Monday, June 16, 2014

SRM WEEK 5: Double Digits + Hangin' In The Pain Cave

Firstly, I hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day, whether or not you are actually a father. :)

Ca. 1985. We were mad stylin' in those days, me & Dad.

On Sunday I was supposed to run for 80-90 minutes or 9-10 miles. Early in the week I started out completely dreading it, then got kind of almost excited about it mid-week, & then as of Saturday was back to absolutely dreading it again. I did a tempo run on Friday & have a sneaking suspicion I ran it too hard, because on Saturday I was not even remotely in the same *neighborhood* as feeling the easy six miles I needed to do. About halfway through I think some of my muscles actually stopped working all that well and I started thinking that maybe that day should have been my first unplanned rest day. Oops; too late now.

Saturday we had dinner with some friends, which was a good time. Actually maybe kind of TOO good considering how I felt when I woke up Sunday morning.

At least I slept a lot.

On top of that, my legs hurt. Nothing serious; just that deep, all-over, low-grade ache you get from being on your feet for a long time. When I started this training cycle, though, I made a deal with myself that I would NOT sacrifice my functioning bones and muscles on the Alter of the Training Plan, that the second I had more than mild pain or was too tired to run well & with good form, I would take some extra rest days or cut back on the mileage a bit. And let me tell you, when I first got up, I'd pretty much accepted that today was the day I'd have to start putting that into practice.

I ate breakfast around twelve thirty, then ran some errands, then spend the afternoon trying to get some wicked heartburn to go away so I could try to get some running in. I sort of figured I'd give it a shot, see how my legs felt, & if it just got too awful to deal with I could always cut it short.

I was exactly this excited.

As suck-tastic as Saturday's run had been, though, this one started out feeling weirdly not-horrible. I tried to keep it super slow and easy, completely ignoring my pace, making sure I was never breathing very hard but still maintaining good form. Maybe it's because I'd built it up so much in my mind, but one by one the miles just seemed to roll by. I'd kind of decided that as long as I was feeling good, I'd quit at ninety minutes or ten miles, whichever came first. At about forty-three minutes in, I hit five miles & turned around.

I'm not saying this run was easy; just that it was maybe not the fifth-circle-of-hell level of torture that I'd assumed it would be. Actually I think I felt the best on this run between miles 6 & 9. (Once I got to 9.5, though, I definitely hit some kind of wall & was legitimately worried about my ability to make it five more blocks.)

So, my streak of zero unplanned rest days remains intact for another week. I'm trying not to get too attached to it, though, because this has been a pretty darn steep build up for me, and I really do feel like sooner or later that day is coming.

* * * WEEK 5 * * *
(10 to go)

It seems kind of ridiculous to me that I'm already a third of the way through this training cycle. (Then again, it's only a little over 20% mileage-wise.) In terms of weekly mileage, I only got up to 38 miles for I think one week when I was "training" training for the Berkeley Half last fall, so this week's 39 is officially the highest weekly mileage I've run in over a year. HUZZAH!

Grand Total: 39 miles

    * 3 threshold
    * 10 long
    * 26 easy


    * 1.5 hours strength/stretch/roll

Monday: a.m. strength work

    No karate because I had to get on a plan for SoCal.

Tuesday: a.m. 6 speed 5 "easy"

    Because I was working 7:30-5:00 on Tuesday in a not-very-running-friendly part of SoCal & then spending the evening on a plane back to SF, my only option for getting any running done on Tuesday was to get up at 5 a.m. & run on the (rather rickety-looking) hotel treadmill. Naturally this sucked quite enough as it was, but to make it EVEN BETTER I ended up working until 11 p.m. with my team, barely slept, & neglected to make any sort of plan for putting food in my body pre-run.

    I loathe doing speed work on treadmills, but sometimes it's doable if the intervals are longer, slower ones. As luck would have it, though, Tuesday's workout called for 12 x 200m at 6:00 pace w/ 200m recoveries, which I really did not think would work at all, but I'd figured I'd at least give it a try before giving up altogether.

    Hah. Well. I dragged myself through the warm-up at 9:00+ pace (never a good sign), then with great trepidation cranked the ol' girl up to 10mph. The first interval only took me about 45 seconds but during that time I felt absolutely certain that sad little bucket of bolts was going to fly apart at any moment. Plus it took so long to toggle between interval pace & recovery pace that the whole enterprise became patently ridiculous pretty quickly.

    Eh. Whether from lack of sleep or low blood sugar or not getting my usually two full days of recovery post-long run, I felt pretty terrible anyway & ultimately just resigned myself to knocking out an easy mile, grabbing a cup of water, knocking out another mile, grabbing a cup of water, etc. I wanted to do six so that I'd at least get the day's mileage in but ran out of time before I had to go get cleaned up, so five rather dubious & sketchy miles it was.

    Still, something!!! Not nothing!!!

Wednesday: afternoon 6 easy / p.m. karate

    Still a bit sleep deprived, so I skipped a.m. strength training in favor of extra sleep. Also, Wednesday runs continue to live up to their reputation of sucking massive, galactic proportions of ass. GOD was this miserable.

Thursday: a.m. massage / p.m. 6 easy

    Seriously? I love this massage therapist. He pulls no punches. My right calf has been bothering me more than anything else, so he spent probably half an hour working on just that while I laid on my stomach and chewed on my fingers and pulled all manner of what I am sure would have been hilarious and horrifying faces had anyone been able to see them. Quote of the day: "It is just an absolute mess back here."

    Yeah, no; epic fail on that count.

    I'd been thinking about maybe going to the track Thursday afternoon & trying to make up the failed speed workout from Tuesday, but after the massage my calves were utterly tenderized, and he warned me about not trying to do too much on them that day. So I skipped the track & just did my usual easy Thursday run. It started out completely awful, but was okay after a couple of miles, & by the end actually felt pretty great.

Friday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 6 threshold(1.75 wu, 2 @ 7:25-ish, 1 @ 7:04, 1.25 cd)

    In my plan this threshold workout was written as 1.75 wu, 2 @ 8:15, 1 @ 7:30, 1.25 cd. I think my 1.75 warm-up averaged in the 8:11 range, though, so I was obviously not about to do two threshold miles at 8:15. Instead I decided that 8:15 was probably intended to mean "not easy but still pretty comfortable" and 7:30 "comfortably hard but not for very long" & just did them by feel/heart rate. I still feel like I probably ran them slightly harder than was intended. What I really need to do is check in with Coach Tom about the accuracy of my paces right now & maybe see if I can get him to translate them into effort level/heart rate to be sure I'm doing these harder runs the way I should be.

Saturday 6 easy

    One word: SLOG. I mostly blame Friday's probably-botched tempo run.

Sunday: 10 long

In theory, I'm supposed to run 45 miles this week, mostly seven milers plus another 10 mile long run. So we'll see what happens.



  1. Ha ha - love that pre-run photo! Your face says it all. I'm glad the run wasn't as bad as you anticipated.

  2. Like your smart choices, Honestly, before I had training plans, I was never injured - once I decided to move to that level, injury-city. I obviously am not as smart as you and able to override scheduled plans for the sake of health! How does it work, btw, doing strength before a tempo? Does it slow you down/exhaust you?

    1. It doesn't seem to. But, I've been doing the a.m. strength workouts & afternoon workouts for about a year & a half now, so I think my body is just used to it. It also helps that the strength work happens at 7 am & I don't run until late afternoon/evening, so it's a good ~10 hours or so of rest.

  3. Nice week of training! As a fellow statistics person, I'm eyeing that graph. What software made it? Could it be that there's a training software or website out there I haven't yet tried?

    1.! I love it. There are tons of data fields you can choose to use or not, plus it's totally free.

  4. Looks like you followed the instructions on your wineglass a little too well... :D

    My principles of training plans: adapt 'em to how you feel; something is better than nothing; unless you are dead certain it won't come back to bite you in the ass, don't try to make up a failed run!

    Like the other, faster Grace, I am curious about how you feel doing strength work before a tempo run.

    Oh - and I find that going from 30something miles (my usual off-season mileage, where I'm just goofing off and doing whatever I feel like) to 40something is the toughest phase of marathon training. After that, I know I *can* do it if I want to, and just try to hang on for the ride.

    1. The a.m. strength works don't seem to affect my runs, but I've been doing them for about a year & a half now, so I think my body is just used to it. It also helps that the strength work happens at 7 am & I don't run until late afternoon/evening, so it's a good ~10 hours or so of rest.

      I'm usually about the same, in the 30's when I'm not really training for anything, and I haven't run weeks in the 40s-50s since training for my marathon last May, so we'll see what happens!

  5. I relate very well to your "not excited" photo...this is how I feel every weekend at 5:00 when I am dragging myself out of bed.

    Overall, despite all of the misery of treadmills, hangovers, and sleep deprivation, you are kicking some major ass with your mileage and your paces! Awesome job!

  6. I would NOT sacrifice my functioning bones and muscles on the Alter of the Training Plan <- this and this. So much. I'm trying to live by this theory as well.
    I'm glad your mileage is falling into place and you are having good runs. I can't believe how far you are into your training cycle already, though!