Man, you guys, I couldn't even call week 13 a mixed bag. It started out with a glimmer of hope but went downhill very very quickly for all kinds of reasons both physical and general life-related until on Sunday night I lay in a hotel bed in Texas, fuming over what a waste most of the week and weekend had been and over the fact that I could barely walk comfortably and also had to get on a plane back to SF in like five hours.
Grand Total: 22 miles
- * 16.75 easy
* 2.25 speed
* 3 pace/tempo
Monday 3/5: Karate / strength work
Tuesday 3/6: 2 warm up, 6 x 200m / 200m jog, 2 @ MP,
6 x 200m / 200m jog 3 x 200m / 200m jog, 3.7 cool down = 10 total
- Oh lordy. Remember when I mentioned last week that there's been a lot of stress lately? This fact was nowhere more in evidence than last Tuesday evening when, already having had *A Day* at work, I drove to the track for my speed workout thinking, "I cannot take even one more setback today or I am absolutely going to burst into tears."
We all know speed work comes in all different flavors, from 200m sprints to mile or 2K repeats at 10K pace. Some of them I'll grumble about doing on pavement, but, push come to shove (or children's sporstball, as the case may be), I can do them on pavement--namely, the longer and slower types of intervals. 200m sprints, though? No. No; I've always maintained that you can do a lot of things on chewed up, uneven pavement with stoplights and crosswalks and a billion pedestrians but 200m sprints are not one of them. Nope nope nope.
So when I drove up to Kezar Tuesday night to find not only the track itself closed but the entire stadium, including the upper concrete track where I have done 200m's in a pinch, that was it. There was an ugly little sobbing fit right there in the car because I Just. Could. Not. with one more thing today.
After that I got out & started jogging through Golden Gate Park. I was not sure what I was going to do today, running wise, but at the very least, whatever it was would require a couple miles of warm up, so I started with that while I tried to figure out what to do.
I could do the 200m's through the Park and just hope I didn't twist an ankle or collide with someone or get hit by a car.
I could do Friday's tempo workout (3 x 2 @ HM pace) & do the speed workout on Friday. That did not really solve my problem as I'd be running in Trinity Park in Fort Worth on Friday, ie, not that different than Golden Gate Park surface-wise. Also my legs felt so heavy & slow as I was warming up I wasn't even sure I could run half marathon pace today.
I could run 10 easy miles and shoe-horn in two workouts and a long run between Thursday and Sunday. Not appealing and given the state of my body lately, not a great idea, either.
I could run 10 easy miles, do one workout on Thursday or Friday, & replace the other with easy miles. Also not super appealing considering the number of workouts this cycle I have already missed.
Finally my easy two warm up miles came to an end, and I made a choice: What the heck, I'd experiment with running 200m sprints on the pedestrian walkways in GG Park, and we would find out definitively just how possible and/or problematic it was.
And boy did I feel silly once I started the first 200m. I thought it would feel weird and sketchy but it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. I did have to watch my footing a bit and pay attention to others in my path but it wasn't too crowded so I never felt like I had to cut too close to anyone or leap into the grass, and somehow all the distancing worked out so that I never had to negotiate stop lights or crosswalks.
I'd also been prepared for these 200m (or .125 miles, according to Garmin!) to be a bit slower than running on the track but I actually found myself running them in the 0:43-0:44 range with what felt like less effort than usual. (Of course, this is going by GPS and not the track, so accuracy is never guaranteed.)
Also, my favorite thing about these little speed/pace sandwich workouts is how, after the fast intervals, I'll start the middle pace section--aiming for ~8:16ish this time--think to myself, "Well this feels about right," and then realize I'm running *an entire minute* per mile too fast! I tried hard to slow it down & hit the right splits, but man, I'd be lying if I didn't say that up to that point all my paces had been feeling easier across the board relative to perceived effort than I think they ever have. [Update: Hold that thought....]
Alas, the workout didn't go perfectly. In the middle of the third 200m in my second set of six, I tweaked a hamstring in a way that briefly had me cursing, but it wasn't catastrophic. I didn't tempt fate by trying to do the last 200m sprints but I was able to run the rest of the mileage at an easy pace.
Wednesday 3/7: Karate
- I woke up this day with a little niggle in my lower right leg, sort of diffused between my upper Achilles area, the back of my tibia bone (where I occasionally get shin splints), and my sort of inner calf muscle. It wasn't even what I'd call pain, but it was annoying enough that I was glad I didn't have a run that day.
8 easy 4 easy
- Somehow despite not running the pain in my lower right leg managed to get worse, to the point that I barely made it to two miles this day before I went, "Nope, uh-uh, bad news, ain't doin' it" & turned around. No, it didn't feel like my leg was broken but I knew from experience that it was bad enough that trying to run further on it would be immensely stupid. It was just as well, as I hadn't packed for my weekend in Texas yet & had to get up at 3:30am Friday morning to catch a 6am plane.
Friday 3/9: 2 warm up,
3 x 2 @ HM pace / 2:00 jog, 2 cool down 2 @ HM pace, 2:00 jog, .5 going all out & not even managing marathon pace, easy miles to 8 total, and by "easy" I mean barely staying upright.
- My right leg was feeling much better by the time I got to Texas Friday afternoon, so I decided to try to do my tempo workout at nearby Trinity Park. I felt pretty bad from the start, with heavy legs & like I had to work so hard to even just run at an easy effort (which sounds paradoxical, but I don't know how else to explain it). I did manage to keep up 7:30 pace for the first two mile interval, thought it felt much, MUCH too hard and my heart rate was much too high and the thought of doing two more of those bitches was super demoralizing.
In the end, though, it didn't matter, because I couldn't run even one more. I had reached the end of the trail & turned around to head back towards the hotel and suddenly found myself running into a crazy headwind. Between that and already feeling awful, I only made it about half a mile at maybe 10K effort but instead of running my HM pace of 7:30/mile I was running more like 8:20-8:40. Finally I just quit and ran back to the hotel for a total of 8 easy miles, though I had to stop for several walk breaks (like every half mile or mile) because I didn't feel like I could stay on my feet otherwise.
I was super upset about this for a while until I realized that a) it was 90F and 90% humidity out (weirdly, sometimes in Texas if there's cloud cover you can't really tell) and b) I basically hadn't slept the night before. (Contrary to the urban legend, yes, the night of sleep before a run is not less important than the sleep two nights before a run. Who started that effing rumor?? Probably the same fucker who told everyone your max heart rate is 220 minus your age.) Add in the crazy headwind and this run was sort of doomed from the start, I suppose. Ah well.
6 easy Rest/be pissed off about failed family plans
- Though my right leg had been feeling better, it felt pretty awful again Saturday morning, which was annoying because my family plans fell through and I had all kinds of free time I could have been using to get a run in. But instead I sucked it up and decided to be smart & not run until the leg felt better. (See: The story of this entire effing training cycle.)
16 long Pretty much a repeat of Sunday.
- My leg hurt. My family plans fell through. I spent the day desperately trying to salvage some kind of productivity & being pissed that I felt like I'd basically wasted an entire precious weekend.
So, not the greatest of weeks, no matter how you slice it. Which, as I look back over the last 13 weeks, seems again to just be the ongoing story of this training cycle. At this point, I just want to be healthy & fit enough to get to Copley Square under my own power. Oh and also be able to run another extremely tough marathon 13 days later. :-/