23 mile week

What a crazy busy week!

I ran a lot this week, in spite of the busy-ness, which felt really good. Like I already posted, I ran 3.6 miles on Monday and Tuesday…  

 …then 3.6 miles on Wednesday…

 …and 3.6 miles on Thursday!

I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run on Friday, which was part of my incentive to run earlier in the week. My runs were all solid – nothing outstanding, but I was pleased that I was out there each day. In fact, my pace dropped just a tiny amount, but steadily, throughout the week – from something like 12:30 or 12:45, to 13:15, to 13:30, to 14:00. I figured that was because I wasn’t taking rest days. My legs still felt good so I wasn’t too worried.

I did have a small surprise on Thursday’s run…  

 This little puppy. I recognized her – I’ve seen her with her owner before – but she approached me a good quarter-mile from her house. In the street. Her owner has complained about not having time/money to put up a fence. I have to resist the urge to tell her that she shouldn’t get a dog if she can’t take care of it.  

 I picked up the dog – she’s still small, maybe ten pounds – and carried her to her home. Walking, of course. She’s awfully sweet, and she was awfully happy to see me, so I let this one go… but in another month or two, when she’s grown into a full-size Labrador, if they don’t have her restrained, I will be calling animal control.  

 I also found two cents on Thursday. Penny saved, penny earned?

 On Saturday, with my fresh legs, I ran 8.43 miles. It began slowly. It took me a mile to find my pace, but it felt good. I was also pleased that I was maintaining a slow(ish) pace, so I didn’t wear out my legs.

I didn’t have a chance to go to Walmart or the grocery store this week, so the only nutrition option I had was the fruit snacks. I wasn’t wild about it, but I figured it was better than nothing. I “front-loaded” the snacks, eating a little bit more at each stop during the first half of the run (about 4 fruit snacks/mile).  

 The first few miles were okay. I found my pace and was just doing my best to enjoy the feeling of the sun and the wind. I (briefly) considered turning around early, but reminded myself that I had to get to QuikTrip to refill my water bottle, and that meant I had to keep going.  

 QT felt great. Getting that far was an accomplishment. I went in through the side door and paused by the fountain drinks to recover and re-hydrate.

There were also a couple of people who commented on how hard I was working and how impressed they were by my running. Good for my ego. 🙂

I began to really feel it during mile 5. The bone in my shoulder, which I broke years ago, started aching. Referred pain, maybe? I also was becoming acutely aware of some chafing between my boobs. I think I had a spot where my skin was already raw, and during this run it rubbed along the length of my sportsbra’s upper hem.

At mile 6, I stopped to get a couple of fruit snacks out of my SPIbelt, plus a drink of water. I tried to swallow, but it just didn’t work. Before, I didn’t exactly love the taste of the fruit snacks (just wasn’t working during a run), but I could tolerate it. Now, it was like my body was physically rejecting the fruit snacks. I gagged and spat the fruit snacks into the grass. I could taste a bit of stomach acid in the back of my mouth, and I just stood still for a couple of minutes, wondering if I was going to throw up.

I didn’t even think to take a photo. I was too busy feeling crummy!

The feeling passed. I just knew that I couldn’t swallow any more fruit snacks, and that I would have to white-knuckle the last couple of miles. It wasn’t easy, but I pushed. Hard. I really threw myself into it.

It was not easy. For the next two miles, I gave it everything I had. It was not easy. I could feel the exhaustion in my legs, and it took a lot of focus to not let my pace slide because of it. At one point, close to the end, I was screaming out loud to myself, “Dig! Dig! Dig!”

I averaged a sub-14:00 pace. I’m still struggling with pushing myself beyond six miles – that’s where the exhaustion really pulls me down. The chafing between my boobs was (and still is) pretty bad, and I also got a mild spot of chafing below one arm. Of course it was frustrating to have my nutrition fall apart mid-run. But overall, I’m pleased. It’s a great pace, especially considering all the challenges.

This also brings me up to nearly 23 miles for the week (3.6 miles on MTWR and 8.4 miles on Saturday), which is definitely more than my usual. I don’t know what next week will bring, but here’s to many more miles!

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