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Austin Marathon Training, Week 7

I’m a riser. I’m a get-off-of-the-ground, don’t-run-and-hider. Pushin’ comes to shove, hey, I’m a fighter. When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter. A get-out-aliver of the fire. A survivor.
— Dierks Bentley

Week 7 started low and ended on a much higher note.  So I can’t complain.  But it really didn’t start well, and that wasn’t very fun.  But it was Thanksgiving—that definitely helped turn the week around.  It was also the first week of Jenny Hadfield’s Holiday Challenge, which is a great motivator for me.  My goal for the week was to rack up 31 miles worth of activity.  This is how it works—running miles are counted normally, and every 10 minutes of crosstraining counts as a mile.  I didn’t make my goal, but I’ll explain that below.

Monday—20 minutes of core and hips (2 miles)

This was a planned core and hips session.  After my painful long run at the end of Week 6, I knew I had to do more than I was to strengthen my hips and core.  So I spent Monday focusing on those parts of my body, hoping that it helps the long runs return to the not painful category.

Tuesday—20 minutes of core and hips (2 miles)

This was an unplanned core and hips sessions.  I was supposed to do a 4 mile run, and I drove to a dog-free trail and started it and everything.  And then I fell.

The most frustrating part for me, I think, was the fact that I was less than half a mile into the trail run.  So I just scrapped the whole thing.  I was in quite a bit of pain from hitting the ground (there are lots of rock on Austin area trails, and I fell on them), so I returned home discouraged and unhappy.  But!  There’s an upside to the story.  I did 5 pushups without being on my knees for the first time since high school.  So I can’t say that my crosstraining has been for nothing—I’m definitely getting stronger.

Wednesday—3 mile run with Ole

On Tuesday evening, H and I went out for dinner and then did some shopping, and one of the things I bought were some ankle braces.  I’ve had a lot of trouble with rolling my ankles while trail running.  I’m not sure what to do about that—will my ankles just get stronger?  I don’t know how that works.  Anyway, I wore them while running in Zilker with Ole, and I did feel more stable.  So I’ll keep that as an option in the future for trail running.

This run went surprisingly well, after falling the day before.  It was pretty quick—or, I should say, quick for Ole and I together.  And I felt pretty good.  I call it a success.

Thursday—rest (0 miles—Happy Thanksgiving!)

H, Ole, and I spent Thanksgiving on the gulf with H’s sister and brother-in-law and there puppy, Texie.  It was so wonderful and relaxing.  I took the entire day off because I was tired and wanted to spend time with family.  We did a puzzle all together, and that was really fun.  I felt rejuvenated and ready to continue pushing toward this marathon.

Friday—3.68 mile beach run (4 miles)

Do you know how wonderful it is to run on the hard-packed sand near where waves are crashing on the gulf coast?  I do.  It’s my new favorite thing in the whole world.  My beach miles weren’t very fast, but they were a great workout, and I felt good.  And it was nice to wear a tank top and shorts and to feel salt in the air in November.  I’ll take it.  It was also REI’s #optoutside day, rather than Black Friday, and I was more than happy to participate in that.

Saturday—20 minutes of yoga (2 miles)

I woke up with a terrible kink in my neck, so I did some upper body yoga before even going downstairs in the morning.  It definitely helped and prevented a headache that could have been a bitch later on in the day.  It wasn’t a difficult workout, but I definitely felt better at the end.

Sunday—12 mile beach run

Okay, so Sunday was a cold day at the beach, y’all.  I’m talking barely broke 50 degrees in the middle of the day.  No, I recognize that this is not a cold day for November in most parts of the country, but I packed for the beach.  Meaning… I only brought shorts for running.  So I had some old sweatpants piled on top of my shorts when I drove to the beach, but upon arriving, I realized that the breeze coming off the water was warmer than the weather we had been feeling inland, so I ditched the sweats.  I’m glad I did—I would have been hot.  But it was not a warm run.

In hindsight, I probably should have parked on the other end of the beach and ran into the wind first.  Instead, I started the run with the wind behind me and ran the first six miles that way.  Then I had to go back to my car with the wind blowing into my face.  It wasn’t super fun.  Combine that with the fact that my knee was hurting pretty badly, and you’ll have a not-super-enjoyable run.

But I did it.  It was my longest run in more than a year—nearly the full length of the half that I’ll be running in less than two weeks.  YIKES. 

Week 7 is in the books.  I’m nearly to the halfway point in this training program—how can that be?!  Holy moly.

I’ve got some tough weeks ahead of me as I prepare to travel for work and then actually travel for work.  Plus the half.  And then the holidays are right on the half’s heels.  It’s going to be quite an adventure, and I’m going to have to stay disciplined.  That’s what the Holiday Challenge is for, and that’s what this blog is for.  In keeping track of my running, I am forced to hold myself accountable.  I need that.  And I like writing these posts.  It gives me time to reflect on my runs and to process the week as a whole.  It’s nice.  It reminds me of why I love writing so dang much.  It’s a place for me to be me.

-A.

Three

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