Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SRM WEEK 10: Big Track Workouts + Blah blah Week 10 blah

First, this:


Second - If you caught the previous post, you know that there is not much to say about week 10 aside from the Achilles tendon drama I managed to inflict on myself in Vancouver:

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

Grand Total: 24 miles, all easy

(Also you get no bar graph because I added new stuff before I got around to writing this. Trust me, it was pretty lame; you're not missing much.)

Monday: Massage / rest / pack.

Tuesday: 8 easy

Wednesday: work work work

Thursday: 8 easy, strain Achilles tendon

Friday: 8 easy, make Achilles strain worse

Saturday: come to senses / rest / feel terrible about self

Sunday: rest / fly home

Ugh. Moving on.

* * *

The real issue with Vancouver and my travel schedule this month in general is that I'm into the part of the cycle where things alternate between a tough week & small long-run increase & an easier week with a bigger long-run increase, and my every-other-week travel schedule has been synched up so that I'm on the road for the tough weeks. The Tuesday I was in Vancouver, I was supposed to do an important 10-11 mile track workout, which didn't happen for both time & logistical reasons. This week that I'm home, I had an easier 7 mile track workout scheduled, then another 10-11 monster next week when I'm in LA.

Since I didn't do much last week, I made an executive decision to shift the tough workouts forward a week so that I can be sure to get in the key speed & tempo runs while I'm at home. So yesterday, instead of the easier 7 mile track workout, I decided to take a shot at the monster 10 miler from last week:

  • 2 miles warm-up + drills & strides
  • 3 x 800m / 200m recovery
  • 20:00 @ goal marathon pace
  • 3 x 800m / 200m recovery
  • 2 miles cool-down

(You might think a track workout would not be the best one for testing out a sketchy Achilles tendon, but actually, the track is a GREAT place for that because it's really easy to stop at the first sign of trouble.)

When I got to the track I couldn't remember exactly what pace the 800m's were supposed to be at, but for the most part I do my speed work by feel anyway, so I just figured I'd just try to hit about the right level of effort & that would be fine.

I now present my observations from this workout:

1) Shit ain't called a "Key Workout" for nothing.

2) Totally ran the first 800m too hard. Not only did I positive split the first set of 3, but I also found myself taking rather unnecessarily long water breaks during the recoveries.

3) The hardest part of a "Key Workout" = whatever part you're currently doing (including the cool down).

4) Knock on wood, but I *THINK* my Achilles tendon is better? I mean if something was going to cause trouble, you'd think 10 miles on the track would be enough to do it.

As you can see, I managed to rally a bit towards the end, which probably either means I sandbagged a bit on the middle reps or took slightly longer water breaks than were strictly necessary towards the end.

On the other hand, after kind of lamenting how hard these 800m's were & (for some completely random reason?) feeling like I should have been able to run them a bit faster, it was gratifying to get home & check the schedule & see that officially these were supposed to be ~6:55ish, so averaging around ~6:30 was kind of knocking it out of the park (for better or worse).

My online schedule doesn't know that I've shifted things around, so when I logged my workout I received the Exclamation Point of Disapproving Caution:

Eh, whatevs.

Seriously, all I want to do is break 50 miles this week. I'm way past ready to do it; time to make this shite happen.


  1. I hate being told off. Even if it's electronically . I would have been left wanting to explain my reasons. Like the computer cares.

    1. Lol, I know! There is a field where you can type in notes, but it's not like the computer reads it & goes, "Oh! Well in that case...."

  2. Well, despite little setbacks, your speed is up there!

  3. That is a monster workout. Ouch. Can your human coach shift things around a little to accommodate your travel schedule (& so the computer isn't quite so disapproving)?

    By the way I had a little free time and fiddled with my 220. You were right, there isn't an option to have the clock be a display field - it is apparently important (or unimportant) enough to be its own display screen. Guh.

  4. That 10 mile workout seems overkill, wow. I hope you escaped from that workout un-injured.

    I have a mini emergency for the SF half marathon - apparently SF marathon is serving Nuun electrolyte at the water stops in addition to water. Main problem with the Nuun electrolyte is that it has no calories. WTF is the point then? Now I need to figure out a way to get some calories in me during the run without taking into account liquids. Maybe I'll have 3 gels instead of 2? Or simply carry my own fluids via a water belt and simply run through the water stops? Just kind of annoying that SF marathon stopped having cytomax as the fluid sponsor, since their stuff is perfect - you can some calories along with hydration. What is your fueling plan with this news?
    (under "electrolyte and gu energy chomps")

    1. Well, I figure the whole point of paying someone to write a custom training plan for you is that you trust them & follow the plan (within reason), and I felt totally 100% after with no Achilles pain at any point, so......?

      Ugh, as I had no fueling plan to begin with, I suppose I'm in the same place as before, just more annoyed. Seriously, WTF?

      I'm running this as part of an 18 mile long run, so I suppose I'll just do gels & water the same way I have been on the rest of my long runs, with one gel every 20 minutes or so. That should work out okay? I think?

    2. Well alright, that 10 mile workout just looked like it was really difficult. Just my .02.

      Yea, I will likely follow your plan of gels and water, my general plan is cytomax and water, along with a gel every 4 miles. I put a post up asking for fueling suggestions, we'll see what people think. Annoying that SF is now on the Nuun bandwagon. That product just doesn't seem very useful to me.

  5. Hey Angela, I'm appreciating your blog... I was a Bay Area resident for nearly two decades and now live on the L.A. Westside, just south of Santa Monica. Don't know where in L.A. work will take you next week, but if you're planning to be near the Westside and are looking for running route recommendations and/or a running partner, I'm happy to offer my (slowly) growing L.A. expertise. Jen over at Running Tangents can vouch for my lack of creepiness, as hopefully can my Stanford background (PhD in Cancer Biology).

    This of course assumes the "LA" in your post refers to Los Angeles and not Louisiana...

    - Mike (

    1. Hi Mike! Glad you're enjoying it. :)

      I wish I could say I'll be in "proper" LA, but in reality I'll be out in Covina & car-less. (Boo.) I have a feeling the west side is probably a lot nicer for running. I will totally hit you up if I'm ever out that way though!

    2. Sounds good, Angela... L.A. is such a massive sprawl, tough to believe it's all one city. On the bright side, you'll be near some really nice trails just north of Covina around Mt. Baldy and Mt. San Antonio, if you're moved by that muse. Bring a water bottle or six with you... it gets hot out where you'll be!