Entries in Marathon Training (7)


A lackluster week shows on the scale

The past week was a wildly busy one for me, as I served as an Alternate Deputy for the Diocese of Chicago to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (held in Indianapolis this year). This two week event required long hours in meetings, hearings, legislative sessions, and worship. My day started at 6:00am (if I wanted breakfast) and ended around midnight.

The first week I was able to get my run training "in" but that was largely because the 'heavy lifting' of Convention hadn't kicked in yet. But this past week was just way too busy to fit in my early morning runs without seriously sacrificing needed sleep time.

So the only run I did this past week was this morning, when I got my 7.7 mile Long Run done. It was 69F outside at the start which was fine, but the humidity was 91%! I have come to realize that the humidity affects me far more than heat. The higher the humidity, the more difficult it is for me to sustain my run pacing. But I got it done, and with an 11:18/mm pace which included a couple of walk breaks.

This was a cut-back week, but 7.7 miles was not exactly the weekly mileage total I was shooting for. Part of me wishes that I had gone ahead with a 5AM wake-up on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in order to get my 4-mile training runs in (a 7-mile week just makes me feel like a slacker). But my brain knows I made the right decision given the demands of the daily Convention schedule.

Hopefully, this will have no real impact upon my readiness for the Rock-n-Roll Chicago Half Marathon that I am running on the 22nd (next Sunday). We will just have to see. I am more worried about that the temp/humidity levels will be that Sunday morning. I want to run a solid race, but my finish time goal could be tossed aside if the weather is too hot and humid.

The other impact of the Convention was the kind of meals I had. Breakfasts were either non-existent or too high in carbs. Lunch and dinners were usually at a restaurant called Champions (attached to our hotel) and everything they served was large portions and high calories. And because the days were long and intense, I definitely enjoyed myself at table. And it didn't help that the snacks at our tables within the House of Deputies (legislative sessions) were far from 'healthy'.

So I gained about 8 pounds in two weeks! Oh. My. Gosh!!! That is just totally unacceptable, and I am really kicking myself in the butt for just throwing my usual caution 'to the wind' (as tasty as those meals were). The good news is that in the last three days, I have already lost 4 of those pounds. But still, that is something I cannot allow to happen. But I did not have a strategy for handling meals during the Convention, and I paid the price for that lack of planning.

This week will be focused on losing a few more of those unwanted pounds, while still keeping myself hydrated and properly fueled for the upcoming race. These two goals might be mutually exclusive but I am going to give it a try. This is my 'taper week' for the Half Marathon, so I will likely only do two Easy Runs this week (Tuesday and Thursday mornings).

Total Marathon Training mileage to-date is 83 miles. After the Half, that following weekend will be another challenge for me. I am taking some youth to a weekend leadership conference (and I am supposed to run a 14-mile Long Run that weekend). I will have to figure out how to fit that run in, since it will take me about 2.5 hours to run at my Long Run pace. I hope they have running paths at this conference center because 14 miles on a treadmill wouldn't be my first choice.


Who ordered this Heat Wave during my Training?

Yep!  Last week was really hot!  And I did runs in two different cities and it was hot in BOTH! Who ordered all this heat and can I return it for a better forecast?

I was in Indianapolis last Tuesday through Friday for a church conference that lasts almost two weeks. I figured I would not let that interfere with my marathon training, however, so I fully intended to run. Well, it is hotter here than it was in Chicago! I did my runs at 5:30am figuring that it would be the coolest period of the day. Well, yeah it was cooler -- around 77F -- and also very dark! It was 104F during the day!

My Wednesday run wasn't too bad. I ran 3.28 miles with a friend who wasn't feeling all that well, so we took it pretty slow. The temps was 75F at the start and we ended up doing some walking. But the important thing was that we were out there!

On Thursday, it was 77F and a LOT more humid. I ran with my roommate who is like an elite runner (he runs a 5K in 14:12), but he kept it slow for my sake. We got in 4.5 miles and while I did take a couple of walk breaks, my run segments were at 10:13/mm pace which was acceptable to me.

Then I had to go back home unexpectedly that Friday afternoon. I ended up doing my Long Run with my buddy Mike at our usual place -- the Prairie Path. We clocked in 6.78 miles at a nice slow pace. Thankfully, they had paved the section of the path that was all dug up last weekend. It was 80F when we started the run but was 92F by the time we finished. (I had planned to go for 10 Miles but when it got so hot we decided to cut the run a bit short).

So, the total miles for last week was only about 14.5 miles -- about 7 miles shorter than I had planned. I will take it as a 'cut-back' week and look forward to the next. This brings my total Marathon Training mileage to 75.3, a little lower than I wanted it to be at this point but definitely nothing that will impact my overall training goals.

Last Sunday, I was scheduled to run a 5K race sponsored by the church conference. Well, that turned out to be my first DNS (Did Not Start)! Why? Because my wife was hospitalized on Thursday so I had to leave the conference in Indy (where the race was) to come home to be with her and the kids.

The good news is that my wife is fine. She came home Sunday and is feeling much better! So at least my first DNS was due to a good reason, right? Honestly, I am not that hung up on it, just sayin it was my 'first'.

So I have the remainder of this week at the Conference (I drove back to Indy on Sunday), with three training runs planned in the hot early mornings. Can't wait to get home on Friday because it is cooler in Chicago right now than it is in Indy so my Sunday Long Run will be more comfortable!