Monday, August 14, 2017

SJRNRHM Week 7 of 14: Cut-Back Week / Cookin' in the Bathroom

A couple of solid workouts still this week, but cutting back on the total mileage a bit. Going into it I found myself thinking, "Do I really need a cut-back week? I feel fine!" Come Tuesday evening, though, the answer was a clear, "Uhhhh, yes. Yes I would very much like a cutback week, please and thank you."

To be honest, I am definitely feeling more beat up so far this training cycle than I ever did training for CIM last fall, and running WAY less mileage on average (and less than I'd planned, at least thus far). I'm not really sure what to chock that up to, except maybe that whole thing about your body doesn't distinguish physical stress from mental/emotional stress, and last fall we definitely, DEFINITELY were not living in a construction zone and, oh yeah, without an actual kitchen. (Until you've scrambled eggs in the microwave and washed your dishes in the bathroom sink, you have not lived.)

Current state of the kitchen

Also we just learned that they want to demo the bathroom in a week or two, so while I'm proud of us for sticking it out for nearly six months, it may actually be time to move out & let them finish the rest of the work without us in the way.

* * * Rock 'N Roll San Jose Half: Week 7 of 14 * * *

Grand Total: 40 miles + 1 hour strength work.

    * 16.12 easy
    * 4.88 speed
    * 5 tempo/threshold
    * 14 long

Monday 8/7: Karate

Tuesday 8/8: 2 warm up, 5 x 5:00 @ 8K pace / 3:00 jog, 2.12 cool down = 9 total

    When I first saw this workout on the schedule, I remember thinking, "Eh, NBD," probably because when I was training seriously for 10Ks I used to do 5 x 5:00 @ 5K pace and I don't remember that being a big deal. Nope; this was hard. Completely do-able, but still hard. I think part of the disconnect is that, for example, 5:00 at 8K pace for me equates to about .7 miles. An 8K is a bit less than 5 miles, and the first .7 miles of a 5 mile race doesn't feel particularly hard. I mean, like work, yes, but it's never that bad. So how bad can it be to do five of those with 3:00 of jogging in between?

    Alas, what I have to remind myself is that we (ideally) run races fresh and tapered and fully trained, which is very very different than the conditions under which we do our speed workouts in the thick of training. So, no matter what my math brain is telling me, if it's on the calendar on a workout day, it's probably going to feel at least kind of hard.

Wednesday 8/9: a.m. strength work / some TBD # of easy miles

    Oof. Apparently I tweaked something in my left hamstring on Tuesday. Nothing hurt while I was running and nothing hurt after, but as I was getting ready for bed that night I noticed that it felt kind of achey & sore around the insertion point (ie, the butt crease/horizontal butt crack). It wasn't enough to bother me doing squats & step-ups Wednesday morning, but Wednesday afternoon I could tell that something was definitely wrong, wrong enough that I should not not not try to run on it & then it *might* actually be better the next day. (A bummer, because we had no karate and I was looking forward to a nice, easy jog.)

Thursday 8/10: 8 easy.

    The good news: Whatever was going on with my left hamstring/butt crease seems to have resolved itself. (Yesssss not trying to run through injuries, it's like I can actually learn things.)

    The bad news: I don't know if it was being a bit sore from lifting or the shoes (which I would not have thought had enough miles on them to start feeling shitty but they kind of did) or just the weariness of being on week 4 of 40+ miles when I haven't run that much in a while, but my legs felt super beat up and achey on this run. No fun at all.

Friday 8/11: 2 warm up, 2 @ MP + 0:45, 1 @ HMP, 2 @ MP + 0:45, 2 cool down = 9 total

    This is the first workout I can remember that included as part of a tempo/threshold run a good chunk of miles at nearly a full minute slower than marathon pace. I feel like with most of my workouts I understand the point of each pace, but this one is new so I may have to break down and ask. We often do aerobic threshold miles in the MP - MP + 0:20 range but this struck me as unusual.

    And, the beat-up-legs feeling continued. The best way I can describe it was that all my glute and hip muscles that I usually use to keep good form and not abuse my calves and shins kind of felt like mush, like they were just incapable of firing more than the absolute minimum amount. My warm up miles felt impossibly awful (like working for 11:00-12:00 pace) so I was simultaneously a) feeling kind of grateful for those 8:50 miles in the workout (because, hey, it could have been all five at HM pace), and b) completely at a loss for how I was going to run even a tiny bit faster.

    But, as always seems to happen a few weeks into harder training, you find yourself exhausted but also inexplicably able to run faster paces and thinking, " actually not that bad." Because training. No, my muscles never stopped feeling like mush, but somehow the faster miles were easier on everything and it was when I slowed back down to cool down pace that suddenly everything felt like ass and I suddenly became convinced that I was on the verge of at least seven different stress fractures.

Saturday 8/12: Rest

    I can run a little on Saturdays if I want but there was absolutely no question that my body needed lots of sleep, lots of rest, and probably a lot more real, actual food than it's been getting. (THANKS, remodel and complete lack of kitchen.)

Sunday 8/13: 14 long

    My plan for Sunday was to a) sleep as much as my body wanted and b) play the run completely by ear, up to and included taking another rest day if running felt awful, mileage be damned. (It turns out that injuries are not cute no matter how many miles a week you're posting on Strava.)

    Thankfully, things felt much, MUCH better. Not perfect--my left hamstring still has a weird achey tightness in it, and there's still this lazy, mushy feeling in my hips & glutes at times--but it was more in the range of "Meh, this is training and my body is kind of tired" as opposed to "DANGER WILL ROBINSON THERE'S AN INJURY AFOOT."

So, yeah. It feels a bit early in the cycle/mileage build to be feeling this way, but if there's one thing I've learned from sports over the years it's that bodies gonna do what bodies gonna do, and all you can do is make sure you're taking care of them the best you can (sleep, nutrition, strength work, rest, stretching/rolling/etc.) and not overdo it when you're getting the yellow flags.

This week it's time to start working towards 50+ miles, but I'll definitely be paying close attention to how my body is feeling and how I'm recovering, and I have no qualms about cutting things back if my legs are still feeling too wonky for comfort.


  1. Ay yi yi. No kitchen? It's time to look up those weird 'tips for students' things on cooking in dorm rooms (I seem to remember a lot of ramen noodles in the dorm lounge microwave).
    Sounds like a solid training week though, if the workouts are going decently. 7 more weeks! Somewhere in there is where the magic happens. (I swear the magic must happen during naps...)

  2. Ugh, I know....I actually have a friend who is on the board of a non-profit that teaches low-income women how to cook healthy food with fresh ingredients in a SRO-kind of situation & she's offered to lend us their cookbook, which is lovely of her. But....we'll see if we make it to that point. :-/

  3. Came for the running blog, stayed for the renovation pics. Living not so far from you here in SF I have the appropriate mix of interest, sympathy, empathy and yes, amusement at seeing what is behind the lathe-and-plaster and under the floors (did a kitchen renovation in '14 and probably a bathroom upgrade in the next few months).

  4. Glad things just seem to be a little mushy (which sounds normal for all the miles you're running) vs stress fractures in all the things.

    And eeeeek! I feel for ya. We're looking at a kitchen renovation in a few months and I am literally having a panic attack about not having a stove for 2 weeks. I lost weight 10 years ago being VERY picky about takeout food even when I was eating it for lunch and dinner every day... so I just have to do that again. With other people to take care of as well... who are also picky... (cue the rocking back and forth in a corner)