I may have been a bit too celebratory about last week's training.
By Sunday evening, I had a full-fledged sore throat and the beginnings of a cold. Monday, I started coughing. It was enough to convince me to skip Bikram in an attempt to rest and (hopefully) recover.
Tuesday, I hopefully headed out for a run only to find that 11:00 mile pace was a struggle. I ran only 1.55 miles and walked another full mile to call it for the day. I told myself I'd do the hard speedwork on Wednesday or Thursday based on how I felt.
I took Wednesday off completely (and coughed through the night, waking poor E on multiple occasions).
Thursday, I had obligations in SF, so I walked in the city and then back home from Caltrain. I also fell asleep on Caltrain. At 3 PM. After at least 9 hours of interrupted cough-heavy sleep. Then I hacked and coughed my way through the night.
So, yeah, the speedwork for the week was officially written off.
Friday, finally, I felt like I might be on the mend. I headed out for a test run of 3 miles. It was okay. Average pace 10:34, but I didn't feel like I was getting worse.
Saturday, I'd scheduled a half marathon race with Brazen Racing as part of my long run. The training scheduled called for 14-18 with the last 6-8 miles at target race pace. After Friday's test run, I decided I could do 15 (an easy 2ish warm-up and the half marathon), but that I'd take it easy and only try to do the last 5 at race pace, and, then, only if I felt okay. L drove me to the race (thanks, L! Your 1:51 first half-marathon is *crazy* impressive).
After we arrived, I headed out at an easy clip for the warm-up and I made it back to the start with 1.88 miles w/u done at an average pace of 10:48. After the start, I ran by effort and was shocked to see 9:10 as the pace for my first easy mile. Interesting. The rest of the race went well -- I confirmed that I'm in better shape than I thought, particularly given the cold, and also, I confirmed that my target race pace is *very* difficult to maintain when I am tired. My target was to execute the run plan and finish between 2:05 and 2:10. I came in at 2:07, so that made me happy. Even with the cold, I'm doing all right, it would appear.
Of course, yet again, the importance of making certain I do not have any gastrointestinal issues on race day became apparent. Because of the cold, I hadn't really paid much attention to my food the night before. I half-suspected the run would be a write-off. Instead, as scheduled, after 8 reasonably paced miles (all 10:00/mile or below), I picked up the pace to my target race pace and started passing people. I did so easily and consistently until mile 10, at which point my gastro discomfort started. Finally, at mile 11, I took a 2m56s much-needed bathroom break. This meant that the rest of the run I ran at race pace and passed many of the people I'd passed earlier.
At the finish chute, a woman I'd passed around mile 12.6 (and also around mile 9.5 or so) and to whom I'd said, "good job" in the final passing decided to try to sprint past me. First, please -- I had tons more energy in the tank -- I hadn't wanted to go hard because I was sick and, also, because I wanted the training run to be a training run that helped build me up, not a race that depleted me. But when she started to come near (I heard her footsteps) I bounded away quickly. Then, I heard her slip and fall. I turned to look just as the announcer announced her fall to the crowd and everyone gasped. Poor thing. I waited at the finish to high-five her and confirm she was okay. Ordinarily, I'm annoyed at people who try to kick to pass in the chute at a pace that's 2 minutes faster than their race pace (talk about asking for a pulled hamstring!), but not this woman -- I felt bad for her. This exchange must have been very embarrassing for her, and I felt nothing but empathy.
Today, I closed out the week with a nice easy 5 mile recovery run (2.5 with E) at a 10:21 average pace with a 0.68 mile walking cool down.
And there you have it: thanks to the cold it was an unintentional early taper week totaling 30.06 miles (including the walking), and just one long training run left before the race.
My number one goal for next week is to stay healthy and get rid of this cold. Wish me luck.