It was record-breaking cold this week. But, for the most part, I missed running in it because I was sick! I ran the Fairfax Four Miler on Sunday, skipped my next three workouts due to illness, and did a 10 mile medium run on Saturday.
December 31st – January 6th
Sunday: Fairfax Four Miler.
Tuesday: Steady Run. 3-5 miles.
Wednesday: VO2Max Run. 5-7 miles w/4-5 x 5 min. w/1 min. recovery.
Thursday: Easy Run. 3-5 miles.
Saturday: Medium-long Run. 8-10 mile trail run.
Mileage Total: ~23-27 Miles
Notes. New Year’s Day was a scheduled rest day. But, I skipped my workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday due to illness.
Fairfax Four Miler. 4 miles [Race Report].
The schedule in Running Your First Ultra had me taking a rest day after last Saturday’s long run but I like closing out the year with a race. I had doubts about running when I saw it was going to be 20 degrees with a wind chill of 6 degrees on New Year’s Eve, but I did it anyway. My lungs burned the entire distance but I finished in 30:33 (7:39 pace). I was the 170th out of 1204 finishers (I can’t believe so many people ran this race!), 40th woman and 7th in my age group.
Medium-long Run. 8-10 mile trail run [Log Details].
It was about 15 degrees when I woke up in the morning. After three days of sickness and two days of rarely leaving the bed, I felt good enough to run. My plan asked me to take this final medium-long run to a trail, but I wasn’t going to risk sucking in any more cold air or slipping on ice. I drive to the gym and hopped on the treadmill.
I started out on the 6.3 setting (9:31 pace), which was fast considering I’d been completely sedentary for two days. But mentally, I wanted a final strong run before my first ultra-marathon. I had printed my race plan for miles 20 through 35 of the race and tried to imagine how I’d feel during that segment. But I was distracted by an odor during the first few minutes of the run. “Is that me?” Remembering the past three days of sickness, hygiene hadn’t been a priority. “Maybe it’s the guy next to me.” But then I noticed a guy on the elliptical with the arm pits cut out of his shirt. “Oh, it’s gotta be him!” I made a few sly sniffs in all directions, but couldn’t determine which one of us was the offender. Back to visualizing, I focused on running strong and determined – head up, shoulders back – for this section of the race. After the first hour, I stopped the treadmill, made some notes on my race plan, and then ran the final 3.7 miles at the setting to 6.5 (9:13 pace). Again, faster than I should have but it made me feel fit instead of sickly.
- It’s best to train for an ultra-marathon in the spring or fall. I didn’t get to test race day weather conditions because it’s been so cold on the east coast.
Illnesses. After bragging on New Year’s Eve about how I never get sick… I got sick a couple of days later! I sneezed a couple of times during the day on Tuesday but didn’t think much of it. The next day, I thought I might be getting sick but went on with my day. Huge mistake! I had a throbbing headache, and was sneezing or blowing my nose the entire day at work. I stayed home on Thursday and Friday. I felt so miserable that I barely left the bed.
Sleep. The reason I wasn’t sure I was sick on Tuesday was that I didn’t sleep well on Monday night. Due to the cold temperatures, the heat pump in my townhouse switched to auxiliary heat during the night and kept waking me up! I slept well for the rest of the week due to the nighttime cold medicine I took.
Weight. I barely ate while I was sick. I finally got my appetite back on Friday night (craving a grilled cheese sandwich), which is how I could tell I was on the mend.
Injuries. If there’s a bright side to my sickness, it’s that my piriformis didn’t hurt during my medium run!
It’s been very cold here in Washington, DC. It was 20 degrees with single-digit wind chills on New Year’s Eve. We were introduced to the phrase “bomb cyclone”, which was fun to say. On Saturday, it was sunny but the air temperature and wind chill were record-breaking low.
Next race: 2018 San Diego 50 Miler on Saturday, January 13th! Being sick for three days has me a little rattled. I’d rather be going into these last few days feeling healthy rather than knowing I’m still on the mend. But, I’m a fighter! And, I’m smart. If I can get those two attributes to align, I should be fine.
This may be my last training-related blog post before the race and I’m sure the report will take a few days. I’ll try to tweet out an update on my Twitter account if you’re interested in seeing how I do next Saturday.