A week in the life: week 39-2011

Warning: long post coming!

The bad news: some of you may have read this already on Facebook or on Amy’s blog today but I had another DNF again yesterday.

Again the heat knocked me down. I had to stop after 1 round and sat down for 10 minutes with my head between my knees because I was dizzy, had a terrible headache and saw black spots.
I decided right there on the spot that I never will run a race again when weather forecast is hot. I don’t sweat a lot and my body can’t handle the heat, it’s all going to my head.

The good news: it was great to do this with Amy.

She was so sweet when she saw I was in trouble. Constantly asking if I was okay. Around the 5K mark we had to decide what to do. It was obvious I wasn’t going to make it and you had to finish the first round within the hour. Amy said she could finish this and I told her to go ahead. She did and she finished great, I watched her finish.

Thank you Amy for helping me and sticking with me, it was great to run with you, you’re such a sweet and lovely friend. We sure will do this again at lower temps that is.

The bad news: I’m not running my first official half marathon in 2 weeks.

I had time to observe the race yesterday while waiting for Amy. People in Europe run fast at races, way faster than in the US as Amy told me. With the times I’m running at every distance, almost 95% of the participants finish before me. Right now I will finish a half in over 2.5 hours and I don’t want that. Most half marathons in Holland 95% of the people who run it cross the finish line around 2 hours-2 hours 15 minutes or faster.

My training in the past couple of weeks doesn’t feel good, I feel I haven’t trained enough. Too many runs were skipped or cut short. Yes I did run my long runs when I had to but they didn’t feel like good runs. I’m not ready to feel confident at the start line.

I don’t enjoy running anymore and I need to find my joy for running again.

I’ve talked with R. last night about it and made the decision to forget about a half marathon for now. I’m not even sure if I will ever run one at this point. It all depends if I’m able to run at a faster pace.

I think I made a mistake when I started running, after every distance I tackled I moved on to the next immediately. It might have been better to work on a better 10K first before moving on to a half marathon, I think.

The good news: I don’t quit running.

I’m taking a week off now, besides the heat my right calf bothered me a lot yesterday, I need to rest it. Next week I will run again. I have two goals:
– Run a 10K in 1:00-1:05 (PR 1:08:23)
– Run a 5K in 00:30 (PR: 00:32:19)

I have to do a lot of work to reach these PR’s but that’s okay I’ve got time.
Maybe this is it and I can’t run faster. If this is the case I’ll accept it but I also won’t run a half marathon ever. But you have to try to find out.

I have planned a training schedule for a 10K that includes pace, tempo and interval runs. I also included recovery weeks after every 3 weeks of training.

I continue doing my workout DVD’s with yoga, strength/weight training and cardio. I believe the combination of these things will make me stronger and faster too.

And (this is going to be the most difficult thing) I need to lose about 8-10 kg (18-22 lbs). Not having to carry this weight around will sure make a difference.

I bet you didn’t see this one coming, did you? I did, this is something I’ve been thinking about for weeks now and after making the decision last night, you can’t imagine how relieved I was. Call me a loser, call me a quitter, I don’t mind/care. I have to do what’s best for me because after all I’m running just for me and no one else. This is the right thing for me to do at this point.

Weekly workout review

Book I’m reading
Tess Gerritsen – Vanish

TV shows I watched last week
Covert Affairs, Two and a half men, Rookie Blue, True Blood, The walking dead, Rizzoli & Isles.

365 days photo challenge 2011

Day 274 – Saturday October 1
Bella went to the doggy hairdresser and looks like a little puppy again.

Day 275 – Sunday October 2
The only pic of Amy and me, Amy looks great, me … mwah (and yes she’s tiny and I’m tall 🙂 )

Highlights of the week
Long weekend of 4 days, great evening with friends on Friday, enjoying running with Amy.


21 responses to “A week in the life: week 39-2011

  1. I’m really sorry to hear you got a DNF on the weekend. But I think you made a wise choice. You certainly do not fare well in the heat. 😦

    Fran, I understand where you are. I know a lot of people in the running world put a lot of emphasis on distance. I wrote a blog before about how people seem to care mostly about ‘how far’ you run. If you run a 10K, someone else runs a half. If you run a half, someone else runs a full. If you run a full, someone does Ultras. And it goes on and on. Really it just does NOT matter how far you run, or even how fast. What matters is that you enjoy it and are getting something from it. I am 99.9999999999% sure that I will never run a full. I played with the idea once, went through enough of the training that I could have done it, and decided that I really do not get ANY enjoyment out of running 3-4 hours every weekend for months, plus all the training in between. In fact, I don’t even really want to run halfs either. I think I prefer the 10K distance. I have no problem maintaining fitness for that, and usually the whole distance is enjoyable. At it’s full length, it’s an hour – which I think is just the right amount of time I want to spend. Also, for the half, I don’t feel I’m fast enough (for me) and I just don’t feel satisfied. On a 10K I am faster and happier, 5K too.

    So do what makes you happy and what you enjoy. It should never be a chore. I too am working on the weight loss thing, which will certainly help the running be more enjoyable.

  2. I am very sorry to hear that the heat got to you. So sorry.

    I would never, EVER call you a loser or a quitter. I say you are a great reevaluater! It’s a wonderful quality that will help you to live a much less stressful life than a lot of people. If you never, ever run a half marathon, who cares? It’s really OK. Your running should be joyful and if it can’t be that then why bother is what I say. Oh, and your goals – totally doable. My 10K PR is 1:00 and my 5K PR is 29:57 and I was well into my forties when I set those!

  3. I am sorry to hear about the heat stricking again. But I think you have come to the right conclusion. You have two items to focus on and get where you want to be with those and who knows maybe tackle a half another time.

  4. Oh no, sorry to hear that it was such a tough day out there. I’m glad you made the smart choice – safety first. Maybe if they would start the races earlier, it wouldn’t be so hot!

    Sounds like you are making the right choice about the half marathon for now… it’s too bad there are not more runners around your pace b/c it is really unfortunate that you don’t feel comfortable completing a race of that distance simply because you are slower. But I definitely understand your choice.

    Good idea to get more comfortable and work on your paces at the shorter distances, and increase from there if you wish!

    I hope you are feeling better, and take care of that calf too!

  5. So sorry. I was thinking about your race. I can say this. You still have a lot of running time left. I didn’t start until my 50’s. Amy may be right, I just finished a half in 2:45 and there were a lot of people behind me. Yes I am competitive too and want to be fast but I keep trying to tell myself that “finishing is winning.” And you will do a half marathon. I’m sure of it.

  6. I’m sorry you didn’t get to finish the race but the heat can really affect the body. Most races in the states are run in the early morning to avoid the hot temperatures. You showed courage in just finishing the first half of the race. I feel I don’t have to do races if I don’t want. I love running and just to go out in the neighborhood is fine with me. If I do a race I pick one that might be fun or is giving out tech shirts or has a great medal or is for a good cause. You are a runner, enjoy it.

  7. Hi Fran. So sorry to hear about the DNF!! Heat…yuck!! You made the right choice going forward!!! LOVE the photo of you and Amy, and Bella…very adorable!!! Take care of yourself!!!

  8. Hugs again on not finishing. You know how you told me some people are bikers and some are runners? Well, some people are distance runners and some are sprinters. I think you should work on the shorter distances races and become even faster at them.

    Or, you can always bike more 😀

    I love the picture of you and Amy – you two are too cute!

  9. Sorry you did not get to finish. Hugs.

    I don’t know who would ever call you a loser or a quitter. I have a great admiration for people who know exactly what THEY need and then go for it! Only YOU know what is best for YOU and I respect that!

    Bella looks so cute with her haircut!

    Nice pic of you and Amy!

  10. LOL – that picture of us cracks me up!
    I’m glad that you feel relieved about your decision – I agree with everyone who commented above me here: you are not a quitter, you are simply making a wise decision based on what will make you happiest right now. And I know you wouldn’t enjoy doing that half and feel like you were struggling at the back of the pack.
    We all have a distance we feel best at, both for training and the race itself. You will find yours and then you will start enjoying your runs again!
    Looking forward to running together again – big hugs!

  11. You know your body better than anyone else so who are we to pass any comment as we have not walked one mile in your shoes.
    You did what was best for you…and that is all that matters in the end.
    All your decisions for the future are what is best for YOU….so that’s good.
    I am with Heidi’s comment…time and distance overcomes us all…but its so not important, doing what we love doing is!!

  12. Glad you were smart enough to stop once the heat started getting to you. It can be dangerous, especially since you said you don’t sweat much.
    It’s completely ok to focus your attention to shorter distances. Up until last year the longest distance I had done was a 15k (that was all downhill). I ran for 5 years in and around high school and have been back in the game since 2006 if that gives you any indication of how long it took for me to want to do a half marathon.
    I never even planned to train and run a marathon. It was not something that I felt like I needed to do but when my coworker signed up I did too. And if you read my blog today you’ll see that I’m the only one left of my buddies who is going to run it.

  13. I’ve been thinking about this and I think I have a very wise option for you. You should come to Canada and run with me & Syl. hahahhahaa Does that sound like a good solution? We run much slower over here so you’d have no worries about being slow. And we could all run together and have a ton of laughs together. I think it’s a fantastic suggestion. *big grin*

  14. I’m sad for you in one sense, since it seemed like it was something you were really looking forward to. I’m proud of your though for recognizing your abilities right now and your desire to ENJOY running and make a wise decision. I’m sure it was a hard decision to come to but it really does sound like the best one. And good job sticking with running!!!

  15. So sorry. I completely understand. I have asthma and my head gets all the heat. When i use and inhaler it’s not as bad but i chose to just train without so i can see where my lungs are at. I have to stagger my breathing. Either way no matter how much i run my face turns beet red in 5 min. An inhaler would be good if i wanted to do more, but then ACL and no cartridge or meniscus in my right knee i’ve decided instead of ending up with a knee replacement i would chose lower impact sports. bike, swim, walk, etc. All are fine. When I’m biking regularly i can ski without any knee pain. It’s just a decision i had to make for my own good but there are always plenty of other things to keep me having fun =) Good luck with the weather on your runs.

  16. You and Amy look so happy! Sorry about the horrible heat! It sounds like it could have been dangerous and you were smart to stop. You must be relieved you have made your decision regarding your half marathon too! Now you can do what you need/want to do without that hanging over your head. Good luck!

  17. Sorry you couldn’t finish, but I’m so glad you listened to your body! It’s not about distance or time. It’s about what makes you feel “right!” Races are supposed to increase your love for running, not decrease it. Continue to listen to your body and what’s right for you!

    You’ll never ever be a “loser” in my book. You are an inspiration!

  18. Fran, I had read this on facebook and am so sorry that it didn’t turn out the way you anticipated. I am so glad that you listened to your body. And you did train hard, but sometimes it’s just not the way it goes. I’m glad you will not quit running as I think you have found a great outlet in running, but are also discovering what works and doesn’t work for you. And that is all in the name of the game.

  19. Nothing wrong with scaling back – you have to be happy with your running because let’s face it, it’s ALL YOU doing the work! I wish the race had turned out better for you, but I’m glad you got to meet Amy anyway.

  20. Hey Fran, I know I’m behind, but I was just catching up today and saw this post. I’m really sorry to hear about your DNF but I’m really glad you are not quitting running completely. Some of us are just not meant for distance, heat, speed, whatever and running should be something you enjoy in all aspects. I know you took a week off (and besides you have such great support here) and that’s good too. You are a great example of how dedication and commitment should look like AND also how to be realistic and listen to your body.

    I miss you on twitter and it’s been a crazy month + for me; I am truly sorry I couldn’t be a better support to you, but again I’m so glad you have such an amazing cheering section!!

  21. Fran, I am very saddened by this news as I believe that I may have been your number 1 cheerleader, however, having said that I give you alot of credit for not giving into pressure and doing what is right for YOU!
    I will however hop on a plane and beat you silly if you stop running all together. I want you to continue focusing on this goal, find your passion again, and when your ready run your heart out. Because deep down I know you want to do this and I know someday when you are ready you will!

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