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I’m pretty sure that if I wasn’t training for a marathon, I would have slept in and sat on the couch all week. I’ve had zero motivation. What started out as a slow week is possibly going to end right on my 50 mile target. Possibly 51.

It’s the heat. I’m certain of it. I have been sleeping terribly, possibly because of eating dinner too close to bedtime, so my success in waking up for the ridiculously early alarm set to allow me to get my run in before the husband goes to work has been nonexistent.

Do you want to know what’s worse than running early coming off of a terrible night’s sleep?

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Running on the treadmill in the garage at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in 90-degree heat. Lesson learned. Must get an industrial fan.

I’ve actually been putting off using the TM because running outside is just so glorious. However, there are some benefits to using the dreadmill. I won’t get into all of them now (because then I might actually convince myself that the ‘mill is a cool and useful tool in any runner’s arsenal), but one of the primary runs I like to check off on it is speed work.

On Wednesday, I climbed on the ol’ ‘mill and set the incline to 1 (I usually vary the incline between 1 and 3) and the speed to 8 min./mi. for a mile warmup. Well, warm my muscles up warmup. I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to quit after that first mile. I wasn’t committed enough to the run, I was already sopping wet with sweat, my legs were refusing to turn over, I needed to spend time dreaming about what new and amazing garments would be posted to Oiselle (poppy diamond rogas?!?! a glow in the dark tee?!?!?!… Dear Husband, I spent my entire paycheck on running clothes. Please pick up an extra shift. Love, HCR)… you get the picture.

The most fantastic thing about the TM is that it takes the brainwork out of speed work! After the first 1600, “Teach Me How to Dougie” came on my ipod. Show me the person who doesn’t automatically want to run/dance/Dougie when that song comes on, and I’ll give them my day’s allotment of chocolate.

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So I committed to another 800 @ 8:00/mi. pace. Then I was all, I’m not going to end on a half-mile. That’d be lame. I’ll just finish out the mile at a faster pace so I can get it over with.

And that’s how I finished 5.5 miles on the mill. I increased the speed every 400-800m until I finished at a 6:58 pace. Yes, it was only 5.5 miles, but at least I did it. And increasing the speed kept me focused and devoid of 187ing the ‘mill thoughts. (Side note: I was going to finish at 6, but Blondie woke up from her nap screaming about something or other, and that was that).

I’m pretty sure that’s not ideal speed work (I didn’t have that dry-heave-behind-our-quiver-so-the-dogs-won’t-see-me feeling; I was just really hot and drenched), but the takeaway from Wednesday’s treadmill event was that my mind still gets in the way of things I want to accomplish. Gah, M2B.

Have you seen the The Terrible & Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances comic on The Oatmeal?

The Blerch has been taunting me all week, but I haven’t entirely let it get to me. Today and Thursday brought 8-mile slogs through the beach streets in Oxnard, where the sun is pink!

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I promise that this will be the last time I reference the Blerch, but those runs that should have been easy to knock out were painful to get through. I’m blaming poor hydration, non enough energy, and zero caffeine. And fitful sleep.

I have a goal, though (to BQ, if you’re a new reader), so I can’t be giving up on any workouts. Even if it’s 90 degrees outside, there’s no wind, and I am relegated to my ghetto garage gym.

What I’d like is to be independently wealthy so my husband could stay at home and watch the kids while I ran in the morning or in the afternoon or evening, whatever I was feeling that day. Wouldn’t that be awesome? And then we could spend the entire rest of our day doing things like this:

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And opening our house to non-stop puppy play dates where this labicus tries her hardest to convince people that she doesn’t have a tennis ball in her mouth:

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My mom is having work done on her house, so since Ruthie Colada always tries to help gets in the way (she does great demo work and can lay a mean slab of concrete), she is spending her summer days over at my house doing cool dog things like swimming, destroying tennis balls, and playing with these friends:

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I am lucky to have the best mother on earth, though, because after we walk the dogs back up to her house in the evening, she pays me in my favorite way possible!

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Yes, I would recommend it. Yes, it is all gone.

But I’m not independently wealthy, and I love teaching too much to spend my days playing the slots at Chumash in hopes of striking it rich (or at least winning a Fiat), and I have two small people who I’m raising to be totally awesome, confident, intelligent, polite, and strong women, so my running has to revolve around that.

I’ve got one medium run and a long run left this weekend! Wish me luck!

How do you escape the heat to get your workout in?

What single song can knock you out of a funk?

Favorite chocolate bar… go!

 

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