It was one heck of a weather week here in the Twin Cities. High heat and humidity throughout the first 5 days of the week made for one challenging week of training. Combined with a lot of busy days of preparing for my upcoming trip to Nicaragua and this week was tough.
First, the details:
Monday - Easy 7 mile run
Tuesday - Easy 5 mile run
Wednesday AM - Easy 4 mile run
Wednesday PM - Torchlight 5K race in Minneapolis (17:42)
Thursday - Easy 9 mile run
Friday - Hill repeats
Saturday - 9 mile run over hills
Sunday - 17 mile long run (6:56 pace)
With even the mornings starting out hot and sticky, I tried to make my easy runs very relaxed so I didn't overheat. It worked until Thursday morning when I bonked on a recovery run. Running with a couple of my high school runners at Hyland Park in Bloomington that morning, I fell apart after about 7 miles. Most likely due to the heat and the fact that I was worn down from a hard, hot race the night before, it was a rough morning.
Back to the race on Wednesday night...the Torchlight 5K is quickly becoming a tradition in July in Minneapolis. It's part of the Aquatennial celebration in mid-July. It is run through the heart of downtown Minneapolis and makes its way to the Mississippi River and crosses it on the famous Stone Arch Bridge. Over 4,000 runners participated this year and it was a scorcher. I managed to run 17:42 which I was happy with considering the conditions. It was nowhere near my PR, but running a 5K in that heat and humidity in the midst of marathon training, I'm relativity pleased with this performance. Periodically pushing my legs at a faster pace like this is really beneficial because it allows my marathon pace to seem that much easier.
That brings me to today's workout. I went down to Lake Calhoun to run a portion of the Twin Cities course from mile 5 to 14. It totaled 17 miles when including the return route back to the lake. I ran with Jason and Paul, two training partners of mine. We were greeted by a steady rain that lasted for the first 10 miles of the run. We decided to keep a steady pace for this run, as opposed to pushing it real hard (we were all a little exhausted). In spite of that, the run was a solid pace, averaging 6:56 for the run. It felt really good overall and the rain kept the trails relatively clear for us the whole morning.
This coming week will be very different as I will be leaving for Nicaragua on Tuesday morning on a missions trip with my church, Eagle Brook Church. We will be there for a week and will return home late the following Tuesday. While we are down there, running will not be happening. The part of Nicaragua where we will be is very dangerous so I will not be running for 8 days. It's going to be difficult going without the training, but my safety is more important. It will be interesting to see how my body responds from a week off when I do return home. You never know, it could be a great little break to keep me from overtraining, something I failed at last year.