I gotta have faith

Come on, you know you need to see that butt in those jeans:

Maybe the title of this should be "I'm starting to have faith."  Honestly, when I started this training block, I wasn't sure I could handle it.  I was doubtful about my ability to handle the mileage, to not get injured, to be able to be a (somewhat) normal and happy person at work and with my family while incorporating what is to me, a LOT of training.  I was worried I wouldn't hit the paces.  That I'd burn out.  That I'd be grumpy all the time, hating my runs.  That I just couldn't hack it.

But now here I am, in week 13 of oh shit Hanson's, and I'm actually doing it.  

I'm so fucking proud of myself for getting through the heat wave of the past few weeks.  If you know me, you know I do NOT do well in high temps and humidity, and, well, that's what Chicago handed us recently.  

To get through it, I got up before the sun.

 

 Several miles in when I saw this on the horizon

Several miles in when I saw this on the horizon

But it was bad.  The dew point was off the charts.  Every run felt like a struggle and a slog.  Like my heart and lungs were working way too hard.  I think I don't actually sweat enough (despite what you see in some of these photos.)  It's hard for me to cool down enough.  On one particularly miserable 8 miler after my daughter's XC race, I did slow laps of a loop in a blazing prairie under full sun around noon and seriously thought I might pass out.  It also takes me hours and hours to get rehydrated after a run like that.  Not so good on the system.

And I did bail completely on last week's tempo.  I got up pre-dawn, with a bad migraine, saw the weather was already in the 80s with 90 percent humidity and just: no.  It was the sane thing to do but you know I still feel lame about it.

But I got through every one of those other runs, and I have to say that means I surmounted one of my other big fears about this training block: training through a Chicago summer.  

 

 I thought I was getting a selfie of me and the rising sun, but no.

I thought I was getting a selfie of me and the rising sun, but no.

My reward came on Wednesday, when the heat wave broke just in time for my strength workout: warmup and then 3 x 2 miles at GMP minus 10 seconds (for me, that means 9:34), then a cool down.  What else to say other than I nailed it?  Felt strong, fluid, controlled the entire time.

 

 Strength 

Strength 

I remember looking ahead to this workout when I started the plan, seeing it in the middle of a 55 mile week and thinking, how the hell am I going to do that?  But now it's done, and done well.  More importantly: I had a beautiful flow experience running it, the kind of mental/physical vibe written about by Csikszentmihalyi, where you are working at or near your peak on something you really care about.  A perfect merge of challenge and achievement.

Anyway.  Tomorrow's 9 mile tempo already has me stressing.  

 

 Keeping the faith

Keeping the faith