March 26, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up: Week 10 of Half-Marathon Training

Thank you so much for the kind comments on my last post. My mood has been all over the place, and it sounds like a "mixed state" of bipolar--having symptoms of depression and hypomania at the same time (of course, it's only the bad hypomanic symptoms that I'm experiencing right now). Mine is depression dominant right now, which is basically meeting the criteria for depression while having some hypomanic symptoms as well.

It's not been fun! It's been difficult for me, but also difficult for those around me--not sure what my mood is going to be like. The hardest part right now is the insomnia. When I'm depressed, I have terrible insomnia. But when I'm hypomanic, I have no need for sleep. And there is a big difference! Insomnia makes me SO SO tired, but I cannot fall asleep for anything. And I'm constantly exhausted from the lack of sleep. To the contrary, having "no need" for sleep due to hypomania means I am wide awake and perky with just a few hours of sleep, and I don't feel the effects of not sleeping.

Over the past couple of days, I've started feeling a little better as far as the depression goes. I'm hoping that once we get home from vacation, I'll be able to relax because I'll stop worrying about everything having to do with the trip. (It seems like vacation is relaxing for everyone except the person who does all the planning!)

The weather is looking pretty "eh" for Boston. No snow, but lots of rain... it has rained EVERY single time I've gone to Boston! I've been to Portland, which is known for being rainy, five (six? five?) times in the last three years, and it has rained just ONCE. But for each of the three times I've gone to Boston, it has rained significantly. So, the rain part doesn't surprise me. Thursday looks decent--55 and cloudy--for the whale watching. That's the one thing that I really hope we'll have good weather for.

The kids and Jerry are very excited about going, and that's all that matters. Maybe once we get there, I'll relax a bit and enjoy it!

The kids are doing sports for school (Eli is running track and Noah is playing baseball) and I've had a trillion forms to get done with tomorrow as a deadline. I only received these papers on Wednesday! They had to have a physical (thankfully, my doctor was willing to see them on such short notice), and today I have to go get some forms notarized. Isn't that crazy? I have to sign a "consent to play" paper (saying that I give consent for my child to participate in that sport) in front of a notary public! So, it has been stressful trying to get all this done before we leave, on top of getting ready for vacation.

But, like I said, I am starting to feel better. I have some cool things to look forward to over the next couple of months, and I'm going to be staying super busy with the boys' sports schedules. They've never really done schools sports before (cross country is with a running club), and I was so surprised when I saw the schedule for their sports this spring. Practice or games/meets every single day. It's going to be a big change of pace for the whole household. Fun, though!

I've had an exhausting weekend, so I put off writing this until today. We are officially done with 10 weeks of half-marathon training! 

Like I mentioned before, I ran into a little trouble with my IT band. It wasn't terrible--just a little nag that I noticed and was concerned with. The last thing I wanted was to get injured this far into training. I had been working on it with a foam roller, and Jerry "massaged" it (I put that in quotes because it was NOT a nice massage--it hurt like a bitch). I think the massage helped the most, actually.

I was worried all week about whether I'd be able to get in my 11 mile long run before going on vacation. I worked out our schedule so that we wouldn't have to do a long run on vacation (trying to run 12 miles while on a family vacation is crazy).

I knew if I could just get through the 11 miler, I would be able to get through the half-marathon, even if I don't get in another long run. It wouldn't be fun, but I could do it. (I do have a 12-miler scheduled for when we get back, though.) I was just very worried that I'd have to quit training altogether and/or drop out of the race.


Our training week looked like this:

Tuesday - Tempo Run (25 minutes + 5 min warm up and 5 min cool down)
Wednesday - 3 miles easy
Friday - 4.5 miles easy
Sunday - Long Run (11 miles)

Here is how it actually went...

Tuesday - Rest

My knee had been bothering me after our long run on Sunday, and then again on Monday. I decided to push this run to Wednesday, and hopefully squeeze in the rest during the week. I would rather be cautious than worry about getting it in on Tuesday.

Wednesday - 30 minute easy run

This run was the planned tempo from Tuesday, but once I started running, I just wanted to make sure I got through it without having any problems with my IT band. So, instead of doing the scheduled tempo run, I decided to run for 30 minutes. Toward the last few minutes, I started getting that nagging feeling in my knee. *Cue catastrophic thinking*

Thursday - 4.5 mile easy run

I ran outside. It was nice running weather, and I just couldn't stand the thought of the treadmill. I was supposed to do 4.5 miles, and I just hoped I could do it without IT band issues. I didn't pay any attention to my heart rate or pace (I didn't even look at my watch, actually) and I just ran easy. I couldn't stop focusing on my knee, but I didn't have any issues with it. I was so glad!

I managed to finish the run, and I was very surprised to see my pace under 11:00. My heart rate was high, though, because I hadn't been paying attention to it. Anyway, I was happy to have finished.

The next day, my knee was bothering me again. It was so frustrating! Jerry spent a long time massaging it, and I just hoped it would help me to be able to run on Saturday for our long run. (Jerry had to work on Sunday, so we decided to do our long run Saturday instead, in order to run together).

Friday - Rest

Because of the IT band irritation from Thursday, and the impending long run on Saturday, I decided to rest on Friday instead of trying to squeeze in a fourth run this week.

Saturday - Long run (11 miles)

This was the moment of truth. If I could get through this run, my confidence would be very high that I would be able to finish training and run the half next month. My knee felt okay while I was getting ready to go, but I was still completely pessimistic.

I decided to park near the Metropark and we could do two out and back routes from the car--one through the park (7 miles) and one the opposite direction (4 miles). That way, if my knee started acting up, I would have a chance to quit. We chose the 4-miler first, because the 7-miler through the Metropark would have bathrooms and water at the turnaround point--when we'd likely need it most.

Again, I didn't watch my heart rate, but whenever Jerry noticed we were running too fast (under 11:00), I told him to slow us down. I wanted to make sure I got through this run!

I made it through the first out and back (four miles) no problem. We stopped at the car for a second to drink a little water, and then we headed toward the Metropark. This is where it got cool for me. I had run this route so many times with Jessica while marathon training, and I knew all the landmarks that were significant.

So, instead of focusing on running seven more miles, I just focused on the next landmark. (From the car to the traffic light; going from the woods to the fields; the random grassy hill; the wooden bridge (which was exactly one mile from the turnaround point); the marina (bathrooms/turnaround); then, all of it again in reverse).

Focusing on getting to the next landmark instead of on mileage and/or time made the run go by so much faster! We had good conversation, too, especially the last four miles or so. We made it back to the car, and I couldn't believe I'd actually done it--11 miles!

I didn't have any trouble with my knee (I'd worn a brace, just in case). It was a huge confidence booster as far as the race goes. That was definitely my favorite of our long runs together. Again, I was kind of shocked at our pace--sub 11:00! I had been planning on 11:15-11:30.

We each got a long run treat on the way home, and I picked out tiramisu. It was SO good!

So, I only got in three out of four runs this week, but I'm glad I skipped the one I did; if I hadn't, maybe I wouldn't have been able to finish the 11-miler. Yesterday, I woke up feeling slightly sore from the run, but no issues with my IT band at all. We're going to be doing a lot of walking in Boston, so I'm grateful that I won't be limping!

I penciled in a few short runs for our trip, so that we can use the hotel treadmills to run 3-4 miles on a few days. But even if we don't run at all while we're gone, we'll still have 11 days left of training before the race.

We went to visit my nephew, Luke, yesterday, and he LOVES playing with Noah and Eli. Eli especially adores Luke, so he spent the whole afternoon letting Luke chase him around the house. (Luke is walking now!! It seems like just yesterday that he was born.) He is the cutest baby! I love watching him laugh with my boys.


  1. IT band issues are the worst. Hope it doesn’t flare up any more! Have fun on vacation!

  2. Don't use the hotel treadmills, do bridge circuits in Boston -- you won't notice the miles because it's so beautiful running along the river. You can make up any mileage depending on which bridges you cross.
    Have a great trip -- don't worry about the rain -- there's so much to do and see. I'll wave to you from the north shore.

  3. I'm so excited to hear all about your Boston trip, that's where I was born and grew up/attended college. I live in Georgia now- I don't miss the snow, but I do occasionally miss all the fun things to do. Have a great time! ps- if any of your plans get rained out and you're looking for something inside the museum of science is super cool. Your boys would love it!

  4. I hadn't run in a while (I've been doing kickboxing and dance fitness) and I did a 5k last weekend. My old IT Band issues flared up immediately. They are the worst. I've been foam rolling the glutes, quads and hamstrings and that's seemed to help some. I'm hoping to be pain free by the weekend.

  5. Great long run! And that tiramisu looks amazing! Have such a great vacation, Boston is so fun!


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