Another training week has come to a close. I was actually pretty pleased with this week.
Sunday I went for the weekly long and slow run. Since I picked up where I left off, I started with the 6 milers I missed the Sunday before. I actually felt pretty gung-ho about starting this run that morning. I went out feeling pretty good and not too worried about pace. I was able to warm up at 8:30 for the first mile, then drop to around an 8:15 for a second mile. However, this is where the negative splitting stopped. I clocked somewhere around an 8:20 for mile 3 but once I made the turn around to head back home, I really felt the weight in my legs. My glutes suddenly felt quite fatigued. I ended up running the next 3 miles at a pace between 8:30 and 9:00. I was pretty beat by the time I got home. I knew I would be a bit tired from the push I gave at the 5K the day before but I had no idea it would be this significant. I was kind of shocked because this is what I would expect after something like a hard 10K or a half. I’m still learning how my pregnant body reacts to exercise stress (yes, even with this being my second pregnancy). I was quite an eye-opener on how much slower I recover from runs. Still, I can’t overlook the fact that I ran 6 miles that day when last pregnancy I could barely make it to 4 miles at something like a 9:30 pace when I was this far along.
Monday was active recovery and I really needed it. I limited myself to just 1 mile and then hit the gym afterwards to finish some cardio on the elliptical. I was definitely feeling the fatigue of running hard and then long 2 days in a row. This was quite possibly the slowest mile I’ve done in a long time. The elliptical was just as slow because I didn’t want to wear out my legs. I got through both just fine and felt pretty well afterwards.
Tuesday I completed a 3-miler. I started off feeling like my legs were lead heavy, but once I got through the first mile I loosened up quite a bit. It took me the entire first mile to warm up and I’ve come to realize that I now need this mile to get loosened up. I’m used to just needing half a mile so this is a bit weird for me. However, once I get past this point I am able to hit my sub-8 paces again. I averaged an 8:03 so my legs were back to feeling like their normal selves. I didn’t feel any pain so overall the run went well.
Wednesday was speed work day. It was scheduled to be a 40 minute tempo. Rather than build up the tempo time, I decided to take the full 10 minutes to warm up, run 20 at tempo, then take 10 minutes to cool down. I was taking cues from what my body had felt like after the past weekend. I was able to run 1.27 miles during warm-up, (5 minutes at 7.5 MPH and 5 minutes at 7.8 MPH), complete my 20 minutes at 8.0 MPH, then finish off the last 10 minutes covering 1.27 miles once again (5 minutes at 7.8 then slowing to 7.5 for the last 5). I really had to dig deep for this one. I was able to run about half of the time without having to place one hand on the bar. However, after the halfway mark I was feeling the fatigue and had to get a short “hand grip break” (i.e. hold on to the bar) every 5 minutes or so. It’s not the most ideal way to have to get through the run but I needed it that day. I was more than thrilled when it was over. There were seriously points where I wanted to stop and take a breather. I’m so glad I was able to push through and stick with it.
Thursday I took the active recovery day since I had an appointment at John Hopkins. I really needed this run. I was supposed to take it easy but I got stuck in some horrendous traffic downtown. By the time I got home, I was so stressed from traffic annoyances that I was more than ready to let off some tension. I ended up running 1.5 faster than I normally like for recovery days but I really needed that fast pace to relax. My pelvis felt a tad bit sore but it wasn’t anything to worry about.
Friday I completed the 5K. I wasn’t too sure how I would do as I was quite tired from the day and had a bit of a headache. I was pleasantly surprised to clock the last 2 miles at sub-8. Looks like taking the first mile to warm up is going to be routine for me from now on. The only not-so-pleasant thing that happened was that I forgot to make a bathroom stop before I took off. My bladder pretty much cried out at the quarter mile. Of course there weren’t any bathrooms on my route. I chose to ignore it and push through rather than turn around and run back home. I’m happy to report my bladder held out and I was able to run without a hitch.
Saturday was a scheduled 5 miler. The plan called for it to be at an easy pace but I wasn’t so sure how fast that pace would be. I had to wait until the afternoon to finish it since I had Gymboree with my daughter that morning. I was finding it hard to motivate myself to go already. I finally got out the door and opted to take the route I used for the 6-milers instead of running in the communities. I didn’t bother to look at my Garmin while I ran since I wanted to run by feel that day. I seriously felt like I was struggling. However, I was shocked to see my time and paces once I got home. I was able to complete the miles at 8:30, 8:16, 8:09, 8:08, and 7:49. I have no idea where the surge came from for the last mile. I definitely didn’t feel like I was flying today. I didn’t feel any pain at all throughout the run. I did feel a bit of a strain in my stomach the first few miles so I think I may need to start wearing compression shirts for support until I grow into my belly band. Once I cooled down, though, I did feel a bit stiff in the pelvic region. It’s not as serious as it was with my first pregnancy when I started feeling the same pain, thankfully. I’m hoping this is the worst it will feel since I really don’t want a repeat of last time’s SPD.
I’m pretty happy with this week. I’m trying hard not to pressure myself into keeping 8 minute paces. I know that pretty soon I’ll have to start slowing down a bit. My belly is starting to grow a little and I know it won’t be long before it started slightly affecting my speed. It’s kind of hard to let go those feelings of disappointment, though, when I don’t hit paces. I hope I’ll be able to go easy on myself soon or else this will be a miserable time for me to run. I just need to remember that I will get my paces back again once the baby is here. It’s not the end of the world =)