Monday, July 14, 2014

SRM WEEK 9: 16 Miles + Gels, Garmins, etc. etc.

(***Quick note/question -- Lately I haven't been able to comment on any WordPress blogs. When I fill in all the fields & click "submit," the screen just refreshes, but my comment never appears. This has happened like 20 times in the last week, so WordPress friends, I promise I haven't abandoned you!! If anyone had any ideas as to why this is happening, I would love to hear your suggestions!***)

Thank you all SO MUCH for all your tips & suggestions about how to carry gels. I have lots of new strategies to try, & I'm confident that statistically speaking at least one of them HAS to work. And, I did find the front pockets in my Rogas & Speed shorts! (They are a bit subtle & easy to miss, but not too hard to find if you know they're there.) I also picked up a pair of the Oiselle Distance shorts since it looks like they have some extra, larger zipper pockets, & it would be so great if I could just fit everything in my shorts pockets & not have to worry about anything else.

In case you've ever wondered what $100 worth of fancy sugar gels looks like. If you think about it
for too long, there is some real absurdity about this entire situation.

Speaking of gear, ugh. You guys, the Forerunner 220 has GOT to GO.

At first I was just annoyed by the interface, but the more I've worn it & tried to use it the way I used my 305 & 310XT, the more I've realized that it just doesn't have the features I want (which is ridiculous, considering it cost me $80 more). You can display at most three data fields at a time; if you want to see more than that, you have to set up different fields on different screens and toggle back & forth between them, and the list of fields themselves are pretty limited. (Most egregiously, "time of day" is missing, & I really need to have a screen that shows time of day & distance together.) You can only hit lap if the watch is running, and when you pause, it automatically switches to displaying elapsed time only rather than leaving up whatever data screen you're on. I also hate hate HATE the way it locks itself after a certain amount of time & then you have to unlock it again before you can do anything. Also, for whatever reason, the 'average pace' field seems completely broken. During a given mile, for example, it'll be like "8:40, 8:35, 8:42, 8:38, 8:41," and then "LAP 8:12!!!" Which makes no sense whatever. The kicker for me is that you can only set it to autolap at multiples of .05, and you can't set it for less than a quarter mile. This is not going to work for me on the track.

No, it's not completely useless and yes, I could kinda-sorta-60-40 make it work if I had to, but to me if you're going to pay $250 for a GPS watch, you shouldn't have to settle for that and "just make it work." I've been cyber-stalking the Forerunner 620, which they have at REI & would cost me another $200 on top of what I already paid for the 220, but as cool beans as it looks, I really just am not prepared to shell out that kind of money for a GPS watch. (Certainly not with all these massages I've been getting. And did I mention my computer just died?)

D'oh. Ah well, we had a good four-year run.

So I think sometime this week I'm going to take it back to REI & then get another 310XT from Amazon for ~$170, which is about what I paid for the one I got on sale at REI to begin with.

* * * WEEK 9 * * *
(6 to go)

My only regret about this week was that our Saturday plans got rearranged at the last minute & as a result I didn't get that run in, because I felt like this was the first week where I was physically & mentally ready to hit 50 miles. It's a little arbitrary, but 50 is the number I associate with actually, seriously training for something & it was a bit of a bummer to feel totally ready to cross that line & then have it not work out. If I'd known ahead of time things were going to work out that way I would have added some miles onto my earlier runs, but c'est la vie.

I ran 16 miles on Sunday & consumed 6 gels in 2 hours (~54g CHO per hour) & felt more or less fine the whole time. Though it's not all that surprising considering I didn't run on Saturday, I was relieved to get back to long runs that feel like NBD as opposed to depressing ones that I have to drag myself through. My hip did start to tighten up in a dull-achey-sort-of-way about 14 miles in, went back to normal after ten minutes or so, & then got painfully tight again post-run. (Good job scheduling that Monday morning massage appointment, self!)

Sea Cliff! Some day I'm going to run up that hill. Not today.

The other thing that's concerning me a bit is my right foot. The arch/instep area was a little uncomfortable toward the end of the run, but post run it became extremely tight & painful. Walking around on it for a few minutes does seem to loosen it up, & after a while the pain goes away completely, but if I stayed off of it for even a few minutes it would hurt again pretty badly as soon as I tried to walk on it. After a couple of hours it went away completely, so at least there's that. It's mostly on the arch/inside of my foot, not the bottom, so I don't really have any guesses as to what it might be.

Grand Total: 43 miles

    * 2 speed
    * 4 tempo
    * 16 long
    * 21 easy


    * 2.5 hours strength/stretch/roll

Monday: Rest

    I'd planned to do strength work in the morning & karate in the evening, but for some reason my brain decided to wake me up at 3 a.m. & I never got back to sleep after that, so I was in no condition to go do strength work at 6. We also had a big deadline at work that I ended up needing to work on all evening, so no karate either (though I probably would have skipped it anyway in favor of a nap). Eh; after the 12 miler that left me an utter wreck of a person the day before, this was probably all for the best.

Tuesday: 7 speed (2 wu, 4 x 200m hard / 200m jog, 10:00 @ goal marathon pace, 4 x 200m hard / 200m jog, 1.5 cd)

    This workout was touch-and-go at first with the Return of the Insanely Tight Achilleses/Lower Calves (seriously, stopping every half mile of the two-mile warm-up to walk/shake/stretch the white-hot pain out of my legs), but once I started the intervals, I felt fine & ran all the 200m's significantly faster than the plan called for with what felt like pretty moderate effort. Honestly, the workout itself was pretty easy (which, after last week, I think was probably the point); the hardest part was definitely getting through the warm-up & cool down.

Wednesday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 7 easy 6 easy

    Thanks to leaving work late & getting stuck behind a car accident on my way home, Wednesday's run became one of those "I have x minutes, so run out for x/2 minutes, then turnaround" type of runs. After my track session on Tuesday went relatively well, I had high hopes for this one, but they didn't really pan out. I was back to ungodly tight and painful lower calves/Achilles that I had to stop every couple of blocks to stretch/shake it out, and when I turned around to head back home, I found myself running (once again) into an insane headwind. Between those two things and just generally feeling tired all around, I know my form was not great (in spite of really trying!) and by the time I got to karate my quads and right adductor felt completely trashed. least I ran 6 miles??

Thursday: 6 easy

    I'm pretty proud of myself for just getting this one done, actually.

Friday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 8 tempo (2 wu, 4 x 1600m @ ?? pace / 1:00 jog, 2 cd)

    These intervals were supposed to be around 7:30ish (ie half marathon pace) which seemed weird. I've suspected for a while that the paces on my training plan are too slow, but I decided I'd just do these repeats at a comfortably hard pace & see what that translated to. I did the first one in 7:09 which felt pretty effortless, so after that I just tried to keep my pace in that general range. I managed to negative split them all (7:09, 7:08, 7:04, 7:01) without working too hard & felt pretty good after, so no complaints.

Saturday 7 easy Rest/Fail.

    Basically if I was going to do this run, I would have had to do it at like 6 in the morning, which is problematic because I'm pretty sure the only reason I've been getting away with what for me is relatively high-ish mileage right now is because I've been doing my best to give my legs as close to 24 full hours of recovery time between runs as possible. When I got up at 6, I could tell that < 12 hours of rest wasn't going to cut it & trying to do another run at that point would have been a bad plan. So I erred on the side of caution & just took another rest day.

Sunday: 16 long

There are 56-59ish miles on the plan for this week (hahahahaha). I'm in Vancouver for work through next Sunday, so honestly I have no idea how this is all going to go down. I have a feeling the speed work may just not happen, but I'm planning to do my best to just get in as many easy miles as I possibly can including a 16-17 mile long run, however I have to do it. I think 50 is doable & I would really like to get across that threshold, but 59 seems a bit over-optimistic.


  1. What on earth happened to your laptop?! Looks more like 'it stopped working so I beat it up' than 'gave up the ghost' :P

    Good training!

  2. I'd love to see the real time on my Garmin too. I've got a 410 with a bezel for navigation and when the weather's humid the bezel seems to lose its mind. It pops from screen to screen so I keep it locked and that means that once I've selected the screen I want for the run I have to stick with it. It's such a pain some days not knowing what the real time is and whether I should be hurrying back home.

  3. Vancouver for work sounds awesome - Stanley Park is a great place to run.

    Computer just went toast? What happened?

    As for your garmin, not sure what to suggest. I have a 405 and like it just fine. I don't really do speed work, so I have no idea on how to use it for speed work, not sure if the 220 works like the 405? for the 405 you can only have 3 data fields displayed at a time, but you can have the screens scroll so you can show other data fields while running - I have it at a high scroll rate, so I only have to glance over to see the new fields. The 3 fields I have on the first screen are current pace, mileage, and time. 2nd screen is heartrate and average pace.

  4. Oh, must have missed the question about carrying gels! I am waiting for my Coeur Sports bra to come in with *bra pockets* (stuffing them in the bra created a very painful scenario once...) but I have also worn big iphone armbands and just crammed gels in the pocket.

  5. Did you just Office Space your laptop?!?!

    I'm still figuring out my 220, which is just as new as yours, but I'm pretty sure there's some way to configure the data screens to show whatever combination of metrics you please. It would be fairly useless otherwise. DC Rainmaker hints at this in his review of the 220.

  6. Weird, I've also had issues recently when commenting on Wordpress blogs...even though I have a Wordpress account.

    As for gels, I've never tried to carry more than 2 or 3 with me but I've found that shorts with zippered pockets plus my Amphipod clip on pocket ( works pretty well. Pro: very durable. Con: I have to be careful about where I place it. I've had some nasty chafing by my hipbone.