The fact that I was born to a family with strong Irish, Scottish and German heritage seems to increase my ability to find superstition in the smallest of things (not to mention being a lush, pack-rat and bossy) - so it was with some trepidation that I began my thirteenth week of training.
I took two days off after my race last weekend. I slept alot, I went to get a massage, I soaked my bones in bubbles and in general I was a suck. All of which paid off for my triumphant Tuesday run!
Tuesday: 8km. Same loop as last week which gave me some insight into how much my energy levels change from week to week. Last week I just wanted to lay down and cry in the middle of the Mt. Pleasant Cemetary - this week I smoked those gravestones (too far?). I had a great pace, only had one walk break and tried my hardest to sprint past my fellow runners at the end. Yah, my heart almost assploded at the end but it was all good. My ample relaxation may have come into play here - may also have something to do with my hydration levels and the fact that I ran with water this time around. Note to self: don't be dumb and you'll be fine.
Wednesday: Track work. I'll admit it - I was terrified of starting track work. In the past I've consistently skipped out on the track and haven't really spent any quality time there since my very first 5km clinic some four years ago. This could also be why I still run at a snails pace. But my coaches did a great job selling the track workout and using the McMillan calculator gave my inner control freak some satisfaction. I figured out my goal tempo for 800 metre repeats and I was off. I really had no idea if there was anything funky that I could do with my Garmin at the track (please tell me if there is) - the bf goes old school with just a stopwatch - so I did the same. My goal was to lap in the range of 4:08 - 4:20 and I was able to consistently run at 4:10. I was amazed. It took alot not to feel intimidated by the multitude of compression-sock wearing hardcore RUNNERS speeding past me at full throttle - but like the smug tortoise that I am, I just kept going until I was done.
Post-track workout I did have some pain. My old shin pain made a return appearance and my quads were doing something rather uncomfortable - but after an ice bath and a few days of ibuprofen I seemed good as new.
Friday and Saturday I did some cross-training in the gym and on my bike.
Sunday: 31km long run. Planned a new route to shake things up and start incorporating more hills into my Sunday's - lest I forget that San Francisco is not known for it's long stretches of flat road. First half wasn't bad and I did have to remind myself a few times to slow it down and keep hydrating - the winds were cool and the sun was hidden so I wasn't as parched as usual. By 20km I was giving myself pep talks out loud. "C'mon, here we go, just a little bit farther girl, here's a nice pretty downhill stretch" - that kind of thing. At 28km a woman of dubious sanity allowed her large, horselike, drooling dog to lunge and snap at my shorts - so that gave me a brief adrenaline surge and got me through the last 3km - not to mention the boost from my internal stewing and rage over why I refrained from screaming at her. The answer - because I'm a lady ;)
I was completely dead by the end of the run and after a grilled cheese sandwich, chocolate milk and 30 mins of intense stretching - I collapsed for a long afternoon's nap. It's my belief that the Indian food we had for dinner bathed my joints in clarified butter and helped to induce all sorts of healing.
And thus brings Week 13 to a close. Maybe not such an unlucky number? After all I wasn't actually BITTEN by the horse/dog.