With the Hartford Marathon coming up in six weeks (yikes!), I decided last week that it was time to get training. In my wonderfully self-designed training plan, I decided I’d stick to normal workouts during the week and then do a long run every weekend, starting with 10 miles and tacking another 5 miles on to my long run each week. This would mean that I’d finish up with a 25 mile run two weeks before my marathon – perfect timing.
This weekend, though, I got pretty darn lazy. Saturday midday I took that hooping class, and woke up too late to get in a 10 mile run beforehand. Saturday night, I went out with my new friend Kristen, and we are a terrible influence on each other – we’ve gone out together two nights, and both times we’ve been out till 3 or 4am. No morning run after that one! In fact, I ended up being super lazy all day yesterday, mostly just staying in bed and catching up on episodes of Project Runway. Mid-afternoon, I dragged myself down to the gym and started to revive myself by getting in a pretty awesome 45 minute stint on the elliptical… but within 20 minutes of getting back up to my apartment, my burst of energy was gone and I was back to lounging. C’est la vie.
But this morning, it was time to get in that ten miler. I woke up pretty early (7:30am with no alarm, thanks to going to bed so early last night) and was psyched that I could start the day with a long run without having it take up my morning. However, I made the mistake of checking my e-mail first, which led to quite a bit of procrastination, and it was 8:45am before I finally got out the door. When I first stepped outside, I marveled at how cool it was out – apparently Mother Nature had gotten the memo that Labor Day marked the beginning of fall! I was definitely glad I hadn’t tried to go to the beach today, but this would make perfect weather for my run.
As I headed toward the park, I felt super sluggish. My legs were kind of sore (from… ? I have no idea), and I was also just tired in general. Why hadn’t I woken up early and gone running on Saturday when I had more energy? This sucked. I started thinking through my planned route in my head and all I could think about was how long it was going to take and how sucky it would be given how I felt. Yuck!
Once I got to the park, though, I started feeling a little better. Coming down the hill from the 72nd street entrance down to Park Drive, I picked up a little speed (yay for downhills!). I don’t know if it was that speed or just the fact that I was now about a mile in, but I was now in a better frame of mind. By the time I got to the reservoir, I wasn’t quite in the euphoric zone I typically hit around mile 20 of a marathon, but I was enjoying myself and glad to be out for a run.
I took the bridle path to circle around the reservoir, thinking that after I ran up and around the top of the park I’d then do one more reservoir loop on the way back, and could take the inner loop that time for variety. I enjoyed people-watching as I ran, the best being when I saw a group of about 30 shirtless guys on the horizon going the opposite direction… until they got closer and I realized they were some sort of high school cross country team. I may be single but I’m not that desperate that I’m going to start robbing the cradle!
Unfortunately, shortly after passing those guys, I started feeling pain in my right toes. I kept running, trying to figure out what it was – it felt like a cutting sensation, and I quickly realized that one of my toenails was cutting into the toe next to it. I paused my watch to sit down and take a look, hoping it was something that could be fixed by adjusting my sock or something, but when I looked closely, I realized that my middle toenail was way too long. Additionally, it had started to kind of “lift up” but not come fully off last spring, and it still seems to stick out a little bit. However, that “little bit” was now a problem for me, because it was digging into my second toe. Ouch!
As far as I can tell, they don’t make an armband case for the HTC Incredible (would love if someone could correct me there!). Therefore, even on my short runs lately, I’ve been wearing my dorky fanny pack (besides, it makes me look like I’m a long distance runner, which I don’t think I can currently claim). In this case, I was glad to have it, thinking I’d just pull out a bandaid, cover up the offending nail, and then be on my way. Unfortunately, I realized that because I always give out bandaids/aspirin/BioFreeze to fellow runners who are struggling, I now didn’t have a bandaid for myself! Darn it. Not wanting to risk tearing up my toe by continuing to run, I gave up for the day and headed home instead of continuing around the park. Total run: 5.71 miles in 54:52 (9:36 pace). Not bad, but not at all what I was hoping to do as my Hartford Marathon prep.
So now the question becomes: should I go run another 5 miles later? (Unlikely that I will feel like gearing up for a run again, particularly since I’m now all showered and cleaned up). Should I try to do the full 10 mile run tomorrow? Should I just skip it and get ready for my 15 mile run next weekend? Or should I try another training plan entirely?
In other news, my mom has just started getting into running and had a very successful run this morning. If you have time, check out her blog and cheer her on! She is going to be running the 5K in Hartford :)