This week and John and I were in Alaska for Thanksgiving. It was a VERY cold visit, but beautiful as always. I had some “s**t happens” things come up and it really got me down at first. But I was able to stay very consistent regardless, and that helped me feel like I was still moving forward. I know this will probably happen to a lot of other people over the holidays. I hope that you can stay calm and just know that you are doing your best. If you stay consistent, it isn’t going to derail you from your goals.
Monday was around 5 degrees (for once I am not exaggerating) and very windy. You would look outside and see the wind blowing the snow through the air. I started gearing myself up for how I was going to get it done when John suggested we go to a gym. I think he knew I was going to get my run in no matter how bad the weather was. We drove to a gym nearby and got passes for the week. I did 6 miles easy at 8:15 average on the treadmill.
Finished with a full body circuit:
- SS3X: 15 alt dumbbell curls & 15 Romanian split squats
- SS3X: 15 landmine presses & 15 pulsing lunges each leg
- SS3X: 15 side lunges with 25lb plate & 30 second plank
- SS3X: 15 lat raises & 20 legs out (core)
Monday night I started feeling a little weird. To spare you the gross details, I will just summarize with that I was up throwing up every 2 hours the entire night. By about 10am the next day it seemed to have slowed down, but walking up the stairs took every ounce of energy and I hadn’t kept any food down. I emailed my coach and let her know what was going on and that I was going take the day off. Tuesday was supposed to be a quality workout day, so I was disappointed to miss it, but I knew that was the right decision.
Tuesday night I ate a full dinner and the next morning I had 2 slices of toast with peanut butter. So I decided I’d try for my Wednesday run of 6 miles easy. I ended up with a 9:16 average pace. It was 9 degrees and that was very very cold for me. I was really I had all my good cold weather gear though. It kept me comfortable and got through the run just fine. The easy pace felt hard, but I kind of expected that after being so sick, and was just grateful to get outside.
Thursday (Thanksgiving morning), John, myself, and his sister Katie drove about an hour to Anchorage and participated in the Skinny Raven Turkey trot! I have never done a turkey trot before and it was so much fun. Full race recap on Wednesday! 3.1 miles at 8:33 average. I wanted to try to get a few more miles in after we got home, but there really wasn’t time.
Friday was a travel day. During this time of year, the sun in Alaska doesn’t come up until about 10:00am. The gym we had gone to earlier in the year was closed. And we’d really need to be leaving for the airport by 9:30-10am. It didn’t seem like the best idea to run in the dark on another 5 degree day with wind. I felt so anxious. I had planned on doing Tuesday’s workout on Friday and then moving Friday’s run to Sunday. And that way I wouldn’t miss out on any miles. I emailed my coach again, and she said it wasn’t worth it potentially slip and fall running in weather like that, and just to scrap Tuesday’s workout and that I could move Friday’s run to Sunday. Not ideal, but it made me feel better. And it does really help me to have a coach to talk me through that kind of thing.
Saturday was my long run. 15 miles, all easy. I knew it was going to be tough because I didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before, my hips and hamstrings were really tight from the day of traveling, and to top it off – I knew I hadn’t really eaten enough on Friday. So Saturday morning, I took my time in getting up and stretching, and eating. And I lowered my expectations a lot. I knew I probably wouldn’t feel great, so my plan was just to keep the pace super easy and to stay relaxed.
I put on some podcasts and finished with a 9:17 average pace. The run ended up being very good overall. I do know that sometimes lowering expectations helps in your perceived effort. I didn’t feel like I needed any fuel, kept my splits pretty even, and felt strong the whole time. And I came home to some pretty exciting mail! (I missed that puppy, too.)
Sunday I woke up to quite a bit of wind and rain. After the snow and wind earlier this week, I gotta say that I was feeling kind of over it. But again, I adjusted my expectations to just completing the run in an easy pace. I ended up feeling really good and had an 8:51 average overall for the 7 miles with some faster splits in the middle.
This is the best I could do with my GoPro haha. It was a mess!! 37.1 miles for the week total.
What I Ate in a Day: This is what I ate yesterday, Sunday.
Before my run, I got up at about 7:30am and had some coffee with Vital Proteins and 2% milk. I took a long time to drink and laid around for a while before I felt ready to brave the storm.
I got back from my run at about noon and had “breakfast” of oats, 1/2 scoop protein powder, a little bit more Vital Proteins, blueberries, banana, peanut butter, bee pollen and cinnamon.
At around 2pm, I had some snacks while I cooked – 2 pickles, 5 slices of deli turkey with 2 thin slices of cheese, a nectarine and some sweet peppers.
At around 4pm, I was hungry, so I had a snack of the Oregon Berry Crumble from the Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook with a little Halo Top vanilla ice cream. It was SO GOOD!! It’s really just oats, walnuts, berries, and a little maple syrup and tapioca flour. I can see why Shalane has it for breakfast.
For dinner I made Instant Pot lentil chili with ground turkey and some crackers on the side. Before John moved in, he was kind of on a lentil kick, so we have TONS of bags of lentils that we (cough cough, I) need to cook. I went back for a little more after this bowl.
I hope that my emotional roller coaster of a week helps you get through it gracefully when the time comes that you have an unplanned day off. I know it is still really hard for me, but the longer I run, the more I am confident in my overall consistency. Just do what you can, when you can, and it will pay off!