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Training: Weeks 6 & 7

This post will have to wrap up Weeks 6 and 7 since I couldn't do a post for just Week 6. I just ran (no pun intended) out of time to write. Before I knew it, I was two days into Week 7, so I decided a mashup would have to do.

It's kind of fitting that I write about both weeks at the same time because they were physically (Week 6) and mentally (Week 7) challenging for me.

Week 6 was that week of the month for me. Sorry if you think that's too much information, but I think it's necessary to note for my training records. And the ladies can better understand why it was just a miracle I got out and ran at all.
Week 6

I know "they" say it's best to keep running through your period, so I did, despite my uterus screaming at me to slow down. I have come to realize it really is better for me to keep running because after a few days, I feel great. But getting through a couple of those first runs was as challenge, for sure.

By Friday, I was feeling much better and ready to take on my 7-miler. Kyle and Kenlee accompanied me to Angola Friday morning, and they biked and went to the playground while I ran the trail. I LOVED this run and felt unstoppable at the end. I kept under a 12:00 pace the entire time, except when I walked to refuel (read: drink water and eat my Gatorade chews). Speaking of refueling, I got a new hydration belt on clearance at Meijer, and it's awesome. Instead of a single 20 oz. bottle, like my first belt, this one has two 10 oz. bottle, which make for a more balanced fit and less bouncing. But hey, the single bottle belt is still great for bike rides.

So I made it through a rough physical week, and then I faced a mentally draining week instead. My 3-miler to start Week 7 was wonderful: Great weather, great pace, new route. But it went downhill from there. Monday, I just didn't want to go. But Taysha was meeting me for five miles, so I trudged on. We walked a lot but still managed to put in 4.6 of our planed 5 miles. Ah, whatever. I decided to chalk it up to a bad day and move on.

Except when I went out solo on Wednesday for four miles, I just couldn't keep up the pace. I felt slow and disgusting, and I had to FORCE myself just to finish and took a walk break at mile 2 (LAME). Afterward I told Kyle that whenever I don't feel like running in the morning, I usually feel so much better after I finish. But Wednesday was different: I felt just as awful when I got home and it put me in a sour mood for the rest of the day. (Sorry, coworkers!)

Week 7
Before Friday's planned 7 miles, I just had a gut feeling it wasn't going to happen. My brain just wasn't ready for it, and my calves were feeling achy. Taysha set out with me once more, but she decided she needed a walk break half way. She told me I could keep going ahead without her — and I should have — but I just wasn't feeling it. After 3.5 miles, we walked the rest of the way home. Better than nothing, right?

But I knew I couldn't let that 7-miler get away from me. Despite my bad attitude, my sister Jan agreed to take the long run with me Sunday (today) since she was already home to visit for Edon Days. Our friend Danielle, whom we are forcing convincing to run the half marathon, also was kind enough to drive down from Perrysburg to make it a Team Shenanigans run.

I needed that run. It was a hot run on county roads with almost no shade, but we did it. We kept an amazingly fast pace, too. I knocked 3 entire minutes off last week's 7 mile time, and we even ran a few sub-11:00 miles. At the time, I wanted to kill Danielle for going too fast, but now I'm glad she helped push us for a great finish. My body is definitely feeling the extra effort, however, so I might not be able to keep that pace every time we do group runs.

While I love the alone time to think during a solo run, this week I discovered I really do enjoy having company while I tick off the miles. So thanks, ladies! Taysha wasn't scared away by my high mileage and plans to join me for my 3-miler this week. And Team Shenanigans decided to unite for our next two long runs, hopefully.

BUT I also learned I need to listen to my body despite what my running partners are doing. So I might have to leave someone behind or let them get ahead, but I'll be just fine. After all, I've been training alone for 6 weeks. I KNOW I can do it alone if I have to.


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