This was a hard week, but I knew it would be going into it. My body was still recovering from my half marathon last week, and my allergies have been killing me. In addition, work has been very busy and I’ve been in the office almost every day. It’s amazing how quickly I got used to/spoiled by working from home a few days a week!
Something I really haven’t mentioned on here is that Brian has been out of town pretty much since June, with a few visits back here and there. He’s been taking care of a family member out of state. We did long distance dating for a few years, but that was about 6 years ago. It’s been hard not having him around, and taking care of a dog and the house all by myself is a lot harder than I thought it would be. It’s also been pretty lonely around here! All of this to say that this week kicked my ass, and I’m tired!
Here’s how the week went:
Monday: 3 miles at 11:26 pace. My legs were mostly not sore anymore, and this run was okay. Nothing spectacular to report. I started taking allergy meds the night before and they helped with my nasal congestion.
As a side note, who else is obsessed with Halo Top ice cream? I recently found the birthday cake flavor and OMG…..so good!
Tuesday: 45 minutes stationary bike easy. I chose to sleep in and do this one in the evening.
Wednesday: 5 miles at 12:37 pace. UGH. This was hands down, the hardest run of this training cycle. It was hot and near 100% humidity, and I had a very, very hard time breathing. I took many walk breaks to try to get my heart rate down….it was pushing 180 most of the run, and it was supposed to be an easy/recovery run. My chest felt very heavy and towards the end of the run I had the same feeling I had during my half – where my throat got tight and I had a gag reflux/a little dry heaving. To be honest, I really wanted to cut this run down to 3 miles, I talked myself into 5…but it was supposed to be 6. I was proud that I did the 5 because I was miserable.
I had a sports massage later which helped. My calves have been really tight so it was nice to get worked on. I also made myself an appointment with an allergist.
Skipper was sympathetic with my rough training day and gave me lots of cuddles.
Thursday: 4 miles at 12:12 pace. After my Wednesday run disaster, I was dreading this run. I considered running on the treadmill just to avoid the pollen…but I don’t have one in my house, and I couldn’t work my schedule to go to the gym to do it, so I just went outside and try to go as slow as possible. This run was better, but truthfully, still pretty awful. My piriformis was feeling a bit tight later in the day which freaked me out a bit.
Friday: Rest day, and a work from home day! I had my allergist appointment first thing. I’ve suffered from seasonal allergies in the fall ever since I moved to Atlanta, but I’ve never actually been to a doctor for it. When talking to the Doctor, he asked me some follow up questions about my running and how I feel during/after…like, after a hard effort run, do I cough? I do, but I always thought it was normal…apparently it’s not?! He told me that he believes I am suffering from Exercise Induced Asthma which likely is being exasperated when the air quality is poor (like heat/humidity or pollen…or in the case recently, all of that). This doesn’t mean that I have asthma attacks per-say, just that my airways can get inflamed and it makes it hard for my body to effectively get oxygen. This is a good article that sums up what we talked about. He prescribed me an inhaler to use right before my runs and he said I would likely notice a huge difference on my next run.
I talked to him a bit about marathoning. He ran a few back in the late 90s, and he was reminiscing how different training was back then. With no GPS watches, you couldn’t be certain of your distance or pace on your training runs (you could map it out, but still not as precise). I never really thought about how different it would have been to train for a marathon 20 years ago!
I am going back next week for some follow up testing. I have to be off of my Zertec for a week before they can do an allergy test on me, so he gave me some nasal spray to use in the interim. Also, when I was 17 I had an allergic reaction (hives) after eating a chocolate with hazelnuts in them. I went to the doctor back then, but they never tested me, just told me to avoid hazelnuts. Since I was already at the allergist, I talked to the Doctor about that, as well. Based on what happened then, he said he thinks there is a good chance that I’m actually not allergic to the hazelnuts, it could just have been a reaction to something else. So he is going to test me for that, too. There are no skin tests, so I have to go get blood drawn to have it tested. I am optimistically excited that I may finally get to try Nutella!!
The rest of my rest day was somewhat uneventful. I pulled out my crock-pot and made a roast and potatoes, which was delicious. I rarely use my crockpot in the spring/summer, but I love using it in the fall/winter! I did a lot of foam rolling and capped off the evening with an epsom salt bath.
Saturday: 16 miles @ 11:39 pace. Thank goodness this run was so much better than the rest of the week. I was very anxious for this run, because I had no idea how it was going to go. After a string of bad runs, my confidence was a little shaken. I decided I wanted to do the entire run on the trail, which meant I needed to wait around until the sun came up. I loaded up my iPod with a fresh playlist, used my nasal spray and inhaler, and headed out.
YOU GUYS. I can’t believe how different I felt running. The best way I can describe it is that it reminded me of when I got glasses back when I was in 3rd grade. I distinctly remember my mom driving me home and staring outside in awe of how well I could see….and just amazed that I had been living with blurry eyes for who knows how long. It felt like a whole new world was put in front of me.
My legs were super tired and heavy, but I was able to breathe!! In fact, I was able to breathe so deeply (and the nasal spray also worked so well) that I was breathing through my nose the entire time. I kept taking deep breaths because it just felt so good. I’ll admit that I was a little skeptical that the inhaler would make that big of a difference, so I was really surprised at the difference. It makes me wonder how often this has been impacting me without me knowing.
My legs were dead by the end of the run, and my quads were hurting pretty bad the last few miles (which are a slight decline). This was the longest run I’ve done exclusively on the trail, and so I’ll need to do some more to condition my legs for the flatness of Richmond.
I didn’t do much else the rest of the day, just took it easy and relaxed. I was hungrier than normal, and inhaled a lot of food. I tried UberEATs for the first time and had a burger, fries, and sweet potato tots delivered. It was super easy and I’ll definitely be using it again!! Here is my referral code if you want to try it – you and I will both get $10 off! Click here and use code eats-exs19
Sunday: Rest day. I had an option for recovery miles OR rest, but I took the rest. My quads are very sore today and my calves and piriformis were cranky throughout the week, so I decided to give my body the break. Next week is back to higher mileage and hard workouts, so I tried to enjoy the rest. I went and got a foot massage which was just what the doctor ordered!
Total mileage for the week: 2810 weeks of #marathontraining down! #runchat Click To Tweet
The mileage was a little lower than I would have liked, but given how much I struggled through my runs, it was the right call to have the lower mileage. Next week brings the return of speedwork, as well as my first 18 miler of the cycle which will have some pace work in it. I have 7 miles tomorrow and have to be at the office early, so I’ll be up well before the crack of dawn to get it done. I’m mentally preparing myself for another tough week!
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How was your training this week? Do any of you have to use an inhaler before running?