Training Update Aug. 31-Sept. 6: Broken Nights & Tough Runs

Let’s begin with the good news: Last week, I ran my highest mileage post baby. Or wait, a closer look at my training log tells me I haven’t run this much during my pregnancy and even prior to that either. Logging 65.9 km, I ran my highest mileage post Dubai marathon!

The downside – I knew there would be one – is that I’m feeling drained, and I probably should have listened to my body better.

I wasn’t thinking to increase my mileage so drastically – up from 50.1 km last week – so how did this happen?

Ahmed and I have been living without a car since we moved to New Zealand, and I have been going to places on foot or by bus. Now, the bus system is pretty bad here, and so whenever I can I just walk anywhere with Maria in the stroller, although it does take a lot of time to get to places and is kind of boring sometimes.

A couple of times I ran late and decided to jog instead of walk, and miraculously I made it on time. So, last week I reckoned, why not jog to places to save myself some time? I jogged to our weekly course, the vegetable shop, a get-together with my coffee group… Most of these places were just a couple of kilometers away and I jogged at a leisurely pace, so I would not arrive drenched in sweat.

Lately, however, Maria has been sleeping quite bad, waking up multiple times a night for a feed, and slowly, the accumulating broken nights have been draining my energy levels. (Turns out broken nights are just as draining as no sleep at all.) Yesterday it was time for my slow, long distance run, and I found myself procrastinating it the entire day:

“I’ll go when Maria is asleep.

“After she wakes up and has a feed.

“Google says it’ll be less windy in the afternoon, so I prefer to go out then.”

(To Ahmed:) “Just go meet your friend and I’ll go when you are back.”

Eventually, I set out after 3 p.m., but I couldn’t find a comfortable rhythm. My brain felt foggy and my legs heavy. Sure, the stormy weather didn’t help, but there was something more: My body was exhausted. As I was at the point farthest from home, I seriously wondered how I would make it back safely. And how would I have the energy to take a shower and have dinner? I just wanted to go straight to bed. I even had to take a couple of breaks to catch my breath – something that never happens when I run a slow pace.

Sunday afternoon run. The comment I added when I came home: "Worst run ever. I'm exhausted."

Sunday afternoon run. The comment I added when I came home: “Worst run ever. I’m exhausted.”

Once home I felt much better. Perhaps I was slightly dehydrated; perhaps I should’ve brought some dates to snack on during the run. I am not sure it is the lack of sleep or the increase in mileage, but I do know that I should have listened to my body and take a rest day instead of pushing myself. Of course it is important to get out of your comfort zone to become stronger, but you also need to respect your body and give it a rest when it needs to. Today, I am taking it easy, and my mission for this week is to not push myself if my body tells me to rest.

Here is an overview of my workouts from last week:

Monday: Stroller run to the last session of our Plunket course, then to the vegetable store and back home. Total: 6.8 km at an average pace of 5:44 min/km. In the evening I did 15 minutes of core exercises and 10 minutes of biceps and triceps.

Tuesday: Interval run with the club. We had to do 10 times 300 meters in 3,000 m pace and rest for a minute. I am not sure what my current 3,000 m pace is, but I was very pleased with how it went. I did the intervals in 80-82 seconds and they were about 370 meters each instead of 300, so the pace was between 3:36-3:42 min/km. Including warm up and cool down, I ran 12.72 km.

Interval training along the lake: 10 x 370 m with 1 minute rest

Interval training along the lake: 10 x 370 m with 1 minute rest in between

Wednesday: With Maria in the stroller, I ran to our coffee group meeting and back, a total of 6.55 km. In the evening I found a new 30-minute upper body and core video on YouTube.

Thursday: A tough tempo run with the running club. I started off quite slow and was planning to pick up the pace after about 3 km and cool down the last 3 km. However, as I was running with two guys who were much faster than I was, I ended up running fast until the end, about 11 km of tempo pace in total. Including running to the meeting point and back (at a leisurely pace) I ran 16.21 km.

Friday: Finally a rest day as far as running concerned. After putting Maria to bed in the evening, I did a 30-minute leg workout in which I did seven exercises, repeating each twice.

Saturday: Despite not feeling like running at all, I jogged with Maria in the stroller to the vegetable shop and back. I even took an extra loop on the way there. In total, I logged 7.44 km. In the evening I did 30 minutes of Ashtanga yoga for beginners.

Taking an extra mile or two to the vegetable store

Taking an extra mile or two to the vegetable store

Sunday: Following another night of bad sleep, I should have listened to my body and take a day off from running. But, I wanted to log 60 km this week and thought I should do a slow long distance run. I ended up running 16 km at a pace of 5:32 min/km, but it felt terrible.

Total: 65.9 km of running divided over 6 days, 3 strength training workouts and 1 yoga session. I had planned to do another yoga session on Sunday, but I felt so tired that I skipped it. A little less running and more yoga would have been wise. My mission for this week is to take more rest and see if my running improves.

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