Training Log for Week 13 (March 26- April 1)

Weeks like these make it possible to reflect on a week and a month at the same time.

Ideally, I’d have had a different week of running to report than I do now. My plan called for another peak week of running ending in the third 20+ miler of the training season. It was supposed to be the last harder week before a three week taper.

The body decided otherwise. It didn’t really like last week’s last long run, with its addition of garden work, and particularly complained in the upper part of the hamstring. I think I may have actually strained it and I decided to take off a few days. I made it to Tuesday before feeling like I should really get on the road again, and with a healed hamstring I had a few good runs. Then I found the bottom of my hamstring near my knee acting up, struggled through the rest of the week, and ended the week on a weak 10k and 30 miles.

I’m not complaining. Most plans call for a month of taper, which I’d say I accommodated pretty well with my 30 miles and lack of any workouts. It’s only my own pressure to have one more hard week that could make me disappointed in this week. Looking at the month overall, I had my second highest monthly mileage ever… just shy of 200 miles, and this included a good half-marathon race effort, two long runs, and all the workouts I was supposed to. If I can’t follow the plan to a “T” during taper, at least I’ve done all the hard work well beforehand, as a lot of you readers pointed out to me last time. Thanks again for the words of encouragement and advice!!

Looking forward, I’m flying back to Berlin on Tuesday, so I may or may not run until Thursday (which is also my birthday). I plan on taking it easy again this week and making it healthy to Sunday, when I may make a possible appearance in the Berlin Half-Marathon. Most of all, I plan on making it healthy to the marathon, which is now only 2 weeks and 6 days away!!


In a slightly related note, being home in South Florida brought me to old stomping grounds. One of these is the longer-run route from my house to a Publix in Parkland, where my Dad always did some of the week’s shopping and which always made for a convenient pick-up. The route through these Parkland suburbs was always pleasant, a lot of mini-hills with ample shade and grass to run through (hard to find in South Florida!). And they took me past Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 5 miles from my old home. It’s hard to describe the range of emotions I’ve gone through since reading that news slip on February 14th and the subsequent reports. There’s shock, anger, hurt, disbelief, sadness, and a bit of hope seeing the conversation around gun control discussed a little more productively than in the past. Not that there isn’t more to be done- more ways of having constructive, civil conversation and actually seeing change that both sides can agree on, and this isn’t my political blog site, so I won’t expound on my opinions here. I can only say that these beautiful sunny skies continue to be tainted by the shooting at MSD (not Parkland High School, as I’ve noticed many are calling it-there is actually no such school), and it will probably take a lot of time to continue to heal from this. But seeing the outreach of the country and community does seem to help.



Running Log: February 1-13; just in time

Hello from sunny south Florida (yes, it’s a nice 70 degrees here, though don’t worry, we do our suffering in the summer).

I’ve taken a little while to post since my last log, because for some reason, I thought I’d jinx myself if I posted before today. Call this a last-minute reflection on training post too, if you want.

Basically the last two weeks look like a taper. Obviously.

training first of Feb.

Sort of anticlimactic compared to what I did the three weeks prior:

last four weeks

But that’s marathon training for you (unless you’re doing Hansom’s method. Then this just looks like a walk in the park).

I won’t go through a totally in-depth review of my running, because commenting on it two weeks later gave me the perspective to just summarize what’s important. Basically, no surprises here, but I felt like crap the first week of February. I had pushed myself a bit hard on the 15 miler and getting in all the other runs afterwards was difficult. Thanks to Paula at Never a Dull Bling for her advice about zinc though, I think that saved me from a cold these last two weeks). I finally had a chance to use the track for my intervals (10 x 400s), but did them the whole time with glasses in hand, because I forgot my contacts. I ended the week with a reluctant 10 miles that I kept easy, and then proceeded to take two rest days. I didn’t have to, but it did make me feel better. It also helped take care of the “click” I was feeling in my right knee… likely a taper pain, but I was much less nervous once it was gone.

On Tuesday, I did some last intervals around my campus, because the track team was hogging the track (good for them, but it’s a shame they won’t share it with us “lesser” folk). These felt good, and I got some anxiousness out.

But then I ended up taking an unplanned rest day, and after an easy run on Thursday, took another one. That’s three days of running in the past seven days… and I haven’t decided yet how I feel about that. We’ll see after tomorrow if that was a good thing or not.

Today featured an easy 1.5 mile run with some strides. Overall pace slightly more than 8:50 mpm, so I made sure it was easy. I could have gone for two miles, but the house-work this morning (it’s my curse to be the only runner in my family [my bro runs, but more recreationally once a week  when he’s reminded that it’s good for him]).

So, that’s the log! I’m going to type out a “night before the race” post soon.

In the meantime, I’m curious: what do your tapers look like?



Running Log: January 25-31 (how convenient that the week still ends in January)

I don’t know how to describe this week other than “hard.” Looking back, I had more problems with fatigue, motivation, and legs pains than I’ve had at any other point during the season, and I suppose the answer to that should be obvious: high (for me) mileage, a half marathon followed by another high mileage week and a twenty miler, and then still a relatively heavy week at the start of this one. As one can see, it took some motivation to get me out yesterday. But I did! And I had a great run! And from here on out until the marathon, the hardest part will be ignoring the taper pains. I’m not going to miss running so much during this taper, because I can really use the time and energy for other things. It does feel good to know that I’ve put in all the hard work and now only need to be patient to put it all out there in two weeks. I should probably start to plan what I’ll be doing after the (hopefully successful) marathon, but for now, I am just letting you all know how the week went.

trainingn last January

Monday 1/25-ran four miles on the beach. It took me 40 minutes, which goes to show how hard it is to run on soft sand (sort of like soft snow?). I sank at least 6 inches for some of my treads. Thus, what was supposed to be an easy, relaxing run post 21-miler turned into a strength workout. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?  Redeemed myself in the afternoon with 1.5 miles at 8 mpm; they felt good, though I may have been too fast for my own good. Started feeling soreness in my shins that proved to be troublesome through the week.
Tuesday 1/26– I planned to do intervals at the university track, and then my brother, who was supposed to join me, forgot his shoes, so we both drove home together and ran to the park. 5 miles of 800 intervals with 90 second jog recoveries. Average pace 6:48 mpm… 3:24 per 800 meters… not too shabby for me!. :-) Still, I’m not counting on this to predict my marathon time by any stretch.
I ran with two watches (stop watch for the splits and GPS watch for the mileage) and no music. No music almost made me quit the run, which would have been stupid. I forgot my MP3 player… but stuck it through, and then the whole run seemed surprisingly shorter without it.
Wednesday 1/27– Would have loved a rest day, but had 8 miles on the schedule. Then, to add insult to injury, it was raining. To avoid chafing, I drove to the gym and lost the time I otherwise would have had to run (about 20 minutes total). This meant I had to get my “easy” 8 miles in 1 hour, and of course couldn’t do that. Managed to keep the pace low for the first two miles, and then started bumping up to get 7.1 miles in. These hurt, and I count them to my “stupid miles” as far as my mistakes in running go.
Thursday 1/28– rest day, because as I mentioned last week, I’m trying to get a run in before the long-run to emulate the mileage build-up in the marathon. This means the run Thursday and the rest-day on Friday have been switching.
Friday 1/29-got in the easy run I needed, 5 miles for 45 minutes. Shins, feet, and knees did some complaining, but they just need to suck it up.
Saturday 1/30-the dreaded run. It wasn’t even that I was afraid of running 15 miles. I just didn’t feel like leaving the house. Still, a successful run. Felt good from the start, (surprisingly, given the whining I was doing). Negative split with 8:44 slowest (mile two) and 7:13 fastest (mile 8). In between were a lot of 8 minute, 8:30, 7:45 and a few 7:30s. 7:55 mpm overall.
This run makes me feel confident about a 7:59 marathon pace; I just don’t know at all about the consistency of my pace and will try to nail that down in the next two weeks.
Sunday 1/31- rest, as per usual. Physics and world literature, what a winning combination.

Total: 42.1 miles for the week; 197.6 for January. I considered going out for 2.4 miles today, just to get to 200 miles for the month (which is an accomplishment for me, since I haven’t done it in over a year), but then I was just like “nah. Ain’t nobody got time for that.” And I really don’t. Plus, 197 is such a cool number. I like it better than 200, anyway.

notes to self: This training cycle, part of the success in making it healthy this far has been that I’ve kept my runs after a tempo or interval workout super easy, never pushing the pace beyond what I felt like. Wednesday, I pushed the pace and paid for it for the rest of the week. I’m hoping that tomorrow all the lingering issues are gone.

Running Log: Jan 11-18

First weeks and birthdays and PRs, oh my!

The first week of the semester hit me hard. I finished teaching on Friday and felt like I’d been steam-rolled with a pair of my student’s textbooks, not to mention that I still had a class to go to. Let’s all agree that it’s a good thing there was race-day packet pickup. Still, the first week is over and now a routine will slowly settle and at least I didn’t have a hard training week, since I was tapering for the half. What that bodes for this upcoming week… we’ll see in a week.

At any rate, I took it easy, and it shows in my training.

half training week

Monday 1/11: 5.3 miles easy, no point in pushing it too hard during a taper week
Tuesday 1/12: 3.5 miles on my first day of teaching, got them in early while I still could, did a few miles on the bike trainer after bro’s birthday celebrations with the family.
Wednesday 1/13: 5.7 miles early in the morning to get them out of the way before a long day at the uni, and then added a few miles in the evening when I got back for good measure. The morning miles were a fast set of intervals that I didn’t expect, and then the evening miles turned into a 7:30 tempo run. What what?
Thursday 1/14: rest day? rest day it was.
Friday 1/15: 2.3 miles to shake the legs out. Felt hard and slow, which is to be expected after a lower volume week. Had to talk myself out of admitting that this meant I would fail at my goals in Saturday’s race.
Saturday 1/16: 1:37:25 Half-marathon PR. (beats my PR from last Dec. by 1:33) I almost did mess myself up at the race though, coming out the first mile at 7:02 and then thinking I could hold it for a sub-22 mile 5K for the first round. Should have been smarter (I guess I was delusional and thought I had the fitness for all 7 minute miles). I thankfully didn’t fall too far off the mark and held the 7:20-ish pace throughout. I don’t understand my splits, since there are too many 7:32, 7:27, 7:13 patterns, but I’ll get over that confusion. Ultimately, it was most important to me to  practice my fueling strategies (I’m a stop and drink kind of person; no walk and sip for me) and gauge my fitness. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at, and I’m grateful for the PR even with the stupidity at the start!
7:02, 7:09. 7:21. 7:17.7:16, 7:32, 7:27, 7:13, 7:32, 7:27, 7:13, 7:32, 7:27, 7:49, 7:51, 7:32, last .1 at 6:05.
Warm-up and cool-down (I forced myself to cool-down so that I avoid most of the pain from DOMS) brought the total to 16.5 miles.
Sunday 1/17: pretty sore, though not as much as last year. Really wish I would have had some time for any sort of light movement, but had too much physics to do (funny, reading about things in motion while sitting around on my you-know-what).

Total: 36.7 miles

Monday 1/18: Worked out the soreness this morning with an easy 7.4 mile run. The beginning was hard, every down-hill hurt, but surprise-surprise, I loosened up by the end. Round this out with a nice walk with the family on the beach after breakfast, and the day was good before it even became noon.

Happy MLK day, everyone. Hope you have a good week.