Hope you all enjoyed the "Call Me Maybe" video..........I can't get that song out of my head! And watching the swim team act so silly reminded me that they're just teenagers having fun....the joy in their faces is contagious!
So, hello dear readers........remember me???? I mean, I know it's been a while......and I've been saying all summer how difficult it is for me to blog regularly. So instead of dwelling on that, I'm just going to blog when I blog and not worry about it!
Ok, so last week was a GREAT running week for me. My in-laws had rented a big house on the Outer Cape (specifically, Wellfleet, MA) and Barb, Ben and I went down Saturday afternoon to spend the week relaxing. We all love Wellfleet (in specific), and the Outer Cape (in general) because it's....well, for lack of a better word, "chill". There's no nightlife to speak of....no clubs......no real bars..........not too much to do at night but relax. There's a great number of beaches to choose from......ocean beaches.....bay beaches.....and the "hidden" gems of the Cape, the ponds! Plenty of fresh seafood to eat, including heaps of fried foods! To say it was a wonderful week would be doing the word "wonderful" a disservice......we got SOOOOOOO lucky with the weather (only rained once!), as it was never really hot and the humidity wasn't too bad either. Barb and I managed to have a lovely dinner (Mac's Shack!) to celebrate our 11th anniversary, as well as getting out one afternoon to tour a local winery (with tastings!), and we all got to take in a Cape League baseball game between the Chatham Anglers and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. For the uninitiated, the Cape Cod Baseball League features some of the best college baseball players in the country playing on small, local fields where you can see them for free. Somehow, the hot dogs taste better when it's cooked and served by local high schoolers. All in all, it was a great night!
Then there was my running........in a word, fantastic! While the humidity was comfortable for beachgoing, it was pretty high for running, but I managed. My goal with each run was to hit a reasonable pace and finish strong, and I feel like I did just that. After taking Sunday off, I ran Monday (5.4), Tuesday (4.8), Wednesday (6.3) and Friday (5.1).....roughly 22 miles with LOTS of hills! The run on Friday was particularly notable, as it marked the very first time in my running "career" that I ran a progression run.....my splits went 10:07, 9:40, 9:23, 9:21, 8:47, and 6:49 for the final .14 miles. It was a great way to end the week. As we were driving home Friday afternoon, I was looking forward to my weekend runs, as my training schedule said 7, followed by 14 on Sunday.
My "normal" training run is about 5.5 miles, so I needed to add on a bit to make it into a 7, so naturally I ended up with some rolling hills added on for fun! I was feeling really lazy Saturday morning and was having a hard time getting out of the house, but I finally managed to go out around noon........quickly, I realized I should have taken advantage of the slightly cooler temperatures earlier on. With temps in the 80's and humid, I was wilting in a hurry, but still managed to finish the run (7.19) in 1:09:36, averaging 9:41/mile.....not bad, but what would I have in the tank for the 14 on Sunday? About 2 hours after I finished, the skies opened up and it POURED rain for a few hours, knocking the temps back down to a more reasonable level. THANKS!!!
Once my long runs extend beyond 10 miles, I switch to a different route. Roughly 8 miles in length, it starts with a moderate uphill of about .8 miles and never really flattens out......up and down....up and down. To make 14, I would run this route, then run my "normal" daily route to finish up. Thankfully, I got out a bit earlier on Sunday morning and while it was only around 70 degrees, the humidity was around 82%, so I brought my 12oz handheld bottle (Gatorade) and 2 gels (first one at mile 2, then another at mile 6) and headed out into the thick air. I chugged up and down the hills and made it back to the house in about 1:20....was shooting for 10's and I was just under that. Filled up my handheld with the Gatorade bottle I'd left in our mailbox and grabbed a final GU (for mile 10), and headed out for the last 5+ miles. Right away, I could feel my left hip starting to stiffen up a little.....could be the IT band? I kept the pace moderate and the stiffness started to vanish. Before I knew it, I was turning up the street to finish.....13.76 miles in 2:19:47......10:10/mile........right on it!
As I walked through my cool-down, I reflected on the week I just had..........a great, relaxing vacation in a beautiful place......good times.......good food........good runs! Then I did the math in my head and realized that not only had I just completed my longest run since Boston, but I had just run nearly 43 miles for the week......WAY beyond any week ever. I knew that when I started training for the Hartford Marathon using the Hal Higdon Intermediate training schedule that I'd be putting up bigger mileage numbers than I'd ever done before......I just didn't think I'd be doing it so soon! WOW!!!
Once I get my vacation pics off my phone, I'll sort through them and find a few to share with all of you, but for now, it's back to watching the Olympics.......until the track events start up, I'm going to have to suffer through women's beach volleyball.......and hopefully some field hockey with the team from the Netherlands rocking their orange unis!!!!!
Hope you're all doing well, having great runs, and enjoying the Olympics!