May 2019 in Review
Total mileage for the month: 345.8
April 29-May 5: 87.6 (2:11 strength training)
May 6-12: 66.8 (2:00 strength training) - planned cut-back week that I disliked
May 13-19: 94.3 (2:18 strength training) - new weekly mileage PR
May 20-26: 80.7 (0:55 strength training) - I had bronchitis, & started antibiotics on May 23
May 27-June 2: 70.1 (2:03 strength training)
The end of long sleeve running was quickly follow by the
beginning of oppressive humidity in May
May 25: Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon in 1:23:31 for 1st overall female and a bronchitis PR. I changed my goals for this race after being diagnosed with bronchitis and starting on antibiotics and an inhaler 2 days before it. I was disappointed that I was unable to go for a real PR, but I was very thankful that I was able to run the race at all and that I got to break the tape! It was 71 degrees and humid at the start, and climbed to about 80 by the finish, so even if I hadn't been sick I wouldn't have run wonderfully in those conditions. Any day God gives me the opportunity to run and to race is a good day, though!
The end of long sleeve running, take 2
Take 3...when you show up in gloves when your
friends show up in sports bras or tank tops
(it was 48 degrees)!
May 4: Long run workout of 3 warm up, 1.5 mile tempo (5:58, 2:59), 2:00 recovery, 1.5 mile tempo (6:00, 3:02), 8 miles easy, 2.5 mile tempo (5:59, 6:00, 2:57), 3.5 cool down (7:12 average for all 20.2). I'd never done a workout like this before, but I can really see the value of it! I think fast finish long runs are the most "bang for your buck" that you'll ever get out of a few fast miles, and this was a similar concept with the addition of the tempos early to put some junk in my legs. My tempo pace has been creeping down recently, and my coach told me to target 5:58-6:08 for this one. I felt pretty good about hitting 6:08, but once I got started I was really pleased with how good staying right around 6:00 felt. Rebecca ran 15.25 miles of this run with me (meaning she stopped after 1 mile of the final tempo), which was really nice and also helped me start out a little faster due to her college miler speed. I was pleased that I was able to finish strong, and ended up feeling like this was a break-through workout since I averaged 6:09-6:10 on my best tempos in April. I have actually never fast finished a long run quite as fast as I ran the final tempo during this workout, but I think keeping the easy miles really easy (mostly in the 7:40s) helped with that, so it is probably not really comparable to what I've done before (e.g., I wouldn't have finished as fast had I run the easy miles at 7:15).
May 7: 4 x 1.5 mile tempos in 5:58, 2:56 / 6:00, 2:59 / 5:59, 2:56 / 5:57, 2:56 with 2:00 recoveries (2.6 warm up, 2.1 cool down). I was super excited for this workout, and it did not disappoint! My tempo goal range was again 5:58-6:08, but when I came through the first mile in 5:58 feeling super strong I decided I was going to try to sit at faster end of the range for entirety of the workout. Usually the first mile of any tempo is the hardest part for me, so when the first mile feels good I know I'm going to have a good day (alternatively, if the first mile feels bad that just seems normal and I'm not discouraged since I typically get into a groove after a couple of miles). My first sub-6:00 mile post-injury came on April 13 at the end of the Rock the Parkway half, and just 3 weeks prior to this workout I was amazed that I was suddenly averaging around 6:10 on my tempos (after a few months of struggling to run 6:30s), so to average sub-6:00 on this one and to feel excellent doing it was extremely satisfying.
May 14: 2 x 3.1 mile tempos with 2:00 recovery in 18:32 (6:02, 6:01, 5:54, 0:34) and 18:27 (6:00, 5:58, 5:52, 0:37 - the final 0.1 was uphill!), 3.1 warm up, 1.6 cool down. After aborting my workout on May 11 (explained below under long runs), I needed this to go well, and it did! Three weeks prior to this, I ran 2 x 3.25 tempos with 1 mile recovery between, and averaged 6:09 pace, so it was very encouraging to run a similar workout faster (5:58 average) with a much shorter recovery on the same course. Initially I thought if I ran these two 5Ks back-to-back it would be a 36:59 10K - but then I realized that I programmed them into my Garmin as 3.10 instead of 3.11, whomp whomp (every 0.01 counts and breaking 37:00 in the 10K requires 5:57 pace!). I felt a tiny bit depleted from my stomach issues on May 10-11 and had a minor side ache on my cool down, but I think I was 95%. What's really crazy is that my heart rate was lower running sub-6:00 pace during this workout than it was running 6:25ish on May 11 in very similar weather conditions - I like looking at this metric because it's evidence that my body was off on May 11 and it wasn't that I wasn't pushing enough.
May 21: 6.2 easy, 6 x 1 mile tempos with 1:00 recoveries in 5:53, 5:52, 6:03, 6:11, 6:16, 6:19 (6:05 average), 2.2 cool down. Kind of like my May 4 workout, I'd never done one quite like this before. 6 mile is a long warm up and 1:00 is a short recovery! I have never nailed a workout 3 days after a 24 miler (usually I don't even try for 4 days and I've never nailed those either) - and this one was no different. My target time was 5:55, and I felt fine enough on the first 2 repeats (I also had company on only the first 2 repeats, as Rebecca did an abbreviated version of this workout with me). On the third I was sure reaching but couldn't manage to hit my time, and then I was just holding on and telling myself to at least hit MGP. There was certainly walking on those 1:00 recoveries too. Although I would have liked to hit this workout, I wasn't at all surprised that I didn't so soon after my 24, and my allergies were causing wheezing and coughing this whole week (editor's note: it was actually bronchitis, diagnosed on May 23). I felt like I got great practice running on dead legs though!
May 29: 3 easy, 5K tempo in 6:15, 6:14, 6:08, 0:38/5:48 pace for the 0.11, 4 easy, 2.5 mile tempo in 6:16, 6:18, 2:58, 2.5 easy. This was a monster workout and I really liked it, but I wasn't back to 100% in my bronchitis recovery yet and was still wheezing somewhat. Much like the Bill Snyder half, I didn't feel awful, but I just didn't feel full strength. I thought at best I might be able to hit the slower end of my tempo range (5:58-6:08), and I couldn't quite do that, but I was happy enough to run pretty evenly. Our bodies know effort, not pace, and 6:00ish effort just got me 6:12ish pace on this one! It did not help that it was oppressively humid (68 degrees, dew point 65 degrees), so also much like my May 25 race, it was difficult to know how much my illness hurt my performance vs. how much the weather hurt it, but I sure know neither helped! Amy and Rebecca joined me for the 4 miles easy in the middle, which was a nice breath of fresh air during the workout.
Doubles on May 1, 2, 7, 8, 13, 14, 16, 21, 22, 23, 30
Strides on May 22, 24, 31
Surges on May 2, 8, 16
Days off running: May 9 and 27 - I have a day off about every 21 days now, which has been a change but I'm adapting. Mainly I had to get past the effect it has on my weekly mileage every third week! I actually asked for the day off on the 27th, because I was feeling sick and very weak - my run on the 26th felt terrible, and I have finally learned that a day off can save things, after failing to take one prior to my last injury.
Favorite workout: I loved the workouts on May 4, 7, and 14, so it's a 3-way tie! I loved the workouts I ran on May 21 and 29 too, but I didn't nail those. It was a month of fun workouts.
A bright sunshiny Sunday
The logo on my shirt pretty much sums up all of
our workout planning conversations
2018 Grandma's Marathon shirt for workout inspiration!
May 4: 20.2 mile workout, described above.
May 11: 20 miles (7:17). This long run was supposed to contain 2 x 6 miles at marathon goal pace (6:20 for the first 6, 6:15 for the second 6), but it wasn't my day. I'd been excited and confident about this workout all week, especially after my tempo workout on May 7 went so well. I was traveling for work Thursday and Friday, and on Thursday evening I had some Thai take-out that didn't sit right with me. I was awake a lot with a gurgling stomach overnight, and on Friday morning I cut my run short after stopping twice to dry heave. I didn't eat breakfast on Friday, and ate very little throughout the day due to feeling barfy. Friday night I had a normal dinner and felt fine, so I thought I would be okay. Saturday I woke up to pouring rain at 45 degrees, so waited for it to pass, which didn't happen until 10:30 a.m., 5 hours after I'd planned to run. I took the opportunity to practice my pre-race nutrition that has worked flawlessly for me in 7 marathons and more halves than that. I felt fine on my 3 mile warm-up, but once I dropped the pace to MGP my stomach agony returned. I gutted through the first 2 miles just slightly off pace (both were 6:23 but felt like about 5:50), then during mile 3 the pain became stabbing and affected my posture. I decided to finish that mile and then try to walk for a minute to re-group and finish the workout. My third pace mile was 6:28, and after my minute of walking I ran about a half mile more around 6:40 pace before deciding to save it for another day. My stomach was mostly okay after I backed off the pace, and I ended up finishing the 20 miles just fine. Conveniently I was running with Missy, who is a nurse practitioner, and she said that because at faster paces more blood is drawn away from the stomach, this occurrence made sense. In the past I'd have been devastated to terminate a key workout like this, but in the end I was thankful to run 20 miles on a terrible day faster than I'd run 20 miles on a good day just 6-8 weeks before -- not to mention extremely thankful to be out there. Any day I can run is a good day and every run is a good run! I want another go at the workout, and I learned that pushing it back a day would have been wiser than trying it like I did, but it wasn't a wasted day. My coach assured me that I would get to run it another time, although she wouldn't let me run in on May 14. :-)
May 18: 24 miles (7:12), a.k.a., the Big One! I didn't have a workout in this run, but I did hope to finish faster than I started, which was successful. We had a great long run group for this run, with Missy, Rebecca, Ben, Claudio, Eric, Derek, and me, with most of the group doing 12-17 miles. Derek ran the entire 24 miles (he is training for a 50 miler!), although he eased off a little in the final 6 so I was alone for those. The miles really flew by with great company! It was warm and humid (71 degrees, dew point 63), but that didn't bother me as I expected it to - probably because it wasn't a workout. I drank quite a bit of water and took one gel.
May 25: 19.2, with 3.1 warm up, the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon, and 3 cool down.
Favorite long run: The 24, always the 24.
I ran my 24 in my rainbow socks!
I started "overdressing Wednesdays" to help with heat adaptation. I also started stretching in the steam room after running when I ran with groups starting at the YMCA, which was only three times, but something.
It rained a lot this month! And by the end of the month, hot temperatures and oppressive humidity arrived. I am thankful we did not have any harmful flooding like many other areas did, though.
I improved my weekly mileage PR to 94.3 - and don't think I didn't consider how easy it would have been to add 5.7 more miles! #restraint
A tornado hit really close to home (within a half mile of our house) overnight on April 30. We lost power during the storm but didn't know nearly how bad it hit until the next day. On my run on May 1, I had to run a different course than I'd planned due to road closures and flooding. I ran east from my house, and it just looked like a thunderstorm had come through, with some small fallen branches. Then when I tried to drive west to go to work, I couldn't get through any of the roads due to the amount of destruction. I saw many homes that were damaged and destroyed, large trees that were pulled up by their roots, and fences that were annihilated. On May 3 I even saw a canoe in a tree during my run through one of the worst areas! No one suffered more than minor injuries in the storm, amazingly and thankfully. God sure protected us; we did not have any damage to our home.
Albani completed another year in Awana and received her Awana awards - we love Awana!
We celebrated Mother's Day with a mostly lazy Sunday (just a run, church, and time at home).
Albani completed 5th grade! Her school district begins middle school in 6th grade, which she is much more ready for than I am.
We made the Bill Snyder Highway Half Marathon into a family fun weekend - it was also a 4 day weekend, because I took Friday off work and Monday was Memorial Day. My sister-in-law also ran the race, and both of our families spent both Friday and Saturday nights in Manhattan (photos from the trip in my race recap).
Our garden started producing and we harvested a lot of spinach, strawberries, and sugar snap peas (photos coming in my May cravings post).
It looked like a war zone
This house was decimated while the guest house was left standing
More tornado damage
Awana awards & treats
New pineapple sunglasses
Easter candy, haha!
Rainy pillow fort Saturday
Mother's Day after church pic
Last day of school!
I can still pick her up!
Albani took the initiative to fix this display that
had blown over in the wind on Memorial Day,
which warmed my heart
Books this month:
An Unacceptable Death by Barbara Seranella
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Road Home by Richard Paul Evans (this is the final book in the Broken Road series I recommend reading the trilogy in order - I read the other two in 2018 but this one wasn't released until spring 2019)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Okay Fine Whatever by Courtenay Hameister
Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
All the Wrong Places by Joy Fielding
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
Theme of the month:
Resilience, inspired by this post -- or #musclemay - photos below...