Friday, August 12, 2011

Chickamauga Training: Week 5 Recap

If there was ever a week for flexibility this was it. I almost didn't post the "planned" schedule because it was pretty clear from the get go that this week was going to be all about accomodating a lot of events that are out of the routine. Some things were planned in advance, some added kind of last minute and some I just didn't consider the impact of how busy my day was actually going to be. Without further adieu...

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Week #5...

Monday, August 8
Plan: 3 miles
Actual: Rest (otherwise known as run errands and stress about big presentation on Tuesday)

I was actually really looking forward to getting out and clearing my head for about 30 minutes but the festivities from Sunday (Matt's dad's b'day) ended up impacting the things I needed to do Monday. After leaving work late, going for a quick manicure, eating dinner and going grocery shopping it was past 9:30. With nerves about my presentation skyrocketing, I opted to spend more time with my slides instead of hitting the road. I was pretty much a ball of nerves the rest of the evening, tossing and turning with insomnia until nearly 2:00.

Tuesday, August 9
Plan: 6 miles
Actual: More rest (unplanned)

I had a 15-20 minute presentation this afternoon to deliver to 50-75 of the top executives and senior leadership in my company. While I knew most of the room pretty well and work regularly with many of them, I am still a junior executive and this is the group that can significantly influence my career trajectory within the company, so I was TERRIFIED that my performance anxiety was going to take over and that I was going to bomb the presentation. How's that for positive self-talk? I had a busy morning so I was able to keep myself distracted and I was trying to pump myself up in preparation. With my nerves essentially being shot since Monday, I had barely eaten anything the past 2 days. Not good, I know, but I physically could not eat I was so worried.

I am happy to report that I NAILED that presentation!!! I got up and as soon as I started speaking, I knew I was in total and 100% control of myself, the situation and the content. I tried not to overthink and just spoke naturally, moving around the room and engaging with the group. I got high marks from the CEO afterwards and many compliments from others. It was a great feeling to know that I CAN do this and I think that I even shocked my boss (who is a great supporter and mentor) :) However, as soon as I sat down (there were 4 or 5 presentations in the program) my stomach started growling...of course!

When I got home, Matt had prepared an awesome salad (and cookies) but after I ate, it was all I could do to hold my eyes open. With the adrenaline rush over, the exhaustion had set in. I ended up "napping" until nearly 9 and again, it was a little bit too late to get started with an hour long run, given that I had an early meeting in the a.m.

Wednesday, August 10
Plan: Rest
Actual: 3.2 miles

I had originally planned for this to be a rest day because I had an early meeting and Bunco in one of the southern 'burbs after work; however, with 2 rest days in the books I NEEDED (and wanted) to get out there and sweat! I had hoped to leave work a tad early so that I wouldn't be too late to Bunco but my volunteer commitment had an urgent need right around 4:30 so I spent a good half hour coordinating some things for them.

I opted to run downtown so that I wouldn't lose any time to potential traffic making my way to the trail. Ran to RR park, did 2 loops on the trail there and then ran back to my car. I had finally remembered to charge my Garmin but then left it upstairs in my office, so I have no idea of pace but I felt like I was booking it and was nice and schweaty at the end. Luckily I was carpooling with my running buddy, A, and she let me change into clean (running) clothes so that I wouldn't completely stink it up at Bunco.

Had a great time and my friend Amanda cooked us an AMAZING meal...who does not love homemade ginger dressing and veggies with "yumyum" sauce? I even had a BEER which is a rare mid-week thing for me but my body was craving the salt and nothing else would do!

Thursday, August 11
Plan: 35 min tempo
Actual: Rest...AGAIN

And this is what happens when life takes over...

Another day, another 7am meeting so there was definitely no running early this morning but I was still holding out hope that I could make it work in the evening. However, on this evening I was committed to attending a cook out for the new MSHA students WAY OUT in the sticks south of Birmingham. I am on the admissions board and an alumni of the program and the faculty are so gracious to include me on events that involve more than just interviewing and really make me feel like part of the team so I really try to attend whenever I can because I LOVE this aspect of my career/field and truly don't even view it as "work".

Anyway, I was out "in the sticks" from 6-9:15 helping prep dinner, networking, socializing (another beer! 2 in 2 days, what is happening to me?) and then did not get home until just after 10:00 (I told you it was pretty far "out there"...and that was with no took me almost twice as long to get there from downtown). I was actually pretty pleased with my nutrition choices (minus the beer) but it was clear that it was another non-running day in the books. But you know what? I would not change a single thing. I had a GREAT time interacting with the students and the faculy and these are special opportunties that I don't want to miss for a training run.

Friday, August 12
Plan: Rest
Actual: 36 minute tempo run

12 miler tomorrow be damned, my legs were not content to rest today (and we were watching our friends' daughter tonight so it was morning or never). I pretty much rolled right out of bed and into my running shoes this morning without even stopping to think. Out of bed at 6:15 and at the gym by 6:30, I sucked down half of a Gatorade Prime on my drive over. The air felt a little cooler and the sun was just a little bit lower and I was ready to tackle the workout even though I am not usually a morning person. I knew I had some flexibility in my schedule this morning so I didn't have to get up super early which helped make this more bearable.

12 min warm up, 12 min at tempo, 12 min cool down this workout FLEW by I left the workout feeling refreshed and SO GLAD that I got this done. Everything was clicking this morning and really wish I had the flexibility to have finished off a full hour BUT I am not worried about it, as I nailed what I needed to for the moment.

Saturday, August 13
Plan: 12 miles
Actual: 12 miles

Our friends did not get home until nearly 1:00 a.m. Friday night so it was easily 1:30 by the time we got home and passed out. I was wanting to get out early since I knew this workout would take quite a while and I had a friend's bachelorette that I needed to run errands for (and attend), but I hit snooze one too many times. FINALLY at 7:45, I was out the door into the quickly rising sun. I went one of our less explored routes with the plan to loop back by my house after 6 miles, for a water/gatorade refill.

For some reason I could NOT get in the groove this morning and my mind would not zone out. I didn't have my iPod and kept trying to lose myself in various thoughts to no avail. I think the uncertainty of the new route (terrain, dogs, etc) kept me from getting too comfortable. The sun was strong and I was not getting any reprieve from breeze or otherwise so when I looped back home I made the executive decision to haul it up to the gym to finish my next 6 on the treadmill.

Headed to the gym at the halfway point

The 6 on the 'mill went great, I was able to hold a steady pace and my last mile was my fastest as I was able to do a "sprint" progression for the last .75. At the end I was covered in salt but otherwise fine.

My post-run refueling didn't go quite as planned as I had errands to run before my friend's party and Matt had an unexpected dead car battery that left him stranded across the city, but I FINALLY made it to the pool and was able to go into mini-vacation mode for at least a few hours :) And hey, if chocolate milk is a great refueling option then a margarita is even better, right? RIGHT?

For the record:
Pre-run fuel: plan bagel with butter and cinnamon sugar; 8oz diet blueberry green tea
During the run: ~30oz water/gatorade mix (lemon-lime) and ~10oz water plus 3 sports beans each at 40 minute and 1 hr 20 min mark
Wore: Nike running skirt, Auburn tech-tank top (awesome score at Target for $16 and SO comfortable), Wigwam Ironman socks, blue Mizuno Wave Nirvana 7s
Accessories: Garmin, Nathan handheld

Sunday, August 14
Plan: Cross train (choice)
Actual: 2 mile walk w/Matt + dogs

I started out the day doing this:

As part of Tess's bachelorette we had gotten rooms at Ross Bridge with the plan to spend Saturday laying out by the pool, going to dinner and returning to the room for a lingerie shower and fun signature drinks (created and mixed by your truly which is actually really funny b/c I am the person that probably drinks the LEAST out of all of my local friends).

But I digress...many of the girls had to leave kind of early Sunday to go on about their day but Nicole and I stuck around until nearly lunch time soaking in the rays before we had to get back to reality.

After an afternoon of getting caught up on some work, running errands and returning to Ross Bridge b/c I had left my phone charger in the room, Matt and I headed out for a short walk with the girls. I had hardly seen him at all this past week so it was nice catch up and talk before returning home and getting sucked into the vortex of True Blood and Real Housewives.

Overall thoughts:
Considering the week I had, I am pretty amazed that I fit in what I did. I could spend time lamenting over my missed medium-long run (AGAIN) but I know it's not what I do on any given day that's going to make or break my race in November. It's what I do over the course of 18 weeks that will get me to the start (and finish) happy and healthy.

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