Recovery Week!

Ah, blessed be the recovery week. Much-needed, too! And with the weather – more on this later – it’s well-timed.

Last weekend was a holiday weekend. The Hubs went to visit his mother, leaving me with a weekend at my disposal. The yard really needs a lot of attention, but I didn’t get much done. The lawn is mowed. Some badly-infested vegetables were removed. More things were planted. I didn’t get any weeding done.

Saturday morning, I volunteered at Plutonium Man triathlon. I was an ‘extra,’ so I didn’t find out my assignment until I got there. I was out on the bike course, at the top of the hill at the Fast Flux Test Facility. It felt like all the riders were happy to see me; in reality, they were happy they were at the top of the hill & about to turn around.

I had an appointment to donate platelets at 2:00 p.m. The last cyclist came through early enough that I had time to do my 7-mile run before that appointment. I opted to start at Chamna, run up to WE Johnson, do a loop there, then head back to Chamna.

I’d forgotten how miserable the section between Chamna & WE Johnson is: soft sand & sawdust. My fastest mile was slower than 15:00/mile. I’ve been doing well with the short speedwork runs during the week, but this is my second sucky-ish long run in a row. It’s hard to compare — I haven’t run WE Johnson in at least a year, maybe two. Should I run that section more often to improve my strength and comfort with running on really soft surfaces? This section is on the route of the Chamna Chase HM, so I might as well get used to it, right?

Prior to my platelet donation, they weighed me: 176. That’s not good. I weighed 174 that morning, naked & post-peeing. I ate breakfast, and then I ate two large nectarines before the run. I drank maybe a half-liter of water prior to the run, and about another liter more during the run. I was wearing about 2.5 pounds of clothing and gear when they weighed me. If you subtract the weight of my clothing & gear I was wearing, and the food I ate, I lost at least three pounds of water weight while running. In seven miles. Clearly, I did NOT drink enough water. (I did pee before the run, but not that much!) I need to work on this. I don’t like to drink too much because I get a sloshy feeling in my belly. But running dehydrated is harder than running at a proper hydration level. Thus, I must adapt.

The yard work I mentioned was accomplished on Sunday. Saturday, I went home, ate too much, drank a beer, and accomplished nothing much with the rest of my day. I’d planned to attend church Sunday morning, but I woke up about twenty minutes before I would have been walking out the door. Could I have made it? Sure. I just didn’t want the stress of trying to get myself fed, presentable, and out the door in such a short time.

I did a LOT of laundry as well, ran an errand that accomplished little, and drove home with a big propane canister for the grill – no sense in adding to the poor air quality with charcoal –¬†and a can of gasoline for the mower. I spent the entire drive absolutely my car was going to be rear-ended and I’d die a fiery death. Monday I baked a few loaves of bread, cooked the beets I’d harvested the day before, and dehydrated some zucchini shreds (the freezer is full!). Lots accomplished.

Today’s recovery run is 3-4 miles, easy. The air quality is terrible. We’re merely in the “unhealthy” range, and I’ve run when the air quality was unhealthy. But this feels different: I can smell it, my nasal passages are irritated, and I have a headache. Thus, absent some miraculous change before this evening, I’ll be doing my run on a treadmill. I DETEST THE TREADMILL. But hearing a description of what the tiny particulates can do to my lungs is enough to dissuade me this time.

Here’s hoping this clears out soon, and that no fires start nearby. It’s treacherous in other areas around the Northwest — many places are rated as “hazardous” — and some of these fires won’t be extinguished until the snow falls.

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