to Run, “Ask nothing from your running, in other words, and you’ll get more than you ever imagined.” I put in the miles this time around, and I wouldn’t stop until I had hit my goals. I felt healthy and happy and finally for once I was uninjured. I felt the weight of what is expected in marathon training, but I also felt the joy of telling people that I was training for my second marathon.

So what do these next 8 weeks have in store for me? I will continue to hit my splits, and trek the hills. I will wake up before the sun rises to enjoy every step of those long runs. I’m putting everything I have into this training and loving every bit of it. This marathon means almost more to me than the first one. I won’t give up until I cross that finish line in Akron, I can guarantee you that.  Running is my home, and it never felt so good to be here.

Akron Marathon Training: Week Seven

What a difference a week can make. This week had the perfect running weather. Lows in the 50’s,  highs in the 60’s-70’s, it almost felt like fall. This weather was exactly what I needed to get back on track. I kept Tuesday’s run pretty easy, just a simple out and back with a little bit of wind. I headed to the track on Thursday and was in between ladders and mile repeats. Last minute I decided on mile repeats and I’m so glad I did.

I started with an easy warm up and naturally went out a little too quick on the first mile. Knowing that I had to do three, I tried to slow my pace down and eventually got to 8:24. Last time I did mile repeats my first one was at 8:22, so I wasn’t far off. I took about a three minute break and then began my second one. I started off too quick again, and by the second lap I was feeling really tired. But I wasn’t going to give up. I reminded myself that there will be moments like this during the marathon, where my legs and body want to give up, but I have to keep going. I dug deep and pulled out an 8:05 for my second mile, my fastest mile since college. I had one more left and wasn’t sure what kind of time I was going to pull. I gave it another shot and kept telling myself that these are the days that make you stronger. Stronger indeed, I ran 8:04, negative splits for mile repeats.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 3 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 5 Miles, 1 mile w/u, 3xmile 8:24, 8:05, 8:04, 1 mile c/d

Friday: Off

Saturday: 18 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 26 Miles

Saturday was rough, and ugly and I’m glad it’s over. I was supposed to meet up with an MCRR runner at the woods for some miles Saturday morning.  Unfortunately, I saw groups of runners, but never saw her. I’m not sure what happened, but it put a small damper on the start of my day. The weather was cool, but it was still humid and damp. I started around the marsh and then headed around the pond to the woods. I wasn’t feeling it and was struggling beyond belief. My pace was dropping and I thought about doing the same. I finished up 5 miles, and unfortunately the only thing I enjoyed were the views.

Outskirts of the woods

Outskirts of the woods

Saturday morning drizzle

Saturday morning drizzle

I had to think of a way to get the last 13 miles in, and so I became creative. I headed to the rec center and tried to run as many miles on the indoor track as I could. After 50 laps, or 5 miles, I was getting tired and could feel my energy level was going down. I knew that because I was breaking up my run, my  hydration and fueling rituals were nothing like they should have been. I came back home and ate part of a granola bar, thinking of my next way to get miles in. By this time the rain was picking up and I debated on trying again the next day. Our complex has the world’s smallest gym, so I tried the treadmill in there. Within the first mile my knee was starting to bug me and I knew it was from running the same direction for so long on the track. After two miles, I gave in. I had no energy, I was over heating and I was in a ton of pain. I was frustrated and still 6 miles short of the 18 I needed to run.

I went back home, showered, ate a 500 calorie cinnamon roll, and stretched out for quite some time. There was finally a break in the weather that afternoon and I ventured out to attempt the last 6 miles. I started out slow and tried to stay as hydrated as I could. My legs felt good and I surprisingly felt better than I had all day. I ran an out and back with a small loop added on the end. I ran up to our front door, heard my Garmin beep and was relieved that the longest 18 miles of my training was done.

Go to long run combo

Go to long run combo

I really struggled with my run Saturday. Part of it was because it was split up into so many different routes and miles. The other reason was because I never hit that 18 mile training run for Columbus. Because I was injured, I only made it to 16. I knew that this would be a challenge, but I feel like I accomplished more than just 18 miles, I made it over the mental roadblock of actually training for a marathon. And yes, I know it wasn’t run all at once, but the will power I had to keep coming back until I got those 18 miles in will help on race day. At least I hope so.

What I learned:

No bullet points this week, but I did learn one thing that will stick with me for a very long time. It wasn’t until Saturday night that I realized how amazing the support system you have is during training. I’ve never had a single run where Darren is telling me to hurry up and finish, or to skip it. He’s never complained about a run getting in the way of plans or a busy weekend. And I think it’s great. Having a support system is huge, especially when you’re getting deep into your training. Whenever I feel doubt, I think about crossing the finish line at Columbus, where he was waiting, open armed and tears in his eyes. 26.2 miles is a long way to run, but it’s worth all the blood, sweat and tears to see the love from your support system at the finish line.

 

Have you ever broken up a long run? How big is your support system?

Akron Marathon Training: Week Six

Last week it was too wet, this week it’s too hot. Welcome to marathon training in the summer. With the temperature in the 90’s all week I had to carefully plan out  my runs. Monday I was still exhausted from a busy weekend, so I moved my run to Tuesday, which is somehow becoming a habit. Tuesday we had an air quality alert all day, and it was already 85 degrees by 9:00am, so I waited as long as I possibly could and ran at 8:30pm. It was still hot and the air was still thick, but I knew to play it safe. I wanted to do 3-4, but with the weather I just went by how I felt. I did an out and back and actually felt better on my way in.

Wednesday was supposed to be a track day, but with a heat advisory all day, I pushed it to Thursday, hoping it would cool off by a degree or two. Then Thursday didn’t go as planned. I woke up with a racing heart beat, 98+bpm. My normal resting heart beat is usually around 57bpm, so I knew something was off. I wasn’t feeling good at all, until my heart “reset” itself and skipped a few beats. It’s a normal thing, for me at least, but this time was worse than all of them, mostly because I could barely catch my breath. Shortly after my heart rate started to go down, and by mid morning it was in the low 70’s-high 60’s. I had some small pains throughout the day, but I generally felt back to normal. So instead of mile repeats, I decided on a few easy miles and went by how I felt. It was hot and awful out. I started to struggle in the first mile and knew I wouldn’t last long. My heart just can’t take these 90 degree days.

Sidebar: Skipped beats are completely normal for me and happen most when I’m relaxed, ie when I was eating breakfast. They show up whenever, and usually don’t cause any issues. With the amount of stress I have been under and the heat wave that’s settled over Ohio, I’m not surprised they’ve picked up again in full force. I’ve been cleared in the past to keep running, but I just have to be more aware of what my heart is doing.

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 2.5 Miles

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: 2 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: Wellington Cheese Fest 10k

Sunday: 3 Miles, 8:58, 8:54, 8:54

Total Miles: 7.5 Miles

Saturday was slated for 18 miles, a distance I never ran as a training run last year. My plan was to run a few miles, run a 10k, and then finish up the leftover miles after the race was over. Saturday morning I woke up to dark skies and on and off rain. I could hear thunder in the distance and wondered if my race would get postponed. With an 8:30 start, I drove to Wellington around 7:15, the rain was getting worse, but I was hoping that by 8:30 it would be clear. Nothing had changed and the race had been delayed to at least 9:00. I went back and forth from my car to the covered pavilion. The closer it got to 9:00, the more I was less excited about running. I had been looking forward to this race for weeks, but with the weather and the constant delay, my motivation was going out the window. At 9:00, they called the race due to weather. I’ve never had a race canceled on me and wasn’t really sure what to do. I went home and the storm seemed to follow. By noon, things had cleared up, but with the way that morning went, I decided to push my run to Sunday.

After tossing and turning, I woke up Sunday from a dream that told me not to do my 18 miles. I wasn’t feeling too hot and my stomach was agreeing with my dream. I still got up and tried to get in the mind frame of running, but without a planned route I found it harder and harder to get going. I was still having some heavy chest pains and after a half hour, I decided I would take a mental health day and go back to bed. I woke up three hours later and felt better than I had in the past three weeks.

I knew I’d eventually have to get some sort of run in, so I went to the indoor track that evening for some monitored running. I did a tempo run of three miles and felt pretty decent considering the past week. It felt good to get some decent running in and not struggle with the heat.

I don’t regret not doing my long run. The heat had me struggling all week long, and I knew it probably wouldn’t have ended well. I can easily move it to this weekend and not get behind in my training. I’ve also been so worn down, I’m not surprised my body gave up. We’ve been so busy every weekend that I’m not able to fully recover after my long runs. I needed this weekend to touch base with myself and catch up on rest. Next week I’ll be back at it and enjoying the slightly cooler temps.

What I learned:

  • I’d take snow over a heat wave any day. My body can only handle so much heat before it turns on me. The most important thing is to listen to your body on those hot summer days.
  • You can’t cross train when having any issues dealing with the heart, so the best thing to do is wait it out. Not always fun, but better to be safe than sorry.
  • One bad week won’t ruin my training. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and you move on. No need to stress over what you don’t have control over. Easier said than done….
  • I was bummed on the days that the heat took away my running. After a burnout that seemed to go on forever, I’m finally back in love with running, and it never felt so good.

Have you ever been to a race that was canceled day of? How did you handle the heat wave?