This was my first "cutback" week. Every third week, Hal suggests a shorter long run, which is like a mini-taper. It makes the next week feel really nice because you're well rested. The high point of this week was that I ran my 5-mile pace run on Wednesday at 8:56 pace. That felt kind of amazing. I don't run with a GPS watch so I'm still amazed when I hit the pace I set out to do. (I did run with Sean's Garmin for a while but it made me crazy because it was always saying the wrong pace and I was always either speeding up or slowing down and I couldn't stop looking at my wrist.)
During Week 2, I'd been getting myself pretty worked up about my MS. I emailed my neurologist and told her I thought I had been having more fatigue than usual and that I didn't think I'd really recovered from my last relapse in the fall. She wrote back and told me that my symptoms didn't sound alarming and that she didn't feel she needed to see me, but if I wanted to come in I could. When I arrived on Tuesday of Week 3, I tentatively told her I was planning to run a marathon in May. I was really worried she'd tell me not to do it, but she was excited. She said that my recent fatigue probably had more to do with training for my first marathon than MS. I felt so good after talking to her that I walked out of there like Woody Allen after he finds out he doesn't have a brain tumor. I was cured. I don't think I've had any fatigue since then.
Part of the reason I got worked up was that I went off my MS medication almost two years ago. I did it with my doctor's cautious blessing, but now that I'm training for a marathon, I wonder if I should be back on the meds. I was thinking that maybe they would protect me from the ups and downs of training and the physical stress I'd be under. She told me not to worry, that exercise doesn't exacerbate MS, and to wait until my next appointment this summer, when we'd do an MRI and see what's going on inside my head.
My pace range this week was 8:56 - 10:00. I ran my long run in a pretty major (for this year) snowstorm. I used Yaktrax for the first time on this run and it worked out better than I thought it would. When I started out, the snow was just starting to come down, and by the time I was done there were over three inches on the ground (in one hour!). My eyelashes froze together at the corners of my eyes. I felt pretty tough!
Here are the details for Week 3 (Jan 16 - Jan 22):
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 3 miles
Saturday: 7 miles
Next up: Week 4 recap and footwear.