Monday, November 7, 2016

CIM WEEK 14 of 18: Fun mileage facts & some HR wonkiness.

With these 50 miles, I've now officially run more miles training for this marathon (594.55) than I have in the 18 weeks leading up to any previous race. Looking back at old training logs, my previous high was 566.4 (NVM 2015), and although I ran that race comfortably and not for time, it suddenly makes a lot of sense why those 26+ miles felt so easy and how I felt better afterward than any other marathon I've ever run.

It was a little surprising to me because apparently I've had a false idea in my head of how hard I'd trained for various marathons in the past. With the exception of doing more/longer long runs, I didn't think I'd been running all that much more this time around than I had before. False!

If I'm able to do all the rest of my runs as written between now and CIM, I'll have run 763.35 miles, which is a LOT more than 566.4 and a *hell* of a lot more than the 495.3 I ran training for my PR marathon (Mountains 2 Beach '13). My memory is that I trained my ass off for that race until I strained an adductor about a month before. While yes, the total would have been higher if I hadn't gotten hurt, my memory is apparently still pretty unreliable when it comes to how hard I've trained in the past.

I was glad that this week didn't include a tempo run because with a busy work trip to Palm Springs, it was kind of all I could do to shoehorn in the easy miles where I had time, and just about all of them felt sort of sucky. It will be interesting to see what happens as I add back in long workouts this next week!

* * *

Grand Total: 50 miles

    * 28.4 easy
    * 1.6 speed
    * 20 long

Monday 10/31: a.m. strength / afternoon 4 easy / p.m. karate.

    The thought process was, "Look, now that the half is over, you *really* gotta get back in the gym & do your squats & deadlifts & core & whatnot." As of mid-October, I was squatting about 100 pounds or so, doing 2 x 15, 2 x 10, 2 x 12, 2 x 8. But since it had been a while, I thought, "Let me just start with 80 pounds & see how that goes." First set of 15? No problem! Second set of 15? I am not even kidding you that I got 4-5 reps in & then pulled a hamstring or something so badly I yelped. So much for squats. I then did about a half hour of push-ups, core/ab work, & some stretching (which I've been neglecting) & called it a day. I actually was not even sure I'd be able to run, but it turned out more or less okay. I was not super active in karate.

Tuesday 11/1: 2 warm-up, 3 x 300m / 100m jog, 300m jog, 3 x 300m / 100m jog, x easy = 1.6 speed / 8 total.

    Clearly RunCoach still wants me "recovering." The "speed" part took all of 12 minutes or so, & it was over so fast that I was kind of laughing to myself & wondering if it really counted as a workout. I did manage to run the 300m's at 5:30-5:45 pace (not hard when you only do 6 of them), which hasn't happened in a long time, so that was kind of cool.

Wednesday 11/2: a.m. strength / afternoon 4 easy

    My hamstring/whatever was still sore enough that I didn't try squatting again & instead did some weighted lunges & one-legged balance ball squat stuff, plus a bunch of core/ab & hip stuff. It was probably half an hour all told & I was still sore as heck the next day. Also, newsflash, Wednesday runs suck, always. #woefulwednesday

Thursday 11/3: 10 easy / fly to Palm Springs

    Of course, because it was Thursday, this run started off kind of blah but got better and I finished it feeling mostly okay. I know a lot of people love to do their runs in the morning because you get it out of the way & it doesn't get skipped or cut short due to other stuff coming up during the day/evening, but this run reminded me of why I really don't prefer a.m. runs, at least on the weekdays. It's because I spend the whole run thinking about everything else I have to do that day and stressing about just getting the run done so I get get on with everything else, which makes it really tough to just enjoy the run. I much prefer to head out after work knowing I'm done for the day & letting the run function as a sort of winding down/relaxation ritual.

Hey there Palm Springs!

Friday 11/4: Work work work.

    Saturday 11/5: a.m. 4 easy / p.m. fly home

      This run was supposed to be 5 miles and happen on Friday, but there was no time on Friday, and as it was I had to get up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday to fit it in before work stuff started. Getting ready took longer than I'd predicted so I only ended up having time for four miles instead of five. On the other hand, given the 100+ temps during the day, I was super glad to be doing this run in the pre-dawn darkness. (On the other other hand, Palm Springs is *severely* lacking in streetlamps. When I say I was running in the dark, I mean it was DARK!)

    This was actually walking over to the convention center later that morning. It was basically still dark when I finished running.

    Sunday 11/6: 20 long

      This run was...weird. On the one hand, it didn't feel physically hard (beyond the obvious fact that it was 20 miles); on the other hand, my heart rate was weirdly high from the very beginning. Not quite high enough to think my HRM was wonky, but still very weirdly high. I've been working hard this cycle to keep my heart rate on easy runs under 145 or at the very worst under 150 (my average HR these days is usually 135-145) and for a lot of this run it was in the 160s. It was so bad, in fact, that I actually did a good amount of walking up hills instead of running just to keep it out of the 170s.

      For the sake of (pseudo-)science, I only include easy runs on more or less the same route in my running economy data, but just for funsies I plugged this one in to see just how horrific it was efficiency-wise:

      Running economy data through Nov. 2. Note the nice, encouraging upward trend.

      The same data with Sunday's 20-miler included. D:

      Yes, you always get some day-to-day variation, but this was insane. See that other super low dot on the left? I was sick that day. I don't really have any explanation for this, especially given that all the other evidence suggests that I've been steadily getting fitter over the last few months. So, yeah. Don't really know what was up with that. Maybe it's all this election stress.

    * * *

    CIM 2016 Week 1 of 18 - It's On

    CIM 2016 Week 2 of 18 - Escape From NY (Barely)

    CIM 2016 Week 3 of 18 - A Discount Code to Share (+ back on Strava!)

    CIM 2016 Week 4 of 18 - 18/day, 47.5/week, 205.5/month.

    CIM 2016 Week 5 of 18 - That cutback feeling

    CIM 2016 Week 6 of 18 - french toast, trail shoes, & a little race fatigue

    CIM 2016 Week 7 of 18 - Big week & feelin' fine!

    CIM 2016 Week 8 of 18 - Knee Troubles :(

    CIM 2016 Week 9 of 18 - Improvement on the knee front!

    CIM 2016 Week 10 of 18 - Train kept a-rollin' (+ free shoes!)

    CIM 2016 Week 11 of 18 - Texas Half Marathon #1 (+ my sister's wedding!)

    CIM 2016 Week 12 of 18 - Race Week Cutback, blah dee blah dee blah...

    CIM 2016 Week 13 of 18 - One More Block....


    1. I totally feel you on memory of past training cycles being unreliable - mine definitely are. What do you use to log your training? Excel, paper log, something else? I've really got to get back to paper logging (what works best for me) but at the moment everything is crammed into my overstuffed, long-suffering diary.

      As for the HR weirdness - clean off the HR sensor? Work/ life stress? Period/ hormonal cycle? If things are back to normal this week I'd write it off as an outlier and not worry.

    2. I bet it was the time change increasing your heart rate.

    3. My heart rate is always higher if I'm sleep deprived, dehydrated, stressed, or getting sick. Hopefully, you're not getting sick!

      I thought about what you said about previous marathon training cycles (while we were in Healdsburg), which caused me to go back to my MCM training posts. Sure enough, my memory had many holes in it. I thought I had trained *so hard*, but while I did reach some major mileage records for me that cycle, it was pretty weaksauce on many fronts. I can see how my current cycle is making me way more prepared for 26.2 than that training cycle did. So...that's good, I think. :)