While the past five weeks were relatively predictable regarding training, this week was an odd one. The reason for this is fairly simple - I joined my students on a mission trip building houses, feeding those people in need, and having fun. The days were long and sleep was in short demand, but I wouldn't have changed a thing!
Monday: 5.5 Miles - A number of the students who attended the mission trip are on the school's cross country team and were adamant about needing to run during the week. In being in an area that is not necessarily safe as well as relatively unknown to them, I told the students they could only do their workouts if I joined them. Dang was it hard, but I loved it! The guys kept pushing the pace, which was made even harder by the fact that any direction we ran was either uphill or downhill. Even though I was pretty sleep-deprived, the endorphins woke me up and kept me going throughout the day.
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 6 Miles - Though we had two hard days of work in, our numbers for this run actually grew! Weaving up and down various streets, we remained relatively close to our housing to prevent getting lost. While the pace was slightly slower during this workout, we trudged on at a decent clip.
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: 3.5 Miles - By this day, I think we were all worn out. Where on Wednesday, we had 7 or 8 people out running, for this final workout of the mission trip the number dropped to two (the student in charge of waking everyone accidentally shut off his alarm - whoops!). I was really proud of the one student who pushed on through the miles even though she isn't on the cross country team. While the opportunity to run with my students is rare, I'm always glad to share my joy of the sport with them.
Saturday: 5 Miles - To say I was tired while running this workout would be an understatement. After arriving home in the early afternoon, I knew I still wanted to get a run in. My only goal during these miles was to finish them, so mission accomplished. I figured after a good night's sleep, I'd be back to my old self.
Sunday: 10 Miles - Though I knew I was not fully recovered from the mission trip, I still took on the long run for the week. I'm not sure what caused it, but I was flying during this run. I looked at my watch at one point and realized I was actually running my marathon pace - guess I know I can do it! I was sore by the end of the workout, but invigorated at how well I handled the mileage increase this week.
At this point, I'm a third of the way done with my training cycle. Only 12 more weeks and I'll be running the Blue Line in Akron. I know that some much longer runs await me, but here I come!