Almost halfway through the training cycle (although only about a third of the mileage), and less than two months to go until the half marathon! Unfortunately, this wasn’t my best week.
I was feeling a little discouraged after Sunday’s run, so I decided to forgo my strides and just do my easy three. This week’s intervals were 15 minutes running, 2 minutes walking. I completed this with no issues while watching “Lilo & Stitch” on my phone.
Afterwards, since I wasn’t doing strides, I did ten minutes on the recumbent bike. This is one good thing about going to the gym; I would have no other way to crosstrain without it. I don’t like this gym’s recumbent bikes nearly as much as my last gym’s. I slide off the seat a lot and it says I don’t go as far (like an entire mile less), even though I’m putting in the same effort (like it says my rotations per minute are the same). Weird. But I’m not concerned about mileage on the bike, just trying to give my legs something else to do. I could definitely feel it the next day!
Back to tempo runs for a couple of weeks! I thought about buying the digital download of “Frozen” to watch while I did this run, but I really wanted to wait for the Blu-ray. I compromised by downloading “Let It Go” to add to my running playlist. Best running song ever.
I started out with a ten minute warmup, then started at 5.2 with the goal to speed up to 5.6 over the course of thirty minutes. Two minutes in I got a terrible side stitch. I took a sip of water and tried to control my breathing and push through it, but it only got worse. So five minutes after starting my tempo pace, I stopped the treadmill and took four minutes to try to massage it out and stretch.
I hit the lap button on my watch to signify that I was starting my 30 minutes over and started back at 5.2. I made it seven minutes this time before the side stitch made me stop again. Frustrated, I took a two minute walk break, drank some more water, and focused on my breathing. I can usually get rid of a side stitch by either: massaging it, making sure I’m hydrated, or timing my breathing so my exhales are on the opposite foot of the side of the pain. None of these things were working.
I switched my music over to play “Let It Go” to focus my mind on something. I managed to get through the song three times (nine minutes) before I had to walk again. After another two minute break, I gave up and decided I was not going to get in a solid thirty minutes of nonstop tempo pace, but I could at least do thirty minutes over intervals.
I wasn’t sure exactly how long I had ran so far, so I gave it my best estimate. I ended up doing about 32 minutes total of tempo pace, broken up into six different intervals.
I was really frustrated at myself and the stupid side stitch that refused to go away. But I have another thirty minute tempo next Thursday, so hopefully I can knock it out then.
I was hopeful going into Saturday’s run that it would be better. It wasn’t. The side stitch decided to make a reappearance. I ended up taking a couple extra walking breaks during my intervals. The side stitch finally went away (mostly), but it was replaced by some fantastic stomach problems! So I cut the run short after three miles because I wasn’t really in the mood for throwing up in the middle of a public park.
With three out of four of my last runs being less than stellar, I was really lacking motivation on Sunday. Oh yeah, and it was 33 degrees and pouring rain. And lightning. I ended up going to the gym. I knew I was not going to be able to pull out the planned 9.5 miles, but I hoped to make it through at least three.
My head was so not into this run. I took one extra walking break in the middle of both my first and second 15 minute intervals. After that, I told myself I was almost to three miles and could stop after that. That placated my head enough to make it through the third interval with no extra walk breaks. I had almost been running for an hour at that point, so I decided to make it a nice even 60 minute run. Except when 60 minutes came, I was less than a tenth of a mile from doing a nice even five miles, so I ended up doing that.
I’m debating on what I should do for the upcoming week. I’ve thought about cutting my mileage a little and seeing if that helps, since I’m scared of overtraining. (Maybe I should have taken some more days off after the 15k?) But what I think I’m going to do is drop my intervals down to 5:1 and see if that helps with the head games. If I still can’t make my mileage, I’ll consider cutting that down in the following week.