(Although I wrapped up my fourth week of training, I'm starting my training round-ups at one for good measure.)
Week 4 started off really well. I ran 6 miles last Monday, 5 glorious miles on Wednesday, and felt like a boss in the swimming pool on Thursday. I was looking forward to a strong 14-miler on Saturday and, with that, a boost of confidence and affirmation that I have a mileage base and can focus on speed during this round of training.
The long run didn't go as well as I would have liked. I set out a little before 9, and it was already hot. I took the first few miles slowly and felt really good until about Mile 6. My clothes were soaked, and I felt like I wasn't drinking enough to stay hydrated. (By the way, there is something really scary about drinking 64 ounces of water and Gatorade over the course of a 14 mile run and not once needing to stop at a restroom.) I stopped to walk often and, even though that's totally fine and a smart thing to do, I felt really discouraged about my overall fitness level. I just didn't have it in me to run, and I wanted to quit running (and possibly training) right at that moment.
Of course, since I was quite far from my apartment and didn't really have a choice, I kept running and things started to improve. I ran below my goal pace and took walk breaks when needed. When I got back to my apartment and hopped into a tub of ice water (running clothes included), I realized that the run wasn't all bad and that I'm still in decent shape. And, there's a bright side of training outside during the summer: running a marathon in October is going to feel like a breeze -- well, as much as a breeze that running 26.2 miles can feel.
I'm still in this, folks.
Week 5 started off with a rest day yesterday and a hill workout today. So far, so good. Here's what I have planned for the rest of this week:
Wednesday - 6 miles (tempo)
Thursday - optional AM easy morning run/swimming pm
Friday - off
Saturday - 16 miles
Sunday - 4 miles