Monday, June 22, 2015

SRM WEEK 11 OF 20: Adjusting........

When I finally decided this past September to devote a good chunk of time to base-building properly, I set some goals for myself, one of which was doing long runs more often and more consistently. The goal was 1) getting better at them physically but also 2) getting better at them mentally so that I didn't dread lacing up my shoes every Sunday.

How I felt about long runs on a good day.

And I really feel like I did accomplish this during my NVM cycle! Having a strong base for the first time in years made the runs physically easier, and that, along with just sucking it up every weekend that I could, helped flip a switch in my brain from "ohgodohgodohgod" to "meh, still not my favorite, but whatever." I really do think this played a HUUUUGE part in my being able to run 26 miles at Napa not just without some kind of disaster, but--dare I say it--comfortably (both physically and mentally).

So, it's been annoying to find those runs starting to feel kind of tough again. Not a slog the way they used to, and I'm still in a much better place mentally about it, but instead of finishing 16-17 miles & feeling pretty good, I definitely find myself counting down those last miles & feeling a bit beat up after.

I know this makes perfect sense, now that I'm for-realsies training and not "fake training." I've done my best to ease into it gradually, but the last couple of weeks have marked the return of the "monster" track workouts, totaling 10-12 miles each (in addition to another shorter speed or tempo session). I'd kind of forgotten what it feels like to be at the track for that long; you arrive, you warm up, watch other people arrive, run some intervals, watch other people arrive, run some intervals, watch those same people leave, run some intervals, watch more people leave, run some more intervals, and by the time you're done you realized you've watched, like, three distinct waves of runners arrive, do their thang, & leave again.

Last week I did 3 x 200m, 30:00 @ GMP, 3 x 200m; this week was the same except 2 x 1200m's instead of 200m's. These workouts are hard, yes, but not awful. (For this, I actually credit all my nutrition changes. In past training cycles I only got these workouts maybe once every three weeks & they pretty much destroyed me for the rest of the day; this time around Tom has been assigning them almost every week, and I arrive back home actually feeling like a normal person & able to, like, go out for dinner & hang out with friends & stuff.)

On the other hand, they do contribute to the overall cumulative fatigue of the week a lot more than my easy base-building jogs did, even the long ones. Running 17 miles after doing nothing but comfortable, low-heart rate runs all week is a lot different than running 17 miles on top of two track workouts!

Thankfully, my body seems to be acclimating. This week I ran higher mileage as well as *slightly* harder workouts, and felt better all around. My easy runs actually felt easy, and though my 17-miler was hard, I felt marginally better than I did after last week's 16. (Also, it was hot out, which didn't help.)

This coming week I will do one more "monster" track workout & then take it easy for a few days leading up to Sunnyvale 10-Miler on Sunday. I am in this weird situation right now where RunCoach is calculating my workout paces based on my NVM time (since that was the last race I logged), and since I ran most of that race at an easy comfortable pace, all the workout paces are slower than they should be. Since I haven't all-out raced in over two years, though, I don't really know by how much slower. So, I've been trying to do the intervals by effort and stick to what feels about right. Hopefully I'll have a good race in Sunnyvale & will then finally have updated workout paces to work with.

~*~*~SRM WEEK 11 OF 20~*~*~

Grand Total: 42.1 miles

    * 14.6 easy
    * 7.5 speed
    * 3 threshold
    * 17 long

    AND, 2 x 45:00 strength sessions! #progress

Monday: a.m. strength work / p.m. karate

Tuesday: 2.4 warm up, 6 x 600m / 200m jog, 1 cool down = 6.4 total

    Another night with SF Track Club. Again these were slow enough that they were more in my threshold zone than speed work.

    Rockin' these bad boys. Review coming soon!

Wednesday: Karate

    I intended to go to the gym for strength work Wednesday morning but I woke up at 6:00 feeling absolutely awful with a splitting headache, so instead I slept another hour.

Thursday: a.m. strength work / 8 easy

    SOOO much better than last week's easy runs. My legs felt a little stiff & tired at the beginning, but things weren't bad good once I got going, & even felt pretty good afterward too.

Friday: 1.75 warm up, 2 x 1200m, 30:00 GMP, 2 x 1200m, 1.5 cool down = 10.7 total

    Another big track workout like last week, except with 1200m's instead of 200m's. Going by effort, these were ~0:15 seconds slower each than I've done them in the past in good shape, so I'm hoping that after a few more weeks of speed work I'll be able to ratchet that number down a little the next time I do 1200m's. On the plus side, whereas in last week's 30:00 @ GMP I was struggling to maintain an 8:05-8:10 pace, this week I found myself cruising right along like, "This feels about right," & then frequently seeing numbers in the high sevens. MORE OF THIS PLEASE.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 17 long

Next week, it's all about race prep.


  1. Wow those track workouts are intense. They're going to get you superfit!

  2. That's a lot of track work. I guess I just never did that much! And unfortunately I shy away from double speedwork in a week, since I'll get injured immediately, but that second, easier workout is probably really good for marathon training.

    1. Well, I guess they're both technically track in that I do them at the track (because it's easier that way), but the shorter workout is more tempo/threshold pace, & the longer ones have that big chunk of marathon pace miles in the middle. So it's not, like, two full-length workouts of really fast stuff (which, I'm pretty sure would just get me injured).