Monday April 14 – Sunday April 20: Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Swim: 6,600 yards
Weekly Bike: 7-ish miles
Weekly Run: 9.3 miles

Total Distance Swim: 559,892 yards (318.1 miles)
Yardage Complete Towards 2,000,000: 29%

This week was another week of being “off” – we had a group in for new hire training Wednesday through Friday, so I didn’t get in to the gym any of those mornings. Monday I went in to swim, because I always do, and Tuesday I skipped. Dylan and I had gone to a movie Monday night for my birthday, so we decided to just take the next morning off and sleep in. Plus, we swore up and down we would go the rest of the week, and we were both super committed to making sure we got to the gym in the evenings Wednesday – Friday, since I wouldn’t be able to get there in the mornings.

Plus, as you’ll recall, I signed up for this 15K run that happened on Saturday (April 19th) that I haven’t done a good job training for, and I at least wanted to get some swims in to keep my endurance up and save my knees for the run.

Uhm, going to the gym definitely didn’t happen. “Working out” didn’t really happen. Life ended up happening.

Tuesday, we had our group bible study, and then Dylan and I both worked late on Wednesday, and chose to spend time with each other instead of at the gym. Minneapolis got hit with another snow storm on Thursday, so we both poo-poo’ed going to the gym that day. When the roads are bad, and it takes 45 minutes to get home on a regular day, it’s usually just a better call to get yourself home. You never know what the roads and weather will be like after being at the gym for an hour or two.

But we did end up going Friday. It really was a struggle to go on Friday. Our new hire training class got done early, so I got home around 2:00 to finish up my day here. Around 5:00, I was in the middle of reviewing some spreadsheets, and ended up passing out on the couch. Literally…passed out. I woke up at one point, hit save on my spreadsheets, then I zonked back out, with Penny and my laptop keeping me warm. I didn’t wake up until Dylan got home.

I was so tired from the week. I didn’t want to go to the gym. I just wanted to sit on the couch, eat a bowl of spaghetti, and get 8 hours of sleep before the race. But I told Dylan we had to go, and I ended up swimming 2 miles in an hour. It felt really good to get that swim in, and I was happy I did something to stretch myself out and get my system going again. I was super nervous about the race, and that helped relieve some of the anxiety. At least, until I got home.

When I got home, I hopped online to check out details of the race – double check start time, double check the start line, figure out where packet/bib pick-up was and what time that was starting.

First thing I notice on the website: NO RACE DAY PACKET PICK-UP.

S***.

Second thing I noticed: Packet pick-up had been Thursday and Friday.

This is what happens when you get an email on Thursday, and you don’t read it because you’ll “come back to it later.” So then I start panicking. I paid $70 to race, and I’m not going to get my race-day bib, I’m not going to get that stupid sweatshirt I paid for – and then it hit me. If I can’t my race day bib…could I even race?! DID I REALLY PAY $70 AND I’M NOT EVEN GOING TO RACE.

After a few panic attacks, a couple of frantic emails and Facebook messages, I found out that I could go to the information booth the day-of and get an untimed bib. Totally fine, it’s not like I was going to win that race anyway. Then, when I was at the info booth, I could see if there was anything we could do to make sure I got the sweatshirt. It sounds silly, I know, to be all up in a frenzy about a sweatshirt and a race bib. But honestly, when you pay money to do the race and then you don’t get the perks of that come from it – like the race shirt – you really just paid $70 to go for a 9.3 mile run. And deep down, I felt silly and stupid, thinking I had just wasted $70 of mine and Dylan’s money to go for a 9-mile run. We’ve been so focused on saving money for the house and the wedding, and being so conscious to not be wasteful, that this race – this race that I had totally spaced on going to packet pick-up – was the definition of wasteful. It was really just me shaming myself – Dylan was supportive, he never said anything about the race fee, and he kept reassuring me that everything would work out just fine.

Come Saturday morning, everything worked out just fine, just like he said. I got my bib, I got my sweatshirt, and I ran my 9.3 miles. Despite having not trained “enough,” despite never having run that far in my life, I finished the race and everything worked out just fine. Honestly, I think taking the week off really helped my body recover, helped my body rest up, and prepared me for the run.

All in all, I felt good the entire time – at least, psychologically. Physically, my hip and my knee started giving out on me, but I’m attributing that to the fact that I SERIOUSLY need new shoes. It really was a beautiful course, and I would totally do this race again in a heartbeat.

Dylan biked the course while I ran, which was really nice. It was encouraging to see him throughout the race, even if there was a long time (between Mile 4 and Mile 9) where I didn’t see him. But I don’t really blame him. That part of the course would have been a little bit harder for him to get to a good spot to catch me again. He really is the most wonderful race supporter. I can’t wait until he starts doing races so I can do the same thing for him.

Mile 1: Started out faster than I normally would – around an 8:45 minute/mile pace. I tried to bring my pace down, and keep check with my heart rate, but it just wasn’t working for me. My heart rate stayed up at the higher end (170-180) during the entire race.

Mile 2: Still feeling strong, but crossing the bridge, started preparing myself to run against the wind for the next 4.5 some miles. The wind didn’t disappoint.

Mile 3: Took us onto Nicollet Island, and took us onto cobblestone. Not good for the hips and knees. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t thought about this when I was looking at the course map. I think this was another reason my hip and knee started giving me trouble sooner than they normally would.

Mile 4: Still cobble stone. Coming on to campus, knowing I’m about halfway to the Franklin Avenue bridge, where we got to cross over and we’re almost done! Mind still going strong.

Mile 5: Brought us behind the University of Minnesota student center. Seriously, I didn’t think this race out. This was a huge giant hill. Probably the worst of all the hills. My hip was burning, my knee was shooting pains up and down my leg, but I was running up that hill. Basically, from the curve at the beginning of Mile 5 to the marker at Mile 6 was a constant uphill run. I refused to walk.

Mile 6: STRAIGHT AWAY. Level ground. Some relief for my hip and knee, and the bridge we were going to cross over on was in sight. Until I realized…that the bridge I was seeing was NOT the bridge we were going to cross, but it was the bridge behind it that we had to cross at. So it wasn’t coming up as fast I wish it would have. A little demoralizing.

Mile 7: ONLY TWO MORE MILES. My mantra at this point in the race: only two more miles – you can do it for two more miles! But after we crossed the bridge…pain. Mile 7 to Mile 8 was essentially a downhill run. Trying to run downhill put so much resistance against my hips and knees that it just got worse.

Mile 8: My hip and my knee start giving out on me. Just a couple of times my leg gave in, but I knew I was in trouble. I should have been taking my mile splits throughout the race, but I completely spaced on the fact that I have an awesome watch that can do that. But I can guarantee, that my mile-split at Mile 8 was probably a minute slower than at Mile 1. This was probably the only time during the race that I thought I wouldn’t make it – not because I couldn’t mentally do it, but because I thought my body would give out on me.

Mile 9: I’m so close. I could see Dylan as I rounded the corner, I could see the finish, and I was limping, but I was running. I ran in to the finish. No final kick, which I pride myself in having a good, strong finishing kick, but my hip and my knee couldn’t muster it.

But I did it. My full 9.3 miles. The race that I’ve been obsessing about over the past few months – I finally finished it.

Only a third of a mile to go! At the home stretch. Slowly but surely, running it in to the finish.

The second thing I told Dylan (after I complained about my hip and knee pain and how I need new shoes) was how I was ready to run a half-marathon. I still don’t want to do a full marathon, but I’m definitely on the half marathon train – at least, after my triathlons this summer. So maybe in September I’ll find a half-marathon to do (there was one in Madison my little sister and I were eyeing up) or maybe I’ll do the 10-mile race in Minneapolis in October.

Next week, we are visiting my little sister in Madison to do a 5-mile race with her on the University of Wisconsin campus. I think I’ll probably fore go running again this week, to save my hips and knee, and just focus on swimming, maybe a little lifting, but finally – biking! It’s been beautiful out, it’s supposed to be beautiful this weekend, so maybe Dylan and I will start our bike training. Still no formal “training” plan, but Dylan and I need to re-visit our race calendar and try to commit a little more to some races. Then maybe together, the two of us will come up with some kind of training plan that works for the two of us.

And now I’m off, to spend the rest of my Sunday evening with my two loves, cuddled up on the couch watching a really awesome…cop movie…

 

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