Weekly Training Log
Reality: Done! After much deliberation, I decided to close the bakery on Mondays. Over the last few months, Jessica and I have been working 7 days a week covering shifts for retail and production. We’ve come to realize, the only way either of us can be gaurunteed an actual day off is to close the bakery. It will also give us an opportunity to regroup and reset the space for another week. Being away last week, I didn’t get to fully appreciate the Monday off but today, I did!
Plan: RUN (3x200, 800) x2
Reality: I started baking at 2am. By 5:30, I was able to take a break to join the Sunrise group at the clubhouse. I ran to the Hurrell track in Glen Ridge to complete my workout. The track isn’t 400 meters and I can never remember if it’s too short or too long so my workout was a little wiggly. I completed it as planned, all the same.
Plan: SWIM 2100 recovery
Reality: Yesterday, Brad was hit with a stomach bug. I felt a little queasy but I assumed it was just because that’s my normal reaction when someone is puking in my presence. This morning, I had to be at the bakery at 2am. We had an order for 500 doughnuts that had to be made and delivered to Newark by 9am, on top of normal production. When my alarm went off, I knew this was going to be a difficult day. I could barely move. My body ached, it hurt to breathe. Nevertheless, I got up, dressed and headed to the bakery. While I was cutting trays of doughnuts, I could barely manage to stay upright. I thought I was going to faint. After the last tray was cut and placed on the rack, I returned home to take a nap while they were rising.
An hour later, I went back to finish the doughnuts for the order. By 6am, they were complete. By 6:05am, I was back in bed where I stayed for the rest of the day. I don’t recall eating or drinking anything. The kids came home from school. I moved to the sofa to help them with their homework. We had Panera delivered for dinner and I struggled to eat a few bites of chicken noodle soup.
Plan: BIKE 60 Minutes
Reality: I got up early to unlock MBCo on Lorraine Street for the 5:30am group run. I still felt awful. As soon as the picture was taken and the runners headed up the hill to Highland Ave, I went back home and got another hour of sleep before the kids had to get up for school.
When they walked to the bus stop, I decided to try spending some time upright. Today marks the 7th anniversary of the day I opened Montclair Bread Company. I always try to do something fun to celebrate. This year, I decided to host a party and make classic desserts from my childhood for people to nosh on when they stopped by. I had no idea how I was going to pull it off with this plague. I sat in front of the computer trying to craft a cancellation notice but I just couldn’t come up with the right words.
Luckily, these desserts were all super simple, dump the ingredients in a bowl kind of recipes. I dragged myself to the bakery where Jessica helped me put together classics like Strawberry Jello Salad & Watergate Salad…neither of which contain any semblance of vegetables.
I started feeling better as the day progressed. I still had absolutely no appetite. I might have had a cup of broth or two but that was the extent of my nourishment for the day.
The kids and I hosted a gathering of friends at the bakery in the evening. We all celebrated the start of another year together.
Plan: 25 Minute Shake Out
Reality: When I woke up, I felt off again but I pushed through it. I got the kids up and out for school and went to the bakery to start preparing for the weekend. At noon, I took a break to get my run in with the Friday group at the Running Co. This week, the group was me, Brad & Anne. All 3 of us were registered for the NYRR Fiesta 5K on Saturday so it was everyone’s shakeout.
After the run, I took a walk into town with Anne. I was still feeling a little woozy. By the time I returned home, woozy was an understatement. I went back to bed and slept until the kids came home from school. I have never experienced anything quite like this particular illness before. It leaves me very short of breath, completely weak and lifeless with absolutely no appetite.
I promised Josie to take her graduation dress shopping when she got home from school and so I did. She, the boys and I, started our afternoon adventure at TJMax where she tried on a dozen or so dresses and actually managed to find one she liked. Thankfully, we were right next to a Panera so I could re-up our chicken noodle soup stock for dinner. Once we were back home, we watched a movie before we all went to bed. I just wanted to wake up on Saturday and feel back to normal. I’ve been working so hard to race this 5K and it may not be my day after all.
Plan: NYRR 5K Fiesta Run
Reality: “Get your head on right this week.” was the message from my coach, Alden. Before I started working with Alden, just about a year ago, I was conditioned to start each race conservative. Start out slow and build too fast. While negative splits are still my jam, I felt broken when it came to racing. I could kill a workout but I lost all sense of confidence on race day because I obsessed about not going out fast and then I couldn’t muster the strength to pick up the pace at the end. Simply stated, I would give up.
When my impromptu 5k didn’t go as planned in February, Alden snuck a workout in my long run the following week that required me to run faster than I did in the 5K, which I didn’t realize at the time, but I completed all the same. Slowly he helped me build confidence through his workouts until it was undeniable I had what it takes to progress to the next level.
I still felt ill. After I dropped the kids at their father’s house at noon, I went back to bed where I stayed until it was time to leave for the race. Brad was spinning with nervous pre-race energy. “What’s your race plan? What shoes are you going to wear? What’s your first mile going to be? How long are you going to warm up?” I ignored him and pulled the pillow over my head. I had consumed less nutrients this entire week than I normally do in one meal. I had no idea how I was going to make it to the starting line and even less of an idea what this race was going to bring.
When I saw the Mile 3 marker, I glanced at my total elapsed time and I knew I had a chance. I remembered what my friend Suzanne told me when I first started running, when you can’t move your legs, move your arms - they’re connected. And so I did. I pushed with everything I had left to make it to the clock with seconds to spare. Going into this race, my 5K PR was 22:59. All I wanted was 1 second better, just 1 second to say, for the record, I made progress. All this work has paid off. I crossed the line, stopped my watch and looked down. I didn’t get my 1 second. I ran 34 seconds faster than I’d ever run a 5K before, 22:25!
By the time I found Brad, I was sobbing. The odds were stacked against me today but I pulled it off. Earlier in the week, Brad confessed. When I was in the hospital and even weeks after I returned home, he truly didn’t believe I would ever run again. In his past, running alongside elite athletes, he had witnessed injuries, like mine, take people out of the game for good. But here I am, eight months later, with a new record.