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Training: Week 5

My week started off rough — physically and mentally.

Heat and humidity hit our area, and I didn't realize the impact it would have on my training. Monday, I was scheduled to work late, so I didn't head out for my run until mid-morning.

BAD IDEA.

The heat index had already spiked to 90 and was climbing. I thought I'd be fine as long as I had my hydration belt with 20 oz. water bottle. I would just have to take a break at some point, right?

WRONG.

I made it about 1.5 miles before my body just shut down. My head was foggy and my legs just wouldn't move. I stopped to walk and drink water. And the sun beat down on me. And the sweat poured off of me. And my lungs took in the damp, hot air.

Giving in to the signals my body was giving me, I walked the rest of the way home. The remainder of the day, I felt torn. Part of me was glad I "listened to my body" to avoid injury. Part of me was worried I couldn't hack it. I was only on Week 5 of training and I already cut a run short. Would I be able to make it in August as the heat remains and the miles climb higher?

As you can see by my Runtastic history, I totally made up for that short run by the end of the week, and I know I made the right choice by walking.

Realizing the heat will remain a huge factor in training, I woke up on time every run day — when temps were slightly cooler. Even Friday — when I don't work — the alarm went off at 6 a.m., and I logged my 6 miles before anyone else in my house was out of bed. (Except poor Rowdy, he wanted to run with me. I think maybe after I finish my half in the fall, I might start using him as a running buddy again.)

Saturdays have been my long run days so far, but this week I adjusted it back a day so I could run the Don't Stop the Beat 5K in Bryan, which raised $15,000 for the Kawasaki Disease Foundation (AWESOME!). My original plan a few weeks ago was to run the course twice so I could hit my 6-mile goal that day. However, after Monday's incident I threw that idea out the window because the race didn't start until 8:30 a.m., and I knew I was safer running Friday morning when it would be cooler (not by much, but still).

I ran the 5K with my coworker Kim, who was a rockstar. In her short training, she had only gotten up to 2 miles of running, and she ran steady the whole way Saturday. It was her first 5K since high school, and I'm betting it's not her last. She even sprinted at the end, her extra long legs crossing the finish line just 1 second before mine.

The race reminded me once more that I am definitely slow compared to most runners. Part of me was disheartened, watching people pass us by and seeing that they finished before we even hit the 2-mile marker. Despite my "slow and strong" mantra, it's still tough to be near the end of the pack and keep pushing forward.

BUT I always go back to the motivation phrase, "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch." And I remember that everyone has to start somewhere, so I can only get better from here. Improvement is my goal, not perfection.

And let me be real here. I can't not forget the fact that I am still overweight, just barely under the obesity mark. I mean, how many of those men and women who finished ahead of me were also carrying around my saddle bags and stomach? As I get smaller, I will get faster, right? It's a matter of pure science.

My heart tells me that I just have to keep running, keep pushing forward. Though other people may run ahead, I am still only competing with myself.

And not to brag, but right now I am totally kicking the old Tami's ass. The old Tami wouldn't be able to wake up on her days off to run long distances. She wouldn't sign up for a race "for fun." And she definitely wouldn't have recovered after that one bad day of training. She would have let it ruin her week, and maybe her month.

So it's clear that every day I run, every step that I take, I am leaving the old Tami in the dust — I am winning my own race.

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