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Training -- Week 13!

Coming off Sunday's Atlanta 10 Miler, I felt okay on Monday. My training plan had 4.5 miles, but Tuesday was the first time the training plan also added an extra run day. No need to injure myself, and no need to run 6 days in a row. I decided to take Monday off for recovery, but I was happy to feel like I could have run if I needed to! Tuesday was the first day I had a strength workout after a run, and even though the run was only 2.5 miles, by the time I was finished with the strength part, my legs felt like jelly! I keep telling myself, “Baby steps!”

Friday I ran at our local park. They have rolling hills in a one-mile loop with water fountains along the way. I like it because I don’t have to carry my own water, and I’m never far from my car. The weather was gorgeous. Sunny, 57, no wind – so perfect. I knew I had a long Saturday run and wanted to keep some energy. So I did 6 miles at a slow, easy 15:08 pace and felt great.

Saturday was a big day! Our Group Training Session was at the Chattahoochee River. One of our teammates organized an in person and virtual Vampire Run 5K, so many of us were running the virtual race as part of our long run, complete with some costumes and character stops!

The best thing about running at the river is that it’s flat. From where we park our cars, it’s a downhill to start, and an uphill to end. But by the river, there’s a good 4 flat miles in one direction. The problem is that I needed to get to 11.5 miles. When I got to the end of the flat part at mile 5, I needed .75 miles to get to my halfway point. Turning left was uphill and around an unknown corner. Turning right was a little downhill followed by an uphill. I asked a teammate, “Which way?” He shook his head and said, “You don’t want to go left!” Okay, so I went right. It’s just three quarters of a mile! OMG. As I slow to a slow trudge almost completely uphill, I think, “I don’t want to go right either!” But I made it, and sure did enjoy the downhill once I turned around. Disney is flat. So very flat. People will talk about the highway on/off ramps like they’re a huge hill, but it’s such a short time compared to the huge hills, or worse, constant rolling hills, in Atlanta. All that to say – next time I need more miles, I’m looping back on the flat parts!

I did 11.59 miles at a 14:51 pace, and that includes 5 minutes of walking to warm up and 5 minutes of walking to cool down while my Garmin is still on. I did more miles at a faster pace, and a slower average heart rate than Friday! I like to stay in Zone 4 for long runs. For my first 2.6-mile run, 15-minute pace after COVID I was in Zone 5 nearly the entire time, I was working so hard to go so slow, and I was absolutely exhausted when I got home. It’s nice to see my endurance and lung capacity coming back after a few weeks of hard work! I may have been the last one back to Home Base, but I felt good and was proud of myself!

Week 13: Run 24.82 miles + Walk 1.45 miles = 26.27 total miles

Cumulative: Run 211.97 miles + Walk 17.98 miles = 229.95 cumulative miles

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