Four on the Floor

Marathon Training Week 5

Miles: 22.17. Rum Runners: 23

Perfect sunset.
Key West Sunset.

This week was a cutback week according to the training plan, which was good since it coincided with our annual family vacation to Key West. If you have never been to Key West, it certainly is a special place: heavy with art, music, and creative pursuits. Unfortunately for me, the #1 sport in Key West is competitive Tiki Bar Drinking.  I am a master competitor, making early morning training runs no bueno. But I did them anyway…..mostly.

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The drive to Key West was completed in asinine traffic, turning our 4 hour trek into a 7 hour death march. I poured some life into my beaten legs (it was the same day as last week’s 12 mile long run) at the Tiki while we let the kids swim in the pool until after the sun set.  We swam and rested on Sunday, and Monday and Tuesday’s runs were easy to swallow (Hell, I even nailed my 5 miler with the mid-3 at race pace…in the sun…at 11 a.m….in the Southernmost City. BAM!). Unfortunately, as the week rolled on, the runs got harder  I put in less effort I was hungover more difficult to squeeze in. I opted this week to take the extra rest day, and the miles I ran on Friday – even early in the morning – were some of the slowest and most draining miles I can remember. Even my not so long run – 8 miles this week – was WAY harder than it should have been: my slowest average pace on a long run since training began.

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But this is not all Sad Sally. The rest of the vacation was awesome. The kids were outside and in the water (read: NOT on their iPods) every day. We all have monster tans. I attended a Short Story reading with the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. I can check parasailing off the bucket list. Two Words: Sharknado 3. I re-read To Kill a Mockingbird and I’m halfway through Go Set a Watchman, making me feel literary…’n shit.

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I did learn a few things this week. First, little changes go a long way. I really was pretty lame by Key West standards: most nights I really only had a beer or two, and I went to bed early. But I can tell how dehydrated I became over the course of the week. At home I am very cognizant of forcing fluids, Gatorade, Nuun. On vacation I spent a lot of time in the sun, and didn’t compensate. By Friday i was operating in a constant dehydrated state. Second, vacations and time with family and friends are important. It has taken a few years to force ourselves not to bring work into this vacation week. I didn’t want to undo all of that by letting training dominate every decision. Last, training for a marathon IS a marathon – there is still a long way to go. Fourteen weeks to go, to be exact. Any loss in training level I took this week can be corrected. I didn’t bail on any essential run. Slow is not a character flaw, being a shitty parent is. And I am not. I’m still a Rockstar.

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