A quick note: my family and I (and our house) are all safe after Hurricane Matthew, and I realize we are extremely fortunate. While I was merely inconvenienced (and stressed out) by Matthew, many people lost much more. My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims of Matthew's destructive path.
KIAWAH HALF TRAINING WEEK 1
This week kicked off my official official fall training. I reset my weekly counts to track my Kiawah training since Wine & Dine is just a fun training run with a friend and not a goal race.
I thought it was going to be a relatively quiet week since Meadow had a break in her radiation treatments and we wouldn't have to drive her 2 hours to Columbia (one way) several times for treatment and/or leave her to stay there overnight for a few nights. Everyone was going to be home, there was no crazy commuting on the schedule, and we'd be able to get some rest.
Nope. No rest for the weary (and sick and stressed) over here.
Because Charleston was in the direct path of Hurricane Matthew, we evacuated to Charlotte late Tuesday into Wednesday and spent the week living in a hotel. Three dogs, one toddler, two adults - trying to live, work and not completely lose it from stress.
It's tough to pack up the most important things, leave your house, and not know if you'll have anything to come back to. It's also telling what the most important things are - in addition to important documents, I packed up photos, mine and B's artwork, my computer and camera, and Stella Blue. Yes, the ashes of our dog who passed away last December came along with us. No family member got left behind. Oh, and I took my race medals. Seriously people, those were hard-earned and not replaceable. They came along.
We did find some time to enjoy ourselves in Charlotte, though, despite the stress and bit of inconvenience we experienced. Our dogs got to hang out a several dog-friendly restaurants and we took B to Freedom Park. And since Friday and Saturday were both a wash-out with rain, we did a little bit of shopping at the SouthPark Mall (I miss that place!).
Sunday evening we finally got to relax with some friends and visit our favorite brewery (for the second time on the trip - we had taken our dogs there earlier in the week). Hurricane evacuation requires beer.
This week puts me 10 weeks out from Kiawah, which is my goal race for this fall and I need to get it together over here (and sickness can stay away, too). So despite my stress over the hurricane and my continued sinus congestion (though it did improve over the week), I ran.
And it turns out, maybe a change of scenery (and a drop in temperatures) is exactly what I needed. And being back "home" in our old Charlotte stomping grounds was pretty awesome (and made me wonder why the heck we ever left).
Workout summary (10/3-10/9)
- Monday: Off
- Tuesday: Easy run - 7 miles (no watch, feeling congested)
- Wednesday: Recovering from our over night Charleston evacuation
- Thursday: Off
- Friday: Easy run - 4.04 miles (8:32 pace)
- Saturday: Off
- Sunday: Long run - 8.01 miles (8:08 pace)
Running miles: 19.05 miles
Total runs: 3
Total workouts: 3
While I missed barre classes this week because of the evacuation and didn't have as much free time as I would have liked to visit my old Charlotte barre studio, I did get three runs in. I wanted to get in four runs, but Saturday was a rainy mess and the treadmill was so unappealing.
But the two runs I ran in Charlotte were wonderful. It felt like home while I ran my old run routes and enjoyed all of the beautiful Charlotte views and hills. So many hills. There's no flat in Charlotte; it's either up or down. And I was faster. So much faster.
Thursday's run was a little rainy, a lot windy, and very humid, but I still felt good. I set out intending to run 7 miles, but I was starving and wanted dinner, so I decided to run a little shorter. But it was the first run I've had in a long time that I wasn't miserable for most of the way.
Sunday was even better! During my long run, with temps in the 60s and humidity only around 55%, I clocked several miles at an easy sub-8 pace and had an overall pace of 8:08. And I think could have run forever, or at the very least could have easily run a half marathon. I can't remember the last time I had a run like this, especially at a slightly higher distance. I'm fairly certain it's a training pace PR for that distance. And I was actually having fun and that's something running hasn't been for me in well over a year.
The bad news? I'm going back to Charleston where the air is heavier and my allergies are bad, even when it's not as humid. Running is more of a struggle there.
The good news? When I lived in Charlotte before and ran these same routes, I wasn't nearly as fast, so I've improved. I guess humidity training is helping these asthmatic lungs, but I fear I'll never be as fast in Charleston as am in Charlotte (or somewhere else where the air is better for me). I still regularly consider moving back to Charlotte because of my overall health (and because it's a damn cool city).
But for now, I'm going back to Charleston and at least I have solid proof that I actually have improved as a runner - through the humidity, asthma, allergies and stress. It appears I may be faster than I've ever been despite my terrible race times (and even if I don't see those improvements as readily in Charleston). But the temps appear to have dropped in Charleston post-Matthew, so maybe there's a small sliver of hope, at least for the next few months.
I feel like I'm in a good spot mileage-wise at this point for Kiawah and plan to start ramping up. Wine & Dine will just be a training run along the way over the next 10 weeks and I have no concerns of being able to get both the 10K and the half done. I'm running with a friend and our intended pace is somewhere in the 11 minute mile range, so I'll be just fine. The long, slow miles will be good for me. (And in case you missed it, I picked out my outfits for the Disney Wine & Dine races - check out the 10K outfit here and the half marathon outfit here.)
Maybe if I can get my overall motivation back, keep my asthma and allergies under control, and the weather cooperates in Kiawah this year (tall orders, I know), I'll see the PR I know I'm capable of. If Sunday's run was any indication, that PR could be massive.