Tire(d)

Every 2-3 weeks, the rear driver’s-side tire on my car loses pressure for no discernible reason. I’ll start the car, and dingding, the low tire alert flashes on the dashboard. And it’s truly low–I test it with the gauge before hauling out the air tank. The other three tires don’t do this, but when I brought it to the tire place (these were new in January) they took it all apart and couldn’t find a leak.

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That tire is symbolic of my life right now. Every so often, I just deflate and run out of energy. This week was one of those times.

I don’t know why I was more exhausted than usual,  but a couple of mornings I could barely get out of bed. I rarely get enough sleep during the week and this week was no better or worse, so while I was not well-rested, that’s sort of my normal. K reminded me that I’m always tired at this point in the school year, so it could just be that it’s all catching up with me. I don’t know, but it was a tough week.

I (sort of) ran six miles with my group on Tuesday, but more than anything it was an exercise in suffering. My whole body felt drained. I’m not sure if it was lingering soreness from the somewhat hilly Longhorn 10K or what. Wednesday all I did was walk the dog for a mile. Thursday’s workout was slightly better, but then again I only managed four miles. So I wasn’t sure how well my Saturday long run would go. Still, I knew I had to run 12ish miles because the Pittsburgh Steel Challenge (5K and half-marathon) is two weeks away.

Since I’m not in half-marathon PR shape, and since I’m running a 5K the day before, I’m planning to run-walk the Pittsburgh half so I have been tinkering with the timing on runs over ten miles. The last time I ran 12 a couple of weeks ago, I ran for three minutes and walked for one minute; this time I tried pushing the running intervals to 4:1 to see if that improved my overall pace without sacrificing endurance.

Turns out, it wasn’t too bad. It was raining and about 60 when I started, and I stuck to the 4:1 pretty well the whole way. I drank my own electrolytes (this time it was DripDrop, which I think is my favorite) and ate a couple of Skratch gels along the way.

It was also a pretty morning for scenery.

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The bluebonnets are fading and won’t be around more than a week or two longer, so it was nice ro run past a few fields of them before they’re gone.

How’d the interval thing go? My overall pace was only about six seconds per mile faster than my last 12 miler at 3:1 and my quads were pretty tired by the end. I can’t tell if the tiredness was the result of the increased interval or the exhaustion from the week, or both. But I don’t know that I gained a whole lot by running a minute longer each time. And while my stomach was okay afterward, I didn’t feel like eating a whole lot until more like dinnertime. That’s with a cool morning, too–it stayed about 60 and rainy the whole time. Not sure how that would have gone in warmer conditions.

So I’ve got one more long run, a couple of team workouts, and some easy runs ahead of me before travel and back-to-back races. If I’m lucky, I’ll catch up on some sleep too.

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