The 21.8 training miles this week were well earned. 216 training miles in the books so far! But it wasn't all pretty.
I started the week with Speedwork on Wednesday, and it was a good workout! I ran two 3x500m intervals with 5-minute easy runs after each. The whole workout lasted 42 minutes, but boy did it feel great. Each of the six run segments were under a 9:00/mm pace. In fact, all the 'speed' runs averaged 8:50/mm with my fastest 500m segment at a 8:34/mm pace! This is my fastest set of intervals this year, and I was very pleased with them. I was tired at the end, but very satisfied with the results.
But then came Friday morning. Mike and I had planned to run a 13-mile Long Run (a cut back from last week's 16 miler) at 8:30am. We started the run with the temp already at 75F, and over the course of the run, the temp rose all the way to 91F with very humid and SUNNY skies. The first 6.3 miles went pretty well, averaging a nice relaxed 12:00/mm pace and chatting back and forth. But on the return, the heat was getting to me so we slowed down a bit. But I knew something wasn't feeling right.
Well, I have to say that this was my Worst Run EVER! I was starting to feel the onset of an asthma attack (something I haven't had in 20 years). So I told Mike about it and we decided to walk a bit. I resumed running for maybe another 2 miles, and at Mile 9 I said I had to walk. I could feel the tightness in my lungs, the shortness of breath, etc.. We walked until I finally had to find a bench so I could lie down and work through the attack.
Once I could feel somewhat confident again, we walked the last 4 miles of the run. We got the 12.42 miles done but not exactly the way we had envisioned. (I kept telling Mike to go on without me because I didn't want him to have to walk the last 4 miles. I didn't think it was fair to him as he is training for a Half and a Full next month. But he wouldn't. Later, he said "I can't leave my Wingman". Mike, you're the best friend and running partner ever!)
After the run I was still feeling the effects, so I went to the doctor who gave me an inhaler after giving me a checkup and declaring I was in great health otherwise. He thinks the combination of high heat, humidity, hay fever, and the Air Quality Alert for that day all led to the attack. Now, I have one more thing to think about as I plan for my runs/races in the future. (I am really thankful that my doctor is a runner so he 'gets me'.)
He suggested I take the rest of that day and the next OFF. So I did. But I really wanted to get in another planned Easy Run for the week. So I went out this morning (Sunday) for a nice run. Part of me really needed the confidence boost. It was another humid, muggy day but overcast and 67F. So I took two puffs of my new inhaler, shoved it into my SpiBelt, and headed out.
Oh! So Much Better! What a nice run today!!! It felt good to be moving! Nice easy breathing, good rhythm, and I really enjoyed the movement as I listened to The Marathon Show podcast. I completed 5.3 miles at a 10:23/mm pace (with a 1/2 mile of warm-up/cool-down) and felt comfortable. This run was much needed after my asthma attack experience on Friday.
I'm back! Just a little wiser, and better prepared! Just goes to show that you really need to know your body, listen to it, and be smart about adjusting to what it tells you and the conditions you are in while being active.