In many ways, Week 9 was an extension of Week 8. With Marin out of the hospital, Kelli and I traded off taking days off of work so that we could keep Marin home from day care for the week and let her fully recover and grow strong. On top of that, my own health felt like it was sitting on the fence, and so I scaled back in the hopes of avoiding getting sick. And so, the numbers…
Training Days: 2 (To Date: 32)
Rest Days: 5 (To Date: 31)
Weight: 151 (Net Gain/Loss: -9)
Running Days: 2 (To Date: 24)
Running Miles Logged: 25.2 (To Date: 210.1)
Average Run: 12.6 (Short = 8.2, Long = 17)
My original plan for Week 9 had been to do a long run on Monday, rest Tuesday, cross-train on the mountain bike Wednesday, a moderate run on Thursday, rest Friday, and finally a very long run on Saturday. Things started off well-enough. I took care of Marin on Monday, and when Kelli got home from work, I set out on a 17-mile run I’ve done before. I usually run early in the mornings, but running in the evening proved pleasant as well. As opposed to my AM runs, when the sun climbs and the temperature gets hotter seemingly by the minute, my PM run grew progressively cooler, especially as the sun retreated behind the mountains and left me in total shadow. I finished the 17-miler faster than I ever had before, and was able to sustain my uphill running through sections I’d previously walked or power-hiked. Progress.
Marin made her own rapid progress, and by Tuesday evening, it seemed she was about 85% or better. It was hard to believe we’d been in the hospital just 48 hours or so before. Seeing Marin’s improvement made it easier for me to put some focus on training, but alas, my own health seemed on the brink. I suspect it may have been the stress of Marin being in the hospital, combined with me physically being in the hospital as well where I would have been exposed to plenty of nasty viruses (and at the very least, whatever virus Marin had). But by Wednesday, I could feel myself coming down with something. I scrapped the mountain biking in the hopes of resting up and not actually getting sick. It was to no avail. By Thursday, I’ve developed a 100+ degree fever and a few other symptoms. Thursday’s run went out the window, too. Friday was a rest day, so that worked out well.
By Saturday morning, I wasn’t 100%, but I had improved enough that I felt compelled to still go out for a run as originally scheduled. And foolishly, I thought I could still tackle the 20-plus miler I had planned for the day. It was too much too soon. As I set out from the house en route to the trailhead, my body felt fatigued. My legs felt heavy and lethargic, and I lacked the usual spring in my step, even though I dialed back the pace considerably to try and take it easy. (Can you actually take it easy on a 20 mile run?) Between miles 3 and 4 – on the Mesa Trail between Shanahan Ridge and Bear Canyon – I started dry heaving. Blech. I knew then that 20 miles wasn’t going to happen. I cut my losses, turned for home, and finished the run after 8.2 miles. I needed more rest. Then I could resume training with full force in Week 10 (which I happily did this morning).
It’s a funny thing. Training is never a linear progression (as much as I’d like it to be). There are always setbacks of some kind, and almost always, those setbacks are temporary. I know this from plenty of personal experience. I’ve been there before. And yet, when these temporary setbacks crop up – as they did on that 20 mile run – I still get frustrated in the here and now. I know they’re only a passing blip on the radar screen. I know I’ll resume my training and continue to make progress. I know these things deep down. But on the surface, training setbacks get under my skin. Perhaps I need to work on my zen running, or start doing some meditation or yoga before or after my runs. (On the other hand, my frustration can at times be a good motivator, pushing me to go harder next time…)
The other big news of Week 9 was on the fundraising front. A huge word of thanks goes out to Shirley B of Gluten Free Easily, Andrew B, Michael S, Jed F, Sam P, and Rob H for your generous donations! With your help, I’ve now raised $590 in support of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. This brings me to just about 12% of my goal of raising $5,010 for the NFCA ($100 per mile). If you haven’t donated, please consider supporting me and the NFCA today. Every little bit helps and makes a difference in raising awareness about the important issues of Celiac Disease and gluten-free living. While I’ve made great progress so far – with your help – I still have a long way to go, and at current rates of fundraising, it doesn’t look like I’ll reach my goal. I have two finish lines for this race – the actual finish line, and the fundraising finish line. All the training I’ve logged up until now, and all the training I’ll log between now and race day, will help to ensure I reach the first finish line (after 50.1 miles and 10,000 vertical feet of elevation gain). But I can only reach finish line #2 with your help!