Tuesday, October 30, 2012

CIM Week 9 of 14: 38 Miles Is Not The Worst I Could Be Doing

Self, meet marginally acceptable marathon mileage. Marginally acceptable marathon mileage, meet self.

Notice that I didn't say exemplary marathon mileage. Or even "pretty good" mileage. In fact, as I recall, last year my podiatrist (who treats Olympic runners & has a lifetime marathon PR of 2:44) opined that anyone attempting to train for a marathon on less than 40 miles a week on average is asking for trouble, and 50 is "probably okay." Sigh.

On Sunday I'd planned to run 20 miles, which was kind of a big deal as my most recent run that started with a '2' was CIM '11. A had gotten her 20 miler in the day before but agreed to meet me about halfway through my run for a few miles, which I really appreciated.

Now, I did not feel as great on this run as I have on my other long runs. I felt slow and tired & my feet & lower legs felt crampy & sore, but it was more of a "Meh, I've had better runs" kind of feeling than a "GAAAAAHH, this SUUUUUUCKS" one. The only down side was that I got a later start than I'd wanted due to lack of planning (did you know you can use gummy bears in place of gels in a pinch? True story), so instead of being halfway done with my 20 when I met A in Golden Gate Park, I was only up to 7.5. Don & I had plans to spend the day wine tasting in Sonoma & wanted to leave by 11, so I only really had until 10 to run, & in the end I only got up to 17 before I had to call it a morning & head home.

Here are some pictures from Sonoma, since there are not many running-related pictures in this post:

But back to running stuff.

A couple of observations on this & previous long runs:

1) Last year when I did my (only) 20 miler, I was terrified. It had been years since I had run that far and even though theoretically I knew I should have no problem getting through it, I was worried about how much it would hurt and how I would feel after & also about potentially blowing up around mile 17 or something. This time, I was so focused on my time limit that I didn't give much thought to how far I was running or how I felt. Instead of "OMG 20 miles soooOOOoo far," my mindset was more, "Let's get this bitch DONE."

2) I would say that after all of my long runs training for CIM '11 (all four of them), I felt pretty broken for the rest of the day & definitely needed the day after completely off. While I have been taking the Monday after these long runs off (except for karate), the way I've been feeling in the minutes and hours afterward has been night and day with how I felt last year. Seriously -- I've felt 95% normal. A little pain in my left calf this time (I think I strained it a little), but otherwise, I came home, jumped in the shower, got dressed, & had a great day in Sonoma feeling as if I'd barely run at all. Sure, it wasn't quite 20, but 17 is still a pretty darn respectable long run. I even considered throwing in 4-5 miles on Monday, but decided keeping with the recovery days was probably smart.

3) I feel like I'm running & racing really well right now, which is blowing my mind considering how little mileage I've been doing. Going into Healdsburg, I felt like my long runs had been going well, but marathon speed & tempo work is not the same as 10K/half speed & tempo work, so I wasn't sure how prepared I was to run fast. If I hadn't had such a good race there, I would've felt nervous about the possibility of having the strength to go the distance but not the speed. But what can you complain about when your long runs are butter and you're running PRs in the half? Obviously I'm going to do my best to get that mileage up in these last few weeks before taper, but still. I'm feeling SOOOO much more confident right now than I was this time last year.

Grand Total: 38 miles

* 35 easy
* 3 speed / intervals

Monday: Work, work, work.

Tuesday: Work, work, work / drive to Fairfield

Wednesday: 2 warm up + 8 x 400m w/ ~200m jog recoveries + 2 cool down. On the (utterly terrifying) hotel treadmill!! This was my first treadmill run since 2006. True story. Plus, it gave me an excuse to get some new (totally neutral!!) shoes. ;)

Saucony Kinvara 3s. I'll have a review for you once
I get some decent miles on them, but so far so good!

Thursday: 7 easy. This run was lovely! Felt great & kept up a nice pace without much effort.

Friday: 7 easy. This run was harder. I kind of wanted to cut it short, but since I wasn't having any actual pain, I pushed through. A bit slower than Thursday, & with more effort.

Saturday: 7 easy Tailgating / football game. I guess technically I could've gotten up early to do this one, but I'd had a long week & am not 100% sure I could've gone without the extra sleep. Also I kind of went back & forth all day about taking a rest day before my long run, which is probably total weak sauce but whatever. By the time we got home from football it was late & we hadn't eaten, & since I knew I'd be getting up SUPER early (for me, for a weekend) for my long run in the morning, there wasn't really time anyway.

Sunday: 17 long.

We'll be in Paso Robles for some more wine tasting this coming weekend, so I'm doing my best to get as many miles in as I can in the next four days. Yes, I need to get the mileage up, but I also need to drink fabulous wine, eat rich food, & wander around autumn vineyards in boots & scarves.

Last fall at Turley Cellars

The vineyards at Wild Horse

Speaking of Miss A, she's talked me into running Clarksburg again on 11/11, but the 20 miler this time, & as a supported training run instead of a race. I really enjoyed the event last year in spite of everything, and also any time you pay money for something you know you're that much more committed to doing it. So I'm looking forward to that.


  1. This training stuff is largely mental--glad you're feeling good & we got to run together! Let's work out some Clarksburg deets. Enjoy that wine!

    1. Yes!! I was so glad you were able to make it. :)

  2. Sounds like 38 mile is just right. I try not to worry too much about what other people say about the "right" weekly mileage during marathon training. The most important thing is that you're feeling confident and injury-free. Enjoy your weekend in Paso Robles!

  3. Can I go wine tasting with you????? I need a vacation from my life, seriously.

  4. Saxena! Yea!

    I swear that first photo is from Ridge Winery - though maybe all wineries look the same lol

    It seems like you are running and racing really well recently indeed.

    Awesome on the Kinvara 3, I picked up a pair 2 weeks ago, and while I loved them, unfortunately they caused a blister to form on my right pinky toe every run, so I had to return them. I picked up a pair of Newtons, I've only ran on them 1 mile, but so far I like them. I swear it's almost like the shoe propels you forward as you run. As I do longer runs in them up to 5-7 miles I'll know for sure how they feel. Since I can't really do cross training in the gym in newtons, I picked up a pair of Brooks Pure Flow shoes too, since I don't have any other shoes.

    And going back to your previous post about shoes, I was surprised that you had a pair of stability shoes, seems like you are a more neutral runner, since you ran in Newtons I think.

    1. Yep, it's Ridge!

      I do run in Newtons -- they do make stability models. The ones I have are the Motions, but if I get another pair I'll probably see how I do in one of the neutral models.

  5. I am NOT an expert but I think I ran my only marathon doing roughly 40 miles per week - more towards the end. I wasn't racing it, I just wanted to run the whole way. And I did, and had no trouble. I'm sure you'll be fine - you have such a good basic level of running fitness and speed. If you're feeling good and uninjured, that's a good place to be!

  6. Have fun in Clarksburg! I think there is a lot of positive in having a supported 20-miler. I'm thinking you'll be very ready to do very well at CIM.