This was a rough week overall - flew back to Georgia Sunday night, spent Monday recuperating and trying to get back into a groove. It's funny - for as easy as it was to get up in California and run every day that I was supposed to while I was there, and then coming back here and trying to get in the same pace - it wasn't until halfway through the week that I realized how much the time change was getting to me. So... it made for an interesting week.
Sunday (New Year's Day): 4 miles
This was my last day in California, so naturally after waking up and getting moving late in the morning (thank you New Year's Eve!), I spent the day running around, packing, finishing laundry, and having lunch with my grandparents in Pasadena. Helped mom and dad pack up some Christmas stuff (I hate taking down Christmas decor! It's so sad) and got my life together to head back to Georgia. Got to play Mexican train dominoes one last time with the fam - new favorite!
I had a red-eye out of LAX at 11:30 this night, so was doing my best to get everything done without crashing for a nap, hoping I'd sleep most of the way on the plane. Success! Well, I missed both beverage services, so I assume I slept most of the night, though it was in and out. Monday morning, was in Georgia! Weird. Made my way back to Athens, where Roxy graciously took me to go get Molly and then took us home, since I couldn't get my car until Tuesday...
Yes, please! The only reason I was mostly okay with doing the red-eye flight was knowing that I had Monday off to recuperate, and I did just that. Molly apparently needed it too, after being picked up from the boarding center - she slept all day (literally), only getting up to move from couch to her bed to my bed and back again. Rough life. I spent the day watching the Rose Parade, took a fabulous two-hour nap, watched the Rose Bowl, and generally lounging around. I thought I had recuperated, but man! This week was rough. :)
Tuesday: 5 miles
Yup, like I said, this was was rough. Oh, going back to work - so not fun after a wonderful week and a half off! But back to the grind. I couldn't get with it this day - going back to work was fine, of course. Our conference is in just six weeks, so there's lots to get done and we definitely hit the ground running this week, which made for a busy Tuesday. I came home Tuesday night, after getting my car, and just didn't want to do a darn thing. So I allowed myself one more rest day. Bad idea.
Wednesday: 4 miles
3.07 miles = 27:24 minutes = 8:54" pace
This was the worst run ever. Or at least I thought so. I didn't really want to be out there, didn't want to be running, just couldn't find a groove. While that pace didn't turn out too terribly, I felt like my legs were weights the entire time and that I was hardly moving. I cut the run short because I just couldn't find a groove that encouraged me to be outside and keep moving. Run failure.
5.03 miles = 42:08 minutes = 8:22" pace
So I tried again on Thursday and felt so much better - only proves to show that this running concept is more a mental game than anything else. When your head is in it, you're golden - if you're even a little bit distracted or can't focus or can't find that groove, your run is truly going to be all out of whack and will not be the smoothest ride that it could be. I apparently hauled some butt on this run - I got home and saw my time and realized that I had I not walked those 3 minutes (I usually allow myself a one-song walk), I could have done those 5 miles in under 40 minutes! Oh well, I was glad I finally got out there again, even after as bad as Wednesday was, and made it work finally! Maybe that groove is coming back.
Gladly. Though I finally felt back into the groove after Thursday, with Saturday's run comning up, I knew I needed the rest day. I slept in a little bit, had a busy and uber productive day at work, and came home to unpack and clean up a little bit before my friend Heather came up Saturday for our craft day (!)... given that I had been pulling things out of my suitcases as I needed them, it was high time that I unpack for real. I unpacked, mostly, but crashed super early so I could get up at a decent hour and hit the pavement in the morning!
Saturday: 10 miles
10.16 miles = 1:35:18 minutes = 9:36" pace
I was nervous for this run, given the rough week I had with readjusting. My Camelback has beeng giving me some issues, so I had to suck it up and bring a water bottle with me - I hate running with things in my hands. It's so awkward! I survived (more on that later). I also decided to experiment, since this is my longest run to date, and I knew it'd be way longer than an hour, so I brought along a bag of Jelly Belly Sport Beans (they're delicious!) and to see if and how they impacted my ability to complete this run.
Yup... they're delicious.
The first two miles, I actually paid attention and took it easy, instead of powering out of the gate hard like I normally do, and managed just about an 8:20" pace between the two - not super slow, but given my normal runs, it's slower than my normal first two miles! Yep... pacing is a problem. After I hit mile 3, I felt like I finally had found a pace - I allowed myself one-song's worth of walking, and hit it again. I used half the bag of Sport Beans before my run (along with half an English muffin), and I had already pre-planned to finish the bag at mile 5, which I did just after. Mile 6 is where it started to get rough - that's when I started to feel the heavy legs! But, on the route I do, mile 6 and forward is totally flat, so I knew I could make the last few miles work pretty easily.
Not too shabby, eh?
Unfortunately, my Nike+ chip decided to end my workout early, so I had to tack on an extra, separate 1+ mile workout - so sad! But you get the point - these 10 miles weren't terrible! I felt empowered around mile 5 and 7 when I realized I was actually making it and didn't feel nearly as bad as I was afraid I would, given the prior week. Regarding the water bottle, it was just awkward. I was constantly tossing it from hand to hand, just because I didn't know what to do! I hate running with a water bottle, need to get the trusty Camelback functioning again!
After my run, I had a few minutes to recuperate until my friend Heather came up for craft day. Heather's a sorority sister that lives in Atlanta, and I finally convinced her to come up for the day! ;) She's also coming down to Callaway Gardens with me for my half, as she is running her first 5K! Yay! (She has a little hatred toward Athens, being a GT alum and all) We started with breakfast at Mama's Boy, which I wish desperately that I had taken a photo of because it was amazing - bacon, egg, and cheese scramble, complete with big, fluffy biscuit and fruit cup and fresh squeezed orange juice. Win, especially after a 1,000-calorie burnning run? I think so! Yum. We spent nearly three hours running to all the craft stores, grocery stores, and hardware stores we needed to and finally got to work around 3! What a day! I was working on this bench, finally:
and Heather was up for some wreath-making (success!) and painting (experimentation in progress).
Heather hard at work!
Heather's crafty success! Gorgeous, no?
I spent FOUR hours stripping this darned bench - needless to say, my hands are sore. Check out the pile of staples! This bench will be another whole blog post to come.
This was the end of the day - all the staples, falling apart foam, stuffing... whew...
She's going to be pretty in the end, but holy moly! Not the work I was expecting! Stay tuned for the final result. We made ourselves an amazing dinner - BBQ crock pot chicken, broccoli, corn, garlic bread. Win. Back to more crafting, and getting all the stripping done. I finally got to start painting the legs on the bench, so I felt like I finally got somewhere with the entire afternoon! I was exhausted.
Our amazing, amazing dinner!
And that's the week! I think I'm actually caught back up and readjusted (at least mostly) to functioning on EST and getting back in the groove. We'll see what this next week brings - three weeks to go!