Sunday Sweats [5/11-5/17]

I didn't forget about these posts, I just deliberately stopped doing them for a few weeks.  I just haven't felt like myself lately, and while I've been getting my workouts in like always, I feel like I've been going through the motions more than anything. I'm not ashamed of my struggles and want to share them, I just don't want to sound like a broken record complaining about how my stomach hurts for the millionth time. But this is real life and sometimes it's all I can do to trudge through 4 miles and that's just as important a part of my story as my triumphs. 

Last Sunday I was thinking about my workouts for the week (and planning how to fit them all in during a busy moving week split between two parts of the state), when I stumbled across this on Urban Fitopia:
"Every moment we have to ability to start fresh, but that feeling really culminates on Sunday nights. Whatever hopes you have for the week, write them down and get to work. Follow your passion because we only have right now."

I'm not sure if it was meant to be as inspirational as I took it, but for whatever reason, in that moment, it was what I needed to hear. At that moment I knew I didn't want my workouts this week to be focused on numbers or paces or stats, but on experiences. Fortunately, this was an easy week to garner all kinds of experiences. I was on the brink of moving back to a place where I have flourished and thrived since my early Couch 2 5k days, and leaving a place I never thought I'd swim/bike/run in a million years but somehow learned to love (and sometimes hate). I already had all my workouts and distances scheduled in a spreadsheet - they've been there for months - but this week I took the time to outline them a little differently:

Monday: one last Blacksburg brick! Say goodbye to the Huckleberry Trail for a few months. 
Tuesday: one last swim in the VT pool. Make it a long one since it might be your last swim for a while. And later, celebrate the end of your first year back at Tech with one last VT run! 5 miles to campus, through the Duck Pond, down alumni mall, to Main Street and back. Take lots of photos.
Wednesday: take a rest day for moving, travel, and dinner with mom. 
Thursday: try a Dismal Double. If and when it gets windy or boring, just be thankful there are no hills. 
Friday: get up early run your downtown Portsmouth route. Isn’t the water so beautiful? Remember how much you used to love that calm, peaceful 7am hour and those 10 miles will be over before you know it. 
Saturday: get your workout in as you move into your new apartment. Take some time for yoga in the morning and the evening to get ready for your race tomorrow. 
Sunday: race hard, race smart, but ultimately, remember why you run. Think back to running this very race 4 years ago - your first race ever. Think about the organization that puts on this race and the cause it supports. If you beat no one in the race today, that’s okay, as long as you remember how running has helped you beat your demons.

It turned out to be exactly what I needed to have a successful week.

I only swam once this week, my M.O. lately. I knew it might be my last one for a while other than the occasional open water swim with my tri peeps, since I won't belong to a gym or pool this summer. I always swim a mile, and I don't know what got into me but I managed to (barely, only by a few seconds) eek out my best mile time all year.

I straight up killed it on the bike this week. On Monday I did my usual 45-minute brick ride, which was nothing spectacular but it was still solid. On Wednesday I moved back home to Virginia Beach (flat land! Thank Zeus!) so Thursday  I went for a long ride, with the goal of doing a Double Dismal. Let me explain: the trail I ride is the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail; it's a little over 8 mile one way, so we call going out and back twice a Double Dismal. Going out was a breeze, literally, since I had a tailwind at my back. Getting to the end and changing direction I to the wind made the trip back tough, and I kind of wanted to just be done after the first lap. I was really determined to get through all those miles though, so I went out for my second lap and finished that one for a total of 32.77 miles @ 17.9mph. It pained me to see my speed drop into the 17s after maintaining 18+mph for 27 or 28 miles, but seeing as my longest ride in the last year has only been 24 miles, and I've only ever biked more than 30 a handful of times ever, I felt pretty good at the end. I realized later that my bike distance PR is 34 miles and I totally would have kept going if I had realized that while I was still on the bike! I remember feeling really drained after that ride though, and felt much better after this one, so I think my reluctant hill training has actually paid off.

The week got off to a rough start. My stomach hurt so bad on my brick run on Monday that I really couldn't have run a second faster. 
Then on Tuesday I had a freak asthma attack at the very end of my 5 mile run. Seriously, I had .06 to go when my lungs all of a sudden got so tight and my chest closed up so much I couldn't breathe. My asthma rarely ever bothers me anymore but when it does, it's at the most random times. All I can think is that the humidity and/or pollen must have contributed since I didn't run any farther or faster than I'm used to. It was actually very scary since I had no inhaler and could not breathe in air (asthmatics know what I'm talking about) and was afraid I might die right then and there, but luckily I was on the trail right behind my apartment and Ben was just up the hill inside so he was able to come out and help me. I took a minute to drink some water and get my wheezing under control, but you better believe I finished that last .06!
I did my long run on Friday this week since I was racing on Sunday. Bane had to be at the vet by 9 so I got up at FIVE AM to be out running by 6:30 to get those 10 miles in. I'm honestly shocked I did it, but glad because I really love early mornings (once I've had coffee and am mentally present for them). My only focus was meeting my body wherever it was after my long ride on Thursday, and enjoying my morning running on my home turf. I've been struggling to get through long runs the past few weeks, but that one made me feel like I might be getting my long run mojo back.
And then Sunday was race day! I have a full recap of that race and why it's so important to me coming up on Tuesday, but the surface of it looks like this: new 5k PR (23:48/7:40 pace); 2nd in age group; 6th female finisher; 21st overall finisher. Can I get a high five emoji?

What is yoga again? I majorly slacked off this week. I did a few videos throughout the week. The good news is that when I did them, I really needed it; the bad news is I needed it more often than I actually did it. But the best news is that I landed crow for the first time ever! I've hit it before for a few seconds here and there but always felt like I lucked into it more than anything. I'm not sure what happened but I tried it randomly on Saturday and was surprised that I could hold it a bit longer than usual, and that I felt solid in it.


  1. Oof. Asthma stuff is no fun. I don't have asthma exactly; the doctor called it "exercise induced respiratory ailment" which basically means my lungs act like an asthmatic, but aren't triggered by anything other than exercise. In any case, they've surprised me a couple times, and it's always a little scary.

    Congrats on pushing through a less inspired time and on an awesome race on Sunday!

  2. I call that feeling on Sunday when you're nervous about the week ahead/sad that the weekend is over the Sunday Scaries, haha. Good for your for thinking ahead and structuring your week so that you could do so much while moving. I like the way you planned your workouts too! It's always good to speak kindly to ourselves!

  3. Ok, let's get something straight. Even when you're not in the mood and your stomach hurts, you PR at stuff. That is amazing! When I'm slacking, I go to an easy/moderate yoga class and call it a day. Seriously, I think that's incredible!

  4. Hope you figure out what's causing your stomach issues-- that sucks! You still did really good though!

  5. So many things you said here just speak right to my soul. "as long as you remember how running has helped you beat your demons" -> YES. Especially after yesterday. I didn't do a damn thing I'm proud of yesterday EXCEPT for finishing the race. A year ago I wouldn't have, and then I would have suffered a lot for it—I would have made myself suffer for it. Do you know what I mean?

    I'm glad you're back at the beach now and will be able to really enjoy your runs and run in the place you love so much. But wow, how scary that Tuesday run! I'm so sorry that happened :( So awesome that you clicked on your 10-miler and I am SO HAPPY AND SO PROUD OF YOU for that amazing PR on Sunday! I know you were on the fence about even attempting it but clearly it was the right decision. Congratulations! And congrats on hitting crow too! I had no doubt you'd get there ;)

  6. I love how you thought about the week - what a great way to think about it, less about numbers and times. Love that quote thingy. Very inspirational.
    Congrats on your best mile (swim)! that's awesome! and killing it on the bike AND crow. Seriously, what an awesome week! But jeepers, your running... that Tuesday run sounds terrifying and I'm sorry your stomach keeps hurting. Congrats on the PR though!

  7. I always appreciate your openness and honesty in your writing- that's what makes you a fave of mine! :) I love how you changed up your outlook for the week and in turn rocked those workouts!! :) Thanks for always being a motivator! I am counting down the days until I'm cleared to at least hop on the bike/elliptical!

  8. I love that inspiration you found about Sunday nights. I try really hard to think that way instead of having the Sunday blues that always creep up on me. But when we think about it, we have a new chance to start fresh and have a successful week! Look at you pushing through even when you would rather not. That is what it takes :)

  9. I can relate to this SO MUCH!! I've just been struggling with running lately, and thankfully I at least found enough energy to run my half last week, but it's tough to get back into a routine. And it sucks to lose the love of something you truly used to love so much. It just takes time, but I'm glad you're getting back to things in YOUR time, not someone else's :)