Weekly Recap: 4/17 – 4/23

Another solid week of training, including taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon. I slightly increased my Wednesday medium run to be six miles, as I want to get out of the 4/5/4 or 5/5/5 rut. Time to start taking those to be a bit longer!

Weekly recap for 4/17 – 4/23

Tuesday is typically my speed work day. Since it was the week before a race, I did an easy 3 mile goal pace run, totaling five miles. I’ve been doing this workout often during this training cycle, and I’m hoping it’ll help come race day and my goal of sub-2.

Of course, the weather might have other ideas. The current forecast is a low of 72 and high of 89. That’s not gonna be fun, and the back half is mostly uphill. Yikes!

Our Saturday run got wiped out in the rain, so we moved it to Sunday instead. I know we better get used to Sunday runs since it’s part of my training plan for MCM and Dopey, but it still sucks. Just feels like everything is off. Without a run to do Saturday, I was able to whip up a little feast!

My feast!

Asian-spiced shrimp with a parmesan risotto and an onion & brussel sprouts mix in a soy glaze. Delightful! The meal was completed by some wedding cake, which, after a year, is surprisingly still delicious!

It’s race week, so keeping things nice and easy for the taper. We will head up to Louisville on Friday and we’ve got a fun post-race weekend planned.

Longest Bike Ride Yet!

Sunday morning I went for a bit of a bike ride around town. I’ve been trying to get out on the roads once a week if possible (usually Sundays), since cycling is BY FAR the thing I’m worst at. Sure, swimming is important, but the time it takes to get gains there, given the short distances by comparison, my time is better spent improving my bike skills and endurance.

So, off I went. I had no real plan, just to bike in sort of a large square for an hour or so. I started heading towards the river, where I could bike through the parks and possibly to the island (not really an island). Once I got there, I decided to go over the Big River Crossing, a bike/pedestrian walkway that goes from Memphis to West Memphis, Arkansas. I figured at that early hour, on a Sunday, there wouldn’t be too many people and I could handle it. The best part about it is the view:

Big River Crossing provides great views of downtown Memphis

Very nice. One thing I didn’t anticipate was that it’s all downhill on the Arkansas side, meaning I’d have to climb it to get back across. It felt like it wouldn’t end, but after spinning for a few minutes, I made it back to the flat part of the bridge and continued on. I went over to Martyr’s Park, which offers great views of the river and the Big River Crossing bridge:

View of the bridge from terra firma

From there, I pedaled down into the park, up the incredibly steep street to get back to the city (first time I ever had to get out of the saddle and mash!), then completed the loop to back home.

Two states!

It wasn’t far or speedy, but I did it. 14.64 miles in 1:17:09, a blazingly fast 11.4MPH. I did hit a new top speed record as well: 21.4MPH. Like I said, I’ve got a lot of room to improve!

Weekly Recap: 4/10-4/16

As mentioned the other day, the weather has begun to heat up in the mid-south already. The runs are hotter, biking is harder, and there’s just a general sense of always being tired.

Weekly training recap: 4/10-4/16

I missed my Wednesday morning run. I spent Tuesday night in the ER getting my chest checked out. While everything was ok, I was there so long and hadn’t eaten, I decided to sleep in and rest. Got my miles in Thursday and had a 12 mile run on Saturday, the last long run before Louisville. It was hot and my pace suffered.

I also managed the longest bike ride I’ve ever done, a whopping 14+ miles. At 11MPH. Still, it’s a start.

This week is a normal week, with a shorter Saturday run (8 miles or so) leading into taper for the Kentucky Derby half marathon on 4/29.

Gets Hot Earlier and Earlier

True story. It’s mid-April, and it already feels like the dead of summer around here in Memphis. Today it hit 82. This heat (and my mind playing tricks on me, thinking every little twinge is an oncoming stroke or heart attack) really affected my run. Let’s take a look at two recent long runs, shall we?

11 miles two weeks ago

11 miles two weeks ago

This was a solid run, one that left me feeling very confident heading into Louisville at the end of the month. I did the first five easy, the next four at a faster pace (between 10k and half marathon for me), then two more easy to cool down. I wasn’t dead at the end, but it was a solid effort.

12 miles today

12 miles today

And here’s today’s 12 miler. I kept everything very easy (even easier than usual), and didn’t try to put in any faster miles. And still, I took two very short walk breaks during miles 9 and 10, and mile 12 was an abject disaster where I walked probably 0.3 of it. I was out of water and caked in sweat.

I think I need to start using Nuun again to replace electrolytes. I have both a small 12 oz. bottle that fits in my belt, and a 20 oz. handheld. I’ll probably start using the Nuun in one, and Gatorade or something in the other. And this summer I’ll experiment with salt licks, as the humidity here is unreal. I think it’s what caused last summer to suck so much.

I’m starting to pray for a nice and cool (and overcast!) race day on the 29th, but I’ll be preparing for humid and 70s at the start.

Getting The Ticker Checked Out

As mentioned in my weekly recap for last week, I had been having a weird chest sensation for the past few days. Of course my mind went to all sort of places, including stroke, heart attack, anxiety attack, or a figment of my imagination. Naturally during this time, there was nothing but heart attack/stroke stories all around me. First, there was Bob Harper from Biggest Loser talking about his sudden heart attack. Then a guy who ran a local twitter feed related to the Cleveland Indians baseball team died of a stroke at 34.

So I went online and setup an appointment at the clinic my work offers. They immediately called me and said to go to the emergency room. Off I drove to the nearest ER and calmly explained that I was just having a bit of discomfort. They brought me right back and I had two nurses with me working fast, setting up an EKG, then off to take some blood, then some chest X-rays. Then I was put in a room.

I sat in that room for four hours, hooked up to blood pressure and pulse monitors. I had no less than six different nurses/doctors come in at different times to check on me, ask me questions. I felt well cared-for, I was calm the whole time, joking with the different nurses and asking questions to the doctors. All of my tests came back ok, no issues. I wasn’t having a heart attack or stroke. After five hours, I was discharged with directions to go see a cardiologist.

That’s where I’m at now. I took the day off from running (was scheduled for six miles). I’ll see how I feel in the morning and take it from there.